About

Rotary Club of Glendora

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The Glendora Rotary Club began on one April evening in 1956, with a group of 33 Businessmen urged on by the sponsoring clubs of nearby Azusa and Covina. The first President was Leif Evans.

Charter Members
Lowell Arnold, Bill Beck, Ray H Carter, Rudy Castaldi, Howard Chamely, Leo Crosby, William Crum, Champ Cuff, Gordon Delmeny, Robert Dukes, Maynard Durnell, Lief Evans, John Finkbiner, AJ Gunter, George Hawkins, Jack Hoover, Mervin Johnson, I C Joyce, Dale Kline, Galen Lindsey, Clyde Mantle, Frank Martinez, Ray Moon, Hal Nelson, James E Ray, Crawford Reid, Iral J Roller, Harry Rosedale, Carl Sharp, Vance B Smith, Don Van Puersem, Leslie Warren, & Tom Yoshikawa

Dr. George Baxter, who was the #7 Rotarian in the world, was an honorary member of the Glendora Rotary Club, for many years until him demise. He had made many financial contributions to the Club during his residence in Glendora. In 1960 the membership had grown with the addition of several men from Citrus College. The club was meeting at what was then known as the Old Hickory Restaurant. Frank Martinez was president during the 1959-1960 Rotary year, in those days the Rotary Bulletin was called "The Link". An issue listed a onetime increase of 8 new members. The Christmas party issue described John Eckert dressing up as Santa.

There was a one year anniversary celebration. Cartoons and quotations found their way into the newsletter, with colorful member Ray Moon contributing one of his own about attendance. "If you can't make up, don't miss."

One of the early service projects was for the widow of one of our members, a schoolteacher named Bob Ausherman, who had suddenly taken ill and died. The family had just moved into a new home in the South Hills and the club turned out one weekend to landscape the property so the widow could easily sell it. The effort was organized by Tom Yoshikawa, who taught horticulture at Cal Poly. It was an impressive concentrated effort to achieve this worthy goal.

In 1966, one of the Club members, Tris Hubbard, recommended to the board that the club should sponsor an All Star Football Game for the entire San Gabriel Valley high schools. This was a large undertaking for our small club, and took many phone calls and letters to coaches, etc.

The game was held at the newly constructed Citrus College Stadium. The evening of that first game was clear, and the nearby mountains were wreathed in shadowed dusk, making a gorgeous setting for the event. As current club president it was Keith Van Vliet's job to signal when the show was to begin.

The game was a success, and the decision was made to make it an annual event, with the outgoing president to be game chairman. The club continued producing the game for fifteen years, until the insurance became so costly that the game was suspended. The charity that was chosen as the main recipient for the proceeds was Casa Colina Hospital, which at that time was small and could really use the help. As of the last game our gifts to the hospital totaled over $110,000.

A colorful member of the club at that time was an Italian named Mike Sassone. He owned a ranch in the South edge of Bluebird Hills, which turned out to be the home site of a band of Indians who lived in this area in prehistoric times. Archeological digs on the land provided many artifacts for nearby universities. Mike originated the restaurant in which we now meet, in an earlier version of course, and we frequently used it for demotion parties, but we didn't use it as a meeting place till after he sold it. Mike was a productive worker for the club, and once brought a giant pizza on the back ofa flatbed track to sell at an all star game.

One of our members heard of an orphanage in Baja, Mexico, many miles south of Ensenada, in need of some help. We made several trips there to construct things like sewage system, and walks. AI Meisenburg, a member who owned a plumbing shop; provided some much needed plumbing for the orphanage. The children were always a pleasure to photograph during those trips that were organized by John Jans. This International Project was the start of a tradition for our club of helping our friends across the border, a tradition that has seen whole houses constructed under the leadership of member Tom Stricklin & Tom Dunn.

Sheila Gutierrez started the Focometer project in 2001. The Focometer is a hand-held auto-refractor designed for use in primitive areas to measure refractive errors in children and adults. It requires no electricity and is deemed to be as effective as professional equipment when operated by properly trained lay-persons. We partnered with the Agua Caliente Rotary Club of Tijuana in 2004. By mid 2007, we have successfully completed 12 visits to Tijuana; screened over 1500 children; and fitted 400 of them with prescription eyeglasses. Sunglasses and reading glasses have also been given to needy adults.

Glendora Rotary has touched on Rotary International's Group Study Exchange program several times over the years, with Chris Lyman leading one group overseas. We had a group from South America to be hosted in our area and decided that taking them to the Monrovia nursery and Mike Rubel's Castle would make a representative tour of our community.

Another early project of the club initiated by Gordon Norman, & the Choral teachers of the Glendora Schools. Keith Hilliard has chaired this event now for over 25 years. This program brings together vocal students from grades 4 through 12 and allows then a platform for performing their skills in front of their parents and other community members. Sales of tickets along with contributions from Glendora Rotarians, Community Members, and the Glendora Rotary Club have resulted in over $100,000 in donations to the Glendora Unified School District's choral music program over the past 36 years.

