Local Rotarian Helen McDonnell has made history by assuming the presidency of the local Rotary Club, becoming its first ever female president.
Over the next year she will lead the club in its support of local, national and international initiatives.
The new President took over from the immediate Past President Jeremy Arthur at a handover ceremony in the Everglades Hotel on Tuesday, July 1.
She said: “I am hugely honoured to be appointed Rotary Club of Londonderry’s first female president which I believe is a reflection of how Rotary is moving with the times.
“My focus for my year in office will be to embrace the Rotary International theme 2014 which is ‘Light up Rotary’, sharing our services, strengthening our club and letting our light shine in our communities.
“I will be supporting local projects which, amongst many, includes the Rotary Tree of Remembrance and Rotary Foyle Foodbank, a new initiative which is starting to make a huge impact in Derry, national projects such as a human milk bank to help premature babies, and international projects such as a rainwater harvesting project in Kenya.”
Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, part of Rotary International, has 1,835 clubs and more than 53,000 members.
Founded in 1905 in Chicago it is now the world’s largest international service organisation with 1.2 million professional men and women as members.
Many members say they join Rotary because it gives them a chance to give something back to their community.
The first female president of the Londonderry club concurs.
She said: “Rotary is a fantastic way to make a real difference, and I would like to begin my term in office by inviting members of the public to get in touch with our Rotary club and find out how they too can be part of this amazing network of friends serving their local community.”
In local communities alone, each club raises tens of thousands of pounds for community projects and local charities, often more.
Members also volunteer their time - supervising and organising community events, running projects to promote the achievements of young people and coordinating educational programmes.
There are 33,000 clubs in 200 countries and geographical areas. Rotary clubs are open to men and women who are business, professional or community leaders who want to use their experience for the benefit of others. Rotary initiates local and global projects to promote world understanding and peace and improve life conditions for people of all ages and cultures
More information on joining Rotary can be found on www.londonderryrotary.org or Londonderry Rotary on Facebook.