Select Page

Thursday the 24th Oct 2019 (updated July 20, 2020)

ROTARY Clubs on Grand Bahama Island
Disaster Recovery & Rebuilding Initiatives
In the video you will see that Rotary Area Governor Lisbeth Knowles is taking the lead with her five Grand Bahama Island Rotary Clubs (D6990) in the Post-Dorian recovery & rebuilding process in the Eastern Sector of  Grand Bahama Island. PDG Tommy Grimes (D6970) has located a “loaner” heavy-duty forklift from the LiftPower Industrial Materials Handling Company, Jacksonville, to assist AG Lisbeth’s Team in the supplies loading / unloading process; and, the D6970 Disaster Relief Committee is making arrangements to have this unit delivered to AG Lisbeth in Freeport. Also, our District is currently working on sending a supplies & water-tank delivery trailer to Freeport; as well as, exploring the possibility of sending a Mobile Laundry Unit to assist the multitude of evacuees.

Play Video here: and


Barry Rassin, a resident of the Bahamas who is a Past Rotary International President (2018-2019), gave an impassioned briefing and very detailed situation report on the ongoing catastrophic impacts of and long-term recovery & rebuilding needs regarding Hurricane Dorian and its impact on the Rotary Clubs on both Abaco and Grand Bahamas Islands.

This SitRep was delivered to the “FLORIDA PETS” attendees in Orlando on Saturday March 7, 2020. PRIP Barry announced that due to the enormity of the rebuilding tasks yet to be performed by the Bahamian Rotarians in Districts 6990 and 7020 that a “REBUILD BAHAMAS VOLUNTEER WEEK 2020” is currently being organized and has requested that Rotarians from the FLORIDA Districts, such as 6970, participate. When this Program is finalized our District Clubs will be immediately notified.

In the interim, if you have access to portable laundry units, roofing repair materials, portable shower / toilet units, “underwater dive” teams with dock-repair construction experience,  debris removal equipment, basic construction supplies-tools-logistics’ equipment, school supplies, fishing boat repair supplies and tools, they can be immediately utilized by ROTARIANS in order to currently assist in the recovery of certain devastated areas surrounding their Clubs on both Abaco and Grand Bahama Island: PLEASE immediately contact District 6970 Disaster Committee Co-Chair, Pat Mulvihill, at

In the aftermath of DORIAN where it is reported that there are over 60 Hurricane-related deaths, nearly 300 persons still unaccounted for and property damage in the $7 billion range. Our District Leadership Team is very thankful for the most generous outpouring-to-date of financial contributions, earmarked for Bahamas Disaster Relief & Recovery, to the York Foundation made by our Northeast Florida Family of Rotarians (See Contribution Graph Below).

We are getting in position to assist local Bahamian Rotary Clubs who are currently performing “needs assessments”, focusing upon both short and long-term disaster recovery projects in the hardest hit areas of the Islands, primarily Abaco and Grand Bahama.

District 6970 contributions will enable these Rotary Clubs to purchase and have delivered certain specialized educational / health and sanitation / nutritional / and other critical equipment & vital supplies to be utilized in recovery & rebuilding process.

This past week, on behalf of five Rotary Club Presidents, the Assistant District Governor on Grand Bahama Island reached out to Northeast Florida Rotarians for our assistance in accessing the following specific items:

1. Mobile-Laundry Trailer Unit;
2. Forklift; and,
3. Mobile Trailer (with sides).

Post-Dorian Long-Term Recovery & Rebuilding Initiatives in The Bahamas

Our District 6970 Disaster Relief Team is in ongoing contact with local Rotarian Leaders and other governmental and  humanitarian entities on-the-ground who are performing “long-terms needs assessment” assignments in the Bahamas. It is currently reported that there are still hundreds of people listed as “missing,” and the death toll stands at 60 lives. Property damages are estimated to be in the $7 billion range.

Our 6970 Disaster Relief Team is helping Rotary clubs in the Bahamas with recovery efforts in the hardest hit areas of Grand Bahama Island and Marsh Harbor, Abaco. The Disaster Relief & Recovery Funds collected from Rotarians in District 6970 will be utilized for the purchase and delivery of specialized equipment and supplies that can assist these local Rotarians in their rebuilding activities for certain devastated educational and medical facilities as well as for certain assistance programs for evacuees.

Again, our District Leadership Team along with the Disaster Relief Committee thanks you for your most generous support. So far, our Rotary Family and its friends have contributed approximately $60,000 to the District 6970 York Foundation which is earmarked for the “Hurricane Dorian Relief & Recovery Assistance Programs in the Bahamas.”

It is currently reported that there are 52 known deaths as a result of “Category 5” DORIAN (44 on Abaco; and, eight on Grand Bahama); as well as, 1,300 persons are still recorded as “missing”. Also, we have been informed that an estimated 13,000 homes were either destroyed or incurred significant damage, along with the basic infrastructure systems in their respective communities,  especially in the “shanty towns” of Marsh Harbor on Abaco.

