Fri 12th July 2019 at 19.18 -

Myth busting about the function and purpose of the Rotary movement is top of the agenda for the incoming President of Worthing Rotary Club.

New President for 2019-2020 Marlene Butler

Marlene Butler, who took up the chain of office on July 1, will usher in a new

structure for the club, which she admits has the reputation of a retired gentleman’s

luncheon club.

“Rotary Clubs have had an unfortunate link to that image in the past but it has totally

changed in recent years and the whole Rotary International movement has

recognised that if we are to remain a force for good in the local community, we must

do things very differently.”

At one time it was a men-only bastion but now there are equal numbers of women

members. Internationally, Rotary is pledged to eradicate polio and has made giant

strides towards this – something the local club will continue to support.

But Marlene plans to change Worthing Rotary’s image, focus and profile in the town.

“I want the community to talk to us about how we can help: what is needed and

where and we will support them. I aim to recognise smaller charities struggling for

funds; increase our involvement in the community and will be looking to set up a new

Community Champion award scheme locally – for young people, adults and

community organisations. We will be inviting nominations from across the community

for the awards.

Marlene has been a Rotarian for five years, joining when she moved south from her

native Nottinghamshire. She firmly believes that there is an even more important

place for Rotary in the community today. “We are uniquely placed to help the

community because we are part of it, formed from its members. Our doors are open

and we want local people to contact us, tell us how we can help. Businesses which

may want to work with us to increase their charitable profile.”

Each year, the Rotary President selects local organisations as their chosen charity

for the year. So far, Marlene aims to support Sussex Red Cross and Worthing

Community Chest – and will be working with both to reach diverse parts of the


Young people will be a real focus with schemes like Young Writers of the Year;

Youth Speaks – a debating competition; Hobbies and Leisure exhibition which aims

to show what is on offer for young people to fill their spare time.

“We need people to talk to us: we are changing our meeting format so that we meet

once a month in the early evening to attract more young members and we will be

going out to local organisations to tell them what we can do and to ask how we can

help them.”

Marlene’s first big event will be a new one for Worthing Rotary – the Promenade

Walk on Sunday August 18. In partnership with Worthing Community Chest, this will

be either a 5 or 10k walk along the seafront from Goring Green to Splash Point and

back (10k) or half that distance and back for 5k. Entry fees of £10 per person will be

split between Rotary and Worthing Community Chest. Every walker will be able to

raise money through prior sponsorship for their own charities.

More details on our website

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