Cranleigh Rotary Club News

Club President James Phiri writes: 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, a year in which we sadly lost Tim Quallington and Peter Farrell.

We ended the year with the terrible loss of Michael Hart, another long serving and exemplary Rotarian who, in my experience, always had a smile and time for everyone. As a new member to the club, Michael always looked out for me at every meeting to check that I was not overwhelmed. I remember wondering how he managed his punishing District level schedule and yet still appear relaxed and enthusiastic for every one of our meetings. We missed him dearly at our club meetings and will miss him even more now that he is gone, but will always appreciate and remain grateful for his immeasurable contribution to our club and Rotary at large.

Regrettably, our Christmas collection was reduced to just one day. The second day was cancelled for health reasons. This was subsequently vindicated by the measures that were later taken by the government. It was not an easy decision for David Barrett and his team after all their hard work and time invested in researching and planning for the event. However, we must all take heed of the health guidelines and continue to avoid and mitigate risks to safeguard our members and the public.

Difficult as it has been, the year 2020 has also seen some unpredictable and notable successes. We moved from long held reservations around the use of WhatsApp and dropping our reliance on cheques to using Zoom online conferencing and signing up to contactless payment processing.

Also launched in October was the Club’s Monthly Newsletter, which this month has increased in circulation to Corporate and Business Members. Youth, ComVoc and Programmes committees, as well as Jane Briggs and Peter Bond in publicity, have all served up incredible achievements under difficult COVID-19 related constraints. Indeed, John Menlove’s walk was a landmark success that also underpinned much of our successful media exposure efforts. Thank you to all members who made this possible, too many to mention here.

We can be rightly proud of the achievements of our members and especially proud of the support we continue to offer each other in times of need and stress. This has been a very punishing year for many of us and our generosity and love towards each other has become increasingly important.

As we look forward to the New Year, I am certain that we will continue to see the cohesion, innovation, and support for each other that has sustained our club during 2020. Indeed, I am grateful, as President, for all the support, mentoring and guidance that I have been lucky enough to receive from several of you.

I am particularly grateful for the dedication and commitment of our Club Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer who have all been readily available for my never-ending questions and requests for support. Thank you all.

I wish everyone a very happy, safe, and healthy passage into the New Year and look forward to seeing you all as soon as is safe and practical.

Santa Dash
Once again, Cranleigh Rotary, Cranleigh Sunflowers and Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce supported the village Santa Dash for 2020.

Covid-19 restrictions meant that the usual fun-filled event, complete with Santa Suits, mulled wine and mince pies, had to be cancelled so that the ‘dash’ could only take place virtually throughout December 2020.

Participants were encouraged to run or walk 5 km (or more!) in the period 1-25 December. Once they provided details of their ‘dash’, a special Cranleigh Santa Dash medal was sent to mark the achievement. One of those who donned a Santa hat to take part was Gail Woodford, vice president of Cranleigh Rotary.

Gail wrote: “Having previously supported our Santa Dash from the sidelines, I was determined to raise funds for our good causes by taking part. Here’s the evidence of me completing my 5k dash one wet Saturday in December. Wearing a Santa hat for this bah-humbug Scrooge was more challenging than the run!

“Thank you to everyone who added a little something to our Christmas Fundraising Just Giving page. I hope that next year’s event can revert to its normal format and you can cheer me on or even run with me. Either way, we’ll be doing what we do best – supporting our local community.”

All profits will be donated by Cranleigh Rotary to Ewhurst Infants, Cranleigh Infants, Park Mead and St Cuthbert Mayne primary schools.

Christmas and New Year Appeal
2020 presented a big challenge for everyone and Cranleigh Rotary’s Christmas and New Year Appeal was launched with this very much in mind.

It was decided that, in addition to the annual street collection, a Just Giving page would be set up and local shops and business would be invited to take collecting boxes. 13 shops and businesses in and around Cranleigh agreed to take these boxes. These were distributed by Terry Stewart and Caroline Oldroyd and remained in place, in shops that could stay open, until the end of January.

The two local charities nominated to benefit from donations are Rowleys Centre for the Community and the Riding for the Disabled Cranleigh Group.

It was a disappointment to have to cancel the second day of the planned street collection, but to all the members who took part on the first day, many thanks.

The total amount donated as of 30 December 2020 was £1,140, made up from the street collection, cheques received and donations through Just Giving. (Stop Press: SANTA FIRS (Hans Christmas Andersen) HAVE AGREED TO DONATE £925 TO OUR APPEAL.)

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