Rotary District Governor Graeme Hooper and his wife Sue visit Singleton | PHOTOS

TREE PLANTING: Members of the Rotary of Singleton Sunrise welcomed special guests, including their District Governor Mr Graeme Hooper and his wife Sue, to the annual tree planting ceremony held at St Catherine's Catholic College on Tuesday afternoon.
TREE PLANTING: Members of the Rotary of Singleton Sunrise welcomed special guests, including their District Governor Mr Graeme Hooper and his wife Sue, to the annual tree planting ceremony held at St Catherine's Catholic College on Tuesday afternoon.

Rotary District Governor Mr Graeme Hooper paid his second visit to Singleton since taking the mantle as the leader of the 9670 district on Tuesday.

However this would prove to be much more than a brief chat with the local Rotarians.

Both he and his wife Sue were treated to an eventful afternoon by the Rotary of Singleton Sunrise which featured a tree planting ceremony at St Catherine's and a meeting at the Diggers Club.

"As we approach the next decade we need to put the message out there that Rotary is far more than just a group which conducts barbecues for charities," Mr Hooper declared in his opening statement.

AWARD CEREMONY: Past president Karen Stout was recognised as a recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow award by Mr Gerard McMillan and current Rotary of Singleton Sunrise president Wendy Love.

AWARD CEREMONY: Past president Karen Stout was recognised as a recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow award by Mr Gerard McMillan and current Rotary of Singleton Sunrise president Wendy Love.

"And the Singleton Sunrise group continue to showcase unique and creative initiatives and have set the example for many groups going forward."

The gathering saw club member Karen Stout receive the coveted Paul Harris Fellow award from charter president Gerard McMillan while the Singleton Diggers was then inducted as the club's inaugural corporate member.

Yet the highlight would prove to be the presentation of a $1,000 cheque to assist Mrs Hooper's mission to purchase a service dog to help transform the life of a veteran.

The Integra Dog Services Australia was founded in 2016 to reduce veteran suicide through the provision of excellent service dogs to Veterans and First Responders who have served Australia.

"I'm overwhelmed to accept this, these dogs cost $30,000 each and our aim is to raise enough funds for one to assist a veteran in the rotary district," Mrs Hooper stated.

THE DONATION: Karen Stout, Graeme Hooper, Wendy Love and Sue Hooper during the presentation toward the Integra Dog Services Australia initiative on Tuesday morning.

THE DONATION: Karen Stout, Graeme Hooper, Wendy Love and Sue Hooper during the presentation toward the Integra Dog Services Australia initiative on Tuesday morning.

Overall, the memorable afternoon was declared a success by current Rotary of Singleton Sunrise president Wendy Love.

"Today was the first time that I've participated in the tree-planting but it was nice to be involved with the school," she added.

"To see how enthusiastic the students are was a pleasure and to have the District Governor Graeme and his wife Sue in our company was also exciting."