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Youth Service
Immediate Past President
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Soap Box Derby Chair
Christmas party
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Chair Golf Tournament
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Rotary Club of Okotoks and Pub Club
Meeting Dates/Locations
Wednesdays @6:30  
Crystal Ridge GC  
8 Crystal Grn Lane
Mailing Address:
PO Box 84, Okotoks AB T1S 1A4

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Home Page Stories


Enjoy a great night out and support our youth programs!
Tickets at Community Futures Highwood at 403-995-4151.
Get your tickets now to avoid disappointment.

Thanks to the leadership of Membership Chair Sandi Kennedy, the trade fair booth this past weekend at the Okotoks Recreation Centre was a big success. On hand to promote Rotary in Okotoks were Sandi, Bob Buchanan, Larry Logan, Trish Henderson, Cindy Kruschel and President Jeff Foss. Numerous community members came by to chat and find out a little more about Rotary. It was also great to see District Governor-elect Martin Harvey stop to offer his greetings and encouragement. The Soap Box derby race car was of great interest to youngsters of all ages.

Help us support the Okotoks Food Bank.
"Meet Okotoks Rotarians to fund Meat"


Please contact any member of the Rotary Club of Okotoks for your Poinsettia needs this Holiday season. Proceeds from Poinsettia sales support the eradication of this dreadful disease through the Rotary Polio Plus program. Funds raised are double matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

Please place your order by November 9th for pick up on Friday afternoon November 21st (between 3 and 5 pm) and also Saturday morning November 22 between 10 & 12  noon)

For more information, please contact Poinsettia sales chair, Sandi Kennedy at




The 25th Annual Soapbox Derby was a success, thanks to the hard work of volunteer Rotarians and community sponsors. Special thanks to co-chairs Mark Kharfan and Andrew Northrup for organizing this event once again.







ImageIn a little Town in South West Mexico 6 Okotoks Rotarians along with 4 spouses partnered with members of the Sylvan Lake and Red Deer Rotary Clubs to bring over 300 Wheel Chairs to needed people in the southern parts of Mexico around Huatalco. The clubs raised the money, purchased the chairs, shipped them off to Mexico and then travelled to Mexico to unpack and assemble the Chairs. They ten did work days helping people get a chair and teaching them how to manage them.

The picturse show our Rotarians at work helping...

  • 80-yr-old Nicolesa Bta Diaz took a four hour bus ride to get her wheelchair
  • President Kino of the Huatalco Rotary shows parents how to take their son up and down stairs

  • Neil Swenrude, 10 year veteran of the wheelchair program from Sylvan Lake left, with Lynn Peterson, first time wheelchair volunteer with the Okotoks Rotary lift a recipient into her new chair




Did you know that Rotary International has made it a mission to eradicate polio from the entire world?  And that there are only three countries left in which polio exists? The last country to capitulate was India, after many years of delivering the vaccine. In February, 2012, the country celebrated one full year polio free. 


In today’s world, many of us don’t understand the crippling effects of polio.  The virus attacks the intestinal tract, causing general illness and flu-like symptoms, but in its worst form, the virus migrates from the intestine and may affect the nerves governing the muscles in the limbs and the muscles necessary for breathing, causing respiratory difficulty and paralysis of the arms and legs. It can even cause death.


In the Western Hemisphere we began to use the vaccine as soon as it became available in the mid-fifties, and for many years we’ve not seen anyone with the disease. The rest of the world was not as fortunate, but with concerted efforts, only a few countries remain a challenge. Although immunization efforts continue, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are still infected.  Change in these countries is difficult due to cultural or religious barriers and/or civil unrest.  But when compared to the entire world, we have almost reached our goal. You will see evidence of the current campaign, which states, “We are ‘this close’ to ending polio.


