The Rotary Club of Mendocino is located in Mendocino Village, population about 1,000, on the Mendocino Coast of California, 150 miles north of San Francisco.
Members meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month at 12:00 noon at Preston Hall in the Presbyterian Church on Main Street in Mendocino.
The club was started in 1966 and has 22 members. Like many Rotary Clubs around the world, members range in age from mid-30’s to mid-80’s with a mix of working people, retirees, men and women.
The club helps with community service projects, which in recent years have included renovation of the archives room at Kelley House, benches for the Mendocino Community Center, pickup of trash along Highway 1 and donations of used clothing for the Street Medicine project.
Over the years we have supported a number of NGOs serving our community including the Children’s Fund, the Sherwood Oaks Nursing Clinic, Coast Mask Makers and the Food Bank. We have also supported relief efforts for persons in our region who have been displaced by fire and other natural disasters.
We support the youth of our community by providing dictionaries to help develop the reading skills of 3rd graders, scholarships for college bound high school seniors and partnering with the Interact Club of Mendocino High School.
We are partnering with other Rotary clubs to help develop village and school infrastructure in Vanuatu, a tourist lookout in Fiji and a bus stand in Fiji. Last year we raised over $65,000 for humanitarian relief in Ukraine. We also helped with humanitarian relief in Afghanistan, Haiti and Tonga.
In 2013, the club launched a great new project, Rotary Park. The park has been substantially developed and now offers swings for the kids, picnic tables and benches, walkways lined with sponsor stones. Every year we sponsor events in the park which include an easter egg hunt, a fourth of July celebration, a labor day celebration and celebrations of the holiday season.
To oversee the development, maintenance and use of the Park we have established a Mendocino Rotary Foundation with a Board of Directors which is separate from the Mendocino Rotary Club. It is currently raising funds through the sale of paving stones which may be purchased by both individuals and businesses.
The Casino Night Fundraiser was our first big effort to gather funds for the Rotary Park Project, and its popularity ensures that this will be an annual event. Tickets may be purchased from any local Rotarian. This event is tons of fun with proceeds going to a truly special project.
Our annual Golf Tournament is consistently a sell-out event, with a maximum of 16 teams competing for various fun prizes on the beautiful Little River Inn golf course. The event includes scrumptious food, tasty beverages, games and lots of raffle prizes. We also sponsor an annual dine-out raffle which features meals from our world class restaurants.
We also raise funds through a dine-out raffle, under which we purchase meals from local restaurants and raffle them off to our supporters who wish to enjoy the outstanding cuisine offered by some of Northern California’s finest restaurants.
A night out at the theatre, including a pre-show reception, is one of the club’s annual social events, as is Casino Night.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of Rotary is the opportunity to work with other Rotary clubs, including those in our region. At present we are working with the Santa Rosa and Fort Bragg Rotary clubs, as well as Eugene Metropolitan Rotary in Oregon, Katikati Rotary in New Zealand, Port Vila Rotary in Vanuatu and Savusavu Rotary in Fiji.