Santa Cruz County Attorney George Silva talks to students about a career as an attorney at Career Day. The event, held on Oct. 21, was hosted by the Mountain Empire Rotary Club. Photo by Marion Vendituoli

News Release

2022 continues to be a very busy year for the Mountain Empire Rotary Club (MER). The Club will be holding a “Game of Thrones”-themed Casino Night Fundraiser on Nov. 5. Hope you can join us for an evening of gaming, fun, food and silent auction. Remember that these fundraisers allow the Club to continue with projects supporting the needs of our community. Details are available at: 

The school year started with our annual “Welcome Back” brunches for the Elgin and Patagonia staff. We are now completing distribution of the Club’s annual gift of Dictionary/Atlas Books to third grade students in Elgin, Patagonia and the Patagonia Montessori Elementary Schools. 

On Sept. 17, we prepared and served dinner to 4H Club members at an appreciation dinner sponsored by the SCCFRA. On Oct. 15, MER manned the Sonoita aid station for the annual Nogales Bicycle Classic Race.

On Oct. 16, we hosted an environmental symposium bringing together the Tucson Verde Rotary Club and various environmentally conscious organizations for a day of discussions and presentations. The Tucson Verde Club focuses their projects on the environment and hopes to be able to collaborate with organizations in our community. Many thanks to Tucson Audubon at Paton Hummingbird Center, Patagonia Area Resource Alliance (PARA), 

Borderlands Restoration Network and the Nature Conservancy’s Sonoita Creek Preserve, and Friends of Sonoita Creek for their participation and presentations. Thanks also to the Spirit Tree Inn for providing part of the venue for speakers, as well as a patio for lunch. As a result of this event, both Rotary Clubs are planning an annual Environmental Fair to be held in Patagonia. 

Speaking of the environment, SAVE THE DATE – JAN. 7, 2023. That’s when the Club will hold another recycling and shredding event at the Sonoita Fairgrounds location.

On Oct. 21, MER held its annual Career Fair at the Patagonia School with representatives from colleges, vocational schools and businesses speaking about career opportunities with high school and middle school students from Patagonia and the Elgin School.

Meanwhile, MER has secured a Rotary Grant to partner with the Nogales Sonora Industrial Rotary Club for a school desk project. In Sonora, children cannot attend school unless they have a desk. The Club in Mexico has created a way to refurbish old desks and then donate them to the school. MER members are planning to join the Sonora Club in Mexico in January 2023 for the first workday on this project. 

And here’s another SAVE THE DATE: April 22, 2023 will be our annual fundraising Golf Tournament, held once again in coordination with the Benson Rotary Club. Stay tuned for more details.

So, as you can see, the Club is active and excited about what they can contribute to the community. We love supporting the community and our youths and invite anyone from the community to attend our meetings and learn more about Rotary. We meet the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at 6p.m. If you have an issue in the community that you think the Rotary can help with, please contact us. We are here to listen and hopefully help. 

If you want to know more about Rotary, attend a meeting, or suggest a project, feel free to contact Reba Webber at or your favorite Rotarian.