Picton Rotary celebrates heroic efforts in service of Ukraine

Incoming President of the Rotary Club of Picton Don Leslie accepts the gavel from Past President Barb Proctor at the Club's President night on Tuesday. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)



Rotarians celebrated a year of service at the Waring House last week as the presidential gavel changed hands. The club had much to celebrate, including raising over $100,000 to help war-torn Ukraine.

Don Leslie accepted the gavel in a ceremony at the Waring House last week from Past President Barb Proctor. A continued dedication to the community it serves and higher visibility while doing so was part of the message from the incoming president, who  noted that club numbers started to grow after the uncertainty of the pandemic had subsided.

Membership is up 12% this year. “That directly reflects the image we project and the benefits and fellowship we provide,” President Leslie said.

Rotary International’s theme for 2023-2024 is “Create Hope in the World.”

The Rotary Club of Picton was described as the “Little Club That Could” by representatives of the Ukrainian Embassy to Canada.

The club also exceeded its fundraising goals for local, national and other international projects. The new president noted that the club’s members were blessed to live in an exceptionally generous community that fully supports the club’s fundraising activities.

“Our efforts are not just about raising and giving money. Club members are hands-on leaders and supporters of local projects,” President Leslie said. “We have maintained and enhanced the Rotary Woods Walk in the Macaulay Mountain Conservation Area, cleaned-up Sandbanks beaches, supported reading programs in Tyendinaga, planted trees, delivered Meals-on-Wheels, volunteered for the Prince Edward Hospice and so much more.”

In her final address as President, Ms. Proctor reflected on some uncertainty caused by COVID-19 but noted the club pulled through to have a very successful year.

“We hit the ground running (in 2022) and Rotarians, you are responsible for the successes with your innovation, support and hard work. Our fundraising has exceeded our goals,” Past President Proctor said. “Members in action, you are the heartbeat of this club.”