Sanitise, masks, alcohol bans, beach bans? "The world has certainly changed and sometimes it seems that we need to just crawl back under the duvet and wait for it to pass," says president Bryan Anderson.
"However, what has not changed are the desperate needs in the community. Our challenge this year has been to find ways of serving the community in the new normal. Despite the cancellation of both our big fund raisers due to factors outside the respective (very competent) committees’ control, through astute financial management we have continued to be able to support many good causes and Rotary continues to make a difference!
"I have listed some of the contributions that we have been able to make and would like to express my gratitude for the dedication and hard work that our members have put into these projects. Your perseverance under trying conditions is much appreciated.
"We have continued to focus mainly on feeding schemes during the COVID period. Our projects committee has focused on a number of well run, but under-resourced schemes in our area. These are doing wonderful work in alleviating the plight of the poor and ensure that our contributions are directed at the needy. A few institutions providing training and care facilities have also been supported.
"We have made financial contributions to the following pre-approved schemes: Fountain of Hope feeding scheme, Heart feeding scheme, MCM-Miqlat, Butterfly House youth centre, Valcare, Norsa feeding scheme, Sunfield Home, Rusoord retirement home, Wamakersvallei Training Centre, Amado Animal-Assisted Therapy, Paarl Kick-Boxing Academy (schools anti-bullying course) and Paarl Valley Eisteddfod.
"Adapting to the new normal is going to be key in our way forward and with this in mind, the Cycle Race committee as well as the Wine Auction committee have both been constantly reviewing the way these projects are run.
Despite the cancellation of our Cycle Race in January, the team are not discouraged and are already working on the 2022 event.
Similarly, the Auction committee is also at full steam in the planning of the Auction for 10 October 2021. Contact with potential sponsors and donors is taking place and the committee is cautiously optimistic that we will have a very successful event (albeit possibly with fewer guests) in the second half of the year.
""he ZOOM vs NORMAL meeting debate and implementation goes on as the various levels of lock-down come and go. We have found ourselves a new home at the Paarl Bowls Club and, while it is allowed, I am enjoying seeing everyone again in person. Our speaker seekers has also been challenged in alternately finding “virtual” and then “live” guest speakers, and has done a wonderful job in this regard. If any of the members have a good speaker suggestion please contact Gerald directly in this regard.
"On the social front, it is good to see that there continues to be good interaction between members and the social events that have been arranged have been well supported and more importantly, enjoyed, by all.
"Membership continues to be a challenge and I appeal to all the members to please consider your friends, neighbours, and colleagues as potential members.
"Finally, I would like to thank all the members that have paid their contribution to the special levy that was introduced to make up for the shortfall in Club funds, due to the fact that we are not able to marshal at the cycling races we support. This is greatly appreciated and I trust that those who have not yet made the contribution will do so before the deadline of 30 April.
"It is a privilege to be part of the ROTARY Club of Paarl and to have the opportunity of engaging with each and every one of the members and I thank you for your contributions to the success of our club."