Who are Arcata Sunrise Rotarians?

Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise is a very special group of Rotarians! Below, some of our core members talk about what being an Arcata Sunrise Rotarian means to them.


I grew up going to meetings and volunteering with a Rotary Club in Moscow Idaho with my Dad. That experience helped shape who I am, and my understanding of the need to give back to and be a part of our community (it also led to a Rotary exchange experience!). When I met the Rotarians in RCAS, I found an amazing group of people, who I knew I wanted to join! This club is what makes Rotary so awesome, they are forward thinking and excited to serve the people around them. An added bonus, they really enjoy having fun, and there are members of all ages, from all walks of life! I look forward to the years to come, where we can serve, while continuing to look internally to grow and adapt to be a better resource to our Community!

   ~Amanda Nelson


Barbara BrowningThey say Rotary changes lives, and my life was changed when I realized the potential for Rotary to bring people together to do larger scale transformational projects. I've always loved volunteer work, and have always loved hands-on projects, and Rotary has given me the opportunity to participate and lead projects that are far bigger than anything I could ever do on my own. The results have been extraordinary, both in terms of the tangibles we can see, but the intangibles
in the way people are changed as well as the spaces we work on.

            ~Barbara Browning, Past Club President 2014-2015


I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger West Africa. I came to Rotary as a way to re-kindle the experience of doing service work in  the developing world. I'm thrilled that since I've become a Rotarian, Rotary ended Polio in Niger. I've had the amazing opportunity to travel to Northern Lao to dedicate a school that our club built in a small village. I look forward to one day soon participating in a National Polio Immunization Day. I've certainly certainly found the opportunity to continue to make that difference in the developing world that I was looking for by joining Rotary. But I've found so much more being a member of the Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise. I've discovered that fundraising can be fun. I've learned leadership skills that will serve me through the rest of my life. I've met people I would not have otherwise met. And I am honored to call the members of my Rotary club my friends.

~Jessica McKnight, Past Club President 2013-2014


Janice Newman What initially brought me into Rotary was the Youth Exchange Program. As a host parent I originally thought I would be on the giving end: shelter, safety, support and guidance, and I was willing to do that. But almost immediately it became quite evident that I was actually the one on the receiving end; the gift of trust, the opportunity to learn about other cultures, the joy of being part of a student’s successful exchange. Through Rotary, I have had an amazing experience hosting 13 foreign students in our home over the years. I will hold each of them forever in my heart. The Rotary Youth Exchange Program is truly spreading world peace, one exchange at a time.

~Janice Newman, Past Club President 2004-2005


Karen Burgesser My daughter was the catalyst.  During her first week at Arcata High School, there was a school assembly where the Rotary exchange students were introduced.  She decided then that she was going to be a Rotary exchange student and worked until she achieved her goal and went to Sweden her junior year of high school.   I learned a lot about Rotary as I attended meetings with her at the invitation of Harry Johnson, then the District Youth Exchange Chair.  I was impressed by the opportunities that Rotary offered to make a difference in my community and in the world and was excited when I was invited to join Rotary.  I realized that as an individual I could not have accomplished much.  As a Rotarian, I joined other like minded individuals to dream, plan, fund and execute projects.  I've helped present dictionaries to third graders, traveled to Mexico for Project Amigo for Literacy week to provide books to needy schools, and picked up trash along the road as part of Adopt-A-Highway.  I've met wonderful people from all over the world, including traveling to Sweden to meet my daughter's host families.  I joined Rotary to help make a difference and change lives.  The bonus has been how much Rotary has changed my life.

~Karen Burgesser


Terri Clark I had been in Rotary 14 years and served as District Governor before I joined the Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise. While a member of a different Club, I made up so often at Arcata Sunrise that I think some people were surprised when I was proposed as a member because they thought I already was one! I love the energy of our Club and I love seeing the people each Friday morning. We do great work in both our community and the world; we bring honor to the title "Rotarian". Many long time Rotarians have 2 Clubs - the one to which they belong and the one where their heart resides. Since 2006, those 2 have been the same for me and it will never change.

~Terri Clark, PDG 2002-03


Craig Newman I joined Rotary because I became convinced that it is the premier Service Club available in our area and probably anywhere in the world. One of the greatest facets of our organization is the internationality of it. Rotary is in almost every entity that even calls itself a nation, with the exception of communist countries, which do not allow groups of people to gather either publically or privately. Rotary serves people in a number of ways. My Rotarian wife, Janice, and I have had the pleasure of hosting a total of 13 Long Term Rotary High School Exchange Students from 11 different countries in our home since 1998. Over the last 20 years or so, I have been lucky enough to have been involved in countless local area community service projects, both where the Arcata Sunrise Rotary Club has funded a project to make a difference in our community, or hands-on service projects where we have applied our skills and labor to make a difference. I have also been able to participate in international service projects where we have travelled to another county to do hands-on work to help people in need. One of my most rewarding experiences associated with our Rotary Club has been working with youth at Sunny Brae Middle School and Arcata High School through Rotary sponsored and supported Interact Service Clubs. Rotary sponsorship of youth service organizations also extends to sponsoring and supporting Rotaract Clubs for young adults aged 18-30. The only limit to what an individual can get out of involvement in the Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise is the amount of time and dedication that they choose to put into it.

~Craig Newman, Member since 1992