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Our fourth President for the SSRC was ‘Bob Smith’ who served from July 1982 until June 1983.  He was approached by ‘Guy Stillman’ to assist with ‘special needs assess ability projects’ at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park.  To set the stage, Guy Stillman’s father was James Stillman who was the president of National City Bank (which became Citibank).  Guy’s parents divorced and his Mon eventually remarried Fowler McCormick who was the last remaining grandson of John D. Rockefeller.  Fowlers Grandfather was Cyrus McCormick who went on to become the Chairman of the Board of International Harvester.
Guy’s family sold their ranch which became McCormick Ranch, but Guy dedicated some of the land to the City of Scottsdale which became the ‘McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park’.  Guy loved trains.  Guy was a member of the Scottsdale Rotary Club, but was considered an honorary member of our club as he attended most of our meetings.
Guy sat down with President Bob and asked if our club would match him dollar for dollar to build a railway car that can accommodate wheelchair bound kids with a cost of $12,000 spread out over several years which the board approved.  We ended up building two of these cars and many of the handicapped ramps and a Ramada due to the prodding of Guy.
President Whit Crail (July 1983 – June 1984) assisted with the raising of the monies for the rail road car and the idea was hatched to have a ‘Children’s Festival’ only for Special Needs kids and their families.  Whit is credited with the first “Children’s Festival’ held at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park.  After several years, the name was officially changed to ‘Special Day for Special Kids’.
Dave Lewis was sponsored by Guy Stillman in 1984 and joined the SSRC and was president at the first annual ‘Children’s Festival’ as well as one other current member Daniel McAuliffe.  We had free hot dogs, chips, soda and ice cream.  We had Mayor Herb Drinkwater, the fire department, police department, clowns, dunk tank, pony rides and more, but only ten ‘special needs’ children attended.
In recent years, we have had up to 3500 ‘Special Needs’ children and their families in attendance.  We provided free food for all, carnival games, petting zoo, pony rides, bouncy things, local team mascots, train rides, and carousel rides all for free.  With only 35 members, we have the help of over 300 volunteers such as ‘Raising Special Kids’, Boy and Girl Scouts, local high school students and teachers, Interact and Rotaract members, the Railroad park including its Mechanical Society.  We raise money primarily from an annual golf tournament, raffle sales, and both monetary and in-kind donations to fund their $40,000 project.
Mayor Jim Lane of the City of Scottsdale proclaimed the 17th of March 2015 as Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary’s Special Day for Special Kids