Approaching 100 Years Old, Pasadena Rotary Celebrates

Published : Friday, October 11, 2019 | 5:37 AM

In July, when President Scott Vandrick took office of Pasadena Rotary Club he already had big plans for its 100-year celebration. Working with Rotarian Robert Lyons, the celebration began with the construction of a monumental time machine complete with lights, sound and smoke that would kick off each month with a new decade of time starting with the Club’s augural decade (1920) and President Scott emerges in full costume – a count down to an exciting year Centennial Year!

According to Vandrick: “When I accepted the nomination for Pasadena Rotary Club’s Centennial President, my goal was to lead a memorable year of reflection, commemoration and celebration. But more than that, I wanted each member of the Club to emerge from this important year with a sense of pride of our decades of accomplishments, of all of those members who had come before us and of our vision for the future of Pasadena Rotary Club. My goal has been to highlight that we’re all a part of something bigger than ourselves.”

The big event during this year is the Centennial Ball, the Rotary Club of Pasadena’s largest fundraiser in a decade. On the evening of October 19, 2019, Club members, family, friends and colleagues from across the community will gather together to commemorate 100 years of service above self, and celebrate our next century of service. As a fundraiser, the goal of the Centennial Ball is to raise $150,000 to accomplish four goals:

1) To join with a homeless service organization in Pasadena and collaborate on a Centennial Project, a large-scale capital improvement project to serve a critical need; this project will include a Centennial Plaque commemorating the Club’s centennial year in perpetuity. This Centennial Project will be announced at the Centennial Ball during the “Give from the Heart” hand raise portion of the event.

2) To increase the amount of funds available for Pasadena Rotary Club’s annual Community Grants from $40,000 to $60,000 for one year.

3) To increase the amount of funds available for Pasadena Rotary Club’s annual International Projects from $11,000 to $20,000 for one year.

4) To make a meaningful donation to the Rotary International Foundation and its PolioPlus program to support the eradication of polio worldwide. Recently, District Governor Luanne “Lu” Arredondo spoke to the Pasadena Rotary Club and shared some amazing news: “Through Pasadena Rotary Club’s “All Time Giving History” to the PolioPlus program, its membership has paid for 2,606,787 doses of polio vaccine to date.” Says District Governor Lu: “This is a spectacular representation and example of the impact created when we all come together.”

The Centennial Ball Co-Chairs are community leaders Colleen Carey, Victoria Alsabery, Edsel D’Souza and the entire committee has been working tirelessly to make this a memorable fundraising event.

EARLY HISTORY: Pasadena Rotary Club
The Pasadena Rotary Club was chartered on March 18, 1920 by Dr. Willis Baer, President of Occidental College and Charley J. Hall, Vice President of Union Bank, who arranged an organizational meeting with six potential charter members. By the end of its first year, the Club had grown to 37 members.

The Club’s first community service project in 1921 was building a Boy Scout Club House on land donated by Honorary Member Henry Huntington in Rubio Canyon (north of Altadena in the San Gabriel Mountain, east of Lake Ave.) Pasadena Architect Reginald D. Johnson, who also designed All Saints Episcopal Church in 1923, drew the designs for the Boy Scouts Club, which was used around the world for Scouts and Rotary youth cites.

In 1923, the Club instigated a campaign to raise the last $100,000 to complete the Rose Bowl. Of all the civic organizations involved, Pasadena Rotary reached its fundraising goal first and was rewarded with the prestigious tunnel sponsorship.

TODAY at the Pasadena Rotary Club:
ROTARY is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide to provide humanitarian service and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. It is comprised of 1.2 million members working in more than 35,000 clubs in 200 countries and geographic regions providing over 16 million volunteer hours each year.

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