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Welcome to our club!


Service Above Self

We meet Mondays at 12:00 PM
Hotel 540
540 Victoria Street
Rivers Room
Kamloops, BC  V2C 2B2
District Site
Venue Map
We were pleased to host Mayor Ken Christian at today's meeting. Mayor Christian offered the 2017 year in review, which included some hardships, including the summer wildfires and the passing of Councillor Marg Spina. Elected as Mayor in September, Ken shared a few projects the City is now working on, including the opioid crisis, housing, business (it's been a banner year for real estate thus far), and more. Thank you for coming in to speak with us!
Thanks to Ken House for today's Rotary Moment, and to Rick Windjack (pictured) for the classification talk today. Rick is the coordinator of the PIT Stop Program at Kamloops United Church and recently received a Local Hero Award. PIT Stop provides weekly hot, nutritious meals to anyone who needs them. The program has been running over 20 years. Over 8500 meals were served in 2017. Guests include seniors, youths, families and adults, many who may be marginalized or street entrenched community members. PIT Stop strives to reduce the impacts of poverty by providing food and support in a caring and safe environment. 
(Image credit: CJFC Today)
Today's speakers were Heather Brandon and Kari Rubel from People in Motion. People In Motion is a non-profit which has been “Creating A Better Tomorrow” for people with disabilities  since 1989 by providing fitness, recreational, educational and social programs and  services.  The organization's Para Transit bus picks up and provides transportation to members so they can attend programs and community events. The current Para Transit is breaking down, and People in Motion is currently campaigning for funds for a new bus with wheelchair lift that will carry 18 to 20 people. Our Rotary Club was happy to present them with a cheque toward this cause. Update: as of Jan. 24, People in Motion has nearly reached its $120,000 goal!
Today we were from pleased to host Tina Parbhakar from the Vancouver Sunrise Rotary Club as our main speaker. Tina is a lawyer with the BC Ministry of the Attorney General who has a growing focus on children's law. She spoke on International Development, with a focus on her experiences in early childhood and child rights in Uganda.
We also inducted newest member, Joshua Claycamp. Joshua is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Kamloops and is sponsored by James Dyment.
Our President Elect Brad Serl recently attended Rotary Zone Conference 2017 in Chicago. This conference is for incoming District Governors, but Brad was able to participate via a future leaders program. Themes of the conference included struggles with membership (especially in the west), struggles with attracting & retaining young people, costs and alternative meetings. Rotary was originally established as a business networking club.  If Rotarians & their businesses are doing well, we can do more good. The next Zones Conference will be in Montreal, October 2018 and is open to all members.
Pictured: a thank you from participants in the Christopher Seguin Family Dinner; our inbound Youth Exchange student Julia received Christmas presents from the club including slippers, Toblerone, and a nice jacket embroidered with the Aurora & Downtown logos.
The Rotary Club of Kamloops annual Christmas Luncheon took place Monday. Dec. 11 at Hotel 540. Featuring local choir the Jewel Tones, as well as costumes, fun and fellowship -- plus a rendition of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" that included Club President Mathew Dundas! Thank you to all who helped organize this event. Pictured: Mathew Dundas, Syndey with Russ Gerard, Past President Karl Stegeman, Danalee Baker, the Jewel Tones. Happy holidays to all!

