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Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club
Find out more about what it means to be a Rotarian by joining us for breakfast at the Dundas Valley Golf and Curling Club, Tuesday mornings from 7:10 - 8:30. Contact rmontesanto@cogeco.ca for more information.
On Tuesday, February 14th we had the pleasure of inviting speakers Russ and Karen Beaurivage . Russ is an OPP officer (and also a pilot) and Karen is a legal assistant in Hagersville. For the last several years they have been involved in various Haiti missions starting with short term missions from 2009-2012. In 2013, Russ became head of the vehicle and ground maintenance at the Mission of Hope in Haiti. During that stint they were asked to take on the interim Directorship of Tytoo Gardens which was nearby. Tytoo gardens has a very interesting history which can be read about here: http://www.tytoogardens.com/history/. Tytoo Gardens is an orphanage the operates a transitions program which tries to re-connect children with families. Many of the residents are not true orphans but their families simply cannot support them. It also has a medical clinic which is the only one in the community. It is Haitian run with Haitian doctors. Tytoo also provides an elder care program which provides food twice per month for older community members.
Russ is rebuilding an aircraft that he uses for his working with Aviation Ministries in Haiti. He says that the cheque the Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club presented to him with just about cover the cost of the flight to Haiti (where plane fuel is extremely expensive).
On January 31, 2017 a small group of Rotarians had the pleasure of hearing from new member Derek Dix.
Derek told us about his adventures heading to New Zealand as a young man with nothing more than the pack on his back...and no place to stay. Everything worked out well for him though and he landed himself work at a security firm...while he spent the days working he spent every weekend skiing.
Derek also shared his experiences as a competitive curler where he would play 5 - 7 games a week. Derek met his wife Leah through curling and together they have 2 fantastic kids, Marjorie and Graham. These days Derek spends more time in the wood shop than on the ice. His current hobby is woodturning and he enjoys being a member of the Golden Horseshoe Woodturner's Guild.
As owner of Dundas Lock and Key Derek also shared with us some of the work being done in the locksmith industry to ensure all of our safety. Most interestingly there is work being done to "certify" locksmiths to ensure that the people you are trusting with your homes security are trustworthy. We all sat up and took notice when Derek mentioned that the number one college course in Ontario prisons is the locksmithing programme!!
On February 7 the club had the pleasure of visiting Graham & Brooks store on Main St. Dundas.
Mary Lou introduced Lorna and John, owners of Graham and Brooks since 2015. Both spoke about the development of their business with chalk painting lessons on Sundays to architectural salvaging at its heart. An incredible variety of old and new in 3 rooms, The Rough House, at the back, having just opened. John loves to salvage and scavenge, from old barns to churches and schools being torn down (All Saints, Parkside). Lorna is the paint expert, leading classes as well as painting for others who bring pieces into the store and she demonstrated chalk painting chairs for us in a matter of minutes. Their most recent project is increasing their social media presence. Look for on-line shopping in the spring!

Don thanked our hosts and we left to brave the elements!



On Tuesday, January 24th Dr Galbraith, Head of Science at the Royal Botanical Gardens, spoke to us about the Cootes to Escarpment Eco Park project. Dr Galbraith described the rare and wonderful asset that we have right here in Dundas.

The Dundas Valley is a glacial re-entrant valley; in places over 600 feet of sediment is present. 

  • Uniquely, the Niagara Escarpment faces south in this area, creating a special ecosystem 
  • It is the only remaining Great Lakes coastal wetland connected to the escarpment 
  • It is biologically rich area of 10 square kilometres with over 1600 of all species 
  • Though rich diversity several of the species are “at risk” because of human activity. 
  • It has a rich history too; stone points of 8-1000 years ago and Woodland people’s pottery of 3000 years ago gives evidence of the long presence of humans in this area. 

The area was celebrated for its natural beauty by early settlers but it was the actions of community leaders in the 1920’s (Thomas McQuestern, McMaster University, Hamilton Naturalists) that paved the way for its preservation from airports, roads and other development. More recently, the idea of the Eco Park came from collaboration of many agencies in Hamilton and Burlington, eventually resulting in a 2009 Strategic Plan proposal to create the Eco Park. You can learn more about the project at their website http://www.cootestoescarpmentpark.ca

10 organizational partners continue to work together to develop 4,700 acres, acquire more land and protect the natural spaces in the Eco Park. The arrival of bald eagles in the park 3 years ago celebrates the areas ecology and proves that recovery of a damaged environment can be done.

