Support for Ukraine

President Tom Fisher presents checks to Kerri Murray and Dean Axelrod.
 
Checks for $10,500 each were donated to ShelterBox and Direct Relief International for their work assisting Ukrainian refugees.
Support for Ukraine 2022-05-03 07:00:00Z 0
Volunteering at Unity Shoppe 2022-04-22 07:00:00Z 0
Rotary in the News 2022-04-20 07:00:00Z 0
Vocational Scholarship Awards 2022-04-19 07:00:00Z 0

Congo Peace School Update

 
Amani Tom, our partner from the Bukavu-Mumosho Rotary Club of Eastern Democratic Republic Congo, has sent another update from the Congo Peace School. 
 
Follow the link below to see additional pictures from the school's Early Child Development program.
Congo Peace School Update 2022-03-14 07:00:00Z 0

Latest Update on the Congo Peace School

 
Amani Matabaro, our longtime collaborator from the Bukavu-Mumosho Rotary Club of Eastern Democratic Republic Congo, sends his thanks and best wishes for the new year. 
 
Click on the image above to listen to Amani's brief video message about the challenges faced by the Congo Peace School in 2021. 
 
For additional details about recent projects and activities on the Congo Peace School, click here to review the complete text of Amani's latest newsletter, titled How to Overwhelm the World (with good).
Latest Update on the Congo Peace School 2021-12-29 08:00:00Z 0

President Elect Tony Visits Hometown Rotary Club 

 
Tony travelled to Alabama to visit family over the holidays.  While there, he attended a local Rotary meeting and presented a Rotary Club of Montecito banner to James Tarbox, President of the Rotary Club of Enterprise, Alabama (Tony's home town). 
 
Thanks, Tony, for being an outstanding ambassador for our club!
President Elect Tony Visits Hometown Rotary Club 2021-12-21 08:00:00Z 0

Community Grants Celebration

Foundation President Kati Buehler and Club President Tom Fisher pose with representatives of the organizations receiving 2021 community grants.
 
A larger than usual crowd gathered at our November 16th meeting to participate in the annual Community Grants Celebration. Fifteen organizations received grants of $1,000 each to further their work in our community.
 
Representatives of each organization shared sobering stories about the impact of the pandemic, and offered inspirational anecdotes illustrating the diversity of services offered and their ability to respond rapidly to changing circumstances.
 
Read on to see the complete list of grant recipients and their Rotarian sponsors.
 
Community Grants Celebration 2021-11-16 08:00:00Z 0

Montecito Beautification Day

 
The Rotary Club of Montecito was well represented at this year's Montecito Beautification Day. 
 
Austin Pugh, Tony Morris, Bernadette Bagley, and Anita & Jason Blakemore donned vibrant protective vests, then travelled to their assigned location at the intersection of Hot Springs Road and the 101 Fwy. 
 
Trask pick-up included the usual bags & papers, plus a bicycle fender and other surprises.  Thanks to all who helped!
Montecito Beautification Day 2021-11-06 07:00:00Z 0

Food Packaging at Franklin Community Center

Visiting Rotarian Taro Usami and his wife Zelda assist Club member Todd Aldrich in assembling food bags for distribution.
 
The Franklin Community Center was the site of our first November service event.  Club members and visiting Rotarians joined forces to assemble over 70 bags of food for local seniors and others dealing with food insecurity. 
 
Click on the Read more link to learn more about the event, and view photos of all the Rotarians who helped make this such a successful service project.
Food Packaging at Franklin Community Center 2021-11-04 07:00:00Z 0

Tuesday Social at Carr Winery

Murray Ray and President Tom Fisher enjoy a glass of wine on the patio at Carr Winery.
 
Last Tuesday wasn't a regular meeting day, but that didn't stop members from gathering to share a little Rotary fellowship. 
 
Liz Westwick arranged a relaxing social event at Carr Winery. Members in attendance included Andy Berwick, Bernadette Bagley, Jason & Anita Blakemore, Liz Westwick, Murry Ray, and Tom Fisher.
 
