Recognition for Rotarians

Rotary Ipomoea has celebrated a wonderful year with its changeover ceremony and brunch.

The club presented funds it has raised to community groups and honoured a number of members for their achievements at the function. 

Local Rotarian Philip Gilderdale was presented with the Paul Harris medal and citation by past district governor John Eagan, who travelled from Wagga Wagga.

Two of Philip's sons travelled to Forbes to surprise Philip and add to the special occasion. 

Helen Pitt has taken the president’s reins for the next 12 months.

After being elected, Helen thanked the out-going president for her efforts over the past 12 months and shared her vision for some future projects for Rotary Ipomoea for the year ahead.

Treasurer Susan Stewart presented cheques to a number of local schools and pre-schools and a number of other groups that work hard in the community. 

Rotary Ipomoea also presented the annual community service award to the Toole family for their charity work in Kenya as well as in our own community.

Jenelle and Neil Toole along with their high school aged sons Nick, Cameron and Harry volunteered at the Ripoi village in Kenya over the Christmas break.

Neil said that he and his wife had gone over to Africa previously and wanted to go back and give back to the community.

Both Neil and Jenelle decided to take their whole family with them for the six week trip to help their boys see how other people lived.

After spending the first week collecting supplies in the capital of Nairobi, the family spent the majority of the trip volunteering in the small village of Ripoi.

Neil said a lot of the work they did there involved helping with basic repairs, maintenance and providing the local school with educational supplies.

Jenelle said their boys got a lot out of the trip as they were able to see how different people lived and not to take their situations for granted.

“That was our reason for taking them. Making sure that they don’t go on living life in their own little bubble and to see how other people live,” she said.

Jenelle urged anyone who was thinking about going to volunteer, to not put it off, but Neil added that it was good to connect with a good volunteer organisation first. 

Neil and Jenelle will be talking about their trip in upcoming events hosted by Rotary Ipomoea and Forbes College for Seniors.