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$90,000 raised for schools

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Jereme Ramsay, president of Pembroke Rotary Club (File photograph)
Gary Edwards, former president of the Pembroke Rotary Club (Photograph supplies)

The island’s 14 public schools will benefit from a donation of $90,000 thanks to the Pembroke Rotary Club.

Despite being unable to hold its annual Children’s Fair because of Covid-19 restrictions, the club was still able to raise a record amount of money in its fundraising efforts this year through its raffle draw.

Additionally, a donation of $12,000 provided by Rotarians was made to six Bermuda charities, all with a focus on youth development and students-related programmes or initiatives.

Jereme Ramsay, the club’s president, said: “Due to pandemic we weren’t able to proceed with the fair but we did proceed with raffle and made more use of digital channels.

“We got the message out to the community via social media - Facebook, Instagram ... and through our own personal networks via Whatsapp which enlarged our footprint. This is what we look to do in the future.”

Donations were made to: Dalton E Tucker; Elliot; Francis Patton; Gilbert Institute; Harrington Sound; Heron Bay; Northlands; Paget Primary; Port Royal; Prospect Primary; Purvis School; St David’s Primary; Victor Scott; and West Pembroke.

The fair and raffle is a major fundraiser for the club and was introduced in 1995 under the presidency of Gary Edwards. Since 1995, the rotary club has raised a total of $1,840,000.

Mr Edwards said: “Back then, we were approached by Paget Primary School to help fund an educational trip to Wales [UK]. We said if you sell some raffle tickets we can help you - they were the first school and now we have 14. It has grown gradually over years. The outcome this year was a pleasant surprise.

“We have to establish prizes and we have sponsors who have been very generous – we also put money into it ourselves to tune of about $30,000 worth of raffle prizes. We introduced more local prizes this year which the public seemed to like. They included travel vouchers, hotel stays and grocery prizes.”

Mr Edwards paid tribute to honorary Rotarian Gary Taylor who was instrumental in securing many of the prizes that are available through the raffle.

The club said it intends to continue its fundraising efforts for primary schools throughout the proposed restructure of the public school system.

The six charities to benefit from the club’s fundraising efforts are: The Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo; (Bermuda Zoological Society); the Bermuda Sloop Foundation; Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Bermuda; Family Centre; The Reading Clinic; Tomorrow’s Voices; and WindReach.

Mr Ramsay said that all four rotary clubs in Bermuda - Pembroke, Hamilton, St George’s and Sandys - are looking to attract new members as the current membership is ageing.

The clubs have numerous initiatives for students and young professionals including overseas exchange programmes.

Mr Ramsay said: “Anyone interested in joining we will welcome you with open arms to find new ways to collaborate and give back. Our focus recently has been around the pandemic and resources went towards helping individuals falling on hard times. We are looking for further ways to contribute to our community and hopefully we can achieve that through stronger collaboration. If there is any one that wants to give back please reach out to our clubs.”

For more information, visit www.rotary.bm

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Published April 10, 2021 at 7:57 am (Updated April 10, 2021 at 7:13 am)

$90,000 raised for schools

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