Recent Projects


In December, a group of Santa Rosa Rotarians arrived at the Vigil Lights Apartments bearing cookies, poinsettias and a talented piano player. A rollicking party ensued with much laughter, music, and friendship. Each year, members of the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa donate the poinsettia plants and refreshments for this much-loved event. The following letter was received recently from Sister Sharon at Vigil Lights along with many wonderful notes of appreciation:

“Dear Rotary Club Members,

Once again you delighted the residents at Vigil Light Apartments with your gift of poinsettias, your music, and the homemade cookies.  Jessica Tunis and I are so grateful for the Christmas spirit you brought to us.  The residents commented on how much they enjoyed the party.

Some residents wanted to send their own words to you via a card. Others were happy to express their gratitude on the enclosed sheets of paper.  Those whose first language is not English did not write a note. In previous years I have helped them via an interpreter.  I did not get to it this year.  I can assure you that they are among the most grateful.

May joy and peace surround you!

Sister Sharon”
Please follow this link to read more heartwarming letters of thanks.


The Rotary Club of Santa Rosa helped in the Rwanda School Project. Five Rotary clubs helped by paying for the latrines, the water catchment system and the installation of the solar power system. Rotary International and Rotary districts matched the funds raised by the clubs. The Lutheran Church sponsored the project and raised the money for the rest of the school project. For more information about the Rwanda School Project, contact Peggy Soberanis,, 707-823-4028.[cincopa AIKA3uqOpfd3]


The mission of Project Amigo is:

  • To enable the poor children of Colima, Mexico to achieve their highest potential by providing educational opportunities, material support, enrichment activities, medical and dental services;
  • To provide opportunities for volunteers from developed countries to help and become friends with children in Mexico;
  • To foster friendship and understanding between volunteers from developed countries and children and their families in Colima, Mexico.

Each year, Project Amigo provides scholarships to enable 100 good students from poor families to continue their education beyond the sixth grade. Every year, more than 100 volunteers from the U.S. and Canada come to Colima to work together with local Mexican Volunteers on hands-on international service projects.

For more information, check out the website:

View of the Project Amigo hacienda & Mexican headquarters in Cofradia, State of Colima, MX, includes two offices, large kitchen, dining room, meeting room and five bedrooms for guests.

One of 2 volcanoes near Project Amigo hacienda in Cofradia, MX. This one is slightly active.










 THE SANTA ROSA ROTARY CLUB FOUNDATION DELIVERS DICTIONARIES to every third grade student at John Fremont Elementary School. Below are photos of the happy recipients!
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On December 23rd 2010 a group of 27 Santa Rosa Rotarians and family members descended on the Sonoma County Fairgrounds to participate in another Hands On Project. This project involved helping the combined Redwood Gospel Mission and Salvation Army to provide hot meals, haircuts, food boxes, and Christmas gifts to those in need in our community.

A blue sea of Rotarian At Work shirts could be seen at the food boxing area where members placed a frozen chicken and other food staples into a cardboard box for families to take home to make a Christmas dinner. After the food was boxed, some more members rolled the boxes down a conveyor line where yet some more members had the filled boxes placed in a shopping cart. Each Rotarian was then assigned a family to either deliver the box of food to the family’s car, or to take the shopping cart to receive bags of gifts for children of all ages.

The sparkle of eyes and huge grins of children learning that the bags were full of Christmas presents was a sight that none of the members there will ever forget. The shopping carts full of boxes of food and Christmas gifts were then wheeled by Rotarians all of the way out into the recipients’ car and unloaded into the recipients’ car.

[cincopa AgKAnZaMgHC0]The event was a huge success and we had two separate shifts to help completely man the food and toy distribution area of the event. Attendance at the event has been estimated to be approximately 5,000 people, not including all of the hundreds of volunteers. This entire Hands On Project was completed without a hitch and with a lot of fun had by all.

If you have never participated in this event, it is truly a heartwarming experience. Volunteers were treated to free coffee and Christmas treats. Additionally, anyone in the community could obtain a free lunch or dinner from one of the buildings set up as a dining area. After serving two tours of duty, this writer decided to hit the mess hall to grab some grub. I was seated by a hostess and had my dinner served to me by volunteers. Either I was starving and rice cakes would have tasted great, or the food was actually very good. The latter was the case.

Ongoing Projects

Rotary is not merely a state of mind—it’s also about action. Below are a just few examples of the accomplishments and projects Rotarians have committed their energies to in the last few years.

Rotary Dictionaries for Kids
• Redwood Gospel Mission Van
• 6th Street Playhouse
• Centennial Project
• Youth
• Local and Global Community

People who join Rotary are eager to make a difference in their community. Whether through helping children, the elderly, needy families, people with disabilities, or at-risk students, Rotary is there.

Download the Foundation Grant Application if you are interested in finding out how to receive financial support from the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa. The deadline for grant applications is October 31st. Grant awards are made in early January.

Rotary Dictionaries for Kids

In January 2000, the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa, through its “Rotary Dictionaries for Kids” Project, raised $25,000 to purchase brand new MacMillan dictionaries to give to nearly 2,000 third grade children and their teachers in Santa Rosa. Now in its tenth year. Every January more than 60 Rotarians hand-deliver dictionaries to 30 elementary schools in Santa Rosa. Our goal is a simple one: we want to encourage children to be curious about learning and to help them incorporate reading into their lives.

Redwood Gospel Mission Van

In 2003, the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa donated $12,500 to the Redwood Gospel Mission for purchase of a new van. The Redwood Gospel Mission was established in 1963 as a Rescue Mission in Santa Rosa serving four counties in Northern California – Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake. It has grown over the past forty years from a place of food and shelter to several facilities providing free long-term services for addicted, homeless and low-income people. The Mission cares for over 250 people daily providing emergency food, shelter, clothing and showers.

6th Street Playhouse

6th Street Playhouse offers bold and contemporary plays for adventurous audiences in intimate theatre spaces at the Luther Burbank Center. With a donation of $12,500 by the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa, 6th Street Playhouse is providing live theatrical presentations and workshops to the schools and children of Sonoma County. For more information or to get tickets, visit 6th Street Playhouse’s website at

Centennial Project

Rotary “ Rotary International celebrated its Centennial Anniversary in February 2005. Prior to the anniversary Rotary Clubs all over the world chose a project to commemorate this significant event. The Rotary club of Santa Rosa raised over $10,000 to build and renovate the Apple Valley/Papago Court tot lot and picnic area. The goal was to create a safe place for the very young children in the neighborhood to play, as well as a gathering place for picnics and meetings.”


• “A Place to Play” Park for children with special abilities
• Funding children’s arts programs throughout Santa Rosa
• City-wide “Save Our Students” Truancy Program
• Christmas food and toy distribution to the needy
• Scholarship funds for high school seniors
• Working with at risk students at alternative Mesa High School

Local and Global Community

• Memorial Hospital Mobile Medical Van
• Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Mobile Kitchen
• Scout House at Doyle Park
• Participated with medical teams performing operations internationally
• Raised $142,000 to help 1,704,000 children receive Polio vaccines