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For nearly 70 years, the Rotary Club of Abbotsford has been changing lives for the better, both in our backyard and beyond.
 
From building Rotary House, a day-care for children with special needs, to long-time support of Abbotsford Hospice and Holmberg House, which serves families facing the hardest days of their lives, Abbotsford Rotary Club members have responded time and again to the call to serve our community. 
 
Abbotsford Rotary Club was the driving force behind the creation of Rotary Stadium, Abbotsford’s preeminent outdoor venue and host to countless BC Games, sports tournaments, university events and community celebrations.  We hosted the very first Abbotsford Airshow in 1962 and have been a proud volunteer partner every year since, as the show has come to have global impact.  Abbotsford Rotary Club cofounded Starfish Packs, a weekend feeding program for school kids who would otherwise go hungry. This program has now been adopted in over 20 communities throughout BC and Washington State and provides meals to over 1,400 hurting kids each weekend during the school year. 
 
Abbotsford Rotary Club has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships to high school and university students. We have funded youth leadership opportunities and hosted international youth exchange students.  We believe every dollar spent on a young person today will pay a $1,000 dividend back to our community and beyond during OUR lifetimes.
 
Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  Past and present, the Rotary Club of Abbotsford proves her to be absolutely correct.
 
As we prepare to mark the Club’s 70th anniversary in 2020, we could easily choose to focus on our past accomplishments and successes.   But we didn’t achieve so much in our history by looking back. Instead we always look forward.  We are justifiably proud of what we have achieved and we will continue to focus on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
 
In an unprecedented attempt to engage the citizens of Abbotsford, Abbotsford Rotary Club will spend the last six months of 2019 engaging local stakeholders, community groups and committed individuals to determine the next community changing project that will be our primary focus over the next 3-5 years, launching in 2020. 
 
The Abbotsford Rotary Club invites those who care deeply about both the present and future of Abbotsford to submit their dreams and hopes for new projects to us for consideration.   We offer our potential community partners a 70 year track record of making a real and lasting difference in the lives of those who call Abbotsford home and a demonstrated commitment to always dream big and work hard when it comes to building our collective future.
 
We publically call on those same stakeholders, community groups and committed individuals, those who dare to dream about a better future for our kids and grandkids and who care about our community as much as we do, to join us.  Join your passions and skills and energy to ours, and together we can achieve more than any of us could even imagine achieving as individuals.
 
Abbotsford Rotary Club is a dedicated, dynamic and diverse group of leaders, offering fellowship, fun and a shared commitment to serving humanity locally and around the world. We have a history we’re immensely proud of, and are looking forward to a future that includes new ideas, new perspectives and new visions of what we can accomplish together. 
 
We want young people with a passion for Abbotsford’s future to take their rightful place at the planning table with us.  We want older people whose contributions have made Abbotsford the amazing place it is to live, work, and play to join us. Older or younger, we want people to bring their invaluable experiences and resources to our club help us make Abbotsford even better.
 
The possibilities of what we can accomplish is limited only by the number and quality of the people who dare to dream with us and dare us to dream with them. The small investment of a few hours a month can change lives around us for decades to come. 
 
If we’ve learned anything over our 70 year history it’s this: the lives that will be changed the most are those who first dare to dream and who are willing to put their vision and passion into action.
 
The future is calling out to such individuals to step up. So is the Rotary Club of Abbotsford.
 
Bruce Beck
2019-2020