Rotary Club of Yakima Sunrise

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Yakima Sunrise

Service Above Self

We meet Wednesdays at 6:45 AM
Holiday Inn
802 E Yakima Avenue
Yakima, WA  98901
United States
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Thanks to Catherine Willis Cleveland, Sunrise Rotary recently learned of a South African organization that is making great change in the poorest of the poor regions of Uganda. Pilgrim Africa is a Ugandan nonprofit that funds scholarships for children to attend Beacon of Hope School.
Beacon of Hope is one of the only secondary schools in Uganda, where the majority of students are poor, rural, have limited access to daily water and no electricity. In an area where 80 percent of children drop out of school before seventh grade, the selling of child brides is common place, and  everyone gets malaria four to six times a year, the opportunity for scholarship and education is a Godsend.
Almost three quarters of the students there are on a full scholarship, and a significant number are orphans, literally picked up from the streets and taken to Beacon of Hope School. For the brightest youth, university scholarships are readily available. For other students, a partnership with Columbia University ensures that they receive agricultural education that will allow students to improve the food supplies in their villages and towns.
While Pilgrim Africa and Beacon of Hope are making real change in the lives of children in Uganda, equally impressive was the small amount of money it takes to sponsor a child to attend the school, which includes housing and regular meals. A $600 donation covers the cost of a child attending Beacon of Hope for a year.
To learn more, or to sponsor a child, visit .

Our Allocations Committee and Board of Directors recently approved funding requests to support the following organizations and projects that benefit kids in teh greater Yakima area.  
Programs funded  
Camp Prime Time - Camperships            3,000.00
Capitol Kids            2,500.00
First Tee of Yakima            1,000.00
Madison House-Union Gospel Mission            1,700.00
Operation Harvest            1,500.00
Pegasus Project  $        1,000.00
Voices for the Children  $        1,000.00
Yakima County Master Gardener Youth Prgm  $           550.00
Yakima Greenway G2G            2,000.00
Yakima Valley Libraries  $           800.00
Yakima Valley Museum (Storyfest)            3,500.00
YMCA-Swim            2,500.00
YMCA-Saturday Nite Live            1,250.00
YWCA            1,700.00
Operation Santa            7,865.00
   $ 31,865.00
Speech contest            6,500.00
Memorial Service Scholarship  $        6,750.00
Randall Park Picnic Shelter   $        6,500.00

Hello Yakima Sunrise Rotary Club,
Happy April!
Just a quick Imagine Scholar update – Last week we began a Computer Literacy unit for our older students.  One of our classes was introducing our students to creating word documents and how to effectively format them.
For their practical assignment, each student created a short biography about themselves. While the focus was on the computer skills, Samkelisiwe's content showed a bit more about her character and interests. I thought you may enjoy reading it - I know I did. It was a nice reminder of how unique and awesome of a young woman she is!
Thank you for your continued support of Samkelisiwe's development.
Megan on behalf of Imagine Scholar
Megan Nellis
Director of Operations and Outreach
Who is Samkelisiwe Chissano?
Age: 15 years old
Birthplace: Rosettenville, Gauteng, South Africa
Book I’m currently reading:   Pendragon, “ The Never War” book 3 by D.J. MacHale
Favorite Imagine Scholar unit: “What is Reality”- I was really blown away to learn that humans have false memories. It has left me wondering how do we know which memories are real and which ones aren’t?
One thing I can’t go without: Food! I wouldn’t survive a day, were I to go without eating. Even missing one meal makes me want to cry.
What I spend my free time doing: Reading. It relaxes the mind while teaching you things you never knew. It also helps sleep come much easier when you read before bed.  
What do I want to do 10 years from now: I want to become a Pediatrician and help save the little innocent lives of children.
Questions I constantly ask myself:
1. Why am I alive today?
2. With the rate things are going, what would the world become in 20 years?
3. How do I contribute to making the world a better place?

