Guest Cathy Gambill meets converted sun worshiper (spray tan) and Wave Pool surfer Rotarian Sam Sentelle.

Sam Sentelle

'A spray tan for charity'

August 7, 2012

Putnam Rotarians have been known to go overboard, literally, for funding to support their numerous charities and service projects. But the scramble for cash may have gone a bit too far.

It started last week when Dianna Casto donated an artificial suntan treatment at Sahara Tanning Salon to fellow Rotarian Dr. Sam Sentelle.

"I didn't come here to be trifled with," Sentelle objected to a rising cacophony of cheers, jeers and hoots.

Sentelle has a reputation as a conservative, introspective type who enjoys the quiet life. He stays at home during his wife's frequent visits with her children and grandchildren in Hawaii.

"I don't own a surfboard," he says, "so what could I do in Hawaii?"

But five Rotarians in succession -- Casto, Ken Higginbotham, Bob Keely, George Six and Tim Taylor -- pledged generous donations to the club's charity fund if Sentelle would follow through on his spray-tan freebie.

So he went to claim his treatment at Sahara Tanning. "People will do anything for money," said Sentelle.

"They looked puzzled, even a bit frightened, when I walked through the door," he admitted.

But he found the full-body treatment to be refreshing and the spray was somewhat stimulating. "Now I feel really healthy -- even virile," he reported. "With a couple more tanning sessions and my college French, I could mix with the local population and check on our Rotary projects in Haiti.

"I might even go to Hawaii.

"I've always wanted to visit the telescopes on Mauna Kea."

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