2019 Service Above Self Recipients

The Sun Prairie Rotary Club awarded Pat Anhalt, Thejasshri (Theju) Vembakkam, Karen Klemp and Jimmy Kauffman with 2019 Service Above Self Awards during a recent meeting held at The Colonial Club, 301 Blankenheim Lane.

The Sun Prairie Rotary Club recently announced its 2019 Service Above Self award winners — Pat Anhalt, Jimmy Kauffman, Karen Klemp and student winner Thejasshri (Theju) Vembakkam.

Debbie Fox-Schroeder, who nominated the recently retired Anhalt, wrote, “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,” Fox-Schroeder added.

“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,” Fox-Schroeder added.

“Pat embodies service above self,” Fox-Schroeder concluded, “and his dedication, vision and leadership make him an excellent candidate for Rotary’s Service Above Self Award.”

Sue Halambeck and Fox-Schroeder nominated Kauffman, who is president and CEO of the Bank of Sun Prairie.

“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,” the nomination form reads.

“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,” the form concludes.

Klemp, a NICU nurse at Meriter Hospital and founder of Hope 2 Others, has gone on more than 50 mission trips to third world countries, according to her nomination form. 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 8-month old baby who was dying from malnutrition. Karen also sent two medical containers to Haiti after the earthquake.

Through Hope 2 Others, Klemp has 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 Helping Babies Birth and Helping Mothers Survive to doctors, nurses, midwives and tribal midwives.

Klemp and her organization had three containers of life saving equipment shipped to Tanzania.

“There are a number of great stories that Karen has from Tanzania,” the nomination form reads, “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,” the form reads, “there were great life-saving outcomes for mothers and their babies in Tanzania.”

Sun Prairie High School counselor Monica Wagner nominated Thejasshri (Theju), a senior student at Sun Prairie High School.

“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,” Wagner wrote in the form.

“In Sun Prairie, Theju was a key component to the Social Justice Youth Summit that occurred last spring,” Wagner added.

“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.”

All four received plaques during a recent meeting of the Sun Prairie Rotary Club held at the Colonial Club.

For more information about the club, go online to www.sunprairierotary.org.

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