We celebrate the successful thirty year program to end Polio, a major initiative where Rotary International has partnered with the United Nations and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to eradicate this disease.
Together with five other Rotary clubs, we embarked on a project to support the people of Maubisse in Timor Leste as they work to establish community amenities including a kitchen and recreation centre. Together, we secured grants to fill shipping containers with medical and educational supplies and sent these early in 2017.
Each year, we contribute funds towards Disaster Aid Australia. In 2016, the club has already sent funds to support the people of Haiti following the devastation of Hurricane Matthew. In addition the Club supports the SkyHydrant programme which provides clean water to communities.
A small and dedicated group of knitters in Foster make jumpers for refugee children in Turkey and using the Rotary network, these are forwarded to Rotarian Nilay Arkun (a member of a Rotary Group Study team from Turkey to Foster in 2016) of the Rotary Club of Ankara Kavaklidere where they are distributed to the babies in need.
Wheelchairs For Kids is a project of the Rotary Club of Scarborough WA. in the past 20 years the project has constructed and distributed over 41,000 specially built wheelchairs to disabled children in over 83 countries around the world. In June 2018 the Rotary Club of Foster worked with the students and staff of Foster Primary School to raise funds for wheelchairs and raised over $4,000, enough for 20 chairs. These have been sent to an orphanage for disabled children in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. A further two chairs have been sent to the Orthopedic Training Centre in Ghana.
We participate in Rotary programs to develop leadership skills and promote world peace and understanding. This year, we have a student on exchange in Canada through the Youth Exchange Program.
The Club also supports the Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) and work with our local schools to invite applicants for Science and leadership programs throughout the year.
Interested young people may contact the President or secretary for more information about Rotary programs for youth.
The markets are the major fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Foster. Held six times a year, the markets are located at the Foster Showgrounds featuring over 200 stalls. The Market celebrated its 40th birthday on 30 December 2018.
The club works in partnership with the Toora Lions Club under the management of the Market Committee. All funds raised are divided between the two clubs and used to support the local community and humanitarian projects.
The Rotary Train is a feature of the markets, taking hundreds of children for a ride around the football oval and raising money for local organisations supporting children and youth. For the past two years the funds have been used to buy books for the parents of new-born babies at South Gippsland Hospital – the books have been written by note local children’s author Alison Lester.
The wood raffles are held five times a year to raise money for a local organisation. This year, the focus is on local facilities, so the money raised this year is going to support projects at the Foster Swimming Pool, seating at the Foster War Memorial & Arts Centre, the new extensions at the Rotary Centenary House, Traralgon and new lighting for the operating theatre at South Gippsland Hospital. Past fund-raisers have been for local schools, hospital, aged care facilities and emergency services.
The Mt Nicoll Walking Track was completed in 2018. This 50th Anniversary project is funded by a Rotary District Grant, the Toora & Foster Community Bank, and the club. It is anticipated that it will form Stage 1 of a walking track from Mt Nicoll to Fish Creek, providing extensive views across to the Prom and Corner Inlet for those who enjoy a challenge.