Club members have been volunteering all summer to help with the ArtsUs Community Garden in the Midway area of St. Paul. The St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club has been working with many community members to bring delicious fresh produce and some verdant beauty to our shared neighborhood. Mary Venderwert has been coordinating the ArtsUs Community Garden efforts.



St. Paul Sunrise Scholarship Winner Enrolls at Century College


Shaniah W. has accepted the 2019-2020 St. Paul Sunrise / Gordon Parks Annual $500 scholarship. Shaniah is currently enrolled at Century College in White Bear Lake. She is taking some core classes and hopes to pursue a business degree.




Sunrisers Help Out at FVFL Back-to-School Event
On a warm late August afternoon, members of the St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club assisted the Family Values for Life organization to organize and stage over 600 backpacks for their Back to School event. In addition to the backpacks, kids and families will also be offered various community and school support services at this excellent event now in its 11th year!



Consider Donating to Family Values for Life
Family Values for Life is one of the community organizations in the Midway area that the St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club supports. This inspiring and effective organization empowers and creates opportunities for disadvantaged youth and families. Their work is extra important right now during COVID and the aftermath of George Floyd's murder. If you are able, please click on this link and contribute to their virtual fundraiser. Thanks!!
And if you have time and interest, check out the recording of the virtual fundraiser for more information.





St. Paul Sunrise Hosts Mayor Carter, Awards Honorary Fellow to Dr. Lovejoy


Our "Small but Mighty" Rotary Club had a fantastic meeting again yesterday. We began by awarding an honorary Paul Harris Fellow award to Dr. Margaret Lovejoy, Executive Director and Founder of The Family Place in St. Paul which is a day center for families living without a permanent home. Our Special guest speaker was St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter who shared his many initiatives during his first year in office. The Mayor also introduced his #4 St. Paul Challenge and urged us all to do something specific and positive for ourselves and our community.




"Princess de Espana"


St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club exchange student Marta (who is from Spain and is pictured at left holding her certificate) was recently crowned by King Boreas and his entourage as an honorary princess of the St. Paul Winter Carnival at the St. Paul #10 Rotary meeting in late January. You can now address her as "Princess de España"! Joining Marta in being honored was fellow exchange student Anna, who is sponsored by the St. Paul #10 club.






St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club members sharing Holiday Cheer and impersonating 6’ Balsams at the YMCA's annual fund raiser.






Rotary Around the World


While traveling with family in Japan recently, Club member Kathy Ingulsruud visited the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park and noticed that the plaque that dedicates the eternal flame there was erected by local Rotary clubs.



Club Members Plan Information Booth at Selby Avenue Jazz Fest in September

Sunrise Rotarians will be staffing an information booth on Sept. 8 at the Selby Avenue Jazz Fest. Club members are invited to help staff the booth and share the mission of our award-winning club and help recruit new members. Check with Service Committee Chair Cathy Quinlivan for details and to sign up.


District 5960 Plans One Rotary Summits in September

One Rotary Summits are a unique and effective way to help club members understand and become truly engaged in the opportunities offered by Rotary. District 5960 will be presenting One Rotary Summits on Sept. 13 and Sept. 18. These summits emphasize the relationship among Membership, Public Image, and Humanitarian Service (the latter especially through The Rotary Foundation). You can register on the District 5960 website.


Welcome to Our Newest Member – Andrew Collins

Andrew Collins is the newest member of the St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club. He was recently welcomed at a July club meeting by Mary Vanderwert, who sponsored his Rotary membership, and Paul Kotz, Sunrise Club President. Andrew is the Assistant Superintendent of Pre-K to Fifth grade in the St. Paul Public Schools system. Welcome to our “small but mighty” group, Andrew!


Paul Harris Fellow Awarded to Cathy Quinlivan

Sunrise Rotarian Cathy Quinlivan was recently awarded a Paul Harris Fellow at a July meeting of the St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club. Rotarians who contribute a cumulative total of $1,000 to the Rotary International Foundation are recognized as Paul Harris Fellows. Congratulations Cathy and welcome to the fellowship

Sunrise Rotary Club's Presidential Gavel Passes to Paul Kotz for 2018-2019

The St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club’s Presidential “gavel” was passed at the Club meeting on June 28, as incoming President Paul Kotz accepted the gavel from outgoing President John Healy. Paul shared his vision for the coming year with club members, and among the highlights were: 1) a mentoring project focused on engaging St. Paul Central High School students in a day of community service, 2) a new fundraiser in the Fall (beginning in 2019) that would offer a “tasting” experience of beverages and appetizers to attendees, 3) and some “5:01” social gatherings at local establishments (i.e. 5:01 p.m.). Paul also is on remaining focused on many of the intentions voiced at the last Club Visioning session. Paul has been a member of Rotary for more than a decade. He was a member of the Uptown Rotary Club in Minneapolis (where he was also Club President) before joining the St. Paul Sunrise Club in 2014.





