Past President
Sgt-at- Arms
Club Service Chair
Community Service Chair
International Service
The Rotary Foundation
Awards Chair
Vocational Service Chair
Public Relations
Web Administrator
RYLA Coordinator
Youth Service
Interact Coordinator
Club PRLS Coordinator
Club Bulletin Coordinator
Service Projects
Program Chair
Youth Exchange Chair
MBRC Foundation Director
MBRC Foundation Treasurer
January 2022
Welcome to Rotary Club of Morro Bay!
Morro Bay

Help Us Help Others

We meet In Person
Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
The Buoy
850 Quintana Rd.
Morro Bay, CA 93442
United States of America
We hold meetings on the 1st, 2nd and 4th Tues of each month. On the 3rd Tues of each month we host a "Rotary Bump Night" at local restaurants. When a 5th Tues occurs in a month, we host an "On Site Exploration" at a local venue.
President's Message
Some photos of our Rotary Club of Morro Bay Bicycle group.  This is a informal local Rotary bicycle group that focuses on riding, when we can, having fun, and drinking coffee.  The rides are random but if you are interested reach out to members Mike Pond, Jeff Jones, or Tim Olivas.
Members Jeff Jones and Mike Pond on West Cuesta Road
Members Mike Pond and Tim Olivas on Oats Peak MDO.
Member Tim Olivas with San Luis Obispo De Tolosa Club Past President Tom Zehnder at Pismo Preserve.
On Tuesday, January 18th at Noon we moved forward with our Service Project of pressure washing and cleaning the exterior of the Morro Bay Police Department.  Big thanks to Greg Hardcastle, Mike Pond, Police Chief Jody Cox, Mike Williams, John Solu, Doug Riddell, Jeff Jones, Mary Leizear, and Judy Salamacha for showing up to help.  We also had Lori French, Gretchen Hardcastle, and Judy Salamacha bake goodies for the Police Department, Fire Department, and Harbor Department which Judy delivered.  BIG thanks to publicity chair extraordinaire Jude Long for getting the Estero Bay News to visit and witness/document our project.  It was also great to see John Weiss make an appearance and cheer us on.  Thank you all!!!!
Sparkling Clean MBPD
Kelly Vandenheuvel was our program this week and she brought Denali, a Red-Tailed Hawk and Alice, a Great Horned Owl as part of her presentation.  We met outside and we could not have asked for a more beautiful day.  Both Denali and Alice were well behaved and put on a great show.  Kelly has been a volunteer re-habber and educator for Pacific Wildlife Care since 1984.  Pacific Wildlife Care rehabilitates and releases back into the wild native wildlife that have been found, sick, injured or orphaned.  Thank you Kelly!
Retro Bill was our amazing presentation and he did not disappoint.  Such a positive uplifting message and program.  We need to get him in every elementary, middle, and high school in our county.  One of a kind and our best program of the year.  Thank you Retro, keep doing what you do!  If you don’t know Retro Bill visit
1st Place Winner of Lighted Boat Parade 2021
Close to 10,000 on-lookers lined the Embarcadero to enjoy the 2021 Morro Bay Rotary Lighted Boat Parade on Saturday, December 4th.  The weather was reminiscent of the holidays, a beautiful evening with a chill in the air.  Crowds filled the restaurants, the balconies and sidewalks to watch the parade of 22 decorated boats ranging in size from 17 to 71 feet.  Local non-profits including Central Coast Women for Fisheries, Knights of Columbus, Lion’s and Rotary served up chili, sausages, cookies, and hot chocolate that was quickly sold out.
Rotarians John Solu and Melissa Davis announced and described the boats as they passed by the judges: John Headding, Jillian Montgomery, Sue Olivas, Dean Sullivan, and Michael Wambolt.  First Prize of $500 went to the Persistence owned by Nick Taron from Morro Bay.  The sleigh decorations with a giant reindeer and carolers dressed like elves caught the eyes of the judges.  Second Prize of $350 went to the Wake-n-Bake owned by Mike Leal from Paso Robles and the Third Prize of $150 went to the Western Explorer owned by Roy Arnold of Paso Robles.  Boats were decorated to look like whales, seahorses, Christmas trees, snowflakes and Santa flying a plane.  The Bay was filled with thousands of glittering, colorful lights everywhere including sailing masts lighted high into the night sky.
While the Morro Bay White Caps Band played, Santa and Mrs. Claus greeted a never-ending line of children, parents, and dogs at the Rotary Santa House.  Complimentary photos with Santa were given to families along with each child choosing a gift to take home with them.
