Sunrise History by gQ5S98



1987/88 Dick Maison

In 1986 Mel Wagner of the Downtown Rotary Club was encouraged to start a new Rotary
Club in Yakima. A group of Yakima Rotarians began to meet with prospective members
in January, 1987.

I was contacted by Mel Lewis, a long time Rotarian and past president of the Downtown
Club to see if I would be interested in Rotary. Several of us began to meet and a group
from the Downtown Club was always present to discuss different aspects of Rotary.
Among those I remember were: Mel Wagner; Mel Lewis; Dr. Harlan Hofer; Dr. John
Adkison; Doug Pringle; and Dr. McKinnley.

The club took shape and the number of prospective members grew. The number of
charter members at the time of our charter dinner (June, 1987) was 22.

We held elections for the first group of officers and directors. I was proud to be elected
the charter president. Because of the time our club was formed, I was president for about
fifteen months. Mark Uhlman received the second most votes and was elected incoming
president. Alan Cottle served as the first secretary and Jake Jundt the first treasurer (I

Our first official meeting was held in the lounge at Johnny's because the meeting rooms
were in use. I think Rick Pinnell gave the first "official" program, giving a slide
presentation of his recent trip to Africa with his mom and dad and Mary Jo.

Although we had met as a group for a couple of months, I still remember how nervous I
was at the first meeting. Actually standing up in front of the group was, for some reason,
very frightening.

Early board meetings were used not only to discuss club business, but to discuss
philosophical concepts about what kind of club we wished to be and what kind of projects
we felt we should undertake. Among the earliest decisions we made was the decision to
emphasize youth in the community and direct our activities to youth and their needs. I
firmly believe that this was the best decision we made during that year and the club has
adhered to this principal since then.

Our first fund raising activity was an opportunity to sell apples at the Downtown club's
rummage sale. Their sale that year was a huge, weekend-long sale at one of the buildings
at the fairgrounds. One of our members--I think it was Dan Keck--made arrangements to
have apples donated to the club in "bulk" form. Someone else contacted SnoKist and Jim
Butte, their plant manager, opened the plant for us in the evening. About a dozen of us,
including some spouses, spent several hours using the SnoKist apple bagging machines to
pack these apples in plastic bags and putting those in large boxes to be transported to the

After all that work I don't believe we sold more than a few bags of apples. The
Downtown club was good enough to give us $600 as our proceeds from the sale. Most of
this amount was (I believe) a donation from the Club, but it was our first money. I think
that project helped set the tone for the club. The project was very hard work, but the
group included both club members and spouses. Outsider Jim Butte was a great help and
subsequently joined the club.

The charter night dinner was held in June. Mel Wagner (ever the optimist) predicated
buses from as far away as Wenatchee. The Downtown club had a good turnout; however,
I don't think there was a club member from out of the area!

This was our first major "public" event. Again, I remember mostly being up in front of
that many people and trying to remember what I wanted to talk about. I think most of my
presentation was how much I wanted to thank all those who joined together to get the
club up and going and the spouses who had contributed so much so early.

Among my fondest memories of those early days was the fact that many of us did not
know each other, or know a limited number of the other people. So we were really a
diverse group of people, that quickly came a club. Many of those people continue to be

We had our first "annual" dinner at the country club to celebrate the end of the successful
year. I recall that the evening and the dinner was excellent. I also remember that I was
too nervous to eat. I was very fortunate in that several other members made a weak
attempt at a roast. They did not, in all honesty, do a good job. I believe that the past
president's "entertainment" has improved significantly--mostly because I was involved
after the first year!

As is necessary for such a meeting, I thanked all those that helped so much. That first
year was truly a total club effort. And it was a successful first year. I remember thanking
Dee for all the help she gave me that first year, for all the times she came to club events
and helped out. I broke down a little.

If I exclude my marriage, the success of my kids and most of my banking career in
Yakima, two events that I am most proud of are my year as president of the Yakima
Greenway Foundation and the year as president of the Yakima Sunrise Rotary Club. Both
contributed something to the community beyond what I could do on my own. Both
involved a number of people who I grew to know and respect, many of whom remain
friends to this day.

1988/89 Mark Uhlman
        The first eighteen months of the newly formed Sunrise Rotary club passed
quickly. Dick Maison passed the presidents pin to Mark Uhlman, the second president of
the Club. Sunrise had 39 members and added 8 new members this year. The year was
one of Club growth and maturity. Sunrise Rotary became involved in Project St. Nick
(later Project Santa), giving Jim Roberts a well deserved rest. The Youth Exchange
program was started in 1989 preparing the way for Sunrise Rotary's first incoming
student in 1990. Perhaps the most important Rotary moment was a dream and pledge to
develop a park with Sunrise Rotary's name. Mark has taken a fair amount of flak over the
years for the initial idea of a Robinson Crusoe park but redeemed himself in 1994 when
Sunrise Rotary Park and the McGuire Community Playground became a reality. The
project was the culmination of the 1988 promise and 6 years of planning and

        Mark Uhlman tried to keep meetings light and humorous. His Urology oriented
jokes were a weekly commodity. Memorable programs included Dale Miller's "Dental
implant surgery" as the club ate breakfast. "Aids in Children" the week before Christmas,
and the infamous Project Must program where the members of Sunrise were treated to a
rendition of "I'm a little reproductive tract" to the tune of "I'm a little teapot".

        Mark, Dick, and Alan Cottle traveled to Wenatchee for the 1989 District
conference. 1988 also marked the year that Sunrise Rotary purchased 100 steaks at the
Downtown Auction. Rumors abound but evidence points toward Jake Jundt and Alan
Cottle for the purchase.

        Rotary International was held in Seoul Korea. Sunrise Rotary was not represented
due to limited fiscal strength. The money saved would eventually be used for Sunrise
Rotary Park maintenance.

       Alan Cottle served as President elect. Glen Goddard was Club Secretary and Joel
Pearson Treasurer. Board members included Gary Garrett, Ron Simmons, Rich
Thornton, Alan Cottle, Dary Reed, Dan Keck, and Jake Jundt.

1989/90 Alan Cottle

        It all started from my reluctant agreement to serve as Dick Maison's club
secretary--I really couldn't have been elected to anything--but since Dick was the first
President and Mark Uhlman the second--they formed a nominating committee of 2. I was
really quite reluctant to serve but they threatened to cancel the insurance with me so I

       Serving as the Pres Elect under Mark was an interesting experience to say the
least. Mark was bent on making "Sunrise Rotary" a household name in Yakima--he never
met a project he didn't like. So as I ascended to the throne (hey they didn't call me King
for nothing) it was easy to sell the club on "no new projects".

         Our year started with a bang when we hosted the first Wednesday 7 AM joint
meeting of the 3 area clubs to hear Millard Fuller speak about the founding of Habitat for
Humanity. The meeting was significant in that Yakima Valley Partners--Habitats Yakima
affiliate, was hosting 10 volunteers from the then Soviet Union to help construct a Habitat
home in Yakima. Sunrise Rotarians were very active in the construction project as well.
In fact, many members will recall Jake Jundt's intimate introduction to Rich Thornton's
hammer. Rich dropped it on Jake's head--it wasn't long after that Jake agreed to be club

        The Fall was fast approaching and the first Duck Race was about to be held. Dale
Miller was the inaugural D. R. Chairman. We had originally planned to dump the ducks
in at Marty's Restaurant and pick them up at Robertson Landing next to Sarg Hubbard
Park. Nobody checked with the river, however, and we found ourselves at 6 PM Friday
night before the race having to ask Russell Crane to take down and move their crane--a
4+ hour task. We were never quite sure what Dary promised them, but Dary used to have
4 kids.

       Ron Simmons still holds the record for "inventive" secretary board minutes, as I
am sure you can see by reading the sample he's submitted to recap the events of one of my
board meetings.

