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 July the Rotary clubs of  Fillmore, Ojai, Ojai West, Santa Paula, Ventura, Ventura East, and Ventura South selected as their Rotarian of Action to be Kay Bliss. 

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

Kay Bliss- Rotary Club of Ojai, Member since 2001

Kay has served as Past President, Youth Services Director, International Service Director and was our 1st Peace Chair, insuring our status as a Peace Builder Club in 2018/2019, with the completion of the Matilija Peace Pavilion- a beautiful outdoor pavilion at our Middle School designed for outdoor teachings & gatherings. The pavilion includes a time capsule and bronze plaques of quotes chosen by students by leaders of Peace in the world, in addition under the coordination of Past DG Wade Nomura, a Japanese persimmon tree from Hiroshima was presented to DG Sandy and planted at the Peace Pavilion. Kay currently serves as our Global Grants Chair, a new member mentor and on our Board of Directors as Member-at-Large.


  1. Kay has been instrumental in the fruition of almost every International Service project of Rotary Club of Ojai over the past 18+ years, personally writing District and Global grants- with the most recent being granted this year, a $87,515.00 Global grant for the Prashanti School in Puri, Odisha, India. This project has included site improvement, clean water and sanitation system and ongoing support providing an English-Immersion Education to impoverished children in Puri who would otherwise have no access to these services. 
  2. Kay’s first venture into international Rotary projects was going on an NID to Ghana in 2001 during the first month she joined Rotary.  Using a TRF Transportation Grant, she spearheaded a district-wide drive to collect and ship a cargo container of discarded English and math textbooks to Ghana, that were distributed to rural village schools by Ghanaian Rotarians.  During the NID, Kay visited Street Girls Aid, an NGO that helps pregnant teenage girls living on the streets of Accra, forming a partnership over the past 18 years that resulted in district and Global grants totaling over $169,000, used to train staff and equip their new residential building and vocational training center.
  3. Kay’s annual trips include an NID in India in 2018, and a trip with other Ojai Rotarians to Bosnia in 2016, to check on a global grant she wrote for Economic Development for rural women – which included training and equipment for producing, packaging and branding for locally products to distribute and sell at neighboring areas. Her commitment to life altering Global & District grants is expansive and too numerous to list here (but I’ve included on the attached list!)
  4. The saying “Many hands make light work” is very true, but without Kay’s hands many of these projects would not have happened, and most importantly sustained themselves so successfully year after year. Kay has been the driving force of connecting clubs across our district for a total of $363,134 total in DDF & TRF Annual Funds.
  5. Kay was chairperson of the D5240 Poverty Conference in 2008 (which has now become the STEPS conference, at which she has presented breakout sessions several times).  She was a member of the Global Grants committee from 2012-2015 under Heather Frankle’s leadership.  She has attended 6 Rotary International Conventions, staffing exhibits showcasing the clubs’ international activities in the House of Friendship at two.   In 2005 she represented Rotary International on a panel at a conference of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
  6. This spring Kay closely mentored two dynamic new “30 something” members, encouraging and teaching them to write their first District Grant, which was just approved in May. The grant is to construct a “Cloudfischer Water Tower” in four locations in the Ojai Valley- one at the City Hall, two at a local Elementary Schools, and one at a private residence. This project captures water from condensation and has far reaching impacts as a tool for monitoring and teaching alternative ways to think about water capture and is very exciting! Plans with the Carpinteria club are already underway to expand the program looking at partnerships with organizations like the White Buffalo Land Trust, which practices, develops, and promotes system of regenerative agriculture. 
  7. Despite all of these “Big idea, Big Impact” projects that Kay has been so instrumental in, you’ll still find her blowing up balloons for our 4th of July Kid’s Freedom run at 7:30 in the morning last week, or working away at the Ojai Community Garden on our Rotarian Work day, manning registration at our annual Taste of Ojai event … or just about anything where a helping hand is needed- we are so fortunate to have her talents and passion in our club, our district and Rotary across the world.