Diapers and other mother-baby items delivered to West Suburban Food Pantry by Sunrise Rotarians
More than three carloads of donations (including $1,000 worth of diapers) were collected from Rotarians and community members over Mother’s Day weekend to support West Suburban Community Pantry in Woodridge. Sunrise Rotarians delivered the donations to the pantry, which serves over 600 families each week from all over DuPage County including Naperville, Lisle, and Woodridge as well as Bolingbrook and Romeoville.
Sunrise Club earns award at end-of-year district showcase
Rotary International District 6450 presented Naperville Sunrise Rotary with the 2022-2023 Public Image Excellence: Website award for the club’s efforts to update and improve its online presence. Naperville Sunrise Club President Stephanie Colbert Randall, President-Elect Srini Namasivayam, and club Photographer/Journalist Bruce Dixon represented their service club at the showcase and annual meeting at The Max in McCook, IL. The May 6 event included networking, updates from Rotary International and District 6450, motivational speakers, and a food packing project.
Rotarians from District 6450 displayed objects and photos summarizing service work completed in the 2022-2023 year. Naperville-Sunrise highlighted its major fundraisers (Rotary Ride, Naper Lights, and St. Patrick’s Day 5K) as well as numerous other projects, such as Feminine Hygiene Kits enabling girls to continue attending school in Honduras, Plastic Recycling in India, school supplies for children in an orphanage and school in Kenya, food drives, holiday gifts for local students in need, landscape labor for a local non-profit, and more.
India Recycling project
Rotary is making a difference around the world! A plastic waste collection and recycling operation led by Prakash Tata (involving The Rotary Club of Naperville, Naperville Sunrise Rotary, Rotary club of Lake District Moinabad, Bharathi Theertha, and other Indian nonprofit organizations) won Grand Prize of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists for small projects. The $120,000 project provides collection vehicles and machinery required to pelletize plastic waste. The project will employ 25 youth and process up to 2 tons of material daily. Congratulations to all involved!
See: Plastic Waste Collection, Processing and Recycling with Employment Generation
Sunrise Club welcomes international guests
Naperville Sunrise Rotary recently received visiting Rotarian Dr. Yogi Devaraj and his representative Lilia Meidinger. Dr. Yogi brought greetings from his home club in India, Rotary Bangalore Global Yoga Club, RID 3190, the first cause-based Rotary club in the world, which he founded. Dr. Yogi presented Sunrise President Stephanie Colbert Randall with a uttariya and the two exchanged club banners. Yogi briefly discussed his mission to spread awareness of yoga for the health, happiness, and peace of all Rotarians. Dr. Yogi is Founder President of Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research and Holistic Health Trust in Bangalore. He is also Vice President of Yoga University of The Americas in Miami, Florida.
Neuqua Valley High School NVeco club discusses microplastics and sustainability
On Friday, April 21, the Naperville Sunrise Rotary Club welcomed sponsors and members of the Neuqua Valley High School Environmental Club (NVeco). The student-led organization’s mission is to raise awareness of how we impact the environment, and to promote the protection of people, wildlife, and the planet from environmental harm. The Rotary group heard from NVeco’s President Grant, Vice-President Olivia, and general member Dhruv about microplastics, along with product ideas to reduce waste in everyday life. The students also encouraged Rotarians to keep both business and sustainability in mind when making decisions in their businesses. NVeco's website is NVeco.org.
Hands-on ravioli night raises money for club’s International projects
On Sunday, January 30, Sunrise Rotarian Chris Kerstin and his wife Kim hosted 20 club members and guests to enjoy home-made ravioli. The day before, a dozen members gathered at the home of Rotarians Dawn Newman and Mike Tenuta to help make the raviolis and fillings from scratch.
Guests remarked that Dawn and Mike made it look easy and some were even inspired to try it themselves!
Attendees donated $350 to the International Committee to thank the hosts for the awesome food and experience.
Sunrise Rotary visits Little Friends’ new campus
The Rotary Club of Naperville-Sunrise on Friday January 20 was privileged to enjoy an in-depth presentation and facility tour of Little Friends in Warrenville, whose mission is “Empowering people of all ages experiencing autism, intellectual and emotional disabilities, and their families to live, learn, work, and thrive in their communities”. Little Friends President and CEO Mike Briggs shared the plethora of services offered by the organization to fulfil its vision “To be recognized as one of the premier providers of services in the state of Illinois addressing the needs of children, adults, and families challenged by autism and intellectual/developmental disabilities. To provide children and parents through direct services and alliance partners the most robust offering of clinical and research support in the field of autism.”
