Service Above Self

The Rotary Clubs of Carlsbad Give Back Through Selfless Service to Their Communities

The Carlsbad Rotary and Hi-Noon Rotary Clubs reach out to their communities with humanitarian services and hands-on projects all year round. With their strong leadership, dedication to outreach programs and fundraising, and commitment to bring goodwill and peace on both a local and global level, these clubs exemplify what it means to believe in “Service Above Self.” Read along as we speak with Jeff Schafer, President of Carlsbad Rotary Club, and Mark Ealy, President of Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary Club.


carlsbad-rotary-jefQ&A with Jeff Schafer
Carlsbad Rotary Club President

For the benefit of those who are not aware, what specifically is a Rotary Club?
Locally, a Rotary Club brings together leaders who step forward to take on some of the toughest challenges in their communities. Internationally, a Rotary Club is a service association of businesses and professional leaders united worldwide who conduct humanitarian projects, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and work toward world understanding and peace.

Can you tell us about the history behind the Carlsbad Rotary Club? Who were its founding members?
The Rotary Club of Carlsbad was started in 1939 by a handful of local business and professional men just as World War II was breaking out in Europe. The first club president was Samuel D. Fraser, a manager with the Carlsbad Mutual Water Co. who previously had been a member and president of the Oceanside Rotary Club. The club started with 21 charter members and board members consisting of local business owners such as William Hogg, a local avocado grower who lived on Highland Street, Kenneth A. Keveren, Managing Editor of the Blade-Tribune newspaper, Glenn F. Lewis, Owner of the Bauer Lumber Co., and Oliver Morris, Manager of the California Carlsbad Hotel, among others. During those early years, club attendance was spotty in part because of the escalating war, but the club persevered largely due to the dedication and persistence of its founding members.

What types of activities is the Rotary Club involved with? Can you elaborate on some of the projects you have worked on in the past?
There are five “Avenues of Service” in Rotary: club, youth, community, international, and vocational. Within those, there are six areas of focus: peace and conflict prevention/resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development.
In the 1950s, the club became involved in the city’s annual Spring Festival, a popular event that later would evolve into the Carlsbad Village Street Faire, now the largest single-day street fair in the country. Until the late 1980s, nearly all of the Rotary Club of Carlsbad’s service activities were primarily local. More recently, the Rotary Club of Carlsbad celebrated its 75th anniversary in September 2014 with an impressive list of triumphs. Membership includes the mayor of Carlsbad, a city council member, the city treasurer, a famous POW from the Vietnam War, and a retired Marine Corps General who has advised President Obama.
The club has raised thousands of dollars for various Rotary and charitable projects, including the Smiles Project, which provides corrective surgery to children in Mexico born with cleft palates, schools for orphan children in South Africa, Brother Benno’s in Oceanside which provides food for the homeless, the La Posada de Guadalupe men’s shelter, and Rotary International’s fight to eradicate polio by 2018. The latter cause is near and dear to the Rotary Club of Carlsbad’s heart, as one member is himself a polio survivor.

Which areas of San Diego do you work with?
Our club works with many areas within San Diego County and Northern Mexico, but we primarily service the local North San Diego County area.

Do you hold fundraisers throughout the year? Do you have any fundraisers you would like our readers to be aware of?
Yes! Our club collaborates with the Hi-Noon Rotary Club in Carlsbad to put on the annual Oktoberfest in Holiday Park, occurring on the first Saturday of every October. Our club also hosts a beer garden at the Spring and Fall Faires in Carlsbad.

What is your role within the club? What are you responsible for?
I am the current president for a term which runs from July 1 through June 30. My role is to be the leader of the club, run weekly meetings, communicate service opportunities, promote engagement in Rotary, and more.

How many members does your current club have?
Our club currently has about 64 members but we are adding new members every year.

Please tell us about how someone can go about becoming a Rotarian club member. What can new club members expect when joining?
Membership is gained by recommendation of an active member. If you have interest in knowing more or would like to visit a meeting please contact us at the Carlsbad Rotary Club by visiting our website or Facebook page.

Please tell us how one can become a sponsor of the club.
Anyone can donate money to our club foundation, which is tax deductible. Money given to the foundation generates interest which is used to pay for college scholarships. Interested persons may also decide to sponsor our club in the way of volunteering at some of our service projects or fundraisers.