Happy birthday to our inbound Youth Exchange Student Julia Soares! We celebrated Julia's 18th birthday with a cake and presents.
Our guest speaker today was Dr. Max Zahir. Dr. Zahir lived in the province of Punjab with four brothers and three sisters at the time of partitioning of India into India and Pakistan. Serious conflict between Hindu and Muslim communities broke out after British rule ended and Dr. Zahir's family was involved in a hijacking. Dr. Zahir and his family were rescued, but they never saw one of his sisters again. For more information, see Dr. Zahir's book, 1947: A Memoir of Indian Independence.
Today we welcomed three new members to our club. Dieter Dudy introduced Rick Windjack. Rick moved to Kamloops in 1994 and has 4 adult children. He manages the Aberdeen Village Centre and runs the Pit Stop program. Mat Dundas introduced Denise Bouwmeester, whose family has been in Kamloops since the 1930s. She has 2 girls and has been a Rotarian since 2008 with the North Kamloops Club. 
Arjun Singh introduced Margaret who has worked in the arts for past 20 years. She is currently the ED of the Kamloops Art Gallery. Her husband teaches at the School of Business and Economics at TRU and together they have 2 daughters. Welcome to all new members!
Our featured speaker was Sukh Gill, the CAO of the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD). Sukh provided some background on regional districts. The TNRD is 50 years old and covers about 45,000 sq kms and has a population of about 132,000. He also provided information on the BC Emergency Management System and how it interfaced with our wildfires this past summer. The TNRD was incredibly busy setting up an Emergency Operation Centre just an hour after the fire broke out at Ashcroft. Fires and evacuation orders continued all summer and with 180 wildfires, the evacuation centre moved from McArthur Island to TRU to Sandman Centre. The TNRD operated in coordination with other agencies and services in a dynamic and moving situation. In all, there were 63 Emergency Operations Centre staff, 6068 addresses impacted, and 1700 pets evacuated over the 77 days of operation.
Thanks to club member Vlad Sasarman for giving us an update on the Rotary Foundation today. During the past 100 years, the Foundation has spent $3 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects. About 35,000 clubs carry out sustainable service projects that support six causes: promoting peace, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, growing local economies and fighting disease. The Rotary Foundation has wiped out 99.9% of polio cases worldwide. You can learn more at the Foundation website.
Today our guest speaker was Joanne Simpson from Sa-Hali Secondary School. Joanne filled us in on the upcoming school project, Light Up Guatemala, that our Rotary Club has sponsored for 2018. Joanne was joined by Josh Molsberry, Executive Director of Developing World Connections.
In Guatemala, more than half of families rely on open fires to cook. The smoke fills their homes, resulting in severe health problems. Years of smoke exposure can cause pneumonia, cancer, stroke, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Respiratory infections are among the leading causes of death in Guatemala, particularly for women and children who spend a lot of time around the fires. The open fires also lead to deforestation. Light Up Guatemala provides villagers with eco-stoves that channel smoke to outside the home. The project will put 5,000 eco-stoves in the homes of families living in poverty throughout Guatemala.
Longtime Rotary member and City Councillor Arjun Singh shared today his experiences of being the Acting Mayor for Kamloops over the summer of 2017, as well as opportunities for the community today. Thank you for your service, Arjun!
Today we heard from Dina Gilbert, the new music director for the Kamloops Symphony. A native of Québec, Dina is the founder and artistic director of Ensemble Arkea, a Montreal-based professional chamber orchestra that presents innovative interpretation of orchestral music. Over the last years, Dina Gilbert has conducted numerous orchestras in Canada including theToronto Symphony Orchestra, the NAC Orchestra in Ottawa and the Orchestre Métropolitain. She also has collaborated many times with young Canadian composers, premiering over thirty works and has also conducted studio recordings for films and video game soundtracks. Dina earned a doctorate from the Université de Montréal, where she studied with Jean-François Rivest and Paolo Bellomia. She is also the holder of a Bachelor's degree in clarinet performance and a Master's in conducting. Welcome to Kamloops, Dina!
Thanks to Jo-Anne, counsellor at the Kamloops Hospice Association, for coming to speak with us about grief today. She shared that grief is a natural and internal response to losing something.
Mourning is the outward expression of our grief and facilitates the healing process. It is an important part of grief. It is normal to want to avoid painful experiences, but it can be harmful to shut down and not experience it.
Mourning can also be expressed privately, through journaling and reflecting away from the business of life.
Thursday, Oct. 5 was our joint meeting with West co-hosted by Mat Dundas & Kelly Fawcett and featuring Rotary 5060 District Governor Bill Jenkins. Bill lives in Prosser, Washington. Bill spoke of the education to become DG – Conferences, zones, PETS, etc.  He’s enjoyed his trip to the area so far, got to visit Clearwater and a Kamloops Chamber mixer.  The theme for this year's district conference (May 17-19, 2018 in Prosser) is challenge, commitment, change.  He asks for us to go for the Changemaker Award nomination.  Our clubs have given $4300 (Downtown) and $3900 (West) to foundation this year.  Last year the district Million Dollar Dinner raised $1.5m in pledges for foundation. Bill also noted that President Riseley has asked each Rotarian to plant one tree.  He then played the conference introduction video and hopes to see us all there.  
Venture Kamloops does economic development for the City of Kamloops and is funded by the City. Kamloops is mostly about small business -- Venture Kamloops supplies data and information. VK served 300 businesses last year, responsible for 2500 Kamloops jobs. Kamloops is generally a stable place for economic development - not huge ups and downs. Venture Kamloops' next big event is Nov. 23 - Linkup Business Development Summit.




It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Christopher Wayne Séguin on September 22, 2017. Christopher was born October 20, 1977 in Pinawa Manitoba. Christopher is survived by his wife Melissa, sons Logan and Harrison, parents Deb & Joe, sister Jennifer, father Patrick and his wife Shirley, many uncles, aunts and cousins.

Chris spent his early years in Lac du Bonnet Manitoba, where he arrived as the youngest member to a fairly large extended family. His love for travel began with trips in his rumble seat on the back of his father's bicycle while visiting with friends and family. Most of all he loved the farm. This would usually include a tractor ride or a spin on the dirt bike with uncles Mark or Bruce.

Being of a mining family he moved to BC at an early age and soon became acquainted with many of BC’s mining communities. He began his pre-schooling in Granisle BC, elementary in Chetwynd, Greenwood and Kamloops to finish up his secondary education as a “Golden K” recipient of Kamloops Senior Secondary.

