Being the fourth Thursday in the month, today's meeting format was a business update and fellowship...no speaker. In spite of that, PE Karen led a fast paced, informative fun meeting starting with one of the best O Canada's ever! Guests included Trevor, Giselle, Marilyn, and Mike.
Jim reported that we are 63% towards our club Foundation goal, approximately $1800 so far. EVEY...every Rotarian, every year ...gives something. He also reported that the Town fire-hall is on time and on budget but we have no idea what committee that came from.
Lynda shared that attendance continues a club strength, in excess of 80% YTD.
ADG Cheryle had several updates. This weekend she will be attending Pre-Pets with PE Karen with the full PETS (President Elect Training Seminar) coming up at the end of Feb. The District Grand Mgmt. Seminar will be help in Omak on Feb 20 and while she and Jim will attend, anyone interested is encouraged to join them. The District Conference is May 12-15 in Yakima and there will be a bus available and the special news is that the cost of the conference will be converted to Cdn at par!
Cheryle also shared that the LOTB (lobster on the beach) dinner on Sept. 10th will once again brag Mark Madryga as master of ceremonies. Well done!
Secretary Doug is ordering replacement name tags so let him know if you need one. He also talked about the golf tournament which will be June 11th or 25th. He needs help for our biggest fundraiser and needs a response to his recent email, either way so please email him.
Brian gave a very positive Treasurers update with $30m in the bank and $20m set aside for our 2 major projects.
Under Youth Exchange, both our inbound Camille and outbound Sylvia students are off to Revelstoke the weekend after next for a fun Weekend in the Mountains event. This is the first meeting for all the outbounds together with our current students so will be a hoot. Camille is spending this next week in Whistler as a guest of Rotarians from Quincey....c'est une chance!
In other news, Trevor gave us a summary of the very successful SOAP play just concluded in Oliver...Noices Off, in which he acted (I can attest to a very fun play and an excellent lead role for him) and also shared that he is starting acting classes for both kids (10 to 14) and adults (15 to 105). There are limited spots so check out next weeks Times for more information.
There will be a SOS (Save our School) meeting on Feb 9th at the Sonora Center....lots of emotional fodder in this topic!
And that was it! Good meeting....except that Doug won the 50/50, but it will wind up in Foundation so all was good.
2 weeks to golf season!
PE Karen presided over a full house of 21 members and guests. All were appreciating the mild week of weather and first sun in some time.
Karen introduced our 3 guest speakers from Special Olympics BC (SOBC) representing the South Okanagan. Reanne Holden spoke first in her capacity of Manager of Community Development in the Okanagan. She shared that SOBC's goal for the past 30 years has been to enrich the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities and in turn, the lives of their families, friends and everyone they've touched. SOBC provides sports programs and competitions to more than 4300 SO athletes, year round, in 57 communities in BC. The amazing statistic though is that there are 3300 volunteers in support of them! The organization is international and totally athlete centered.
Lee Chic spoke next as the local volunteer/coordinator for SOBC. There are some 50 disabled athletes in the Osoyoos/Oliver corridor (only 2 in Osoyoos!) and they participate in 4 of the 18 sports played internationally; swimming, bowling, bocce and curling. Their ages range from 7 to 74. Lee introduced Alberto Holt as a Special Olympian from Osoyoos and he spoke proudly of his successes in swimming and bowling, even sharing a couple of his medals. All three were obviously and vocally proud and passionate about the program, exemplified by the story of Alberto having to actually fall down each time he bowls a ball and still loves the competition, without complaint.
The presentation was to create awareness and ask for interested volunteers for the program and specifically for the local competitions. The next one here is a 2 day bocce tournament June 11 and 12. As the date approaches, Karen will remind us and coordinate volunteers. Quite different from the Para Olympics that we are more familiar with, but just as worthy.
Remember that you read this here first...Richard McGuire, eat your heart out!
No speaker next week as it is our business/social meeting.
Giselle won the 50/50...so she will be back!
Great job Karen.
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt" .....SO Athlete's Oath.
Pres Marieze introduced 2 guests of Gail, Benjamin Guth and Jeniffer Bussman, Eva Duguid (current host mom of Camille), Marilyn from the Kamloops West Club and our guest speaker PDG Roger Perry.
Roger is the Rotary Foundation Chair for District 5060. At the best of times, anyone charged with trying to make Foundation sound scintillating is doomed. First of all, you are asking for more money from each of us annually and then you have to describe where it all goes, which apparently is a bottomless pit of acronyms! But Roger did a very credible job, even if he had to share the news that beginning in 2016, only 95% of donations will go to Foundation and 5% will need to be allocated to operating expenses.
In the 2013-14 Rotary year, some $400m was raised in our District for Foundation. That money goes into trust until 2016-17, earning interest for the 3 years. 50% of that will then go to the World Fund (Global Grants, scholarships etc) and 50% will go to District Designated Funds ( mostly local and international projects). We can access these funds for qualified projects as we have done in the past and plan to do again this year with the South African project. The real advantage lies in the various grants and matching funds that can conceivably start with $10m of our club money and grow to $65m from Rotary funding plus Canadian Govt matching funds (6.5 : 1). But it all starts with EREY...every Rotarian, every year. There is no minimum amount but all Rotarians are asked to donate something to Foundation...this is how we fund all the good that Rotary does around the world. There are lots of easy ways to given and Jim King, our Club Foundation Chair can show you how easy it is!
