Working Hard for Working Families

The Rotary Club of Sedona focuses our efforts locally, regionally and globally on Working Hard for Working Families.  To advance that mission we try to expand our knowledge and understanding of organizations that support our focus.  Jennifer Perry of the Sedona office of the Arizona Community Foundation suggested that we invite “LISA” to speak.

On Tuesday (July 11) we were joined by Eric Wyles, founder of Low Income Student Aid (a/k/a LISA) and two board members for the organization.  LISA’s mission is to help to elevate the experience of children from low income households to the level of experience for those who are not so challenged.

Rotary Club of Sedona presents Scholarship Awards

At Sedona Red Rock High School's Awards Night, Rotary Club of Sedona presented six $1,000 college scholarships to Red Rock High School graduating seniors. The awardees were chosen based on their service to the community as part of Rotary’s High School Interact Club, academic achievement, and need. Club members Holli Ploog and Ray Harris had the pleasure of presenting the awards.

Junior Interact Club supports Humane Society of Sedona

Red Rock Junior High Interact Club lead by Faculty Advisor Claire Amistoso and Rotary Advisor Jamiss Sebert, from Rotary Club of Sedona, lead sixth-through eighth-grade students in community projects. The JR Interact Club recently chose to support the Humane Society of Sedona by raising funds to purchase pet supplies. The club's excited and boisterous middle schoolers were greeted by the Humane Society's Director of Operations, Sarah Porter, who quickly settled them down by explaining that loud noises scare the animals, especially the cats!  She described not only the differences and similarities between dogs and cats, but the different needs of each new animal that comes to board, depending on their personality and life experience.  Many are wary of strangers, some are fearful, some can be aggressive, and most have special needs. She explained that all volunteers are carefully trained before they start interacting with the animals. The kids were remarkably quiet during facility tour, having learned from their first lesson in pet care.  

It’s water delivery day and Monica anxiously scans the Navajo Reservation horizon for the big white water truck.  When she sees the vehicle in the distance carefully maneuvering around deep ruts in the dirt road to her home she hustles her two small children safely inside.  Like many on the Navajo Nation, Monica has lived for years without running water or electricity.  Today will be life-changing for her young family.  

Members of the Rotary Club of Sedona take up positions to monitor the delivery.  The truck rolls up to the freshly installed underground cistern beside Monica’s tiny home.  A 1200 gallon tank is the heart of the home water system and for the first time will provide Monica and her children with clean, hot and cold running water.  The days of hauling hundreds of pounds of water from a regional well each week to provide for her family are behind her.

RYLA students help club celebrate 65 years

To help Rotary Club of Sedona celebrate 65 years, three Rotary Youth Leadership Awardees from Red Rock High School attended the club’s Valentine’s Day meeting: Alana Schrader, Cheyanne Matisko and Anisa Jaffe. Seven RRHS awardees attended RYLA held at Prescott’s Camp Pinerock in January. The students, sponsored by Sedona’s three Rotary Clubs, produced a presentation and told stories from their challenging, fun, and rewarding weekend. Asked what they learned - all three said "teamwork" number one, followed by: have fun, be in the moment, be brave, try new things, and set aside judgement. One girl hopes to be a Rotary Youth Exchange student next. Another is considering being a Junior Counselor at RYLA. A mom, sitting quietly in the back the room ended their presentation by thanking the Club for their sponsorships, saying, "I'm so glad my daughter was able to attend. She came home a different girl. It was life changing."

Club tours Yavapai College's Skilled Trade Center in Clarkdale

Rotary Club of Sedona thanks fellow Rotarian Chuck Marr, the Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona, and Yavapai College for an incredibly informative Feb. 10 tour of its Skilled Trade Center in Clarkdale. The courses offered are hands-on training in state-of-the art workforce skills that make the Verde Valley and Sedona a wonderful place to live and work. They include residential construction, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, nursing, allied health, culinary arts, viticulture & enology, agriculture and high-tech CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining. The tour introduced high school students, their parents, and scholarship providers to well-paying career opportunities right here in the Verde Valley. The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona offers scholarships of up to $2,000 designed to help cover tuition, books, and fees to complete the courses of study at Yavapai College's Certified Technical Education Center (CTEC). YC nursing students above give a patient care demo to a high school student.

