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Rotary Shining Stars
Escalon Sunrise Rotary Club member Duane Lovett leads the group in song before their recent breakfast meeting. At right in the background is president Romy Damiles. - photo by Marg Jackson/The Times


Escalon Sunrise Rotary is quietly and consistently making a name for itself.

The club has taken home top honors in a variety of categories, from first place in the Small Club vocational category and first place in the Small Club international service category to the ultimate “Best Club in District” banner for District 5220, an expansive geographic region that includes 53 clubs. Some of those are from large cities like Modesto and Stockton and include many more members than the relatively small handful of a couple dozen that form the core of the Escalon group.

Current President Romy Damiles has been involved with the group since September of 2012 and said his goal as president is to continue leading the club forward, as they work on a variety of local projects and also expand their international focus.

The club is currently working on a project to send an embroidery machine to the Philippines as a way to help create a livelihood for people in a village there and Damiles also wants to collect a variety of sports equipment to send to the children in the village.

Immediate past president Andreas Witt said having such a small club earn multiple banners in the district is a satisfying feeling.

“We are really active in every area,” he said, noting that the local club also has several events on the schedule. Those range from the Oktoberfest fundraiser being planned to getting high school students involved in the Interact youth group sponsored by Rotary.

This is the fourth time in 10 years the club has received the Best Club in District designation and both Witt and Damiles said that is a testament to how dedicated the members are to the club and its objectives.

Escalon Sunrise Rotary meets each Thursday, 6:45 a.m., in the cafeteria at Escalon High School. Prospective new members are welcome to come join them any Thursday to learn more about the club. Witt presented the program at the July 31 session, providing a commentary and slide show on his recent trip to an international Rotary conference in Australia.