        We were still feeling our way along back then and I am quite sure we did a few
things "wrong", but we never lacked for enthusiasm and a willingness to step up to a

1990/91 Dary Reed

        I remember well the afternoon the past presidents came to my office and informed
me that I had been selected to be the incoming president to the 1990-1991 Rotary year. I
couldn't imagine what they were doing in my office and I remember thinking how strange
it was that they should all show up at the same time!

        Our club had been birthed in June 1987 and being a charter member I had watched
the club grow from the conceptual stage to a fully functioning service organization. I had
watched each president before me serve with commitment and dignity and they left
behind them a legacy of vision that called each of us to a higher level of service above

        The officers for the 1990-1991 year included: Alan Cottle serving as Vice
President, Jake Jundt as the President Elect, Shirley Boggess was the Treasurer and Jim
Pinnell the Secretary.
        As I selected the officers and committee chairs, I was impressed with the
willingness of our members to serve without hesitation. As I would learn throughout my
year as president, this willingness would be the hallmark of all the club members.

        Our club had grown rapidly since its conception and we had taken on many new
and challenging tasks. I wanted to see the 1990-1991 year be a year of enjoying the hard
work of our labors. I felt it was important to create and environment where the members
looked forward to coming to the meetings. Having a good time was differently on the list
of priorities! The meetings were run somewhat loose and the social events lent
themselves to the members letting their hair down a little. I remember a certain Hobo
dinner social function that ended at the home of Jan Luring with the members sitting on
the floor passing around a strange liquid in a brown paper bag. Seems as if Bob Bader
showed a new side of himself that night! Good friends--good times!

        Birthing a new club is no small accomplishment and much emphasis needs to be
placed at the local level. However, Rotary is an international organization and I felt that
as a club we needed to explore to opportunities that awaited us at this level. A committee
was appointed to explore the possibilities of a World Community Service Project and it
was from this effort that Operation Walk became a club project. As a result lives have
changed for many who had no hope before our members undertook the humanitarian task
of counting others more important than themselves. This project has received world wide
recognition and continues to reclaim the future for many in Southeast Asia.

        In outlining the objectives of our new Rotary club the first board of directors felt
that the youth of our community deserved our commitment and support in practical and
meaningful ways. To this end, I asked Jeff Louman to organize a career day for high
school age youth. Our intent was to allow the students an opportunity to view first hand
the businesses and services that helped create economic flow in our community. This
project has grown into a major event for our club serving all of the high schools of our
valley. The dynamic leadership style that Jeff has displayed over the years is another fine
example of the quality of membership found within Yakima Sunrise Rotary.

        My year as president was a joy and an honor that I bear with great pride. I can
honestly say that I have never worked with a finer group of people. The presidents before
me blazed a trail of vision that burns as bright today as it did during their administrations.
The presidents after me have passed the torch of service with unswerving loyalty to the
ideals of hope and inspiration for a better world. I stand with those who have had the
privilege to lead Yakima Sunrise Rotary and together we salute the members of this fine
organization for their commitment of time, resources and energy. It is every member
contributing that makes a great Rotary club and beyond exception the members of
Yakima Sunrise Rotary have stood in the gap and served with pride and distinction.
1991/92 Jake Jundt

        Remember Ron Ihli--he was our impostor Rotarian that gave his classification talk
on the first meeting that I was presiding as president. Curtis King was Chamber of
Commerce president the same year that I was Rotary president. I think my two most
notable activities from my year are the bad jokes I tried to tell at the beginning of each
meeting and the initiation of "the thought of the day." I probably am the most fortunate
Sunrise Rotary president to date when it comes to having the best district governor. Ollie

"Do you know the definition of rectum? It is the opposite of fixed 'em."

        One of my other dubious honors was that I was the first Sunrise president that
raised dues! Tony Sagare was my secretary. Dick Maison was Greenway president the
year I was Rotary president.

"Hear about the gal in California that was arrested for shooting a guy with a water pistol?
She left him in the street to dry."

        Both Alan Cottle and Joe Hall had babies (or rather their wives did), during this
Rotary year. Two of my goals for the year was increased attendance and new member
recruitment. We ended up in the top ten, in the district, for attendance, and increased our
members by about 20%. I was also only one of the guys who bought the steak dinners
from the racquet club at the downtown Rotary auction, which took us three years to
collect. It was my pleasure on Jan 8, 1992 to present to Alan Cottle a Paul Harris
fellowship for his service to our club. Received a letter from Paul Larson re: my lack of
leadership and control of the Sunrise Club, due to canceling our meeting on Christmas
day and New Years day. (see attached).

"Sunrise Rotarian comes home after 2 am. Wife asks where he has been? Answer: out
playing golf .... we were using night clubs."

"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."

1992/93 Dan Keck

       This Rotary year started out with a visit by our new district governor, Glenn
Martin from the Kamloops, B.C. Sunrise Rotary Club. He challenged our club to
improve club attendance. We responded by remaining in the top 10% of our district each
month. We said good by to the previous years exchange student Christelle Lemaire, from
Brussels, Belgium, a truly outstanding young woman. Shortly thereafter, we gave a warm
welcome to Eduardo Castedo, our new exchange student from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Eddie
was a great deal of fun to have associated with our club. He received good grades at East
Valley High School and lettered in soccer. Jim Gibbons was Youth Exchange Chairman.

        At the beginning of this Rotary year, we were heavily involved in planning the
Great Yakima Duck Race. Dave Cote was chairman for the event and Mac McCullouch
head of sales. This was the first year of having the Duck Race mascot--Darlene Duck.
Yakima Sunrise share of income generated from the race was $19,200. Rich Thornton
assisted the Sunrise Rotary Charity Account in a big way. Within the guidelines of a new
IRS ruling, we could, for the first time, write checks to support programs like student
exchange and vocational day, where before we were limited to only supporting 501 C-3
corporations. A separate board of directors had to be established to accommodate this
new ruling.

         The Presidents Council was a new idea by President Dan. He tapped a great deal
of unused talent residing within the past presidents. Several meetings were held during
the Rotary year to receive guidance for our club through the past presidents group. 1992-
93 was the year Sunrise Rotary became involved in the fourth avenue of Rotary service.
International Service was something we looked at for several years. Not until an
opportunity was brought to our attention by a fellow Rotarian, did World Community
Service ever seem possible for our young club. We were given an invitation to join the
Rotary Club of Mill Creek, WA, U.S.A., the Rotary Club of Bangkok, Thailand, and the
Rotary Club of Bangkapi, Thailand, in applying for a Rotary 3H grant from the Rotary
Foundation to fund a below-the-knee limb replacement facility at a Bangkok hospital.
There, victims of Asian wars who had lost a lower limb(below the knee) due to land
mines would now have a chance to become a productive part of society again by being
able to walk. All were surprised, Rotary International granted $220,000 to establish the
facility and also funded over 300 limb components. A non-Rotarian organization was
established in Thailand and the U.S.A. named Operation Walk. The function of
Operation Walk is to install the facility in Thailand, acquire the limb components, screen
the victims to be fitted, and raise funds to purchase limb components. By April, 1993, the
first person received a new lower limb.

        Troy Emmons headed another very successful Operation Santa program. 416
families were visited with gifts. This was up from 350 the previous year. Sunrise Rotary
participated once again in Operation Harvest, the neighborhood collection of food for the
less fortunate. Doug Bronson chaired the committee. During Rotary Foundation month,
Joel Pearson enlisted members to become Paul Harris fellows or sustaining members.
Our club made a substantial increase in the area with 13 members becoming donors.
Vocational Day, under the great leadership of Jeff Louman served more young people in
our valley than the previous year.

