Club Information

Welcome to our club website!

Cedar Rapids Sunrise

Service Above Self

We meet Thursdays at 7:00 AM
Matthew 25 Office
201 3rd Ave SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
United States of America
District Site
Venue Map
Home Page Stories
Our club meetings are On Line at this time.  Updates will be posted here and on our Facebook page
If you want to visit our On Line meetings Thursday mornings 7-8 AM... tell us about yourself and send a request for Zoom meeting link to
As public meetings are allowed, we will meet again at Matthew 25 in Cedar Rapids.

You can help grant the wishes of THREE area children! 

Our goal is to raise $35,000 at this year's Cedar Rapids Sunrise Rotary "Wish Upon A Par" Golf Outing. 

Sponsorships are available at all levels!   All or part of your donation to Make-A-Wish Iowa is tax deductable. 

Golf 4-some reservations are being taken. 

Details are in the Brochure (download here).   Download to read and submit for playing and sponsoring. 

 18 holes of golf with cart
 Use of driving range
 Chances to win fantastic prizes!
 Post-event dinner & program at 5:30pm
Matthew 25 is our Community Service partner in Cedar Rapids.  We have continued to support their projects in the area, including Transform Week - improving homes in the Taylor School area in June of this year. 
Our Rotary Foundation District Grant will assist Matthew 25 on 2 projects: improving Community Garden food storage refrigeration and the Groundswell sound system.   Those projects will launch soon.
Read the Matthew 25 Newsletter for more news about our partner.  Here. 
Karen Nemecek was presented the 2019 Cedar Rapids Sunrise Rotary “Service Above Self Award” given annually to a club member who has contributed, in a unique and significant way to the club and values of Rotary. 
Nemecek has been a member of Sunrise Rotary for 11 years and has served the club as  treasurer and board member.
Nemecek, grew up in NE Iowa on a farm near West Union and attended Turkey Valley HS. She graduated from Luther College with a degree in biology and Coe College with a degree in accounting and business administration. She is a CPA and a Director at CliftonLarsonAllen Cedar Rapids.
Phil Hershner  has been named the Darrel Berry Rotarian of the Year by the Cedar Rapids Sunrise Rotary Club.  This award goes to the individual member who has embodied the Four Way Test and what it means to be a Rotarian.  Through their contributions and service, Sunrise Rotary has benefited from their positive impact.  The annual award is named to honor Sunrise Rotary's first president and founding member Darrel Berry.
Hershner has  been a Sunrise Rotary member for 12 years.  He serves as the Program Chair and is on the Sunrise Rotary Board of Directors. 
Hershner is a Wealth Management Trust Advisor at U.S. Bank in Cedar Rapids.  He is a Cedar Rapids Kennedy graduate and attended the University of Iowa and University of Iowa College of Law.
Rotary 4-Way Test
  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
We had a wonderful Annual Meeting today where we heard from Michael Rozum recount the many activities and accomplishments of Sunrise Rotary during the past year.  Jon Fitch is taking on the Presidential duties for the up coming year.  Thank you Michael.  Jon, we look forward to working together as a team to fufil the Rotary Four Way Test.

Barb Willis Randall, a well-known and loved Rotarian to all metro area Rotary Clubs, shared her journey that ultimately led to her successful athletic career. From working with her older brother in the back yard taking ground balls, to being offered a volleyball scholarship at the University of Iowa-all the way to making the USA volleyball team, and even being inducted into the National Iowa Varsity Club Athletics Hall of Fame-Barb is a rock-star!

We meet at Matthew 25 on Thursday mornings to hear from different community members over coffee and breakfast. Message us if you are interested in learning more.

