Club Information

Welcome to the Best Club in the Universe!

Downtown Las Vegas Rotary

Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 12:15 PM
Hugo's Cellar Restaurant
202 Fremont St., 4 Queens Hotel
Las Vegas, NV  89101-5606
United States
District Site
Venue Map

Our club had an amazing week, we sure hope you did as well. We started off with a stellar meeting where we had our very own Linda Bertuzzi share her district presentation about polio and how it has impacted our youth. Her daughter Sarah and Robin's daughter Lauren spent the afternoon with us going over the impact the trip to India had on them. Thank you Linda for sharing this incredible experience.

Next, on Wednesday the 13th our club and friends gathered at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park for the Super Summer Theatre production of Memphis the Musical. We feasted on dinner before heading down to the grass to enjoy the show and what a show it was. If you haven't had a change to see this incredible performance please make a point to do so.





Tuesday was a busy day with The Rotary Club of Downtown Las Vegas. We had a packed lunch with 5 visiting Rotarians and 4 guests joining us for a meal and to hear our incredible speaker share her story with us. As a club we also shared the finished wine bottle with everyone who couldn't make the bottling event. Please reach out if you would like to purchase this delicious vino prepared by TBCITU. For members who sell the bottles please contact Al Guida to secure your bottles as he is managing the inventory.

Featured speaker Suni Chabrow the founder of the Douglas J. Green Memorial Foundation spoke about her son and his journey in becoming the inspiration for this unbelievable foundation. The DGMF gathers food and funds to create care packages to be sent to the troops deployed all around the world. These packages are very special to the troops as they contain snacks, hygiene products and even hand written letters from schools around the valley thanking them for their continued service. Check out their Facebook page to learn more about their project and to stay up to date on events to support the cause.



This past weekend we had our Annual Board Retreat and Club Social at Past President Jim Maine's cabin. The incoming board got a lot covered as we reflected on this past year and discussed our goals for the year to come. We look forward in seeing what incoming president Kevin Wool with bring to the club.

After the meeting our club gathered and had a social to fellowship and reminisce on the great things we accomplished in the year passed. Geoff Holmes managed the grill to give us some incredible tri-tip and juicy chicken. Other members brought some side dishes to give us a feast to snack on. Gathering for this anticipated event every year is a favorite of the club. We get the best of both worlds; first getting a lot accomplished with the board hard at work then getting to let lose and socialize with The Best Club in the Universe. Things are always better when we're together!



“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.” - Paulo Coelho, Brida
The Best Club in the Universe gathered last night for a fun yet productive evening bottling our wine at Grape Expectations. We had a powerful assembly line in motion as we knocked out over 250 bottles filling, corking, sealing, labeling and of course tasting. Our club was hands on in the entire process of selecting the type of wine, stemming the grapes, plunging the wine and lastly bottling. We all can't wait to open a bottle and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Such a great night with friends, family and fundraising.

District Conference was the perfect destination this year hosted in the gorgeous San Diego, California. Our club had more than 10% of our members recognized for the dedication and hard work put into our local community as well as our global influence. Linda Bertuzzi, Robin Smith, Michael Woodfield and Roy York represented our club at Conference and were acknowledged for their passion projects. Past President Linda was celebrated for her continuous participation in Polio Plus and traveling to India to vaccinate the children from Polio for 5 years now. District Governor Randy Pote spoke on the strong emotion she holds for this project and encouraging family and friends to get involved. As chair of the Superbuild Committee, Past President Robin was given the Service above Self award for organizing and overseeing not three, but four separate home builds in April.  Many members of our Club travelled with her this year to support the program.  Outstanding Robin! Past District Governor and Past President Roy York was recognized for chairing and reinvigoration of the struggling Dan Stover Music Competition. A big thank you to Roy for continuing his love for this tradition and keeping it alive. Lastly President Michael Woodfield received the first ever Pars vs. Polio event award for raising over $63,000 for this project. Michael's heart went into this venture and it shows immensely through his success. No words could express the pride our club has for its members and the accomplishments we continue to tally up. A new Rotary year about to start, we can't wait to see what this year will bring. 


"If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse." - Jim Rohn

With District Conference fresh in our review mirror, our club has surely been humbled. The Rotary Club of Downtown Las Vegas received First Place in the district for Club Service. What an honor! We pride ourselves for the active members we collect and all the great things we enjoy doing in our community and around the globe. This award speaks to our heart and we are so very grateful!

