Rotary leader faces new challenges
Scripps Ranch businessman Dave Parker became the new president of The Rotary Club of Poway-Scripps on July 1. Never has that job been more difficult, and never has the need for its community service been greater.
“Typically, we are a lunch group, meeting every Wednesday with a speaker at Kaminski’s in Poway,” he said. “With COVID restrictions, it has become very challenging.”
Rotarians haven’t been able to network face-to-face since March, so they’ve been video conferencing via Zoom instead. But that hasn’t stopped Parker and the service organization from raising money and funding important projects.
The Rotary Club usually raises the lion’s share of its annual budget by sponsoring a September parade in Poway.
“Unfortunately, we had to postpone it this year,” Parker said. “There’s a concern because we use some of the proceeds from the parade to give back to the community. Part of our challenge right now is to find alternative funding methods.”
Parker and his fellow Rotarians decided to sell American flags, and used some of that money to support first responders.
“We partnered with Chile Peppers Mexican Eatery to donate lunch to the staff at Palomar Medical Center Poway,” he said.
The Rotary Club will also contribute some of that money to support local fire departments. It earned about $1,300 from the sale of the full-sized stars and stripes.
Parker, a Scripps Ranch resident for almost 20 years now, delivered them all himself.
“I got to meet some really friendly people,” he said.
Hopefully, the parade will return next year, Parker said.
Another goal for Parker and his club members is to work with shelterbox.org to bring emergency shelters and supplies to Scripps Ranch and Poway, including family-sized tents, food and water – “Everything one might need in a disaster,” Parker explained.
In addition to serving Scripps Ranch and Poway, Parker said the Rotary Club also addresses regional and international needs through matching grants. For example, it is partnering with other clubs to provide money for wells and water storage on the Navajo reservation in Arizona and New Mexico, and to fund tree planting in Ghana, Africa. The goal is to plant one tree there for every Rotary Club member worldwide.
Parker is a financial advisor for Edward Jones. He moved his office from South Park to Scripps Ranch last year. He served as president-elect of the Rotary Club of Poway-Scripps from July of 2019 through June of this year before becoming president in July. He encourages visitors to the weekly Zoom meetings and welcomes new members.
“We’re looking for people who want to do good in the world,” Parker said. “The more hands we have, the more help we can give.”
For more information regarding The Rotary Club of Poway-Scripps, or to get involved, visit powayscrippsrotary.org.