Category Archives: Rotary News

Just What is Rotary Anyway?

Many people have heard of Rotary but many do not know what a service club is or what Rotary does. I thought for this blog, I would help explain who we are, a little about what we do and why we do it. Who best to explain than our current President, Julie Roybal. I asked Julie to explain a little about the Rotary Club of Monrovia and why she joined Rotary. This is what she said:

“I am so excited, nervous and elated to be President of what I feel is the greatest service club of the foothills. I have learned a lot over the past four years that I have been a member of Rotary about the organization and it’s potential. My family, Gene and Elizabeth Roybal raised me to always think of others before myself and to do it with a SMILE or else! Jokingly, it truly became a way of life for me, my sister Gina, and my brother Martin. I was first introduced to Rotary by E. Eugene Orlowsky, D.C., a very active member of the San Marino Rotary Club. I worked with Dr. Orlowsky for almost twenty years and he inspired me to serve the community following Rotary’s motto “Service Above Self”. I later left working with Dr. Orlowsky to build my insurance business. I was brought to the Rotary Club of Monrovia by Councilman Tom Adams. He introduced me to the members and got me familiar with the goals and direction of our club. I am so proud and appreciative to have him as my sponsor.

Rotary clubs are made of business owners and community leaders that share a common interest in the betterment of their community and the world. This is accomplished in cities all over the globe as Rotary is an International organization. The Rotary Club of Monrovia was chartered in 1922 and therefore we will celebrate our 90th birthday this year! Membership consists of attending a weekly meeting and contributing to service projects both abroad and in our local community.

We currently have fifty-two members that meet weekly at Monrovian restaurant on Myrtle. We have a scheduled speaker each week that is typically a business person or organization representative that will speak to us about a topic of interest. It is informative and great to spend time with such a wonderful group of people that yearn to see change and work toward making it happen whether it is a small, medium or large size project.

PolioPlus is Rotary’s flagship program. By the time polio is eradicated, Rotary club members will have contributed US$850 million and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than two billion children in 122 countries. The Bill Gates Foundation has also contributed significant amounts of money to Rotary to support the challenge of eradicating polio.

Our club participates in local, domestic, and international projects. Internationally, we have helped organize and fund a water project in Malawi. Domestically, we have provided care packages for the U.S. Military serving in Iraq, and locally, we have done many things for Monrovia such as contributing to the children’s library furniture at the Monrovia Library that was a conjoined effort with the Monrovia Kiwanis Club. We donated the Rotary Bandshell many years ago for music behind the library. We have donated Rotary Park and the water fountain at the library. Our club also sends four Monrovia twelve-year-olds yearly to a Teen Leadership Camp, and sends twelve of our Monrovia seniors to a similar Leadership Camp called the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. We gave out scholarships the past year totaling $23,000. These things are accomplished through our members and our fundraiser that is done each year in September. This year we will have an “Old West” BBQ & Casino night on September 22 at the Monrovia Community Center. We have a fun evening planned with great food, drinks and games. Even some possible country line dances! We are very much so looking forward to raise our goal so that we can continue to make amazing contributions to our community.

We are a very social club as well. We have First Friday socials at local businesses to enjoy an appetizer / drink and to visit once a month. We are also planning to have Service Saturday’s every other month to assist local needs. Through Rotary I get to hear wonderful speakers, eat a good lunch, make new friends and network my business under the umbrella of changing things one day at a time. It is measurable and rewarding to know that you belong to an extraordinary group of people.

The projects we complete only scratch the surface of the work that we could accomplish if we had more members. We are looking for enthusiastic, community minded business and professional leaders to join us. If you or someone you know in our town would enjoy and desire to be a part of a group of people that work together to make a difference in the community and the world then please reach out to us by contacting me at 626-222-0571. You can also submit a request on our website and we will contact you to join us for a meeting. We will share more in-depth the projects and the requirements of membership. Thank you for your time and attention.”

