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What did we achieve in 2018-19? President's Report

What did we achieve in 2018-19? President's Report

Tuesday, 10. September 2019 - 12:45

Should we find a new Club ‘Sede’ or base?
The year began with a review of alternative options for the Club’s premises. A list of criteria was drawn up and several hotels and restaurants visited by a task force of members. None of the options fully met all the criteria, although the closest was an upstairs room at Los Naranjos, which was subsequently used when Ramiro’s was closed or busy.  A new price for the regular meal was negotiated with Ramiro, which members agreed to pay.

Increasing membership throughout the year
We started the year with 38 members, and despite a number of people leaving for personal reasons, the year ended with 42. There was a steady stream of new applicants, with eight new members being pinned. We are still in the top 10 Clubs in District in terms of size.

We impressed the District Governor
We were one of the first clubs to be visited by Jesus Martinez, and we put on quite a show.

Each team showed the work they had been doing, creating a folder of information for the Governor. One of the highlights was Ralph Brenk dressed as a town crier, announcing the Events that were to come.  The Governor was very impressed by everyone, and later wrote:
“Your potential is very high. All of you are excellent persons. Your Rotary mood is admirable.
Your impulse and energy can beat anything. Your enthusiasm was impacting.
I wish you all lots of joy, Rotarian prosperity and health.”
   Jesus Martinez

R C M-G became a World Record Holding Club!
October 2018 saw the long-planned Guinness World Record Beetle Drive event – where all the impulse and energy went into a challenge that was met and overcome by an amazing effort from the hard-working Beetle team.   The full story can be read on the Rotary International Blog. ( https://blog.rotary.org/2018/11/21/who-knew-attempting-a-world-record-co...) Suffice to say the event took place on a wet and windy Saturday, in a hall the size of an aircraft hangar, which had been transformed into an event space by the team. Marbella Ayuntamiento donated the empty hall, but everything else had to be supplied.  It took a lot of organisation and help from others, too numerous to be named.  Over 300 people came to play the game, enough to beat the World Record, which was later ratified by Guinness World Records with an official certificate.

 Inauguration of our Sponsored Club
Soon after the Beetle event, we had the inauguration of RC Estepona-Sotogrande International – which we sponsor, and that became a thriving Club. The Club started to fulfil its aim of educating children with visits to places of interest, followed by an art competition. They have also put up Rotary Wheel symbols in the main towns they serve.

The Social Scene – some unforgettable moments
2018 finished with the AGM, a great Christmas party and a Cinderella Pantomime. Who could forget the sight of grown men in dresses as the stepmother and stepsisters? Finally, we had Ben’s generous birthday party, which raised money for Hogar Betania.

Social meetings and events continued into 2019 with a Quiz night, International Dishes of the World Event and Barry’s party; this year on an English Country Garden theme.

Visitors and Meeting Speakers
We had a variety of Speakers from our Club, other Clubs and external organisations, on a range of topics from the Middle East and Brexit to Public speaking and qigong. We continued to have visitors at each meeting, with some returning regularly.

Conferences
Members attended Rotary Conferences in Valencia and Malaga, as well as the United Nationalities of Marbella summit, as part of our program for more effective work in the community. 

Service Projects
Over the year, we supported several projects to the tune of 28,000€ and achieved another Global grant – eventually to be paid - $45,000 USD. This is for a unique project in which Palestinian doctors come to Israel to be trained in emergency medicine – an educational, humanitarian and peace project all in one.
Other projects included: emergency aid for flood victims in Majorca and Ronda, a training room for Fundatul, equipment for an Alzheimer’s charity in Marbella, and a football project with RC Marbella. Further afield we gave aid to Honduras, a children’s cancer hospital in Nepal, school materials for Children in Medellin and supported vital dental treatment for children and adults in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.

A team developed the ‘Plastics project’ – aiming to increase awareness of the environmental dangers of plastic and what individuals and groups can do to reduce this. The group visited a local waste recycling facility (Urbaser) and organised an Action Day in Marbella, to coincide with a European Rotarian event ‘EndPlasticSoup.’

Read the book of our projects here: https://issuhub.com/view/index?id=6762

In summary, it was a very active and busy year. There was a strong Club spirit, and increased co-operation with other Clubs and organisations in the local community. A fitting finale was the achievement of a Presidential Citation, awarded by RI to Rotary Clubs that exceed their goals.
Joanna Chrzanowska,
President 2018-19