Wasco Tribune - Serving the community since 1970

By Jamie Stewart
Wasco Tribune 

Wasco Rotary gives here and afar


January 10, 2019 | View PDF

The Wasco Rotary Club was chartered June 21, 1946 as Rotary International District 5240. This year, Independence High School Principal Martin Lonza is president of the club.

Rotary is an international service organization whose purpose is to bring together both business and professional leaders to give humanitarian services. It has high ethical standards, with 34,280 clubs and 1.2 million members worldwide.

The Wasco club is involved in the community in many different ways. The organization is primarily interested in giving back to the community.

Their meetings are every Monday at noon in the Veterans Hall at Barker Park located just north of the Parks and Recreation main office at 1280 Poplar Ave.

The lunch meetings include a presentation on a subject of interest, such as public safety, law enforcement, military, school activities, regional and local business, political candidates and local development projects and activities.

The Rotary’s annual goal is to give back $1,000 per member to the Wasco community. So, as membership grows, so does the club’s giving commitment.

Each meeting is catered by a local eatery. This Monday, it was Hong Kong Restaurant.

Wasco Schools’ Assistant Superintendent Brad Maberry gave a presentation on safety measures initiated at the WUESD. He described the RAPTOR program, which tightly screens off-site persons attempting to get onto the school grounds. RAPTOR is a computer-generated identification program that enables the district, to use a visitor’s driver’s license to access a database and check if the person might be a risk to others.

Maberry gave a Powerpoint presentation in which he discussed previous school shootings. When asked what the difference was between identifying the events of an active shooter event versus a school shooting, he replied, “What you often hear from media is the quoting of school shooting statistics, which will be far higher due to the broad definition of a ‘school shooting’ -- that is, the shooting took place on a school campus, but did not necessarily involve the shooting of staff or students, and may not even have happened while school was in session.

“An ‘active shooter’ is much more narrowly defined, as it refers to a person actively shooting staff, students or visitors on campus while school is in session,” he explained.

President Lonza announced Rotary’s has one main fundraiser during the fall, which funds the major portion of projects that are funded within the Wasco community. This fundraiser is a reverse-drawing dinner. Tickets are $150 each. These tickets are drawn continuously throughout the evening, and every fifth ticket pulled gets a prize[ every 10th ticket drawn, wins $100 cash; and the last ticket pulled takes $5,000 cash.

Individual gifts by Rotarians also are used to supplement the money raised. This adds to the total amount given to the community.

The Wasco club contributes to the Wasco Scholarship Association, the Wasco Festival of Roses and candidates for Rose Queen, Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society, the Salvation Army, the Wasco High School Athletic Activities Booster Club, Wasco Toys for Tigers, the Boy Scouts of America, North Kern Vocational Training Center, the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center, the Orange Heart Foundation, Wasco Union Elementary School District special events, Veterans of Foreign War Memorial Day and Car Show, and other special awards, such as the Girl Scout Award Program, the High School Centennial Celebration, Family Wrestling Foundation and hardship cases within the community.

Internationally, the main cause is PolioPlus. This continues the Rotary’s focus on eradication of polio, which began in 1985. Rotarians have contributed over $850 million, along with thousands of volunteer hours, to inoculate the world’s children. This is in conjunction with Rotary’s commitment to the World Health Organization. The Wasco Rotary pledges to match its members’ personal contributions for programs and other cause up to $500 a month.

Additionally, another project the Rotary is participating in is Casting for Recovery, which are free retreats for woman with breast cancer. This retreat gives healing outdoor retreats for women with breast cancer at no cost to the participants. The retreat offers opportunities for women to find inspiration, to discover renewed energy for life and to experience a healing connection with other women and nature. These retreats are open to women of all ages. The club encourages those interested to email [email protected] for more information.

Current Wasco Rotarians include Lori Albrecht, Amy Bean, Julie Boesch, Gary Bray, Robert Cobb, Hector Delgado, Carol Hamilton, Vicki Hight, Matt Jeffries, Stan Loewen, Martin Lonza, Brad Maberry, Jeff Martin, Eric Merz, Larry Pennell, Veriu Penrod, Raul Rangel, Wolfgang Renken, Kelly Richers, Tom Sikola, Tony Stout, Kevin Tallon and, as an institutional member, the Wasco Union Elementary School District.


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