The Rotary Club of Emerald & District is delighted to be part of a number of celebrations marking the 100th year of Rotary in Australia and New Zealand.  From Rotary celebrations to fundraising activities we are a very busy group at the moment!    in the 2020-2021 Rotary year we also celebrating 40 years of service to the local community and supporting many international project including Polio eradication.
Look out for us as we are out an about in the next few months as we enjoy this momentous occasion.


Baton Celebration - Full Steam Ahead To Mark 100 Years!

Toot Toot! Many locals waved to the 100 Rotarians, local school children and dignitaries aboard Puffing Billy on Saturday 22 May 2021, as we commemorated Rotary’s century of service in Australia and New Zealand in 2021. 
Leaving Belgrave station at 11.00am, the Puffing Billy celebration train adorned with Rotary flags, meandered along its route through the picturesque Dandenong Ranges, stopping at Menzies Creek station at 11.23am and arriving in Emerald at 12.10pm.
People enjoyed music, static displays and information showcasing Rotary’s proud history of providing humanitarian services, building goodwill and working for peace.  At each station, a special baton of service passed from one Rotary dignitary to another, signifying a commitment to another 100 years of service to the people of Australia.
The celebration was organised by the Rotary Club of Emerald & District and Rotary Club of Belgrave, two of 1,100 Rotary clubs operating throughout Australia, with the support of Puffing Billy Railway.
President of the Rotary Club of Emerald & District Vicki van den Bergen said Rotary has a strong record of active service in the Hills area.
“Since our club’s establishment in 1980, our passionate members have worked together to create positive change in the wellbeing of our community and beyond,” Vicki said. “From supporting victims of the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires to our work today assisting those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, our club has been at the forefront of helping people of all ages who may be struggling through no fault of their own.
“We also support many international campaigns such as End Polio Now and run several major community events that raise much-needed funds for worthy causes. Our Kids Fun Run with Thomas event, for example, has raised more than $670,000 since it began in 2002, with 100 per cent of proceeds donated to local organisations that support children.”
Joint presidents of the Rotary Club of Belgrave Helen McKenzie and Rosie Vulling believe it’s a privilege to serve and help those in need through Rotary. 
“Since 1954 our club has supported many local programs such as the Dandenong Emergency Relief service, and since the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve helped Pay it Forward by providing casseroles for people in need,” said Helen.
“We’ve also sent containers of medical and sporting equipment overseas and with the help of a District grant this year, we will be running a youth mental health program for local secondary school children.”
“It’s full steam ahead for our club as we are committed to continuing our active service in support of the local community and international groups for many years to come,” Rosie added.
On Being a Rotarian
Shalini Penny - President 2021 -2022
Joining Emerald & District Rotary on 5th July 2016 seems quite a long time ago however really just under 5 years, which is not long in the life of a Rotary member. Becoming a Rotarian coincided with giving up work and looking to move house into Emerald.  I looked at the huge range of Community groups available, checked out a couple and decided that Rotary was the best fit for me as it covered ages from 30’s – 80’s, male and female and was progressive and fun – just what I was looking for as I wanted to keep my brain ticking over, keep up with technology, mix with the Community and take part in activities that I had never been involved with previously.  
Until joining Rotary I had never worked with Children however I now have several Kids Fun Runs with Thomas behind me, attended School Speech Contests for Primary Schools,  assisted at the Driver Awareness Days at Sandown Race Course, been part of the Pride of Workmanship Awards and run a Debutante Ball.  
Then the list of Fundraising activities is endless – some of the activities are: Sausage Sizzles,  Cocktails on the Catwalk,  All American Car Show & Man Cave Ally, a Car Rally, Great Community Raffle, Wine tasting evenings,  Cup Day and our latest event the Trash2Treasure Market, which is held monthly on the 1st Saturday of the month.
On top of this we undertake site visits such as a privately owned car museum, CPEC (Cerebral Palsy) in Glen Waverley Monash Children’s Hospital and “Insight” the School for the Blind in Berwick.
Being part of the Rotary family has brought a different dimension to my life, there will always be someone in the group that I can turn to if I needed help. Which is just as well as from July I embark on 12 months as President.  
Shalini Penny