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qathet region Rotarians coordinate donated funds for disaster relief

Generosity displayed to help Ukraine

Two events in just five weeks involving local Rotarians raised $25,000 for Ukrainian relief from residents of qathet Regional District.

All monies from a Concert for Ukraine, put together by PRISMA’s [Pacific Region International Summer Music Association] Arthur Arnold on April 2, and a Ukrainian Dinner on May 7 organized by Ed Frausel and his team, were sent to Rotary Foundation Canada by the Powell River club.

“It was an obvious choice to ask Rotary to partner for a benefit concert,” said Arnold. “I could not have handled all the donations by myself. Rotary took care of them. What a great group of people in this small community connected with the rest of the world through Rotary’s network.”

Members collected funds at both events, then Rotarian Jan Gisborne prepared the paperwork for all donations over $50, which will receive a tax receipt if requested.

“People were very generous giving various amounts including some from $50 to $500 for receipts,” said Gisborne. “The concert total was $17,131.40.”

Club treasurer Frieda Hamoline said she sent a second cheque from the dinner and silent auction proceeds on May 16 after the monthly directors meeting.

“The net from that was $7,917.10,” she added.

Rotary District 5040 Governor Lorne Calder praised the Powell River club for its foundation efforts in a recent meeting of incoming presidents, said Ross Cooper.

“He mentioned Powell River several times regarding our foundation efforts and more specifically Ukraine efforts,” added Cooper. “As of April 29, Rotary had raised $10.4 millions of which $101,000 came from the 50-plus clubs in our district.”

There are 62 Rotary clubs in Ukraine and all but the one in Kherson continue to operate. There is a meeting twice a day to discuss issues they face.

According to Odessa resident Mykola Stebljanko, editor of Rotariets magazine, club services fall into three areas.

“The first involves providing help to our hospitals where a large number of wounded civilians are being treated,” Steblijanko reported in an interview with Rotary magazine. “Second, we are working to coordinate humanitarian aid, sending aid via trucks, ships and air carriers. Most of the items are clothes, food and medicine.”

Stebljanko added that the third service is trying to help Rotarians’ family members who want to leave the country.

“We have received many requests from Rotarians in Europe and America who would like to host our family members and relatives.”

He expressed his country’s Rotarians’ appreciation for all Rotary members around the world who have helped.

“It means a lot to us during this difficult time in our country’s history,” he added.

Finally, he appealed to Rotarians to lobby their governments to push for peace.