The Wilshire Rotary Club, led by Lafayette Square resident and President Janice Prior, presented its annual plans for making a positive impact within the community to the Wilshire Rotary District Governor Makiko Nakasone at the group’s meeting last week at the historic Ebell of Los Angeles. The club’s board of directors presented plans to the visiting dignitary for this year’s activities, aimed at fostering fellowship among Rotarians and service to the community.
“I am looking to keep Wilshire Rotary vibrant by living our club mission of “Do Good. Have Fun,” Prior told the Buzz. “This year the Rotary International theme is to “Create Hope in the World.” Our goal is to have at least one service project a month and a variety of amazing fellowships events, which I believe will set us up for a spectacular year.”
Prior said she is hoping Rotary’s focus as a service organization will interest like-minded people who want to help others to join the organization.
“Rotary is a well-rounded international organization with hundreds of local chapters around the globe that is nimble and able to meet community needs as well as unexpected ones like natural disasters,” explained Prior. “I hope everyone will feel welcome to join us as we “Do Good, and Have Fun.”
President Janice Prior said her goals for this year include increasing membership by six members, participating in 10 impactful service projects, and contributing to the Rotary Foundation Annual Fund and PolioPlus Fund.
The Community Service Committee, co-chaired by Rob Barnes and Angel Amezquita, is at the heart of the club’s local outreach efforts. Barnes shared the long list of projects planned for this year. The projects range from helping the Anderson Munger YMCA with its weekly fresh produce distribution to Thanksgiving bag-stuffing and supporting organizations like the LAPD Reserve Foundation and Hope Net.
The International Committee, led by Mindy Lake, focuses on promoting peace, understanding, and global cooperation. Lake spoke of the club’s involvement in international humanitarian trips planned for next year.
The Youth committee, headed by Rae Jin, is dedicated to fostering the growth and development of young minds. Jin reported on efforts including overseeing the Rotary’s Interact club with Larchmont Charter Highs School and providing scholarships to facilitate internships and career development opportunities, as examples of how the club invests in the future community leaders.
Wendy Clifford, who leads the Foundation Committee, said the Wilshire Rotary has raised more than $1 million since the club’s founding, donating $450,000 to the Rotary International Foundation. The Wilshire Rotary annual Pumpkin Patch and Christmas Tree Lot provide seasonal jobs for more than 65 local members of the community, including formerly incarcerated individuals. Clifford and her committee are currently developing plans for this year’s lot.
At the lunch meeting following the board meeting, Prior and Membership Committee Chair Dan Hodgkiss inducted Jane Gilman into membership. Gilman, co-founder and former publisher of the Larchmont Chronicle, had been an honorary member of the Rotary for years but recently decided to become an active member.
In closing the meeting, Prior quoted Nelson Mandela who said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Prior and her board are ready to work.
2023-2024 Wilshire Rotary Officers:
President: Janice Prior
President-Elect: Josh Rudoy
Immediate Past-President: Joyce Kleifield
Treasurer: Elsa Gillham
Secretary: Ian Brooks
Sergeant-at-Arms: Mercedes Wilson
Club Service: Amy Cuomo
Community Service: Rob Barnes/ Angel Amezquita
Communications/ PR: Joanne McLaughlin/ Patty Lombard
Foundation: Wendy Clifford
International: Mindy Lake
Membership: Dan Hodgkiss
Peace: Aaron Grate
Vocational: Margie Christoffersen/ Pam Rudy
Youth: Rae Jin