Rotary Club of Saugeen Shores celebrates second anniversary

While ringing in the new year, the Rotary Club of Saugeen Shores is also celebrating its second anniversary of officially becoming a Charter Rotary Club (Jan. 5/21), joining the 35,000 Rotary clubs world-wide.

Rotary Club of Saugeen Shores members at the Walker House in Southampton                                           (L) Janet King, Pat O’Connor (Pres.), Al Smethurst, John Cherrie (who was also celebrating a birthday) and Dave Wenn

The Club, formed in 2020, is one of diversity with men and women equally making up its membership along with many younger members.

On January 5, 2021, the Club was officially welcomed into the International Rotary family of Clubs by International President, Holger Knack.

During the Charter announcement in January, 2021, District 6330 Governor David J. Elliott said that, “The community of Saugeen Shores continues to grow and thrive with ever changing needs. Rotary Clubs provide a place for those with a passion for community service to connect, share ideas and discover how to improve the lives of others.”

“The incredible growth of our community presented us with the opportunity to also grow Rotary,” says Club President Pat O’Connor.  “A group of us researched and decided that it was time to expand the footprint of Rotary in our growing town.  We thought it was time to have a Rotary club that served the amalgamated community of Southampton, Port Elgin and Saugeen Township and now known as Saugeen Shores.”

O’Connor went on to say that, “… with many who are new to the community, an amalgamated Rotary eliminated the choice that people would have to make between Southampton and Port Elgin if they wanted to become Rotarians.  The new club offered a solution to having to make that choice.”

“Rotarians are all about ‘service above self’, he added, “and, given that there is strength in numbers, we are looking forward to working together with our other two Clubs on future projects.”

“In the beginning, there was no doubt that we took a leap of faith in trying to form a new club,” adds O’Connor, “but, in two short years, we have developed what we feel is an inspiring, remarkable and diverse club.  Our membership has a broad range of great talents and capabilities that we know will serve the community well.  Each of the three Clubs, Southampton Rotary, Port Elgin Rotary and, now, Rotary Club of Saugeen Shores, has its own path for fundraising for a wide variety of projects.  Saugeen Shores is a vibrant, caring community where volunteering is the norm and not the exception, and the many service clubs and remarkable volunteers all strive to make a difference.”

In only two short years, the new club, with some 32 members, has made its mark in the community, particularly with a focus on supporting local projects and events.  Through its many fundraisers such as community BBQs and golf tournaments, it has contributed to projects such as the new Lamont Sports Park with a major donation, the Hospital Foundation and has brought back the popular Santa Claus parades to Port Elgin and Southampton.

Looking back on two years – for larger view, click on image