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About Us

We provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.

 

Founded in 1978, Fig Garden Rotary Club is one of nearly 100 members who are dedicated to friendship, service to the community, and helping around the world where resources are limited and needs are great. Annually, our Club coordinates donations in the Fresno/Clovis area that benefit causes that often provide services for the most vulnerable people.  We step up to help, often regionally, during times of economic downturns and natural disasters.

 

We particularly like to be part of programs where children can be helped during difficult times and when learning will propel them to new opportunities.

 

We support education and students, help fight human trafficking, embrace reading programs, and encourage students to engage in leadership programs.  We invest in food banks and homelessness, encourage blood donation, and give our time, talent, and treasure where most needed.

 

The year 2020 brought challenges to people around the world.  Our Club responded in extraordinary ways to help communities that experienced tragic loss due to historical wildfires that displaced people and animals, destroyed homes, and torched forests. 

 

The pandemic caused by COVID19 impacted the world, and our focus remained close to home where we helped feed the hungry, provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for hospital personnel, and invested in non-profit programs and causes that struggled to sustain important services because of continued “lockdown” and temporary closure.

 

As part of Rotary International District 5230 and one of more than 35,000 Rotary Clubs around the world, we demonstrated time and time again that people working together and investing time, talent, and treasure literally saves lives.

 

We encourage you to learn more about Rotary International. The history is rich in good work, incredible service to people around the world, life-changing support, and lasting impact.  

 

Together, we provide solutions.

History

Fig Garden Rotary is the legacy of Rotarians who came before us.  North Fresno Rotary (NFR) sponsored us when their club could no longer accept new members due to space constraints at the old Pardini’s in Fig Garden Village, where they met each week.  

 

At that time, clubs were assigned geographic areas where their members either lived or worked. NFR had the area north of Shields, west of Blackstone, and thus gave FGR an area north of Barstow and west of Blackstone. Because a club name generally reflected its area, "Fig Garden Rotary" was selected as the name for this new club. NFR retained the right to draw members from the FGR area. Ham Knott of NFR was assigned to the FGR project. He met many times with prospective members to determine interest in chartering a new Club, and was responsible getting it up and running.

 

New clubs were required to have at least half of the charter members' businesses in the area. At that time, the Fig Garden area was primarily residential, with businesses on Blackstone or Bullard. FGR charter members included three car dealers on North Blackstone along with businessmen from Bullard/Palm and Bullard/West, which was then under development. Rotary club areas no longer exist, but FGR membership and history have been influenced by the original geographic requirements.

 

Charter night for 34 members was held in July 1978 at the former Hilton Hotel in downtown Fresno. Meetings commenced on Fridays at the old Pardini's. Chuck Cornett was selected as charter president by the initial FGR board. 

 

The first Fig Garden Rotary auction was held in Guy Gardner's Cadillac showroom in late 1978. FGR hosted an exchange student from Australia during the club's second year, and undertook its first community service project: building a par course at Bullard High School. The very first club retreat was held during the third year.

 

Our history is one of more than four decades, making a difference for people in our community, region and around the world.  

Past Presidents
Chuck Cornett

1978 - 1979

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Eugene Eugan

1979-1980

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Larry Matthews

1980-1981

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Marvin Whampler

1981-1982

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Robert Bergin

1982-1983

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Richard Machado

1983-1984

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Allen
Taylor

1984-1985

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Robert
Bell

1985-1986

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Robin Baldwin

1986-1987

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George Zengel

1987-1988

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Jackson Samamoto

1988-1989

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Bruce
Rolph

1989-1990

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Scott
Smith

1990-1991

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Dick
Chapman

1991-1992

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Gregory
Baxter

1992-1993

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Norman Fletcher

1993-1994

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John Heberger

1994-1995

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Michael Andritch

1995-1996

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John Chessum

1996-1997

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Marty
Deitz

1997-1998

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Pat
Farzaroli

1998-1999

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Mary Lou
Gunn

1999-2000

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Don
Asperger

2000-2001

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John Skewes

2001-2002

Eric Fogderude

2002-2003

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Rod
Coburn

2003-2004

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Jamie Franklin

2004-2005

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Phil Setrakian

2005-2006

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Bill Robinson

2006-2007

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Judy Case-McNairy

2007-2008

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Tim Swanson

2008-2009

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Sasan Rahmatian

2009-2010

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Deborah
Coe Hood

2010-2011

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Darryl Booth

2011-2012

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Stacy Rianda

2012-2013

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Rich
Sakai

2013-2014

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Mike 
Graves

2014-2015

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Sherry Forath

2015-2016

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Ron Johnson

2016-2017

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Patty Hixson

2017-2018

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Matt
Merzoian

2018-2019

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Craig DeShields

2019-2020

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Jeff
Garza

2020-2021

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Bob Abrams (elect)

2021-2022

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Fig News

CLUB LEADERSHIP AND COMMITTEE CHAIRS

2020-2021

President - Jeffrey P. Garza

President-Elect - Robert C. Abrams

Secretary - Javier Morales

Treasurer - Thomas S. Ogden

Community Service Chair - Brad Majors & Don Devany

Club Service Chairs - Bradley C. Smith & Mary Horst

Vocational Service Chairs - Sherry L. Forath & Ronald Samuel

International Chairs - John Chessum & Sandy Duncan

Foundation Chair- Donald Werschem

Foundation Treasurer - John W. Heberger

Membership Chair - Ron L. Johnson

Immediate Past President - Craig DeShields

Public Image Chair - Leslie Botos

Bulletin Editors - Stacy E. Rianda & Mike Andritch

Program Chair - Leslie Rau