By Emily Figueiredo
Publicity chair for the Rotary Club of Del Mar
One of the most exciting times of the year to be a Rotarian is the holiday season. The Rotary Club of Del Mar puts “service above self” and gives back all year round, but the holidays is a particularly special time to brighten the lives of others. All within the month of December, the Del Mar Club has been giving gifts to children, supporting military families as they fly home and donating goods to assemble food baskets for needy families in our community.
On Thursday, Dec. 15, the Del Mar Rotarians hosted 80 children from the St. Leo’s Head Start Program in the Turf Club of the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Each child was dressed in their holiday best as they enjoyed a “formal” lunch of macaroni and cheese, carrots and milk. Then smiles and cheers filled the room as every three and four year old sat on Santa’s lap and received a stocking stuffed with goodies, a toy to unwrap, and a book with a stuffed animal that corresponded to the story. This party is an annual tradition for the Del Mar Rotary Club but with the St. Leo’s Head Start enrollment doubling, the club had to band together and supply more toys for more children this year. This challenge was warmly welcomed as Del Mar Rotary Club President, Sharyn Daly said, “I don’t know who has more fun, the children or the Rotarians!”
On Wednesday, Dec. 21, The Del Mar Rotary Club joined an event at Lindbergh Field to support the organization Home For The Holidays in their effort of sponsoring military families to fly to their hometown during this season. This year, a family of five including a 4-year-old with autism and epilepsy, was given the opportunity to fly to their hometown in Pennsylvania for the first time in five years.
The other organization that the Del Mar Rotary Club has partnered with this month is the Encinitas Community Resource Center and their Holiday Basket Program. Throughout this month, Rotarians have collected and donated food, sports equipment and other goods to fill baskets that are given to families who need and deserve some holiday cheer. The Rotarians also donated their time to deliver and sort the goods at the fairgrounds alongside many other volunteers from the community.
The holidays are a special time to be a Rotarian and feel the magic of the season through serving others. But as the holiday season comes to a close, the spirit of giving will continue as the Rotary Club of Del Mar keeps “Service Above Self”, both here in our community and across the world, as their mission for improving the lives of all people all year round.
for more information, or join us for a weekly meeting on Thursdays at noon at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Del Mar.