Rotary news in brief from around the globe
The Rotary Club of Mabalacat Clark and District 2680 (Japan), including the Rotary Club of Kobe-Suma, raised a total of US$5,000 to donate a hybrid wind/solar energy system to Mabalacat College.
Rotary clubs around the globe have many things in common, including a commitment to service. All year long, clubs are taking action to make a difference in their communities. Here’s a roundup of recent club activities worldwide:
To help revitalize the commercial area of St. Catharines, Ontario, and strengthen the local arts scene, the Rotary Club of St. Catharines donated C$100,000 to a project that will relocate a performing and fine arts school to the city’s downtown. The contribution is the largest single gift in the club’s 91-year history. The effort, which will move Brock University’s 500-student Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, is expected to be completed in 2014.
The Rotary Club of Aurora Fitzsimons, Colorado, is partnering with the founder of the Guitars for the Troops program to provide deployed soldiers with guitars and packages of music supplies. The guitars are built to withstand the climatic conditions where soldiers are stationed, and the supplies include a padded travel bag and strap, extra strings, guitar picks, a chord book, and a play-along CD. The club has raised enough money to donate more than 125 guitars since 2010, delivering the packages to Fort Carson to be shipped to soldiers serving around the world.
For 17 years, the Rotary Club of Dominica has worked with the Rotary Club of Eaton Rapids, Michigan, USA, to provide eye care to island residents through Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity. During an average 10-day clinic, 1,700 people undergo complete eye exams, and patients who need them receive prescription glasses or referrals for medical care. Students and faculty of the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University participate in the missions, which are also supported by the Dominican government. The most recent clinic was held in January.
The Rotary Club of Guernsey raised US$15,700 in one year for Rotary’s Challenge by selling End Polio Now merchandise in its own online shop. The club started out by selling a few items within District 1110 (part of England; Channel Islands), but demand from outside the district grew, and now anyone can visit the website to buy toys, apparel, and office supplies sporting the End Polio Now logo. All profits from the shop, at www.endpolionowguernseyshop.org, go to the polio eradication campaign.
The Rotary Club of Alexandria Sporting is providing microcredit loans of about US$85 each to 20 low-income entrepreneurs so they can start their own businesses. Under the revolving program, the loans are paid back in a year, then loaned back out. The club also funds workshops for women, including literacy classes that have helped 75 participants learn to read and write, and a sewing class that serves 45 women each month. Financial literacy classes provide loan recipients with advice on budgeting and saving the money they earn from their new businesses.
In August, 188 children with disabilities participated in a statewide swimming competition, the second organized by the Rotary Club of Pune Pashan. The president of the club, along with Bollywood producer, director, and actor Mahesh Manjrekar, gave out prizes. The success of the competition has led the club to start planning a national event involving all the Rotary districts in India.
To promote renewable energy sources, the Rotary Club of Mabalacat Clark and District 2680 (Japan), including the Rotary Club of Kobe-Suma, raised a total of US$5,000 to donate a hybrid wind/solar energy system to Mabalacat College in July. The new system can generate 600 watts of electricity per hour and will be used to power LED lights across the campus.
The Lego Olympics of Timaru in July encouraged children to use their imaginations and practice their Lego building skills. The competition, which was launched by the Rotary Club of Timaru South in 2008, includes an event in which the children build models according to a given design, as well as an anything-goes contest. The main event is a race between Lego cars that are propelled by gravity down specially built lanes.