Letter: Proud to be a Kelowna Rotarian

I am one of the hundreds of citizens of Kelowna who are Rotarians.

To the editor:

I am one of the hundreds of citizens of Kelowna who are Rotarians. Many of those will be volunteering this weekend at the Sunrise Rotary Club of Kelowna’s Ribfest event. It is a wonderful event for the whole family featuring a variety of terrific foods, lots of great entertainment, fun for our youth, and it is free. Its main purpose is to raise money to support the establishment of JoeAnna’s House, the much-needed facility to support families whose children are under treatment at the Kelowna General Hospital.

This may be your first Rotary experience, but maybe not. Perhaps, in the past, you and your family have enjoyed a day at the lake on Rotary Beach or taken autumn walks through the many trails at Rotary Marsh. Maybe you have enjoyed the outstanding entertainment at the Rotary Centre for the Arts. Or perhaps you know someone who has received care and comfort at The Southern Interior Rotary Cancer Lodge or sought peace and personal reflection in Rotary Gardens at Kelowna’s wonderful hospice facility. Perhaps some of your children have received one of the numerous scholarships that Rotary Clubs give out annually.

Rotary support is not just local but international as well. The success in the worldwide effort to eradicate polio, the establishment of fresh water supplies in third world countries, and the improvement of education facilities in many of those countries are just a few examples of Rotary’s international generosity.

All of this is made possible by the volunteered efforts of Rotarians in our community and the generosity of individuals and businesses such as The Interior Savings Credit Union, Ribfest’s title sponsor, and many others in Kelowna. Fundraising is difficult, but with your past support, Rotarians have been successful at it.

But it does not stop there; every year Rotary clubs team up with many local service agencies to support numerous worthy initiatives in our community including but not limited to; The Central Okanagan Community Foodbank, The Salvation Army, The Gospel Mission, Kelowna Women’s Shelter, Inn From the Cold, Freedom’s Door, and The Foundry. These are wonderful partnerships with Rotary providing the needed financial support to those agencies who do what they do so well.

Rotary’s efforts make our community a better place for all to live. As an individual Rotarian, I know that Rotary has greatly appreciated the public support that it has received in the past. If you appreciate what Rotary has done for our community, come out to City Park this weekend and enjoy the Ribfest event while supporting some terrific initiatives.

Gary Bennett

Past president of the Rotary Club of Kelowna

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