~ To all Sunrise Rotarians and Friends ~
We sincerely hope you are all well and staying sane during this time of shelter in place.
We're thrilled to announce that beginning Tuesday March 31st we resumed our regularly scheduled club meetings using Zoom.
In addition, we're also holding weekly Zocials for fun and frivolity.  They've been fantastic...   please join in!
Visit our Zoom Meetings & Account page for all of the details
Home Page Stories
The Coronavirus epidemic and corresponding Shelter-in-Place order radically changed the day-to-day lives of most people in the world.  Within a few weeks, businesses were shut down, schools were closed, and uncertainty and fear seemed to be a common emotion.  In true Rotarian style, the Santa Cruz Sunrise club responded and adapted to these unprecedented times with a "can do" attitude and the "service above self" motto.   Under the leadership of President Peter Truman, the club scheduled a Zoom board meeting immediately to discuss plans for the continuation of the club meetings and the projects and fundraising events in progress given the  new national and local landscape.   With a new plan in place, the club proceeded to schedule their first ever "virtual" Rotary meeting.  On Tuesday, March 31st, at 7:15 am, the Santa Cruz Rotary Sunrisers "zoomed" in  for their club meeting.  It was a huge success.  The club has continued to meet weekly and the meetings include all the traditional face-to-face meeting items:  guest speakers, the Detective Report, an inspirational message, club updates, the Rotarian of the Month, and of time with one another.   At the last meeting, over 60 Rotarians and guests were in attendance and the number keeps growing each week!
Following  Rotary protocol, I  even applied the Four Way Test to our new club delivery method in the assessment of how well things are working:
#1.   Is it the truth?  YES!   Our club meetings are STILL amazing and informative.  I am excited to attend each Tuesday morning.  But, to be completely honest ...  I must admit that our club has had one thing not go well during our Zoom Rotary meetings ... that's the Pledge of Allegiance.    We are really struggling to sync together for that part -- but we continue to try each week. It may take some more time, but we will eventually get there.   
#2.   Is it fair to all concerned?  YES!  We are so lucky to have Jon Winston as a club member. Jon has been so wonderful in sharing his technology expertise (and patience) with us to ensure that our members and guests get connected.  He and many others are willing and able to help connect people to the new club meeting format.    
#3.   Will it build goodwill and better friendships?  YES!   The club has continued to thrive and do good work.   Most recently, the "Sew-tarians" were created by member, Lisa Krigsman.  This group makes masks for various workers in the community.   Sunrisers are still delivering  meals to shut-ins and donating time and funds to several good causes.  Additionally,  Sunrise Zoom "Zocials" have become the newest way for members to hang out.  Trivia contests, themed parties, and other festive ideas have been included in these fun and wacky nights.
#4.  Will it be beneficial to all concerned?   DEFINITELY!  In addition to the wonderful friendships formed through our club, members are treated to a special presentation each week.  These presentations inform and inspire club members.  The Zoom Rotary meetings have kept club members active and engaged with one another as well.  I would have to say that ANY time you get a group of Rotarians together, it WILL always be beneficial. 
So....the Sunrise Rotary Club meetings certainly passed the four way test!   Stay tuned to the website for the latest updates with the club.  We invite anyone to join us for our Tuesday morning 7:15 am zoom meetings.   Stay well and stay connected. We hope to resume face-to-face meetings sometime this summer.  In the meantime...have a ZOOMabulous May.
      The ISLAND THEMED Sunrise Rotary "Zocial" held this month!  
Organizers of the 2020 Wine to Water Sunrise Rotary fundraising event for the clean water and sanitation project in the village of Lhuhwahwa in Uganda are claiming it was the best ever!    Peggy Pollard, champion for this Sunrise Rotary event, claimed, "It was the best Wine 2 Water fundraiser yet, a wonderful location, a bigger turnout, and a much smoother preparation and implementation!."    Fellow Sunriser, Mary Anne Kramer-Urner agreed, stating, , "Amazing!   And so much fun in the process.  Best year yet in my opinion."   

