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Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach Has a Heart for Indian River County Schools

Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach has been busy in the schools during the 2019-20 school year.  Take a look for yourself!


Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach MATCHES DONATIONS DOLLAR-FOR-DOLLAR to help the Treasure Coast Food Bank during the Corona Virus outbreak

Sunrise Rotarians present a second check for $17,000 to the Treasure Coast Food Bank.  Every dollar donated is matched by the club up to $30,000.  Thank you for your generous contributions!  We're almost there!  

Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach presented it's first check for $25,000 to the Treasure Coast Food Bank.  The club's matching grant program is growing daily.  Be a part of this great program - and let Rotary double your money!  
Help us get to our anticipated $60,000 total and help the community members who need the help!

Sunrise Rotary is asking the community at large to match up to $30,000 to help the Treasure Coast Food Bank in their efforts to feed those that need help. With monies raised at the Florida Craft Brew and Wingfest this past February, Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach is able to offer this help and encourages the community to join them in this humanitarian effort.  Local sponsors of the Florida Craft Brew and WingFest fundraiser will be pleased that their money is going to help with food at this time. 

Founded in 1988, Treasure Coast Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief organization on Florida’s Treasure Coast and the only Food Bank in our four-county region – Indian River, Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties. They work tirelessly to help families and individuals in need by providing them with nutritious food, hope, and dignity. 

The Treasure Coast Food Bank is seeing a rapidly rising demand by those affected by the economic fallout from the corona virus pandemic. Panic food buying has disrupted its normal donation sources and now has to purchase food on the open market, stressing their normal funding. 

CEO Judith Cruz said, "I deeply admire the commitment to our mission shown by our community. I have no doubt that many of you have sacrificed to support family and friends. I can tell you that the staff at Treasure Coast Food Bank have been working around the clock, we have shifted roles to add capacity to the critical areas that support the people we serve. I am especially proud of the outpouring of support we have received from volunteers and organizations such as yours.  Our community spirit shines bright as we go through this unprecedented event together.” 

Club president Robin Pelensky said, “Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach is thrilled to be in the position to offer this generous One-to-One Match Program to help our neighbors who, through no fault of their own, find themselves really hurting financially. The community has flocked to our annual fundraiser, the Florida Craft Brew & Wingfest, and now it’s time for us to reach out in a big way that brings all us of together for a common cause.” 


Check Donations can be made to

Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach “COVID-19 Relief Program”

C/O Marine Bank,

1450 US 1

Vero Beach, FL 32960

Credit card donations can be made by calling the Rotary Club of Vero Beach Sunrise Foundation Treasurer Bob McCabe at 248-421-7301.

Your donations are matched Dollar for Dollar!





Donate through PayPal


Check Donations can be made to

Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach “COVID-19 Relief Program”

C/O Marine Bank,

1450 US 1

Vero Beach, FL 32960


Credit card donations can be made by calling Bob McCabe, Treasurer of the Rotary Club of Vero Beach Sunrise Foundation.


Your donations are matched Dollar for Dollar up to $30,000

by the Rotary Club of Vero Beach Sunrise Foundation!




The Coronavirus isn't stopping us! Sunrise Rotarians have been busy delivering pizza lunches to hundreds of our community's workers who are up close and personal with the potential of getting the virus.  Rotarian Carl Fetzer took on the task of raising money so that grocery store workers, police and sheriff officers could have a fun and tasty meal while knowing that Sunrise Rotarians care and appreciate them.  Fortunately for them, these workers are still employed, but they have been facing the public for weeks now, not knowing who does and doesn't have the virus.  Sunrise Rotary's Debbie Avery jumped in to coordinate the purchase and delivery of nearly 100 pizzas and 70 hamburgers and fries from local restaurants.  It's a labor of love and appreciation  because happy stomachs and faces are worth the effort! 

living out rotary's motto 'service above self' 


    sunrise rotary vero beach invites you to join us !    

