Posted on Oct 21, 2019
President Richard:  

• Welcome to members & partners for the “Shine for ShelterBox” fundraising dinner. 

• Special welcome to guest speaker Jimmy Griffith and D9930 Assistant Governors Gary Hemmings and Ken Hames. Also to Claire Connor’s parents, Tony & Jenny.  
• Assistant Governor Ken Hames spoke to members Thanks to Taradale Rotary & Tracey Hunter for assisting the Stroke Foundation with the recent   Blood-pressure.testing at Pak n Save in Tamatea. Of the 100 people tested, 5 were advised to seek further medical advice due to high blood pressure. 

Members: Claire Connor – introduced the ShelterBox fundraiser of a solar-powered light on each table, $35 for the small one and $70 for the large one. Each light has 3 settings and comes with a phone charger socket and a USB port. Claire then played a short video message from Alex of ShelterBox UK thanking Taradale Rotary for its very generous support of the project. 
An excellent 2-course meal was then served and the bar was reopened. 
Jimmy was introduced by Claire as a ShelterBox Response Team leader who has been deployed internationally 12 times in the last 5 years. As Jimmy was being introduced, a piece of freshly baked shortbread was passed around to each member, the significance of this was explained by Jimmy as he opened his address. 

Jimmy began with a slide of an elderly Nepalese woman sitting in front of a pile of rocks hitting them with a pick to make lots of smaller rocks. For this, she was paid $1 per day.   

Jimmy bakes shortbread regularly for his Shortbread Trust which he sells for $2.00 a piece. The comparison between the two really drives home the message of poverty and vulnerability many millions of people face daily around the world. The Shortbread Trust in conjunction with sponsorship has raised over $85,000.00 to date. These funds are then used to provide fresh drinking water, sanitation, food and ShelterBoxes in the aftermath of disasters around the world.
Jimmy’s first deployment was to Malaysia after serious flooding had made many homeless. In this case, ShelterBoxes were able to provide shelter & security for many families. Jimmy’s most recent deployment was to Bangladesh to assist with the Rohingya refugee crisis from Myanmar. These huge camps were built on hillsides, sanitation was non-existent and the situation was desperate for so many and could remain so for some time. 

Rotary International has been able to give ShelterBox real credibility where ever they are deployed. Rotary opens doors with local government, customs, police etc to enable help to get to where it is needed quickly. This is solely volunteer work for Jimmy and his dedication and passion for this work was an inspiration to all of us present. There are 240 ShelterBoxes on hand in NZ to deploy in an emergency and 180 ShelterBox Response Team members internationally. All victims of disasters need is to be shown some kindness and to this end Jimmy recited a poem about kindness. The evening finished with several raffles being drawn, a bottle of fine Scotch being auctioned by Phil and some much-needed funds raised to assist with the ShelterBox project. 
A big thanks to Claire for putting this evening together. The VOT was given by President Richard.