In June

ROTARY ROUNDUP: Rotary clubs helps year-round

Local clubs undertake projects throughout the year, helping improve the White Rock and South Surrey communities.

The first motto of Rotary International dates back to 1911: “He profits most who serves best.”

While you may never notice, almost every day Rotarians are hard at work in service to our community. “Service above self” is, after all, at the heart of Rotary.

You may think it takes a big group of people to make a significant impact, but the South Surrey club proves otherwise.

For starters, this small club played a key role in the development of Bryant Park in White Rock, raising $30,000 towards the project and working closely with the city to have the area developed. Since ‘adopting’ the park in 2010, they work year-round to maintain it by planting flowers, pruning the bushes and weeding.

The club also supports the South Surrey Learning Centre through high school student participation in youth adventures (YAIL) and the Rotary Youth Leadership awards (RYLA).

They also provide an annual $500 scholarship and assist the graduating students in preparing for job interviews.

In June of this year the club presented a $3,000 donation to help send students to outdoor camp to challenge the teens and help them learn leadership skills they can use in the community.

Across the Peninsula, Semiahmoo Rotary also keeps busy year-round with community service activities. Four to six times a year members clean up a  half-kilometre stretch of street from the corner of 152 Street and 32 Avenue to 148 Street and 28 Avenue.

As the weather grows chilly, they collect winter clothes for Nightshift Ministry and, at Christmas, they provide gifts and food hampers to the residents of four homes of Atira Society in Surrey and ring the bells at a Salvation Army Christmas Kettle at the South Surrey Wal-Mart.

This club has also undertaken a number of construction projects, including rebuilding a fence, deck, and swing set at Durrant House (one of the Atira Society houses in South Surrey), painting and pressure-washing the fence and building a new garden plat at Ama House (another one of the Atira Society houses), and rebuilding a portion of the fence and outdoor stage at Camp Alexandra in Crescent Beach.

Each club must raise money in order to fund these kinds of community initiatives. Throughout the year, clubs dream up all sorts of creative ways to engage the community and raise funds. Here are a couple of current events worth checking out:

The Peach Arch Rotary Club is hosting the fourth annual Rotary Noel at Washington Avenue Grill on Nov. 19, raising funds in support of the White Rock South Surrey Hospice Society and the community. Please come out to this fun-filled evening of great food, games and auctions.

Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg will serve as auctioneer. (Tickets $75.00; contact Gord Querin at 778-773-6153 or gord@bigkahuna.ca)

The Rotary Club of White Rock is pleased to present Steve Elliott – An Evening with Elvis. Join us at Peace Portal Alliance Church on Nov. 20, at 8 pm. (Assigned-seating tickets $40; visit www.whiterockrotary.org or call Mark at 604-671-7498.)

Want to get involved in Rotary? We would love to have you join us. New member are always welcome and there are breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings to fit everyone’s schedules.

For more information, visit www.rotary.org or our club-specific websites.

Brenda Gibson writes monthly on behalf of the Semiahmoo Peninsula’s five Rotary Clubs. brenda_gibson@shaw.ca

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