Spindrift May 11, 2023


This annual event was held in the Main Dining Room of the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. There were 54 in attendance, including 23 members, the 8 student honorees, their school counselors, and their families. President Ken Dufour opened the meeting by announcing the sale of raffle tickets and President-Elect Shirley Lashmett was very efficient in collecting $5 from practically everyone there. Leo Fracalosy then made a presentation in honor of the veterans of our Club, past and present, a few of whom served in World War II and Vietnam. He related a true story about Martha Catrone, a history teacher at Robinson H.S. in Little Rock, Arkansas, who, on the first day of school in 2005, removed all the desks from her classroom. When her students arrived, they asked her where the desks were, and she told them that they couldn’t sit at a desk until they could tell her why they earned the right to sit at their desks. The students gave several answers, including getting good grades and behaving well in class, but as the day wore on, none of the students gave her the answer that she was looking for. Some of the students contacted their parents; who heard what was transpiring in the classroom, and television crews assembled at the school to report on the “crazy teacher who took all the desks out of her classroom”. During the final period that day, Ms. Catrone opened the door to her classroom, and 27 U.S. military veterans in uniform walked in, each carrying one of the desks., put the desks in order in the classroom, then stood at attention in the back of the room. At that time, the students learned, perhaps for the first time, how the right to sit at their desk had been earned. Martha said, “You didn’t earn the right to sit at these desks, these heroes did it for you. They interrupted their lives to serve so that you can have the freedoms that you have in this country. It is now your responsibility to be good students, to learn to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you can have the freedoms that you have.” Ken then led the crowd in the Salute to the Flag.


Richard Swinney, Coordinator of the 14th Annual Field of Honor, ECNH’s signature event, distributed flyers detailing its location and club website He announced that it will be held between May 20th and May 29th at Castaways Park, 16th and Dover, in Newport Beach. Parking and access to the park is free; that flag dedications are available for $50; that the event is dedicated to honor the service and memory of our veterans, first responders, and medical personnel.....President Ken thanked all the students and their parents and teachers for being present.


Coordinated and moderated by Jerry Nininger, the Youth of the Year Awards are given to graduating students, two of which are chosen by their counselors at each of four High Schools in the Newport-Mesa School District. Jerry remarked that, although the awards are generally given to students who excel academically, they are not awarded for grades alone, and that extracurricular activities and involvement in community service activities play a large part, e.g. sports, theater arts, church and religious activities. The students from each of the schools were introduced by their school counselors. All have expressed an appreciation for ECNH for the honor and awards that they have received. Each student gave a small presentation outlining their accomplishments and plans for enrollments in their selected colleges and universities.

L to R: Joe Brown, Leo Fracalosy, Family of Sofia Kehoe, and Sofia

All have been heavily involved in sports, pus. Academically, they have taken Advanced Placement programs, and are members of their local and National Honor Societies. They are all destined for successful educational experiences in colleges and universities throughout the country . The two students from Costa Mesa High School are Isabella Mills and Edwin Gutierrez Flores. From Estancia High, the awardees L to R: Sofia Kehoe, Asa Davis, Alexandra Venanzi, Connor Simonson, Isabella Mills, Edwin Gutirrez Flores, Maggie McWherter, and Alexander Altshuler Sofia Kehoe and Asa Davis. From Corona del Mar High, the winners are Alexandra Venanzi and Connor Simonson; and from Newport Harbor High, Maggie McWherter and Alexander Altshuler (who is the grandson of our own Jerry Nininger) Each winner will be receiving a $3,000 check from the ECNH to help with their future education.

L to R: Sofia Kehoe, Asa Davis, Alexandra Venanzi, Connor Simonson, Isabella Mills, Edwin Gutirrez Flores, Maggie McWherter, and Alexander Altshuler

Jerry had to recuse himself from the selection committee because his grandson, Alexander was a nominee and eventual winner. Congratulations and best wishes to all the and many have served as volunteers for charities and religious groups. They have all demonstrated their leadership capabilities, having been serving as officers in organizations and clubs both on and off cam students who worked hard to deserve this award!


RAFFLE - Sofia Kehoe and Richard Swinney each took home $45.



May 11  - A.C.E Awards Program

Pres. Ken DuFour

May 18  - Business Meeting

This week’s meeting will be held at the Newport Beach Yacht Club. Lunch will be served at 12:20 p.m. You will be emailed an invitation two days before the meeting. Please notify Richard Swinney by this Wednesday at 2 pm if you are planning on attending.

David Schapiro, Editor

David Schapiro, Editor