(7 Nov ) Traditional Rotary Club Sofia International Oktoberfest (+GAL)

On 7 November 2018, the President of Rotary Club Sofia International, Mr. Enrico Repouz, welcomed more than 30 members and guests at Sofia’s “Bitburger Club Sofia, Restaurant & Garden” to our already traditional club Oktoberfest.

Our special guests were Mr. Gregory Harris a Rotarian from San Diego, California and his wife.

With typical Bavarian food and beer our members and friends had spent a fantastic evening in an informal atmosphere. 

We would like to thank main organizer of this fantastic evening, our member Mr. Thomas Westerhoven, 

Do not forget about our Rotary Club Sofia International Christmas Party on 28. November 2018 at Ranchero Steak House by Bodega, starting at 19:00 o’clock.

If you would like to join us, please fill in the attendance form at: Christmas Party – RCSI.

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(31 Oct) Regular Meeting at Halloween (+GAL)

The regular weekly meeting of Rotary Club Sofia International was held on Halloween, 31 Oct at our regular venue – Hilton Sofia. Our guests were: Mr. Bob Backx from Rotary Club Westerlo, Belgium, Mrs. Natalia Atanasova, and our regular guest Mr. Yordan Dukov.

On this night is Halloween, or Hallowe’en (a contraction of Hallows’ Even or Hallows’ Evening), also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve, is a celebration observed in several countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, and watching horror films. In respect of those traditions several members of the club were dressed up. 

On this day is also the Reformation Day – in 1517 Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Palace Church. The event marked the start of the Protestant Reformation in Germany.

During the meeting we discussed the venue for our Rotary Club Sofia International traditional Christmas Party, which will be on 28. November 2018 at Ranchero Steak House by Bodega, starting at 19:00 o’clock.

If you would like to join us for this celebration, please fill in the attendance form at: Christmas Party – RCSI.

After the announcements the official part of the meeting was closed and the fellowship to continued in the lobby bar of the hotel.

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(24 Oct) Regular Meeting on World Polio Day (+GAL)

The regular weekly meeting of Rotary Club Sofia International was held on 24 October at Hilton Sofia. The president of the club Mr. Enrico Repouz opened the meeting and gave the floor to our guests: Ms. Ajda Ramadanova and Mr. Yordan Dukov. They introduced themselves. Ms. Ramadanova is member of Interact Club Sliven, she briefed the present about her club, members, activities and projects. Mr. Yordan Dukov is our regular guest and we were happy to welcome him again.

Later on Ms. Hristova invited all members and guests to the Traditional “Party of Wine and Friendship” in the city of Harmanli. Organized by Rotary Club Harmanli. 

The meeting continued with Mr. Kertev providing details on the Preliminary PETS seminar held in Sofia, sharing information on the speakers and the topics discussed.

After the announcements and the invitations, Mr. Repouz gave the floor again to Ms. Hristova to say e few words about 24 October –  the World Polio Day.

World Polio Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis. Use of this inactivated poliovirus vaccine and subsequent widespread use of the oral poliovirus, developed by Albert Sabin, led to the establishment of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988. As of 2013, GPEI had reduced polio worldwide by 99%.

Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease. There is no cure, but there are safe and effective vaccines. Polio can be prevented through immunization. Polio vaccine, given multiple times, almost always protects a child for life. The strategy to eradicate polio is therefore based on preventing infection by immunizing every child until transmission stops and the world is polio-free.

In about 0.5 percent of cases there is muscle weakness resulting in an inability to move. This can occur over a few hours to a few days. The weakness most often involves the legs but may less commonly involve the muscles of the head, neck and diaphragm. Many people fully recover. In those with muscle weakness about 2 to 5 percent of children and 15 to 30 percent of adults die.

Rotary International has been trying to eradicate Polio. Thanks to the efforts of Rotary International with the support from the Foundation of Bill and Melinda Gates, and from the numerous donors to the campaign, we have seen a worldwide reduction in polio cases of 99.9%. Last year we only saw wild polio cases in three countries.

Rotary International is running a “We Are so Close to End the Polio” campaign, which aims at completely eliminating the disease. For more information: www.endpolio.org

After that official part of the meeting was closed and the fellowship continued in an informal atmosphere.

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(17 Oct) Handover Ceremony of Rotary Club Sofia International (+GAL)

On 17 October 2018 in Hilton Sofia, Rotary Club Sofia International held its regular meeting and a past due Handover Ceremony of the old and new Presidents.

On the occasion, our Past President, Ms. Ani Hristova, held an entertaining short presentation on the achievements during her presidency.  She tired through pictures to remind the members of the numerous guests, presentations, events, projects that happened during her mandate. She has also updated the club on the Rotarian events she had the chance to visit during the summer.

