Join us as we make our virtual way across Canada. There's still time to sign up and join in the fun!
Rotary Club of Nanaimo
Journey Across Canada Update
Our Club's virtual journey across Canada is well underway and 77 participants and counting from our club and others are already in the prairies! Our journey started in Nanaimo on April 1 and we are collectively walking, cycling, running, hiking, and more to make our virtual way to St. John's, Newfoundland, before June 30, the last day of Bob Janes’ tenure as our Club President.
To make this journey even more special for Rotarians, we are doing it in honour of Jennifer E. Jones who will be the first woman to be President of Rotary International when she steps into the role on July 1, 2022. 
Haven't signed up yet? Learn more on our website and join us for some fellowship, fun, fitness and even a bit of fundraising for the Rotary Foundation!
We also invite all to join the event Facebook Group at Whether you're a participant and want to share some photos or can't participate at this time but want to share words of encouragement, this group is a central spot to celebrate the journey! Not on Facebook but want to share a message? Email and we will post it for you!
Rotary Book Sale Extended Again
The Rotary Club of Nanaimo Book Sale has been extended once again to April 18 and now features pocketbooks and children's books. Pocketbooks are $2.50 each and children's books are $3 per inch. The sale is located beside the Lotto booth and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. 
Please note COVID protocols will be in effect for the health and safety of volunteers and customers. 
Meeting Notes April 9, 2021

President Bob Janes opened our meeting with 38 members zoomed in. Past President Janeane Coutu screen-shared a remarkable performance of O Canada, by the Barenaked Ladies performing for an empty Rogers Place in 2020. In case anyone wants to know which hockey teams were playing….it was the green tops vs the white tops (sorry).


Janeane conveyed our inspiration message in remembering the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with a moment of silence. He was the longest-serving consort and in the words of the Queen, provided “support beyond measure.” His passing truly marks the end of an era.


Keith McFarlane thanked Joyce Smith and Ron Willis for their tremendous work on our virtual walk across Canada. There are 54 members, including partners and family, currently subscribed, with +6 from other clubs joining in. We now have three teams and have almost reached AB.

It’s not too late to still join. You’re welcome to link your step tracking app and upload all your steps from the April start date. Rebecca Taylor and Tracy Makarenko have been inviting other rotary club along our route, and giving FB updates. Funds raised will be donated to the Rotary Foundation.

Bob Janes noted that the next board meeting is Tuesday, and next year’s board members are invited to attend.

Brent Stetar noted that our book-sale is continuing with paperbacks. It’s approaching $40K in sales. A complimentary coffee is a perk for volunteers taking a shift.

Guest Angie Vanderkooi joined us by zoom and is interested in our club. She is originally from NFL and now lives in Richmond.

Dawn Hankins announced an exciting virtual wine-tasting for May 14, 5:45 pm - 7’ish (2nd Friday, not 3rd) that will be hosted by the dynamic owners of Emandare Vineyard. They will talk about the fine wines they’re producing in their boutique, family run winery locate in the Cowichan Valley. Members will get an email from Dawn with particulars about pre-ordering wines and registering for the event.

Please remember to join the next upcoming Rotary Social on Friday, April 16 at 5:30 pm. It will be a fun night of virtual Balderdash.


Rebecca Taylor introduced our team of guest speakers. Ranita Mander is a 3rd year social work student at VIU working on placement at Nanaimo Foodshare, and Alice Wyche is a registered dietician with experience working with seniors.

The Eating Well Together program is relatively new in Nanaimo. It was created after a study in 2015 found that 56% of seniors admitted to NRGH were malnourished. Designed for adults 65+, it offers the twin benefits of peer-to-peer connection and coaching on healthy eating.

Participating seniors receive nutrition training in a supportive environment. Clearly, the COVID isolation restrictions have posed challenges, as zoom or phone consults are not at effective as in-person sessions.

Volunteers for peer-to-peer coaching attend seven, two-hour training sessions, with bi-monthly meetings for continuous learning and support. The volunteer mentors and their clients meet for 1 hr per week, for 6 weeks. All kinds of topics related to healthy eating and good nutritions are discussed - gardening, online info resources, best shopping practices, meal planning, cultural foods, and many more.

The current closure of the Foodshare building is a real issue - making it harder to recruit volunteer coaches and participants, because older adults strongly prefer in person conversations vs phone, or zoom. Funding comes from the Catherine Donnelly Foundation, and the City of Nanaimo may also contribute by next March.


A number of inquiries dealt with finding clients, and where referrals are coming from. Word of mouth could be augmented by connecting with the current home support groups that assist with medications and personal care as they are already in the homes. There is some flexibility around the age qualification for the volunteer mentors, 55+ being a guideline to help connection with the 65+ clients.

Dave Woodward thanked our speakers, reflecting on the speaker’s observations that isolation is a big factor for many seniors in reducing the quality of their nutrition, and that learning new skills with a supportive companion is a much more positive experience.

Happy & Sad Bucks

Dave Hammond drew members’ attention to Terry Toone’s recent email, linking upcoming COVID vaccines with a donation to the Rotary Foundation Polio Plus fund. Get a jab and make a donation!

Behzad updated the club of the changes with wife Shirin’s Bee’s Knees Restaurant, which coincidentally she found in 2015 via contacts at Foodshare. John Hankins helped Shirin & Behzad find a new location, and they are in the process of renovating and moving, with current operations temporarily in Country Club.

Lucie Gosselin asked members to please sign up for book-sale shifts, hoping that our total fundraising for the year might make $100K.

Birthdays & Anniversaries

Bob Janes noted three upcoming birthdays in April: Lucie Gosselin, Wayne Anderson and Charles Ramos. Art Vanidour and wife Beverly will be celebrating their 66th wedding anniversary.   

Thanks to all who helped with today’s meeting!

Rotary Club Links
There are a number of ways to keep up to date with all the happenings within our Rotary Club. Click on the following links to view photo albums, read about some of our latest projects and to connect socially through Facebook and Instagram! And remember that ClubRunner is also a great resource for members to view a wide variety of club information.
If you have Rotary Club news, photos or videos to share, please email the details to Rebecca Taylor and Denise Wittkofski so they can share through our multiple online channels.
Upcoming Speakers
Apr 23, 2021
Ay Lelum - The Good House of Design
Apr 30, 2021
New Member Talks
May 07, 2021
Hikes/Walks/Trails and How to do it all Safely
View entire list
Upcoming Events (Click each for info)
Spring 2021 Book Sale - Pocketbook Fiction
Nanaimo North Town Center
Apr 12, 2021 10:00 AM –
Apr 18, 2021 5:00 PM
Rotary Third Friday Social - Virtual Balderdash
Apr 16, 2021
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Emandare Virtual Wine Tasting
May 14, 2021
5:45 PM – 7:30 PM
View entire list
Meeting's Responsibilities
April 23, 2021
Bienert, Laurie
Sergeant at Arms
Hammond, Dave
Introduce Speaker
Pratt, Wendy
Thank Speaker
Smith, Kathy
Meeting Notes
Shaw, Carlene
April 30, 2021
Sergeant at Arms
Hammond, Dave
Introduce Speaker
Makarenko, Tracy
Meeting Notes
Anderson, Wayne
Russell Hampton
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102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7