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Carlsbad Rotary Clubs
42 Years of Service Above Self

Rotary is a non-profit service organization dedicated to the simple motto, “Service Above Self.” There are no better words to explain this belief other than the telling of the Glenn McComas story. 

The late Glenn McComas, a Retired Major of the United States Marine Corps, was a long-time Rotarian and member of the Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary Club. He was also on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Resource Center and the Boys’ and Girls’ Club in Carlsbad. 


In 1982, while trimming orange trees in his backyard, Glenn fell from a ladder suffering a serious spinal cord injury. He spent months in the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Long Beach, and then returned to his Carlsbad home. Now a quadriplegic, the Rotary Club of Carlsbad and the Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary Club decided to join forces and raise funds to retrofit Glenn’s home, making it easier for him to live more comfortably while using his wheelchair. It was from that focus that Oktoberfest was born. Both clubs needed to create a fundraiser to raise enough money to retrofit Glenn’s home and to continue to produce a sustainable community-wide event.


For 40 years the Rotary Clubs of Carlsbad have hosted Oktoberfest in Glenn’s honor. It is now an annual family event in the City of Carlsbad and draws visitors from throughout Southern California.


In 1982, $4,500 was raised to cover the construction costs of retrofitting Glenn’s house. Since that first event, over $1.5 million has been raised to support Carlsbad nonprofit organizations, high school student scholarships, and Rotarian service projects. Carlsbad Rotarians in both clubs work throughout the year on a variety of “hands-on” projects around the city and you may see them in their “Rotarians at Work” shirts around town.


Oktoberfest is the ONE major fundraising event for each club and produces the funds to improve the quality of life in this beautiful city. As you enjoy Oktoberfest this year, remember Glenn, have fun and thank you for your continued support! 

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