What Has Grand Bend Rotary Done?

Our Projects

Since inception the Rotary Club of Grand Bend has contributed well over $1,200,000 to local community projects as well as to international initiatives. Over the past 11 years alone, over $600,000 was raised through the local  annual  Autumn Indulgence fundraisers.

Some of most recent and popular projects are detailed below:

The Rotary Trail

The Rotary Trail was the first major project initiated by the club in the early 1990s. This 9 kilometre nature and bicycle trail from Grand Bend to the Pinery Provincial Park is one of the club’s proudest accomplishments. Well over $200,000 was raised to fund this project.  This endeavour was conceived by Rotarians and they saw it through to completion. Even today our club regularly maintains the 22 benches along the trail and members do two annual highway cleanups from Grand Bend to the Pinery Park to ensure that the waste is collected.

 

GLOBAL LITERACY PROJECT

This initiative created by the Rotary Club of Grand Bend collects unneeded school supplies from schools closures in Southwestern Ontario such as desks, chairs, blackboards, etc….  to be used by students in parts of the world these supplies are lacking. This project was initiated by a Grand Bend Rotarian in 2008 and to date 49 large cargo containers have been shipped to needy school children mainly in South Africa.  The project has received significant support from other Rotary Clubs, churches, other organizations, and personal donations - the growth of this project is due in large part to the club's dedicated volunteers, but also to the strong support received from outside our club.
 
 

CLEAN WATER NOW

Throughout 2008-2012, the Grand Bend beach was open for swimming more days because of the additional lake water testing that the Rotary Club members and local volunteers did to help the municipality of Lambton Shores. Today our club is still active doing river and lake water testing mainly in areas just north of Grand Bend. Also the club was responsible for initiating action which led to the granting of the Blue Flag designation for the Grand Bend and Port Franks area. 
 
 

ROTARY COMMUNITY STAGE

The Rotary Club of Grand Bend is proud to be the initiator and one of the major contributors for the building of the new band shell on Grand Bend’s main beach scheduled to begin construction in 2015. One of our club members has been the driving force behind this popular project.
 

The Grand Bend Beachfront Enhancement

 
$100,000 was contributed to this project by Rotary. In addition, a Rotarian co-chaired the leadership of the fundraising for this worthwhile project. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Grand Bend Medical and Community Centres

Over $100,000 was raised to fund both the Medical Centre and the Community Centre. In
addition, local Rotarians were the champions and leaders of these 2 projects.
 
 

Eradication of Polio Worldwide

Rotary International is passionate in its mission to eradicate Polio worldwide. Thanks to Rotary and its partners polio cases have been reduced by 99 percent worldwide since its first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979. When Rotary began its work, polio infected more than 350,000 children annually. Today the disease is almost beaten with only a few cases still identified.
 
The Rotary Club of Grand Bend has been a strong supporter of this very worthwhile international project.
 

New Seats for Playhouse

The Grand Bend Rotary Club is a strong supporter of the local Huron Country Playhouse. Our latest project to help was the donation of $75,000 to provide new seating for their recent upgrade of facilities. Also this is the venue for the club's annual Autumn Indulgence fundraiser and speaker series.
 

Student Projects

There are a great many projects that our club sponsors which benefits local students such as:
  • Local Literacy Projects - Local literacy is a major thrust in Rotary. In order to help this cause, our club has donated $2,500 a year for the many years to local public schools in our area to spend in diversified ways to benefit this cause. Also each year the club donates dictionaries to junior classes.
  • Grand Bend Public School - $27,000 was given to the Grand Bend Public School to buy such things as Smartboards and new Playground facilities
  • High School  and Public Schools Awards - Each year our club presents “Service Above Self” awards to chosen students at local High Schools (South Huron and North Middlesex) and the Grand Bend Public School
  • Grand Bend Soccer Pavilion - $10,000 donation
  • Student Exchange Program – As part of the Rotary International program our club has accepted foreign exchange high school students from New Zealand, France, Mexico and Thailand for a year of study outside their home countries. In addition, we have sent local students to Japan and Thailand.
  • Citizenship Training -   Our club normally participates in the “Adventures in Citizenship” program  where over 200 outstanding senior high school students from across Canada spend four days in our National Capital in a program designed to develop their potential as leaders in their communities and in Canadian society.
  • Seminar for Tomorrow’s Leaders -  We normally invites area teens to apply for an outstanding leadership development opportunity which takes place at the University of Western Ontario in London in the spring. Most years, we select at least one student applicant from area secondary schools to join other students from Southwest Ontario and Eastern Michigan in a program that explores leadership styles and challenges participants to examine how they might lead others effectively. This program  encourages students’ thoughts about leadership and their attitudes toward the world around them. Students have the opportunity to share their views with other participants.

Projects That Help Others 

  • Probus Clubs – our Rotary club originally furnished the funding for the start-up of the Grand Bend Men’s and Ladies Probus Clubs as well as the Goderich, Exeter and Forest Probus clubs
  • Grand Bend Partners In Learning - is based on a peer-learning concept that has proven to be a great success in the Grand Bend area. In 2004, our club provided the “seed money” to get this club started.
  • Sponsorship of Community Speakers -from time to time the club sponsors outside community speakers to address topical subjects. We also facilitate local forums such as municipal All Candidates Meetings and Environmental Presentations.
  • Other Local projects that the club regularly contributes to both monetarily and through volunteerism include South Huron Big Brother/Big Sisters,  the Canada Day Fireworks display, the Community Run medals and trophies, to name a few.