Welcome to Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach!  Chartered in 1989, Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach is made up of nearly 100 distinguished members of our community who volunteer throughout Vero Beach, Indian River County, the state of Florida and internationally under the motto 'Service Above Self.'

We are always forming connections to improve the health of our environment, combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, eradicate polio and so much more.  We are small business owners, corporate executives, non-profit leaders, government officials, as well as retired executives and professionals who meet weekly to share camaraderie, hear from speakers on important topics, and plan meaningful projects to benefit  others.


Meeting Time:
Wednesday at 7:00 am -  8 am
Breakfast is served at 6:30 am

Meeting Place:
The Riverhouse @ the base of the Barber Bridge
305 Acacia Road
Vero Beach, FL  32963


Mothers at Florida Baptist Center Enjoy a Concert in the Park Thanks to Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach

Residents at the Florida Baptist Center were treated to an hour long 'concert in the park' in honor of Mother's Day thanks to some great coordination by Rotarian Drew Padnuk, whose love of the Beatles has made him famous in some circles.  Jewel and Shanti set up their sound equipment in the shade of a large green space where residents could sit and look on in safety.  The duo sang a mix of songs that had everyone smiling, tapping and clapping.  Drew's daughter-in-law opened the performance with the bagpipes, and ended with a 'Amazing Grace.'  Rotarians also made homemade banana breads as gifts to all the residents.  It was a beautiful day for a wonderful cause.   


Sunrise Rotary Remembers Seniors During COVD-19 Crisis

When toilet paper and disinfectants became scarce and the buses around town were put on hold, Sunrise Rotarians reached out to Senior Living facilities in Vero Beach to see if they could help.  Members of the Health & Welfare committee stocked and delivered wish bags with Kleenex and stamps and other needed items that these older residents would not have been able to purchase on their own. 

Sunrise Rotary Recognizes Four-Way Test Winners @  Storm Grove Middle School 

Seven Sunrise Rotarians and 175 Storm Grove Middle School eighth grade students participated in our club’s first (and soon to be annual) Rotary Four-Way Test Activity that promotes good decision-making and the development of strong values.  As a follow-up to the lively and thought-provoking activity, students were challenged to compete for an award which included the opportunity to donate to the charity of their choice. 

Sixteen students were chosen because their entries demonstrated a good understanding and application of the Rotary Four-Way Test to everyday challenges and conflicts.  Parents and teachers joined the students and Rotarians for a delicious Italian meal in the library. 

A special guest for the event was Grae Straley, a sophomore from Indian River Charter High School, who enthusiastically shared her experience at Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) earlier this year. 

The 16 winning students' essays, poems and artwork were on display for all to see.  Sunrise Rotary awarded each student with a $25 gift card, and an additional $25 to donate to a charity of their choice.  Each student explained which charity they chose and why. 

From animal rescue to cancer research and local children's mentoring programs, their choices were thoughtful and personal.   

Herb Taylor, Rotarian and author of the Four-Way Test said, “It is essential to our future preservation that the youth of our nations become men and women of high moral character.  Every great world movement concentrates on youth as the necessary foundation for success. “



Vero Rotarians Host 45th Annual Homestay!

Local Rotarians from five clubs in Indian River County welcomed incoming  District Governors from five countries into their homes in Vero Beach for a week in January to share our community, develop friendships and build international understanding.  It was a week filled with good fun, touring, dining and great fellowship. Now in its 45th year, Homestay Vero Beach is a week-long series of events and get-togethers meant to foster goodwill among Rotarians across the globe. 

This year's visiting DGE's came from England, South Africa, Israel, the Netherlands and New Zealand.  In their words, Homestay Vero Beach was  "warm, welcoming, absolutely fantastic, well balanced, powerful, fascinating, and memorable!"  Congratulations DGE's and may you have a wonderful year ahead!


