Laguna Niguel’s Rotary club is more than 70 members strong, and for good reason. When I visited a recent Tuesday weekly lunch meeting held at the Savannah Chop House, dozens of folks were engaged in a host of spirited conversations. The camaraderie was quite evident. And yet, as a newcomer, I felt included from the get-go. Upon arrival, Bill Leber greeted me and quickly introduced me to Ron Perrella, who handles public relations for the club.
When I spoke with Richard Morley about the programs, he said his goal as the incoming program chairman is to maintain the high quality of speakers who provide informative and diverse talks each week. Kate Peters, a voice coach who teaches intention-driven communication, was the speaker at the meeting I attended. Others scheduled to appear at future meetings include Dave Frost of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Teresa Marchese speaking on caring for a loved one, and Katie Wagner offering some tips on social media basics.
Service Above All
Rotary is known for its service to the community. Its pledge is to put “service above all.” This club’s service-to-the-community achievements are most impressive. A recent event raised $30,000, and several more are on the calendar for 2011. One in particular that caught my attention is the Marine Car Wash taking place on May 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at parking lot on La Paz. The 1st Battalion, 4th Marines will be there to wash cars for donations.
Another fundraiser is the Annual Guns & Roses event on Sept. 25. This event supports the memorial fund for fallen firefighters and peace officers as well as the Laguna Niguel Military Support Committee.
Exciting Events for Fun
It was obvious from the enthusiasm at the meeting that these members love to work hard and play hard. A simple thing like the announcements brought lots of cheers and applause along with laughter at the “joke of the day.” Happy bucks and sad bucks were offered for sharing happenings such as family reunions and weddings. In the case of Dr. Bill Nguyen, DDS, it was lamenting that his family was away for a few days. Nguyen also told me afterward that he became a Rotarian to give back, especially since he was a scholarship recipient that helped him go to college.
Besides attending meetings, members plan events, such as a fashion show May 15 to show spouse appreciation.
Why Join L.N.’s Rotary Club?
Taking what I learned from Kate Peters’ talk, I communicated my intention to several exiting members to find out reasons for being involved. Mike Whipple said it was the “camaraderie, feeling of service and opportunity to participate in fun activities” that captured his interest 12 years ago. Councilwoman Linda Lindholm said, “This group is the best!” President-elect Barbara Foster agreed. The energy of President David Weiss was unmistakable. I suppose that is why Laguna Niguel can boast about having one of the premier Rotary club chapters in Orange County—maybe even beyond!
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