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

There is no denying that 2019-2020 has been an eventful year.

There were the earthquakes that rocked the city of Ridgecrest and the wild fires of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Yet this year will be defined by the last four months.

When we faced COVID-19 and Rotary faced our greatest challenge, how to observe physical distancing and yet stay connected.

You responded rapidly and with ingenuity. You launched virtual meetings and kept the clubs connected. In our communities there were new and urgent needs and you sprung into action.

There were the hungry to be fed and you contributed selflessly and generously. You did food drives, fill up food banks and hand out thousands of food package.

There were the lonely and the elderly who needed support. You partnered with them, did their errands and comforted them.

There were people to be protected and you donated countless protective gear.

There were essential workers who needed moral support. You bought food for medical staff, for the delivery drivers, You missed no one.

You placed signs in front of business reassuring the worried business owners that you will support them when they reopened.  

You bonded together and you were no longer individual clubs you became one Rotary.

Rotary has never been more alive and visible in our communities. This crises brought out in us our highest purpose. 

You proudly displayed the Rotary wheel on banners and shirts and caps. 

Saying without the ambiguity of words ”you matter and we care”.

We always have difficulties describing Rotary and the difficulty will continue.

How can you box into the limitations of words, a movement of good, an energy of compassion, a feeling of care. How can you describe in limited words, the limitless work of Rotary. 

The description of whom we are, will continue to be best told in our actions. 

This is a historic year and we will be asked by future generations how did we survive. The story that we tell will be one of inspiration. We took the greatest challenge and turned it into the greatest triumph.

Thank you for allowing me to share this journey with you. I am taking with me unforgettable memories. Memories that you made possible .

As we close the curtains to 2019-2020 let us welcome and support our new District Governor Deb Linden and her team, as they lift the curtains to  Rotary year 2020-2021.

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 May the Rotary Clubs selected as their Rotarian of Action to be Mike McGuigan, Rotary Club of Simi Valley. In recognition of “doing good in the world”, Mike will be presented with a Paul Harris Fellow Recognition.
Mike McGuigan is the Rotarian's Rotarian ... his demeanor is grouchy, but peel back the layers and you'll find a kind and most generous human being. Mike is the go to guy for just about anything and has consistently supported the club's presidents year after year taking on tasks that no other members would volunteer for - from coordinating planting oak trees at Corriganville, and helping to maintain the Welcome to Simi sign, years of volunteering to barbecue for the hundreds of volunteers for the July 4th Fireworks and Share the Road charitable events.

The District Charitable Foundation gave out checks for $9036 to food banks throughout the region. 

This is a letter from the SLO Food Bank:

Deb and the rest of our Hunger Heroes in Rotary District 5240,

Thank you so much for your incredibly generous gift to assist the SLO Food Bank in our battle against hunger. Your $9036 donation has incredible punching power! With that amount we can purchase 33,364 meals for our neighbors in need. When combined with food we source from grants, donations, and gleaning (picking) operations, your generous gift provides food for 63,252 meals. That’s enough food to feed three families of four for one year! Talk about Service Above Self… you’re walking the talk!

On behalf of our thankful team and the clients we serve, THANK YOU!

Your friend and fellow Rotarian, Garret Olson, CEO SLO Food Bank

Announcing the 4 Way Test Essay Contest Winners!
I am pleased to announce the winers of the 4 Way Test Essay Contest!
Elementary School Level
1st Place: Stas Hite-Polansky, Joe Nightingale School
2nd Place: Addysen Clarin, Oceanview Elementary
Middle School Level
1st Place: Tanna Tartaglia, Santa Lucia Middle School
2nd Place: Arundhati Sharma, Lakeview Junior High
3rd Place: Arziz Haroun, Judkins Middle School
High School Level
1st Place: Isabella Palazuelos, Filmore High School
2nd Place: Garrett Leighton, Coastal Christian Nigh School
3rd Place: Elajae Lee, Ridgecrest High School
As you will see, the essays are always brilliant from the example below. This year was a difficult one with the Corona Virus event, however, it is very rewarding to be a part of the 4 Way Test Essay Contest. Hope you enjoyed reading the above winner’s entry as much as I did. I hope more Rotary Clubs participate in DG Linden’s year. Steve Geil

Empty grocery shelves and sold out essentials have provided a seemingly endless source for memes, advertising schemes and Saturday Night Live pandemic parodies.  The lack of available toilet paper, masks and hand sanitizer created some precarious situations as families and essential businesses tried to keep their loved ones and customers safe from an invisible COVID-19 enemy. However, the Rotary Club of Morro Bay, recognized a hole that needed filling and a chance to support Morro Bay’s at-risk business community. 

