Karen Basso, the current president of the Prince Rupert Rotary Club, is a self-described ‘lifer’. (Keili Bartlett / The Northern View)
Bad Video Embed Code

Karen Basso, the current president of the Prince Rupert Rotary Club, is a self-described ‘lifer’. (Keili Bartlett / The Northern View)

Heart of Our City: Rotary president is expanding Horizons

Karen Basso helps raise funds for community projects in Prince Rupert

Karen Basso loved her childhood.

Born and raised in Prince Rupert, she and her family spent a lot of time taking advantage of the area’s natural elements. Her late father, Neil Forman, taught her how to ski and that’s how they spent many weekends in the winter when he wasn’t working at his business, Certified Welding and Machining.

“He was involved in the golfing community, the ski hill on Mount Hays, the hill out at Rainbow Lake,” Basso said. “He always gave back something, so it’s my turn to.”

One way Basso gives back to her hometown is through the Prince Rupert Rotary Club. She’s been a Rotarian for almost a decade and is currently halfway through her year as the regional club’s president.

“There’s just so many things you see around town that the Rotary has been involved in. There’s the tennis courts, signage, the waterfront park. You just think, maybe that’s something I’d like to be a part of. It just happened that somebody asked me and I went, ‘OK’,” she said with a laugh.

Recently, the Rotary Club raised $50,000 after expenses through their annual three-day auction. Basso said she was so busy that although she placed a few bids, she didn’t end up getting anything. She doesn’t seem to mind though, as she’s already looking forward to how the Rotary will be able to put that money back into the community.

WATCH: THE ORIGINS OF PRINCE RUPERT’S ROTARY AUCTION

“We give all that money away,” she said. “I do like helping organizations reach some goals, whether it’s funding or whatever.”

That’s how Basso got involved in the Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation (PRRCF), where she’s a director. About 10 or 11 years ago, she was the president of the Performing Arts Society and had applied to PRRCF to receive funds for a project. When she attended the cheque presentation, they asked her to join.

“So I did,” she said with another laugh. “It’s all about community, right?”

When she’s not directly involved in fundraising, her baking often appears in her stead.

“I love to cook, I love to bake. People call upon me when they’re doing baking auctions,” Basso said. “I’ve done many of those.”

WATCH: BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE 2017 ROTARY AUCTION

And that’s all in her downtime. Aside from being part-owner of her father’s business with one of her brothers, Basso has been working with Quadra Travel for 26 years. She had her first taste of travelling when she went to Europe on a school trip in high school.

“It’s nice to get away,” Basso said. “We livew in a rainforest and I like sun and sand. I’m fortunate enough to be able to escape multiple times during the year.”

Even though she likes to travel far and often, and helps plan vacations for a living, for Basso there’s no place like home. She’s a self-described ‘lifer’ and is proud that she’s never moved anywhere else.

“I love it here. I just love the air, the three-minute commute to work, the people. That’s what keeps me here,” she said.

While her involvement in organizations such as PRRCF and the Rotary Club takes a lot of commitment — Basso attends weekly member meetings and a monthly executive meeting for the Rotary plus fundraisers — giving back to the community she calls home makes it all worth it.

“A lot of our current members have been in this club for 30, 40 years,” she said. “I admire them. I admire them all. Nine years is nothing. I think I’m talking myself into staying for a very long time.”

READ MORE HEART OF OUR CITY PROFILES HERE.



keili.bartlett@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Heart of our Cityvideo

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Asher Hauknes shows his strength with Prince Rupert Gymnastics head coach Erin Hipkiss looking on Nov. 13. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Gymnastics Association benefits from Community Gaming Grant

Prince Rupert sports club to receive just less than $90,000 to build new facility

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue was dispatched to a boat fire on Jan. 21 at Fairview Marina. (Photo: supplied)
Boat fire under investigation

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue attended boat fire at Fairview Marina

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

Prince Rupert lawyer, Donald A. Silversides has been appointed to the BC Liberals Election Organizing Committee, announced the party on Jan 21. (Contributed photo)
Don Silversides appointed to BC Liberal election organizing committee

Prince Rupert lawyer is the current BC Liberals acting president

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

More than 100 B.C. fishermen, fleet leaders, First Nations leaders and other salmon stakeholders are holding a virtual conference Jan. 21-22 to discuss a broad-range of issues threatening the commercial salmon fishery. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. commercial salmon fishermen discuss cures for an industry on the brink

Two-day virtual conference will produce key reccomendations for DFO

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

Most Read