International Service encompasses efforts to expand Rotary's humanitarian reach around the world and to promote world understanding and peace.
International Service Chair
Edwin A. Velarde
Edwin organized and was a rider of the EPiC Busan to Seoul Team that raised funds for Polio Plus and awareness of Rotary’s global eradication efforts. The Team travelled 600+ kilometers by bicycle in South Korea leading up to the 2016 Rotary International Convention in Seoul, South Korea.
In 2014-2015, Velarde was honored as District 5240 Rotarian of the Year after serving as President of Rotary District 5240 Charitable Foundation, District Chair of Fundraising for Polio Plus and District Water and Sanitation Adviser. Earlier in 2014-2015, he conceptualized and organized The EPiC Challenge, a 200K bike event from Paso Robles to Monterey, California that raised awareness of the polio endgame and funds that benefitted Rotary’s Polio Plus Program.
As a proud member of Rotary Club of Westlake Village since 1994, Velarde served as President in 2012-2013 and also held positions in various multi-years as Chair of International Service and Chair of Rotary Foundation.
Edwin have furthered his Rotary knowledge and enjoyed Rotary International Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana; Bangkok, Thailand; Lisbon, Portugal; and Seoul, South Korea.
Among other projects, Velarde developed and managed Rotary humanitarian projects in the Philippines - “Changing Lives through Wheelchairs” providing mobility for the physically challenged and “Investment for the Future” that helped a super-typhoon damaged school by providing math, science & technical books, a computer lab and latrines.
Partnering with Rotary Club of Makati South, Velarde developed “Water for Life and Health in Marinduque Island”. Coordinating with the local government and engaging local Filipino workers, this project provides clean water access to hundreds of poor families in 8 villages in Marinduque Island and 4 villages in Pampanga Province. Waterborne diseases are now being prevented from infecting many families and young children improving the quality of their lives and health.
In cooperation with Rotary Club of Westlake Village and the City of Westlake Village, for 5 years Velarde organized The Run/Walk for Global Clean Water in Westlake Village, California, creating awareness on the global water crisis in the community and helped support Rotary clean water projects in countries such as Thailand and Honduras.
Married with 3 children Merielle(26, PHF), Conner(23, PHF) and Davis(19, PHF), Edwin and his beautiful wife Cristina (PHF) live in Ventura County where they own and operate Oak Park Family Dentistry.
Born and raised in Manila, Philippines and came to the United States at age 15, Velarde is very familiar and lived through the challenges of water scarcity and questionable water quality. He is a strong advocate of one of Rotary’s 6 Areas of Focus – Water and Sanitation.
Other Experience and Rotary Accomplishments
Multiple Paul Harris Fellow; PRLS, Master PRLS Graduate; A manufacturing process analyst, software developer and technology consultant. Professional experience in the County Government, Banking, Retail, Entertainment, Insurance, and Healthcare. Enjoys roses, dogs, cats, birds, off-road vehicle-dependent expedition, a golfer & cycling enthusiast.
The mission of the District International Service Committee is to stimulate interest in diverse International Service projects and to assist club leadership with coordinating and implementing such projects in their own clubs and jointly with other clubs in District 5240 and districts and clubs around the world.
Ensure maximum participation by the clubs in District 5240 in International Service projects, programs Global and District Grants. To accomplish this goal, the members of the District International Service Committee will:
- Engage the clubs in District 5240 to participate in District sponsored International Service projects and grants.
- Work closely with the International Service Committee members to bring clubs together for knowledge sharing and to collaborate on grants and projects.
- Provide information, resources and tools to club International Service Chairs through webinars and other local training seminars.
- Working with the District Grant Committee, help clubs write grants.