       Instead of repeating the Sunrise Rotary Annual Rose Sale (i.e. selling dead
flowers), our club embarked upon the firs "Spring Wine Seminar: headed by Lynn
Carmichael. It quickly became an appreciated replacement fund-raiser. The Annual
Speech Contest (4 Way Test) brought to us by Jan Luring had more participants than the
previous year. This has been a rewarding way to recognize talented young people. Del
Rankin provided a big service by chaperoning youth exchange students from our district
to Disneyland. What a brave person. Phil Baechler did a great job as publisher of the
Sunriser Bulletin. During the year, our club was financially able to mail a bulletin to each

       New proposed members for the year:

               Mike McElrath                  Cec Vogt
               Palmer Wright                  Bob Romero
               Mike Gilmore                   Rob Marble
               Tom Culpepper                  Joan Weber
               Shelley Von Essen              Jim Engebretson
               Tom Perry                      Ken Flaks
               Don Jordon                     Lt. Col. Ed Horton
               Erin Hale                      Keith Langford

       A few of the charities supported for this year:

               Sunrise Rotary Park                    $2,500.00
               Washington Business Week                  500.00
               Davis Girls Soccer                        388.08
               East Valley Youth Baseball              1,000.00
               Bosnia/Croatia Relief                     500.00
               Operation Santa                         4,000.00

        It was a fun year chronicling activities of the club. I have been reminded how
active and very talented our club is in the Yakima community and now worldwide. What
an honor to be associated with such a dedicated group.

1993/94 Rich Thornton

        Prior to the start of our Club's 1993/1994 year, my wife, Ila, and I had the pleasure
of attending the Rotary International Conference in Melbourne, Australia. Before
leaving, with the assistance of Dan Keck, Shelley Dix, and Dary Reed, we had prepared a
booth in support of Operation Walk, our Club's Rotary International project. Of the more
than 25,000 clubs in Rotary International, only 46 had made booth arrangements for the
International Convention. It was truly an honor for Ila and I to be able to present and
explain our video and the related materials to Rotary delegates throughout the world. I
was extremely proud in representing our Club of approximately 60 members at a Rotary
International Convention where literally thousands of other clubs had not yet identified
nor participated in a truly significant Rotary International project.
        We began our year with a retreat comprised of the 1993/1994 Rotary officers,
board, and respective chair people in June 1993. The retreat allowed our members to
focus and commit to the various goals and objectives we set for our 1993/1994 year. Our
three primary objectives for the year were:

                1. The ongoing fulfillment of our commitment to Operation Walk;
                2. The successful organization, building, and completion of Sunrise
Rotary             Park;
                3. To have fun!

When I look back, it is great to know that our Club--each and every member--contributed
to the successful accomplishment of all three.

       Our Operation Walk commitment won the District 5060 Project of ;the Year
Award at the District Convention in Spokane, Washington in May 1994. At the same
time, we cut short our trip to that convention to return to Yakima for the dedication and
opening of Sunrise Rotary Park, which I believe represents our Club's finest community
achievement. To see the efforts of hundreds of people result in the happiness and
pleasure of hundreds of children was an inspiring and yet humbling experience. Mark
Uhlman and Ron
Simmons were the co-chairs of our committee and, needless to say, spearheaded our
members to accomplish what was for a number of years only our Club's dream, but is
today a reality.

        And, we had fun! We had a family Christmas gathering at the Greenway Bingo
Hall (combining a celebration for the annual Duck Race and Operation Santa Claus), a St.
Patrick's Day party at Grants and a great Beer and Wine Tasting Festival in May. Our
"weekly" entertainment was supplied by the best comedian impersonating as a journalist,
our Sunriser Bulletin Chairman, Joel Pearson.

        Our 1993/1994 Sunrise Rotary Club year was a resounding success due to the
efforts of our entire membership. For me, the highlights were definitely receiving the
District 5060 Project of the Year Award and the building and dedication of Sunrise
Rotary Park. But, what I will always miss the most is the pleasure of watching an
ordinary group of people accomplish extraordinary things--week in and week out. No
doubt, the person who helped me daily was our Club's secretary, Shelley Dix, and I will
forever be in her debt.

         As the saying goes, "it was a wonderful year!"

1994/1995 Jim Pinnell
       Being a member of Yakima Sunrise Rotary had always been a great pleasure. It
was a dream come true when Alan Cottle invited me to Grants where all the past
presidents offered me the opportunity to serve Sunrise Rotarians as their president. This
was a great honor for me and I could not wait to get started.

        PETS (Presidents Elect Training Session) in Seattle was a wonderful experience.
It was my first opportunity to experience the fellowship of Rotarians outside of Sunrise.
PETS was two and half days of meetings, banquets, great speakers, and time for
socializing with fellow rotarians. This PETS was made special by the public recognition
of Sunrise Rotary's International Project, Operation Walk. I also had the opportunity to
make OP WALK presentations to two different districts. During PETS, I made new
friends that I shared my presidential experiences with.

        The next gathering of incoming presidents was the District Assembly in
Okanagan. Susan Hattrup, Mac McCullough and I travelled to this day and a half district
meeting where I had the opportunity to visit and share our Rotary Club's plans with
fellow presidents. The District Assembly consists of guest speakers, socializing, planning
and educational meetings. By now my Rotary year's plans were complete. (Assisted by
the STRONG encouragement of District Governor, Adolf Illichmann). It is true that we
did arrive at the wrong town. We were only 8 miles off, but did maintain the Sunrise
tradition of becoming lost traveling to a Rotary function.

         The district conference was held outside the district in Spokane. Home hospitality
was replaced by a night at the dog track when not enough homes were available to host
all the visiting Rotarians. The speakers were very entertaining and educational. At the
Saturday night banquet, (western wear, not formal) Sunrise Rotary was awarded the best
project in the district for Operation Walk. We returned to Yakima after the District
Governor banquet to attend McGuire Playground dedication.

       The annual banquet was held at the Appletree Golf Course. The highlight of the
evening was the expression on outgoing president Rich Thornton's face as he wondered
whether we were going to really pierce his ear. (to match his District Governor Bill's
pierced ear).

        There was some nervousness associated with my first Rotary meeting. My
nervousness increased when I noticed that the program hadn't shown up. In the best
tradition of Sunrise Rotary, Col. Ed Horton stepped forward and gave an entire program
on his uniform and the activities at the Yakima Training Center. Under the chairmanship
of Dick Maison, the Sunrise programs were varied, interesting and some were very
unique. An African Safari program turned out to be a slide show of dead elephants,
leopards, crocodiles (shot while sleeping in a pond) and even small birds, all pictured
with the "great white hunters". In March, an electrical at Cavanaughs cancelled our
meeting. Sunrise always looks for something new in programs.
        The Great Yakima Duck Race under the leadership of Tom Perry set a record for
tickets sold and dollars raised. Three weeks after the race, the Duck Celebration Banquet
was held at the Yakima Tennis Club.

       In November, more than 200 local high school students attended our 5th annual
Vocational Day. Students came to breakfast, visited with Rotarians, and enjoyed two
speakers: Darcy English from YVC and Dary Reed who gave an unforgettable
motivational speech. Following breakfast, students were invited to visit 31 rotarian

        Our community health committee assisted in arranging a joint meeting on World
Aids Day. Rick Homer, an aids worker from Chicago spoke to over 300 Rotarians at a
joint noon meeting. Operation Santa was a big success with toys delivered to several
thousand children by rotarians dressed in Santa suits. This event remains the single most
emotional event in the Sunrise Rotary year.

        The first annual "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" fundraiser and social event was
held in March. The night was a great success with each host's dinner party resulting in
one or more memorable stories. The 4th Annual Speech Contest was a joint rotary
meeting with five student finalists speaking on the Rotary 4 Way Test. The first prize this
year was $1,000. The third annual Wine Seminar raised money, provided a social
gathering and brought people from outside Rotary to a Sunrise event. This year local
beers were added to the selection of local wines.

