(Jan 31) Regular Meeting and Tasting of Villa Melnik Winery’s Wines (+GAL)

On 31 January 2018 at the regular meeting of Rotary Club Sofia International in Hilton Sofia we welcomed our friends Ms. Militza Zikatanova and Ms. Petya Angelova from Villa Melnik Winery.

This time the tradition with the lectures was broken and we started with the presentation during our dinner with Bergulé Rosé, Orange Wine and AplauZ Shiroka Melnik.

When the clock was exactly 19:30, the President of the club Ms. Ani Hristova started the meeting. She shared invitations for different Rotarian events and also information for the traditional Wine It! – wine tasting fundraiser on 15 March 2018.

After that the floor was given to our friend from Villa Melnik Winery. Our guest presented their excellent wines and all of our members were impressed with them and the lecture, made by Ms. Militza Zikatanova and Ms. Petya Angelova. 

Villa Melnik invited us to their annual Celebration of Vinegrowes and Winemakers, St. Trifon Zarezan on 17.02.2018, Saturday, at their winery near Harsovo. The celebration is part of the Melnik Wineries Open Doors Weekend, 17-18.02.2018. The events are free entry and everyone is welcome. For more information please visit the Facebook Event here: fb.me/events/349685225499771/.

Villa Melnik are our first sponsors as well for the Wine It! fundraising event. They also donated for our charity auction a bottle of each of the wines they presented during our meeting.

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(Jan 24) Regular Meeting and Preparation of WINE IT! – Our Annual Wine Tasting Fundraiser (+GAL)

The weekly regular meeting of Rotary Club Sofia International was held on 24 January 2018 in Hilton Sofia. We welcomed a new friend to our club, Mr. Olafur Helgi Kjavtansson from Iceland, Past District Governior of D-1360. He shared a few details about himself.

After that as usual the President of the club Ms. Ani Hristova shared information from some past and future events. First, she recounted about the initiative of the Ultra-marathon racer Krasi Georgiev. He ran successfully a 36 hours marathon on a treadmill in the Park Center Mall in Sofia on 19 and 20 January. On a second treadmill everyone who wanted to support him also could run for a while and then donate an amount to the Association “Kids with Oncohematological Diseases” for the Young Cancer Survivors Olympic Games in Moscow.

The second topic of the meeting was the upcoming traditional fundraising wine tasting event of the club – Wine It! – which will take place on 15 March 2018.

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(Jan 17) Regular Meeting and a Presentation by our Past President Mr. Jörg Schenk (+GAL)

The regular meeting of Rotary Club Sofia International has been held on 17 January 2018 at Hilton Sofia. As usual the President of the club Ms. Ani Hristova announced the invitations for charity events received from other Rotary clubs and the updated agenda of the forthcoming club meetings. Some small projects and a proposal for club’s cause of the year have been communicated as well.

Our friend Mr. Enrico Repouz briefed the Rotarians about his meeting with Mr. Okawara, a Rotarian from Rotary Club Tokyo Sanno who visited Sofia as a member of the business delegation led by the Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Shinzo Abe a week ago. More details at https://rc-si.org/new/?p=14275.

As a main topic of the meeting our friend and Past President Mr. Jörg Schenk delivered a very rich in content and comprehensive presentation „Hamburg – one of the most livable and beautiful cities in the world” dedicated to the history, economy, architecture, culture, sightseeing and contemporary life of this amazing city. 

He also shared his idea about a joint trip to Hamburg for the club members on 24-27 May 2018 or 1-2 weeks later. The Rotarian friends and regular guests who would like to join the trip were requested to confirm it in due time.

Following the tradition, the meeting ended with networking at the lobby bar of Hilton.

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(Jan 15) RC Sofia International President Elect Meets with Rotarian from Rotary Club Tokyo Sanno

As Adviser to and economical/cultural entourage of Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan Mr. Okawara is on a week long tour through the eastern states of Europe. His visit to Europe started in Estonia, covered Latvia and Lithuania and will continue through Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia.
In Lithuania the delegation visited the memorial of Japanese Diplomat, Mr. Chiune Sugihara – “Japans  Schindler”, who saved 6.000 European Jews from the Holocaust by issuing none-authorized visas. (https://www.timesofisrael.com/abe-visits-memorial-to-japanese-schindler-in-lithuania/)
The visit was coordinated with Rotary Club of Tokyo Sanno and local Rotary Clubs for the initiative of restoring the museum and raising funds to cover respective cost is an all Rotary Club of Tokyo Sanno initiative.
The President Elect of RC Sofia International Mr. Enrico Repouz met with Mr. Okawara. Mr Okinawa himself a veteran and very active Rotarian was very interested in Bulgarian club activities, especially about such of RC Sofia International, apparently well known for its large, uniquely diverse English speaking members.
Further topics included brief overview and country specific statistics and current demographics, “Bulgaria in the transitional period – since 1989”, standard of education, youth perspectives and academia, Bulgarians abroad and private measures of the industry to educate, keep and attract young Bulgarian professionals (local and foreign) in the country.
Mr. Okawara sends his warmest regards and greetings while extending an invitation to all members of Rotary Club Sofia International to visit his Club in Tokyo.

