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Downtown L.A. has a unique array of social challenges that provide so many opportunities for us to be of service. Our club is growing as the community grows. Please join us!

Downtown Los Angeles

Doing Good Downtown Since 1997

1st and 3rd Thursday of each month/ 6:00-7:00pm happy hour/dinner; 7:15-8:15pm meeting
Los Angeles Athletic Club
431 W 7th St
(NE corner of 7th & Olive)
Los Angeles, CA  90014
United States
District Site
Venue Map
March to the Top
Come join our next meeting on Thursday, January 17, where our speakers will be Anne Bergman & Tanner Strommen of March to the Top (
March to the Top works in collaboration with Kenya communities to improve health, education, and conservation with proven implementation partners to create positive, high impact outcomes. Together they administer and manage life-changing projects for the communities they serve. March to the Top was founded by Roy and Barbara March in 2006.  
Join us for happy hour/dinner 6-7pm at the 3F Invention Bar at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, followed by our meeting at 7:15pm. 
Guests and visiting Rotarians welcome!
RSVP to Gordon Seyffert at
Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by the recent fires in Southern California.  Rotary District 5280 has opened a special fund through the District Charitable Foundation to aid the victims. 
Visit the District site at and click on the "Donate" button to make a contribution. 
All Rotary DTLA member donations will be matched 100% by the club.  All members making donations should forward their donation receipt to Secretary Marie Enright for this matching donation. 
Dr. Bettye Davis Walker is an internationally renowned educational innovator, former university professor and researcher who has worked with students in Europe, West Africa, and presently in South Africa. Dr. Walker was an Assistant Professor at Howard University and Visiting Professor at Dillon College in Montana, the University of Arkansas, and Cal Poly Pomona.
Dr. Walker has been performing mission work in South Africa since 1998 at the invitation of President Nelson Mandela when he met her and her scientist husband, Hal. She and Hal started promoting science and technology in the township schools in Pretoria and Johannesburg and have been expanding in Cape Town since 2000.
Dr. Walker has been a Rotary club member since 1996 and represented the Inglewood Rotary Club in developing partnerships with Rotary clubs in Cape Town and coordinated the establishment of a dozen state-of-the art computer literacy labs in township schools in Cape Town and Pretoria. She conducts teacher training and implements astronomy clubs in government schools.
As the Co-founder of A-MAN, Inc. in Los Angeles as well as having the A-MAN, Inc. South Africa non-profit established, she travels to South Africa annually and sends much needed school supplies. One of the high school young women from a township that Dr. Walker has mentored and trained to be selected to attend JPL/NASA, graduated from the University of the Western Cape with honors and a major in Applied Geology.
A-MAN, Inc. is an outgrowth of B-MAP, an educational research grant funded by UCLA that she developed and directed, which was the first of its kind. The B-MAP (Black Male Achievement Project) received national recognition. The A-MAN, Inc. STEM International Science Center promotes hands-on science activities and project development for girls and boys ages 5-18 and also assists them to enter college and graduate. The A-MAN, Inc. Center has graduated over 10,000 students from universities and colleges in the U.S. and abroad. Programs are scheduled after school, on weekends, and during the summer. The A-MAN, Inc. held its 25th Anniversary Tom Bradley Dinner in 2016, which was a major milestone.
Dr. Walker has received the International STEM Educator Award, 2014-15; Medal of Honor named for President Nelson Mandela, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2014; Women's International Award, 2013; Soroptimist Youth Science Community Service Award, 2014; Mother of the Year Award, Belizean Community, 2013; Citizen of the Year Award, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, 2012 and a host of others for giving back and outstanding community service.
She is a board member of the Oasis Chapter of the National Space Society, Advisory board member of the International Society of Black Latinos, Lifetime member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Los Angeles Silhouettes, member of the Holman Church Double Ring Club, In His Steps Liturgical Dance Captain, United Methodist Women and Holman Friday Morning Prayer Group.
Dr. Walker received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of the District of Columbia while simultaneously completing a major in music from Howard University, a Master’s Degree from Chapman University, and a Doctorate Degree from Western Colorado University.
Hildreth (Hal) Walker, Jr.’s space technology involvements began in 1959 as a technical member of the RCA Corporation’s BMEWS (Ballistic Missile Early Warning System) situated in the Alaskan frontiers to detect Soviet Missile nuclear attacks. This experience prepared him to expand his career into the laser technology industry in early 1964 at KORAD Laser Systems, a Division of Union Carbide Corporation. As a laser systems specialist, Hal traveled throughout the United States and the world introducing advanced new laser technologies to the fields of scientific research and industrial applications.
Mr. Walker led the manufacturing, testing, and operation of the Korad K-1500 ruby laser system during the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon landings lunar laser ranging experiment. This historic first successful interplanetary lunar laser ranging experiment was replicated in 1994 in an interactive exhibit located in the Hands on Science section of Science in American Life at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Mr. Walker himself was honored in the exhibit’s permanent section, “The New Moon.”
In 1974 Hal joined the Hughes Aircraft Company where he participated in developing and placing the first Tactical Laser Target Designator System into the U.S. Army inventory. Mr. Walker retired in 1989 from the management team of the Hughes Aircraft Company. He then served until 2010 as president and CEO of TECH PLUS, a laser technology consultant group. The group participated in national projects such as the Laser Induced Plasma Fusion at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Hal was appointed to be a JPL/NASA Solar System Ambassador in 2000. In this role he participates as a speaker and specialist in space-related technology issues. His responsibilities are promoting public education and the development of local community awareness and benefits regarding space technology and deep space future exploration. He is a Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Educator Associate.
Mr. Walker is board chairman and co-founder, with his wife Dr. Bettye Walker, of the African-American Male Achievers Network, Inc. (A-MAN), a non-profit corporation. A-MAN is dedicated to the nurturing of young African-American and other minority students with particular emphasis in science and mathematics. Hal and Bettye have also established A-MAN, Inc., in South Africa at the invitation of President Nelson Mandela and implement science and technology programs in township schools across the country. Hal is a graduate of Pacific Christian College (cum laude) with a B.S. Degree in Business Technology Management.
Mr. Walker has been a Rotarian for 22 years, previously with the Inglewood Rotary Club, and is a Lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Los Angeles, Alumni Chapter; Founding Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Cape Town-Western Cape Alumni Chapter; Past Board Chairman, Walk to Emmaus Los Angeles Community; Member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Boule, and Delta Xi Chapter, and President, National Space Society of South Africa.

Join the Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles on September 23, 2018 (Sunday) for a special evening with songwriter and vocalist Daphne Willis.

In support of Rotary DTLA’s commitment to serving the local and international community, Daphne will join us at the intimate Rosenthal Theatre at the skid row non-profit Inner-City Arts for an exclusive performance which will include her raw “Somebody’s Someone,” which touches on themes of homelessness, addiction, recovery, and accompanying loved ones in life’s difficult journeys.


All proceeds will benefit the service projects of the Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles, with a focus on Downtown LA beautification, including a special collaboration with local non-profit Industrial District Green (


$75 Preferred Seating + a chance to meet Daphne Willis before the show

$50 Regular Seating

 +ticket surcharge fee


Get your tickets now before they sell out!  

Nathan Box is the Director of Philanthropy for Skid Row Housing Trust. He graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Communications. After graduating, he worked at UCO for four years as the Coordinator of Commuter Student Services before moving on to become the Assistant Director of the Volunteer and Service Learning Center.
In 2011, Nathan moved to Seattle, WA to pursue working in the nonprofit field serving six years as the Fund Development and Community Relations Director for Kent Youth and Family Services. In 2013, he graduated from Seattle University with an Executive Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Leadership.
In his spare time, Nathan is a volunteer for his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pasadena Out of the Darkness Community Walk benefiting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and LA Food Forward.


Gabriela Metcalfe-Smith works in Los Angeles as a Senior Data Analyst for Cedars Sinai. Previously, Gabriela worked with Public Counsel as a Project Manager for the Unaccompanied Minors Program and subsequently as Public Counsel’s Data Manager. Gabriela grew up in Cuernavaca, Mexico where she was exposed to Rotary through her parents. As a child, she participated in Interact clubs and later in Rotaract. Gabriela was a Rotary Goodwill Ambassador in 2001-2002 in Speyer, Germany. The experience changed her life and she decided to travel the world, eventually settling in London where she met her husband Russell and was president-elect of the Rotary Club of Pall Mall before moving to Los Angeles. Gabriela completed a BSc in International Relations in London, UK and an MLitt in Terrorism Studies in St. Andrews, Scotland.  

Gabriela loves traveling, reading, and spending time with family and friends. She is a J.R.R. Tolkien Fandom and usually attends Lord of the Rings podcasts, collects Tolkien memorabilia and participates in Middle-Earth competitions. Gaby is very happy to be part of Rotary once more and help make positive changes in her community and beyond. She is mostly interested in international projects, ROTEX, and education.

The Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles is proud to have been recognized by District 5280 as a 100% contributing club to the "End Polio Now" campaign for 2016-17. 
The eradication of polio is one of Rotary's longest standing and most significant efforts. Along with our partners, we have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries. We have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide and we won't stop until we end the disease for good.
Learn more about the campaign and join us in the fight against polio!
Veteran NBC4 weatherman and comedian Fritz Coleman headlines this comedy night benefiting the service work of the Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles.
Fritz proves that aging isn’t pretty….but, it’s funny!
Special auction included in the program!
Date: Sunday, March 5, 2017
Time: 7:00pm (Doors Open at 6:00pm)
Location: Ice House Pasadena
Ticket Price: $30 (+ two drink minimum per person)
Age: 18 and over
Fritz Coleman is Southern California's beloved weathercaster and joined NBC4 in 1982.  Fritz has been doing stand-up for decades at local comedy clubs and has appeared several times on the "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson and Jimmy Fallon and has earned four Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards for his work.


By Lorine Parks, IMAGE Senior Correspondent/Rotary Club of Downey 

(Originally published in Rotary District 5280 December 2016 Newsletter)

As every Southern Californian knows, there is nothing more beautiful than rain water.
For the past five years, The Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles has been working to provide a reliable source of clean rainwater to the students at four schools and a medical dispensary at the Osongo Primary School in Migori, Kenya. Up to now the community had gotten water from a nearby creek at the bottom of a small valley.  This water is not clean and in the dry season it is difficult to find. 

Four years ago, the president of the Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles, Peter Lattey, received a plea for help from the President of the Rotary Club of Migori, Kenya, which he posted on the club’s Facebook page.  The Migori club was failing and he needed some advice.  After some discussion it was decided that the club should find a service project that would raise their profile in the community. Thus was born this WASH (water and sanitation) project.

Now the power of Rotary clubs, joining forces, is bringing water to schools and a clinic in Kenya.  With Rotary International’s Global Grants of $41,000 in 2013/14 and a $48,000  grant in 2014/15, the project has directly impacted over 1,500 students and hundreds of patients at the clinic. It also affected the families of all the students.  Enrollment jumped.  Absenteeism due to disease fell.. 
This part of Kenya gets plenty of rain twice a year, but the groundwater is often of poor quality.  The best solution to the water issue at the schools is to collect rainwater from the iron roofs of the schools and store it in above ground tanks.  Under the grants, schools receive two, 10,000 liter tanks, a hand wash station and a two door, wheelchair accessible
Rotary provides the tanks, the plumbing and any skilled labor.  The community digs the 25 foot deep latrine and provides the bricks for the latrine.  They also provide materials for the base of the tanks and unskilled labor.  This initial project is the result of a year-long collaboration between Peter Lattey and Ben Onam, the past president of Suna Migori Rotary Club. 
Ten clubs in District 5280, District 5280, the Slinger Allenton Club, District 9212 in Kenya and the Suna-Migori Club all contributed funds.  The Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles contributed $1,690, and LA 5 contributed $1,500.
As soon as the tanks were in place, school attendance and enrollment increased, girls were not missing as much school and the students were spending more time in class. At the clinic they will have more water and they will install a shower for the birthing mothers.
Now a Past President of Downtown Los Angeles Club, Peter has made several trips to assist with the construction and to audit the completion of the project.
“An important benefit of this project, “he says, “is the improvement of the educational opportunities for the girls of Osingo.  By having a clean source of water at the schools, the girls will be having a clean source of water at the schools and the girls will be relieved of the task of walking miles every day to get water. They will instead be able to spend that time in school becoming better educated.” 
 “When you educate a girl, you have educated the whole community.” Numerous studies have shown that educating girls and young women is a critical factor in economic and social development.  “This source of clean water will help curb water borne diseases and help eliminate school dropout by girls,” Peter says.  The new toilets will also provide a critical facility for the young women to enable them to attend school during their menses.
“After the success of the first Global Grant,” says Peter, “we decided to expand the project into a four phase program with each phase being a project of about 8 schools in a Rotary year.  Phase 3 and 4 will be in 2016/17 and 2017/18  At the end of this time we will have provided clean water and sanitation facilities to over 15,000 students in 28 rural schools and at least two rural clinics in Migori Kenya.” 
On August 20, 2016, Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles members were given the rare opportunity to tour Skid Row with Los Angeles Police Department Officer Deon Joseph, also known as the “angel cop.” 
Officer Joseph has been with the LAPD for nineteen years, with seventeen of those years in the Skid Row community.  His approach goes beyond the typical image of policing and focuses on the development of personal relationships with those he serves.  He has sponsored outreach programs such as mentoring for children, education safety and self-defense seminars for women, and providing hygiene kits along with drug, housing, and job program information.  On a typical day, he is on foot beat, talking to people, providing them with basic needs such as toothpaste, soap, lotion, and information on how to apply for housing vouchers.   
Some of the surprising things members learned on the tour were Officer Joseph’s observations on well-meaning donations by the public directly to those living on the streets such as tents, food, and clothes as actually being counterproductive.  He said that tents promote illegal activity as the space becomes “hidden.”  Regarding food, he mentioned that the missions provide enough free meals to serve the population and providing food on the street creates difficulties with drug dealers prevalent all over the area.  Free clothes he warned would end up being sold for drugs.
What he sees as the greatest needs in Skid Row are for additional housing, decentralizing homeless services to other parts of the city so Skid Row becomes less concentrated with those who prey on the homeless, and adjustments to some of the laws that most affect the homeless population.
All were reminded of the dire situation in the neighborhood when Officer Joseph was unable to conduct the full tour as there had been an outbreak of the synthetic drug “spice” in the neighborhood the day before where 50 people were hospitalized and the air was still contaminated a day later.  Member Brenda McCabe, a recent transplant to Los Angeles commented: “I learned that homelessness is a result of a complex relation between drugs and crime and victims.  I was appalled that this is happening literally in our backyard.”  President-elect Louise Oliver, who has for many years served on the board of the Shelter Partnership, offered her reflections on how to combat the homelessness issue: “ simple solutions, but we need to keep the focus and pressure on.” 
To learn more about Officer Joseph and his work, visit his website:  
Thanks to all who joined us on May 15 for our Incredible LA Arts District Tour!
A big thank you to our generous sponsors Century Housing, Loftway Realty, Downtown News, and hospitality host Resident. And to our Rotaractors and Mama Hill's youth who were amazing volunteers!  Due to your generosity, we are able to help those in need locally and throughout the world. Thank you for helping us be of service!


