Busy Month for the Orinda Rotary Club with 70th Anniversary, Trivia Bee

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(Contributed Photo)
Teenagers install LED lighting in a small Haitian town, with funding raised in part by the Rotary Club of Orinda.

    They’ve raised funds to enable high school students to travel to Haiti to install street lights on a remote island, sponsored a festival to showcase cultures represented in Orinda, and come to the aid of the victims of California fires.
    Those and many other achievements of the Rotary Club of Orinda over the past decade will be celebrated when the club marks its 70th anniversary March 16 at the Orinda Country Club.
    The event will include historical videos and information about what the club has done since inception March 19, 1949. Students and others whose lives have been impacted by the club’s various programs also are scheduled to speak, as is Rotary’s district governor.
    Most recently, the club worked with another nonprofit to send students to Haiti to install LED lights in a town on a remote island off Haiti’s coast that had no power, said Orinda Rotary President John Donnelly. The lights enabled local children to do school work after dark and helped fishermen find their way home, Donnelly says. Though Orinda members did not go to Haiti, they helped raised funds, he said.
    The club, which has 60 members, also has given college scholarships to students at Miramonte High School and sponsored athletic competitions for elementary students since 1950.
    In addition to the anniversary event, the club is holding a Trivia Bee March 22 at the Orinda Masonic Lodge. Sixteen teams will compete for a chance to win $500 toward a favorite charity. The event helps Rotary raise funds to support local teachers.
    The bee is put on by professional trivia buffs and promises to be a “mentally stimulating time,” Donnelly says. Tickets are $60 each or $360 for a team of six.
    The extent of the club’s community involvement can be seen on its Facebook page which is loaded with photos. Rodney Lal is the page’s administrator and also a board member.
    A member for two years, Lal says the club is fun and exciting and a great way to meet people while making a difference locally and internationally.
    The club is hosting the Mayor’s State of the City Address Wednesday, March 20 at 12:30 p.m. in the Founders’ Room of the Orinda Community Center. The meeting is open to the public and includes lunch at a cost of $20.
    For details and reservations about all Rotary activities, go to www.orindarotary.org.

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