ROTARY ROUNDUP: Rotary making a difference

Valerie Giles writes on the work that local Rotary clubs do in the community for her monthly column.

The five Rotary clubs in our community are pleased to undertake a monthly column informing local residents of their activities.

There are two breakfast clubs (Semiahmoo Rotary and South Surrey Rotary), two lunch clubs (White Rock Rotary and Peace Arch Rotary) and one dinner club (Peninsula Rotary).

New members are always welcome. Contact for information, if you are interested in getting involved in the community. Or search the Internet under each club name.

Rotary has five avenues of service – community, international, club, youth and vocational – offering a variety of projects with which to become involved.

Several events are held yearly. Most recently, a successful book sale and Terry Fox run were held by the White Rock club. Clubs also participated in the South Surrey Rotary’s fifth-annual chili cookoff, held last Saturday in conjunction with the White Rock Business Improvement Association.

Each fall, Semiahmoo Rotary sells Safeway gift cards in denominations of $50, $100, $200 and $500. These are a great gift ideas and can be used at any Safeway store in Canada and the U.S.

Safeway gives eight per cent cash back to our club, which is used for Christmas hampers for a women’s shelter, as well as donations to the food bank. To purchase cards, email Ozzie at

n The Semiahmoo Rotary Club – in association with White Rock Rotary and Central City Rotary – will hold the third-annual Service Above Self Surrey Youth Awards on Nov. 1 at Surrey’s Bell Centre for Performing Arts.

The SASSY Awards honour youth aged 16 to 21 who make a difference in our community.

Six awards will be presented: youth leadership, community service, humanitarian, against-the-odds, athletic/sportsmanship and performing and visual arts. Recipients receive a $1,000 bursary, a trophy and $500 to donate to a charity.

Tickets can be purchased by contacting Jim Purcell (; prices are $15 for students, $25 for adults.

For information, go to

n Many of the youth in our community are busy giving back.

From a young age, one such youth – Karan Grover – was taught by his parents that it is vital to give back to the community, although he was not sure how to go about doing it.

Someone mentioned the Panorama YMCA Interact Club – a younger division of Rotary International – and he was amazed to see the passion of its members.

Karan has been a member since 2009. Through this club, he and the others have achieved wonderful projects. They fundraised to send wheelchairs to Mexico, and Karan and others personally delivered them in needy areas.

Now club president, Karan says he will continue to be involved with Rotary for the rest of his life.

Members are now planning the Surrey Leadership Action Conference Oct. 25-27.

Valerie Giles writes monthly on behalf of the Semiahmoo Peninsula’s five Rotary Clubs.