Gordon Parks High School Student Awarded College Scholarship by Sunrise Rotary

Sunrise Club President John Healy was at Gordon Parks High School in late May to present a $500 scholarship from the Sunrise Rotary Club to GPHS student Tre Ana Sanders, who plans on going to St. Paul Technical College this Fall. Tre Ana hopes to eventually earn a degree in nursing. The Sunrise Club has had a scholarship program for GPHS students for several years.


Club Completes Another Successful Smile Drive

Sunrise Rotarians collected hundreds of oral health products as part of the club’s annual Smile Drive, which was coordinated by club member Mary Vanderwert. The dental care supplies are provided to children in need in the Midway area of St. Paul. Club members, in partnership with Episcopal Homes, collected:

  • 320 toothbrushes
  • 388 tubes of toothpaste
  • 240 containers of floss
  • 4 jugs of mouthwash
  • $100 cash



Three GPHS Students Recognized

Three students from Gordon Parks High School were recently presented with Student of the Month certificates from the St. Paul Sunrise club at a meeting in May. Jose Quintanilla (pictured, second from left), Zavier Spelker and Tyrell Horton were recognized for their achievements at the alternative high school on University Avenue. Quintanilla was the March Student of the Month, Spelker the April Student of the Month, and Horton the May Student of the Month. Pictured with Quintanilla are (from left) John Healy, Sunrise President; Quintanilla's mother; and Traci Gauer, GPHS Principal.



Club Social Mixes History and Craft Beer for a Wonderful Evening


A dozen Sunrise Club members and their families enjoyed an evening of history and craft beer on May 8 for a planned club social. The evening started at the Minnesota Historical Society’s “The 1968 Exhibit”, which featured many displays from that pivotal year in American history. There was much sharing of personal remembrances and observations about 1968 among club members and their families, and the stories (and craft beverages and good eats from a food truck parked outside) continued for the second half of the evening at Bad Weather Brewing on West 7th Street near downtown St. Paul. All in all, a wonderful evening!


Sunrise Rotary Hosts Student From Spain As Part of Rotary International Youth Exchange Program


For the first time in more than 20 years, St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club members will be welcoming their first Rotary International Youth Exchange Student later this summer. The club will be hosting Marta from Spain, who will be living with Twin Cities host families and attending Great River High School in St. Paul’s Energy Park. A big thanks to club members Tricia Wiitanen, who has volunteered to server as Youth Exchange Officer, and Ellen Luepker, who will serve as Youth Exchange Counselor.


Sunrise Club Sponsors Golf Hole for Open Hands Midway Tournament


On Sunday, July 29 the St. Paul Sunrise Club will be sponsoring a golf hole at the Third Annual Open Hands Midway Golf and Supper Event at Applewood Hills Golf Course in Stillwater. The event is the major annual fundraiser for Open Hands Midway. Club members will be staffing the golf hole we are sponsoring to meet and greet golfers as they play the course.


Club Member Hosts Fundraisers for The Family Place 

St. Paul Sunrise Club member Mary Vanderwert is once again hosting a series of evening socials in her backyard called "Alley Cats" to raise funds and awareness for the good works of The Family Place. The schedule for this year is:


June 22: Featuring music by Irish band Legacy


July 27: Featuring music by Wilkenson James


August 18: Silent and LIVE auction to benefit The Family Place


Contact Mary at for more information or directions to her backyard!




Club Foundation Donates $500 to YMCA

Sunrise Rotary Club Foundation president Jane Willard recently presented a check for $500 to David Dominick, District Executive Director at YMCA of Greater Twin Cities. David, a former member of St Paul Sunrise Rotary and current member of St. Paul Downtown Rotary, told those present that the funds will be spent to help send kids to summer camp.





Sunrisers Welcome New Members

Tina Jones was recently inducted into the St. Paul Sunrise Rotary club as its newest member at a meeting in late March. John Healy, Club President, and club member Mary Vanderwert, Tina’s sponsor for membership, welcomed Tina into the club. Tina works at Hiway Federal Credit Union. She joins two additional new members – Julie Niewald and Karin Ciano – into the club. Julie works for Episcopal Homes as Life and Wellness Director, and Karin is a lawyer at Mason and Helmers and Executive Director of the Collaborative Community Law Initiative.

Water Project in Nigeria Flowing Along With Sunrise Club’s Assistance

The water quality project in Nigeria that is being led by the Minnesota-based non-profit H2OForLife is continuing to move forward, thanks in part to the help of the St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club. Ron Felt and Burt Riskendal from the Sunrise Rotary Club recently joined H2OForLife to make a presentation to staff members of Como Park High School. We're pleased to say that one of the teachers at Como Park High School is serious about involving her classes in the program. This would be the third Twin Cities school that Ron and Burt have helped to recruit for the water quality project in Nigeria.
Furthermore, two more schools have pledged money, which, along with our commitment of $1,000, will reach the goal of $3.300 towards cleaning the water at the Zappa Junior Mixed school in Nigeria. The Johnson Senior High School in St. Paul has pledged $1,300 and the Pioneer Ridge Middle School in Chaska is committed for $1,000.
For a look at the Zappa Secondary School project in further detail, check out the H2OForLife website.
District 5960 Names Sunrise Rotarian Ed Marek as Governor for 2020-21
Ed Marek, a long-time member of the St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club, was recently selected as the 2020-2021 Governor for District 5960. Marek has been president of the St. Paul Sunrise Club twice, most recently in 2016-2017. He is also a former Assistant District Governor and has been a key member of the team that created the Fast for Hope initiative. We salute Ed for his selection and thank him (and his wife Sue) for his devotion to Rotary.



Two Sunrise Rotary Club Members Awarded Paul Harris Fellow Award

Jennifer Dunn and John Healy were recently presented with the Paul Harris Fellow Award at St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club meetings. The Paul Harris Fellow Award is given to Rotary club members who accumulate a total of $1,000 in donations to the Rotary International Foundation. Ed Marek, Sunrise club past president, presented the Paul Harris certificate and pin to Jennifer Dunn at a club meeting in July (photo at top). In August, Ed Marek and Doug Hartford, Assistant District Governor, presented John Healy with his certificate and pin.


Meet the St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club

Sunrise members at their new meeting location - Episcopal Homes on University Avenue in St. Paul (from left): Bob Schultz, Mary Vanderwert, Tricia Wiitanen, Heath Stanton (foreground) Paul Kotz, Cathy Quinlivan (foreground), Peter Rosendale, John Healy, Steve Baker, Ron Felt, Jennifer Dunn, Ed Marek, Jane Willard and Burt Riskedahl. Not pictured are: Joe Phelps, Jake Sheehan, Don Kelly, Toni Carter and Darwin Benz.


Outgoing President Ed Marek hands the gavel to John Healy, the Club's new president for 2018-2018.

John Healy Starts Club 2017-2018 Presidency

The St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club’s new president for 2017-2018 is John Healy, who joined the club in 2012. He takes over for Ed Marek, who was serving as the club’s president for the second time.
Past Sunrise presidents were:
2016-2017           Ed Marek
2015-2016           Cathy Quinlivan
2014-2015           Joe Phelps
2013-2014           Matt Hunter
2012-2013           Heath Stanton
2011-2012           Darwin Benz
2010-2011           Steve Baker
2009-2010           Ellen Luepker
2008-2009           Tina Hoye
2007-2008           Jane Willard
2006-2007           Scott Fogelson
2005-2006           David Dominick
2004-2005           Mark Devine
2003-2004           Ed Marek
2002-2003           Kathy Bjerke
2001-2002           Stan Kincaid
2000-2001           Judy Benjamin
1999-2000           Dan Bane
1998-1999           Liz Flynn
1997-1998           Steve Tenney
1996-1997           Diane Delameter
1995-1996           Bob Schulz
1994-1995           Jerry Fleck
1993-1994           Dick Sundberg
1992-1993           Jim Marsden
1991-1992           Gretchen Stein
1990-1991           Kurt Dale
1989-1990           Jim Affolter
1988-1989           Steve Whitaker
1987-1988           Steve Baker
1986-1987           Bob Hesse
1985-1986           Ted Gilson
Healy announced the following club cabinet, board and committee chairs for the 2017-2018 year:
CABINET/BOARD- 2017-2018
John Healy, President
Ed Marek, Past President
Paul Kotz, President Elect 2018-2019
Jane Willard, Secretary
Darwin Benz, Treasurer
Steve Baker, Board
Kathy Ingulsruud, Board
Burt Riskendahl, Board
COMMITTEE CHAIRS – 2017-2018                                                    
Major Project Chair - Ron Felt
Community Service Chair - Cathy Quinlivan
Public Image Co-chairs - Ellen Luepker, Kathy Ingulsruud
Fundraising Co-chairs – Ron Felt and Peter Rosendale
Speaker Recruitment Co-chairs – Steve Baker and Jane Willard
Grants Subcommittee Chair – Ron Felt
Bulletin Editor – Steve Baker
Club Service/Social Chair – Jennifer Dunn
Membership Co-chairs - Ed Marek and Tricia Wiitenen,
Rotary International Foundation – Ed Marek
Sunrise Rotary Foundation – Jane Willard


Cathy Quinlivan accepts the Jerry Fleck Service Above Self Award from Club President Ed Marek.

