History of Club

istory of Buena Park Rotary

Buena Park Rotary – Chartered In 1955 ***In 2015 we Celebrated 60 years of Service in our Community***

Buena Park is located in the center of Southern California. When our Rotary Club was chartered in 1955, Buena Park was a farming community. Knott’s Berry Farm is a well-known tourist destination in Buena Park, which began as a berry farm. One of our first members was Walter Knott. Our Club continues to meet at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant each week for Lunch.

Buena Park is located in the center of Southern California. When our Rotary Club was chartered in 1955, Buena Park was a farming community. Knott’s Berry Farm is a well-known tourist destination in Buena Park, which began as a berry farm. One of our first members was Walter Knott. Our Club continues to meet at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant each week for Lunch.


The Beginning:

Buena Park’s Charter meeting was on Oct 18, 1955. We were one of the first service clubs in town. New clubs require sponsorship from existing clubs. Buena Park was sponsored by Norwalk Rotary, Norwalk was sponsored by Whittier Rotary in 1951, and Whittier was sponsored by LA 5 Rotary in 1922.

Our club sponsored:

Our club sponsors these youth groups: Savanna High Interact, Anaheim, CA begun in 2004; Buena Park High Interact, Buena Park, CA begun in 2005; and North Orange County Community Rotaract, Buena Park, CA begun in 2005.


One annual event pioneered by Buena Park Rotary was Old Time Days now called Silverado Days, an annual city-wide family event in the park. At Silverado Days, BP Rotary sponsors Buena Park High at the Chili Cook-off each year. Our club has been a big supporter of the Buena Park Boys and Girls Club and in 2014 arranged the donation of a brand new van for them. The Club works with other groups in Buena Park, for example on the annual needy Children’s Christmas Shopping Spree. Each year the club is a sponsor of the city-wide Memorial Day Program.

Over the years, Buena Park Rotarians have teamed with Sister Clubs in foreign countries, like India, to provide fresh water for rural villages. In January 2008, our club hosted a dinner for RI President-Elect DK Lee and his wife Young at the Knott’s Resort Hotel. In 2009, we hosted the District- wide Rotary Business Leadership Awards Luncheon at the Knott’s Hotel.

Each year, the club honors both a Distinguished Rotarian and a non-Rotarian Buena Park Citizen-of-the-Year. At our Avenues of Service event, Community, Vocational, New Generations, and High School Service Awards are presented.

Annually, our club honors local teachers and classified employees. For each of the local school districts, we honor both a Distinguished Teacher and a Classified Employee.

Our club proudly supports our local public schools, and organizations and activities which benefit youth

For the Buena Park Library, we donate both books and funds for the Summer Reading Program; we are proud to support the Centralia School District Neighborhood Resource Center and their Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program; and we have a College Scholarship Award for our outstanding Interactors. Each year, we send High School Students to (RYLA) Rotary Youth Leadership Awards camp, and hold a High School Speech Contest. Our Rotaractors and Rotarians lead leadership workshops at the Buena Park Library for High School Students, and participate in Community Service Projects. Some of the service projects are Scouting for Food and Beach Cleanup.

Our members participate in early literacy projects, some examples are: Book Bags for new Moms, Little Free Library in the park, Read Across America, and the Library Summer Reading Program.

Buena Park Goes to College

Our club and the City Of Buena Park are the Sponsors of this event. We offer a free College Fair with workshops for local students. This event is a very valuable service to both parents and students. Hon. Elizabeth Swift is the Chairperson.

Club Presidents:

Charter President was Carl Lollin 1955-56, Obie Callender 1956-57, Ray Andrews 1958-59

Charles Pink 1974-75, Jerry Todd 1975-76, Rick Miller 1976- 77, Murry Sportsman 1978-79, Steve Rach 1979-80 Robert Thompson, ??? Reggie Callender, George West 1986-87 Chandan Sen 1990-91,  Ed Marks 1991-92,  Dale Gates 1992-93, Mark Barber1993-94,  Veena Desai 1994-95  Ed Marks 1995-96, Nancy Davis 1996-97,  Jim Paisley 1997-98,  Tom Polley 1998-99,  George West 1999-2000,  Ed Marks 2000-2001,  Tom Polley 2001-02  George West 2002-03  Kay Lee 2003-04,  Dennis Salts 2004-05,  Sam White 2005-06, Steve Chen 2006-07,  Shailesh Shah 2007-08,  Baron Night 2008-09,  Maha Rayan 2009-10,  Christiane Salts 2010-11,  Elizabeth Swift 2011-12,  Baron Night 2012-13, Elizabeth Saldana 2013-14, Dennis Salts 2014-15, Rotation of Past Presidents: Dennis Salts, Beth Swift, George West, Baron Night and Shailesh Shah 2015-16, Shailesh Shah 2016-17

