Cessnock Rotary Club donates $33,000 to community organisations at 2018/19 changeover

CHANGEOVER: Incoming president David Owens and past president Graham Farish at Cessnock Rotary Club's changeover dinner on June 28. Picture: George Koncz
CHANGEOVER: Incoming president David Owens and past president Graham Farish at Cessnock Rotary Club's changeover dinner on June 28. Picture: George Koncz

The Rotary Club of Cessnock celebrated another successful year at its 2018-19 changeover dinner on June 28.

The club distributed a total of $33,632 to various charities and organisations supporting local, national and international projects, from funds raised in its community activities over the past 12 months.

Beneficiaries including Branxton and Cessnock Girl Guides, Wheeling and Able, Bandaged Bear, Cessnock District Rescue Squad and the Umoja Orphanage in Kenya were represented at the changeover dinner.

Outgoing president Graham Farish was named as a Paul Harris Fellow, the highest honour Rotary can bestow on a club member.

Mr Farish said he was surprised and grateful to receive the honour, and that it would be treasured.

“It was truly unexpected, having only been in Rotary for four years,” he said.

“I am very thankful and honoured that this would be bestowed upon me at this time.”

Mr Farish said the club had made a difference to many groups and individuals during the 12 months.

Organisations and causes it supported throughout the year included Angel Flight, Beyond Church Cessnock, Cessnock RSL Sub-Branch, Dream Cricket, Hunter Melanoma Foundation, the Mark Hughes Foundation, NCCCA Jacaranda Grove, PCYC, Shelter Box, the Ellis family, Variety the Children’s Charity, Cessnock Council’s mayoral scholarships, Rotary youth programs and a number of local schools.

HONOUR: District Governor Elect Brian Coffey presents outgoing Cessnock Rotary Club president Graham Farish with his Paul Harris Fellow award. Picture: George Koncz

HONOUR: District Governor Elect Brian Coffey presents outgoing Cessnock Rotary Club president Graham Farish with his Paul Harris Fellow award. Picture: George Koncz

The club’s 80th birthday celebrations in November and establishing an Interact Club at Cessnock High School were also among its achievements.

David Owens takes the reins from Mr Farish as the club’s new president, and is looking forward to the year ahead.

Mr Owens has been a Rotarian for 14 years starting at the Windsor club in Sydney, followed by Grafton Rotary Club where he served two terms as president, before joining the Cessnock club three years ago.

“I am very proud that the members of the Cessnock Rotary Club have extended to me the privilege and honour of serving as their president for the 2018-19 Rotary year,” he said.

“Our focus for this year is support for our local community and we will be continuing our fundraising activities at events such as the postie bike races, the Stomp Festival and the Spring Cruiz-in, and assisting the community by maintaining our roadside cleanup along a section of Maitland Road.

“We also have a number of local charities that we actively support as well as national and international Rotary causes.”

Cessnock Rotary Club meets Thursday nights at Cessnock Leagues Club at 6pm for a 6.30pm start. Find out more at cessnockrotary.org.

See more pictures from the changeover night in the gallery below.

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