Wasilla Sunrise Rotary

Wasilla Sunrise Rotary

Rotary Serving Humanity

Tuesday's 7:00am - 8:00am
Jack White / Meridian Point Building
865 N Seward Meridian Parkway
PO Box 876972
Wasilla, AK  99687
United States
District Site
Venue Map
Upcoming Events
Nov 01, 2016
Maria Ines Suarez Vadillo
Rotary Youth Exchange Student from Bolivia
Nov 08, 2016
District Governor 5010 - Michelle O'Brien
District 5010 Rotary year 2016-2017
Nov 15, 2016
Leonardo Oliveira de Souza
Rotary Youth Exchange Student from Brasil

Bulletin Subscribe

Subscribe to our eBulletin and stay up to date on the latest news and events.

Upcoming Events
October 25, 2016
Oct 24, 2016
October 18, 2016
Oct 17, 2016
Sunrise Projects

Wasilla Sunrise Rotary

 aka "The Pirate Club"...Arghh!
established July 2001

We welcome visitors to our meetings, pirate and non-pirate alike!
Contact President Matt Stielstra with any questions 907-315-6664.

Please join us for a continental breakfast and program $10



Please be sure to check out our Sunrise Home Page!
Speaker Chair for October - Jeaninne Milne
October 25, 2016
Kim Erickson 
The Rotary Foundation
Kim joined Rotary 20 years ago and is a member of the Susitna Rotary Club. 
In addition to various positions at the club level, Kim has served as District Trainer, PETS Workshop Leader, District Permanent Fund Chair,
District Visioning Chair, 2010 District Conference Chair, and District Awards Chair.  For the past two years she has served on the
District Governor Nominating Committee. 
Kim is a Bequest Society Member, a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, and a major donor to The Rotary Foundation. 
Kim resides in Willow with her husband and fellow Rotarian Tryg Erickson.
Greeter-Shane Leivestad - Pledge of Allegiance-Dr Jim -  Invocation-           - Sgt-At-Arms-Jerry Moses
November 1, 2016
Maria Ines Suarez-Vadillo
Rotary Exchange Student from Bolivia
Greeter-Dr. Jim - Pledge of Allegiance-Janel Gagnon -  Invocation-Candace Cieslo- Sgt-At-Arms-Greg Brooker
November 8, 2016
District 5010 Governor Michelle O'brien
District 5010
Greeter-Mark Lee - Pledge of Allegiance-Mark Lee -  Invocation-      - Sgt-At-Arms-Greg Brooker
November 15, 2016
Leonardo Oliveira de Souza
Rotary Exchange Student from Brasil
Greeter-Dennis Anderson - Pledge of Allegiance-Candace Cieslo - Invocation-Dr. Jim- Sgt-At-Arms-Jerry Moses

District Governor Michelle O'Brien
It’s the start of a monumental year in Alaska and the Yukon Territory for Rotary.
I am so incredibly humbled and excited to be your District Governor in this historic year.  David and I would like to thank you all so very much for letting us serve you as Rotarians.  It is our goal to be here for you, for whatever you need.  We are, after all, a team of folks doing good in this world and in our communities.  
You may say to yourself, what’s so different about this year?  Lots. 
It’s is the 100th Anniversary of the Rotary Foundation, the 30th Anniversary of Women in Rotary, as well as the 150th Anniversary of Alaska.  It also could very well be the year in which Polio is eradicated forever from our world.
Rotary International President, John Germ, has themed his year around “Rotary Serving Humanity” after Paul Harris’ belief that serving humanity is the most worthwhile thing a person can do.  I think that is perfect for the dedicated Rotarians all around Alaska and the Yukon.  We have a vibrant and exciting group of talented Rotarians who are always serving our diverse communities and bettering our world.  And, we have fun doing it.
I always like to share with folks that, in my mind, Rotary is the adventure of a lifetime.  What that means, as a Rotarian for 18 years, is that I’ve grown up in Rotary and so have my daughters.  Rotary offers an endless list of possibilities for folks.  Would you like to be a leader?  Would you like to create a better community through a project?  Do you love youth?  How about traveling to far-away places to serve globally?  And you can always make great lifelong friends. 
David and I are looking forward to traveling around Alaska and the Yukon to visit with all of our wonderful Rotarian friends this year.  We hope to cross paths with you soon, and as always, we are always here to help make your Rotarian adventure a reality.
Thank you all for being outstanding Rotarians, for serving humanity, and most of all, for being friends.