The sunny and fun Saturday at Bargetto Winery included a special guest appearance by John Bargetto, owner of the winery, who gave a history of the Bargetto Winery plus a donation of a wine tour package.   Attendees sampled marvelous home-cooked African Appetizers, courtesy of Patrice and Bob Keet and their team of Sunrise appetizer chefs.   Lhuhwahwa Village Director,  Stephen Masereka,  sent a video of the village's progress with the project and other updates.  
The event raised close to $9,000, which is almost double the amount from two years ago!  A huge thanks to sponsors, Mick's Automotive, AA Safe and Security Company, Mark and Laura Junod, Joe and Ann Ferrante, Cathleen Chandler-Eckhardt, Ethos (Meredith Keet), Santa Cruz County Bank, Anderson Behel Inc., J. Win Jewelry, Charles Baylis, Tony Nethercutt, Christoper Smith, Tom and Becky Hart, Rick Hofstetter, Lindsey Marks, MPress Digital Printing, and Bargetto's Winery.   
View the Video that was shown at the event here.      
Sunrise Rotarians attended the recent grand opening of LEO’s Haven inclusive playground at Chanticleer Park on Saturday, January 18th.  Sunrise Rotary has been a long-time contributor to the project since its inception.  From its rubberized surfacing, adaptive swings, and tactile features to its wheelchair accessible play structure and quiet entryways for those with sensory difficulties, LEO’s Haven was designed to be accessible for children of all abilities.   The event was full of laughter and smiles, but also created moments of tears of joy from parents who were able to watch siblings play together on a playground for the first time.   LEO’s Haven is truly an “inclusive” place. 
The grand opening event was the culmination of a 6 year journey filled with countless hours of fundraising events, planning meetings, workdays, and other labors of love. Karen Gosling, who has been credited as the inspirational leader for the Sunrise Club, stated  “LEO’s Haven is a magical place for all children and is a remarkable tribute to what can be accomplished when passionate, committed people get together.”  The Sunrise Rotary Club contributed in several ways: they installed the LEO’s Haven sign, designated the project as the beneficiary for several fundraisers including the annual Fire Cracker Race and the Rotary Bike Ride, purchased educational panels for the main plan structure, and encouraged their fellow Rotary Clubs to join the effort.   To date, the club has donated over  $190,000 to the project. 
Sunrise President Peter Truman commented, “LEO’s Haven is just one example of the type of amazing projects that Sunrise Rotary supports. It also serves as a testament to the power of collaboration among Rotary clubs toward a united goal.”    The next Sunrise event is the Wine 2 Water event at Bargetto's Winery on Saturday, February 8th from 1-4 pm.  This event supports the Sunrise Rotary international water and sanitation project in Uganda.   All are welcome. 
The fall of 2019 has certainly been a busy season for the Santa Cruz Sunrise Rotary Club.    First, the group hosted the 2019 Santa Cruz Sunrise Rotary Ride "Jon and Ken's Most Excellent Adventure",  which raised $100,000 for Jacob's Heart.   A check was presented at the November 5th Rotary Meeting.    Over 100 riders, volunteers, and supporters experienced the 200 mile ride  which culminated in the Finish Line Party at the Tannery.   Additional funds raised in the event will be used to support the Sunrise Charities and Grants program and  the Sunrise Rotary scholarship program.   Next, the club truly "gave" of themselves to support the Red Cross Blood Drive.   The club rallied around the event and many members already  signed up again for the next drive.   The 2019 Barrel Wrap to support Second Harvest Food Bank's Holiday Drive was next on the list as Sunrisers wrapped over 70 barrels during a Saturday morning gathering.   To cap it all off, the club partnered with the Cupertino Rotary Club to join forces on a Chardonnay Sailing Ride.   Networking and socializing was at the top of the agenda and accomplished!    As a final note, the Sunrise Rotary Club has seen a record amount of  growth  in new memberships this fall.    Hats off to all the members who have brought friends and coworkers to the meetings and events to expose them to  our fun and amazing club.  GO SANTA CRUZ SUNRISE ROTARY!   
The club looks forward to some future events, such as the Holiday Party, International Project planning, and the annual Ski Trip.     
The Sunrise Rotary Club meets on Tuesday mornings at 7:15 at the Back Nine Grill and Bar, 555 CA 17, Santa Cruz, CA  95060.  We encourage anyone interested in ROTARY to come and check us out!  

The #SleevesUP Campaign for Rotary District 5170 is going strong.   All Rotarians are encouraged to give toward the goal of 100 District 5170 blood donations by September 1st.   There is still time to meet our goal!   Even if you can't actually GIVE by September 1, you can still PLEDGE a donation now and then GIVE  during the months of September and October.   It still counts!   

Sunrise Rotarians Sue Gochis and Camilla Boolotian teamed up today at the  Red Cross in Santa Cruz at 2960 Soquel Avenue with #District5170!   Look how much fun they are having!  



Please make a pledge and schedule your appointment – Go to our special link:…/rotary-district-5170…/  and pledge to make your blood donation. Once you make a pledge, then schedule an appointment at an upcoming drive or fixed site near you. 

Don't forget to use the hashtag #RotaryDistrict5170 and #SleevesUp to encourage others to A) donate blood and B) make an appointment using this link.

Every day, blood donors help patients of all ages: accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Please join us and donate today!

