Rotary supports projects for youth

Rotary Club of Sooke hands out community grants

Sooke service club invests funds in youth in the community

The Community Services Committee (CSC) usually awards about $10,000 per year in new applications and a further $2,500 in ongoing annual grants.

This year, where the requests were specific, the awards were for the requested amount. That’s not always possible but we try.

Every intake the quality of the grant applications improves. It is such a pleasure to make these awards toward such worthy endeavors in our community.

Ecole Poirier Nature Playground – $2000

EMCS Society’s Play & Learn Camp – $2000

EMCS Band Program – approx $3000 (including $832 in previously awarded funds) for 36 band chairs

EMCS Track & Field Program – $600 for participation fees

Sooke Navy League – $336 for a portable sound system

Sooke Fine Arts – $250 for paint and painting supplies for the pump house mural project

In addition, we are also pleased to partner again with Sooke Lions in a local humanitarian project with a matching grant of $1,000.

Along with the smaller grants, we take on large capital projects like the Rotary Pier. Last year we chose to do several smaller projects instead of a large one, purchasing a class set of iPads for Sooke Elementary, funding new accessible washrooms at Camp Barnard, refurbishing a cabin at the Girl Guide Camp on Sooke River road and, with funding from the Sooke District and Juan de Fuca District, renovating the Sooke Food Bank.

We use weighted criteria to make decisions about new applications. These include the degree of public benefit, impact or demonstrated need, the opportunity for members to give hands-on service, partnership opportunities especially when it leverages or matches other funding, and where the demographic or activity aligns with our major focuses of youth, literacy and humanitarian aid.

The CSC is one of several active Rotary committees focused within the Sooke community – each with their own budget. A Youth Committee handles our annual post-secondary bursaries ($7,000) and other youth grants. An active Literacy Committee works with many other local groups both in the community and regionally.

We are able to leverage the money we raise in the community with grants from the Rotary District, through partnerships with other service clubs, local and regional businesses and trades, and with gaming funds from the Province.

The information about our grants is on our home page at www.sookerotary.com . The next grant deadline is October 15. Links to application forms are at the bottom of our home page.

Since its inception in 1987, the Rotary Club of Sooke has focused on service — our belief is that actions speak louder than words.  Our club sponsors and supports many community and world initiatives, often partnering with other local organizations.

The club’s current strategic plan focuses on three key areas:

1. Make a difference in our community: our club’s key focus remains the funding of major projects in Sooke and providing service for Sooke’s needs. We strive to improve our knowledge of community needs, in particular homelessness and poverty, and seek partnership opportunities to help support local non-profit organizations.  Our club will continue its focus on youth mentorship.

2. Make a difference in the world: while community support remains our main focus, we strive to support worthwhile international projects.  Some projects are larger-scale Rotary International initiatives, while others are small-scale grassroots direct assistance — people from Sooke reaching out to help people in other parts of the world.

3. Make a difference to members: we strive to ensure club members are engaged, seeing the good Sooke Rotary is doing in our community, and that members are enjoying the fellowship, friendship, and fun that Rotary offers.

See more at: http://portal.clubrunner.ca/693/SitePage/about-sooke-rotary#sthash.YutoJx0w.dpuf

Lori Messer & Bruce McMillan, Co-chairs

Community Service Committee