SAVE THE DATE: Sept 22, 2012 is our “Old West” Casino Night and BBQ Fundraiser

September 22, 2012 from 6pm – 10pm
Hor D’oeuvres, Dinner, 4 Drink tickets, and 250 playing chips  – $70.00 per ticket
Monrovia Community Center  (Old West Attire)
119 W Palm Ave, Monrovia, CA 91016
Proceeds benefit the many projects of the Rotary Club of Monrovia, including (partial list):
  • College Scholarships for Monrovia Students
  • Vocational Scholarships
  • Youth Leadership Training
  • School Tutoring
  • Hermosillo Wheel Chair Project
  • Foothill Unity Center
  • Monrovia Reads
  • YMCA
  • (and many others)
…For information about the Monrovia Rotary Club ask any member or online at:
Join us for a fun-filled evening…
  • Casino games (black jack, roulette, and craps)
  • BBQ extravaganza, being prepared by Grill-Master Fil Lujan
  • Texas Hold’em tournament (sign up early, 20 seats available)
  • Great entertainment and line dancing
  • Silent Auction
  • Prizes, surprises and more
Call 626-824-2471 or to to to reserve tickets

Rotary Club of Monrovia Announces $22,700 in Scholarships to Local Students

The Rotary Club of Monrovia has announced the winners of the club’s 2012 Academic, Community Service & Vocational Scholarships.  Twenty scholarship winners have been selected and the Rotary Club of Monrovia has allocated an unprecedented $22,700 in total scholarship money this year.  Over 100 scholarship applications were received and interviews held with 36 of those applicants by local Rotarians.  Selection was based upon a combination of GPA, perceived financial need, the applicant’s submitted essay, and their interview skills.  Bill Shieff, Chair for the Rotary Club of Monrovia Scholarship Committee, said about the increased number of scholarships offered this year, “Based on my years of participating in this process, financial need seems much greater this year than in the past.”

This year twelve academic scholarships were awarded to graduating seniors, eight to Monrovia High School students, two to Canyon Oaks students, and two to students from Mountain Park School. The Monrovia High School academic scholarship winners are: Giselle Moreau, Jason Zhang, Abigail Bahena, Corrine Marino, Alanna Koritzke, Nicole Wells, Amanda Samp, and Samantha Maggio. The Canyon Oaks academic scholarship winners are: Paul Caban and Vivian Magallanes.  The Mountain Park academic scholarship winners are: Charlene Hoang and Solana Rose Feldthouse.

This year two service scholarships were awarded to graduating seniors at Monrovia High School.  The service scholarships are awarded to applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to exemplary service in our community.  The Monrovia High School service scholarship winners are: Bryan Martinez and Jamie Truong

This year marks the first time the Rotary Club of Monrovia is partnering with the Monrovia Community Adult School to provide vocational scholarships in addition to the academic and service scholarships offered in past years. The Rotary Club of Monrovia provides 50% the cost of the vocational programs and the Adult School discounts them by 50%, making it a net 0 cost to the recipient (with the exception of books and possibly some fees). This year the Rotary Club of Monrovia is contributing to six vocational scholarships.   According to Flint Fertig, Director of the Monrovia Community Adult School, there are jobs in the community waiting for the skills that these programs deliver.  The vocational scholarship winners are: Sandra Pulido (Medical Assisting), Cindy Duenas (Certified Nursing Assistant), Pedro Avila (Certified Nursing Assistant), Jazmin Madrigal (Certified Nursing Assistant), Maria Alfaro (Pharmacy Tech), Oliver Greeve (Pharmacy Tech).

Congratulations to all the winners!  The Rotary Club of Monrovia is proud to help further the educational and academic advancement of the youth in our community.

Local 11th Graders Chosen for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Program

The Rotary Club of Monrovia is proud to announce the selection of Charissa Huntzinger, Annie Laurie Lamb, Sela Rich, Denean Minifield, Amanda Mansoorbakht, Cary Osimo, Warren Chu, Adam Szymkowski, Nathaniel Coleman, and Vartkes (Jesse) Essaian (all 11th grade students at Monrovia High School) as award winners for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program. Brianna Duarte and Kenneth Banuelos from Mountain Park/Canyon Oaks High School in Monrovia were also selected as award winners to attend RYLA.