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Love INC of Yakima follows the theory of this well-known proverb to help families break out of poverty. Rather than offering “band aids” in the form of free food, shelter and other needs, Love In the Name of Christ strives to help families get to the root of their poverty issues, and provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to break out of poverty.
Executive director Elizabeth Benefiel explains the “tough love” approach to facing poverty is based on identifying underlying issues; commonly unresolved feelings, the inability to effectively express feelings, and lack of communication skills. “It’s not easy,” she admits. “We tell families right up front what will be required… handing over credit cards and checkbook for lock up, class attendance and punctuality, and sticking with the program for a year. About half of those who hear that leave before we even get started.”
But Love INC’s long-term mentoring and life skills program teaches valuable life skills and helps motivate many clients to learn to successfully manage money and become and remain financially independent. As goals are met, clients earn vouchers for gas or groceries, freeing up money to address debt. For those who stick with the program, working closely with volunteers, engaging in classes, making personal changes, and finding hope, the cycle of poverty is most often broken.
In a world of immediate—but often short lived—reinforcement, Love INC provides clients with the skills and attitudes needed to make long term life changes that will serve them well. The organization is currently looking for mentors, coaches and other volunteers. Visit for more ino.

It’s a sobering fact that in Yakima County, there are an average of 700 youth in foster care. Most of these young people have been removed from their homes due to neglect. Thankfully, a group of caring adults have formed a foundation, with the goal of being the voices for these children.
Anna Martinez leads the Voices for Children Foundation, and all-volunteer501(c)(3). Each year, this group provides more than 300 “Buddy Bags” filled with toiletries, clean clothes and a handmade blanket to children who suddenly find themselves removed from their homes and on their way to a stranger’s house. The volunteers also help youth navigate the legal process, and have launched “Wishes and Needs”, a project that provides special interest items, such as track shoes for a child in foster care who wants to run track at his or her school.
Voices for Children Foundation is also the group behind IDENTITY, a clothing store teens in foster care. Designed to give teens the chance to shop for clothing that they want to wear, IDENTITY offers confidential “shopping”—there is actually no charge—to referred youth.
Many opportunities exist for helping out with Voices for Children Foundation. They operate on a show string budget, so help with spreading the word about them is always appreciated. They are often overwhelmed with donations to IDENTITY, and support with sorting, laundering and hanging of clothing is always needed.
Several Sunrise Rotary members indicated interest with this noble cause. If you would like to participate in a sorting/laundry event, please let me (Christina) know. For more information on the Foundation, visit or call Anna Martinez at 206-940-4363.

It’s said that when the President Elect is named, a Rotary President breathes a big sigh of relief, knowing he or she is really is on the down slope of the presidential term. Sunrise Rotary’s fearless leader, Dave McFadden, is happily sighing.
Much to his surprise, fourteen year Sunrise Rotary veteran Rod Fitch was named the 2016-2017 last month in a surprise ambush at Owen’s Cycle. 
“I was caught completely off guard,” Rod reported after being lured to the cycle shop on the pretense of helping Curt Vangstad buy a new Harley.
After the shock wore off, Rod says he’s looking forward to the role, which will technically begin in June, when it becomes Rod’s job to introduce meeting guests, interview potential new members, and organize committees.
Rod has been involved in many of the projects and programs of Sunrise Rotary. As a newbie, he helped build Rotary Park along the Greenway, and it was there that he realized how much being a Rotarian meant to him.
“The feeling you get when you help someone… especially someone who maybe doesn’t have what the rest of us take for granted… that’s a great thing.”
Rod’s favorite Rotary project has been Operation Santa. He specifically recalls being dressed as Santa and driving with his young son to find a house. It was way out in Wiley City and past 8:30 when they finally found a rutted gravel road that led to a lone house. Two little kids were inside with their parents, and Rod knows he will never forget the look on their faces when Santa came through the door with gifts just for them.
Looking forward, Rod and his wife, Vickie, will travel to the Rotary Conference in Seoul, South Korea in June of 2016. At this point he doesn’t yet have any new projects or plans lined up, but is beginning to attend Board Meetings to get up to speed with the executive branch of Rotary. Though he admits he was completely shocked when the past presidents materialized in the Owen’s store, he’s now looking forward to the upcoming role.
“It’ll be fun.”


Mailing Address:  PO BOX 1590 - Yakima, WA  98907


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