Emerging from the haze of Covid-19 for the past two years, five of the Bay’s Rotary clubs will join together to share what Rotary is all about at an open day aimed at finding new members.
The event aims to encourage people who like to give back to the community and connect with like-minded people to consider Rotary as an avenue to do this.
Glenn Dougal, a member of Rotary Club of Tauranga Sunrise for 16 years, says he first joined because he was new to the city and wanted to meet people.
“Rotary is like the original social network," says Glenn.
“I’ve made a lot of friends through the Rotary club – it’s a club-based system...but I guess more importantly, it’s been a way to get involved and give back to organisations."
Helping near and far
Glenn says Tauranga-based Rotary clubs are involved in local community projects, national and international projects – and there really is something for everyone.
“If you’re interested in the environment we [at Rotary Club of Tauranga Sunrise] have projects where we’re replanting Kopurererua Valley with native trees,” says Glenn.
“We’re also doing things like putting drain socks [now named Sea Guardians] on local stormwater drains so we can catch all the plastic before it goes down into the ocean.”
Janie Stevenson of Bay Conservation Alliance, briefing the Tauranga Sunrise Rotary environmental team on pest control. Photo: Supplied.
On the international playing field, Rotary Club of Tauranga Sunrise has been fundraising for ‘shelter boxes’ to support the people of Ukraine.
“These are boxes that contain everything that a family might need if they’re displaced,” says Glenn.
“Our club in Tauranga is helping raise money this week, which is going to help someone in Ukraine next week. That’s the power of Rotary,” says Glenn.
Open and inclusive
Glenn wants people to know that Rotary is an open and inclusive environment.
“Rotary isn’t a closed secret society...it’s a really fun organisation.”
With multiple rotary clubs throughout the Western Bay of Plenty, Glenn says there will be a club to suit everyone’s level of involvement and time commitment.
“My club meets for a breakfast and some meet for a lunch or a dinner. You get together with a bunch of people, listen to an inspirational speaker once a week, learn about projects and charity organisations – then you get together and start to fundraise to support those organisations.
“If you’re interested in doing community good and you like networking and meeting people...then rotary might be worth a bit of a try.”
The combined Rotary clubs’ open day is on Sunday, May 29, from 2pm-4pm at Tauranga Club Inc, Level 5, Devonport Towers, 572 Devonport Rd, Tauranga City.