Cambodian children receive gift of bicycles
By Chad Ingram
Mindenites can help make the Christmas season a little merrier for children in Cambodia by buying them bicycles through the Minden Rotary Club.
“That becomes a form of family transportation,” says club president Betty Mark. “It’s not just for a kid to get to school.”
Members Bill Obee and Kay Godden will travel to Cambodia in January to deliver the bicycles, which cost $50 each. Obee will be returning in February to help build a school.
Mark, a retired Archie Stouffer Elementary School teacher who recently took over the proverbial helm as club president, has been a Rotarian for the past four years.
“I had a number of people approach me and ask me to join,” Mark says. “I thought that it would be a good fit. It was a nice way to meet new people.”
Small but mighty, the Minden Rotary Club is 20 members strong. Some recent projects have included donating $15,000 for automatic doors at the new Minden Food Centre, as well as a $2,000 donation for playground equipment at the Lochlin Community Centre, which the club is trying to match through a grant.
It’s also working toward new signage for Rotary Park, a Minden Hills hidden gem off Highway 35, adjacent to Kawartha Dairy.
“We’d like more people to know about it,” Mark says.
Among the club’s annual activities is the Minden Bluegrass Festival, which it hosts at the fairgrounds each July. “It’s for the community,” Mark says, explaining it’s not a big fundraiser for the club itself. “We get people coming in, they’re buying groceries, they’re buying gas, they’re going to restaurants.”
The festival is joint effort with the Minden Kin Club and Minden Legion, the former operating a campsite at the fairgrounds during the event and the latter looking after the provision of refreshments.
The club is seeking a corporate sponsor for this year’s festival.
A large annual fundraiser for the club is its dinner and auction, typically held in June. “Those funds stay in the community,” Mark says. “We send kids to camp.”
Anyone interested in purchasing a bicycle for a child in Cambodia can contact Obee at 705-489-3333 or Godden at 705-286-4469.
Anyone interested in joining the club can contact Mark at 705-286-4754. While members are encouraged to make it to as many meetings as possible, Mark said there is a misconception any missed meetings must be made up for, which is not the case.