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Rotary is where neighbors, friends, and problem-solvers share ideas, join leaders, and take action to create lasting change.
We meet every Tuesday morning. Breakfast is at 6:45am, the meeting begins promptly at 7am, and we are done by 8am. We meet at Eastland Suites | 1803 Eastland Dr. in Bloomington, IL.
Our meetings include a time to get to know other Rotarians over breakfast, announcements and updates from committees and members, and a guest speaker (usually from the community).
More than a decade ago, President Paula Walsh wanted to create a signature fundraiser to raise awareness of Rotary in Bloomington-Normal. A group of club members put their heads together and came up with what we now call Brats & Bags. It was successful beyond our wildest dreams! It was so successful, in fact, we decided to consolidate the efforts of our various committee fundraisers into this one large event! In the beginning, the event benefitted the Midwest Food Bank, but as it grew, the club diversified the beneficiaries to include Heartland Scholarships, our International Kiva investments, and several local charities with various needs for financial assistance. After a few years of moving back and forth, Brats & Bags settled into its now permanent location on the downtown Bloomington museum square, and is always on the first Friday of August. Lunch is served from 11:00 am- 1:00 pm (we average cooking 1500 brats!) and once lunch is over we set up our bags tournament, which starts at 5:00 pm (we average 85 teams playing each year!). Every Sunrise Rotarian is expected to help with Brats & Bags by selling brat lunch tickets, or bags teams, selling sponsorships, and volunteering at the event. It takes the whole club to pull this off, and we have shifts of people working all day. You can work 2 hours or 16 - that is up to you - but we need your help!
From the earliest days of the organization, Rotarians were concerned with promoting high ethical standards in their professional lives. One of the world's most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics is The 4-Way Test, which was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor (who later served as RI president) when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy. This 24-word code of ethics for employees to follow in their business and professional lives became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy. Adopted by Rotary in 1943, The 4-Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. The 4-Way Test: "Of the things we think, say or do: Is it the TRUTH? | Is it FAIR to all concerned? | Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? | Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?"
Rotaract clubs bring together people ages 18-30 to exchange ideas with leaders in the community, develop leadership and professional skills, and have fun through service. In communities worldwide, Rotary and Rotaract members work side by side to take action through service. The Rotaract Club of Bloomington-Normal (Sponsored by Sunrise Rotary) was founded in January 2017. The Executive Board and initial membership came together as a group of local young professionals with a goal of kickstarting the organization into something that would facilitate community service, professional development, and local networking. Since their start, the Rotaract Club has spent time building a membership base, forming committees, delegating roles, gaining connections within the community, discussing ideas for the direction of the club, organizing volunteer efforts, and building relationships within the membership. They have volunteered to prepare and package food at Midwest Food Bank, assisted in many local community service projects including Habitat for Humanity's house-build project on the west side of Bloomington, teamed up with the Tool Library for their Bed Blitz, volunteered at Rotary's Oktoberfest 5k, and given time to local animal shelters. The Rotaract Club is moving towards a future with a focus on increasing the number of service opportunities available to members and exploring new resources to help them best contribute to the Bloomington-Normal Community.
Most Rotarians are aware of a Paul Harris Fellow but may not know about the Paul Harris Society . One way you can receive a Paul Harris Fellow is by contributing more than $1000, cumulatively, to an approved Rotary fund. Paul Harris Society recognizes Rotary members and friends of The Rotary Foundation who contribute $1,000 or more annually to The Rotary Foundation. The purpose of the Paul Harris Society is to honor and thank individuals for their generous, ongoing support of The Rotary Foundation. Members of the Paul Harris Society are recognized by a chevron that they will wear attached to either their Rotary pin or their Paul Harris pin. We have several Paul Harris Society members in Sunrise Rotary. There are more recognitions from Rotary for higher contributions, including: Benefactor (Given when the Endowment Fund is included as a beneficiary in one's estate plans or when one donates $1,000 or more to the fund outright. Benefactors receive a certificate and insignia to wear with a Rotary or Paul Harris Fellow pin.), Bequest Society Member (when one gives $10,000 or more via estate plans), Major Donor (When one's cumulative donations reach $10,000. Major Donors may choose to receive a crystal recognition piece and a Major Donor lapel pin or pendant, and Arch Klumph Society (When one's cumulative donations reach $250,000. Recognition includes an induction ceremony and picture & biography in the Arch Klumph Society interactive gallery at the Rotary International headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA. Arch Klumph Society members also receive invitations to society events, along with membership pins and crystals that commemorate giving at the following levels.) There are also club awards and more that you can read about at Rotary's Donor Recognition website.
