In 2013, Orange Plaza Rotary was proud to sponsor one of the first Global Grant Scholars funded by Rotary District 5320 and The Rotary Foundation. Joseph Flores studied in Sussex, England, increasing his knowledge in the area of economic and community development.
Recently, Joseph wrote to us with an update and a proposal to work with Rotary clubs in Guatemala, where he currently working for Pomona Impact. More about Joseph from their website:
Joseph is an investment and development professional who possess a diversity of experience and is currently a Frontier Market Scouts (FMS) Fellow with Pomona Impact. He previously spent many years managing fixed-income assets for institutional clients and high-net-worth individuals. He subsequently served with the Peace Corps in the Republic of Macedonia in an international development capacity, and his work focused on community and business development. Joseph holds a Master of Arts in Globalisation and Development from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, and was a Rotary Foundation Global Grant Scholar. He received professional certification in Impact Investing and Social Enterprise Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS).
We are so happy to see Joseph continue to Do Good in the World! To learn how you can support the Global Grant Scholar program, visit Rotary.org.
We’ve raised $250 this season with our “Cruise-In to End Polio Now”, but we ain’t done yet! Join us for one last night out under the lights at the Village of Orange on November 30th. Our partner, The Habit Grille, will donate 20% of that evening’s sales to our “Polio Plus” campaign. But only if you come and enjoy some of their yummy food! Download the Cruise Night Flyer and present the coupon when ordering.
Thank you to our car community for helping us make history!
We are heartbroken by the sudden loss of our dear friend and Rotarian, Tom Davis, who left us on October 13th.
Orange Plaza was Tom’s last Rotary club, and we know how lucky we are. In nearly 40 years as a Rotarian, Tom Davis left his mark. He was the “tree guy” behind the Rotary Club of Villa Park, procuring the saplings given to grade schoolers in celebration of Arbor Day. Even after transferring to Orange Plaza Rotary, he continued to volunteer at Villa Park events and to stay in touch with good friends there. Tom supported youth programs, working directly with El Modena Interact, and kept us connected to international service, in partnership with the RC of Villa Park. For Tom, Rotary was a family affair and we were thrilled to welcome his daughter Kristen as a member. Tom opened his home to the family of Rotary as well, and we had a wonderful time celebrating the end of summer at his home with our friends. Thanks for the memories, Tom. We love you and will miss you!
A celebration of Tom’s life will be held November 21st at 11am at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Orange, CA. A lunch reception will be held afterwards.
Orange Plaza Rotary recently approved a full slate of service projects for the 2016-2017 Rotary year, including two projects aimed at improving basic literacy in our community. “Read to Me” is a returning project proposed by member Teri Snyder. Club members and volunteers will assemble packages with new books, literacy resources and a “Read to Me” onesie for distribution to families of babies born in our local hospitals.
Plans are also underway to establish a “Little Free Library” program in Orange. At the suggestion of Immediate Past President Tracey Curtis, the club will build and distribute small birdhouse-like libraries to volunteer stewards in our neighborhoods. We are excited to add this new project!
We are also looking forward to joining students in our Mentor Meals Program for another morning of volunteering at ThinkTogether, cleaning donated, gently used books for distribution to local schoolchildren.
We love doing good. Do you? Join us!
“Basic Education and Literacy” is one of the six “Areas of Focus” of The Rotary Foundation, which celebrates its centennial year in 2016. Learn more at Rotary.org.
Once upon a time, a little Rotary club joined with 20 other volunteers to build a home on the outskirts of Tijuana. At the end of a rewarding day, the volunteers caravanned back to the international border and waited in line for approval to cross into the USA. The volunteers told jokes and stories and communicated with the car of friends behind them by waving, making faces and other amusing gestures.
But the group was distracted by 1) the urgent need of a certain member to find a nearby restroom, and 2) the many fine wares being hawked by dozens of Mexican vendors along the route to the border. So, the certain member was dispatched with a Mexican guide to find relief, only to return with the announcement that he had located the perfect souvenir of the group’s experience: Rotunda, the Polio Pig.
Much haggling ensued before Rotunda was purchased, but when the transaction was concluded, Rotunda was immediately delivered to the club treasurer, traveling in the car directly behind the SUV filled with generous pig-loving Rotarians. Dolores’ expression when receiving this gift was not glee, exactly, but more of a look of astonishment and woe. Nonetheless, Rotunda occupied a place of honor in her office for many years and occasionally attended a Rotary meeting, car show or other special event.
Alas, little piggies do not live forever and the time came to slaughter Rotunda for market. With all the pomp and circumstance we can muster, Orange Plaza Rotary threw Rotunda a going-away soiree on August 17th. As you can tell by the photos, Rotunda enjoyed the proceedings immensely, even after we performed surgery to extract over $98 dollars from her posterior. Although Rotunda did not survive the surgery, her sacrifice will change the lives of children around the world who receive vaccinations through Rotary’s campaign to End Polio Now. With only three countries left on the list of “endemic” regions, Rotary and its partners are truly “this close” to eradicating polio from the face of the earth. The polio campaign is just one of the programs of The Rotary Foundation, which celebrates its 100th year of service this year. Want to know how you too can change the world? Join us!
