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In 2020 The Rotary Clubs in Nanaimo will be celebrating 100 years of service to our community.  The Rotary Club of Nanaimo was chartered in May 1920 and subsequently four additional Rotary Clubs have been charted: Nanaimo North (1972), Lantzville (1983), Nanaimo Daybreak (1995), Nanaimo Oceanside (1998).  In addition the community includes a Rotaract Club (youth 18 to 30) (2004) and an Interact Club (youth 12 to 18).

Rotary International has identified six Areas of Focus that guide work in local and international communities.  The scope of each of these areas is described at https://www.rotary.org/en/our-causes.  They are:

  • Promoting peace
  • Fighting disease
  • Providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene
  • Saving mothers and children
  • Supporting education
  • Growing local economies

Rotarians in Nanaimo have built, or sponsored, many community amenities, including:

  • Bowen Park
  • Welcome sign at BC Ferries, Departure Bay
  • Rotary Bowl athletic track
  • Restoration of the Bastion
  • The Port Theatre
  • The Fire Safety House for Nanaimo Firefighters
  • Rotary Field House in Third Street Park
  • Northfield Rotary Lookout Park and rest stop
  • Nanaimo Community Hospice New Building and Children’s Garden
  • Eden Gardens (Travellers Lodge)
  • Skateboard park at Pioneer Park
  • Tillicum Le’lum Aboriginal Friendship Centre
  • NRGH new Emergency Room
  • Lighting for athletic track at Rotary Bowl
  • Haven House
  • Vancouver Island University Library (Special Collections Room)
  • Vancouver Island Military Museum
  • Nanaimo District Museum
  • Maffeo Sutton Harbourside Playground
  • Morrell Sanctuary
  • Cottle Creek Park
  • Nanaimo BMX track

Following are a few examples of other local projects that Rotarians support and for which they have raised funds:

  • St Johns Ambulance new building & equipment
  • SD68 Schools equipment and meals programmes
    • Chase River
    • Bayview
    • Fairview
    • Georgia Ave
    • Quarterway
    • Brechin
    • Park Avenue
    • John Barsby
  • Nanaimo Child Development Centre
  • Literacy Central Vancouver Island
  • Upper Island Music Festival
  • Nanaimo Dry Grad Society
  • 7 to 10 Breakfast Club Programmes
  • Christmas Toy Drive
  • Christmas lunches & breakfasts with Santa
  • BC Special Olympics
  • Boys and Girls Club equipment & programmes
  • Nanaimo Ladysmith Schools Foundation
  • VIU Foundation Scholarships
  • Salvation Army
  • Edgewood Health Network Centre
  • Heart and Stroke Foundation
  • Therapeutic Riding Association
  • Nanaimo Search & Rescue
  • Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue (Nanaimo)
  • Nanaimo Minor Baseball
  • Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation
  • Nanaimo Foodshare
  • Loaves & Fishes Community Food Bank
  • Nanaimo Track & Field Club
  • Vancouver Island Mental Health Society
  • Big Brothers/ Big Sisters programmes
  • City of Nanaimo, Parks Recreation and Culture
  • RCMP Auxiliary
  • Nanaimo Youth Services
  • Nanaimo Women’s Centre

Local Rotarians have also raised funds for overseas projects, and many Rotarians have travelled abroad to participate in the delivery of these projects:

  • Worldwide polio eradication programme, “End Polio Now”
  • Water supply, sanitation, economic development, education and healthcare in Uganda, Ghana, Nepal, Cambodia, Bolivia, Mexico, Nicaragua and Guatemala

Funding for most of these international projects is shared with many other Rotary clubs locally, nationally and internationally.  Extensive grant support is available from the Rotary International Foundation.

Every year Rotarians in Nanaimo support a Youth Exchange programme for two to five students, ages 15 to 19, on a one-year international exchange; Rotarians in over 100 countries participate.  Students are hosted by local families, attend local schools, are exposed to local culture and participate in Rotary activities.  This programme is a life-changing experience for all that participate. Rotarians also organise and support a short-term summer exchange programme where there is direct international exchange between two families. More information is available at https://www.rye5020.org/ and https://www.facebook.com/RYENANAIMO/

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