2024 Community Grants Program

2024 Community Grant Application Information
The Rotary Club of Ojai invites Ojai not-for-profit organizations to submit grant applications that support the youth of the Ojai Valley. Grants will be for youth services, arts, and music. The Rotary Club of Ojai is especially interested in funding grants from small nonprofits that fund new projects with minimal administration expenses.
Organizations which provide for charitable needs in the Ojai Valley are encouraged to apply.
To apply for a grant:
Click HERE for Application.   E-mail the completed application to Rotary Club of Ojai, Ojairotarygrants@gmail.com.
The deadline for applications is March 8th, 2024.
For further information, please contact ojairotarygrants@gmail.com
2024 Community Grants Program Terry Beckett 2024-02-03 08:00:00Z 0

RCOEF Scholarship Program for 2024

The Rotary Club of Ojai Educational Foundation is now accepting Scholarship Applications for 2024.  They must be submitted by March  15, 2024.  For more information and to apply, please click RCOEF Scholarships.
RCOEF Scholarship Program for 2024 Terry Beckett 2024-01-24 08:00:00Z 0

Marty Babayco Student Music Education Fund

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. http://bit.ly/marty-babayco-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. 
Marty Babayco Student Music Education Fund 2023-10-26 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Ojai is excited about 2024 NID to India!

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 @gmail.com.  Rotary Club of Ojai members and friends can find out more from Kay Bliss or Mike Weaver. 
Rotary Club of Ojai is excited about 2024 NID to India!  2023-10-23 07:00:00Z 0
Ojai Rotary Celebrates Day of Peace Kay Bliss 2023-10-11 07:00:00Z 0
RCO 75 Anniversary Video 2023-08-18 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Ojai Awards $25,000 in Community Grants

Posted by Betsy Watson
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
Rotary Club of Ojai Awards $25,000 in Community Grants Betsy Watson 2023-05-15 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Ojai Awards Business Ethics Award to Carolina Murillo

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
Rotary Club of Ojai Awards Business Ethics Award to Carolina Murillo  Terry Beckett 2023-04-25 07:00:00Z 0

RCOEF scholarships 2023

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.
RCOEF scholarships 2023 Terry Beckett 2023-02-05 08:00:00Z 0

2023 Rotary Club of Ojai Community Grants 

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 ojairotarygrants@gmail.com before the February 28 deadline.
2023 Rotary Club of Ojai Community Grants Terry Beckett 2023-01-09 08:00:00Z 0

July 4th Freedom Run

Every year Rotary Club of Ojai sponsors the Ojai Fourth of July Freedom Run, an event where every kid is a winner.  An hour before the Ojai July 4th parade starts, children ages 2 to 12 line up at the Post Office tower and run a loop down Ojai Avenue.
Rotarian Drs. Bob Skankey and Fred Fauvre started the event 27 years ago to encourage youth fitness.  As in past years, Fred and his loyal volunteers, including his daughter, Rotarian Renee Halbrook, arrived early July 4th to blow up helium balloons for an arch across Ojai Avenue, register eager participants, and organize fun warm-up exercises using a parachute.  Once kids (sometimes accompanied by supportive parents) were lined up at the starting line, Rotary Club of Ojai President Marty Babayco started the race.
  Some kids were experienced runners, and for some it was an accomplishment just to complete the half-mile or one-mile race, especially if they were preschoolers.  Each participant got cheered across the finish line and was given a ribbon and a bottle of water at the end.  About 50 kids participated, and it was a real feel-good smalltown event.  The kids felt good about themselves, and parents appreciated having something like this for their kids.
  Thanks to Fred Fauvre for his longtime leadership, and to Renee Halbrook for enriching the community with the July 4th Freedom Run!
July 4th Freedom Run 2022-09-28 07:00:00Z 0

Diaper Bank Move

Rotary Club of Ojai’s projects aren’t always about giving money, although we did buy LOTS of baby wipes for Secure Beginnings Diaper Bank with a $3,000 district grant in April 2022. Last Wednesday during a record-breaking heat wave, intrepid Rotarians Wendy Barker and Tessa Turner and friend Dee Bennett helped Secure Beginnings move a roomful of Diaper Bank supplies to a storage pod. That is the true definition of “sweat equity” and service above self! 
Diaper Bank Move 2022-09-13 07:00:00Z 0
Investing in the future--Rotary Club of Ojai Educational Foundation Carl A. Gross 2022-02-21 08:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club of Ojai Portfolio Review Larry Beckett 2022-02-01 08:00:00Z 0

Rotary Invests in the Future

The Rotary Club of Ojai joined a club in Bend, Oregon and a club in Gaborone, Botswana to provide a $30,000 global scholarship grant in order for a young doctor in Africa to complete her advanced training to become a certified surgeon. She will be only the fourth fully certified surgeon in the public health system that services over 1.8 million people in Botswana.
Please click on the link below for the full story which is posted on the District 5240 newsletter.
Rotary Invests in the Future 2021-06-12 07:00:00Z 0


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.