Thursday mornings at Matthew 25 located downtown at 201 3rd Ave SW, are a wonderful kick-off to the weekend! We have delicious breakfast catered by The Early Bird, and amazing guest speakers like Marcel from Kirkwood Community College! Our in-bound exchange student, Annie is always a joy to have as she lets us in on her experience as a high school student. If you are at all interested in being part of a professional networking group, focused on giving back to the community, shoot us a message.
Good morning Rotarians,
As a reminder, we will not be having a regularly scheduled meeting next Thursday, November 9th.  Instead, there will be a Metro-wide Rotary meeting at the Downtown Club Monday, November 6th at the DoubleTree.  The meeting is Noon – 1:00 PM with the lunch buffet being ready by 11:30.
Mary Beth Growney Selene is our speaker and her presentation is,  "The Rotary Foundation- a Living Legacy" in honor of November being Foundation Month.
There is a registration link for all clubs on the DT website.  It is on the left side of the page, under "Upcoming Events".  Click on the meeting title and it will take you to a registration page. You will register using the GUEST tab and please include our club name in the comments section.
The cost of the meals are $17 for full buffet and $12 for salad bar.  Since our club builds the cost of meals into our membership dues, you will not have to pay for lunch unless you do not normally eat breakfast at our meetings.  If that is the case, you will need to reimburse our Club for the cost of your lunch ($17 or $12).
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and have a great rest of the week!
We are auctioning off some wonderful items such as ski passes in Colorado, a condo in Cocoa Beach, and a years worth of car washes at Sparking Image Car Wash as well as raffling off an IPad! All are invited!
Today we welcomed David Smigel, President of Circle Computer Resources (CCR) in Cedar Rapids, to speak about the I.T. management service CCR offers to businesses in the community! Annie, our exchange student from Mexico also updated us on how her time in the U.S. is going. Mornings meeting downtown at Matthew 25 are a wonderful time! Thanks to The Early Bird for catering such a delicious breakfast spread. Next week is our Rotary Chili Cook-off at the El Kahir Shrine in Hiawatha. We will NOT have our Thursday morning meeting, but instead celebrate at chili cook-off.

When asked this morning, "why are you a member of the Sunrise Rotary?" here are some member responses:

-"I like the impact we have locally AND internationally"
-"Carrying out service above self."
-"I like the local service projects and the community relationship that comes from serving."
-"It's an opportunity to grow in leadership and make a difference in the lives I care about."
- "Interpersonal development, networking, and making a difference."
-"Learning about local organizations and the services they provide this community."

We invite you to be part of the exciting service projects, amazing network, and morning breakfast meetings. If you are interested in learning more, please message us! Visit our Sunrise Rotary Facebook Page to learn more!


This morning we welcomed Sara and Karen with Iowa Mission of Mercy to speak. The Iowa Mission of Mercy is a large scale, two-day community dental clinic where dental professionals and general volunteers donate their time to provide free oral health care to individuals who face barriers to receiving dental care. A full-service field dental clinic with 100 dental operatories is set up and patients are treated on a first come, first served basis. Since the first Iowa MOM in 2008, almost 13,000 patients from all areas of the state and beyond have received free dental care totaling almost $8.5 million.
The 2017 Iowa Mission of Mercy will be held September 29-30, 2017 at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Please join us as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Iowa Mission of Mercy!

The story of Sunday Drive
"While shooting photos for an assisted living facility memory unit, I was approached by a wonderful gentleman who apparently knew me for many years. Of course we had never met, and we struck up a short, friendly conversation. At one point I asked “Do you get out much?”. He replied “No, we can’t really leave the building.” I asked the facility director who explained how, for their safety and facility limitations, the folks in the memory unit were rarely allowed out. “What if they could get away without leaving the building?” I asked. From a chance encounter, the Sunday Drive project began."

Wayne Anderson shared his Sunday Drive videos with us, which are designed for people living with Alzheimer's, dementia, autism, brain injury and folks in assisted living. More about the creator of Sunday Drive at

Today, our Club welcomed our new foreign exchange student, Annie! Our Club put together a welcome package and included things that represent Iowa and Cedar Rapids. We are excited to have her join our meetings and get to know her on a deeper level. Annie is from Mexico. We also heard Nick Ford speak about Cedar Bayou Aquatic Center and Water Park that is coming to Cedar Rapids in 2019! Cedar Bayou Park is an integrated aquatic campus destined to be built and located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The park will incorporate an indoor and outdoor water park along with competitive, therapeutic, and recreational components to provide a uniquely disperse aquatic experience for all ages. You can learn more about it here: 
Sunrise Rotary members gathered at Ellis Park on Saturday, August 12th for the annual Flood the Run fundraiser benefitting Matthew 25 and The Salvation Army! This 2.7 mile water run was all the more fun with Sunrise Rotary members blasting runners with their super soakers! We even has some members run the race and go down the giant slip-n-slide at the end! 
District Governor, Ralph Smith, spoke to the Sunrise Rotary about the value Rotary brings to each member's life. Rotary is a wonderful way to impact your community and make long-lasting relationships with other Rotary members. Pictured is Governor Ralph Smith with the current Sunrise Rotary Board members. 