Rotary President Tim Olivas mused that “Yes, it was a great showing for the Lighted Boat Parade!  Good to see some semblance of life returning to semi-normal”.  Children were happy, boats were beautiful and residents and tourists were thrilled to spend the evening on the Morro Bay waterfront.
Big THANK YOU to Jude Long for providing this article, picture, and all of the publicity she did for the Lighted Boat Parade.
Checking out the cool air cannon in the children's garden
When a 5th Tuesday occurs in a month we have an On Site Exploration.  On November 30th (5th Tuesday), we had a wonderful tour of the SLO Botanical Gardens with Director Chendra Lor leading the tour.  Thank you to Chendra and thank you to SLO Botanical Gardens.  SLO Botanical Gardens is one of our chosen Service Projects this year.
A quick update on District 5240's campaign to End Polio Forever which ran from October 24th to November 24th.  We had 16 members and 2 non-members engage in the campaign and we raised a total of $715 for the The Rotary Foundation's efforts to eradicate polio forever.  We had 2 members donate $100 and they will be recognized as Polio Plus Society members.  All others who donated at least $25 received an "End Polio Now" pin.  A big thank you to all who engaged and made contributions to this worthy campaign and cause. 
To learn more about District 5240's  Polio Plus efforts visit District 5240 Polio Plus
New Member Robin
We are excited to welcome new Rotary Club of Morro Bay member Robin Duke-Balango.  Robin was sponsored by Nancy Ford, attended three meetings and met with out membership chair to learn more about Rotary before being officially recognized as a new member.  Jeff Jones our membership chair is seen introducing Robin to members at our November meeting.  If you are interested in being a member please reach out to Jeff and he can explain the process.
John DeRohan with COPS N' KIDS
John DeRohan (Retired Chief of Morro Bay PD) was our speaker at our November meeting.  John shared with us how California Central Coast COPS 'N KIDS (a local non-profit organization - CCCCNK) works to connect law enforcement with the community.  COPS 'N KIDS hosts an annual COPS "N KIDS Field Day in Arroyo Grande aimed at connecting law enforcement members with the youth of our community in a positive environment. 
To learn more visit their website at or click on the link  California Central Coast COPS 'N KIDS
Our Morro Bay Rotary Club has committed to District 5240’s campaign to “End Polio Forever.”  At our October 26th meeting all members colored there little, pinky finger purple to simulate a vaccination against polio.  We also started a campaign that will run from October 24th to November 24th, to raise money to “End Polio Forever.  Rotary International is dedicated to raise $50 million a year which will be matched 2-1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for a total of $150 million a year.  Because of Rotaries work, today we are 99.9% polio free world wide.  We have only two countries left to eradicate the wild polio virus.  If members donate at least $25 dollars to this campaign they will receive an “End Polio Forever” lapel pin.   Please join us to “End Polio Forever.”
Greg was our speaker at our noon Tuesday Rotary Meeting.  He did an outstanding job outlining his goals and fielding tough questions about interactions with and services provided by Public Works.  Thank you Greg for your time and we wish you the best in your new position.  
We were pleased to have Erica Crawford give us an in depth talk about Economic Development and Chamber Advocacy today at our noon meeting.  For the month of October we will continue with speakers updating us on Morro Bay and how it is doing.  Next week we have Michael Wambolt with Visit Morro Bay as our speaker.  We started Hybrid meetings this week so now you can join us in person at the Buoy Restaurant of join us on Zoom.
At our September 28th at our noon meeting, we were delighted to have new Morro Bay High School Principal Scott Schalde as our presentation.  Principal Schlade had an outstanding mentor in our very own Pete Zotovich.  Scott did an outstanding job giving us an update on his focus on building relationships with the students and preparing them for graduation and beyond.
                                                         Gary Owens                   
                                    December 1, 1938 - September 16, 2021
It is with great sadness that I share with you the loss of one of our long time Rotarians and good friend, Gary Owens.  Gary was an active member of our club for many, many years.  He was a past President (2001-2002) and served several years as our Sergeant at Arms.   The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Morro Bay Rotary Foundation  A celebration of life will be held at the Morro Bay Methodist Church on Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 2pm with a reception to follow. All of his family and friends are welcome to attend.  Below is as brief tribute outlining Gary’s accomplished life. 
