Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Vice President
Club Secretary
Past President
Rotary Foundation Chair

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Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays:
  • Clarence Miller
    September 1
  • Charles E. Nelson
    September 5
  • Chad Spencer
    September 17
  • Steven Vaughan
    September 20
  • Larry Gray
    September 24
  • Mary Nelson
    September 26
  • David Redford
    September 27
  • Wally Kronzer
    September 29
  • Charles E. Nelson
    September 2
  • Ken Hamilton
    September 3
  • Terry LeFebvre
    Abby Mitchell
    September 4
  • Ken Walker
    September 11
  • Burt Ballanfant
    September 16
  • Dan Estes
    Angie Estes
    September 22
Join Date:
  • Mary Nelson
    September 12, 2002
    14 years
  • Ronnie Hallenberger
    September 12, 1997
    19 years
  • Christi Bowden
    September 17, 2015
    1 year
  • Potu Rao
    September 17, 2015
    1 year
  • Vernon Tyger
    September 20, 2012
    4 years
  • Martina Luke-Dorn
    September 24, 2015
    1 year
  • Lisa Bunse
    September 26, 2005
    11 years
  • Wally Kronzer
    September 29, 2005
    11 years
Welcome to our Club!

Celebrating 22 years of service to our community and the world

West U

#1 Giver to The Rotary Foundation 2015-16, #1 Giver to Polio 2015-16, Best Large Club 2012-13

We meet Thursdays at 7:15 AM
The Merrill House
2502 Algerian Way
Houston, TX  77027
United States
Venue Map
Home Page Stories
It is good to be us.  A leading club in the District, and our District a leader in the world!  We did a wonderful job of being welcoming and respectful to DG Eric and wife Sandra.  We showed off a little by inducting two new members, Margarita Hernandez and Frank Eggleston.  We gave out funds to Small Steps Nurturing Center for one student to go to pre-school for a year, and we gave the District Grant funds to Disaster Aid for a water filter in the Philippines.  We presented our 100th Anniversary of The Rotary Foundation check for $10,000 to Eric.  We streamed his presentation LIVE. 
We had many guests from foreign countries and some local visitors expressed a desire to join our fantastic club. Yes, it is good to be us.
Thank yous go out to Honey Leveen, Frank Parrilla, David Redford and Roger Martin for sponsoring and mentoring our new members. Thank you to Chad Spencer, for finding matching funds for our Small Steps donation, turning our $5K into $10K.  Thank you to Terry LeFebvre for hosting the Bolivian PDG Javier as he and his wife on numerous occasions when they came to Houston for cancer treatment.
Thank you to the Membership Committee, who are attacking the cause of growing membership with gusto.  Visitors seemed absolutely delighted to be at our meeting on Thursday.  Great job!

I am proud to report that more than just 10 people want to hear Sylvia Whitlock speak at the Women in Rotary event this Saturday night. If you are interested, we have the beginnings of a second table. But tickets are selling out so please email me ( ASAP.
If we get to 10, the new table will be all ours!  If we get to less than 10, we will make new friends from other clubs. RSVP by midnight Tuesday. Thanks.

This morning we woke up to learn that a man was shooting at cars on Weslayan near Bissonnet around 6:20 a.m.  Right near where our club used to meet.  Right where we shop, where many members live.
It seems a miracle that no one was killed (though people are in the hospital in critical condition).  We pray the victims all fully recover.  But now we know that even in our cozy part of the world, insanity can happen. It seems particulary serendipitious then that this week our featured speaker will be HPD Officer Rick Retz who will speak about how to respond to an active shooter situation.   If you have any friends who you think would be interested in this talk, feel free to invite them.  I say this not as a promotion, but as a service to our friends who may be anxious at this time.  

The social committee once again scored a hit last week with a tour of the Rienzi Museum, part of the MFA collections.
Many members and some spouses followed as docents described the history of the home, it's occupants, and the artifacts inside. We learned too that the surrounding grounds are open every day and visitors can wander them at no cost. It is a gem in the heart of River Oaks few of us had seen. Thank you, Honey, for setting up the tour and meal at Local Foods that followed. 

On Saturday, September 10, twenty members of our club came together to decide on the direction of the club for the next 3-5 years.   Assisted by open ended questions by lead facilitator PDG Lisa Faith Massey, we were challenged to come up with new ideas, evaluate existing programs, and rate them individually.   When the votes were tallied we could clearly see where the most support was and where to put our efforts to be more impactful.
Thank you to everyone who came out to serve West U Rotary.  The results of the meeting will be shared with the club within the next 30 days at a special club assembly.  Stay tuned for details.

