Under the leadership of Tita Escalada, the Hercules Rotary President, our club has become more involved in the community than before. Our members participated in the Hercules/Pinole coastal clean-up efforts, the Christmas Lighting, Celebrate 4th of July, and many more…
Our club has hosted tabling event at the Hercules Refugio Park for National Night Out in 2019 and at various community fairs. We’ve also partnered with the Hercules Fire Department to host the annual Open House.
Our members also know how to have fun! The Rotary Club of Hercules held a fundraising event in the Fall of 2019 at the Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley; where we dressed up nicely, wore some fancy hats and wined and dined ourselves well into the afternoon. Even a few of us went home with some winnings!
A Deeper Look At Our History...
Individuals representing a wide cross-section of local businesses and professions chartered the Rotary Club of Hercules in 1986. The 28 men and women members are early risers, as many in the town of Hercules commute to other cities during the day.
The Rotarians in Hercules under the guidance of Paul Wintroath each year send two or three of our outstanding Juniors in High School to our District’s one week leadership camp – Camp Ryla and to our newest camp – Camp Venture – an introduction to small business and entrepreneurial thinking.
Annually the Club gives time, talent and money to the local elementary schools due to the dedication of Galen Murphey spotting needs at her school as well as the others. Each year money and time and boxes, thanks to Diane Griffin, are given to the Christmas Coalition food and toy drive, which was started through the efforts of Rotarians and other community leaders.
One of the first projects for the club was the building of a stage on a trailer for the use of the City for all the community events our city enjoys. Member such as JoJo Canderlario spent time and gained new experiences such as using a cutting torch.
When backs were needed to build the Hercules Heritage Garden, not only was Rotary there, Mark Byrne chaired the community committee. Other projects that can been seen in the community are the BBQ at Senior Center spearheaded by John Cadigan, the Rose Garden at the Swim Center planted in our community by Bill Prather, and the “Doggie Bags” in our parks.
Our biggest fundraiser to help provide money for all our outreach is our Annual Crab Feed the first Saturday of January that was started by Terry Segerberg. Don Castro, our resident chef, puts out a fabulous spread and the commentary by Jim Lopeman, our perpetual master of ceremonies, needs to be heard. This year for the first time we held a celebration honoring our outstanding police and fire departments on September 11. Each department selected an individual to be recognized wit ha donation going to the charity of their choice. Gary Boyles helps make this event a reality and something that will continue for years.
It seems that we are always “cooking” with food and energy as we prepared breakfast for the 24-Hour Relay under the guidance of Kris Valstad, BBQ’ed for the Sister City program under the direction of Tony Leal.
Our club has been fortunate to sponsore two successful candidates who were awarded a Paul Harris Ambassadorial Scholarship for one-year study program abroad. We have also hosted high school students from Brazil, Germany, and New Zealand. Carol White, having been the host family for the young lady from Brazil, can attest to the value of this experience for both the youth and the receiving family.
In addition to raising over $35,000 for the Rotary International Paul Harris Foundation, the club worked with a club in India to provide funds to build 12 homes, send medical supplies and books to the Philippines, provided a commercial clothes dryer to a Hispanic orphanage, and has also supported medical missions to the Philippines each year. Frank Bianchi chairs this most important aspect of Rotary and is always looking for ways we can have a positive effect on the world.
Source: The West County Times of the Bay Area