At the suggestion of PRIP Barry Rassin (Rotary District 7020) our District Disaster Relief Team made direct contact via phone with the leadership of the Rotary Club of Abaco, Marsh Harbor, in District 7020.

We are currently strategizing as to how D6970 can participate and provide meaningful assistance in certain immediate & long-term recovery initiatives for Abaco- especially critical needs in the areas of economic development / education / healthcare / housing / nutrition / sanitation / water for the underserved members of this community as they return back home to this severely decimated town.

The District 6970 Disaster Relief & Recovery Committee and several members of our District’s Leadership Team spent time this past weekend in Orange Park meeting with Past Rotary International President, Barry Rassin (2018-2019) to discuss strategies for District 6970 on how we could be most effective assisting in certain Post-Dorian Recovery & Rebuilding Programs.

PRIP Barry: lives in the Bahamas; is a member of the Rotary Club of East Nassau (Rotary District 7020); and, is a retired healthcare professional (Former President of & Current Advisor to Doctor’s Hospital Healthcare System-Bahamas).

Labor Day’s 2019’s Category 5 Hurricane Dorian left total devastation in many areas of the Bahamas, especially in the Abaco Islands. Currently Bahamian Authorities have reported 50 deaths; and, approximately 1,300 persons are listed as missing. Another 4,500 people have been evacuated to centers in Nassau. These centers are at capacity.

Trying to simultaneously provide local jobs & economic development programs, rebuild critical infrastructure and housing, is going to be an enormous challenge. It will take high levels of continuous cooperation and significant financial commitments from governmental, private and international civic organizations. The Bahamian government has requested that Rotary be involved on numerous committees to help guide and implement the recovery.

According to PRIP Barry the initial steps will encompass the following: temporary furnished housing, toilet, shower and other facilities for both evacuees and relief personnel; Accessing appropriate machinery, equipment, supplies, building materials and qualified personnel to clean-up debris. Damage assessment of critical infrastructure has begun and some crucial repair operations are already under way.

Our District is currently in direct communication with leadership Teams of both of the Bahamian Rotary Districts (D7020 and D6990). We are also working with several other Rotarian affiliates, such as Disaster-Aid International and ShelterBox. We have started to identify businesses who have the supplies and/or transportation expertise to help us deliver critical materials where they are needed. Throughout the process, we are being guided by local Bahamian Rotarians and government officials so that our efforts are targeted to the current needs. These needs change weekly; sometimes daily.

In addition to making monetary contributions to the 6970 Bahamian Recovery Programs, (see below), we will at times need specific items.We will regularly update this website to solicit the supplies requested by Bahamian Rotary leaders.

For further information: Our Disaster Committee Co-Chair, Pat Mulvihill, can be contacted at or by cell at 904.534.0035.

Thank you District 6970 Rotarians & Friends For Your Generosity and Support in Helping Our Bahamian Neighbors Recovery From This Tragedy!

Many of our D6970 Rotarians are asking how they can assist. We are initially collecting funds through the “2019 Hurricane Dorian Relief & Recovery Assistance Program” administered by our District’s IRS-qualified charitable entity: The York Foundation (“Foundation”). The Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, can accept tax-deductible contributions; and provide contributors with the receipt(s).

NOTE: Our District Funds & Procedures Committee has approved $10,000 to match the first $10,000 of donations made through The York Foundation for 2019 Hurricane Dorian Relief Efforts.

This is how you can make a contribution to The 2019 Hurricane Dorian Relief & Recovery Assistance Program:
I. By Check– Checks are to be made payable to: York Foundation, Inc.
Send via mail to Rotary International District 6970 | PO Box 47195 | Jacksonville, FL 32247. Please be sure to make a notation on the MEMO line that this contribution is to applied to- The Hurricane Dorian Relief Effort.. Donors of $100 or more will receive a receipt.

Please complete the information requested below and send along with CHECK to receive a qualifying receipt for AMOUNTS OVER $100.

Please send Receipt to __________________

Address _________________________________

City, State, Zip ___________________________

Please acknowledge the following Rotary Club

For this contribution of $ _________________

Please call DONOR at ___________________or e-mail at__________________ if there are any questions regarding this contribution.


II. Electronically– Please utilize the “DONATE” link below. Tax Receipts will be sent to those donors of at least $100; please be sure to leave your NAME and FULL MAILING ADDRESS in the COMMENT SECTION once you are in the electronic network. You may also email requesting a receipt.

Click HERE to donate:  PayPal/Credit Card   All funds donated are dedicated solely for Hurricane Dorian relief effort

Questions: Please contact Patti Chapman, Executive Secretary at either 904.994.7355 or

Rotary District 6970, York Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit corporation under 501(c)(3), EIN 59-2319085: No goods or services were provided in exchange for this contribution.


Mike Darragh
District Governor 2019-20
Rotary District 6970


District Calendar and Events

August 24th 2024 8:30 am
Vibrant Clubs WorkShop
More info

September 17th 2024 12:30 pm
Dist Gov Mickey Ulmer
More info

Rotary District 6970