By ERWIN CHLANDA
The Rotary Club of Alice Springs is a powerhouse of charity work.
It has a strong presence in running iconic events in the town, including the Bangtail Muster, and as one of the town’s three Rotary Clubs, the Henley on Todd.
Much of the money it raises goes to helping young people in their education: The John Hawkins Scholarship, funded by the popular Melbourne Cup Sweep, the Bill Van Dijk award for post graduate students and managing the Allison Lillis Fund, together pumping about $22,000 into the community per year.
On a global level, the club plays its proportionate role in Rotary International’s fight against polio, almost totally eliminating the scourge around the world.
The organisation is now active dealing with a few new outbreaks.
Amongst the smaller community service projects are providing parking for Open Day and Marketing day at Telegraph Station, assisting with the Old Timers Fete, providing awards for school end of year presentation nights and donating a Bluetooth hearing system to Sadadeen Primary School children.
The club had its first ever meeting on Friday, February 17, 1961 at the Mt. Gillen Hotel (now the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress clinic on Gap Road).
The club sponsored the Rotary Club of Stuart in 1970, which in turn sponsored the Rotary Club of Mbantua in 1985.
The Rotary Club of Alice Springs has 26 active members and seven honorary members.
Over the years, the club has had from 21 active members in Rotary Year 1999-2000 to 54 members in Rotary Year 1977-1978.
Declaration of interest: The writer is a member of the club.