Gail with outgoing President, James Phiri
On 1 July, Gail Woodford took over from James Phiri as President of Cranleigh Rotary. Gail, a funeral director, lives in Cranleigh with her husband and son and they work together at their family business in the village.
Gail joined Cranleigh Rotary in December 2017, having been impressed by the good work that Rotary does locally, nationally and internationally.
“I am honoured to serve as Cranleigh Rotary’s President in a year when helping others is as important as ever”, she said. “Rotary’s motto is Service Above Self and its theme this year, Service to Change Lives, perfectly reflects Cranleigh Rotary’s aim of helping our local community. We do this by organising events to raise money for good causes and giving our time and expertise to help with community projects.
“We have a full calendar of community and fundraising events planned, including two ‘Concerts for the Community’. One of these has had to be rearranged because of COVID, but I am very pleased that, as a consequence of generous sponsorship from some local companies, we are able to make one of the concerts a free event and I hope that both concerts will generate funds for our local Guides, Scouts and St Joseph’s School.
“Since joining Cranleigh Rotary, I have made some wonderful friendships with people whose paths I would not otherwise have crossed, but everyone is so friendly and we enjoy spending time together.
“Rotary is not just about planning and putting on fundraising events. Sometimes we meet in the pub, sometimes we will have a quiz evening and we regularly have guest speakers to entertain us and broaden our horizons. Rotary introduced me to the world of lawn bowls and, despite being the least sporty person, I represent Cranleigh Rotary in the District competition with my very patient bowls partner, and we are the current champions! Were it not for Rotary, I would never have thought of playing bowls.
“That is what I love about Rotary, there are so many different opportunities to explore and try something new – from sports to education to volunteering locally or around the world, but no one makes you do anything you don’t want to.
“During the pandemic we attracted new members, some of whom are new to the village, and I am delighted that they chose to join Cranleigh Rotary to make new friends and get involved with local activities.”
If you fancy trying something new and you would like to know more about Cranleigh Rotary, you wish to get involved with any of our community or fundraising events or you would like help with a community or charity project, please contact Gail by email:
Cranleigh C of E School: Teacher Ms Wakefield
Donations to Local Schools
Over many years, Cranleigh Rotary has donated money or special illustrated dictionaries to local junior schools, as part of its long-standing commitment to young people and the local community. This year, Rotarian Andy Kolmar has once again visited the schools – Cranleigh Church of England, St Cuthbert Mayne, Park Mead and Ewhurst Church of England – to present each of them with cheques for £250 to purchase books for their libraries.
The majority of the money was raised from the Santa Dash event held last December.