CORNER BROOK The new president of the Corner Brook Rotary Club has big aspirations for his year at the helm, but it all starts with a boost to membership.
Pat Higgins, in his short time with the city’s Rotary club, has quickly realized what many people in service clubs have — it is difficult to attract and retain members. The Corner Brook native, who in recent years returned to the city and is now a realtor, is confident he can change that.
With its increased presence on social media, in addition to continued coverage from regular media, Higgins said the Rotary club has grown its public persona. However, the president, who gave his introductory address to his fellow Rotarians Thursday, said there is a long way to go.
He believes increasing the club’s profile is one way to increase upon the 39 members.
“I think it is extremely important to have new members,” he said. “I don’t think the vast majority of the city knows what we do or what impact we have.”
With more members, Higgins said the club can do more locally and internationally, two of its main priority areas.
“We are a service club, we don’t spend any money that we bring in through our two main fundraising events,” he said. “We give it back to the community and to our world obligations through Rotary International.
“In order to have projects and manage projects, even if they are on the other side of the globe, you have to have people to do it. We have taxed ourselves almost to the maximum capacity within our club.”
He said his year as president will have a focus on bettering what they currently do rather than taking on any new or extravagant projects. However, the club has its sights set on some additional service work. The key to increasing its reach though, lies with manpower.
“We need more people so we can do a better job in the community, around the world, and so we can take on more projects,” he said.
“We have speakers in here all the time that we want to donate money to or resources to, and we can’t do it always because we don’t have the money or resources. It takes people to do that.”
Higgins said the club has long wanted to increase its participation in international work, partnering with Rotary clubs around the world and leveraging funds through Rotary International. He hopes to see that in 2012/2013.
He would also love to be able to do more in the community.
“There’s never enough places to go in the city for recreation, maybe its for children,” he said. “The city is working on things like the skatepark. We can do projects like that, and we want to do projects like that.”