Yearly Archives: 2015

Announcing our Summer Cruise-In!

Cruise into the Marie Callender’s parking lot on July 29th or August 26th for cool cars, happy hour specials and great food!

Present your ticket when you dine and Orange Plaza Rotary will receive 20% of the sale. And don’t forget to order some delicious pie to go!

Eventbrite - Orange Plaza Rotary Cruise-In

 For Cruise-In July 29th and August 26th

Proceeds support the community and world service projects of Orange Plaza Rotary.  Check out our website to learn more about Rotary in your town.

A Rededication to Service

Orange Plaza Rotary celebrated another year of service over dinner with family and friends at Orange Hill Restaurant on June 24th. The club, which marked its 30th anniversary in March, completed numerous youth and community service projects during the the 2014-2015 Rotary year.

These projects and more will continue, under the leadership of President Tracey L. Curtis:

  • Mentor Meals – this partnership with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce matches at-risk high school juniors with adult mentors to discuss career and academic issues.  The program will begin its third year at El Modena High School in September.
  • Interact Leadership Program – also at El Modena High School, the Rotary sponsored Interact Club is open to all students on campus. Interact members provide service and support for numerous nonprofit events around the county each year.  Orange Plaza Rotary will expand its efforts with Interact this year, adding a mentoring and leadership skills program for student members.
  • Police Explorer Recognition – Orange Police Explorer Post 266 is a nationally-recognized unit, instilling discipline, self-confidence and leadership skills in its teen members.  Members of the program (a part of the Boy Scouts of America system) often struggle with difficult personal issues including poverty and the threat of homelessness.  Orange Plaza Rotary, in partnership with Orange Rotary and the Rotary Club of Orange North, will offer additional cash scholarships to assist Explorers as they continue in their studies and careers.

These and other service projects are funded by the Annual Orange Plaza Car Show, a premier Southern California event.  The 22nd Orange Plaza Car Show is scheduled for April 17, 2016.

At the club’s June event, Rotary District 5320 Governor Jim Paddock presented member Jack Sappington with a bejeweled pin in honor of Jack’s $5,000 donation to The Rotary Foundation. The Foundation manages donor funds, directing them into projects around the world to improve water and sanitation, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development in third world countries.

Orange Plaza Rotary is a network of neighbors, friends, and community leaders who come together to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world.  The club meets Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. at Marie Callender’s, 307 E. Katella Avenue, Orange.  For more information, visit the club website:



Walk this Way!

We had a great time taking in the sights of Old Towne during our walking tour on June 17th. Using information provided by the Orange Historical Society, our self-guided tour set out from the Grand Street Center past historic Craftsman and Victorian residences.  Taking a turn down Palm, we admired the classic architecture of Chapman University before heading south on Glassell toward “the circle”.  Along the way, we looked up at cornices with human faces and lions, examined exterior walls still bearing early 20th signage and appreciated the history of the many theaters that made Old Towne the entertainment center of the 1890s.

It was beautiful weather and we chatted in small groups as we made our way south, past the historic Sunkist Fruit Exchange, and finally arriving at Avila’s Ranchito, once the home of a Victorian styled church.  Under the glow of the stained-glassed windows, we sipped cold margaritas and enjoyed a meal and great company.

We’ll do this again!


We Gain Another 900 Pounds…

Orange Plaza Rotary headed over to Albertson’s once again to collect food and necessary hygiene supplies for the Second Harvest Food Bank.  With another 900 pounds filling 10 barrels, our total collected this year is over 1,700 pounds.

We are so grateful to our generous neighbors for participating!

Youth Services Night 2015

What a great night meeting with our super Interact and RYLA students from El Modena High School. RYLA attendees Sam and Sabrina shared what they took away from the leadership camp held in Idyllwild in April. Sabrina is also in Interact and will be a club officer next year. This year’s president, Jessica, reported on the club activities, which included working at the Orange Plaza Car Show, with us on our Book Doctor project, and volunteering at many 5k fundraisers for charities in our area. Thank you for joining us with your pals Christina, Lauren, Natalie and Skyler. Our guests and visiting Rotarians enjoyed meeting you too.

Police Explorer Scholarships Awarded

Orange Plaza Rotary and the Rotary Club of Orange North came together on May 6th to present $5,500 in scholarships to students involved in Orange Police Explorer Post 266.  The event was attended by family and friends of the students as well as by supporters and advisors from the Orange Police Department.

In the scholarship application, students were asked to highlight their service to the community. Most had performed more than 150 hours of service in the last year.  Each applicant also explained what they had learned from their service with the Explorer program. Their answers revealed that Exploring had increased their confidence, compassion and commitment to serving others in the future.

Receiving the awards:

Caleb Hensley – $500 – who is now using his Explorer experience as a stuent at the California Sheriff Assistant Academy
Brian Solis-Olivares – $500 – a senior at Orange High School preparing to attend Santiago Canyon College in the fall
Alan Uribe – $500 – graduating from Foothill High School before attending Santa Ana College
Daniela Garcia – $1000 – of Orange High School, with plans to attend Santiago Canyon College
Jillian Hernandez – $1000 – a senior at Mater Dei High School, moving on to Santiago Canyon College
Ana Tinoco – $2000 – Ana completed the Explorer program and is now a Cadet at the Orange Police Department.  She will use her scholarship in her studies at California State University at Fullerton, Majoring in Human Services.

