|In 2017 ShelterBox raised over £11m with a combination of UK and affiliate fundraising - nearly £1m of the UK community fundraising came from Rotary. Rotary groups around the world helped them provide vulnerable people with emergency shelter and aid in almost all of the countries they have worked in affected by natural disaster. By the end of 2017, ShelterBox helped 32,000 households or 160,000 people who had lost everything through conflict or natural disaster.|
The citations having being made respectively by Past President's Gordon Millington and Brian Byers, District Governor Garth Arnold presented Bob Skelly (left) and San Wong with their Fellowships.
The Club enjoyed another evening at the Club Christmas Dinner Meeting held for the first time at Malone Golf Club. 73 Club members and guests had a splendid evening of food, entertainment and fellowship. Read more here...
The Club were delighted to again provide on December 18 their traditional Christmas Party for 32 children from Class 2 Mitchell House School. It was another resounding success with Magic George, resplendent in his new Christmas suit, entertaining all with his juggling, wayward monkey puppet whose various tricks were met with huge acclaim from the children. After juice and snacks were served, Past President Courtenay Thompson made a guest appearance as a certain Mr Claus - dispensing presents with a kind word for each and every child.
Showcasing Rotarians' Community Service, some Club members were pleased to help Dementia NI in their bag-packing collection in Tesco on 18 December. £1400.86 was raised and the charity was extremely grateful to all their volunteers. We hope the charity will visit the Club during the year to advise about the work they do locally and how support for them can make a difference to those living with dementia.
Our latest gifts from the Club's Children in Hospital fund were presented to the Beechcroft Children’s Unit at Forster Green Hospital. They were handed over to Jacquie Wilson, the Children's Service Manager, by Past President Brian Ferguson on Friday 15 December. This unit is chosen at Christmas because the children there are from disturbed backgrounds and don't get to know the meaning of a happy family Christmas.
The Club has placed a Tree of Remembrance in the Europa Hotel Belfast with an invitation for people to remember someone this Christmas by writing on a label provided and tying it to the tree and, if wished, place a donation in the box at Reception which will help some of the charities supported by the Club – Mitchell House Special School, End Polio Now, ShelterBox and the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.
Whilst Christmas trees are usually purely decorative, this tree provides a simple, yet poignant, way of remembering, acknowledging and celebrating the lives of loved ones amid the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. We hope that people will take a look at the tree, with their unique labels and that the true spirit of Christmas will be made evident for one special moment whilst supporting these charities.
The Club were delighted to welcome Monday 11 December former member Paul Wright of the Salvation Army who addressed the Club of the origins and current focus of the Salvation Army – “Where there is need there is the Salvation Army”. He advised the Salvation Army is changing and modernising and accepting members’ donated vouchers for this year’s Christmas Appeal, he thanked the Club for the continued help over many years noting that the Club in the early days launched the Christmas Family Appeal with a horse drawn cart, with Santa, the Lord Mayor and the Club President, being driven through the city.
He emphasised however that need knows no season, for example they are now finding a huge need in September when school uniforms are required and quoting the Salvation Army's logo - with heart to God and Hand to man he concluded by avowing: “what we give we get back ten-fold”.
Guest speaker Monday 27 November Brendan O'Neill, St Vincent de Paul's new Regional President with Regional Manager Pauline Brown gave a stimulating address on the work of the Society in Ireland and the problems it faces particularly at Christmas time. He highlighted the launch of this year's Christmas Joint Appeal with the Salvation Army which the Club always supports (see here).