Rotary District 6990 Thanks Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach for Rotary Bahamas Relief

Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach recently received the following letter from Ray Williams, District Governor, Distict 6990:

I wanted to pass on our very sincere thanks to Robin Pelensky and Bob McCabe and all the members of The Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach Club for your incredible support of our District’s efforts to help our fellow Rotarians and all the residents of Grand Bahama Island.  Your check made payable to the Robbins Fund will be a great help in our commitment to help the residents there to restore and rebuild their homes, their businesses and most importantly their lives.

As you may know we have 5 Rotary Clubs and 2 Rotaract Clubs on the Island.  The experience of leading the efforts to provide immediate relief and now helping to rebuild their communities has bonded all our Rotarians into an amazing group of community leaders that are coordinating and driving the good working of not only Rotarians but several of the NGOs who have stepped up to help.  In their role to coordinate all this international support, they now truly understand the power of Rotary Connects the World.

Thank you again for your Club’s very generous contribution to this effort.

Ray M Williams

District Governor (2019-2020)

Rotary International District 6990

Days after Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas, Rotary Vero Beach Sunrise Foundation, the club's own 501c3 foundation, offered to match dollar for dollar up to $10,000 all donations made by Sunrise members for the Bahamas Relief. 

By the end of September, club members more than matched that amount and will be sending $22,863 to Rotary Bahamas Relief through Districts 6990 and 7020. Past President Kevin Anderson's son Oliver and his friends created their own lemonade stand to raise money and donated it towards the effort.  Former Sunrise member and US National Jiu Jitsu Champion, also contributed $3,500 from funds raised at one of his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu locations.  Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach practicing Service Above Self ! 


more happenings 

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High School Students Thankful for RYLA Experience


Rotary Youth Leadership Achievement is a four day program help at Florida Elk's Youth Camp in Umatilla, Florida.  The opportunity is open to emerging high school leaders and registration fees are paid for by clubs in District 6930.   Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach was pleased to sponsor eight students to attend this exciting and rewarding experience in November 2019.  Take a look at some of the fun these young leaders had while learning the importance of integrity, service and leadership. RYLA 2019



Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach hasn't missed a beat when it comes to weekly meetings. This week nearly half of our members logged in to participate in our first virtual meeting. We could almost smell the coffee and bacon!  Thanks to Zoom, we enjoyed Rotary fellowship and carried on business as usual. Our dynamic and interesting speaker shared both a PowerPoint and video by sharing her screen with us.  Two new members were inducted and enjoyed virtual high-fives and clapping from our membership. Committee Chairs gave updates on ideas that are forming on safe and efficient ways our club can serve others during this unique global crisis. In true Rotarian tradition, Happy Dollars were pledged along with plenty of well wishes for safety and good health. As always, Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach welcomes visitors each Wednesday morning at 7am.  Contact any of our members for an electronic invitation!

   Click here for Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach Calendar






Lunches for First-Liners

Teacher Appreciation Lunches for Citrus Elementary Teachers

Mother's Day McDonald's Breakfasts for St. Francis Manor

'Concert on the Green' at Florida Baptist Retirement Center & Banana Bread for All

Hospital Workers Appreciation Safe-Distancing Parade




Community Service & Partnerships

Chair - Jane Burton


Chair - Mike Murphy


Chair - Pam O'Donnell


Chair - Tom Groendyke

Health & Welfare 

Chair - Pam O'Donnell


Chair - Jane Burton


Chair - Marty Lewis


Chair - Mike Murphy

World Community

Chair - Rick Root


get involved

With nearly 100 members, Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach has been taking action to serve our local and global community since 1989.

  • Enjoy Professional Networking, Friendship and Fellowship.
  • Get Involved in Local Community Service
  • Experience International Awareness and Service
  • Share your Time and Experience with Youth through many Youth Services projects
  • Stay Informed with Exciting Weekly Programs and Speakers
  • Contact Us Now to Learn More.


