Robert Freiri, new Hollister Rotary president

The Rotary Club of Hollister announced the installation of a new club president, Robert Freiri, who takes over as the 90th president of the local club. He has served on the board of directors for the past four years and served as president elect, the international chair, the Rotary Foundation chair and community service chair. He said his goals for his term include increasing the club’s impact in the community, strengthening its commitment to international projects and adding new members to Rotary.

Freiri is the executive director of Chamberlain’s Children Center, Inc. He has been involved in many community boards and committees including Loma Prieta Community Foundation, Loma Prieta School Oversight Committee, the Role Model Program, and Santa Clara County Housing Collaborative. Freiri has sat on children’s commissions in both Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties.

“The Rotary motto, ‘Service Above Self,’ is how Rotarians live our lives and it is important that we put this into practice in our community,” Freiri said.  “I am humbled to serve in an incredible club with tremendous individuals and community members who see the value of service and the ability to make a difference in the lives of people in their community and worldwide.” 

Freiri pointed out that Rotary’s two biggest fundraisers are back to back and are coming up. Rotary runs the concessions at the San Benito County Saddle Horse Show and the beer barden at the Fourth of July Biker Rally. He encouraged anyone interested in volunteering to contact Rotary at 831-637-8809.  “We are working Friday through Sunday over two consecutive weekends,” he said. “Even a youthful group would wear down, so the fact that many of our members are seniors demonstrates the need for additional support.”  Freiri said the two events net approximately $25,000, which the Club uses for Scholarships, Community Grants and International Projects.

Freiri invited anyone interested in Rotary to attend one of their upcoming Monday meetings. Scheduled speakers include: Julie Jackson’s “Great Giants Stories”; San Jose Sharks announcer Randy Hahn; Santa Cruz Warriors Executive Jim Weyerman; and Richard D. King, former Rotary International president and one of Freiri’s favorites. 

“There is never a dry eye in the house when Mr. King speaks,” Freiri said. “One of Rotary’s most popular speakers, Mr. King has addressed Rotary International conventions, assemblies, conferences and Rotary clubs in every state in the USA and some 100-plus countries. The fact that he has agreed to speak at our club is a real treat.”

Freiri said he ran into King at the just completed Rotary International Convention in Sydney, Australia, where Freiri and current President Jayme Stewart represented the Hollister Club. 

“It was an amazing and rewarding experience,” Freiri said. “I met Rotarians from Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, India, Uraguay, Brazil, Spain, Taiwan, Japan, Australia and, of course, several from different states in the United States.”

About the Rotary Club of Hollister

Established in 1925, the Rotary Club is dedicated to serving the local and world community. Its many projects are our attempt to live the Rotary motto “Service Above Self.”  The club meets at every Monday at noon at the Ridgemark Golf and Country Club.

Some of the major accomplishments Hollister Rotary has helped the community with include: building a heli-pad at Hazel Hawkins Hospital, the clubhouse at Bolado Golf Course, and the Highway 156 landscape entrance leading into Hollister.

Hollister Rotary is part of District 5170 and situated in Area 6, which includes Almaden Valley, Gilroy, Gilroy Sunrise, Hollister, Morgan Hill and San Juan Bautista.

Rotary International is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. Approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 32,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. 

Here is a sample of what Rotary Club of Hollister has accomplished over the past 5 years:

International: (in partnership with Area 6 Clubs)

Mindanao, Philippines – New School Classroom

Lagos, Nigeria – 6 disease-free water wells and mosquito nets for 10,000 villagers as well as micro-finance project

Egbe, Nigeria – Medical Equipment to Egbe Hospital

Accra, Ghana – Disease Free drinking water for 9 villages

Mangoase, Ghana – Mangoase School Water Well and Restroom building projects

Lira, Uganda – mosquito nets, school supplies and four water wells

Ameca, Mexico – Ambulance & medical equipment, school computers and textbooks


Chamberlain’s Children Center renovation

Change Smoke Detector Batteries for Seniors

Gilroy Compassion Center

Holte Holiday Dinners


Over $75,000 in Scholarships to San Benito County High School Students

Annual Youth Speech Contest