Given that it is World Rotaract Week (March 13th – 19th) starting tomorrow, I figure it’s about time for an update with Rotaract in District 5050 (D5050).
Let me first introduce myself! My name is Phoenix and I am the District Rotaract Representative (DRR) for D5050. I am also a member of the Rotaract Club of the Fraser Valley (RCFV). If you haven’t noticed already, Rotary loves acronyms, so I’ll do my best to not go completely into Rotary lingo.
The Rotaract Digest will hopefully be updated on a regular basis and will be the new way our newsletter is done. If you have any suggestions or want to see anything in particular, please provide your feedback! Also, the website got a refreshing look, so feel free to look around and see what’s happening!
This particular newsletter is going to go a bit more in depth in terms of how our clubs operate and will hopefully provide more clarity around what Rotaract is.
Currently D5050 has 5 chartered Rotaract Clubs and 2 clubs in various stages of chartering. 4 of the 5 chartered clubs are on the Canadian side of the district, while the Rotaract Club of Bellingham is the only chartered club on the American side. Hopefully that won’t be the case for long. The two clubs that have begun the beginning stages of forming are: The Rotaract Club of Everett and the Rotaract Club of Skagit Valley.
In September we held our first ever District Training session in collaboration with District 5040. The purpose of the training was to provide the tools and discussion around executive positions within the club. Being able to partner with D5040 allowed for our Rotaractors to meet and network with our neighbouring clubs.
District Christmas Social
In December 2016, we held our first joint Christmas Social for all of the clubs. Held at the Honeybee Centre in Surrey, the evening was fun and lighthearted. Filled with gingerbread house building, Secret Santa, and a Christmas Relay, we had the opportunity to connect with one another.
President Elect Training Seminar (PETS)
This year, Rotaractors were invited and encouraged to attend the Pacific Northwest PETS held in Washington State. While in the past, President Elects for Rotaract have been invited, this year it was open to any Rotaractor as a special session was held in conjunction with PETS. Essentially, PETS is a weekend of training that aims to prepare the incoming president of a club for their year. Filled with workshops and plenary sessions, Rotaractors and Rotarians from across the Pacific Northwest (Alaska + Yukon all the way down to the Northern part of California) amassed together, totaling 750+ people in attendance.
Our district sent 4 Rotaractors down who had the opportunity to meet 21 other Rotaractors from all over. Being able to discuss the challenges and the successes of the different clubs helped to provide clarity and direction.
Officially chartering in 2013, the Tri-Cities Rotaract (TCR) is one of our larger clubs in the district. TCR covers the cities of Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, and Coquitlam. This year, the club has co-presidents Eric and Kim (both former presidents!) guiding the club through its year. TCR is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Port Moody and the Rotary Club of Port Coquitlam Centennial. Currently, TCR membership stands at 17.
TCR has been quite busy throughout the year. It was the second year that TCR was responsible for the corn booth at the Port Moody Rib Fest, held by the Rotary Club of Port Moody. This three day event saw thousands of people enjoying the fun atmosphere, and most importantly, the ribs.
During the summer, TCR members joined RCFV for some friendly beach volleyball competition against Rotarians. There were also members who participated in the Amazing Race scavenger hunt put on by the Rotary Club of Port Coquitlam Sunrise.
Once again, TCR participated in the We Scare Hunger program, where they collected 205 lbs. of food in addition to donating $200.00 to Share Society’s Food Bank. Earlier in October, TCR participated in Rotary Remove Invasive Plant Species (RIPS) led by the Rotary Club of Port Moody. For Thanksgiving, TCR volunteer with Rotarians at St. Catherine’s Thanksgiving Lunch.
For the holiday season, TCR members collected jackets, socks, gloves, and other warm clothing to donate.
In February, the club held their signature Random Acts of Kindness event. They shared the love in Port Moody, handing out flowers, Timbits, Starbucks gift cards, and even signing a song or two.
Currently they are partnering with the Rotary Club of Port Moody to put on a local youth summit, Rotary Youth in Action (RYiA) which is from March 17 – 19, 2017. This summit is similar to that of Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), Youth Adventures in Leadership (YAIL), and the Ridge Meadows Youth Impact Summit (RMYIS).
