Dec. 3, 2012

December is Family Month

President Ruth opened the meeting, giving a toast to Canada, France, Denmark, Mexico and Rotary International.

Girv Devitt led us in the 4 Way Test and Don Thornton in Grace.

Sargent at Arms John introduced our guests for the evening: Don Sharp from the Kawartha Club and our own Sarah Leth.

Bob Fawcett won the 50/50.

Sorry we missed you: Spence Tucker, Bob Craw, Brian Parks and Brad Filman

Leave of Absence: Lorne Kelsey

Fines:  David Rook Green led us in fines with trivia including “when witches were burned at the stake – who paid for the wood?  Their families!”


President Ruth passes around a thank you from the county in recognition of our participation in the “Adopt a Road” project in the form of our clean-up of the causeway and Rotary Park.

Sara’s Minute:

Sarah has settled into the home of Girv and Cheryl Devitt.  She attended a cooking class under the guidance of Chef Brian Henry, Cheryl’s Christmas concert and also went to church.  She is looking forward to an inbound student get together, this weekend in Barrie.

Speaking of exchange students, Don shared the following email from our outbound student Alicia with the club.  Be sure to read the last paragraph – it reminds us what the program is all about!


Hello from Mexico! I just thought I would send a quick email to tell you about my year so far.

I have been very, very busy and continue to love my life here... the responsibilities are difficult at times (who knew money could be spent so fast??) and the last week of the month I am usually in desperate need of better budgeting skills, but I am learning, and learning fast.

School is school, wherever you go! UNfortunately, all lessons are oral lessons and therefore I dont follow everything. A few classes are easy to understand, such as Geography, Psychology and English (I certainly hope english is easy for me!!), but law and math in Spanish? I barely understand those in English!!!

Today I have a presentation for my Rotary club for children interested in an exchange this year. I have to comvince them that Canada is the place to be!!! But, there are so many advantages to our nation I think it will be fairly easy. The other exchangers here in Guadalajara are having a bit more difficulty, as Poland is, as the Polish girl said, a hard country to market! Seeing as how you only use Polish in Poland.

We have become a family here, the exchangers and I, and I dont look forward to the idea of leaving them all behind at the end of this year. But, it is something that must come and whatever happens, I know that we will keep in touch. The bonds we are making will last a lifetime, and that is something I am so grateful for.

Without Rotary, without BEL sponsering me, picking me out of all the others who wanted to travel this crazy world, I would not be here. I wouldnt have camped on the beach in the middle of November in a tent with a Brazilian as the waves pounded the shoreline. I wouldnt have visted ancient ruins of Guachamontones, or felt the power of energy circle. I wouldnt have tasted strange and wonderful new foods, or learned a new language, several in fact!!! I can understand most POrtuguese now, and have picked up a few Polish phrases. Without your support, your faith in me that somehow I was the right girl to send, these are things I would never have done.

You will never know my endless gratitude for what BEL has given me, what Rotary has given me. It is impossible to describe to you how honoured and priveleged I feel.”

Thank you so much,

Sincerely yours,

Alicia Kensit

Please send Alicia a quick email at

Polar Plunge:

This year for the Polar Plunge the club has decided to try using on line registration.  Within 2 weeks the site should be up and running facilitating on line registration, donations and the use of credit cards.  There is a cost to the set up and the committee will determine if it is viable and a direction for the future.  The plunge is on Feb. 3 and all members are encouraged to be available.  The theme will be movies and President Ruth and D.G. John are taking the plunge!!

Change for Change:

November was foundation month.  Foundation Chair Tony is challenging us to bring in spare change the next three meetings to go to foundation toward the polio plus campaign.  This money will be matched 3:1 – every dollar becomes 3!  We will also have a loonie auction at the Christmas get together.  Bring in your change – the bucket will be passed tomorrow!

Evening Program:

On November 12th members of the club gathered at Champs restaurant in Peterborough to discuss the future vision of the club.  A summary of the ideas generated was distributed at the meeting. 

President Elect Dave led us through an exercise to develop a succinct “elevator” speech, a 20 – 25 second blurb that defines who we are as a club and what we stand for.  Dave will compile the input and draft a statement.

One of the goals identified in the visioning is to increase our annual revenue to $50,000.  Dave distributed fundraising ideas from the Rotary website, other service clubs and organizations and challenged us to look at them and consider possible opportunities.  It was announced that the golf tournament will be held in the spring which will leave a time lapse from July until Feb. without a fund raiser.  All members are asked to consider opportunities for future discussion.

The next was to begin to think about a signature project: given the goal of a fundraising budget of $50,000 a year and our vision of the club, what is our signature project?  What do we want people to think of when they think of BEL Rotary?  What is our legacy project? 



Remember, membership is everybody’s business.  Consider potential members and invite them to learn more about Rotary.

Chris relayed a message from last week’s speaker about “what a nice group of people” we are!

Christmas Party:

Our annual Christmas Party is Dec 17th at the Davidson’s.  It is a partner’s night.  The cost is $20. Per person and includes wine, beer, food and fun!  We will have the traditional gift exchange – re-gift and gag gifts  please!


Date                                        Evening Chair                        Speaker

December 10                          Ruth Kuchinad            Club Elections

December 17                          Christmas Party at the Davidsons

December 24 and 31st              No Meeting

January 7                                Bob Ash

January14                               Bob Craw