It is spelled in two words.
Our hometown can thank members of Bradley Sunrise Rotary for this people-spirited, unselfish gesture.
Dooley, who is preparing for his second year at the helm of the UT Vols football program, had already committed to delivering the keynote address at this year’s Sunrise Sunset Gala at the Museum Center at Five Points on June 17.
Proceeds from the second annual fundraiser were scheduled to support three endearing causes close to the heart of each Sunrise Rotarian — Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland, the American Cancer Society and the Sunrise Rotary’s own Angel Flight program.
All will still receive full Sunrise support as planned.
But the bulk of the Gala’s proceeds are now to be directed to relief efforts in the wake of the devastating April 27 tornadoes that ripped through Bradley County, leaving nine dead, 285 homes destroyed and more than 300 damaged.
Sunrise Rotarians are calling their new cause “Recover BC,” a heartwarming reference to communitywide recovery efforts that are working together to mend a badly damaged Bradley County.
The longstanding Rotarian motto is “Service Above Self,” an appropriate label for times such as these when hearts filled with goodwill pump new life into those who have been undeservedly victimized by nature’s unrestrained fury.
The Sunrise club’s Mark Rodgers, who chairs this year’s Gala and who will serve as the organization’s president next year, said it best recently when he addressed his fellow club members.
“Our job is service above self,” Rodgers said. “We feel this is the right thing to do.” He told his Rotarian colleagues and all event sponsors and donors, “When you write a check, it’s like writing a check directly to help.”
This year’s Gala will again include a silent auction before the professionally catered dinner and a live auction during the festive meal. In addition, Dooley will host a meet-and-greet reception for corporate-level donors. Corporate sponsorships include a reserved table for eight, an invitation to the private reception, a framed photograph with Dooley and an autographed football.
Dinner festivities begin at 7 p.m. The reception kicks off an hour earlier.
Thanks to the civic-mindedness of Sunrise Rotarians and their heartwarming commitment to those within our community whose lives have been terribly scarred, this year’s Gala takes on an unprecedented depth.
It is supporting Habitat for Humanity.
It is supporting the American Cancer Society.
It is supporting BSR Angel Flight.
And now it is supporting our Bradley County neighbors whose needs exceed the realm of imagination.
For more information about the Gala or to learn how to make a donation to the relief efforts, contact Sunrise Rotary President Bob Anderson at 432-0347 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Cheryl Dunson, Sunrise Rotary sergeant-at-arms, at 476-9160 or email her at email@example.com.
We like the thinking of Matt Carlson, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland, who has suspended all new construction for now by his organization. Instead, the group is concentrating on storm-repair efforts throughout our community.
Carlson, a Sunrise Rotary member, reminds us of a sobering reality. Bradley County’s recovery is not a quick fix. It is long term — months and perhaps even years.
But it is well under way.
And Derek Dooley is coming to help.