It has been a productive and start to the 2016/2017 Rotary year.  The year begins in July after the conclusion of a very eventful spring.  My deepest appreciation to all of you for continuing to pitch in for a variety of great community events and programs.  Sam Steele Days concession and parade float; the Sweetheart Pageant and Grad Parking are just some of the ways we participate as a team.

 
The Rotary Youth Exchange program is thriving and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to share in the dreams of youth from our community.  While at the same time welcoming young people from around the world into our lives and our homes.  It is through the eyes of young people that you get to see how special this opportunity is.  The RYLA program brings young adults together through leadership in a way that is truly unique; in a setting where friendships are formed for life. 
 
 
 
July signifies the beginning of summer for many of us with trips and family visits planned.  As a new president, I was delightfully surprised to have had such fantastic attendance at our first meeting.  With many new guests and a visit from the City of Cranbrook’s new CAO the year was off to an energetic start.  In August, we hosted District 5080 Governor Kees and Mayumi Van der Pol.  It is always exciting to share the work of our club in the community.  Kees and Mayumi gave an impactful presentation to the club about what Rotary means for them; their passion for helping others is evident in all that Rotary stands for.
 
We welcomed Klara to our club on the same week we hosted Rotarians from France through the Rotary Friendship exchange.  The BBQ gathering with the Cranbrook club was a fun lively collaboration we should seek to engage in more.  Meanwhile, committees were busy at work pulling together the world class event that is the Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo. We collaborated with many local / regional service organizations and it was a rousing success for our club and region. I am looking forward to the development of the community projects we get to undertake because of this effort.  The Book Sale is yet another example of how we can build partnerships that benefit the whole of our community. 
 
It is not only the large-scale activities but the steady behind the scenes projects such as cleaning cloth sales and the Golf Card project that allows our club to be active in every facet of our community.  This club, I am proud to say does not back down from a challenge and when we called for a dedication of fines and happy dollars to Polio Plus for the months of September and October; all of you rose to the challenge.  Thank you!
 
Looking ahead we will be working with the City to install new bike racks; hosting the Angel Tree project and delivering the 20th year of our Rockies Film Series and Festival.  The Values and Ethics program will continue to be a bridge to young people.
 
Best of all we get to share in each other’s joys and sadness, successes and challenges every Tuesday morning and for that I am most excited.  Thanks to all of you for making this first quarter a remarkable start to what I am sure will be a fantastic year.  It really is all because of what you do and how you choose to include Rotary in your lives everyday.
 
Warm regards,  Riley
 
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