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We are a VERY active club and do numerous projects throughout the year - some annually and others on an as needed basis.  We serve all ages from tykes to seniors locally as well as internationally.  Each member is encouraged to participate in events of their choosing.  We understand there has to be balance between club participation and time constraints with family, work, children, and other obligations.  NO ONE IS EXPECTED TO TAKE PART IN ALL OF THE EVENTS WE DO!!!!   With 80 members in our club, there is plenty of help available and it always balances out.  

We are always looking for additional projects to help those we may not have thought about before or who did not have a prior need.  We encourage our members to bring ideas and present them to our board for approval.  We also encourage our members to take the lead on projects and see them come to fruition.

Some (but certainly not all) of the events we have been involved with this past year are listed below.  







We have “adopted” Citrus Elementary School and do a number of events with them throughout the year.  Once a week a Rotarian goes to the school to read to the students before their day starts.  This has been well received by the children and the faculty.


Rain Garden:  We have installed a rain garden in front of the school and have periodic workdays to maintain the beaty and functionality of the garden. 


Dr. Wijetilleke’s Fifth Grade Mentoring Program.  Our members, along with others in the community, meet with the students and talk about their business and their profession.  They discuss education requirements, pros and cons of the profession and encourage the students to continue their education to achieve their goals. 

Teacher Appreciation Week:  Rotarians Pam O’Donnell (far left) and Chris Steinkrauss (far right) delivered cake to the teachers and administration staff for Teacher Appreciation Week. 



International coastal Clean Up with Keep Indian River Beautiful:  Each year sunrise Rotarians, friends and family members pick up plastic, Styrofoam, litter and other debris along our shorelines in an effort to keep Indian River County beautiful. 


Mapping Toxicity in the Indian River Lagoon:  Sunrise Rotarians became trained ORCA Citizen Scientists and helped collet and analyze water and sediment samples in the Indian river Lagoon.  This program allows ORCA’s educators and research scientist the opportunity to develop, standardize, and create procedures and training materials.  Our Rotarians monitor their specific sampling site on a regular scheduled basis. 

Rain Gardens at Stormgrove Middle School:  A rain garden was planted, and an education session given to students and educators of Indian River County about the process and the effectiveness of stormwater management strategies.

Clean Up Day:  Sunrise Rotarians work on the Great American Cleanup Day






Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA):  The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program provides young adults with an exposure to Rotary’s values of service, high ethical standards, and peace.  RYLA is a four-day retreat conducted at the district level and follows a leadership camp format.  RYLA develops the qualities of leadership, citizenship, and personal development. 



Scholarships:  Annually we award over $15,000 in scholarships to deserving local students as well as to students in India and the Dominican Republic.


Gifford Youth Orchestra:  We work throughout the year with the GYO.  We have donated musical instruments, provided supplies during summer camps, helped with their annual gala as well as given financial assistance for specific needed items. 


The Four Way Test Program:  We work with local middle school students to teach the values and purpose of Rotary’s Four Way Test through seminars and an essay contest.  Winners of the contest receive a $25 gift card.  They also choose a charity for Sunrise Rotary to make a donation to in their honor.  Future Rotarians in the making!  


Interact Club:  Sunrise Rotary continues to sponsor an Interact Club at Indian River Charter High School.  New members were recruited throughout the year.  The students actively participated in many community events. 


Our annual Craft Brew and Wingfest is our largest fundraiser of the year.    It takes each of us as well as additional volunteers to make it successful.  As soon as the event ends for the current year, we begin planning for the following year!!  With thousands of people attending, we have to make sure that no large or small detail is overlooked.  Since it allows us to raise funds to provide for others throughout the year, we must get it right!    


Stuffed Animal for Children:  Together with PetSmart, we provide a cuddly stuffed animal to hundreds of young children who are unfortunate victims of emergency situations.


Oktoberfest is about more than beer and brats for Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach and four other local Rotary Clubs. Each year the five Rotary Clubs of Indian River County unite to support efforts to eradicate the world of polio. One hundred percent of the local funds raised from the collaboration goes to Polio Plus.  Rotary began working toward ridding the world of this horrible disease with a project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.




