The Heights

Updated: December 19, 2016

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Los Altos Rotary raises money for student veterans

Foothill College students, faculty and staff count themselves lucky to have a supportive community and visionary donors who are also committed to helping Foothill students succeed in their academic and career endeavors. Foothill’s biggest ally for improving students’ college experience are the generous members of the Los Altos Rotary Club.

Dedicated Rotarians have taken up the mantle of assisting hundreds of Foothill’s student-veterans, men and women who are returning to college after completing U.S. military service. To date, the Los Altos Rotary Club has raised more than $300,000 for a variety of programs and services now offered by the college’s popular Veterans Resource Center (VRC).

“Our student-veterans have given their best in service to this country,” says Rotarian Ron Labetich, who chairs the Los Altos Rotary Veterans Support Committee. “Now it’s our turn. The men and women of Rotary have compassion for veterans who take an oath to keep our families safe. The Foothill College Veterans Resource Center is an outstanding resource that encourages Rotarians and other community members to contribute money, time and talent to help our student-veterans as they transition from military service to civilian life.”

Fundraising efforts on behalf of Foothill’s VRC by Los Altos Rotarians have generated money to purchase Livescribe smart pens and tablets, Plantronics audio stereo headsets, Dragon Naturally Speaking software and a dedicated laptop, and a printer and scanner with assistive-technology features. Generous Rotary contributions have also funded a VRC staff coordinator position, as well as decorative braided cords that student-veterans wear with their academic regalia during the college’s annual commencement ceremony.

Earlier this year, Foothill’s VRC was again the beneficiary of proceeds generated by the Los Altos Rotary Club’s Cioppino Dinner. This spring, Rotary presented a $32,500 check to Foothill to provide textbook vouchers and award Friends of American Veteran Scholarships to deserving Foothill student-veterans. In addition to their financial contributions, the members of the Rotary Veterans Support Committee arrange workshops, guest speakers, mentoring assistance, legal guidance, and most importantly, camaraderie with student-veterans.

In the spirit of generating more camaraderie and networking opportunities among Rotarians and Foothill student-veterans and students with disabilities, Los Altos Rotary has launched a fundraising campaign to construct an inviting on-campus plaza that will provide an al fresco area to foster community interactions, nurture friendships, and create connections with other Foothill students, faculty and staff. Now in the early planning stage, more than $135,000 has been raised for the plaza project. The project’s next step is to develop architectural drawings. Honoring all veterans in our community, once constructed, the Los Altos Rotary Plaza at Foothill College will be dedicated to Los Altos native son, Capt. Matt Manoukian, USMC, who was killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2012.

To learn more about Foothill’s VRC and how you can help, call Foothill-De Anza Foundation Development Director Laura Woodworth at (650) 949-6232 or e-mail

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