Please click on the following link to read an interesting story written by Carl Gross.  It outlines the history and services provided to  medical services to the underserved residents of the island of Roatan in Honduras.  The effort has been supported by our International Service Committee and several members of our club.  The story was published on the District 5240 website.

International Service Committee

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:
International Service Committee Leslie Bouché 2020-07-06 07:00:00Z 0
Helping our International Partners During Covid-19 Emergency  Leslie Bouché 2020-05-07 07:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club and Help of Ojai Andy Gilman 2020-04-02 07:00:00Z 0

Progress Update for India Global Grant Apr 2019

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Progress Update on Global Grant in India
Our $87, 515 global grant for education for indigent children in Puri, India, has been funded, and work is underway!  This is the culmination of hundreds of hours of work by Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Ojai, CA (D5240), and Srikshetra Puri Rotary Club in Puri, Odisha, India.
This grant will enable Prashanti International School (PIS) to provide quality education kindergarten through high school for indigent and fatherless children from Puri and surrounding villages, with an emphasis on English language learning and building strong values.  
The most urgent task is to complete the outside work before monsoon season starts in June, when torrential rains will make it impossible to dig foundations for the boundary wall and gates, grade the school grounds for flood control, or build the approach road.  It looks like we will meet this seasonal challenge.  Thanks to contractor Rtn. Rabi Mohapatra for starting work as soon as the grant was approved, rather than waiting for funds to be deposited into the bank account on April 12!  
These costly physical improvements bring Prashanti School one step closer to receiving the certification as an English education high school, so that bright indigent students will be eligible for exams that open up educational and vocational opportunities unimaginable without this schooling.
The photos below document the progress on the project in April 2019. What they do not show is the wonderful collaborative relationship, respect, and friendship that have developed between the Puri and Ojai Rotarians and the school principal as a result of the almost-daily WhatsApp communication about the grant.
Please click HERE for photos.
Progress Update for India Global Grant Apr 2019 Terry Beckett 2019-05-05 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Hiking Club

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Rotary Hiking Club meets every Sunday morning
For hike details text Deirdre (805) 640-5717
Rotary Hiking Club Deirdre Daly 2018-12-01 08:00:00Z 0

Terri Wolfe on Thomas Fire response

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Terri Wolfe of HELP of Ojai describing HELP’s nimble and enormous response to the Thomas Fire. 
Ojai residents were supported in 3 phases: emergency, housing, and financial.  Case management services continue and the impact of the fire is expected to last for 2-3 more years. 
Terri thanked Rotary Club of Ojai for our immediate cash award of $52,000. 
Terri Wolfe on Thomas Fire response Betsy Watson 2018-07-31 07:00:00Z 0

A Partnership That Builds Peace And Hope

Posted on Dec 27, 2017
Please follow the link below, to check out a District-5240 news article posted by our very own Leslie Bouché. The incredible work being done at the Prashanti School in Puri India, is a wonderful example of service above self and a heartwarming success story to boot. A special thanks to Leslie Bouché for sharing and for all your hard work! If you look carefully, you might just spot her amidst the many students.
A Partnership That Builds Peace And Hope Bryant Huber 2017-12-27 08:00:00Z 0
Bosnia and Herzegovina Update - July 2017 2017-07-25 07:00:00Z 0
Service to Women and Children Featuring Dr. Rob Skankey 2017-04-13 07:00:00Z 0

Clean, Safe Drinking Water For Children In India

Posted by Leslie Bouché on Apr 20, 2016
Rotary has always recognized how essential clean drinking water is for all people.  So in February, 2016, when the International Service committee of our Rotary Club of Ojai became aware of the immediate need for clean drinking water for children in a village school in India, they took immediate action.
Clean, Safe Drinking Water For Children In India Leslie Bouché 2016-04-21 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Carl A. Gross
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. Carl A. Gross 0