ROTARIAN OF THE WEEK – Mike Cates – Club Member since 2003
Michael Martin Cates grew up in Canoga Park. He attended LA Pierce College and Cal State Northridge. He began his gymnastics career in 1956 and competed in junior high, high school, university and even the Senior Olympics! He served in the US Army with the 1st to the 14th Artillery Headquarters Battery, 198th Brigade American Division in Chu Lai Vietnam during the 1967-1968 Tet Offensive. Coming home with a renewed appreciation for life and education, he went on to receive his California Lifetime Teaching Credential in Theatre and Speech Communications.
Mike worked throughout LAUSD and taught at two schools for children with special needs: The Harmony Center and the Marianne Frostig Center for Educational Therapy. Michael credits Marianne Frostig’s “Move, Grow, Learn” educational model as the foundation for his lifelong dedication to teaching gymnastics. Also, while teaching at the Frostig Center, Michael met his wife Mary, who was working as an intern there while completing her master’s degree in Movement Therapy.
Mary and Michael opened the doors of Broadway Gymnastic School in 1979. They have two daughters, Victoria and Georgia. Michael’s “giving back” philosophy has permeated throughout his life. He created the Broadway Gymnastic Foundation, which gives scholarships to economically disadvantaged children allowing them to participate in the sport of gymnastics.
Michael enjoys traveling to Australia every year to visit his daughter and attending as many Aussie Rotary meetings as possible!