The Sun Lakes Rotary Club will celebrate 35 years on April 22, 2021 as it was officially chartered on April 22, 1986.  The club was conceived in 1985 when Chandler Rotarian, Andre Felix put an advertisement on the Sun Lakes Club House Bulletin Board to see if anyone was interested in attending Rotary at the Palo Verde Club House.  Rotarian, Wayne Johnson had just moved to Sun Lakes from Moline, Illinois to enjoy retirement, noted the advertisement and
responded.  The next week, Wayne and seven Sun Lakes retires met around a lunch table with Andre and decided there was a need for a Rotary club in this fast-growing Sun Lakes Active Adult Community.
After working with the Arizona Rotary District 5510 and Rotary International, final approval was granted and the Sun Lakes Rotary Club was charted as a Tuesday morning club with 15 members and Allan Gustafson was elected the Charter Club President.  Over the years the club has become known as the “Education Club” because of all the youth projects, programs and scholarships provided for K-12 education, vocational education, and higher education. Additionally, the club has participated in several Rotary International projects through the Rotary Foundation and many Sun Lakes community projects.
The club grew to 140 members in 2000-2001 and then helped charter on November 29, 2001, a Sun Lakes Crown Thursday noon club with some members transferring to the new club.  From a start of 15 members to a high of 140 members, the club now balances between 80 to 90 men and women members.  In Rotary year 2000-2001 the club was recognized by Rotary International as one of the top 50 largest clubs in the Rotary world with the 21st Century Challenge Award at the International Convention.  Rotary celebrated its 100th year in 2004-2005 and Sun Lakes Past Club President, Gary Whiting was selected as Arizona Rotary District 5510 Centennial Governor overseeing 46 Rotary clubs and 1,648 members in the Northeastern part of Arizona, USA.
Wayne Johnson is still an active member and the only Charter Member left in the club.  As a Rotarian, he has served as Club President, Board of Directors, and several Committee Chairmanships and is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow in support of the Rotary Foundation.  Wayne just turned 93 and in total has been a Rotarian for 65 years.  Unless ill or a family situation he hasn’t missed a meeting in all these many years. As Wayne says, if you want to stay young get involved with your passion and for him that’s about contributing to your own community through Rotary.  So, do not let age get in your way to stay young!