Tuesday Social at Carr Winery 2021-10-26 07:00:00Z 0

Botanical Day of Service

Jason and Anita Blakemore take instruction from Santa Barbara Botanic Garden staff member Jason.
 
Our most recent service project supported the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.  Members Anita & Jason Blakemore, Kati & Peter Buehler, Gary Hopkins, and Eryn Shugart spent hours weeding, gardening, and clearing brush.  Many thanks to those who volunteered to help keep our botanic garden beautiful.
Botanical Day of Service 2021-10-14 07:00:00Z 0

First In-Person Meeting at the Music Academy of the West

President Elect Tony Morris helps President Tom Fisher auction a selection of delicious wines.
 
I think everyone would agree our first in-person meeting was a great success.  Mild weather made for perfect outdoor dining, and Ca' Dario provided a variety of delicious salads and pastas. A total of 26 people attended which was a significant increase over recent Zoom meetings. 
 
Thanks to all who attended, and special thanks to Eryn Shugart and Tony Morris for each bringing multiple guests! 
First In-Person Meeting at the Music Academy of the West 2021-10-05 07:00:00Z 0

Deadline for Community Grant Applications is Friday, Oct 8th

 
Each year the Rotary Club of Montecito Foundation awards community grants to qualifying Santa Barbara County non-profit organizations. Individual grants range from $1,000 to $1,600.
 
Details and the online application form can be found on our club website at www.montecitorotary.org.
 
If you are involved with a nonprofit that has unmet needs, please encourage them to apply for a grant.  But hurry, because the deadline for applications is this Friday, October 8th.
Deadline for Community Grant Applications is Friday, Oct 8th 2021-09-30 07:00:00Z 0

Polling Place Volunteers

Our Rotary Club partnered with a local Lions Club to staff a polling station at Santa Barbara High School during the recent gubernatorial recall election. 

Many thanks to participants Anita & Jason Blakemore, Kati & Peter Buehler, Cathy Cash, Cindy Davis, Tom Fisher, Harlan Green, Jeff Kerns, Bruce McRoy, Tony Morris, Eryn Shugart, and Liz Westwick. Through your efforts we added $600 to our Club's coffers.

Polling Place Volunteers 2021-09-14 07:00:00Z 0

Congo Peace School Update

 
Understanding the balance of the natural world and learning how to live nonviolently within it is part of the Congo Peace School’s curriculum.
 
Nshobole (pictured above) is a 4th grade elementary school student, starting 5th grade in October. After she finished reading this book, “Our Planet in Danger,” she told Amani: “Cutting down trees and throwing away plastic waste are big threats to our planet.”
Congo Peace School Update 2021-09-10 07:00:00Z 0

Labor Day Social

Cathy Cash & Tony Morris at the Labor Day Putluck
 
Cathy Cash and Bruce McRoy hosted members at their home for a relaxing Labor Day potluck.  Guests shared fellowship and a delicious selection of home cooked dishes.
 
Labor Day Social 2021-09-05 07:00:00Z 0

Back2School Backpack Delivery

 
Thanks to Liz Westwick and Anita Blakemore for organizing our Back2School Backpack Drive, and thanks to all members who contributed.
 
Together we delivered more than 50 new backpacks to the Unity Shoppe for distribution to local students.
Back2School Backpack Delivery 2021-08-26 07:00:00Z 0

August Beach Cleanup

We forgot to photograph this month's service project, but I'm reliably informed that a good time was had by all, and we left the beach much cleaner than we found it. 
 
Participants included President Elect Tony Morris, Liz Westwick, Anita & Jason Blakemore, Allyson & Todd Aldrich, Kim Stone & her guest Joy, and Gary Hopkins with his daughters Lola and Sole. 
August Beach Cleanup 2021-08-12 07:00:00Z 0

Care4Paws Work Day

President Tom Fisher and Gary Hopkins bag dog food for hungry pets at our most recent Care4Paws work day.
Care4Paws Work Day 2021-07-22 07:00:00Z 0

Kati's Step-Down Celebration

Past President John and President Elect Tom congratulate outgoing President Kati on a successful year.
 
