Rotary District 5240 is made up of over 3,000 members from: 72 Rotary Clubs located in 4 counties of Southern California; The Rotary E Club of One World which spans over 6 continents; The "National Chapters" of The Rotary Club of Carpinteria Morning which connect local clubs to members in other states and countries. We meet regularly to form bonds and friendships and we also strive to improve lives locally and around the world. 
Stories From Around the District

On February 23rd Rotary turns 115 .  It is  a time for celebrating the world’s oldest service organization which continues to be the most  powerful and impactful force for doing good.

What are the reasons for our  longevity? 

Our mission - which is service and fortified by our motto of Service Above Self.

Our four way test - which guides us to go within ourselves and be our own judges in all the things we think, say and do.

Our inheritance - we inherited a well structured organization and the continuity that it brings from one generation to the other. We do not  have to reinvent the ‘wheel’. All we have to do is love people and have a passion to serve.

Our Values -  of truth, integrity, service and doing what is beneficial to all concerned. They are as indestructible as they are eternal.

Our blindness - Rotarians refuse to see differences. We reach across religion, politics, race, anything that divides, to join hands in service to all of humanity.

When we pledged to  eradicate polio we did not chose a specific country, we did not choose a specific child. It is for every child in every country.

Our purpose - Rotary gives us our higher purpose and moves us beyond ourselves as we focus on helping others. 

This nurtures our souls and keeps us alive.

The day we die is not when take our last breath but when we stop being useful to the world.

Let us stay alive ….


District 5240 has no shortage of outstanding Rotarians whose service to humanity can serve as an inspiration to all of us.

This Rotary year, we plan on recognizing and sharing their inspirational journey.

Each of the 12 Groups in the District has been assigned one month in the Rotary 2019-20 year for the Assistant Governor and Presidents to select one Rotarian of Action in their Group.

For the month of February the Rotary Clubs selected as their Rotarian of Action to be Fernando Aguirre. 

In recognition of “doing good in the world”, Fernando will be presented with a Paul Harris Fellow Recognition.

Fernando Aguirre, Bakersfield East Rotary Club


  • CEO iKnowTechnology, Inc. for 16 years
  • Currently President at HydraTech Network Solutions
  • Married to Lucy Aguirre for 48 years, three adult sons
  • Joined Rotary in 2003

Positions and Awards:

  • Basic PRLS 2003
  • Master PRLS 2004
  • Club Rotarian of the Year 2006
  • Club Community Service Director for at least five different presidents
  • Active in Community Service AOS both serving on committee and advising new directors
  • Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for seven years.
  • Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board in 2007

The will return for its 16th year on Saturday, June 6, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Lavinia Campbell Park in Los Olivos. This sell-out event, presented by the Los Olivos Rotary Club, will showcase a variety of carefully selected wines from thirty local wineries. Each wine will be uniquely paired with fresh olive inspired appetizers created by local volunteer chefs.

Back by popular demand, Grammy nominated vocalist Denise Donatelli and her band will be on hand to lend their special blend of smooth jazz to the festivities. 

Over the past 16 years the Jazz and Olive Festival has been the Los Olivos Rotary Club’s primary fundraiser that supports its charitable works. All proceeds raised go directly to local scholarships, well managed community projects, and nonprofit organizations.  

This year’s event chair, John Matthews, states: “The Jazz and Olive Festival is an all-hands-on-deck event for our club.  Every member is involved, keeping our costs low, and allowing us to maximize the proceeds that fund our charitable giving. We work really hard, but we know it creates tremendous impact.”   

 Photo Credits: Andy Doerr

District Rotary Foundation Gala

By PDG Frank Ortiz, District Rotary Foundation Chair

The recent District Rotary Foundation Gala was held in January at the elegant Sherwood Country Club in Westlake Village. It was an event to recognize many of our contributors who have supported The Rotary Foundation within the past year.  The event featured our keynote speaker, Past Rotary International President Ravi Ravindran.  In addition, Brenda Cressey, current Trustee of The Rotary Foundation was in attendance and spoke to the value of including the Legacy of Rotary in your estate plan.

