Froman (fourth from left) gets help on an emotional day.福洛曼(由左第四位)在一個感人的日子獲得幫助
When David Froman emerged
from his San Diego home on the morning of 26 October 2003 and smelled
smoke, he wasn't alarmed. Wildfires were raging across Southern
California and one was burning nearby, but such occurrences were nothing
new to residents of Froman's neighborhood.
Jolla Golden Triangle)扶輪社的社員，也是一位律師。
"We'd had fires in the
area before, but it wasn't anything we had to evacuate for," says Froman,
an attorney and member of the Rotary Club of La Jolla Golden Triangle.
As a precaution, however,
he gathered up some valuables and put them into his van. A short time
later, fire officials came through the neighborhood and told residents
to evacuate as quickly as possible. Within 15 minutes, Froman and his
wife, Elizabeth, were on their way to safety. They would never see their
Fire swept through the
neighborhood and destroyed the Fromans' house and about 40 others on
their street. Three days later, families were allowed to return to the
neighborhood to sift through the piles of debris and ash that were once
their homes. Facing an overwhelming task, Froman appealed to his Rotary
"He's a quiet guy," says
Linda Stouffer, chairwoman of the club's family of Rotary committee. "He
gave a very emotional statement. It touched us."
The next day, 40 members
of the La Jolla Golden Triangle club arrived to help. They brought
sifting equipment and other tools, food, and drinks to help the Fromans
make it through the difficult day. Some stayed and worked until dark,
even though they had a Paul Harris Fellow Recognition dinner to attend
"They were giving and
caring," Froman says. "How can you express your thanks for such love and
Among the items that
survived the fire were the couple's original wedding rings (they
exchanged new rings on their 25th anniversary), Elizabeth's wedding
dress (stored in a trunk under a wool blanket that withstood the
flames), and, beneath that, a decorative pillowcase that Froman received
as a gift from the mother of a U.S. Navy sailor he had represented in a
court martial case in the Philippines. Hand-embroidered on the
pillowcase are the words "God be with
you when life's peril thick confound you," taken from an
"When my wife held that
up, there wasn't a dry eye," Froman says. "You'd better believe that is
going to be framed in our new house."
Froman says that despite
the pain of the loss, the tears he sheds now come when he recalls the
kindness that his fellow Rotarians displayed that day. Stouffer says she
never could have predicted that her club would be called on to respond
to a crisis of this magnitude, but the members responded admirably.
"I hope this will
punctuate for other clubs just what the family of Rotary is all about,"
According to District
Governor Mike Stelman, at least seven Rotarian families in District 5340
had their homes damaged by the wildfires, the most destructive in
California history, killing 22 people and consuming 3,500 homes. Stelman
asked Rotarians to offer whatever assistance they can to those families.
Establishing a family of
Rotary committee is a requirement for every district governor and every
club in order to earn the 2003-04 Presidential Citation. The initiative
encourages clubs and districts to include members' spouses and children,
as well as the spouses of deceased Rotarians, in Rotary activities. It
also underscores the importance of clubs coming to the assistance of
members and their families in times of need.