Brenda Snider was pleased to provide some background on President Darrell Smith.  He joined Rotary in 2004 and has over 30 years in the financial field.  He is the Chair of the Special Needs Children Committee and has also been responsible for weekly Rotary attendance as well as Treasurer for the Club.  Darrell has been on the RLK Committee and sponsor since 2006.  In addition to his Rotary commitment, Darrell has been the Board Chair of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, VIQ and United Way.  He was recognized as a Children's Foundation Guardian Angel and a member of the Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation.  Over many years, Darrell has volunteered and sponsored numerous events and programs in the community.
Darrell started off by saying if there is anything the last two plus years has taught us as Rotarians and individuals, it is the need to be flexible and willing to adapt to change.  COVID-19 restrictions and the fear of COVID has dramatically changed the way people interact with the world outside our homes.  Darrell was very proud of the Rotary Club of Belleville and its ability to adapt first through the initial onset of COVID-19 and transitioning to a virtual model under Past President Doug Peterson and then a year of virtual meetings with some limited personal interactions under Past President Tim McKinney and finally the first cautionary steps back to active club interactions that have occurred during the past 12 months.  At last, we seem to be in a place where we can have a degree of comfort to meet again on a regular basis in face to face settings as well as continuing the use of a hybrid structure which allows those who cannot join us personally, to attend via a virtual setting.
The Rotary Club of Belleville has continued to operate and flourish, continuing to help both local and global communities through volunteer efforts and financial resources that saw us provide support to the building of the Hospice Quinte site, provide tremendous financial support to the people of Ukraine displaced and challenged by the war in their country, provide meals for both our local and indigenous communities, provide an outlet for the arts through our virtual Rotary Music Festival, planting 3,500 plus trees within Belleville to create a greener future.  These are just a few of the organizations that have been positively impacted by the work of the Rotary Club of Belleville.
As President of the Club, Darrell was afforded the opportunity to have a much greater appreciation of the scale of impact of our Club, as well as Rotary around the world.  How much better is our community, our country, our world because of the impact of Rotarians.  One specific goal that the Club achieved was contributing to the Rotary Foundation.  The goals for the Annual Fund and Polio Plus exceeded expectations through initiatives of the Club including the Polio Plus Tulip program and the support by individual Rotarians through Every Rotarian Every Year and donations made personally by members.
Darrell spoke about the highlights of the past year and the continued level of commitment, enthusiasm and engagement of our members and the opportunity to continue as a viable and impactful club.  We have been blessed by a succession of interesting and timely speakers, presenting on a diversity of topics, bringing the world to our doorstep.  Darrell acknowledged the many people responsible for the success that the Club has realized during the past twelve months including the Board of Directors -- Terry Thomas, Tracey Vandervoort, Samantha Reid, Collin Myers, Len Kennedy and the Executive -- Tim McKinney, Peter Malone, Karen Baker and Jo-Anne Wheeler.  And last, but certainly not least, Darrell thanked his children Marianne and Ryan, grandsons Theo and Hudson and his wife Carmen for their support and love as he fulfilled the responsibilities as President of the Rotary Club of Belleville.  Thanked by Tracy Bray for his time and energy that Tracy jokingly referred to as his practice year.