The Rotary Club of Sooke is staying connected using Zoom to hold meetings. The group shows off masks made by Rotarian’s wife Linda Ferguson. (Photo contributed by Rotary Club of Sooke)

Sooke community groups keep in touch – from a distance

Sooke Rotary, Lions Club hold meetings online to stay connected

Technology has proven to be extremely useful in keeping community groups connected and current during the coronavirus pandemic.

Groups such as the Rotary Club of Sooke and Sooke Lions Club have adapted their usual in-person meetings to a virtual meeting platform responding to physical distancing measures set in place by health officials.

And even from afar the groups are managing to find creative ways to keep supporting the community, and stay in contact with club members.

“Holding virtual meetings online allowed club members to stay engaged and discuss ways in which we can continue to support those in our community that are having difficulty managing these challenging times,” said the Rotary in a press release.

“Our weekly meetings via Zoom are well attended as are our monthly board meetings. Zoom doesn’t replace the benefit that comes from face-to-face meetings, but it’s a workable alternative that will probably be with us for a while.”

The group noted that despite the mass amount of changes in operation, it’s still working hard to serve the community. However, fundraising has been a challenge, and it had to postpone the annual Rotary Auction Dinner, the club’s biggest fundraiser.

“At this point it is unclear if [the Rotary Auction Dinner] will be able to take place due to the current health guidelines. However, in true Rotary fashion two new fundraising initiatives came to the forefront in raising funds in support of our community,” said Sooke Rotary.

The group has come up with a couple of creative ideas to raise funds, such as Roger Temple repairing used bikes and selling them through social media, and Linda Ferguson, wife of Rotarian John Topoliniski, coming up with the idea to sell hand-sewn masks by donation.

“What started out as a small project has blossomed into Linda and her group of sewers trying to keep up with the demand. So far, over a thousand masks have been produced and have found their way as far south as the State of Washington and as far east as England. Linda, along with other Rotarians and friends of Rotary continue to cut and sew in doing their part to stop the spread,” said the Rotary.

ALSO READ: Mourning Sooke mom preps free meals for the community

The Sooke Lions have been keeping in touch, particularly by email while also using Zoom to hold meetings.

The group has also struggled with fundraising, as most of its funds are made by holding a concession stand or beer garden at local events, but this year all events were cancelled.

“We are very careful about where we spend our money,” said Brian Phillips, Lions’ president. “All our members right now are watching the area to make sure no one is slipping through the cracks.”

The circumstances of the pandemic has resulted in the Sooke Lions missing out on about 25 to 40 per cent of its funding, Phillips said.

“Our resources are limited now, but the positives from this has been finding different ways of doing things now,” said Phillips. “Getting a collective going, everyone has taken on a roll, and more people are brainstorming to come up with ways to support people.”

The three groups – Lions, Lioness, and Harbourside Lions – have all been working together to ensure they continue to support Sooke residents.

Phillips said the Sooke Lions are keeping their focus on children, seniors, or anyone who is in a vulnerable situation in Sooke.

The three groups held a flag waving for essential workers event, raising about $500 which was donated to the Sooke Food Bank. When physical distancing restrictions begin to loosen, and Sooke begins to open again, Phillips said the Lions are hoping to hold a barbecue outside Home Hardware to raise money for those in need or to donate to the food bank again.

“It is important to stay connected with our vulnerable in the area,” said Phillips.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CommunityCoronavirusSooke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Volunteers sought to remove weeds from Port Renfrew’s Parkinson Road

Road has no sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to walk on pavement

Falling oak tree causes minor damage to Langford home

Tree damages garden and gutters of home on Lindsay Place

Residents to start moving into first of 100 new affordable homes in Langford

Construction underway on second phase of affordable Indigenous housing project in Langford

New space secured for Sooke homeless

The shelter will be ready for residents on July 20

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

Most Read