Is Rotary for you?

Kentucky Derby party

Kentucky Derby party

Norm Noble

Are you someone who wants to make positive changes in your community and the world? That’s the focus of Rotary. The members of Sun Lakes Rotary Club are dedicated men and women who share a passion for community service and friendship. Many members are retired, and this is the first chance they have had to “give back.” Talk about a good feeling!

Rotary’s theme of “Service above Self” is the driving force behind the Sun Lakes Rotary members, many of whom are former business and professional leaders, now retired. The primary thrust of this club is toward education. Club members spend hundreds of hours each year mentoring and leading children from third grade through high school in the choices they make – choices that will affect them throughout adulthood.

One special project that has captured the club’s attention is giving dictionaries to every third grade student in the Chandler United School District. To date, the Sun Lakes Rotary Club has given dictionaries to over 44,000 third graders.

For the past several years, the club has taught a program called “Choices” to every ninth grader in the Chandler United School District – to encourage them to complete high school. To date, the club has taught this program to over 50,000 ninth graders.

It is a major focus of Rotary International to eradicate the dread disease of polio by immunizing more than two billion children worldwide. The Sun Lakes Rotary Club has joined in this effort with gifts of over $100,000 since the club’s inception in 1986.

But there is another side to Rotary, too. Members of the Sun Lakes Rotary Club do more than attend meetings and listen to speakers and serve their community – lots more.

For instance, recently, one of the club’s dinner groups shared their dinner together by celebrating the Kentucky Derby while enjoying mint juleps. Of course, the ladies had to show off their beautiful Derby hats. What a great evening and lots of laughs, along with some excellent wine with dinner that was shared with Rowin and Paula Floth, Howard and Loie Rudge, Dave and Terri Sanders and Gary and Bonnie Whiting.

And for another for instance, early in April, 32 Rotarians and friends took a seven-day Mexican Riviera cruise on the beautiful Ruby Princess. They left Los Angeles and sailed to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas and back to Los Angeles. In each port, they took several side excursions and, of course, shopped and enjoyed some of the culture of each city.

Each day, they all met at 5:00 p.m. for cocktails at the Wheel House Bar to share the fun events of the day. Then it was off to dinner at one of the two first-class restaurants.

And because of the fun enjoyed, they will be doing a cruise again next year to some other location.

And if all this were not enough, the club is spearheading a Rotary Friendship Exchange to Australia this coming September.

The Sun Lakes Rotary Club was founded in 1986, starting with 22 members. Today, they have approximately 90 members. They meet weekly in the Oakwood Country Club Grand Ballroom on Tuesday mornings; breakfasts at 6:30 a.m.; meetings between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. Guests are always welcome!