Ms. Hristova used the opportunity to once again and from the bottom of her hearth than the Board members, who served during her year – Ms. Slavena Savkova, Mr. Enrico Repouz, Mr. Jörg Schenk, Mr. Michail Sougarev, Mr. Plamen Kertev, Mr. Tony Ripley, Mr. Horst Stüer, Mr. Plamen Lazarov.

After these emotional moments she handed over the President’s chain to the new President of the club Mr. Enrico Repouz. They also exchanged presents, as it has become a tradition in the club already, Ms. Hristova received the symbol of wisdom and our club – an owl and huge bouquet of flowers. While she presented the new President with a fashionable wooden bow tie with the Rotary logo on it.

The meeting continued with Mr. Repouz announcing future events from the calendars of the other clubs in the District. He also announced that the organization of the already traditional Oktoberfest of our club is ongoing. Te event wil take place on 7 November 2018 at Bitburger on 20, Stefan Karadzha Str. in Sofia. The registration for the event is open and should you wish to join, you can fill in the form at: https://doodle.com/poll/7tetts3zpn2vu3be, not later, than 5 November 2018.

After the official part of the meeting the members and guests moved to the lobby bar of the hotel where the congratulations for the new president continued.

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(10 Oct) Regular Meeting, Future Plans, Projects and Club Affairs (+GAL)

The regular meeting of Rotary Club Sofia International was held on 10 October 2018. As a guest the club members welcomed Mrs. Maria Doncheva. Every year she supported us in the projects for the kids from social homes in Sofia and Father Ivan’s kids.

During the meeting along with the administrative issues important decisions of the board meeting were announced as well as the schedule and content of meetings with presentation topics and presenters. Among the announced topics were – Design thinking, Agile methodology, Bitcoin, Industry 4.0/ 5.0, Cancer and Treatment, “Ole Male”, etc.

Special events were also scheduled: Octoberfest – 07 November at Bitburger, annual elections of the club were set up to be on 05 December, the meeting will be closed for guests, Christmas Ball of Sofia Rotary Clubs – 01 December at Hotel Balkan (former Sheraton).

Rotary Club Sofia International Fundraising events as usual will be the Wine It! on 14.03.2019 and Whisky Night on 30.05.2019.

The official meeting of the District Governor is scheduled for 20.02.2019.

Rotary Club Sofia International is supporting the Foundation for Social Change and Inclusion’s social enterprise HOPe Restaurants and therefore we were very proud of the announcement of our club member Jörg that one of the kids – Todor, a keen judo practitioner, who joined the House of Opportunity Program from a Sofia orphanage a year ago made it to the National Sports Academy. Congratulations. We are very proud of him.

Our club member Claude Badan brought greetings and two flags from Rotary Clubs he visited while traveling.

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(26 Sept) First Formal Meeting for the New Rotarian Year (+GAL)

The first regular weekly meeting for this Rotarian year was held on 26 September 2018 at our regular place for meetings – Hilton Sofia.

Our new elected president for 2018–2019, Mr. Enrico Repouz made a short introduction of the new board members and informed us about the official transfer of our dear friends Mr. Cris Biemond to Rotary Club Troyan and Mr. Ilian Madjarov to Rotary Club Tallinn Global.

Mr. Repouz made a short summary of the year of our past president Ms. Ani Hristova. He focused on open and finished projects and updated the members on the informal meetings held at Raketa Rakia bar during the summer period.

It was announced that for the Rotary convention, which will take place in Hamburg on 01-05.06.2019 early birds will be granted a discount for registrations until 15.12.2018.

Members were asked to propose upcoming projects and the meetings schedule with events until the end of 2018 was announced.

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(12 Sept) Informal Meeting and Support for the Project “Bulgarian Books for Bulgarians Abroad” (+GAL)

On 12 September Rotary Club Sofia International held its informal meeting in Raketa Rakia Bar. We had the pleasure to welcome guests from Rotaract Club Sofia – Ms. Ruksina Basheva, member of the club and Mr. Gabriel Lukov, President of the club.

Rotaract Club Sofia in partnership with Bulgarian History and Rotaract Clubs in London are running the project “Bulgarian Books for Bulgarians Abroad”. They are collecting books, which will be donated to a Bulgarian school and a Community center in London. The books will go to the Bulgarian Sunday School Bukvaran and to the Bulgarian Library and Bookstore.

Our club took part of this project through our member Mrs. Hristina Malchevska and Sunray Publishing Company who donated the books for pupils and published by them. Additionally the club donated the book by  Mrs. Svetla Tsvetkova, “Stoyno mi, Maly Mome – 327 Folklore Songs from Central and Western Bulgaria”, a book which our club distributed to more than 50 Community Centers in the country during the presidency of Mr. Horst Stüer. The author of the book also donated her other book  “Poide Marko Dobar Yunak – 100 Folklore Songs from Kyustendil Region”.