When you contribute to The Rotary Foundation, Rotary recognizes your contributions towards our international mission of changing the world. Individuals who have contributed more than $1000 to The Rotary Foundation over their lifetime as a member ($100 per year for 10 years, or $200 a year for 5 years, etc.) are recognized as Paul Harris Fellows. The Paul Harris Fellow program was established in 1957 to show appreciation for and encourage substantial contributions to what was then the Foundation’s only program, Rotary Foundation Fellowships for Advanced Study. This program was the precursor to what we now call Ambassadorial Scholarships. Many other notable figures have been named as Paul Harris Fellows, including U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, U.S. astronaut James Lovell, UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, and Jonas Salk. Each time an individual hits a new $1000 mark, they earn an additional recognition. You will hear these referred to as Paul Harris +1, +2, etc. Additionally, individual Rotary clubs may from time to time honor individuals as Paul Harris Fellows. In Sunrise Rotary, we have a tradition of awarding a Paul Harris Fellow to each club president in recognition of all the hard work they did on behalf of the club.
The Program Committee is in charge of getting speakers for each of our 48 meetings per year. (We always take off the meetings after Memorial Day and Labor Day, and the 2 meetings around Christmas and New Year's Day.) During the course of the year, there are normally 4-5 Club Assemblies, where we get updates from our Foundation, Membership, Youth Services, Communication, and Vocational committees. Additionally, on the 4th Tuesday of each month, the Program Committee (usually) tries to schedule various community leaders to give us updates on what is going on locally. In the past, we have had Bloomington & Normal mayors, state & federal senators & representatives, presidents & athletic directors/coaches from our local colleges, police chiefs, and more. The remaining 30-odd meetings, a team of club members will be assigned to bring us a speaker. A team of 3 club members will be assigned to each week. That team will be have the responsibility for bringing in a speaker (one team member will introduce the speaker and provide a few minutes of a vocational update about themselves), doing a club invocation / inspirational message (it doesn't need to be religious -- do what makes you happy!), and being the (2) door greeters (please arrive by 6:30-6:35). We leave it to you to determine who will be doing which job - after all, one of the goals of this is to get club members to talk and work together! If you are assigned to a group to bring a speaker, you will receive an email from the Program Committee with your assigned week, usually at least 2 months out. (if you have a conflict, please let them know asap!) The email will have complete instructions on what you need to do - don't worry, it's pretty easy. Just find someone interesting, preferably around a subject you are passionate about, and try to make sure the program will inspire us all to be better members of the community. And if you need help, just let the Program Committee know so they can help!
Watch this 4 1/2 minute video to get a starting idea on what The Rotary Foundation really is. The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotary members and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world. This support is essential to make possible projects, funded with Foundation grants that bring sustainable improvement to communities in need. During the past 100 years, the Foundation has spent $3 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects. Why should I donate to The Rotary Foundation? Your donation makes a difference to those who need our help most. More than 90 percent of donations go directly to supporting our service projects around the world. How does The Rotary Foundation use donations? Our 35,000 clubs carry out sustainable service projects that support our six causes. With donations like yours, we’ve wiped out 99.9 percent of all polio cases. Your donation also trains future peacemakers, supports clean water, and strengthens local economies. What impact can one donation have? It can save a life. A child can be protected from polio with as little as 60 cents. Our partners make your donation go even further. For every $1 Rotary commits to polio eradication, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $2.
