On July 2, Ralph Cesena Jr. assumed the presidency of the Lodi Sunrise Rotary Club and within a week had accomplished his first goal of the new year â€" a new location for the clubâ€™s Wednesday morning meetings.
With a spike in new membership, the club was in the position of not being able to support the aggressive growth plan for 2008-09, and so a move to Oak Ridge Winery was made.
The club meets at Oak Ridge on Wednesday mornings, from 7 a.m. until 8 a.m.
Cesena, who is an information technology professional with Estrada Consulting in Sacramento, intends to leverage his technology expertise during his year as Rotary Club president. He has created a new look to the website which includes new content on a weekly basis, Rotary videos, and blogs by the president, the clubâ€™s youth exchange student and the clubâ€™s ambassadorial scholar.
Cesena is also a long-time performing musician in the Lodi area and intends to leverage his passion for the benefit of his club. In particular, the club has launched a "Rotary Rocks!â€A series of events designed to show the public that Rotary is not only a serious community service organization, but fun as well. The first Rotary Rocks! food / wine / music event will be held Aug. 9th from 6:30 to 11 p.m., at Oak Ridge Winery.
Rotary Rocks! is one of two new fundraising events planned for the upcoming year. The other is the "Lodi Sunrise Poker Runâ€A which the club hopes to debut in October or November, in addition to continuing its current fundraising events that include the annual Sunrise Century bike ride.
The Lodi Sunrise Rotary Club will undertake some major new initiatives this year including a water treatment project in the Yucatan region of Mexico, ongoing support of the World of Wonder Science Museum (to which Lodi Sunrise Rotary recently bestowed a grant of $3,000), a new literacy project to provide new books to the Lodi Library as well as continuing to sustain its current projects. This includes an annual "bike giveawayâ€A project, which was recently awarded a $500 grant from the Geweke Foundation.
Recently, the club made a three-year budget commitment to meet the Polio Plus Challenge which will help Rotary International match the $100 million grant recently made by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The purpose of the grant was to help Rotary Internationalâ€™s "Polio Plusâ€A program execute its final phase and finally eradicate polio from the planet.
Joining Cesena on the board of directors are Dustin Taunton, president elect and Membership Director; Steve Reeves,president designate and sergeant at arms; Phil Felde, treasurer; Chuck Higgs, past president; Richard Ross, secretary; Gary Duncan, community service director; Nicole Goehring, programs; Joanne Davis, club service; Mike Sinclair, youth service; John Bates, Rotary Foundation; Rodger Robinson, sunrise century director; Robert Gross, communications; and Bradley Webb, vocational service.
The Lodi Sunrise Rotary Club was established in 1987 and is the only morning club in Lodi. Meetings are held Wednesdays from 7 a.m. until 8 a.m. at Oak Ridge Winery, 6100 Victor Road, and feature a catered breakfast by DeGrandeâ€™s Cafe. For more information, visit the club websites at www.LodiSunriseRotary.org and www.LodiSunriseCentury.com, or contact President Ralph Cesena Jr. at President@LodiSunriseRotary.org.