Encinitas Coastal Rotary Club leads improvements at Boys and Girls Club

For the past few decades, Encinitas Coastal Rotary Club has worked to make improvements at the Ray Griset Boys and Girls Club, and that tradition continued on Nov. 9 with the help of 150 sailors from the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, which was docked in Coronado.

With ECR club members serving as supervisors, and some Rotarians from other clubs in the mix as well, the military manpower enabled an ambitious agenda of improvements to the Boys and Girls Club including the renovation of the Center for a Healthy Lifestyle’s half-acre garden. The volunteers moved the raised beds, cleared the hillside, planted new crops and refurbished the herb garden, orchard and several other garden areas.

Teams also installed a fence, painted some picnic tables for the outdoor patio area and put a fresh coat of paint on the walls of the clubhouse entry.

“Encinitas Coastal, they’re my go-to guys,” Jessica Ellis, the Director of the Center for a Healthy Lifestyle said in a news release. “I just dream up the projects and they show up for work.”

Marla Elliot, a former Boys and Girls Club board member and ECR club member, teamed up with fellow ECR member Art Jones to help organize the Club’s role in the special day of service.

“The Encinitas Coastal Rotary Club is honored that our work with the Boys and Girls Club was selected as one of the 14 best community service projects in the West,” Jones said.

Elliott added, “This recognition has given us another tremendous opportunity to work with the Boys & Girls Club, and this time it was a real team effort. Thanks to the hard-working volunteers from the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt and some of our fellow Rotarians, we got a terrific amount of work done.”

The Griset branch of the Girls and Boys Club and the Center for a Healthy Lifestyle are located at 1221 Encinitas Blvd. and serve thousands of youth every year, offering day care, a computer lab, technology classes, ceramics and other arts and crafts. The Healthy Habits/Gardening curriculum at their Center for a Healthy Lifestyle and outdoor garden classroom teaches young people about gardening, eating smart and being physically active.