Club Information
Welcome to the Rotary Club of Ojai - #674
We meet In Person
Fridays at 12:00 PM
Aquinas Center of St. Thomas Catholic Church Activity Center
185 St. Thomas Drive
Ojai, CA 93023
United States of America
Home Page Stories
On July 28th, 2023, Marty Babayco passed away from pancreatic cancer. For those who knew him, his energy, enthusiasm, and passion for seeing students experience the arts in Ojai was a joy to behold. He was a beloved musical director, principal, and community figure – impacting the lives of hundreds of students. 
Rotarians and community members appreciated Marty’s sense of fun and inclusion, his leadership, incredible organization and wise counsel, and commitment to Rotary Club of Ojai community projects and the RCO Educational Foundation.
In memory of Marty, the Rotary Club of Ojai Educational Foundation has created a memorial fund in his name.  This fund will be used to award grants for student music education and student musical performances in the public schools in the Ojai Valley. 
If you have  been impacted by Marty – as a student, parent, educator, Rotarian, or friend -  please consider contributing to this fund. More than a memorial for Marty, it will help propel his legacy and love for the arts in Ojai for the next generation.
Click here to donate to the Dr. Marty Babayco Student Music Education Fund. )
You may also write a check made out to RCOEF (with Marty on the memo line) and mail it to RCOEF, PO Box 1036, Ojai, CA 93024. 
On Friday, November 1, The Ojai Rotary Club had Dr. Marty Pops as its speaker. Marty is the retired Dean of Admission for UCLA's School of Medicine; a position he held for 25 years. He is also a member of our Rotary Club for you newer members who don't know him.
Marty's program is about the original challenge to affirmative action in the 1970's and the recent Supreme Court decision that determined certain affirmative action admissions policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
This is a timely program given this blockbuster Supreme Court decision that is forcing colleges and universities to change long-standing Admissions Policies.
Great news!  Past DG Anil Garg, member of Simi Valley Rotary Club, is recruiting another D5240 team to participate in a National Immunization Day (NID) in India on February 4-5, 2024. The trip will most likely start on January 29th and end around Feb. 10th, 2024.  Besides the activities on Feb. 4th, door to door immunization will be done over a few days starting on Feb. 5th.  At a recent meeting Ojai Rotarians had a chance to talk to previous volunteers at a table display illustrating the amazing experience of participating in an India NID trip with Anil, which also included home stays with Indian Rotarians.
Rotary Club of Ojai has strongly supported Rotary’s mission to eradicate polio, both financially and with boots on the ground.  Dedicated Polio Plus chair Bob Davis has begged, cajoled, donated matching funds, and even performed a strip tease to entice club members to contribute regularly to Polio Plus.
NID trips inspire international projects when participants are shown a need.  After 5 Ojai Rotarians went on a 2001 NID to Ghana, a partnership developed with Street Girls Aid, a Ghanaian NGO that resulted in grants and projects for street-related young women in Accra, totaling $173,000 in the past 20 years.  Seven Ojai Rotarians participated in NIDs in India; some toured Prashanti International School, where Rotary Club of Ojai has completed over $123,000 in projects to provide English immersion education for low-income students who would otherwise be ineligible for good jobs and higher education. Relationships with host Rotarians developed during NID trips made these grants possible.
D5240 Rotarians interested in more information about the 2024 India NID trip can contact Anil Garg at PDGAGarg  Rotary Club of Ojai members and friends can find out more from Kay Bliss or Mike Weaver. 
Pam Davis has over 30 years of experience in high school teaching and college counseling, including 8 years as the Director of Life Planning at Vistamar School in El Segundo, California. She has shepherded hundreds of students through the college admissions process and connected professionally with myriad college admissions officers over the years. Since 2022, she has served as a Senior Research Associate for Level All, an up-and-coming educational technology company creating content designed to improve the outcomes of high school and college students across the U.S. As part of that effort, she recently wrote a guide entitled “Inside the College Admissions Business” as well as guides to the college essay, the college interview, and building a smart college list. Pam holds a BA in English/Creative Writing from Stanford University, and a PhD in English from Brown University.
August 25, 2023 Ojai Rotary Club Presentation - Retired Col Jack Jacobs
Jack Jacobs is a retired colonel in the United States Army and a Medal of Honor recipient for his actions during the Vietnam War. He serves as a military analyst for NBC News and MSNBC and previously worked as an investment manager. His program will be beamed to our meeting via Zoom and introduced by our friend and many time presenter of programs, local resident Keith Nightingale.
The Rotary Club of Ojai Educational Foundation (RCOEF) annually gives over $150,000.00 in scholarships to High School graduating seniors from the Ojai Valley. In 2023 we awarded $150,000.00 in scholarships.
Submitted by Betsy Watson, Rotary Club of Ojai Community Grants Chair
Community activists of the Rotary Club of Ojai faced tough choices in awarding $25,000 to local non-profit organizations when requests totaled four times that amount.  The proposals, ranging from enrichment activities for area youth, event support, and storm damage repairs, underlined the deep ongoing needs in our bucolic community. 
The committee volunteers included new and seasoned Rotarians with varied community experiences. Despite that (or because of it?) they coalesced around requests that address basic needs.  At the end of the meeting, ten smaller organizations that provide direct services to residents of the Valley were selected for funding.  
Rotarians of Ojai proudly support youth who are transitioning from foster care, first-in-family college applicants, mental health services for at-risk youth and families of young children, music education, and outdoor volunteer experiences for students.  
Learning more about the substantial needs and services in our community underscores the importance of robust fundraising. Rotary Club of Ojai community grants are funded by our major fundraiser Taste of Ojai, an all-hands-on-deck annual event. In the large Taste committee and in the smaller community grants committee, we model the credo Service Above Self.
Photo below: Girls Empowerment Workshop received a $2000 Rotary Club of Ojai Community Grant
Every year the Rotary Club of Ojai awards the Fred Clapp Memorial Business Ethics Award to a non-Rotarian business owner in the Ojai Valley who exhibits a commitment to providing ethical service and improving the lives of people in our community.  On March 17 Carolina Murillo of Flora Gardens Nursery received the award at a Rotary meeting, including a plaque that will be displayed prominently at her nursery. She also was featured in an article with photo in the Ojai Valley News.  Together with her husband, Carmen, and her son Danny, Carolina has managed Flora Gardens for almost 14 years. 
Carolina is grateful that her business allows her to pursue her love of plants.  “I’ve had an insane love for plants since early childhood.  I am a certified arborist with a strong background in pest management.  I thank the many people who took the time to talk to me about their garden and share their dreams and goals while I poked around their garden,” Carolina said.
Rotary Club of Ojai is especially appreciative of Carolina’s advice and service in obtaining trees for the club’s annual Arbor Day tree planting.  For the past 22 years the Rotary Club of Ojai has celebrated Arbor Day by planting trees with students at a local school. The Rotary Club meets at the school for lunch, and students put on an Arbor Day program and also learn more about trees from Rtn. Al West, retired Deputy Chief U.S. Forest Service. 
Photo: (Left to right)  Al West, Clapp Business Ethics Award Recipient Carolina Murillo, Vocational Service Director Larry Beckett, Co-Presidents Marty Babayco and Kay Bliss

