What Has Grand Bend Rotary Done?

Our Projects

Since inception the Rotary Club of Grand Bend has contributed well over $2,100,000 to local community projects as well as to international initiatives. Over the past 18 years, over $1,500,000 was raised through the support of local residents attending our annual  Autumn Indulgence fundraising event. Follow this link for more information about this year's event.

Some of most recent and popular projects are detailed below:

Warner Wildlife Preserve

Peter Warner and his late wife, Esther, have lived for many years on a beautiful 60-acre property in the heart of Grand Bend.
Merrywood Farm is located on highway #21. The land extends from the highway to the Ausable River on its east side, consisting of forests, meadows, and wetlands. Home to a great variety of plants and wildlife, it is a unique and valued area.
Initially slated by the municipality for future residential development, Peter and Esther had a very different take on what they wanted their home and property to become once they were no longer able to steward it themselves.
The Warners wanted to ensure the property would remain a refuge for wildlife and nature, to be used for outdoor nature education. To see their dream come to fruition they approached the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy. A management plan has been developed for the property in which the Rotary Club of Grand Bend will play a key role in ongoing and future stewardship, in cooperation with the Land Trust.

Water Filling Stations

The Grand Bend Rotary Club is concerned about our environment. The most recent environmental project was to raise funds to support the installation of more water bottle filling stations. The community responded with incredible financial support. Due to this support, plans are currently underway to install more than a dozen water filling stations in Grand Bend and surrounding communities.

Beach House Art Project

The Grand Bend Beach House Art Installation was a project of the Grand Bend Art Centre. Since the Beach Enhancement Project was completed many years ago it has always been a goal of Teresa Marie, Executive Director of the Art Centre, to present local artists’ work in a revolving art show on the Beach House. The project was also generously supported by Rotary Club of Grand Bend.

Turning Circle Improvements

Due to the hard work of dedicated Rotarians and members of the Horticultural Society and support from the Municipality of Lambton Shores, the turning circle at the main beach was revitalized - continuing the beach enhancement of recent years.



United Church Community Hall

The Huron Shores United Church initiated a project to upgrade and transform the church building into a facility, not only for worship and other church functions, but also for broader community use. The Rotary Club of Grand was proud to support this project.

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.



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 83 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.


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. 


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.
(updated August 11 2023)