University Rotary Gift to Solid Ground

    University Rotary Gift to Solid Ground

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For information contact Rosemary Aragon, 206.799.8127

    University Rotary chooses Solid Ground Playground for 75th Anniversary Gift

    January 21, 2014.  The Rotary Club of the University District has chosen Solid Ground of Seattle, an organization that fights homelessness and racism, for a $50,000 gift in honor of the club’s 75th anniversary. The money will help fund a playground at the Brettler Family Place, a model facility serving 99 formerly homeless families at the former Sand Point Naval Station in northeast Seattle.

    University Rotary President Marella Alejandrino awarded the $50,000 check to Dean McColgan, Solid Ground’s resource development director, and Dee Hillis, Director of Residential Services, at the a recent club meeting.

    Rotary’s motto is ‘Service Above Self,’ Alejandrino said. “We seek community partnerships with organizations like Solid Ground that provide vital services to our community. We’re delighted to have chosen a project to bring exercise and joy to the children of the Brettler Family Place.”

    The playground is expected to open in March 2014 the month of University Rotary’s 75th birthday.

     “University Rotary truly understands what it means to be a good community partner.  This generous gift will go a long way in helping our Sand Point families continue to move beyond the issues they face due to poverty and help them build a better future”.

                                                                                                    Gordon McHenry, Jr.

                                                                                                    President and CEO

    Joey jumps again!University Rotary was formed on March 15, 1939. Today it has 120 members who support programs in the local and international communities. Last year alone, University Rotary gave out almost $60,000.00 to support seven programs in the local community and eight international programs. Local program recipients included the University YMCA’s homeless youth program and the Jubilee Women’s Center, which serves homeless and low-income women.

    Solid-Ground-play-structure-overall-viewA major community program begun by University Rotary is Rotary First Harvest, which obtains and delivers fresh fruit and vegetables to food banks throughout the region. Now a program of the 51 clubs in Rotary’s District 5030, RFH has gathered and distributed roughly 180 million pounds of produce since its inception in 1982. That equals 360 million healthy servings of fruits and vegetables for people in need.

    Over 1,000 Rotarians and other volunteers led by University Rotary have administered polio vaccinations to many thousands of children in Ethiopia and Uganda. This is Rotary’s signature international health program—in which they partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  University Rotary actively supports water, health and literacy programs in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Rotarians travel to provide person-to-person assistance in these countries.

    As a founding member of the Sand Point Community Housing Association, Solid Ground helped convert six decommissioned Navy buildings into 94 housing units for homeless people. The organization has helped provide the case management and other services Sand Point residents need to achieve stability, security and confidence to improve their lives. Since 1999, more than 2,000 people have stayed at Sand Point in their journey from homelessness to stability.


    Information about University Rotary is available at The Solid Ground website is