Glendale Sunrise Rotary 2019-2020 Year in Review
This has been an eventful year and specially defined by the last 4 months with the greatest challenge of COVID-19.   We are UNITED not only by our call to service but by the human experience.
Thank you members for the experience of a lifetime.  We definitely had a busy year and I'll showcase some of the events, projects and activities we did in 2019-2020 below.  As we move on to the new Rotary year, let's not forget the Rotary Vision that we accomplished this year.  We UNITED, We TOOK ACTION, We CREATED LASTING CHANGE in our communities, across the glove and in ourselves.
In Rotary Service
Alex Parajon, GSR President 2019-2020
Some of our Projects/Events/Activities for 2019-2020
August 2019
  • Created a joint Rotary Mixer at Golden Road Brewery on 08/18/19. We had 12 different clubs attend from the district and had 30 + people in attendance. The mixer was success Rotarians engaged with each other. 
September 2019
  • Sponsored and managed the Glendale Community College (GCC) Concession stand during the following football games: 09/07/19, 09/28/19, 10/05/19, 10/19/19, 11/09/19. Approximately 15 members and 8 non-members volunteered their time on the dates listed above by purchasing, preparing, cooking, and serving food, drinks, and snacks at the games. Members of the GCC Rotaract club also collaborated with GSR by promoting the games and volunteering their time at the concession stand. A total of $3,300 was collected from concession stand sales. All proceeds were donated to the GCC food pantry. The GCC food pantry services low income students during the academic school year by providing them with non-perishable food items.
  • On 09/14/19, GSR members (8) participated in the Glendale Wellness Works, Not On Our Watch Walk to bring awareness of the veteran suicide rate happening in our communities every day. GSR supported the event by not only promoting the event in the community, but also announcing a partnership between Glendale Works and the GSR Field of Honor that resulted in a GSR sponsorship check for $5,500. The money collected from the partnership was donated to Wellness Works to help support veterans in our community.
  • On 09/07/10 GSR collaborated with Latinos Unidos and volunteered at the LA Food Bank, a non-profit organization that mobilizes resources in the community to alleviate hunger by distributing food and other essentials to children, seniors, families and other individuals in need. Members from both clubs came together, rolled up their sleeves, and sorted 7,200 pounds of bread and 7,639 pounds of pears, which resulted in approximately 17,768 meals. A total of 32 volunteers participated in the event 12 of which were members of GSR.
October 2019
  • 10/26/2019 GSR led the collaboration efforts to prepare and paint the offices inside the Campbell Center. The Campbell Center is a local non-profit whose mission involves empowering adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to help them successfully gain independence and attain their desired outcomes through opportunity and choice. Painting the offices helped brighten the space that client’s and workers reside in. GSR contributed all the materials and supplies needed for the project. GSR coordinated the project with over 20 volunteers from GSR, DTLA, Thai Town, Sherman Oaks, and first time partner Glendale Kiwanis.
  • 10/25/2019 GSR contributed $2,500 to the Glendale Community College textbook loan program. The program supports low income students at the college by loaning them free textbooks for the semester.
  • 10/22/19 GSR and Los Alamitos president collaborated and coordinated, "Cruise for a Cause," a dual fellowship event and fundraiser for Estado 29 Orphanage in Ensenada, Mexico. Over 46 Rotarians (including family/friends) from GSR, Los Alamitos, and other surrounding clubs in the district participated in this amazing weekend trip for a good cause. A total of $3000 was raised through generous donations from various clubs and commission from the cruise sales. While at port members traveled to the orphanage and presented the check in addition to helping restore doors and distributing books to the children. Members later gathered in fellowship at the local Ensenada winery to enjoys each other’s company before returning to the ship.   
  • 10/18/19 GSR hosted the annual Glendale Fire Awards Luncheon where we recognized local heroes within the Glendale Fire Department and a non-Rotarian in the community that demonstrated service above self. Over 20 GSR members volunteered and/or attended this event adding to the 400 plus community members, city dignitaries, and organization leaders in attendance.
  • On 10/12/19 GSR and GCC Rotaract members participated in the Aid for Africa, “Walk for Water" fundraising event to benefit Aid Africa’s clean water projects. Participants (12 GSR members) of the event walked a mile in the streets of Glendale carrying jugs full of water. The jugs represented the 1 billion people in the developing world that don’t have access to clean water and the fact that women and girls especially bear the burden of walking long distances to find and carry clean water.
  • On 10/06/19 GSR had 16 members volunteer at the annual Montrose Oktoberfest community event. GSR members managed the ID both from 10:30am - 9pm. Members invited spouses and friends to help in the booth which made the experience all that more memorable.
  • 10/03/19 GSR had 14 members volunteer at our City’s 15th annual State of the Schools breakfast. This annual event is sponsored by the Glendale Education Foundation and is designed to share general updates on the state and health of our education system in addition to saluting educational leaders in the community. GSR supported the event by working the check in table and helping with clean up activities after the event.
November 2019
  • 11/01/19 GSR coordinated the winter clothing drive. Members contributed by collecting warm items such as sweaters, gloves, beanies and sweat pants and later distributing them to Ascencia a local homeless shelter serving individuals and families in Glendale.
  • 11/03/19 GSR participated in the Campbell Center Bowl-a-Thon and one first place. The event involved a friendly completion between various service organizations which helped raise funds for the Campbell Center a local non-profit whose mission involves empowering adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
December 2019
  • GSR sponsored the Montrose Christmas Parade. GSR president contacted Sunland Rotary to bring the Rotary float trailer. GSR invited other other clubs from our district to join us on the parade route on Saturday Dec 7, 2019 from 5pm - 8pm
  • 12/23/2019 A total of 9 GSR members purchased breakfast items and prepared a hot breakfast to clients’ of Ascencia, a local homeless shelter. Prior to the breakfast GSR collected toys for the children (6) and gift cards for the adults (43) living at the shelter. The toys and gift cards were presented during the breakfast as a way to bring holiday joy to those most in need.
