Debbie is citizen of the year – and that’s a FACT (Rotary News)

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Citizen of the Year Debbie Herron (left) and new president Tanya McLaren
Citizen of the Year Debbie Herron (left) and new president Tanya McLaren

Debbie Herron has won the Rotary Club of Forres’s Citizen of the Year award.

Debbie is Lead Develoment Officer at FACT (Forres Area Community Trust), where she has been since 2013.

Debbie has been instrumental in many of the projects at FACT, and especially the acquisition of the Town Hall as a Community Asset Transfer.

FACT chairman Fabio Villani: said: “Well done, Debbie! Richly deserved of course … you make Forres Area Community Trust (FACT) the force for good that it is, demonstrating the power and impact of community-led development!”

Councillor George Alexander added: “Congratulations, Debbie. You and your team have done an excellent job and long may you continue to do so. Well done!”

New president

It was also the time of year for the annual change of president, which took place on Zoom for the first time.

The post has been occupied by Tony Galloway, and the incoming president for 2020/21 is Tanya McLaren.

She said: “I’m very proud to be at the helm of the club at a time when Rotary is growing and adapting and am lucky to have members who are so enthusiastic about the challenges ahead and willing to work hard to support the local community.

“It’s fair to say the past few months have been interesting for everyone and will have changed the way most of us look at the world. At Forres Rotary Club we took the approach that we had to adapt to continue to support our members and keep in touch with each other and have been meeting virtually, which has been fantastic but we are ready to get going again, working in the local community and supporting our Rotakids groups however we can.

“We will also be looking at how we can best support our Rotary charities and projects at home and abroad while growing our club and attracting new members, but upholding the values and proud Rotary traditions which have been at the core of everything we do since the club was established nearly 75 years ago.

“We are already planning for events that are essentials on the Forres calendar such as the bonfire and fireworks event, Children in Need quiz and the Santa Sleigh, which we know are so important to people, although the exact format has yet to be confirmed given restrictions in place, but we will make our presence in the local community  known, and continue fundraising for good causes and responding when we are needed. 

“Rotary is growing and adapting and although the pandemic scuppered our usual meetings, it didn’t prevent the club from meeting as we enjoyed our Zoom dates and were able to make crucial decisions about supporting efforts in the local community, for those donating PPE and providing meals and essentials. 

“For the foreseeable we will be looking at continuing Zoom meetings and will update our Facebook page with our plans as we make them.
If you are interested in finding out more about Rotary or would like to take part in a Zoom meeting to see what we do then please get in touch with secretary Sheena on sheenarotary@gmail.com

Young artist award

The results of the Young Artists competition are in.

Some of the entries were created before lockdown and others have been done at home since then. The competition was judged by Brian Higgs with support from Chris Combe.

Brian said: “The artwork is fantastic, with young people expressing themselves through art about what is important to them. We should take note!

“Judging this competition has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done! The standard of entries was exceptional, and everyone that put in a piece of artwork should be very proud of themselves. 

“Art is about using one’s creative skills, with expressions of feeling, to send a message, or tell a story. The entries to this competition included examples of joy and sorrow, and talked of happy memories and hopes of the future. Wonderful work from our young community members. 

“Everyone deserves the highest praise for their work but we have had to select some winners.”

Kilt Walk

Rotarian Anne Skene is doing the Kilt Walk on Saturday hoping to raise some money to pay the salaries of the staff at Tarnos School in Kenya. If you would like to support her this link will take you to her fundraising page where you can donate: https://dundeekiltwalk2020.everydayhero.com/uk/anne-8

Whisky Auction

The next whisky auction with bottles from Forres and other Moray Rotarians runs for 10 days from 3 July. Speyside Whisky Auctions have offered to sell the whisky with all the profits going to Rotary for distribution.

To see the whiskies on offer go to www.speysidewhiskyauctions.co.uk and in the auction view type in charity.

The last auction raised £1000 for Moray Emergency Relief Fund and other causes related to the present pandemic.

Marc Hindley
Author: Marc Hindley

Marc has worked as journalist and photographer all over Scotland. He also runs a PR and digital marketing agency Canary Dwarf. He has lived in Forres with his wife and three children since 2001.