Christopher was very active in athletics and enjoyed basketball, rugby and football. His academic standing and football carried him over to Simon Fraser University (SFU) with a scholarship to play for the university’s varsity team, the Clan. He graduated with a BA (Honours) in linguistics and made the Dean’s list for his work related to the Fijian Culture.

At an early age in life Christopher set his sights on world travel. While a student at SFU he made several trips to Fiji, with his linguistics professor and students, to document the Fijian language. He found himself in Prague in following years learning about the Czech language. Other trips included Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Australia, China, and Central America to name a few. His travels gave him an appreciation of this world’s cultural diversity, the values of others and the strength gained by embracing the diversity of people. From this he learned what is truly important in life which was giving back to his community.

Christopher began his career with SFU as cultural liaison in the International Education department. Over the next twelve years, he established his expertise in a number of development positions at SFU, including statistician, development officer, and account manager. In July 2007 Christopher made the move back to his home town as Vice-President Advancement at Thompson Rivers University (TRU).

Under his leadership, TRU set new fundraising records virtually every year of the last decade, generating millions of dollars for student awards, groundbreaking research and major buildings, notably the House of Learning, the renovation of Old Main for the Law Faculty, the Trades and Technology building and the soon to be constructed Nursing and Population Health building.

Christopher’s energies and passions went beyond the university with participation and support for the Kamloops community at large. Maintaining his athletic nature, Christopher completed various triathlons, 5-10 km runs for a cause and awareness, and his first Ironman competition in 2011 while continuing to put his energies into community involvement. Through his contributions in Rotary, Developing World Connections, TRUly United, the Kamloops Marathon and the North Kamloops Family Dinner, to name a few, he gave back to Kamloops with the many initiatives he championed and internationally with his climb of Kilimanjaro to raise funds for a school project in Sierra Leone for example. Christopher’s accomplishments as a community change maker were recognized in 2015, when he received the BC Community Achievement award.

Christopher was a very passionate bigger than life guy, a giving man with a huge heart, a wide smile and big laugh. We choose to remember Christopher for who he was, husband, father, brother, son, champion for causes, a passionate community leader and an accomplished VP of TRU who gave so much so others may succeed.

We welcome you to attend his celebration of life which will take place October 14 2017 at the Calvary Temple 1205 Rogers Way, 1:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, honoring Christopher and his memory would be best expressed by donating to a trust fund for his children through any Kamloops CIBC branch.

Today we enjoyed meeting Julia Soares, our new inbound Youth Exchange student (shared with Aurora this year). Julia told us a bit about herself. She lives in Belo Horizonte (population 1.4 million). We are looking forward to hosting Julia! Please consider taking Julia on an outing this year.
Our main speaker today was our own member Heidi Coleman, CEO of the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation. Heidi provided an update on the Clinical Services Building and the upcoming surgical tower. She also discussed doctor recruitment and provided some statistics. Thank you Heidi for the update! 
Today's speaker was Bernadette O'Donnell of the Spec-Team Assessment Society. Spec-Team Assessment is a registered non-profit society located in Vernon, serving the central interior of BC. Spec-Team is a specialized team of professionals who provide adult suspected of having Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) with a confirmed diagnosis and follow-up assistance in accessing community supports. Bernadette shared some of the characteristics of individuals with FASD as well as shattering some of the myths. Individuals with FASD, once diagnosed and supported, can and do go on to lead healthy and productive lives.
FASD affects individuals from all backgrounds and all socio-economic situations. A woman from a well-to-do, professional background is just as likely to give birth to a child with FASD as a teen mom. Education is key in preventing this disorder. In terms of services for the FASD community, BC lags far behind.
After the meeting, a group went to pick up new inbound Youth Exchange Student Julia Soares from the airport. Julia is from Brazil. Welcome, Julia! We look forward to hosting you here in Kamloops!
We were happy today to induct two new members to our club: Amanda Martin and Colin Lyons. Amanda is the parish secretary with Holy Family Catholic Church, is a mom of two young children and a volunteer with ASK Wellness. Colin is the president and founder of Lyons Landscaping; he is involved with numerous community projects including Grow a Row for the Kamloops Food Bank. Welcome to Amanda and Colin!
Our guest speaker today was Jonathan Natavio, CEO of Porter. Jonathan told us about his new tech-enabled concierge application and how it will affect the Kamloops business community. Jonathan is the winner of the Kamloops Innovation Council's 'Built in Kamloops' contest. He recently accepted the award of $50,000 and started a six-month Kamloops residency in July.
Today we heard from "rebound" (returning) Rotary Youth Exchange Student Carlie Thompson. Carlie returned to Kamloops in July after spending a year in Fukuoka City, Japan -- a city of about 1.5 million people. She was hosted by five different host families and was able to learn Japanese at home and at school as she taught her host families English. Some of the highlights of her time in Japan included joining the String Orchestra Club, three days of New Year's celebrations, her host siblings and spending time with other Rotary exchange students from Switzerland, Australia and more. Carlie will be graduating from high school next year and intends to study zoology at university starting in September 2018. She also really wants to go back to Japan! Past President Devon O'Toole presented Carlie with a $500 bursary. Congratulations, Carlie!

