A Few Historical Projects

Hole-In-One Fundraiser

In 1995 the Torrey Pines Rotary Club developed a Hole-In-One contest in co-operation with the Century Club and The Buick Invitational Golf Tournament as a fundraiser. The contest went on for 5 years and raised thousands of dollars for the Torrey Pines Rotary Foundation and the Century Club Children's Charities. By year 5, the contest was not bringing in enough money to justify the enormous effort it took to put it on. We discontinued the contest and joined the Century Club in their "Birdies for Charity" program. Members maned a booth to sell tickets to guess the total number of birdies at the Torrey Pines Invitational. Pledges were in the form of dollars per birdie, and monies serve one of the great charitable projects through the Torrey Pines Rotary Foundation.
In 2003 they changed over to a new fundraiser called "Chip in for Charity". The Torrey Pines Rotary was actively involved in that program.

Torrey Pines State Reserve

Our club has had a long standing relationship with Torrey Pines State Reserve. The flag pole located in the courtyard at the entrance to the park headquarters was a gift from a very young Torrey Pines Rotary Club in 1967. Since that time we have worked on various hands-on projects at the Reserve but the one we are most proud of was the construction, in 1991, of an overlook platform just off the Guy Fleming Trail on the cliff high above Torrey Pines State Beach. The platform was constructed in honor of long time club member Richard Weber and dedicated to his years of service to our club and to Rotary. He has since passed away but the overlook remains a legacy that according to the State, is the most visited site in the Reserve and the location chosen for numerous outdoor weddings.


In mid 1987 the Torrey Pines Rotary Club heard a program by "Esperanza" on building homes in Tijuana, Mexico for the very poor. The idea appealed to our membership, so we pursued it as a Club project. We had established a sister club relationship with the Rotario Independencia Club in Tijuana and asked them if they would like to partner up with us and build a house. They jumped right in, and the organization Esperanza welcomed our participation. Esperanza had a process in place to pick the location and the family. We donated $700.00 as did our sister club. Esperanza poured the foundation and had all of the other necessary materials already on site when we arrived. They also had an experienced retired contractor, with a trailer full of tools, to guide us along. We arrived some 12 members strong early on a Saturday morning and along with about 6 members from the Tijuana club, we built the house in about 10 hours. It was only a 12' X 20' structure with 2 windows and 1 door. A shack or tool shed to us, but a mansion to the poor family. The following Saturday, 4 of our members and 3 from Independencia returned to paint the exterior and finish details. Doing the work with our own hands and seeing the results gave all of the Club a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

AFC Half Marathon

Have you ever served water to over 10,000 runners?  For over ten years starting in 2003 we were at the Finish Line at the crack of dawn before the start of the America's Finest City Half Marathon and 5K Walk/Run that starts and ends in Balboa Park. Our role was to have cups of water and hearty cheers at the ready, and pass out medals for the 10,000+ participants after they pass the Finish Line. It was a fun, wet, great way to start the day!  Race organizers changed the format recently, and if they ever need us back we are ready to go!

Meals on Wheels Holiday Gift Bags 

Torrey Pines Rotary Club selected Meals-On-Wheels for one of the Club's 2007 Holiday Projects. Club members donated 50 Holiday Gift bags to low-income Seniors served by Meals-On-Wheels. Included in each gift bag were personal care items that had been on many of the Senior's wish lists including toiletries, white socks, puzzle books and stationery items. The Torrey Pines Rotary Club was honored to participate in the project and help send a little holiday cheer to fellow San Diegans in need. This story was featured on KUSI News on Friday December 14, 2007. Click on the right to watch the video.

Portraits of Hope

For over 10 years the Torrey Pines (La Jolla) Rotary Club supported the annual Portraits of Hope project. Each December over 60 families in need are given the opportunity to obtain heirloom-quality family portraits free of charge. Photographer Don Gilmore and his firm Visual Poetry began the project in 1999, and starting in 2000 Torrey Pines Rotary provided volunteers and financial support to enable participation by families living at St. Vincent de Paul Village and those with students attending Nativity Prep Academy, both in downtown San Diego.
The portraits provide a milestone and an inspiration for families on the road to self-sufficiency. "Once they graduate for St. Vincent's, our families will remember a turning point when they look at the pictures" noted Father Joe Carroll. "Through this yearly gift to the Village, Visual Poetry and torrey Pines Rotary provide a meaningful way to help families restore the dignity lost to life on the streets." See Press Release from Father Joe's Villages.
See Press Release from Father Joe's Villages.

Youth Service

We support youth programs at our local high school to promote the development of young potential leaders and over the years sponsored students who applied through an interview process to attend Rotary's Youth Leadership Awards Camp (RYLA). Former Club member Nancy Russian served on the RYLA District Committees as the Public Relations Chair and as the Treasurer, and has attended and served at the camp for over 12 years.
Through the years we have taken an active role at the high school level through our Interact Club at University City High School, introducing and encouraging students to do their part in supporting their community in such activities as beach clean-up projects, environmental preserve restorations, volunteerism at local homeless shelters and fundraising projects to support other needy charitable organizations in the community.
We have lots of ways to get involved - come join us! And if you have a great idea that will serve a need in the community, join us and we'll do what we can to help!

Food Bank Support

Following many years of support for Meals on Wheels, Torrey Pines Rotary Club continued to collect food and cash donations for the Miramar Food Locker at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and for the Salvation Army in conjunction with the Scouting For Food Boy Scout project.