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Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise


2013 Annual Fundraiser: A South Pacific Evening Put on your island attire and join the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club at its seventh annual Cultural Dinner on Tuesday evening, Octobe 22, 2013. This year’s event is entitled “A South Pacific Evening” with an island flare, fabulous food, silent auction and special entertainment planned. The dinner event is the largest fundraiser of the year helping club projects such as Teacher Mini-Grants, Teacher Eddy Awards, Holiday AdoptA-Family program, the Santa Tour, Airport Marina Counseling Service,


Rotary International has 34,000 clubs and 1.2 million members around the globe. Rotary is a social service club focused on peace and conflict prevention/ resolution, disease prevention, clean water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development. Our club is engaged in many local and international projects: Serving the homeless at the Midnight Mission downtown LA several times a year, working with the Charity Build a Bear project to donate bears to the USC County Childrens Hospital, and our annual Toy give-a-way at the McBride

feeding the homeless, 4th of July Parade, Christmas party and toy giveaway for the McBride School for handicapped children, high school scholarships, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, support of local area firefighters, wheel chairs in Puerto Rico and clean water projects in third world countries, to name a few. Each year at the cultural dinner the club presents one special award, the Sunrise Community Service Award, to a person who has made a difference in the lives of others, gives back to the

School for the severely disabled. For many years Rotary has lead the effort to eradicate Polio from the earth and recently the Bill Gates Foundation joined the effort. Only two countries have people with the disease and we anticipate eradicating all cases very soon. Our Club annually supports the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital funding the care for two patients, sponsors District High School Arts Scholarship Awards Program that identifies top artists, musicians, singers and dancers in local high schools and funds mini-grants to local area teachers to purchase needed school supplies and field trips. Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club awarded 85 grants totaling $20,000 in 2013 and we look forward to another successful program this year.

The club engages in International

pany with previous recipicommunity and lives ents of the Sunrise Award their life by the Rotary which is the club’s high4-Way test. est honor Beverly Moore, This year’s honoree retired Executive Director is our recently elected of the Marina del Rey Councilman Mike Bonin. Convention and Visitors While Councilman Bonin Bureau, John Theuer, CFO may be newly elected to of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, his position, he has been David Herbst of Vectis serving the communiLos Angeles City Councilman Strategies, Karen Dial, ties of Playa del Rey, Mike Bonin is this year’s honoree for the Playa Vista Sunrise President of H.B. Drollinger Westchester, Mar Vista, Community Service Award Co., Javier Cano, General Venice, Marina del Rey Manager of the Ritz Carlton and JW and Playa Vista for many years as he Marriott Hotels at LA Live, and last worked under former Councilwoman year’s co-recipients Patti Sinclair and Ruth Galanter, Congressman Jane Randy Johnson of Playa Vista Harman and just completed 2 terms The event will be held at the Playa as Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s Chief Vista Center Pointe Club beginning at of Staff. Councilman Bonin has a very hands on approach to serving his com- 6:00 p.m. on October 22nd. The cost is $85 person, which includes appetizmunity and will be recognized by the ers, dinner, hosted bar and entertainRotary Club for making a “true” difference in the community. ment. For more information, call Councilman Bonin is in good com(310) 306-8525.

Projects that focus on clean water in Africa, food needs in Mexico, wheel chairs in Puerto Rico, and this year our focus is in Colombia with several humanitarian projects in Medallin where our club will have many of our club members attend to help the local Rotary Clubs. We are involved in building an orphanage in Benin, Africa and just started our sister city club in Ajijic, Mexico where our members will visit this November to coordinate and sponsor projects and grants for that community. These projects would not be possible without strong fundraising efforts from our annual Cultural Dinner. This year our dinner event will be held on October 22 at the Playa Vista Center Pointe Club and we will honor Councilman Mike Bonin with the club’s highest honor, the Sunrise Community Service Award.

