The Rotary Club of Coronado was honored to receive the coveted Andy Szymanski “Mr. 4th of July” Sweepstakes Award for its entry in the 2019 Coronado Fourth of July Parade. In addition, it won 1st Place in its Division and also the Freedom Award. The Rotary entry highlighted Coronado Rotary’s many Coronado, military, regional and international projects including Flags on the Avenue (180 U.S. Flags placed along Orange Ave. on all major holidays), Rotarians at Work, and monthly Beach Cleanup as well as its annual fund-raising events including Low Tide Ride & Stride, Jim Laslavic Golf Tournament, End Polio Now Wine Tasting, and Pancake Breakfast. A patriotic theme included a large vintage military truck that was covered with banners describing many achievements of Coronado Rotary over 93 years in Coronado.
Rotarian Heidi Bergener, Coronado Village Elementary School Principal, dressed as women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony, waved to the crowd through an opening in the roof of the truck. The truck pulled a matching vintage trailer which carried Rotary Past President Kevin Rugee flipping pancakes. Six Purple Heart battle-injured warriors from the National Champion Wounded Warrior Wheelchair “Wolfpack” Basketball Team wowed the crowd by shooting baskets through a hoop attached to the back of the trailer as it rolled down Orange Avenue. Uncle Sam (Rotarian Bob Rutherford) led a group of Rotarians and exchange students dressed in costumes depicting several Rotary events. Coronado Rotary has received the Sweepstakes Award five of the last six years and has also received the Coronado Freedom Award.
In 2018-2019 the Rotary Club of Coronado raised more than $305,000 which was donated to over 75 charitable organizations including End Polio Now (Rotary International), Warrior Foundation Freedom Station (sponsor of the Wolfpack), Workshops for Warriors, Sharp Coronado Hospital, Limbs of Freedom, Armed Services YMCA, Shelter Box USA, Thousand Smiles and many other organizations that provide disaster relief and international, community, regional and youth services. Coronado Rotary also provides student scholarships. Rotary Youth Leadership Awards leadership training and sponsors international exchange students.
Rotary’s Fourth of July Committee Chair Dr. John Pedrotty and Vice-Chair Bob Rutherford led a team of enthusiastic and dedicated Rotarians who spent many hours in planning and created the entry.