The Santee Lakeside Rotary Club (SLRC) is celebrating its 60th birthday this month.  Chartered as a Rotary club on May 23, 1960, the club  introduced 23 charter members to the world of Rotary.  At the time of charter, SLRC represented the twin communities of Santee and Lakeside,  both were unincorporated rural areas.  Santee has since incorporated as a city.  Rotarian, Walter Chandler served as its first president, followed by Rotarian Ray Stoyer.  The club was sponsored by the El Cajon and La Mesa Rotary clubs. 
Charter members were:  Walter Chandler, Dr. John De Kock, Charles Bliss, Ross Mallette, John Bacon, Ray Stoyer, Charles Skidmore, Dwight Williams, Fred Breise, Barney Barrett, Rev. Charles Clark, John Gill, Bert Partain, Robert Schipper, Bruce Swinson, Gordon M. Bell, Wayne Chubb, Al Flaven, Chet Harritt, Duane Pillsbury, John Smiley, W.H. Stevens Jr., Edward L. Brewer, Dr. Everett Carmody, Frank Fox, Sam Millison, Gale Ruffin, Harold Secor, William Thomas and Thomas Smiley.
SLRC membership was drawn from a broad cross-section of professions, business, industry, education and government, which is still true today.  Currently SLRC has 32 members and growing.  Current members who have led the club as president include Bill Pommering, Allen Carlisle, Elana Levens-Craig, Augie Caires, Sandy Pugliese, Tom Miles, Doug Wilson, Vic Bermudes, Jim Peasley, and Paul Ague.
As People of Action, a long-standing community service program stands the test of time and is still going strong.  Initiated a few decades back by a growing concern over high school drop out rates, the SLRC established a scholarship program that aimed to assist students from three local high schools - West Hills, Santana and El Capitan - with staying in high school and graduating with their class.  Identified students were mentored and were given a set of criteria that, if met, would provide them the equivalent of a two-year community college tuition, including books and fees.  To date, over 200 students have been helped through this program.  
With the motto Service Above Self at the helm of all the club activities,  other local community projects undertaken by SLRC include participating with the annual USPS in the Stamp Out Hunger Food drive to make sure the food that is collected in Santee is donated to the Santee Food Bank.  SLRC also provided assistance through either hands-on projects, grants or a combination of both and include Santee Santas Foundation, Santee Food Bank, East County Transitional Living Center, Canine Companions for Independence and Rotary at Work projects. Other activities include holiday card card writing to distribute to isolated seniors in mobile home parks, collecting items for a Veteran's home, Soles 4 Souls shoe collection, planting trees, participating in Rotaractor WAPI project. and providing fingerprinting services for children at local health fairs.  
Internationally, SLRC has sponsored water projects in Kenya and Ecuador, as well as providing direct assistance to Rancho Marta, a school and orphanage in Mexico, where the club  has funded a kitchen, computer lab and a ranch solar project.  In earlier days of the club, SLRC was involved in assisting a school in Tijuana.  In addition, the SLRC joins its sister club, the Rotary Club de Ensenada in activities of mutual interest.  
SLRC typically meets at noon on Thursdays at San Diego Christian College but is currently meeting virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions.  The club would love to have you join them for a meeting.  You can find the club online or on Facebook.  You can also email the club or call (619) 993-7805.