Devoted Rotarian Elisia Lake excited to take the reins of Rotary Sunset | THE DAILY HERALD

Rotary Sunset President Elisia Lake. COLE BAY–New President of Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset Elisia Lake said she is excited to take the reins of the club. Given the current coronavirus pandemic, the theme of Lake’s presidency is to inspire persons to serve during uncertain times.  “I have a passion to serve, I have a passion to inspire people, to do good. While you are on this earth, I believe it is important for you to make your mark. … The gap between when you are born and when you die, it must be a reflection of who you are. You know, once you move on, persons can remember you as someone who gave their all to contribute to the betterment of the world,” Lake told The Daily Herald in an exclusive interview on Sunday.  The 33-year-old teacher and mother of two can be described as a devoted Rotarian, with more than two decades of experience with the organisation.  She first encountered Rotary when she joined the St. Maarten Academy Interact Club at 11 years old, spending a total of five years as a member of the club.  After graduating from secondary school, Lake moved to Anguilla and spent two years as a member of the Rotaract Club of Anguilla. In 2010 she returned to St. Maarten and transferred membership to Rotaract Club of St. Maarten Sunrise. Lake was a member of that club for five years.  Between the two Rotaract clubs, she gained ample administrative experience, serving as President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Sergeant-at-Arms. She also served on the Rotaract district level as an Assistant Rotaract Representative.  She joined Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle in 2016. She then joined Rotary Sunset in 2018, being one of the club’s 41 charter members.  Despite not even being two years old, Rotary Sunset is the island’s largest Rotary club, boasting 40 members.  Before becoming President, Lake was the club’s Secretary for its first two years in existence, which has given her “inside-out” knowledge of club’s programmes and projects.  Although now at the head of Rotary Sunset, Lake says she dislikes being in the spotlight, instead preferring to promote all the club’s other members and the work they do for the community.  In addition to the club’s service projects, Lake says she wants to focus on team-building and professional development for club members, and ensuring members have fun while serving the community.    According to Lake, the club plans to implement various projects in the coming year, most of which coincide with Rotary International’s themed months. These projects include the club’s “Reading with Rotary”, “Reach One, Feed One”, and “Level Up Workshops” programmes.  The club also plans to distribute food baskets to families in December, hygiene kits to less-fortunate children in March 2021, and maternity baskets to new mothers in April 2021, among other projects.  Lake said she hopes to expand several of these project’s during her term as President, specifically mentioning the club’s “Reach One, Feed One” and “Free Little Library” projects.  “The ‘Reach One, Feed One’ programme [is – Ed.] where we provide hot meals and jump on a bus and we go to several districts and distribute hot meals to less fortunate individuals. Last year we teamed up with Motorworld and hopefully we will try and team up with them once again and any other organisations that are willing to assist … Hopefully, if we get other organisations or other entities on board, then we will be able to do it on a much larger scale and do it constantly throughout the year,” she said.  The club wants to add a free library in at least one more location, said Lake, adding that the club’s long-term goal is to have one in every district. Currently the club has free libraries in three locations: University of St. Martin (USM), Raoul Illidge Sports Complex, and the Marigot waterfront.  When asked about the challenges the club may face in the coming year, Lake said, “Fundraising is going to be a challenge for us. … Every fundraiser is basically in person and because of COVID-19 and with the whole physical distancing we have come up with creative ways to raise funds. I think we will also have to come up with creative ways to give back to the community or conduct our community service projects, because we have to keep in mind the guidelines of our local health officials.”  However, she is confident in the club’s ability to overcome these challenges. “The good thing about Rotary is that we know how to adapt, and we are very innovative. … We are hopeful this year and COVID-19 is not going to stop us,” said Lake.  Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset usually meets at Carl’s Unique Inn and Conference Facilities in Cole Bay on the second and fourth Monday of the month at 7:30pm. However, club meetings now take place via teleconferencing platform Zoom.  For more information about the club or its projects, persons can send an e-mail toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the club on its Facebook page “Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset.”

Source: The Daily Herald