Rotary clubs are a tower of strength across the world!
IF THE words Rotary Club conjure up a picture of lots of men in suits sitting around and talking shop, then you had better think again.
While there may be a social side to the international organisation – which now has more than 1.2 million men and women on its books – the main purpose of the club is reflected in its motto "service above self".
And for members of the four local branches – Grimsby, Cleethorpes, Grimsby St James' and Grimsby Havelok – this translates to organising and carrying out tireless fundraising efforts for local, national and international causes.
It all started back in 1900, when Paul P Harris met attorney Bob Frank for dinner in a well-off neighborhood in Chicago.
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Walking home, Harris was impressed by how many of the shopkeepers Frank knew and had made friends with and wondered if there was a way to channel and expand these relationships.
Eventually, Harris persuaded local businessmen to meet and discuss forming a club for commercial trade, community, and fellowship.
And those values still stand today, with members encouraged to get involved with their communities, connect with other professionals, share their time and experience with young people and support global causes.
The Grimsby club – which was formed by the Rotary Club of Hull in 1930 and set its charter in 1931 – has been described as "friendly and relaxed with a warm atmosphere".
A spokesman for the group said that the 64 members enjoy a wide range of activities, including bridge, golf, snooker, clay pigeon shooting, walking weekends and theatre outings.
He said: "We also enjoy social and business networking, fellowship and visits to places of interest, such as Novartis and Waddington RAF base."
As with all Rotarians, charity work is at the fore of all they do – with members taking part in everything from bag-packing in supermarkets to abseiling down Grimsby's Dock Tower to promote good causes.
In recent years they have raised money for Mencap, St Andrew's Hospice and Children's Hospice, the NSPCC, the child development centre at Grimsby's Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital, Polio Plus and When You Wish Upon A Star.
This year alone, the group has donated almost £15,000 to various causes.
The group is also involved with on-going international projects, such as the construction of a toilet block in Salt Lake City, which lies just outside Calcutta, India.
But financial help is not the only support the group can offer. This year, members could be seen gardening at the Child Development Centre, bulb planting for Grimsby In Bloom, lending a hand at Brocklesby Fair and mentoring schoolchildren at Ormiston Academy.
The club meets on Wednesdays at 12.45pm at Humber Royal Hotel, Little Coates Road, Grimsby. To find out more, call 01472 240024.
In tomorrow's Grimsby Telegraph, we focus on the clubs of Grimsby St James and Grimsby Havelok.