The Rotary Club of Paarl’s biggest fundraising event, the Wine & Good Taste Charity Auction, will be presented on 9 October after an interruption of two years due to Covid. Bidders will have much to look forward to, including two air tickets to Mauritius, says Deon Erasmus, who as the new club president will be at the helm of this event. He is pictured here with his wife Rosario  (right) and outgoing president Hester Visagie.
The club’s other big fundraiser, the Winelands Cycle Race, will take place on 22 January. It is a seeding race for the Cape Town Cycle Tour.
At the induction event, outgoing president Hester Visagie presented Paul Harris Awards to Rotarian Gerald Truter (our excellent speaker seeker), Rotarian Peter Swart (legal adviser), and to club benefactors Hannarie Wenhold (donor) and Lucas Coetzee (Edubox sponsor).
In her report, Hester thanked the members who had assisted in packing Edubox educational toy sets which were distributed as far as Kimberley, Vryburg and Namibia. This has turned out to be an excellent income-generating project with demand exceeding supply
After making contact with a local resident who had moved to the Netherlands, we were fortunate to link up with the Club of Zwartwater in the Netherlands and could exchange our Rotary banners, promoting Rotary as a world-wide brand. We are looking forward to working closer with them during the coming year.   
The Short-Term Exchange student programme is up and running again and a learner of Paarl Girls’ High has been accepted to visit Hungary, while we are expecting a learner from Hungary in Paarl during July.
Coming closer to home, we were closely involved in the chartering of the new Rotary Club of Riebeeck Valley, expanding the Rotary footprint there too.   
Over the past year, the club has been able to contribute a total of R150 000 to a number of beneficiaries, including the Rotary Foundation, Polio Plus, Aid to the Ukraine, KZN Disaster Relief Fund, Agri SA (KZN), Hillcrest Rotary Club (KZN), Masazane Soup Kitchen Paarl, Fountain of Hope soup kitchen Paarl, Paarl Kickboxing Academy (anti-bullying program), the Royalty Project (sex education and pregnancy prevention in schools), Kerith Psychiatric Retreat (establishing a vegetable garden), Riebeeck Valley Rotary Club (trauma room at police station), House Andrew Murray orphanage, Paarl Valley Wheelchair Friends, Drakenstein Association for Persons with Disabilities, Milani Day Care for disabled children (kitchen renovation), the Keep Mbekweni Clean campaign, and POP Just Trees (educare centre). Each of them is making a significant contribution in their community. 
Hester concluded: “I would like to thank each Board member for making my time as president a pleasurable one.  You really made it possible for me to ‘sit back and enjoy the ride’! 
“I also wish to convey my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to each member of our Club for their support and understanding during the past year. Running two households, being a mother, nurse, and taxi and having a full-time job has not been easy. 
“I wish incoming President Deon every success for the forthcoming year. May you continue with the formidable work of adding value to the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves.”
In her report, Hester indicated that the club had lost four members over the past year, but had gained two new members and two others were expected to join soon. Membership currently stands at 28.
Outgoing club president Hester Visagie (second right) presented Paul Harris Awards to two benefactors of the club, Hannarie Wenhold (second left) and Lucas Coetzee (right) at the induction dinner. With them is the incoming Rotary District Governor, Tracey Wilson (left).