As last year came to a close, I assessed the purpose and meaning of my life and contemplated some possible goals for the upcoming year.   The year was filled with a lot of activities and events, but the majority of my thoughts seemed to circle back to my involvement in my local Rotary club.    In January of 2018, I became an official Rotarian and embarked on an amazing journey of new discoveries over the course of the year. 
I moved to Santa Cruz, California in the summer of 2017 and was looking for a way to engage with my community when my new boss told me about this “club” that she thought I would really like.  When she told me the group was a Rotary club, I have to honestly say that I was somewhat underwhelmed.   While I have always had a heart for serving others, I thought Rotary was something my dad would join, not me.   I had a perception that these types of groups consisted of old, boring people who were all rich and retired.  (sorry… but that is what I always thought).   
While I was pretty sure that this club wasn’t going to be for me, I decided to humor my boss and attend a meeting.  I also had no real excuse to not try it because this club met at 7:15 every Tuesday morning and the meeting would not interfere with my current work or life obligations.   I made plans to attend thinking that I would just show up, sit toward the back, gather some information, maybe talk to a few people, and never return.   When that Tuesday morning came, I arrived at the location way too early.    I didn’t want to be in an awkward position  of being “too” early, so I sat in my car until about 5 minutes before the meeting was to start.  I was expecting there to be about 5 people in the room and a very low energy vibe.    Was I ever wrong!
When I entered the room, there were about fifty people in the room, and there was a positive buzz that was palpable.   These people had great energy, and it was readily apparent that all were truly glad to see one another.    I felt like I was at one of my family gatherings – people were laughing, high fiving, hugging, and animatedly conversing.   I was greeted by a person wearing a badge with the word GREETER and his name on it (Rick), and he was very welcoming.    He explained some of the basics to me without being overly invasive to my personal space.  (I typically like to keep a 3 foot window of space between myself and others, and Rick was the perfect host J).   He showed me to a table and the meeting commenced.   
I don’t remember much else about that first meeting other than immediately realizing that this was a group I wanted to join.    My original stereotypes were blown away instantly.  The members were funny and energetic and it was obvious that they loved to serve.  The list of opportunities to get involved was varied and interesting.   While some of the members were “senior” by a chronologic definition, they absolutely didn’t act their age!   I could tell that this was a group that liked to work hard but have fun (two main requirements for any project I undertake). 
From day one, my club has embraced me and made me feel at home.    I became a Red Badger, then a Blue,  and I have not looked back.    In the past year,   I have participated in a multitude of service and social activities through my club, I’ve learned about a local, state, and national topics through our fantastic guest speakers, and I’ve been able to personally witness the huge impact that my club makes on the lives of others.  Additionally, I’ve made many new friends who I adore and cherish.  My first year in Rotary has been an amazing journey.   
 As I reflected on my first year, there were three revelations I had:  
#1.  Being involved in Rotary will make you live longer.   It’s true!    We recently had a speaker on the topic of “Aging Well” and her main point was that we need to ensure that we establish our personal “community” as we grow older.  Having a circle of friends and family who we can be with and enjoy as we age is 100% beneficial to your health.   Rotary provides this sense of relational community.  I’m continually reminded of that every Tuesday when we gather before the meeting to catch up on one another’s lives and celebrate our connections.    At our projects or other events, we also get to enjoy one another and create memories. This is truly a special group of individuals who serve as my “community.”
#2.  Rotary enriches your purpose in life.     By helping others, we also help ourselves.    Doctors around the world have stated that our mental health is directly related to our satisfaction with our own lives, and there is certainly no better sense of satisfaction than being a part of a positive impact on the life of another person.   Through Rotary, I have been able to witness the joy on the faces of children with disabilities who were able to ride an adaptive bike for the first time.  I was able to watch as an international village transformed the lives of its community members through our Rotary clean water project.   Rotary allows us to do things for others that we never thought possible, and it is through that process that we also get to experience the magic that is created. 
#3.   Rotarians are FUN.    Despite my initial stereotype, I now  have an informed perspective of Rotarians.  There is never a dull moment in our Club, and there are always new and interesting fun times to be created and experienced.   I have learned a lot about these remarkable people and their zest and zeal for life. Sunrise Rotarians Rock!
As I enter my second year in Rotary, I look forward to another incredible year of service and all of the new and exciting experiences that this next year will bring.   I would encourage anyone who is seeking an avenue for service and an opportunity to personally and professionally grow to consider Rotary.   With over 1.2 million members in 35,000+ clubs across the world, there is a place for everyone!  
Visit  for more information.   

Wondering what Rotary is all about?   It's hard to describe in 34 seconds, but this video will give you a good idea! 

For more information on our club, one of 33,000 Rotary Clubs around the world, feel free to peruse our website. You'll find much more information at the Rotary International website.

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Member Birthdays:
  • Rob Slawinski
    January 3
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    January 4
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    January 5
  • Sean Venables
    January 11
  • Patrice Keet
    January 12
  • Bill McDermott
    January 13
  • Greg Lukina
    January 16
  • John Flaniken
    January 22
  • Dave Mello
    January 29
Spouse/Partner Birthdays:
  • Mark Boolootian
    January 24
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    January 25
  • Romney Dunbar
    January 26
Join Date:
  • Christopher Smith
    January 1, 1995
    26 years
  • Linda Carter
    January 1, 2006
    15 years
  • Rob Slawinski
    January 1, 2000
    21 years
  • Dave Culver
    January 5, 1999
    22 years
  • TiKay Kuehne
    January 6, 2015
    6 years
  • Peter Truman
    January 15, 2011
    10 years
  • Steve Landau
    January 15, 2019
    2 years
  • Keith Henderson
    January 27, 2003
    18 years
  • Camilla Boolootian
    January 29, 2013
    8 years
  • John Flaniken
    January 29, 2013
    8 years
  • Patrick Rooney
    January 29, 2013
    8 years
  • Peggy Pollard
    January 29, 2013
    8 years

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Jon & Ken's Most Excellent Adventure: The Rotary Ride

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