One of the faces you will see in these ads is that of Bill Gates. He donated $350 million to the cause, and challenged Rotary International to match it.  Rotary’s initial pledge, set in 2009, was to raise $200 million for polio eradication. To date, Rotary has contributed $164.5 million to the cause in India, and more than $1 billion worldwide.


This money comes from fundraisers in individual clubs all over the world.

Here in Okotoks, the Rotary club is selling poinsettias to brighten your holiday season.  Why not celebrate World Polio Day on October 24th by ordering your plants? All of the proceeds will go toward this global initiative. We are using a local supplier, and offering two sizes of the plant. For $15, a stunning poinsettia, and for $20, a beautiful plant laced with tropicals.  To place your order, call (403) 938-9951 or e-mail   



As part of an international experiment, a satellite meeting has been created for young professionals, bringing the current membership to 52. Our local Rotarians are the only club in Canada participating in this unique pilot program.

Rotary generates funding for community projects and charitable organizations, and you’d be surprised at the variety of ways we do it.

Last month, we held the 23rd Annual Soap Box Derby on the Crystal Ridge hill, with a whopping 92 participants. This successful event sparks amazing community participation with parents and businesses alike sponsoring the homemade cars.  This year’s race brought in $7,500.  

This month, we ran our annual golf tournament with hot sunny weather, and a lot of fun.  The results? Ten thousand dollars was given to KidSport, an organization dedicated to financially helping families register their children in sports programs.  An additional ten thousand went to Rowan House, an emergency shelter for women in the Foothills area.

These are events you read about in the paper, but what about the work you may not know about?  Here’s what happened. Some Rotary reps went to a cattle auction. They bought a steer and sold the best cuts.  The rest went into hamburger, as did the money they made on the better cuts, and the Okotoks Food Bank benefitted by 400 pounds of fresh ground meat.

Next month we look forward to providing food at the Highland Games, and any proceeds from that gargantuan endeavour will be donated back to this high profile event.

Rotary is an international organization that believes in Service First.  If you’d like to visit a meeting, you’re welcome anytime. Wednesday’s meeting begins at 6:30 at Crystal Ridge Golf Club and includes dinner for $20.  The young professionals meet Thursdays at 5:15 at Rylie’s Cattle Barn for appetizers at five dollars. Find more information at

Peg Ainsley is a Rotarian and a freelance writer in Okotoks.


Alana Millard, who was chosen to represent the Okotoks Rotary Club at the annual Adventure in Citizenship program in Ottawa has just returned from her trip.  Here is the letter she wrote to the club.

The Rotary Club of Okotoks now has fifty members.

With the induction of 8 new members into the Satellite Club last week the total membership of the Rotary club of Okotoks is 50! (42 active and 8 honorary members)

Congratulations to all the new members and the membership committee.


Canadian Rotarian and polio survivor Ramesh Ferris met with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Pakistani Prime Minister Raza Gilani, and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard immediately following an announcement of a $90 million contribution to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.


Throughout the world of Rotary Clubs; 200 Clubs were granted the ability to organize a “Rotary Satellite Program”.  In this 3 year pilot program, the Okotoks Rotary Club is working through the process to create a special “Satellite Club” geared to meet the volunteer needs of its region’s young professionals.  The new group will meet on a different day, likely an early evening 5-6 pm or morning 7-8am.  The Satellite Club will work along with the existing Chartered Okotoks Rotary Club; also within the guide lines that all Rotary Clubs follow. 



Join in the celebrations as Alberta honours its small businesses in and around the week of October 16 to 22, 2011 – recognized nation-wide as Small Business Week. Every year, The Business Link and the Alberta Chambers of Commerce work together to promote Small Business Week events in Alberta.

Small Business Week is a national annual celebration organized by the Business Development Bank of Canada in cooperation with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce during the latter part of October.

It pays tribute to the significant contribution that small and medium-sized business owners make to our economy and gives them an opportunity to network with those interested in small business and dedicated to its development.  

