Since our inception in 1990, we’ve been answering Rotary’s call for Service Above Self with innovative, high-impact projects that have a lasting benefit to our recipients. These projects define who we are as a club, with a commitment that goes far beyond weekend work projects. If you have initiative and are willing to help work toward a better world, we invite you to join us as a member or as a partnering organization.
The Read to Me Club
You know it’s a good idea when a community service program becomes so successful that it becomes its own organization. The first time this occurred was with our Read to Me literacy campaign. Rotary Club of Honolulu Sunrise was instrumental in launching the Read to Me television commercial by advertising agency Starr Seigle McCombs. The tv spot written by David Koch encouraged parents to “Read me a story daily, daddy, read to me out loud…” The commercial was so successful that it became the foundation for Read to Me International.
Read me a story daddy…
Read to me out loud.
I’ve got a hungry mind, mama…
I want to grow up to make you proud.
A book a day is brain food.
Vitamins A, B, C…
So read me a story, daily, daddy…
Read to me.
Mama, won’t you read to me. Yeah!
When Honolulu Sunrise Rotarian Rob Hail learned about Madame Nuon Phaly and Future Light Orphanage in Cambodia, he was determined to help. With the support of family, friends and fellow Sunrisers, Rob launched an email foster parent program in which caring individuals “adopted” an email foster child. The foster parent paid for the child’s room and board, and even more importantly, provided love and encouragement in the form of emails. The program has now grown into its own entity called eGlobal Family, and now connects foster parents with needy children at Future Light in Cambodia, Nurul Haq Madania orphanage in in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and St. Mary Euphrasia in Cebu City, Philippines.
Royal Scholars aka “Rob’s Kids”
The Royal Scholars program was also the brainchild of Rotary Club of Honolulu Sunrise member Rob Hail, and was based on the fact that children who have a caring adult mentor other than their parents are more likely to succeed. The program began with a class of first graders from Royal Elementary School. Each child had a Rotarian buddy who communicated with the child several times a year. The students and their buddies participated in fundraising car washes, camping trips and other activities. The program continued for 11 years and provided scholarship assistance to students who continued to higher education.
In response to the devastating tsunami that hit Japan in May 2011, Honolulu Sunrise Rotarian Masa Edamura, encouraged by his good friend Mr. Komoro, past president of the Niigata Bandai Rotary Club, began a monumental fund drive to help the people of the Fukushima. In response to Masa’s efforts, Sunrisers reached deep into their pockets and donated an incredible $25,500. Next, Masa, and fellow members Dave Erdman and Allen Kamemoto went to Japan in search of a direct way to use this money to benefit the people who needed it most.
Using Rotary connections, Masa met with the Fukushima South Rotary Club, which put them in contact with the Soma Rotary Club located close to devastated area. From the Soma Rotary Club, Masa learned that 44 of the 125 students at the Soma Isobe Elementary School in Fukushima were orphaned by the tsunami. After meeting with school officials, Honolulu Sunrise donated the $25,500 directly to the school to provide emotional support for the orphaned students and counseling for the students. Mr. Komoro created Japan Tomodachi T-shirts for the visiting Sunrisers and the orphaned students, and pledged an additional $5,000 to assist Rotary’s Fukushima District in their post-tsunami efforts. Honolulu Sunrise also gave our sister club, Niigata Bandai Rotary Club, $5,000 to assist Fukushima evacuees who relocated in the Niigata area.