  • On 12/21/19 GSR had 24 members volunteer at the Salvation Army annual bell ringing kettle project in La Crescenta. GSR members rang the iconic bell collecting funds for the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army relies on money raised in red kettles to serve more than 25 million people in need each year.
February 2020
  • On 02/07/2020 GSR hosted a local Pageant of the Arts competition. The event invited students from all over LA county to show case their talents. Winners received $500 and moved on to compete in the District competition.
March 2020
  • 03/01/2020 Soroptimist International Bra's for a Cause Most Humorous award winners
  • 03/02/2020 GSR participated in the annual Dr. Seuss reading day. GSR selected a local elementary school in an underserved area of Glendale and read Dr Seuss books to grades levels 1-4. GSR purchased Dr Seuss themed book bags filled with bookmarks, hats, and stickers and distributed to students. Volunteers of the event included 12 GSR members and 1 Glendale Unified School District board member.
  • On 03/25/20 GSR took immediate action as the global covid-19 pandemic struck our community. GSR partnered with 2 other local organizations, Glendale Kiwanis and Glendale Latino Association on the “Take what you need. Share what you want” campaign that converted little libraries across Glendale into little food pantries. This project not only allowed members to remain engaged while adhering to social distance practices, but also helped individuals and families in need throughout the city. Twenty-four volunteers converted and maintained a total of 10 little food pantries throughout the city. Volunteers filled the food pantries daily with non-perishable food items, hygiene products, and other essentials. Partnering with other service organizations allowed us to ensure daily coverage was met for the pantries. This project received local media coverage as well as recognition by our city leaders.
April 2020
  • On 04/15/20, GSR purchased and delivered lunch from Panda Express to Ascencia, on 04/20/2020 we partnered with Tommy's Original Burgers to Ascecia, on 04/22/20 we partnered with the owner of El Morfi, a local Argentianan restaurant in Glendale and 04/28/20 GSR partnered with the owner of Dave’s Chillin N Grillin and provided lunch to the residents (45 in total including children) of Asencia, a local homeless shelter. Dave’s Chillin N Grillin provided the food at a discounted rate and GSR volunteers (2) picked up and delivered the meals to Ascencia.
  • On 04/14/20 Amid the Covid-19 crisis and reported PPE shortages, GSR took action by raising funds and donating 1000 face shields to Glendale Memorial Hospital. GSR members volunteered their time by branding the face shields with the Rotary logo and delivering them to the hospital. Our efforts were recognized in the LA Times.
May 2020
  • On 05/13/20 GSR partnered with the owner of El Morfi, a local Argentianan restaurant in Glendale a 2nd time and provided lunch to the residents (45 in total including children) of Asencia, a local homeless shelter. El Morfi donated the food and GSR volunteers (2) picked up and delivered the meals to Ascencia.
  • On 05/12/20 GSR partnered with DTLA Rotary and installed a little library at the residence of one of our members in Glendale. The little library offers a small collection of books for free to the community. Installing little libraries around the city promotes the importance of literacy within our city.
  • On 05/07/20, GSR hosted a global virtual concert, “Rotary Unity Concert.” The event’s intent was a simple gesture of gratitude and appreciation for the hard work and efforts Rotarians around the world demonstrated during the Covid-19 crisis. A total of 15 performers from around the world shared their beautiful talents and music with the world, which resulted in over 3,200 live viewers. Although GSR led the efforts in the concert it was made possible with the support of various clubs in district 5280.
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  • On 05/01/20 GSR continued its efforts amid the Covid-19 crisis and reported PPE shortages, by raising additional funds and donating 500 face shields to USC Verdugo Hospital. GSR partnered with members of Little Tokyo Rotary and not only assembled, but also delivered the face shields to the hospital.
How did GSR Engage all year:
  • Coffee with the President (Monthly) – An informal non-agenda activity where members of GSR get to know each other and exchange ideas about Rotary with the president.  Members meet monthly in person, however due to Covid-19 restrictions these meetings now take place virtually. See pdf attached on first screen (Monthly)
  • Distirct Cardboard boat Race  - 1st Place
  • Means Business (Monthly)- An opportunity for Rotarians to meet, network, and exchange business ideas/opportunities with each other .
  • 3 truth and a Lie (Once a Month) -  A way to encourage GSR members to get to know each other and have a little fun in the mix during the GSR meeting. One member is selected each moth and provides 3 truths and one lie to the audience. The audience then has to guess the lie.
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  • GSR members participated in the Rose Parade float decorating on 12/28/19.
  • Prio to COVID our Board meeting was setup as a hybrid meeting via zoom and in person at Glendale Arts Community Room.  This provided an opportunity for board members to attend if they couldn’t make it to our meeting location.  Little did we know that this was that virtual meetings would become our new norm effective March 2020.
  • March 13, 2020 the President thought he had his last meeting of the Rotary year, but due to the amazing technology we took immediate action and the following week on March 20, 2020 we introduced our very first zoom club meeting and we invited several clubs from the district to see how we did it in hopes of starting a trend.
Year End Awards:
Rotarian Rookie of the Year   -Andrea Amor
Rotarian Rookie of the Year      - Barry Bradley
Keith Sorem  - Presient's Award of Excellence
Michael Shaar  - Glendale Sunrise Rotary Club Theme Award
Alex Parajon -GSR Rotarian of the Year & District 5280 Rotarian of the Year
Judith Verduzco -  First Lady Recognition