By Patty McCormac
RANCHO SANTA FE — The Rancho Santa Fe Rotary is not the place to sell your widgets, said new President Alan Balfour.
It is also not the place to just pal around with friends, he said.
“It is an organization for people who want to do good for the community and the world,” said Balfour, who took the helm in July.
“I love it,” he said. “It let’s you know what is going on in the community and be involved in the community. It’s all a plus.”
A 10-year-member, he follows Patrick Galvin heading the club that boasts about 90 members.
“It is a honor to be asked to serve,” he said.
But he acknowledges that it is a great deal of work.
The minute he took over, he said his “in” box started to overflow.
“Three fourths of it is Rotary stuff,” he said.
“I’ve always been a worker bee, working behind the scenes,” he said.
Balfour is reluctant to talk about himself and is more comfortable plugging the activities of the local club.
An upcoming fundraiser is the Fall Festival on the evening of Oct. 6 on the grounds of the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.
“It is a big barbecue and the Inn is very involved in helping us,” he said. “There is food, a D.J., games and a wine and beer garden.”
This year, he has invited community organizations to have a table at the event and let residents learn about their particular group or cause, he said.
“We’re expecting 1,000 people,” he said.
Sassy Santa is another fundraiser sponsored by the Rotary Nov. 18 and Nov. 19 at the Garden Club, a sort of arts and crafts show, he expects about 50 vendors, he said.
The club’s Christmas party raises funds for such charities as the Woman’s Resource Center, a domestic violence shelter in Oceanside, and other human care agencies.
Coming up in April is Rotarians At Work Day, founded the by San Diego District of Rotary. The fundraiser has spread across the nation and is a day when Rotarians do hands-on work. The local group last year re-landscaped the grounds of the Rancho Santa Fe Senior Center. In the past it has painted and repaired the shelter of the Woman’s Resource Center and has provided manpower to other charitable organizations. Many times, a single member is involved in a cause and brings it to the club for support, he said. An example of that is the Reins Theraputic Riding in Fallbrook that allows special needs children and adults to ride horses as part of their therapy, he said.
And just in time for the holiday shopping season, be on the lookout for the Rotary’s own cookbook which will offer 500 recipes, mostly from club members, but there are many from the community at large, he said.
The cost of the cookbook will be about $30, but worth every dollar, he said.
By Patty McCormac