The facility tour included the Krejci Academy sensory gym, school classrooms, an exercise room (with top-of-the-line equipment donated by the YMCA), and a spacious outdoor playground.
Started in 1965, today Little Friends’ services include educational and vocational training programs, community-based residential living, the Center for Autism, and respite family services. The agency serves individuals and families throughout nine counties and over 50 school districts across Illinois. Little Friends is accredited by The Council on Quality and Leadership, the leading international authority dedicated to the measurement and improvement of personal quality of life.
Recently, Little Friends purchased the 62K square foot facility right next door to its school. Little Friends will move its adult service program from Downers Grove to Warrenville. The two facilities in Warrenville will create a 14-acre campus, with the existing campus dedicated to providing children’s services and the new campus dedicated to providing support for adults and families challenged by intellectual/developmental disabilities and autism.
More information about Little Friends is available at https://www.littlefriendsinc.org/.
The Naperville-Sunrise Rotary club chose Little Friends to be one of three recipients of funds raised from its upcoming St. Paddy’s Day 5K. For further details about the run (and to register), please visit https://saintpaddysday5k.com/.
Community volunteers aid in Sunrise Rotary’s NaperLights wrap-up
On Saturday, January 7, Rotarians and friends of Rotary came out to help the Rotary Club of Naperville-Sunrise take down its annual holiday lights display, NaperLights. Dozens of adult and student volunteers removed the displays from Jaycees Park in Downtown Naperville and packed them away for next year. The club relies on members and community volunteers to bring NaperLights to Water Street in Downtown Naperville each year.
The free interactive light display, which runs annually from Thanksgiving to New Years, has been a fixture of Naperville’s holiday celebration for the past 10 years and continues to grow. Further details and a list of supporting sponsors can be found here: https://naperlights.com/.
Sunrise club supports young women in Honduras through Feminine Hygiene Project
On Friday, January 6, members of the Rotary Club of Naperville-Sunrise spent their first meeting of the year making templates and cutting fabric to be made into affordable, reusable cloth-based sanitary napkins for needy girls and women. The fabric will be sent to small businesses in Honduras to complete and distribute locally. In a country where often, young women drop out of school or have difficulty working once they begin menstruating, this program empowers women to complete their education and find gainful employment and additional income. The program also provides work for small businesses and reduces the impact of disposable sanitary products on the environment.
Thrivent Financial provided a $250 grant to purchase fabric and supplies. Neuqua Valley High School Interact Club, a local Girl Scout troop, and the Naperville Woman’s Club will collaborate with Sunrise in continuing to prepare templates and fabric to send to Honduras.
Sunrise club enjoys musical holiday cheer
The Sunrise Club enjoyed festive song and dance performances by talented young members of Road Show, Inc during its annual holiday meeting on Friday December 16. The musical numbers full of holiday cheer were a special way to wrap up our final general club meeting of 2022 and enter the holiday season.
Road Show, Inc. is a new nonprofit that is grown with heart-shaped roots in Naperville, IL, whose mission is to give unique performance opportunities and to serve as a training ground for not only the arts, but for life-skills, through genuine connection to compassion, professionalism and character within an authentic culture of teaching artists and families.
Food, toys, and books donated to West Suburban Community Pantry
On Friday November 4, member of the Naperville Sunrise Rotary collected donations for West Suburban Community Pantry.
In total, the club collected 325 lbs of food, as well as many toys and books. In addition, $550 in Rotary donations was spent on holiday food, Legos, and dolls of all colors for the pantry.
West Suburban Community Pantry (https://wscpantry.org/), located at 6809 Hobson Valley Drive Unit 118, in Woodridge, is devoted to eradicating hunger within the families and individuals in the DuPage & Will County areas. After finding and fostering families and individuals who need care, they can also refer resources to ease and eliminate the circumstances that led customers to seek emergency aid.
The need in our community continues to grow and the individuals and families served by WSCP would be so blessed by additional donations, which can be made at https://wscpantry.org/donate-2/.
