Sun Prairie Rotary initiated the Sun Prairie's Service Above Self Awards in 2001.  Criteria utilizes Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self and the Four Way Test.  Rotary’s motto, Service above Self exemplifies the humanitarian spirit of the organization’s members.  Strong fellowship among Rotarians and meaningful community and international service projects characterize Rotary worldwide.  Rotarian’s nominate individuals in the community who exemplify the principles. The last few years we have nominated one high school student. 
 

2019 SUN PRAIRIE ROTARY

SERVICE ABOVE SELF AWARD WINNERS

 

Pat Anhalt

Jimmy Kauffman

Karen Klemp

Thejasshri (Theju) Vembakkam - Student

 

Pat Anhalt

Nominated by: Debbie Fox-Schroeder
 
Pat Anhalt has spent the past 25 years serving the citizens of Sun Prairie through various roles in the Sun Prairie Police Department, including the last 10 years as Police Chief. Our Community has benefitted from his vision, leadership and dedication to the City of Sun Prairie. Pat worked diligently on building relationships and working collaboratively with all segments of our community. Having grown up in Sun Prairie, Pat has seen firsthand the many changes to Sun Prairie and has embraced the ideas of exceptional service, problem solving and building relationships.
 
For Pat, it has always been about the community, which is why he considered serving the Sun Prairie community as a member of the Sun Prairie Police Department, the honor of a lifetime.
 
Pat embodies service above self and his dedication, vision and leadership make him an excellent candidate for Rotary’s Service Above Self Award.

Jimmy Kauffman

Nominated by: Sue Halambeck & Debbie Fox-Schroeder
 
The Bank of Sun Prairie has been a corporate citizen partnering with the community for many years. However, this partnership has grown and become more evident under the leadership of Jimmy Kauffman. Jimmy and the Bank took lead roles in setting up a Disaster Relief Fund for the devastating explosion that rocked our community by sponsoring and supporting various activities. Additionally, Jimmy was the first one to set up and offer to increase the Bank’s financial support of the Kindness Retreats when the two new elementary schools opened this past fall. He has also supported the Sun Prairie Education Foundation’s Keys to the Future Event by being the Platinum Sponsor of the event for the past several years. Jimmy and his wife, Mary, enthusiastically support the live and silent auctions helping the Education Foundation to raise money to benefit the children in the Sun Prairie Area School District.
 
Jimmy continues to share his business expertise by serving on various boards throughout Sun Prairie and Dane County. Jimmy’s dedication and leadership in our community make him an excellent candidate for Rotary’s Service Above Self Award. 

Karen Klemp

Nominated by: Anonymous 
 
Outside of working as a NICU Nurse at Meriter, Karen has saved the lives of six other people. The first life she saved was that of her daughter, who was drowning in a family pool. A year after the incident with her daughter, Karen organized a CPR day where she taught 100 citizens CPR. She then went on to teach CPR at a number of schools and businesses in the area.
 
One of the other six lives she saved was that of a man, who was choking while horseback riding in the Colorado mountains.
 
Besides working as a NICU nurse, Karen has also been a camp nurse for Girl Scouts and a Sunday School teacher. Karen was also part of the Quarterback club for ten years.
 
Karen has gone on over 50 mission trips to 3rd world countries. One medical mission trip was to Jamaica, another was to Brazil, and others were to the Philippines and Haiti, right after those locations experienced earthquakes. While in Haiti, Karen saved an eight-month old baby who was dying from malnutrition. Karen also sent two medical containers to Haiti after the earthquake.
 
During one of her mission trips to India, Karen worked with women that were taken out of prostitution as well as with orphans whose parents had died from Aids. 
 
Karen made 28 mission trips to Guatemala. Five of these trips were dedicated to building schools, including a school for children with disabilities. 13 of these trips were dedicated to teaching nursing students from Edgewood College. The remaining ten trips to Guatemala were dedicated to the Helping Babies Breath (HBB) and Helping Mothers Survive (HMS) programs.
 
Karen also made 20 trips to Tanzania. During her trips to Tanzania, Karen helped build schools by making bricks and pouring cement. She also helped find funding for students so that they could go to school and taught HBB and HMS to doctors, nurses, midwives and tribal midwives, as well. Karen had 3 containers of life saving equipment sent to Tanzania. There are a number of great stories that Karen has from Tanzania, including saving two more babies as well as watching a student, Nickson, pay for school all the way until he graduated from college. Because of Karen’s medical training, there were great life-saving outcomes for mothers and their babies in Tanzania.

Thejasshri (Theju) Vembakkam (Student)

Nominated By: Monica Wagner (School Counselor at Sun Prairie High School)
 
“Thejasshri (Theju), a senior student at Sun Prairie High School, is a respectful, responsible and hard-working girl; she is the perfect candidate for the Service Above Self Award.
 
Few high school students come with the entire package. Theju, however, has it all plus some. Theju is smart, popular, ethical and mature. She takes high school very seriously and is well known around campus by both adults and peers. In a sea of 1,800 students, she shines both inside and out. She is involved in our school community, participating in Student Council (as Vice President), DECA (as Vice President of Event Management) and HOSA (as a member of the Leadership Team). Theju also participated in MSAN (Minority Student Achievement Network), attending two national conferences and working with students around the nation to help minority students. In Sun Prairie, Theju was a key component to the Social Justice Youth Summit that occurred last spring. Theju takes on leadership with ease--she never sweats the little stuff and is always ready for the big stuff. She is a rare specimen to find within the four walls of a high school.
 
Some might say that Theju’s unbelievable talent for balancing school-life is based solely on luck; others might say she is an enigma. I, however, credit Theju for being incredibly self-disciplined, morally driven and goal oriented. In my 15 years as a high school counselor, I have never met anyone as driven, motivated or on a straighter path to success as her. Ever. I believe that her path to a medical career and her desire to work with Doctors Without Borders is not an easy road; however, she has done what she needs to do to achieve her goals. Being self-disciplined, she has turned away from procrastination, avoidance, skipping, drinking and drugs, even when some of her peers caved. This is Theju. This has always been Theju.
 
Lastly, Theju is a dedicated volunteer. Sharing her time with others is important to her. Working as a volunteer at St. Mary’s, tutoring elementary school students in math and reading, and organizing book drives are just a few of the ways she helps others. Her compassion and dedication even earned her a Presidential Volunteer Service Award at the Gold Level. Theju definitely puts Service Above Self while meeting her required service hours for organizations like National Honors Society and Student Council.
 
I could continue to boast about her, telling you about her role in co-founding our Indian Culture Club or her many other experiences, but I am sadly out of space. I will, however, enthusiastically recommend Thejasshri for the Service Above Self Award.” - Monica Wagner, Sun Prairie High School Counselor