Dancing with La Jolla Stars
6-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 at Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Hotel
$175 per person or $325 for two
Information or to make a contribution:
contact Nancy Gardner at email@example.com or (858) 456-3000
By Pat Sherman
After voting in July to divide proceeds from the La Jolla Town Council’s (LJTC’s) Oct. 5 “Dancing with La Jolla Stars” fundraiser among three beneficiaries, LJTC trustees voted again during their Aug. 8 meeting to add a fourth recipient — Bozeman, Mt.-based Warriors and Quiet Waters.
During the LJTC’s July meeting trustees selected three of six beneficiaries to donate proceeds to: The La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival, the La Jolla Community Center, and the LJTC’s general fund (which provides money to various community projects, as needs are identified).
The reallocation vote followed a lengthy presentation by retired U.S. Marine Clifford Myers of Warriors and Quiet Waters. The nonprofit provides therapeutic fly-fishing expeditions for traumatically injured U.S. military personnel. The program benefits service men and women receiving care at Camp Pendleton, Naval Medical Center San Diego (Balboa) and San Antonio Military Medical Center.
“At Balboa we have a recreational therapist who selects the people who go (on the six-day trip),” Myers said. “It’s really important that you get the warrior who’s in the right part of his or her recovery process to send up there.”
Myers said one of the wounded service members traveling to Bozeman for the next fly-fishing expedition is a medically retired Marine Corporal from Dayton, Ohio whose legs were amputated just below the hip following a service-related injury. “These young men and women deserve everything that we can do for them,” Myers said.
Prior to the vote, newly elected LJTC trustee Glenda Rothberg asked whether such a vote followed legal bylaw procedures, particularly given that Warriors and Quiet Waters received the fewest trustee votes during last month’s meeting. (Two other causes that were not selected, a mentor program at La Jolla High School and San Diego-based Voices for Children, each received one more vote than Warriors.)
“I’m trying to figure out how it jumped the line,” Rothberg said. “I thought the mission of the La Jolla Town Council was to support La Jolla.”
Trustee Nancy Gardner, who is head of the dance event organizing committee, and trustee Ramin Pourteymour said the LJTC’s executive committee was asking trustees to include Warriors and Quiet Waters to basically help salvage the event, which they said has lost support since the three local beneficiaries were announced.
“We lost several of our dancers and sponsors,” Gardner said. “We had two of them, Realtors, who had about 100 people lined up, but when they found out it was just (benefitting) La Jolla (causes), they said they didn’t want to participate.”
Pourteymour added, “The law firms that I work with have offices downtown. They have nothing to do with La Jolla. But if wounded warriors were part of this, they would actually buy a couple of tables.”
Gardner said adding an outside charity is “totally a practical matter.”
“We had no idea there would be that much of a ramification,” she said. “We cannot sell the tables and we can’t get the big name dancers to do it that will bring in the crowds unless we also have (a cause) that’s compelling.
“We chose Warriors and Quiet Waters because every penny that they raise goes directly to the soldiers and their families. None of it goes to running the program,” Gardner said. ““The point is, we need to step outside of ourselves and realize there’s something a little bigger than just us.”
The percentage of proceeds that each beneficiary receives will be voted upon during the LJTC’s November meeting, after it has been determined how much money was raised from the event.
“You guys get to vote at the end (on how proceeds are allocated),” Gardner said.
LJTC President Cindy Greatrex said the vote was necessary so that the well-known, national nonprofit’s name can be added to advertising, to garner additional interest, participation and financial support for the event.
“I do want to be very clear in terms of voting integrity that our bylaws were followed for this process,” Greatrex said.
LJTC Second Vice-President Steve Haskins said the reallocation vote should be viewed as a “reconsideration,” which is permissible under “Robert’s Rules of Order.”
“Something happened between the last time we voted and now, which is that we have new information from the event committee,” Haskins said.
Rothberg said she regretted that she was put in the “embarrassing position” of raising the issue in front of Myers. “I just hope that this kind of process is better explained to us in the future,” she said.
“That’s fair," Greatrex responded. “This was a tight timeframe because of the advertising window.”
Past LJTC trustee Patrick Ahern and current trustee Jennifer Van Galder said Rothberg acted correctly in voicing her concerns, and that her diligence makes her a “valuable trustee.”
During the August meeting, it also was noted that trustees Rothberg and Ruth Yansick donated $1,000 each to the La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival.