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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 1998

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
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Come join our next meeting on Thursday, June 7, where our speaker will be Janet Marinaccio, the President and CEO of MEND - Meet Each Need with Dignity (https://mendpoverty.org/). 
 
MEND opened its doors in the early 1970s in an effort to transform the lives of the neediest residents of the northeast San Fernando Valley. From its beginning as a small group of volunteers working from a garage, MEND has grown, primarily by word of mouth, into the largest poverty agency in the Valley. MEND provides stability and dignity with emergency food, clothing, homeless services and medical care, as well as tools to achieve self-reliance through job skills training.
 
Janet Marinaccio is a past member, friend, and frequent guest of the Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles, and in July 2017 was welcomed as the new President and CEO of MEND. She arrived with nearly 20 years of nonprofit leadership experience, most recently serving as Chief Operating Officer of Extraordinary Families. She previously served at Goodwill Industries for 16 years in workforce development and capacity building.  
 
Join us for happy hour/dinner 6-7pm at the 3F Invention Bar, followed by our meeting at 7:15pm. 
 
Guests and visiting Rotarians welcome!
 
RSVP to William Baxley at william.baxley@rotarydtla.org
 
 
 
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.

 
Dear Rotarians and Friends,
 
Sending you Season’s Greetings! 
 
While this is generally a busy and hectic time for everyone, it is also the perfect time to pause and recognize how truly blessed we are with the friendships and opportunities to serve that we enjoy through our remarkable Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles.
 
As we look back, we are grateful for the vitality and energy of new members and friends, for the education and inspiration we have gained from our guest speakers, and for the service we give to our local and worldwide communities.
 
And as we welcome the New Year, we enthusiastically welcome new members, new service projects, and the continued growth of our capacity to help others.  Together, we can truly make a difference.
 
Happy Holiday wishes to all!
 
The Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles

Catalina Müller Rodriguez

 

Catalina Muller is a Digital and Multicultural Marketing Strategist from Chihuahua, Mexico, and is the daughter of Rotarians.  In 1999 she participated in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program and exchanged in Germany, and was involved with the Rotaract Club of Barcelona while completing her Master’s degree in E-tourism/ Online Marketing Operations and E-commerce in Tourism in Barcelona. 

 

Her career began as an International Marketing Associate for a brand in Mexico, followed by founding of a socially responsible online company that empowered local artisans in selling products worldwide via an e-commerce platform, giving vulnerable, rural populations access to modern international markets to improve the quality of life of citizens and regulate fair payment for their work.  She also worked as a Development Support Manager for the Cozumel government’s strategy on promotion and development of different social programs for in-need/at-risk populations, targeting key national and international fundraising sources.

 

Her most recent work has been as a Digital Marketing Manager for an influencer working on rebuilding her brand, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and managing sponsored campaigns with different brands. 

 

 
 
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! https://www.endpolio.org/
 
 
"DEFYING GRAVITY"
FRITZ COLEMAN SPEAKS TO A GENERATION
 
BENEFITING THE ROTARY CLUB OF DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES
 
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.
 
 
 

CLEAN WATER FROM ROTARY FOR KENYA

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
latrine.  
                    
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: “....no simple solutions, but we need to keep the focus and pressure on.” 
 
To learn more about Officer Joseph and his work, visit his website: http://www.deonjoseph.org/  
 
 
 
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 https://www.eventbrite.com/e/incredible-la-arts-district-tour-tickets-24236843050

 

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 aaron@rotarydtla.org

 

View the video featuring highlights of last years tour here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXaPALiu-H4

 

 

 

 
 
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 https://www.rotary.org/myrotary/en/rotary-foundation. 

 

 
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 http://mamahillshelp.org/, or better yet, come join us at our next service opportunity! 
 
 
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