Bill Sundhu is a member of our own Rotary Club and today he spoke about recent developments in international law for mass crimes. Bill is a Canadian lawyer and former judge with more than 30 years of experience in the courts of justice. His current practice includes trial and appellate advocacy in criminal justice, human rights and civil liberties. Bill has broad legal experience that includes criminal justice, family law, child and youth law, indigenous rights, police misconduct and wrongful deaths, non-discrimination, access to justice, law reform and legislation, professional legal responsibility, and judicial independence and administration. He is a regular speaker, lecturer and media commentator on human rights, justice, diversity, equality and international legal issues. He has extensive knowledge of the Canadian justice system and international human rights law, with particular interest in international criminal law. (

We also welcomed a Rotarian from Brazil to this meeting, Felipe Bittencourt (pictured with Club President Mat Dundas). Felipe was visiting his brother in Kamloops this week.

Today our featured speakers were Christa Mullaly, executive director of Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Kamloops, and Sherry Robinson. Christa and Sherry are working together to help build a music therapy program that our club's Shine the Light event this past spring fundraised for. Sherry related stories from the life of her son, Tyler, who tragically passed away at the age of 25 in January 2016 due to addiction. Tyler had ongoing mental health struggles that began at a very young age, and Sherry gave several examples of how music had helped stabilize him over the course of his life. She had been trying to get him into a music therapy recovery program in the US when he had a relapse. We applaud Sherry for her bravery in telling Tyler's story and wish Sherry and Christa all the best in establishing this important music program in Kamloops.
Glenn Grant is Executive Director and General Manager of the BC Wildlife Park. He spoke about the increase in visitors the park has experience since having Clover (the only Kermode bear in captivity). Attendance has increased from 88,000/yr to over 100,000 and includes visitors from China, Germany and Australia. The park has boosted the Kamloops economy through tourism and more overnight stays.
Glenn was joined by Queenie Lai, educator from the Wildlife Park and Neenum, a burrowing owl.  They shared some interesting facts about the breeding program that was started after the species was extirpated from BC (meaning there were none left). 
Something a little different... today Greg Reid gave a very interesting talk on the history, types, flavours, and business around olive oils. Greg is a fellow Rotarian (past President of Kamloops North) with a variety of professional and personal interests working with busy professionals and nonprofits within our Kamloops community. As it turns out, the mob is connected to olive oil, and 2/3 of "extra virgin" olive oils aren't actually virgin (1/4 of those aren't even olive oil!).  We had also a blind taste testing of 3 different oil types.
Tonight Devon O'Toole (right) passed the role of President of the Rotary Club of Kamloops over to Mathew Dundas (centre, with fiancee Shelley) at the Rotary Induction Dinner, held at Hotel 540. Before he handed over his role, the now Past President gave a heartfelt speech on the past year and what Rotary has meant to him. A hearty congratulations to Past President O'Toole, and all the best to President Mathew for the coming year!
The President will be supported by a new Executive, also appointed last night.
Awards were presented to Mathew Dundas, Devon O'Toole, Karl Stegemann and Colin Lyons. Congratulations to all.
Rotary Bursaries
This year our club gave out bursaries to 6 high school students going on to post-secondary ($500 each). Three of the students were present to receive their awards:
  • Sofeya Smith (Valleyview) is getting her BSc from TRU and will go on to veterinarian studies in Saskatchewan
  • Cassandra Bradshaw (Kamloops School of the Arts) will go to UBC for her BSc in Botany
  • Sheldon Baitz (NorKam) will work on his BSc in math at TRU and become a high school teacher
Bursaries were also granted to Elaine Giles (Westsyde), Jonathan Bowden (Sahali) and Melissa Norris (SKSS). Congratulations to all!
At today's meeting, President Devon and the club were pleased to welcome Joel Pflomm, our inbound youth exchange student for 2015-16, who was visiting us from Germany. 
Mackenzie spoke a little about her recent Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) experience. Member Laurie spoke briefly about a recent economic conference – with a promise to speak again and tell us more.
Our inbound Youth Exchange student Luky got very patriotic singing Oh Canada! He will return to the Czech Republic later this month.
Our guest speaker today was Marguerite Dodds-Lepinski. Marguerite retired from the Canadian Armed Forces  in December 2016. Her final posting was at 22 Wing/Canadian Forces Base North Bay. 22 Wing is home to the Canadian Air Defence Sector responsible for providing surveillance, identification, control and warning for the aerospace defence of Canada and North America. 
We also said a fond farewell to Lukáš Kršek, our club's inbound youth exchange student, pictured here with President Devon. Luky will be returning to the Czech Republic later this week. Congratulations on your Canadian high school graduation, Luky!
Today's main speaker was Bernadette Siracky from the Kamloops Food Bank.  She showed a thank you video for the Rotary Food Drive, and spoke about the expansion of the Food Share program.  There is funding from the government to help food banks across BC buy the equipment necessary to establish a program, and Bernadette and Wes are going to help mentor them.  The Kamloops Food Bank gathers and distributes $6M worth of food on a $600k budget.
Also today, Kathy Collier was presented with a Paul Harris Fellow from the club to recognize her support of the Family Dinners over the past few years.  Kathy has taken on a strong leadership role and ensured the dinners continue to be successful.  Thanks Kathy!
Click the link for more photos from this action-packed meeting, including the induction of new member Sarah Bailey!