A small committee of board members has stepped up to review the club's by-laws to correct some logistical changes, such as our venue change and fees.  In addition they will consider changes in methods of voting and meeting, recognizing that we live in a time where a lot of business is now done online.  They will also look at the committees listed in the by-laws and assess if they are still appropriate, structured properly and with proper responsibilities.  The committee consists of board members George Adams, Greg Faldyn, Bob Owens with Wally Kronzer advising. If you have suggestions or comments you can speak with one of them.   Any changes to the by-laws will be voted on by the entire club at a regular meeting, with proper advance notice to members.  

Congratulations to our own Wally Kronzer, District 5890 Rotary Foundation Committee Chair who led the Foundation seminar on Saturday. Our VTT friends in Uganda Skyped in as well as RI Foundation Chair-elect Paul Netzel in Evanston.  Global scholar Jennifer Gueler and Peace scholar Marc Mori let us know the value of our scholarships in advancing development and peace in the world.  Suzi Howe, RRFC, encouraged giving to the Annual Fund, Polio Plus, and the Endowment and recognized top giving clubs.
Congratulations to WEST U ROTARY for being one of the top giving clubs in District 5890 to The Rotary Foundation!   We were #1 in Total Giving to The Rotary Foundation, #1 Top Giving to Polio, and #2 in Per Capita giving to the Annual Fund. Thank you one and all for your generosity to TRF and our own foundation. 
Also discussed was polio fundraising and easy ways to give via Rotary Direct.   If you aren't using this convenient tool, look into it. Just as you pay other bills online, add Rotary and "set it and forget it".  


So were the words of Terry Ziegler in describing our rank in giving to The Rotary Foundation for 2015-16!   See the Foundation story for the details.
Nuff said.   

Last week for the first time ever our speaker was streamed Live on Facebook!   Thanks, WALLY, for bringing the latest technology to our club.  Now you won't have to lament missing a program as it stays on our Facebook page.  If you are on Facebook and have not "Liked" us yet, what are you waiting for?!  Help us spread the word by "liking" us and sharing our content regularly.  

Every year our club hopes to sponsor a Global Scholar through a Global Grant.   We rely on Clarence Miller to help us find that student from his position at Rice University.   Clarence indeed brought us a young man to consider.  Simulataneously we received a referral of a young woman at Baylor College of Medicine. What a wonderful dilemma. After Clarence, George Adams and I met with both scholars we made our choice. It was not easy. What made it possible at all was knowing that whomever we did not choose would have a sponsor in the Humble Club.  
So we have chosen Tim Tianbo Wang, a biochemistry major at Rice who plans to become a dentist and work on public policy as it relates to oral health.  If your oral health is poor, you don't eat a good diet.  If you don't eat right, you get weak or sick.  If you are sick you cannot work, if you can't work you can't support your family, etc. etc.   
The Baylor student, Annum, will be sponsored by Bill Davis's Humble Rotary Club.  She plans to devote her career to helping communities organize and push for better access to health care from their leaders. We will be pulling for her as well to be a grant recipient along with our nominee.
Sitting down with George after a day of interviewing the two scholars, he reflected that it was a good day.   A day that makes you happy to be a Rotarian because of what we do, and happy to be President-elect and in a position to meet these future leaders.  Rotary offers the same opportunities to all members to meet and affect people in a big way.  Find your passion so being a Rotarian is rewarding for you.

Did you know that you can support Rotary projects without spending any extra dollars? How?  When you shop at Target, Starbucks, Amazon, Gap, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Neiman Marcus, Macy's, Saks, Sephora, airbnb, and hundreds of other stores, you can download their offer to Give Back a percentage of your sale.
Discounts offers are also available with Hertz, Avis, Office Depot, Candlewood Suites, AMC theaters and many more vendors.   

Go to and login to My Rotary to see the hundreds of offers available.   You can even use your smartphone or tablet. So next time you are about to check-out either online or in person at some national vendor, remember to check for a Give Back offer or Discount.  

