(30 Sept) First Official Meeting for the New Rotarian Year (+GAL)

Rotary Club Sofia InternationalFirst official meeting of Rotary Club Sofia International for the new Rotarian year was held on 30 September 2020 in Hilton Sofia. This was also the first official meeting of Mr. Marc Bouzy as President of the club for 2020/2021 Rotarian year.

15 club members attended. All were excited for the start of the new Rotarian year. During the meeting we discussed plans and organizational matters for the coming season. Some of these:

  • Updated meeting schedule with one online meeting and one meeting outside Hilton Sofia each month; 
  • Regular meetings with representatives of our Rotaract club;
  • Date for the elections of the club;
  • Fundraising events of the club;
  • Actions on the improvement of the club’s online visibility;
  • Plans for international cooperation with foreign clubs.

Later, our Past President presented a copy of the Rotary Citation 2019-2020. The President of Rotary International awarded it to our club for helping Rotary connect the world. Only 18 clubs in our District received such a citation for the past Rotarian year.

After that, our guest Mr. Stefan Hristov, member of Rotary Club Zurich International, shared some of the projects, which their club is doing. He proposed to make a common project with Rotary Club Sofia International in the field of healthcare.

Then, Mrs. Ani Hristova recounted of a project by the Association Children with Onco-Hematologic Diseases. We, as a club, support them for many years. They have successfully finished and officially inaugurated, three weeks ago, a center in Opitsvet. Its main purpose is helping during the recovery of kids who overcame an onco-hematologic disease. The event was attended by many people, including representatives of the municipality, a few ministers, and members of out club. The center will function during the whole year. It is the first such venue on the Balkans and the 8th in the world.

Before the official closing of the meeting, the President invited the members to volunteer to hold presentations during one our next meetings.

The fellowship, then, continued with further discussions in the lobby bar of the hotel.

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(14 Sept) Opening of Rehabilitation Center of the Association “Children with Onco-Hematologic Diseases” (+GAL)

Opening of Rehabilitation CenterOpening of Rehabilitation Center of the Association “Children with Onco-Hematologic Diseases” happened on the Bulgarian holiday Holy Cross day in the village of Opitsvet, Kostinbrod region.

Children who have overcome cancer and are still convalescing, together with their families will be accommodated there, and rehabilitation will be free of charge.

The State Fund “Agriculture” has allocated 3.7 million BGN for the construction of the center. An additional 750 thousand BGN has been allocated from the budget of Kostinbrod municipality for financing ineligible expenses under the program. Funds amounting to 478,162 BGN were allocated by the Council of Ministers for the construction of a new road with a length of 1.5 km. in place of a dirt, field road.

The center is the third of its kind in Europe and eighth in the World. Construction began in 2018, and completed in 2020. The initiative is entirely from the children’s parents, and especially of Mr. Plamen Belchev.

The center includes seven houses, which will accommodate families. Also a hotel, a sports center, a dining room, a kitchen and meeting rooms. The total capacity of the center is for 40 people. A chapel has also been constructed onsite, as well as a swimming pool, conference hall and common room.

The opening ceremony was amazing, the kids from the association sang songs which created a great atmosphere. We were given a heart-warming reception and feeling.

Rotary Club Sofia International had a special invitation, because we supported the Association by donating a minivan to them.

If someone would like to make a donation, or visit the center, please contact Ms. Hristova.

Our wish for them is that the Rehabilitation Center never needs to be used and that all children are healthy. But knowing that they are there should this wish be not fulfilled is comforting.

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(1 Aug) Rotary Golf Cup in Bansko (+GAL)

Rotary Club Sofia InternationalThe Rotary Golf Cup in Bansko took place from 31 July to 1 August. It was attended by Ms. Ani Hristova, Mrs. Inna Badan, Mr. Claude Badan and Mr. Grant Dale all representing Rotary Club Sofia International and enjoying, of course, the hospitality of Rotary Club Bansko-Razlog.

On 31 July Rotary Club Bansko-Razlog chartered their Interact club. We wish luck and lots of successful projects for the new young members of the Rotary family.

On the 1 August, the 8th Edition of the District Governor Rotary Golf Cup was held and took place at the Pirin Golf & Country Club.

After the official opening, the players were separated into groups – Rotarians, non-Rotarians the 3rd group where our Rotary members, together with Mr Ibrahim Kachan from Rotary Club Kazanlak took part. We had a special private instructor and it was followed by a friendly competition.

The dinner was a Garden BBQ in Regnum Bansko Apart Hotel Spa, where we had a great time and wonderful conversations in the spirit of Rotary.