Thanksgiving Dinners:  Each year we pack complete Thanksgiving meals for families in need who are identified by the Salvation Army. 


Bell Ringing:  Each year sunrise Rotarians sign up to ring the bell to help raise money for the Salvation Army. 

Christmas Parade:  Sunrise Rotary has been one of the main sponsors of the annual Christmas parade for years.  It is a fun family event for the entire community.  


For the second year, members from Sunrise Rotary have walked in the Walk to Remember.  This walk is to raise awareness and money to support vital programs and services in Vero Beach for people grappling with Alzheimer's and/or Parkinson's.


Little Free Libraries:  Our club maintains the Little Free Libraries throughout the community.  Rotarians, as well as others, donate books to ensure a variety of reading materials are available for those who use the libraries.  The libraries are checked, stocked and cleaned on a regular basis. 

Disaster Aid ‘USA’ Trailer:  Our trailer stays fully stocked to be deployed on a moment’s notice if needed.  Rotarians from our club coordinate with officials in disaster areas and facilitate transport of the trailer to areas in need as well as provide manpower to assist. 


Girls on the Run:  We partner with Girls on the Run and assist with various projects they provide working towards achieving their mission. 

American Flags:  Sunrise Rotary provided funds to purchase new American flags for the Merrill P. Barber bridge.  In this picture, several Rotarians attended the City Council meeting to thank them for their support of this project.  Special thanks to Rotarian Rex Taylor for making this happen. 

Sunrise Rotary takes part in numerous food drives throughout the year.  Our members are extremely generous with their donations both financially and with products they purchase and bring to meetings for whatever project we are collecting for at the time. 


Terry Schlitt enjoys breakfast with his son during one of our Wednesday meetings. 


Ernie Poland (far left) and Linda Poland (far right) enjoy time with Pam and Gene O’Donnell at our annual Christmas party. 

Justin and Michele Lefebure enjoy their time at a recent Rotary social event. 

Chris Vorce brought her son to the Father’s Day event we had at Florida Baptist Retirement Center (now Hidden Lakes).  Our projects are a great way to teach our children about Service Above Self! 


Ray and Many Hooker help raise money for our Polio Plus project.


Karen Curtis keeps us on task every Wednesday.  She sets up for our meetings and take care of everything once we have finished.  She never stops and always wears a big smile like you see in this picture.  We could not do without her in our “Rotary family” and appreciate her so much!!  She was nominated and accepted as an Honorary Member of our club several years ago.  While we do have a president of our club, Karen is THE BOSS!




St. Francis Manor:  We work with SFM throughout the year.  Annually, we have a Mother’s Day Brunch and some type of function during Christmas.  This year we had a Bingo and Dinner Night that was fun for everyone! 


Homestay Program:  Our club serves as a host club for visiting international Rotarians.  We have a full schedule of events that feature our Treasure Coast attractions as well as fun events scheduled with all the local Rotary clubs. 

International Projects:  In addition to what we do locally, we also work on projects on an international basis.  Rotarians from our club travel abroad to other clubs to assist with ongoing projects such as clean water, building schools, dental clinics, and disaster relief to mention a few. 


WE HAVE FUN!!!!!!!

Even when working hard on the Craft Brew and Wingfest, Debbie Avery takes a minute to show us just how much fun working together can be. 


When we do events for others, it gives us the chance to be together, socialize and check on each other.


Our Wednesday morning meetings are informative, a time to catch up on what all is happening in the club, and we have a variety of interesting speakers.  We are a happy bunch too – even at 7:00 in the morning! Arthur Hodge does his part to keep us all laughing.  

Pastor Jack Diehl was a great sport when he was given a disguise to help him stay out of trouble…….not that he is ever in any! 


A big smile from Linda Scalco as she works on the Santa for Seniors projects. 


Marty Lewis and Kevin Rollin were crowned for the great job they did as Co-chairs of the Craft Brew and Wingfest.