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Rotary club salutes youths, peace

La Jolla New Generations Rotary Club is celebrating February as World Understanding Month through a speaker focused on creating peace and awarding its first Peacemaker of the Year Award.

In honor of World Understanding Month, the La Jolla New Generations Rotary Club was to host Ples Felix, a board member of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, as its speaker on Feb. 24.

The foundation was established to break the cycle of youth violence by empowering kids, saving lives and teaching peace after the murder of a 20-year-old San Diego State student by a 14-year old gang member.

“As a young club, we recognize the need to empower youth and take a proactive role in making our community a better place to live. By having the Tariq Khamisa Foundation speak at our meeting, we are getting that message to our members and the greater San Diego community,” club President Kourtney Kennedy said in a news release.

The club kicked off World Understanding Month with a presentation by one of its members, Lt. j.g. Brian Kirk, who detailed his time in Iraq. The club presented him its first Peacemaker of the Year award.