A Rotary Fellowship that shreds

Paulo Melo of Pacific Beach Rotaract Club, from left, with Derren Lechuga of the Rotary Club of San Diego Coastal, Karla Prieto, Brett Morey, Founder of SURF, and Robert Chamberlain of the Rotary Club of San Marcos during the 2022 Switchfoot BroAM

By Raquel D’Garay-Juncal, president of the Rotary Club of Worldwide Impact (District 1550) and a member of The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers

In June, I had the chance to revisit with Brett Morey of Surfers Unite Rotarian Fellowship and review all of the exciting activities the fellowship has been up to.

I first met Brett at the Rotary International Conference in Atlanta back in 2017 when he was strolling through the House of Friendship with a surfboard under his arm. Brett, a native San Diegan and Past President of the Rotary Club of La Jolla Golden Triangle, recalls that the moment we met “I knew we’d become friends and that we needed her on board.”

A native of Mexico with family in neighboring Tijuana, I was living in Costa Rica at the time. I connected Brett with my former Rotary e-Club to speak about the new Rotary Fellowship, not only to make Rotary cool but to create opportunities for the family of Rotary to support other nonprofits around the globe while engaging the surf community.

I volunteered for several events and have seen this Fellowship grow from 190 people to over 1,000 members in 35 countries. A list of all the events Surfers Unite is running in Southern California, Hawaii, Florida, Australia, etc., is listed on their website as well as a Gear Store that includes some awesome Dri-Fit shirts, sweatshirts, hats, stickers, and more.

My boyfriend and I live in the Netherlands and just chartered a new non-traditional Rotary e-club, the Rotary Club of World Impact, that focuses on social outcomes and seeks partnerships with fellowships, action groups, and other Rotary clubs to provide our members with more significant opportunities to make an impact in our communities.

Brett and his fiancé have enormous plans for RICON23 in Melbourne, including a StandUp Paddle Board event for End Polio Now. Surfers Unite just put Rotary in front of 17,000 people at the 2022 Switchfoot BroAM, which included a full day of surf contests, surf jousting, and over 5 hours of live music, raising over $200,000 for at-risk youth organizations.

Yup, this Rotary Fellowship rocks!

See a full list of Rotary Fellowships and share which group you’re part of in the comments below.

This story was originally featured on Rotary Voices.

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