Staff Report

The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Sunrise Charitable Foundation has presented a check for $20,000 to Camp Whittier, which is operated by the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County.

The funds will help rebuild Camp Whittier, a 55-acre resident camp near Lake Cachuma in the Santa Ynez Valley, which sustained extensive damage in last summer’s Whittier Fire. The fire burned 18,430 acres and destroyed 16 homes.

“Sunrise Rotary has been a tremendous partner in helping us up at Camp Whittier. Over the years, their members have done work on virtually every building on the grounds,” said Michael Baker, CEO of the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County.

“Their support means the world to me as a club professional, but more importantly as a 27-year Rotarian,” Baker said.

The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Sunrise has been providing improvements annually to the camp for 21 years.

Rotarians have installed irrigation systems, remodeled the kitchen and restrooms, built decks and fire pits, painted cabins and fences, planted trees and flower beds, and just last year finished improvements to the sports court.

Camp Whittier’s facilities, counseling and training are offered to the 3,000 boys and girls it serves in the county, as well as to schools, churches and other youth organizations.

Staff members at Camp Whittier instruct youngsters on camping and survival skills and use the camp’s rope course to teach cooperation, communication and self-confidence.

Santa Barbara Sunrise Rotary Club is also active in other service projects, including a free dental clinic that provides critical care to underserved people.

The club buys and distributes free dictionaries to all third-graders in the Santa Barbara Unified School District and recognizes at-risk youth at La Cuesta Continuation High School with a Student of the Month program.

Internationally, the club supports a children’s orphanage and surgical eye clinics in Mexico, in addition to funding clean-water projects, medical-clinic improvements, and a pharmacy project in two rural communities in Nicaragua.

For more information, call 884-6428 or visit