Sunrise members celebrate humanitarian projects made possible through the Rotary Foundation
Sunrise Club members reminded what the Rotary Foundation is and encouraged to support it.
Naperville Sunrise Rotary President Stephanie Colbert Randall, President-Elect Srini Namasivayam, and member/District Foundation Chair Bruce George attended the Rotary District 6540 Foundation Celebration Dinner on Wednesday, November 9 at Abbington Distinctive Banquets in Glen Ellyn, IL.
The Rotary Foundation supports club projects locally and globally through grants which address Rotary's seven areas of focus: Promoting peace. Fighting disease. Providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene. Saving mothers and children. Supporting education. Growing local economies. Protecting the environment.
Bruce highlighted our club's recent global grant project - installing 75 clean water tanks in Guatemala, in partnership with Imagine Guatemala and other Rotary clubs and individuals.
The Rotary Foundation values culturally-aware projects that are sustainable in the community they're in, emphasizing that there is no such thing as global grants without training in that community to ensure long-term success.
Sunrise Club members receive refresher on the Rotary Foundation
Sunrise Club members were reminded what the Rotary Foundation is and encouraged to support it during their meeting on Friday November 4.
Foundation Committee chair Nikhil presented information about the Rotary Foundation during the club’s general breakfast meeting and encouraged club members to increase support of the Foundation.
The Rotary Foundation is a non-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs. It is supported solely by voluntary contributions. Its seven areas of focus are: 1. Promote peace 2. Fight disease 3. Provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene 4. Save mothers and children 5. Support education 6. Grow local economies 7. Protect the environment.
The Foundation was created in 1917 by Rotary International’s sixth president, Arch C. Klumph, as an endowment fund for Rotary to “do good in the world”. It has grown from an initial contribution of US$26.50 to more than US$1billion. It has one of the largest and most prestigious international fellowship programs in the world.
Sunrise Club members appreciated the reminder that the Rotary Foundation enhances the club’s ability to serve the community in meaningful ways, in addition to having widespread impact around the globe.
November is Foundation Month in Rotary, so Nikhil encouraged club members to make a donation to the Foundation (https://my.rotary.org/en/donate).
Sunrise Rotary holding a Holiday Drive-By Drop-off Food and Toy Drive
The Rotary Club of Naperville-Sunrise is holding a Holiday Drive-By Drop-off Food and Toy Drive from 8AM to 10AM on Fri., Nov. 4, 2022, in front of Naperville Country Club, the Club’s regular meeting place. The event is planned to support West Suburban Community Pantry which serves over 750 families each week from Naperville, Lisle, Woodridge, Bolingbrook, Westmont, Willowbrook and Romeoville.
“In the current economic climate where the cost of food, gas and heat are sky rocketing, children, families and seniors who struggle every day now face an even more challenging holiday season,” said Club President Stephanie Randall. “Sunrise Rotary is dedicated to helping kids and families thrive in our community. This is a great opportunity to make our neighbors’ holidays a little brighter during particularly tough times.”
Nonperishable Items Needed
New Unwrapped Toys (ages 0-12)
New Unwrapped Books (ages 0-12)
Diapers and Baby Wipes
Canned or Instant Gravy
Canned Cranberries or Cranberry Sauce
Canned Vegetables or Soups
Pumpkin, Apple or Cherry Pie Filling
Club volunteers will be standing by in front of Naperville Country Club, located at 25W570 Chicago Avenue.
All donations will be delivered to the Pantry at its Seven Bridges Woodridge location. Donations can also be dropped off at the Pantry at 6809 Hobson Valley Drive Unit 118, in Woodridge, from 8AM- 4PM Monday through Friday. For additional information or to donate to West Suburban Community Pantry visit https://wscpantry.org/donate-2/.
Rotary Club of Naperville-Sunrise Partners for One-Day Book Drive
The numbers are in for the Bernie’s Book Bank One Day Children’s Book Drive partnered by the Naperville Sunrise Club and other Naperville Rotary Clubs. The event was held on Monday, October 10 at the Naperville 95th St. library.
In only 4 hours:
1. 3,286 children’s reading books were donated
2. 7,500 books were sorted and processed
3. 20 Neuqua Valley High School Interactors volunteered
Naperville Sunrise donated 78 new and used books for ages infant to young adult. Over 400 children throughout Chicagoland will benefit from the donated books alone. The Sunrise Club is thrilled to help get these books into the hands of grateful children and improving children’s literacy and the lives of the recipients.
