Category Archives: Just for Fun!

Family of Rotary Paint Night!

Sometimes, we just gotta have some fun!  So we get our kids and grand-kids together and do something we can all be, eh, good at.

On November 8th, Club Service Chair Sonal hosted a paint night at her HOA clubhouse.  After a great potluck meal, we settled down to business. With the guidance of a professional artist (who provided all of the supplies), we all learned how to paint branches, leaves, flowers and fruit of an orange tree.  As we expected, the kids had a blast creating their own masterpieces.

If you are looking for a family-friendly way to serve your community, check out our calendar of events!



Playing to End Polio

Orange Plaza Rotary members and friends are looking forward to a day of fun at Angel Stadium raising funds to End Polio Now.  This year’s event begins at 3:00 p.m., August 26th, with the Angels taking on the Houston Astros.

WIth only 6 new cases of polio in the world this year, Rotary and its partners are “this close” to eradicating polio forever.  This would mark only the second time a disease as been totally eliminated around the world.

Rotary began the effort to eradicate polio in 1985 and has since been joined by its partners: the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, UNICEF, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Rotary District 5320, covering Orange County and southern Los Angeles County, began the annual Angels fundraising event in 2009.  Tickets to game are purchased at a discount and sold at a premium, with the difference donated to the Rotary Foundation.  The pre-game tailgate party includes live music and District-wide chili cook-off, where more than a dozen Rotary clubs compete for the “After Burner” trophy and bragging rights.

For more information, and to purchase tickets, contact Orange Plaza Rotarian Teri Snyder.

Thinking Outside of the Box

We gave it our best, we really did.  We all headed over to “Fox in a Box” for a fun morning of team building and adventure.

Half of us tried to escape from “the Bunker”, a Cold-War era room where we raced the clock to save the world from nuclear destruction.  Alas, that team went kaboom.

Our second team attempted to escape a dark bank vault.  The only light available to assess the clues were headlights strapped to their, uh, heads.  Sadly, this team ran out of time as well.

Not all was lost, as we gathered for pasta and other goodies at the Spaghetti Factory at the Fullerton Depot.  We relived our adventures and laughed a lot.

Thank you to member Sonal for putting this together.  We’re ready to do it again!


Matt Barba’s Best Week Ever

Matt Barba’s boss calls him “Mr. Fixit”.  If it’s broken, he will fix it.  So it was no surprise to his co-workers that Matt spent a lot of his free time over the last 19 years carefully restoring a 1960 Chevrolet Hardtop.

Although he spent years locating the right vintage parts, Matt added enough personal touches that, when it came time to enter his first car show, he decided to enter the Chevy in the “Best Modified ’58 – 66” class.  There’s tough competition in that class at the Orange Plaza Car Show, and Matt faced competition from 22 other terrific autos at the April 9th event.

IMG_20170413_125711Matt’s two-decade effort paid off, as he beat out everyone to capture Best of Show!  His boss was proud, his co-workers were proud and everyone gave him a big hand when they gathered again the following Thursday.  But this time, the boss was talking up his other achievements. You see, Matt’s co-workers voted him “Orange Firefighter of the Year”, an honor he collected at the 43rd Annual Police and Fire Awards co-sponsored by the three Rotary Clubs of Orange.  Seems that Matt might not have had a lot of free time to build that car, in between going to school and working as a paramedic, a fire/arson investigator, and as advisor to the Fire Explorer post.

Congrats Matt, on your best week ever!


A Tradition of Treats

The other day, project chair John Bouyer was asked to complete a survey for the City of Orange, describing our experience as a vendor at the annual “Treats in the Streets” fall event.  So, he did some math and figures that this little Rotary club has participated every year for the last 15 years.

Boy, have things changed!  In the early days, we had a photo booth, complete with a haystack set and our club President dressed as a scarecrow. We’d take a Polaroid, shake it a bit, and then put it in a little paper frame to be sold for a buck or two.  One year, we almost made money at that.

Then digital photography came about and we tried to adapt.  But who needs our photos when everyone has a smart phone?

The last few years we’ve been running carnival games and handing out candy.  (Uh, candy was always part of the deal.)  Ring toss, bean bag toss, goldfish toss…if you can toss it, we will host it.

It’s been fun 15 years and we wonder what the next 15 will bring!


Cruise-In to End Polio Now

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!


Back to Broadway for Elwyn California!

The ladies of Orange Plaza Rotary filled one of 18 sold out tables at the 3rd Annual Fall Fling, benefiting the work programs of Elwyn California.  Elwyn provides vocational training and job placement for persons with disabilities.

The Rotary Club of Orange Plaza has been a longtime supporter of Elwyn, participating annually the Elwyn Bowl-a-Thon fundraiser.  That event is now retired, but the “Fall Fling” is a rapidly growing and hilarious event that will add fun and funds to Elwyn’s programs.

In addition to sponsoring a table at the event, Orange Plaza Rotarians provided two gift baskets for sale in the silent auction.  And our resident theatrical ham, PDG Rae, served as one of the “models” in the “Backstage to Broadway” event, strutting around the room to the Chicago tune, “All That Jazz”.

Save the date for next year’s event (September 23, 2017) when Elwyn’s cast will be Rockin’ the 50s!

Speaker Series Entertains and Educates

Orange Plaza Rotary isn’t always on the go.  Sometimes, we take a break from our many service projects and sit down for food and drink with an interesting speaker.

Our Wednesday night meetings at Marie Callender’s are low-key and interactive, allowing us to get to know each other and our guests.  In the last month or so, we’ve had a great time with:

Marran, LynnDr. Lynn Marran – The founder of Children in Focus, a nonprofit organization that screens and treats children for functional vision problems that can interfere with learning. Over 30 optometry students have participated in training to detect these problems and more than 400 children have benefited from the program. Dr. Marran volunteers at local schools and shelters through Vision for Life and the Illuminations Foundation to provide eye care for the needy.




Chris Epting – Chris Epting, author of the new book “Teddy Roosevelt in California”.  Through firsthand accounts, speeches and rare photographs, author Chris Epting tells the story of a great and profound journey that had a lasting effect on conservation history and the National Park System.


Hope NelsonHope Nelson – This former Rotary Youth Exchange Student spent an incredible year in Emsdetten, Germany sponsored by the Rotary Club of Conroe, TX during 2007-2008. It was one of the most influential years of her life, where she “caught the travel bug”. Upon returning, she attended Texas A&M University and joined the Corps of Cadets, graduating in 2012 with a double major in International Studies and Russian, and earning a commission in the United States Army as a Military Police Officer.  Throughout her career, she has spoken at clubs throughout Texas and Missouri about the impact that Rotary Youth Exchange made on her life.

Davis, Kristen


Kristen Davis – Member Kristen Davis did a great job presenting “Let’s Talk Rocks” at the July 11th meeting. We had six kids in the audience, and a couple of them brought rocks to share with Kristen and ask for her professional help in identifying them. A trained geologist, Kristen has a large personal collection of rocks and minerals and takes regular “field trips” to find new specimens. Thanks for the “craft talk” Kristen!

Next up?  Rotary District 5320 Governor Ray Sanford.  Join us on July 20th!