        During the Rotary year many local agencies benefited from Sunrise Rotary
donations. Included were: Operation Santa Claus, Yakima Sunfair, WV Babe Ruth
Baseball, Ringside Boxing, Campfire, Boy Scouts, YMCA, Young Life, Children's
Miracle Network, and others. The Board of Directors was encouraged to develop another
major club project along the lines of “Swim Week“ or “Operation Santa Claus“--Del
Rankin suggested a partnership with the Yakima Valley Regional Library's Children's
Department for a fall "Storyteller" which the board approved. (After several years, the
Library received a Gates grant for computers and no longer had the space to conduct the
program which served more than 1500 students attending the 4 day program. The
Yakima Valley Museum volunteered to take on the same project which became "Tales of
the Trails" and continues to serve nearly 2000 grade schoolers, all funded by Sunrise

       Our incoming exchange student, Jan Pape, had nearly 100% attendance at club
meeting. It was great fun for all to really get to know him. Also, we started a SAM
(students as members) program by inviting local high school students to attend our
meetings to see a community service club in action.

       The District Conference was held in Kelowna, B.C. Four members and families
made the 8 hour drive to the shores of Lake Okanagan. The location and weather were
beautiful. The Canadian hospitality was unsurpassed. The highlight of the conferences
was the awarding of the District Project to Sunrise Rotary (2nd year in a row) for the
McGuire Playground at the Yakima Sunrise Park.

        The Rotary year ends with the Annual Banquet. The '95 banquet was held at the
Yakima Country Club. The roast consisted of video and slides featured people asking
"Who is Jim Pinnell?". Even the president's mother couldn't remember him. The evening
was filled with humor, thank you's, and a welcome to our new president, Ron Simmons.

        My year as Sunrise President was a wonderful experience I will long remember.
Seldom do we get the opportunity to work with positive, creative, hard working people
week in and week out. Sunrise Rotarians not only work hard to make our club successful
but consistently step forward with new ideas to make our club even better. The Yakima
Sunrise Rotary Club and its members exceed all the standards set by Rotary International
and it was a great honor and pleasure to serve as president.

1995/96 Ron Simmons

        The Sunrise Rotary Club, under the direction of President Ron Simmons, entered
the year with the idea of maintaining the existing programs and not to undertake an
additional large project. The Park Project of the previous year had taxed the energy of the
club severely, and it was felt that the club needed a year to regroup, while maintaining the
wide variety of programs which were already committed to on a yearly basis.

       The Sunrise Rotary Club entered the year with a total of $22,076 in the Charities
Account and a total of $21,258 in the General Fund. The Officers and Board consisted
President:                   Ron Simmons
Vice President:                       Jim Pinnell
President Elect:             Joel Pearson
Treasurer:                   Dave Lenihan
Secretary:                   Bo Hepler
Board Members:               Rod Schultz, Susan Hattrup, Tim McGree, John
                       Rothenbueler, Shelley Dix, Don Jordan, Tom Perry, and Cec

       Over $20,000 in financial contributions were made to the following groups
throughout the year:
       Operations Harvest, Yakima Valley Regional Library Storyteller (1st Annual),
       Yakima Parks and Recreation Department, YMCA Youth in Government
Program,       Empire Project for multi-cultural education in Schools, Yakima Police
Youth Baseball Program, Operation Santa, RYLA, Campfire, Childrens Miracle
Network,       Sunfair Parade, July 4th Celebration Committee, Young Life, Boy Scouts,
Ringside       Boxing, Jr. Livestock, YMCA Camp Dudley, and others...

       The annual Duck Race was a tremendous success and was headed up by Shelley
Von Essen. Ticket sales were up over 30% from the previous year. The Duck Race
celebration was held in November at the Yakima Tennis Club.

        Past President Jim Pinnell headed up a committee on new by-law and
Constitutional changes. A number of changes were made and agreed upon by the Board
of Directors. One of the major changes clarified the procedures used by the Yakima
Sunrise Rotary Club in the selection process of the President Elect. Recommendations
will be made in the future by the Past President's Council and that selection will now go
to the Board of Directors for approval. The Board also voted to donate participate in a
World Service Project and donated $500.00 to the Mogi Guacie Rotary Club for purchase
of washing machines. The club also continued its support of Operation Walk, and
donated $30.00 per member, and included a $1,000.00 matching club gift.

       December brought the (what has becoming the normal holiday project)
completion of "Operation Santa Claus" chaired by Rich Thornton and Tim McGree. A
majority of the club members participated and hundreds of Yakima children benefitted
from all the hard work (and the months of work that went into the repair of bicycles). In
December, the Past President's Council met (at their traditional location, Grant's Brewery)
and recommended to the Board of Directors, that John Vornbrock be chosen as the next
President Elect. The Board approved.

        Several social activities were scheduled including "Guess Who's Coming to
Dinner" and the annual "Wine Tasting". Both activities were well attended. Later on in
the year, the club held the first "Skip out and ski day", which was also well attended. The
Speech Contest, co-chaired by Jim Perkins and Jan Luring was an outstanding success
and reflected the hard work of the committee. Career Day, under the direction of Jeff
Louman was also well attended and is growing larger every year.

       Our exchange student was Baris (Barry) Karagozlu from Turkey. Tony Sagare
hosted Barry when he first arrived and then John Vornbrock took over. The Southwest
Club hosted our student for a quarter since their student was a no-show. Our outbound
student was Leah Vornbrock, daughter of John Vornbrock.

        Once again, more than a dozen members of the club got together for the spraying
of the Park. It was noted that vandalism is minor and the park is being kept in good
shape. June was a month set aside for member recruiting. We started the year with 62
members and had set a goal of having 70 members at the end of the year. We lost a
number of members over the year, and while we officially ended the year with 65
members, we had an additional 4 names in the pipeline by July 31st.

       Vice President Jim Pinnell did an outstanding job of getting members involved in
the Rotary Foundation, and at the end of the year, we had an 84% participation. This was
the first year that we did not have a year-end roast of the President. Just a few days prior
to the scheduled dinner, President Ron had a death in his family and the dinner was
postponed, and later cancelled.

1996/97 Joel Pearson

        It is a huge mistake having the past president write the history of their year as
president. What was, in actuality, a mediocre year, suddenly turns magnificent in the
memory of the past president. In fact, you will probably find no more truth in what they
write than what you heard O.J. say on the witness stand at his trial.


        Mark Uhlman will be known for the Park. Dan Keck will be known for Operation
Walk. I will be remembered for the "Carp Lips" video. When our Canadian District
Governor, Ken Arthurs, visited our club, he was so impressed with our club personality
that he selected us as one of the two clubs to do a skit at district conference. District
conference is in May and when he called in April to see how the skit was coming, my
response was: "Just great!" The literal translation of "just great" is "we haven't started
yet, but will get going on it real soon." I checked with a few of the people who were
going to the conference and the most positive response I got was from John Vornbrock
who said: "I'm not an actor, I can't remember lines, and the only thing I could be is an
inanimate object." I decided to do a video instead so that more of our members could

        I believe Mike Gilmore came up with the idea to do our view of what a Rotary
club meeting in Canada is like based on the movie "Strange Brew." Fortunately, Mike
had his own copy of the movie (probably the only Rotarian in the World to have a copy).
So a group of us got together, watched the movie, drank lots of Canadian beer, and came
up with some basic ideas for a script. Shelley arranged for a professional photographer, I
arranged the beer, and we filmed it in the Cougar room at Cavanaugh's. Actors included:
Mike Gilmore and Joel Pearson as the MacKenzie brothers, Jim Gibbons as past district
governor Adolph Eickman, Shelley Dix as Boom Boom the prostitute, Dick Maison as
her "uncle", Ken Flaks as a raw salmon eating Canadian, Annie Von Essen as a valley girl
exchange student, our exchange student Lorena as herself, Shelley Von Essen as Tilly the
waitress and first female club member, john Vornbrock as the Canadian President, Tom
Perry as the transvestite exchange student from France, and Jim Pinnell doing the

         Since the District conference was in Salmon Arm, Canada, we named our
imaginary club Carp Lips. The filming went fairly well except when Ken Flaks actually
bit into some raw Salmon that he thought was cooked, and then spit beer all over Mike
and me. I didn't mind getting spit on, but it is a shame to waste beer. We previewed the
video and all of those members who were not going to the conference thought it was fine.
I had my reservations, but my wife, Susan, was threatening to divorce me if I allowed it to
be shown. The District governor wanted to preview the video before it was shown on
Saturday, so I gave it to him the day before. Saturday came around and the room was
filled with 800 Rotarians and their spouses. The entertainment before the video was
scheduled was so bad, that three quarters of the audience left. The 80-year-old
professional entertainer at one point dressed up like a pregnant lady and lip synched to "I
am Woman." I'm not kidding. The problem with people leaving was that all the younger
people were going who would be the only ones who may laugh at our video. All that was
left was the over 65-crowd: bald-headed men and blue-haired ladies. I started to sweat.
Fortunately, the video was not shown. I spoke to the district governor the next day and he
said after watching the video, they "Didn't think it would fly," which translated from
Canadian means: "It was totally offensive to Canadians, was in extreme bad taste, and
wasn't that funny."


