by Richard Chinn, Community Service Director, Millbrae Rotary Club
On Saturday, August 11, I was among the many volunteers from four Millbrae service organizations who witnessed meeting our goal of raising over $30,000 to renovate the historic Millbrae Lions Scout House into a community youth center. The fundraiser, called The Spirit of Aloha was a result of collaboration between the Rotary Club of Millbrae, Millbrae Lions Club, Millbrae Community Foundation, Millbrae Chamber of Commerce and Peninsula Chinese Business Association. Three years ago, leaders of these groups created a vision of community-wide support for a cause to benefit the entire city of Millbrae. One of my strategic objectives as Rotary president in 2009 -2010 was to support development of a community youth center, but in collaboration with Millbrae’s other service clubs. Since then, our club organized two fundraisers that stemmed from this idea of collaboration – Millbrae Oktoberfest 2011 and Spirit of Aloha.
The recent event provided the final push over the top of a $250,000 campaign to fund the rebuilding of the historic Millbrae Scout House. The funding goal was met by donations, ticket sales, and a silent and live auction. The final $30,000, made possible by a combination of the $15,000 raised by the event and a $15,000 matching grant by the Millbrae Lions Club, will enable the city to install a new roof, seismic bracing and a new heating system.
The event took place in the recreated replica of the original 1936 San Francisco International Airport Terminal, which is now the SFO Aviation Museum and Library. Over 160 enthusiastic Youth Center supporters and volunteers turned out for an exciting evening of Polynesian music and dancing, plentiful food and a very rewarding silent and live auction. Attire for the evening was tropical casual and an Aloha theme was seen throughout the room. In keeping with the airport surroundings, a uniformed former Pan American Airlines stewardess, Dorene Goad of the World Wings International Inc., greeted guests as if they were boarding a Pan Am Clipper.
Attendees included several current and former elected city officials, the Millbrae Schools Superintendent, members of the Millbrae School Board of Trustees, Taylor Middle School’s principal, the Millbrae Chamber of Commerce Board Chair and the Presidents of the Rotary Club, Lions Club and Chinese Peninsula Business Association. After September 30, the city council of Millbrae will vote to take ownership of the building from the Millbrae Lions Club and continue plans to transform the building into an active community youth center.
The Millbrae Youth Center campaign is a community-wide volunteer project of the Millbrae Rotary and Lions Clubs, Millbrae Community Foundation, Peninsula Chinese Business Association and Millbrae Chamber of Commerce, local businesses and individuals and does not involve expenditure of taxpayer or public funds.