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March 28, 2006 > Niles rotary funds community organizations

Niles rotary funds community organizations

by Sandi Pantages

The Niles Rotary Club is hosting its 11th annual Elimination Raffle fund raiser at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 7, at Sunol Valley Country Club. One hundred percent of the funds raised by the event go directly to programs supported by Niles Rotarians that benefit the community, both locally and worldwide.

Since inception of the Elimination Raffle fundraiser in 1995, Niles Rotary has contributed over $200,000 to non-profit organizations to further their work. Organizations supported by the Niles Rotary Foundation include the YMCA, Tri-City Homeless Coalition and its BridgeWay East transitional housing project, Fremont Cultural Arts Council, Fremont Symphony Orchestra, Tri-City Health Center, Young Life, Fremont Education Foundation, the Centerville Free Dining Room, Tri-City Salvation Army, American Cancer Society, Fremont Youth Symphony, and Royal Family Kids Camp. Niles Rotary has donated funds to grad nights in Fremont, the Young Parents Program at Robertson High School, youth scholarships for high school seniors, and house painting projects for those in need.

After school on one day each week, students in grades 4 through 6 at one of the elementary schools in Fremont gather in a school auditorium for their free band class, thanks to the Niles Rotary Foundation. For most students, this is their first opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument. The children, when asked what they like most about their band class, will say that they like being with other students to learn to play music, or they like to play an instruments that "makes a lot of noise."

Every March, several thousand children are bussed to the gymnasium at Ohlone College for a live orchestra performance by the Fremont Symphony Orchestra; the annual children's concerts are funded by the Niles Rotary Foundation. As they listen to the classical music played by the Symphony (usually the first and only time the students get to hear live classical music played by a professional orchestra), the kids will be "air conducting" or intensely watching the musicians as they play. The brass instruments and the familiar tune of the "William Tell Overture" might be a favorite of many students.

The Royal Family Kids Camp provided a week long opportunity for at risk children from foster homes a special place for loving care, craft activities, swimming, and games. A Niles Rotarian helping out one day at the summer camp saw a very patient counselor, sitting under a table coaxing a very troubled young person out to take part in the morning's activity. The children benefit from the total attention they receive during their camp time.

Fremont Cultural Arts Council's Young Artists Showcase, funded by the Niles Rotary Foundation, is just that. It brings together young people with a variety of talents in the fine and performing arts for a special performance each spring. The Arts Council's Art in the Park at Ardenwood Regional Park in Fremont - a display of local art - is also supported by the Niles Rotary Foundation.

Over the years, the Fremont-Newark YMCA has received support from the Niles Rotary Foundation, ranging from funds for playground equipment, to computer equipment, to summer camp funding.

About four times each year, Niles Rotary provides the dinner at the Centerville Free Dining Room. According to Rose Everndon-Andrade, who coordinates the Rotary volunteers and the food for the dinner, "it is so heartwarming to be able to prepare and serve food to those in our community who need special help we can provide."

Event chairman Bob Mazza, who will preside over Niles Rotary from July 2006-June 2007, describes the April 7 fund raiser as "the only event that Niles Rotary does that helps our community in so many ways; we are honored to be able to raise funds to give back to the community, and excited about the many opportunities we have for giving."

Mazza encourages the public to buy tickets for the elimination raffle. For a donation of $100, the ticket purchaser is able to attend the dinner, auction and elimination raffle at Sunol Valley Country Club on April 7. There are only 500 tickets entered in the raffle. All numbers are drawn. The first and every tenth ticket receive a cash prize, ranging from $50 to $100. The third to last ticket drawn pays $250 and the second to last ticket pays $500. The last ticket drawn is the grand prize of $5,000.

Information about the event is available on the Niles Rotary website, or call Bob Mazza at (209) 820-7943.

Elimination Raffle Fundraiser
Friday, April 7
6 p.m.
Sunol Valley Country Club
6900 Mission Road, Sunol

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