Rotary Club Of Santa Barbara awards $30,200 to seven nonprofits
The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara awarded $30,200 in grants to seven nonprofits at a luncheon Friday at the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara.
Connie Ragen Green, chair of the club’s Grants Committee, presented the awards and grant checks to representatives of the nonprofits.
Grants ranged from $2,700 to $5,500.
“We had representatives from six groups in attendance, and one representative Zoomed in virtually,” Ms. Green told the News-Press. “Everyone got to talk about what they are doing with the grant. We had about 30 people attend the ceremony,”
This year the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara made an effort to include recipients who serve a broad range of clients. They include seniors, youth and underserved segments of the population.
The Rotary motto is “Service Above Self.”
This year, grants went to The Center for Successful Aging, the Harvard University Partnership School, the Wilderness Youth Project, Santa Barbara Meals on Wheels, Police Activities League, Storyteller Children’s Center and Mayan Families.
The Center for Successful Aging received $5,000, and its representatives at the luncheon were Allison Marcillac and Gary Linker.
The CSA works to make sure people have social connections and access to resources in the Santa Barbara area.
The Harvard University Partnership School received $4,000.
Brianna Lane, the head of the foundation for the school, attended the luncheon and received the grant.
“She explained that they are a PTA, but not really in that they don’t expect parents to donate money,” Ms. Green said. “These are very low-income families. The school doesn’t receive as much as other local schools. They will be using the grant money for field trips. The school district doesn’t fund field trips. The grant will partially fund the field trip fund for the coming year.”
The Wilderness Youth Project received $4,000 and was represented by Dan Fontaine and Chandler McLane. The nonprofit is focused on building relationships with youth through outdoor activities such as camping.
“They work with about 1,000 students about 60 to 65 hours a year, making a bigger impact and growing relationships between the people involved.” said Ms. Green.
Santa Barbara Meals on Wheels received $2,700 and was represented by Jim Byrne and Kay Castagnola.
“Several Rotary members drive a route for the program,” Ms. Green said. “For many recipients of the program, that is the only interaction they will have with someone on that day. The program delivers about 225 meals a day.”
Police Activities League received $5,000 and was represented by Judie Lugo.
Ms. Lugo brought with her a Gisela Flores Vivero, a young woman whose life was impacted by the PAL The PALwas her first after-school activity growing up, and she found it to be an eye-opening experience.
She used to be harassed for being involved because the program was associated with the police, but she learned to see the positive side.
Storyteller Children’s Center received $4,000 and was represented by Adrienne De Guevera.
The program works with preschoolers and toddlers providing breakfast, lunch and a snack to families in need. Children in the program go on to be better prepared when they start school.
The program provides meals and spends educational time with the children specifically targeting “food insecure” children.
Mayan Families in Guatemala received $5,500 and was represented by Erin Mooney and Jackie Yoc.
The Rotary’s work with Mayan Families continues over several years and is the club’s continuing International Project. Many of their members have spent time in Guatemala working hands-on with a variety of projects to enhance the life experience of the people.
The Rotary Club stresses leadership and efforts to help others around the world. Matt Nehmer is the 2021-22 president, and Jim Armstrong is the foundation chair.
“Without strong leadership, you end up with a group of people that meet every week, but it doesn’t have the impact without someone leading,” Ms. Green said. “Their leadership means today (the grants luncheon) was possible. It’s no accident. It’s a lot of hard work by a whole lot of people.”email: firstname.lastname@example.org