The event was primarily dedicated to our many Clubs and Individual Rotarians around the District who have made it a priority to support our Foundation.  

Thirty-three (33) Clubs were recognized for their support in 2018-2019 with the End Polio Now - Countdown to History Campaign.  The effort recognized club contributions of at least $1,500 towards polio eradication efforts.  

Twenty-two (22) Clubs were recognized for their support in 2018-2019 as 100% Foundation Giving Clubs with total giving of at least $100 per capita and 100% member participation.

Nineteen (19) Clubs were recognized for their support in 2018-2019 as Every Rotarian Every Year Clubs with Annual Fund Giving of at least $100 per capita and 100% member participation.

The Top 3 highest per capita contributors in 2018-2019 in support of the Annual Fund were Ojai West ($384.21), Oxnard ($325.80), and San Luis Obispo ($320.11).

There were twenty-six (26) new Paul Harris Society Members recognized between January 1 of 2019 and January 6 of 2020.  These members are dedicated to an annual commitment of at least $1,000 to Rotary’s Annual Fund, Polio Plus, or an Approved Rotary Global Grant.

There were thirty-seven (37) new Major Donors recognized between December of 2018 and January 6 of 2020.  Of those, there were six (6) Major Donor Level 2 recipients, and three (3) Major Donor Level 3 recipients.  Those new Level 3 recipients were Matt Lallo and Vicki Arndt, both from the Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks; and Ragner Storm-Larsen from the Rotary Club of Newbury Park.

There were twenty-five (25) new Bequest Society recognized between December of 2018 and January 6 of 2020.  Of those, there were three (3) Bequest Society Level 2 recipients, and one (1) Bequest Society Level 3 recipient.  The new Level 3 recipient was Jeff & Sally King from the Rotary Club of Pismo Beach-Five Cities.

Brenda and Dick Cressey from the Rotary Club of Paso Robles were recognized for their support as Arch Klumph Society members, and most recently as contributors to the new Rotary Legacy Society program.

Lastly; there were forty-four (44) Rotarians and Spouses recognized as new Charter Members of  the District 5240 Triple Crown Donors Circle.  These individuals are recognized for achieving levels of giving as Major Donors, Bequest Society, and Paul Harris Society members.

Thanks to all who worked to make the evening a success and to all who attended and participated with this year’s Foundation Gala.

CLICK HERE for Club and Individual Recognitions


Greetings Fellow Rotarians,

On the International Service Section of the District website, we have created a tab for District Designated Fund (DDF) projects.

Our goal is to encourage small and medium size clubs with limited DDF allotment to post their project(s) in this section so that other clubs might be open to using their limited funds to support another club’s worthwhile project.

We know that every club has “their special project” but we also know that there is Strength in Numbers.

  • 13 clubs have less than $500 in DDF allotment
  • 11 club have $500 to $1,000 in DDF allotment
  • 20 clubs have between $1,000 to $2,000 in DDF allotment

If you’d like to post your project on the website, please supply us a brief overview:

  1. Club
  2. Title of project (if you have one)
  3. One to two sentences on the project
  4. Funding goal 
  5. Any image or photo

A couple of important reminders:

  • The final Grants Qualification Webinar will be provided on Tuesday February 11, 2020 @ 5:30pm. 
  • You can register for the final webinar from this link:
  • February 11:   https://rotarydistrict5240.org/event/final-2020-21-club-grants-qualification-webinar/
    • Club Qualification:
      1) Clubs must have two members attend and participate in a District Qualification session.  The session is done by Webinar and is about 60 minutes in length. One of the attendees must be the President Elect.

2) Club must be qualified and certified in order to receive District Grants and Global Grants.

3) An unincorporated club must agree and adhere to the provisions of the DRFC District and Global Grants Policy.

