Rotary Club of Chemainus members gather around Florence James for the welcoming before the club’s Treasure Hunt. (Photo by Art Carlyle)

Rotary reinvents Summer Fest amid COVID-19 pandemic

Different events could be added on a regular basis with more volunteers

Rotary Club of Chemainus members had a choice, do nothing or try to be innovative on what would have been one of their busiest weekends of the year. They opted for the latter.

With the usual pancake breakfast, parade and other normal Chemainus Summer Fest events cancelled due to restrictions on crowd gathering necessitated by COVID-19, some deep thought was required to plan replacement events that would meet social distancing requirements.

The first Chemainus Rotary Treasure Hunt June 20 fit the bill nicely, with up to four people from family bubbles forming teams. There were prizes awarded for first, second and third place.

“The circumstances gave us an opportunity to think outside the box and reinvent Chemainus Summer Fest this year,” indicated club member Shannon Bellamy, a key member of the organizing team as the event’s co-chair. “We had fun and those who participated also enjoyed themselves. Who knows, some of what transpired this year may show up in next year’s celebration.”

Florence James did a traditional welcome for the event at Kin Beach Park.

There was also a giveaway of new and gently used books outside the new Chemainus Library earlier in the day as well as an email contest called You Are My Sunshine where people could nominate someone who makes their lives brighter.

The only thing that precludes Rotary from expanding Summer Fest to include other events like this on a regular basis is the need for more volunteers.

“We are a small club and we already have a large group helping us to bring the event to fruition in its current format,” Bellamy noted.

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Florence James does a traditional welcome at Kin Beach Park. (Photo by Art Carlyle)

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