Since 1950, the Westchester Rotary Club has been supporting the community and making a difference in 90045. Perhaps best known for its Makeover Project, which has made big improvements over the years at local homes, the Westchester Senior Center, the Westchester Townhouse, Safe Place for Youth in Venice and the Emerson Avenue Community Garden, the club and its members, are always on the lookout for new projects.
This year, Westchester Rotary is led by President Mary Tabata, who is excited to be at the helm of the 50-plus member club and inspire fellow do-gooders to roll up their sleeves, volunteer their time and “imagine a whole new world” by sharing little acts of kindness.
Q. What are some of the programs or initiatives that you’re most proud of for 2022? What are some goals for 2023? A. In 2022, we were able to use some of our funds to help AYSO Region 7 work on the turf for Nielsen Field, which we’re thrilled to share has been renamed Westchester Rotary Field!
We were also so excited to bring back our Memorial Day Book Sale, which we’ve hosted for 67 years. It’s our largest fundraiser where we sell thousands of books to support our projects in the community.
Likewise, we were happy to have pumpkin decorating at WAM and be a sponsor of that great event.
For upcoming projects, we have identified St. Margaret’s Center in Lennox as our 2022-23 Makeover Project recipient! I can’t wait to see the impact we can make there.
In the new year, we are also partnering with some of the Westchester schools to help with their green space and beautification efforts, as well as supporting literacy efforts.
Q. How is your nonprofit having an impact in Westchester/Playa and beyond? A. In addition to everything I’ve already mentioned, we host and chaperone students for a spring shopping spree.
We were recently honored by the L.A. Metropolitan YMCA for our cumulative giving to the Westchester Y. We also support the food pantry and other initiatives there.
Internationally, we support a literacy project and school in Guatemala, a school for girls in Malawi, clean water projects in Kenya, a school in Thailand, and “Floating Doctors” who provide primary medical care in the islands of Panama. In 2023, we will be providing funding for a solar project in Belize! As you can see, we like to help and support many important projects!
Q. What is the best way for people to support or get involved with your organization? A. Come visit us at our meetings! We meet almost every Wednesday from 12:10 to 1:10 p.m. at the Westchester Townhouse on Emerson Ave. We also have a young professionals group that meets regularly. We have a lot of great, diverse members that are all interested in making a difference in the community and beyond. We all love volunteering and helping our community! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to learn more, and to see us in action.
Q. What’s the number one thing the community should know about the Westchester Rotary Club? A. We are a very friendly club that is community-minded. If you have a project that you think would be of interest to us, please let us know!
Learn more at rotary-westchester.com.