Posted by Suzanne Gochis on Apr 22, 2020
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!