       The board of directors were: Shelley Dix, Don Jordan, Tom Perry, Cec Vogt,
Mike Gilmore, Rod Fitch, and Shelley Von Essen. Bruce Moorer was treasure, Sheri
Davis was secretary, and Ron Simmons (the phantom) was vice president. John
Vornbrock was president elect.

        Compared to our Rotary board, the city council at Mayberry RFD looks like a
Think Tank. This is the first year our club purchased Directors and Officers coverage.
Coincidence?-I don't think so. Ron Simmons was the president the year before and ran a
very professional board meeting. I did not. Rotary International publishes a book of
procedures that I was going to read, but never got around to. We somehow managed to
function without a lot of rules. This simplified the decision-making process. I gave the
"virgin" book to Shelley Dix after my year was over.

         One major decision we made during the year was to appoint Tom Perry the
"Donut Man" to bring donuts to the meeting. This is actually in the minutes. Also, I am
the first club president to ever be officially referred to as a "weenie" because of my lame
attempt to postpone the decision regarding giving money to EPIC until the following
year. Speaking of "minutes" they were done by our club secretary, Sheri Davis, usually at
6:00 am in the morning before the board meeting. They probably were not that accurate,
but none of us had a good enough memory to correct them, so ;they were usually
approved with no objection. Bruce Moorer did the financial statements, that none of us
could understand, so they were also unanimously approved.


      The Duck Race chair was Rikeni. That is actually two people: Ken Flaks and
Rick Weaver. When Ken called me one night late he knew that I was having a problem
finding a Duck chair. He said: "Rick & I will do it." I didn't know who this "Rikeni" guy
was, but I was sure appreciative. The duck race was a great success and 14,860 tickets
were sold. Ken sold 1,000 himself which is a record that will stand forever. He pushed
everyone to the limit, but definitely lead by example. He did make a deal with me and I
have to buy $10,000 of jewelry from him. I think I have $8,200 left.


        Another fund raiser, thanks to Ken Flaks, was the 25th anniversary of the Mall
called the Silver Ball. We sold tickets and kept all of the proceeds, $1,200, for Operation
Santa Claus. One of the greatest singing groups of our time, The 5th Dimension, was the
entertainment. They had hit singles like "Up Up and Away" and "Sugar Sugar". Oops, I
think "Sugar Sugar" was the Archies. "Windy"-no, that was the Association. Oh well.


       Over $5,500 was given to Operation Santa Claus and our members delivered toys
to needy children. Our new members learned two valuable lessons. First, giving presents
to needy children fills your heart with joy, and second, If you're not one of the first people
to wear the Santa suit, it smells like you are putting on Charlie Manson's week old
underwear with a skunk skin for a beard.

        Jeff Louman again was in charge of Career Day which was held at the convention
center. George Campbell was the speech contest chair and $2,800 was awarded in prizes.
We again sponsored the YMCA Swim program with a $2,500 donation. $3,000 was
given to the Yakima Regional Library for the three-day storytelling program. Over 2,000

        We awarded two Paul Harris Fellowships to non-members for community service.
One was given to Jim Roberts who is in charge of Operation Santa Claus. The other was
given to Don Russell for donating crane service each year for our duck race. Finally, we
did donate money to EPIC for Rotary cottage. I'm not sure exactly how much since I
don't have copies of the last board minutes. It was between $4,000 and $100,000. It was
all the money we had left in the charity fund at the last board meeting of the year.


         Cec Vogt took over as program chair after Susan Hattrup left the club. Bruce
Moorer made the mistake of complaining about one of the programs and was promptly
assigned to the committee. To tell you the truth, the meetings are just a blur and I have
very little recollection of what happened. I made the stupid mistake of trying to tell a
joke each week. This shattered my dreams of becoming a stand-up comedian like my one
drunken attempt at karaoke shattered my dreams of a singing career. As president, you
take the blame for everything. In my case, I deserved it most of the time. I did receive
blame one time when it wasn't my fault. Dave Elofson was doing the Lotto drawing. It
was near Valentines, so the prize was a skimpy negligee that looked like it should be
worn by a hooker. Not that I would know what a hooker would wear. Anyway, our high
school student, Daniell Dufault, won it. Another young impressionable mind learning the
values of Rotary.


        We received two awards for past projects. A certificate was given to us by The
Rotary Foundation for completion for our 3H grant, Operation Walk, involving prosthetic
limb replacement in Thailand. We were the first recipient of the All-Yakima Community
award for McGuire Playground at Sunrise Rotary Park. Jim Pinnell did the submission
and even though the park was completed four years earlier, I took full credit for it at the
awards ceremony. At District Conference we were awarded a Presidential Citation for
completing at least three projects in each avenue of service. We also received a District
Governor Citation (that's a good thing, it's not like a traffic ticket, but I'm not totally clear
on why we received it). We got honorable mention for membership growth and were one
of the top three clubs in the district for new members.


        At the end of the year we had a banquet at the Yakima Country Club celebrating
our tenth year anniversary. Each past president got up and gave a five-minute speech
about the year when they were president. Jake Jundt had just the right amount to drink
and was really funny. That amount is where you get past the boring normal stage, but
before you get to the word-slurring, make an ass of yourself stage.


        During president's training they recommend that we have a club theme. I became
inspired and actually come up with a serious theme: "Put a smile on the face of a child."
This theme was in the club manual that took me several months to prepare and was given
to all members. I seriously doubt that anyone read it, or actually remember that they
received it. That is O.K. since the main reason I prepared it was to suck up to the district
governor anyway. Within the first two months, Dary Reed changed the club theme to:
The fish rots from the head on down." This was probably a reflection on my leadership,
but I'm not really sure since I don't get symbolism most of the time. I strongly disagree
with Dary. I purchased a salmon and found out that the fish rots from the inside out. So
much for Dary's credibility.


        After the year was over, I realized that I had achieved my number one goal: To be
one of the top ten presidents in the club's history. That moment of glory was fleeting
however, since now John is president, I have dropped to number eleven. We served the
community and had a whole lot of fun in the process. It doesn't get any better than that.
After Cec corrected most of my grammar and punctuation (I'm not kidding), she added
the following statement: "Indeed. And, we had a really fun, albeit tasteless year!"

1997/98 John Vornbrock

         When I was first approached by the past presidents, in January,1996, and asked to
be the club president beginning on July 1, 1997, at first I thought that they had made a
silly error and had come to the wrong office and had really intended to ask someone else.
(It did cause me to question their judgment after that!) After I got over my initial shock,
I counted up at least nine persons who I felt were more qualified than me. I eventually
became excited about the opportunity. However, I also became quite nervous about the
responsibility (especially the idea of being in front of the club during 52 meetings), and
my nervous state grew for 18 months and then hit a climax at the time that I gave my
acceptance speech at the annual banquet at the end of June, 1997. My loving but honest
wife informed me that it was “painful to watch” me fumble through that talk.

