Rotary gets anonymous donation; Rotary clubs help fight homelessness

Westchester Playa Village has received a $75,000 donation from the Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation. The funds will help the organization continue its efforts to assist local seniors in remaining self-sufficient as they age in their homes, a village spokesperson said.

“Many seniors are forced to move out of the homes in which they have lived for decades just because they can’t handle some of the little things on their own,” foundation president Karen Dial said in presenting the donation.

“Westchester Playa Village helps seniors with all the little things that most of us take for granted – transportation to doctor appointments, shopping, household chores. Without their help, seniors often have no other choice but to move into an assisted living facility or move in with their families.”

Westchester Playa Village Executive Director Linda Berri said, “Independence is tremendously important for all of our clients. We are so thankful for this grant because it means that more seniors will be able to stay in the homes they love.”

The foundation is a grassroots, volunteer-driven membership organization committed to supporting older adults, 55 years of age and over, living in the neighborhoods of Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Marina del Rey and Ladera Heights.

Berri, a Westchester resident since 1970 and a licensed California Nursing Home administrator, said the chief request from members is simply a ride to the doctor or to the grocery store.

Berri added that members and volunteers often develop relationships with each other and both benefit from the experience.

“It just works on so many levels,” said Berri, who added that the foundation is modeled after the successful, nationally recognized Beacon Hill Village model in Boston.

Berri continued, “It is critical for us to continue to find sponsors to assist WPV in providing services to our seniors,” Berri said. The generous donation from Karen and the Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation will have a real and meaningful impact on the seniors we serve, but no gift is too small.”

Information, (310) 695-7030.

ROTARY RECEIVES ANONYMOUS DONATION

The Westchester Rotary Foundation recently received a $10,000 donation from an anonymous source to support Rotary International’s End Polio Now campaign.

The foundation had already planned to give $10,000 of its own to the cause. Now, the $20,000 will be matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, making the contribution worth $40,000.

Since 1988, Rotary International and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative — the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — have worked to eradicate polio. A volunteer service organization of 1.2 million men and women, Rotary began immunizing children against polio in 1985 and became a spearheading partner in the polio initiative three years later.

Thanks in part to Rotary and its partners, the world has seen polio cases plummet by more than 99 percent, preventing five million instances of child paralysis and 250,000 deaths. When Rotary began its eradication work, polio infected more than 350,000 children annually. In 2009, fewer than 1,700 cases were reported worldwide.

But the polio cases represented by that final 1 percent are the most difficult and expensive to prevent, according to Rotary. Challenges include geographic isolation, worker fatigue, armed conflict, and cultural barriers.

LOCAL ROTARY CLUBS HELP FIGHT HOMELESSNESS

The Rotary Club of Westchester and the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club recently presented checks to Homes for Life Foundation to help provide permanent, service-enriched housing for people with mental disabilities.

The Westchester-based foundation has established a network of 16 permanent, affordable, service-enriched housing throughout Los Angeles County for individuals who suffer from mental disabilities and those who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless.

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