Starting the New Year with a bang may be the goal of some people. However, I choose to start the New Year by reflecting and expressing gratitude. There are so many things to be thankful for as a member of the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club.  Just being part of Rotary brings many opportunities to help others and to build friendships along the way.


One of the pillars of Rotary is the 4-Way Test with one of the questions asking, “Will it build goodwill and better friendships?” Rotary accomplishes both of these goals easily while simultaneously completing service projects that help our local community and our overseas community as well. The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club recently had a fundraiser bike ride with arguably the longest name in any service project, the Annual Howard S. Danner, Jr. Wheels for Wheels Cycling Challenge. This was a fundraiser to raise money for wheelchairs to be sent internationally and raised an amazing $30,000, from bike riding with friends!


Our Trust Board awarded $89,053.00 in fall grants plus an additional $49,113 in FY24 commitments. All told, our Rotary Club, coming off a historically devastating year from Hurricane Ian, awarded an amazing $138,166 in grants. Locally, we supported the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, CHR, CROW, FISH of SanCap, Sanibel Community Association, The Sanibel School Fund, Ding Darling Wildlife Society and Habitat for Humanity Lee County, just to name a few! Nationally, we have supported Alzheimer’s Research, Christian Ministries, Furnish with Care, Meals of Hope, Partners in Breast Cancer Research, and Trailways Camps. Internationally we have supported Gift of Life – Rotary, a Haitian Grass Project, Power of a Nickel, ShelterBox and the United Way Mission United. All this from the hard work fundraising of our Rotarians and very generous donations from our Rotarians, especially Bill and Laurie Harkey.


The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club has many opportunities to build goodwill and better friendships every month. Not to mention, the Club added a fifth question to Rotary’s 4-Way test, “Is it fun?” This is possibly the best question of all. These days, we need to be able to know that every week we can see our Rotarian friends, learn something new from the weekly speakers and be surrounded with the warm, loving feeling of friendship.


The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary will be holding hybrid meetings both on Zoom and in person at the Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way. Doors open at 7:30 a.m., the meeting begins at 8:00 a.m. For more information about Rotary, please visit All are welcome!