As I look back on the past fourteen years that Rotary has been part of my life I have a sense of wonder and admiration for the many accomplishments our Peachland club has made. We are really just a small club in comparison to so many that are double or triple the size of ours but we do so much.
We exemplify our motto of Service Above Self as we raise funds to provide surround sound systems in our local school, build a pavilion that sits majestically on the shores of Okanagan Lake, donate to the Peachland Food Bank or build a town clock that becomes the meeting place for many visitors. These are just a few of the many projects our club has initiated during twenty years of service to Peachland.
We continue to provide funding for the eradication of polio and even though our club is small we are touching the lives of young children in countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan. Hopefully we are saving those children’s lives, saving them from such a dreaded disease. At the time of writing there has been only five cases of polio in the world this year. We are almost there!
Some of our favourite events are the Rotary Peace Concerts in Heritage Park each summer. The music is wonderful, people arrive from all over the Okanagan Valley and some even enjoy listening from their boats as they enjoy a summer day on the lake. Donations from the public provide funding for Shelter Boxes which are deployed to disaster areas around the world. Through our club 43 shelter boxes have been distributed since 2010. Again, Service Above Self.
I look forward to a year where our club will actively serve our community through various projects and continue to reach out to those in need in distant countries. With the support of my Executive and members I know we will have a fun year and a successful one.
Please feel welcome to join us at one of our meetings Thursdays, 12 noon at the Gasthaus on the Lake.
Rotary Theme of the Month
May 2017 is Youth Service Month.
Our club is involved in a large number of Youth projects every year. First and foremost among these projects is our participation in the Rotary International Youth Exchange. District 5060 has one of the highest participation rates by clubs in North America. Our club has welcomed students from Turkey, Austria, Peru, the Netherlands, Brazil, and Hungary in recent years. In return for accepting the incoming students, youngsters from Peachland or West Kelowna got a chance to spend a year in countries like Italy, India, Japan, Denmark, and France, to name a few.
In 2017 we provided a scholarship for one student to attend intensive vocal and acting training at Opera Kelowna. Opera Kelowna is a regular performer at our Peace Concerts, bringing the works of Mozart, Bizet and Puccini to an appreciative audience in Peachland.
Every year, we participate in RYLA (Rotary Young Leadership Awards), Adventures in Citizenship and Adventures in Tourism. These programs give young people a chance to participate in leadership training, spend a week in the Nation’s capital to learn how our government operates, or learn about the many opportunities the Okanagan tourism industry has to offer.
Smaller Youth projects include support for Summer reading classes at Peachland Elementary School, long-standing support for Silver Lake Youth Camp as well as the Peachland Boxing Club.
Internationally, we recently outfitted a library at the small community of Volcanes near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We also support a school for street kids in Kenya and have just started a project that will bring electricity via solar panels to 6 schools in remote areas of Polillo Island, Philippines.
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire” (William Butler Yeats)
“Rotary is a leadership organization…..
We are made up of people like you. Many of us are
local business, professional and civic leaders.
We meet regularly, get to know each other,
form friendships, and through that, we are able to
get things done in this community and elsewhere in the World”
Watch the Video
Watch this space for updates on our latest community project – the Peachland Pier.
This is a joint project between the Sportsmen’s Association, the Peachland Lions Club and the Rotary Club of Peachland