Rotarian of the year 2018 - On his Bike!

Remarkable Service above Self from Dave Donaldson, District Rotarian of the Year 2018, elected by his peers

The award citation recognised "the exceptional contribution" Dave, a member of the Rotary Club of Bracknell, had made in the past year "to his Club and his community."  Several nominations had been put forward by Rotarians from around the district, but Dave received by far the most commendations.

Specifically mentioned were his efforts in organising the 3 Counties Cycle Ride, an annual event held on the first Sunday in June, enjoyed by hundreds of cycle enthusiasts and families alike. Having cycled it himself for many years, more recently Dave has focused on leading his small team who set the routes, ensure the safety and wellbeing of cyclists young and old who take part, and organise the supporting marshals from other Berkshire Rotary Clubs, notably the Rotary Club of Easthampstead, as well as the volunteers from Thames Valley Air Ambulance and the Scouts and Guides.

The event has generated over 3/4 million (750,000) pounds for local charities since it started 35 years ago! Among those supported this year were the Macmillan Cancer Support Unit at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, and Ascot Area Alzheimer's Society.

But not someone who rests on his laurels, after a short well-earned rest, Dave then focused on organising the Rotary Club's annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at Christmas, and Burns Night in January. These seasonal celebrations are enjoyed hugely by local families, and fund yet more charitable projects.

On hearing about the award, Dave confessed to being "totally surprised and most honoured to receive it."

Showing his modesty and generosity, Dave added "The local Rotary Clubs work well together, co-operating on major events and projects in the community. Without this support, these would simply not be possible." 

After a career in education spanning more than 40 years, Dave retired as headteacher at Wildridings Primary School and has since been teaching hundreds of Ascot, Bracknell, Reading and Wokingham residents to drive.

The images above show the great Service Dave has given over the years to Rotary and his community (not forgetting his passion for cycling!)

There are now 58 local Rotary clubs in the Thames Valley with some 2,000 men, women and young people serving the community and having fun. And they're becoming less formal, meeting in cafes, daytime or evening, but all committed to Making a Difference. 

Locally helping those in need and supporting Young People in schools and clubs, and globally Fighting Disease, Providing Clean Water, Promoting Peace, Bringing Emergency Relief and Healthcare where they are needed most.

The Rotary Club of Bracknell meets over lunch most Tuesdays at The Old Manor, RG12 1BP.

Visit their website at www.rotaryclubofbracknell

With you, we can achieve even more.

Rotarians - People of Action - Locally, Nationally and Internationally

Peter von Bergen - Rotary Club of Easthampstead