THE NEWEST ROTARY CLUB IN KINGSTON – WATERFRONT in 2015
Rotary International created the Satellite Club program in 2011 to help develop and foster new clubs that would attract new and younger members. Rotary understood that a more flexible approach to meeting times and annual dues was needed to entice a generation of business professionals with demanding careers and schedules who wanted an opportunity to serve their communities.
The Rotary Club of Cataraqui-Kingston recognized that this new strategy for growth presented multiple opportunities for young professionals to engage. In July 2011, the club established a satellite club to help address the challenges faced in recruiting and retaining new and younger members within the organization. The satellite would eventually become what is currently known as the Kingston Waterfront Rotary Club.
Originally, members of the Cataraqui-Kingston Club (Dave Hallett, David Young, and Keith McWhirter) began organizing small social gatherings of prospective members. Prior to settling on regular meetings at the RCHA Club (193 Ontario St – second floor), introductory get-togethers were held at various locations including Harper’s Burger Bar, Tir Nan Og, and the Iron Duke.
In June 2012, the first seven satellite members were inducted into the Cataraqui-Kingston Club. In consultation with the sponsor club, these members began laying the transition groundwork by developing a Club Leadership Plan, which outlined schedule and meeting structures, induction of new members, budget development, communications and promotions, guest speakers, service projects, and social events.
The Kingston Waterfront Rotary Club satellite began holding weekly meetings at the RCHA, and organized its own service projects and social events, as well as in conjunction with the other Rotary clubs. Over the next two years, the membership grew to the point that the satellite club was ready to become a stand-alone Rotary club.
On April 17, 2015, the Kingston Waterfront Rotary Club was chartered. Inducted members were joined by over 100 Rotarians representing clubs from across District 7040 to celebrate this historic event on May 11, 2015.
With a focus on sweat-equity projects, early evening meetings, and a more relaxed administrative approach, the Kingston Waterfront Rotary Club continues to serve the needs of young professionals looking to maximize their impact on the community with a time commitment that works with their busy schedules. The club’s approach to service takes on an attitude self-described as “Shenanigans and Do-goodery”.
Here are some examples: Food Sharing Project - $3000 plus food delivering, food drives for Partners in Mission Food Bank, Dictionaries For Life (supporting elementary school students), driver teams for Operation Red Nose, Relay For Life as both a sponsor and with our own team, Martha’s Table Holiday Lunches, Easter Seals, moving the Helen Tufts Nursery School, and the Loving Spoonful Night Market. The Kingston Waterfront Rotary Club continues to offer its enthusiastic membership and our community at large an exciting opportunity for rewarding fellowship and meaningful experiences.