Huddersfield Rotary Club is emerging from the pandemic with renewed vigour and determination as members prepare to celebrate its centenary.
The club, part of a national and international network, works for the benefit of the local community with members raising money and donating their time to deserving causes.
Though club members haven’t met in person since March 2020 they have used technology to meet face-to-face on Zoom.
While members haven’t been able to hold events it hasn’t stopped the fundraising effort and what members would have spent on meals at meetings during the course of the pandemic they have donated to charity instead.
In total more than £4,000 has been given to the Welcome Centre Food Bank in Huddersfield.
Last Christmas the club collected toys for needy children and this year they provided a climbing frame to Greenfields Family Centre in Dalton and provided pamper bags to nursing staff at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
Retired retail jeweller Ian Fillan will become president of Huddersfield Rotary Club at its meeting on July 5, the start of what is hoped to be a busy centenary year.
“We are very excited to launch the centenary year and while the last 15 months has been difficult, as it has for many similar organisations, we are ready to move forward once more,” said Mr Fillan.
“We have been meeting via Zoom and have kept in touch throughout with regular news bulletins.”
As well as fundraising and support for the local community, fellowship is the other major feature of Rotary so keeping in regular contact has been vital during the pandemic.
The plan is for the first in-person meeting to be held on July 5 in a gazebo at Ravensknowle Park. It is there Mr Fillan will officially launch Challenge 100, a major fundraiser to mark the centenary.
“Every member will be asked to participate and think of something they can do as a task,” he said. “They will then contact all the people they know and ask for donations to a fundraising page.
“The money raised will be split 50-50 between The Kirkwood and the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice. I have great hopes but I’m not going to set a target although I would hope we can raise several thousands of pounds.”
Though membership of Huddersfield Rotary Club has declined somewhat, current members remain very active and one of Mr Fillan’s aims for the next year is to expand the membership. New members are welcome.
Some of the highlights for later this year and in 2022 include a Christmas Dinner on December 13, the anniversary of the first meeting in 1921, a Centenary Concert on May 8 next year followed by the 100th Charter Dinner on June 6.
In ‘normal’ times the club meets every Monday at The Keys restaurant underneath Huddersfield Parish Church.
What are the benefits of membership of Rotary?
In an increasingly complex world, Rotary maintains a simple philosophy – make friends in your own community and throughout the world.
Giving back to the community
Through Rotary, service to local and overseas communities is well organised and rewarding. If you like helping others, here is your chance to do something worthwhile and make a real difference.
Fun and entertainment
Rotary is fun. Every Rotary club and district arranges parties and activities that provide a welcome distraction to a hectic business life.
Networking opportunities are endless. Rotary consists of a cross-section from every business community and its members come from all walks of life. Rotarians help each other and collectively help others.
Personal growth and development
Membership of Rotary develops leadership, public speaking, social, business, personal and vocational skills as well as improving cultural awareness.
Clubs organise programmes and weekly meetings to keep members informed about what is going on in the community, the country, and the world. Each meeting provides an opportunity to listen to different speakers on a variety of current topics.
Every Rotarian is welcome – even encouraged – to attend any of the 33,000 clubs around the world.
For more information on joining Huddersfield Rotary Club go to www.huddersfieldrotary.org/
Visit their JustGiving page HERE.