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Rotarians deliver food baskets, clothing to Baja California

Montebello Rotary Club member Ted Jones dresses like biblical King Melchior for the Mexican Three Kings celebration during the Rotary Club’s trips to Tijuana last month. The Rotarians delivered toys and clothing to children living in orphanages a week after taking baskets of food and blankets to needy families in Ensenada. By ANNE DONOFRIO-HOLTER, Special to The Wave 07.FEB.08 MONTEBELLO — For the ninth year in a row, members of the Montebello Rotary Club, along with Rotarians from the Ensenada, San Diego, Downtown San Diego, Vista and Avalon clubs, helped deliver a record-number 900 baskets to needy families in Ensenada, Mexico. Filled with warm blankets and food items including rice, flour, beans and cereal, the baskets are assembled in a warehouse by Ensenada Rotarians early in the week. Upon the weekend arrival of other club members, all participate in adding the final items to the baskets — more than 9,500 cans of tuna — donated by the Southern California Sport Fishing Association. The recipients of the baskets, identified as “the poorest of the poor,” are selected by the Ensenada Rotary Club. The baskets are distributed to families as far away as 40 miles outside the city as well as to orphanages and Indian communities. “This project makes me appreciate being an American and how fortunate we are,” said Montebello Rotarian Pete Adriance, who has participated in the project for the past eight years. “The need there is so great and so is the appreciation.” Another local Rotarian, Ted Jones, is dedicated to the annual project and it was through his involvement that the Montebello Rotary Club began its participation. In keeping with the club’s spirit of giving, the following weekend, Montebello Rotarians made their annual trip to Tijuana where they delivered clothing and toys to children living in area orphanages and participated in Mexico’s Three Kings or El Dia De Reyes festivities. “On the 12th day after Christmas, the three wise men arrived bearing gifts for baby Jesus,” said Jones, who dressed as King Melchior for the celebration. “The children we visited were mentally challenged. However, they really opened up to us.” It was his second time in the role of Melchior, but Jones said he would do it again in a heartbeat. “This is what Rotary is all about,” he said. “I was humbled by the experience and the love expressed by the children we visited.” The Montebello club donated $1,500 to this year’s project.
Published Wednesday, February 6, 2008 8:58 PM by Zinnia Q.


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