A new rotary club called, the Northwest Spirit Rotary Club, is offering more flexibility and putting an emphasis on service.
The new passport club is located in Rotary District 5370 which covers the Northwest Territories, Yukon, Northern British Columbia, Northern Alberta, and Northern Saskatchewan, and Schilds says members come from all over the district.
Darryll White, of Edmonton, is the president of the new club and says the idea to start a new club came from many Rotarians wanting a change in how they participate in Rotary.
“Sometimes the clubs that we’re with or the organizations that we’re with don’t fit our personal goals anymore,” said White. “Rotarians from five or six different communities got together and along with a whole bunch of enthusiastic new Rotarians, we decided to create this club.”
Tim Schilds, of Dawson Creek, BC, is the charter president of the new club and one of its founding members. He says the idea of a passport club is about three or four years old and was created to appeal to younger Rotarians.
“The difference for a passport club is there tends to be an emphasis on the service end rather than on the meeting and the fundraising end. Most rotary clubs meet weekly at a set time and, for a lot of young people that I talked to, they tell me they do meetings all day, everyday, so they don’t need another one added in,” said Schilds.
The club meets the first Tuesday of every month and then two weeks later on Wednesday. Though members are encouraged to go to both meetings, they are only required to go to one a month.
“The idea for our club, because we’re spread all the way across District 5370, is that we will meet at least once online every month and then we’re hoping that we get pods developed in different areas around the district so they can meet and do service work on a monthly basis,” said Schilds.
The club has not wasted any time getting started with service projects. A group of members in Peace River helped the Rotaract Club paint the SPCA and the club is also participating in Orange Shirt Day.
“I think one of our strong focuses will be to try to address some of those issues in our own backyard,” said White.
“Hopefully we expand by example. Basically through promoting diversity, equality, inclusiveness, being seen as a club that is open to welcoming people in, and that we have service projects that appeal to a wide group of people.”
People interested in joining the club can find it on Facebook.