Rotarians make a difference
This year is the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Club in British Columbia.
The Rotary Club of Vancouver was established on April 22, 1913. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Seattle, it was the first Rotary Club in B.C. Membership grew quickly and within a year, it was the largest club in the British Empire. Since that time, clubs have appeared throughout the province. Rotary first came to Richmond 51 years ago.
There are 147 Rotary Clubs in British Columbia with a total membership of more than 6,700. In Richmond, there are four clubs— the Rotary Club of Richmond, the Rotary Club of Richmond Sunrise, the Rotary Club of Richmond Sunset and the Rotary Club of Steveston. There are also Rotaract and Interact clubs, which are youth volunteer groups sponsored by Rotary.
Clubs have been busy raising funds for both community initiatives and needs around the world including the eradication of polio. In fact, a study has just been released confirming that $8.5 million has been raised by Rotary Clubs in B.C. during 2012. This places Rotary in the top tier of charities in the province.
Locally, the Rotary Club has a huge impact on the community. Some of Rotary’s efforts include:
•Serving meals to Richmond’s marginalized at St. Alban’s Church. Rotarians have been volunteering at St. Alban’s Church for many years, donating time to prep and serve hot meals for Richmond’s less fortunate every week.
•Winter Wonderland. Every year, the Rotary Club of Richmond Sunset calls for local businesses, organizations, and individuals to sponsor a Christmas tree at Richmond City Hall. Funds raised by generous sponsors help the Rotary Club of Richmond Sunset provide support for international and local projects such as: Hugh Boyd Secondary School for transportation needs; room and boarding for eight students volunteering in South Africa; Kwantlen Polytechnic University Scholarship Endowment Fund; Richmond Community Foundation Scholarship Endowment Fund; Richmond Christmas Fund; senior Christmas high tea at Richmond City Hall; senior Easter luncheon at Vancouver Airport Marriott; Richmond Fire and Rescue for orphans in Haiti; Refilwe Community in South Africa Funding for new roofs; and The Rotary Foundation.
•The Rotary Club of Steveston organizes the annual Steveston Santa Claus Parade plus summer and Christmas social events for seniors. It also helps organize the annual Jimmy Ng Memorial Road Hockey Tournament, among other events.
•Giving globally, one container at a time. Richmond Sunrise Rotary is a founding member of the Rotary World Help Network, a collection of Rotary clubs across the globe working together to ease and secure the transport of much-needed goods to areas in need.