By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY – Staff Writer
The three Mountain Rotary clubs hosted the three mountain chambers of commerce during a mixer held at the Twin Peaks Community Center. A mixer is an opportunity for each chamber of commerce to introduce its members to each other. At least once a year the three chambers gather together to meet the businesses of the other towns as well. By making these connections between the business owners they can work together and get more done, especially after the recent blizzard, and the shopkeepers were able to converse and see how other stores are attempting to get back into the black after 6 to 8 weeks of being closed.
Representatives of each of the Rotary Clubs also highlighted their signature programs and how they help the community. Worldwide, Rotary has 1.4 million members in 4,600 clubs dedicated to making lasting change in their local communities and the world. Their motto is “Service above Self.” They do business and try to live their lives using the four-way test.
Crestline Rotarian Brent Leistra spoke on the free Thanksgiving Community Dinner they host each year at the San Moritz Lodge and how they coordinate the community volunteers over the weeks to accomplish feeding hundreds in the lodge itself during the afternoon and how they send hundreds more to homes for those unable to get out, often delivered by Meals on Wheels volunteers. The Rotary Club of Crestline-Lake Gregory meets at the San Moritz Lodge on Thursdays at 12 noon for lunch. They will soon be sponsoring the annual community awards dinner, recognizing important people of the community. They are now accepting nominations for a mountain hero.
Terry Everts of the Lake Arrowhead Noontime Rotary Club spoke about the annual Polarotary Bear Plunge, done the first Saturday of each February. This program not only raises money for Rotary programs but also numerous other non-profits on the mountain. This year’s event raised over $70,000, which will be donated to many valuable Rotary programs to benefit students, schools, the community and local storm survivors, while still trying to eradicate polio worldwide. They will sponsor a car and motorcycle show on July 29 in Lake Arrowhead Village. They meet Tuesdays at the Twin Peaks Community Center at Rotary Centennial Park at 12 noon.
Geoffrey Hopper of Rotary of Lake Arrowhead-Mountain Sunrise Club spoke on how the Choices program they sponsor helps students discover how their actions and choices they make today can affect their entire life, and how to make good choices for their futures. They meet at the Tudor House on Wednesdays at 7 a.m. for breakfast and also by Zoom.
The Rotary clubs support programs to fight food insecurity and support Operation Provider and many other mountain wide projects. Each club supports the Rim schools with various programs at the various grade levels. Some of the programs include eye and teeth exams, donations of dictionaries and scholarship programs.
Laura Dyberg spoke about Rotary’s Past District Governor Rudy Westervelt’s three-prong approach to create a disaster relief program, because recovery will take years. It begins with $500 seed money in a disaster recovery account, followed by creating a central repository for information and inventory, and probably a vibrant website that will work like a “yellow pages” for disaster workers and needs that would be updated 24/7 during a disaster. Finally, he suggests a non-profit organization will be needed to make best use of and to coordinate the groups and volunteers. The mountains are an area prone to disasters, so this group’s resources and information would be useful for times of droughts, floods, fires, earthquakes and blizzards, or whatever else may affect the area.
The food at the mixer was quite plentiful and delicious and door prizes from various local merchants and the chambers were distributed to a roomful of active chamber members, Rotarians and community members.