(Jan 12-14) Member of RC Sofia International at the XIIIth Winter Games Organized by Tartu Hansa Rotary Club, Estonia (+GAL)

This weekend, the Tartu Hansa Rotary Club organised the XIIIth amazing winter event in the beautiful town Otepää, which is the winter capital of Estonia, and the venue was the Tehvandi sports center. The town is situated in the adorable hilly southern part of Estonia. The event, which started on Friday evening and ended on Sunday, included different games like playing darts and petang outside at – 6ᵒC, sauna, hiking around a beautiful lake, demonstration of basic lighting fire survival skills, etc. Our club member Ilian Madjarov, together with club members from other Estonian Rotary Clubs, was kindly invited by the organizers to join the event.

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(Jan 11) RC Sofia International Member Visits RC Talin in Estonia

Last week, our fellow Rotarian Mr. Ilian Madjarov visited Tallinn Rotary Club, the oldest Rotary club in Estonia. He was warmly greeted by the President, Mr. Veiko Paalma, and the club members.

(Jan 10) Regular Meeting and a Presentation by H. E. Mr. Eric S. Rubin (+GAL)

The first regular meeting of Rotary Club Sofia International for 2018 has been held on 10 January at the Hilton Sofia. The president of the club Ms. Ani Hristova started with welcoming our guests. After that she continued with best wishes to our friends Alberto Staykov, Claude and Jörg who had their birthdays around Christmas and New Year. 

The focal point of the agenda this evening was the lecture by H.E. Eric S. Rubin, Ambassador of the United States of America to Bulgaria. H. E. Mr. Rubin has been warmly welcomed with applause by the club members. The official part started after the performance of the National Anthems of Republic of Bulgaria and the United States of America. Mr. Rubin thanked for the invitation to be a guest of Rotary Club Sofia International and explained, that he knows a lot about Rotary for he used to be a guest lector to many clubs in the countries (Honduras, Ukraine, Thailand) where he served as a career foreign service officer.

He briefed about the American-Bulgarian relations – history, current status and prospects. 

In his lecture Ambassador Rubin focused on the bilateral co-operation in the field of economy, culture and education. At the end he also answered some questions asked by the Rotarians and guests, regarding the US investments to Bulgaria, energy supply diversification, visa arrangements etc. 

After the lecture some gifts have been bestowed to the Ambassador – a basket with advertising materials of J.C.Newman Cigar Company, from their distributors on the Bulgarian Market and our sponsors Vega Star Trading. Another gift was art photography made by our friend Alberto Staykov (Graphya Foundation), when he visited the USA. H. E. also received a traditional mug with the logo of Rotary of our club.

After the official meeting was over we continued our networking in the lobby of Hilton Sofia.

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(Dec 20) Christmas Party of Rotary Club Sofia International (+GAL)

On 20 December 2017 Rotary Club Sofia International held his Christmas party in Bodega Restaurant, on 6 Tsar Asen Str. in Sofia. More than 30 guests, members and friends gathered to celebrate the end of a successful half Rotarian year.

The evening was full of surprises. The first one quite unexpected, as there was electricity power cut in the restaurant for more than an hour. The staff reacted immediately, providing candles, which turned the atmosphere to a cosy and romantic one. This combined with the Spanish guitar player provided as a special compliment to our Club by the Restaurant’s management made it quite an enjoyable hour .

The next surprise was when our friend, the actor, Mr. Yordan Danchev made a few team building games. The first one tested whether we can trust each other and  in reality it proved that the fellowship in our club is indeed is a strong and trustworthy one.

The evening continued with more games, which made some of us cry from laughter. We all had a great time together. This fantastic evening also reminded us what an incredible team we are in Rotary Club Sofia International.

The party continued with tasty traditional Spanish dinner and drinks, of course accompanied by our own Spanish guitar player.

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(Dec 13) RC Sofia International Elected Board 2018-2019 and President Elect 2019-2020 (+GAL)

Today, 13 December 2017, Rotary Club Sofia International held its elections for the Board of the club for 2018-2019 Rotarian year and for President Elect 2019-2020. The following members were elected:

President Elect 2019-2020:
– Mr. Plamen Kertev

Board members for Rotarian year 2018-2019:
– Mr. Jörg Schenk
– Mr. Marc Bouzy
– Mr. Rumen Rusinov
– Mr. Grant Dale
– Mr. Svetozar Shkoutov

Additionally members of the Board for 2018-2019 are also:
– Ms. Ani Hristova (Past President 2017-2018)
– Mr. Enrico Repouz (President 2018-2019)
– Mr. Plamen Kertev (President Elect 2019-2020)

Congratulations to all elected.

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(Dec 11) RC Sofia International Member Visits RC Flensburg (+GAL)

Rotary Club Sofia International’s President Ms. Ani Hristova visited Rotary Club Flensburg on 11 December 2017. The 59 years old Rotary Club held its Elections Meeting and half year reporting meeting on this date.

The President Mr. Ruprecht Leiß, the President Elect Mr. Jürgen Bethge, Mr. Peter Lind who is in charge of relations with all German Rotary Clubs and for the German-Danish partnerships, the Secretary, the Cashier and all members warmly welcomed Ms. Hristova.

The Cashier reported on the financial situation and presented his half year report to the present. After that the President Elect selected his board members and assigned them to their positions.

Flensburg is an artistic city and this is also reflected in the Rotary Club. The President is a painter, the President Elect is an actor. Ani’s friends, who she visited in Flensburg are also artists, famous and popular in the city – Mr. Nikolay Iliev and Ms. Tanja Probst. They are ballet dancers and were the soloists in the Theater of Flensburg. Now they are focused on realizing their own projects.

Ani would like to thank the members of Rotary Club Flensburg for their hospitality and promises to visit them soon again.

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Hilton Sofia, 1 Bulgaria Blvd., Sofia.

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