Rotary Club of Bracknell
The Rotary Club of Bracknell was inaugurated on 7 July, 1961, our Mother Club being Ascot. Our Charter was presented in March, 1962.
For the greater part of its life the Rotary Club of Bracknell has enjoyed a membership of 20-30 members. The membership fell below the 30 mark but with the changes to membership requirements we are gaining new members and the future looks good. Enlightened Clubs have voted to encourage Lady membership and the scene is rapidly changing with their enthusiastic input and support.
The Club has always been run on Rotary International guidelines and over the years the Service Committees have helped very many deserving causes and from these activities have sprung longer commitments. In the past, the Rotary Club of Bracknell has combined with other organisations, such as Bracknell Round Table, to run a number of events, including the Donkey Derby and the Bracknell Show. In more modern times we organise and run the Three Counties Cycle Ride which attracts some 800 riders and has over the years raised over £400,000 for a variety of deserving charities. Money was raised from these events for such causes as Freedom from Hunger, the Air Ambulance, Age Concern and many other local and national causes.
From its inception the Rotary Club of Bracknell has held a Town Centre collection each Christmas, spread over two days, thereby raising considerable funds to assist the local community.
Other ongoing commitments include a Carol Service and we take part in a literacy programme assisting local Primary Schools. We are trying to increase Cancer Awareness in Schools, we organise a Stroke Awareness programme in Charles Square in Bracknell, help and run a Young Chef Competition, make Christmas Street Collections and help Age Concern with the packing and distribution of Christmas hampers. In 2011 the Rotary Club organised its first Burns' Night Dinner in aid of Help for Heroes and as this was successful we organised another Burns' Night in January 2012 which raised £1100 for the charity. This event is now established in our annual programme.
We are particularly proud of our past contribution to Polio Plus and also a project jointly with Rotary Foundation, Aquarius'89. This involved the support and funding of an expedition to Kenya by local Adventure Scouts to provide water supply and storage for a village.
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Rotaract is also part of the Rotary International Organisation and is intended for the younger member up to the age of 28. The Rotary Club of Bracknell used to have a Rotaract section and we would be very interested in hearing from anyone willing to help our Club restart the Rotaract Club.