Rick Singh- Chairperson
Pat Hahn
Peter Herz
Jeff Richards
Chip Bowness
Rhonda Latreille

Guest – Desiree Dupris

Call to Order and Welcome

Rick called the meeting to order at 7:15 am, Desiree led national anthem, and Peter gave invocation.

Rick introduced Desiree Dupris.

Rotary Membership Evening Event
Re-confirmed for the evening of Oct 17, 2018 at the Rotary Field House.

Pat encouraged attendance.

Rick shared that Rob to speak at our club as well in November

Ready Steady Go - Nov 24
Rhonda reminded the members to provide her with 2 items each for the silent auction, and will send out a separate reminder email next week. 

The donations should be a minimum of $50 each.

The tickets will be ready for distribution and sale at the October 10 meeting, as per our original schedule.

Social on Oct 16
3 Dog Brewery - last opportunity at current location before they have to move.

Rick will arrange for pizza.

Rotary Club Meeting Location
This was our last meeting at the Pacific Inn – the Pacific Inn officially closes today to start renovations.

Next meeting at Ricky’s - Rick agreed to work with their folks to see how we might streamline arrangements.

Christmas Party
Wednesday, Dec 12 at Renee’s Social Room in her complex.

Pacific Assistive Dogs (PADS) Graduation
Pat and Renee attended on our club’s behalf.

We funded a trauma dog for Sohpie’s Place in support of traumatized kids.

Pat shared that this was successful and remarkable project for the club.


Guest Speaker and Presentation
Rick introduced Desiree Dupris - Ruben’s Shoes

Founded 2013 by Kelly Strongitharm.

Kelly sponsored Ruben through World Vision since 2005, and when she and her mother travelled to the Dominican Republic in 2012, they made arrangements to meet Ruben in person met Ruben.

Kelly was moved by the fact that in many developing countries, shoes are a luxury and children are not allowed to attend school without shoes. Ruben was one such child.  Kelly and her mom took Ruben to a store to buy some shoes so he could attend school, and she was inspired to organize others to help address this need.

Returning back to Canada, Kelly started to mobilize children from a number of schools to collect shoes and donate to the Dominican Republic.

Her close friend, Desiree, joined in the vision and both recently sold their insurance book and are now dedicating themselves full-time to the vision.

Within 6 months - 12,000 shoes were shipped to the Dominican Republic.

Got involved with local elementary schools - it is our kids here helping other kids in other countries.

Ship 1 container with 10,000 pairs of shoes every year.  Containers go to the Dominican Republic, Sierra Leone , New Guiana and Zimbabwe. They have shipped 60,000 pairs of shoes to date.

Desiree now works full-time as the charity fundraiser, and they operate out of Port Moody with an affiliate in Germany.

They believe that education is key to breaking cycle of poverty.  Desiree shared that 62 million kids throughout the world are not in school.

They have expanded their vision to also include building schools!

Their initiatives now include:




Hot Lunch


School Supplies


Their school program started with 24 students, and now serve over 150 students.

135 children are sponsored - from 4-12 classrooms

They created a kitchen that serves 150 hot meals a day – ‘Noni’s Kitchen’ Michael Buble family legacy - built kitchen.

Ed program working.  They report a 20% improvement in literacy.  Their grade 3 students performed  #1 in Math and Spanish for whole country.

400% growth in their ed sponsorship program.

Employ 16 teachers and staff/cooks.

Fundraising projects:

  • Elementary school currently, and they need to build a secondary school
  • Acquired land and fundraising $150,000 — $250,000 to build secondary school.
  • Can also sponsor a student  -- is only $50/month.
  • Build a classroom in their secondary school for $5,000 - classroom named in donors honour.

Plan to eventually expand into other countries

Can now issue tax receipts - registered charity.

Chip shared some of the funding criteria for Rotary and made suggestions about how to position a proposal correctly. 

Pat also suggested Rotary collaborators and other charities for joint projects. (Shine the Light organization in Dominican Republic)

Pat and Rick also offered to help with contacts and connections.

Rick thanked Desiree and adjourned meeting at 8:30 am.