4) An incorporated club must agree and adhere to the provisions of the DRFC District and Global Grants Policy with a club resolution

5) As of Jan 15, 2020; a total of 49 Clubs have been Qualified through previous (3) sessions; and (8) Clubs have been Certified. To get Certified, these Clubs still need to sign and submit the Club Memorandum of Understanding.  

We look forward to posting your project and spreading the word of good deeds throughout our district.


D5240 International Service Committee: Jennifer Alton (RC of SLO), Susan Weaver (E-club of One World), Michael Jansen (RC of Thousand Oaks) and George Poulakos (RC of Ventura)

Rotarians Helping Rotarians

Rotary is once again taking the lead and looking

to provide support for families in need.

Appeal from District Governor of District 9570, Australia

Michael Buckeridge

In Australia, farmers are the lifeblood of the country and they are in crisis.  Record breaking heat and lack of rain means farmers are struggling to feed sheep and cattle and keep crops alive.  

District 9570 is in Central Queensland and is 600,000 square kilometers in area -- almost the size of Texas, USA.  Since 2012 a large part of the District has been drought declared and at the start of 2020, the entire district is drought declared. 

The drought has resulted in diminished crop growth and carrying capacity for livestock.   Apart from the environmental damage and cattle dying, water quality continues to decline.  The human cost includes financial loss and mental health issues, particularly suicide and depression.

Special Feature Including The Rotary Club of Westlake Village, Rotary Club of Carpinteria Morning,  and Rotary Club of Nipomo 

At the beginning of the Rotary year District Governor Savi Bhim gave all the club’s a new member goal for our district - 1000 new members during her year of service! This worked out to 14 new members per club in District 5240. Membership growth is the engine that powers the vehicle of Rotary.  Growth of our members is important because new ideas and new interests reinvigorate clubs – bringing in new energy and future leaders. 

This past quarter, four clubs achieved the highest Retention and Membership growth for their respective regions. Reading more about their success might just give other clubs new ideas of how to share the gift of Rotary with new members.

The Rotary Club of Westlake Village  

New Members:  Malati Baker, Dwight Brown, Chris Clark, and Denise Arledge, and not pictured Rob De Geus, and Colin Doyle

The Rotary Club of Westlake Village’s commitment to making sure each of their current and new members feel special starts with the day potential members show interest in joining Rotary.  

Potential members and guests feel the vibrant and warm culture of the Club because each Club meeting includes a welcoming of their “Family of Friends.” 

Emphasis this past year has been placed on looking at what each of their members can not only offer to the Club, but what they want to get out of being a Westlake Village Rotarian.  One of their goals has been to encourage that each member brings at least one of the 3 W’s to their organization; Work, Wealth, or Wisdom.  

By using the 3 W’s as a guide, they ensure that each member gets involved in some capacity. This assists with members feeling connected and a sense of belonging so that as an organization they can continue to do the good work to the benefit their community.

Rotary Club of Carpinteria Morning

In order to meet the District goals and be a thriving club, Carpinteria Morning established a steering committee to reduce their membership package cost without meeting less than four times per month or sacrificing programs and trainings.  

Their plan included reducing meal costs and no longer meeting on the 5th Wednesday of any month, designing new membership forms, creating a new approach, and rolling out a new membership package to invite people to join Rotary.  Key objective: Invite people! 

Inviting people is now an active conversation in their meetings and weekly newsletter. Invite someone to Rotary! 

The new members are people who have been volunteering for their events all along, volunteering in other organizations in town, and people who liked to participate in their events. 

They also invited back members that had left in the past and let them know they are always welcome. Several former members returned and are actively participating on committees. 

One of their secret ingredients for being an attractive club is having fun events that people can dress in costume. (See photo below!) This may be something as simple as a “Halloween Hat” bonfire, our “Spaghetti Western” themed annual casino night or the “Oh So Royal” stepdown dinner. They found that everybody loves to dress up and be outrageous. Their ever-changing themes for playing dress up is part of their club culture and including everyone who wants to participate has been a winning formula to attracting new members.  

