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Friday, September 22, 2023

Jim Kaufman Named 2023 Coronado Rotarian of the Year

Rotarian of the Year is the highest honor bestowed by the Rotary Club of Coronado on one of its members. It recognizes a person who, over the course of many years, has demonstrated a sustained and selfless commitment to the service of others.

President Bob Rutherford congratulates Jim Kaufman, 2023 Rotarian of the Year

“We’re all so proud to recognize Jim Kaufman as our Rotarian of the Year. Jim has been one of our most active members and a model of our ‘Service Above Self’ motto,” said Rotary President Bob Rutherford.

“Jim is an amazing supporter of the goals, ideals, and spirit personifying Rotary in the world,” explained Paul Plumb, 2018 Rotarian of the Year, “His most impactful project, conceived 13 years ago, is hosting Coronado Rotary’s annual wine tasting event that raises funds to support Rotary International’s initiative to eradicate polio around the world.” To date, these events have raised a total of over $3,500,000.

End Polio Now Wine Tasting Event Committee

“Jim is such an important part of the End Polio Now wine tasting event,” Chris Keyes, 2023 event Co-Chair added. “His good nature, enthusiasm and willingness to serve are felt in so many ways. This fundraiser would not be as successful and popular as it is without his dedication and support. Year after year, he generously and graciously hosts the Club’s largest fundraiser at his beautiful home. Jim is a tireless backbone of the committee. Jim does it all with a smile and a tireless desire to make a difference in the lives of children and adults to save them from the ravages of polio. He is the epitome of “Service Above Self.”

In addition to his important role in the wine tasting fundraiser, Jim has assumed significant responsibility in Coronado Rotary’s other two major fund raisers: the Low Tide Ride and Stride, and the Rotary Golf Tournament.

Jim’s leadership and volunteerism embraces many non-Rotarian organizations as well. He has:

  • Served as Treasurer on the Coronado Historical Association Board of Directors for six years.
  • Served for nine years on the Coronado Hospital Board of Directors. He completed his service as the Vice Chairman.
  • Volunteered multiple hours as a Rotarian COVID Registration Assistant helping Coronado Hospital register people for vaccinations during the pandemic.
  • Served as a member of the Session (Board) of Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church.
  • Participated in the “Every Child a Reader” program at Coronado Elementary School.
  • Served as Chairman of the UCSD Retirement Association Board of Directors.
  • Coordinated donations for veterans and other individuals with disabilities for the International Skiing Fellowship of Rotarian’s Adaptive Ski Programs.
  • Opened his home for the Coronado Historical Association ‘Home Tours’ fundraising event held on 8 May 2022. He also did this several other times in the past.
  • Participated as a Rotary Santa Claus in our annual community event to bring presents to children.

In addition to the wine tasting, “Jim is an amazing Rotarian who steps up when asked, or simply volunteers when needed to help get the job done,” explained Tom Mitchell. Tom was chosen as Rotarian of the Year in 2019. “Partnering with his sister, who has worked for years in Africa, he has raised money through our club, and using International Rotary Grants, supported projects in over 200 charitable organizations in 31 countries around the world. Two of the primary organizations assisted are Bead for Life and the Street Business School. “

Jim also secured funding, planned, and executed a matching international grant project that resulted in the drilling of a bore hole well for an orphanage/school in Mukono, Uganda. The majority of the 400+ orphan’s parents were the victims of AIDS. Prior to the drilling of the well, the children had to carry the potable water by foot over one mile from the source back to the school. Now the water is just a few steps away.

Paul Plumb and Jim Kaufman during a Rotary Beach Clean-Up Saturday Event

Many Rotarians over the years have found the time and passion to participate in projects that have made a difference to the lives of others in their community and in the world. Together we honor and celebrate our members and friends for their volunteerism. Consider joining us in Rotary. For more information about the Rotary Club of Coronado visit our website at http://coronadorotary.org.


Coronado Rotary’s Annual “End Polio Now” Auction Offers Great Deals – Through Sept. 9