Community service needs truly are year-round, unbounded by season or traditional times of "giving." From renovation to education, the Rotary Club of La Jolla (RCLJ) helps "lay the foundation" by meeting basic physical and structural needs, to shaping the future of our young people and, consequently, all of us, who eventually will be following in their stead.
In addition to being a major sponsor of local community-based activities, such as holiday parties for children, special events throughout the year for League House seniors, the Christmas Parade and Summer Concert Series at the Cove, the RCLJ makes major contributions to meet the needs of all ages, locally, nationally and globally.
Recently, in response to the desperate needs for repairs and upgrades at the Florence Riford Senior Center, the RCLJ distributed $15,000 from the Florence Riford Community Fund for new carpet at the center. (The Florence Riford Community Fund was established in 1988 as an endowment fund for the community of La Jolla and the RCLJ is responsible for identifying community services needs and determining the annual distribution of available funds. Monies distributed this year also included $5,000 to the Coggan Aquatics Foundation for its summer program and $4,000 to Torrey Pines Elementary for classroom aids.)
Additional grants funded solely by members of the RCLJ, as well as services provided by RCLJ members, included new carpet and repairs for the League House residence, and grants to the La Jolla YMCA annual campaign for youth and family programs; Summerbridge, a collaboration of The Bishop's School, San Diego City Schools and UC San Diego, whose goal is "getting younger students into learning and older students into teaching"; and the Athenaeum Music in Education Series, benefiting Torrey Pines Elementary and other selected city schools. The RCLJ also funded and distributed three defibrillators to key locations in La Jolla, such as in the new library.
Nationally, the RCLJ donated $10,000 to the Katrina Disaster Fund in New Orleans and has sponsored and supported many programs internationally, such as the eradication of polio throughout the world, and, closer to home, the Tijuana Scholars programs.
In addition to scholarships presented to Garfield High School Students, on June 6, RCLJ celebrated its annual Scholarship Awards luncheon by presenting $132,000 in academic financial aid to 50 highly deserving local graduating seniors and an additional 35 currently enrolled students to continue their undergraduate studies.
Zeke Knight, chair of the RCLJ Scholarship Committee, noted "the committee was amazed and delighted with the quality of the 127 applications received from students. Even after conducting interviews, the selection decisions remained difficult, as all the candidates clearly represented very talented scholars committed to leading worthwhile lives and contributing to the well-being of others."
As the audience of 250 applauded the honored students, tears and smiles graced the faces of proud parents, principals/heads of The Bishop's School, La Jolla Country Day, La Jolla High School and The Preuss School at UCSD, and the supporting RCLJ members. A number of special awards also were given, including: Marc Lanci, past president of RCLJ, presented the RCLJ President's Award to Praveen Subramani for his superb leadership qualities while attending La Jolla High School "” Subramani will enter MIT in the fall where he will major in computer science; Roger Anderson, president of the Martin Foundation, presented the Gil Martin Award to Lily Kornbluth of The Bishop's School for her strong and thoughtful outreach in community service "” Kornbluth will enter Stanford University in September as a pre-med major; Roy Madsen presented The Rim and Lee Madsen Award to Tomas Anderson of La Jolla High School for service in areas of international concerns. Anderson has been active in the Mercy Project and Rotary's Tijuana Scholars Program and will be attending Dartmouth College.
The community of La Jolla wishes them all well as they venture forth. The Rotary Club of La Jolla is committed to serving the varying needs and interests of all of La Jolla's community members.
For additional information, call (858) 278-5600.