TCR will be continuing their annual pub fundraiser and dodgeball tournament in late April and May, respectively. They will also be packing hygiene items for a women’s shelter. Be sure to visit them at a meeting to get the latest and join in on the fun!
The Rotaract Club of the Fraser Valley (RCFV) chartered in 2014 with the help of 5 sponsoring Rotary Clubs. The Rotary Club of Abbotsford Sumas, Rotary Club of Haney, Rotary Club of Meadow Ridge, Rotary Club of Mission AM, and the Rotary Club of Mission Midday continue to play an active and support role of this club. With 14 members, RCFV has focused on enhancing its presence in the three communities it covers; Abbotsford, Maple Ridge, and Mission.
At the beginning of the year, RCFV members assisted TCR with their corn booth at the Port Moody Rib Fest. The Rotary Club of Mission Midday held their second Beach Volleyball Tournament against Rotaractors. Service Above Spikes, who just so happened to be the RCFV team, took home the ‘W‘! It was certainly a great way to connect with the Rotarians and TCR members.
In July two members, Elicia and Phoenix, attended RYLA North America in Washington, D.C. There, they were among 250+ delegates from around the world. The week long conference included trips to different embassies, sightseeing, plenary sessions, workshops, and activities.
In September, RCFV’s Vice President, Brenna, went to Split, Croatia on a Rotaract Round Trip. Her time was spent sailing the Adriatic Sea with 90+ Rotaractors from around the world. Certainly sounds like a trip of a lifetime!
Monthly park clean ups at Townline Hill Park in Abbotsford continue to be a hands on project RCFV members can take part in. A few members go each time and spend approximately half an hour to an hour picking up the trash that unfortunately gets left behind.
During the Christmas season, RCFV collected food and socks. 115 lbs of food, 448 pairs of socks, and $192.75 was donated throughout the three cities. That was in addition to the 100 handmade cards RCFV members made for seniors in Chilliwack.
In February, RCFV members participated in #RotaDeed, which is an awareness campaign aimed around doing random acts of kindness.
Most recently, RCFV was donated a table at the Rotary Club of Abbotsford Sumas’ St. Patrick’s Day Dance + Silent Auction. There, members helped sell 50/50 tickets and assisted with the Silent Auction.
Currently, RCFV is participating in a Culture Box Exchange with 3 other clubs in 3 different countries. RCFV will be receiving a box from Mexico and sending a box to Brazil.
The next upcoming event is Bowling for Backpacks, which is raising money for the Starfish Pack program and the Rotaract Abroad program.
Rotaract Club of Langley
The Rotaract Club of Langely is our oldest Rotaract Club in the district, having chartered in 2008. With a membership base of 7, the club is being revitalized thanks in part to it’s members and the support from it’s sponsoring Rotary Club, Langley Central.
The current president is Michaela Carter. Currently Michaela is on exchange, so Alexandra Simpkin is the interim President (and President Elect for 2017/18).
Although small in numbers, this club is certainly active. Seniors are a particular passion for this group as they host Bingo nights and offer monthly technology classes to the Harrison Pointe Retirement home. Conveniently, the retirement home is where they have their meetings. Earlier in the Rotary year (July to June), the Rotaract Club of Langley volunteered with PB & Chi Dog Rescue Society.
Another project the Rotaract Club of Langley is part of is the Service Above Self Student Youth Awards (SASSY Awards). They’re on the committee and are assisting the Rotary Club of Langley Central.
Rotaract Club of Surrey Newton
Formally the Rotaract Club of Cloverdale, the Rotaract Club of Surrey Newton has returned after a short hiatus. The Rotaract Club of Surrey Newton is sponsored by the Rotary Club of North Delta and the Rotary Club of Surrey Newton.
This club has a strong relationship with both its sponsoring Rotary Clubs. They volunteered at the Rotary Club of Surrey Newton’s Oral Cancer Screening, Food Drive, and Blanket Drive.
Definitely keep an eye out for this club as they continue to make their mark in their local and global communities!