Posted by Judy McBribe, president ARCC
We are very pleased to have an opportunity to write a short article regarding our Community Corps in the District Bulletin.  Thank you, Fay Campbell, for providing us with this opportunity.  Let me first provide you with a brief history of our club.
In 2011 a friend and Past Governor, Armin Thiele, noticed that our social group was close and enjoyed each others company, partaking in several activities together.  He suggested we form a Rotary club in our community of Aylmer, Quebec.  Many of us were interested in the concept but work and family life raised concern regarding the time required to hold weekly meetings and working on major fundraising projects.  Armin suggested that we consider starting a Community Corps sponsored by a regular Rotary Club.  This concept seemed less demanding and in March of 2011 we received our Charter in the presence of many Rotarians from Hull Rotary as well as the District Governor.
We are now in our tenth year serving our community and dedicated to helping organizations such as the Food Bank, Women’s Shelter, Meals on Wheels and our Legion.  We also provide funds to assist students with supplies required at the start of their school year.  Our signature cause are the Christmas baskets we deliver to 10 families the week before Christmas.
Our fundraising focuses on activities that brings us together in enjoyable social settings.  We have hosted themed dances, BBQ’s, Chicken & Rib dinners, a major Gala, dart, and pool tournaments.  All these activities have allowed us to make a difference and make Rotary visible in the community.  However, despite our successes the COVID-19 pandemic has curtailed our fundraising options.
Our members have continued to stay in contact and while respecting Health Canada guidelines on social distancing and the wearing of masks, we still manage to see each other in smaller groups.  The imposed lockdown means that our fundraising activities have not taken place.  Despite this, the club managed to distribute cheques totalling $4,000 this past June to three deserving organizations.
The pandemic restrictions had prevented us from meeting formally however many continued, for a time, to meet via Zoom sessions.  The provincial governments have now relaxed the rules for public gatherings creating an opportunity to resume fundraising.  Our members have agreed to put on a golf tournament in September that will be limited to 60 persons.  This will ensure social distancing is respected on the course as well as the meal afterwards.  The important thing we strived to do over the past 5 months is to stay in touch and retain those bonds we have forged over the past ten years.  We feel this is important to the health of our club and the enjoyment we get from helping those in need.