Past President Darrell Smith was pleased to say a few words about President Peter Malone, first off thanking Suzanne for sharing Peter this past year.  When Peter first joined the Rotary Club of Belleville in November 2016, he was always active in a number of initiatives, including the Rotary Reindeer Park, the Santa Clause Parade, the bottle drive and joined the Board in 2020 and quickly rose to the position of President over the next 3 years.  Bad jokes aside (actually based on the audience reaction, the jokes were always appropriate and well received), Peter displayed a passion for Service Above Self.
Peter shared a number of photographs from his year as President as he thanked every member of the Rotary Club for their dedication and commitment to the Club, the community at home and away.  A big well done to everyone and here's to another great year ahead with incoming President Karen at the helm.  Peter spoke about attending his very first Rotary International Convention in Melbourne, Australia and his introduction to the House of Friendship.  There were 15,000 Rotarians in the stadium, supporting the theme Create Hope In The World and Peter found it very inspirational.  It helped Peter prepare for the job as President and he believes he returned to Belleville a better Rotarian, equipped and prepared for the job at hand.  Thank you to everyone for the opportunity to see the scope of Rotary around the world and to be inspired in our corner of the world.  The work we do as Rotarians whether small or large, is making a difference and everything is connected to good in the world.  Peter described the Board as a team, best of the best to represent the ideas of the Club.  The Refresh Rotary project has identified work to be done over multiple years with a focus to build on a strong foundation.  The three core areas are member engagement, public image (beat the drum so to speak) and fundraising and coming up with new ideas around that.  Peter is excited about one of the newer Rotary projects, Rescue Readers under the guidance and expertise of Rotarian Sharon McConnell.  A recent gathering celebrated this literacy program partnership with the Humane Society HPE, the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board and the Rotary Clubs of Belleville and Trenton.  The largest fundraising effort is fast approaching as well, the Rotary Loves Kids Golf Tournament and Party In The Square.  Tons of work going on behind the scenes, zeroing in on the BIG Day of July 26th.  Opportunities for everyone to golf, volunteer, be a sponsor, a spotter, help set up and tear down the Party in the Square, be a Smart Server, collect bottles and cans.  As we head into September and Fall weather, PorchFest will be a gathering of thousands of folks, enjoying the season in the East Hill, celebrating music, culture and the spirit of Belleville, all sponsored by the Rotary Club of Belleville and the face of PorchFest - Sam Brady.  Peter was happy to report that the 2024/2025 budget was approved and is ready to go, representing $204,000 worth of good done by the Club and hard-working, committed Rotarians.  Peter thanked everyone in the Club for their amazing support through the past year, a year of Creating Hope In the World.
In-coming President Karen Baker thanked Peter for his positive energy in re-engaging the membership after the lull of COVID, coming up with new projects and ideas and welcoming new members.  Peter is a tremendous asset to the Club and has laid a great foundation for the future.  Karen presented Peter with a baseball cap as the 104th President of the Club.