The program on January 17th, 2017 was a club assembly addressing both Local and International service projects.  The discussion included: 
  • A project being planned by the Dundas Museum to install a historic Bertram Steam Hammer at the Museum. A Club project is proposed to prepare the concrete foundation with an application for a $2,000 matching District Grant made to assist with the cost. The Hamilton Spectator had a great article in 2013 that shows the steam hammer
  • Bill Armstrong, Director of International Services, gave an overview of his committee's budget and listed a number of projects already funded this year. Three new projects were voted on including support for:
  • The International Services Committee will be providing $500 to the Welland Rotary Club to support their major project in Candelaria, Philippines.
  • The committee will also give $500 for medical supplies for Kurdistan. The supplies will go to Mosul, Iraq to support programs similar to this work by Doctors Without Borders as well as work by UNPO.
  • Jessica Brennan talked about her upcoming year as President and the team that will be joining her. She is still looking for volunteers if anyone is interested.
Incoming President Jessica Brennan

On Tuesday, Jan 10 Art Sampson introduced the speaker Randy Hendriks (but not before he apologized for being late). 

Randy has had an interesting career. He is presently Executive Director, Social Impact Enterprises at Innovation Factory where he provides “oversight and guidance to Social Impact Enterprises ongoing projects, organization team members, impactstore.ca, non-profits and social enterprise consulting clients, and grass-roots community groups seeking mentoring and guidance.” 

Randy's path to this position has been interesting. He did Civil Engineering at Mohawk College before getting a Bachelor of Theology degree at the University of Ottawa and then a Doctorate in Theology at Acadia University. Along the way he was a campus chaplain and a pastor before working with Wells of Hope in Niagara. At Wells of Hope he often dealt with the Rotary Club of Niagara on the Lake. 

Randy spoke to us about business models for Social Innovation where common good is a key component of a company's operations . Examples include the Gameen bank which makes micro loans to women and the local 541 Eatery & Exchange which uses a button system to allow customers to pay meals forward.

He spoke about new funding options for social enterprises including crowd funding and the SVX stock exchange. In the new models for successful innovation, enterprises need to be sustainable, have measureable goals, have partners and be fiscally prudent.


Bright and early Tuesday morning the club gathered at the Dundas Valley Golf and Curling Club for our annual holiday auction. With the incomparable auctioneering skills of Bruce Eccles and the Price is Right Display skills of Roger Stewart a very fun time was had by all.
The highlight of the day was the heated bidding war between Carl Fraser and Jessica Brennan over a beautiful picture of two girls playing piano. In the end Carl won the prize...but turned right around to make it a gift for Jessica. 
The auction (which is composed of donations made by club members) collected nearly $4,000 with an additional $565 donated by members to St. Matthews House. Between the auction and personal donations our club is able to contribute $2,547.50 to St. Matthews House this year.
Another $1,982.50 will be donated to The Rotary Foundation of Canada for Polio Plus. These funds will be matched 2-to-1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation…making our total contribution $5,947.50!
On Tuesday, November 29th Dan Millar, Area Director of Public Relations joined us for breakfast.
Dan provided an interesting talk and presentation about the very very very many good things that the Salvation Army does locally and across Canada. Dan shared a video called "One Day of Hope" that showed just a few of the things that happen each and every day thanks to the Salvation Army. The video is very inspiring and can be found here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEwpECtctGI). Through this day by day commitment the Salvation Army helps 1.5Million people every year!
Just a few of the things that the Salvation Army undertake locally are:
  • Booth centre downtown Hamilton
  • Community and Family Services
  • Mountsberg and Meadowlands Adult Day Services
  • Emergency Disaster Services
  • Men's emergency shelter
  • Case management
  • Computer lab
  • Transitional housing
  • HOST Program
  • Financial management
  • Chaplaincy
  • Health clinic
  • Food bank
  • Day programs
  • Baby song
  • Adult day program
Dr. Sidney Stacey
Feb 28, 2017
Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention in Hamilton
Mieke Ewen and Ross Bannatyne
Mar 07, 2017
Community Service Focus - Club Assembly
Alan Hansell
Mar 14, 2017
Stewards of the Cootes Watershed
Mark Zelinski
Mar 21, 2017