Club members gathered on a warm summer evening to enjoy al fresco dining and celebrate the time-honored tradition of paying tribute to our outgoing Club President as she hands the gavel to next year's leader. Jeff and Karen Kerns lent their lovely home for the event, and Social Chair Liz organized food and decorations around an Ecuadorian theme in recognition of President Kati's birth in Quito, Ecuador's capital city. 
 
Members enjoyed face-to-face fellowship and participated in a blind auction with proceeds kickstarting next year's presidential fund. Click the link below to see additional information and all the photos from this fun-filled event.
Kati's Step-Down Celebration 2021-06-22 07:00:00Z 0

Final Club Meeting of 2020-21

Bernadette, Andy, Kati, Cathy, Bruce, Todd & Murray gather outdoors for our first in-person meeting of the year.
 
Relaxed COVID restrictions allowed members to gather in person for the first time in Rotary year 2020-21 (in Bernadette's backyard).
 
As it was also the final meeting of President Kati's year, the program consisted of a review of the year's events and accomplishments, as well as recognition of new members and members who had performed exceptional service.
Final Club Meeting of 2020-21 2021-06-15 07:00:00Z 0

Back2School Fundraiser Nets $16,000 for SBCC Scholarships

 
Our Back2School Fundraiser was an unqualifed success, raising over $16,000 to support scholarships for SBCC students pursuing techical and vocational careers.
 
Special thanks to committee co-chairs Tony Morris and Cathy Cash; team leads Lynda Nahra, Arthur Rachwald, and Harlan Green; Master of Ceremonies Jesse Brisendine; chat room monitor, Eryn Shugart; and everyone who contributed by soliciting auction items, inviting friends, and making donations.
Back2School Fundraiser Nets $16,000 for SBCC Scholarships 2021-05-20 07:00:00Z 0
Behind the Scenes at Our Back2School Fundraiser Bernadette Bagley 2021-05-19 07:00:00Z 0

Salvation Army Work Day

Rotarians Kati, Jason, Gary, Eryn & Peter work side by side with friends of the club Simon, Maureen & Robert (not pictured).
 
Club members and friends gathered on May 10th for our fourth day of service at the Salvation Army Food Pantry. 
 
Salvation Army Work Day 2021-05-10 07:00:00Z 0

Preparing for the Virtual Fundraiser

These photos provide a sneak peak behind the scenes as President Kati and others prepare for our virtual fundraiser.  It's an event that you don't want to miss.
 
Preregistration is required, so click here (or use the QR code at left) to reserve your space.
Preparing for the Virtual Fundraiser 2021-04-24 07:00:00Z 0

C.A.R.E 4 Paws Food Packaging

 
Looks like we've found a great new member in Eryn Shugart.  When circumstances prevented her from attending our most recent service project, she called in a substitute.  Many thanks to her daughter Megan for jumping in to package food for pets whose owners have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Eight Montecito members joined Megan in the effort and followed up with a little socially distanced fellowship over food and wine.
C.A.R.E 4 Paws Food Packaging 2021-04-23 07:00:00Z 0

Camp Whittier Work Day

 
There were many Montecito members among the 50 local Rotarians who joined forces for a work day April 10th at Camp Whittier.  Volunteers assembled picnic tables, refurbished a sports court and ropes course, cleaned cabins, cleared brush, and painted multiple structures. 
 
The highlight of the day was the dedication of Rotary Hill in recognition of the decades of support Rotary has provided to Camp Whittier and the United Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara County,
Camp Whittier Work Day 2021-04-10 07:00:00Z 0

Socializing in the Sand

 
Our March service session at Ledbetter Beach allowed club members to enjoy a little face-to-face interaction while beautifying the Santa Barbara beachfront. We had 14 people participate and took lots of pictures (including this one of Allyson, Todd, Craig, and Eryn).
Socializing in the Sand 2021-03-23 07:00:00Z 0

Eryn's Official Welcome

 
Newest member Eryn Shurgart had a chance to put Zoom faces to actual bodies at our beach clean-up event.  President Kati took advantage of the event to formally present Eryn's Rotary pin and new member packet. Eryn's husband, Dr. Craig Shugart, was there to witness the special occasion.
Eryn's Official Welcome 2021-03-22 07:00:00Z 0

Latest Update from Amani

 
There's no way a brief newsletter article could do justice to the incredible accomplishment that is the Congo Peace School. Fortunately, Amani Matabaro, our fellow Rotarian and the visionary leader behind the Congo Peace School, has provided us with a detailed update with lots of pictures.
 
Click here to access Amani's update, and as you read it remember that funds provided by our Club helped make this dream a reality for hundreds of children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
 
Latest Update from Amani 2021-02-24 08:00:00Z 0

Supplies Donated to DVS

 
Our January service project was a huge success!  Thanks to all who contributed in support of Domestic Violence Solutions, a local non-profit that offers shelter and support for individuals and families affected by domestic violence.
 
Together we provided school supplies, cookware, utensils, dishes, diapers, and cleaning supplies. Anita and Jason made the delivery last week and report that DVS staff were thrilled to receive so much. Thanks to everyone for your generousity!
Supplies Donated to DVS 2021-02-11 08:00:00Z 0

Essential Supplies Delivered to Nyantende Hospital

 
Amani Tom, our partner from the Rotary Club of Bukavu Mwangaza in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, sent an update from the Nyantende Hospital in South Kivu.
 
Badly needed medical supplies and personal protection equipment were delivered to the hospital thanks to funds provided by our club and others in Group 8.  Supplies included Thermo flashes, medical masks, Latex gloves, sterile gloves, hydro alcoholic disinfectants,  anti-malaria, oral & injectable medicines, and trash cans for hygiene inside the hospital. 
 
Essential Supplies Delivered to Nyantende Hospital 2020-12-28 08:00:00Z 0

Holiday Cheer for Golden Inn and Village

 
COVID-19 restrictions are especially challenging for seniors.  To ease the burden we sent hand-written holiday cards and gifts of essential items to senior residents at the Golden Inn & Village, a retirement community in Santa Ynez.
 
Peter & Kati Buehler collected donations at their house, and thanks to your generous support Tony Morris' car was packed to near bursting when he made the final delivery!
 
Holiday Cheer for Golden Inn and Village 2020-12-18 08:00:00Z 0

Salvation Army Service

 
Club members Peter Buehler, Bernadette Bagley, Kati Buehler and Gary Hopkins joined Salvation Army volunteers and staff member Major Jessyca Carr for a day of service.
Salvation Army Service 2020-10-13 07:00:00Z 0

September Beach Cleanup and Social

The starting lineup.
 
We had record turnout for the clean-up and social at Leadbetter Beach. 
 
Sam Tabbara, our new applicant for Corporate membership, brought three of his co-workers from U.S. Bank to help in the effort.  They were joined by junior volunteers Sole and Lola (who are becoming regular fixtures on the service scene) and club members Gary Hopkins, Jeff Kerns, Karen Hickman, Tony Morris, Liz Westwick, Bernadette Bagley, Cathy Cash & Bruce McRoy, Jason & Anita Blakemore, and Kati & Peter Buehler.  Read more to see all the photos before, during, and after clean-up.
September Beach Cleanup and Social 2020-09-24 07:00:00Z 0

Salvation Army Service

Kudos to Anita Blakemore for organizing a meaningful and fun service project at the Salvation Army this past Tuesday (Sept 8th).  Members volunteered in shifts with Lynda Nahra, Claude Dorais (Rotary E-Club), and Kati & Peter Buehler taking the morning shift; while Liz Westwick, Gary Hopkins, Bernadette Bagley, and Anita & Jason Blakemore covered the afternoon shift.
 
Claude loading food into a recipient's car.

Work was fast paced and physical as we loaded boxes of food into the vehicles of arriving families.  Once deliveries were complete, the team switched to assembling additional food boxes and loading them on pallets for storage.  At the end of the day we had an impressive stack of nearly 150 boxes prepped for future distribution.  
 
