Rotary International has local clubs which are technically separate entities. Because of this loose relation Rotary Clubs can vary wildly in form and function. Some clubs are very involved in philanthropic pursuits while others are merely social clubs. Most fall in between.
Belonging to a Rotary club provides one with the opportunity to give back to their community (be that local, regional or international), as well as to network with people who share similar values.
On an international level Rotary is involved in various pursuits. Most notably, Rotary is dedicated to eradicating polio. Rotary is a key player in fighting polio and pairs with the WHO, UNICEF, CDC, etc. to provide a staggering amount of vaccinations in the developing world. Rotary is so good at fighting polio that when the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation decided to tackle polio rather than building their own apparatus they simply gave their money to Rotary. If you want to spend a dollar fighting polio that dollar makes the biggest difference when given to Rotary. Rotary also engages in a number of other international projects such as providing medical equipment, building schools, digging wells, etc.
Rotary also promote world peace and understanding by sponsoring exchange programs, being active in the UN, and actively working with universities around the world to offer programs and scholarships in peace, conflict resolution, statesmanship, etc.
On a local level Rotary clubs are free to take up whatever cause they want. Our local clubs build playgrounds and trails, fund scholarships for worthy students, honour outstanding community members, and give money to other charities to support their activities.
The Strathcona Sunrise Rotary Club was formed in 1987. A small sampling of their projects since then includes:
- Construction of the Rotary Outlook on Comox Road
- Refurbishment of Scout Camp Gilwell on the Browns River
- Construction of the Rotary Skypark in Courtenay
- Provision of school buses and ambulances to Mexican Communities
- Protection of more than 50 springs in rural Kenya
- Granting of Bursaries to local High School graduates in the Comox Valley
- Support to many local charities such as YANA and the Child Development Centre
- Funds raised by Rotary Clubs are 100% spent on Service projects – either locally or internationally.