Westmont Magazine Potter's Clay Participants Span the Generations
“You want adventure?” says Cliff King ’74. “Then join the crew of Potter’s Clay next year. I had plenty of excitement avoiding heavy hail, being followed by police and playing soccer with the mayor of Ensenada. I’ll never forget the incredible students who served in so many ways.”
Cliff went to Mexico with his sons, Lucas King ’06 and Cody King ’09. “The program has expanded to 300 people, with 250 students and 50 doctors, dentists, contractors and alumni like me,” he says. Lucas and Cody played on the sports team, with Lucas leading the men’s and women’s sports teams. The students competed in soccer,volleyball, basketball and “indoor” soccer (played outside on a basketball court). Cliff got into the action during the final soccer game, which included the mayor. “He split his time between the two sides and didn’t seem to mind that I spent half the time holding my opponent’s jersey,” Cliff says.
The doctors, dentists and students on the medical and dental team provided a range of services, from handing out toothbrushes to pulling teeth. “One orthopedic surgeon even set a broken arm with something akin to a soccer shin guard and duct tape,” Cliff says.
Evening church services featured local praise bands as well as the Westmont worship team. “With the translated sermons, the services were long,” Cliff says. “What was lost in translation? Very little as we shared, clapped, sang and worshiped as one body.”
A police officer pulled Cliff over after he ran a red light trying to follow a long line of student cars. When the officer understood the group came from Westmont, he let them go. “After 29 years, all Ensenada knows about Potter’s Clay,” Cliff says.
He and his wife, Peg, have three sons and a daughter and live in Petaluma, Calif. He owns an insurance agency, and Peg is a realtor. Cliff has done a lot of coaching and plays tennis. Cody competes with the Warrior tennis team, and Peg is a long-distance runner. Lucas graduated with a double major in biology and neuroscience and plans to attend medical school. Cody is also pre-med.
Unexpectedly, Cliff met students whose parents he knew at Westmont. Ryan Zoradi ’08, son of Steve Zoradi ’74, is a history major and Spanish minor who led the vacation Bible school team. Steve and his wife, Janice Johnson Zoradi ’76, hosted a retreat and dinner for the Potter’s Clay core team in January. Both Zoradis work as marriage and family therapists in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Their son, Justin Zoradi ’04, a former Potter’s Clay participant and communications studies major, is involved in peace work in Northern Ireland.M
Nate Woods ’06, a kinesiology major, played on the sports team after leading it last year. His father, Tim Woods ’74, lives in Onetepec, Mexico, where he serves as a pastor and missionary with Sports Outreach, started by former Westmont soccer coach Russ Carr ’56. Tim’s wife, Barb, has homeschooled their four children, and they have ministered in Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile and Columbia.
Dennis Reid ’74 and his wife, Pam, have sent their three children to Westmont. Seth Reid ’04, a Potter’s Clay alumnus, majored in biology; his sister Shannon Reid ’06graduated with a degree in liberal studies and plans to teach. Scottie Reid ’08, an economics and business major, played on the women’s soccer team at Potter’s Clay. A licensed clinical social worker for Turning Point, Dennis is involved in Care Connections, a program for widows. He lives in Fresno, Calif.
Bob Chin is another 1974 alumnus with a student at Westmont. Daniel Chin ’09, an engineering physics major, worked on the vacation Bible school team at Potter’s Clay. Bob is a family doctor in Modesto, and he and his wife, Connie, have two sons.
Troy Harris ’74 has been a Potter’s Clay participant and the risk manager for the past seven years. He has two children and works at Westmont as director of risk management, procurement and auxiliary services. His wife, Carla Randolph Harris ’74, does calligraphy.
Dan Ribbens ’77 has directed the Potter’s Clay construction team for six years. In March, they built a second story for a church to house students during the nine weekend trips they make to prepare for March. Dan owns Ribbens Construction and lives in Santa Barbara with his wife, Karen Crosby Ribbens ’78,who does accounting and bookkeeping. Andy Ribbens ’03 double-majored in chemistry and physics, and Erik Ribbens ’06 studied industrial engineering; both were in Ensenada.
Nicky Schirm Suard ’78 worked with the medical and dental team with her husband, Tom, a family doctor in Napa, Calif., and Cory Suard ’08, who is pre-vet and minoring in music. Tyler Suard ’07, a business major and music minor, served with the worship team. Nicky has a law degree and manages Snug Harbor, a marina and RV park.