Rotary banks on Lloyd

The children’s spray park in West Kelowna is Marjolein Lloyd’s favourite Rotary project.

Marjolein Lloyd is a firm believer that you get what you put into your community.

For her, that means getting involved as a Rotarian, ShelterBox ambassador, writer and marriage commissioner.

“The type of community my children are raised in is important to me,” she said.

Lloyd doesn’t fit the perception of Rotarians as an exclusive group of old, rich white men who own businesses, golf, drink Scotch and smoke cigars.

“Most clubs were chartered before I was born,” she said, laughing.

Lloyd’s parents were Rotarians, and she grew up attending meetings and helping out at fundraisers.

“Community service has always been something that’s been ingrained in my head,” said Lloyd, and she hopes she is teaching her children the same thing.

Lloyd joined Westbank Rotary almost 13 years ago, just after her first son was born, and has never looked back.

She has served on a variety of positions with the club, including president. Beginning in July she will become the assistant governor for the area which includes nine Rotary clubs as well as two youth clubs.

For Lloyd, the best part about Rotary is getting to know a huge range of people in the community, not only business people, but also stay-at-home moms and retirees.

Rotary is a good fit for Lloyd as the service club accepted her family as part of the package deal. When her sons were babies they would sit in their car seats next to Lloyd at dinner meetings. Now 10 and 13, her boys help out with road-side clean-ups and setting up fundraisers.

Lloyd has been involved in Rotary projects locally and internationally, but the West Kelowna children’s spray park is the one dearest to her heart.

It’s the first project she had been involved in from beginning to end.

Lloyd remembers sitting on the field the day the park opened and watching her children play in the water park Rotary had worked so hard to complete over four years. She overheard other parents talking about how happy they were the park was finally finished and how beautiful it was.

“I won’t lie,” she said. “There was a tear running down my cheek when I saw that project finally done and to know that I had contributed a small part to something that would be in the community for years to come.”

Lloyd has also been working with ShelterBox Canada, an organization that supplies emergency shelter during disasters and one of the largest Rotary club projects, since 2007.

Through Rotary, Lloyd has gained skills such as public speaking and time management that have overlapped into her professional life.

Those public speaking skills have helped as she became a marriage commissioner last July after reading an advertisement in the newspaper. 

“Every single wedding is completely different,” she said, noting with civil ceremonies, other than a few lines that must be said by law, people can put their marks on their big days.

Lloyd recalled one wedding she performed first thing on a Saturday morning at Big White. It was -15C and snowing heavily. The couple wore their ski gear and got married at the base of a chair lift. They used a snowboard as a surface to sign their papers, and after the photos were taken they went snowboarding for the day.

Lloyd is also a contract employee for Accelerate Communications where she loves interviewing people and writing stories for YLW Connection.

“Someone told me once, you only do things that interest you and make you happy because it will bog you down otherwise,” said Lloyd. “As long as I’m having fun, I’m just going to keep going.”

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