photos by Dawn at Nicoli Productions

A Legacy of Service

The Rotary Club of Vista and Vista Hi Noon Rotary Club serve the community through outreach programs, literacy campaigns, and hands-on service projects all year round. United in the ideal of service, these clubs provide camaraderie, friendship, and the chance to give back in a lasting, memorable way. We speak with Gene Petraglia, President of the Rotary Club of Vista, and Danielle Delaney, President of the Vista Hi Noon Rotary Club, about their outreach programs, community service projects, and what it means to believe in “Service Above Self.”

Q&A with Rotary Club of Vista President Gene Petraglia

Frotary_petragliaor the benefit of those who are not aware what specifically is a Rotary club?
A rotary club is a local group of community members that come together to make a difference in the community through the guidance of Rotary International. Since its founding in Chicago over 100 years ago, Rotary has spread like wildfire across the globe. Today there are over 34,000 clubs and over 1.2 million members worldwide. Rotary has six main areas of focus: promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, and growing local economies.

Can you tell us about the history behind the Rotary Club of Vista? Who were its founding members?
Paul Harris started Rotary in 1905 and it spread to San Diego in 1911 to our sponsor club, the Rotary Club of Escondido, in 1924. The Rotary Club of Vista was chartered in 1936 by Dr. JC Staden with 21 members. Since then our club has helped charter over 28 other clubs throughout San Diego and Southern California including the Vista Hi Noon Rotary Club.

What types of activities is the Rotary club involved with?
In its over 80-year history in Vista our club has done innumerable projects, from helping to plant trees in Brengle Terrace Park to helping to build the Boys & Girls Club in Vista to reading books for children in Vista schools to starting a dictionary project that gives dictionaries to school children as part of our literacy campaign. We have worked on countless international projects as well, reaching all corners of the globe. Today we are working closely with The Flying Samaritans of UCSD to expand a medical clinic in Ensenada that provides no-cost treatment for families and also provides vocational training for young girls to learn a trade such as barbering or being a seamstress. Locally we are currently putting the finishing touches on our International Festival which will raise money for us to do local projects. One of the projects that we have identified is to build a state-of-the-art music studio at the Boys & Girls Club of Vista to help make up for the lack of music programs in public schools.

Which areas of San Diego do you work with?
We primarily tend to stick in our own backyard, although we partner with other rotary clubs on projects that reach far and wide.

Do you hold fundraisers throughout the year? Do you have any fundraisers you would like our readers to be aware of?
The Vista Rotary International Festival on Mother’s Day weekend will consist of over 100 booths of food and vendors representing the cross cultures of the world. The event will culminate with a concert at the Moonlight Amphitheatre featuring The Fifth Dimension as our headliner act. For more information visit www.vrif.org.

What is your role within the club?
I’m responsible for running the meetings, delegating responsibilities, and helping to make sure that the overall vision of what we want our club to do for the community stays true to task.


At-A-Glance

Name: Generoso A. Petraglia
Community: Vista
Education: Some college
Family: Married
Hobbies and Interests: Volunteering and helping others
Most Memorable Rotary Moment: Being a part of the clinic expansion in Ensenada and getting hands-on in projects.


How many members does your club currently have?
We currently have 27 members in our club. Three years ago we had eight. We have worked very hard to attract a younger demographic and to make our club more relevant and timely for today’s audience.

Please tell us about how someone can go about becoming a Rotarian. What can new club members expect when joining?
Membership in Rotary is open to anyone. We are looking for people who want to give back to the community but don’t know how, people that have a heart to serve, people who want to be part of something bigger than themselves. A new member can expect camaraderie, friendship, and a sense of common purpose while at the same time the freedom to bring new ideas to the table to help the club grow.

Please tell us how one can become a sponsor of the club.
Many times corporations and individuals would like to sponsor our projects, from helping with our fundraisers such as the Vista Rotary International Festival to taking part in corporate memberships that allow advertising on our website. We have many ways that people and organizations can help.

What mission does the club hold true?
We are a leadership organization made up of business, professional, and civic leaders as well as inspired community members. We meet regularly to get to know each other and form friendships, and through that we are able to get things done in our community. And we have fun in the process!

What type of work do you do within the community of Vista?
Some of the projects that we are actively engaged in at the moment include scholarships for Vista High School students, reading in Vista elementary schools, and projects that help support the Boys & Girls Club of Vista.rotary_pledge

Are there any exciting new projects, developments, or programs coming to the Club?
We are in the great state of change right now, looking to keep Rotary vibrant for the next 80 years. As we face this virtual age of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, I believe one of the greatest things we can do is to focus on relationships. As my sponsor in Rotary told me once, “You come to Rotary to give back, but it is the relationships that keep you coming back.”

What are your short-term and long-term goals for the club?
My short-term goals include keeping the club moving forward and bringing in a younger and more diverse demographic to the club. For long-term, I’d like to build membership. At one point this club had over 120 members – I would love to see it back at those numbers again.

What’s the most exciting aspect of being a Rotarian?
For me it seems the immediate impact you can have on someone’s life. It could be a family, that food or assistance you give them helps them through another day and is all they need to turn around, or the student who receives a scholarship could be the first generation in their family to go to college, or to teach someone a skill that could turn their life around – in many cases it doesn’t take much. It could be taking the equivalent of the cost of a fancy coffee and using that to do something great that helps someone else’s life.

Can you tell us where and when your meetings are held?
Currently we meet on Tuesday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hyatt Place Hotel on Melrose Drive in Vista. Our website is www.rotaryclubofvista.org.


