On Saturday night while the nation was being whipped into a political frenzy, the Murrumbidgee Rotary Club held its 9th annual changeover dinner at the Mercure Hotel. There was a lot less hype and political blustering as past President Jenny Lovekin handed the club charter over to Geraldine Rurenga. Geraldine, at only 25 will be one of the youngest Rotary presidents in the district.
The night kicked off with some wise words from PDG Henry Gardner and included a fantastic keynote address from local Wiradjuri educator Mark Saddler. Mark gave us a great presentation about local Wiradjuri culture and the timeline of Australia. A very unsuspecting Geraldine Rurenga was presented with the Rotarian of the year before being handed the official title of President for 2016-17.
The club has raised just over $10000 for local and international charities during the last year. Just some of the donations are listed below;
Disbursement of funds for 2015 – 2016
Abbeyfield House $2000
Ronald McDonald House – Teddy Bears Picnic $2000
Australian Rotary Health – Trivia Night $2500
Polio Plus $ 500
The Rotary Foundation $1000
The Rotary Foundation – Maternal & Child Health $1309
Immune Deficiency Foundation $ 110
Aust Youth $ 100
On hand at the annual Murrumbidgee Rotary Changeover dinner were David Bolton and Brian Quigley from Abbeyfield house. Jenny Lovekin presented David and Brian with a cheque for $2000 to go towards the new Abbeyfield house facility in Kooringal. Abbeyfield house provides assisted independent living for adults with mild intellectual disabilities. The existing Wagga house was opened in 1998 and provides permanent accommodation for up to 10 adults with a live in house keeper.
After Geraldine was inducted as the 10th President of the Murrumbidgee Rotary club she introduced her new board;
Jenny Fyfe – Treasurer
Hayley Gollash – Secretary
Amanda Tilyard – Club Admin
George Chapman – Public Relations
Jenny Lovekin – Vice President/Past president
Nick Shepherd – Foundation/Website