Gary Lee Owens was born in Ord, Nebraska on December 1, 1938 to Lloyd and Marie Owens.  He moved to Lexington, Nebraska a few months later where he grew up with his brother, Will, and sisters, Alyce Jean and Louise.  Gary graduated from Lexington High School and joined the Air Force where he served at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Kessler AFB in Biloxi and Loring AFB in Caribou, Maine.  After leaving the service, Gary attended Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana where he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering.  He worked on guidance systems on F4’s with General Electric, the Minute Man at Autonetics, a division of North American Rockwell, and finally the Space Shuttle, Small ICBM and PeaceKeeper (MX) system with Rockwell International at Vandenberg AFB.  For a brief time, Gary also owned and operated Owens Radio & T.V. in Morro Bay.  Gary coached Little League and Youth Football teams, was a 40+ year supporter of Camp Hapitok, was a member of Rotary Club of Morro Bay for nearly 50 years, founding member of the Black Brant Group, helped run a breeding program for Wood Ducks for the California Water Fowl Association, and was also a member of the Eagles.  
Please keep Gary, his loving wife, Marlene, his sons David (Dawn) and Michael (Lori), his daughter Susan (David), four grandsons, Dak, Dexton, Devan and Kai; two granddaughters, Dari and Sage; and many nieces and nephews in your thoughts and prayers. 
You will be missed our dear friend!
We held our first "On Site Exploration" at the Morro Bay Harbor Department where Harbor Director Eric Endersby gave us an outstanding presentation.  As part of the event we met at Dockside Too and shared a meal with Rotary friends for part of Eric's presentation.  Eric did an outstanding job competing for our attention among the screeching seagulls.  We then walked over to the Harbor Patrol dock where Eric finished his presentation with some fun harbor stories.  
We also gained a new member with Eric signing back up as a RCMB member and John Weiss presenting him with a Rotary Pin.  Welcome back Eric!
On Site Explorations are held when five Tuesdays occur within any month. This only occurs four times this Rotary year.  The next On Site Explorations for our Club will be on November 30, 2021, March 29, 2022, and May 30, 2022.  Don't miss out on these fun events!
Five Morro Bay High School graduates are headed to college this Fall with the help of scholarships they received from the Rotary Club of Morro Bay Foundation.  Scholarship Committee Chair, Mike Pond, announced that a total of $10,000 was awarded to five winners.  These awards are based on academic performance, financial need, extracurricular activities and community involvement.  The 2021 winners are Sage Clokey, Kaylee Garcia, Jacob Miller, Margaret Muff and Kelby Plotkin.  Thanks to successful fundraising and donations the Rotary Club of Morro Bay Foundation continues to support outstanding students.  The Club also contributed to the MBHS Senior Tribute and Awards Night.
Sheriff /Coroner Ian Parkinson was our guest speaker this past Tuesday.  He gave us an update both good and bad of what was going on in our County.  Thank you Sheriff Parkinson for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit our Club and keep us updated.
Sheriff Parkinson was presented a Rotary challenge coin exemplifying our "Service Above Self" motto and the four way test of the things we think, say, and do!
Chenda Lor who is the Director, of the SLO Botanical Gardens was our Guest Speaker last Tuesday.  SLO Botanical Gardens is a nonprofit dedicated to preserving our relationship with the nature that surrounds us. Join us next Tuesday (August 10th) when our Speaker will be non other than San Luis Obispo County Sheriff / Coroner Ian Parkinson.  You don't want to miss this meeting.
Welcome to the 2021-22 Rotary year!  I want to take a moment to thank Past President Jeff Jones and his BOD for leading us through a year like we have never experienced before and hope to never experience again.  Thank you to all who helped us not only survive but thrive this past year.  I’m really looking forward to serving as your president and working with each of you to make our Club even stronger than it already is.  This will truly be a year of opportunities, challenges, and new experiences as we navigate our way out of the pandemic and back to normal life. 
Our goal is to start the year with in person lunch meetings and social events which I believe we are all ready for after more than a year of isolation.  I want to encourage you to join your fellow club members and attend meetings, socials and community projects throughout the upcoming year.  Our meeting locations may change at the start of the year due to impacts from the pandemic.  Keep checking this website and your emails for updates on meeting locations and our new "Rotary Bump Nights." Rotary International’s theme for the 2021-22 year is “Serve To Change Lives.” I think that fits well with our long standing motto “Service Above Self.”   Rotary International has also launched a campaign “People of Action” to help identify what Rotarians are truly all about.
I know we are all looking forward to a fun, productive, and rewarding year being "People of Action."  By working together with our fellow Rotarians we will make a difference locally and globally.  We will be dark the first two weeks of July, however we will be having a Step Down/Social event on July 16th at 3:00pm (keep an eye out for more information on this event) and our first in person noon meeting will be held at Morro Bay High School on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.  See you all there!     
Service Above Self,
Tim Olivas
Ann Veleisis
Feb 01, 2022
Abalone Fishing in Morro Bay and California
Walter Heath
Feb 08, 2022
Morro Bay Bloom - Monarch Butterflies Return / Planting our Home Gardens
Upcoming Events