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.”