Natalie Serl, is a member of Rotary West and project manager of housing and homelessness for the City of Kamloops. Brad Serl is her husband and a member of our club. They presented on the City Homeless Count, which took place last October. For this count, they looked at gender, age, mental health issues, substance abuse issues. Sometimes homelessness is hidden (i.e. couch surfing). Of 100 surveyed, 50% were under 40, 78% of those counted were male and 22% female. Homelessness may be caused by / perpetuated by addiction and substance use – it makes it difficult to find housing once they are in the cycle of additions and homelessness, eviction and illness/medical conditions.

Brad and Natalie also told us about a new event, a partnership between our club and Rotary West -- Iron Sommelier - July 22nd.  50% of this fabulous event with 5-course meal and wine pairings will go to end youth homelessness (support 16-24 year old moms) through A Way Home, and 50% will be split between the two clubs to go towards other community programs. For more information, visit the Iron Sommelier Facebook page.


Our club had a great time at the 2017 Adult Spelling Bee, in support of Literacy in Kamloops (LinK) and Kamloops Early Language & Literacy Initiative (KELLI). Pictured, L-R: Katie Stegemann, Geoff Collier, Karl Stegemann, Lukáš Kršek, Sadie Hunter, Arjun Singh, Tim Shoults. Not pictured: Kathy Sinclair. Congratulations to the TRU Spell-Cats on their win!

Today, Sherry Maligaspe and Dorys Crespin-Mueller from Rotary Aurora presented on their trip to El Salvador and Guatemala (with Mike Dedels). This was an exploratory trip for Aurora; they went in search of a project of their own. The team started at a Rotary Project Fair in El Salvador. The project fair happens every year and this year's projects included microlending, peace building and clean water. They also helped the Developing World Connections stove project in Antigua, Guatemala for two days, visiting the factory that makes the stoves and installing two stoves on a coffee plantation.

Back in El Salvador, the crew went to some Rotary meetings and  did backpack distribution to schools with the San Salvador Cuscatlan Rotary Club, distributing 300 bags in a couple of hours. Next steps are for Aurora to decide on the projects they want to pursue with their resources. They are committed to the EcoStove project but would still like to pick a few others, including a multi-year international service plan. There is probably an opportunity for clubs to work together and global grants will be an asset in future efforts to support projects.

Today we were joined by Sherry Chamberlain, no stranger to our club. Sherry has been a member of Rotary West since 1999; she is a Past President, and was Assistant District Governor from 2009-2011. Sherry has been awarded Club Rotarian of the Year twice and is our future District Governor (2018-2019). Today she shared information about a new Rotary/Commonwealth Inter-Generational mentorship program. 
Young women ages 18 to 29 across the Commonwealth are set to benefit from this new initiative to help them acquire critical life skills and progress in their careers. The Commonwealth Women’s Mentorship Program will match aspiring young people with experienced professionals in their fields. The project was conceptualized at the Commonwealth Women Leaders’ Summit in 2016, and endorsed by Commonwealth Ministers responsible for women’s affairs at their meeting in Samoa later the same year. It will be delivered by the Secretariat in collaboration with the Commonwealth Youth Council, the Commonwealth Youth Gender and Equality Network and Rotary Districts in Canada and the Caribbean.
Our Rotary District 5060 is one of the few districts to be involved in the pilot project, and all Rotary members are encouraged to apply to be a mentor. Please contact Sherry for more information.
Today's speaker was Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and Minister responsible for Emergency Management BC, the Hon. Todd Stone. He provided several highlights of his department over the past few years, including innovating a more durable paint for BC roads and highways. Hon. Stone also addressed Uber and other transportation-related issues.
Today we celebrated the 95th anniversary of the Rotary Club of Kamloops! Cake was served.
We were pleased to have Ms. Alison Sidow, Superintendent of SD73, as our speaker today. School District 73 has recently completed a new strategic plan. Creativity is a gap in our education system. We need to foster students who can think divergently and become tomorrow's entrepreneurs. What is divergent thinking? Ask a group of people how many uses they can think of for a paper clip. The average person will come up with 10 to 15 ways to use it; someone strong in divergent thinking will think of 200 ways. In kindergarten, 98% of children rate in the "genius" level in divergent thinking. It declines as we age. Along with foundational skills, skills we need to encourage in students include creativity, problem-solving and thinking critically to adapt to our changing world.

