The Rotary Club of Big Bear Lake also took center stage at Monday evening’s meeting of the City Council of Big Bear Lake. The service club’s President Eric Lewis thanked the City for their assistance in the Fourth of July fireworks display which, Lewis noted, came together thanks to the Rotary volunteers who contributed over 850 man hours in four days in order to produce a fireworks show that the club was “extremely happy with” and which has garnered much positive feedback from the community. Rotarians attended the City Council meeting en masse, in part to support their service club which, in recent reports, has been attacked for politicking within the Big Bear Valley. To address this, Rotarian Dick Kun, a 60-year resident of Big Bear Lake, told Council, “Rotary is not political; we don’t take positions on public policy issues, be they local or with other government bodies. We have no involvement with the local agencies with the exception of the City in putting on the July 4th fireworks. While some individual members are politically active—as is true with any other group—Rotary does not support candidates or public policy issues. In fact, our bylaws forbid it.” Kun’s prepared speech also noted, “Rotarians are not a bunch of greedy businessmen looking to promote urbanization or growth in the Valley at the expense of its natural resources or environment, or just to line their pockets.” Lewis pointed out that Rotary is indeed a service club, and is celebrating its 62nd year of service to this community. These sentiments were furthered by a video presentation of the Rotary Club’s local contributions and the comments of 32-year Rotarian Roy Brownie—just some of those contributions locally include the Rotary Santa program; free dental screenings; Interact, Early Act and Youth Act clubs at local schools; contributions to food pantries, Oktoberfest, and Family Fun Night; Big Bear Idol; and the sponsorship of international exchange students, just to name a few. As Lewis closed, to much applause, he said of the 100-member strong Rotary Club, “Our record of community service speaks for itself. We are not a secret society. We extend an invitation to anyone to talk with us, attend a meeting and learn the facts about who we are.” More information on the Rotary Club of Big Bear Lake, including their international outreach efforts, is available on their website at BigBearRotary.com.
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