San Pablo Rotary celebrates accomplishments in community

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Members of the San Pablo Rotary attend a meeting and celebration of the Rotary club's accomplishments at club president Carol Robinson's house in the El Sobrante Hills on Aug. 24, 2019. (All photos by Mike Kinney)

By Mike Kinney

Service above self.

That’s what has brought this group of business and community leaders together on this gorgeous day in the El Sobrante Hills.

As beautiful as the views from this home of San Pablo Rotary Club President Carol Robinson, are the many acts of kindness and goodwill committed by this Rotary club.

On Saturday, Aug. 24, Robinson hosted a few dozen Rotarians at her home for an elegant dinner gathering to celebrate recent successes of the Rotary Club.

There are many, and they’re well worth sharing.

Over the past few years, four houses were rehabilitated in San Pablo through efforts of this Rotary Club. Funds were raised for police dogs for the San Pablo Police Department and for a van for the Hatlen Center for the Blind.

Rotary Home Team Coordinator Vicky Blomquist reported on one of the sweetest services San Pablo Rotary provides: visiting the homes of seniors to help with light maintenance at their homes. Rotary volunteers have been busy repairing kitchen sinks, bathroom toilets, replacing light bulbs, changing smoke alarm batteries, fixing leaky faucets etc. If there is a problem they cannot resolve or fix, they will give the seniors referrals of people who can.

Members of the San Pablo Rotary attend a meeting and celebration of the Rotary club’s accomplishments at club president Carol Robinson’s house in the El Sobrante Hills on Aug. 24, 2019.

Robinson also reported on the Rotary’s Rota-Care program at the West County Justice Center, which provides free medical care to community members in need.

She also reported on the Rotary Interact Club, which has local students at Middle College High School at Contra Costa College participating in community service alongside Rotary members and developing leadership skills. For a fourth year, the Rotary adopted an elementary school, this time Bayview Elementary.

Members of San Pablo Rotary are still gleaming from the glow of this year’s Back to School Closet, which took place the day before this dinner party. The event, held this year at San Pablo City Hall, supplied local children with essentials preparing them for their return to school, including clothing, shoes, books, school supplies and sports equipment. Rotary members solicit for donations for the event annually and volunteer during the event.

Service above self. That’s the motto of Rotary International, said San Pablo Mayor Rich Kinney, who is also a Rotarian.

The San Pablo Rotary is one of many member of the international service organization that brings together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian service and promote goodwill worldwide.

Members of the San Pablo Rotary attend a meeting and celebration of the Rotary club’s accomplishments at club president Carol Robinson’s house in the El Sobrante Hills on Aug. 24, 2019.

“The Rotary Clubs worldwide have a four-way test of all the things we think, say or do,” Mayor Kinney said. “Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendship? And will it be beneficial to all concerned? This exemplifies the humanitarian spirit of organization’s more than 1.2 million members.”

Robinson is serving as president for a second time since 2011. She’s been a member for 19 years, and her late husband had joined in 1988, when women weren’t allowed to be members.

“So now I’m living his legacy,” she said.

And it’s not all work.

“We also have fun!” Robinson said, including a Kennedy Grove picnic, and Christmas party at Rockefeller Lodge, which is historic for San Pablo.

“I think it’s a wonderful experience to serve the community and have a good time. “

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