News Release

As the school year came to a close the Mountain Empire Rotary Club (MER) paid tribute in May to the Patagonia High School Student of the Month, Oscar Gomez (Shop/Automotive), who was also awarded a $100 cash award. MER was then honored to attend the Elgin and Patagonia Middle School 8th grade graduations, recognizing three students from each school, with the winners also receiving a $100 cash award from the Club. The honorees from Patagonia Middle School were Dolores “Lola” Duerkop (Citizenship), Emma Lewton (Scholarship), and Brianna Majalca (Leadership). Elgin School honorees were Lenin Albarran (Citizenship), Riley Campbell (Student Athlete), and Sage Beal (Academics). MER also awarded a two-year Scholarship ($1,000 each year) to graduating Patagonia High School Senior Tavania Padilla, who plans on studying nursing at the University of New Mexico. Congratulations to all the graduates and award winners!

More information regarding Student of the Month winners, Graduations and Scholarships, with photos, can be found on the PUHS, Elgin School, and Mountain Empire Rotary (MER) Facebook pages. 

SAVE THE DATES: On Nov. 4, MER will be holding a Casino Night at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds. There will be a silent auction, great food, lots of gaming, maybe a few other surprises, and, of course, lots of fun. On January 7, 2023, 9a.m. to 12p.m. MER will have another Recycling/Shredding event at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds. Please check out this link for information on the type of recyclables: Watch for future postings in the PRT and the MER Facebook page for more details. Flyers for the events will also be posted throughout the communities. 

MER has lot more to do before the year is over. Stay tuned for updates and information. Remember YOUR participation in our fundraisers and events helps the Club perform the service projects for our community. We cannot do the work we do without your support and MER thanks all of you for that. 

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. Meetings are currently hybrid (In-person and via Zoom). If you want to know more about Rotary, attend a meeting, or suggest a project, feel free to contact Keith Barth at, or our Membership Chairman, Mike Veta at