Published November 16, 2010
Volume 18, Number 11

Rotary Clubs Brighten the Holidays  

Rotary International, the world's first service club organization, counts more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs around the globe. Three of those clubs are based in Pleasanton, and, true to their mission, they have all embraced the season as an opportunity to bring cheer and good will to various segments of the community.

The Pleasanton North Rotary Club is breaking new ground over the holidays this year, sponsoring a giant New Year’s Eve party for adults at Stoneridge Mall. The December 31 Ball at the Mall is a fundraiser undertaken expressly to benefit local schools and Axis Community Health, in response to the serious budget cutbacks they are facing. Party-goers, expected to number in the thousands, will be entertained by live music, a piano bar, casino games, appetizers, and a midnight glass of champagne. For details and ticket information, visit www.theballatthemall.org. This active club of approximately 65 members has a long list of projects to its credit, from building affordable housing to support of the Wheelchair Foundation. Meetings are Fridays at 12:15 p.m. at the Hilton at the Club, 7050 Johnson Drive. For more information and membership contacts, visit www.pnr-rotary.org.

The Tri-Valley Rotary Club is the only one to meet in the evening. This makes it more convenient for professionals who cannot get away during the workday—doctors on call, for example, or those with a long commute—to participate. Serving residents of Pleasanton, Dublin, and Livermore, the club was chartered in 2002. As a small and close-knit group, with about a dozen members, it has established a Christmas tradition of taking local seniors out to a restaurant for a festive holiday dinner. “It’s a little like a ‘date night,’” says Rotarian Evonne Hopkins. “Every member is assigned a guest or two, calls them with a personal invitation, picks them up at home, and takes them out to dine with us.”

Another hallmark project of the season is collaboration on the coat drive and the collection of toys for children, undertaken in conjunction with other community groups. Long-standing service missions include funding microcredit projects for a village in India. Meetings are at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays at Girasole Restaurant, 3180 Santa Rita Road. For details and membership information, visit www.trivalleyrotary.org.

Members of the Pleasanton Downtown Rotary Club, which meets at Hap’s at 12:10 p.m. every Thursday, are gearing up for their annual Senior Holiday Dinner on December 18. Held at the Pleasanton Senior Center, the event treats as many as 350 seniors to a fun-filled evening. Rotarians take care of all the dining room set-up, cook numerous turkeys, prepare and serve the meal, and entertain their guests.

With community youth another focus, this club is also well known for its major fundraiser, the Spirit Run, which traditionally takes place on Father’s Day. Proceeds support educational scholarships for high school students from Pleasanton's four high schools (Amador, Foothill, Village and Horizon). International projects include work with the Wheelchair Foundation and support of medical teams serving underprivileged children. Locally, club members help shut-ins with home maintenance and meet other community needs. Go to www.pleasantonrotary.org for more information and membership details.

The best way to become involved in Rotary activities is to attend one of the club’s weekly meetings, as listed above.


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