Rhona has high hopes for success of project

New President of Morpeth Rotary Club Rhona Dunn (standing) with Mayor of Morpeth Alison Byard looking on.
New President of Morpeth Rotary Club Rhona Dunn (standing) with Mayor of Morpeth Alison Byard looking on.

The first female President of Morpeth Rotary Club has taken up the role.

Rhona Dunn received the presidential chain of office from the previous President, Andrew Hamnett.

The community stalwart is organising events and initiatives for good causes over the next 12 months and the main activity, a Tree of Light, is progressing well.

This involves residents sponsoring a light in memory of a loved one and a book is going to be placed beside the tree, which will be located in Sanderson Arcade, to list those who have donated and the people they have commemorated.

It will be lit up on a special children’s day, which will take place on December 12. The Duchess of Northumberland will be in attendance.

The proceeds from the project will go to the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNASS), Cancer Research North East and Barnabas Safe and Sound (the Arcade’s chosen charity for the year).

Mrs Dunn said: “It was a great feeling to become the first female President of Morpeth Rotary and I’m looking forward to my year at the helm of the club.

“The Tree of Life project is coming along quite nicely. We have got the leaflets just about done and they will soon be going into shops, churches and other buildings in Morpeth and surrounding areas such as Pegswood and Ashington.

“There will be no minimum donation for a light, it’s the gesture that’s important.

“I have already received about £1,000 in sponsorship from businesses in the town. This money will go towards cards for people to write on and LED lights for the children’s day.

“I’m grateful to all those who have supported me so far, including Sanderson Arcade centre manager Medi Parry and her team – they have been wonderful.”

Her fund-raising during her year as President began earlier this month when she was as part of a group doing an abseil at Langdale in the Lake District in aid of GNAAS.

She and husband Jim have collected hundreds of pounds in sponsorship for the service.

Mrs Dunn is also chairman of Contact Morpeth Mental Health Group and she said she was pleased with how well its stall in the Market Place did on a recent Saturday.

The charity’s open day at its headquarters in Oldgate was also successful. Many of the stalls sold out and the massages proved extremely popular.