The Santa Clara Rotary club has been serving our community for more than 80 years as one of the most active service clubs anywhere.
Led this year by President Colleen Noll, owner of Silicon Valley Montessori Schools, she is only the second woman to hold this prestigious position. The very first was Lou Ann Alexander who is a partner in Silicon Valley Eye Care.
Rotary boasts a membership of nearly 80 members made up of local business members who subscribe to the organization’s motto, “Service above Self.”
In June this year, Rotary partnered with the City of Santa Clara to host the 8th Annual Silicon Valley BBQ Championships. It is estimated that more than 20,000 visitors attended the two-day event which boasted 70 professional BBQ teams and more than three dozen amateur teams.
Winners in the professional competition automatically qualify to participate in the national Kansas City BBQ Association Championships later this year.
The funds raised from this event provide Rotary the resources to provide benefits for the underserved of our community. The club has worked with the Santa Clara Unified School District to identify more than 300 first and second grade students who will be recipients of a new pair of shoes. This will happen next month. Heading up this project is Assistant Police Chief Dan Winters and with some 50 of his club volunteers, Winters will be providing new shoes and a new book which reflects the project name “Shoes and Books.”
Another major project of Rotary is their “Christmas for Kids” event held in early December. Primary students are chosen to attend this amazing party and are transported by bus through Rotary Member Sandy Allen. Ms. Allen is owner of Royal Coach Lines. Students are provided complimentary lunch, a toy of their choice, a visit by Santa and will also have an opportunity to choose a gift for a parent or sibling.
One of the club’s primary projects is providing scholarships to college bound students with financial need.
Last year, Santa Clara Rotary granted more than a dozen scholarships worth $2,000 annually to eligible students. This scholarship remains with the student through college, as long as they stay in school and continue to qualify.
In addition to the many projects created and supported by the club, members volunteer for other community projects to benefit our residents. Rotary President Elect, Police Chief Mike Sellers has recruited more than 40 club members to volunteer to work the Art and Wine Festival in September.
Hats off to the hard working, thoughtful and dedicated group of men and women that make up the incredible Rotary Club of Santa Clara.