Club News
Tawa Rotarians and family have been sewing book bags for neonatal babies.  Elaine shared her inspirational conversation with staff from the Wellington hospital neonatal unit about an idea to give babies their first books contained in book bags. 
 
We sparked into action with the ambition to make 250 book bags and we're well on the way. Two Rotary nights so far have been used to produce these bags.  The production line includes cutting to ironing to sewing.
 
Tawa Rotary assisted with putting up refreshed hanging baskets along the Main Road shopping area.
 
The Main Road hanging flower baskets were established as a regular feature in the Tawa business centre in 2012. These days the project is managed through the Tawa Residents Association, with funding shared between Tawa Business Group Inc., Tawa Community Board occasional grants and personal donations. Labour is provided by Tawa Rotary. We are grateful to Anneke from Embrace Design for the current flowers.
 
If you would like to assist this project or contribute funding, please contact Richard Herbert at herbert.r@xtra.co.nz.
Having noted that dog owners often brought their own seating with them when exercising their dogs at the Taylor Park Dog Exercise Area, the Rotary Club of Tawa saw an opportunity for a community project.
 
Last year we celebrated our 50th Anniversary of service in the Tawa community and, as part of this celebration, identified several community projects it could contribute to. Rectifying the lack of seating at the popular exercise area was one of them.
 
In 2021, a proposal was put to the Wellington City Council for the installation of a Rotary-sponsored commemorative seat. The Council agreed to the proposal and, in March 2022, a park bench was positioned in a sunny, dry location overlooking the recreation area.
 
In assessing Rotary’s proposal, Council staff recognised the lack of sufficient seating and, as a result, the Council has also installed two additional bench seats near the entrance.
 
Tawa Rotary wishes to acknowledge the Wellington City Council’s support of the project, and it’s our hope that park users will now be able to spend more time relaxing while their dogs enjoy the freedom of being unleashed.
Maia Mariner spoke to Tawa Rotary on 15 Feb 2022 about her inspirational idea for Lazy Sneakers - a not for profit project to free up unused (lazy) sneakers to enable her peers to participate in sports.
 
Maia was only 12 when she developed this idea.  She noticed that some of her peers couldn't participate in sports because they didn't have the appropriate footwear.  Her idea was to set up a sneaker bank to help her friends playing basketball. Lazy Sneakers was launched in 2018.
 
Maia is now in Year 13.  She talked about material hardship that she could see in her community - not all things are equal and material poverty is a huge problem that we need to find ways to address. Through this venture, she noted that the 'demand is really there'. What started as a simple concept has grown to now providing sneakers for children, student athletes, families and social services in New Zealand.  Lazy Sneakers is also receiving international interest from Australia. 
 
With full support from her family, this project has extended to creating a movement.  A network of young ambassadors has been established to help with managing demand and distribution.  It's particularly important to show respect as conditions for distribution, so that recipients are treated well - no judgement for why they need sneakers.
 
An early indication of success is that over 7500 pairs of sneakers had been collected and 5700 pairs distributed for free - numbers have since grown. By end 2023, the goal is to collect 10,000 sneakers for distribution.
 
Current needs include more storage space for shoes and more marketing to recruit more young people to help with collection services across New Zealand. Lazy Sneakers has been established as a charitable trust.
 
Maia has received numerous awards for Lazy Sneakers including an invitation from the Governor General in 2018 and recognition from the Prime Minister in 2020.
 
Lazy Sneakers' motto is "motivate your sneakers. Be active in the world".
[pictured: Maia Mariner, founder of Lazy Sneakers]
 
 
 
In response to the recent request for help from Linden School, Tawa Rotary contacted Gaylene Hill, the Principal of the school and got an update on their needs.  Thanks to the generosity of the Tawa/Linden community and Kiwi Community Assistance (KCA) they have received stationery and swimming togs see Stuff article), but still had a need for sunhats, especially with this current heatwave. 
 
Having obtained a small number to confirm they meet the needs of the school, Tawa Rotary will now continue to source more sunhats over the coming weeks.
Tawa Rotary celebrated its 50th anniversary
Tawa Rotary celebrated its 50th anniversary over the weekend of 9 and 10 April 2021.
 
On 4 April 1970 at a dinner held at the Wellington Overseas Terminal, Rotary International presented the Charter for the new Rotary Club of Tawa to the Club’s Charter President Eldon Armstrong.
 
Fifty years later the Rotary Club of Tawa planned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of that evening with a weekend of activities. Unfortunately, COVID-19 interrupted the planning. The celebration was held in April 2021.
 
Over the 51 years, Tawa Rotary has contributed to the infrastructure of Tawa through numerous projects, as well as to a wide range of youth and international initiatives and projects.
 
Paul Harris awards were awarded to Past District Governor Martin Garcia for his service to Rotary and to Dianne Patchett for her significant service to Inner Wheel, a project in Nepal and teaching. Two of the club’s Charter members, Murray Jensen and Rewi Chaney, supported by Robert Armstrong entertained with great stories of the Club at its very beginning.
 
A book on the 50-year history of the Rotary Club of Tawa has been published and copies are available for purchase at $20 each. To buy a book, please contact tawarotaryclub@gmail.com.
 
[Photos: Kevin Walker]
 
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About Our Club

The Rotary Club of Tawa has been helping local and overseas communities since 1969.

We meet In Person
Tuesdays at 6:15 PM
Tawa Bowling Club
Grasslees Reserve
Davies Street
Tawa,
New Zealand
Phone:
0274 998 885