Rotarian Edgar Allen founded a hospital in Elyria, Ohio, after his son's death in a streetcar accident in May 1907. Soon after, Allen dedicated his life to creating community-based services for children with disabilities, recruiting Rotarians to create a network of programs that would become Easterseals. Since the 1920s, Rotary clubs have worked with local Easterseals organizations as volunteers and event sponsors, and by offering program support through direct grants and gifts. The dedication of Rotarians across the country shines through when the magnitude of support can be felt from Alabama to Texas. Rotarians raise funds to support and provide direct program underwriting through grants to support Easterseals camping and recreation programs for children and young adults at Camp ASCCA in Alabama, Camp Fairlee Manor in Delaware and Camp Merry Heart in New Jersey. In addition, Rotarians in Ohio underwrite individual camperships to send Easterseals kids to accessible camps throughout the northeastern Ohio area. Locally, Sunrise, and the Bloomington, Normal, and Sunset Rotary clubs (Daybreak had not been founded yet) raised more than $525,000 to support Timber Pointe Outdoor Center. Rotarian support goes beyond camping and recreation with direct support given to purchase therapy equipment and make program expansion possible. In 2005, Rotary clubs contributed more than $700,000 to Easterseals. For more details on the history of Rotary and the Easterseals, check out this link at the Rotary Global History Fellowship: https://www.rghfhome.org/first100/history/history/otherorganizations/easterseals/index.htm
Foundations are how we accomplish a lot of our service projects in Sunrise Rotary. We use 2 foundations. The big one is The Rotary Foundation. The Rotary Foundation (TRF) is one of the highest-rated charitable institutions in the world, receiving a perfect 100 score from Charity Navigator! Rotarians all over the world donate to the Rotary Foundation every year. Most times when you hear from our Foundation Committee talking about giving, they are talking about TRF. The expectation is that all Rotarians will donate $100 per year to The Rotary Foundation. And of course, there is The Bloomington-Normal Sunrise Rotary Foundation ,which was originally started to help keep funds for a Sunrise project to build a trail-side waystation at Tipton Trails park. It was then later used when all 5 BN Rotary clubs help build the Timber Point Lodge at the Easter Seals Camp on Lake Bloomington. Recently, we have used the Sunrise Foundation to fund 2 scholarships we provide at Heartland Community College. It is the tradition of our club that every member donates a check on their birthday equal to their age to the Sunrise Foundation. You see birthday checks given to the Sgt. at Arms most meetings. If you have any questions about The Rotary Foundation or the Sunrise Rotary Foundation, please ask a member of the foundation committee!
All of us have to miss a meeting from time to time. Life gets busy, we get sick, we have to be out of town, or we just need a little extra sleep (it happens to all of us!). And, while regular attendance is important and encouraged (Sunrise Rotarians are expected to attend at least 50% of our weekly meetings and maintain a 50% attendance record), we recognize one of the most important parts of being at Rotary is being with other Rotarians. So, if you have to miss a meeting, there are opportunities to make those meetings up and get credit for your attendance! You could go to one of the other Bloomington-Normal Rotary club meetings -- go check one of them out, see how they run their meetings, make new friends in town, and ask them for a make-up meeting form to give to Jerry when you're back at Sunrise! Or, if you are traveling, visit a club wherever you are. With 35,000 clubs, you are almost always able to find a meeting. And, guess what? There's an app for that. Check it out! If you are visiting another club, it is considered polite to call ahead and let them know you are coming. You can also bring them a Sunrise flag to exchange with them - ask Jerry about them when you check it at a Sunrise meeting. Ask them for a make-up meeting form and give it to Jerry when you're back in town. Or, simply hang out with your Sunrise friends! If 6 or more members of the BN Sunrise Rotary Club meet up somewhere, it’s considered a makeup meeting. That includes our club happy hours and social events, committee meetings, and club service events, but it can also include other times you’re together out in the community or at another event. Maybe it's a Chamber of Commerce event, or a fundraiser for one of BloNo's wonderful non-profits, or maybe it's just a group lunch! Just have one member submit your make-up meeting on the club website. Makeup meetings can be used for missed weekly meetings. It's actually pretty easy to have almost perfect attendance.
In fact, worldwide there are more than 1.2 million Rotarians in more than 35,000 clubs. And, we have 5 of those clubs right here in Bloomington-Normal. The Normal Rotary Club (normalrotary.org) meets every Wednesday at noon in the Circus Room at Illinois State University’s Bone Student Center. The Bloomington Rotary Club (bloomingtonilrotary.org) meets Thursdays at noon at Second Presbyterian Church in downtown Bloomington. The Sunset Rotary Club of Bloomington-Normal(bnsunsetrotary.com) meets on Wednesdays at 5:15 pm in the 4th Floor Community Room at Heartland Bank in Uptown Normal. The Bloomington-Normal Daybreak Rotary(daybreakrotaryclub.org) meets Thursdays at 6:45 am (breakfast from 6-6:45) at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Conference Center in Bloomington. And, of course, our club - Bloomington-Normal Sunrise Rotary (bnsunriserotary.org/) - meets every Tuesday at 6:45 am at Eastland Suites in Bloomington. All 5 Clubs are part of District 6490 (rotarydistrict6490.org). Watch for opportunities to work together with the other local clubs and to support each other as we collectively carry out Rotary’s motto: Service Above Self.
