P O Box 93 Midland, ON L4R 4K6
Posted by Bill Molesworth on Aug 10, 2016
Vernice was born in Virginia in April of 1965, the youngest of 8. She has an Aunt in Ohio who has 9 children and another in the Chesapeake with 6. They don't need to invite any extras to make up a crowd in her family. Norfolk Virginia is home to the Naval Station, the Beach and the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel/Bridge.
She didn't meet her father till she was 13 and though getting to know each other was difficult - she still just calls him 'the old man' - she finds that with her mother's passing a few years ago it is nice to have someone to talk to. Her mother instilled a sense of caring, empathy and religious feeling in her children and Vernice was helping at her local nursing home while still in high school. They even took patients home for holidays and festivals. Can't do that any more. They had an uncle living with them who needed attention as well.
In High School she did a lot of athletics - running and the high and long jumps but basketball was too much chasing the ball up and down the court so she dropped that. In Junior Achievement she developed a lamp with an electric metre for the base. You can still find the odd one on ebay.
She married, did some modelling, took IT at college but didn't enjoy it and so went back for Business Admin. and then went to work for Sumitomo Drive Technologies which modified conveyor belts with speed controls for manufacturing applications. She started co-ordinating United Way drives in that company and in others to make them more effective.
She has two daughters and in 2005 she divorced and moved to Oakville, starting as a United Way volunteer and sidelining as a Karaoke champion. Oakville's expensive and, having been to Midland as a visitor, she applied for a job at the Wal Mart and worked there for a while, meeting and marrying Ron Smith in 2011. She was head hunted by the Heart and Stroke organization and co-ordinated their campaigns throughout Simcoe/Muskoka for 3 years. She found she enjoyed it and took fundraising at Georgian. Finding the large area involved too much driving, she moved to CLH this May to become the Foundation Co-ordinator.
She knows there's a long history between the CLH and Rotary and is thankful for the support. They are promoting a Christmas on the Green next week at Brooklea, they work with Nancy Spiker on her Fashion Show and other events are coming.
Vernice showed a video of the people who work and the ones who live at CLH.
Posted by Bill Molesworth on Aug 03, 2016
Aaron feels the Rotarian magazine has high quality content and he decided to read a bit of it to us. To be fair (why start now?) we didn't have a speaker and he had to come up with something on short notice.
10 Reasons to be a Rotarian
Polio - almost gone. 16 cases this year. People who take action can make a sustainable change for billions of people.
Foundation - this is its centenary year and it has spent 3 billion on making the world a better place.
Social Networking - being part of something and connecting with others is good for you.
Comes Back - District grants give our money back multiplied so the benefit to the community is even greater.
Membership is even more flexible - soon we won't have to show up but then - see #3?
Peace Initiatives and Education - one person at a time or supporting NGOs Rotary changes minds.
Scholarships - the best and the brightest. Midland gives a scholarship to a member of each graduating class.
Rotarians are happier and healthier.
Working for the future - Youth engagement, RYLA, Youth Exchange, Adventures in..., Student of the Month.
Posted by Bill Molesworth on Jul 27, 2016
Gary introduced Marie who hails from Northern Alberta but has been living in Peterborough where she taught French and English as a second language while taking a Masters in Global Change. She's been a member of Rotary for over a year and has already been named Rotarian of the Year there. She is keen on pursuing sustainable solutions to the problems endemic in Honduras and has been there several times both on missions and as part of Rotary initiatives like wheelchair distributions and donations of school supplies. There is a relationship with a club there which is dedicated to helping.
Marie said Honduras is the second poorest country in the world, after Haiti, the government is corrupt and they are still suffering from the effects of a huge tornado that hit in 1998. There are a lot of gangs and associated violence though she says that if you take the standard precautions there is little risk. Working with the local club helps.
The wheelchair distribution she worked on handed out 275 chairs of all sizes. She has also helped distribute water filters and worked with the AFE school which stands for love, hope and faith and is built at the local dump where families scrounge for recylclables under the control of gangs who limit their earnings. One person made $5.00 scavenging cardboard to feed a family of 8 for a week. She also has connections to the Reyes Irene Vocational School for girls from 12 up who work as domestics or street vendors. The school provides accelerated courses to give a GED as well as moral support, medical care, sex education and lessons on their rights as citizens. and has won a UN award nomination but it is closed, now, due to lack of funding. $13,000.00 has been raised to open half of the classrooms and it is hoped to raise more through the global grant application.
School in Honduras is free but students are required to wear a uniform and shoes and provide books and transport which is often beyond the reach of families. Again funding is being sought to offer scholarships which the students would repay through tutoring and kits of supplies for students and for assisting teachers.
There is an application in to fund a trip next year - $82,000.00 - with more being raised elsewhere and the hope is to develop a
female empowerment course along with business projects, vocational training and teachers' training, the graduates of which would teach others. They are also developing textbooks that are specific to the locale and would be rented so they are returned and reused and then the funding used to update and replace them.
Gary said Marie is planning a trip to Honduras in Feb. next year and is excited to think our Club might join her to pursue a water filter project that also would include building a filter factory so they could accelerate deliveries and provide jobs. Gary got about 10 hands expressing interest in participating. He projects about 50 people going from 5 Clubs and Midland would arrive first to work on the filter projects and then help out on others as other groups arrived. There is the possibility that some members might stay longer. If you're interested in going, talk to Gary. A decision will be made early in August.