NEWS FROM THE ROTARY CLUB OF WILLENHALL.
4th February 2020
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Members of the Rotary Club have had a particularly busy autumn and early part of the winter with a number of projects in the Willenhall area designed to help the local community and also to raise funds for charity.   Between October 28 and Remembrance Sunday on November 10 Club members were in the Morrison's Superstore in the town collecting for the Poppy Day Appeal on behalf of the Royal British Legion. This they have done for the past few years and, as usual, due to the generosity of local people a considerable amount of money was collected. The Rotary Club would like to thank the management and staff at Morrison's for their considerable help in the organisation of this event.     YOUNG SPEAKER COMPETITION.   For the ninth year in succession the Club organised the "Young Speaker of the Year" competition. Four local schools competed this year and, after the initial rounds held in each school, the final once again took place on Friday, November 29 at the Chart Centre in Gomer Street, Willenhall. The four Schools competing in this year's final were Barcroft, New Invention Junior, Pool Hayes Junior and the Woodlands Academy   As in previous years the standard of the competition was very high and all the pupils did themselves and their respective schools great credit. After due deliberation it was decided that the winners of this year's competition were Alex Hill and Jack Benton of the Woodlands Academy for their presentation of "The Earth's Problems."   The winners receive the shield which the school keeps for a year and the two winning pupils each receive £20 while all the pupils of the other competing teams received £10. All the pupils also receive a certificate   Current Rotary Club President Diane Sims, who presented the awards said,"There are no losers in this competition, just winners and runners up. It gives the Rotary Club members the chance to get involved with our local schools and final of the competition at the Chart Centre is always a really special occasion for everyone involved."   'CHRISTMAS BY CANDLELIGHT' CAROL CONCERT   For the 16th successive year, the Rotary Club, in conjunction with the Parish Church of St. Giles and the St. Giles Church of England Primary School, organised the "Christmas by Candlelight' Carol concert which took place in the Parish Church on Friday evening, December 13.   Three choirs were involved in the concert, the Ashmore Park Choir, the Childrens' Singing Club from St. Giles school and the Sunday 'Kool' group from St. Giles Church. These annual concerts are always very special occasions, bringing the Willenhall community together at Christmas and this year's was no exception being attended by a large congregation  who created a joyous atmosphere in the church.     THE "SANTA SLEIGH."   Members of the Rotary Club would like to thank all the people of Willenhall and the surrounding areas who once again supported the "Santa Sleigh" during the run-up to Christmas.   The sleigh was 'out and about' in the whole area, on a number of occasions between Monday the 9th and Friday the 20th of December as well as being 'static' at the Morrison's Superstore on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd.   As well as touring the area the sleigh paid a visit to the Tollhouse Restaurant on the evening of Monday, December 16 where a 'grotto' had been erected for the children visiting the restaurant with their parents.   Later on that same evening the sleigh was taken to the "Royal Oak" pub in Portobello. At this pub, the Parent and Carer Support Group meet each Wednesday to support parents of children with additional needs from the Walsall, Wolverhampton and wider areas to offer support to parents and to enable children to socialise and to get involved in different activities. The group was formed in 2018.   In the grotto, at the pub, the children not only met Santa Claus but Mother Christmas, a polar bear and one of Santa's reindeers too.   It was a special evening for all the children, their parents and helpers, and it is hoped that the Rotary Club will be able to visit the "Royal Oak" with the sleigh if future years.     RACE NIGHT.   In conjunction with our good friends and colleagues from the Rotary Club of Wednesfield a "Race Night" has once again been arranged which is to take place on Friday evening, February 21, at the Corpus Christie centre at Ashmore Park in Wednesfield. This will be the fifth year in succession this event has been organised the main purpose of which is to ensure that everyone who attends to support it has a very good night out but it also boosts the charity funds of both Rotary Clubs.          
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Ian Henery

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