Sunrise Rotary Receives Dyer Difference Award

Special to Treasure Coast Newspapers USA TODAY NETWORK – FLORIDA

One of the top three annual events in Indian River County is Florida Craft Brew & Wingfest – a day when the whole community takes wing – chicken wing, that is.

Rotary Club of Vero Beach Sunrise Foundation puts on the event to help fund services provided to tens of thousands of individuals through over 50 service projects each year, and the community flocks to attend and enjoy craft brews of every conceivable flavor and a whole lot of wings. The event, which is scheduled for Feb. 15, will feature over 180 craft and micro brews, four live bands, and a wing contest to see which local restaurant has the Best Vero Beach Wings.

And while the Dyer Difference Award Committee loves wings, what they loved even more about the event is Rotary Club of Vero Beach Sunrise’s commitment to the community through support of educational, youth guidance, environmental, nutrition, and service projects. That’s why they chose Rotary Club of Vero Beach Sunrise as the December Dyer Difference Award recipient in Indian River County.

By Brian Carman, Past President of the Rotary Club of Vero Beach Sunrise, United States

This project began as most Rotary projects do. I was invited to participate in a new effort by the Rotary Club of Vero Beach Sunrise to visit the Dominican Republic and learn about local efforts to improve drinking water. Three past presidents were leading the project by building on work Rotary clubs in Michigan had done. As president-elect, I wanted to know more.

The basis of the project was to assess the needs of the local community, and if possible to implement and sustain, we would fund as much of the project as we were able.   Read more ...

Sunrise Rotary supports Gifford Youth Orchestra

Sunrise Rotary Club not only puts its money where its mouth is, but also gives generously of its time and physical support of other charitable organizations. Their members don't just make donations, they shine! Sunrise Rotarians get involved in making a difference in the community they serve. They personally interact with the leadership, the children, the families, through networking, meetings, attending events, responding to calls for help, and many other services. These Rotarians are business people who put their strength into caring for and caring about their community and about the recipients of their good hearts. Sunrise Rotary is an exceptional group of individuals focused on service!   Read More...


Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach Participates in Vero Beach Centennial Parade - A Perfect Chili Challenge Reminder!

A special thanks to Todd Darress, Marty Lewis, Jack Diehl, Carl Fetzer & Gene O'Donnell for helping with the wagon. Thanks to Stuart Kennedy, Michael Kanuka, Marc Gingras, Larry Parks, Steve Lauer, Brenda Bradley for their part in the Rotary Float today. Thanks to club members, Billy Halliday, Kathy Lindsey, Tracy Carroll, Pam O'Donnell, Susan Wert Melton, Cindy Panigal, Ann Marie Amante, Tom Groendyke, and Rotary Community Corp members Gene & Eva.



Sunrise Rotary Shares  Four-Way Test with Stormgrove Middle School Students 

Over 175 students participated in Sunrise Rotary’s Four-Way Test workshop held at Stormgrove Middle School.   The Rotarians were impressed with the students' insight and maturity in using the 4-Way Test to handle  real-world scenarios posed by the Rotarians.  The hope is that their new understanding of the Rotary Four-Way Test will help them as they make decisions.  Students received a Four-Way test card and were encouraged to participate in a contest.  Winners will be the  Guest of Honor at an Awards Lunch to be held at the school.  Each winner will be awarded a gift card for a local store or restaurant, and $25 to donate to a charity of their  choice.





The Rotary Foundation


The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world.  Since it was founded more than 100 years ago, the Foundation has spent more than $4 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects.  With your help, we can make lives better in your community and around the world.

Our mission

The mission of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.

What impact can one donation have?

  • For as little as 60 cents, a child can be protected from polio.

  • $50 can provide clean water to help fight waterborne illness.

  • $500 can launch an antibullying campaign and create a safe environment for children.


Rotary Means Business meets every second and fourth Thursday,

7:30 - 8:30am

at Chelsea's on Cardinal Drive. 

Rotarians are welcome!