2003 … “Service Above Self” Beginnings
In 2003, Rotary International chartered the Radium Hot Springs Sunrise Rotary Club with 26 members. Ken Bell, Past President of the Invermere Club, became the first President of the Radium Club which was sponsored into Rotary by the Invermere Club. Ken explained that:
Rotary is an organization of business and professional persons united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.
Former District Governor Jim Chiu noted the following in his address to the fledgling Club:
Rotary is about the actions that you take. What lives will you touch, what legacy will you leave, what impact will you [have], and who will you share Rotary with?
The first fundraising project, in partnership with the Radium Hot Springs Resort, was the $1 Million Hole-in-One Challenge. The Kootenay News Advertiser described the project this way:
For $5, golfers get a crack at being closest to the pin. The shooter closest to the pin each day earns a crack at the hole-in-one contest. Golfers on the Springs and at Radium Resort course can get in on the action.
Co-organizer Doug McIntosh stated, “It’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s good for golf and it’s going to be great for the valley.”
Other projects under consideration in 2003 included:
- Walking trail/path in Radium which became the trail extension from Rotary Park to Sinclair Creek
- Youth citizen of the year with secondary education scholarship which continues to be a bursary distributed annually in June to graduating students
- Assist with community clean-up which became the annual Adopt-a-Highway clean-up
- Sponsor student exchanges between local high school students and those of other countries (such as Brazil and Japan).
Although small in number, the Radium Hot Springs Sunrise Rotary Club has accomplished many achievements, both in our home community and internationally:
- One of two bridges crossing Sinclair Creek Trail (2004)
- Radium Hot Springs Rotary Park (2005-06)
- Contributed to trees and lights along Radium’s Main Street
- Trail extension from Rotary Park to Sinclair Creek (2009)
- Outdoor Exercise Circuit (2010, a dream of founding Rotarian Jacque Frederickson)
- Rotary and Columbia Cycle Bike Pump Track
- Community Garden (2013-15)
- Ken Bell Bench (2016
- Trees in front of Radium Hot Springs Centre (2017-18)
- Splash Park (2020-2022)
At the international level, the Sunrise Rotary Club raises funds to eradicate polio worldwide. The Club also contributes on an ongoing basis to many of the other programs that the international organization undertakes (such as supporting an orphanage in Honduras).
To raise funds to support their many endeavors, the Club operates a Concession and Beer Garden at the Annual Classic Car Show and Shine Event each September. Recent events include monthly bingo nights in the Spring and Fall, along with a free spaghetti meal (Mix, Mingle and a Meal) at the beginning of each year.