Rotary helps underfunded Women’s Resource Center

RANCHO SANTA FE — Over the last four years, the Rancho Santa Fe Rotary has become more involved with the Oceanside-based Women’s Resource Center, or WRC, which offers aid to victims of domestic violence.
According to Rotarian Ole Prahm, who is heading the charge, there is a very good reason.
“I am amazed at the dedication of the staff and board at the WRC. I think the community needs to know what a valuable service these people perform with such a limited budget,” Prahm said.
With their motto, “Rebuilding Shattered Lives,” the WRC provides support services, counseling, shelter and education to women, men and children involved in or threatened by domestic violence or sexual assault.
“The Rancho Santa Fe Rotary support is very important to sustaining special programs for our clients,” said Marva Bledsoe, the executive director of the WRC. “These are at risk as other funding sources dry up. It is nice to know we can count on Rancho Santa Fe Rotarians!”
“The state of California has severely cut the operating budget of the WRC to the tune of $207,000 and all the staff took a 10 percent pay cut in order to keep operating,” Prahm said.
“I am completely amazed at the level of quality of services provided by WRC for their limited $1.6 million budget,” Prahm said. “My primary goal currently is to figure out a way to cover the $207,000 in cuts that the state of California imposed on the agency because staff took a voluntary 10 percent cut from the meager wages they had prior to that reduction. This is not fair especially under these economic times when domestic violence increases with a poor economy. “
Bledsoe said the pay cuts taken by staff have not been restored.
The Rotary, beginning in 2004 and continuing to the present, has donated money for the WRC’s Spirit of Giving Party to purchase gifts for children and teens for the holidays.
Prahm said that event has expanded to children being able to choose gifts for their mothers and in a few cases, fathers.
In 2008 the club spruced up the landscaping and proved a new fence, pavers and a handicap accessible ramp for the center. It also purchased and installed a new $3,600 play house and hauled away the old, time worn playground equipment.
Additionally, many Rotarians have attended WRC fundraising events held each year in order to provide support, he said.
“The idea is that RSF doesn’t have the serious family abuse issues, but we have the resources whereas Oceanside has a family abuse problem yet their resources are very limited,” he said.
“If you check the ratings on not-for-profit agencies, WRC gets one of the highest ratings for funds going directly for services provided with a small overhead,” he said.
“The Rotary members and their friends are truly serving their community by helping strengthen families, save lives and spread the word about the supportive programs provided by the WRC,” said Kathy Wolf, board vice chair and chair of the development committee. “They are facing a community problem head-on and doing something positive about it, really living their motto of, ‘Service Above Self.’”

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