Their plan seems to be a good one since Carpinteria Morning club has won this award for two quarters straight!

Rotary Club of Nipomo 

Though they meet early, you won’t find them half-asleep! At their meetings potential members and guests enjoy a lively and friendly atmosphere where they feel welcome to join in the fun.  While members like to joke and riff on one another, they also keep it lighthearted, with an approachable warmth for guests and new faces.

Their members are some of our most engaging speakers and during the Member Spotlight segment of the meeting members are encouraged to share their stories of how they joined Rotary or how their lives have brought them to the Central Coast. Instead of fining members, they pay for the “bragging rights” to tell the club about exciting events and celebrations of milestones within their families.  It is in this sharing of themselves that they learn about each other’s experiences and interests, creating true bonds of camaraderie and long-lasting friendships.

This fun and engaging environment encourages their members to invite their friends to join their club – a strategy that has achieved great success. It can be that simple. Your friends know of Rotary through your acquaintance. You have been that example of Rotary’s service and fellowship to them.  Your friends enjoy spending time with you; why not spend that time with you and in Rotary?

Remember to invite family and friends to your clubs’, social, fellowship and community events and activities.  (See photo below.)

It is in this giving of themselves, by sharing their activities, events and experiences, that the Rotary Club of Nipomo has become something much larger than just the trappings and routines of their weekly meetings.  It becomes a family, with kinship forged while committing to “Service above Self.” 

Rotary Club of Wasco

The club had lost significant membership over the last ten years, but the club has incorporated these keys to their stability and growth:

  1. They still have a large number of long-time members (15 + years).  These members take great pride in the club and it's infectious.  Long time members keep their influence in mind as newer members come in and want to carry on the legacy of the club.
  2. They take a "it never hurts to ask" approach when it comes to prospective members.  They really try to reach out and make contact with members of the community and some members seem to be especially good at this.  
  3. They give both time and resources, and believe the community has an even stronger appreciation of their support.  

District 5240 has no shortage of outstanding Rotarians whose service to humanity can serve as an inspiration to all of us.

This Rotary year, we plan on recognizing and sharing their inspirational journey.

Each of the 12 Groups in the District has been assigned one month in the Rotary 2019-20 year for the Assistant Governor and Presidents to select one Rotarian of Action in their Group.

For the month of January the Rotary Clubs selected as their Rotarian of Action to be Mary Meyer Lundstrom. 

In recognition of “doing good in the world”, Mary will be presented with a Paul Harris Fellow Recognition.

Mary Meyer LundstromRotary Club of China Lake

Mary is the member we feel best deserves to be nominated for the Rotarian of Action Award.

First, a little background on Mary.   Mary is a 30+ year member who has served as Club President and has held several positions on the club board of directors. She is currently serving as the Program Chair, and really works hard to find great, informative speakers for the lunch meetings, and she is committed to making Rotary a welcoming, friendly meeting place.  Mary is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow and a significant contributor to the Rotary Club of China Lake Charitable Foundation.  Mary is always ready to host club social events at her home and has hosted an official reception for a District Governor.  She has been responsible for a successful international project that involved an R.I. International grant.  Those are just a few highlights from her past Rotary involvement.  What makes her a Rotarian of Action is that she is still extremely active in the club and community.  

