The teams are making incredible progress - go Rotarians go!
Rotary Club of Nanaimo
Club Makes International Magazine
Have you read your Rotary magazine yet? The Rotary Club of Nanaimo's mural project has made the latest issue! Thank you to Denise Wittkofski for submitting the story.
Journey Across Canada
Our Club's virtual journey across Canada is getting more popular each day and our teams are walking, hiking, running and cycling at an amazing pace to get to St. John's! There are now five teams and collectively, the 78 participants have logged 13,947 km so far! The enthusiasm and camaraderie are incredible and all are proud to do it in honour of Jennifer E. Jones who will be the first woman to be Rotary International president 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 and fitness. We're also fundraising for the Rotary Foundation in Jennifer E. Jones' honour so whether you are participating or cheering from the sidelines, donations are greatly appreciated. Please email for detailed sign-up information and how to donate.
We also invite all to join the event Facebook Group Rotary Across Canada. 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!
Thank you to all behind the scenes who are helping make this happen, in particular Joyce Smith and Ron Willis who are coordinating the registrations and managing the online platform, Dawn Hankins for coordinating everyone, the t-shirts and more, Tracy Makarenko who is reaching out to Rotary Clubs across Canada and Rebecca Taylor for communications support. 
Second Book Box Installed
A second book box was recently installed - this one at Nanaimo Innovation Academy, a non-profit, licensed daycare in south Nanaimo. It will be part of a seating and play area that neighbourhood families can enjoy. The book box is a great addition to the outdoor space and we will be invited back for a safe celebration when the area is complete.
Thank you to Yvan Gosselin for installing the book box that he made and that was painted by Rebecca Taylor. See all the book boxes made by Yvan Gosselin, John Shillabeer and Ron Willis on our website.
Literacy Central Vancouver Island is still looking for spots to install the remaining book boxes. If you know someone that may have a spot for one please reach out to club member Samantha Letourneau and she can connect you with the project coordinator.
Organization Spotlight
The Nanaimo Community Hospice Society, one of the many local organizations supported by the Rotary Club of Nanaimo, is celebrating 40 years of service in our community! Their largest campaign was a successful $2.5 million campaign led by past Executive Director Wendy Pratt and campaign committee member Dave Hammond, both club members. The campaign was supported by the Rotary Club of Nanaimo and other local Rotary clubs to the tune of $25,000. Our club also held a wood staining work party and donated a further $3,600 to the beautiful Hospice Garden. 
More recently our club donated $10,000 towards the purchase and equipping of a Children’s Mobile Counselling Centre that enables the counselors to reach out to children in the schools. Rotary is proud to have been a part of helping Nanaimo Community Hospice create a healthy community one child, one adult, and one family at a time.
During COVID, it has been challenging for all non-profits to fundraise. To celebrate 40 years of service, the Hospice Society is raising funds through an online 50/50 draw. Tickets are available until the end of May. 
Photos: Doug Cowling
Story Contributor: Wendy Pratt
Meeting Notes April 23, 2021
President-Elect Laurie Bienert called the meeting to order. In honour of Earth Day, Laurie chose a version of O Canada which was a scenic montage of both the incredible animal life and landscape that represent Canada.
Laurie provided today’s inspiration, an homage to volunteerism, depicting the many reasons that inspire us to volunteer.
Laurie has contacted the incoming board members to have a prep meeting on May 6.


Joyce Smith updated the club on the Cross Canada trek. There are currently 78 people participating. Thus far $880 has been raised from this virtual event. Sign-ups are still available through Joyce for a registration fee of $12 which also will include a T-shirt for bragging rights!
Rotary shirts are available to order through Dawn Hawkins. Sizes need to be sent in by April 30. Shirts should arrive in time for members to wear during the virtual meeting with Jennifer Jones, the new incoming Rotary International President.
Brent Stetar, and all the volunteers who participated in the recent Book Sale, were acknowledged for all the time spent sorting and selling at the sale. It was a great success, raising $34,132 making a total of $93,043 for this year.