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What mission does the club hold true?
Our main mission has been community service and youth service. We are involved with many local projects for service and youth.

What type of work do you do within the community of Carlsbad?
To name just one, our club supports La Posada de Guadalupe shelter in Carlsbad. La Posada is the only shelter in San Diego’s North County region that provides emergency services to both day laborers and the general homeless population. La Posada is well positioned to help homeless men reintegrate back into society as contributing and productive members of our community. There are many other community service events our club does including Oktoberfest, Spring and Fall Faire beer gardens, the Christmas tree lighting event in downtown Carlsbad, and much more.

Are there any exciting new projects, developments, or programs coming to the club?
Always! One of the next really big community service opportunities is on April 16. It is called Rotarians at Work Day. This event happens the last Saturday in April each year. The tradition started in 2006 as a joint effort between two Rotary districts in the United States and Mexico, and it continues to grow every year. Rotary Clubs around the world identify a hands-on project that all members can participate in to help their local community. The day is a great way to revitalize your club, bring in new members, and generate publicity for Rotary.

What are your short-term and long-term goals for the club?
My goals are to keep increasing membership and providing worthwhile opportunities for those new members to contribute their time and talents.

Can you tell us about the Rotarian of the Year award? What type of criteria do you refer to when choosing the next Rotarian of the Year?
The Rotarian of the Year award is given out by the club president at the end of term to recognize a person who the president feels has been best exemplifying the spirit and ideals of Rotary, as well as being very involved in club meetings and events.

What’s the most exciting aspect of being a Rotarian?
The most exciting aspect is getting to meet other like-minded community and business leaders.

Can you tell us where and when your meetings are held?
Our meetings are held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Carlsbad every Thursday evening beginning at 6:30 p.m.


At-A-Glance | President
Name: Jeff V. Schafer
Community: Carlsbad
Education: CHS class of 1979, BS Physics, MS Electrical Engineering
Family: Wife – Kelly; Sons – Ben (19) and Matthew (16)
Hobbies and Interests: Hiking, scouting, art, music, water sports, snow sports
Most Memorable Moment Working with Rotary Club: Rotary at Work Day at Heritage Park in Oceanside with the Oceanside Rotary Club


At-A-Glance | Carlsbad Rotary Club
Name: Rotary Club of Carlsbad
President: Jeff V. Schafer
Website: www.carlsbadrotary.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/carlsbad.rotary
Email: carlsbadrotary@gmail.com


carlsbad-rotary-markQ&A with Mark Ealy
Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary Club President

For the benefit of those who are not aware what specifically is a Rotary Club?
A Rotary Club is a group of professional and community leaders who join together to provide service to the community on a local, national, and worldwide scale. There are over 34,558 clubs worldwide with over 1,220,115 members participating in Rotary International. All members and clubs worldwide believe in “Service Above Self.”

Can you tell us about the history behind the Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary Club?
Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary was founded in 1983 by the work of members of two existing clubs – Carlsbad Rotary and El Camino Real Rotary in Oceanside. Hi-Noon’s founding members were Manuel Castorena, a former mayor of the City of Carlsbad, and 35 other Carlsbad residents.

What types of activities is the Rotary Club involved with? Can you elaborate on some of the projects you have worked on in the past?
Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary activities and fundraisers throughout the year include holding Oktoberfest in partnership with Carlsbad Rotary Club, the “Teens and Marines” Golf Tournament, two book fairs a year at Jefferson Elementary entitled Raising Readers, and an adopt-a-family program in partnership with Carlsbad Christmas Bureau which works to “adopt” 450 less fortunate families every year to provide gifts and food for the holiday season. Programs for youth involvement include Interact Club, a Rotary-equivalent club at Carlsbad High School (CHS) now serving over 70 CHS students. Other youth involvement programs include the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA), Avid Conference, Youth Exchange, and of course, the Rotary Cup – presented to the winning team at the CHS and La Costa Canyon High School (LCCHS) football game each year. Some of our international work includes building homes in Tijuana, MX for families in need, purchasing water sanitation materials for villages in Belize as well as providing computers and generators for students there, and purchasing goats for families living in poverty in India so they may sell the milk and develop a viable income stream.

