■ Mary Ann Morris / Editor
What started as a simple question about Box Tops for Education has culminated in the adoption of Jacob Wiens Elementary School as one of Sierra Dawn Estates Rotary’s most beloved projects. Most recently, the organization donated 400 pairs of Skechers shoes to the school.
The relationship between Sierra Dawn Estates Rotary and Jacob Wiens began when Sophie Uplinger, Sierra Dawn Rotary president, asked club member and Hemet Unified School District member Stacey Bailey for a recommendation as to where to donate their Box Tops for Education. Bailey suggested Jacob Wiens and set up a meeting with Principal Dana Childs-Mazzei.
Following this meeting, the club came to the school every Friday to read with students at the school and help with art projects. For Teacher Appreciation Week they cooked a pancake breakfast for the entire staff. This summer they hope to help with the school’s garden. Last year, according to Uplinger, the school received an $8,000 grant from a local home improvement store to create a garden at the school. This is the garden’s first summer, so the Rotarians are brainstorming a game plan to keep the garden alive during the summer break.
But the generosity of the Rotarians doesn’t stop there. On May 30, Sierra Dawn Rotary received a donation of 792 pairs of Skechers shoes from Chahab Elawar, a Rotarian from San Bernardino. So, to pass it on, Jacob Wiens Elementary School received 400 pairs, the Salvation Army on Acacia and Palm and California Family Center on State Street each received 128 pairs, Valley Restart received 75 pairs, and My City Youth Center in Hemet received 50 pairs of brand new shoes.
“Chahab organized a donation of more than 27,000 pairs of Skechers, and he made it possible for this donation,” said Uplinger. “He’s helped with every project we have – he’s knee-deep in it, all the time. So far he has distributed 12,000 pairs of shoes.
“I have a lot of faith that Hemet is coming back,” continued Uplinger. “All the community service organizations are doing their best to help.”
The Sierra Dawn Rotary Club formed in October and is a satellite club of Hemet Sunset Rotary. The motto of Rotary is service before self and all the clubs work to help others whenever possible. For more information about the Sierra Dawn Rotary or Rotary in general, contact Sophie Uplinger at (951) 977-0626.