Saturday, May 18, 2024




In 2021, Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary Club commemorated its’ 25 years of service in the community with a fundraiser called Daybreak Rotary 25 for 25 Challenge. But before I tell you more about the “Challenge,” let me share a little bit about the Daybreak Club.

A check-in with the club’s founders, past presidents Rod Mont and Evelyn Boegh, was all that was needed to learn a bit about its’ inception. They shared that Daybreak has a special vibe that has kept the club productive, relevant, welcoming, and an important part of this Vancouver Island community since 1996. When Rod noticed that the breakfast club he attended was running out of space for members, and there were new people wanting to join, he saw this as an opportunity to start another breakfast club. The Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary Club was chartered with 45 members (9 existing Rotarians and 36 newly inducted members). With weekly meetings starting at 7 am, Rod believes the energy level is better in the morning because “it’s fresh, quick, and we get things done.”

The club’s inaugural cycling event in 1996 was organized in conjunction with the opening of the Inland Island Highway that weaves through Nanaimo. Over 80% of the funds raised went to the city for the ongoing development of the 22km Parkway Trail, alongside the highway. Then 25 years later, in celebration of their anniversary, the Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary Club allotted $25,000 to be donated to 25 non-profit organizations in Nanaimo. The “Challenge” kicked off on May 25-June 25 with 25 organizations registered and 298 registrants who walked, ran, cycled, skateboarded, or hiked for a minimum of 25 kilometres over the month. Each participants’ registration fee of $25 was immediately donated to the organization of their choice. In addition, each organization created a team, and those teams raced around Vancouver Island on a virtual tour through the online platform, My Virtual Mission. Throughout most of the challenge, the Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society and Mid-Island Community Bands competed for first place. Right behind them was the Nanaimo Child Development Centre, Leadership Vancouver Island, and Community Kitchens Society. At the end of the Challenge, and in return for their participation, the Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary Club gave $1000 to each organization that committed to participating and celebrating with the club and worked hard completing the challenge. That is $25,000 that the Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary Club gave back to the community.

The Challenge shone a light on the participating organizations, helped them raise additional funds, promoted Nanaimo trail systems, had people getting fit and having fun, and celebrated the Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary Club’s 25 years of service in the community.

Commemorating the words of Shekha Mehta, Rotary International President 2021, we SERVE TO CHANGE LIVES.

Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary Club Inaugural Event Nanaimo Parkway Challenge 1996
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