Orange Plaza Rotary received numerous honors for its work during the 2015-2016 Rotary year. The club was recognized for its activity in all areas of Rotary service, including its international service project partnering with the nonprofit organization “Stop Hunger Now”. For its efforts in organizing a food packaging event that sent more than 40,000 meal servings to Vietnam and the Philippines, Orange Plaza Rotary was honored with the “John Boyd International Service Award” presented by fellow Rotarians of the Rotary Club of Brea on July 11th.
The Rotary Club of Orange Plaza Rotary was recently named “Best Small Club” among the 45 Rotary clubs in District 5320, which includes all of Orange County and parts of southern Los Angeles county. The “Best Club” banner was awarded at the May 2016 District Conference in Newport Beach by then-Governor Kevin Padilla of Placentia.
On behalf of Rotary International President Ravi Ravindran, Governor Padilla also presented the prestigious “Presidential Citation” to Orange Plaza for the Rotary year ending on June 30th. In making the award, Rotary International noted the participation of more than 75% of Orange Plaza members in “hands-on” projects in the community, praised the group’s sponsorship of a student service organization (El Modena High School Interact) and thanked the club for its financial support of The Rotary Foundation, the charitable arm of Rotary International.
Orange Plaza Rotary (widely known as the organizers of the Annual Orange Plaza Car Show) also received the “Quality of Life” Award from the Orange Chamber of Commerce on June 16th. The award, shared with two other Rotary clubs in the city, recognized the club for outstanding service by a nonprofit organization. OPR’s local service projects include quarterly food drives for homeless veterans, design and installation of custom wheelchair ramps for the disabled, and guiding high school students through the signature project, “Mentor Meals”.
The Rotary Club of Orange Plaza plans another busy year of service in the next twelve months, expanding successful programs and adding new community-based projects in the City of Orange.
So this happened…
The members of Orange Plaza Rotary attended the Saturday luncheon at the annual Rotary 5320 District Conference and then hung around for District awards afterward. Oh, how we cheered as our friends in San Clemente Sunrise and Anaheim Hills captured the flag for best project in Community, Youth and International Service! We patted ourselves on the back when we received a Public Image citation and a well-earned Presidential Citation but, truth be told, we were just a wee bit disappointed.
Yes, our motto is “Service Above Self”, but if we are honest with ourselves, we have a competitive spirit running through our tight-knit group. We headed out into the afternoon sunshine, vowing to do better next year.
And then the sun went down, and the lights came up, and dinner was served. We danced, we ate, and we drank. Just a little. Not enough to miss our big moment when Governor Padilla announced Orange Plaza Rotary as the best small club in Rotary District 5320!
After the shock wore off, we got a good night’s sleep. Now we’re ready to do it all again.
‘Cause yeah, we are a little club, but kind of a big deal.
Rotary’s top priority is the eradication of polio, but our members take on far greater responsibilities to fight disease. They set up health camps and training facilities in undeveloped countries and in communities struggling with HIV/AIDS and malaria. They also design and build the infrastructure for doctors, nurses, governments, and partners to reach the one in six people in the world who can’t afford to pay for health care.
Disease prevention and treatment takes on many forms, from supporting studies to helping immunize people to improving drinking water and the sanitation infrastructure. The world relies on Rotary to tackle these global challenges, and to set an example for others to follow.
Learn more about our work to prevent and eradicate disease on the Rotary International website.
Members of Orange Plaza Rotary celebrated the work of The Rotary Foundation at the annual Rotary District 5320 Foundation Gala, held November 14th at Crevier Classic Cars. The event drew more than 300 supporters of The Rotary Foundation, which funds grants for service projects performed by Rotarians around the world. The Foundation’s areas of focus include water and sanitation, basic education and literacy, disease prevention and treatment, maternal and child health, economic and community development, and peace and conflict resolution.
Orange Plaza Rotary was recognized for donations to the Foundation of more than $290 per member. In addition, the club was praised for encouraging every member to contribute during the Rotary year. And Orange Plaza Rotary was one of a few clubs in the District to donate more that $2,000 to the campaign to end polio.
The Rotary Foundation returns 93 cents of every dollar it receives to Rotary clubs in the form of service project grants. Orange Plaza has previously received grants to perform cleft palate and eye surgeries for children in Mexico, provide desks and computers to schools in India and fund the Mentor Meals program at El Modena High School.
For more information about The Rotary Foundation, visit the Rotary International website.
Orange Plaza Rotary welcomed local car enthusiasts to our regular meeting spot at Marie Callender’s on July 29th. The “cruise-in” was a chance to check out some great cars and catch up with old friends. Many participated in our “Dine-In and Donate” fundraiser, taking advantage of happy hour specials at Marie Callender’s. The restaurant donated 20% of the proceeds to Orange Plaza Rotary, which will use the funds in the battle to End Polio Now. Join us for the next cruise-in event on August 26th at Marie Callender’s.