Community Portrait: Volunteer en-Gage-d in Rotary club work

By: Michael Kirby
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Janice Gage has been in Placer County for 32 years. Her business career accomplished, first as office manager for local Auburn architect Jordan Knighton, and then a Placer County Executive Office Senior Management Analyst from 1991 until her retirement in 2008. She’s proud of her working career, but close to her heart and on another level is her volunteer participation and accomplishments involving Rotary International, the largest service club in the world with 1.2 million members in almost 300 countries. It started innocently enough with a simple invitation to a noontime Auburn Rotary lunch meeting as a guest of a friend in 1997. Rotary is an international organization helping communities all over the world. “Rotary’s signature international project has been to rid the world of Polio, and we’re very close to our goal of wiping out Polio, which is only pandemic in four countries now,” Gage said. Rotarians locally have a major impact on local community projects, and have completed service projects in Auburn for years. Project Auburn, coordinated restoration of several Auburn neighborhoods, The Auburn Fun Run, sponsored by Rotary, has raised $72,000 for the Auburn Community Cancer Endowment Fund. Local Rotary clubs are also involved in the Thousand Smiles Dental Clinic in Mexico, and ongoing work at the Casa Hogar Orphanage also in Mexico. The three local Auburn Rotary Clubs participated in our area in the annual Rotarians at work day, joining Rotarians all over the world helping with projects in their communities all on the same day. Gage found that Rotary was a good fit for her and an excellent way to help in her community. “Rotary happens at a grassroots level, and I found I can do so much more as a human being as part of this 1.2 million member army,” said Gage. As Rotary Governor of District 5190, the largest geographic area districts in the continental U.S. covering Northern Californian and 75 percent of Nevada, Gage’s duties included traveling to each of the 54 Rotary Clubs in the district at least once. “I have to admit to a few several hankie cries, seeing firsthand what some of these small clubs are doing in their communities, 10-12 members doing ambitious projects,” Gage said. Gage’s term as district governor has ended but not her service with Rotary. She continues to work within Rotary District 5190 in various capacities, and is still very active with Auburn Rotary. “Most of my friends are Rotarians, it’s a lifestyle,” she said.