Cathy Quinlivan accepts the Jerry Fleck Service Above Self Award from Club President Ed Marek.

Cathy Quinlivan Recognized For Service

Cathy Quinlivan was awarded the prestigious Jerry Fleck Service Above Self Award at the Sunrise Rotary Club’s July 6 meeting. Cathy, a past president of the Sunrise club and the 2017-2018 Community Service Committee Chair, joined Sunrise Rotary in 2013. Her "can do" and "will do" attitude have made St. Paul Sunrise Rotary a better and stronger Club. The Jerry Fleck Service Above Self Award is presented annually to a member of the St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club whose efforts in their profession, the community, and the Sunrise Club reflect the 4-way test and the mission of Rotary, exemplified by the SERVICE ABOVE SELF. Jerry Fleck was a long-time member of the Sunrise Rotary Club known for his service to the community.
Past winners of the Jerry Fleck Service Above Self Award
2015-2016               Darwin Benz
2014-2015               Ron Felt
2013-2014               Ellen Luepker
2012-2013               Joe Phelps
2011-2012               Matt Hunter
2010-2011               Heath Stanton
2009-2010               Steve Baker
2008-2009               Dave Dominick
2007-2008               No award presented
2006-2007               Ed Marek
2005-2006               Tina Hoye
2004-2005               Dawn Talbert



International Village Clinic Founder Visits Club for Annual Update

Abul Sarah, founder of the International Village Clinic in India and a Rotarian from the Bloomington, Minnesota, Rotary club, made his annual presentation to Sunrise Rotary Club members at their weekly meeting on June 15. Sarah, a long-time friend of many of the Sunrise Rotarians, presented his annual report on the International Village Clinic.  The Sunrise Club has  supported the Clinic financially with an annual donation for many years.

The International Village Clinic was started by Sarah in 2002 and has grown to 60 staff, including four doctors, who provide “curative and preventive care” to residents of dozens of villages in northern India.
The curative program served more than 37,000 patients in the last year, while the preventive program provided services to 200,000 people in 60 villages.  The Clinic offers 24-hour a day emergency care and treated more than 2,400 patients in the last year.
The preventive program features four main initiatives: 1) a nutritional program for pregnant women and children up to the age of 5 years old; 2) vaccinations; 3) a health education program; and 4) family planning services.
The Clinic recently hired its first female doctor after she finished her medical internship. The Clinic has funded her medical school education.
Sunrise Rotary Members Support GPHS’s Future Park Celebration
Members from the Sunrise Rotary Club joined hundreds of fellow community members on May 25, 2017, to help Gordon Parks High School (GPHS) celebrate its championing of a future park on empty land adjacent to the school in the St. Paul Midway Area. Our club supports and congratulates GPHS for shining a light on their creative vision for this future 5-acre park. The event provided an inspiring intercultural and intergenerational celebration of the critical importance of park to community. Club members assisted with setting up and staffing the event, which focused on community involvement in turning the plans for the park into reality.
The event, which was organized with input from the Trust for Public Land and families living at nearby Skyline Tower, featured a temporary soccer field, dozens of booths representing community groups, food, and performances by SPPS students. The idea for the park began several years ago when Gordon Parks students recognized the need for green space around their school. When complete, the park stands to benefit Gordon Parks, local businesses, as well as more than 800 low-income, new immigrant residents from Skyline Tower.
If you missed the event, students from GPHS produced a short film highlighting the evening.

Club Seeks Nominees for Jerry Fleck Service Above Self Award

The Jerry Fleck Service Above Self Award is presented annually to a member of the St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club whose efforts in their profession, the community, and the Sunrise Club reflect the 4-way test and the mission of Rotary, exemplified by the SERVICE ABOVE SELF. The award is presented annually at the last club meeting in June or first club meeting in July of each year. Submit nomination forms (available to download in left column on this page) to Ed Marek, Sunrise Club President, at a club meeting or by emailing the completed form to Ed at Nominations are due by May 25, 2017.
Past Service Above Self Recipients From the St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club
2015-2016               Darwin Benz
2014-2015               Ron Felt
2013-2014               Ellen Luepker
2012-2013               Joe Phelps
2011-2012               Matt Hunter
2010-2011               Heath Stanton
2009-2010               Steve Baker
2008-2009               Dave Dominick
2007-2008               No award presented
2006-2007               Ed Marek
2005-2006               Tina Hoye
2004-2005               Dawn Talbert