Prominent Members:

Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Walter Ehlers, Knott’s Berry Farm Founders Walter and Cordelia Knott, and their Grandson Steve Knott, US Congressman Ed Royce, County Supervisor & State Assemblyman Chris Norby, Past Mayor Tony Fonte, Past Mayor Patsy Marshall, Past Mayor and Buena Park Elementary School District Trustee Elizabeth Swift, Centralia School District, Buena Park Library District and Chamber of Commerce Trustee Dennis Salts, Trustee Garden Grove School District and Dean of Hope International University George West, Superintendent Diane Scheerhorn, International Humanitarian Sam Kim, Chamber of Commerce Chairman Karla Galindo, Assembly Woman Young Kim, Superintendent Norma Martinez, and Deputy Superintendent Randy Helms, Superintendent Greg Magnuson, Superintendent Norma Martinez, BP High School Principal’s Jim Coombs and John Berg.


Rotary Leaders:

District 5320 Dennis Salts AG 2006-08, Youth Services Director 2007-09, Vocational Director 2009-11, Community Service Director 2011- 12, District Literacy Chair 2012-13, Rotaract Chair 2013-14 Dennis Salts., District AG Steve Chen 2007-09, District AG 2006-08, Sergeant at Arms 2007-08 Tom Polley, George West District Rotaract Chair 2006-08, Co-Chairman of District 5320 Rotary Business Leadership awards Christiane and Dennis Salts, Foundation Donors: 100% Paul Harris Fellows Club 2009, Dennis and Christiane inducted into the Rotary Foundation White Hat Society.

Our Paul Harris Fellows:

Dennis Salts, Christiane Salts, George West, Ed Marks, James Paisley, Tom Polley, Diane and Steve Scheerhorn, Steve Chen, Shailesh and Swati Shah, Baron Night, Tony Fonte, Mary and  Fritz Salts, Carrie Salts, Tracy Salts, Richard Clarke 5th, Kay Lee, Chris Norby, Don Prescott, Obie Callender, Reginald Callender, Irene Marks, Richard Westermann, EJ Andrews, Col. Harry Allen Austin, Walter Ehlers, Roland Ehlers, Mark Barbour, Frank Buschor, Victoria Buschor, Nancy Davis, Dale Gates, Robert Graves, Sally Holliday, Fred Pilling, Mary Recella Austin Salts, Fritz Oliver Salts, Ralph Selby, LC Storm, Elizabeth and Greg Swift, Michael Mahoney, Maha Ryan, Edwin Lucas, David Caldwell, Steve Knott, Walter and Rolland Ehlers, Woo and Mina Lim, Sam Kim, Armie Bailey, Shari Brekenfeld, Carlos Franco, Richard Clarke V, Uta Buschor, Mary Ador, Fritz Oliver Salts Jr, Stella Lillian Brunssen, Irv Trinkle, Anh West, Ruth Ann McMillan, Bob and Marie Graves, Karla Galindo, Johann Fuhrmann, Mary Hicks, Leslie Legaspi, Harley Salts, Louis Austin, Carlos Franco, Karla Galindo, Randy Helms, RuthAnn McMillen, Young Kim, Ed Royce, Jim Coombs, Louis B Austin, Norma Martinez, Greg Magnuson, Bexley Clarke, Young Kim

District 5320 Awards:

Business Rotarian of the Year Dennis Salts 2007 and Avenues of Service in 2011, Ethics in Leadership Honoree Christiane Salts 2012, Baron Night Business Rotarian of the Year 2014, George West Business Leadership 2014, Christiane Salts Rotary International Woman of  Action, Beth Swift Rotary International Avenues of Service.

Rotary International Awards received by Buena Park Rotarians.

The Rotary International Family and Community Service Award Recognition for exemplary Service to Family and Community 2008 Christiane Salts, 2010 Connie Chen, 2011 Medal of Honor Recipient Walter Ehlers.

The Cliff Dochterman International Fellowship of Scouting Rotarians Award Awarded to exemplary Rotarians in the name of Past RI President Dr. Clifford Dochterman 2008 Dennis Salts, 2010 Christiane Salts.

Rotary International Distinguished Presidential Citation 2010-11 Buena Park Rotary Club President Christiane Salts.

Rotary International Presidential Avenues of Service Citation 2011 Dennis Salts and in 2014 Elizabeth Swift.

Cypress College Americana Citizens of the Year for Buena Park.

Benjamin Sportsman 1988,  Donna Bagley 1992,  Steven Knott 1996,  Dennis Salts 2007, Diane Scheerhorn 2011,  Christiane Salts 2014, Jim Coombs 2016



BPRC History photos May 2013 (2) BPRC History photos May 2013 (3) BPRC History photos May 2013 (4)