Service Above Self

In 2024, members of Cleethorpes Rotary and I were prompted to recall the achievements of the humanitarian organisation in the last decade. In the past ten years, the organisation has carried out countless events and efforts to put "service above self" according to one of their mottos.

Although the founders of Rotary International originated from Illinois a century ago, the Cleethorpes branch of Rotary has been carrying out their good-willed mission since 1966. The club has "Rotated" through various meeting venues, but currently convenes at Cleethorpes Golf Club (credited for their great food). Their president is a retired headteacher by the name of Julie Saunders. Since July of last year, she has been the figurehead of the club: organising fundraisers, conducting weekly meetings and overseeing the three main Rotarian sub-committees.

“Obviously we do loads of projects with Rotary, lots of fundraising and social occasions." One particular event stands out to us, being the Elfie Selfie project that took place in early December. Each year, children will be able to metaphorically transform into an Elf by way of a series of stations. I volunteered to assist my grandad and Rotarian Eb Müller on the lucky dip activity; entertaining the kids gave me a great sense of pride and fulfilment, partnered with the knowledge that all the profits were donated to local charities.

Julie has also helped continue the partnership with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Scheme, along with the hard work of Rolf Sperr. It sees children below the age of 5 receiving monthly free books to improve literacy and spark imagination from a young age. For the older youth like myself, Cleethorpes Rotary use their ties with other clubs across the country to fund residential leadership-oriented camps in such places as Castleton. This is yet another example of how the charity takes great interest and care of the next generation.

As a Rotarian, I will act with integrity and high ethical standards in my personal and professional life, improving disadvantaged people's quality of life in my community and across the world.

Eb Müller recites some of the core objectives of Rotary. As a dedicated member, ex-treasurer and former president, Eb demonstrates to me how Rotary can be a favourite outlet for professionals who have a lot of free time and love to give.

When contemplating joining a philanthropic organisation like Rotary, The Red Cross or Save The Children, it's important to see the value in forming meaningful friendships, exchanging ideas, and serving your community - while these rewards are certainly attainable wherever you go in life, they are especially available at your local Rotary Club.