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La Jolla Sunrise Rotary to fund trees in Kellogg Park with luau proceeds

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Proceeds from the La Jolla Sunrise Rotary Club’s upcoming luau fundraiser will replace trees as needed in Kellogg Park.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Earlier this year, the La Jolla Shores Association board debated — and then approved — a list of eight projects it would like the City to fund in the coming year.

Topping the list for the second year is to have the Kellogg Park parking lot gates locked from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. nightly; followed by added trash cans and increased pick-up during the summer; and increased clean-up at the public restrooms.

Further down the list are: repairs to the north comfort station, repairs to the Walter Munk Way (boardwalk) walls, replacement of trees in Kellogg Park, addition of street lights and repairs to the boardwalk surface.

However, recognizing that the City cannot fund it all, the La Jolla Sunrise Rotary Club is stepping in to fund the tree replacement with proceeds from its Oct. 6 luau (see below for event details). This is not the first time the early-morning club has offered to replace trees, but it is the first time the Shores Association is a beneficiary.

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Rotarian Sherry Savage explained that she initially connected with board last year ahead of the Club’s first fundraising luau. “I reached out to La Jolla Shores merchants because we meet at the La Jolla Shores Hotel, and I wanted to get the word out in the community to see if we could get door prizes donated,” she said. “It was then we found out most people didn’t know we existed.”

During this foray into the community, Savage befriended Ocean Girl retail store owner Terry Kraszewski, who suggested she speak at the Shores Association meeting to increase community awareness ahead of this year’s luau.

“It was at that meeting the board talked about its wishlist for the City,” Savage said. “I took the list to the Rotary Club and let them know there were real needs. Many of our members have lived in La Jolla for decades and loved the idea of helping. Kellogg Park, in particular, means a lot to our members because so many people go there. The tree project resonated with us because most of the trees in the area have gone beyond their lifespan and are dying. The loss of the trees would be a detriment to everyone who uses the park. So we chose to use some proceeds from the luau to replant trees in the park.”

The project also falls in line with Sunrise Rotary Club’s history of planting trees.

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The Rotary attempted to donate a tree at the La Jolla Rec Center earlier this year, to solve the two-fold problem of replacing the tree leaning toward the Center since 2015, and the lack of a decorate-able community Christmas Tree, but the plans were put on hold.

In 1984, Sunrise Rotary dedicated the Star Pine on the Rec Center lawn, at the corner of Draper Avenue at Prospect Street, but today — at over 60 feet high — the tree is too expensive and challenging to light and adorn. In July, the La Jolla Recreation Advisory Group announced it would not be removing any trees, in favor of producing a master plan for the whole facility that would include landscaping.

Having so recently reached out for a tree-related project, Sunrise Rotary was quick to fund the Shores Association’s wishlist trees because the project could be flexible, based on the amount of cash raised.

Savage explained: “However many trees we can afford, that’s how many trees we will fund. Once we know what luau proceeds are, we will go to the Shores Association and the Parks & Rec Department because they have an approved tree list. Further, Sunrise Rotary can apply for matching grants from other Rotary groups, as well as get buy-ins from other local clubs.

“The luau is a casual, fun event where people come and meet our members and learn about our club and its passion for helping the community,” Savage said. “We have a great buffet and live Polynesian entertainment. In addition to buying tickets, people can pledge to a program or participate in the silent auction to help.”

Those wishing to donate, but not attend the luau, may send a check to La Jolla Sunrise Rotary Foundation, PO Box 8625 La Jolla, 92038 and write “tree fundraiser” in the memo line. Other beneficiaries from the luau will include San Diego Family Health and literacy programs.

You’re Invited to a Luau

5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6 at the La Jolla Shores Hotel, 8110 Camino del Oro

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Hosted by La Jolla Sunrise Rotary Club

Prizes, opportunity drawing, live and silent auctions, buffet, entertainment and no-host Mai Tais

$100 per ticket, $150 for two tickets

Contact: SherryLFusco@gmail.com

— La Jolla Sunrise Rotary Club meets 6:58 a.m. Thursdays at the La Jolla Shores Hotel, 8110 Camino del Oro. The meeting begins with a social hour and ends by 8:30 a.m.


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