Everything the Malibu Rotary Club does is fueled by the four-way test: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
“We hope to influence our youth for a better future and also to think globally,” says Bianca Torrence, president of the Malibu Rotary Club.
The goal of the club is to inform the community about the powerful network of Rotary International and the six areas of focus, which are: 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.
On a local level, “We really care about our youth,” Torrence says. “We support the Boys and Girls Club, we have a talent competition for the middle school and high school, we and started a scholarship program.”
Three past winners have gone to New York to the Juilliard School of Music.
“We also sponsor a couple of high school students every year to participate in a leadership camp, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, an intensive leadership camp that allows Rotarians to demonstrate respect and concern for youth while recognizing, encouraging and educating youth leaders,” Torrence says.
This camp gives youth the opportunity to develop their skills as effective and responsible leaders while having fun and making connections with peers throughout the Rotary District.
“We feel that we are people of action with high ethical standards, doing service to better our communities for a positive impact,” Torrence says.
To that end, the Malibu Rotary Club conducts efforts throughout the year, including a Halloween fundraiser, hosting a booth at the Malibu Chili Cook-off, presenting a Veterans Day event and being present at the Malibu Art Festival.
“We are very involved with the community,” Torrence says. “We also award a scholarship to one recipient for the fire academy.” Additionally, “Malibu Rotary Club started providing the Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless and now many churches are doing it.”
In other efforts, the Malibu Rotary Club provided all the content for United Nations Peace Day in the fall of 2017; organized forums for all city council candidates for Malibu; and also had public forums for the Malibu and Santa Monica School Boards. The Malibu Rotary Club also supports the Malibu Community Assistance Resource Team, which is working with homeless issues.
Currently, “we are supporting the youth Boys and Girls Club Wellness Center and high school scholarships,” Torrence says. Additionally, “we are currently working on raising awareness for human and sex trafficking, working with Senator Henry Stern to do a forum with Rotary.”
Malibu Rotary Club also knows how important it is to live healthy, “and we would like to start a 5K Turkey Trot in Malibu Thanksgiving Day,” Torrence says. “However, we have had many obstacles with the city of Malibu and beaches and harbor. We hope that with perseverance, we can make this happen; after all it is a community event that would benefit all, from young children to adults and even pets.”
The Malibu Rotary Club was chartered in 1971, and today has 14 members and one honorary member.
“We invite potential members to attend at least three meetings so we can get to know one another,” Torrence explains. “We tell them about Rotary International history, about our projects and plans. If the person wants to join, a current member will be their sponsor and the members vote on their application for approval.”
The club meets every Wednesday at Pepperdine University Villa Graziadio, in the Derscher Upper Campus Room LC-152. Breakfast and fellowship start at 7:30 a.m., with the meeting running from 8 to 9 a.m.
“We have a lot of fun; there are opportunities to travel abroad for humanitarian trips every year and we often have many interesting speakers at our weekly meetings,” Torrence says. “We would love to have more members that want to contribute to Malibu and the world. Donations are always welcome and we invite all to come to our fundraisers.”
Above all, “our mission statement, ‘service above self,’ is to provide service to others, promote integrity and advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through its fellowship of business, professional and community leaders.”
For more information about the Malibu Rotary Club, visit MalibuRotary.org or call 310.736.5005.