This year’s speaker will bring the insights of one of the biggest movies of recent years, as well as insights on one of the NFL’s best offensive right tackles, Michael Oher, who currently plays for the Baltimore Ravens. His story inspired the 2009 film “The Blind Side.”
The yearly event will be held on Aug. 25 at the Museum Center at Five Points.
“The primary reason to hold the Gala is to help make a difference in the community and make a difference in other people’s lives,” said Jim Davis, local Sunrise Rotary Foundation president.
Last year, the Sunrise Rotary raised money that was donated to local disaster recovery groups, as well as many local charities and community organizations, such as:
— Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland/$10,000. (Sunrise Rotary has donated more than $100,000 to Habitat in the last few years alone, Davis said.)
— Ocoee Outreach/$5,000
— The Salvation Army/$5,500
— Men and Women of Action/$5,000
— The American Cancer Society/$5,000
— The Santa Project/$2,000
— The Caring Place/$1,200
More donations will continue to be made this year. And some of the money raised at the upcoming third Gala also will go to more disaster relief causes.
“I believe we can do better,” said Andy Anderson, Sunrise Rotary member and head of the Gala committee, as he spoke to the Sunrise Rotary membership Thursday morning. “This year, I want to raise at least $100,000. ... We can make a difference.”
Anderson is hoping for a large number of donations, in addition to filling all tables — eight people to a table — to meet this year’s goals. Donations can include a wide variety of items, from home inspections to vacations, wine tastings to crystal bowls, tickets to sporting events to art and decor, picture frames to jewelry, etc.
“We don’t do a second fundraiser,” said Pat Fuller, Sunrise Rotarian and head of the membership committee.
The following is from Collins Tuohy’s website:
The movie “The Blind Side” told the story of the Tuohy family, a wealthy Tennessee family, and Michael Oher, the poor boy they took in who later became a first-round draft pick for the NFL. Sandra Bullock won a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of mom Leigh Anne Tuohy.
Leigh Anne’s Tuohy’s real daughter, Collins Tuohy, was portrayed in the film by Lily Collins (daughter of singer Phil Collins). Today, the real Collins Tuohy now frequently speaks to students about her brother Michael Oher and the way her family’s life changed when he moved into their home.
Collins Tuohy today is on the board of the Making it Happen Foundation, which is dedicated to changing children’s lives through hope, love, and opportunity.
“The most important thing that I want people to take away from my message is that it’s a little bit about the power of one. One person can’t necessarily change the world, but you can definitely change the world for one person,” Collins said.
The Gala’s website is: sunrisegala.com. For more information, Dunson, sergeant-of-arms for the Sunrise Rotary, at 284-8876.
In other business:
— Five people have signed up to become involved with the water project program in Honduras. A second water project also is planned.