Del Mar-Solana Beach Rotary Club presents 2019-2020 celebration of service


L-R: BocceFest Co-Chair Ken Barrett, 1st place winners Todd Phillips and Joshua Horn, and DMSB Rotary President Venky Venkatesh celebrated a successful 2019 Bocce tournament.


On Friday, June 12, the Del Mar-Solana Beach (DMSB) Rotary Club marked the end of President Venky Venkatesh’s term with a virtual celebration of service via Zoom. Venky gave a detailed presentation highlighting the projects and accomplishments that the club had achieved this past Rotary year under his leadership, with the goal of helping less fortunate communities both locally and around the world.

Some of these activities included:

Community Service: Bill Sutton organized several community projects such as the yearly Stand Down for Vets, hosting several local blood drives, helping with Holiday Food and Toy drives, and sending two World War II and Vietnam vets on Honor Flights to Washington, DC. Most recently, in February 2020, Sutton coordinated with a group of other Rotarians and volunteers to build a house from scratch for a needy family in Tecate. The club also donated $28,000 to the following organizations assisting those most impacted by COVID 19: Just in Time for Foster Youth, Feeding San Diego, Community Resource Center, Veterans Village, the San Diego Foundation, Realty Changers, and Casa de Amistad.

International Service: Herb Liberman coordinated the following projects: supplying food baskets to poor families in El Salvador, supporting a Children’s Medical Clinic in El Salvador, reroofing and improving a senior home in Tijuana, and establishing a training center for homeless women in Kolkata, India.

Rotary Foundation: Paul Butler led the club to receiving an award for being one of the best clubs in the district in supporting The Rotary foundation, with 100% of the club’s members participating. The club also donated over $1,500 to Rotary’s Polio Plus program for the eradication of polio worldwide.

Membership: Vicky Mallet led the club in taking proactive steps to enhance membership by placing newspaper ads in local papers, holding social mixers to meet potential new members, and substituting one Tuesday evening meeting a month in place of an early morning one. The club welcomed three new members over the past Rotary year: Dr. Lew Williamson, Sarah Taylor, and Dr. Nasr Ghoniem.

Social Service: Patricia Case coordinated many “fun” activities that included: a beer festival at View Point Brewery, “The Sunshine Boys” at North Coast Repertory Theatre, the annual Holiday Party at the Cosmopolitan in Old Town; with more exciting events planned for the future.

BocceFest 2019: All members worked long and hard to hold this annual fundraiser on 09/29/19 at the Surf Cup Sports Park just east of Del Mar. This past year’s successful tournament raised over $42,000 to share with Major Beneficiaries Just in Time for Foster Youth and Realty Changers, as well as many other highly effective local nonprofits. It also helps fund the club’s international service programs that attract matching dollars from individual Rotarians, host-country Rotary clubs, local Rotary District 5340 and The Rotary Foundation.

Club Financials: for the year were ably handled by Jon Fish, who has been steering them for a while.

Speakers’ Program: Has been successfully handled by Beverly Liberman. She has presented many interesting and informative speakers and programs, including a visit by District Governor Marta Knight.

The significant highlights of the celebration were marking the 89th birthday of George Sousa, long-time member and Sergeant-At-Arms who epitomizes Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self; and presenting the Rotarian of the Year Award to Charles Foster for his years of dedicated service to Rotary and specifically for his BocceFest fundraising efforts.

Herb Liberman will take over as the new president of DMSB for 2020 – 2021.