Posted by Colin Campbell on Dec 10, 2016
When this club was first organized back in the summer and fall of 1996, we made a conscious decision to not get on the Bingo train. The decision not to be involved in Bingos or have anything to do with the gaming commission was probably the wisest thing we have ever done. As a result our fundraising efforts have been directed to projects such as the Friends of the Library Book sale, the Rockies Film Festival, the Discount Golf Card and of course in recent years the Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo. 
We did have one weak moment and decided to raffle off a Mustang; that required far more effort than anyone realized and probably is the last time we will ever have a raffle. We also had some spectacularly successful ice shows and some equally spectacular disasters.  Entertainment on that grand scale can be very risky.  We pulled it off but I am not sure we have the collective power and energy to do it again.
Because of that early decision not to do Bingos we developed creative original ideas. Each one has become a Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary Club franchise. We must be very careful not to take them for granted.   Striving to make them more successful should always be our goal. 
The true value of fundraising projects is not just the funds raised but the benefits they bring to our community.  The Film Festival brings entertainment that may never make it to the mainstream theatres.  Now that we are back in the Key City Theatre it has a true festival atmosphere like we had when we first started.  As words spreads the attendance will increase which is not only beneficial to Rotary but brings more people to one of the nicest small community theaters in BC.
The Book sale, in partnership with the Friends of the Library accomplishes so much more than just raising money. We have established a very good working relationship with the Friends. Thousands of books are recycled and with the cooperation of Better World Books, the surplus gets put to good use which was our original goal.
The Golf card is real value, thanks to our partners in the six golf courses who support it. The courses see value in the card and our customers are consistent repeat customers. Our card is now used as the golf incentive by some hotels instead of a golf package.
The Gran Fondo has become our flagship fundraising project and no wonder, when you offer a bike ride in the most spectacular scenery in the country it is hard to resist.  Once again the participants get value for their dollar, the sponsors get exposure for their dollar and the community is blessed by our efforts to improve the quality of life.
As we enter our twentieth year the club has achieved more than many dreamed possible and is now established as one of the premier service clubs in the region.  We should be proud of our accomplishments, proud of what we have the Rotary wheel attached to, and cherish the value we have in our franchise.  These projects can continue to benefit the club and the community for generations thanks to the efforts of Cranbrook Sunrise Rotarians. 
Happy twentieth anniversary Cranbrook Sunrise, looking forward to the next twenty.
Merry Christmas to you all
Colin Campbell