The County You Live, Work And Play
EK Rotary Club Celebrates 50
EK rotary members fundraising at a local supermarket
East Kilbride Rotary Club has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity since its inception in 1965. The aim of the club is to promote peace and understanding through local and international service projects.
Its first president was Norman Tait who was the Principle Head at Duncanrig High School.
As well as organising events for the local community, including running competitions in schools, they also support projects further afield.
The club opened with a membership of 29 in its inaugural period with the theme of “Action, Consolidation, Community”.
Among its early charity work was providing 50 Christmas food parcels for the elderly within the town and transporting a polio patient into Glasgow Polio Club.
In 1967, the club played a central role in initiating the Town Twinning Link with Ballerup in Denmark and the first Widows & Children’s Outing was held.
Over the years the club has continued fundraising and one of its biggest successes was building up the Relay for Life event at the John Wright Sports Centre to raise funds for Cancer Research.
They first became involved in 2003 and continued to be so until 2011 when a committee took over the running of the event.
Over £4000 was raised in the first year as teams donned colourful costumes for the 24-hour relay.
It 2004 the money raised jumped to a magnificent £25,000 and between 2005 and 2008 more than £100,000 was raised.
That is the equivalent of around £1400 per hour.
The club stepped in to prevent the popular annual event being cancelled in 2004, although the club had participated in the relay as a team for several years prior to stepping in when the previous organisers dropped out.
And, under the leadership of then president John Cardno, it was built up to the huge event it is today.
All the hard work by the Rotarians paid off, with many teams participating year after year.
In 2011, the final year the event was organised by the rotary, a staggering £150,000 was raised in the battle to beat cancer. And as part of their ongoing work with local youngsters they organise a popular Burns event where local school children give their best renditions of some of the Bard’s classics.
They also run a Youth Speaks contest which allows high school pupils to develop their public speaking skills.
Meanwhile in 2012, in a joint venture with Kittoch Rotary Club, East Kilbride Rotary Club contacted the town’s three secondary schools with a view to taking part in Euroschola.
The event culminates in a five-day visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg where the young people are given the opportunity to act as MEPs by sitting in the main debating chamber.