RSF Rotarians support Exceptional Family Member Program at Camp Pendleton


On Wednesday, Aug. 7, the Rancho Santa Fe Rotary Club came together at the RSF Golf Club to fill 75 backpacks for children with special needs at Camp Pendleton. Partnering with the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), Rotarians assembled backpacks filled with notebooks, pencils, crayons, rulers, markers, glue sticks, and other necessary school supplies for the EMFP Back To School Extravanganza.

“We so appreciate the support of the Rancho Santa Fe Rotary, as so many of these families are financially challenged, and with special needs children, the struggle is so much greater,” explained Hope Bustos, Training, Education & Outreach specialist for the Marine & Family Programs Division of the EFMP. “These generous Rotarians have helped us make ends meet for the past three years.”

Members of the club spent the afternoon of Thursday, Aug. 8 on base handing out filled backpacks to children eager to check out the surprises inside. More fun was had during the day making sock puppets, crafting American flags, and face painting. One devoted father, still in his khakis, came off the field to bring his six young daughters. He said the girls had looked forward to this day for weeks.

Elie Fengali, Rotary president said, “Supporting our local military is one of our goals in Rotary. We are honored to help our troops, and look forward to cultivating more outreach programs at Camp Pendleton.”

For information on the Rancho Santa Fe Rotary Club or how to join, please contact Robin Chappelow, Community Outreach & Membership chair, at

Photos by McKenzie Images