By Penny Offer, Rotary Public Image Coordinator and member of the Rotary Club of Ladner (Delta), British Columbia
Every year in Richmond, British Columbia, thousands of people stream through the atrium of City Hall to mingle among beautifully decorated Christmas trees, enjoy some holiday cheer, and learn how local Rotary members are making a difference in the community and around the world.
The Winter Wonderland event, held for the past 13 years by the Rotary Club of Richmond Sunset, is a spectacular example of what you can accomplish when you partner with other businesses and organizations, and use your club’s fundraisers to also tell Rotary’s story. The event has helped increase public awareness of Rotary in Richmond, and has enhanced membership.
Partnerships, fundraising, promoting Rotary’s image – it’s a powerful combination. The club reaches out to businesses, local politicians, and the media in helping plan and put on the Wonderland. City Hall provides the space. Media provide excellent coverage. And all sponsors are invited to an opening event that kicks off the fundraiser in style. Colorful posters advertise the club’s projects and Rotary’s work to eradicate polio.
Members of the local Interact club join city firefighters in decorating the trees, which are donated by area businesses. They stick around to share with the public how they work side by side with local Rotarians on projects in the community and also in South Africa and Haiti.
The club raises approximately $50,000 every year, and the event attracts more than 5,000 people.
Every Rotary fundraiser is a chance to tell Rotary’s story and engage your community. How is your club using its activities to enhance Rotary’s image?