Niles Rotary has a rich tradition of doing good work in our community. We have been serving our community for more than 87 years. Our membership takes great pride in doing hands-on projects which not only benefit the community but also help to build a stronger relationship within its membership through service. Throughout the local and International community, Niles Rotary is known as a Service Organization that gets things done. This is why each year we are approached by organizations such as the Fremont and Newark Unified School Districts, Fremont Parks District, East Bay Regional Parks, as well as local churches and civic organizations, to team up doing projects which benefit our community.
Niles Rotary’s Membership is very closely tied to our local community and projects are often brought to the Club’s Community Service Chairperson by the members themselves. These organizations may also appeal directly to the Board of Directors for assistance with their projects. The Board of Directors then reviews potential projects as to whether they meet Rotary’s Motto of “Service above Self” and the guidelines provided by Rotary’s “4-Way Test”. The Board of Directors then decides as to whether a certain project meets all requirements and should be implemented. Another way a project can be brought to the attention of Niles Rotary is through its Grant Request Program.
Each year Niles Rotarians donate to Rotary’s International’s Foundation. A portion of these donations come back to our Club and are earmarked for Community Service Projects. The current club President decides which projects these funds will go to and how they are to be spent. Niles Rotarians work with its three sponsored High School Interact clubs and its Rotaract Club doing projects that they themselves will decide upon and organize. These projects help to bring a closer working relationship between the Interactors, Rotaractors and Rotarians.
Even under COVID conditions, Niles Rotarians are serving our community. Pictured below are our Niles Rotarians Jeff Schinkel, Terri Landon, Steve Landon at Oliveira elementary school painting the map of the United States on their playground.
Niles Rotarians returned to Blacow Elementary School doing projects for 4 years, from 2012 through 2016. These ongoing projects help enhance the education experience for the K-6 graders. In the spring of 2017 we did a large project beautifying Cabrillo Elementary School. Our former member Jim Morris, Superintendent of the Fremont Unified School District guided our Community Service Chair Paul Andrus that this school, a Title 1 school, needed attention. Principal David Thornley had been doing some amazing work at the school already in turning it around. Niles Rotary helped with that process by building a large workbench in the garden area, adding mulch to the garden area with underlayment to prevent weeds, planting trees around the border of the garden, painting a large map of the US in the playground area behind the school and purchasing two large cement garbage cans to be placed in front of the school offices. Local families are taking more pride in their school and enjoy the grounds on the weekends, but had no where to put garbage – so Niles Rotary helped by providing these garbage cans.
In addition to Cabrillo Elementary, Niles Rotary held a project at LEAF (Local Ecology and Agriculture Fremont) helping build large tree planter boxes, planting trees and purchasing materials to help build a fence around their expanded area for growing vegetables and fruits. The produce grown here is sent directly to support homeless and those in need in the community with healthy food.
In 2017, Niles Rotarians are doing a joint project with Mission San Jose Rotary in placing a needed fence around the Adobe building on the Rancho Higuera historical lot in the Mission area of Fremont. This is needed to protect the building when grazing cattle are allowed to graze the areas surrounding it helping decrease fire hazards nearby.
In 2001 Niles Rotary began work on its largest local service project in recent history with its support of Abode Services (then the Tri-City Homeless Coalition) BridgeWay Apartments. It began with the remodeling and painting of the organization’s offices. In 2005-2006 work parties of Rotarians and Volunteers helped to plant landscaping at the BridgeWay Apartments and led the way for a significant Rotary donation of funding to support construction of the facility. Through the leadership of 3 past presidents (Tony Boudames, Daren Young, and Jim Brunelli) who each committed $30,000 during their terms as Club President, Niles Rotary has provided $90,000 plus in funding for this worthy project. Niles Rotary continues to be a major supporter of Abode Services.
A partial list of past and continuing projects:
- Feed the Hungry at Centerville Free Dining Room –since 1989
- Winter Relief Dinners at Centerville Presbyterian Church
- Rebuilding the Fishing Docks at Niles Community Park
- Funding and Installing a Fishing Dock at Fremont’s Central Park
- Building Planters and providing Drip Systems at Graham Elementary School
- Providing drought resistance planting and irrigation at front entry Graham Elementary School
- Adding a new door and entry for a Kindergarten class at Blacow Elementary School
- Rebuilding benches and Basketball backboards at Blacow Elementary School
- Providing playground bark and re-striping playground at Blacow Elementary School
- Painting low income housing units for Abode Services
- Ongoing Park Clean-up at Niles Community Park
- Cabrillo Elementary School Map & Garden Project
- LEAF Trees, Planter Boxes & Fencing Project
- Candlelighter’s Ghost House
Niles Rotarians embrace their strong tradition of “Service Above Self” by serving both our local and International Communities through Community Service. We strive to make a real difference in the lives of others and therefore making a difference and bettering our own lives.
If you would like to learn more about our projects or are interested in volunteering to participate in future projects, please contact our Community Service Chair.
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