Today’s guests, sisters Aunalee Boyd-Good and Sophia Seward-Good are creators of Ay Lelum Good House of Design, were introduced by Kathy Smith. This is a second-generation fashion company originally started by their parents, to bring Coast Salish art, language and music to the fashion world.
They have participated in many National and International events and have been written up in several fashion magazines including Vogue Magazine. Ay Lelum Good House of Design are the winners of the 2019 Women of Colour in Toronto and named in 2020 in the Top 5 Best Marketers.
Artwork for the fabrics is by the ladies' father, William Good and brother W. Joel Good of the Snuneymuxw First Nation Hereditary Chief Family. All designs are mentored by mother Sandra Moorehouse-Good. Both Sandra and William created the first Coast Salish Clothing line in the 1990’s.
A video featuring the stunning designs of this company was presented. This video was filmed entirely in Nanaimo and can be viewed at
“At Ay Lelum, we create wearable art garments that embrace diversity, and we are committed to sharing Traditional Coast Salish art and culture for all people to wear and enjoy.”
Having been taught traditional singing and drumming by their dad, they recorded their own showcase music. The culturally appropriate and eco-friendly clothing is designed with family artwork that is non-ceremonial and is all-inclusive for everyone. Designs showcased in the video ranged from casual to couture with models including babies, teens and adults. Designs are created at their studio in Nanaimo and manufactured in Vancouver.
Club members had great praise for not only the beautiful fashions and exceptional video but also for the shift the company took to reinvent their business once COVID forced cancellation of all shows.
Wendy Pratt expressed her sincere pleasure and gratitude for the community commitment of Ay Lelum and is sure they will be a hit in Paris in the near future.


Dave Hammond announced that since he was in such a great mood, there would be no fines this week.
Dave recognized Laurie Bienert for the incredible work she does, particularly with the Nanaimo Foundation. Dave stated that the General Meeting of the Foundation was very inspiring.
Dave also commended Joyce Smith for her involvement setting up and tracking the Virtual Journey across Canada.
Wendy Pratt has Happy Bucks as she is very excited to be attending her granddaughter’s 7th birthday in Victoria this week.
Kathy Smith invited all to assist with Broom Clearing at Linley Valley Giro Park on May 1 at 10 a.m. Bring tools if you have them and gardening gloves. There will be loppers available. The goal is to clear Colberg Park of all broom in one day.
Doug Cowling expressed his gratitude to Brent and all the volunteers who did such a great job with the Book Sale this spring.
Bob Wilson shared that Keith McFarlane advised that his cooking skills are now 6 Star and we can all expect a dinner invitation very soon!
David Woodward is overjoyed to have submitted his grades for the term and is looking forward to some downtime.


Brent Stetar and Behzad Forghani will share a birthday on April 29.
Jane Currie’s husband John celebrates his birthday on April 23.
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 30, 2021
New Member Talks
May 07, 2021
Hikes/Walks/Trails and How to do it all Safely
May 21, 2021
Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society
View entire list
Upcoming Events (Click each for info)
Emandare Virtual Wine Tasting
May 14, 2021
5:45 PM – 7:30 PM
View entire list
Meeting's Responsibilities
April 30, 2021
Letourneau, Samantha
Sergeant at Arms
Hammond, Dave
Introduce Speaker
Makarenko, Tracy
Thank Speaker
Wittkofski, Denise
Meeting Notes
Anderson, Wayne
May 7, 2021
Sergeant at Arms
Hammond, Dave
Introduce Speaker
Hankins, Dawn
Thank Speaker
Hankins, John
Meeting Notes
Shillabeer, John
May 21, 2021
Sergeant at Arms
Hammond, Dave
Introduce Speaker
Skeeles, Mila
Thank Speaker
Makarenko, Tracy
Meeting Notes
Anderson, Wayne
Russell Hampton
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