Rotary throws Mardi Gras fundraiser

The Rotary Club of Port Alberni will be holding their Mardi Gras fundraiser to benefit Literacy Alberni on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Former ACAWS executive director Joanne Silver

Former ACAWS executive director Joanne Silver

It’s time to party, New Orleans style.

The Rotary Club of Port Alberni Mardi Gras takes place Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Italian Hall.

The evening, which is a fundraising event that will benefit Literacy Alberni, will include a wonderful buffet and dancing the night away to Cruze Control. A silent and live auction will be on site. Wear your best finery from feathers to masks and you might win a prize for best costume.

Last year was a sell out, so plan now to get your tickets. They are $40 per person and can be picked up at Scotiabank, Staples and Echo Centre.

Mardi Gras is just one way that for 80 years, the Rotary Club of Port Alberni has been supporting the community with projects that really make a difference.

From trails to playground equipment in local parks and breakfast for kids at local schools, the Rotary Club of Port Alberni has had a lasting impact on the community.

Rotary Clubs originally started in Chicago in 1905, the first service club organization started by attorney Paul Harris for businessmen of the day who wanted to give back to their community, the motto of Rotary is Service Before Self. That desire continues today with more than 35,000 clubs and 1.2 million members worldwide.

Rotarians measure their actions against a four-way test with every project they undertake: is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

The Rotary Club of Port Alberni of today focuses their efforts on supporting youth in the community. The breakfast program at ADSS, Literacy Alberni, ADSS team bus, bursaries for graduating students, Kidsport, Hugginz by Angel, the annual pirate train to McLean Mill and so many more worthy efforts benefitting youth are supported by the efforts of the club.

The club raises funds for these causes with two annual fundraisers. Perhaps best-known is the $10,000 cash draw during the Salmon Festival. All 4,000 tickets sold out in 2016.

Mardi Gras in February is another successful event that brings a bit of colour to a grey time of the year and raises money to brighten the lives of local children.

But it isn’t all work for Rotary members. The real draw for many members is keeping up on what is going on in the community, giving back to the community in a meaningful way and meeting new people. Check out the Facebook page to see what they are up to.

Although Rotary was started as an opportunity for businessmen, today Rotary invites new members from all walks of life and genders.

The Rotary Club of Port Alberni meets for lunch every Thursday at the Best Western Barclay, where members and guests have an opportunity to network and hear about something going on in the community from a local guest speaker.

Anyone interested in being a part of the Rotary Club of Port Alberni is welcome to drop by for lunch or contact the group through Facebook.