       However, I later reflected back upon what they told me at PETS: namely, that no
matter what you do, 60% of the people will support you, 20% won’t care, and 20% will
wish that someone else was president. So after a few weeks when I began to realize that
was true, I stopped worrying and being nervous and just enjoyed the remainder of the
year. I can’t believe how really fast one year can go by.

       I’ve had several members tell me that it has been a good year. I haven’t had
anybody give me criticisms or tell me that it hasn’t been a good year, which doesn’t really
mean anything. I would characterize the year as one of solid progression and modest,
although meaningful, accomplishments. The solid progression part refers to the
continuation of many of our past activities, with most of them renewed with enthusiasm
by those who led them. The modest, but meaningful, accomplishments refers to a few
important new things that we did this year.

        It’s great to be a president looking back upon a year, because you get to take all
the credit for the real work that was done by everyone else. To be truthful, however,
what I did best was to just stay out of the way of the outstanding committee chairs and
leaders that we had during 1997-98. I did my best to recognize persons during the year,
and I am also paying tribute to those persons in the year’s final edition of the Sunriser.

       Some of our accomplishments, large and small, are identified as follows:

·   Attendance. We published the attendance figures in several editions of the Sunriser.
    We didn’t expel any members for attendance problems during the year, although a
    few members were borderline at year end. Our goal was for an increase in attendance
    to 85%, but it stayed at the same level as 1996-97, about 82%.
·   Classification and Membership. Classification openings were identified very early in
    the year. Overall, we ended the year with a net increase to 73 members, which was
    short of our goal of reaching 75.
·   Program. We had our first off-site meetings (Children’s Village and J.M. Perry).
    There were two meetings devoted to club assemblies, three to classification talks (we
    finally got caught up), and one meeting with the District Governor. The programs
    were excellent, thanks to tremendous work of the Program Committee.
·   Allocations. One innovation this year was that awards were presented at the regular
    meetings. A total of 20 monetary awards were presented, totaling about $23,000.
    This included the Speech Contest awards as well as $5,000 provided for the picnic
    shelter construction at Sunrise Rotary Park.
·   Bulletin. The bulletin was published religiously every two weeks. I wrote a column
    in every bulletin and had to be constantly hounded by Ken Flaks to stay with his
·   Social. The Social Committee’s events this year were the Barn Party, the Duck Race
    Celebration, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (cosponsored with Ways and Means),
    the hospitality suite at the District Conference, and the Annual Meeting. All events
    were handled with flair.
·   Park. Thanks to the hard work of several people, and especially with the help of Tom
    Kloster and MSI Construction, there are now two large picnic shelters at Sunrise Park.
    Several of us served quite competently as gophers for the real carpenters.
·   Community Service Development. The Fireside held in July set the tone for the
    whole year, and we also enjoyed a social time at the Museum’s Soda Fountain. The
    reading program at Adams Elementary was a new club project which emanated at the
·   Duck Race. The Duck Race, or Duck Dump as it were, was our most successful in
    its 9-year history. This event provided $27,000 apiece for the Greenway Foundation
    and Sunrise Rotary Charities. Thankfully, we finally abandoned the use of the
    Yakima River, due to its swift, high water.
·   Operation Harvest. We again provided volunteers for Operation Harvest and the
    city’s Clean-Up/Green-Up.
·   Operation Santa Claus. The location for bike repairs was changed to the Greenway
    Bingo building. We helped with another very successful event.
·   Foundation. We have two new Paul Harris Fellows and several additional sustaining
·   World Community Service. We committed $2,000 for the extension of Operation
    Walk to Cambodia, per a matching grant through the R.I. Foundation and in liaison
    with the Rotary Club of Bangkok.
·   Vocational Day. We had another very successful event, with students from eight
    local high schools.
·   GSE. Our club hosted the GSE team from London who was present during the
    District Conference.
·   Youth Exchange. We had one outbound student to Mexico and one in-bound from
    Australia, who arrived in January. It was very pleasing to me that our outbound
    student was my daughter, Jessica (who had a wonderful year and will tell the club
    about it soon).
·   Speech Contest. The speech contest for high school seniors had seven finalists from
    almost all of our area’s high schools. It was another in a long series of successful
·   Joint Meeting. In September, we joined Downtown and Southwest for a memorable
    presentation by Lee Bussard.
·   RYLA. One young person was sent to the Rotary Youth Leadership program.
·   Student Visitation. Four local high school students visited our club on a regular
·   Adams School Reading Program. Nine Sunrise members volunteered to regularly
    read to students at Adams Elementary. The volunteers were teamed with particular
    classrooms. This is the first year for this program, but it will continue into the future.
·   Environment. Members of Sunrise Rotary were a catalyst for the Cowiche Canyon
    Conservancy to replace a washed out footbridge, linking the two sections of the trail
    for the first time in several years. Sunrise Rotary was awarded a “It Couldn’t Have
    Happened Without You” award from the Conservancy.
·   Christmas Baskets. Christmas baskets were put together and delivered by club
    volunteers to lonely residents of local nursing homes.
·   District Conference. With Hank Heffernan of Southwest Rotary serving as our 1997-
    98 District 5060 Governor, the District Conference was held in Yakima during May.
    Sunrise Rotary sponsored a hospitality suite, hosted the visiting GSE team from
    London, provided host homes for home hospitality, and had attendance by 14
    members. The club subsidized the registration fee in order to encourage attendance.
·   The “Joel Pearson Bad Taste Award.” This new prestigious award was presented
    twice this year-to Joel Pearson and to Mike Gilmore.

The best chronicles of 1997-98 are within the excellent bulletins which came out on a
regular basis each two weeks.

       I am greatly looking forward to the coming year, not only because it will be
enjoyable to just be one of the guys, but also because of capability of our incoming
president, Shelley Dix, who I believe will be one of our best presidents ever.

       In conclusion, I believe that Sunrise Rotary is a very strong club and has
capability of becoming even stronger. I would personally like to see additional work
done in the following areas:

·   Attendance. Good attendance is important for having a strong club. The decrease
    in the attendance percentage during this past year was troubling to me.
·   Community Service. At the beginning of the year, I indicated to the club my feeling
    that our club needs more new community service projects. We did have a few new
    projects this year, and we need to continue to add worthwhile projects so that our
    members will stay stimulated and involved.
·   Allocations. The level of funding available will probably always be out-stripped by
    the demand. However, I feel that it’s time for us to take the results of our annual
    fundraising efforts from the mid-twenties to at least the forties or fifties. This
    would, of course, require at least one major fundraising event to either complement
    or replace the Duck Race. I must admit that I am stymied as to what that major new
    fundraiser should be, but I hope that it is identified by some of our more creative club
·   Membership. Members come and go in a club like ours, and so it is necessary to
    recruit a sizable number of new members just to keep membership from going down.
    We need individuals who have a strong interest and commitment to service.
·   Interact Club. One of my goals this year was to form an Interact Club in a local
    high school, to augment the existing programs at Ike and Davis. An approach was
    made to West Valley High School, but such a program was not possible there at this
    time. I plan to continue the efforts on this into the coming year.

        Thanks to all of members of the club for putting up with me. I only hope that the
club got half as much out of having me as president as I received from being in the
position. Since I don’t believe that past presidents should sit on their duffs just because
they are past presidents, I plan to continue being a very active member of the club,
following the lead of a number of other past presidents. I’m proud (and relieved) to be
joining their fold.

