Often we have so much to be thankful for during the Thanksgiving season that we forget about others in our community who may be less fortunate. This year, our members were determined to spend the long weekend doing something valuable for the community, and we were very fortunate invited by the Rotary Club of Port Coquitlam Centennial to help out with a Thanksgiving lunch held in Port Coquitlam in partnership with St. Catherine’s Anglican Church.
Preparations began the week before at our October 10 meeting, when we stuffed bags of candy to give out to guests. Then on Thanksgiving Monday, we were up bright and early to help the Rotarians and members of the church prepare a menu of roast turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, salad, and pie. We also had the honor of serving the meal to the guests.
We were so happy to be able to spend part of Thanksgiving giving back to the community – thank you to the Port Coquitlam Rotary and to St. Catherine’s Church for allowing us to help out!
Invasive species, or those that are not native to the local area, cause widespread ecological damage due to their rapid growth and ability to displace the endemic wildlife. So on October 5, 2013, we joined the Rotary Club of Port Moody in their Rotary RIPS (Removes Invasive Plant Species) program. We spent the day working with Rotarians, the Port Moody Ecological Society, and children from Camp Jubilee on clearing invasive species from the Noons Creek Hatchery area.
Thank you to all of our members who supported the event: Janelle, Eric, Chantal, Ryan, Adam, Michelle, and John.
This year, Jordyn from our club took the time to organize a group of volunteers to help out with the BC Special Olympics 10-pin bowling event at Zone Bowling in Coquitlam. The event took place on Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13. Our volunteers (Jordyn, Alex, Janelle, John, Chantal and Jordan) helped with monitoring lanes and entering data. It was an inspiration to all of us to see how amazing some of these bowlers were and an affirmation of never making assumptions about another person’s abilities. We don’t think we could ever come close to bowling half as good as some of these guys! Thank you to the organizers and event managers of the Special Olympics, as well as all of the athletes and their families, for allowing us to be part of their weekend.
We were extremely honoured to have the opportunity to participate with dozens of other well-known organizations from the Tri-Cities in the Port Moody Centennial Parade on June 22, 2013. Over 100 years of Port Moody’s past, present, and future were represented in the event, which ran from the Port Moody Civic Centre down Murray Street to Rocky Point Park.
The past few weeks have been busy ones for the Rotary Clubs in the Tri-Cities area, with all four clubs hosting their Installation nights for their incoming Presidents. First up on July 4, our official sponsor club, the Rotary Club of Port Moody, bid farewell to outgoing president Al Stjernegaard. Al has played a tremendous part in the creation of the Tri-Cities Rotaract. His support and guidance over the past few months is very much appreciated, and we now have a group of over 30 vibrant, enthusiastic members. We cannot thank him enough for all the hard work he has done for us, but we wish him all the best and look forward to working with the new president of the Port Moody Rotary Club, Jon Dominy!
We would also like to congratulate Jim Fitzpatrick, incoming President of the Rotary Club of Coquitlam Sunrise, Harry Tubbs, incoming President of the Rotary Club of Coquitlam, and Angela Anderson, incoming President of the Rotary Club of Port Coquitlam Centennial, on their Installations! A special thank you to the Port Coquitlam Centennial club, who graciously donated a $300 cheque to the Tri-Cities Rotaract Club during their ceremony. It is wonderful to know that we have the support of not just one, but four Rotary clubs in the area!
Members of the Tri-Cities Rotaract joined our president, Kimberley, at the TELUS Walk to Cure Diabetes around the Stanley Park Seawall on June 9. The annual event raises awareness and money towards juvenile diabetes research. In addition to enjoying the beautiful weather, our small group alone raised over $5,000 to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation this year. We would like to thank everyone who donated for supporting this wonderful cause!
On June 1st we participated in the annual Relay for Life at Percy Perry Stadium in Coquitlam. The event, which ran all day from 10am to 10pm, consisted of a full day of walking, running, dancing, and game playing! Our group raised a total of $530, and contributed to the $428,814.39 raised in total by residents of Coquitlam for the Canadian Cancer Society. We look forward to participating again next year!
The iRotary District Conference this year marked the 25th anniversary of Rotary District 5050. A four day event held at the Four Seasons Hotel in the heart of downtown Vancouver, one of the conference’s themes this year was focusing on the “iGeneration” – the younger members of Rotary. To go along with this, a team of past participants and Facilitators from previous RYLAs (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) and YAILs (Youth Adventures in Leadership – the district’s “junior” version of RYLA for high school students) were invited to co-facilitate the district’s first-ever “RYLA for Rotarians” on Saturday, June 1. The purpose of this was to give Rotarians a better understanding of what RYLA and YAIL entail, and to encourage them to continue sponsoring outstanding young men and women from their local communities to attend these life-changing programs. Among the mini-Facilitators were Jordan and Michelle, members of our club and a Facilitator and participant, respectively, at RYLA 2013.
Following the RYLA for Rotarians session, a flashmob on the stairs of the Vancouver Art Gallery took place to raise awareness about Rotary International’s “End Polio Now” campaign. With only a handful of cases of polio left around the globe thanks in part to the vaccination efforts of Rotarians, we truly are as close to ending polio as the video states! Check out the video below, or click here to watch it directly on YouTube.
On the weekend of May 25-26, members of the Tri-Cities Rotaract volunteered to man the booths at the Coquitlam Safeway in Sunwood Square for SHARE Family & Community Services‘ annual Generous Hearts Food Drive. The event was, as usual, a great success this year with 12,076 pounds of food and $4,528 raised to help families in need! Thank you to SHARE, the Tri-Cities Rotary Clubs, the sponsors of the food drive, as well as the many customers who made generous contributions that weekend.
Our sponsoring club, the Rotary Club of Port Moody, held its annual Search for the Perfect Pint fundraiser at the Port Moody City Hall on the evening of May 9, and graciously invited our club to attend. Guests were able to sample a huge variety of fine brews from Howe Sound Brewing, Central City Brewing Company, Vancouver Island Brewery, Steamworks and many more. There was also plenty of delicious food provided throughout the evening including sliders, beer ice cream, and tempura bacon. We all had a fantastic time supporting Rotary and would like to thank our sponsor club, as well as the other Rotary clubs in the Tri-Cities, for the wonderful partnership that we have been able to establish.