Our History

The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:

The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life;
The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the idea of service.

During the first half of the 1984-1985 Rotary year of District Governor Tom Clayton and his District Extension Chairman, Arie Groenveld, proposed the formation of a morning Rotary Club in Modesto. After careful thought, and consultation with other Rotary Clubs in Modesto, a group was asked to help in locating potential Rotary candidates.

Soon after the 1985 new year, the first meeting was held at the Holiday Inn at 1612 Sisk Road attended by approximately eighteen prospective Rotarians, chaired by Rex Burris, acting as the Governor’s Representative from the sponsoring Modesto Gateway Rotary Club. As the weeks passed, the development committee contacted additional men who indicated their interest in the newly created provisional club.

Finally, the Modesto Sunrise Rotary Club was officially chartered on March 27, 1985, with the following thirty-five charter members: 

  • Scott Alboth, Restaurants – Sandwich
  • Carl Boyett, Petroleum Products – Distributing
  • Robert Driver, Nurseries – Tree Growing
  • John Fleming, Engineering – Food Technology
  • Gregg Giahos, Building Management Service
  • Ed Kimbrough, Electric Contracting Service
  • David Lake, Accounting Service – Tax Mgmt.
  • Jerry Larson, Concrete Ready Mix Mfg.
  • James Lippert, Municipal Government Admin.
  • Michael Mensinger, Building Materials – Retail
  • Jay Miller, Law Practice – Civil Litigation
  • Gerold Peterson, Real Estate Agency–City Prop
  • Kenneth Smith, Public Utilities – Gas
  • William Strickland, Wire Rope Distributing
  • Carl Tognolini, Communications Equipment
  • Roger Tickel, Agricultural Design Service
  • James von Dohlen, Architectural Design Service
  • David Walker, Law Practice – Personal Injury
  • Gary Boudreaux, Department Stores
  • Richard Cody, Tire Sales – Fleet
  • Gary McGown, Pharmaciest
  • John Hertle, Dairy Farming
  • Leroy Klein, Banking – Commercial
  • Paul McManus, Almond Growing
  • Pat Minnix, Wine Manufacturing
  • Nick Pallios, Groceries – Retail
  • Frank Pellegrino, Insurance – Life
  • Howard Priest, CPA
  • Ray Putler, Dentistry
  • Tom Robinson, Radio Broadcasting
  • Mel Richars, Diversified Farming
  • WilliamWaddle,Securities Brokerage
  • Hy Youngheim, Shoes – Retail
  • Marc Wickliffee, Advertising Novelties – Retail
  • Matthew Wallace, Chocolate Manufacturing
At the official Charter Night on April 11, 1983, the Modesto Sunrise Rotary Club was presented with the official documents and charged by the District Governor, Tom Clayton, to share the benefits of Rotary with others everywhere.
Modesto Sunrise Rotary

Types of Rotary Membership

A member of a club who has been elected to membership in the club under a classification of business or profession and who has all the obligations, responsibilities, and privileges of membership as provided in the RI constitution and bylaws.
A person who, by serving with distinction in the furtherance of Rotary ideals, has been elected to honorary membership of a club. An honorary member is exempt from payment of fees and dues, has no vote, and may not hold office. However, an honorary member may attend all meetings and enjoy the privileges of the club. The term honorary membership is determined by the club board.