Catalina Island News

Avalon Rotary Club Installs New Officers for 2013-14

Rotary Club of Avalon

The Avalon Rotary Club recently held their annual Demotion Dinner and Installation of Officers on July 1st at the M Restaurant.  Past President Lourdes Thoricht handed over the reins to Ms. Autumn Reifensnyder, the new President of the Avalon Rotary Club for the upcoming year.

Before passing on the gavel, Lourdes Thoricht presented eleven Rotary members with perfect attendance for the year.  Christy Lins, the Rotary Club’s Foundation Chair gave out the seven Paul Harris Fellow Awards to club members, exemplifying charity giving to the Rotary. Lourdes Thoricht and Karin Hague, recognized the hard work of Rotary’s youth program called Interact and presented Jordan Williams with the “Interact Student of the Year” award, praising her leadership in this important Rotary sponsored program for the high school students of Avalon.

Lourdes Thoricht also gave out two prestigious Rotary Club yearly awards. The first award, the “Rotarian of the Year” was presented to Rita Whitaker for her continuing work with Rotary at a district level and serving as a Rotary Assistant District while upholding and furthering the principles and ideals of the Rotary way of life.  The second award, the “Citizen of the Year” was awarded to Dr. Denney in recognition of his many contributions to the Catalina Island community in going above and beyond with his expertise and concern for the health and well-being of our loving pets and island wildlife and for exemplifying the ideals of Rotary.

Lourdes thanked her Board of Directors who had assisted her throughout her year as President before she passed the new gavel on to Rotary’s new president for this year, Ms. Autumn Reifensnyder.

As the new President of Avalon Rotary Club, Ms. Reifensnyder talked about engaging Rotary members to change lives, the theme for this Rotary Club year.  After attending the recent Rotary International Convention in Portugal with 20,000 attendees, Autumn states, “I’m inspired and excited to get to work with our fellow Rotarians on a local level, to help improve the quality of island and our ecological footprint.”  She welcomed her new Board of Directors:  President Elect – Brian Spongberg, Secretary – Wayne Griffin, Treasurer – Cinde Cassidy, Sergeant at Arms – Kelly Whitaker, Past President Lourdes Thoricht, Service Chair - Karin Hague, Fundraising Chair - Chuck Liddell, Foundation Chair - Christy Lins, and Public Relations Chair - Rita Whitaker.

Avalon Rotary actively contributes to the betterment of our Island community. This past year, Avalon Rotary raised money through its annual charity auction and contributed to numerous community organizations.  Avalon Rotary organizes and fundraises for the popular USC Trojan Marching Band's participation in Avalon’s Fourth of July parade. The Avalon Rotary also gives out food gift cards to local residents for Thanksgiving and Christmas and yearly organizes a trip to Ensenada, Mexico to help distribute needed food, blankets and toys to the poverty stricken areas of Ensenada.

Avalon Rotary is just one of over 32,000 Rotary Clubs around the world in over 200 countries.  All are dedicated to the creed of "service above self."  Rotary International was founded in 1905 as both a business networking and community service organization.  Avalon Rotary Club offers its membership a chance to network with local business leaders as well as offer community service opportunities for our Island, including projects such as feeding the hungry or contributing to international efforts to eradicate polio.  Avalon Rotary meets weekly on Wednesdays at 12:15pm at the M Restaurant, catering by Zest. For more information about Rotary, please contact any Rotarian.