The Rotary Club of Sarasota Sunrise, chartered in early 1981, is active in community and international projects ranging from helping under-privileged local children to supporting the worldwide drive launched by Rotary to eradicate polio.
Members of the Sarasota Sunrise club meet every Friday morning at Der Dutchman Restaurant at the corner of Beneva and Bahia Vista for an hour of fellowship, networking, discussing how to raise funds for projects and listening to a local or nationally known speaker talking about issues of current interest.
Sunrise is one of more than 50 clubs in Rotary’s District 6960 spanning Southwest Florida. Each club elects its own officers and enjoys considerable autonomy within the framework of Rotary’s constitution and bylaws. Rotary districts support these efforts and are led by district governors.
During Florida’s mild winters, Sunrise attendance is augmented by more than a dozen Rotarians from colder U.S. climes, Canada and Europe.
The club’s longest-running signature project is the Tree of Joy, in which approximately $150 is spent on each of some 100 under-privileged children who lack necessities such as underwear, clothing and shoes. In 2013, the club took over the annual Pineapple Antique Show and Fair, clearing $17,000, which was distributed among five local charities.
Club members also contribute regularly to Rotary International and Rotary Foundation efforts such as End Polio Now, computer literacy in Tanzania and the Shelter Box for Disasters program.
Sunrise also helped start the Pine View (High School) Interact Club, which in just over two years has made a mark in fundraising for the local community and also a project in Haiti. And it has also got into the Guinness Book of Records for making the most sandwiches in an hour.