Carol Russell
The Rotary Club of West Pennant Hills and Cherrybrook celebrated the July 1st end of the Rotary year on June 16th at the Pennant Hills Golf Club. An evening event was held where seventy two people including District Governor Peter Ward and Anne, District Governor Elect Susan Wakefield, and Past District Governor John; and Assistant Governor John Fenessy were present along with club members, their partners, family members, friends of Rotary and guests.
A precedent was set this year with the outgoing President Colin Sharpe also being the incoming President due to the last minute unavailability of the President Elect. A number of awards were made to club members and partners to recognise their contribution to the club’s activities during the past year The awards included Paul Harris Fellow awards, the highest award in the Rotary organisation.
The Rotary theme for the past year was Rotary: Making a Difference. The club raised about $56,000 this year to make a difference to youth in the local community and the under underprivileged in Australia and abroad. The club sponsored students to the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA), Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment (RYPEN) and Youth Exchange. RYLA is a seven day residential camp where participants are immersed in a program centred around four key themes: Challenge by choice, diversity, community and time out. Young people aged 18-25 are given the opportunity to step away from the distractions of their busy lives and provide the space to think about what is important to them. RYPEN is an intensive residential weekend, where young people aged approximately 15 to 16 years develop increased motivation, improved life skills, better self-image, pride in themselves and an understanding of setting and achieving goals.
The club again participated in the Rotary Youth Exchange program with both an inbound student from Brazil who is attending Cherrybrook Technology High School for a year. A local student is being sponsored for a year’s exchange to Denmark. Ngaire, who was a student that the club sponsored for exchange to Sweden in 2008 gave an insight on the impact Rotary Exchange has had on her life.
The club made a donation to sponsor three young people through the Wesley Mission’s Operation Hope that gives disadvantaged young people a break from their everyday lives and the opportunity to work on person-centred goals.
Funds were made available to assist with the erection of shade sails at Marayong Public School and St Gabriel’s school for disabled children. A storage shed was also supplied and erected at St Gabriel’s. Money as also donated to a Perth based Rotary Club sponsored program that makes and provides wheelchairs for severely disabled children throughout under-resourced countries of the world.
Financial support was given to a local Rotarian from the Glenhaven club who provides assistance to needy families in Central Vietnam. Our donation will allow three cows to be purchased and each given to a family to provide an income for a poverty stricken family.
The Rotary theme for the coming year is “Be the inspiration” which complements Rotary Internationals vision “Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change — across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.” Rotary fulfils a unique role in communities such as ours and that is because of the commitment of its members, who unselfishly give their time on a voluntary basis as Service Above Self to others. The plans that the Club has in place for the coming year are tailored to support the coming year’s theme and the Rotary Vision.
The club holds it’s changeover ceremony every year and club members are constantly on the look out for persons to join a vibrant club that has fun doing good in the community and where partners are considered an integral part of the club. If you would like to make a contribution to your community call us for an invitation to be a Guest at one of our Monday night dinner meetings, contact President Colin on 0408810463(colin@sharpe.id.au) or Tony on 042812624.