Our friends from Rotary Club Harmanli donated a five of the “Friendship” books they have published as a part of a a project for the kids in first grade in Harmanli. Rotary Club Sofia Serdika also took part and collected children’s books, which will be sent to London also.

Should you also wish to donate books, you can contact Ms. Hristova or send a mail to: info@rc-si.org.

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(8-9 Sept) Rotary Club Sofia International Member at the “Na Harmana” Festival Harmanli (+GAL)

On 8-9 September the members of the association “The Business of Harmanli”, most of whom are actually members of Rotary Club Harmanli and Harmanli Municipality organized the 2nd Festival “Na Harmana” (“На Хармана”).

Harman is an old Bulgarian word – a flat circular terrain, which has been used in the past for threshing (separating the grain from the plant).

The idea of the festival is to preserve the traditions of the people from the villages in the Harmanly District  –  traditional food specialties from the region, crafts, clothes, etc. At over 50 booths the local producers exhibited traditional dishes and products from the area.

One of the attractions was the spectacle of a Bulgarian survival school “Baga-Tur”. They rode horses, fought authentic battles armed with real swords and shields, presented characteristic combat techniques from the past based on historical facts, recreated the dances of our ancestors.

The program included also folklore performances, presentation of authentic rituals, lifestyle and culture typical of the region. The official opening of the grape harvest in southern Sakar in old Bulgarian tradition was also part of the festival.

Our Past President Ms. Ani Hristova visited the Festival and apart from enjoying the activities, also helped our friend on their stands.

Ms. Hristova once again thanked for the hospitality of the Rotarians in Harmanli and received an invitation for all the members of Rotary Club Sofia International to visit the fest next year in the beginning of September.

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(5 Sept) Past President of the Club Visits Rotary Club Harmanli

On 5 September 2018 our Past President Ms. Ani Hristova visited the regular meeting of Rotary Club Harmanli. The meeting was opened by Mr. Milko Milkov, President Elect, with a prayer.
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The President of the club, Mr. Karagyozov, welcomed warmly Ms. Ani Hristova and introduced her to the present members.
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Rotary Club Harmanli shared their future projects, including special books for the kids from first grade in all schools in Harmanli, as well as, the idea for a Global Grant project for constructing a multi-functional sports playground in the city.
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Ms. Hristova shared the project Rotary Club Sofia International is involved in and also asked Rotary Club Harmanli to support a project of Rotaract Club Sofia who are collecting books for a community center and a Bulgarian School in London. Rotary Club Harmanli donated 5 of their books for the kids from first grade.
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The President Mr. Karagyozov invited all members of our club to their regular “Wine and Friendship Fest 2018”, which will be held on 1 December 2018 in Prikazkite Restaurant. Additional information can be found at the following link: https://goo.gl/fgXTjD. The places are limited, please reserve your place as soon as possible.

(31 Aug – 2 Sept) 15th Annual Rorarian Musala Peak Climbibg (+GAL)

On 31 August our Past President Ms. Ani Hristova, Mrs. Inna Badan and Mr. Claude Badan arrived in Borovets where they were welcomed by the President of Rotary Club Samokov, Mrs. Lusi Barzanova, and were invited for a dinner.

On 1 September the group our three friends joined a group of 82 Rotarians and friends from 14 clubs for the 15th Annual Rotarian Musala Peak Climb organized by Rotary Club Samokov. Musala is the highest peak in the Balkan Peninsula, standing at 2,925 meters. All major mountain ranges of Bulgaria can be seen from the top; these include Vitosha to the Northwest, Sredna Gora towards the Northeast, the Balkan Mountains along most of the Northern horizon behind Vitosha and Sredna Gora, the Rhodope Mountains to the Southeast, Pirin to the South, Osogovo and Ruy Mountain to the West, and Rila.

After a short breath of fresh air at the top of the peak and a lot of pictures the group continued downhill, which proved to be a hard task as well. The dinner was in “Black Tiger“ Restaurant, where Mrs. Barzanova welcomed all the participants in the event. The party included traditional Bulgarian folk dances performed by a local dance formation and a DJ who made sure the good mood stayed lifted all night.

On Sunday morning the program continued with visit of Tsarska Bistritsa (“Tsar’s Bistritsa”) – a former royal palace, just above the resort of Borovets, near the banks of the Bistritsa River. Built between 1898 and 1914, it served as the hunting lodge of Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria and his son Boris III.

Before leaving for Sofia our members thanked once again Rotary Club Samokov for the great organisation, friendly atmosphere, and the chance to meet new friends.

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We meet on Wednesday at 18:45 in
Hilton Sofia, 1 Bulgaria Blvd., Sofia.

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