By Grace Oborne
Permanent resident of Minden, Dave Woodcroft, is excited to be the current president for the Rotary Club of Minden.
While only joining the Rotary Club of Minden a little over a year ago, Woodcroft has already stepped up to the plate and is taking a crack at leading. As of July 1, he assumed the presidency when Lynda Litwin stepped down.
Although Woodcroft has been a cottager in the county since he was just a few months old, he moved up here two years ago.
“I’m relatively new to Minden Rotary. I got into Rotary with the volunteers for the vaccine clinic during the pandemic,” Woodcroft said.
In the short time that Woodcroft has been around, the Minden club has become important to him. He has seen the value in the club and believes in its work of giving back to the community.
“The clinic was run by Rotarians, and I got to meet a lot of them. I believe in community giving, and Rotary seemed to be upfront during the pandemic. When I saw this, I thought to myself, ‘I think I’ll join them.’”
Woodcroft said he wants bring in energy and new, especially young, members.
“I see a huge value in Rotary, and we don’t need people getting burnt out and leaving. We’re a small community and a small club. We need to be generating energy. I have some ideas and I am energetic so I think I can boost the club a little. We are looking for more members, not for their dues, but just for their ability to work,” Woodcroft said.
He wants to bring positive change to the environment in the area as well.
“I’d like to find a local environmental project for us to latch onto so I’m looking to see if there’s an environmental project that we can start. I’m looking at how we can raise money and use our manpower to bring it to its fruition,” he said.
Minden has welcomed Woodcroft in with open arms and are eager to start working with him.
“I’ve had nothing but a positive response and welcome. We’ve actually received a request for a new project in Minden that is soon to come, hopefully. That’s what has been positive. That immediately someone reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, I’ve got a project.’ I’ve noticed that more people know who I am, and I haven’t really done anything yet except for having been at a few events.”
Litwin, as past president now, sees Woodcroft as a great president for Minden Rotary. She too, has noticed his enthusiasm and excitement for the town.
“Dave was new to the club and is really enthusiastic. He has experience from other organizations, and I think he is going to be a great fit as president. He’s going to do a great job in his own way.”
Litwin recalls her time as president, extends her gratitude to the community, and ensures Minden that she’ll be an active member of the club as past president.
“My time as president: This past year was wonderful. Learning to work the Rotary program and events as everyone became more comfortable post the first couple of COVID pandemic waves was interesting. Respect became the word of the day. Respecting how people felt about interacting and whether we Zoomed or met in person. Respecting how we previously did things and had to tweak that. Respecting new ideas from our five new members that were learning about Rotary in a changing time.
Every year on July 1st a new president in every level of Rotay takes over. I started the year asking the members that were comfortable to meet every other week at Rotary Park. This gave members comfort in meeting in an outdoor setting. It was wonderful to SEE each other again after two long years of Zooming. We still met via Zoom when it made sense. Zoom has saved our out-of-town speakers hours of being on the road and we could meet with them from our homes. At Thanksgiving, we moved the weekly meeting to the Dominion [Hotel Pub] into their dining room, which we had exclusively. That gave the members a level of comfort as well. It also provided us with WiFi and tech for presentations.
I was approached by the regional health unit to lead the volunteers for the COVID mass vaccination clinic that was hosted in Minden at the new arena. I responded that I would take the request to Rotary and we had Sally Moore come forward to lead the volunteers with her good friend Pat Bradley. The Rotary members did shifts when possible and we were overwhelmed with the over 200 volunteers that came forward from the community that helped to fill in the shifts during the clinic. Sally and Pat did an excellent job in working with the regional health unit, leading the volunteers and making Rotary proud in our community. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this happen.
Rotary hosted our road toll with Bill Roodenburg leading us for the first time in a couple of years. We had our new member John Kerr host our first ever golf tournament and dined outdoors at the Gull River Golf Course. Our Christmas Online Auction led by Sharon Foster was successful again with customers and we polled the real estate agents in the community for donations and recommended that they support their favourite local business for their donations. Another new member Tracy Ferguson led the club with the arena open house barbecue in May.
In June, Betty Mark led us when we hosted our 75th Anniversary Dinner Gala with a scaled back auction area in respect of the local businesses that struggled through COVID; we approached local contractors that have done well during COVID and they supported our dinner gala with auction items. The previous Rotary presidents that gathered for this special celebration truly enjoyed the evening. Barry Cray led us in our food service on Canada Day this year which was another fun filled event. We enjoy our relationship with the Interact (high school club) and Rotaract (young adult Rotarians) and support their puzzle sales fundraiser.
As past president of the club, I will continue to stay involved on the executive and help the new president in any way I can. I truly enjoy my Rotary family on Monday nights. Working together to make the community better is very rewarding.”
For more information about Minden Rotary visit www.mindenrotary.ca.