Membership drive on for Rolleston Rotary

Sarah van der Kley helps plant a tree. Photo: Supplied
Sarah van der Kley helps plant a tree. Photo: Supplied
Two Canterbury sisters behind a local Rotary club are hoping to get more people to join the group.

Amanda van der Kley, president of Rolleston Rotary, and fellow member Sarah van der Kley, are following in the footsteps of their Rotarian parents Walter and Heather van der Kley of Ashburton.

Amanda van der Kley.
Amanda van der Kley.
Amanda said she and Sarah had the values of Rotary instilled in them from a young age.

This was built on even further when they were in their early 20s and went to Samoa with their parents as part of an Ashburton Rotary trip.

The country had been hit by the deadly 2009 Samoa earthquake and tsunami, and schools were in dire need of books and desks.

Amanda said seeing the help that Rotary provided had changed their perspective on life and reinforced the value of voluntary work.

While they grew up in Ashburton, both sisters now live in Rolleston. They are among founding members of Rolleston Rotary, which was established last year. 

Amanda said having more members would help Rolleston Rotary hold its Toot For Tucker foodbank drives, as well as provide volunteers for other events.

Currently the group has 24 members. They hoped to increase that to 30 to 35 members.

Sarah van der Kley.
Sarah van der Kley.

The group ran its first Toot For Tucker in June, partnering with Rolleston Lions. Two more are planned for this year, one in Lincoln next month and one in Rolleston in November.

Amanda said ultimately Rolleston Rotary wanted to hold two of the events each year, one in Lincoln and one in Rolleston. Items collected are donated to foodbanks in the district.

Alongside Toot For Tucker, the focus of Rolleston Rotary was to help out other organisations when they held events, such as Motor Fest, Clearview Fete, Burnham Halloween Festival, and Hororata Glow Festival, she said.

“We just like to be bodies on the ground, that can provide service for other organisations, not just ourselves. That makes it fun for us as well, we can contribute in all our own different ways,” Amanda said.

She said Rolleston Rotary was a young and vibrant group, with members aged in their 20s and older.

This was helping to ensure the longevity of the international Rotary organisation. The organisation was marking 100 years in New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific this year.

Rolleston Rotary had been planning to celebrate the centenary with a 1920s Great Gatsby-inspired ball on August 28. 

Ball co-ordinator Sarah said while lockdown had forced postponement, a new date would be chosen when the country was back to level 1.

She hoped the ball would help broaden the Rolleston Rotary’s membership appeal.

•Anyone interested in more information about Rolleston Rotary can phone or email Amanda - rollestonrotary@gmail.com, 027 303 9619

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