Ballymena Rotary Club February News

Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

Despite continued restrictions, Ballymena Rotary Club have been continuing as best we can with our normal weekly meetings, activities and fundraising plans.

Meetings

Our weekly Zoom meetings continue and highlights have been as follows:-

We were delighted to welcome two new members – Fiona Hodkinson and Denver Thompson.

Fiona had attended a number of earlier Zoom meetings as a guest of the Club. Denver has re-joined the Club, after a short break.

Assistant Governor, Michael Fleming, wished them well as they began their Rotary journey.

He stressed that, in addition to giving something back to the community through projects - both local and international – a key aim of Rotary is for members to enjoy fellowship with like-minded people who embrace the Rotary ethos of ‘Service above Self’.

In welcoming them to the Club, President Lynda Bell emphasised that both members will bring a wealth of experience, skills and talents which will enrich the Club and the services it provides.

She also stressed that, in addition to Fundraising, the Club is involved with a number of youth projects which seek to unlock the potential of young people in local schools.

Guest speaker Brian Smyth provided us with a fascinating and thought-provoking insight into life in a rural community in Uganda.

It was wonderful to hear from Brian how his work – and that of members of Drumbeg Parish Church – is making a real difference to the lives of children, particuarly young girls, in that community.

On Tuesday 16th March at 6pm, we look forward to welcoming Bishop Alan Abernethy - Retired Church of Ireland Bishop of Connor (a personal story from Bishop Alan entitled ‘Moments in my Past which Shaped my Future’).

Projects

Sponsored Walking Challenge – During January President Lynda Bell completed a 100 mile sponsored walking challenge raising £736 for Rotary Charities.

Very well done, especially with some tricky walking conditions with the ice and snow in January!

A new project recently undertaken by Rotarian Roy Smyth has involved partnering with local business Ben Vista Nursery through which local Nursing and Residential Homes will benefit from planters filled with primroses.

Trays of primroses are also available for sale for £12 with a donation of £2 going into Rotary Charities.

Young Writers Competition – Ballymena Rotary Club are delighted to announce that Emily O’Neill from St.Louis Grammar School in the age 14-17 groups has been entered into the District Finals.

The aim of Young Writer is to give young people the opportunity to showcase their written talent through fiction, non-fiction or a poem. The theme this year is ‘Happiest Day’.

This is a well-established competition and we are delighted that, despite the pandemic, we are able to be part of this fantastic competition. Well done to Emily.

Social

Ballymena Rotary Club organised a Virtual Wine Tasting Evening on 25th February with guest speaker and wine expert Noel McMahon from Febvre Wines. This proved to be a brilliant success with over 80 attendees on Zoom. It was a great opportunity to ‘see’ everyone and enjoy a fun evening without leaving the house!

If you would like to find out more information about Ballymena Rotary Club, or would like to help with any of our projects, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with either Lynda on 07814562984 or Joanne on 07866408092.

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