Now that the Rotary year 2021-2022 has ended, I wanted to highlight some of our accomplishments this year.  At the start of the year (in July) we hoped to be coming out of the pandemic, but the arrival of the Delta variant and then Omicron forced us to pivot yet again. We are people of action though, and we found our way to keep going! 
We returned to in-person meetings on August 3rd, at our new home of 25 The Great Rd (First Parish Congregational Church). We are all so grateful to John Castricum for offering the use of the space - it has provided the home we needed at just the right time! Thanks to our tech savvy members (a special shout out to Victor and Sze-Wen) we were able to trouble-shoot our way through most of our issues and have become very comfortable with hybrid meetings. The technology has proved invaluable in allowing us to stay connected through the various waves and infections. Anyone can attend our meetings from anywhere in the world!  Although we lost 2 members this year we now have an equal number of men and women in the club
 
Due to the pandemic, we didn’t get to host our usual fundraising events, like Bedford Day and Breakfast with Santa. We did however have a booth at Bedford Day in September and shared information about Rotary at the fair. We had other fundraisers, including the community-wide Scavenger Hunt, the Spring Cleaning Clothing Drive and our Flatbread restaurant night and raffle. 
We did have a number of social gatherings, despite the best efforts of Covid to keep us apart!  
  • July 2021: Evening at Flatbread with a large number of the club in attendance
  • August 2021: Bedford Rotary Family Outing at the Knoll (hosted by Nat)
  • October 2021: Apple Picking - another family outing!
  • November 2021: Rotary Scavenger Hunt - this was both a fun social activity AND a fundraiser led by Christine Pinney
  • November 2021: Thanksgiving social with tasty Turkey Terrific sandwiches!
  • April 2022: Trivia night supporting Zanmi Beni, competing against other clubs in the district (of course we won!)
  • May 2022: Membership Social at Nat’s House
  • May 2022: Fundraiser at Flatbread gave us another occasion to socialize
The Rotary International theme for this year was Serve to Change Lives - a theme that resonated with me. My goal was to do even more service projects than ever before, and expand our reach by working on projects with other groups and organizations in the community. I think we succeeded! Here’s a list of service projects we did:
This year saw the beginning of many initiatives including our efforts to create a Native Pollinator Garden in town (in progress), our District Grant to build water catchment basins with Friendly Water for the World in Kenya, work in DEI led by Ralph (working with Bedford Embraces Diversity and Rotary Club of World Disability Advocacy and the Rotary Disabilities Advisors Group), which directly resulted in us supporting Club Foot Shoe Building in Kenya.

A special shout out to members who went above and beyond to make this year a very special year - Christine McLellan, Marc Hamilton, Christine Pinney and Sze-Wen Kuo. The Rotarian of the Year this year epitomizes everything a Rotarian should be. He has supported every service project, and every social event.  His roles include - Executive Secretary, Membership committee member, Bric² evangalist, DEI ally (Bedford Embraces Diversity and Rotary Club of World Disability Advocacy), Environmental champion, Bedford POPS supporter and Co-President Elect. Thank you Ralph Hammond!
 
 
 
Finally, it is all of you who make the Bedford club the best Rotary Club!  Without your passion for giving, we could not accomplish all of the great things we did this past year.  Whether you showed up at a service event, offered support for our projects, helped a fellow member in some special way, you all contributed to make this past year a great year by Serving to Change Lives! It was a great honor and a privilege to serve as your President! Let us now focus on the new Rotary year and our new President, Dawn Kociubes. With Dawn’s enthusiastic and capable leadership, we have another incredible year to look forward to. Thank you and welcome to Dawn!
 
See the full presentation here: 
2021-22YearInReview by BedfordRotary