Between the months of September and May, the Splash newspaper appears on the driveways of every Sun Lakes resident. And in January, the Source Book is delivered to each doorstep. Sometimes you see the folks who deliver these. Most times, you don’t.
The paper boys and girls are no mystery. They are members of the Sun Lakes Rotary Club, many of whom started life as children delivering papers in their local communities, and now in retirement, doing it again.
It all starts with delivery of bundled papers to storage lockers where Rotarians transfer them to their cars. From there, they are taken to individual homes where each paper is rolled and secured with rubber bands and then placed back in cars for delivery to 9,900 driveways around Sun Lakes. A few use golf carts; most use cars to drive around Phase One, Cottonwood, Oakwood, Palo Verde and Ironwood.
And in the process, a strong community partnership has been formed between the Rotary Club and Robson Publishing for the good of Sun Lakes and surrounding areas.
There is importance and valuable information contained in both the newspaper and the Source Book. Robson Publishing utilizes the Rotary to deliver both publications. The money Rotary receives for delivery goes back into the community via charitable contributions made by the club.
The Sun Lakes Rotary Club’s charity emphasis is on education, with special focus on the Chandler Unified School District. For instance, every year, the club gives dictionaries to over 4,000 third graders in CUSD. To date, these numbers total over 45,000. Sometimes, this is a child’s first book of their very own. The club awards vocational scholarships, participates in direct shopping sprees and financial support for disadvantaged students, supports high school homeless programs and high school infant/unwed mothers’ programs.
Each month, the club honors a teacher and a high school senior. Each year, it sends 11 students to RYLA (a Rotary Youth Leadership program), sends students to the World Affairs Seminar in Wisconsin and gives out high school student scholarships.
It devotes hundreds of hours a year to teach Choices: a two-hour course that is taught to all Chandler Unified School District ninth graders – over 3,000 students. The course emphasizes staying in school, taking challenging courses, having a plan for further education after high school and making proper choices in life.
This year, the club bought and installed a flagpole at the brand-new Casteel High School. It worked with students of all ages in STEM programs of A World in Motion and F1, it participated in an Easter Egg Hunt and Parade for children, it supported through both service and financially Neighbors Who Care, Homeless Veterans and food banks.
And to add insight to the club, to date, it has given over $100,000 to eradicate polio from around the world.
The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes meets for breakfast every Tuesday morning at 6:30 a.m. in the Oakwood Country Club ballroom. The meetings start at 7:00 a.m. and end promptly at 8:00 a.m. Cost of breakfast is $13. To make reservations for any meeting, contact Rotarian Peter Meade at 480-600-2458. For Sun Lakes residents, if you want to know more about the club, contact Charles Loew at 602-721-3680. SunBird residents should contact Walt Mills at 480-883-8007. Or look at the club’s website, www.sunlakesrotary.com. v