Rotarians from Australia and East Timor Hosted by Sunrise Rotary Club Members

Sunrise Rotary Club members recently welcomed six Rotarians from Australia and East Timor who were in the Twin Cities as part of the District 5960 Group Study Exchange (GSE). They joined Sunrise Club members at the club’s weekly meeting on April 27th for breakfast, introductions, and a presentation about their communities in Northern Australia and East Timor.  Club member Jennifer Dunn and her husband Sean hosted a party at their home that evening for Club members and the visiting Rotarians.
GSE is one of the most popular and rewarding programs of The Rotary Foundation. This program has provided educational experiences for about 25,000 business and professional men and women around the world.
Visiting team members meet, talk and live with Rotarians and their families in a warm spirit of friendship and hospitality with the purpose of learning about another country, absorbing vocational and cultural opportunities and serving as ambassadors of goodwill for Rotary and their own country.
To learn more about The Rotary Foundation's Group Study Exchange (GSE) program, go to this site

District 5960 Conference Scheduled for April 27-29
Please join us to celebrate "Rotarians Changing the World" at the 5960 District Conference at the Holiday Inn East in St Paul from April 27-29, 2017. This is going to be an event you won't want to miss.
There will be something for everyone starting with a reception/party on Thursday evening. Friday morning will see the kick-off of a highly-acclaimed line up of keynote speakers with Christopher Michaelson, Business Ethics professor at St Thomas. Global Peace Scholar David LaMotte, author of "World Changing 101" will highlight lunch. Tom Thorfinnson, Chief Strategy Officer for Rotary International, will spotlight the evening session before David LaMotte's return as Friday evening's entertainment.
Saturday's featured speaker, Neema Namadamu, comes to the conference from the Democratic Republic of Congo and will be an inspiration to all. Interspersed will be great breakout sessions that will stretch and grow registrant’s world view, and develop district-wide friendships. Also featured will be the Inbound Group Study Exchange (GSE) Team from Northern Australia and Timor-Leste.


Check Out’s Modern, New Look

Rotary International recently redesigned their website to better serve Rotarians all over the globe and non-Rotarians interested in learning more about Rotary. has a fresh, contemporary look that clearly answers the often-asked question: “What is Rotary?” It’s the first step in a two-part update to the entire Rotary International website: first, and then My Rotary.

For many people, Rotary International's website is their introduction to the great work that Rotary members do to improve lives around the world. It’s meant to create an emotional connection that inspires potential members, donors, and partners to get involved. The latest changes to the public site do that, and more.

Some of the updates will be obvious: a modern design, increased use of imagery and graphics to tell Rotary stories, and better organization of content to help readers find out what is Rotary and what its members are doing. Other changes, like the improved readability and speed of the site, will be a welcome surprise.

Check out the redesigned site at

Sunrise Rotary Club and Highland Business Association Host Annual Event at Summit Brewing
Summit Brewing was the location for this year’s Sunrise Rotary Club and Highland Business Association annual event on Jan. 18. Dubbed "Celebrate Highland," the event featured food from local restaurants, a fantastic silent auction, and music from Heart of a Tinman.  It was a lot of fun and a great opportunity to just relax and hang with friends and meet some new ones! As can be seen in the photo, there was a great turnout of Sunrise Rotary Club members at the event. The evening included a Silent Auction, with proceeds going to Club service projects. Special thanks to Jennifer Dunn from Sunrise Rotary for all of her hard work organizing the event.
Sunrise Members Lead the Way in Club Participation at Rotary Midterm Rally
Eight members of the St. Paul Sunrise Rotary Club attended the District 5960 Midterm Rally at Hamline University on Jan.14. Although the St. Paul Sunrise club is one of the smallest in the district in terms of membership, the club had the most total members at the Rally. Many excellent ideas were shared from all clubs in the district regarding membership, club meeting design, projects, public image and more.
Pictured above from the Club are (from left) Burt Riskedahl, John Healy, Ron Felt, Steve Baker, Noel Jarvis, Kathy Ingulsrud and Ed Marek. Missing from the photo is Cathy Quinlivan.


Poinsettia Pick Up Slated for Nov. 28
The Sunrise Club's annual Poinsettia Sale plant pick up is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 28, at the Midway YMCA building at 530 North Wheeler Street, just to the East of the new YMCA building.  Plants can be picked up beginning at noon.