December 28th, 2017
We closed out the 2017 calendar year with the official visit of Division 21 Lt. Governor Doug Beckham, who visited us today from the Kearny Mesa Kiwanis Club, along with Al Demoran. We also welcomed 8th-grader Karmen Lee, Treasurer of the Lewis Middle School Builders Club, and three members of the Patrick Henry Key Club – Hafsah Alzamari, Ryan Lieng, and Long Phan. Ryan shared with us the exciting news that next month, he will be running for Lt. Governor of Key Club Division 21!
Following a round of “Auld Lang Syne” in recognition of the upcoming New Year, we were treated to an autobiography from our own Dan Yauger. After growing up in upstate New York, Dan became the first member of his family to go to college when he enrolled at Colgate University. In 1969, Dan was drafted into the U.S. Marine Corps. “That’s the only lottery I ever won,” he says with a laugh. After attaining the rank of captain, Dan graduated from Emory Law School in Atlanta, then moved to California in 1982, where he worked for an insurance company. After passing the bar exam in 1990, Dan opened his own civil litigation practice in San Diego, and joined our club in 1997. He put together a successful career in law for 25 years before his retirement in 2015. “I’m really very grateful to this country for the opportunities I’ve received,” he said. “I’ve lived the American Dream.” Dan credited the “Greatest Generation” before him for his success and for preserving the values this nation was founded upon.
Next up was our Kiwanian of the Day, Valerie Crawford. Val gave us an amusing and informative presentation about some of this country’s lesser-known holidays, many of which stemmed from community festivals and customs. She listed each member of the club according to their birthday and told us about an off-the-wall holiday that coincides with each birthday. We found out that March 14th is Celebrate Scientists Day (and Albert Einstein’s birthday), June 21st is National Giraffe Day, June 29th is Drive Your Corvette to Work Day, and November 27th is Pie in the Face Day! For more fun with obscure and silly holidays, visit www.checkiday.com!
After hearing from Dan Yauger earlier, we then turned the podium over to another retired Marine: Kiwanis Lt. Governor Doug Beckham. Doug is currently serving his second term as Lt. Governor of our division (having previously served in 2011-12). Beckham hails from the Kearny Mesa Kiwanis Club, where he has served multiple terms as Club President.
Doug opened his presentation by reminding us that he is still seeking a successor to take over for him at the end of the Kiwanis year. He dismissed concerns that the division might be realigned or its clubs reallocated to other divisions, stating that if necessary, he would be willing to serve as Lt. Governor for a third term.
He also invited us to the next Division Council Meeting, to be held on January 18th at Rady Children’s Hospital.
Looking ahead at the calendar for 2018, Doug highlighted the Kiwanis International Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada (June 28-July 1) as a rare opportunity to attend a convention relatively close to home. He also invited us to the Mid-Year Conference in Pomona, California on February 24th and the Miracle Mile of Quarters on May 5th. That event will lead into the Official Visit of Cal-Nev-Ha Kiwanis District Governor Joni Ackerman.
Ackerman’s husband, Greg Ronkainen, is enjoying his term as the District’s “First Dude,” and using that title to promote his pet project, the support of Aktion Clubs in Cal-Nev-Ha. Aktion Club is an official Service Leadership Program (SLP) sponsored by Kiwanis International. Its members are adults with physical and mental disabilities, and the organization currently has more than 12,000 members worldwide. Currently, there are no Aktion Clubs in Division 21; Doug is looking for a club willing to act as a sponsor.
A U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served his country in Vietnam (1968-69), Doug also played college football for Stanford University. For many years, he has been a leader of the Linda Vista Rec Council, Linda Vista Neighborhood Watch, and the Linda Vista Town Council. He has also given much of his time to the Kearny High School Alumni Association and the Linda Vista Boys and Girls Club. For his efforts in these endeavors and more, Scott Sherman and the City Council declared November 10th, 2015 to be “Doug Beckham Day” in the City of San Diego.
Lt. Governor Doug Beckham of the Kearny Mesa Kiwanis Club towers above our Kiwanian of the Day, Valerie Crawford!
Patrick Henry High School junior Ryan Lieng has been a dedicated Key Club volunteer all year long!