Published August 2nd, 2023
Local Rotarian exemplifies 'Service Above Self'
Submitted by Tom Guyette
Roberto Alvarez del Blanco Photo provided
Roberto Alvarez del Blanco was recently honored with the Rotary International "Service Above Self" award. Presented by Rotary International Board Member Vicki Puliz, this prestigious accolade is given to individual Rotarians who exemplify an unwavering dedication to serving others through their volunteer work. It is recognized as Rotary's highest honor.
Out of the 1.4 million members spanning 180 nations within Rotary International, only a select few individuals are chosen to receive the "Service Above Self" award. This year, a mere 101 recipients were recognized worldwide.
Ms. Puliz acknowledged Roberto's exceptional volunteer efforts, "In response to the scarcity of Spanish-language information during the COVID-19 pandemic, he initiated Hope Initiative, offering vital scientific information to Latin American doctors and healthcare workers." These efforts often provided the only information these professionals received, allowing them to save many lives.
Through Hope Initiative COVID-19, Roberto spearheaded the distribution of weekly publications via email and a dedicated website ( by leveraging the vast Rotary network. Over the course of 88 editions, his efforts reached more than 250,000 people, dedicating close to 5,000 hours towards this life-saving endeavor. Roberto humbly stated, "Even if it saved only one life, it was worth it."
A dedicated member of Rotary for nearly four decades, Alvarez del Blanco's journey with the organization began in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Later, he founded a Rotary club in Barcelona, Spain, before joining Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary.
Alvarez del Blanco's story demonstrates the profound impact one person can make by leveraging local and international connections.
Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary hosts a weekly program over breakfast, Friday at 7 a.m. at the Lafayette Veterans Memorial Building, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette. Guests are always welcome. Visit:?

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