Mark your calendar for the 65th Rotary Art Show, May 4 & 5, 2024!  In addition to our 2-day art show with beautiful art, entertainment, food trucks, beer and wine, nonprofit showcase, and activities for children, we will be having our first 5K run/walk for a cause!
You will be contacted shortly about job assignments for the show and 5K.  We thank all those who have already put in much time as part of the committee.  Participating in this fundraising is one of the only requirements of being a Saratoga Rotarian so we hope we can count on all of you who are able.  If you absolutely cannot be in Saratoga May 3, 4 and 5, please let Sheree Williams and Marcia Hansen (Art Show Schedulers) know immediately.  They will find alternative employment for you.
And it is not too late to join the committee!  We have a lot of fun while we work!  It is a great group; join us the first Thursday of the month at Sheeba’s home at 5pm.
For those interested, here is a brief history of the Art Show and our logic for some of the changes this year.
The first Saratoga Rotary Art Show was held in the spring of 1960.  According to the fascinating history of our club which is available on ClubRunner, the show included local artists to help them be recognized in the community and to obtain funds for Rotary’s community projects.  Approximately 20 artists participated.  The club netted a little over $100 for its efforts.
There have been many changes since the first art show.  We now welcome over 120 artists over two days to the beautiful West Valley College campus.
The goals of the Art Show continue to be the same: showcase local artists in the community and raise funds for the Saratoga Rotary Charitable Foundation, which provides funding for our Club’s youth and community service projects as well as approximately 16 grants to local nonprofits annually.
The amount raised for the Foundation has varied widely over the years, from that first $100 to over $100,000!  The Club agreed in 1982 to grow the balance in what was then called the Service Fund to at least $100,000 so that there would always be funding for projects even in lean years.  They did this by saving 30% of the art show proceeds each year.  (At the time, they were earning 11.75% on the funds – remember the 1980’s?) 
In 2003, the Saratoga Rotary Charitable Foundation was established with endowment funds of $550,970. Fast forward to the early 2020’s, where the endowment balance passed $1.5 million and new standing rules were adopted to spend funds raised every year by Club fundraisers as well as 2.5% of the endowment.  (Historically the endowment had been growing about 5% per year.)  
Although recent years have seen a decline in income from the Art Show, (art sales are less than half of what they were in 2010, for example), we have continued to fund Club programs and grants thanks in part to the endowment funds.  We surveyed Club members to see what alternative or additional fundraisers they might support and fun runs or races were among the most popular.  Given the input from former Saratoga Rotarian Mark Linsky of the Livermore Club and the Saratoga Education Foundation’s run organizer, we decided to try a run in the West Valley College neighborhood.  
We hope the 5K will attract people who don’t usually attend the Art Show and increase awareness of the Club in Saratoga.  Sponsors will get greater promotion with the tee shirts. One comment we get about the Art Show is that people don’t connect their purchases with the good we do with the money.  Others want to know where their money is going, something we can’t tell them since we raise money one year for grants the following year.
This year, the 5K for a Cause will let race participants designate a nonprofit from a predetermined list to receive a portion of their registration fee.  The hope is to get the recipient organizations to promote the race and show within their communities. 
For more history of the Art Show and our Club, visit Clubrunner, select Organization and then Documents.  The files are called Club History.