We mourn the passing of Laney Littlejohn.   However, with no services held, we feel no closure.  What can we do with our grief?  Laney’s family has asked that anyone wishing to honor Laney’s life, make a contribution to The Rotary Foundation.   Terry Z and Wally figured out a way to do that in the biggest possible way and in a manner Laney would surely approve. 
If you receive the Southwest Village News, you probably saw the photo of our members from the Backpack Loading day.   Below read the letter of appreciation from David Lopez, VP, Social Responsibility, YMCA of Greater Houston.
“The school bell has rung and the children of Houston are back to school! …We have had an incredible success with our “YMCA Operation Backpack”!  As you know, the need in Houston is great with more than 25% of children 17 and under living below the poverty line and school supplies costing parents close to $200 per child. 
Through all your effort, support and commitment, we surpassed our goal this year and served 101,592 youth in the Houston area throughout 36 area school districts.  You have helped distribute over 25,000 backpacks with 684,000 school supplies!  Our program has become one of the largest back to school drives in Texas.  This year, 33 YMCA centers participated with 220 drop off locations including YMCAs, HEBs, First Choice ERs and our local community partners.   Our collective plan is to continue to grow this program and find ways to improve our reach to the children and families in our communities.
Again, THANK YOU for all you did to make this a success!  I applaud you.”

At the end of the August 11th meeting, a group of members headed to Bush IAH to welcome our arriving RYE from Japan, Ayuri.   
Alejo from Argentina arrived early Tuesday morning, August 16, to a small but enthusiastic crowd of Rotarians and his first host family, the Eushers.  
International Chair Jack Wallace led a group of four West U Rotarians to Belize City to look at projects for our consideration.
Website Sponsors
Sep 29, 2016
Officer Rick Retz - Houston Police Dept.
How to respond in an active shooter situation.
Oct 06, 2016
Debra Weingarten
Oveta Culp Hobby: Colonel, Cabinet Member and Philanthropist
Oct 13, 2016
Rotary Exchange Students
Introduction of the exchange students for this year
Oct 27, 2016
Dr. F. B. Willis
Right Size Weight Loss or how not to gain the holiday 15
Nov 03, 2016
Trudi Smith
Buffalo Bayou Partnership
Nov 10, 2016
Sheri Suarez Foreman
Houston Center for LIteracy - The Center addresses adult illiteracy
Nov 17, 2016
Nov 17, 2016
Bob Charlet
Houston Business Journal - bringing the HBJ into the digital age
Jan 12, 2017
Bruce Serbin
Publicity and Media Training
Jan 26, 2017
Quincy Allen
Texas Department of Transportation - Houston Mobility
Rotary recognized on public television's 'American Graduate Day'
Rotary was recognized on 17 September on public television's fifth annual American Graduate Day program for its work with San Diego-based Monarch School, a K-12 school for homeless youth. The Rotary Club of San Diego, California, USA, was applauded for its work mentoring Monarch's students, keeping them on track to graduate, and helping the school to continue thriving during tough economic times. Monarch School CEO Erin Spiewak appeared as one of the show's guests, along with Monarch Alumnus Cynthia Valenzuela, who attested to the positive, life-changing experience Monarch School gave her and...
Practicing peace
Nations around the world will observe the International Day of Peace on 21 September, a date designated by the United Nations in 2001 as "a day of global ceasefire and nonviolence." Rotary's commitment to building peace and resolving conflict is rooted in the Rotary Peace Centers program, formed in 2002. Each year, the program prepares up to 100 fellows to work for peace through a two-year master's degree program or a three-month professional certificate program at university partners worldwide. Today, nearly 1,000 peace centers alumni are applying their skills — negotiating peace in conflict...
Charity Navigator upgrades Rotary Foundation’s rating
The Rotary Foundation has received the highest possible score from Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of charities in the U.S. In the most recent ratings, released on 1 September, The Rotary Foundation earned the maximum 100 points for both financial health and accountability and transparency. The ratings reflect how efficiently Charity Navigator believes the Foundation will use donations, how well it has sustained programs and services, and its level of commitment to good governance and openness. In the previous rating, the Foundation had received 97 points.
eBay Live Auctions that benefit Rotary
Each month, eBay, the world’s largest auction website, selects a set of upcoming Live Auction events and donates a portion of all sales proceeds to Rotary. Only U.S. auction sales are eligible. See the schedule of September auctions.
Rotary district collecting relief funds for Louisiana flood victims
Rotary clubs of District 6200 are collecting relief funds to help thousands of victims after record flooding devastated communities in southern Louisiana, USA, earlier this month. Torrential rains caused rivers, streams, and bayous to swell, damaging or destroying more than 60,000 homes and killing at least 13 people. The U.S. Coast Guard and emergency responders helped rescue more than 30,000 residents from the rising flood waters. As of 25 August, more than 3,000 residents were still in emergency shelters even after the water receded. Donate to District 6200 disaster relief fund.