The same day was the Swiss National Day and we dressed up to celebrate it with Claude, our Rotarian from Switzerland. Congratulations also to Linda and all ours Swiss friends.

As a tradition, we stayed in Regnum Bansko Apart Hotel Spa. On Sunday we visited the thermal mineral baths of the other hotel in the group – Regnum Banya Thermal, in Banya.

The great organization and hospitality of Mrs Ayshe Medarova and her group were greatly appreciated and made our stay extremely comfortable and memorable.

Our thanks to the President of Rotary Club Bansko-Razlog 2020/2021, Mr Ivan Hadzhiruskov, and members, for hosting the event, we extend our warmest Rotarian greetings to all concerned.

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(1 Jul) Official Handover Ceremony (+GAL)

Rotary Club Sofia InternationalOfficial handover ceremony of Rotary Club Sofia International between the current President Mr. Plamen Kertev and the inauguration and the new President for year 2020/2021, Mr. Marc Bouzy, took place in the pleasant atmosphere of the Season’s restaurant garden in Hilton Sofia.

The meeting started with a speech by our current President Mr. Plamen Kertev. He kindly presented the projects and events realized and supported during his Rotarian year. He expressed his sincere gratitude to all members who contributed to the successful Rotarian year with their donations, active work, and positive energy. This year proved again that with active participation of numerous club members we can achieve a lot.

The year of Plamen’s presidency was marked with the global COVID-19 pandemic. Thus the efforts of the President were focused on uniting the club and reviving the meetings via online platforms. This enabled the club to continue operations and even allowed for realizations of a few projects. More on these here and here.

Afterwards a welcome speech of our new President – Mr. Marc Bouzy followed. He kindly thanked Plamen for his successful year and contribution to the club and granted him with a gift. Marc also expressed his gratitude to the club for giving their trust and electing him as the new President. Considering the worldwide Coronavirus situation, the coming Rotarian year brings uncertainties. However, now we have all the tools to meet, realize projects, and contribute to the society despite COVID-19.

Marc concluded the official handover ceremony on a note that the venue for the informal weekly summer meetings of the club will be Club of the Architects restaurant, on 11, Krakra Str., Sofia. These will take place every Wednesday at 7 pm. Members and guests alike are welcome to join.

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(30 Jun) A Respirator Monitor Donation to „St. Sofia“ Hospital (+GAL)

Rotary Club Sofia InternationalA respirator monitor donation to the First Therapeutic Clinic of the Specialized Hospital for Pulmonary Diseases “St. Sofia” was realized by Rotary Club Sofia International on 30 June 2020.

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic the members of Rotary Club Sofia International feel it is their duty to help local hospitals and provide support where it is most needed. Therefore, the club undertook several COVID-19 related projects. Already two food donations were completed. And now we supported the Specialized Hospital for Pulmonary Diseases St. Sofia with a respirator monitor donation. The equipment is needed to complement existing respirator for treating patients with respiratory insufficiency. The total cost of the medical equipment is 2400 BGN.

The project would not have been possible without the professional supervision of Dr. Tanya Benisheva and the generous donation by Mrs. Linda Kim. The monitor was delivered on 30 June 2020. A official handover took place with the President of Rotary Club Sofia International, Mr. Plamen Kertev and the head of the First Therapeutic Clinic Ass. Prof. Petrov. While receiving the donation, he expressed his sincere gratitude for the good deed of the club.

The donation of the monitor is a continuation of the project of 9 Sofia Rotary Clubs, which in May donated a device for the needs of patients with respiratory diseases.

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(17 Jun) Meeting at The Architects Club (+GAL)

Rotary Club Sofia InternationalMeeting at The Architects Club restaurant instead of the regular gathering in Hilton Sofia took place on 17 June 2020. 12 members of the club attended the dinner and we had the pleasure of welcoming Mr. Plamen Latev, a guest of our member Mrs. Elena Vassileva.

It was our first club meeting at The Architects Club. A cozy restaurant with prefect location and amazing cuisine. The place was very well accepted by the attending friends. During the diner we had the chance to discuss some of our past projects, such as the MED-Bul one, and to plan for future ones.

It was a nice experience and wonderful time to enjoy the Rotary fellowship in an informal and friendly atmosphere.

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(10 Jun) First Face-to-Face Regular Meeting after the Lockdown (+GAL)

Rotary Club Sofia InternationalThe first face-to-face regular meeting after the COVID-19 lockdown in the home base of Rotary Club Sofia International – Hilton Sofia – took place on 10 June 2020. It was wonderful to meet in person fellow Rotarian friends and guests. 

