What we did in 2009/2010

A brief summary of our Rotary year ending 30/06/10

Show related pages President Barry Wicks with Paul Atterbury of BBC Antiques Roadshow, speaker at the Club's Celebrity Supper in October 2009.

2009/2010 was the year of the "$200 million challenge". Rotary Clubs in Britain & Ireland were asked to focus on Polio eradication in one week (22nd to 28th February) to meet a $200 million challenge set by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This initiative was called "Thanks For Life".

That apart, it was also Barry Wicks' (Club President 2009/2010) wish to support the Cotswold Community, a special school run by Action For Children. He asked the Club's Projects Committee to organise most of the fundraising and social activities in the year. The Committee's Chairman, Alan Fletcher, set about organising a Duck Race in the President's garden; a Christmas lunch, fun and games in Hannington Village Hall; a Charity Quiz in conjunction with the Inner Wheel Club; the annual Swindon Young Musician of the Year Competition; a members and partners weekend away to Cornwall's Eden Project and Lost Gardens of Heligan; the whisky toss-the-dice stall at the May Day Fayre in Highworth; the Golf Day at Ogbourne Downs Golf Club; and, most demanding of all, a dinner and Auction of Goods & Promises. With the ongoing "200 Club", which Alan grew to be a "250 Club", the result was all but 14,000 raised. A fantastic effort.

Meanwhile, there was "Thanks For Life". Led by John Goodearl and the Foundation Committee the Club purchased some proper money collecting buckets, donned members in new high vis tabards and despatched them to Sainsbury's and an evening match at Swindon Town. This was done in conjunction with the other local Rotary clubs so that the coverage was extensive and not duplicated. John Goodearl also organised other fundraising schemes: collecting 20p coins in Smartie tubes; a supper at Wrag Barn Golf Club with Paul Atterbury of the BBC Antiques Roadshow; and a Treasure Hunt on foot around Cricklade. All this enabled 2,000 to be sent to "Thanks For Life" and 1,550 to the Rotary Foundation Trust. 1,490 was also sent to ShelterBox to fund replacement Boxes following a number of terrible disasters around the world, including a dreadful earthquake in Haiti.

President Barry andhis wife, Nicola, at the Auction of Goods & Promises held at the Blunsdon House Hotel in May 2010.

There were some particularly interesting speakers in the year: John Heathcot whose talk about the Cotswolds taught members a lot about an area they thought they knew everything there was to know already. Also Flight Lieutenants Charlotte Lee and Adam Benton from 99 Squadron, RAF Brize Norton, pilots of the huge Boeing C17 Globemaster transporters which are the supply workhorses to the British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Club went to its favourite theatre, the Watermill near Newbury, once again and on a beautiful summer evening saw "Daisy Pulls it Off". Not only did Daisy pull it off but so too did the Watermill, proving once again that some of the best performances can be done in small packages.

So, quite a year! And also for founder member Peter Clifford, joint owner of the hotel where the Rotary Club has met every week for all the 44 years of itsexistence, theBlunsdon House Hotel, which celebrated its 50th anniversary with the planting of a Golden Jubilee Orchard.