PA ROTARY MEETING November 22. 2022

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

The club welcomed Executive Director Michael Quibell of the Dew Drop Inn "compassion kitchen"(at St. Andrews church), accompanied by DDI  Manager Melody Lavallee.


Michael has been an active member of the Thunder Bay community since he moved to the Lakehead in 2005.  He has been an active member of the Thunder Bay Country Market, Rotary Shelter House, the Dew Drop Inn and the Kwae Kii Win Center, and the Regional Food Distribution Center -- to name just a few.  Serving those who are in need have been the defining moments of his life. “The market had made a decision to become more community minded,” he said.  “It was decided to host a community feast at Shelter House. We were all busy with the meal preparations for our 2 pm meal service when I glanced at the time (1:50 pm) and then at the dining room which now had a lineup of people around its perimeter. All of these people in line were there because they were hungry. I had never encountered this before. When I left that day, I knew that I needed to do something, I needed to do more.” 

Michael gave a succinct but powerful overview of the Dew Drop Inn, serving the hungry people of Thunder Bay and environs, with "no questions asked, no one denied" since it's inception in 1981.
Described by Rene St Jacques in his introduction as "a team player, leading by example, and on the front line" the presentation laid out clearly the Who, What, Where, When, Why  and How, people with hunger and food insecurity can get access to healthy food on a daily basis at this important place.
The need is there and skyrocketing: last year's numbers were in the 120,000 visit range. For thanksgiving this year, over 620 were fed! With Covid, the flu, housing prices and general inflation, the beat goes on.

The base problem said Michael, is lack of affordability of food. The "living wage" is simply too low.
There are clients that are regular daily customers, a majority being seniors over 60. There are many issues on an individual basis contributing.
 Volunteerism is essential and certainly a dedicated staff willing to deal with all the demand on a daily basis- year round. 

Our club has been a staunch supporter for many years. Members have not only prepped and served food, but also toiled at and supported financially, many renovation projects there, both in the hall and kitchen. 
Our big day is the fourth Thursday of each month. Dave Silliman is the force behind our club support.

The club was thanked by Michael and Melody. The partnership remains strong.
Our guests were then thanked by no less a hands on DDI inspired guy than Rotarian Bob Tomlinson.

 
BUSINESS/UPDATE HIGHLIGHTS

1.Rotary Radio Family Day: Matt Villella provided a preliminary report: we are off to a decent start. Check the improved more user friendly ad sales form/procedure on our website.

2. Santa Claus Parade: Overall a big success with 37 members plus the Rotaractor worker bees doing a great job.  Some issues for (easy) corrective action were outlined (Jim Madder).

  3. Waterfront Trail Rotary Community Action Team (WTRCAT) Update: Now that Municipal Election is complete, WTRCAT members will begin discussions, one-on-one meetings with individual Councilors leading up to January 12th Pre-Budget Deputation where WTRCAT will present merits of multi-year funding in the 2023 City budget to expand the City’s Waterfront Trail.

4. Foundation Month.  Port Arthur Rotary has always punched above its weight with the Paul Harris Fellowship!  Remember: Every Rotarian / Every Year.

5.Bolivia Health Clinic grant is approved: Mano a Mano builders to proceed (Roly Turner).

6. The 4 Way Test Essay Contest: Art Warwick is awaiting responses from the high schools.

7. Reports on Dew Drop Inn (October session) from Dave Silliman;  S.A. Kettles (Bob Tomlinson) placements now filled; Fellowship activities (Magnus Theatre, Christmas at the Court House (S. Crawford):
Easter Seals partnership (Matt Villella); Charitable giving status (Doug Shanks); Untimely death of past DG Rick Bricker (Roly Turner); Membership applications (S. Crawford).

Hey, there is a lot going on with this club!