People ask all the time “What is Rotary?” Rotary is a worldwide nonprofit organization of more 1.2 million business, professional and community leaders. As signified by the motto Service Above Self, Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, the workplace and throughout the world. You will find members in more than 200 countries with more than 34,000 clubs in the world who volunteer in communities at home and abroad to support education and job training, provide clean water, combat hunger, improve health and sanitation and eradicate polio. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious and

open to all cultures, races and creeds. The Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise is one of 66 clubs in District 5280 which covers the geographic boundaries of the Pacific Ocean to downtown and Woodland Hills to San Pedro. We represent the areas of Venice, Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista and Westchester and we are committed to living the motto of “Service Above Self” while having a lot of fun in the process. Whether we are passing out toys to our adopted families, supporting local teachers and schools or making pancakes to support

the local fire stations, we always find time to have a little fun, laugh a lot and put smiles on the faces of those around us. For more information about Rotary or how you can help support a local project, please visit our website, www., contact our Director of Membership Tony Ciancimino (310) 429-3808 or visit us at a weekly breakfast meeting. The club meets every Wednesday morning at 7:15 a.m. at the Marina City Club, Center Tower, 3rd Floor Restaurant, Marina del Rey. We look forward to serving the community with you.

As the year continues we have many other projects and social events planned far too numerous to name in this article . Some of them you can read about in the special events section as well as looking at our website We are known as the “fun club” as well as being honored as “The Club of Excellence” at the 2013 Rotary District Conference held in Santa Barbara last spring. I am extremely proud of our members and the club and they make me proud to be a Rotarian. I invite you to become a Rotarian and experience the joy and feeling of making your community a better place.  Come join us at our new location at the Marina City Club, 3rd Floor restaurant at 7:15 AM. any Wednesday morning.

Tom Carson 2013-2014 President Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise

Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise invites your to join us at our

NEW MEETING LOCATION! The club meets every Wednesday morning at 7:15 a.m. at the Marina City Club, Center Tower, 3rd Floor Restaurant, 4333 Admiralty Way Marina del Rey, CA 90292.

Information, Tony Ciancimino

(310) 429-3808

October 3, 2013 THE ARGONAUT Special Advertising Section PAGE 19

Rotary Club of playa venice sunrise

Firefighter Fundraisers

Playa Vista Sunrise Club has a strong partnership with our local firefighters, hosting annual Pancake Breakfasts at three fire stations; #63 in Venice, #5 in Westchester, and #67 in Playa Vista. The proceeds raised from these events are used to support the firefighters and the stations. Some of the things purchased in the last several years include a new

ice machine, computers, tools, carpeting, and washer and dryer. These pancake breakfasts are family affairs with young and old from the neighborhoods, coming out to enjoy some pancakes and all the activities that include face painting, puppet shows, arts and crafts, and clowns making balloon animals. The firefighters put on demonstrations for the attendees, from sliding down the poles to shooting the water hoses. The fire trucks, along with the 1932 Bandwagon are all out on display for everyone to view, and for the kids to climb. Additionally, Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary is very fortunate to have the partnership of the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel at Fire Station #5 each summer at the event.

Rotary District Vocational Arts Contest For the second year in a row Playa Venice supported local high school student in the District 5280 Art Contest. Primary judging was done in partnership with Westchester Rotary picking two winners each in dance, vocal, speech and fine arts categories. Each club supported a winner in each area. Playa Venice’s talented Tanisha won third place with her beautifully expressive oil painting. All the high schoolers represented the best that our youth has to offer.

I Can’t Believe I Have a Bed! Two years ago a young child asked if she and her brother could get a bed from Santa. The children had always slept on the cold floor of the family’s apartment since their family didn’t have the means to buy a bed. And so on Christmas morning, Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club made sure Santa had new beds delivered (we have connections with Santa)! When the beds arrived, the youngest didn’t jump on the bed like most boys his age but rather stretched out his arms and hugged his bed with all his might and said “I can’t believe I have a bed! I can’t believe I have a bed.” It was a Rotary moment that no one will soon forget. Every year, the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club, through the help of the Venice Boys and Girls Club, adopts several families in need during the holiday season. After the families are interviewed and selected, the members of the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club get to work. Rotarians meet with the family members and visit their homes to determine what they need to make the holiday season a brighter one. Most often, the requests are not for the latest toy or mp3 players but rather for basic items that most take for granted.

Last year, during a visit to the adopted family’s home, the club discovered that the family had been living with a broken furnace and had been without heat for over two years, requiring the family of four to sleep in one room to stay warm during the winter months. Through the help and coordination efforts of the Playa Venice Sunrise Club, the furnace was repaired. The mother of the family said it was the best Christmas gift she ever received. We welcome support for our Adopt a Family program. You can help raise money for each family, donate presents or join us for fun and games at our Adopt-A-Family kick- off club meeting where we create banners for each family, or come and help wrap presents at our Annual Wrapping Party with our high school sponsored Interact students and plenty of food, drinks and fun!

