Hawaiians use the term “Ohana” to describe an extended family and the feeling of belonging. When we bowl for the special clients of Elwyn California, we know that feeling! Since 2007, Orange Plaza Rotary has sponsored teams at the annual Elwyn California Bowl-a-Thon, which raises funds to support Elwyn’s programs providing vocational training and job placement for the disabled.
In the early days, we sometimes brought in “ringers” so we could claim bragging rights in the “Rotary Challenge” portion of the tournament. These days, we are happy to congratulate the Rotary Club of Huntington Beach or Anaheim Hills Rotary Club for their wins, as we now recruit our bowlers from some very special groups of people.
In 2015, we welcomed RYLA students Josh and Sam, along with a couple of Sam’s friends. And how terrific to welcome the Smithson family, bowling to raise autism awareness. As always, we love to see the smiling face of Aiden, a Colombo cousin, as he bowls from his wheelchair at our side.
The second year of “Mentor Meals”, the signature project of Orange Plaza Rotary, wrapped up on March 17th with a discussion of goal setting and planning for success. Mentor Meals is a partnership between Orange Plaza Rotary, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, El Modena High School and “El Mo” alumni.
Over the course of the school year, high school juniors enrolled in the Collaborative Technology Program met with adult mentors once a month for a meal, a special speaker presentation and a discussion of issues facing the students as they complete their education and enter the workforce.
Topics included the value of community service, establishing a web presence to further career goals, and personal networking skills.
In addition, seniors who attended the program last year returned for a reunion dinner with mentors to review their progress toward their educational and career goals. Orange Plaza Rotary members will return to campus in May to participate in the evaluation of senior projects, which focus on the vocational aspirations of the students in the Collaborative Technology Program.
The program is funded in part by The Rotary Foundation through the District Grant program of Rotary District 5320.
Orange Plaza Rotary is now accepting applications for three scholarship programs open to high school seniors at El Modena High School and cadets in the Orange Police Explorer program:
- El Modena High School Interact Leadership Award (Deadline 5/15/15)
- El Modena High School Collaborative Technology Program Scholarship (Deadline 5/8/15)
- Orange Police Explorer Post #266 Leadership Award (co-funded by the Rotary Club of Orange North and a Rotary 5320 District Grant) – Deadline 4/17/15.
Scholarships range from $500 to $2,000 per student. For more information, and to apply online, visit the Orange Plaza Rotary website.
Orange Plaza Rotary members turned out in force to greet shoppers at the Albertson’s grocery store and to ask them to shop in support of the Second Harvest Food Bank. Each shopper was provided with a short list of the items most requested by hungry families.
The club collected approximately 1,000 lbs. of canned goods, cereals, beans, rice, pasta and hygiene supplies. Club President Tracey Curtis was overwhelmed as her large SUV was filled–including the front seat and floors!
Orange Plaza Rotary serves the community with projects held at least once a month battling hunger, supporting literacy and education, and developing vocational skills. To learn more, visit a club meeting!
Orange Plaza Rotary will send 3 juniors from El Modena High School to the annual Rotary Youth Leadership Awards camp, to be held in Idyllwild, April 24 to 26. Campers build leadership and teamwork skills in a challenging weekend that includes a full day on the “Boojum” high rope course! Orange Plaza Rotary members will interview applicants on the El Modena campus this month. For more information about the RYLA program, visit the district website or contact Chris Hale, Orange Plaza Youth Services chair.
Commercial real estate broker Lew Elliott was sworn in as a new member of Orange Plaza Rotary at the club’s annual holiday party, held at the home of Joe Colombo.
Lew was sponsored by Howard Glasser, who met Lew at the joint mixer thrown by the Orange Chamber of Commerce and four area Rotary clubs in October. Lew joins the team just in time to help with the planning of the 21st Annual Orange Plaza Car Show, set for April 19th.