At-A-Glance

Rotary Club of Vista

Name: Rotary Club of Vista
President: Generoso Petraglia
Website: www.rotaryclubofvista.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rotaryclubofvista


 

Q&A with Vista Hi Noon Rotary Club President Danielle Delaney

rotary_delaneyFor the benefit of those who are not aware what specifically is a Rotary Club?
The object of Rotary is to encourage the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise: the development of fellowship as an opportunity for service; high ethical standards in businesses and professions, the recognition of worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society; the application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal business and community life; the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

Can you tell us about the history behind the Vista Hi Noon Rotary Club? Who were its founding members?
Vista Hi Noon Rotary Club was founded in February 1982 as Rancho Vista Rotary Club. Its name was changed to Shadowridge Vista Rotary Club and in 2013 to Vista Hi Noon Rotary Club.

What types of activities is the Rotary Club involved with? Can you elaborate on some of the projects you have worked on in the past?
Examples of community projects and funding provided by our club include:
Military Memorial Wall Currently under construction on Vista Village Dr. to honor the service of Vistans in the six branches of the military.
Annual Rotary at Work Day and quarterly Random Acts of Rotary Club members gather for hands-on work to improve our community. Past projects include painting at Solutions for Change, Washington Middle School, and benches and planters on Vista’s Main Street, as well as landscape clean-up at Boys & Girls Club of Vista and the Vista Conservancy Walking Trail.
Annual literacy grants We purchase books and read to each first grade class in the VUSD. Each child receives his or her own book to take home.
Christmas baskets for military families at Camp Pendleton We conduct a food drive at Vista’s Food 4 Less, purchase turkeys, and bring baskets for 100 families to Camp Pendleton. 2014 was the 27th year for this project.

Which areas of San Diego do you work with?
Most of our projects occur in North County, primarily Vista.

Do you hold fundraisers throughout the year? Do you have any fundraisers you would like our readers to be aware of?
We participate in the Vista Chamber of Commerce’s annual Vista Strawberry Festival by securing a booth to sell strawberry shortcake. This year we’ll have two booths as we’ve been selling out every year. We also hold an annual No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament at Ocean’s Eleven Casino in Oceanside in the month of June.rotary_group

What is your role within the club? What are you responsible for?
As president I preside over club and board meetings, appoint committee chairs and members, conduct club assemblies, create a budget and manage club finances, develop a safe environment for youth participants, and work with our district governor and assistant governor.


At-A-Glance

Vista Hi Noon Rotary Club President

Name: Danielle Delaney
Community: I live in Oceanside and work in Vista.
Education: Business and Marketing at San Diego Mesa College, leadership within for-profit and nonprofit organizations
Family: Husband – Rick Delaney, Fire Captain/Paramedic for Valley Center Fire Protection District;
Son – Adam Delaney, Firefighter/EMT; Son – Austin Delaney, Firefighter/EMTHobbies and Interests: Traveling, entertaining, family, outdoor activities
Most Memorable Rotary Moment: I’ve really enjoyed facilitating our weekly club meetings. We are a multi-generational club that has a ton of energy and is eager to serve others and I love that! Being around our club members is something I look forward to every week.


How many members does your club currently have?
We currently have 30 members.

Please tell us about how someone can go about becoming a Rotary club member. What can new club members expect when joining?
Anyone interested in joining is welcome to attend two meetings to learn what we do and to meet our members; after filling out an application and approval by the board, the new member is expected to fulfill certain “Red Badge” requirements to learn more about Rotary and about our club.

Please tell us how one can become a sponsor of the club.
If you would like to sponsor one of our fundraisers or sponsor a community service project, please contact Danielle Delaney, President at 760-458-1777.

What mission does the club hold true?
All Rotarians believe in “Service Above Self.”

rotary_podiumWhat type of work do you do within the community of Vista?
Our Avenues of Service are:
Youth Service Leadership development activities, community and international service projects, and exchange programs that enrich and foster world peace and cultural understanding.
International Service Encompasses efforts to expand Rotary’s humanitarian reach around the world and to promote world understanding and peace. It includes everything from contributing to PolioPlus to helping Rotary Youth Exchange students adjust to their host countries.
Community Service Projects and activities that improve life in the local community.
Vocational Service Serving others through their professions and aspiring to high ethical standards. Rotarians, as business leaders, share skills and expertise through their vocations, and they inspire others in the process.
Club Service Focuses on strengthening fellowship and ensuring the smooth functioning of Rotary clubs.

Are there any exciting new projects, developments, or programs coming to the club?
Our Military Memorial Wall is a very exciting project in the works. Currently under construction on Vista Village Dr., the wall will honor the service of Vistans in the six branches of the military. We are still seeking funding to complete the project. Co-sponsors and donors at the levels listed below, whether in cash or in-kind, will be permanently recognized and engraved on the wing-walls of the memorial. Donations may be designated “In Honor of” or “In Memory of” if desired.
$2,500 – $4,999 Partner
$5,000 – $9,999 Patron
$10,000 – $25,000 Benefactor
$25,000 and beyond Sponsor
To participate in this important project please contact Daryl McFarland at 760-630-8042, Ext. 307 or Stephanie Jackel at 760-295-2559.

What’s the most exciting aspect of being a Rotarian?
Creating a lasting legacy by making a positive difference in our community and world.

Can you tell us where and when your meetings are held?
Meetings are held on Tuesdays at noon at the Hyatt Place in Vista at 2645 S. Melrose Dr.


At-A-Glance

Vista Hi Noon Rotary Club

Name: Vista Hi Noon Rotary Club
President: Danielle Delaney
Website: www.vistahinoonrotary.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Vista-Hi-Noon-Rotary/353965478123121
Email: ddelaney@newhavenyfs.org
Phone Number: 760-458-1777