President Melissa Davis, 2019-20, hit a major roadblock and realized she needed help. Not only was she learning the protocols for managing a newly secured general manager position at a popular local eatery, Pizza Port of Morro Bay, homeschooling her daughter Stella was added to her list of daily duties.

The Rotary Club of Ojai has been working on an exciting new fog and water collection project, and we would love to share our progress with you! Utilizing modern versions of ancient technology, we are harvesting water from the offshore ocean fog and the mists that form in our mountain valley. With the aid of a district grant, multiple fog catching systems and weather stations have been installed in our local elementary and middle schools. Our students are learning about weather science, cutting edge design, and alternative methods of collecting potable water. What if you could gather the dew that forms on your cars every morning, and then use it to water a small vegetable plot? What if the fog from a cloud bank could be collected to serve the drinking water needs of an entire community? These are the questions we are asking, and the seeds of curiosity we hope to plant in our student’s minds. Collecting water from fog and rain has great implications locally and internationally, and we believe the possibilities are only beginning to be explored.

Our Rotary Club of Paso Robles Sunrise recently participated in two projects in Ile, located within the Zambézia Province of northern Mozambique and we would like to share them with you.

It started out as a latrine project at a local school that did not have sanitary facilities for the students where one of our Club Member’s daughter Naomi was stationed with the Peace Corp. She brought the less than desirable conditions to our attention and our Club voted on supporting the construction of the two units with the projected cost of $846. As we neared completion, Naomi brought to our attention the need for better communication and resources relating to COVID-19 virus.

Here is a letter from one of the employers:

Good Morning Larry,

I hope this email finds you healthy and happy. Last week you emailed me a resume and to be honest, it was completely unexpected. My communications firm has been extremely busy lately and it never occurred to me that during these uncertain times, I might need to add to my team. As it turns out, I was wrong.

Lindsey’s resume was outstanding. As I studied her skill set and read about her need to affect positive change in the marketing and branding space, it didn’t take long before I knew that I really wanted her on my team. My business partner and I interviewed her two days later and just this morning, I’ve made her an offer.

RC of Ojai, People of Action Zoomin’ along...

With 80 Active members, 50-60 have been attending our weekly meetings, including honorary members we don’t always get to see, family members, guest community members and timely speakers.

With a member assisting the Pres. each week to handle slides, videos, awards, etc. it has all moved along smoothly with interesting & packed programs.

Zoom has allowed us to carry on committee and Board business, hold our Annual Scholarships program (awarding over $68,000 to High School Seniors), honor local non-profits & programs (awarding over $30,000 in Community Grants) and raise $4000 on a successful Funds/Food drive during these Covid-19 times.

People of action when they join Rotary immediately step up. Our Newest and Youngest member Ryan Valenica of Simi Sunrise Rotary did just that.  Our First fundraiser out of the gate for 2020-21 is a drive in Movie night. Ryan was asked to head up with a seasoned Rotarian. He did not hesitate, blink or stammer...he just did it! Even though new to the club he was not new to the community. He filled the leadership role easily. Added his own ideas and was receptive to guidance. Projects seem to be the area one finds out the most about another Rotarian's character. Ryan's Character came shining thru and I know he will have a Great future in Rotary! Let's all give him a warm Rotarian welcome!
All four students have to complete a full year at Cuesta College, must be majoring in music and looking to pursue a music-related career, to be eligible for the scholarship. In addition, the students had to undergo an audition which Cayucos Rotarians participated and provided input to select the most qualified candidates.  
In the past two years, the successful students performed at Cayucos Rotary's annual Masquerade fundraiser to receive their scholarship checks. Due to Covid-19, Cayucos Rotary decided the students could use the funds and the checks were sent to each student. All four students agreed to visit Cayucos Rotary soon, to perform.  
The scholarship fund was created to honor and thank Past District Govenor Chungsam Doh for his support and mentorship to Cayucos Rotary, The project, named "Chungsam Doh Music Scholarship Fund" is dedicated to help aspiring college students who are preparing for a career in music. PDG Chungsam Doh had presented the scholarship checks to the successful students in past years. Please contact Cayucos Rotary if your club would like to participate in this project.
Here's how we roll in Cayucos. To celebrate Cayucos Rotary's Club President Steve "Lars" Larson's and Michele Lilley's birthdays this month, members of Cayucos Rotary decided a birthday parade would be in order, while practicing the 6-feet distancing.  
Several members met at 24th Street in Cayucos, put on fun hats, armed ourselves with bubble guns, cow bells, whistles and banners, and marched towards President Lars' home on 19th Street. Others joined us in a vehicle by Lars' home.
bday parade.jpg
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
June 2020
Upcoming District Events


Youth Exchange Scholarship
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