Announcements and reminders
Our annual fundraiser dinner will be May 5th from 5:30 to 9:00 PM. We will be roasting Zach Friend. Tickets are $150. We need silent auction items.
A new member was inducted today. Constantin Gehriger received a blue badge as a ‘permanent guest’ of the club.
Rotarian of the week was Tim Powell for his distribution of our elementary school books.
Win reinstated the past presidents meeting. It will meet next Thursday at 1:30 after the meeting. Foundation meeting is before next week’s meeting at 11:00.
Please sign up to volunteer for the music festival on May 27th and May 28th. You must work all day from 9:00 AM until closing. It is also possible to help with set-up on Friday. See Sandra for more information.
Pam Goodman announced that on April 27th we will not meet here but will have a tour at Aptos High School.
Sign up for beach cleanup at Beer Can beach at 9:00 AM on April 8th (a Saturday morning).
John Fisher reminded us to make our $30 donation for Polio Plus.
Sloane introduced Dr. Merrianne Burtch from Birchbark Foundation. She has practiced veterinary medicine in this area for more than 20 years. She spoke about the need for comprehensive affordable pet care and the importance of animals in research.
She spoke about the concept of ‘one health’ and the role veterinarians have in maintaining human health. This means we are maximizing the health of everyone. Ebola and zika viruses were both combatted by veterinarians and are two examples of the use of combined medical resources.
Cancer research and endocrinology are two example of research where dogs and cats are involved as subjects.  At Univ of Pennsylvania they are using greyhounds and Irish wolfhounds to look at osteosarcoma.  Cats are also good subjects as they get type II diabetes. Medications are also used on cats and dogs before they are tried on people. A drug for targeted therapy was developed based on this research (of cancers sharing the same expressed protein) to stop its ability to communicate with other cells.
The next point in her talk was focused on advocacy for our pets. Pets provide us with benefits, including health benefits. But we also need to advocate for pets as they are our responsibility.
Birchbark foundation operates in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. It works with pets with life threatening illnesses but a good prognosis and owners with limited resources. They work with veterinary hospitals to lower their rates and the foundation and the owners share the remaining costs. Most recipients are elderly, veterans and/or farmworkers.
Her talk was followed by a good discussion of the ethical and technical issues of choosing life preserving health care for pets as well as the veterinary business in general. For more information see her website at