From left

Rotary Club Parksville AM celebrating 20 years of good works

Rotary party on Oct. 25 also marked the distribution day for Coats for Kids campaign

The Rotary Club of Parksville AM celebrated its 20th anniversary this Saturday. Hugs, smiles and happy reunions were the theme of the night as current members, charter members, representatives of other Rotary clubs on the Island and former Parksville AM member James Lunney, MP for Nanaimo-Alberni, got together at the Beach Club for a wine and tapas party.

They also observed the milestone in true Rotarian fashion. All of the admission donations collected at the gala were donated to the End Polio Now campaign.

“We’re a small club, but everyone is so committed,” said the club’s current president Diana Matsuda.

The Parksville AM group also spent that morning giving back to the local community. Oct. 25 marked distribution day for the Coats for Kids drive, the club’s longest-running project. “It’s a project that the club really identifies with,” said Matsuda. “It really brings the community together.” According to organizer Cara MacDonald, the group distributed an estimated 100 coats to families this year.

All in all, Parksville AM supports more than a dozen projects and organizations both near and far. Besides the Coats for Kids, Parksville AM is involved on the local level with Beachfest, scholarships at  Ballenas Seconday, partnerships with 4-H and literacy programs such as reading buddies.

“I really believe in giving back to the community I live in,” said Bruce Huxtable, the group’s former president. “The Rotary motto is ‘Service above self’ and we really try to live that.”

Of course, the club is also involved with international-reaching organizations such as Disaster Aid Canada and the support of the Rotary Foundation.

Many of the funds donated by Parksville AM are raised at the popular Taste of Oceanside event (which is slated for Apr. 25, 2015). However, the club also donates what Matsuda calls “sweat equity” through physically volunteering time to projects. For example, this September a team of members built a turkey shed at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre. That same month another group travelled down to Vincente Guererro, Mexico on their own expense to help build a house with the Live Different organization. In fact, the latter was such a popular and rewarding project that Matsuda said the group is organizing another house build for next year.

While many of Parksville AM’s programs are sustained over many years, the club is not afraid to start new projects. Earlier this month, the club held their first Men’s Health Day to offer free PSA testing. Currently in the works is a new community-based project in partnership with the local Salvation Army and SOS. Set to launch sometime in spring 2015, Matsuda revealed that the three groups plan to offer community cooking classes. “People are so busy,” she said, explaining that the classes will involve learning how to read labels, buy fresh food, cook nutritious meals and preserve food with canning and freezing.

With all these projects, Parksville AM has enough on its plate to keep them busy for another 20 years at least. And it sounds like the members will be there to see it through. “They’ll have to carry me out,” Huxtable said when asked if he plans on continuing with the club. “I think a lot of Rotary members feel that way.”

To learn more about the club and their projects, join them at their regular meeting on Wednesdays at 7 a.m. at the Beach Club.

 

 

Just Posted

‘Chesapeake Shores’ crew makes donation to Parksville’s SOS Thrift Shop

TV show producers say they are happy to support local programs

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterey, Calif.

Parksville soliciting offers to purchase eight parcels of land; minimum price $2.5M

Council may choose to proceed with any or none of the offers

Parksville council supports applications for four new non-medical retail cannabis shops

Business licences won’t be issued without provincial government approval

Parksville council members vote themselves a hike in pay

Mayor goes from $40.9K to $52.5K and councillors from $16.9K to $30K

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

Most Read