This news story was taken from


The Rotary Club of Okotoks has traditionally supported one to four students to attend Entrepreneurial Camp at Eagles Nest Ranch in the Cypress Hills of Southern Alberta.  Students returned from Camp and many did presentations to the club,  We all got a sense that this was an intense team building exercise while learning what it takes to build a business.   Students always expressed appreciation at having been given this opportunity to learn and grow – using words like awesome,  best ever camp, made so many friends, gained so much confidence, etc .  As there was a young man close to us, Udo and I decided that we would make the trek to the closing ceremonies, and try and discover what turned these “kids” on.
Rotarians Dr. Troy Bourque and Doug Fraser pose with Longview 4H member  Ashley Shewchuk and the steer Ashley raised. The steer was purchased by the Okotoks Rotary Club and the meat from the steer was donated to the Okotoks Food bank.
Okotoks student Taylor Ardiel spoke to the Okotoks Rotary Club about local youth curling and about his experiences and commitments as a rising young Alberta curler representing his Region and his Province at various levels of youth curling tournaments.

Kirianna Crowe walks along a path with some of the kids she worked with this past September through December. Kirianna spoke to Rotary on Jan 5, 2011 to thank Rotarians for their donations to aid her in her work teaching these street kids english and helping to supply books, pencils, and food along with building classroom benches for them to sit on, painting walls, cementing a floor, and many other necessary steps to remove hunger and literacy problems.

Representing the Okotoks Rotary Club's Secret Santa Program, Past President Bill McAlpine presents a donation of $3,200.00 to Krista Aiello of the Okotoks Healthy Family Resourse Centre.

President Ted Shacklady presents The Okotoks Food Bank Executive Director Lea Carter with acheque for $1,500 to assist in taking care of the needy families over the holiday season.

Okotoks Rotary President John Lockhart and Rotarian Norm Castiglione presented Rowan House Executive Director Sherrie Botten with cheques of $25,000 and $1,500 at their regular club meeting on September 1st.

The Rotary Club of Okotoks was pleased to present the Seaman Stadium Field House Building Fund with a cheque for $50,000. The Okotoks Dawgs made the transition to Okotoks and in the last two years have taken the Championship Title - last year in front of the home crowd!The youth of Okotoks have responded and there are now many minor teams playing and learning baseball. The enclosure of the field house will allow for year round training in batting and the basics of baseball. Another rewarding donation to the community.
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ShelterBox prepares for Mosul refugees
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Skydivers raise thousands for polio eradication
The first time Noel Jackson jumped out of a plane at 14,000 feet, it had nothing to do with raising money for polio eradication. The Michigan dentist had received a gift certificate to go skydiving from his staff because they knew he was into adventure. “It is definitely a defining moment,” says Jackson, a member of the Rotary Club of Trenton, Michigan, USA, of that first jump, done in tandem strapped to a professional skydiver. “The rush of the free fall is beyond anything I have ever experienced before. Just the speed and acceleration is unbelievable. You don’t even have time to figure out...
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Even as parts of Haiti were still recovering from a catastrophic 2010 earthquake, Hurricane Matthew tore through the impoverished island country 4 October, leaving hundreds dead and many more homeless. The Category 4 storm affected an estimated 330,000 people in Haiti, including 6,400 who were moved to temporary shelters. Extensive damage to main bridges and other transportation networks have left some areas cut off and vulnerable. Torrential rains have resulted in flooding and landslides. And contaminated water supplies threaten to lead to a surge in cholera cases and other waterborne...
Watch our polio partnership come alive at World Polio Day
On 24 October, World Polio Day, Rotary will bring together partners from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative for an update on our fight to end polio. As host and moderator of the event, our organization plays a key role in amplifying one of the most important public health concerns in modern history. When we first took it up as an organizational cause over three decades ago, polio affected 350,000 children every year, mostly in lower-income countries where poor sanitation and limited access to clean water facilitate the spread of the virus. Our collaboration with the World Health...