This is a busy time of the year for service clubs in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. Some club members are ringing the Salvation Army bells and staffing the donation kettles at local shopping centers. Others, such as the Exchange Clubs of Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor, are delivering food and Christmas gifts to families in need. Still others, partnering with their Interact and Key Club groups, are decorating their Rose Parade floats in time for the 124th parade being held Jan. 1 in Pasadena.
Look for the Kiwanis International, Rotary International and Lions Clubs International floats starting at 8 a.m. as the Rose Parade steps off. The best TV viewing, uninterrupted by commercials, will be broadcast on KTLA 5 in Southern California. If you are not out of bed at 8 a.m., KTLA will rebroadcast the parade several times New Year's Day.
Speaking of KTLA, Newport-Irvine Rotarian John Brainerd, chair of Rotary's 2013 Float Committee, was interviewed on KTLA this past Monday morning. Reporter Gayle Anderson inquired about the theme of Rotary's International's float, "All the Places We Go," which reflects the continents and nearly 200 countries around the world where Rotary is involved in service and peace efforts. John thanked the hundreds of Interactors, Rotaractors, Rotarians and friends who are decorating the float. Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka of the Rotary Club of Yashio, Saitama, Japan will ride on the float, while 16 participants in Rotary's service efforts around the world also will ride on the float or walk alongside it.
The service clubs have also taken time to enjoy fellowship during the holidays. Several clubs are holding Christmas Boat Parade dinners at homes and yacht clubs. Others have held Christmas parties for their own children and grandchildren.
Most clubs will not meet for the next two weeks as members take time to enjoy their families and the holiday.
Let's keep the community of Newtown, Connecticut and the families who lost their children, spouses, mothers and grandchildren in our hearts and prayers throughout this holiday season. Let's give an extra hug and love to our own families. Life is precious and so are our families.
From my wife Barbara and myself, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and best wishes for the New Year.
COMMUNITY & CLUBS is published Wednesdays. Send your service club's meeting information by fax to (714) 921-8655 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.