The Rotary Club of Fort McMurray was chartered in 1977 with a Recreation Lease on the Airport Road. The club mandate was to administer the lease and steward the land to provide recreation amenities for the community.
One of the early projects was to build an RV campground and as time and money permitted the club undertook to working with the archery club, the motor cycle club and the running club to provide space for a range, biking trails and a triathlon trail for the winter games. As the camp ground operations became profitable the Rotary Club was able to contribute $2.7million to construct Rotary House, a seniors assisted living residence.
Members of the Rotary Club of Fort McMurray and their partner club Fort McMurray Oilsands
The Rotary Clubs (Fort McMurray and Oilsands) have been major contributors to the local community by funding and creating partnerships to ensure sustainability of events and groups like the Oilsands Rotary Music Festival, 868 YMM-Rotary Northstar RCACS (Air Cadets), Leadership Wood Buffalo, Lifeline Program - ensuring Fort McMurray Seniors were the only users in North America to receive the service free. Fort McMurray Firefighters Social Society PAD Program (Rotary purchased AEDs), Keyano Student Bursary, sponsored the Tom Jackson — Singing for Supper Program for the food bank and K of C Christmas Dinner, The Hub Literacy Program — Alphabet Soup, sponsored presentation of “Clean Scene” Program for Fort McMurray school districts (Mike Ryan, presenter) multiple times, junior curling initiative - to allow all school aged children to participate in school curling program.
Through Rotary International Youth Programs Fort McMurray Rotarians have sponsored numerous high school students on international cultural exchanges, have funded underprivileged/at risk students to outreach and leadership development programs through Rotary’s RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) and RYPEN (Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment) programs.
Rotary volunteers working at the 2017 WinterPLAY event
The Fort McMurray Rotary Club has partnered with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library where children in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo receive a book each month from when they are born until they are five years old.
The books are provided free of charge with Rotary paying shipping and handling costs. Committee members have and continue to travel the Region to meet with leaders and elders to promote the program.
This year The Rotary Club of Fort McMurray will be opening their latest project: the development of an 18-hole golf course on the south end of the City, known as Rotarylinks@Woodbuffalo. As a result of the municipality’s “Design Charrette” exercise in 2003 and 2004 to develop an Area Structure Plan, the public workshops identified a golf course to be an important feature of the Plan. Rotary undertook this major project beginning in 2005.
The course will provide relief to the over crowding experienced by the two existing courses. Rotarylinks will operate through a not-for-profit board, therefore profits after operations will be dedicated to club projects.
The club meets every Wednesday at 12pm at the Canadian Legion Hall in Fort McMurray.
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