The Rotary Club of Sonoma Valley awarded more than $58,000 this past year to nonprofits and educational groups throughout Sonoma Valley. The grants were underwritten by the club’s fundraising efforts. Members and grant recipients celebrated together at a recent club luncheon.
“For the past seventy-five years our club has served Sonoma and the valley, working to make life a little better today than it was yesterday for everyone who lives, works, or visits here,” said Therese Nugent, the club’s president. “Our members work hard to raise the money, and when we make the awards, we ensure the money goes as far as possible in the community. We have no administrative costs to pay for. Nothing goes to waste.”
The club’s latest recipients included Flowery Elementary School, which received $4,000 to purchase a new tool shed, the Springs Community Garden, which received $2,400 to build a deck at Larsen Park, the Community Center, which received $3,000 for its queer arts club for teens, Boys & Girls Club of Sonoma, which received $7,125 to create a Rotary Podcast Studio, Sonoma Mentoring Alliance, which received $4,400 for new signs for mentoring centers at Sassarini Elementary and Altamira Middle School, Food for All, which received $1,625 to purchase fuel for food deliveries to residents experiencing food insecurities, and La Luz, which received $3,400 to provide camp resources for about 40 summer camp participants.
“These grants reflect the wide range of need here,” said Jim Carruthers, chair of the grants committee. “Money from this cycle helped kids at schools in the Springs and in town, improved the park in the Springs, mitigated food insecurities for some of our neighbors, supported a queer arts club at the Sonoma Community Center, and even bought prom dresses for high schoolers to look their best on prom night.”
“Members in The Rotary Club of Sonoma Valley do more than fundraise and award grants,”Nugent added. “We contribute our time, too. For example, we recently helped the library move books for the annual book sale. Every Memorial Day we produce the event to honor veteran and active duty Sonomans, as well as their peers who lost their lives serving America. We feed everyone who attends the event, too. Our work parties clean up the Sonoma Community Garden and we pick up litter along 8th Street East.”
Nugent also wants to remind everyone to look for The Rotary Club of Sonoma Valley barbecue during 4th of July fun. “After the Covid hiatus we’re looking forward to our annual effort selling hot dogs to help fund the fireworks,” she said.