The Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise has deep and rich origins. Even before the 2010 merger of Playa Sunrise, founded in 2005 and Venice Marina Rotary, established in 1947, the Clubs had the common goals of serving community and mankind.

It is worthwhile to look back at the beginnings of Rotary International and see how today’s Club fits in that history. Rotary was founded in 1905 in Chicago, Illinois by a man named Paul Harris. It started as a business networking group and evolved into the world’s largest service club. In 2005 Rotary International celebrated its centennial anniversary, 100 years old! All clubs that were started that year were chartered as “centennial clubs” and Playa Sunrise was proud to be among that elite group.

The birth of Playa Sunrise began in the spring of 2005 when a handful of Rotarians from other local clubs decided to create a breakfast club as all local area Rotary clubs met at lunch. Chartering a new club takes 20 members and by June of that year 20 members were on board and the Charter was written and the club sworn in. The club needed a name and logo and Christina Davis, President/CEO of the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce, who is currently a member however not a member at that time is credited with coming up with the club name and logo. The club continued to grow and thrive over the years and has a current membership of 52. There are a number of Charter members still in the club as follows: Jim Vuchsas, Gwen Vuchsas, Tony Ciancimino, Kathrine Russell, David Voss and Howard Pollack.

During the early years of Playa Sunrise, membership varied from 20 to 30. During the winter of 2009 an opportunity to strengthen both Playa Sunrise and Venice Marina presented itself. At that time the Venice Marina Club had only a handful of active members and Playa Sunrise was dedicated to growth. The leadership of the clubs decided that a merger would provide the best of both worlds fusing the cultures, people and programs of the two organizations. In January of 2010 the two clubs became the Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise. Lisa Schwab, owner of Cantalini’s Restaurant in Playa del Rey, was the Playa Sunrise President and took on the responsibility of creating and leading a new club that was bigger, stronger and better!

Today Playa Venice Sunrise stands as an acknowledged leader in the Rotary world. Membership stands at 52 and growing. The club prides itself in having a blend of charter people from Playa Sunrise, the best of Venice and a dedicated group of young new Rotarians that makes the club one of the most diversified and successful Rotary Clubs in California. Playa Venice is proud of its programs, energy, enthusiasm and dedication to making the world a better place for all.