Mary is active in identifying and leading efforts for community service projects; including food drives for a local Food Bank, Coat Drives for winter for those in need, supplies and funds for the local animal shelter, and a book drive for a local long-term care facility.  Mary’s most recent effort is to help organize the club’s Earthquake relief efforts. In all of these projects Mary:

1) Coordinates volunteers

2) Places donation boxes in strategic locations around town and then picks them up as they are filled

3) Coordinates with the local churches and Salvation Army for dates and locations to hand out the donations

4) Sorts the donations and gets them ready for distribution

5) Delivers the donations to the charity, or in the case of the coat drive, Is on hand on the appointed day to distribute the coats to those in need

6)  If District Grants are involved, and there have been on at least half of her projects, Mary wrote the grant application and prepared and submitted the final report

On Tuesday January 14, 2020, the Rotary Club of Moorpark and Moorpark High School jointly organized and conducted a vocational tour for high school seniors of 3 local Moorpark businesses. The first business visited was AeroVironment where students learned about unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) ranging from the size of a humming bird to one which was 100 feet long. The second business toured, and Rotarian owned, was Command Performance where students learned about culinary skills as well as job application and interview soft skills. The final business visited was PICNIC TIME where students learned about delivering manufactured consumer goods to consumers who loved outdoor dining lifestyles. 

This Rotary combined Vocational Service and Youth Service activity was an outstanding way to help students better understand local career opportunities via real world examples. It also helped local businesses generate excitement from future potential employees in order to assist with future hiring. This activity was made possible through the Rotary Club’s deep networking connections with local businesses and the local school systems’ administration. It was great to see the enthusiasm and direction it supplied to students who may have otherwise been undecided in their career decisions.

Adventurous Teens Wanted! 

We’re looking for 15-18 year olds that want to travel the world, learn another language and culture and make lifelong international friendships.  The year abroad enables students to become more self-confident, self-sufficient and better world citizens.  A Rotary Youth Exchange year abroad is valued at over $24,000 due to our volunteer efforts.  Check out www.studyabroadscholarships.org to learn more.  Children of Rotarians are also eligible. 

E-mail Mary at paseta@att.net for an application.  Don’t delay!  Interviews and initial orientation are January 25th, 2020.



Share Your Club Stories

Rotary District 5240 encourages clubs within the District to submit short articles, "Club Stories," to be published on the District Website and in the District Newsletter. Take advantage of this FREE opportunity to showcase your club's accomplishments. Here are the guidelines and the "how-to" for submitting your stories.   

WHAT qualifies as a Club Story?

Club Stories are highlights of District 5240 Club-specific activities. The following examples illustrate activities that qualify as District 5240 Club Stories (upcoming or after the fact):
  • Community Service Projects
  • Youth Service Projects
  • Vocational Service Projects
  • International Service Projects
  • Club Service Projects
  • New Membership Highlights
  • Club Fundraising Events
  • Member Award Recognitions

HOW do I submit my Club Story?

After you make sure the story qualifies as a "Club Story," you may submit it by emailing ALL of the following items to stories@district5240.org:
  1. A short summary of the activity, minimum 50 words and maximum 250 words. Please submit as a Word doc and proofread prior to sending. If the content is copywrited/re-used from another source, permission must be granted and please reference the source.
  2. Include 2-3 of the best photographs taken from the activity. If there are individuals included in the photo, please include names and Club titles of each Rotarian. (If there is a YouTube video link taken from the event, please include as well).
  3. Include the contact information of the most appropriate Rotarian that others may reach out to regarding the featured story.

WHERE will my Club Story be posted?

The three most recently published Club Stories will be highlighted on the homepage of www.rotarydistrict5240.org, while an archive of previous Club Stories will be included and available to view under the menu tab, District -> Archived District Stories.
Your story may also be selected for the District Newsletter which goes out to our nearly 3300 active members.

WHEN will my Club Story be posted after I submit?

Depending on the amount of Club Stories in the cue, your article could take as short as 24 hours or up to 2 weeks to be published after all necessary information is received.

We hope that you take advantage of this promotional opportunity for your Club!

Questions about Club Stories? Please email stories@district5240.org for assistance.
Questions about the website? Please email website@district5240.org for assistance.
Events Calendar
February 2020
Upcoming District Events


Spaghetti Western Fundraiser
Magic Show
Bolio for Polio Event
Youth Exchange Scholarship
4-Way Test 2019/2020
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