'Being a Rotarian has Made Me Better'

Posted by Allan Baedak on Aug 25, 2017
Why Rotary? Several years ago I had an unshakable desire to give back.  I was looking for an organization to volunteer with - many community, non profit and political organizations I looked into were inspiring and doing meaningful  work.   I happened to be chatting with a neighbour of my father’s about this and that when he mentioned that he was a member of the Semiahmoo Rotary Club.  I was intrigued by the range of local, regional and international projects he was able to participate in.  At the end of the conversation, he invited me to a breakfast meeting. That was 19 years ago! Wow, how time flies.
 
The longer I have been a part of this incredible organization the more I realize deep in my heart that I have joined an amazing group of passionate people who make a real difference every day. 
 
There are more than 33,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. We are Rotarians and together we are a global network of 1.2 million business and professional leaders volunteering our time and talents to serve our communities and the world.  People from all continents and cultures come together to exchange ideas, develop friendships and professional connections, raise money “give back.”  And did I mention fun?  Comradery?  Opportunites to travel?    
 
In South-Surrey/White Rock alone, we have five Rotary clubs, each with a unique character, and different meeting times each week. There truly is something for everyone.   In our community Rotary clubs are active contributors  to the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation, Peace Arch Hospice Society (formerly White Rock South Surrey Hospice Society), Sources Food Bank, Star Fish backpack food supplement program, Women’s shelters, Camp Alexandra,  the five club pancake breakfast, the Polar Bear Swim and many, many more projects and programs too numerous to mention here.
 
In reflection, I am eternally grateful to Rob Gawthrop for introducing me such an impactful organization those many years ago. Little did I know that when I joined Rotary, I would not only find a tangible way to “give back”, but that I would get so much back in return.  Sure it sounds like a cliché, but being a Rotarian has made me a better person.  It has enriched me beyond measure.
 
If you are looking for a way to give back and make some extraordinary new friends, I am personally inviting you to come to a meeting to see what our five clubs are about.  Whatever your passion, whatever your schedule, there is a local Rotary club that is perfect for you.  September is a great time to join a new organization, and Rotary is one of the best!!! 
 
White Rock Rotary club was the first Rotary club on the Peninsula in 1955. They have continued with a long and distinguished reputation for doing good in our community.  Perhaps best known for their annual book sales, most recently this past weekend at the Peace Arch Curling Centre. The White Rock Rotary Club meets for lunch on Tuesdays 12:00 PM at Ricky's Country Restaurant
 
Peace Arch Rotary club meets for lunch on  Mondays 12:00 PM at Hazelmere Golf & Country Club.  “We are all MAD* here,"  says Peace Arch member Dacy Koltai., based on Rotary International’s theme for this year of ; *Making A Difference.
 
Semiahmoo Rotary club is a very active club with a passion for the Peace Arch Hospital, Peace Arch Hospice, Sources Food Bank as well as International programs in Haiti and Uganda.  Semiahmoo Rotary Club meets for breakfast Thursdays 7:00 AM at the Rotary Field House (South Surrey Athletic Fields)
 
South Surrey Rotary club is a small but very active and vibrant club – making a difference in the local community, Cambodia, and Thailand. The South Surrey Rotary Club meets for breakfast on Wednesdays 7:00 AM  at the Pacific Inn (Pink Palace)
White Rock Peninsula Rotary club is an evening club and meets Tuesdays 6:30 PM  at the Pacific Inn (Pink Palace)  The Peninsula club has the distinction  of having one of its members, Lindagene Coyle, serve as District Governor for 2017-2018 www.wrpeninsula.com
 
 
as published in the Peace Arch News, Aug 25, 2017
Rotary Roundup Aug 2017