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Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.
ClubRunner
Stories
Bulletin - June 22, 2017 - #47
Filling in for our President, George Darte, at the Niagara Children’s Centre (NCC) was Rick Vanderkuip.
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 Rick called the meeting to order, and Jackie Van Lankveld said the grace.  
The Club sang ‘O Canada’, (led by Rick Evans), and toasted the Queen (and the people of Canada).
 
'Head Table':
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Oksana Fisher (CEO of the NCC), Sara Pott, (Speaker, family receiving services at the NCC) , Rick Vanderkuip (President Nominee),
Bruce Partridge, (Algoma Central Corporation: Rotary Golf Tournament), Greg Ruhl (Algoma Engineering), Earl Alton (Co-Chair: Rotary Golf Tournament),
Dr. Bill Orr, Founder of the Niagara Children’s Centre, and Jennifer Hansen, (Dinner and Registration host).
 
Today’s guests were welcomed by Jennifer Hansen:
Joshua and Margaret Tuhumwire (Uganda)
 
Program:
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Oksana Fisher welcomed us to the Niagara Children’s Centre as charter members and supporters of the institution since its inception. She noted that the Algoma Golf Tournament
had raised some $400,000 for the NCC over the years in support of the 3,300 children who make use of the facilities and treatment on a yearly basis. She then introduced Sara Pott,
a mother of four children, two of whom are receiving care at the  Centre.  
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Sara led us into her world of one husband and four children, two of whom have special needs, Rachel and Yanika (now 11 and 8 years old).  Soon after Rachel and Yanika were born,
the celebration died down in the delivery room, and Sara slowly learned that she would have to enter a new and unfamiliar world with pain, a loss of dreams, feeding tubes, times of darkness,
and sometimes a hint of bitterness at seeing her girls in wheelchairs on the periphery of what constitutes ‘normal’ existence while other children laughed and played and raced round in schoolyards.
The NCC became a second home to Rachel and Yanika, and to her family, where loving care, physical and emotional support served to help strengthen hands, legs, coordination, and speech as
the brain struggled to learn, to understand, and to strive for the normalcy that so many children take for granted. For Rachel and Yanika, their development would be on a lengthier timeline.
Sara learned to see life on a different plane than parents with fully healthy children, recognizing more deeply the need for compassion, love, tolerance, patience and a slower pace on the road of life.
She encouraged Rotary to uphold its support for children’s support services, including the NCC.  When Sara was done, we all stood to express support and understanding. Rick Vanderkuip thanked
Sara for her presentation, and encouraged her as she faces challenges facing herself and with her children in developing their skills, gifts and talents.
 
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Algoma Golf presentation: Greg Ruhl on behalf of Algoma  told us that his company was proud of its continuing St. Catharines connection, and its ongoing commitment to sponsoring the
Rotary Golf Tournament which this year, raised another $25000 for the NCC.  Pictures were taken around the huge cheque presented to the NCC.
 
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Oksana Fisher awarded the Dr. William Orr tribute for 2017 to our Rotary Club, for our ongoing involvement with the Children’s Centre since 1964 (opening of the present building)
to the 1920’s when it was first established.
 
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Jackie Lankveld introduced and welcomed Margaret and Joshua Tuhumwire  from the Entebbe, Uganda Rotary Club, where our Club (under Jackie’s leadership) is helping to
sponsor the erection of a new school. Joshua presented us with a club banner and thanked us for our support of his wife’s school project.
 
Birthdays: 
Ross Burns (June 25), and Bill Cole (June 28)  
 
Anniversaries:
Mike Allen (Corporate with Aurora Tancock, one year-June 23 (Sponsor: Chris Bangham), and
Dianne Wright-Kirwin, and Phil Kirwin (Family), one year, June 23, Sponsor: Cindy Mewhinney).
 
Announcements:
  1. President’s Dinner for our ever so-humble George Darte to celebrate his year as Club president  Tuesday, June 27 on the Henley
 
Happy Dollars:
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Cindy Mewhinney was most happy to have arrived at our meeting (traffic jam!).
 
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April Feasby reminded us of Rib-fest, and of the 5 car raffle (She has tickets!)
 
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Miriam Laundry invited us to the celebration at Jeanne Sauve French Immersion Public School (Friday, June 23: 5-6 pm, 91 Bunting Rd).
It’s about their new playground to which we contributed some $15000.
 
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Carol Nagy thanked the NCC for its work and for this reception.
Lezlie Murch is well on her way to convincing graduates of her Collegiate Interact Club to establishing a University level Rotaract  Club next year!  Well done, Lezlie.
Jean Armitage has her own memories of working with special children, and offered her thanks and appreciation of Sara Pott's efforts and leadership.
 
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John Potts reminded us of Rib-Fest, and congratulated Dr. Orr on his achievement in helping to establish the Children’s Centre many years ago.
Liz Palmieri explained that Rib-Fest sheets are online for us all to sign up!
 
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Jackie Herman-Wing had a grand-daughter graduate with a MSW at the University of Toronto
George Park offered greetings to both Margaret and Joshua Tuhumwire of Uganda.
 
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John  Crossingham (just back from the Atlanta Rotary convention) encouraged us all to attend next year’s Toronto Rotary convention (some 13,70 have already signed up!)
Two local St. Catharines youth will very soon be off to Australia in the return leg of the District exchange. 
 
Next week, (July 6, 2017), will be the start of our new Rotary year and our executive changeover. 
 
Rick Vanderkuip then adjourned the meeting. Encouraging us to take a tour of the NCCC, led by willing and able staff.
 
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  Friday, June 23, 2017
The celebration at Jeanne Sauve French Immersion Public School (91 Bunting Rd).
Their new playground to which we contributed some $15000.
 
                                     
 
 
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