Rotary International President Gary Huang has challenged all Rotary Clubs to hold a Rotary Day during his year as president. The Rotary Club of Bowen Island (RCBI) accepted this challenge, and held our Rotary Day on Saturday 23rd August 2014.
On Bowen Island, the Saturday before Labour Day has been the date for a 19-yr annual Community festival day called Bowfest. This year, our Rotary Day became part of several Bowfest events.
RCBI and the friends of Rotary began before 8:30 AM with the Rotary Run For Rwanda, a fundraising run that has been managed by the RCBI since 2011. The funds are raised for the Komera Foundation Canada, which provides tuition and support for Rwandan girls to attend and complete their high school education. The Rotary Run for Rwanda begins at the island ferry dock and takes various trails on the Island to complete circuits of 5 km and 10 km. Over 120 runners, old and young, participated this year, and their registration fees along with donations raised about $5,000.00 CAD for Komera.
At 10:30 AM, Club members assembled for the Bowfest Parade at the Bowen Island Community School — along with over 20 other groups and businesses to march down Government Road to the ferry dock. The RCBI last participated in the parade in 2011, its first year as a Club. This year, as we walked down the hill, we heard shouts from the sidelines – “Way to go, Rotary!” and “Hurray for Rotary!” We carried the Club banner and wore our Operation Rednose vests, antlers, and noses – reminding the Community that Rotarians provide this holiday-time service for the safety of all.
At 12:00 PM, we moved to Bowfest Field, the main site of Bowfest with its performance stage, beer garden, and childrens’ games and activities, to join a number of other Community groups whose tents displayed their services to the Community. Club member, Bawn Campbell, had prepared a number of posters to capture the activities of our young club, since our charter in June 2011. These include international projects (i.e. Kunavelela Community Project, Komera Foundation Canada, PolioPlus, Shelterbox Canada) and community projects (i.e. Food Bank, Positive Ticketing for Youth, Hand Powered Flashlights for Youth, Operation Red Nose, Outdoor Learning Classroom, Mt Gardner Trails Project, Soccer T-Shirts for Youth).
Club participation during the day was over 70%, and we were joined by many friends of Rotary. So the majority of the Club had great fun and enjoyed profiling our Club’s impact on the Bowen Island Community and beyond.
Denis Lynn, President