Investing in youth projects pays off for the whole community, according to the president of Mission’s mid-day Rotary Club, Stacey Crawford.
The annual Rotary Dinner and Auction, a joint venture of Mission’s two clubs will be held Nov. 23 at the Best Western Hotel to raise funds for a variety of youth projects. Those who attend, donate items or choose to be major sponsors will be helping the youth of Mission from elementary to high school students as well as those transitioning into adulthood.
Among the projects supported by the two clubs are annual post-secondary education scholarships to Mission graduates, summer camps for elementary students, leadership and career exploration camps for youth 12-25 and opportunities for youth to participate in international projects.
Last summer, 11-year-old Jared Kirkwood was selected by his elementary school to be sponsored by Rotary at Camp Jubilee. With words tumbling out as fast as he could manage, Jared described the multitude of camp activities, the friends made and the opportunities offered. Archery was his favourite sport at the camp, but best of all was “making friends with every single person there.” His father, Dave, said the major positive for Jared was the interaction with so many youth from across the province. It has helped him develop the confidence to interact socially and become involved with others in his school.
Rotary Youth Leadership Adventures (RYLA) for 18 to 25 year olds instills passion to become a better person and become involved in creating better communities, says Stephanie Turner, a RYLA alumni. Turner and Evan Tyler, another RYLA alumni, were sponsored by Rotary to attend the four-day retreat filled with motivational speakers, team-building exercises and opportunities for personal growth. Tyler took away many lessons, but most importantly, he says he learned to listen carefully and know when to be a leader and when to be a follower. The skills learned at the camp have stressed the importance of being community builders.
“We all came away thinking about what we can do to better our communities,” Turner said.
Rotary also supports youth in exploring careers in policing by funding participants to the RCMP Youth Academy. A partnership between Mission Public Schools and the RCMP, organizer Glen Schell says many former attendees have gone on to successful careers within the Force while others have discovered it may not be the career for them.
Tickets and sponsorships for the Rotary Auction and Dinner, which features a show by a professional Burlesque Dance troupe, are still available by contacting Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 604-302-8979.