Youth, community development focus of new RCF president

RCF, President Elsie Knowles

Innovative youth development and improved community service programs top the list of goals newly elected Rotary Club of Freeport President Elsie Knowles hopes to successfully achieve during her tenure at the helm of the service organization.

An Emergency Medical Technician, Knowles was sworn in as the 55th president of the Rotary Club of Freeport two weeks ago and noted she is ready to hit the ground running with the support of fellow Rotarians and Immediate Past President Darren Cooper.

She noted that the service organization has made tremendous strides throughout the Grand Bahama community and she not only intends to work diligently to ensure success with all previously implemented programs but introduce new initiatives that would further boost and positively impact the youth and local environment.

“Indeed I am elated to serve as the 55th president of the Rotary Club of Freeport and to continue the wonderful work and programs established to aid the growth and development of the Grand Bahama community.

“During my presidency it is my intention to place strategic focus on youth development and to ensure, with the help of my executive board, that both the Rotarac and Interact Clubs are revitalized.

“Another goal my team and I hope to achieve involves establishing programs within schools throughout the community that would assist students with their literacy, numeracy and reading skills as these key fundamental learning areas must be strengthened so our youth have a fighting chance academically and in the world they will lead in the not too distant future,” revealed President Knowles.

Exploring and implementing safety and social development programs is also on the agenda of the newly installed club president, who will introduce the Josh the Otter Water Safety and Awareness Project during her tenure at the helm of the Rotary Club of Freeport.

Annually, The Bahamas, which is an archipelagic nation, experiences tragedy due to a child becoming a victim of drowning and in an effort to prevent such devastating incidents, President Knowles is intent on implementing the Josh the Otter Water Safety & Awareness Project stating, “There have been too many tragedies with our children losing their lives because they do not know how to swim but love the water be it at the beach or in a swimming pool.

“Oftentimes they sneak off out of sight for a few seconds or minutes and find themselves facing grave danger and with the implementation of the project in our schools it is hoped we are able to save lives by ensuring they become more aware and knowledgeable about water safety.

“Protection of the environment is also a concern I have therefore, it is the Rotarians of the Freeport Club will conduct clean-ups in the community and begin planting trees to help oxygenate the atmosphere.

“Definitely I am humbled by the fact that my club members have placed so much faith in me to lead this organization at this time and I intend on utilizing the expertise of past presidents, assistant governors, past executive members and Rotarians in general to make my presidential year a success.”

All four Rotary Clubs established on Grand Bahama have pledged to continue supporting one another, which would not only help to strengthen the service organization but also the community at large.

Rotary Club of Lucaya President Kyle Smith along with the Rotary Clubs of G.B. Sunrise and G.B. Sunset presidents Yasmin Rigby-Popescu and Dr. H. Freeman Lockhart, respectively extended their congratulations to Knowles and look forward to an exciting, well-balanced, successful year ahead.

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