Last work party of the year at Rotary Trailhead

District Governor Brad Gamble, 2015-2016, presenting Significant Achievement Award for Wasilla Sunrise Rotary to Dan Goff, for the No More Mat-Su Campaign.
Dan Goff, Chairperson for the No More Campaign 2015-2016
Frontiersman Newspaper April 16, 2016
KTVA.com KTVA CBS 11 April 19, 2016
No More Campaign to End Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in Mat-Su Valley Connects Survivors and Students
2nd annual conference continues efforts to educate and empower youth to be agents for change in epidemic
On Sunday, April 24, from 12-3 p.m., at the Glenn Massay Theater, many adult and student leaders from around the valley will convene for the second year in a row to unite in their message of “No More!” No More is a national campaign to end domestic violence and sexual assault that encourages local adoption and action. Expected speakers include former Olympic athletes, Nina Kemppel and Kevin McMahon, and former NBA athlete, Jahadi White. This event is free and open to the public to attend.
Two years ago Jason Marvel, Burchell High School principal and father of two daughters, impressed upon the Wasilla Sunrise Rotary Club the gravity of the situation in the Mat-Su Valley, where statistically 1:2 women will experience some form of domestic violence or sexual assault.  The Sunrise Rotarians immediately picked up the mantle and, together with Alaska Family Services, have pledged an on-going effort to educate and involve the youth of the valley to help break the cycle and be agents for change.
Domestic violence and assault can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender and affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. The No More Mat-Su campaign seeks to raise awareness in the community in general of this epidemic, and to educate and empower young people to put an end to what is often generational cycles of abuse.  
Surviving hardship and overcoming odds of all kinds share traits of will, determination, belief in self-worth, and the strength to reach out for help.  Sunday’s event combines the testimonies of the survivors of violence and assault, along with the overcoming the odds tales from two former Olympian athletes and a former NBA athlete, to drive home the message of No More. For more information, please call the No More Mat-Su Team at (907) 746-6213.
No More Mat- Su,
 Sunday, April 24, 2016 
Glenn Massay Theater
No More Mat-Su is on Facebook

Congrats Morgan! Your participation in RYLA and leadership in Interact have not gone unnoticed. We look forward to watching your continued success. Good luck at Texas A&M!
"I owe many thanks to Wasilla Sunrise Rotary, Palmer Elks, Palmer Lions, Beta Sigma Phi, the University of Alaska, and MTA for these scholarships. I can't express how thankful I am for these and how grateful I am to be able to put them towards my college education. Thank you to everyone who contributed."
- Morgan Chapman, Colony High School Interact Charter President

Thanks for an "Amazing Year" Daniela!

Candace, her daughter, Mark & Chris Lee and Debbie Bushnell will travel to Guatemala on February 29th and return March 5th. 
Tierra Linda (appropriately translated as ‘Beautiful Land’) is a small village in the mountains of Guatemala.  The indigenous students’ native language is Katchiquel, but their schools are taught in Spanish.  This presents a significant challenge in an impoverished area.
I have had the blessing to work with a wonderful  group called Mayan Families, a fantastic 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in rural Guatemala.   This is unlike any other organization.  In 2009 I had the privilege to visit and witness firsthand how 100% of my donations went directly to the family we sponsored.  I witness the joy on their faces, the excitement in the children’s eyes and the hope of a better future.  It was an experience that left me humbled, thankful and desperate to share their stories. 
In the past years, through generous fund raising efforts of supporters of Mayan Families, in addition to their elementary school, Tierra Linda now has a preschool, a middle school and a small library open for community use.  Unfortunately education is not free in Guatemala.  Often time’s parents are forced to choose between sending their children to school and feeding their families.  They simply cannot do both and survive.  Guatemala has one of the highest illiteracy and lowest school enrollment rates in Latin America. This is primarily due to the high cost of attending school which prevents many indigenous families from receiving an education.
This is where we can help.  Education is key in breaking the cycle of poverty and can create a better future for the children and their families.  Fronteras, students from both  Colony and Wasilla High School, Wasilla Sunrise Rotary and other community members are collecting items to take down to distribute in Guatemala in February 2016.  We are requesting the following donations:
-Books in Spanish
-School supplies
- And of course, monetary donations toward sponsorship of students* at Tierra Linda
* To sponsor a student the cost of one full year is $360.    Tierra Linda has 12 students that need sponsorship.  Student sponsorship covers the cost of enrollment fees, requisite school materials, supplies and uniforms, regular monitoring of school work and progress by a Mayan Families Social Worker, and provides students with access to the Charlie Gomez Medical Clinic as well as general educational support as needed.
To learn more, please go to Mayanfamilies.org or contact Candace Cieslo at Candace.cieslo@yahoo.com.  If you are interested in traveling to Guatemala with our group, we would be happy to give you more information. This is a great opportunity to meet the students you sponsor!
Thank you so much for your help and consideration.
Candace Cieslo
Wasilla Sunrise Rotary  Member