1998/1999 Shelley Dix

Vice Pres. John Vornbrock
Pres. Elect Dave Cote
Sec. Mike Gilmore
Treas. Todd Leinbach
District Governor Warren Cunningham
Membership Total 74
Contribution to Rotary Foundation $6500
Duck Race (final year)
co-chairs Del Rankin & Jeff Steele
Youth Exchange
Outgoing- Susannah Fitch
In coming- Celine
Special Programs:
Vocation Day
High School Speech Contest
Operation Harvest
Operation Santa
Yakima Valley Museum
McGuire Playground at Sunrise Rotary Park
YMCA Learn to Swim
Storytellers at the Yakima Regional Library
Reading to Adams Elementary Students
A few remarks from my Annual Banquet:
Being Sunrise Rotary President for 1998-99 has been an awesome experience. This is a
club made up of truly remarkable members. We've accomplished a myriad of goals this
past year. We set a goal of 80 members, we were at 70 at the end of last year, we made it!
We said a fond farewell to Steve Mitchell, Doug Wolford, Dave Drotzman and Steve
Patterson. We have enthusiastically welcomed Gene Deluca, Charles Ross, Jeff
Schneider, Desne Baldoz, Jim Peterson, Laura Collicott, Hal Powell, Bruce Lyman, Bob
Spain, Ed Reinhart, Mike Sandberg and Mike Arnold. Club attendance increased slightly
to 81%, and participation in club activities was at an all time high. We can all be proud.
Kudos go to 100% attendance members for the year: Dave Cote & Mike Gilmore.
Congratulations to Jim Pinnell and Ken Flaks for 3 years perfect attendance, Joan Weber
for 6 years perfect attendance and Tony Sagare for 10 years perfect attendance.
Thanks to all my committee chairman... Larry Cacchiotti, Dave Lenihan, Tony Sagare,
Joan Weber, Sheri Davis, Tim McGree, Lee Jackman, Dick Maison, Rod Fitch, Jim
Gibbons, Janet Roy Knautz, Rick Weaver, Dale Miller, Don Jordan, John Rothenbueler,
Alan Cottle, Bob Romero, Mark Littleton, Rich Thornton, John Vornbrock, Cec Vogt,
and a special thanks for chairing some very time consuming committees: Joel Pearson
Social, Del Rankin & Jeff Steele Duck Race, Jeff Louman Ways & Means(Coupon
Book), Shelley Von Essen Youth Exchange (Celine & Susannah, and Ken Flaks
Allocations. Last but not least...Jim Pinnell Programs and Jim and I have something
special cooked up for my last official meeting this next Wednesday... you don't want to
miss this one. It will be a one for the memory books. Thanks to all the Past Presidents for
their valuable advise.
It takes an army of volunteers to pull off the many projects Sunrise Rotary undertakes. An
army cannot effectively function without leaders and I have been blessed with a talented
group of able bodied board members and officers. Ending the first year of a two year term
are Sheri Davis, Ken Flaks and Rick Weaver Ending their final year on the board are:
Larry Cacchiotti, Melody Westmoreland and George Campbell. A sad note: George will
also be retiring from Providence Hospital and leaving Sunrise Rotary.
The people who truly make this club function day in and day out: Todd Leinbach,
treasurer. Mike Gilmore, secretary and Dave Cote your incoming President for 1999-
Thanks for a great year. It's one I will never forget.
Final thought for the Day: Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of high
intentions, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful Execution.

1999/2000 Dave Cote

My year as president started with a Pets training weekend in Seattle and the District
Conference in Kelowna, B.C. It was the transition year moving off the duck race and onto
the coupon book as the major fund raiser. We were instrumental in helping to build two
Habitat houses in the fall and at Christmas time were very busy with Operation Santa and
the one and only Millennium Ball. The Millennium Ball was the brainchild of Desne
Baldoz, who a short time after committing to chair this extravaganza, found out she had
cancer and passed away. Shelley Dix picked up the ball on the Ball and the event took
place on the eve of the Millennium, 12/31/99. It was a huge, elegant event with great
food, a big-time band and fancy dresses and tuxedos. Everyone had a great time. While
the event was a tremendous success, it was a slightly negative fund raiser. Some creative
accounting helped to lessen the financial blow and we finished the year on budget. Other
events during the year were Guess Whose Coming to Dinner, a barn party in the fall, Skip
Out and Ski, along with our normal raucous meetings. My year ended with a video roast
at our annual banquet that gave everyone good laugh. My personal highlight was the trip
to the International Conference in Singapore. It was educational, fun and relaxing. I took
a lot of pictures and look at them frequently even today.

2000/2001 Tony Sagare

2001/2002 Ken Flaks

        My name will always be associated with the Sunrise Rotary President who served
the least amount of time as President-Elect, just slightly more than three months. I was
not designated to lead the club until the last week of March of 2001. My selection was
necessitated when then President-Elect, Jeff Steele, was transferred to Boise. Making
matters even worse was the fact that I was leaving on a one-week cruise three days latter.
The PETS Conference had already occurred, and I frantically tried to put my Rotary Year
together. Needless to say, my wife was less than enthusiastic when she discovered that I
was taking Rotary material with me on the cruise. I tried to line up my committee chairs
while we cruised the Caribbean. Foremost in my mind were Shelley Dix’s words to take
my time to pick the right person for each job, as it would make my year much easier.
Truer words were never said.

        My first meeting was a real learning experience. I never thought that I would find
it intimidating to lead our club, but I did. Previously I had had no problem making
wisecracks to get a laugh from the crowd, but I knew that this was going to be different.
Previously, I had had a problem with receiving phone calls at the meetings. Imagine my
surprise as I called that first meeting to order, when it seemed like everyone in the club
was either making or receiving calls on their cell phones. I must admit, I was surprised,
but it was a great way to break the ice of that first meeting.

          I had hoped that the weekly joke would aid in putting me at ease, but this didn’t
go exactly as planned either. I think that I would have been okay if I had just left the two
jokes relating to Indians alone. For you that missed them, one had to do with the
Indianapolis 500 while the other had to do with the Lone Ranger and the posse. My
biggest mistake was asking John Rothenbueler, Jim Pinnell and Joel Pearson for their
advice as to the appropriateness of this “‘Posse” joke. Rothenbueler simply laughed and
said it was up to me. Pinnell laughed wildly and said it was a great joke. But I should
have known better when Joel simply said without a laugh or hesitation that he dared me
to tell it. Well, when the Decency Chairman dares you, what’s a guy to do? You guessed
it, I told the now infamous “Posse” joke. After all, I had just returned from the
International Rotary Convention in San Antonio and had paid $20 to join the International
Rotary Posse. I assumed that this was an omen that the joke had to be told. Actually, I
only received one email from a member as to the appropriateness of my behavior. Behind
the scenes though, phones where ringing off of the hooks. I remember Shelley Dix simply
calling and saying that we needed to talk. I can honestly say that I was largely responsible
for the legislation that followed concerning podium behavior. Not that I did the drafting
as such, but rather it is because of my jokes that made the legislation possible.

       Membership was a focus both internationally and locally during this Rotary year.
The goal was to not only seek new members, but also to maintain the quality of the
members that Sunrise Rotary was noted for. We began the year with 76 members and
ended with a record of 81 members of Sunrise Rotary. Alan Cottle, this year’s
membership chairman, helped keep membership at the top of everyone’s list with his
moment for membership at the meetings.

        In addition to bringing in new members, we sought to solidify our membership
base by providing our members with exciting and informative programs, a full social
agenda for our members and their significant others, and support for community and
world service projects. We set a record with almost 300 people attending General Barry
McCaffrey’s presentation on Terrorism in November. This was extremely timely after the
events of 911. Our social chairman John Wilson had a full agenda with some social
gathering occurring almost every month. The Mariner’s bus trip was held for the first
time this year. Rod Fitch was the Community Service Chairman, and worked with the
Union Gospel Mission in setting up the kids dinner program. Many of our members
worked in preparing and serving dinner to these underprivileged children. Our club was
also very active in World Community Service. Chairman Dan Keck and his committee
proposed funding Rotoplast. These Rotoplast funds were used by our district’s own
Ellensburg club for their Rotoplast trip to Bolivia.

