Sun Lakes Rotarians reflect on busy year - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Sun Lakes Rotarians reflect on busy year

August 6th, 2021 development
Sun Lakes Rotarians reflect on busy year


The 2020-21 session of the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes was a busy one despite the curbs imposed on some activities by the pandemic, Club President Jon Lyons told members recently.

Throughout the year, club members devoted time and close to $90,000 to local, domestic and international community service organizations as well as East Valley schools, teachers and students. 

Its work included Classy Closets projects at Anderson Junior High, Humphrey Elementary and Chandler Traditional Academy; the Arizona Patriot Guard – Sun Lakes Help the Homefront Drive; A World in Motion mentoring efforts and on-site support at Chandler’s Auxier Elementary School and Strong Foundations Academy.

The club also supported AZCEND, Chandler Boys/Girls Club, Chandler Cares Center, the Chandler–Fry’s gift cards to families in need and Chandler YMCA.

The club also distributed 3,200 dictionaries to Chandler Unified School District third graders; facilitated the delivery of 1,744 children’s books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library; and participated in FANS Across America, Harvest Compassion, Matthew Crossing Food Bank, Neighbors Who Care, One Small Step that provided a sweatshirt and pair of socks to every student at San Marcos Elementary School, the “Drive-by Veterans Celebration/Parade at Auxier Elementary School;  Positive Paths scholarships to women, Project Healing Waters’ Recovering Veterans Support.

Sun Lakes Rotarians also supported a number of Rotary International programs like its Navajo Water, Mexico/USA Friendship Exchange, PolioPlus Day, International Peacebuilder Club Program.

The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes also thanked its  corporate and local sponsors: Earnhardt Automotive, New Horizon Farms, Good Sound Audiology, State Farm Insurance Agency, Built By Referral Realty, DC Steakhouse, Hornecek Golf, and Renaissance Luxury Senior Living.

Other sponsors included Moors & Cabot Investments, Hon-Dah Resort & Casino, Home Instead, Robson Adult Communities,  Sir Speedy, Harrah’s AK-CHIN Dental Associates, Saba & Romanin Dental Associates, Young Home Team, Ameriprise Financial Services, Ocotillo Foot & Ankle Center, Santa Roger, McCleery & Cole Families, Trust Bank, Swagel Wootton Eye Institute, Debbie Wiltse State Farm, Rob Romanin Sun Lakes Dentistry and Classy Closets.

Rotarian of the Month awards went Elaine Ralls, Phyllis Carr, Terrie Sanders, Judi Edmonds, Maureen Alger, Scott Faver,  Bill and Val Crump, Don Robins, Margie Wright, Stephen Phair, Camille Casteel, and Howard Rudge.

Service Above Self awards went to Don Robins, Terrie Sanders and Judi Edmonds while the John K. McCain Good Guy/Gal Trophy went to Maureen Alger and Rotarians of the Year were Bill and Val Crump.

Teacher of the Month awards went to Donna Gustafson, San Tan Junior High; Lisette Bingold and Cassie Itsell, Navarrete Elementary; Katherine Barton, Basha Elementary; Lisa King, Weinberg Gifted Academy; Jamie Cordova, Casteel High; Allison Lewis, Sanborn Elementary; Kristin Tollefson, CTA Liberty; and Rosie Marie Bogue, Galveston Elementary. Rotary Club of Sun Lakes Sandy Lundberg Educator of the Year Award was Rajani Rastogi.

Service Above Self Scholarships were awarded to Lily Steenhard, Casteel High, and Aris Shi, Hamilton, while a vocational scholarship went to Adrianna Camachio of  Chandler High. The STEM Programs Award went to Joe Greene, Perry High and the 4-way Test Speech Contest winner was Navaneeth Unnikrishnan, Hamilton High.

The club continued to meet via Zoom after its initial meeting of the year in July 2020 and moved into a hybrid format in April, with in-person sessions at Sun Lakes Palo Verde restaurant. The club continues to hold a combination of weekly morning and late afternoon meetings and details are available at

During the year, the club welcomed new members Kim Rector, Kandi Skrabala, Don Peterson, Dan Halloran, and Dr. Honora Norton with the following sponsors: Marge Wright, Chuck Hawkins, Dick Thomas and Gary Whiting.

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