Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Marcolette Madden was recently inducted into the Manitowoc Sunrise Rotary Club. She shares what this moment means to her and some history about our Community’s past involvement.
Ever since Sister Anne Kennedy was involved with the Manitowoc Noon Rotary Club, our community has played a vital role in supporting the club’s mission of service to the civic community. Sister Barbara Belinski initiated Manitowoc Sunrise Rotary in 1994 so that business professionals wouldn’t have to interrupt their work day. Our college lay presidents continued the involvement.
When Dr. Barry Bast, an original member of Manitowoc Sunrise Rotary, invited me to join the organization, he explained that the club wanted to expand its membership. He shared his fond memories of Sister Barbara: “At the end of each meeting, the president rings the ‘Barbara Bell.’ We miss her.”
While attending a 7:00 a.m. meeting as a guest, I learned that the foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan, non-sectarian and non-political corporation that is organized and operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. Rotary is a global network of more than 46,000 clubs around the world committed to enhancing communities and improving lives. The areas of focus are basic education and literacy, environment, peacebuilding, maternal and child health, disease prevention, and community economic development.
Just a few of the many contributions Manitowoc Sunrise Rotary has made include the 72 scholarships awarded to college students (Holy Family College, Lakeshore Technical College, and UW Manitowoc), KAN Cool for School (school supplies for low-income children), Miracle League (for Special Needs children), Camp Sinawa, and the Veterans Day Breakfast. The big fundraising project for this summer will be the Sand Sculpting event on the beach.
Sister Natalie and her Council reviewed all the information I shared with them and gave their approval for me to apply for membership. I was inducted into the club on December 12, 2023 (feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of Holy Family College). As is true of so many of our Sisters, the willingness to devote time and study in serving on boards and committees reflects St. Francis’ vision of fraternity – building relationships within and without the Community.