Over lunch, we had an interesting presentation from Benjamin Guth, Program Manager for a Toronto employment company, Mobilize. Their mission is to provide Canadian sourced workers between 18-30 on a rotational placement basis to employers in the tourism, hospitality and food services businesses. They provide the recruitment, payroll and admin components of the hire but not the housing. This is a fairly new approach replacing a formerly internationally sourced workforce with a Canadian one. They placed some 200 workers in their first year and are expecting significant growth this year...they are a preferred vendor partner with TOTA (Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association). A neat talk and a worthy idea.
Next weeks speaker is Lee Chic, Local Cordinator for SOBC (Special Olympics BC).
Pres Marieze is off today to S. Africa on holiday and while there will investigate the international project for the Club....safe travels! PE Karen will step in to run the next 3 meetings.
A sunny crisp Osoyoos day outside and equally bright inside....someone had sprinkled a generous dose of the spirit of giving over the meeting!
PR Karen presided and introduced our guest speaker Michael Ryan who is spearheading the arrival and sponsorhip of a Syrian refugee family to Osoyoos. He spoke to the tremendous need to respond to this tragedy, the greatest human displacement since WW2. This family would come under the private sponsorship piece of the 25,000 refugees that the Cdn goverment has committed to. A steering committee of 14 is working the logistics, having raised just over half of the $30,000 they view is needed in the first year. A house is rented and there have been so many donations given that the more immediate needs are financial. He does not know much about the family coming other than there are four with 2 children aged 5 and 8 and they will arrive before February and hopefully by year's end. Support was immediately offered by individuals in the club and Michael was recognized for this worthy project.
ADG Cheryle then spoke on some of her learnings from her District role over the past 6 mos (she will share more in a future meeting), encouraging all of us to reflect on the reasons why we joined Rotary and ensure our actions and behaviors are consistent with the 4-way test.
Lynda updated us on the Christmas 'Adopt a Family' program that our club is supporting...this year it is a family of 5 with 3 girls aged 5, 7 and 11. She will distribute a list of needs and we can respond directly to her...of course there was lots of support from members! There is a fairly short time frame allowed for collection so please respond promptly.
We have been approached by the District to consider taking on an outbound student from the Summerland Club as they had 2 outstanding applicants and could only support one. They recognized that we were not successful in finding a student locally and of course we need an outbound to receive an inbound next fall. The response from the club was immediate and strongly supportive...so very gratifying! The upshot is that we have a super excited Sylvia Mott now knowing she will be on exchange next year and is looking forward to meeting the club at the December 10th meeting. Well done!
Harold has taken the lead on our Festival of Trees decoration following the meeting at Inkameep...there was promise of 'bubbly' for those helping to decorate! The is part of some $60m that the Festival has contributed to Children's Hospital over the past 5 years.
Pam outbid everyone for the awesome Rotary licence plate holders that PE Karen auctioned! Lucky girl, and then Harold promised to mount them for her!
See what I mean by spirit of giving?
Remember no noon meeting next week, replaced by our Christmas function that evening at the Golf Club.
President Marieze welcomed the 16 members/guests to this Nov 12th meeting.....little did we know, the date was significant separating Remembrance Day and the horrific Paris and Beirut terrorist atrocities.
Our guest speaker was Denise Blashko, executive Director of the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce. Denise took over the role in early September, coming from a Community Futures position in Penticton and a range of regional economic development roles in BC and Alta. She came at a busy time with the Festival of the Grape event upcoming and the strategic planning time of year at hand. She has an affinity and passion for making a difference in rural communities and small towns so will meld in nicely here!
Denise led us though the many roles that the Chamber plays in Osoyoos, Oliver and OK Falls and there is a bunch of them! Included were the business walks, the AGM and Awards evening, promotion of business nights (9 so far this year), benefit plans for small businesses to access, production and distribution of business maps (20,000 this year), and the Harvesting Diversity event recently hosted.
It was noted that membership in the Chamber by business is only at about 30% of total businesses here and in Oliver, slightly higher in OK Falls. More members in general and new board members would be welcomed! Also noted was that profit dollars from events goes back to members in the form of training, promotion and advertising.
The next Business to Business meeting is next Wednesday, Nov 18, at the Osoyoos Museum and everyone is welcome.
A good presentation and message from a comfortable and talented speaker...we would hope to see Denise at many more of our meetings.
In other updates, it was announced our club will not be hosting and inbound youth exchange student next year as we could not find an appropriate outbound student from OSS. We will try again next year!
Food bank donations were received at the meeting and it was discussed and decided that all members would be asked to donate $10 at the next meeting to help the food bank out for the holiday season. Also Linda will investigate taking on a family for Christmas as we have done before.
Dates to note are the Board meeting Nov 26th following the noon meeting and the Christmas Party on Dec 4th to be celebrated with the Oliver Club.
Have a great week!
And if I could have put the French Tricolor overlay on this in honor of Paris, I would have.