by Mike Gay
The Rotary Year got off to a busy start and our challenge set by Club President Tony Bryant is to buy a boat! To explain: this year the President’s charity is Bristol Sailability; a charity run from the Bristol City Docks and affiliated to the Royal Yachting Association. This excellent charity provides an opportunity for young people, of all levels of disability, to enjoy dinghy sailing and power boating. Bristol Sailability is run jointly by the Bristol Sailing School and the West of England Schools Sailing Association: who are both now part of All-Aboard! Watersports.
The Norlin 2.4 - note the low sailing position making it a safe and ideal boat for disabled sailing
Bristol Sailability already have a number of watercraft that they operate for disabled people including two 2.4 metre Norlin sailing dinghies. These dinghies are used extensively in competition sailing including Olympic competitions. In order to qualify for Olympic involvement the prospective organisation must have a fleet of three such boats.
That is where we aim to help by raising funds to buy, and equip, a third Norlin 2.4 for Bristol Sailability. This will involve the raising of £6,000 by holding special events throughout this Rotary Year. We also want to continue supporting the other charities that we have been donating to over many past years.
Achieving our aim will enable Bristol Sailability to apply for Olympic funding and to enter into preliminary Olympic competitions and live the dream of qualifying for the Olympic Games in 2016 and beyond.
Throught the Rotary Year we have held a number of events in support of our 'boat-fund' and by the end of month 5 (November last year) we had achieved 47% of our target. Something that we hadn't taken into account did however became a major factor in achieving our aim.
Back in early November last year a party of nine F&D Rotarian’s gave up part of their Friday evening to help out at the Great Western Round Table’s annual Downend Firework Night. In the event, the initial pessimism that prevailed about the fall in spectators attending were quashed when G.W.R.T. advised, in early December, that the event ‘gate’ was approximately £20,000 – this was obviously an unqualified success.
We mentioned that our President’s charity was Bristol Sailability and our aim was to raise £6000 for a new sailing boat they specifically required (see here for full story) – so we were not prepared for what happened next!
On the 9th January Secretary Derek James received a letter saying that a donation of £3,000 to our Sailability fund would be made. This was read out at our weekly meeting that evening and everybody was blown away by the magnificent gesture by G.W.R.T. In one fail swoop we had achieved our target of £6,000 having already raised the other half from various fundraising events.
So we raised our glasses in a toast to our Round Table friends.
Want to find out more about joining Rotary or attending our events?
Have you got the potential to be a F&D Rotarian?
We invite all our members to take an active role through Club Service, by local community service, by support for national and international Rotary projects, by participation in Club social occasions, and by interaction with Club events and projects. Have you the skills, the energy, the qualities and a little time to spare? If so then we are looking for you!
Could you place Service Above Self? Would you like to have fun and enjoy the rewards of fellowship? Do you need to network and promote your skills? Would you enjoy helping organize Community Service Events? Could you lend a hand to those less fortunate and support Rotary charities and good causes? If so then you are looking for us!
OK - so what's been happening?
by Mike Gay
December was a really busy month for the Club: starting with helping with the preparation for the Macmillan Cancer Support 'Tree of Hope' event at Frenchay. Our Club Christmas Dinner Meeting was a great entertainment with a surprise visit to the Club by DG Jan Harris who took a starring role in our panto. We helped marshal at the 'Christmas on the Hill' event in Staple Hill on December 7th. For those not involved in skittles on December 9th a few attended the Macmillan 'Tree of Hope' event that took place on the same night. We have held our last weekly meeting (our Special General Meeting) on the 12th December and our last Club Council meeting for this calendar year. The first of our Christmas Collections at Sainsbury's Emersons Green with 'Ten Sing', who benefitted from the £270 collected, was on the 15th December. We then held our main Christmas Collections at Sainsbury's Emersons Green between the 20th and 22nd December collecting for Sailability. We were very pleased with the collection: all due to the generousity of the local community - thank you! In the midst of Christmas Collections we held our Club Christmas Party on December 19th, thanks to Dave and Judy who made us all very welcome as we enjoyed a relaxing night of fellowship and fun.
So December was the busiest month of several busy months, and the New Year's Drink at the President's home on December 29th was well deserved and much enjoyed! January and February tend to be much quieter and this year has been no exception. Watch this space to learn about up and coming events.
by Mike Gay
F&D make donations to help the victims of the Philippines Typhoon Disaster - see here.
Immediate Past President Derek James won recognition for his outstanding service to both Club and District having been bestowed a Paul Harris Fellow at our meeting of the 7th November. Derek became our fourth current holder of Rotary's most prestigious honour. A most deserved award as Derek is at the heart of much that the Club does, and has, for the past 12 years, been central to the organisation of the District 1100 Young Musician competition. As one member observed Derek is a most humble man and a good friend to all.
We are sad to announce that F&D Rotarian Chris Bentall has suffered a stroke and is currently recovering and undergoing rehabiliative physiotherapy, but at least Chris is now at home. Progress is slow but determined.
The Rotary Club of Fishponds and Downend is a Registered Charity No. 1034555
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We meet on Thursdays at 18.45 for 19:00(with the exception of 1st Thursday when 19:00 for 19:30 for Speakers night with partners. Also please contact our Secretary for 5th Thursday arrangements.) The Langley Arms, Guest Avenue, Emersons Green, Bristol. BS16 7GA tel: 0117 957 3512
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