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Hello! Thank you for your interest in Freedom Rotary. My name is Martha E. Deny and I am Freedom Rotary’s President for the 2024-2025 Rotary year. Since immigrating to America from Mexico as a teenager, I have lived in Santa Cruz County for the past 30 years. As a local business owner of A2i Accounting and Consulting Services in Aptos, and Bloom Haven Nursery and Gifts in Aromas,  I am committed to giving back to my community in every way I can. In addition to my involvement in Freedom Rotary, I am also the Treasury for a local non-profit Unchained, the Treasurer for Scouting America Troop 505B, and I volunteer at many other local organizations.

I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as the President of this remarkable club. Since joining Freedom Rotary in 2022, I have made invaluable connections with the members, participated in the countless community service projects that have transpired, and witnessed how the efforts of the club have inspired many others to help. Freedom Rotary truly values the “boots-on-the-ground” approach to community service, and the results are undeniable. I am deeply grateful for the community’s support and contributions to our fundraisers which have been instrumental in our service.

For my year as president, I have chosen education as the theme to focus our efforts on. I was born and raised in Jalisco, Mexico. By the age of 14, I had completed all of the available public education, and I was accepted to a technical school; however, the tuition was $20, and my family didn’t have the means to pay for this, so I had to work full-time instead of continuing my education. When I was 15, I came to Watsonville. After the initial culture shock wore off, I was thrilled to learn I could continue public school until 18. I jumped on the opportunity to attend Aptos High. My high school education was cut short when my Grandmother was diagnosed with stomach cancer. After an emergency surgery left her without her stomach and esophagus, I brought her back to Mexico and took care of her so she could spend her final days in her home town. By the time I was able to return to school, I didn’t have enough time to get the last five credits I needed to graduate from Aptos High. But I didn’t let this stop me, I earned my GED and I quickly continued my education at Heald College. Fast forward 30 years, and I’m a U.S. citizen with a career, two adult children in college (plus one 9-year-old at prep school), and financial security. I feel I have obtained my “American Dream”. This experience ignited my passion for improving access to education to as many people as possible. The majority of the funds raised this year will go towards this cause. Stay tuned to hear more about the beneficiaries and projects for this year.

Everyone is welcome to attend our meetings and volunteer opportunities. If you would like to learn more about the district’s fastest-growing Rotary club, please join us at one of our lunch or dinner gatherings. We have dinner at El Vaquero Winery on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 5:15 p.m. and lunch in the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Ag History Museum on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 12:15 p.m.

Check our calendar for upcoming events!  I look forward to meeting you at any of our meetings or events.

Martha E Denny