The Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere
February 2022 Business of the Month Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere
Kathleen Defever, President
The Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere and its dedicated members, known fondly as “Rotarians,” have been demonstrating “service above self” in our community since the late 1970s. In 1977, George Landau was new to Tiburon and as a stay-at-home father, found himself craving adult company. Frequently, the local newspaper, The Ebbtide, ran profiles of people he found interesting, so he started inviting them to lunch at his house. Over time, the network grew into a kind of salon for local business people and became the origins of today’s Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere. The Rotary ethos is all about making friends, volunteering and granting funds to the organizations that have the most reach in our community. Members roll up their sleeves to staff The Tiburon Classic Car Show and revitalize the grounds of the Richardson Bay Audubon Center. They sponsor the Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year, as well as award outstanding teachers at Del Mar and St. Hilary’s. They annually award community members and students who exhibit a true “service above self” mentality.
The Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere is a chapter of Rotary International, a global network of 1.4 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in their communities, and in themselves. With a strong belief that they have a shared responsibility to take action on the world’s most persistent issues, more than 46,000 local clubs work together to make a difference. At each Rotary Chapter, the following seven “Avenues of Service” guide all fundraising, allocation and volunteerism decisions.
- Promote peace
- Fight disease
- Provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene
- Save mothers and children
- Support education
- Grow local economies
- Protect the environment
Kathleen Defever, a Tiburon resident of more than 12 years, local business owner and avid volunteer, is a proud Rotarian and has served as the president of our local Rotary Club since July 2021. Volunteerism is a way of life for Defever who heads her own law firm as a plaintiff side insurance lawyer and provides pro bono services to clients who need help with their insurance claims. Defever has also served on the Tiburon Planning Commission for four years. She defines Rotarians as “successful professionals who want to give back to the world” and finds herself surrounded by like-minded community members who “roll up their sleeves to make things better.” As she says fondly, “my fellow Rotary members feel like family.”
Rotarians also make important decisions about which non-profit organizations and programs will receive annual funding.Like most fundraising organizations, the pandemic has been challenging for Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere, an organization that prides itself on regular in-person meetings and volunteer endeavors. For this year, the board of directors reduced the number of “Avenues of Service”, deciding that donating a larger amount of money to a smaller number of organizations will allow the club to have a greater impact. he membership is eager to get back to its full service model and has exciting plans for the near future.
Examples of some of the organizations that benefit from the volunteers and donations of the Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere include Rotaplast International, a nonprofit that sends volunteer medical teams on missions abroad to perform life-changing surgery on children with cleft-lip and palate anomalies, Homeward Bound Marin, Marin County’s primary provider of homeless shelters and services for families and individuals without shelters and Community Action Marin, a nonprofit that helps low-income families and individuals throughout the county become self-sufficient and improve their quality of life in many areas.
Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere is always looking for new participants and welcomes community members who subscribe to a “service above self” philosophy. More than anything, what Kathleen would like people to know is that during these times of isolation and tragedy, her participation in the Rotary Club has been the perfect antidote to feelings of hopelessness. She treasures her time volunteering with fellow Rotarians and enjoys every moment of working with like minded professionals and neighbors to make lasting change in our community and beyond.