St. Andrews Community Suppers are Back

The Sedona Community Suppers at St. Andrew's Church are back in full swing with about 60 guests sitting down on Jan. 30, sharing an entirely plant-based supper together. Some guests still grab-and-go, but most were ready to sit together and enjoy each other's company. In preparation for the Rotary Club of Sedona's first hosting of the event since COVID nixed communal dining, Rotary members updated their food handler's licenses and Jim Hose from St Andrew's Church was on hand to reorient our group to updates in the church kitchen. Under Ray Harris’s direction, fellow Rotarians and Healthy World Sedona friends helped with food prep and serving. Several church members joined the crew to help with clean-up. It was truly a group effort - Rotary, Healthy World Sedona, and St Andrew's Church serving the Sedona community. (Photo L-R) Peggy Harris, David Simmer, and Ray Harris.

District Governor Larry Horton visits club

The Rotary Club of Sedona hosted Larry Horton, District 5495's Governor during its Jan. 24 meeting. Larry's home club is Tempe Rio & Satellite of Camelback Crossroads. A retired Phoenix Police Officer, Larry is heavily involved in planning and mentoring teen peer counselors for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) retreats. He and his wife, also a Rotarian, have a 3-year-old daughter and a teen son. Larry highlighted several of his goals for 2022-2023 which include growing Rotaract and Rotary club membership through service projects that feed member passions. In keeping with Rotary's 7th focus area, Protecting the Environment, Larry's presented the District's Environmental Committee Challenge: Go One Week with NO single-Use plastic! The meeting concluded with the club's donation to the Rotary Vocational Fund of AZ in Larry's honor. Club President Jean Barton (left) also announced a new children's book will be donated to the Sedona Public Library in Larry's name, and the gift of an Imagination Library Book to Larry's daughter, "My Papi Has a Motorcycle," which he does!

Rotarians and guests heard powerful stories from Ukraine

Millions of Ukrainians have been displaced. Many have sought refuge outside the country. Lives have been disrupted. Hope is hard to find. But one of our own—a Sedonan—has taken an active role in providing relief to victims of this nearly year-old conflict. Mark Cary is a 55-year-old retired Marine and Border Patrol Officer. When the Russian military invaded Ukraine his first instinct was to heed President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s call for foreign fighters to support Ukrainian troops. But ultimately, he had a better idea. He called his son, Shane, in California with a proposal. Over 60 people attended Mark's Jan. 10 presentation to Rotary Club of Sedona and heard how he and his son have been back and forth to Ukraine offering aide and support to displaced Ukrainians. “I don’t feel like I can sit back and do nothing while people’s entire lives are being destroyed,” Cary said. “And if I can help someone and have an impact, I believe that is a way to help heal the world.”
For Rotary Club of Sedona every dog has its day. At least that was true during the club’s July 26 meeting at Sedona Public Library. Thirty-five Rotarians and guests joined the meeting to get to know German Shephard K9 Slider and Golden Retriever K9 Ivy for a description of their invaluable service to residents and visitors to the Verde Valley. Ivy’s owner, Jennifer Brehler (left), and Slider’s owner, Hank Summy, explained the crucial role their dogs play in finding lost hikers and other missing persons before something disastrous happens. Brehler is a Lieutenant for the all-volunteer Verde Search and Rescue Posse as well as being the executive director of the Humane Society of Sedona. The 35-volunteer group help locate lost, injured or dehydrated hikers, lost children, runaways, stranded motorists, conduct evidence searches, fire and flood evacuations and even, in those most unfortunate of circumstances, body recovery. The volunteers not only donate their time and expertise, but also their personal gear such as drones, off-road vehicles, climbing apparatus, mountain bikes, and, in the case of Brehler and Summy, woman and man’s best friends — Ivy and Slider. For more information or to inquire about joining for the Verde Search and Rescue Posse visit https://verdesar.org
May 2024
Together we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change -- across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.
Club Executives & Directors
Immediate Past President
Vice President
President Elect
Community & International Service
Community and International Service
The Rotary Foundation
Youth Service Co-Chair
Youth Service Co-Chair
Public Relations
Board Member
VV Imagination Library
Navajo Water Project
Hope House of Sedona
Sedona Int'l City of Peace
Jr. High Interact
Wildcat Extended Day Prog.
Manzanita Outreach
Sedona Food Bank
College Scholarships
Vocational Training
Microcredit Lending
Veracruz MX Libraries
Other Humanitarian Concerns
District Governor,
Kevin Pitts
District Governor Elect,
Michelle Holcomb (Fountain Hills)
District Governor Nominee,
Jim Schmidt
(Mesa West)
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Contact Us

Rotary Club of Sedona
P. O. Box 2170
Sedona AZ 86339
(928) 284-4444
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University of Sedona

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Rotary International General Secretary, John Hewko