It was a pleasure to have Wanda Carisse, executive director of the Chris Rose Therapy Centre for Autism, as our lead speaker at today's meeting. The Chris Rose Centre's mission is to provide educational, therapeutic, life skills and family support services for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Founded in 1989 as Giant Steps West, teacher, school principal and school trustee Chris Rose (now a member of the Rotary Club of Kamloops) took on the role of executive director in 1996. The Centre was renamed after Mr. Rose in 2002 in recognition of his support of children with special needs. Ms. Carisse herself has been with the Centre for 20 years. 

What is autism? From the Centre's website: "Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviours." The Centre runs a School Based Program for ages 5-12 and an Extended Program for ages 6-18, as well as a Summer Program. It also offers Community Inclusion Program for adults ages 19 and up.

We are fortunate to have such a wonderful centre in our community. Don't miss their fundraising concert on Friday, March 31!

Many of us know Mike Miltimore from his family's business, Lee's Music. Lee's has been a part of the community since 1974, and Mike along with it... he began working there at the tender age of 10. In the 1990s, Mike and dad Lee began to build custom guitars. By 2007, Mike had a unique idea for a new kind of guitar... and Riversong Guitars was born. With its patented variable neck angle, the first Riversong guitar was officially released in 2012. Riversong Guitars have gone on to worldwide distribution and won multiple awards, including 2nd place Brand New Acoustic MSA, Winner Best Acoustic Bass MIPA, and runner-up Best Acoustic MMR. Last year Mike presented a gift of a Riversong Guitar to Prince William and Kate on their visit to BC! Riversong Guitars are manufactured here in Kamloops and are now gaining fans in Japan, Nashville, the Netherlands, and many more!
Congratulations to Mike and his team for all their success -- we look forward to seeing Riversong continue to grow and thrive.
Today our speaker was Canadian Olympian Gary Reed. Gary related his journey from discovering a childhood love of running all the way to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and silver medallist at the World Athletics Final in Greece, 2009. Facing financial challenges as a teen when his athletic career was about to take off, he was offered a job that enabled him to complete the training that led to his success. Gary now runs the Reed Athletics Fund, giving young athletes assistance and opportunities to compete professionally that they may not otherwise have a chance for. He is also the vice president of sales and marketing with A&T Project Developments, husband of Caitlin and father of two.

Our own member Chris Rose is well known for the Chris Rose Therapy Centre for Autism and his international development work. Chris introduced the school project our club was involved in, located in Burma Valley, Zimbabwe (Mutare). The school was operated by the Anglican church and there is now little to no funding available for teachers or equipment. It was overcrowded, and teachers were using buckets as chairs while students sat on the floors. Learning materials were outdated. Rotary helped purchase tables and desks made in Mutare ($4300), books ($4,000) and enhancements to the ECD building. Funds from our Rotary (raised at Chefs in the City) were matched by the Rotary Foundation, and $100 was contributed by the Rotary Club of Mutare (covers for books). The school reports that the new furniture and supplies have increased students' grades.
Today's meeting was action-packed. We heard from three speakers. Emiko Ohama presented on an upcoming conference at TRU on Wednesday, March 8. Empower: Health, Wellness, Gender, Equality & Leadership is an event for men and women. Speakers include Courtney Kirschbaum (CEO, Entrepreneur & International Speaker) and Steve S.J. Lee (United Nations Policy Advocate). Emiko is looking for business leaders who are willing to sit at the lunchtime mentorship tables as well -- please contact her if you can help.
Our second speaker was Sarah Goddard, a nurse who worked with Doctors without Borders (MSF) in South Sudan. Sarah shared many stories from her experience. Doctors Without Borders works under very rudimentary conditions in South Sudan, trying to save as many lives as possible. There is an incredible need for more medical diagnostic tools. Despite the heartbreaking loss of lives, health care professionals like Sarah make a big difference.
Our third and final speakers were Alyssa Kyllo, interim branch manager and Christine, volunteer coordinator from SPCA Kamloops. They shared about the SPCA's recent activities and ongoing needs for funding and volunteers. The SPCA has taken on a capital campaign and will soon be moving into a much needed new building. The 4.8 million-dollar, 10,000 square foot facility will be located at 2815 Tranquille Road.
Tonight at a special evening meeting, we held the annual Rotary Club of Kamloops School Speech Contest. Six finalists from area schools participated; all were wonderful, making the judges' jobs very difficult! Thanks to organizers Chris Rose, Karl Stegemann and Al Thompson. Pictured are (front row, L-R) Mick Sparrow, Kamloops School of Arts; Abi Spencer, Westmount; Jonathan Ward, Dallas; Sofia Stilwell, RL Clemitson; Aubree Higgins, Aberdeen; and Annie Druskee, Beattie. All participants were grade 7 students, except Jonathan Ward (grade 6).

