By Alanna Shepard

Happy Summer Santa Monicans! This article will say thank you and goodbye to this year’s Rotary board and welcome in the new one as well as highlight the club’s response to COVID-19, the annual scholarships and their recipients, and this year’s big accomplishments.

Thank you to this year’s amazing board and the work they have accomplished. President Sharon Perlmutter-Gavin, Vice President’s Matt Williams and Carol Powell, Treasurer Suzan Albritton, Secretary Laurel Rosen, Immediate Past President Mitch Kraus and Directors Vicky Curtis, Andrea Gressinger, Greg Abrams, Kathy Shepard, Bill Rayman, and Josh Bradburn.

Here is the board for the Rotary 2020-2021 year:

President: Lisa Alexander

Vice President of Programs: Tammy Andrews

Vice President of Committees: Nora Bohn

Treasurer: Grace Cheng Braun

Secretary: Brian Linnekens

Director of Meeting Service: Sara Colón

Director of Club Service: Bill Chillingworth

Director of Membership Service: Kera Blades-Snell

Director of Community and Youth Service: John Bartlett

Director of Vocational Service: Vicky Curtis

Director of International Service: Timur Berberoglu

Immediate Past President: Sharon Perlmutter-Gavin

President-Elect: Bill Powell

During this difficult and unprecedented time, the Rotary Club of Santa Monica has remained committed to the well-being of our community and have awarded multiple grants to deserving organizations for COVID-19 Relief.

Award amounts are $3,500 unless otherwise indicated:

– Santa Monica College Foundation – to support Meal Project for food-insecure students

– Connections for Children ($2,850) for 4 laptop computers for staff working at home

– St. Anne’s Church & Shrine – for supplies & equipment to provide and deliver to-go meals and to keep staff safe

– Salvation Army – for bottled water, sanitizing supplies, blankets & solar power banks

– Boys Girls Clubs of Santa Monica – to support food insecure youth by providing grocery gift cards per 50-59 individuals for two weeks

– Safe Place for Youth ($5,000) to purchase supplies & equipment to provide and deliver to-go meals and for survival materials for youth during sheltering-in-place

– St. Joseph’s Center – for supplies & equipment to provide and deliver to-go meals & keep staff safe

– Step Up on Second – to provide supplies & equipment to ensure staff safety & to provide meals to go

– Upward Bound House – to purchase refrigerators & provide high speed Internet access at Family Place

– First United Methodist Church of Santa Monica Preschool – for art supplies for at-home preschoolers

– reDiscover Center ($1,750) hands-on maker supplies, Tinker Tool Kits for grades 4-8

– Children’s Lifesaving Foundation – to help assist families & college students in need of grocery & supplies

– K9 Connection ($500) to purchase annual membership for the platform Thinkific for student access to online courses

– Venice Family Clinic – to purchase in-home blood pressure monitoring devices for patients, including prenatal and diabetic individuals

– CLARE | MATRIX ($3,205.05) to purchase laptops with web cameras for staff to resume individual and group sessions at residential treatment facilities

– Universal Human Rights Initiative ($900) to purchase portable solar chargers for unhoused youth

Rotary members can also be seen volunteering around the community delivering meals for Meals on Wheels West, packing food boxes for the Salvation Army, and cleaning up after the civil unrest in May. In addition, members donated two car loads of groceries and other necessities to the food bank at Virginia Avenue Park. Special thanks to John Bartlett for organizing this food drive.

The Rotary Club of Santa Monica is proud to award scholarships and citizenship awards to deserving students from local schools. Congratulations to this year’s winners:

Santa Monica College: Louis Gossart, Liz Laing, and Kelvin Galvin

Santa Monica High School: Roxy Ong, Tupelo Sullivan, and Kimiya Aframian

New Roads High School: Christian Contreras

St. Monica High School: Ally Vasquez

Olympic High School: Gian Gladous

New Roads Middle School: Sheaun Medley

Crossroads Middle School: Mariela Hernandez

John Adams Middle School: Alasia Amani Dennis

Lincoln Middle School: Clara Vanden Bosch

The Rotary Club of Santa Monica had many achievements this year which included providing over $165,000 to local causes in the form of grants and scholarships, organizing and participating in multiple service projects which resulted in 827 hours of hands-on service, over $159,000 in global donations, $16,500 for disaster relief, $7,500 for Polio, and a district humanitarian trip to Oaxaca, Mexico,

The Rotary Club of Santa Monica looks forward to another exciting and productive year and wishes Santa Monica and fun and safe Summer!