The Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club observed its annual “Community Impact Week” Thursday by outlining how the goal of helping people was accomplished.
The meeting had Rotarians celebrating the wins of several awards, honoring someone who had helped the club’s efforts without being a member and hearing from a student club.
“Bradley Sunrise Rotary has actively involved its members in the community,” Club President Andy Anderson said. “We’re here to celebrate that.”
During a recent district Rotary conference in Chattanooga, the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club was given nine awards in recognition of its efforts over the past year.
The club earned the Lacy-Bomar Award of Excellence for its fundraising efforts. Out of 66 clubs in the district, the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club raised the most money for its efforts, which include giving money to help local charitable organizations.
Last year’s fundraising gala with former game show host Bob Eubanks and a separate event with Butch Jones, the head football coach of the University of Tennessee, raised $110,000 for local causes.
The club’s next fundraising gala will take place June 14 with Steve Spurrier, the coach of the University of South Carolina’s football team.
The club also received two awards for membership, the Reach Award and the Growing Rotary Award. The Reach Award was given to them because they added 15 new members within the past year. The other award is given to encourage clubs to seek younger members, and 12 of the new members added last year were under the age of 50.
“We’ve had growth like that in the past but never with so many people sponsoring,” Anderson said, noting 12 different people had gotten the 15 members to join.
The local Rotarians were recognized with the Rotary International President’s Citation for its service and membership growth, while the District Governor’s Citation honored their support for the district’s goals.
Because of their efforts to help people overseas with projects like one to provide clean water to people in Honduras, they received the Globe Award.
The Bradley Sunrise Club also received the Star Club and Polio Eradicator Club distinctions because of its efforts to raise money for the Rotary International Foundation. They received a third-place nod for having one of the best newsletters.
Anderson said he also appreciated the club member’s efforts to stay involved and think of creative ideas to help the community.
“Out of the box” ideas like a March Madness basketball bracket helped raise money for the international polio eradication cause, while funds from events like the annual gala last year went to help local organizations.
The organizations impacted by that included Habitat for Humanity, The Caring Place, Life Bridges, The Refuge, the Bradley Initiative for Church and Community, Junior Achievement and the Salvation Army.
Prior to the award recognitions, Rotarians heard from a student from Tennessee Christian Preparatory School’s Rotary Interact Club chapter, which the Bradley Sunrise Club sponsors.
Caleb Douglas, president of the student club, spoke briefly and thanked the Rotarians for their support.
“This year, we learned more about the value of service,” Douglas said
He said he and the other students appreciated the adults’ visits to the school to speak to them and help plan service projects.
Douglas said his favorite one was day when clients from Life Bridges joined the students for a kickball game at the school. He said it ended up being “one of the most special experiences” the student club had all year.
After one last thank-you from Douglas, Anderson asked Jane Sain to come to the front of the room to be recognized.
Sain, who retired from the Cleveland City school system after being a kindergarten teacher for 28 years, became an honorary member of the club and was also named a Paul Harris Fellow.
Membership in the club is by invitation only, and Anderson said she received the invitation to become an honorary member because of how she has supported the club over the years.
The Paul Harris fellowship is an honor that comes from someone donating $1,000 to the Rotary International cause. The person who donates can either keep the recognition for themselves or choose to have it given to someone else, Sain in this case.
She is the widow of Bob Sain, who was described as being a dedicated Rotarian until he passed last year. Jane Sane supported her husband in his efforts over the 35 years he was a member of the local club.
“I have felt like I’ve been a Rotarian,” Sain said. “This is an honor that I will treasure.”
A Rotarian then pushed “play” on a video of Bob Sain speaking that was filmed at last year’s fundraising gala. He explained he had helped found the club chapter, which meets at 7 a.m. each Thursday, to better work being involved with Rotary into the his schedule.
Bob Sain worked with Habitat for Humanity, and attending a Rotary Club meeting at noon meant taking the time to change out of sweaty construction clothes for lunch. Having a meeting before the day got started meant being able to take a shorter break for lunch and get more work done.