Avalon Rotary reflects on an amazing year

In this photo from March 2019, residents with a medical/surgical necessity on the mainland can apply for assistance by completing an application with the social services department at Catalina Island Medical Center. Courtesy photo from Catalina Islander files

Club looks toward starting 2020 with helping hand

Fundraising in 2019 included staging several events. The annual Chili Cook-off was held May 25 with growth in attendance and funds raised. Once again Avalon resident Mark Hottendorf represented the island at the regional final cook-off won top honors at the Angel’s Night to end Polio September in Anaheim. Throughout the year Beer Gardens were hosted at runs and concerts held at Wrigley Stage in Avalon while the annual Two Harbors Wine Festival was again staged on June 1st. Other fundraising events this year included the annual Polio Walk (Feb 23rd) and a Quilt Raffle. In total over $26,000 was raised. Funds went to local service projects, Rotary International and scholarships.

Service projects this year included club members volunteering in the community. On two occasions (Spring and Fall) club members joined with other community members to participate in a community-wide clean-up day under the Care For Catalina program developed by the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau. In particular, planters along Crescent Ave were reinvigorated with some new native and/or noninvasive plantings.

The M & M Pre-school Project (Modeling Montessori) won best project for education and literacy from Rotary District 5320, Funded in-part through a Global Grant from Rotary international, Avalon is the leader of ten clubs that have raised over $300,000 for education projects in Guatemala.

For 18 years, Avalon Rotary has supported an Ensenada Program that delivers food, clothing and toys to some of Mexico’s neediest families. In 2019 ten club members traveled to Mexico along with many other southern California clubs to distribute hundreds of food baskets.

Through the Avalon Rotary Foundation, grants were awarded to The Catalina Island Pony Club, Breaker’s Club and Catalina Island Medical Center, medical travel program.

Service to Avalon School is a top priority for Avalon Rotary with Interact Club, Scholarships, RYLA camp scholarships, administration of a VONS grant of $5,500 for hospitality training, a Teacher training grant for Restorative the Justice Program, Administration of an Edison Grant for new energy efficient appliances used in the Hospitality Training Program and through the provision of Teacher Supplies valued at $5,124. In addition many service hours were tracked by club members and their families/coworkers on a day of school clean-up and painting.

Looking forward, the 2020 Ensenada project is just around the corner and the club will gladly accept year-end donations in honor of long-time club member Kelly Whitaker who helped start the program and who recently passed away. To donate visit the Avalon Rotary Facebook page or mail your donation to PO Box 444, Avalon, CA 90704

The club wishes to thanks the many community members, businesses and especially Vons and Southern California Edison for their support of Avalon Rotary in 2019.

Rotary is the world’s premier international humanitarian service organization with 1.2 million members in over 200 countries, all of which share a mission of advancing world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. For information, email avalonrotary@gmail.com.

Avalon Rotary reflects on an amazing year