OAKHURST — On June 25, 2021, The Oakhurst Sierra Rotary Club held its annual demotion dinner in which the organization recognizes the club’s outgoing president and board of directors for their work over the past year. The group traditionally welcomes the incoming president and installs the new board in preparation for the year to come.
It is likely no surprise to the community that the members of the Oakhurst Sierra Rotary Club are no strangers to creating goodwill in the Oakhurst Area. The club raises close to $100,000 through fundraising efforts annually and redistributes the funds back into supporting local nonprofits, youth, and other community-based organizations.
In light of a year of zoom meetings due to the pandemic, outgoing president Sheri Lee of Kraft and Lee Insurance was honored with a “race car” themed party at the River Creek Golf Course. “It was a tough year, but we have a great club and were able to come together to do some pretty amazing things,” said Lee. “Fundraising efforts were hurt by the pandemic, but our board made the decision to dip into our reserves so we could continue meeting the club’s obligations and be available to the community when they needed us the most” she continued. The club membership happily showed up in theme to support their outgoing president who had worked hard to keep club initiatives moving forward despite the pandemic.
It is the role of the outgoing President to select and recognize a fellow Rotarian as the Rotarian of the Year. For Lee this selection was easy. She awarded the 2021 Rotarian of the Year award to Bobby Macaulay for his outstanding service to the club and community during a year of COVID and the Creek Fire. “When the pandemic initially hit, Bobby was instrumental in getting our food distribution program going. It has been great to be able to rely on him and get updates on what is going on at Madera County,” said Lee.
In collaboration with the Madera County Food Bank and the Elderberry House, the Rotary Club was able to provide hot food and commodities to seniors who were wary about venturing out to grocery stores as well as individuals who had been laid off in the early months of the pandemic. “I always tell people that Rotary provides me with a platform to speak on what I am passionate about,” said Macaulay. “My fellow Rotarians have always supported my efforts with the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst, and I don’t think the club would be there without them.”
The event concluded with the installation of the club’s new board and president, Nick Schneider of Yosemite Mortgage. Schneider has been an active member in the club since 2014 and has helped coordinate the club’s Poker and Bingo fundraiser for the past several years. “I have seen first-hand the difference that we as a club can make and I want to ensure that new members continue to join in order to help us strategically grow,” said Schneider. “The club currently has a healthy roster, but I have seen how other clubs have struggled to continue on and I don’t want that for us.”
The club meets for lunch every Wednesday at El Cid in Oakhurst to socialize and exchange ideas.
Those interested in joining the club can visit OakhurstRotary.com to learn more about the club but should reach out to an active member to ask questions about joining as well.