Past President Doug Peterson performed his last official duty as the Rotary Club of Belleville's President for 2019/2020 by touching on the Club's successes, even during COVID-19.  Seventy-five (75%) of Doug's year was blurred and overshadowed by the pandemic that impacted many of the usual programs, including the plans to celebrate the Club's 100th Anniversary in April 2020.  Casualties included regular lunch meetings and the valuable fellowship and opportunities to serve, the Rotary Music Festival, a huge loss for the community, the 100th Anniversary Gala, Camp Merrywood Sweat Equity project, Hockey Night in Quinte and many in-person committee meetings.
Despite the challenges that COVID brought, Doug was very proud of the Club's accomplishments during 2019 and 2020.  Thanks to PDG Bill MacKay's leadership and the work of the amazing 100th Anniversary Committee, three (3) major legacies earmarked the 100th Anniversary.  The unique Rotary Music Garden at Riverside Park, the Rotary Fitness Park on the Bayshore Trail and an amazing book on the history of the Club and the impact on our community.  These projects were funded from the Club's capital assets in lieu of receiving and funding applications from the community.  The massive projects were completed on time and within budget.  The Club and many individual members stepped up to contribute during the COVID crisis, financially and personally with their time and effort.
The Rotary Club of Belleville continues to attract talented and generous citizens from our community with the addition of 10 new members in 2019/2020.  Membership is consistent at 123.  The Club's largest fundraiser in July 2019, Rotary Loves Kids, raised approximately $90,000 to support various projects in our community.  Diners and Duffers brought in a net amount of $5,500 in a challenging year, but Ken Wheeler and Jeanette Minaker persevered with the support of many Rotarians.  Although we had to cancel the annual sweat equity trip to Camp Merrywood, we were able to donate over $31,000 to help fund some major projects.  Rotary's first Reindeer park was launched during the 2019 Santa Claus Parade, with positive results, thanks to Peter Malone and Collin Myers.
The Club presented three Paul Harris Community Awards at a special evening hosted at the Ramada ballroom -- Dwane and Carol Barratt, Belleville Canada Day Celebration Coordinators for many years and Debbie Scott, Salvation Army Kettle Campaign Coordinator.  The Club contributed $18,197 to meet the needs of Special Children requiring wheelchairs and other specialized equipment.  A Special Needs Christmas Party was also held for 80 people, including 40 children and their families.  The Club, through Community Grants contributed $18,500 to local community groups and charities to fund programs and children's activities.  A bursary donation of $9,000 through the Rotary Loves Kids event was provided to the Quinte Children's Foundation.  PorchFest was again successful in the East Hill area in 2019, the 6th year that the event has been supported by Rotary.  Hundreds of volunteer hours were given to the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign by Rotarians and family members to support the Salvation Army's local initiatives.
Many of our committees worked tirelessly on supporting initiatives in the community and other areas.  The Indigenous People Partnerships, under the leadership of Birgit Wartenberg and her committee supported First Nations Communities with grants and welcomed other Rotary Clubs into their fold to continue the work going forward.  Kids Against Hunger, co-chaired by Bill and Cory MacKay distributed 17,280 meals locally, provincially and internationally.  The International Service and AIDS Action Committee assisted a number of HIV related projects including Casey House, Toronto, RADAR and HARS as well as bettering human conditions internationally through Dr. Paul Thistle, Zimbabwe and Grannies for Africa, War Child Canada, St. Helene Honduras, CARE Canada.  Thank you to Dr. Ruth Mathieson and her committee for their work locally and internationally.
Under the umbrella of New Generations, the Club supported the Interclub Spelling Bee involving several neighbouring Rotary Clubs.  The Rotaract Club of Belleville operating out of Loyalist College and the Interact Club out of Eastside Secondary School were supported by our Club assisting with local and international charitable projects as well as building awareness of Rotary in secondary and post-secondary schools.  Dianne Spencer coordinated RYLA for another successful annual youth development program hosted by Loyalist College.  And $3,445 high school graduation bursary awards were given to secondary students best representing ideals of the 4 Way Test of Rotary.
Despite a very unusual Rotary Year, the Club stepped up in true Rotarian style and Doug Peterson shared his pride of all the accomplishments during 2019 and 2020, the year of the Club's 100th Anniversary.