New Rotary group raises funds to benefit local fourth graders

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A newly-formed satellite group of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos called STARS (Service to All Rotary Satellite) will host a fundraising event from 4-7 p.m. Sunday June 2 at the Dixie Girl Restaurant.
The theme of the event is “Are You Smarter than a 4th Grader?” and all members of the community are invited to join. The evening’s events will include a trivia quiz competition for all ages, as well as an all-you-can-eat pasta buffet with salad, drinks and dessert.
Funds raised at the event will benefit a program to provide four weeks of swim lessons to all 4th graders in the Los Alamos school district, a program that was eliminated several years ago due to budget cuts.
Tony Hinojosa, Physical Education instructor at Mountain School, has been advocating to reinstate the program. He started by appealing to the Mountain School PTA to fund the lessons for its own 4th graders.
This year, all Mountain 4th graders were given swim lessons at the Aquatic Center. In a similar program funded by the Mountain PTA, Hinojosa took 5th graders to Pajarito Mountain for ski and snowboard lessons.
“I really enjoy seeing our kids getting out into the community and enjoying some of the wonderful activities it has to offer,” said Hinojosa. “Swimming and skiing are both lifetime activities that our kids can continue to enjoy as part of living a physically active lifestyle.”
This program came to the attention of the Los Alamos Rotary STARS, which as a group decided to assist with the cause. They hope to raise enough money to cover half of the cost and are looking for another organization to cover the remainder if necessary.
“One of the primary goals of STARS is to assist the community in starting or continuing programs that will have a beneficial impact on children,” explained Christina Kraemer, one of the founding members of STARS. “This program promotes both the health and safety of the children taking part in the swimming lessons. In doing this fundraiser we hope to get enough support to allow all the 4th graders in the district to be able to take part in the program.”
Added Kraemer, “We would appreciate the community’s support for this worthwhile cause, and at the same time we hope to offer a fun and family-friendly evening for everyone to enjoy.”
Local QuizMaster Taylor Guskey, who can be found each Thursday night at the Dixie Pub for the Geeks Who Drink trivia competitions, will also serve as QuizMaster for “Are You Smarter than a 4th Grader?”
In addition to the trivia quiz, there will be a live auction and 50/50 raffle to raise funds for the cause.
The admission price includes a buffet. Beer and wine specials will be available. The cost is $25 for adults, $15 for teens and $7.50 for children. Kids under 4 are free. Tickets are on sale at Dixie Girl, CB Fox and the Chamber of Commerce.
For more information about the group or to make a donation to this cause, contact stars@rotarylosalamos.com or go to facebook.com/RotarySTARS.