Service Above Self - 27 Rotarians, spouses and exchange students served at our annual Bayview School Christmas Turkey Dinner - 2013


Our members are part of Rotary International, the world's first service club organization, with more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

An example of service above self is our members taking time from their busy schedules to help with our annual Christmas dinner served to approximately 150 students plus some parents and staff at Bayview School in Nanaimo. The Rotary Club of Nanaimo works with others in our community to deliver a full turkey dinner to some who may not otherwise have this experience. Our Rotary Club buys the supplies needed, Thrifty Foods grocery store gives us a break on the price and supplies Oranges for the children. The vegetables are prepared for cooking by the students at Bayview school. Mrs. Ritchies restaurant cooks the vegetables and supplies the catering trays for the dinner. The turkeys are cooked and sliced by students of the John Barsby Secondary School Chef's Program under Chef Jon Ludtke. Members and spouses bake cookies for dessert, set up the gymnasium and serve the dinner. The dinner includes turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, cranberry sauce, juice, milk and cookies. After dinner the students give us a concert and as they leave the gym each student receives a bag with an age appropriate book, tooth brush and tooth paste donated by Johnson Wholesale, a candy cane and an orange to take home.



Rotarians working at events like this dinner are rewarded by the positive feedback and recognition from parents, school staff and most importantly from the students themselves. After the dinner students thank the volunteers by performing a Christmas Concert, hand delivering thank you notes to the Rotarians and some students like Brooke Forsythe and Ariel Arsenault just want to hug their favourite Rotarian. Moments like these make the work of fundraising, planning, and implementation of projects worthwhile. 

Brooke Forsythe, Rotarian Bob Fenty and Ariel Arsenault