Mick Sparrow placed first with his speech on Alternative Energy. Second was Sofia Stilwell with "Yourself." All participants received a prize. Congratulations!
At today's meeting we welcomed speaker Heidi Coleman, CEO of the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation. Heidi is one of our own members and she shared a number of initiatives the Foundation is working on. This coincided with the announcement today that the RIH Patient Care Tower is moving forward. This $417M project is said to be the largest ever construction project in Kamloops. (Arjun Singh photo)
Today our inbound Youth Exchange student, Lukáš Kršek, presented on his home country, the Czech Republic. Luky hails from České Budějovice, a town of about 93,000 people. Luky's presentation covered the Czech Republic's history to its inventors and did a great job singing the Czech national anthem, "Kde domov můj." Luky also shared some information about his home Rotary Club.
Thank you for the informative talk, Luky! We are fortunate to have you here in Kamloops as our exchange student -- you bring a lot of fun and energy to our group.
Luky (second from left) with his family.
Today we were pleased to have Danalee Baker, one of our very own members and Executive Director of United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo, present on BC211. BC211 is a Vancouver-based non profit organization that specializes in providing information and referral regarding community, government and social services throughout the province. Its helpline services include BC211 itself, the Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service (ADIRS), the Problem Gambling Help Line, Victim Link BC, and the Youth Against Violence Line.
United Way chapters have teamed up with BC211 to ensure residents of BC have universal access to information, social services and programs. There will be a launch April 5. Anyone can access BC211's services online. Phone service is available in the Lower Mainland; soon, phone and text service will be added throughout BC. 
Today's speaker was Kristina Gifford, owner of Kipp Mallery Pharmacy. Kristina presented on MedviewMD, a new service provided at Kipp Mallery that helps relieve the doctor shortage in Kamloops. Through technology, MedviewMD provides a real-time "virtual" consultation with a family doctor, featuring even a camera that will help the doctor diagnose ailments. Click here for more on MedviewMD and telemedicine.
Kristina graduated from UBC in 2000 and has been at Kipp Mallery since graduation. She bought the pharmacy in June of 2014 and started MedView in May of 2017. Thank you, Kristina, for sharing information about this service!
For our first Rotary Club meeting of the New Year, Assistant District Governor Mike Dedels spoke about what is happening with the other clubs in the community, as well as membership. People often join Rotary for networking, but the #1 reason they stay in Rotary is friendship. Although membership has decreased in general, our District 5060 has one of the highest rates of membership.
Let's keep membership in our club growing for 2017 ~ invite a friend this year!
As well, a new Rotary Club is forming in Sun Peaks. The meetings will be in the Games Room of the Morrissey Public House in Sun Peaks Village at 5pm Thursday January 12 and Thursday January 26. 
Today Rotary members shared about what Rotary means to them. Everyone gets something different from this organization, so it was great to hear what motivates each person and what makes Rotary so special.

Inbound exchange student Lukáš Kršek. 
Kyla Liebe, daughter of Rotary member Ryan, read a Christmas greeting from our 2014-15 Inbound Youth Exchange student Maddi Crimella from Italy.
Today we enjoyed a Club Christmas Social at Hotel 540. Several members were honoured for their hard work and dedication to Rotary over the years. The Kamloops Happy Choristers provided very enjoyable musical entertainment.
Rotary members and guests with their "ugly holiday sweaters" -- Carl Sulkowski took the prize!
The Happy Choristers spread some holiday cheer.

