Felicity and Jim Harpley have committed to improving cooperation between the breakfast and evening clubs through joint projects and improved communication, and consider it apt that this year's theme is Rotary shares.
Annual events for the Portland Bay club are already gearing everyone up for a big year.
The club's coffee caravan is renowned locally for the delicious coffees served up by its volunteers at various community events, and its most regular gig at the legal weekend car drag race gatherings starts soon.
Club members serve coffee and cold milk drinks to locals and guests to the town on Friday night and Saturday while cars rev and belch in preparation for time trials. People travel for as long as six hours to join in on the regular meets, so the club's presence helps support an event that draws visitors to the city.
The club also donates some of the profits it makes from the meets back to the group.
Other events the coffee van has been at in the last year include a council Australia Day breakfast, a volunteer celebration at the city's biggest employer, the Portland Aluminium smelter, the Wood, Wine and Roses festival in Heywood and the Lewis Court Home for the Aged Fete.
The fete for the community-run home also returns this year thanks in no small part to the support of the club, which helps the home's ageing ladies' auxiliary to organise the major fundraiser.
Last year $8000 was raised, which helped refurbish the residents' sitting room.
The residents' chairs were uncomfortable and hard to get out of, so the club's support has been greatly appreciated.
Last year's profits were boosted by the supply of roses by local growers Treloar's Roses, who donated uprooted rose bulbs and stalks to the club.
A clever member who had come up with the idea organised a working bee and donation of relevant items, and the roses were soon potted and settling into their new "homes" before they were sold at the fete. An event that may have reached the end of its natural life is the annual drive-in. The club has organised the only drive-in night for the city once a year for a few years, and it is popular with families for its novelty.
While the event met its goal of raising enough money to give most primary school students in the southern part of our shire Rotary-branded water bottles to encourage hydration, it took a lot of organising.
Erecting a large screen in one of Victoria's windiest places is no mean feat, and although the club overcame that obstacle this year after a blow-over (before the event!) in 2006, the many elements that had to be organised for a relatively small profit mean the club will think carefully about running the event again.
The club also has a number of smaller - but by no means less important - projects on the go throughout the year such as donations in kind contributions of all different items such as hospital beds and books, making use of stamps and corks for Rotary fundraising projects and delivering Meals on Wheels.
The club was also the last community group in Portland to support Red Cross Calling fundraising in its own right after the local Red Cross became too old to do door knocking (although individuals continued the knocking for the cause).
The club experimented with rattling the Red Cross can at traffic lights on a Saturday morning, and were impressed by how much money could be raised for such a significant international organisation.
While Felicity and Jim are heavily involved in the Youth Exchange program, unfortunately the clubs have been unable to commit to hosting an exchange student next year due to the difficulty of finding Rotary host families and the ongoing expense for the relatively small Portland Bay club.
The club has quite a young average age, and has plenty of energy left over for social activities even after all the other activities they are involved in! They enjoyed co-hosting the Group Study Exchange team from Russia a few months ago and made the most of their visit by joining in on tours as well as hosting a joint club gourmet barbecue at a club member's house.
The group's next major social event will be a progressive dinner at members' houses, giving members the chance to share Rotary with family as well as their friends - the club members.
For more information about any of the club's activities contact email@example.com, or phone her on 5522 3008 during business hours.
Caption: Rotary Portland Bay president Felicity Harpley with her husband, Rotary Portland Jim Harpley, epitomising this year's theme of Rotary Shares.