Putting service above self

Some people probably think the Rotary Club in the Cayman Islands is a place where affluent and influential businesspeople meet to network.

Few probably realize how much the four clubs in the Cayman Islands do to contribute to the success of our society.

Assistant 7020 District Governor Sophia Harris says Rotary remains one of the most significant service clubs in the Cayman Islands.

‘Rotarians truly represent what is the best of its own community,’ she said. ‘We are persons who have come together to focus on making our community at every level, including our very own working environment, a better place.’

The millions of dollars raised by the Rotary Clubs and invested into the community allow the Cayman Islands to continue to thrive, Mrs. Harris said.

‘After all, it is the contribution of the collective service clubs and the private sector that really makes Cayman unique,’ she said, adding that it is also a reason why Cayman continues to flourish regardless of the challenges and changing circumstances it faces.

The Cayman Islands has four Rotary Clubs, including the parent club, The Rotary Club of Grand Cayman; The Rotary Club of Grand Cayman Central; The Rotary Club of Grand Cayman Sunrise; and the Rotary Club of Cayman Brac.

‘We have four dynamic service clubs within these Islands, which I am pretty certain puts us high up there in terms of the number of service clubs per capita,’ said Mrs. Harris. ‘[That] is a testament to the level of confidence that each of us places in the most effective means of positively changing and contributing to our community and why we are proud to be called Rotarians.’

Among the many Rotary initiatives here in Cayman are literacy programmes, health fairs, the Bonaventure Boys Home, the Frances Bodden Home for Girls and the Meals on Wheels programme, which delivers meals to those in need.

‘But perhaps there can be no better example of how Rotary steps up to the challenge than the collective efforts of all of our Rotary Clubs within these Islands with the joint Rotary Relief Fund, which raised almost US$750,000 to help rebuild homes and lives in Cayman after the unprecedented catastrophe caused by Hurricane Ivan,’ said Mrs. Harris. ‘This was in addition to our Rotarians’ efforts in other community programmes to assist in the rebuilding necessitated after the hurricane.

Indeed, to help rebuild after Hurricane Ivan, the Rotary Club made donations to the several youth-orientated programmes or facilities, including the Cayman Islands Little League, Triple C School, Young Offenders, The National Drug Council, the CAYS Foundation, Cayman Academy Home School Association and the George Town Primary PTA.

Rotary’s fundraising efforts are different than the efforts of many other charitable organizations.

‘Keep in mind that all the money that we raise goes towards the community service project that it has been raised for,’ said Mrs. Harris. ‘Not a penny goes to administration.’

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