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Rotary Club of playa venice sunrise

85 Teacher Mini-Grants Help Local Classrooms Build a Better Benin Sister City Club The Teacher MiniGrant Program is one of the largest and most successful programs of the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club. The program is in its 18th year and has grown from a first year distribution of $1800 in funding to approximately $20,000 last year. The purpose of the program is to fund creative and innovative projects for the classroom teacher. The grants range from $75.00 to $400 and are awarded annually for teachers in all grades for both public and private schools in the local community. Over the years the projects have ranged from planting and growing vegetable gardens, making book bags, computer software, special literacy programs to outdoor education and basic simple needs such as a classroom whiteboard. The teachers very often pay for these types of projects or basic needs out of their own pockets and can now apply for funding through the Rotary Teacher Mini-Grants program. Last year 150 grant applications were received and 85 of them were funded

through the program with the partnership and donations from other organizations such as the Howard Hughes Center/Equity Office, Playa Vista, Westchester Rotary Foundation, the Jim Bunch Charity Fund, Los Angeles Commercial Realtors Association (LACRA), LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce and private donations from individuals and businesses in the local community. Additionally, the club created a new program a couple of years ago through the generous donation of LACRA members. The local area schools have submitted “Wish Lists” and the items have been purchased through the funding from LACRA and distributed to the schools at the Teacher Mini-Grant Awards Breakfast. 14 schools received numerous boxes of supplies from this program in 2013.

The Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise has partnered with Sarah Chapman, Founder of “Build A Better Benin” to help Sarah with her project in Benin, Africa. The club fell in love with Sarah when she came to speak to them about assistance for a little village in Western Africa “Benin”. Sarah started her program after visiting Benin as a traveling nurse. Her mission was to deliver healthcare and education to the people of this third world country. Through educational programs, safe housing, sustainable projects and smart partnerships, hopefully major improvements in the quality of life will occur in Benin under Sarah’s direction and leadership. She has plans to build an orphanage, improve transportation to medical facilities and build clean water wells. Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club is very proud to have joined the Build A Better Benin project and to assist Sarah in serving the children of Africa.

Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club recently reached out to the Rotary Club of Ajijic, Mexico to enter into a sister city club partnership. This program will continue the club’s efforts to create International opportunities and Rotary good will. The two clubs will combine efforts in worthy causes such as supplying milk to elementary school children in the Ajijic area and scholarships to high school students. Ajijic, Mexico is located just north of Guadalajara, Mexico. In November several members of the Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise will fly down to Ajijic and visit the sister city club to learn more of their needs. In addition to creating fellowship with the Ajijic members, the Playa Venice club members will have an opportunity to view some of the projects in which the club will be assisting Ajijic. Rotary has no boundaries when it comes to world peace, good will and understanding and helping mankind!

Help Rotary’s fundraising by shopping on the club’s


50% of the profits go to the club AND you’re not expected to pay more for something just because it’s a good cause. To get started, click on Shop and Raise Money for the Club! at the Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise’s site:

October 3, 2013 THE ARGONAUT Special Advertising Section PAGE 21

Rotary Club of playa venice sunrise

Interact Kicks off the School Year with Beach Clean Up Event!

The Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club is very involved with our local youth and supports these students in Rotary’s Mission of Service Above Self. The club sponsors a very active Interact Club at Animo Venice Charter High School and is currently in the process of chartering another Interact Club at Venice High School as well as a Rotaract Club at Otis College of Art and Design. Recently, eight students with the Animo Venice High School Interact Club joined forces with over 11,000 Angelinos who removed 24,000 pounds of trash on Saturday in Heal the Bay’s Coastal Cleanup Day. The Animo Venice High School Interact Club meets every Tuesday

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at lunch under the leadership of four committed young women: Candy Cabral, Kajal Desai, Alitzel Perez and Miranda Robles. With a group of more than 20 students committed to “Service Above Self,” the Animo Interact Club has big plans for this year. The enthusiasm for Interact has spread across town to Venice High School, where Maina Cioni is chartering a club for her peers to tap into the local community service opportunities and Rotary International efforts abroad. While Maina is still in the early planning stages of seeking school approval of club by-laws, she has drafted plans to rally her peers to donate soccer uniforms for children in need. Playa Venice Sunrise continues to expand its Youth Service activities to younger generations, including Otis College of Art and Design in Westchester, where students Brianne Yokotake and Greg Owens are at the helm of a Rotaract Club charter. Brianne and Greg kickstarted the Rotaract roster at Club Rush day on September 18, 2013, and are encouraging other art students to give back to the community.