Salvation Army Service 2020-09-08 07:00:00Z 0

Beach Clean-Up

 
We had a great turnout for our Tuesday evening beach clean-up with 15 participants, including Santa Barbara Rotaractor Geoff Chappaz.  Gary Hopkins brought his daughters Lola & Sole which significatly lowered the average age of our clean-up team.  But great things come in small packages; together with Gary they collected a record amount of trash off the beach. 
Beach Clean-Up 2020-08-11 07:00:00Z 0

C.A.R.E 4 Paws Service

 
Anita Blakemore organized two volunteer sessions to help out C.A.R.E. 4 Paws.  Turnout was great with a dozen volunteers participating across the two days, including our most recent applicants for family membership, Jason Blakemore and Peter Buehler (pictured below).
 
 
We packaged an impressive amount of pet food in the hour allotted, aided no doubt by the danceable ABBA tunes playing in the background.
C.A.R.E 4 Paws Service 2020-07-31 07:00:00Z 0

Fellowship and Fun

 
This week's Mask-querade was a great success!  The small group of registered attendees was able to meet in person while maintaining appropriate social distance. 
 
Thanks to our social committee, Liz Westwick, Anita Blakemore & Tony Morris, for organizing.  Liz & Anita cooked up a delicious array of appetizers, pizzas and dessert, but I think the highlight may have been the specialty cocktails created by Liz's husband John. 
Fellowship and Fun 2020-07-30 07:00:00Z 0

ReStore Work Day

 
Our recent work day at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore was a do-it-yourselfer's dream. In addition to exploring aisles of appliances, electrical equipment, tile & plumbing fixtures, volunteers were able to take home any items being removed from inventory. 
 
Lora Fisher coordinated the event, then put on her work gloves to help haul merchandise along with her husband Tom Fisher, and club members Gary Hopkins & Bernadette Bagley.
ReStore Work Day 2020-07-17 07:00:00Z 0

Kati Kicks Off the New Year

 
The first meeting of Rotary year 2020-21 was a Club Assembly skillfully led by President Kati.  Kati's husband Peter attended as a special guest and is rumored to be interested in joining the club.
 
After a flag salute by Del and Larry's announcements of birthdays and Rotary anniversaries (36 years for Jerry Horan!), Kati introduced her board and shared her three goals for the coming year:
  1. Hosting not-to-be missed meetings, socials and volunteer opportunities
  2. Getting the word out abount all Rotary does in our community and around the world
  3. Growing the club though individual, family and corporate membershups
She also shared a video message to the club by Rotary International President Holger Knaak. (If you'd like to know more about Holger's fresh vision for Rotary see this article on the RI website.)
 
Liz provided a preview of coming socials, and Anita shared news about scheduled service projects.  Susan outlined changes to the Community Grants program, most notably the switch to a single grant cycle per year with the potential to award larger grants.  Tom Fisher summarized his recent visit to the Cabrillo Pavilion and discussed options for venues once we resume face-to-face meetings.
 
Kurt explained his role as Treasurer and shared our club budget for the coming year.  Members will vote to approve the budget at out next meeting on July 21st.
 
Kati announced the new newsletter (designed by Jessica and Bernadette) which will be sent out regularly in advance of  meetings on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month.
 
Kati Kicks Off the New Year Bernadette Bagley 2020-07-07 07:00:00Z 0

Montecito Rotary Awards $12,500 in SBCC Scholarships

 
Continuing more than 25 years of support for Santa Barbara City College, our club foundation awarded ten students with vocational scholarships totaling $12,500.
 
SBCC Foundation CEO Geoff Green expressed gratitude for our club's ongoing comitment and noted the economic significance of these scholarships stating, “the vast majority of these exemplary students move directly into our local workforce after completing their education.” 
 
Read the NoozHawk article to see Geoff's complete comments.
Montecito Rotary Awards $12,500 in SBCC Scholarships Bernadette Bagley 2020-07-01 07:00:00Z 0
District 5240 Celebrates Rotary Year 2019-20 Bernadette Bagley 2020-06-27 07:00:00Z 0
John's Step Down Celebration 2020-06-23 07:00:00Z 0
Kati Announced as President, Rotary Club of Montecito Bernadette Bagley 2020-06-18 07:00:00Z 0
Leslie Talks Tiger Training 2020-06-16 07:00:00Z 0