Can you tell me more about Rotarians at Work? What does this entail for your members?
Each year every club member helps in a national “all hands on deck” campaign to provide community service. In the past members have built and cleaned trails, painted, and done physical labor all over the City of Carlsbad. Other hands-on projects are accomplished throughout the year on an as-needed basis and are an integral part of Rotary.

Which areas of San Diego do you work with?
Hi-Noon Rotary focuses primarily on Carlsbad with some outreach to North County and San Diego in general through community related fundraising and work for local students, citizens, and nonprofits. Internationally, each year may differ based on the worldwide need, the interests of the membership, and the commitment to follow through. All Rotarians participate financially in the eradication of polio, with many also venturing each year into countries to immunize the children.

What is your role within the club? What are you responsible for?
As president, I am responsible for leading our members for the fiscal year July 1 through June 30. The club runs and works with the help of every member, so the main goal of the president is to coordinate the efforts of our members and provide communication to all about the many goings on within the club. Setting specific goals and focusing on specific projects during the year is important. Planning and running the weekly meetings is also a big part of the president’s role.

How many members does your current club have?
Hi-Noon Rotary is now 91 members strong, and we invite others interested in joining us to visit our club.

Please tell us about how someone can go about becoming a Rotarian club member. What can new club members expect when joining?
Come to lunch and see what we do. Visit our website at www.carlsbadhinoonrotary.org as it contains all the details of membership. You can also check out the Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary Facebook page or call a member – if you live in Carlsbad, you probably already know someone in the club. New members can expect to be welcomed, to be valued for their ideas and efforts, and to be engaged in the club’s activities – both through service and the club’s own social events.

Please tell us how one can become a sponsor of the club.
Each of our fundraisers is sponsored by a variety of corporations, businesses, and individuals. All receive visibility on event materials and signage at the event itself. Sponsorship ranges from $100 all the way up to $10,000. Call 760-500-5400 for more information about sponsorships.

What mission does the club hold true?
Each Rotary club and each Rotarian, worldwide, adheres to the “Four-Way Test” of the things we think, say, or do: is it the truth, is it fair to all concerned, will it build goodwill and better friendships, and will it be beneficial to all concerned? Rotary is a service club and Rotarians believe in “Service Above Self.”

Are there any exciting new projects, developments, or programs coming to the club?
Brew Fest was completed in October of last year for the first time and Rotarians Helping Seniors is a new hands-on program receiving wild acclaim from the seniors involved. Also, this year the club instituted the first annual “Jim Smith Award for Community Leadership” – of which Jim Smith was the first recipient. The award was organized by past presidents of the club to honor the 96-year-old member and community leader Jim Smith. It will be reviewed each year by the past presidents for a worthy honoree.

What are your short-term and long-term goals for the club?
One of our short-term goals is to raise enough money or find a donor for a moving truck for Solutions for Change, a service organization that does great work with homeless families in North County. Long-term goals are to keep making Rotary fun and rewarding, to add new, quality members, and to do more good in our community.

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Can you tell us about the Rotarian of the Year award? What type of criteria do you refer to when choosing the next Rotarian of the Year?
The Rotarian of the Year award is a selection and presentation made by the club president each year to a Rotarian in the club who has worked for the club and the community to an exemplary level.

What’s the most exciting aspect of being a Rotarian?
The friendships developed and positive work involved in one’s community and the impact the worldwide membership has on making a difference. Also, the ability to “make up” Rotary meetings at clubs around the world which affords a wonderful opportunity to meet locals and have something immediately in common is a major plus.

Can you tell us where and when your meetings are held?
Our club meets at noon every Monday (except federal holidays) at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa. Each meeting includes lunch, club activities, and a keynote speaker.


At-A-Glance | President
Name: Mark Ealy, CFP, CPA
Community: Rancho Carrillo
Education: University of Detroit, B.S. in Accounting
Family: Wife – Rebecca; Kids – Chad (29), Erin (28), Alli (23), Madison (16), Maegan (15), and Gabriella (14)
Hobbies and Interests: Exercise, road biking, tennis, meditation, visiting local breweries
Most Memorable Moments Working with Rotary Club: Interviewing CHS students for scholarships, leading the club as president


At-A-Glance | Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary Club
Name: Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary Club
President: Mark Ealy
Email: Mark@wmgrp.com
Website: www.clubrunner.ca/carlsbadhinoon