We are neighbors, friends and community leaders who come together to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world. Our differing occupations, cultures and countries give us a unique perspective. Our shared passion for service helps us accomplish the remarkable.
I joined the Watsonville Rotary in 2015 after a career as an educator in the Pájaro Valley Unified School District. I joined because I wanted to maintain my connection and continue to serve this community. I have found that our club offers great opportunities to contribute and serve both locally and throughout the world. I have been able to meet new friends, and enjoy our fellowship at our weekly meetings. I have been able to see that the work our club does and the contributions we make have a positive and beneficial impact on the people of Watsonville.
The motto of Rotary is "service above self" and is manifested in the work and activities of the club. Some examples:
This year I have the honor to serve as president of the Rotary Club of Watsonville. It is a special year in the 117 year history of Rotary International because for the first time our new president, Ms. Jennifer Jones from Canada, is a woman. She is asking Rotarians to focus, or in her words, to "Imagine Rotary", in terms of four presidential initiatives: 1) advancing our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI); 2) creating a welcoming club experience; 3) empowering girls; and 4) expanding our reach. This year, the Watsonville Rotary will embrace these initiatives to extend and enhance our work we do in our community, guided as always by the Rotary Four-Way Test:
Please consider joining us! Our club meets from 12:15pm to 1:30pm every Wednesday, during which we share fellowship, network, learn from interesting speakers, honor local students, and plan amazing activities that impact our community and the world. Our club welcomes you! I invite you to visit one of our meetings as my guest so you can Imagine Rotary and the great work we can do together.
Michael G. Jones
Rotary Club of Watsonville President, 2022-23
Our distinct point of view and approach gives us unique advantages. Our multidisciplinary perspective helps us see challenges in unique ways. We apply leadership and expertise to social issues and find unique solutions. Our passion and perseverance create lasting change. We make a difference at home and around the world.
Our impact starts with our members, people who work tirelessly with their clubs to solve some of our community's toughest challenges. Their efforts are supported by Rotary International, our member association and the Rotary Foundation, which turns generous donations into grants that fund the work of our members and partners around the world. Watsonville Rotary is led by our members, responsible leaders who help to carry forward our generation's mission and values in their elected roles.
The Watsonville Rotary Club was founded on May 21, 1927, the same day that Charles Lindbergh landed in Paris. A small article on the front page of the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian newspaper covered the first meeting with huge headlines above the article about Lindbergh's feat. The club has an average of 70-80 members with our most veteran member having joined the club in 1947. We have always been an active club in the community and around the world. Our Rotarians have provided funding and sent members to Peru and Guatemala over the last 20 years to work on a variety of projects including literacy, health education, medical support and water sanitation. We provide support for local schools including financial support, student college scholarships, equipment and enrichment activities. We have an annual grant program for local non-profits that serve Watsonville youth through an annual grant program We host a Job Shadowing Day for 80 students from Watsonville High where our members and other professionals provide quality career "hosting" for the students. We sponsor foreign exchange students through the Rotary Exchange program. We sponsor an annual speech contest and recognize student achievement at local partner schools at our weekly meetings. Our weekly Speakers engage the membership and guests with information about local, national and international issues.
ROTARACT meets most Wednesday evenings 8:00 pm in the Amah Matsun Conference Room above the Baytree Bookstore on the UCSC campus. UCSC Rotaract annually invites 20 high school Interactors to the UCSC campus to tour the university and to attend workshops about applying for college and campus life.