Come tour a selection of the most unique and eclectic lofts, artist studios, and other amazing places that define the Arts District!

The Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles is holding its third annual INCREDIBLE L.A. LOFTS TOUR on Sunday, May 15, 2016 from 1-6pm to benefit its local and international service projects.

This self-guided tour will take you through the vibrant Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles. Ticket holders will get special food and drink discounts at Resident and can sample the many restaurants and cafes in the neighborhood.

Tickets are $30

Limited Free Parking

Details and tickets available at


Our Generous Sponsors

Century Housing, Loftway Realty, and Downtown News


Presented by

Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles

Angel City Rotaract Club


For more information, contact Aaron Weiner at


View the video featuring highlights of last years tour here:




The Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles is holding a school supplies drive to help local homeless children.  Throughout the month of February, Rotary DTLA will collect items for the children of School on Wheels enrolled in their tutoring and educational programs.
Please consider donating one or more of the items listed below.  NEW ITEMS only! 
*Starred items are especially needed.
*Backpacks (especially teenager size)
*Pencil sharpeners
*School Binders (2” or larger)
*3-ring ruled paper (college or wide-rule)
Additional wish list items: highlighters, school uniforms or uniform certificates, crayons, markers, colored pencils, pens, erasers, homework folders, flash cards (multiply & divide), USB flash drives, laptops (2009 & newer), mini staplers, mechanical pencils, scientific calculators (preferably solar), graphing calculators, book covers, subject dividers, arts & crafts materials, dictionaries, gift certificates & vouchers for backpacks, books, and supplies, academic planners
At the District 5280 Rotary Foundation Celebration held on November 14, the Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles was one of four clubs recognized as a 100% $100 per capita club for 2014-15, for member contributions to the Rotary Foundation.
We are grateful to the Rotary Foundation for matching grant funding of our Migori Kenya water project, and funding the two global scholars we sponsored in 2014-15.

The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. As the charitable arm of Rotary, the Foundation taps into a global network of Rotarians who invest their time, money, and expertise into , such as and . Foundation empower Rotarians to approach challenges such as poverty, illiteracy, and malnutrition with sustainable solutions that leave a lasting impact.

Strong , a stellar , and a unique mean that we make the very most of your contribution. and become a part of Rotary’s life-changing work! 

Learn more about the Foundation at 


The Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles recently joined forces with Angel City Rotaract and local Interactors to tend to Mama Hill’s garden on a sunny Saturday morning in Watts.  Head gardener, Past President Peter Lattey, gave volunteers a crash course in Gardening 101, and within hours a new set of vegetables were beautifully  planted for the coming season. 
Our club continues to support Mama Hill’s Help with garden replanting and ongoing additional projects.  We are proud sponsors of several of Mama Hill’s youth at past Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) weekends, and they have been dedicated volunteers at our spring Incredible LA Lofts Tour fundraiser.  With the Crenshaw-Watts Rotary Club, we are developing plans to sponsor them to become certified as home care helpers to provide both employment opportunities as well as serve needy seniors in the area.
To learn more about Mama Hill’s Help visit, or better yet, come join us at our next service opportunity! 
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