Bill Gekler has been living in Rossmoor for 50 years and for a portion of that time he has been making a difference with in his Rossmoor community.
“I was retired and I felt like I should help and give back,” Bill Gekler said.
For the past decade, Gekler has been working in his Rossmoor neighborhood as the secretary of the Rossmoor Homeowners Association and as the coordinator of the RHA Monthly Paper Drive.
Twelve times a year, volunteers gather at the Rush Park paper drives to take time out of their busy Saturday mornings to support Gekler in his quest for a greener Rossmoor and a better community as a whole. “Working with people in Rossmoor is special,” Gekler said.
He has raised money for such things as the construction and equipment for Rush Park Tot Lot, purchase of trees, painting of house numbers on the curbs every other year, equipment for Rush Park kitchen and to support to the annual Rossmoor picnics.
“The Paper Drives are pretty simple and practically run themselves,” Gekler said.
Although the drives are simple, volunteers are still needed for the paper drives to be successful. The volunteers range in age, but many of them come from Los Alamitos Baseball Booster Club. Gekler said the club has been a tremendous help to the drives and the team receives a portion of the profits for their hard work.
The drives have achieved approximately 7 million pounds of newspaper print, which is the real moneymaker from the drives. The collection has also accumulated 400 tons of mixed waste. The paper drives have generated an estimated 7,500 hours of community service work.
Gekler said CR&R waste management has been a great help to the drives and has provided supplies with no cost to the Rossmoor Homeowners Association.
As coordinator of the RHA Paper Drives, Gekler’s duties include promoting the drives, making sure volunteers know what needs to be done and overseeing the sorting of paper products and other waste.
“I would like to see someone pick up some of my work in the future,” said Gekler.
Even though the drives require a lot of work, Gekler said: “The drives are good in simple ways to help get involved in green ideas and the other part is to help fund special projects.”
He said the paper drives have been contributed to an eco-friendly Rossmoor and a great way to raise money for the community.