- Glenn Warner
THE WATERFRONT CLUB ADDS TO ROTARY’S COMMUNITY SERVICE
The Kingston Waterfront Rotary Club is the newest Rotary Club in Kingston, chartered in April of 2015. We are proud of our reputation as a “sweat equity” club and we happily assist other organizations and charities when volunteers are needed.
We call these ‘one and done’ service projects and we've lent a hand to many: the Crohn's and Colitis Canada Gutsy Walk; the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life and Mudmoiselle events; and the Easter Seals and YMCA's Swim for Kids event. We have also moved a not-for-proft nursery school into its new location and volunteered to weed and harvest vegetables at community gardens.
Our involvement in the community grows year over year. We've started to focus on projects that benefit youth and those that promote food security. We hosted an annual food drive for Martha's Table, where we also prepared and served lunch on a Saturday when it wouldn't ordinarily have been able to offer a hot meal.
Our club has also supported the Kingston Community Harvest Market, which formed in 2005 after the closure of the only grocery store in north Kingston at the time, to ensure access to fresh fruit and vegetables. Community Harvest Kingston’s goals are to increase access to local, healthy food; provide education on the benefits of eating a healthy diet; and to build community. Their affordable farmers' market offers vouchers, supported by our club, to help people afford healthy, locally-grown food. The food is so local, some of it is grown right on site in two raised garden beds built by our members.
One of our favourite annual events involving fellowship, food, and fun, is the Food Blitz in support of the Partners in Mission Food Bank. Chris and Beth allow us to hang out at their No Frills on Coverdale Avenue all day, while we accept the generous food and cash donations from amazing Kingstonians and have a ton of fun doing it! We are often joined by Rotarians from the other three Kingston Rotary clubs at this event as they do at many other events throughout the year.
Our longest running project is Dictionaries 4 Life. This project was brought to our District by the Rotary Club of West Ottawa, which manages the ordering and distribution of the books for Eastern Ontario. Each Fall, club members visit grade 3 classrooms in Kingston and Frontenac County to present beautifully illustrated dictionaries. We tell the students a little bit about service through Rotary, go over how dictionaries work, and help them use the books to look up words they are interested in or things they are studying in class. The kids get to write their names in the dictionaries which they keep - for - life.