Sunrise Rotary May 4, 2017  


President Tony called this special evening meeting to order


Past President Jim Ponder led the Pledge to the Flag

Father Bill Dopp offered an invocation


Special Presentation:


Past President Rich Aeling introduced Escondido Police Sergeant Chris Leso. 


SGT. Chris Leso speaking to the Escondido Sunrise Club members…


SGT. Leso leads the Police Department’s Explorer Cadet program; and Escondido Sunrise Rotary has supported the annual academy for the Cadets in past years. President Tony announced that the Club would support the academy with a $500 donation; Connie Criss (Mrs. President Tony) offered an additional donation of $200 for the program. Rich then sought the support of Club members in attendance, seeking an additional $100 from willing members at the meeting. Immediately, numerous hands were raised, and thankfully, Donna Aeling had the sense to film a video of all members with raised hands… All told, 22 members offered to support the program with gifts totaling $3,700 including the Club’s initial donation of $500.

Great job Escondido Sunrise Members!!


Video Presentation:


President Tony presented a video of the Mexicali school children enjoying the wonderful playground equipment our members and friends installed last weekend in Mexicali…


 Dates to Remember:


October    7:    Grape Day 5K; 156 days ’til the big event…





Past President Jim Ponder introduced Alex Montoya, our special guest speaker. 

Jim has known Alex for several years, and he is a featured guest at RYLA programs at which he is always a wonderful inspiration for the young people attending.


Alex began his story of his very early life in Medellin Columbia; born as a triple amputee (no arms and only one leg) due to his mother’s use of the drug Thalidomide. Alex’s parent’s perspective of his condition was that he should be encouraged and supported to do all that he could possibly do in life; contrary to the medical professionals who suggested to his parents, “that his life would not amount to much of anything.”



Alex Montoya speaking to Club members and guests…


With family in the US, Alex’s parents arranged for him to come to America for treatment in a Shriner’s hospital. That amazing care, plus the attitude that he could accomplish anything he put his mind to, has led him to a life of caring for and inspiring others. His older sister encouraged him as he was preparing to leave Columbia for the US by telling him that he “was on a mission,” and encouraging him to “make a difference.”


Alex was ‘equipped’ with appropriate prothetic devices and began his quest to accomplish ‘What If’… That attitude has propelled him to a degree from Notre Dame, a community relations post with the Padres, and many opportunities to impact thousands of people with life experiences and his uncanny ability to connect with his audiences. Alex reminded us to enjoy life while focusing on what we have and not on what we are missing… His advice, “never take for granted those things in life that we can do each moment without having to think about them” is solid counsel for all of us.


Alex encourages us to surround ourselves with supportive people and always to be a cheerleader for others. To this end, he has begun the ‘See the Good’ movement, an opportunity for him to reach others with the perspectives and reality that has enabled him to actively contribute to our world.



Alex Montoya with President Tony…