Secondly President Michael Woodfield was recognized for his participation in Pars vs Polio and raising a whopping $20,000. A sincere Thank You to Mr. Woodfield for all he does for our club and for always standing out in the district.

We were honored with the presence of the kids from The League of Extraordinary Booker Students who came to enjoy lunch with us. With them was their fearless leader principle Mason who is always a treat to have as a guest. The school year coming to an end we wanted to celebrate the student's achievements one last time.

The great energy we had rolling through Hugo's Cellar continued as we heard from Dawn Prendes and her husband when they spoke about their dream, Henry's Place. Dawn shared her tragic story in losing her husband back in 2006 but inspired the club in the journey they took to accomplish everything they have. Before his death, Sgt. Prendes and his wife, Dawn, had dreamt of starting a camp to help the youth in the community he fought so hard to protect. Now that dream is well on the way to becoming a reality in the form of Henry’s Place, a beautiful 14-acre camp facility located in the foothills west of Cedar City, Utah. Thank you for sharing your story with us Dawn and we look forward to seeing your success in the future!

Check out their Facebook page to stay up to date on everything they are accomplishing


We couldn't have asked for a more perfect weekend to get out and give back with our annual Rotary at Work Day. A group of members went over to Easter Seals of Nevada and cleaned up The SNWA Award Winning Reflection Garden that our club built and continues to maintain. And as always we manage to make a party out of any event. Along with a number of members, friends and family gave up their Saturday morning to participate in beautifying the garden and giving back to the community. After our busy day Vice President Dan Stock visited our club to gift us a most generous thank you. Hearing how appreciated and valued the garden is warmed our hearts and fuels us to want this tradition to last and last. Check out the video to see our fun and productive weekend. 

Come rain or shine our Rotarians are always determined to complete their service projects. A team of Rotarians and their families ventured into Tacate, Mexico to continue the SuperBuild program in building four deserving families a home. Forget the farmers tan, this year the overcast provided for some cooler weather to labor in. The families chosen to receive these homes are active members in their community and have given back their time and efforts to their neighborhood. For some of these gracious families this is the first time they get to call somewhere their own, the first time they get to unlock their front door and no longer scrounge for shelter. This is what "Being a Gift to the World" is all about. Thank you to the number of members who gave up their weekend to hand deliver their time and energy to the families who have secured the dream of calling a place their home.

Being the Best Club in the Universe we must uphold that name and have the best party in the universe. With Rotary's name is bright lights high above on Fremont Street for all to see accomplished our goal. M.C. Mark Shunock kept the night entertained and the Moonshiners jazzed up the party. The best part, having Mondays Dark in Partnership with ServingHopeLV and Police Athletic League of Southern Nevada there to support our fundraising efforts and keeping the night about our community. With our silent and live auction we want to thank all who attended and bid in making our dreams a reality. If you missed out don't worry we have footage to prove the nights ecstatic energy and have no doubt we will be back next year to rock it again!

As Rotarians we are constantly trying to instill our values in the minds of today's youth. RYLA is such a powerful weekend to share Rotary with tomorrow's leaders. Friday morning we packed the buses and headed to Thousand Pines Camp in beautiful Crestline, California. Three days packed with team building and perspective enriching activities and some incredibly moving guest speakers. Not a single person left the way the same. So many friends were made, walls were torn down, tears were shed, and everyone grew in understanding and attitude. The Rotary Club of Downtown Las Vegas was well represented as seven of our members participated as Continent Leaders, Facilitators, and Lab Leaders. This weekend couldn't be possible without passionate Rotarians but more importantly without the kids who want to live the Rylarian way. Check out the video the RYLA leaders put together and if you want to be apart of this unbelievable adventure please reach out and prepare to be inspired. 


"A great attitude becomes a great day, which becomes a great month, which becomes a great year, which becomes a great life" - Mandy Hale

When you have your weekly Rotary meeting, you know it's going to be more than just a great day! On Tuesday we had quite the exciting meeting as we had District Governor Randy Pote join us in pinning 11 Paul Harris fellows from last year. A few recognized members were not present which just means that the celebration must continue. The meeting progressed as we exchanged banners with visiting Rotarian Mir Arif Ali who journeyed all the way from Pakistan and we couldn't help but crown Past President Al Guida the birthday King from last week. But the heart of the meeting with in our speakers presentation. Past President Robin Smith shared her experiences and testimonials from the Super Build Project in Tecate, Mexico. Every year a team of Rotarians travels to Mexico for the weekend and builds deserving families homes. These new home owners have earned these houses after being active in their own community. Talk about a strong Rotary moment. If you would like to be apart of this life changing experience please reach out and we will send you some information. 
We managed to pack all this fun and excitement into an hour and a half...wait till you see what we do next!