Amy Doerrfeld, Prevention Specialist at Area Substance Abuse Council - ASAC spoke about prevention education they provide within the community. These services are focused on increasing the knowledge and skills needed to help prevent substance use disorders and training on identifying the signs and symptoms of a substance use disorder.

Did you know you can dispose of your prescription drugs at the local area police departments?

Heartland YFC is proud to host the first ever Over The Edge event in downtown Cedar Rapids on Saturday, August 19th, where volunteers will rappel the side of the historic Iowa Building. Our very own member, John Henecke has bravely volunteered to represent Sunrise Rotary as well as join other Rotarians from CR Downtown, CR West and CR Daybreak for this event. There are two ways that we can show John the support he deserves:

Click here: and pledge money to help John achieve his goal of $1,000 by August 19th.

Attend the event on Saturday, August 19th and cheer him on as he rappels down the Iowa Building. That is the same morning of the Cedar Rapids Farmer’s Market so it will be a fun and exciting atmosphere.

The fabulous Megan, joined by her family and host sister, joined us for our Thursday morning meeting. Megan presented about her time in Vigo, Spain as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student and gave insight into the power of independence and growth that comes when your eyes are opened to new cultural experiences. As a Club, we are honored to sponsor such a thoughtful, bright, and impactful young woman!
Last week, Sunrise Rotary joined local nonprofit, Matthew 25, in their efforts to revitalize the SW side of Cedar Rapids. Sunrise Rotary took on multiple projects to build up the neighborhood including painting, siding, and re-shingling a garage roof as well as painting a porch for two area women. Within the week, Sunrise Rotary truly took ownership of the garage and porch project, and finished! Rotarian's also helped lay flooring in a home and paint a basement. Giving back is the foundation of our Club! 
Oh what a day! The weather could not have been more perfect. Check out our Facebook Page to see photos of the golfers and the festivities that took place! After a full day of golf, we celebrated with a meal from Texas Roadhouse, dessert from Kathy's pies, and a program featuring Katie, our Make A Wish child, and Lew Montgomery. Photographer Wayne Anderson took professional photos throughout the day. Click the CD to see the photos! 
Our Make A Wish Golf Outing is May 25, 2017 at Hunter's Ridge Golf Course in Marion. This golf outing grants up to 3 wishes for Make A Wish Iowa children and truly allows lives to be impacted! We would like to thank our Event Co-Sponsor-Evergreen Packaging, our Hole-In-One Sponsor-Stonfield Investment Advisors, Inc, and our Golf Cart Sponsor-Dan's Overhead Doors and More for making this event happen! We still have a few more opportunities to be involved, so contact us if you're interested in learning more.
Brian Stutzman joined us this morning to teach us more about the incredible resources at Young Parents Network. YPN has been impacting families, empowering generations, and serving the Cedar Rapids Community since 1985 with all kinds of resources for expecting mothers, new parents and childcare education. Thank you for all you do for this community!
Bob Carlson joined us back at Elmcrest Country Club to speak about the YMCA. "The YMCA continues to experience tremendous growth in many ways. As a result we look for opportunities to reach out to the community. The outcome of this is the development of the largest project we've ever undertaken in the history of the organization-the new Marion YMCA." On another note, one of our own Sunrise Rotarian's, Mary Schell, visited the Rotary Club in Ireland while she was abroad! Lastly, our newest Sunrise Rotary member, Bob Schell, officially received his name badge today! 
Matthew 25 recognized Sunrise Rotary as their Volunteer of the Year for their dedication to serving the community through their partnership with Matthew 25. Sunrise Rotary wrote a grant to secure a walking tractor for Matthew 25, built the vegetable station that Matthew 25 uses to sell organic produce at the Urban Farm at NewBo City Market, rehabbing homes and participating in their annual Flood the Run fundraiser. We love our partnership with Matthew 25 and were totally honored. 
This morning, Sunrise Rotary had the pleasure of sharing the morning with Theatre Cedar Rapids' new Executive Director, Katie Hallman. Katie enthusiastically shared with us her decision to move back to Cedar Rapids from New Orleans, as well as her excitement for the upcoming shows and programs offered at TCR. Check out their website to learn more.
Stan Pfoff from Nelson Electric enlightened us on the latest solar panel developments. Did you know that even on overcast days, solar panels still generate energy from the sun? Nelson Electric has solar panels on their facility and Stan has them on his home.
