During these unprecedented times of closures and restrictions, social distancing, and masks, Sun Lakes Rotary has continued to meet, and to commit ourselves and our club to Service Above Self.
One excellent example is the work of our current Rotarian of the Month Don Robins. Don joined in 2005, after retiring from General Motors as executive engineer in the Detroit Truck Group. As chair of our Education Committee, Don oversees our Dictionary project, Four-Way Test Speech Contest, Teacher of the Month awards, Rotary Youth Leadership Academy, student scholarships, World Affairs Seminar, Sandy Lundberg Educator of the Year Award, Interact and A World in Motion (“AWIM”), a worldwide program bringing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education to life with hands-on activities for students in grades K-8.
As area coordinator for the SAE Foundation AWIM program, he oversees 20 programs in the greater Phoenix area that positively impact more than 500 students. Plus, he proactively directs the STEM CO2 Dragster for Chandler’s high schools, as a teacher and judge. Don is also active in our other club services, including Splash route deliverer, and he is a Paul Harris Fellow.
As we all know, education has been deeply impacted by the pandemic, but teachers continue making a tremendous difference. We are thrilled to acknowledge our Teachers of the Month: Jamie Cordova, a 7th grade teacher at Casteel High School, in January; and Lisette Bingold, a 6th grade teacher at Navarrete Elementary School, in February. Each of these educators has demonstrated a willingness to go above and beyond their required duties to ensure all students receive the educational and emotional support necessary to succeed. They will receive club recognition as well as a check for $500 from the club and our partners Trust Bank and Earnhardt Automotive.
Closet Project—Chandler schools’ wide and varied demographic includes many children who are economically disadvantaged. The community generously makes donations; however, space in schools is often limited, so donations may not be readily available. Sun Lakes Rotary, in partnership with local Classy Closets, builds out a room or closet at various sites where donated goods can be stored, inventoried, and made available.
Source Book Delivery—Both Sun Lakes and SunBird rely on volunteers to deliver community Source Books. Hamilton High School’s football team came to the rescue in February to help distribute nearly 10,000 Source Books to Sun Lakes residents after member Fred DePrez reached out to Coach Mike Zdebski, and arranged for 14 players to assist in hand-delivering the books. Stan Kaufman worked with Rotaract ASU students to deliver 1,600 Source Books in SunBird.
Please visit our web page at www.sunlakesrotary.com. We are currently having only Zoom meetings. Please check the calendar for meeting times, as we alternate morning and afternoon times. Morning meetings begin at 7 a.m., and afternoon meetings start at 5 p.m.