By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
The Malibu Rotary Club, which was sponsored at its inception by the Rotary Club of Pacific Palisades, celebrated its 50th anniversary via Zoom on Wednesday afternoon, February 17.
With more than 34,000 clubs and 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide, Rotary International is a “service organization whose stated human rights purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to advance goodwill and peace around the world,” according to its website.
At the start of the 90-minute anniversary program, those who logged in heard live music from Jeremy Weinglass. Several members and past presidents then chimed in to share memories of the club since its founding in 1971—growing from the Pacific Palisades chapter.
Keynote speaker District Governor Bette Hall shared that Malibu Rotary Club is a “gem” of the city.
“It is a club that’s often first on the scene when tragedy strikes in this beautiful area—and strike it does,” Hall said. “When the Woolsey fire devastated Malibu, this club was boots on the ground, working with those in need.”
At the time, the Malibu club partnered with organizations, including the local Boys & Girls Club, to get relief to those who needed it the most.
She then touched on what the club has been working on through the pandemic.
“There are those very much in need close to, or even below, the poverty line [living in Malibu],” Hall continued. “There are those suffering from food scarcity and struggling during this pandemic. The Malibu Rotary Club has been there to help and guide those in need.”
Pacific Palisades Rotary Club President Trish Bowe later spoke during the meeting, detailing a history of the formation of both clubs. She shared stories of how former President Ronald Reagan, a resident of the Palisades, was named an honorary club member.
“We had the opportunity to sponsor the Malibu Rotary Club in 1971 and that was an exciting time,” she shared.
Bowe then bestowed a plaque to the club, congratulating members for five decades of service, from “your friends and sponsors” at the Rotary Club of Pacific Palisades.
“I just want to say how happy we are … and we’re congratulating you on your 50th anniversary,” she concluded.
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