Today, our Rotary Foundation Chair Gerald Watson showed a brief video explaining more about what the Rotary Foundation does. "The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. As the charitable arm of Rotary, we tap into a global network of Rotarians who invest their time, money, and expertise into our priorities, such as eradicating polio and promoting peace." How do we interest people in the Rotary Foundation? It's not through facts and figures -- it's through telling stories about who the Foundation helps. 
Our main speaker today was Katherine McParland from A Way Home. A Way Home was started by Katherine along with other community partners in Kamloops to bring together coalition partners dedicated to preventing, reducing and ending youth homelessness. It is now a national movement that is going international. With Katherine was Susan Wright from Family Tree Family Centre. A Way Home Kamloops has recently been supported by Jack Canfield, author of "Chicken Soup for the Soul."
Our featured speakers today were Marjolein Lloyd of ShelterBox Canada and Ryan Scorgie of the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce.
Marjolein Lloyd shared how ShelterBox, a volunteer-driven organization, began in the UK and is now worldwide. Each ShelterBox provides a tent and emergency supplies (water filter, blankets, stove, etc) for a family of up to 10 people. This can be local or international. ShelterBox is now fundraising - consider hosting a fundraising dinner for friends. Luky and inbound exchange student Lucy are raising ShelterBox funds on behalf of our Rotary and were presented with a cheque for $500 from our Club for ShelterBox.
Ryan Scorgie is President of the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce. He shared with us a number of initiatives the Chamber has and is currently working on, including the Municipal Report Card which has just been released. The Kamloops Chamber has made a number of policy decisions locally that have ben passed provincially and locally. For details, click "Read more" below.
Today Dr. Max Zahir was our guest speaker. Dr. Zahir spoke on ISIS and Muslim youth. Dr. Zahir was a physician in Kamloops and is the author of 1947: A Memoir of Indian Independence. He is a former member of the Rotary Club of Kamloops.
Today, club members Brad Harasymchuk (Learning Strategist - Mentorship, TRU) and Sadie Hunter (Director of Development, Faculty of Science & School of Nursing, TRU) gave excellent classification talks. In classification talks, we learn about some of our newer members' backgrounds and current occupations.
Don't forget about Chefs in the City, our club's biggest fundraiser, on Nov. 7! Proceeds are used to finance projects that support underprivileged youth in our community. 
Today our guest speakers were Karen and Brian Shaben, founders of World Wide Life Humanitarian Partnership. Their society partners with like-minded organizations to enhance living conditions for “at-risk” individuals in under-developed countries. This includes avenues such as, but not limited to, Education, Vocational Training, Marketplace Ministry, and referrals to Micro Credit programs.
Karen and Brian currently live in Mae Suai, Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand, where they have partnered with Ban Pabongtaoganjan School (Akha Hill Tribe Boarding School) and to are members of Thailand based COC/Haven Foundation. Their goal is to help children get out of the poverty cycle through education and they assist by providing classes and tutoring in cooking and English and by driving kids to school, among many other things.
The Shabens have been active with a number of service organizations both locally and internationally, and were members of Kamloops Rotary West for 10 years.
At the Oct. 17 meeting, Wendy Marlow, executive director of the Kamloops Hospice Association, was the speaker. Wendy invited us to attend a new initiative “Advanced Care Planning,” on November 9th.
President Devon O'Toole is pictured here delivering a new freezer to the Hospice House.
President Devon made yet another donation to Wendy, and Past President Stella Black thanked Wendy for her leadership and her presentation.
At the Oct. 3 meeting, Finlay Sinclair presented on the recent announcement of The Reach, a new live/work/play/shop development that will be located adjacent to TRU:
As well, our club is going forward with the Starfish backpack program with a beta project of 10 packs this year from the club. This project feeds those school children who depend on breakfast and lunch programs during the week, over the weekends. We are looking for club members to assist with this program.
Many sheets, pillowcases and scrubs were folded tonight as members of our club joined Kamloops Fire Rescue at its Operation Nicaragua warehouse in Mission Flats. KFR sends medical and fire supplies to the less fortunate overseas. Our group helped pack a container full of "retired" linens from Royal Inland Hospital to send to hospitals in Nicaragua. Thanks to David Sakaki, Shirley and Andy Philpott and others who were our hosts. We were glad to be a small part of this great ongoing work.
At our Sept. 19 meeting, we heard from former Outbound Rotary Exchange student Hannah Ferguson. Hannah spent her exchange in San Nicolas, Argentina -- a town about the same population size as Kamloops. When Hannah first arrived she spoke no Spanish, and her first host family spoke no English. Although there was a learning curve, Hannah got to know a lot about the culture in Argentina while she was there and made lifelong friends. President Devon O'Toole presented Hannah with a $500 bursary for further educational studies. Thank you for sharing your experiences, Hannah!
Feb 26, 2018
Youth Exchange student home country and experience in Canada
Dave Clutton
Mar 05, 2018
River City Squash Club
SD 73
Mar 12, 2018
Speech contest
No Meeting
Mar 19, 2018
Happy Spring Break
Keiran Rankin
Mar 26, 2018
Kamloops River Access Initiative
Apr 02, 2018
Happy Easter
Mike Dedels (ADG)
Apr 09, 2018
Rotary Club Central
Craig Jones
Apr 16, 2018
TRU law
George Emery
Apr 23, 2018
Canshields and member classification talk
Jeremy Heighton
Apr 30, 2018
North Shore Business Improvement Assn
Gem Munro
May 07, 2018
Amarok Society
Carl DeSantis
May 14, 2018
Downtown BIA
May 21, 2018
Happy Victoria Day
Mona Murray
Jun 04, 2018
Colliers International
Jul 02, 2018
Happy Canada Day
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