Palisades Service Clubs Aid Others

Two of the nationally recognized service clubs in Pacific Palisades–Rotary and the Optimists–continue to help others. The Rotarians have held a toy drive and the Optimists raised money for the Salvation Army.

Historically, most national service clubs are community-based and share the same goals and membership requirements. They meet weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly on an established, recurring day. These local clubs always welcome new members.


Palisades Rotary Club members Nancy Cleveland and Marka Midwin (right) box toys that were collected for the Rotary toy drive.

Organized by Palisades Rotary Club member Marka Midwin, five large bins of toys were collected for the children of Westwood Transitional Housing. The drive was opened up to everyone in the Palisades and Midwin even offered to pick up and deliver the donations for the 79 children, ages newborn to 17. To learn more about Pacific Palisades Rotary, which continues to meet weekly via Zoom, visit: or email Club President Trish Bowe

Every meeting concludes with members reciting Rotary’s Four-Way Test: “Of the things we think, say or do: 1) Is it the truth? 2) Is it fair to all concerned? 3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships? and 4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned.”


Last year Palisades Optimist Club member David Dealey rang the bell for the Salvation Army, an annual tradition for the Optimists. This year the event was done virtually.

Optimist Club member Dave Dealy, who once again organized the Kettle Day fundraiser, said Tuesday: “I am happy to report that, thanks to the generosity of 19 Palisades Optimist Club members, I hand-delivered checks totaling $1,335 to the SALVATION ARMY yesterday. They were very pleased with our virtual KETTLE DAY efforts!!”

Annually, members of the club ring the bell for the Salvation Army at several locations in the Palisades. This year because of Covid-19, members sought online donations.

For more than 40 years, the local Optimists have participated in Kettle Day, a major fundraiser for the Salvation Army.

The Red Kettle dates back to 1891, when Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee wanted to find a way to provide a free Christmas dinner for the destitute. In his sailor days in Liverpool, he remembered a large iron kettle called “Simpson’s Pot” into which passersby tossed in coins to help the poor.

So, the next day, McFee placed a similar pot at the foot of Market Street in San Francisco with a sign, “Keep the Pot Boiling.” He soon had money to feed the needy at Christmas. The idea spread across the nation and today the Salvation Army assists more than 4.5 million people between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The Salvation Army also helps pay utilities for low-income households, shelters families who have lost their homes and feeds the hungry. To participate in an online kettle, visit:

To learn more about the Palisades Optimist Club, visit: or email Club President Rick DeWeese


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