During the early weeks of 2024 Ellesmere Rotary has been busy with the preparations for the 2024 Rotary Regatta that will take place on The Mere on Sunday 7th of July.

They recently announced that the two main beneficiaries will be Brain Tumour Research and The Plantation Wood Ellesmere. The former charity has much local support in Ellesmere with Ella’s Army busy in many fundraisers. The latter is a charity formed six years ago to manage the upkeep and safety of the wood and its public paths for the many local residents and visitors that enjoy using it.

Entries for the Regatta are now being accepted and crews are urged to get their application forms in as soon as possible. The pop-up bookshop in The Square has been back in operation on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday mornings since late January, with all proceeds destined to go to local good causes.

At a Presentation evening held on Wednesday 21st of February 2024 Ellesmere Rotary disbursed the proceeds of their annual Tree of Light (ToL) appeal at The Ellesmere Hotel.  As a prelude to that, Community Service Chair Bob McBride announced the recipient of the Ellesmere Rotary 2023 Community Champion Award. It will surprise nobody in the Town (except herself) that this is Jan Oliver. Jan is the local area Secretary of the British Legion and has run the tea shop in the Market Hall for many years raising money for veterans, plus the sterling work she does on The Comrades Club Committee and for The Poppy Appeal each year. When Rotary has needed to find extra marshals for events, her name is always on the list. Bob said, “When something needs doing for a good cause, the word ‘No’ is not in Jan’s vocabulary. She is an exemplar of the Rotary motto, “Service Above Self”.

The ToL appeal raised £2150, which was divided equally between Cancer Research UK and Hope House Hospice. Vicky Bradbeer, Area Fund Raising Manager for Hope House, gave members a report on the work that it carries out in support of 750 families in Shropshire, Cheshire, North Wales and Mid Wales.

The expert care and treatment for children with cancer at Hope House, Oswestry and Ty Golbaith, Conwy is provided at no cost to the families. Public Funds cover the first two months of a year, and the rest of the £7.5 million annual budget is found from voluntary fund-raising efforts such as the ToL appeal.

Ellesmere Rotary President, Geoff Corfield thanked our local Tesco for allowing the tree to be housed in their foyer, and also the many traders in Ellesmere who helped to distribute appeal leaflets, plus the members and other volunteers who filled up the collection roster. Geoff said: “These two charities do vital work in our community and once again, despite there being difficult economic times for all, Ellesmere Rotary’s appeal has highlighted the fact that the generous people of Ellesmere are ever ready to support others less fortunate than themselves.”

Vicky Bradbeer with Bob McBride.

Jan Oliver and Geoff Corfield.