In addition to the scholarships, Orange Plaza Rotary presented $500 to the Explorer program in gratitude for their work at the Orange Plaza Car Show.

Rotary is a network of community and business leaders volunteering their time and talent to do good in the world.  For information about Orange Plaza Rotary (meeting Wednesday evenings) or Orange North Rotary (Tuesday noon), call Rae Shirer at 657-333-2361.

Orange Plaza Recognized for Service Achievements

The Rotary Club of Orange Plaza received top honors in the “small club” category at the 2015 Rotary District 5320 annual conference.  The club received “firsts” for club service, vocational service, youth service and public image.

In presenting the awards, Governor Nominee Designate Ian Hicks singled out the club’s support of Elwyn California, an organization providing vocational training and job placement for the disabled.  Orange Plaza also builds vocational skills at the high school level through the signature “Mentor Meals” program at El Modena High School.  For continuing to focus on youth programs during this Rotary year, the club was also recognized for its “Book Doctor” project in partnership with its sponsored Interact Club at El Mo High.

These projects and more are publicized via the club’s active and redesigned website, its club Facebook page and the Facebook page dedicated to the Orange Plaza Car Show, the club’s annual fundraiser in the City of Orange.

Rotary Governor Jim Paddock presented the awards to President Tracey Curtis at the conference luncheon on May 2nd.

For more information about Orange Plaza Rotary, visit the club website or join them for a meal on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. at Marie Callender’s, 307 E. Katella Avenue, Orange, CA.


Rotary Clubs of Orange Honor Police and Fire

11173320_958285397539280_5236201308459835889_nThe Rotary Clubs of Orange, Orange North and Orange Plaza joined together, once again, to present the 41st Annual Police and Fire Recognition Awards to outstanding members of the City of Orange departments.  The lunch event was held April 30th with the Orange City Council in attendance to support the honorees.

Fire Chief Patrick Dibb presented citations and plaques to Explorer Fire Fire Fighter of the Year Nathan Ramos, Fire Reserve Inspector Mohammad Soubra, Fire Manager of the Year Doug Fackiner, Non-Sworn Employee of the Year Rosie Flores, and Firefighter of the Year Robert Lobato.

Police Chief Bob Gustafson honored Police Volunteer of the Year Will Stoddard, Police Explorer Riley Turner, Non-Sworn Employee Kelly Pagano, Reserve Officer of the Year Mike Silva, Supervisor Sgt. David Natividad and Police Officer of the Year Rene Guerrero.

The honorees are selected by their peers and supervisors in the Orange Police and Fire Departments.

In addition to co-sponsoring the luncheon (including meal costs for the attendees and coordinating the awards program), the Rotary Clubs of Orange made special presentations this year to both Chief Dibbs and Chief Gustafson.  Each has served the community for 30 years or more and have trained and mentored generations of public servants.

The event was chaired this year by Orange Rotarians Jay Carr and Matt Drenner, under the tutorship of outgoing chair Bill Steiner.  Additional committee members included Livia De Los Rios and Gayle Merino (Orange Rotary), Joe Colombo and Teri Snyder (Orange Plaza) and Bill Utter of the Rotary Club of Orange North.



Arbor Day Planting Project

Orange Plaza Rotary joined forces with the Orange Lions Club to plant 15 trees in the El Modena area. Trees were purchased by the City of Orange and volunteers worked under the direction of the Parks and Recreation Department. Residents were asked to select a type of tree from a list provided by city staff and were very pleased with the results!

21st Annual Car Show Rolls into Orange

The crowds really pick up around 10 a.m., but here’s the best kept secret about the Orange Plaza Car Show:  come at dawn.

As the sun comes up over Saddleback Peak, 400 classics, customs, hot rods and street rods rumble into the circle to take their places.  Against the backdrop of Old Towne’s early 20th century architecture, the ’32 Ford coupes look right at home alongside the 1950s Chevys.

Once in place, car owners pop open thermoses of coffee and polish chrome and glass for showtime.  As they work, they keep an eye on the competition and start to compare notes.  Tales are told of years of work, lovingly restoring a rusted castoff into a showpiece. Seasoned car veterans share tips with new owners about the finest metal shops, the best parts outlet and more.

By 9:00 a.m., when the Orange Police Explorer color guard marches into the Plaza and a high school choir performs a pitch-perfect rendition of the national anthem, the “car guys” have settled in for another day in sunny So Cal, prepared to greet the 15,000 people that will ooh and aah over their handiwork.  At 2 p.m., the best of the best will collect their trophies, while others will trade in long strips of raffle tickets for car polish kits, gift baskets or high end electronics.

And then it’s time to pack up and roll out, down Chapman Avenue and back home again.  Until next time, when the sun comes up over Saddleback Peak.