let's face it: 2020 has been a very difficult year for all of us. Covid-19 has completely transformed the life we were used to: we could no longer carry out our work without respecting major safety regulations, our vacations and leisure opportunities may have had to be canceled, and, much worse, we were in many cases separated from those closest to us. Suddenly in March we could no longer give hugs to our children, grandchildren, parents or friends. The intimate social contact that we Rotarians have a patent on was suddenly considered taboo and inappropriate.
This also had major consequences for our Rotary club: our program was completely disrupted, the change of power and the fund raising had to be postponed several times, our weekly meetings could no longer continue and our social commitment was hampered.
But Rotary opens opportunities. Our change of power has only been postponed and already plan now to make time in your agenda to be present at our casino night as a fund raising activity. Make your friends and family enthusiastic about this, or even better: give them a coupon at your end of year celebrations to attend our fund raising. In the meantime, we are launching our wine sales to raise funds for our social causes. Do an extra effort to sell as much bottles as you can.
To compensate our meetings in hotel Ramada, we hold an online meeting every week and try to alternate the necessary serious topics with original and pleasant moments. If you were not there yet, don't look for an explanation and come by. Chances are that from then on you are convinced to come a lot more. The effort is limited and and you can attend the meeting from any place.
And our social commitment is clearly demonstrated by supporting the placed children at OLO in Brasschaat around Sinterklaas or the donation of 6 laptops for children from Lucia to follow online lessons. We are planning a number of new actions for next year that we will schedule in function of the covid measures. Please follow the information on our website closely.
Rotary opens Opportunities. This is a challenge for each of us. Let's help the weakest in our society even better than we did before, they need our help now more than ever, while at the same time trying to improve our mutual friendship in Rotary. Let's 'be there' for those people who need us.
Although the end of year celebrations will be different from what we are used to, I wish you, your family members, your family and all those who are dear to you a warm period. Whether you are far away from each other or close, whether we will see each other before the end of the year or not, whether you are enthusiastic or downhearted, I will give you my (virtual) warm hugs and hope you find a way to do end this year as cozy as possible.