I thought I’d go another direction this month and write about something other than insurance. Not that I’m not passionate about my business, I love helping people and I’m fortunate to be doing it for over 25 years.
My early passion was coaching my kids in sports here in the Temecula Valley. Whether it was baseball, basketball, or even soccer in the early days, I just loved being on the field and court. I served on the Temecula Youth Basketball Board of Directors for nine years and coached my son and daughter each season, including the middle school basketball league. I enjoyed travel baseball & basketball, making several trips throughout the Western United States in our RV. Once my kids were in high school and my coaching career was done, my wife and I stayed busy volunteering on the high school booster club. Suffice it to say, like many parents in the valley, our lives were built around our kids. However, once they were both out of the household attending college, I needed to find something else to keep me busy outside of the office.
I began searching for service/volunteer organizations in late 2012. My Mother In-law was Past-President for her Rotary Club in Carlsbad, so I naturally gravitated that way and joined the Rotary Club of Temecula in January 2013. Honestly, I was a bit apprehensive at the beginning, as there were several quirky events going on during our weekly club meetings and members were getting fined for strange reasons. With that said, once I started getting more involved I quickly learned that our club does incredible things in our community and there’s a method to the madness.
I’ve had the honor of serving as the Community Services Director the past couple years for our club. I witnessed the Rotary Club of Temecula come together and feed over 225 local Temecula families during the holidays with donations from local schools and our Rotarians. We delivered toys to children in need at Christmas. In addition, our club joined forces with two other local Rotary Clubs and took over the Annual Temecula Christmas Dinner at the Mary Phillips Senior Center, feeding nearly 2,000 families on Christmas Day.
The Rotary Club of Temecula’s Military Committee supports the 15th MEU (Military Expeditionary Unit) in Camp Pendleton with projects such as Baby Shower in a Box, which we supply $150 of baby items for expected family’s in the unit. We also fed over forty military families in our community with all the fixings during the holidays, and supplied each family with a gift card. The Military Committee donates to several other amazing non-profits in our community, so next time you walk in the Temecula Promenade Mall, please feel free to donate your loose change in our coin funnel located at the entrance of the food court.
Our club supports local youth with numerous college scholarships. This past year, we donated over $3,000 in books to Temecula Elementary School. In addition, we recently sponsored the most kids for RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards for 11th grade high school students) and PRYDE (Personal Rotary Youth Development Experience for 7th grade students) in our district. Our club sent a local young man to Germany for youth exchange this school year, and we took in a youth exchange student from Belgium.
Two years ago we implemented the Senior Outreach Committee. We were doing such an amazing job with our area youth, but we felt that our senior population was somewhat neglected. We kicked off our committee with Santa for Seniors. We received a wish list from 45 seniors in the Temecula Valley and presented them with gifts during a luncheon at the local Mary Phillips Senior Center. We’ve since added a Mother’s Day & Father’s Day lunch at the center as well.
Our committee implemented Season for Senior’s to help those in need with minor work needed in and around their home. We helped three separate seniors this past year, and we’re looking for more people in need of our help.
Rotary Clubs around the country participated in Rotarians at Work Day on April 30, 2016. Each year a service project is completed on the last Saturday of April. The Rotary Club of Temecula painted three apartment units in Temecula that are used for Project Touch, a local non-profit organization that specializes in overcoming homelessness and homeless prevention.
I’ve listed a few projects that we support and still didn’t touch upon Vocational and International Services. As you can tell, we do several great things in the community. If you’re still trying to find your passion and you’re interested in Rotary, please visit our website at rotarycluboftemecula.com, or feel free to call me direct. I believe that I found something that I’m passionate about…..