Benzie Sunrise Rotary is a volunteer service club whose 45-50 members donate their time and resources to help others in the community and beyond. Our motto is “Service Above Self,” and we strive to live by Rotary's Four-Way Test. Our primary mission is to improve the lives and futures of the youth of Benzie County.  In the fall of 2010 we began working with the administration at the Benzie County Central Schools, looking for ways to support the schools in educating their students. We are proud of the partnership we have forged with the school district allowing us to serve district students in a variety of ways:
At Benzie Elementary and Middle Schools:
  • Reading is Fundamental, reading three times a year and giving a free book to students in all of the 1st grade classes
  • Dictionary program for students in all of the 3rd grade classes
  • Sponsoring the Middle School Interact Club.
  • Awarding “Service Above Self” awards.
  • Providing guidance and support for the operation of the Middle School Store.
  • Serving as team guides for the 6th grade class’s participation in the annual Crystal Lake Walkabout.  
  • Organizing and conducting an annual Service Above Self Day with the 7th grade class.
  • Administering annual CHOICES Workshops with the 8th grade class.
  • Purchase of a sound system for the Benzie Middle School gymnasium.
At Benzie Central High School:
  • Sponsoring the High School Interact Club.
  • Awarding “Service Above Self” awards. 
  • Chaperoning 9th grade students on a college & career exploration trip to Northwest Michigan College in Traverse City.
  • Sponsoring and chaperoning 10th grade students on a college & career exploration trip to Baker College, in Cadillac.
  • Sponsoring and chaperoning 11th grade students on a college trip to Michigan State University at East Lansing and Ferris State University in Big Rapids.
  • Coordinating in collaboration with BEST Benzie County a Career Exploration Day for 11th grade students.
  • Sponsoring Benzie Central students at Rotary’s Life Leadership Conference in Tustin, Michigan.
  • Providing Benzie Bus passes to support student participation in after school activities.
  • Awarding three $1,000 Benzie Sunrise Rotary Club Choices Scholarships to graduating seniors.
  • Donating $20,000 to the "Back the Track" project for a new athletic facility at the school.
Our Club also supports many other programs, for youth and otherwise:
  • On the ground and financial support of Healthy Harvest to ensure food security within our area.
  • Adopt a Highway, cleaning a 2.5 mile section of M-115
  • BACN food drives, including its GED Program.
  • Special Olympics and other programs for those with challenged abilities.
  • Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library—Benzie County
  • Born to Read
  • Michigan Legacy Art Park
  • Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts
  • Rotary International’s efforts to eradicate polio in the world.
  • International Youth Exchange.
  • Wheels of Hope (motorized wheel chairs for Nigeria).
To support our many projects and programs, our Club raises more than $35,000 annually by organizing and hosting three major fundraisers:
  • Benefit Golf Outing
  • Bike Benzie Tour
  • Lucky 13 Raffle
While we are happy with the size of our Club, we are always looking for kindred spirits embracing our mission and the concept of Service Above Self. We have friendly breakfast meetings each Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. at the Cold Creek Inn in Beulah. Come check us out!
For further information about our Club contact our President Val Gerhart (989-430-8847) or our Website Administrator John Ester (231-325-2445).  To learn more about Rotary click: