Rotary Projects Around the Globe
by Brad Webber
In September, the Rotary Club of Novato, California, celebrated the opening of a community center, the culmination of an effort that began in 2007 with a bequest of $5 million by longtime member Bill Jonas. The club worked with the College of Marin to construct a 15,600-square-foot complex on the college’s Indian Valley campus. The center houses a banquet space with the capacity for hundreds of guests, a kitchen, and a stage equipped with the latest audiovisual equipment. The club, whose contribution covered about one-third of the project’s total cost, obtained a 75-year lease as well as naming rights for its benefactors, the late Bill and Adele Jonas, and now holds its meetings at the center. “It was a long-term challenge, but we didn’t give up,” says Sonia Seeman, a co-chair of the project’s planning committee.
Antigua and Barbuda
The pleasant climate in the Leeward Islands might delight sun-seeking vacationers, but for residents, severe drought in recent years has led to rationing and a reliance on desalinated water. To make the most of the water that is available, the Rotaract Club of Antigua embarked on a project to install 12 water harvesting tanks at an association for people with disabilities. “In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this will encourage handwashing and proper hygiene,” says past club president Ti-Anna Harris of the effort, which cost about $1,850. The club, which has 34 members, carries out an active schedule of projects. In September, members picked up trash at a local beach as part of the Save Our Shores cleanups that were carried out in conjunction with the Rotaract clubs of Mémorial des Gonaïves, Haiti, and Freetown Sunset, Sierra Leone. Other club projects include free HIV testing, professional and vocational training, a Christmas celebration, and a spelling bee.