comments

Loomis Rotary combines fun and service

By: Kathy Maynard, Loomis News Correspondent
-A +A

Loomis Sunset Rotary Club
What: Community service club
Meetings: 5:30–6:30 p.m., Tuesdays
Where: Indian Creek Country Club, 4487 Barton Road, Loomis
Information: 276-1505 or www.facebook.com/Loomis
SunsetRotary

Loomis Sunset Rotary Club members have fun working together on projects in the community and around the globe.
Whether they’re serving lunch to seniors, raising funds for Del Oro’s Aquatic Center, or clearing trees, trash and even rattlesnakes from an elderly lady’s property, Loomis Sunset Rotarians enjoy giving back to the community by practicing the Rotarian ideal of “Service Above Self,” according to club president Dustin Ogden.
“You will not find a group of people so willing to help others, have fun doing it and help each other rise as the Rotarians,” said Louise Dutton, an original member who first became involved with Rotary through their Group Study Exchange program in 1994 and visited Japan.
 “The dynamics of the group are amazing. They like to do lots of things and there is so much goodwill going on during their projects that it doesn’t feel like service,” Dutton said.
The local chapter of Rotary International – a service organization with 1.2 million members worldwide known for eradicating polio – began meeting two and a half years ago and was chartered last February. The club is very active locally and internationally with about 25 members who range in age, ethnicity, professions and reasons for being part of the club, Ogden said.
Last April, members participated in Rotarian Work Day by cleaning up the five-acre parcel of a local 90-year-old woman who had just come home from the hospital.
Cristie Akers, who helped found the club with her husband, Allan Frumkin, said, “We completely weeded her property, got rid of about eight rattlesnakes, cleared out all the garbage, including three old mowers, cut some trees down, and took about four trailer-loads to the Loomis Spring Clean-up Day at Del Oro.”
In July, the club sponsored their inaugural annual fundraiser, the Loomis Live street dance, to benefit Friends of the Del Oro Aquatic Center.
“We began preparing for the event by working to bring the Blue Anchor Stage up to code, and spent one Saturday demolishing the old wooden outdoor stage and another helping to rebuild it with composite decking material,” Ogden said.
The club often works with other organizations. In October, they helped Girl Scout Troop 200 spruce up Loomis Basin Charter School, where they donate a library book on behalf of each speaker who addresses their meetings. They also donated funds to For Us Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit which distributes water filters in South America and Africa, founded by Del Oro grad and club member Carrie Beth Bowin.
In November, they prepared and served lunch at the Senior L.I.F.E Center in Loomis, and will continue doing so quarterly. In December, they partnered with AT&T Pioneers to take food and Christmas gifts to needy children in Marysville/Yuba City.
This year, the club plans to add more projects. They are writing grants for matching funds from Rotary International to donate more water filters and work on an international project with For One Another Foundation, Inc. They are also looking into working with patients at U.C. Davis Children’s Hospital and helping Foothills Habitat for Humanity with some rehab projects, said Anna Lester, the club’s service chairperson.
“It’s a very diverse group and what works so well is that we do like to laugh and have a lot of fun. We’ve heard from many other Rotarians that we are such a unique group, they love coming to visit us,” she said.
The group meets every Tuesday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Indian Creek Golf Club in Loomis. For more information, call 276-1505 or visit www.facebook.com/LoomisSunsetRotary.