The Castlegar Rotary Club has had to change much of its operations due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Club president Stan Hadikin said members have been meeting virtually since March.
“We made the decision to stop in-person meetings before the B.C. government’s initial announcement about the crisis,” said Hadikin.
“After I looked at all the video conferencing opportunities out there, I started a Zoom platform for our club. That’s kind of how we kept ourselves going.”
Members have been meeting virtually during their original in-person meeting times on Tuesdays. Business operations and fundraising opportunities have been some items discussed.
Getting members to transition to virtual meetings hasn’t been easy, especially since many had outdated computer software or difficulty using Zoom.
Fundraising opportunities for the club have also been impacted by COVID-19.
“Our major fundraiser, the Diamond Dinner held annually in May, had to be cancelled due to the pandemic,” said Hadikin. “Since then, we’ve also had to cancel Sunfest Pancake Breakfast and our rose sales for Thanksgiving.”
Rotary anticipates it will still have its Christmas tree sales fundraiser with physical distancing measures in place.
The cancellation of events has already had a serious financial impact on the club.
“Since the COVID-19-related health restrictions were put in place, we’ve probably lost about $40,000,” Hadikin said.
“However, we were fortunate that we had a little bit of a bank account built up and we’ve been drawing money from our reserves.”
While Hadikin anticipates the funds will last until early next year, he said the club could have to drastically change the way they do fundraising efforts in the future.
“We’ve talked a lot about different possible fundraisers over the last few months,” said Hadikin. “Some things we’re looking at include virtual raffles or an online silent auction.”
Call Hadikin at 250-608-2757 if you want to volunteer or donate to the club.