Brightening the Holidays

Hi All –

To get everyone on the same page, I’m going to start from the Very Beginning.

A long long time ago, in a land…well, not far away at all…actually it was here in Seattle… I hung Christmas lights – professionally. Don’t believe me? Click on this link and you can see a little of what I did once…

Things have changed a little bit since that time. I evolved into a Mortgage Loan Originator, and operate within the warm, dry, confounds of Guild Mortgage’s Nortgate Offices. However, one thing has never changed, and that’s my desire to do whatever I can to help brighten someone else’s holidays.

Last year my rotary group, Sunrise Rotary funded holiday lighting projects for a couple homes – aimed at Brightening the Holidays for those less fortunate than ourselves. If I do say so myself, it was a huge success. Check out this video of last year’s work!


This year we are at it again. Sunrise Rotary worked with the University Food Bank identifying a couple families who could really use a little extra holiday cheer this year. Check out their stories!

Who Are We Helping??? (email from University Food Bank)

Hi Kyle,

I talked with the driver for the Home Delivery route that Catherine and two other families are on and she gave me a lot of good information. In addition to Catherine, there are two other families who live in the same apartment complex. Catherine has custody of 3 of her grandchildren. The youngest boy is right around 18 months old and the other two boys are in kindergarten and first/second grade. The driver notices that they do not have much of anything that she has seen. Catherine has to arrange transportation for her grandsons so they can make it to different therapy appointments each week. She also has shared that a tutor for the older boys would be very helpful because she has trouble helping them with their homework.

Hoa is another woman who lives in the apartment complex. She lives with two of her sons, I believe, who are in their teens.

Karen is the last woman who lives in the apartment complex. She lives there with her 18 year old daughter. The driver shared that their apartment is very sparsely furnished and that their dog recently passed away unexpectedly.

As far as Betty M., I haven’t heard back from the driver yet. I know that Betty has 4 other people living in her home. She has a disabled son who lives there, as well as her grandchildren and possibly a few foster children. When I hear back from the driver, I can email you any additional information that might be helpful for you. (I will update you all when I get updated on Betty Mosley)

I hope this gives you enough information to get to know these families a little bit. It seems to me like some sort of home furnishings might be appreciated by all the families in the apartment complex, as well as warm clothes for the winter for these families and also Betty’s household. The driver also shared that some sort of gift cards might be greatly appreciated as well. If you have any other questions. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have. Thank you for coordinating this for the Home Delivery families. I know they really appreciate it!

What Are We Doing???

A small group of Rotarians and myself will decorate the outsides of these homes as described in the pictures below, but more than the lights, what would REALLY Brighten these families holidays would be gifts. As you read above, these families don’t NEED lights, they NEED the basic essentials! …The lights are just the cherry on top.

If you are able and willing, let’s give these families a little something extra this year.

Let me know if you are able to “Gift” clothes, food, toys, gift cards.

Like we did last year, I would love to leave these families with something to unwrap, or go to the store with this holiday season (gift cards).

Please Let me know if you would like to participate in installing lights on these houses, or if you cannot do install, if you would like to donate something to the families. Email me directly if you would like to remain anonymous – your secret (Santa) is safe with me. ,


Kyle Bergquist







Kyle Bergquist

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President’s Dinner 2014

RYOnce again University Sunrise Rotary had a successful and fun President’s Dinner and Auction. Also, once again, special thanks for organizing the event go to Holly Whitcomb-Henry, Colleen Johnson and Nancy Bittner. Auctioneer Scott Jamieson entertained, brow-beat and extorted members into parting with their money.

Nancy Bolin and Mike Madden shared the 2013-14 Rotarians of the Year Award – Well deserved for their leadership and organization of the Debutes & Discoveries Event.

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Sandpoint Block Party 2014

SandP14 (69)The University Sunrise Rotary Club of Seattle sponsored its 9th annual Block Party for Sand Point Community Housing. Hundreds of Sand Point residents attended this year’s party, including scores of kids who ate, danced, jumped, played and ate.

Special Thanks to:
Organizers: Jeff Mushen & Ed Bronsdon

Band: Tom Ranken and whatever the name of his band is this year.

Kids crafts: Scotty Ottaviano

Team Leaders: Kyle Bergquist, Jeff Mushen, Andrew Wichmann and Wally Kempkey

Seattle Fire Department for sharing its truck with the kids.

Hero: Andrew Wichmann (who pulled a propane tank out of a burning grill)

+ a cast of dozens of University Sunrise Rotarians

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Debuts and Discoveries 2014

The University Sunrise Rotary Club hosted an event on April 5, 2014 at the The Mountaineers Club featuring products from 30 new wineries, breweries and distilleries, and great food from 4 food trucks. The event sold out.DSC_0032_800x532

All proceeds from the event will go to the University District Food Bank’s Packs For Kids Program. The Packs Program provides food over weekends and school breaks to children on the free lunch program at 6 schools in North Seattle. Hungry kids don’t learn as well; the Packs Program provides the necessary nutritional supplement these children need. The funds we raise will help support the current program as well as expand it to other schools and children.

Special thanks go to Nancy Bolin and Mike Madden (Organizers Extraordinaire), and all club members who supported and worked on the project.

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Rotaract’s 2010 Dinner

DSCN2714University of Washington’s Rotaract Club, sponsored by University Sunrise Rotary, held their annual dinner where many Rotarians joined the younger Rotaractors in a little fundraising, food, awards, and scholarship announcements. The money raised from the dinner helps fund the scholarships that were announced which allow Rotaract members to travel internationally and complete service projects, bolstering their professional experience and giving them an in-depth view from another part of the world. The food, of course, bolsters everyone’s waistlines.

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“Casa de Apoio” in Porto Velho, Brazil

Apoio1As a result of our involvement in Belem, Brazil, our club was asked by the Rotary Club of Porto Velho-Rio Madeira to be its partner in helping to equip a residence for cancer patients in Porto Velho, Brazil. Porto Velho is an Amazon river town thousands of miles up the Amazon.

This project will benefit about 1000 patients each year. Our club, the club of Porto Velho-Rio Madeira, and districts 5030 and 4720 submitted an application to Rotary International for a World Community Service matching grant, and our matching grant was approved. The project provided Casa de Apoio such things as kitchen equipment, an air conditioner, drinking fountain, rocking chairs, iron, TV, stereo, and computer equipment.

The House of Support was built and is administered by the Rotary Club of Porto Velho-Rio Maderia. The average attendance is 70 people per day. In addition to lodging, they receive coffee, lunch and dinner. The pictures below are of Casa de Apoio and our Brazilian companheiros of the Rotary Club of Porto Velho-Rio Madeira. 

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Twin Club Project with João Pessoa: Home for Special Needs Children

TrophyThe University Sunrise Rotary Club and its twin club, the Rotary Club of João Pessoa, Brazil sponsored a special Christmas Party for the children of the special needs center.

USR provided a grant through its member grants program. Special thanks go to Walter Ribeiro Santos and Emidio Vasconcelos Leitão da Cunha of the João Pessoa club for organizing the celebration.

The photo with the trophy was a demonstration of thanks from the people who work in the Casa, parents and students for your club. I will send you the trophy soon. I guarantee to you that the photos don’t show 10% of how wonderful was the party.
Thank you very much for everything.

Um abraço,

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