Community Service is often referred to as “the heart and soul of the Club”.
Our Rotary Club has carried out many projects that have addressed community concerns and met the needs of our local community. Some examples:
- Rotary Lodge – the need for a special form of motel-type accommodation close to our Base Hospital was identified in 1990. The first 6 units were opened in 1996, 18 more units were opened in 2005 and 23 more in 2018. It is a project of the five Rotary Clubs in the Port Macquarie Hastings area and is managed by an independent body of formally appointed representatives of those Clubs. It provides affordable accommodation to family, relatives and friends of seriously ill or injured persons while they are receiving treatment at the hospital and also to cancer patients attending the hospital for short-term treatments, along with their family, relatives and friends.
- Towers of Strength – back in the 1990’s there were a series of drownings at our beaches which led to the five local Rotary Clubs conducting a public appeal for funds to construct 5 observation towers at beaches between Port Macquarie and Laurieton. These funds and donations-in-kind from local businesses and trades resulted in the five towers that Rotary built and Port Macquarie Hastings Council now maintain.
- Sailability Port Macquarie – in 2010, our Club recognised the need for a branch of Sailability NSW to be established in Port Macquarie so that local people with a disability could experience the joy of sailing. In 2012, the local branch began with a single dinghy and now operates 9 Access 303 dinghys and 3 recovery boats. Many of our Rotarians are also very active members of Sailability Port Macquarie which provides very safe sailing each Wednesday to over 100 people with disabilities regardless of age, gender or disability.
- Rotary Community Centre – located at Hamilton Green on Hastings River Drive, this community facility was built by the local Rotary Clubs to provide a meeting place for many local organisations
- McInherney Park Undercover Picnic Facility – designed and built by our Rotary Club, it provides electric bbq plates and picnic tables for locals and visitors.
- Ironman and Half Ironman – our Club has provided the marshals for the run-leg ever since these major annual events commenced in Port Macquarie
- Fundraising – a necessary aspect of our activities so we can fund our local, district and national community service projects. Our newest fundraiser is called The Hundred Thousand Million Project where we are raising $100,000.00 by collecting 1,000,000 10 cent refundable bottles and cans. Our aim is to collect from up to 100 businesses and 1,000 households.
- Other community service projects – include: bowel scan screening (now government run); helping establish Endeavour Club House (mental health rehabilitation centre); rehabilitation and maintenance of the Port Macquarie White Cross timber channel marker; regular re-plantings and maintenance work at Rotary Park; blanket collection and re-distribution; driving disabled people to medical, training and employment appointments … and lots of fund raising barbecues!