Coverage from 2016 Summit  - Marissa Silver Fox 4 KTBY April 24, 2016

Coverage from 2015 Summit - KTVA coverage of No More Summit - http://www.ktva.com/mat-su-valley-gathers-to-help-end-domestic-violence-and-sexual-abuse-947/#.VTc6ufSr2wI.facebook

Domestic Violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender 
and affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. 
No More seeks to bring domestic violence & sexual assault into the national spotlight 
to generate more attention, more resources and 
more action to prevent them. 


Like us on Facebook -  No More Mat-Su


Attached is the official letter from the Federal Government acknowledging the naming of Rotary Falls.
The Rotarians in the Valley sure appreciate the cooperation from the Mat-Su Borough, especially the Parks and Recreation Department, to help the Rotarians make this happen. 
The State previously gave the Rotary Falls their blessing.  


April Khongsavanh (1st place)

Lilly Otte (4th place)

Areina Czarny (Did not finish)

Kiersten Sierra (2nd place)

Riley Glasen (3rd place)

Students with WSR Judges, Sherie Vieira, Jeaninne Milne, Andy Faiks, Matt Ketchum and Greg Brooker

Thanks to all who gave their time to speak to Mat-Su Middle School students about their vocations.
Classroom speakers help students to accomplish the following:
*Begin to identify possible career pathway interests
*Gain awareness of the academic, technical, and personal skills required by particular jobs
*Realize that different jobs are characterized by different work cultures and working environments
*Understand the connection  between school, work, and achieving goals.

Sunrise Rotarians Donation of $2500 to the Salvation Army specifically for the people who lost their homes in the Sockeye Fire 2015. Checks were presented to Jeff Josephson of the Salvation Army. Thanks to all who donated and to all who support our fundraisers
throughout the year!!

Dear Club President Ken Miller,
Hello again from Rotary International! I am writing to let you know since your video was one of the best videos that illustrated how your club has improved your community, we have published your work on several of our media outlets here are Rotary International.
I am pleased to let you know, your video was promoted in the following areas:
3.      And published on the digital version of the Rotarian here: http://therotarianmagazine.com/video/share-your-story/
Also make sure to keep your eye out on the Rotary Facebook page and the Rotary Twitter page, as we will be featuring your video there as well in the upcoming weeks.
Again, we sincerely thank you for your participation in our campaign. Thank you for all that you do to support membership growth in Rotary!
Kind Regards,
Sheena Lilly
Coordinator, Regional Membership Plans | Membership Development | Programs and Member Services
Tel 1.847.866.3000


This is RotaryEN from Rotary International on Vimeo.What would it take to change the world? Rotary's 1.2 million members believe it starts with a commitment to Service Above Self.








Playground Upgrades

Members of the Wasilla Sunrise Rotary recently gathered to install much needed benches

at the inclusive playground at Wasilla Lake.

Playground 1Playground 2



MYHouse Appliances and Mat-Su Valley Rotary Clubs
by Kaplan, Sondra

A great big thank you to the Rotary Clubs of Palmer, Wasilla, Sunrise, and Susitna for 

taking part in the MYHouse Appliance Grant. Wsilla Sunrise Donated $300 to the project.






MyHouse celebrated their grand opening on August 8th at their new Gathering Center off of Herning and Lucille

in Wasilla (the old Husky Building).  For more information go to http://myhousematsu.org .

 Thank you to the Palmer Rotary and the Wasilla Noon Rotary for purchasing a washer and dryer from Allen and Peterson for our Gathering Place. 


Submitted by Dan Kennedy:
It was just two years ago that our Wasilla Sunrise Rotary Club completed the playground project at Newcomb Park on Wasilla Lake. The attached is a photo
of the plaque that Greg Brooker installed a couple of weeks ago. Thanks again for the Communities' effort to accomplish this Rotary project.



