Posted by Shelly Duben on May 30, 2019
Al Morka is proud to serve this year as the president of the Rotary Club of Gore Bay. Al transferred into the Gore Bay Club from Chatham a few years ago and members say that the club is flourishing under his leadership. President-Elect Karen Simpson says that she has a tough act to follow!
 
The club currently has 15 very dedicated members, some of whom travel literally from the farthest ends of the island to meet in Gore Bay.  They have a member in Meldrum Bay and another in Manitowaning.  The distance between their homes is 137 Km.
 
The club’s most visible project, and probably the one with the greatest impact on the community, is the Gore Bay Medical Centre.  The Gore Bay Club built the medical centre and turned it over to the town for ongoing management.  The club continues to support the medical centre through its registered charity.  Most recently they donated $20,000 for mandated upgrades to the Telehealth equipment. 
 
The Rotary Club of Gore Bay also supports a number of other initiatives on Manitoulin Island including the following: 
 
  • Angel Bus, which is a community-managed accessible bus used to transport seniors or folks with special needs to medical appointments or social activities 
  • Sea Cadets
  • Bursaries for Manitoulin Secondary School 
  • Christmas hamper project run by Manitoulin Family Services 
  • Purchasing and wrapping Christmas gifts for residents at the local nursing home who do not have family to help them celebrate 
  • Providing sand for the Rotary Beach 
  • Purchasing picnic tables for the waterfront area in Gore Bay 
  • Donating to Special Olympics.  This year our members will help operate the concession stand at their annual baseball tournament 
  • Provide free hot chocolate at the Santa Claus parade 
  • Providing a hand up to island residents who are faced with loss of income or increased expenses due to medical issues. 
Internationally Gore Bay Rotarians support the Guatemalan Literacy project.
 
This busy club holds several annual fundraising events to fund their projects.  The goal with their events is to provide fellowship for the community as well as raise funds. As someone once remarked at an event, "this is as much about raising friends as raising funds".
 
The Thanksgiving Weekend Produce Auction is a popular event that has been held annually for several decades.  Local farmers and gardeners share their produce, preserves and pickles, and baking with the Rotary Club. Members have lots of fun auctioning it off.  A highlight is watching the kids come up to claim the pumpkins they have bought for Halloween. 
 
The club partners with the Gore Bay Theatre Group to present a dinner theatre.  This annual event is usually sold out to an appreciative audience. 
 
The club hosts a pancake breakfast and fish fry as part of the Gore Bay Harbour Days weekend each July.  It is extremely popular and some visitors have told members that they book their holidays so that they can attend.  Last year Rotarians served over 500 fish dinners.  For club members, the most special thing about this event is the amazing support they receive from Rotarians from other clubs in the District.  These folks come to Gore Bay and work beside Gore Bay Rotarians for the whole day, and members are very grateful for the help!
 
Finally, the Gore Bay Club hosts the bar for the annual Frosty Cup.  This event is a hockey tournament organized by a group of Gore Bay residents to raise funds for community members in need. 
 
If you happen to be on Manitoulin Island on a Thursday evening, please consider doing a make-up at the Rotary Club of Gore Bay. Meetings take place on 6:15 PM at 6 Eleanor St., Gore Bay.
 
Visit our "Spotlight on Service" Page for more messages about other clubs.