"Service above self," the motto of Rotary Clubs throughout the world, is at the heart of the three Rotary Clubs that meet each week in Pleasanton: Rotary Club of Pleasanton, Rotary Club of Pleasanton North, and the Tri-Valley Rotary Club. These clubs have worked on a multitude of service projects for communities, locally and abroad. The clubs are part of Rotary International, District 5170.
Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. Approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 32,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. All Rotarians worldwide are united in a campaign for the global eradication of polio. Through Rotary's PolioPlus program, volunteers have immunized more than one billion children worldwide.
"Rotarians are all about service," says Ron Hyde, Pleasanton North's past president and current Sergeant-at-Arms. "The clubs do extensive amounts of community service every year."
President Brian Gentry of the Rotary Club of Pleasanton, sometimes referred to as the downtown club, echoes Hyde's comments, "The Rotary clubs do many things to support communities all over the world, and are very active here in Pleasanton and the Tri-Valley."
Each club has its own on-going service projects, as well as fundraisers and social events. For example, the Wheelchair Foundation that delivers wheelchairs throughout the world has benefited from the Pleasanton North and downtown clubs' efforts. Over the past few years, these two clubs have contributed over 4,000 wheelchairs.
Another common project of the Rotary clubs is Interact. Interact is a Rotary International sponsored service club for high school students that gives young people an opportunity to participate in service projects and develop leadership skills.
Here is a brief description of each of the three clubs.
Founded in 1965, this club's annual fundraiser, the Spirit Run, is held every Father's Day. This popular 5K and 10K race through Pleasanton generates funds that support scholarships for local high school students. Other projects include the Senior Holiday Dinner that serves meals to over 350 senior citizens, and community improvement projects such as lights for school tennis courts, trees for sports parks, and enhancement of the Arroyo Del Valle and trails in Pleasanton.
The club meets every Thursday at 12:15 p.m. in the Pleasanton Hotel. Visit its website at www.pleasantonrotary.org for more information.
Founded in 1987, the club sponsors Cabaret, a black-tie dinner and auction held each spring. The event has raised over $1 million towards support for local and international charitable organizations and projects, including Finger Printing Kids, Operation S.A.M., which sends gifts to troops in Iraq, Stand Down where members cook meals for 800 homeless veterans and volunteers, and funding for the Coaniquem Burn Center in Chile.
The club meets on Fridays at 12:15 p.m. at the Hilton Pleasanton at The Club. For more information, go to www.pnr-rotary.org .
Founded in 2002, the club's annual fundraiser is the Lights Out Golf Tournament and Barbeque at the Pleasanton Fairways golf course. This year's event is Saturday, September 15th, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Golfers play in the dark with fluorescent golf balls and light sticks and participate in a raffle and silent auction. Proceeds fund the club's many community projects for seniors and veterans throughout the year.
The club meets every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Girasole Restaurant. Visit their website at www.trivalleyrotary.org to learn more.
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