2020 Highlights—In Just the First Half of the Year…

Maureen Alger, November Rotarian of the Month

Mary Lynn Kasunic, President and CEO of the Area Agency on Aging

Arizona Public Health Association Executive Director Will Humble

Arizona Public Health Association Executive Director Will Humble

Steve Carr

Sun Lakes Rotary (SLR) found ways to continue our mission of community service, despite these challenging times. Moving from in-person meetings to virtual meetings by Zoom, Sun Lakes Rotary maintained a strong showing of member involvement and has a year’s worth of exceptional volunteer participation, fascinating speakers, and extensive community outreach to show for it.

Our speakers over the year included Dr. Craig Gilbert, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education for the Chandler Unified School District, who updated us on Chandler schools’ reopening; Arizona Public Health Association Executive Director Will Humble, who discussed staying healthy during a pandemic; Amanda Nosbisch and Caryn Shoemaker from One Small Step, who spoke about Rotary’s ability to aid their organization in providing daily living essentials to struggling community members; Human Services Campus Executive Director Amy Schwabenlender, who discussed programs, services, and resources provided to individuals experiencing homelessness; Elizabeth Vaughn from Neighbors Who Care, who received an $1,800 donation from our club; Area Agency on Aging President and CEO Mary Lynn Kasunic, who enlightened us about the many programs available for seniors; Arizona State University President Michael Crow, who discussed “ASU and the New American University 2013 and beyond 2020;” Gilbert Mayor Scott Anderson, who shared updates on the extraordinary growth of his city; and Phoenix Police Department Detective Kellie McGhee, who focused on fraud against seniors. The final speaker of the year on Dec. 22 is Hans Witt, who will speak about his work with Microsoft before retiring.

Our extensive programming continued, with many necessary modifications due to COVID-19, and with great success despite it all: We named our first two “Teachers of the Month” for the current Rotary year: Donna Gustafson from San Tan Junior High in September and Cassie Itsell from Navarrete Elementary School for October.

The Sun Lakes Rotary annual Dictionary Project, with assistance from Horizon and Chandler Rotary Clubs, provided 3,100 dictionaries to all third graders in Chandler Unified School District’s 32 elementary schools, continuing a program that started in 2006. Our annual Veterans Day Program was an inspiring reminder of the gratitude we have for all of our members from the armed services. And we provided a decorated tree for the Sun Lakes Festival of Lights, which will be on display at the Sun Lakes Medical Center.

SLR continued supporting Chandler organizations such as Neighbors Who Care, East Valley Boys and Girls Club, FANS Across America, Clothes Cabin, AZCEND, and Harvest Compassion. We contributed $3,800 to Rotary’s signature program to eradicate polio around the world, and we purchased items, such as water bottles and school supplies, for specific Chandler students.

Maureen Alger was named Rotarian of the Month for November. An elementary school teacher and leader, every day, Maureen proves the importance of commitment to excellence.

Sun Lakes Rotary’s commitment to service and excellence continues. Meeting every Tuesday via Zoom, we provide alternating morning and afternoon options, and we would love to have you join us. Please visit our website, sunlakesrotary.com, or our Facebook page for more information about our speakers, our calendar, and our guiding principles:

Is it the truth?

Is it fair to all concerned?

Will it build goodwill and better friendships?

Will it be beneficial to all concerned?