President Russ Wilcox's Message


Welcome to the homepage for Steinbeck Rotary. We are the "breakfast club" in Salinas. We aren't in detention like in the movie, we just prefer the fun vibe of an early meeting which gets our day off to the best start. In a typical meeting, we meet at the Steinbeck Center, aka Salinas City Center, in the Vista Room which has its own entrance to the right of the main doors. Members of the public are welcome to come and enjoy our program or to see if Steinbeck Rotary is a good fit for you. Doors open at 7:00am, the meeting starts at 7:30 end ends promptly at 8:30. A hot catered breakfast is served and we typically have an outside speaker which has been chosen to either inform or entertain. The cost to attend is $15.00. Click here to see our upcoming speakers.

Our last year was amazing! We added seven new members, all of them dynamic and engaged. Our two main sources of funding for our charitable giving, the Brewfest at Steinbeck Center, beertending at the Sea Otter Classic and the All Star Basketball Game, all in the spring. We donated the money we raised to a number of causes, most of them local and related to support for youth. Steinbeck Rotary has been hosting exchange students every year for over thirty-five years. We also hosted an exchange student from Belgium and sent another to Argentina. We are also proud of our relationship with Everett Alvarez High School, especially the Interact Club, which we sponsor. We are so proud of their accomplishments and inspired by their performance in engaging students and running activities to benefit local causes as well as in the fight against cancer. Raising almost $40,000 over the last three years, EAHS Interact was named Philanthropic Organization of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Monterey Bay Chapter last fall. 

This year, we are adding a new fundraiser starting on November 1, concurrent with the Dia De Los Muertos celebration. This fun event will feature local downtown eateries who will offer samples of their best dishes as well as interesting beverages. Watch this website to purchase tickets. Our exchange student from Japan will be arriving this quarter and our local student will go to Belgium. Additionally, Steinbeck Rotary has been the lead club for a Global Grant to assist the Food Bank for Monterey County. Our goal is for all Monterey County Rotary Clubs to join us so that we can turn approximately $16,000 local dollars into $63,000 due to ample matching funds from District 5230, Rotary International and funds from India (making it a "Global Grant"). In turn, we are the international partner for a literacy and sanitation Global Grant originating in India. With this Grant, our participation allows the Indian Clubs to multiply their local contributions and achieve progress with similar funding levels as the Food Bank Grant.

This new year is also notable in that we have introduced two additional membership options, for a total of four. Click here to check them to see if one is right for you. One of these is a very attractive "Corporate Membership" which allows participation in Rotary without as much of a time commitment and for those who lack the time to attend regularly. These changes have been made to make the Rotary experience accessible to more people, making them attractive for younger members as well as those enjoying retirement. Our efforts toward encouraging people with diverse backgrounds, ages and vocation, are paying off with excellent member participation, attendance and satisfaction. Also, by having our membership divided into six teams, each responsible for two months of programming, we are seeing our members work together, be creative and enjoy learning to master new roles.

Be The Inspiration!

Russ Wilcox
President, Steinbeck Rotary