At the December 15th  meeting, members and guests celebrated Christmas.
The large number of guests was due to guests from the Lynwood Teen Challenge home as well as guests from the Senior Center and other Lynwood residents to share in Christmas fellowship and to participate in the annual gift exchange.
Meeting Introductions.  Among the extensive number of introductions, Elias Saikaly, P.E., Senior Public Works Manager, City of Lynwood introduced himself, noting that he worked for Rotary member Joe Wang, when Joe worked for the City of Lynwood.   Later in the meeting, Daniel mentioned the Principal of Roosevelt ES, Ms. Sandra J. Verduzco, who participated in the before Christmas parade activities together with Rotary parade participants at the home of Martina Rodriguez, and then had a seat on the Rotary float, from which she waived at the large turnout along the parade route.
Teen Challenge.  As planned, Ms. Cheryl Bradford, Manager of the Teen Challenge Inc. facility in Lynwood brought a number of the local Teen Challenge residents.  They brought with them a very beautiful and informative display of their activities with photos of their residents.  Five women from the facility from age 17 to age 42, described their lives before they started their yearlong stay at the local home, as well as their current experiences and outlook on life.  Before becoming a part of Teen Challenge their lives involved drug and alcohol dependency, and in one case domestic abuse.  They all described their current lives as a life of complete sobriety and with an outlook on life consisting of religious inspiration, and a commitment to engage themselves in a productive and caring life with family members and friends.
As explained, when Cheryl Bradford has been the club speaker several times, Teen Challenge is an international organization with facilities for women and for men in several locations in California.
Rotary Club President Ramon Rodriguez explained that he is personally acquainted with the positive influence that Teen Challenge does have on their participants.  With his lead, the Rotary Club agreed to provide a wide variety of cleaning supplies and equipment for the Lynwood facility, which items were on display at the meeting.  Cheryl expressed a big thank you for all the items, noting that with 28 beds in the local home, there is much need for all these cleaning items.
Christmas Candy Cane Lane Parade.  President Ramon mentioned again the successful entry of the Lynwood Rotary in the Friday evening, Dec 2 annual city parade.  Martina Rodriguez noted that there were around 50 participants of students and parents from Roosevelt ES that included some participants from Helen Keller ES.  Ramon Rodriguez mentioned that a PA microphone was damaged that was part of the beautiful float that included youth dressed as Mary and Joseph.  So, the club will have to replace the microphone that was loaned by Lucy's brother, who had a major role in constructing and decorating the float. 
Christmas Exchange gifts.  There was excellent participation in this event from both members and guests.   Many brought gifts appropriately gift-wrapped.  In addition, Daniel brought a number of items unwrapped and encouraged members and guests, including Teen Challenge visitors, to take his unwrapped items.  
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!  President Ramon Rodriguez reminded everyone that the next two Thursdays are dark.  So, the next meeting will be next year, Thursday, January 5.  President Ramon urged everyone to have a safe and wonderful holiday time with family and friends and said:  “See you next year!!!”  
Daniel Miller / Omar Franco / Rowland Becerra –
Public Relations and Community Outreach for the Lynwood Rotary Club