In 1986-87, Rotary International took on the world Project of eradicating Polio from the face of the earth. The goal of Rotary International was to raise $250,000,000.00 dollars that year. Rotary's members raised over $500,000,000.00 in that year. The Name of this Project was: ''Polio Plus"

Glendora Rotary, along with 5 other clubs in the District took on a major fund raising event to help raise funds for this world project. The event was held at the Montclair Shopping Plaza, with these clubs taking over the entire shopping Center, having food booths, entertainment and fun. The project raised $150,000.00 with these monies being sent as our contribution to ''Polio Plus"

We got involved in the "Trails Day" program at a fairly early time in the club's history, and our members used to take more of an active role in the actual shovel and hoe work. Trails day is probably one of the club's oldest continuous projects.

Member Bill Bird started the Mini-Grant for Teachers Program in 1984. This will be our 24th year and during this time we have given over $440,000 in grants to local school teachers for equipment and programs that improve classroom education.

In the beginning days of our involvement with the Christmas parade in Glendora, the club hosted an early morning pancake breakfast on the city hall lawn, both for the parade participants and also for the general public. In the cold gray light of dawn our people would show up with all the equipment, including batter and grill, and tables and chairs, and set up shop. This was quite a project for the club and one that required a high level of participation from our members, and for years Rotary was represented on one of the most visible comers of the parade.

The Glendora Rotary Club works with the Youth of our Community by sponsoring a Boy Scout Troup. We along with our District Leadership, sponsor students that attend, Rotary Youth Leadership Conference and Teen Leadership Conference. Our Club sponsors the Interact Club at Glendora High School. Interact is the student sponsored club helping students interested in the good works of service, following the principles of Rotary.

The Youth Hut Project began in 1989 with the realization that the then meeting place of our club-sponsored scout troop was an unsafe hovel in the park, cobbled together with railroad ties. Chris Lyman fired up the club to begin to raise funds, which impressed our membership as a very ambitious project. The city had $5O,OOO to start the ball rolling, and the job of the club was to raise $80,000 more. After many months enough pledges had been collected that we judged it was safe to start the project, and work was begun; grading, well­ reinforced foundation, and at last the structure, all taking place under the watchful eyes of our Mayor. Then came the glorious day the project was complete, with city officials on hand. We were fortunate to have Rotary International President, Paulo V.C. Costa, of Brazil with us for the big day. After his dedication he helped plant a symbolic tree for the event. The program included inside tours.

At one time Rotary was known as the "Old Men's Club" for what reason we were never able to determine. It was in 1985, during Brad Posey's year as president, that this came to a halt, with the California Supreme Court's decision that the Duarte club must admit women members. This shook the Rotary world all around the globe, and I imagine there are still quite a few hold-outs, but our club readily admitted Connie Tiffany, the then city librarian, as our first woman member. The talented and conscientious women who have since become members have served our club with honor in all the ensuing years. Peggy Kawa, served as the first female President of the Glendora Rotary Club.

The Club during the summer months sponsors along with the City of Glendora, "Family Film Festival" were our club sponsors the movies for our citizen's and their children. The ''Family Film Festival" is held at Finkbiner Park and our members work to make these evenings a success.
The Valentine luncheon in combination with one or more nearby clubs has been a tradition for over thirty years, with pretty decorations, good food, entertainment, and sometimes even dancing. This practice originated in conjunction with the San Dimas club, which Glendora sponsored many years ago, with the two clubs alternating at hosting the celebration.

Larger relationships are available through the process of district conferences, the annual meeting where the clubs of the district get to strut their stuff and trade notes with other clubs, and yearly, the new District Governor is installed. Socializing and informative meetings are a large part of our districts conference.

In June of 2008, the Rotary International Conference will be held in Los Angeles. All the clubs in the Los Angeles area will serve as Host Clubs. The annual International Convention is a world gathering of Rotarians throughout the world. These conferences are a celebration of Rotary International, featuring ''House of Friendship" 'Home Hospitality" and an opportunity for the Host City to show off their culture, sights of interest The Conference is hosted both in the USA and in International Countries.

Glendora Rotary has had the distinction of having two District Governors that where members of our Club, having served first as Club Presidents. These two gentlemen, Chris Lyman and Wayne Whistler, lead our District with great distinction during their Gubernatorial years. It is a great honor for a club to have had not one, but two District Governor's from our Club.

To celebrate the 100 anniversary centennial celebration of Rotary International in 2005, a Rotary Pedestal Clock located on Glendora Avenue in Glendora village was donated to the city by our club.

In April of 2006, Glendora Rotary celebrated the 50th anniversary of our club from its beginnings in 1956. We celebrated this occasion with a very successful dinner at the Pomona Valley Mining Company.

The Glendora Rotary Club continues their work in the community, and internationally with our motto “Service Above Self”

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The Club

1.
Work In Glendora.

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2.
Work Around The World.

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3.
The Future of Rotary.

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Mission statements

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