Posted by John Ester on Jun 12, 2018
Dave Clasen, Principal of Benzie Central's Middle School and High School, gave us an update on the programs Sunrise Rotary has established at the Benzie Central Schools.
Dave traced the special relationship between Sunrise Rotary and Benzie Central to a meeting he had in 2009 with Sunrise Rotarians Bob Bishop and Bob Bigelow. They discussed how Sunrise Rotary could meet student needs and community needs. They believed that the impact on the community would be both priceless and endless, and that the greatest level of investment on the part of the Rotarians would be of their time rather than their money.
Sunrise Rotary's first program under its partnership with Benzie Central was Career Day. Dave noted that the point was not only to provide the students with a connection with adults in the community, but also to provide a connection for the Rotarians with the students.
In 2010 we brought CHOICES to the 8th Grade.  Dave noted the big part that Andy Ashworth has played in putting on this valuable program.  This was followed by the MSU/CMU Trip for 8th graders. Dave told how the trip had evolved over the years (noting the trip to the MSU dairy farm the first year) and will continue to change with the move to a fall trip for 9th graders.
Sunrise Rotary is also responsible for bringing Interact to both the High School and Middle School.  The latter club is responsible for the school store and clothes closet.  The Middle School Club now has two advisers--one for club activities and the other for the school store.
Service Above Self recognition continues to be important for students in both the Middle School and the High School.  And Sunrise Rotary continues to provide Scholarships to graduating Seniors, as well as the STRIVE program for students at risk.
Other programs supported by Sunrise Rotary include the Chicago trip for Juniors and Seniors and Mitch's service project in the Dominican Republic. New programs mentioned by Dave included Project Hope and the returning SEEDS.  Dave noted that the new Hope Program could use more mentors from the community.
While much has been accomplished at Benzie Central, there is no shortage of additional opportunities to serve.