One of the hardest jobs in our club is Treasurer. The Treasurer has to make sure all the dues are collected from 130+ members, pay the bills, and handle all of the accounting for the club, including making sure our taxes are filed. And just like everyone else in the club, the Treasurer is a volunteer. As an organization dedicated to service, the Bloomington-Normal Sunrise Rotary Club strives to handle administration as efficiently as possible so valuable resources can be dedicated to the Club mission. Excess time spent by members for payment or collection of dues is time that could be spent on Club objectives. To make it easier for members and the BNSR Finance team to complete dues and event transactions, we implemented an automatic payment process in 2017 – debiting checking/savings accounts or charging debit/credit cards for transactions. Members provide authorization using our Recurring & Special Event Payment Authorization Form and our Finance team does the rest. Dues can be collected in one session as opposed to making many trips to the PO Box, completing multiple deposit slips, dropping off bank deposits, and chasing members for past due payments – many hours of inefficiency that do not contribute to our mission. We highly encourage members to sign up for this system to help us better utilize our valuable resources!
Rotary is dedicated to six areas of focus to build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world to support our peace efforts and end polio forever. Peace and conflict prevention/resolution | Disease prevention and treatment | Water and sanitation | Maternal and child health | Basic education and literacy | Economic and community development
If only this were the 21st century and we had this in a video form... oh wait!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHw34PlRkxY
This is often confusing for prospective and new members. We are not a networking group like BNI, or even the Chamber of Commerce. There is nothing wrong with those organizations at all, and in fact, many members of Sunrise Rotary are in one or both organizations. Rotary is an international service organization, and we take that very seriously. Our club members are dedicated to helping others in our local community and around the world, and have spent many hours / days / weeks / months working towards various Rotary goals. So if your only goal is to get new business from Sunrise Rotary members, things probably won't work out the way that you intend. That's ok -- service work is not for everybody. But, if you get involved with the club, help out with the committee work, and volunteer your time along side us as we try to make the world a better place, that will show us that you are a true Rotarian, and it is proven in our club that Rotarians love doing business with folks they trust. The great news is that we both want and need your help! Simply put, there is great power in our numbers. 1.2 million people can get a lot done to change the world, and we're going to keep giving you more examples of that in these snippets. So show us what you've got!
District 6490 is made up of 52 Rotary clubs in the east-central part of Illinois. Our district goes as far north as Dwight, west to Germantown Hills, south to Effingham, and east to Danville. Here is a made of all of the clubs in District 6490. We often partner with other clubs in our District to work on projects both at home and internationally. District 6490 is part of a larger Rotary Zone. Specifically, we are part of Zone 31, which is most of Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. For Rotary trainings, we partner up with Zone 30 clubs, and are collectively known as the Heart of America.
Sometimes it's hard to remember when just coming to BN Sunrise Rotary meetings, but Rotary is big. 1,200,000,000 members in 35,000+ clubs. Really big. This gives Rotary the ability to work on solving global problems. Examples include our push to eradicate polio, a campaign to provide mosquito netting in South America & Africa to end malaria outbreaks, and the creation of world peace centers to train a new generation in proven ways to promote world peace and conflict resolution. In Rotary, our projects can be as big or small as our imaginations allow.
There are 5 clubs in Bloomington-Normal, and we are the middle child. Sunrise Rotary was founded in 1990 by 25 community leaders. In speaking with some of those founding members, their main reason for forming a new club is that the established Bloomington Rotary and Normal Rotary clubs both met at noon, and that time did not work for most of our founders. Plus, they all decided our club would not sing during meetings! (Most Rotary clubs sing a song to open and to close their meeting.) As of 2019, we still have 2 founding members in our club. Can you guess who they are?
In 1942, Rotary clubs from 21 nations organized a conference in London attended by ministers of education to develop ideas for advancing education, science, and culture across nations. This meeting was the impetus for what is known today as UNESCO -- the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Delegations of Rotary members helped draft the UN Charter in San Francisco in 1945 and gave the organization strong support during its early years, until the Cold War turned it into an ideological battleground. Rotary's participation decreased over the following decades in keeping with its policy against political involvement. The spark that restored Rotary's interest in the UN was the launch of the campaign to eradicate polio in 1985, and the ensuing partnership with the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Over the last 100+ years, Rotarians around the world have worked hard to promote peace.
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Brats & Bags is scheduled for August 5, 2022! Our Brat Lunch on the Museum Square in Downtown Bloomington from 11-1pm and the Bags Tournament begins at 5pm!