About Our Club

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"Sunrisers" was chartered in 1986 by the Fairbanks Rotary Club, which is the largest Fairbanks club and often referred to as the "Downtown" Rotary because of their meeting location. Dr. William Wood who was District Governor at that time, called together several business men in the community for a meeting and told them they were going to start a new Rotary Club. Dr. Wood was a forceful and respected man, so of course everyone agreed. Even though they were looked at each other questioningly - what is Rotary?
 
In general, our members represent small, including owner/operators, to medium size businesses with an interesting variety of professions. The classifications with most representation are dental and banking. Fairbanks Sunrisers Rotary as our name implies is a morning club. We meet at 7:00 A.M. at the Carlson Center on Friday mornings. Some of us are morning people and some are not but we all agree that our meetings are lively and fun. Fairbanks Sunrisers Rotary is the second largest club in our area with approximately 45 current members and Fairbanks is the second largest "city" in Alaska. The Fairbanks community prides itself on being the Golden Heart of Interior Alaska with temperature extremes that range from low 90's in the summer and -40/-50 in winter. Nevertheless, Sunrisers' meetings are warm and friendly regardless of the time of year although Fall and Winter months bring the highest attendance because summer in Alaska is an outdoor event.

We have had several different fundraising events over the years. At one time we also raised money through the sale of roses as did all local clubs. After a couple years of receiving roses that were wilting before we could deliver to our "customers" the club switched to raffling outdoor recreational equipment such as snow mobiles and jet skis. We held a wine and beer tasting event for many years which was a social and financial success as it was attended by other Rotary clubs, Rotaractors and some non-Rotarian local community members. Of course we are ever on the alert for the perfect fundraiser, which make lots of money with minimum volunteer participation and is fun for all.

Our project focus tends to be on the youth in our community although in past years we also supported the Fairbanks Pioneer's Home (a long term care center) and the Senior Center. Sunrisers have turned out to help the Literacy Council of Alaska move books and office equipment from two different sites to their new building. We have provided financial and hands on support to various local non-profit organizations such as Resource Center for Parents and Children, Hospice of Tanana Valley, Stevie's Place (a child advocacy facility), Adopt A Family through Love, Inc. (an annual Christmas project), local Boy Scout Troop, United Way's Day of Caring, and many others.  We have assembled outdoor play equipment at a local non-profit that supports disadvantaged women and children.  Our centennial project in 2004 – 2006 was to adopt a park where we planted trees and built a picnic pavilion. 

In the past we built little league baseball fields (a two year project), a pavilion at the soccer fields and in one day a pavilion at the Boy Scouts Lake Camp, in a rainy downpour! Everyone had a great time and fortunately we also had professional construction help.

We have worked on an international project to deliver medical supplies to Russia and "Twining" with a Rotary club in Ontario, Canada. We have participated in vocational projects that have been successful in past years involving Sunrisers Rotarians visiting High School classrooms (Junior/Senior level) to talk about their profession, education and expectations when hiring employees. These presentations are usually made in vocational/career classes and are always appreciated by both students and teachers.
 
We are very proud of the informational pamphlet about Fairbanks Sunrisers Rotary that was created by a few dedicated club members a few years ago. 

In 2012 we began working with the Fairbanks North Star Borough on another park project which has been a multiyear endeavor.  Early on we cut trees down and then in a partnership with Johnson River Enterprises and Sunriser Rotarian RT Lindner the ground was leveled out, grass was planted and planters were installed for some perennials.  In 2018 a special ground cover was installed along with playground equipment that is accessible.  It is the first all access park in Fairbanks and is located adjacent to the soccer fields off Davis Road. The majority of club members worked on this project. 
 
A couple of years ago it was suggested by a few members that we consider establishing a "Little Free Library".  As a result we now have three locations, one on Dartmouth in University West, one at the Carol H. Brice Family Center on 19th and the third in Delta Junction at the Mt. McKinley Bank branch. 

We have hosted many, many inbound exchange students from a wide variety of countries around the globe. We have also sponsored many local kids in exchanges to other countries.  The Youth Exchange program remains one of the most important facets of rotary.

Fairbanks Sunrisers Rotary is known for its exuberance and fun attitude at an early hour of the morning. It's a great way to end your week and start up your weekend.

FAIRBANKS SUNRISERS ROTARY - LIST OF PRESIDENTS

1986 – 87 Vern Carlson
1987 – 88 Craig Bledsoe
1988 – 89 Scott Grundy
1989 – 90 Mike Kelliher
1990 – 91 Steve Lundgren
1991 – 92 Bart LeBon
1992 – 93 Gary Sawdy
1993 – 94 Patty Greimann
1994 – 95 Jeff Johnson
1995 – 96 Garry Hutchison
1996 – 97 Glenn Johnson
1997 – 98 Martin Klein
1998 – 99 Nancy Cook
1999 – 00 Jim Cerney
2000 – 01 Jean Hodges
2001 – 02 Terry Aldridge
2002 – 03 Sue Rainey
2003 – 04 Patty Mongold
2004 – 05 Monte Jordan
2005 – 06 David Leone
2006 – 07 Robert Sparks
2007 – 08 Pam Wentz
2008 – 09 Robert Lincoln
2009 – 10 Sue Evans
2010 – 11 Chris Henry
2011 – 12 Andre Layral
2012 – 13 David Mongold
2013 – 14 Janet Brown
2014 – 15 Ron Woolf
2015 – 16 Missey Kohler
2016 – 17 Scott Luper
2017 – 18 Cole Carson
2018 – 19 Kip Harmon
2019 – 20 Mamie Brown