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October 14, 2009 > Washington on Wheels receives Niles rotary award

Washington on Wheels receives Niles rotary award

Submitted By Dave Hembree
Photos By courtesy of Dave Hembree

The Washington on Wheels (W.O.W.) Mobile Health Clinic recently received the first annual Chuck Kraft Outstanding Community Service Award from the Niles Rotary Club. The award is given to any organization, business, or individual that has shown the same outstanding commitment to community service that was demonstrated by the late Chuck Kraft when be began the Niles Rotary Club in 1937 and served the community in many ways throughout his career.

Niles Rotary was the first service club established in southern Alameda County. The first conversation about forming a Rotary club in Niles occurred in October 1937 among three local businessmen: Ted Glassbrook (the manager of the local water service); Tom Wilson (a local dentist), and Charles "Chuck" Kraft (owner of Kraft Tile). They were soon joined by other businessmen who regularly had lunch at the City of Florence restaurant (now the Florence bar in Niles).

Chuck's leadership led to the official formation of the Niles Rotary Club on December 9, 1937, where Chuck was elected as the first president. His efforts and activity in the club helped the new Rotary club achieve success, and since then Niles Rotary has continued to be a community leader today. In addition to running his successful Kraft Tile business, which was well known throughout California and Europe, he still had the time to be very active in his community. In honor of this service to his community, the Chuck Kraft Outstanding Community Service Award of Niles Rotary was created.

W.O.W., which opened in 2002, provides primary care medical services which include physical exams, health screenings for things such as blood pressure, blood sugar for diabetes and cholesterol, along with immunizations for children and adults. W.O.W. also provides occupational medicine for employers.

W.O.W. travels throughout the Tri-City area, and although the mobile clinic is open to all, it primarily focuses on providing health care for the uninsured or under-insured. Every year, W.O.W. provides close to 1,500 flu immunizations, free health exams and physicals to over 1,000 students in the Fremont, Newark and New Haven Unified School Districts, and free screenings to over 500 community members for Diabetes. In addition, W.O.W. participates in numerous health fairs and celebrations throughout the year.

W.O.W. has had a successful relationship with Niles Rotary and the other Rotary clubs in the area for many years due to the funds received from the Annual Rotary Chili Cook-Off, which takes place each summer. The funds have greatly contributed to Washington On Wheels and the services it provides.

In receiving the award, Ruth Traylor, Director of Community Outreach for the Washington Hospital Health care System and manager of the W.O.W. Mobile Health Clinic, said, "Washington Hospital and W.O.W. are very honored to be receiving this award from Niles Rotary. The award recognizes the excellent service provided to our community by the Washington on Wheels Mobile Health Clinic."

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