Rotary Club celebrates local member’s 30 years of service

·2 min read

The Rotary Club of Shelburne celebrated a significant milestone for one of its members this month as they presented Rotarian Colette Whiting with her 30-year service pin.

Whiting was honoured for her years of service during the Rotary Club’s year-end barbecue on June 20.

“It’s an accomplishment to serve a community for 30 years and we’re very proud to have her as an active member,” said Bobbi Ferguson, co-president of the Shelburne Rotary Club.

“It feels a bit surreal, where did 30 years go,” Whiting told the Free Press. “I’ve certainly enjoyed my time and met lots of new and interesting people, and we’ve seen the town grow.”

Whiting became a member of the Shelburne Rotary Club in 1992, after being approached by then president Rev. Bruce Besley to join. Having opened her local optometry practice, Shelburne Primary Eye Care, a few years prior Whiting said she was looking for away to give back to the community.

“I didn’t really know that much about service clubs, but the community had welcomed and support me so I wanted to give back. When I found out about the Rotary, I thought that it was a good way to support my community who had supported me,” said Whiting.

Whiting joining the Shelburne Rotary Club was a monumental moment in the local club’s history as she became its first female member to join. Prior to 1989, the Rotary Club was exclusively a men’s only club.

“It’s kind of a proud moment and of course it’s opened the door for so many other female members,” said Whiting. “I think everyone would acknowledge that there’s been a great change having men and women working together for the betterment of the community.”

Over the years, Whiting has been a part of both the big and small projects the Shelburne Rotary Club has undertaken. Most recently, she’s been a part of the Splash Pad fundraiser, donating $2,000 from her optometry clinic to the project.

Reflecting back on her three decades of service, Whiting noted the role volunteering has on a community.

“Before I joined Rotary, I wasn’t aware of how much a community depends on their volunteers. Volunteers are what makes the community, what holds the community together. So, getting out and volunteering, whether it’s a big or a small commitment is so important to community.”

Whiting concluded she couldn’t take sole credit for her work with the Shelburne Rotary Club.

“I might be the official Rotarian, but my family has supported me through all of this,” said Whiting.

Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press

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