RYLA is an intense 3-day seminar organized by the Rotarians of District 5300 of Rotary International.  Once there, the students debate issues of professional responsibility and human relations, work on improving leadership and communications skills, learn about businesses and institutions, and meet Rotarians while having fun and making friends.


Each student has many accolades to their credit and was selected after an interview process with current Rotarians.


RYLA will take place this year on March 2-4 in Idyllwild, CA. 288 students will be in attendance coming from Southern CA to as far as Nevada. Rotarians from across District 5300 will help facilitate workshops and activities that help foster leadership and problem solving.


Students interested in attending in the future (during their Junior year of High School) can learn more at

Rotarian Rob Hammond wins Monrovia School Board Election

Congratulations are in order for fellow Rotarian Rob Hammond!

Rob Hammond ran successfully for an open seat on the Monrovia School Board in the local election held Tuesday, November 8.  Incumbents Bryan Wong and Ed Gililland were also reelected to the board.
Congratulations are also in order for Joanne Montgomery (mother of fellow Rotarian Andy Montgomery) who successfully ran as an incumbent for the Citrus College District Board of Trustees in the election held Tuesday.
Congratulations to all the winners and we look forward to more good things happening in Monrovia Schools and in our local Community College!

Steve Baker to be 2011 Cathy Hotchkin Humanitarian Awardee



Steve BakerOur own Rotarian Steve Baker is being honored by the Santa Anita Family YMCA on Thursday, Sept 29th as the 2011 Cathy Hotchkin Humanitarian Awardee!
Steve will be honored at the 3rd Annual Red Envelope Gala to be held at the Embassy Suites Arcadia on Thursday, September 29, 2011.  A silent auction reception will be at 5:30pm and dinner will be served at 6:45pm.  Tickets are $75 per person and go to the Santa Anita Family YMCA.
If you are interested in attending the event please contact Cheryl Reynolds at 626-359-9244 or

Are you a Star in the Making?

Do you have a talent that stands out from the rest?  If so, the Rotary Club of Monrovia is looking for you…Maybe you can even win the title and $500 cash for your talent!

Open auditions will be held at the YMCA (501 S Mountain Ave) on Saturday, August 27, September 10, and September 17 each from 12 noon-3pm for our annual Monrovia’s Got Talent competition.  Come on out to audition for the show and tell all your friends.  All ages are welcome.

Please RSVP to Denise Harvey (626-483-4861) prior to the auditions to pre-qualify.  All types of acts are welcome such as singing, dancing, comedians, instrumentalists, magicians, guitarists, novelty acts, or any other unique talents.

The annual talent show titled “Monrovia’s Got Talent” is a fundraiser to help raise money for local scholarships and charities that are offered by Rotary in our community.  The event will be a talent competition as well as a Texas BBQ held on Saturday September 24, 2011 from 5pm to 10pm at the Monrovia Historica Museum (742 East Lemon).

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased by contacting Denise Harvey (626-483-4861) or Julie Roybal (626-222-0571).

Monrovia Rotary Scholarships Announced



We are pleased to report that the selections have been completed for the 2011 Monrovia Rotary Club Scholarships. We truly appreciate all the cooperation we received from all the school counselors, who contributed their valuable time. A very special thank you is also owed to our scholarship committee, who did an outstanding job.


Our Scholarship  committee made the following selections:


Canyon Oaks School: Anthony Lopez

Mountain Park School: Michael Carter

MHS: Pedro Almaraz, Erling Eriksen, Samantha Wette, and Margaret Johnson

Monrovia Adult School: Danny Alonso and Rainee Bethley


All the students have shown commitment to their education and have been excellent examples to their peers in their classes.



Interviews Held for Monrovia Rotary Scholarship Grants

On April 20 & 21st, 2011, Monrovia Rotary Club Scholarship Committee interviewed 36 elite high school students in Monrovia for our annual Scholarship grants. These students have survived the rigorous process of being graded on their academics, test scores, commitment to their community and their achievements. The final hurdle was the face- to-face interview with the Rotarians as scholarship recipients are selected.
These students never fail to impress, and often, we are fortunate to be able to build mentoring relationships with these students that last a lifetime. Many will be the first in their family to attend college and have overcome tremendous odds.