All in a day's work
Rotary Club a valuable community resource

Kerry McCluskey
Northern News Services

IQALUIT(Jul 06/98) - If there's a community project happening, you can bet on one thing: Iqaluit's Rotary Club is probably behind it somewhere.

The volunteer agency of 35 members is one of the busiest and most successful community organizations in Iqaluit.

With an annual fundraising drive that nets approximately $50,000 from different events, the Rotary Club has plenty of cash to put into their projects.

Counting the semi-annual vet visit, the steak and lobster dinner and the weekly bingos among their accomplishments, the Rotary Club's latest feat includes publishing a children's book in Inuktitut to promote both literacy and the continued publication of Inuit literature.

Written by Pond Inlet author Carmen Kyak and entitled Isigaujaak, or Running Shoes, the book is being distributed across Nunavut by the education boards in each region.

"There is so little Inuktitut literature out there. It's a resource that's very fragile," says Lorne Levy, the president of Iqaluit's Rotary Club.

Published in five Inuktitut dialects along with French and English, Isigaujaak is also going out to different Rotary Clubs in North America in an attempt to recover some of their production costs. They're asking other clubs for a contribution of $100 and for the donation of the set of books to a local children's library.

"We did it and paid for it and now we're going to see if it is viable," says Levy.

Ringing in at $15,000 from start to finish, Levy says if all goes well with Isigaujaak, the Iqaluit Rotary Club will publish more Inuktitut books.

"We're toying with the idea of what type of book we should next support and we're trying to do something the school boards couldn't support."