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A Closer Look: Susanville Sunrise Rotary

It’s a big week for the Susanville Sunrise Rotary as the club prepares for their 9th annual Wine Tasting event Friday night in Jensen Hall.

The yearly wine tasting has become tradition and is a major fundraiser for Sunrise Rotary, who takes that money and puts it right back into the community.

How is that money used?
We talked with Sunrise Rotary President Jennifer Gorohoff who ran down a healthy list of good deeds the club is responsible for and their associated costs; $12,000 to host an inbound and an outbound exchange student program with students from Austria, Brazil, Italy, Thailand, Spain, Chile and France; over $20,000 in scholarships for local high school seniors; $8,000 in student awards for the ‘most improved student’ and Sunrise Rotary has donated over $4,000 in books to the Susanville Library’s Literacy Program.

Gabe Martens, an exchange student from Brazil, poses at his final Sunrise Rotary meeting with President Gorohoff and host family Mike and Paulette O'Kelly

“We are especially proud of starting an Interact Club at the High School in 2010, which is a youth Rotary club,” said Gorohoff, “I think you can tell that our Sunrise club is especially interested in working with our youth!”

The group also recently contributed $8,000 towards an insulated window project at Camp Ronald McDonald.

'Rotarians at Work' at last summer's Relay For Life Taco Feed fundraiser for the American Cancer Society

It would be impressive to stop there, but those are really just Sunrise Rotary’s big projects. Year-round smaller projects include everything from donating swamp coolers to McKinley School, building wheelchair ramps at Susanville Ranch Park and woodcutting for senior citizens.

How much good can you do simply by buying tickets?
According to Gorohoff over the course of the past 9 years the Annual Wine Tasting and Silent Auction has raised over $99,000. She also adds that, “We couldn’t do it without our fantastic sponsors including Safeway, Susanville Supermarket IGA, Grocery Outlet and Mountain Meadows Mead.”

Susanville Sunrise Rotary was chartered in March of 2002 and the group’s first President was Ralph Sanders. Subsequent presidents have been Rob Kohrt, Arlin Billington, Craig Kellison, Jane Gardner, Mike Vivillacqua, Jim Miller, Lance Monath, Norman Mah and current President Jennifer Gorohoff.

Of the club Gorohoff says, “Our motto is “Service Above Self” and I am grateful to have the opportunity to participate in projects that will help others, to go above and beyond what is expected.”

Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional and community leaders, and there are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious and open to all cultures, races and creeds.

This summer Sunrise Rotarians helped cut wood for local senior citizens

According to Gorohoff, the touchstone that shows what Rotary members believe in and strive for is the club’s Four-Way test. 1. Is it the TRUTH? 2. Is it FAIR to all concerned? 3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? 4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Susanville Sunrise Rotary meets each Thursday morning at 7:00 in the historic Elk’s Lodge at the top of Main Street. For a lot more information follow this link over to Sunrise Rotary’s Facebook page.

Sunrise Rotary donated the sign and speakers for the Pat Murphy Little League field


Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor
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