Rotary clubs in Rancho Bernardo have new presidents
By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
Rotarians Paul Sullivan and Dave Brooks began their year-long terms this month as presidents of the Rancho Bernardo Sunrise and Rancho Bernardo “Noon” Rotary clubs, respectively.
Sullivan, who has been a Rotarian since joining the international organization in 1994 while living in Seattle, has been a member of the RB Sunrise club since 2005 and previously belonged to a Rotary club in Houston.
The executive vice president and CFO of operations for the YMCA of San Diego County said he became a Rotarian because “it is a fantastic organization and does so much good work all over the world.” He said membership is also a great way to keep connected to the community in which he lives.
Sullivan said he decided to join the Sunrise club because its members “like to have a lot of fun. They tend to be irreverent and joke around with each other like a family.”
His goals for the coming year include increasing the club’s membership from 50 to around its previous 75 of several years ago and energizing its members so they can expand their fundraising capabilities and community service projects.
He said the club in recent years raises $40,000 to $50,000 annually for its philanthropic endeavors, but he would like to see the amount to be more in the $70,000 to $80,000 range.
“It’s a big leap that I’m shooting for,” Sullivan said.
Among the club’s endeavors are supporting HIV-positive orphans in Africa, local Boy and Girl Scout troops, recognizing Abraxas High School and Painted Rock Elementary students, and donating to Mary’s House in Escondido, which assists young women who have aged out of the foster care system.
Brooks, who joined the Noon club after retiring as an engineer at Hewlett-Packard in Rancho Bernardo, said he became a Rotarian because of a friend living in Arizona.
He said membership helps him contribute to others while also providing a social outlet.
“I am one simple person, but through the leverage of the organization can do things that I could not accomplish on my own,” Brooks said. “(Membership) has succeeded my expectations.”
Since becoming a member in 2001, Brooks said he traveled to India to assist with Rotary International’s polio eradication efforts by distributing vaccinations and going to Ecuador to participate in a project fair. There around 40 clubs presented problems they identified in their country along with remedies in the hopes that Rotarians in other parts of the world would decide to provide financial backing. He also went to Thailand this summer.
His goals include the club implementing a yet-to-be-determined peace project, part of a challenge by the international president; supporting Rancho Bernardo’s 50th anniversary celebration by organizing the hula hoop contest; supporting RB Senior Services’ free flu shot clinic; and recruiting more members, now numbering around 55, with an average age of 63. His goal is have more and younger members.
Rancho Bernardo Sunrise Rotary meets at 7:15 a.m. each Tuesday at the Country Club of Rancho Bernardo. For details, go to www.rbsunrise.org.
Rotary Club of Rancho Bernardo, is known as the Noon club since that is the time it meets each Thursday at Bernardo Heights Country Club. For details, go to www.rbrotary.org or call 858-945-1616.
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