It's Tuesday so you know what that means...The Best Club in the Universe gathered for another great meeting of 2016.

Today we had the great pleasure of hosting Dan Quinn the Vice President and General Manager of the New T-Mobile Arena. He came with great insight to what the plans are for the arena and the impact it will have on our community. After hearing his presentation, I know I am excited for what's to come for the Las Vegas Strip in 2016. Visit their website to see the plans and development of this new gem that will be added to our desert treasure box.





It's true that once you get a taste of how incredible Rotary is you can never get enough. When meeting our welcoming and lively club it's easy to see why so many want to be called our family. Past and now present member Lawrence Ocon was re-inducted into The Best Club in the Universe with his beautiful wife Heather Ocon standing by his side. 

We must thank Past President Al Guida for his encouragement is welcoming Lawrence back into the Downtown Las Vegas Rotary Club. 

Lawrence has been the Director of Family Services at La Paloma Cremation & Funeral Services since August of 2014. He was brought back to Las Vegas from Glendale, California and we couldn't be happier about the move. Based on a favorite quote of Lawrence's "you are judged by the company you keep", we are honored to uphold his honorable reputation and be the company that Lawrence will forever call family. 




They say a picture is worth a thousand words - these pictures then will speak volumes about the 550+ children whose lives were touched by the extraordinary members of the Downtown Las Vegas Rotary Club, along with the Honor Society students from our partner Alexander Dawson School and a host of friends and family. Three lunches, beautiful smiling children and our world famous Rotary Turkey!
Throughout the year we get to interact with many of the children at Booker Elementary and we hear time after time how special this day is to many of the kids. Seeing the smiles from ear to ear and hearing the waves of laughter filling the cafeteria is enough to warm the hearts of all. It's a gift to all of the Rotarians who get the wonderful opportunity to create loving memories for all the students and their families. 
Check out the rest of the days fun at our facebook page. 

It was a great turnout for the yearly gathering to assemble shoe boxes for children across the world. Past President Allen Puliz kindly donated the space at his warehouse for our club to gather and enjoy this heartwarming tradition. Many of our members brought their families to take part in the excitement. 
Complete with cozy warm socks, a toy, pencils, sharpener, candy, toothbrushes, soap, combs and a washcloth we hope that the recipients of these packages feel the love that went in to sending them. Our club had a blast getting the packages ready to ship as the kids managed the warehouse and the proud Rotarians appreciated the time of fellowship with tasty food and delicious wine. 
This worldwide movement is continuing to grow and grow. You can see others and their packaging stories on facebook, twitter or instagram by looking up #ipackedashoebox. Check out this inspiring story of child in need receiving her shoebox. 

Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada is giving more than 4,000 Clark County students an income, mortgage, family and cable bill at its mock city, Capital One/Junior Achievement Finance Park. The Park will provide financial curriculum and reality-based financial scenarios to 8th through 12th grade students. Past Pres. Dulcinea Rongavilla previewed the Downtown Las Vegas Rotary's Philanthropy booth at Junior Achievement's Finance Park this year. Philanthropy is one of 25 budgeting decisions the students will be considering as they go through their day as an "adult" at Finance Park. Our awesome members will be volunteering their time on November 12th to support this very important program.

One of our newest members Liz Ortenburger, CEO of Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada, was recently featured in magazine. The article showcased her recent success in organizing the Desserts Before Dinner fundraiser, which included entertainment, a silent auction and nine desserts inspired by Girl Scout cookies. The cookies, while perhaps the most recognizable aspect of the organization, are just a small part of what the Girl Scouts do. Ortenburger, among other things, is overseeing a new model — Super Troops — to help expand the brand and provide membership access to more children in Southern Nevada. Ortenburger is doing many impactful things within Southern Nevada through Girl Scouts. As a part of The Rotary Club of Downtown Las Vegas, Liz is bound for great things within the Southern Nevada community. Read more about Liz at 

Generosity doesn't just come from wallets - it comes from the heart, too.  The Downtown Rotary Charitable Fund is fortunate enough to be able to do both, thanks to the tireless fundraising efforts of the Downtown Las Vegas Rotary members.  We joyously presented donations to Mark Shunock of Monday's Dark, Michelle Jackson from Junior Achievement and to the local Horses4Heroes.  Being able to contribute to our local non-profits is the cherry on top of the sweet life of being a Rotarian, supporting Rotary's motto of "Service Above Self."  These programs have a positive impact on our community and we are thrilled to support these organizations.