As usual, the meeting started with welcoming words from the President, Mr,. Kertev. Afterwards, he gave the floor to our Rotaract guests to provide an update on the revival of the Rotaract Club Sofia International activities. Mr. Claudio Mascolo, President of our Rotaract club, explained that the club already has 10 new members. He went on by congratulating the two ladies – Ms. Radina Moskova, President of the club 2020/2021 and Ms. Nevena Ivanova, Secretary 2020/2021, for the great job of attracting new members. He also expressed his gratitude to them for being so active and trying to complete all the formalities in order for the club to resume its normal operation. Rotaract Club Sofia International has already started online meetings every Sunday. The face-to-face meetings will resume soon on Thursdays, 18.45 h. with a temporarily venue. Rotaractors expressed that they will be honored to visit our club’s meetings more often. They even suggested to be our guests. once a month, to exchange ideas, get inspiration for their projects and activities.

Last but not least, before the end of this first face-to-face regular meeting, Inna and Claude Baden, our dear friends who are now in Switzerland sent their warmest regards to all club members. We all look forward to see them in person upon their return to Bulgaria.

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(16 Apr) Donation of Food Supplies for Orthodox Easter (+GAL)

Rotary Club Sofia InternationalDonation of food supplies for Orthodox Easter by Rotary Club Sofia International to Together for Serdika (Initiative Committee) again. We at Rotary Club Sofia International recognize the need for continued support of individuals and families in need of food during these trying times. A one time donation, though well intended, can potentially have little impact on people’s lives. Since Rotary is committed to helping people in less fortunate circumstances we made it our goal in this project to extend this help throughout this crisis to the best of our ability.

This week for the Orthodox Easter we purchased: 120 bottles of cooking oil, 44 bottles of pasta sauce, 67 cans of meat. These items were then taken to a local community depot organized by Mrs. Ralitsa Botina.

Care packages are then put together from all of the donations of food supplies for the week and then delivered to those people and families in dire need of assistance. The repackaging and distribution is organised by  Together for Serdika (Initiative Committee) and are delivered in the following neighborhoods: Orlandovtsi, Banishora, Fondovi zhilishta and Benkovski. 

Further help is needed for this project. Please, contact the organizers – Together for Serdika (Initiative Committee) – for details. Alternatively you can reach Rotary Club Sofia International at: info@rc-si.org

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(9 Apr) Rotary Club Sofia International Donated Food Supplies (+GAL)

Rotary Club Sofia InternationalRotary Club Sofia International donated vital food products for people in need. The initiative was organized with the support of Together for Serdika (Initiative Committee). On 9 April 2020 Mrs. Kim, Ms. Hristova and Mr. Dale gathered (while maintaining a socially responsible distance from each other) at a well known grocery store. There they purchased a large amount of items for less privileged members of the society. This initiative was facilitated by a very generous donation by our friends Mrs. Inna Badan and Mr. Claude Badan and orchestrated by Mrs. Linda Kim.

The team acquired 120 packets of pasta, 36 packets of rice, 120 bars of soap, 36 bottles of cooking oil, 60 packets of flour and 60 packets of lentils. These were then taken to a local community depot organised by Mrs. Ralitsa Botina and Mr. Mladen Mitev from Together for Serdika (Initiative Committee). The initiative committee is also supported by the Mayor of the Serdika region, Sofia.

The products will be repacked into individual care packages. Then these will be distributed to people in need in the neighborhoods: Orlandovtsi, Banishora, Fondovi zhilishta and Benkovski.

Further help is needed for this initiative. Please, contact the organizers  – Together for Serdika (Initiative Committee) – for details. Alternatively you can reach Rotary Club Sofia International at info@rc-si.org.

We hope to be able to continue with this initiative during the course of this crisis. Thus demonstrating Rotary’s commitment to helping people in less fortunate circumstances.

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(11 Mar) SALOON – American Pub Hosted the Rotary Club Sofia International Regular Meeting (+GAL)

Rotary Club Sofia InternationalSALOON – American Pub were kind hosts of the Rotary Club Sofia International’s regular meeting on 11 March 2020. The authentic decor of the venue lent itself to great photo opportunities to all and really enhanced the fellowship of the meeting. This coupled with amazing food and service was poignantly to mark the end of our normal regular meetings owing to the global virus pandemic. Our club President alluded to this possibility at the meeting. Later that week it became official. Currently we use a virtual platform to continue our meetings to adhere to the social distancing guidelines. The spirit of Rotary prevails, however!

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(Apr 21) The regular meeting will be online. You can join us HERE.

Upcoming Events

  1. (Apr 21) Regular Meeting – Online

    April 21 @ 18:45 - 20:00
  2. (Apr 28) Regular Meeting – Online

    April 28 @ 18:45 - 20:00

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