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ROTARY ROUNDUP: Nominations for Community Builder Business Award now open

All Peninsula Rotary clubs meeting via Zoom, welcoming new members
Rotary youth leaders – May 2019 R.Y.L.A (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) weekend at Mount Baker, Wash. (Phoenix MacLaren photo)

Saturday, Jan. 2 saw the launch of the 11th Annual SASSY Awards. Anyone can nominate an inspiring youth between the ages of 15 and 21, who is out serving the community. Those kinds of leaders will have been standing out strong over the past year.

SASSY recipients are able to donate $500 to a registered Canadian charity of their choosing, and will receive a 1,000 cash award. See for more information.

Rotarian Sharon Crowson attended her first SASSY Awards 2011 and was blown away. Thinking back, she says, “Wow – these people really know how to empower and celebrate young people. Who are they and how can I get involved?”

Sharon soon discovered that through Rotary, the possibilities to meet like-minded, motivated people were limitless, and immediately joined Rotary, and immersed herself with the SASSY Committee and Youth Services Programs in the Semiahmoo club and the District RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) Committee.

Mentoring and honouring young people speaks to a core value of Sharon’s. She aims to be a person for today’s youth that she herself did not experience growing up.

January is vocational service month. Vocational service calls on Rotarians to encourage and foster high ethical standards in business, recognize the worthiness of all useful occupations, and highlight the opportunity for us to serve the community with our unique skill sets.

Rotarians here on the Peninsula come from all professions you can think of. Lori Chalmers chairs Semiahmoo Rotary’s vocational committee, which several years ago decided we should highlight local South Surrey and White Rock businesses that showed exemplary business ethics, and conceived the “Community Builder Business Award.”

The committee worked on developing criteria for the award and presented the concept to the South-Surrey/White Rock Chamber of Commerce, suggesting the award be added to the Business Excellence Awards. Executive Director, Ritu Khanna agreed the new category would be an ideal fit. The Semiahmoo Rotary Club is proud to sponsor the award.

We are fortunate to have a platform to honour businesses making a difference. Each year the list of finalists in this category is impressive and show us that philanthropy is alive and well in South Surrey, White Rock. If you know of a business that is making a difference in our community, please nominate them at Nominations will be open until Feb. 26.

We could do a highlight on each Rotarian in the community, but better yet, why not check out one of the local clubs yourself and meet some like-minded people who are working to make our community the best it can be?

All Rotary meetings are available via Zoom.

• Semiahmoo Rotary meets Thursdays at 8 a.m.

• White Rock Rotary meets Tuesdays at noon

• Peace Arch Peninsula Rotary alternates Mondays at noon/Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m.

• South Surrey Rotary meets the first, second and third Wednesdays at 7:45 a.m. (socially distanced meetings at Ricky’s on King George Blvd or participate virtually via Zoom)

• Semiahmoo Peninsula Rotaract Club meets Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.

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