        Tony Sagare did a great job as Foundation Chairman. With Joel Pearsons’ help,
they ran an email campaign that added many to the rolls of Paul Harris sustaining
members. There are less people than you can count on one hand in our club that are not
either Paul Harris Fellows or Sustaining Members.
Due to the short time that I had to prepare for my year, I relied more than ever on my
officers and board members. The officers were as follows: Vice-President Tony Sagare;
President-Elect John Rothenbueler; Secretary Dave Lenihan; and Treasurer David Miller.
The following people served as board members: Todd Leinbach, Nita Petry, Shane
Pierone, Jeff Schneider, Curt Vangstad, and Tom Kloster. These people were of great
assistance to me. They rarely missed a meeting, and were always willing to step up for the
good of the club. Curt Vangstad Co-Chaired the Coupon Book Committee with Kim
Hubner. These two members set a record as they raised more than $35,000 for our
charities account. John Rothenbueler was responsible for raising the level of fines in our
club. I held the record of $25 for two weeks until District Governor Joyce upheld JR’s
fine of $50 for missing General McCaffrey’s speech to go hunting. I wonder if he will
ever know if District Governor Joyce really wrote that letter to him. I know, but I am not
talking. Jim Gibbons really stepped up to offer me the use of the Conover Insurance
boardroom to hold my monthly meetings. This is the type of support that I received from
all the members. We tried to work together so that we as Rotarians could create
something much greater than our individual parts. We sought to involve as many
members as possible, knowing that the more active our members were in Rotary, the
greater their Rotary experience would be. Realization of our goals was evident as Yakima
Sunrise Rotary Club achieved the Distinguished Club Citation, and I was fortunate to
have received a Presidential Citation. I truly believe that our club members truly made a
difference in our community, our country and our world.

2002/2003 J. R. Rothenbueler

I had a lot of fun as President of Yakima Sunrise Rotary – thanks to all of the great
support and enthusiastic efforts from the whole club.

Someone asked if I was going to give out certificates or tokens of recognition. We
haven’t ever done that at our annual banquet that I can recall – at least I don’t have any
certificates – and I thought I was doing my part in the club without a lot of attention. I
was wrong – that’s how you end up as President in this club.

I believe the many good Rotarians in our club participate to socialize and make our
community and world a better place, to network, and have fun along the way.

Our club consistently does many things well year after year – Here are some highlights of
what we accomplished:

   1   We raised $35,000 from coupon book sales thanks to a great effort by Donna
       Sorensen who organized the effort. This money will be given away during Jim
       Gibbon’s year.
   2   We allocated $35,625 to Youth Charities through our allocations committee
       chaired by Rod Schultz; plus the board allocated another $2,000 out of excess
       funds to Camp Prime Time to furnish the cabin we adopted. Gibbons complained
       that we were spending “his” money – be nice Jim – we still have 6 days to spend
       the other $2,000 we were leaving for you.
   3   We ran a past president out of the club for low attendance (Mark Uhlman), then
       invited him back and gave him a red badge and said his attendance didn’t matter.
   4   Todd Leinbach brought Camp Prime Time’s adopt a cabin proposal to me and the
       board enthusiastically committed to the program which is a long term
       commitment to maintain, open and close the cabin every year.
   5   Our board committed to fixing the bridge damaged by floods this year in Cowiche
       Canyon – that will be a project this fall under Jim Gibbons.
   6   Eleven members received Paul Harris awards do to their cumulative contributions
       of $1,000 each and the efforts of Ken Flaks. They were beautifully framed by the
       club thanks to the efforts of Jim Givans.
7    Curtis King had one-third of our club sign up to help with Operation Harvest and
     had private contributions from the club of $500.
8    Dick Maison stopped eating breakfast at our meeting. Subsequently we improved
     the breakfast, Dick still doesn’t eat them.
9    We sponsored an outbound exchange student to Japan, Maureen Hennessy, and an
     inbound student Jacob Willysen from Sweden - thanks to a great job by Ed
     Reinhart and Larry Cacchiotti. Thanks also to the host families for Jacob: Petrys,
     Browns, Perkins and Dixs. We are in need of host families for our inbound
     exchange student, and by the way that has changed. The girl from France is too
     old for the program, so now we will have a boy or girl from Sweden. If we don’t
     have host families sign up soon, we may have to drop this program. Please
     contact one of the host families and they will tell you they had a wonderful
     experience with Jacob, and if you are interested in hosting, please contact Larry or
10   We gave $1,000 to Rotoplast through the Ellensburg club and $1,000 for food in
     Sierra Leone through the Redmond Rousers club thanks to Dan Keck and Jeff
11   Alan Cottle managed to get 95% of the club to commit to contributing $75 over
     two years to the Polio Eradication Campaign, a total of about $6,000, and the
     through the club we have committed to raising a matching amount to fulfill the
     request of Rotary International that each club raise $150 per member.
12   Jim Givan, a PDG who joined our club because he thought we needed the most
     help, which is really just to be polite to the other clubs because he really means
     because we are an outstanding and fun club, secured an Iron Lung, got us front
     page publicity in the Herald Republic and even mention in the Rotarian magazine
     distributed world wide.
13   The Iron Lung wasn’t the only publicity our club received, thanks to the publicity
     committee and Bob Crider, we made the front page for Operation Santa – and
     Shane Pierone had us on KAPP 35, and we had more.
14   Sunrise Rotarians along with DT and Southwest built two homes for local
     families through Habitat for Humanity this spring, and we gave them $7,000 –
     that is not part of the $35,000. Geoff Biglow did a great job in coordinating our
15   Dave Cote organized Yakima’s hosting of the inbound Group Study Exchange
     team, a group of 5 from South Wales, in March.
16   Melody Westmoreland and her committee organized another successful speech
     contest in which we gave awarded $2,900 to 5 finalists.
17   We sent Ashley Sherbaghn, one of the best students participating in our club to
     date, to RYLA.
18   Our club hosted 150 high school students for Student Vocation Day – Bruce
     Lyman and his committee did an outstanding job of organizing that event.
19   Our social committee gets better and better. Oktoberfest, golf outing and family
     barbeque, baseball outings, skip out and ski, Christmas Caroling, Guess Who’s
     Coming to Dinner, all successful and a lot of fun. Thanks to Chairman Bob
     Veronte and all of the others.
   20 Please come to the family barbeque Friday July 11th at Dave and Chris Cote’s
      home – they have a great pool, even if you don’t sign up for the golf.

   21 Administratively, we have successfully divided and conquered tasks that have
      become too burdensome for a busy club of this size. Tony Sagare is now a paid
      assistant to the treasurer and the secretary. Rita Anson, our treasurer last year and
      this coming year, worked hard to transition our financial records to a system that
      hopefully will stay in the club for years to come. It really has been a lot of work
      for every new treasurer in the past to make this transition, and now the club has its
      own system rather than that of whoever happens to be treasurer. Del Rankin did
      an excellent job as secretary, and we divided that job up further too. Bob Crider,
      who accuses me of tricking him onto the board to take minutes, made Del’s
      position less burdensome. Gibbons, you have your treasurer and secretary
      positions in place and ready to go for your year, quit complaining about that

There is more – we have and continue to be a real asset to our community. The time
commitment or financial burden never seems to end – but when you look back on what
we accomplished last year and the 15 before, doesn’t it feel great to be a part of this club?
It makes it all worth it.

Todd Leinbach, Hal Powell, Jeff Schneider and Curt Vangstad deserve a round of
applause for their invaluable service as board members for the last two years. And Bob
Crider, Mark Van Kommer and John Wilson as well for their service as board members –
their terms continue for another year. Now I know Wilson is going to complain to me
that I said the others’ service was invaluable, so yes, your’s was invaluable too. And
John is off to what I am confident will be the best coupon book fundraiser yet.

I know I missed many of you and you deserve recognition – take it up with me in a bar

Thanks to all who went out of their way to tell me sincerely they thought I was doing a
good job, and also to those who lied and said they thought I was doing a good job. The
hell with the rest of you.

2003/2004 Jim Gibbons

To top