In line with most organisations which seek to assist various charities throughout the year the Rotary Club of Bangor was unable to promote any of it’s usual money-raising activities during 2020 because of the various restrictions which Covid 19 brought about. The Rotary Club has enjoyed a great reputation for many years in assisting needy causes both at home and abroad.
Nevertheless, the Club was not prepared to sit back and do nothing and so the idea of a virtual Rotary Christmas Lunch where the members would have a Christmas Lunch at their home and connect up with other Club members on the Zoom platform doing the same thing. And as part of the festivities members would be entertained with a good old fashioned Christmas quiz. Those members, in attendance, contributed the price of their normal Christmas lunch, or more, to the Rotary Charity account. And indeed even those not in attendance would also be expected to contribute. Members entered very readily into the spirit of the occasion by wearing some sort of Christmas garb. All money raised would go to the Storehouse.
However, as a further gesture of the Rotary Club’s commitment to assist those more needy it was agreed that, as there would be a surplus of funds in the Membership Account due to the lack of club activities in 2020 and which had been allowed for in the Club budget, a substantial amount would be transferred across to the Charity account.
This will allow the Club to make financial contributions to the following charitys in time for Christmas,
- The Black Santa
- The Saint Vincent de Paul
- The Salvation Army
As regards the Storehouse, President Patrick accompanied by Past Presidents Bill Aiken and Doctor Paul Megarity visited the Storehouse prior to it closing for Christmas and witnessed the content of the bags being prepared for issue to needy families which contained 4 weeks supply. The Club, along with all those organisations and individuals who had contributed, were thanked by the Chairwoman of Storehouse, Mrs Margaret Bailie for their generosity in what was a particularly bad year for families in need in the North Down area.
In addition to this all Club members had been issued with the 2020 Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice appeal collection box. This takes the form of a little house with a £1 slot with the object of raising £37 and is known as the £37 Jingle Challenge. £37 being the amount needed to provide one hour to a child of specialist nursing care.
The idea of the Virtual Lunch and Quiz as a fundraising activity was promoted by Past President Bill Aiken whilst Past President Robin Mussen identified the £37 Jingle Challenge as a very worthwhile charity to support.
The Club was very pleased to contribute in excess of £2,000 total to all these worthwhile charities in what has generally been a very poor year for fund raising.