The philanthropic budget for the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill comes from fundraising activities as well as donations

Photo courtesy Rotary Club of Morgan Hill
Cecelia Ponzini, far right with black mask, accepts the ceremonial check from the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill.


By Lisa Bjarke

Lisa Bjarke

The Rotary Club of Morgan Hill has recently made targeted donations to local organizations that are supporting our community in this time of crisis. These donations went to the Edward Boss Prado Foundation to support the Gate to Gate Food Giveaway, the Morgan Hill Community Foundation to support the Essential Worker Childcare Program, and the YMCA to support the Morgan Hill Senior Center Lunch Program.

Rotary Club of Morgan Hill has always tried to support those in need, both locally and around the world. However, during this current pandemic, the focus has shifted to primarily supporting those who have been affected locally.

These donations came about because starting in early March some of the planned activities and projects were cancelled, most notably the Harvey Barrett Senior Dinner. That event typically provides a meal, entertainment, and fellowship to 250 to 300 seniors. Since the club wasn’t able to complete the events and projects planned, several of the committee chairs under the Service Projects Director John McKay took a look at their remaining budgets for the year and came up with a plan to pool those funds so they could be used where they could have the most impact during this crisis.

“The different Rotary Club committees serve diverse needs around the world but they re-prioritized when faced with our local needs, McKay said. “This defines the spirit of our club, we will take care of our community.”

One annual program the club was able to complete is awarding high school scholarships. Though the lunch meeting celebrating the recipients had to be cancelled, they have all been notified and will be receiving their checks soon.

The recipients from Ann Sobrato High School are Armaan Banwait, Abigail Bendlen, Evelyn Bengel, Danielle Chaisson, Emily Dinh, Crystal Garcia, Katie Meagor, James Pak, Caleb Sweatt, Dylan Tran, and Treston Yetso.

The Live Oak High School recipients are Amanda Cummings, Ana Fuenzalida, Luis Guzman, Miya Hillesland, Tracy Lam, Makenna Lewis, Lauren Nishikawa, Ma Remedios Resendiz, Jodi Rodriquez, Gladys Rubalcava, and Tyler Wilde.

The philanthropic budget for the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill comes from fundraising activities as well as donations. One of the main fundraisers, Dazzle, which is typically held at the end of May, has been postponed. The plan is now to make Dazzle an after-party for the other main fundraiser, the Golf Classic scheduled for Oct. 2.

Founded by 20 civic-minded community members in 1955 with a common bond of fellowship and the desire to serve, the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill has grown to more than 100 members who remain an integral part of our community’s character. In its history, Morgan Hill Rotarians have made a profound, cumulative, albeit immeasurable impact on our local community. Morgan Hill Rotarians represent every facet of the community. They, and the Rotarians before them, have been integral in leading and maintaining the vivid community spirit of “Service Above Self.”

Those interested in learning more can visit www.morganhillrotary.org.


Lisa Bjarke is the public image director for Rotary Club of Morgan Hill. She joined the club in May 2017 and has lived in Morgan Hill for 18 years.

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