Community & Clubs: Planting seeds for the future

On Saturday, more than 30 members of the Rotary Club of Newport-Balboa will be sprucing up more than 2,500 carrotwood tree seedlings in preparation of presenting them to third-graders in all 21 public and 15 private schools within the boundaries of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District the week of March 4.

The Rotary Club's Arbor Day activity was started in 1969 by Newport-Balboa's past president and chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, the late Gen. Thomas F. Riley, and his good friend Cecil Schira, then president of Hines Nursery. For the past 44 years, Rotarians have given to third-graders more than 100,000 trees, many of which can be seen greening the yards of homes in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, according to Bill Hossfeld, Arbor Day chair for the Rotary Club.

Rotarians, as they visit the third-grade classes, point out that trees provide beauty and shade, help to fight effects of pollution, provide oxygen, and combat the effects of global warming, according to Hossfeld.

A 15-gallon flame tree will be planted at Sonora Elementary School, 966 Sonora Road, Costa Mesa at 7:45 a.m. March 7 for Flag Deck. Costa Mesa's mayor and City Council, NMUSD Supt. Fred Navarro and members of the school board have been invited to attend. Honorary Rotarian Jack Hammett, a Pearl Harbor survivor, along with some of his fellow World War II survivors, will present colors and lead the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Sonora Elementary School band will play. The public is invited to attend this ceremony.

Wounded warriors event

The Newport Beach Sunrise Rotary Club will hold its annual fundraiser March 22 to support "wounded warriors" and their families at Camp Pendleton. Because they are still considered on active duty, these wounded, injured, and/or ill Marines and Navy corpsmen are not eligible for programs like the Wounded Warrior Project, which only helps veterans.

Rotary welcomes the public to attend at the Balboa Pavilion's Harborside Restaurant and Grand Ballroom with a reception, dining and dancing, with a 6 p.m. start and more dancing from 9 to 11 p.m. with the popular Boxcar 7 band. "There will be wounded Marines and their spouses at this event and their battalion commander, Lt. Col. James Fullwood from Camp Pendleton," says Kimberly McKinney, event chair. She promises a remarkable evening, titled "Passport to Patriotism," where guests can meet some of our nation's heroes and support their family's needs for spousal job training and education expenses for wives who have to become the main breadwinner. There are up to 250 wives, most with small children, that this event will positively impact in addition to other community projects, including mobile dental clinics, defeating polio worldwide, etc.

One-of-a-kind auction items include a "Day at the Wounded Warrior Battalion" tour with shooting at the range where the Marines practice for their version of the interservice Warrior Games this spring; a private tour of the USS Midway, San Diego, with Cmdr. Roger Ryan; and golfing with Marine Corps officers. And if you need a vacation, a week at one of Mexico's finest resorts on the beach: Club Cascadas de Baja, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Tickets are $150 per person (includes valet), and reservations can be made at Deadline is March 15. For more information on the Rotary's wounded-warrior efforts, go to

Student speaker contest

The Harbor Mesa Lions Club participated in the 76th annual statewide Student Speakers Contest recently. The contest is open to students in grades 9 through 12. The subject this year is "How Do We Create and Keep Jobs in America?" Winner of the club's contest was 16-year-old Forrest McFarland of Fountain Valley. Forrest went on to compete in the Zone A contest on Feb. 21 at the Newport-Mesa Unified School District offices. The grand winner of the contest will have received more than $22,000 in scholarships after competing in club, zone, region, district, area and state contests. The purpose of the contest is not only to develop speaking qualities but to encourage students to take an active interest in the civic, cultural and social moral welfare of their communities. For further information about the contest or Harbor Mesa Lions, please see their website at

Service Club Meetings This Week


Noon: The Exchange Club of Corona del Mar meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, 1601 Bayside Drive, Corona del Mar.


7 a.m.: The 20-member Costa Mesa Orange Coast Lions Club meets at Mimi's Café, Newport and Harbor boulevards, Costa Mesa.

Noon: The 45-member Kiwanis Club of Newport Beach/Corona del Mar meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. For more information, visit

Noon: The 95-member Exchange Club of Newport Harbor meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club for a State of the County presentation by Supervisor John Moorlach.

Noon: The 40-member Kiwanis Club of Costa Mesa meets at the Costa Mesa Country Club, 1701 Golf Course Drive, Costa Mesa. For more information, visit

Noon: The 55-member Newport-Irvine Rotary Club meets at the University Club, 801 E. Peltason Drive, Irvine for a presentation by Professor Vinayak Chaturvedi on "The Empire's Game: A Brief History of Tennis in India." On March 14, Sue McKinney will speak on "Traditional Vietnamese Medicine." For more information, visit

6 p.m.: The 57-member Rotary Club of Newport-Balboa meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club for a program by Major Dane Hanson on the status of the 1/1 Marines. For more information, visit


7:15 a.m.: The 58-member Newport Beach Sunrise Rotary Club will meet at the Five Crowns Restaurant, 3801 Pacific Coast Highway, Corona del Mar for a program with Eric Spitz, CEO of Freedom Communications, owner of the Orange County Register. For more information, visit

COMMUNITY & CLUBS is published twice monthly on Wednesdays. Send your service club's meeting information by e-mail to

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