SAVE A LIFE! Thanks to Carrie Stewart and Rose Hedges from UnityPoint Health, we as a club now know the signs of a heart attack and how to perform CPR! Also, Happy Birthday to the Rotary Foundation! We celebrated with early morning cupcakes 
This morning we were able to learn more about the Hiawatha Public Library and all of the amazing resources they bring to the community as a whole. Janeal Weeks, the library director, was able to give us more insight into the services the library provides to Linn County. Did you know 75% of their patronage is from Cedar Rapids? Amazing. They are looking to expand to fill the great needs of the library, which is currently bursting at the seams. If you are interested in learning more please contact Janeal at or visit the library website at
Jack Roeder with Prospect Meadows joined us for our Thursday morning meeting today. Prospect Meadows is an up and coming baseball and softball complex in Cedar Rapids for Perfect Game to utilize. The build out will hopefully begin in September!
Today, Sunrise Rotary met at Matthew 25 and learned about the urban farm goals and projects taking place this year from the urban farm production manager, Eric Christianson! The Club worked hard to secure a grant for a walking tractor, that will ultimately make operations at the urban farm more smooth and efficient. Eric was able to show the Club the piece of equipment. Matthew 25 also announced that Sunrise Rotary was chosen as the Volunteers of the Year for their work on numerous projects including: painting a home, building a vegetable stand at NewBo, helping out during the flood of 2016, participating in Flood the Run and so much more!
Last Thursday, Sunrise Rotary got to tour the Eastern Iowa Health Center. Joe Lock, the President and Chief Executive Officer of EIHC, was able to speak about the amazing new space and how it is conducive for their mission.
Sunrise Rotary got to tour the most unique and quirky T-shirt shop in Cedar Rapids this beautiful Thursday morning! Raygun stays up to date on current events in Cedar Rapids and notices the quirks that make Cedar Rapids what it is! We were so thankful to learn more about this awesome shop! 
Bob Schmidt, franchise operator of the Lindale Chik-fil- A, joined us for our weekly Thursday morning meeting! And everyone walked away with one of these. EAT MOR CHIKIN!
Kathy Good with Family Caregivers Center of Mercy shared her amazing story and how her situation encouraged her to play a huge role in getting this facility going. Her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimers, and she soon found herself as his primary caregiver. Feeling exhausted with stress levels rising, she wondered how others were supporting themselves in this position. Family Caregivers Center of Mercy is a center that provides support for people who find themselves in care-giving position. Check out their website if you're interested in learning more or know someone who could benefit.
Today Josie Rozum, Marketing and Operations Manager at Dan and Debbie's Creamery, joined us for our Thursday morning meeting. Josie shared all the incredible work that goes on at this family-owned dairy farm from milking 150 cows each day, to making hand-crafted ice cream! Their cheese curds can be found in local Hy-Vee stores, and soon their milk too! Josie brought some delicious chocolate milk for use to try. We are happy to learn more and support local, family-owned businesses in this community, and are thankful for the incredible products they share with us.
Karen Hoyt from the Marion Arts Council joined us for our Thursday morning meeting and shared with us ImaginArt in the Alleys! ImaginArt in the Alleys will bring life, vitality and art to Uptown Marion alleyways, while creating a second entrance for businesses along 7th Avenue. The project will transform the alleys through a combination of infrastructure improvements and the installation of creative projects. It is a collaborative effort between ArtPlace America, the City of Marion, and the Marion Chamber of Commerce. Read more about this incredible project here:…/city-…/imaginart-in-the-alleys
The annual Sunrise Rotary Christmas party was great fun! Rotarian's and their family and friends sang Christmas Carols, and played Christmas charades all over a wonderful meal! We have a great time serving together and celebrating together. If you are at all interested in learning more, please let us know!
As Sunrise Rotary members rang the bells outside of the Hy-Vee on Edgewood Road, each was greeted warmly by Hy-Vee shoppers who would drop off dollar bills and loose change with a "God Bless You, or a Merry Christmas!" Our club feels very thankful to be living and serving in such an incredible community that truly cares about the individuals and families within it!
Michelle Catlett Development Coordinator
Jul 16, 2020
Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center
Aug 13, 2020

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