Hello and welcome to the president's page on the Conwy Valley Rotary Club's website.
I've been a member of Rotary for more years than I care to remember having first joined in the late 1980's and can honestly say that I enjoy my "Rotary", in fact I've enjoyed it so much that I've joined a club where ever I've lived.
What is Rotary I can hear you saying. Well, it's not a secret organisation, it's not a religous organisation and it's not a political organisation. At the "top" level we are a worldwide organisation with over 1.2 million members spread across 200 countries and geographical areas. Here in the UK there are over 1,800 clubs consisting of more than 50,000 men and women from all walks of life. Clubs are based in local communities where members meet on a regular basis to enjoy friendship, networking and to plan projects that will benefit the lives of others and we utilise the skills, expertise and dedication of our members to help improve the lives of people in communities both at home and abroad.
If you live or work in the Conwy Valley you may well have seen some of our more public activities such as the Llanrwst Gala, the duck race in Betws y Coed, the Llanrwst Fireworks or even been visited by Santa on his sleigh in the villages in the valley (we don't visit Llanrwst with the sleigh).
But, are you aware of some of the other things that we do in the community? For example, did you know that we organise a senior citizens Christmas concert each year. Did you know that we provide prizes for the highest achievers at GCSE level at Dyffrn Conwy secondary school or prizes for 100% attendance at Ysgol Bro Gwydir? Then there's the help we give students at Dyffrn Conwy with mock interviews to prepare them for their first job interview and the funds we provide to send 2 or 3 students on an outwards bound leadership course called RYLA each summer. We have even started a project locally to provide dictionaries to children that are leaving primary school - at the moment we are trialing this but hope to roll it out to every school in the valley.
Of course, there's also the charity funds that we distribute to good causes both locally and internationally (for example we donate to the Rotary campaign to eradicate polio across the world) but that's just part of what we do, even though that's probably what most people think of when they think Rotary. Our club meetings range from having a meal (often with a speaker), through events such as treasure hunts and other social events right through to "business meetings" where we discuss the events that we are holding and matters that affect the running of the club.
The great thing about being a member of a Rotary club is the fun that we have doing all this, yes it's a nice feeling to know that you are helping others but somehow it never seems to be a chore.
If you are even vaguely interesting in finding out more about what we do please take a look at the rest of this site and then talk to a member - if you don't know who we are, but are in Llanrwst, there are several of us based in the town, for example call into the Crafty Kitten in Ancester Square and ask for me (John) - I'll be more than happy to chat to you and give you more information. Failing that you can contact us via the website or via our Facebook page or Twitter feed.
more John, this year's club president has taken it upon himself to give one "thought for the day" at each meal meeting.