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April 5, 2011 > Ohlone College Citizen of the Year

Ohlone College Citizen of the Year

Submitted By Ohlone College

Each year the Ohlone College Foundation hosts a Citizen of the Year Luncheon to honor a group, organization, or individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the community providing important services and contributing significantly to the progress or improvement of our community. This year, the Foundation Board has chosen to honor the six Rotary Clubs of the Tri-Cities as the 2011 Citizen of the Year. The Citizen of the Year Champagne Luncheon is the last major social event before summer for community members in Fremont, Newark, and Union City. Held on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at the beautiful Ohlone College Newark Center on Cherry Street in Newark, the luncheon highlights the many accomplishments of the service-minded individuals of local Rotary clubs.

Rotary Clubs are part of an international service organization comprised of business and professional leaders, with individual clubs located all over the world. Each club is organized and chartered separately to serve in its community as well as to contribute to the international mission of Rotary. The stated purpose of Rotary International is to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill in the community. There are 33,976 clubs and over 1.22 million members worldwide.

The Rotary Club of Fremont Warm Springs Sunrise (FWSS) is the result of merging two clubs, both founded by Stan Allen: the Rotary Club of Warm Springs in 1988 and the Fremont Sunrise Rotary Club in 1990. Since both clubs met in the early morning, they merged to bolster their membership in summer 2010. Their slogan is "Rotary Shines for the Benefit of Mankind."

For many years the FWSS Rotary has been involved in contributing to public school education as part of their community service and fundraising efforts. The Club provides encyclopedias and dictionaries to elementary schools in their area of Fremont. They are currently working on a project to raise funds for a computer lab for Horner Junior High School. They sponsor two high school Rotary Interact clubs at Irvington and Kennedy High Schools. Each year the FWSS Rotary provides scholarships to high school student heading on to college or university.

Partnering with the Parent Teacher Organizations (PTO) for James Leach and Warm Spring elementary Schools FWSS helped to supplement unfunded program needs for the two schools. They assisted in raising approximately $80,000 for needed projects such as paving and landscaping student social areas to create safer and more attractive school grounds.

Other Key Projects Include:
* Provide Christmas stipend for "Families at Risk", coordinating with school principals for designation families.
* Supply a stipend for "Children at Risk" to address specific needs as determined by the principals.
* Award Scholarships for High School Students for college, based on a combination of scholastic ability and need.
* Furnish food for SAVE for Thanksgiving Dinner for the homeless and needy families during difficult economic times.
* Sponsor the Christmas Tree Lighting at the Warm Springs Plaza Shopping Center with Warm Springs Business Community Association; approximately 3000 attendees
* Sponsor the Warm Springs Little League; e.g., purchased a score board at one of their fields
* Chartered Warm Springs Boy Scout Troop 103 with continued the association over the years; purchased Scout Trailer for outings
* Coordinate with juvenile court system to place "Children at Risk" in foster care homes
* Fund Projects for YMCA, Girl Scouts, Relay for Life, Cancer Walk, One Child Foundation, Project Independence, Youth Exchange, Group Study Exchange and many more.

This article is one of a six part series describing the often unrecognized accomplishments of each of these clubs, leading up to the Citizen of the Year Luncheon held at the Ohlone College Newark Center on Saturday, June 4, at noon.

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