$67,000 raised by Sunrise Rotary Gala

By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG  Staff Writer
Posted 8/19/17

The Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club’s annual fundraising event raised more than $67,000 to help charitable efforts in this community and around the world.

The club’s Sunrise Sunset Gala, held …

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$67,000 raised by Sunrise Rotary Gala

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The Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club’s annual fundraising event raised more than $67,000 to help charitable efforts in this community and around the world.

The club’s Sunrise Sunset Gala, held recently at the Cleveland Country Club, featured speaker Rocky Bleier, a former Pittsburgh Steelers football player who shared his story of overcoming adversity.

Matthew Coleman, the club’s president, said the bulk of the funds raised will go to the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club Foundation. For almost eight years, the foundation has each year awarded grants to local nonprofit organizations using gala proceeds.

“It has been an honor to be a part of this gala and to see what the proceeds have done,” Coleman said. “We have raised close to $800,000 since we began doing this.” 

Past grant recipients have included The Refuge, Family Promise of Bradley County, The Caring Place, Habitat For Humanity of Cleveland, Junior Achievement of the Ocoee Region, Life Bridges, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Bradley County, the Anchor Point Foundation, Cleveland Bradley Keep America Beautiful, Family Cornerstones and more.

The foundation is currently taking applications from eligible nonprofit organizations and will award its next round of grants this fall.

“There are so many people to thank for making this event a success,” Coleman said.

This event was made possible in part by the many companies and individuals who chose to purchase seats at the gala, donated items to be auctioned off and bid at the event’s live and silent auctions.

These efforts helped the club raise more than $100,000, resulting in approximately $67,463 in profits after expenses.

Some $41,263 of this came from table sales and will go straight to the foundation. An additional $26,200 was raised during the auctions and will go into the club’s budget, for the club’s general membership to decide how to distribute. In the past, the club has used some of this money to support global efforts, including projects to provide clean water in countries like Togo and Honduras.

Coleman also pointed out that many of the club’s members volunteered numerous hours from their personal schedules to plan the event.

He added he and the rest of the club look forward to seeing how local organizations will use their grant funds to help the community. He praised the efforts of past grant recipients who have taught people the skills they need to overcome things like addiction and homelessness.

“Many of these organizations we give to — they’re having people meet them halfway,” Coleman said. “They are helping them learn how to lead successful lives in this community.” 

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christy.armstrong@ clevelandbanner.com

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