Weekly Bulletin of the

Rotary Club of St. Catharines South   

April 2, 2008


Presiding:  Past President Dan Toppari


Anthem:  Doug Foss

Toast: Doug Foss

Grace: Cathy Henry


Editor Note:  The notes following are from Michael Michaud from the Rotary Club of St. Catharines. Thank you Michael!

Joint Meeting

The Rotary South Club hosted the joint meting. Chairing the meeting was Dan Toppari, Past President of the South Club. Dan called the meeting to order and introduced the head table as follows: President of the South Club, June Manning; broadcaster and our guest speaker, Dan McLean; President of the South Club, June Manning; our District Governor, Bob Leek; our Incoming District Governor, Ralph Montasanto.

Representing our District Clubs were:

Fonthill - Hugh Graham
St.Catharines Downtown - Tom Arkell
St. Catharines Lakeshore - Pat Boyko
St. Catharines Sunrise - Penny Towndrow
Welland - Mike Walsh
Lewiston/NOTL - Tom Gerbasi
St.Catharines - Assistant District Governor - Rick Merritt

On behalf of the South Club, June Manning welcomed everyone to the joint meeting highlighting Rotary Awareness Month. June was especially happy to have Don Fraser present as she reminded everyone that Don helped found the South Club in 1968.


Dan Toppari of the South Club would like to remind everyone of their Club's Anniversary Gala at Club Roma on Saturday, May 3, 2008. $110/person.

Marg Jarrell reminded us that on Wednesday, April 23 the four Rotary clubs will jointly host the 'Night of 1000 Dinners' at John Michael's Banquet Centre.  Tickets are $50 each ($20 of which is tax-deductible) and proceeds from this event will help purchase a dog that will be trained to find land mines. 

Rotary Club of Lewiston-NOTL presents their Shaw Festival Garden Party @ $75/person, Wonderful Town, on Saturday, May 10, 2008. For more information, contact John Graves as follows: JGravesNBS@aol.com US JShaver3@cogeco.ca CA

The Lakeshore Club would like to remind everyone that their fireworks sale will be on the weekend of May 24, 2008 at No Frills @ corner of Lake and Lakeshore. And don't forget their Lobster Fest on September 13, 2008 @$75 per person.

The Fonthill Club reminds us of their Golf Tournament on June 9, 2008.

The South Club with The May Court Club and Performance Cars join forces for the "Take it to the Heart Gala" at Fallsview Hilton. $150/person. Call Cathy Henry at 905-682-7776.

The Rotary Clubs of Lincoln & Niagara-on-the-Lake together with their sponsors are presenting their HeartsGathering Children Concert on April 27, 2008 2:00PM-4:00PM. Proceedsarein support of Adrie's House of Hope for orphaned children in South Africa. For more info contact Debbie Klassen at dklassen@central-fab.com or buy tickets for $20 at Brock University Box office 905-688-5550 ext.3257.


Dan McLean

Ed Telenko introduced our guest speaker Dan McLean.  We all know Dan as the news anchor for CHCH TV. Dan anchors the new at noon and at 6:00PM. When not on camera Ed reminded us of Dan's ongoing commitment to the community. He has hosted events and galas to raise funds for causes such as The Red Cross, The Hamilton Cancer Centre, the McMaster University Telethon and a host of others. He has received several awards for his contribution to the community such as the Hamilton Outstanding Citizen of the Year award, the Humanitarian Award from the Red Cross and was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship by Rotary. He has also won several broadcasting awards. Dan is married with three children and includes scuba diving among the sports he enjoys.

Dan McLean began by reminding the audience that both his hair and teeth were the real thing (anything to the contrary are probably rumors started by jealous male Rotarians). Dan said that he had a long pleasant time working with the Rotary Club and recently had the pleasure of working with the Rotary Club of AncasterAM in hosting a fundraising tribute for Murray Ferguson, a Hamilton City Councilor who suffered a stroke. The Club, which Ferguson helped found, wanted to raise funds to name a trail at the Niagara Conservation Authority after him. They sold 1000 tickets in three weeks.

Dan sited another example of how well and quickly Rotary responded to a challenge. He asked the Club to help raise funds for the new Hamilton Cancer Centre. Rotary raised $500,000 over 5 years for the $75Million Project. The new Centre serves 2.2million people including Niagara down to Ft.Erie. Cancer treatment went from being the worst to being the best in Ontario if not in the Country. He reminded us that the health system plans for a local chemo center and a new radiation bunker for Niagara so that local patients can be better served.

Dan said he has roots in Niagara as he attended high school in Welland. He indicated that there were conflicting career paths outlined for him. His mother thought that being a priest would be good and Dan had his sights on being a dentist. His grandmother however recognized that he should be in broadcasting. He got his first job while in grade 10 as a DJ for a Rock and Roll spot at a local radio station.

Dan learned the business by taking on different challenges. After Welland he was employed in the following cities; The Midlands, Barrie, Sudbury, London, Regina, Saskatoon, Toronto, Niagara, Kitchener then Hamilton. He started with CHCH in 1971 and hosted a noon talk show program and over 8 years interviewed 17,000 people.

Dan's career includes the period of mergers and amalgamations when all the independents were bought up by the large broadcasting giants such ad CTV and Canwest. The bottom line on all the mergers is that in most cases communities lost their local voice. Fortunately, with the Canwest ownership, Hamilton's CHCH was given back its audience as Hamilton-Wentworth-Niagara and is not in the 416 area. CHCH covers Niagara with reporting on weather, traffic and events in Niagara through "Express Niagara" after the 6:30PM news. Also covered are events like The New Years Eve Show from Niagara Falls.

Dan pointed out that the audiences of Niagara area live in one of the best-covered areas in the world for broadcasting availability. We get virtually all major USA and Canadian Networks as well as over 500 radio stations as well as exploding Internet and cell phone availability.

Dan thanked Rotary for all their work in the community.

Greg McDonald thanked Dan for his insight into local and national broadcasting and CHCH for their continued coverage of Niagara.