ROTARACT, AT 25!Thursday 8th December 2011
Here, at Antiguanice.com, we believe that we all have the potential to be a hero in someone else’s life. That was kind of the whole point of our voluntourism issue, challenging you, whether resident or visitor, to get involved some months ago. Like Ghandi said, “be the change you want to see in the world”. And it’s why we take a moment to tip our hat to the Rotaract Club of Antigua and Barbuda for its efforts in the community – meals on wheels for the needy, clean ups and tree planting for the environment, glaucoma awareness for your health, and more – these past 25 years. To mark the Club’s milestone anniversary, we caught up with current Rotaract President Shamarie Spencer, an accountant with a passion for volunteering.
Why is the work of the Club so important in your view?
We are a small group in numbers but our efforts and involvement is large and very meaningful. Rotaract strives to help persons who are somewhat disadvantaged or in a position where they are unable to achieve what they would like with the limited resources they have. We also aim to develop our own members with skills which will be very beneficially in the workplace.
What do you consider to be milestone achievements of the Club?
The Rotaract Club of Antigua recently hosted the Districts 25th Presidents Meeting in our 25th Chartered year during the weekend of Nov 25-28th. The 28th November marks a very important date in our calendar as we collectively as a district of 13 countries and around 50 Rotaractors came together and touched the lives of 6 young children who currently reside at the Holberton Hospital - Care Center for orphaned children.
We refurbished a living room with the help of local businesses Louise of Louise Brothers; Gigi Industries which donated a carpet; and Townhouse Megastore which donated a clock, side tables and a well-timed washing machine for the home. Rotaractors from around the district brought presents from their clubs – items ranging from clothing, school supplies and toiletries for all the children. This allowed them an opportunity to receive an’ early Christmas’
Another milestone for the club was being 1st place at the Regional Haiborange Rotaract Spelling Bee competition held in St. Kitts this year. Within recent years, the Club turned its attention to the issue of literacy by hosting a national Spelling Bee for Grade 5 students which has been quoted as being a success by Ministry officials and Frank B. Armstrong, representatives of Seven Seas Ltd, the official sponsors. Antiguan representative hailing from the St. John’s Catholic Keondre Herbert was able to secure a spot in the finals. The Rotaract Club teamed up with Seven Seas (major sponsors), LIME, Scotia Bank and ECAB for the 5th year presenting this spelling bee competing and looks forward to its 6th year working with additional business places.
Over the years, the Club has successfully carried many others of projects which have significantly contributed to the overall development of our nation and the region. The annual tag drive, which was started in 2000, has allowed the club to raise significant contributions to aid in disaster relief throughout the District 7030; of which the club is a part.
It is with projects of this nature, that the Club has been able to clinch the Best Club in District 7030 Award quite a few times including the Rotaract Club of the year, 2007-2008.
What's up in 2012?
In 2012, our main focus will be recruitment. Many of our members will soon become 30 which will not enable them to serve as Rotaractors and one of our aims in the club is to develop leaders. We are therefore going to pay loads of attention to getting the right caliber of young professionals who are hardworking and ready to serve their community.
… (we also hope to) Continue to leave a mark in our community by continually focusing on the needs of persons and the development of our community and making an impact in the twin island of Antigua and Barbuda.
How (in what tangible ways) can people support your efforts?
- Supporting our cause by attending workshops/forums we organize
- Supporting our fundraisers
- Supporting our events
- Share feedback on our efforts
- Encourage other young person between the ages of 18-30 to join the club.
- Making Donations when solicited
Be sure to check out the Club’s anniversary publication, Silver Innings
Written by Joanne C. Hillhouse
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