The seriousness of supporting dozens of local charities, programs and nonprofit organizations throughout the year does nothing to dampen the high spirits, energy and camaraderie of the Santa Maria Breakfast Rotarians.

BIn fact,C states current club president Kirk Spry, Bit is the combination of seriousness about our community work and a sense of humor about everything else that makes the club so successful.C

The Santa Maria Breakfast Rotary Club, which currently has 67 members and meets Thursday mornings at the Santa Maria Inn, was founded in 1984. Since its inception, it has contributed more than ,850,000 to local and international charities.

Santa Maria Breakfast Rotarians play a significant role in the holiday parade. Since first suggesting the revival of the Christmas Parade of Lights in 1995, club members Michael Gibson and Dave Wright have annually co-chaired the parade, which is put on jointly by four local Rotary Clubs.

Rotary has four BAvenues of ServiceC and Breakfast Rotarians address them all. Its community service projects are numerous, but one stand-out project is the BHuck Finn Fishin? Derby,C held annually as part of the YMCA?s Family Day in the Park. The club stocks the BlakeC in Waller Park with fish, provides lines and reels for kids and mentors them in how to catch a bite. Club barbecue proceeds go to the YMCA.

Club vocational services support includes scholarships to Los Prietos Boys Camp graduates. Scholarships fund either community college or vocational training needed to give the boys a boost in getting their lives back on track.

Spearheaded by Judge Tim Staffel, a Breakfast Rotarian, and supported by Judge Arthur Garcia, who formerly presided over juvenile court, the scholarship program is a joint effort with the Noontime Goleta Rotary Club and also has been generously supported by Betty Tibbs, wife of Dr. Bill Tibbs, longtime Breakfast Rotary member.

Among the international service projects of Santa Maria Breakfast Rotarians are volunteer support for Rotary >s polio immunization program in Nigeria, as well as establishment of a kindergarten and library for a Mexican village school.

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Club service projects include the annual Barn Party Luau which raises funds for the club?s various yearly projects like local high school scholarships and those activities described above.

Santa Maria Breakfast Rotarians are a generous bunch. A 100 percent BPaul Harris Fellows Club,C which means all active members have committed to at least a one-time Rotary Foundation contribution of ,1,000, the club has been frequently recognized by Rotary International (Outstanding Medium-Sized Rotary Club in the District, Outstanding Service Club Award, BSuper ClubC award, and many others).

In addition, club members individually contribute at meetings to support unexpected needs. An example is the recent southern California wildfires, the recovery efforts of which were supported by Santa Maria Breakfast Rotarians with nearly ,3,600.

One way of describing the Rotary Club Santa Maria Breakfast is that it exhibits both Bheart and humor,C a winning combination!

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