Good Morning!

Welcome to the Champaign-Urbana Sunrise Rotary Club website. We meet every Thursday morning at 6:45 a.m. (yes, 6:45 in the morning). Although this may be early for some, not for this lively group of philanthropic people. Each week we enjoy fellowship, fun and lots of laughter all the while supporting many worthy charitable organizations in our community, nationally and internationally.

October 3rd, 2019 Newsletter



“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain – 1835-1910 – Writer-Publisher-Lecturer-Entrepreneur


“Colors are brighter when the mind is open.” – Adriana Alarcon – Author


“Life is like a balloon. If you never let yourself go, you will never know how far you can rise!” – Linda Poindexter – Writer-Humorist


(Notes provided by Allan Penwell)


Larry announced that we had a good turnout for the repack at Eastern Illinois Food Bank last Friday. We packaged 2,040 meals of elbow macaroni.


There is a note from Phyllis that volunteers are needed for the hazardous waste drop off at Market Place Mall. Call Phyllis for details.


Be sure to sign up for our charter anniversary dinner on October 29th at Biaggi’s.


We have names for two of our membership teams.  Team #3 is now the Baconators, and Team #2 is the Porridge Pack. Teams #1, #4, and #5 need to get busy with their team names.


Fast Eddie announced that we are in the middle of the pack on football guessing and only ½ of 1% behind first place.





Lisa Wilson is the Executive Director of The Refugee Center in Champaign. She recently completed a 40 hour immigration law course co-sponsored by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and the Illinois Coalition for immigrant and Refugee Rights. Lisa joined us last Thursday to tell us about her organization.


The Refugee Center was created in 1980 and is located next to the C-U Public Health District on Kenyon Road. The original purpose was to help refugees from Vietnam, but it assists all immigrants as well as refugees. Recently The Center has seen more refugees from Afghanistan as these are families who have helped the U.S. to fight the anti-government forces in their former country.  Refugees of other countries are from the Congo, Honduras, and Vietnam.


The Center helps refugees to adapt to life in C-U with housing, food, the bus system, school, and to find work. The basics for new arrivals are to obtain a social security number and enroll them in an ESL program to learn English. Language is the biggest problem, and it usually takes two years for the refugees to find the skills to adapt to their new life.


The number of immigrants (and refugees) continues to grow in our community with an estimated population of 24,000 which is about 11% of the total. In a recent quarter, The Center served 331 individuals of 56 families. For the past year, there are over 2,200 who are served.


  Oct 10th Oct 17th Oct 24th Oct 31st
Introductions Cary Woolard Charlie Smith Mary Kay Smith No
Reflection Michelle Barbey Keith Brandau Paul Conforti regular
Greeters Cary Woolard Charlie Smith Mary Kay Smith morning
Mary Hodson Eddie Bridges Andrew Kerins meeting
Song Leader Ondine Gross David Henry Mary Hodson today.
Notetaker Hodson Conforti Perry Social?



UPCOMING SCHEDULE (with program committee member responsible listed in parentheses)

October 3rd – Lisa Wilson, Executive Director, East Central Illinois Refugee Mutual Assistance Center (ECIRMAC) (Mary)

October 10th – Club Assembly

October 17th – Kelly White, Executive Director, 40 North | 88 West (Cary)

October 24th – Rob Dalhaus from CU at Home (Charlie)

October 29th – Tuesday – C-U Sunrise Rotary Charter Anniversary banquet at Biaggi’s

October 31st – No regular meeting (5th Thursday) – 

November 7th – Shannon O’Rourke Kasali, who was both a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and A Rotary Peace Scholar (Mary)

November 14th – District Governor Julie Dobski

November 21st – “A geneticist’s perspective on how the brain works” – Dr. Stephanie Ceman, Associate Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, UIUC, and the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. (Ondine)

November 28th – TBD 

December 5th – John Paul Buzard from Buzard Pipe Organ Builders will speak to our club about building organs (Bob)

December 12th – TBD

December 19th – CUSR Holiday Party

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