Clarksville Sunrise Rotary Club © 2013 | All Rights Reserved

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Sunrise Rotary Club:

 Time and Gender Beginnings

twenty-five years ago, a few men from the Clarksville Rotary Club (the “noon club”) needed a non-lunch time to meet, which would not interfere with their growing business demands. At this same time, one woman, Dr. Linda Rudolph, was discouraged to learn that the 1917 tradition of the noon club still held true, i.e., “No women allowed!”

In Jan, 1990, nine men (William Ellis, Rex Galloway, Bill Gauchat, Ed Groves, Kent Huneycutt, Floyd Mann, Bob Patterson, Mike Schrecker, and Ray Woodall) decided to transfer from the noon club to form a new rotary club. The first meetings of this club—before being chartered—began in March of that year and were held at Austin Peay State University in the cafeteria meeting room.

When the new Clarksville Sunrise Rotary Club was officially chartered on May 18, 1990, membership was 30, including five women—Sandra Denney, Susan Kupisch, Linda Rudolph, Faye Smalley, and Dorothy Stowe. The charter ceremony address was presented by Rotary International Past President, James L. Bowmar, Jr. In addition, District Governor, Jack Hay, made some congratulatory remarks. Two other past District Governors also attended, William Ellis and Linnell Gentry. The impressive gathering of these distinguished Rotarians was due chiefly to past District Governor, William Ellis (a past noon club Rotarian and a new Clarksville Sunrise Rotary member) whose reputation throughout Rotary International was significant.Since the 1990 beginning, the Sunrise Rotary Club has had many firsts, including that, in 1992, Linda Rudolph became president and, as such, was the first female club president in the district. She later served as the first female District 6760 Governor in 2002-2003. A few other first/best notables for Sunrise Rotary included, among many, the following: one of the first Rotoract Clubs, District Award for best Club Bulletin, “own” fundraising events (Hole-in-One contest and Pancake Breakfast, raising in total $4,000), District Award for conference attendance, first International Youth Exchange Program, first Interact, district 5-Year-Plan initiative, spearheaded the Dolly Parton Imagination Library/Books from Birth, Best New Project, Best Per Capita Giving, Labor Day Classic Bike Ride fundraiser ranked by Bicycle Magazine as one of the top 10 rides in the U.S., and District “Club of the Year” four times.