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by President Mike Gay

The Rotary Year 2015-16 has just started and I have succeeded to President of this small but very vibrant Rotary Club.  My 'year' is going to be busy, yes we will be doing all those events for which the Club is known but we will also be trying our hand with new events.

My main charity this year is Macmillan Cancer Support with the money we raise throughout the year going to the Macmillan Wellbeing Centre at Bristol Southmead Hospital.  In addition one specific, and major, event later in the year is to be run as a specoific fundraiser for the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity.

Our Rotary and Our Local Communities

Fishponds & Downend Rotary is a local community driven organisation running events in our local communities, supporting charities and good causes in our local communities, providing service in our local communities, supported by people in our local communities,  based in the centre of our local communities, and drawing our membership from our local communities.

What have we been doing?

We have held our first six weeks of meetings, and Club Council meetings, and our first four fundraising events.

The first was the Frenchay Flower Show on Saturday 11th July where we enjoyed good weather and had great opportunities for fellowship, plus we did meet some local community residents in running our secondhand book and games stall.  The Flower Show crowd was not a good as hoped, due to a competing local event, so sales on all stalls, including ours, were a little slow, a pity but fundraising can often be a little unrewarding.

On Sunday 19th July, at the home of a member, we held a small Club fundraising event: and it was High Tea with all the trimmings with Pimms and Prosecco. The event was more social than serious fundraising and was good fun.

On the 13th Augiust we had our first Home-Hosted Meeting of the year.  This was a Curry Night with a speaker who prepared and served a number of traditional Indian 'curry' dishes, gave us a demonstration of how to make a couple of curry bases and some onion bhajis (actually pakoras). Then we had a account of how Indian spices arrived at our shores.  A very good evening and we raised £200 for 'Medical Detection Dogs' (the spearker's nominated charity).

Then we held one of our regular major events 'CiderFest'. This event was held on the 15th August and featured the reappearance of the "Same Old Faces", a 70's tribute glam-rock band, plus a disco, a bar and a BBQ.  It was a ticket-only event jointly organised by ourselves and our friends at The Park Golf Club for members, Rotarians and friends.  As we sold 126 tickets, the bar was busy and the excellent raffle was well supported; this resulted in excellent proceeds of approximately £1,600.

Members visit France

Seven members with partners made a Club visit to our twin Rotary Club "Melle pays Melois" in mid France in early August to attend their club fundraiser "The Night of the Lobster" on Thursday the 6th.


Rotary Youth Leadership Awards: the 2015 course was held in the Forest of Dean in the fial few days of July and the first couple of days of August.  Rotarians and parents of the participants gathered for end of course presentations and a pig-roast.  Both of our sponsored participants successfully completed the course.  Once again those closest to the participants were at pains to stress that the post course participants has benefitted greatly from taking part.

Events "Coming-up"

We are putting together dates for upcoming events and this information will feature here shortly.

The Rotary Club of Fishponds and Downend is a Registered Charity No. 1034555

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