We recently presented our first trimester awards to the outstanding fifth graders at Kermit R Booker Elementary School.  This program is under our Youth Services Chair Bonnie Helms and sub-chaired by Past Pres. Linda Bertuzzi.  The recipients were delighted to be nominated by their teachers and applauded by their peers for their exceptional academics, attendance, and citizenship.  One teacher wrote that her student "who faces temptation to make wrong choices, but makes a daily decision to make the right choices is extraordinary.  She strives to see beyond the faults of others and herself."  Congratulations to Extraordinary students.

On October 24th it is World Polio Day. In recognition of this day The Best Club in the Universe had the honor of hosting Polio Victim Zeir Redzic. Diagnosed at the age of 3 in Bosnia, Zeir fights every day through the struggle. We are proud in sharing our goal to eradicate this disease with him. He couldn't be more thankful in learning what Rotary is and what we stand for. Thank you Zeir for your strength and for being our guest of honor this past week. We look forward to getting to know you better!

A rowdy bunch of Rotarians gathered to golf as many holes as possible to raise funds to continue the mission in eradicating Polio. With world Polio day just around the corner, The Best Club in the Universe put in strong efforts to help the cause. Our proud participants brought in a pretty penny to add to the Polio bank. We thank you for your participation and support.  All funds raised during the event will be matched 2-1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and go a long way towards Rotary's Polio Plus campaign. In a mere three decades, Rotary and it's partners have made a tremendous impact on this disease - from nearly 1,000 new reported cases every day in the late 70's to just 51 for year-to-date in 2015. You can learn more at

Our club was privileged to have the hard working team from The West Charleston Enrichment Academy and speak about their ambitious team, their growing students, and their wish list of needs for their school. Growing out of a frustration with the current educational model in this country, West Charleston Enrichment Academy was founded to provide an environment that maximizes the strengths of all types and speeds of learners. Whether a child is exceptional, above average, or slower, in this school the child will find acceptance and help to maximize his or her abilities. Read more about the background of WCEA from our founder, Elizabeth Earl.
We want to thank the team from the West Charleston Enrichment Academy for coming and sharing their program. It was encouraging to learn that some teachers out there really teach and make an impact from the heart. One goal of Founder Elizabeth Earl is to gather donation that benefit low-income students by allowing them to receive scholarships of up to $7,750 per year. Information about the SGO's can be found at 


The Best Club in the Universe welcomes our newest member Liz Ortenburger. Liz is the CEO for the Girl Scouts of So. Nevada.  She was born in Kendal England and attended Fresno State.  She is married to Kipp and has two beautiful children.  She has belonged to the American Camp Association and Golden Key National Honor Society.  

We were proud to induct Liz into our Club. Her husband Kipp was there to show support and encouragement for his wife and her now growing family. The Fremont Rotary Club couldn't be happier to have you both!


Talk about making a great first impression and setting the bar extremely high. Our newest member Linda Baassiri was proudly inducted in the presence of her father who is a seasoned Rotarian and her husband who flew in for this memorable day. As she was pinned her father pulled out a check and made her the latest Paul Harris Fellow. Congratulations Linda! We couldn't be happier that you have joined our family!

We were graced with the Presence from our District Governor Randy Pote. 26 years as a proud Rotarian, Randy spoke of his journey with Rotary and where he hopes to take our district. His goal, to simply leave Rotary better than when we found it. It was really great to hear his excitement and love for Rotary and where it's headed. A standing ovation was well deserved. 
Randy continued to announce The Fremont Rotary Club newest Paul Harris Fellow. Congratulations to Rust Bridges! He has only been a member for 16 months and has already been so involved with our club and projects. Now a Paul Harris Fellow, we are so proud to have you in our family!
Our exciting high energy meeting continued with the announcement of the recipients of the District 5300 Superstar Team. Our President Michael Woodfield, Treasure for life Al Guida, and PR Chair Manuella Monreal will proudly where their superstar pins in representing our Club. We thank you for being the bright superstars you are!