It is a pleasure to be elected Presidents of our Rotary Club. While we use the variety of skills our members have to assist in local projects, the majority of our assistance is financial and so we need to raise funds to be able to make the donations. All profits after meeting the costs of an event are paid into our Charity Account which is a registered charity administered by Trustees from the club. Club members give their time and skills free of charge. Most local people will be aware of our annual fireworks night, which we run to raise funds, but also as a community service, recognising the danger and cost of individual displays and providing a larger scale alternative.
We also take Father Christmas on his sleigh around the town. This is very popular with the children and while the weather sometimes means a change to our published schedule, we try to visit every street.
Another event we hold is the Swimarathon, where sponsored teams of up to six swim for fifty five minutes. In our tenth event earlier this year (2015) we raised over £10,000, a record. We get tremendous support from local schools and youth organisations for which we are very grateful..
A new event is the River Run held for the second time in June in association with Dengie Events. We will do it again next year and hope to inspire more to run the shorter distances with generous sponsors.
We made donations to local Good Causes (See Good Causes List). Rotary is a world-wide organisation with members from all over the world involved on the ground, visiting villages and towns to administer the vaccine in the fight against Polio. Rotary Foundation, our charity helping fund this. I should also mention our involvement in Gambia.
We have helped complete the building of a half finished school and are currently helping to build a new school nearby. The Gambian government will provide teachers to schools but not build them. A considerable part of the cost has been raised outside the town from other Rotary clubs and other charitable organisations. We expect the project to be completed soon and be ready to teach children who would otherwise not receive an education.
Our International involvement does not end there. We are “twinned” with a French club Meaux, on outskirts of Paris and both clubs are friends of Saarbrucken Rotary, a German Club. The three clubs meet annually, rotating the location. One object of Rotary is to promote international peace and understanding and such links can only further this object. It is all at our own expense, of course. As you can tell the men in our club have a very busy programme. We would welcome new members who would like to give something back to society by assisting our efforts. We do enjoy ourselves doing these events and also socially. It is a happy club.
Once again may I express our thanks for all the support we get from the town. It is very much appreciated.