Woodland Rotary Club

By Wayne Ginsburg


“Flip the Switch!”

With those three, brief words, the new electronic billboard at Woodland Community College began its life informing students, staff and the community about activities at the college. The marquee was dedicated at a WCC Foundation and Woodland Chamber of Commerce member reception on Nov. 19, 2015.

The double-sided marquee sits at the Gibson Road entrance to WCC and was made possible by a $30,000 donation from the Woodland Rotary Club. In appreciation, the club will be recognized next month at the WCC Foundation’s sixth annual Founders Day Dinner.

“This full-color marquee highlights college events and further enhances the communication between WCC and the community. From time to time, the billboard also will feature selected community events,” said WCC President Dr. Michael White.

The LED marque has wireless controls, and announces important registration dates, reminds students of upcoming WCC events and promotes resources at the college. It also provides information about the school’s activities to passing motorists. A campus leadership team researched sign designs, and selected the 5-by-8 foot TekStar marquee from Stewart Signs, and Woodland-based Ridge Electric then installed the sign and wireless controls.

“Rotary Club of Woodland has made numerous contributions to improving local facilities for youth athletics and rewarding scholastic achievement of local students over its 90-plus year history,” said Kris Kristensen, who was president-elect of the club at the time of the donation.

The club designated funds collected by the Noon Club from an annual dinner auction. Several local projects and recipients were considered.

“This was the first year that club members were asked to select the dinner auction beneficiary by a direct vote after multiple options were offered,” Kristensen said. “The WCC marquee was the clear winner. We enjoyed watching its installation, and we all feel some pride as we view the sign when going by the campus.”

The Woodland Rotary Club was the first of three Rotary Clubs established in Woodland. Now in its 92nd year, it has long fulfilled its commitment to “Service Above Self,” applying its members’ talents, services and financial resources to work in support of a variety of community needs.

The club has been well known locally for many community service projects. In 1949, the it established the annual Rotary BBQ, offering barbecue meals during the annual county fair for several decades. Proceeds were used to support community needs. In 1973, the club began the financing and building of Rotary Park at the Yolo County Fairgrounds. The finished facility contains 50 tables and benches, a barbecue building, and other related features, and is actively used by various organizations throughout the years as well as during the fair.

The club also supported restoration of the Woodland Opera House and its return to year-round operation by creating Rotary Court adjacent to the historic brick building and Heritage Plaza.

Annually in the spring, the club hosts the Senior BBQ, an event that honors and fetes many in the community, including some former Rotarians.

“Woodland Rotary has a long history of supporting youth and education in our community and abroad, reflecting Rotary International’s identification of basic education and literacy as one of its 6 areas of focus,” said Woodland Rotary Club President Peter Holmes.

  • In 1929, the club supported the first Woodland Cub Scout troop, hosting 65 scouts at one of the club’s weekly luncheons.
  • In addition to fully funding an endowment for four-year scholarships to valedictorians at the two public high schools in Woodland, the club partnered with many in the community in construction of the play fields (Rotary Field) at Pioneer High, including providing a score board.
  • The club has contributed to several area projects: provided instruments to the Woodland Schools Music Foundation; painted outlines of all the states on a U.S. map at area school playgrounds; fenced in the school garden at Dingle School; provided a play structure for special needs children at Greengate school; sponsored high school Interact clubs, promote children’s literacy programs in conjunction with Woodland United Way (Woodland Kids Read, Kindercamp, Read to Succeed), and assisted the local Robotics club in their competitions.

Internationally, Rotary has assisted in school renovations in Mexico and basic sanitation programs for adolescent girls in Africa, as well as sponsored both outgoing and incoming students through Rotary’s year-long youth exchange program.

Holmes said that the club is always alert to opportunities to support Woodland’s youth and their education, and is proud to have been able to help with the marquee project.