June 14 was a night of celebration for the Ladysmith Rotary Club.
Looking forward, Dan Spence handed the gavel to Cheryl Leukefeld, as Leukefeld was installed as the club’s president for 2014-15. And looking back, a number of awards were presented as Rotarians celebrated another successful year during the club’s 44th Installation of Officers at the Eagles Hall.
Spence presented the President’s Choice Award to Joan Phillips.
“There is one person who, right from Day One, really did help me a lot,” he said as he gave Phillips the award.
The Ivan Gardener Award was presented to Ken Bosma.
“This is a special award that is given periodically, not every year, to a Rotarian who consistently, year after year, exemplifies what Rotary stands for, which is service above self,” said Sandra Milne, who presented the award. “This special award is presented this year to a Rotarian for his dedication and service to Rotary and the community and to Rotary International.”
“I think everyone here knows I enjoy Rotary,” said Bosma. “Any time anybody needs a hand, I love doing it.”
One of the Ladysmith Rotary Club’s most prestigious awards is the Rotarian of the Year Award, which is voted on by the club members. The award is given to the Rotarian that members think is basically the club’s most valuable player and devotes a lot of time and effort to Rotary, explained Paul Williams, who presented the award.
Leukefeld was voted Rotarian of the Year by her fellow Rotarians.
“I honestly didn’t expect this,” she said. “I really love Rotary, and I do it because I love it. Thank you very, very much. I’m very, very honoured.”
Leukefeld presented a Club President plaque to Spence on behalf of the club.
Leukefeld recalled that she became involved with Rotary after Nita Grant invited her to a meeting two years after she and her husband George had moved to Ladysmith.
“Rotary allows us to help locally and/or internationally in any way we can, either monetarily or with service,” she said. “Service is an intrinsic part of being a Rotarian; it is the makeup of all Rotarians. If you are a Rotarian, that is what you are most interested in doing; we all enjoy seeing each week people that have the same values and goals that we do. I have met the most interesting people in Ladysmith from all walks of life, and they have become my friends. Like most small communities, unless you’ve lived here for 25 years, you’re considered an outsider. By you accepting me as your president, I feel as if I truly belong to both Ladysmith now and the Rotary Club of Ladysmith.”
Leukefeld told club members that Gary Huang, the Rotary International president of 2014-15, has named his year “Light Up Rotary,” and she was very inspired by hearing him speak in February.
“As a club, we all must work together to achieve our common goals,” she said. “We may be a small club, but we are able to achieve great things when we all work together, and you all know how many projects we’ve done in the community. It’s amazing what the Ladysmith Rotarians can achieve. I am so very pleased to be the fifth woman president of the Rotary Club of Ladysmith. Thank you for this wonderful honour. I am looking forward to a year of growth and much success, working with all of you.”