Sunrise Rotary club provides upkeep of memorial garden
Members and friends of the Naperville Sunrise Rotary club came together on October 16 for a fall cleanup of the Ron Buonauro memorial garden at St. Patrick’s Residence in Naperville. About 8 volunteers conducted a general cleanup of the plant beds. Beautiful morning and great fellowship! The garden provides a place for the residents and staff of St. Patrick’s to relax and rest. It was dedicated in memory of longtime Sunrise Rotarian Buonauro in 2003. Buonauro was a volunteer and avid supporter of St. Patrick’s, where his mother had lived out her last years.
Local author Nick Ryan shared what led him to write book “From Jackass to Joy: Discovering the Art and Science of Love, Marriage, and Blending Family”
On Friday 10/7/22 local author Nick Ryan, CEO of Marquette Companies based in Naperville, IL, described the life circumstances that led him to write his first book “From Jackass to Joy: Discovering the Art and Science of Love, Marriage, and Blending Family” (available on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Jackass-Joy-Discovering-Marriage-Blending/dp/B0B2XJ2VYH).
He encouraged Sunrise members and guests to be honest with themselves and their partners about who they are and what will make their lives fulfilled. He said life is a series of negotiations with others through all seasons of life, especially those with whom we are in close relationship. He recommended prioritizing God first, then the marital relationship, followed by children. He found this structure to bring the best order and contentment in his own life. Ryan also said he found that working to make others’ lives better, even those who might otherwise be considered an enemy, always resulted in his own life being more peaceful and joyful.
The Rotary Club of Naperville-Sunrise scheduled Naper Lights 2022 set-up for the first weekend of November
On Friday 11/4/22 and Saturday 11/5/22, The Rotary Club of Naperville-Sunrise will begin set-up of this year’s Naper Lights display on Water St in Downtown Naperville. Members of the public are invited to sign up for a task / time slot by clicking on this Sign Up genius link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F0B4CAAAA2FA75-naper
The Sunrise Club is proud to continue to offer positive outdoor family-friendly experience to celebrate the holiday season in our community. This year’s even includes added displays that will increase audience engagement and encourage the community to linger in our beautiful downtown to take advantage of everything it has to offer.
Rotary Club of Naperville-Sunrise Spreads Mulch at Little Friends
On October 1, 2022, members and friends of the Rotary Club of Naperville-Sunrise spent the morning spreading mulch around the playground at the Little Friends Warrenville campus as a part of a landscaping project. Rotarians worked side-by-side with a team from Little Friends to move nearly 100 cubic yards of synthetic mulch/wood chips.
The Little Friends mission is to empower people of all ages experiencing autism, intellectual and emotional disabilities and their families to thrive in their communities. They provide lifelong opportunities for growth, so those we support can work, learn, play and experience the joy of life’s everyday moments. (Source: www.littlefriendsinc.org)
Sunrise Rotary is pleased to partner its Clean Sweep crew with such a phenomenal local organization.
Champion coach Al Carius inspires club with his definition of success
On Friday 9/16/22 longtime North Central College cross country coach Al Carius inspired us to strive for our personal best rather than compare ourselves to others, focusing on the process and enjoyment of developing our character through all of life's ups and downs. He defined success as "making the most of our God-given talents" and shared stories and wisdom from his fruitful 57-year career as head cross country coach at North Central College, which included many championships and titles.
Rotary Club of Naperville-Sunrise installs new President and Board
On June 23, 2022, the Rotary Club of Naperville-Sunrise held its Installation Dinner to honor the work of its members over the 2021-2022 year and to install a new President and Board of Directors.
The 2022-23 officer installation dinner at River Place Pavilion was attended by about 30 Rotarians and guests.
Outgoing President Ryan Siebert thanked his Board of Directors and said he has no intention of riding into the sunset and plans to remain an active club member.
Incoming President Stephanie Colbert Randall thanked Ryan for his “let’s do it” attitude and regular pep talks at Friday meetings” which “have made this a really fun place to be and has fostered action and ideas on our projects…and Ryan makes everybody feel valued and needed and has the ability to see the core of an issue and keep focused on the essentials of what the Club is here to do.”
District 6450 Governor-elect Conor Gee performed the swearing-in ceremonies.