Santa Paula Times

(Left) Pictured above (left to right) are Maria Dowdy, Arnie Dowdy and Nils Rueckert. (Right) Pictured (left to right) are Scott Dunbar, Jacqueline Hamilton and Scott Hamilton Photo by Brian D. Wilson

Arnie Dowdy honored with Rotary Four Avenues of Service Citation

January 24, 2003
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesFormer Santa Paula City Manager Arnold Dowdy was awarded the prestigious 2002-2003 Rotary International Four Avenues of Service Citation.Past President Nils Rueckert said a club member had never before earned the award to commend the service carried out by an “individual Rotarian in the club, reinforcing the importance Rotary places on the personal involvement of each club member in Rotary activities. Most of you know Arnie as a somewhat laid-back person, never very formal or taking himself seriously, even though he takes his job very seriously.”Dowdy, who retired after leading Ventura County LAFCO and VCOG, has been a “very committed Rotarian for a number of years,” and served as President of the Pismo Beach/Five Cities and Santa Paula Rotary clubs. He has been a group representative, assistant governor, and this year is the Administrative Assistant to Gov. Mark Vertin.“He certainly has excelled in all Four Avenues of Service,” club, vocational, community and international, said Rueckert. “Needless to say, we’re proud to be sending one of our own off to become our governor.”Rueckert said an “early send-off present, and acknowledgement of all you’ve done is represented by this citation, signed by Rotary International President Bhichai Rattakul.”Maria Dowdy was thanked for her support as Arnie pursues Rotary business, “his long hours and many travels on behalf or our district of 67 clubs spread over four counties,” Rueckert noted.Dowdy led the major effort for the Santa Paula Rotary Club’s gala 75th anniversary celebration; his love of baseball is shared through the annual Rotary softball tournament he spearheaded, as well as his presentations on the subject.
A much-sought after master of ceremonies, Dowdy is a tireless fundraiser who met a Pismo Beach/5 Cities year goal in only three months. He has hosted a number of GSE team members in his home over the years and was instrumental in the nomination and selection of two Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars sponsored by the Santa Paula Club.Dowdy has traveled to Mexico, India and Korea for club and international projects, and has attended five Rotary International conferences. A Rotary Foundation benefactor, Dowdy is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow.“Arnie is one of the most dedicated Rotarians I know; he believes in Rotary with his heart and soul,” and his natural leadership style and depth of Rotary knowledge are an asset to the Santa Paula club, said President Ginger Gherardi. “He brings levity to his Rotary involvement, as well as intelligence and compassion. He is pro-active and a consensus builder, able to work with diverse personalities and people of all stripes and persuasions,” to meet local, district and international goals.“I’d like to say this a surprise, but I read about it in the minutes,” joked Dowdy.He added that he always signs his letters “‘Serving with the Best,’ with a capital B. And holding those kids in India in your arms to give them vaccine as part of the Polio Plus program, that’s the best. . .”