Last year the Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise decided to add a new program of feeding the homeless at the Midnight Mission on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. Through the efforts of Retired LAPD Deputy Chief David Doan who sits on the Executive Board of the Mission, Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club made its first trip to the Mission last December bringing over 20 volunteers and many, many supplies including water, toiletries, clothing and shoes. The Mission has been in existence for over 75 years and runs many programs in addition to feeding the homeless. They include however not limited to emergency services, alcohol and addiction recovery and transition and training for jobs.

Santa Tour Once again Playa Venice Rotary brought Santa Claus to our neighborhood. This past year central stops were planned and implemented in Playa Vista, Playa del Rey, West Westchester, Westport Heights and East Westchester. Hot Chocolate and cookies were served at each stop as excited children waited to tell Santa

Many of the club members were very impressed with the work of the Mission and decided that this program should be become a 3-4 times a year event. The club visited the Mission again in the spring and has a third trip coming up this month. Family members of Playa Venice club members have joined in this worthwhile project to feed, serve and clean up for the homeless and handicapped who depend on the Mission to survive their life on the streets. how good they had been and what special wished they had for the holiday season. Tony Palermo (of Tony P’s Dockside Grill) and family were major supporters again this year and deserve the thanks of the community they serve so faithfully! Santa got to touch the hearts of a lot of kids again this year. Gwen Vuchsas again chaired the event. Some children even noticed he was wearing a Rotary pin!


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Build a Bear

Vision to Learn

One of the bright spots in Rotary is bringing in enthusiastic new members who bring new ideas with them. Last year soon after we installed Rachel Sunday into the Club she told us of a tradition she had established years ago with her daughter Hayley. On their respective birthdays instead of exchanging gifts they head to the Westside Pavilion to create gifts for the less fortunate at “Build a Bear.” A unique stuffed animal is built, from the “skin” up. Hundreds of wardrobe choices are offered allowing for multiple different types a bears to be created. Playa Venice took on this task and created and donated over twenty bears to the University of Southern California “CARES” program. CARES got the bears in the hands of sick young children who could provide a good home for their new friends. In Playa Venice Rotary we are always moving forward and upward!

Playa Venice Sunrise is very excited about a new project called Vision To Learn. Over 20% of students in school have vision problems and without glasses, this can really impact their ability to learn. Austin Beutner wanted to fix this problem and created Vision To Learn, a program for screening children and fitting them with a new pair of glasses if needed. Playa Venice Sunrise has partnered with Westchester Rotary Club, Playa Vista, Loyola Marymount University, and the H.B. Drollinger Co. to bring the Vision To Learn program to 2 local area schools, Westport Heights Elementary and Loyola Village in Westchester. Fundraising efforts are continuing and if successful, there are plans to expand the program to other elementary schools in the Venice area. To learn more about Vision To Learn, go to

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will be honored with the Sunrise Community Service Award recognizing “Service Above Self” Tuesday, October 22nd 2013 at 6:00 p.m. Playa Vista Center Pointe Club 6200 Playa Vista Drive, Playa Vista Appetizers • Dinner • Entertainment • Hosted Bar $85.00 Per Person Sponsors

Cantalini’s Restaurant • Clement Partners • J. Rosen Communications Loyola Marymount University • Marina Del Rey Hospital • MTI Counsulting Group Inc. Peter Smyth California Realty • Playa Vista • Rainbow Acres Natural Foods/ on Washington Boulevard Sarlo Tax Service • William H. Hannon Foundation

Reservations are limited, please reply by October 14th, 2013 Make checks payable and mail to: Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club P.O. Box 10883, Marina del Rey, CA 90295 310.306.8525 • Non-Profit Tax I.D. #20-4148751 October 3, 2013 THE ARGONAUT Special Advertising Section PAGE 23

Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise is proud to announce its

WE’VE NEW MEETING LOCATION: City Club, Center Tower, 3rd Floor Restaurant MOVED! Marina 4333 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292

Congratulations for your wonderful work!

Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club 310.822.9344 Mare Co SailS 4030 del Rey Avenue Marina del Rey 90292


Join the club every Wednesday morning at its breakfast meeting, starting 7:15 a.m.


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Congratulations Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club! Thanks for your continued support to the community and congratulations for being named “The Club of Excellence” by the Rotary District 5280 of Los Angeles. Marina Del Rey Hospital is proud to be a member of your excellent organization.


PAGE 24 THE ARGONAUT Special Advertising Section October 3, 2013

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Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise