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Rotary Clubs Continue to Serve

Sunrise Rotary Holds Shower for Salvation Army Kitchen

Over 30 members of the Sunrise Rotary Club gathered in downtown Montgomery at Rotary Park the morning of June 12, to drink coffee and eat sausage biscuits. But they were not there to eat breakfast. They were there to change lives.

The club held a shower for the Montgomery Salvation Army to donate kitchen utensils to its canteen for the homeless.

After the usual prayer, recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, and Rotary Four-way Test, Sunrise Rotary president Neil Hughes gathered the club around a table piled high with Amazon boxes. Club members Kathy Freyman and Glenn Crumpton opened the packages one by one. Among the almost forty items received were pots, pans, cutting boards, chef's knives, colanders, oven mitts, measuring cups, a crock pot and a commercial coffee maker.

"I am flat-out blown away," said Salvation Army Corps officer Lt. Bryan Farrington, who is also a member of Sunrise Rotary. "Last year wasn't a good fundraising year for us, and we made the conscious decision to put faith over finances. We made the sacrifice to do without some of the things we needed, not lay any of our people off, and just trust that God would provide.

"Today, the Sunrise Rotary Club has really been the hand of God," he smiled, "by providing us with things we didn't have in our kitchens so that we could better serve our people."

The shower originated in a breakfast the Rotary club cooked and served in the Salvation Army's canteen in January. Several members of the club noted that much of the kitchen equipment wasn't in good shape.

"I noticed that a lot of the cooking utensils were few and far between," said Sunrise Rotary Club member Tom Mann, "and a lot of them were broken and inadequate. I just commented that we could help them out and get commercial kitchen equipment in order to help those folks who needed help."

Acting on this suggestion, club president Neil Hughes asked Lt. Farrington to post a Wish List on Amazon and left it up to individual club members to choose what to buy. All the items on the list were purchased.

Hughes wasn't surprised by the reaction of the club. "One aspect of our work as Rotarians is to be servants in action," he said. "All of us as Rotarians came together and bought the materials requested by Lt. Farrington. We're pleased to participate in his dream and see this happen for the Salvation Army."

One person who particularly appreciates the new kitchen utensils is Salvation Army chef Gwen Davis. "Our old pots and pans weren't level," she stated. "With better equipment, we'll be able to cook the food evenly. It's just a joyful thing knowing I'll be able to cook whatever our clients need."

Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, Sunrise Rotary has not been able to meet regularly since April. As a result, they had Zoom meetings rather than gathering in the Commerce Café every Friday morning.

Neil Hughes thanked the club for remaining good Rotarians: "You've persevered. You've stayed the course. You didn't stop serving."

Club member Chuck Glasscock summed up: "Rotary is doing what Rotary does best-putting people first."

Montgomery Rotary Club Distributes Masks

Rotary is the world's oldest and most important service organization with over 1,200,000 members in more than 30,000 clubs spread throughout 180 countries.

Montgomery has four active Rotary clubs seeking to serve the community. For a few local examples, we help MACOA provide Meals on Wheels, recently we built the Rotary downtown dog park, we planted trees around Montgomery including Oak Park, and we delivered dictionaries to third grade students all around Montgomery. Our Montgomery clubs are part of District 6880, led by current District Governor Skip Dotherow, of the Montgomery Sunrise Club. The area covers from cities as far north as Clanton down to Mobile, Fairhope and Dothan. Through the generosity of these Rotarians, local communities are able to provide services and structures and supplies to those in need. District 6880 built a house in Lee County last year for a family displaced as a result of the March 2019 deadly tornado. On June 25, we donated over 1,000 masks to Capitol Hills Health Center to assist caregivers during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Rotary's motto is "Service Above Self." We attempt to live that motto every day by following a simple 4-Way Test: is it the TRUTH, is it FAIR to all CONCERNED, will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS, and is it BENEFICIAL to ALL concerned.

Our worldwide presence enables us to do incredible good, such as Rotary provides clean water to those without it, feeds the hungry, battles crippling, debilitating and disfiguring diseases and helps people learn to read and write so they can compete in the modern workplace.

Rotarians come from all walks of life, including education, business, vocational, health and sports just to name a few. All aspire to the highest ethical standards in their vocations and who not only help those in need in their own communities but who also seek to advance the cause of peace, understanding and goodwill worldwide through scholarships, youth and adult exchanges and humanitarian projects."

If you are interested in joining this active, productive and fun organization, contact our Rotary office at

Montgomery Rotary Club presents donation to Faulkner University's Pre-K Program

Members of the Montgomery Rotary Club presented a generous donation to Faulkner University's Pre-K program to provide students this fall with new books.

The check for $500 was presented by Montgomery Rotary Club members to Faulkner Pre-K lead teacher Mila Stevens and director of the Faulkner University Pre-K program, Dr. Leslie Cowell on June 26.

For more than 100 years, the Montgomery Rotary Club has supported community projects large and small. When they were asked to help the students at Faulkner's Pre-K classrooms, they immediately agreed.

"Our goal is to strengthen the capacity of communities to support basic education and literacy, reduce gender disparity in education, and increase adult literacy," said Graham L. Champion, President of the Montgomery Rotary Club. "One of Rotary International's six goals is supporting education. We support education for all children and literacy for children and adults. Supporting these classrooms that are a vital part of Alabama's award winning First Class Pre-K program compliments our Club's efforts in supporting education which also includes delivering a dictionary each year to every third grade student in public schools in Montgomery County. We appreciate the opportunity to be a small part in the support of this great program."

Faulkner University's Pre-K which began in 2018, is the site for two of Alabama's First Class Pre-K program classrooms in an effort to increase enrollment of four-year-olds statewide. Both classrooms accommodate a total of 32 children.

"We want to thank the Montgomery Rotary Club for their generosity and willingness to help our Pre-K students," said Cowell. "Being able to offer a Pre-K program to this area of the city is a perfect opportunity to serve the community where the need is so great. Especially during this time, whenever you have the community comes together for our children, it's a beautiful thing."

Faulkner University's Dean of the College of Education, Leslie Cowell Ph.D., applied for the state grants to provide Pre-K classrooms in Montgomery and was approved for two classrooms.

Tuition is free and families must live in Alabama.

Contact: Rebecca Burylo, public relations manager at 334-386-7489 or


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