Taste of Ojai 2023!

A Journey of Food, Wine, and Art

2:00-5:30PM - Sunday, April 16, 2023 - Libbey Park

Get your tickets and view all the details now at

Proceeds from Taste of Ojai benefit the Rotary Club of Ojai Educational Foundation. The Rotary Club of Ojai and its Educational Foundation have raised nearly one million dollars over the last two decades with Taste of Ojai being our primary fundraising event. Nearly $130,000 of scholarships are awarded each Spring to Ojai students for Fall enrollment at a recognized college, university, community college or technical school, with over 400 scholarships awarded to date. In addition, each year more than $30,000 of community grants are awarded to Ojai schools and non­ profit organizations.

In celebration of Rotary Club of Ojai’s 75th anniversary year, we’re giving $25,000 to Ojai Valley area non-profit organizations.  Organizations that serve residents anywhere in the Ojai Valley are encouraged to apply.  This year’s focus will be on projects with an environmental, youth and/or educational impact. 
Submit completed applications to before the February 28 deadline.
Please click on the link below to read a great story by Leslie Bouche, Chair of the International Committee.  It describes the efforts to generate a global grant for Prashanti International School in India.  It provides details of the grant and lists the many Rotary Clubs and other partners which provided the support.  The story was written for the District 5240 newsletter.
Rotary Club of Ojai: International Service Committee
The Rotary Club of Ojai’s International Service Committee (ISC) is a very active part of our Club. Over the past several years, we have developed long-term, close working relationships with communities in several countries such as Roatan, Niger, India, Bosnia, Ghana, and Cuba. Ojai Rotary has provided grants to support and help create sustainable, positive change in the areas of medical care, economic development, education & literacy, and water & sanitation. Here is a partial list of our club’s international projects:
Community Service
Membership News
Nov 19, 2023
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays:
  • Kevin Davis
    November 3
  • Suzanne Scar
    November 23
  • Bruce Hanson
    November 24
Spouse/Partner Birthdays:
  • Lauren Davis
    November 3
  • Cynthia Hanson
    November 10
  • Bret Nighman
    Brad Hall
    November 4
Join Date:
  • Anne Kaplan
    November 1, 2018
    5 years
  • Andy Gilman
    November 2, 2018
    5 years
  • Bret Nighman
    November 3, 2022
    1 year
  • Christine Fenn
    November 3, 2022
    1 year
  • Cindy Frings
    November 7, 2019
    4 years
  • Mike Weaver
    November 10, 2006
    17 years
  • Randall Roth
    November 10, 2005
    18 years
  • Candice Alexander
    November 13, 2020
    3 years
  • Patricia Anderson
    November 20, 2015
    8 years
  • Wendy Barker
    November 24, 1998
    25 years
Make Payments Online
RCOEF Marty Babayco Fund Credit Card Donations
Member Dues & Fining
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Rotary Club of Ojai Educational
Foundation Donations
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