Pleasanton's three Rotary clubs have announced plans for "50 Years of Rotary in Pleasanton," a year-long event series celebrating their golden anniversary of community service.
Events will combine ongoing community service projects by some 170 current members of Rotary Club of Pleasanton, Rotary Club of Pleasanton North, and Tri-Valley Evening Rotary with the following special events:
• Historical exhibits from May 6 to August 2, 2015, at the Pleasanton Museum on Main;
• An oral history of the three Rotary clubs compiled by Pleasanton Museum on Main staff;
• Installation of a traditional street clock at Main Street and Vervais Avenue in Pleasanton;
• And the possible renaming Main Street Green Park to Rotary Park or Rotary Plaza, a proposal pending approval by City of Pleasanton Parks and Recreation Commission and City Council.
A Texas Hold 'Em Poker Tournament on May 9 at the Veteran's Memorial Guild will kick off the 50-Year Anniversary celebration. (See www.pleasanton rotary.org or www.facebook.com/pleasantonrotary for details).
The celebration will be highlighted by a banquet at Castlewood Country Club on May 8, 2015. The gala evening will celebrate the original charter award for the Rotary Club of Pleasanton also occurring at Castlewood Country Club in May 1965. Rotary Club of Pleasanton North, chartered in 1987, and Tri-Valley Evening Rotary, chartered in 2002, will also be recognized.
The three clubs are affiliated with Rotary International, a global community service organization with 1.2 million members in 166 countries and Rotary District 5170 in San Jose.
The 50-year anniversary events are intended to draw public attention to the local Rotary clubs' contributions to the quality of life in Pleasanton and for thousands of people, both locally and globally, who have benefitted from its initiatives, said Brad Hirst, chair of the 50 Years of Rotary in Pleasanton Steering Committee.
"Rotary's motto is 'Service above Self'," he said. "This is something we really believe in. We see our past as a prologue to future projects completed by current and new members who we hope will be inspired to join our clubs during of this year-long cerebration."
Since 1965, Pleasanton three Rotary clubs are responsible for millions of dollars of charitable giving in its home city and abroad, made possible through Rotary International Foundation grants, personal giving, and fund-raising events, such as this year's Rotary of Pleasanton's Father's Day Spirit Run on June 15, the Tri-Valley Evening Club's Community Rummage Sale at Amador High School on July 19, and Pleasanton North Rotary's "A Starry Night in the Caribbean" dinner dance on September 20.
Pleasanton's Rotary clubs have helped build affordable housing and schools, such as the School of Imagination and Happy Talkers in Dublin. They have distributed more than 10,000 wheel chairs to the needy in Latin America and paid for reconstructive facial surgery for hundreds of children with congenital deformities. They assisted a Mexican orphanage and installed modern medical equipment in a public hospital in Afghanistan.
They have also worked on countless local projects from charity picnics to help cancer patients pay their medical expenses to routine household repairs on residential housing for developmentally disabled adults.
Hundreds of Pleasanton high school students have been awarded Rotary academic scholarships supporting their continued education and Rotary Youth Leadership Awards for summer leadership camps. Rotary Interact and Rotaract clubs have introduced many Pleasanton students to community service opportunities.
Seniors receive support through financial grants and volunteer help to Open Heart Kitchen, annual senior holiday dinners, and home maintenance days. There are coat drives for the needy and annual summer barbeques for military veterans. The three clubs work together every other year to prepare Saturday dinner at the Alameda County Fairgrounds for hundreds of volunteers and participants of East Bay Stand Down, an intensive interventional program that gives homeless U.S. military veterans a second chance at successful civilian lives.
"We believe the work of our former and current members over 50 years deserves a big cerebration," Hirst said. "We hope our neighbors join us, both at these events and possibly as new Rotary members to keep our Rotary clubs active and growing."
You are encouraged to attend a meeting of any one of Pleasanton's three Rotary Clubs to see if they are right for you as an outlet for community service. Meeting times and locations are as follows: Rotary Club of Pleasanton. Thursdays at 12:15 p.m. Hap's Original Steaks and Seafood, 122 W. Neal St., Pleasanton. Rotary of Pleasanton North. Fridays at 12:15 p.m. Hilton Hotel, 7050 Johnson Dr., Pleasanton. Tri-Valley Evening Rotary Club. Thursdays at 6 p.m. Castlewood Country Club, 707 Country Club Circle, Pleasanton.