Upcoming Events
Kyle Barber: YMCA of Oakville
Amica Brontë Harbour
Mar. 11, 2024
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Social event at Bronte's Sports Kitchen
Bronte's Sports Kitchen
Mar. 25, 2024
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
View entire list
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RCO Bulletin Feb 26, 2024
Meeting started at: 6:30pm
  • Meeting Location: Amica Bronte Harbour
  • Mahendra: Toast to King and Canada
  • Grace/Invocation: Nancy Eichenberg
  • No. of Members and guests: 21 members, 2 guests
- Mark, Burloak Landscaping
-Jeff Mamer, CEO, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Grand Erie, Halton and Hamilton, Speaker.
Rod Craig announced that we are forming a WhatsApp group for members. The purpose of this group is not to replace email and other forms of communication, but rather to augment existing communication. Anyone wishing to be part of this group, please send a WhatsApp message to Rod Craig or Reena Sandhu. If you are new to WhatsApp we can help you to join at our next club meeting. Participation in this group is entirely voluntary.
Mahendra mentioned the RibFest Volunteer & Sponsor Reception Evening on February 29th - see email from Mahendra for further information.
Fine Master/Happy Bucks: 
There were no fines 😊
Reasons for Happy Bucks included George Vincent’s Return, Ralf who was happy he was going on a trip to Arizona with his family, and Rod who was pleased with the warm(ish) weather. [He now apologizes for the sudden cold snap]
George Farrow mentioned a project that he worked on: In 1966 he designed the Centennial project for Oakville which included the Plaza, the Pool, and the library. He hired a young sculptor, Ron Baird, to design huge gates for the library, both inside and out. Ron went on to be a major international sculptor. The library is now being decommissioned and George wanted to make sure when they decommissioned it, they saved the historic gates and incorporated them into the new Central Library. It seems the gates (sculptures) will be incorporated into the new building!! Success!
Mitch Sabsabi, our President-Elect introduced our Speaker, Mr. Jeff Mamer.
Jeff has over 20 years of executive leadership experience in Canada’s corporate and non-profit sectors. Before becoming CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Grand Erie, Halton and Hamilton, Jeff was responsible for philanthropy and fund development for the YMCA of Oakville.
Jeff’s Talk: Summary
Jeff talked about children/youth in our community who face prolonged adversity creating toxic stress and preventing them from reaching their full potential. This stress can also lead to continuing cycles of poverty, crime, and mental health issues. Big Brothers Big Sisters uses the guidance and support that a mentor provides to reduce the fallout from toxic stress and empower youth. 
Jeff focused on the impact that his organization makes. He said that 90% of mentees in the program stated making more positive life choices because of the program. 80% felt more connected to the community and 60% were more likely to go on to post-secondary education. He noted that the dollar quantified impact ratio was 23:1; Or $23 generated for every $1 donated based on future graduation rates, employment/better employment rates, and rates of future volunteerism. In addition to the benefits of the mentee, Jeff mentioned that there are also benefits to the mentor, as evidenced by relationships that last long after the mentee/mentor period is over. Jeff talked about the intake process, which involves quantifying 13 toxic stressors and taking those children/youth experiencing the most toxic stress.
Jeff suggested that we all watch this Ted Talk video by Nadine Burke:
about childhood trauma and how it impacts health across a lifetime. He said, “We are all just one relationship away from living a very different life”.
His organization has over 700 volunteers and mentors 1757 youth (2023 numbers). There is a misconception that they are well-funded with lots of volunteers. This is not the case. There is more need than they can currently meet.
Ralf Soeder thanked Jeff for his wonderful presentation. Ralf mentioned that Jean Wettlaufer, our club member was instrumental in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Homework club, 20-25 years ago.
Questions from the audience related to how they select children for acceptance into the program (13 criteria), the minimum age for acceptance into the program (6 years old), whether they work directly with the impacted families (no, but social workers do) and whether children/youth can be part of the program without the consent of the families (1:1 mentoring requires family consent).
Toast to friends and Rotarians from around the world by Mahendra Shah. 
Mahendra mentioned that the next meeting will be on March 11th, with Cal Barber from the YMCA speaking. On March 26th the meeting will be a social event at Bronte Kitchen
[Yes, that's March 11. There will not be a cub meeting March 4.]
Meeting Ended at 8:10 pm