March 26, 2020
For Immediate Release. Rotary Clubs across the globe are intrinsically linked as members of Rotary International. Clubs that are many miles, countries, and continents apart are able to join forces and move mountains, and nothing exemplifies joint international efforts more than Bahamian and American Rotary Clubs coming together to provide wheelchairs for Bahamians in need.
The Rotary Club of East Nassau partnered with the Rotary Club of Bonita Springs in Florida and The Wheelchair Foundation, a Californian-based non-profit, to provide nearly 300 wheelchairs to the Bahamas Association for the Physically Disabled. The Rotary Club of East Nassau donated $10,500, with another $10,500 coming from the Rotary Club of Bonita Springs, with a matching grant of $21,000 from a donor of the Wheelchair Foundation.
“This project perfectly exemplifies the benefit of Rotary, and what it means to be a Rotarian”, said Rotary East Nassau President Franny De Cardenas. “To have two clubs and a huge non-profit, based in different countries, come together to make a tangible difference in the lives of those who need it most is nothing short of breathtaking”.
The chairs were donated at an event held at The Bahamas Association for the Physically Disabled’s (BAPD) Headquarters on Dolphin Drive in early March. “It’s so meaningful for us to be able to support causes that change lives. Having a wheelchair gives mobility to those who didn’t have it before”, continued President Franny. “We were so thankful that our East Nassau members, as well as members from the Rotary Cub of Bonita Springs were able to join the BAPD in person to support the distribution. Along with The Wheelchair Foundation, Bahamas Waste and Tropical Shipping provided much-needed logistics, storage and support.”
Supporting The Bahamas Association for the Physically Disabled was long advocated by late member and past president Sir Durward Knowles. Sir Durward long championed the needs of BAPD and Rotary was honoured to be able to join and support for many years. The Rotary Club of East Nassau was most recently able to donate 110 chairs in early 2019 as part of a similar joint project, this time partnering with the Bonita Naples Rotary Club and the Sanibel Captiva Rotary Club, both in Florida.
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work impacts lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit Rotary.com or RCEN.org
Rotary East Nassau President Franny De Cardenas (left, in pink) with members of The Rotary Club of Bonita Springs donating wheelchairs at The Bahamas Association for the Physically Disabled Headquarters