Posted by Jeffrey Wheeler on Mar 31, 2021
Did you know that there are 5 Rotary Clubs of Winchester in the world?  Four are in the USA (Kentucky, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Virginia) and one is in the UK.  The 5 Presidents of these decided it would be interesting and fun to start holding regular informal get togethers this Rotary year, hosted by the UK Club. So far, we have held 5 of these using zoom, just for the 5 Presidents, making the discussions easier.  We hope these will continue into the next Rotary year, with 4 of the 5 Presidents changing and one doing a second term.  We have discussed and shared a whole variety of topics such as the many different and innovative ways to fundraise, how to attract new members especially younger ones, projects and, of course, how we have all coped during the pandemic.  We also managed to take a lovely screenshot photo with local landmarks for our respective backgrounds.
 
And a paragraph introducing each of the Clubs and Presidents:
 
I am Richard Spalding, President of Winchester UK Rotary, home of Alfred the Great, King of England 886-899.  Chartered in 1927 and with 60 members, we normally meet on the 2nd and 4th Monday evenings of the month in the Royal Hotel and for breakfasts on the 3rd Wednesday, though all currently on zoom.  This year, we have done our best to focus on supporting 2 homeless charities Trinity Winchester and Winchester Churches Nightshelter, financially and collecting and passing on donations, as we have for food banks, care homes and the local prison.  Supporting many overseas projects, it is our turn to lead on a tripartite project with twinned Clubs of Oberhausen, Germany and Le Havre, France, this year being for harvesting water in Gujarat, India.  With 2 polio survivors in the Club, we actively support Polio Plus and we have also started an online stroke club. For fundraising, we organised the 25th Clarendon Marathon, are selling A Cat Called Smokey (written by one of our members) and initiated a city-wide lottery; we also held the 3rd annual Pancake Race, though done online this year.
 
I am Richard (Dick) Kent, President of the Rotary Club of Winchester, Virginia which is poised to celebrate its 100th year anniversary this September.  Winchester Virginia is geographically located at the top of the Shenandoah Valley and 75 miles from Washington DC.  Our club currently has 167 members, which is most helpful when it comes to supporting the many activities and fundraising events our club is engaged in each year.  The following are some of the annual fundraising events that take place each year:  Apple Harvest Festival, Kaleidoscope Gala, Rotary Golf Tournament, Rummage Sale, International Affair of Food and Wine, Healing Field of Honor.  We are also proud of our record of community involvement having supported through volunteer hours or financial contributions literally dozens of civic outreach programs; here are a few: Special Love - assists children with cancer; Directory Project - ensures school age children have dictionaries; Student Loans - financial assists to qualified students; Youth Exchange Programs - facilitates High School age students to study abroad and come to America to study.    
 
I am Jeffrey Wheeler, President of the Rotary Club of Winchester, Massachusetts, for 2020/21 and President-Elect in 2021/22.  With approximately 60 members, we normally meet every Thursday at noon at the local Episcopal Church, though we meet on zoom right now and get anywhere from 15 to 30 participants.  We also have a Service club that meets once month with 17 or so members who are also using zoom for now.  Our focus for this year has been on our community, keeping all members engaged and working on as many small projects as we can.  Many of our projects have been connected to food drives.  We have 3-4 major events in a normal year: Golf tournament, Pancake breakfast, Chilli Festival and Polar Plunge; then a number of smaller projects: Meals on Wheels and Mission of Deeds.  We have been lucky this year to have a very active High School Interact group lead by 5 great students and they have been participating in everything.
 
I am Tim Janes, President of the Winchester, Kentucky Rotary Club for the first part of the year.  Winchester, KY is the home of the Ale-8-One soft drink.  Our club has 30 members and we normally meet at Woody's Sports Bar and Grill every Friday at Noon for a lunch meeting and speaker.  Meetings have been conducted via zoom this past year.  In addition to donating to several local non-profits and charities, the club offers a scholarship program to students at George Rogers Clark High School.  The club is currently focused on increasing membership with a letter-writing campaign. In addition, we work to secure interesting speakers that will attract new members.
 
I am Kristie Bell, President of the Winchester Noon Rotary Club, Tennessee.  Our club was chartered on March 27,1947. We currently have 42 active members.  Prior to the pandemic, our club would meet on Tuesday at noon for lunch, meeting at our local Franklin County Country Club.  Since March of 2020, we have been meeting primarily by zoom with a few in-person meetings held outside in a local park.  Our club was the first Rotary Club to receive the Star Award in 2004-2005 and has continued to receive the award every year.  Our major fundraisers consist of a Low Country Boil Dinner, the Benefit Dinner & Reverse Raffle and a Ham Breakfast at Christmas for Operation Noel.  We support local causes such as Habitat for Humanity, youth soccer (Rotary Soccer Park), Operation Noel, scholarships to local high school graduates and various other smaller local causes.  We help sponsor the Huntland Interact Club which is very active in our community; they have participated/helped in over 100 different events this school year and always receive top honors at the Rotary Interact Conference.
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