The WSRC appropriated $500 toward the Honor Flights

in support of John Warner and John Glass’ efforts for the WWII Vets

and in memory of so many of the fathers of Club members.  Great work John, John and Ron. 



Jason Marvel

The most common reaction to today's presentation was "Wow!"  Jason gave us an overview of the Freedom Writers program, training, goals, and achievements.  A confident and inspirational speaker, it is easy to see Jason is one of the better teachers out there and we are lucky to have him teaching the children of the valley.

His presentation hit upon the difference between Tolerance and Understanding.  It also tied into a discussion on domestic abuse, a large and sensitive problem in the valley.  Jason challenged us to tap into our creativity as Rotary to come up with an action plan for tackling this issue - a thought seconded by our President, Dan Kennedy.

So, fellow Rotarians, what can we do?  How can we help our community address not only the after effects of domestic violence, but more importantly prevent it from occurring?  Very tough questions with difficult answers.  Talk about it, think about, and let's see what we can do to make a difference to fight something that touches too many of us!




Rotaract, Interact, and RYLA

Leadership is an essential aspect of Rotary—and we offer both clubs and programs to help emerging leaders develop their skills. Through these groups, participants strengthen their leadership skills, serve their communities, increase their world understanding, build friendships, and more.


Rotaract brings together people ages 18-30 in universities and communities worldwide to organize service activities, develop leadership and professional skills, and have fun. Rotary clubs sponsor them, but Rotaract members manage and fund their clubs independently. Rotaract members work closely with their local Rotary club, and may join after their Rotaract membership ends.

How can I participate in Rotaract? - Facebook - Mat-Su Valley Rotaract

Follow Rotaract on , , , and to see what Rotaract clubs are doing around the world.

To find a Rotaract club in your area, .

Interact - Facebook - Mat-Su Valley Interact

Interact is a club for youth ages 12-18 who want to connect with others in their community or school. Interact club members have fun while carrying out service projects and learning about the world. Interact clubs organize at least two service projects a year: one that benefits their community and one that encourages international understanding. While Interact clubs receive guidance from individual Rotary clubs, they govern and support themselves.

How can I participate in Interact?

Follow Interact on and visit Interact’s to see what Interact clubs are doing around the world.

To find an Interact club in your area, .

​RYLA - Rotary District 5010  - www.wasillasunriserotary.com - Debbie Bushnell

RYLA 5010 will be held in April 2015 in the Mat-Su Valley

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a leadership development program run by Rotary. While participants can be any age, most events focus on secondary school students, university students, or young professionals. RYLA events are typically 3–10 days long and include presentations, activities, and workshops that cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Leadership fundamentals and ethics
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving and conflict management
  • Community and global citizenship

How can I participate in RYLA? - Facebook District 5010 RYLA - Are you a 10th or 11th grade High Student who would like a chance to attend RYLA 2015? Click on RYLA Registration on our home page under upcoming events. http://wasillasunriserotary.com/

Follow RYLA on to learn about inspirational events happening around the globe. Facebook Mat-Su Valley Rotaract




Dear Dan, and Wasilla Sunrise Rotary Club,

On behalf of the City of Wasilla, and our Honorable Mayor Verne Rupright, we that thank YOU for your dedication of time, and talent to persevere in sometimes inclement conditions to ‘serve’ in a capacity that truly holds credence to your motto,  ‘service above self’.  Thank you for making this year’s Mayor’s Picnic a wonderful success, as we have appreciated your long- standing commitment to serving our community.

On a personal note….HUGE THANKS to all of you for helping me coordinate these efforts.  I couldn’t have done it without you!! I’m looking forward to working with you next year!

Joan Klapperich

Event Production & Facility Supervisor

Curtis D. Menard Memorial Sports Center

City of Wasilla

1001 S. Mack Drive



Choose Respect

parnell collage

Many thanks to Governor Parnell for joining us for breakfast this morning and sharing his vision on the administration's "Choose Respect" initiative.

Speaking to a full house this morning the governor challenged groups like ours to continue our efforts to keep the conversation about domestic violence going.  Remember, sometimes a victim only needs someone they can trust to take a step towards getting help.  Our children need to hear that abusing someone else is never acceptable.


Club Executives & Directors
President 2016-2017
President Elect
Past President