Building Peace and Good Will

“Rotary International is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.” ~ www.rotary5040.org

Rotary club memberships represent a cross-section of the community’s business and professional men and women. Speaking with several Gibsons Rotary members, I heard a common refrain: People join Rotary because they are community-minded and wish to embrace the motto “Service above self.”

“You get what you give,” says Blane Hagedorn, who has been a member for 18 years. Hagedorn’s business is based in retail foods and the service industry. While Rotary membership develops business relationships, he said that is not why he joined. Fellowship and service to the community are uppermost in his mind.

Lynette Robinson, a top-producing realtor for 15 years, is excited about the good that is done by Rotary. She has been a member for just one year, but was involved with the organization for quite some time before that. Robinson greatly admires the positive differences made by members, both globally and in their own community.

Carol Doyle owns the unique Gift of the Eagle, a gallery that features the work of local artists. “Rotarians are from every walk of life,” Doyle says, “and so they offer a great deal of expertise and support, both to their members and the community at large.” Doyle looks forward to her weekly meetings where members work on common goals involving global projects or raising funds to put back into the Gibsons community. Some examples of projects the Gibsons Rotary Club has been involved in are the gazebo in the harbour, the stage in Winegarden Park, the first three computers at Gibsons Library and the change rooms at Brothers Park. Doyle feels that Rotary is like a family where everyone is equally valued.

Gibsons Rotary unites with other Coast clubs, particularly on international and joint projects. Additionally, each club has its own projects.

Gibsons Rotary has made young people in our community a high priority. The Beachcombers Gala and Auction set up an endowment producing thousands of dollars in scholarships annually. Interact Club, which involves local high school students in projects both locally and internationally, just celebrated its 15th anniversary. This was the first Interact Club in our Rotary District, which includes part of upstateWashington, most of Lower Mainland, Powell River, Whistler, and up to Prince George and Terrace. International student exchanges, Rotary Youth Leadership Camp and Sprockids programs all benefit from strong Rotary involvement.