/Rotaract takes over the Highland Yard
Jack Russel, left, with Fay Martin of Places for People, right, handed over leadership of the Highland Yard to Rotaract Haliburton Highlands president Christine Carr, centre, during Rotaract’s open house on Wednesday, Sept. 21. /VIVIAN COLLINGS Staff

Rotaract takes over the Highland Yard

by Vivian Collings
Rotaract Haliburton Highlands is off and running with become the lead of a long-time fundraiser in the community, the Highland Yard.
Rotaract Haliburton Highlands hosted their first ever public open house at the Abbey Gardens’ marquee tent on Wednesday, Sept. 21 to announce the new partnership.
“We are so thrilled to have this group of active young people in the community take over leading the Highland Yard,” said Jack Russel, former Highland Yard race director. “It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s also a lot of fun, and I think you will really enjoy it.”

Rotaract Haliburton Highlands was formed in March of 2020 and is a service club for young adults who aim to find solutions to challenges and gaps within the community by lending support and fundraising.
The club had only one in-person meeting in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but they have been able to carry out various community projects and partnerships through meeting virtually, and now in-person, the first and third Wednesday of each month.
“We are really excited to take on this venture and support an event that has played such a large role in the county,” said Rotaract Haliburton Highlands president Christine Carr.
Proceeds from the Highland Yard will continue to benefit Places for People, a local not-for-profit organization that “creates and manages quality affordable rental housing in Haliburton County.”
This year was the 50th anniversary of the Highland Yard, and it was a virtual event.
“The outgoing Highland Yard race committee thanks everyone who has participated and helped us raise funds over the years for Places for People’s affordable housing efforts. We look forward to the Rotaract race committee taking over next year and a return to an in-person event for the Highland Yard,” read a statement on the Highland Yard website.
The Highland Yard is a fundraiser event that features a variety of running races where participants collect pledges.

Members of Rotaract Haliburton Highlands mingled with community members before their presentation and announcement of taking over leadership of the Highland Yard. /VIVIAN COLLINGS Staff

Russel led some Highland Yard trivia during Rotaract’s open house on Thursday with “Highland Yard” sock prizes for those who guessed the answers correctly.
Rotaract Haliburton Highlands is happy about hosting in-person meetings and social gatherings after two years of Zoom meetings.
So far this year, they have participated in Abbey Retreat Centre’s Haliburton Highlands Challenge by getting active through disc golf, mini putt, and hikes. They have also performed roadside cleanups along County Road 21, delivered boxes filled with essential items to community members, and partnered with other service groups for fundraisers.
If you’re interested in learning more about Rotaract Haliburton Highlands or getting involved, reach out to haliburtonrotaract@gmail.com.