Climbing to the top…

Saturday night the hottest ticket in town was the 2nd Annual Rotary Spring Fling.  The Rotary Club of Port McNeill created the event last year to raise awareness and funds for an indoor climbing wall in the North Island Secondary School gym.  For many of the 100+ people in attendance it was their first view of the completed wall.  Interested climbers quickly signed a waiver, donned the proper gear and strategized their route of footholds to the top.

Acoustics in a school gym are always a challenge but local band The Shifters was a crowd pleaser performing sing along, make you want to dance oldies but goodies.

Well done !! to the 24 students involved in setting up the venue, meal prep and serving the meal.  Some of them are Interact members which is a service club for young people ages 12 to 18, sponsored & supported by the Rotary Club.  Interact fosters leadership, service to others and international understanding.  And a shout out to all the cooks in the kitchen — dinner was absolutely delicious !!  Big bowls of Greek and Caesar salad followed by a generous serving of lasagna. Garlic heaven !!  For those that still had room (heck ya I did) there was an ice-cream sundae bar with choices of sorbet, ice-cream, sprinkles and sauce.

After dinner the Masters of Ceremony Chris Stewart and Cheryl Jorgenson (who were an awesome tag team and no they didn’t pay me to say that) outlined the history of the climbing wall and the ongoing efforts.  The main focus of the this year’s fundraising however is the Rotary Trail.  Phase 1 of the trail leads from the intersection of Mine Road & Campbell Way to Hwy 19.  Phase 2 continued the trail from the t-intersection heading north to the first logging road creating a huge loop.  The vision is to extend the trail from the t-intersection of Hwy 19 & Campbell Way south to the airport.


After the dinner plates were cleared away the live auction started.  So here’s how it worked.  Donated items displayed on the tables were all numbered.  That number was placed in a helium balloon.  Then the auctioneers would tell us which category the balloon was in — either $30 to $50 range or $50 & up range. The successful bidder would then be given the balloon to pop and find out what number item they’d won.  Being a multi-generational event the first items were geared to the younger guests.  When all the balloons were purchased the auction moved onto the bigger items in a real live auction.  There was a signed Trevor Linden jersey, a trip to Nimmo Bay Resort, a helicopter ride with West Coast Helicopters and loads of gift certificates.

When I asked Rotary President Deborah Murray yesterday how much money they’d raised she told me they don’t have a final tally yet but it was a very successful event.

Coming up Saturday May 6th is the first Rugged & Wild Rotary Race a 10km run/walk/bike race.  Entry is $10 and there will be entertainment at the start/finish line.  The Farmer’s Market will also be set up onsite.  Murray envisions the race morphing into something runners/walkers will add to their list of events.  Next year there will be timers and participants will be given a number.

For more information visit on the race or Rotary Club please visit: