Rotary End Polio Now! Virtual Run September 11 - 19, 2021

This 5K & 10K Fun Run/Walk to raise funds to eradicate polio is a Rotary Days of Service Project.
Rotarians, Rotaractors, Interactors and others are encouraged to sign up to complete their virtual 5K or 10K walk or run anytime between September 11th and 19th, 2021.
Together we can End Polio Now!
Rotary End Polio Now! Virtual Run September 11 - 19, 2021  Vi Hughes 2021-07-08 06:00:00Z 0

Amarok Dhaka, Bangladesh Women’s School Jul 21 Update

Dear Members of the Rotary Clubs of Strathcona, Mayfield, Urban Spirits, Whyte Avenue, Grand Prairie and Hinton
We hope everything in going well in Canada. Here we are doing well with our family and Amarok Friends. The children of our neighborhood are also doing very well. This is rainy season in Bangladesh and flooding is a common problem for our communities. This year rain falls heavily throughout the month and when it rains another disaster comes to our life, dirty water blocks on the road for days. Toilet lids submerged and dirty things mix up with water surrounded by our houses, pathways and all around. It became difficult for us to keep open our school as dirty water overflows and enters into our living rooms & schoolroom. Children like to play in water and often get sick. Our daily life become painful but this is our life and we have to survive in such situation. Rain has another positive effect to our lives, farmers in the village plant paddy, vegetables and jute in their field and rain water brings fortunes for them. However, a continuous rainfall creates flooding and washes out all their crops and put them into debt to maintain their livelihood. In our school we often argue about the effect of rain in our life and it’s hard to come to a conclusion with this debate!
Now other news of our school, our friend Shorifa has given birth a baby who is boy. We shared about her in our last latter. She had lots of struggles during the pregnancy during the covid situation but now she is happy with her baby. She was on maternity leave for a few months, now she has started to join and teaching children in her little school. Mothers of our school visited her house to know about her health, to make her happy during her absence in school but we visited mostly individually, fewer cases in smaller groups to ensure the social distancing. Sofia lives in a tiny room; we know going together in a large group during covid with be a violation of health rule.
Another mother of our school Jhinuk is doing very well in learning. When we do group work, she sits with the weaker mothers who need support in English. Jhinuk is very good in English and we are proud of her. In these days we are practicing about 6 seasons. You know there are 6 seasons in our country and each season has its own characteristics. Madam divides us into 6 groups and tells each team to talk about the season in English or do role play to express the character of the season. It takes few days to complete the session. I belong a member of spring team. We acted about that season and other enjoyed it and understood the characteristics of the season nicely. In such way, we all talked and acted on six seasons. This is an interesting method of learning and our teacher follows such many techniques to teach us. Most importantly we learn teaching methods from our school and follow when we teach children in our micro-schools.     
Ranu our friend is also doing very well. For last few months the financial condition of her family was not going well because her husband lost his job as an effect of covid lockdown and now does irregular odd jobs. So, it became difficult for her husband to run the family all alone. Ranu shared with us and asked for support. One of our friends in school Rokeya connected her with a private clinic and Ranu has found a part-time job in that hospital as an assistant. Her job there is to carry doctors’ file from the patients to the doctors’ cabin, office and again placed the files to the patients’ bed. She could not do the job if she were not educated and good in English. The money that she earns from the work now is the main source of income of their family. She is very much thankful to Rokeya and to Amarok School. In the evening Ranu teaches children in her micro-school and becomes more euthanistic in learning English.  
The Performances of Sheuli’s neighborhood school is very good. Children are attentive and keen to learn. Sometimes her son helps her teaching the children as he has developed and reached to the upper grade. In her little school, Rubel is a brilliant boy. He achieves first passion in his class in school. Rubel teaches her little brother and a cousin in the evening time at home. Rubel’s father is a hawker and sells vegetables going door to door. He helps his father to keep accounts of daily selling & income. His father is proud of Rubel and wants to take him to the upper level of education.
Monoara’s granddaughter Shamia likes to read story books. So, she takes books from the school library. There are different types of books, she takes books on fish, fruits, and flowers and storybooks for sharing with some of her little friends in the community. Sometimes they also come with her and ask for books to take home. Our school-library has created a learning environment and developing reading habit of some children and elderly people of the slums around. Children are very happy to read new books as they enjoy reading and could learn about new things.
We feel filled with love for others. Thank you for coming into our lives from the Canada to help us to improve our world so much here.
Yours Lovingly
Monuara, Sheuli, Ranu, Rubi and Shorifa
(Mothers of Combined Rotary School)
Amarok Dhaka, Bangladesh Women’s School Jul 21 Update  Vi Hughes 2021-07-08 06:00:00Z 0

Participaction Walk to Remember the Future

Posted by Trina Vandermeer
Members of the Edmonton Strathcona Rotary Club and guests rolled two activities into one for their June 29th event, when they Participacted in the second of four planned summer walks and then attended a Blanket Teaching under the trees at the INIW Indigenous Artwalk located within Queen Elizabeth Park.
Sixteen members and guests strolled the parkway and then met in a sharing circle where they shared a meal of soup and bannock provided by Indigenous operated company Cree Subs delivered personally by owner Kyle Peacock.
Following the meal, a Smudge and Blanket Teaching was led by Michelle Nieviadomy of ISKWEW Health and Wellness, where members and guests were able to experience Canadian/Turtle Island history through the traditional Oral style and perspective of our First Nations peoples.
Members and guests were invited to participate by asking questions and sharing some of their own perceptions of the relationship between the two Nations, and the challenges faced by both.
Rotary Members Richard and Loida share a meal of soup and bannock provided by Cree Subs during Tuesday’s Participaction/Blanket Teaching event.
Ivan Docker, in bright orange shirt—a nod of support to our Indigenous Peoples at Tuesday’s event.
Beef Barley soup and Bannock “made from Kokum’s recipe” was provided by Cree Subs owner Kyle Peacock, and was “ a real surprise at how good soup was on a HOT day!” according to incoming President Carin Jansen van Vuuren
Newest club member, Amy Stewart, sharing soup and shade with outgoing club president Jim Peddie who referred to the event as “ very, very interesting and something we should be doing more of”.
Past President Donna Hutton, just back from knee surgery, chats with Ivan Docker prior to the Smudge and Blanket Teaching.
Speaker Michelle Nieviadomy of ISKWEW Healing and Wellness presented a condensed version of a Blanket Training at INEW Park located within Queen Elizabeth Park.
Event organizer and Community Chair, Trina Vandermeer joined outgoing President Jim Peddie in thanking speaker Michelle Nieviadomy of ISKWEW Health and Wellness during Tuesday’s PARTICIPACTION/Indigenous Blanket Teaching combined event.  The PARTICIPACTION walk fulfills the $250 grant requirement obtained by Membership lead Richard Karlsson and Trina Vandermeer, from PARTICIPACTION Canada, and the Blanket Teaching is part of the new “Indigenous Relations” learning identified by District Rotary and recently requested within the Community Portfolio by Trina Vandermeer.
Participaction Walk to Remember the Future  Trina Vandermeer 2021-06-29 06:00:00Z 0

Project Amigo Scholar Thanks

Dear Rotary Club Edmonton Strathcona sponsors!
Hello dear godparents, how are you?
I hope you are very well, especially your health, I hope you are having an excellent day, I send you this letter that I wrote with much affection, love and gratitude to you, because I want to thank you once more for all the effort they make every day to continue supporting me with my studies and thus be able to fulfill one of my greatest goals, which is to finish a professional career.
It is a pleasure for me to greet you once again and through this letter to be able to share a little more of my life, first of all I want to thank you for the pantry that was given to us this month in Proyecto Amigo, it is serving us a lot to me and my family, since they are things that we need every day in our house. I also want to thank you for the money, with which you supported me this month for my school expenses, because although we are in online classes there are things that we have to pay for such as the internet, since it is the way in which we communicate with our teachers to continue studying.
I tell you that my last semester of high school is about to finish, I am very happy to have finished, but at the same time a little nervous since I am waiting for my results to enter the university, and although I studied a lot for the entrance exam I do not leave to worry, I just hope I can enter the faculty of architecture.
This month has been very good for me, but at the same time very difficult, full of many new things, I had to prepare for my entrance exam and this past Thursday I presented it, on the other hand I am doing very well at school, it is very tired and sometimes difficult but I'm trying hard to get good grades.
In this vacation I want to do many things, I will prepare more for when I enter classes, I will continue to exercise and I want to spend more time with my family, especially with my grandparents, since I have not visited them for a long time.
And how have you and your families been? What have they done during this time? I hope you are very well and that you have had a nice month.
I say goodbye to you, wishing you have an excellent day, a beautiful month, that you have good luck in the work you do every day, but above all, that you are full of good health.
With much affection, love and gratitude,
Yosselin Mendez Ramirez,
Project Amigo Scholar
Project Amigo Scholar Thanks  Vi Hughes 2021-06-29 06:00:00Z 0

Jun 2021 Turnover Meeting

This past Tuesday we had a virtual Turnover ‘Dinner’ on ZOOM where we heard from our current President Jim Peddie who thanked all of the members in our club who have helped to make this such a successful year, in spite of the fundraising and volunteer work difficulties resulting from the COVID pandemic.
In particular he thanked:
‘Three Amigos’- Audrey, Rose Marie and Maggi for their efforts raising donations for Basically Babies, Hope Mission and twice for Wings
Audrey in person for single handedly raising funds for the hospice in Greece,
Trina and Richard for obtaining a grant to supply Variety backpacks with sensory toys and books to various outlets
Trina for hosting a Polio Plus event
Patrick for getting us together with Raffle Box and helping to raise funds for Little Warriors, Meals on Wheels, Dogs with Wings, the Edmonton Food Bank and the currently underway fundraiser for Wounded Warriors.
Jim chose two people as Rotarians of the Year:
Patrick Gibson for doing such a phenomenal job with fundraising which has helped both our club and also the district with new ideas for ways to raise funds.
Audrey Martyn, for being a great community resource in knowing where the needs are, for keeping him organized and on track and for her upbeat and positive approach.
Bob Sandercock then told us that our club had a total of twenty-five Paul Harris awards to give out this year along with three major donor awards. All together our club raised almost thirty thousand dollars for the Rotary Foundation this year with seventy six percent of club members donating.
Carin Jansen van Vuuren, our incoming President then spoke about her vision for the coming year and said that Jim would be a tough act to follow. She said that our theme this year is ‘Serve to Change Lives’ and that we would be trying to organize a Rotary Day of Service that would also include our two Interac clubs.  She then introduced us to her incoming executive and board members and noted that they represent fifty percent of our total club members.
We were then treated to a very entertaining and musical hour with Tracie Gray and Matt Day of GrayDay Events and it was a great way to end the evening.
Here is the link to the recording of the meeting:
Jun 2021 Turnover Meeting Vi Hughes 2021-06-22 06:00:00Z 0

Participaction Walk

On Sunday, 6 Jun we hosted a walk at Laurier Park for our club members and their families as part of our participation in the Participaction program. Richard Karlsson also organized a game of Kubb (a gothic Swedish lawn game) and the winners received walking poles to use along the way. It was a beautiful sunny day, everyone enjoyed a chance to get together in a safe and responsible way and a great time was had by all who attended.
Participaction Walk  Vi Hughes 2021-06-06 06:00:00Z 0

Link to recorded ZOOM Meeting for 01 Jun 2021

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jun 01, 2021
Here is the internet link to the recorded Rotary meeting held on 01 Jun 2021 which included the introduction of two new members, Amy Stewart and Gail Martin, a TED Talk on whether self-interest should motivate service in Rotary by Patrick Galvin and a thank you to our club from the WP Wagner Interac club attendees to the recent Rotary Youth Leadership Experience workshop.
Link to recorded ZOOM Meeting for 01 Jun 2021  Vi Hughes 2021-06-01 06:00:00Z 0

Amy Stewart, New Member Introduction

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jun 01, 2021
This week our club welcomed Amy Stewart as a potential new member. Amy is being sponsored by Treena VanderMeer. Amy is an Alberta native who grew up in Sherwood Park and now lives in Edmonton, She works as a Real Estate Agent. Amy attended NAIT, taking the Radio and TV Arts program. Amy later attended the U of A where she obtained a BA in Psychology and Sociology.  She also has a DOOLA certification. Some time ago, Amy spent some time working as a volunteer in Tanzania and the experience opened her eyes to the plight of many people around the world. Since then, she has been involved with several different service groups and has a few service projects that are near and dear to her heart. She says that she believes in putting people before profit in her business dealings and to above all be kind. We would like to welcome Amy to our club and look forward to getting to know her better.
Amy Stewart, New Member Introduction  Vi Hughes 2021-06-01 06:00:00Z 0

Gail Martin, New Member Introduction

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jun 01, 2021
This week our club welcomed Gail Martin as a potential new member. Gail is being sponsored by Treena VanderMeer. Gail is an Alberta native who grew up on a small farm in the Horse Hills area just north of Edmonton, which is now part of the Raven Crest Golf and Country Club. She works as a Property Manager handling commercial rentals. She originally trained and worked as a paralegal but changed professions when she realized that she really missed the social interactions with other people. Gail is also very interested in family history and told us a few stories about some of her ancestors and their experiences in coming with nothing to make a new life in a strange land. She said that she truly believes that the world is able to look after everyone. She looks forward to being able to help make this world a better place through Rotary. We would like to welcome Gail to our club and look forward to getting to know her better.
Gail Martin, New Member Introduction  Vi Hughes 2021-06-01 06:00:00Z 0

Patrick Galvin, TEDxMcMinnville Talk

This week we watched an excellent TED Talk by Patrick Galvin entitled ‘Should Self Interest Motivate Service’. This talk was presented on 26 Feb 2020. In this talk Patrick Galvin, a former membership officer of the Portland Rotary Club presented some insightful ideas on how to present the goals of Rotary, so that we can appeal to a younger generation of potential members. He suggested that the past appeal to people’s sense of altruism, may not be the best way to attract people in today’s much busier world where every adult family member needs to hold down a job, just to make ends meet. In the past Rotary relied on people volunteering their time in to help others because it was good for the world in general, but maybe we need to shift this view to appeal more to the physical and mental benefits that service engenders in those who volunteer.
This talk can be found at:
Patrick Galvin, TEDxMcMinnville Talk  2021-06-01 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Leadership Experience, RYLE Thankyou

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jun 01, 2021
This week we were pleased to hear from Ekjot Brar, Vice President and Jasmine Virk, co-President of the WP Wagner High School Interac club about their experience attending this two day training workshop. Five students from WP Wagner club attended. They both thanked us for the chance to meet other Rotary youth and for the opportunity to learn more about Rotary. They said that the sessions helped open their minds to the opportunities and possibilities that they may not have otherwise considered when it comes to the things that are possible when people work together towards a common goal. The creative approaches that they gained will help them when considering the projects their club chooses in the future.  
Rotary Youth Leadership Experience, RYLE Thankyou  Vi Hughes 2021-06-01 06:00:00Z 0

Natasha Larson, Adventures in Citizenship

Posted by Vi Hughes on May 18, 2021
This week we heard from Natasha Larson, a senior student from WP Wagner High School and co- President of the Rotary Interac Club at WP Wagner.  Natasha told us that due to COVID restrictions this year, the one week event hosted by the Rotary Club of Ottawa was a virtual event. The week included many different speakers, many of whom were previous Rotary AIC program participants, on all kinds of topics related to Citizenship. She said that prior to the event she received a package which included a T-shirt, pin and mug. The event topics included two days with various speakers on Canadian government, one day on Indigenous issues, one day on Citizenship and one day on a variety of topics.  They were also given a choice of several topics for one talk, and the topic she chose was climate change. 
Some of the government speakers and topics covered were the Right Honourable Joe Clark talking about how Rotary fit into his life, Senator Joe Day speaking about the role of the Senate, former Prime Minister Paul Martin talking about his role on government, past Speaker of the House of Commons, who talked his role in government, and a past Page in the House of Commons, talking about her duties in the House of Commons.  Natasha said that one of the sessions she enjoyed the most was the chance to get to know a war veteran who spoke about her experiences, and the discussion session that followed. The fourth day was focused on Indigenous issues and the final day was focused on Citizenship, including a citizenship judge who spoke about how she came into her job and what it involved. Overall, they were given a lot to think about when considering career options for the future. Natasha said that politics, legislation and parliament were things that she had never really considered as a career and the week learning more about them as very enlightening.  She thanked us for the opportunity to take part in this program and said that she had made some new friends across Canada in Rotary as a result.
Natasha Larson, Adventures in Citizenship  Vi Hughes 2021-05-18 06:00:00Z 0

Richard J Davidson, PhD, TED Talk

This week we watched an excellent TED Talk entitled How Mindfulness Changes the Emotional Life of our Brains. This talk was presented in San Francisco on 12 Dec 2019. In this talk Dr. Davidson presents some very good strategies on how we can train our minds by using mindfulness to give us focus, connect us with others more, give us better insight into ourselves and finally to give us a sense of purpose.
This talk can be found at
Richard J Davidson, PhD, TED Talk  Vi Hughes 2021-05-04 06:00:00Z 0
ARCH Enterprises Update Vi Hughes 2021-04-25 06:00:00Z 0

Kwame Damon Mason, Soul on Ice

This Tuesday we were pleased to hear from Kwame Damon Mason, the director, producer and writer of the 2015 documentary Soul on Ice: Past, Present and Future. In this film he tells the history, contributions and stories of black athletes in hockey. Kame talked to us about his background and how he came to be interested in this project. He said that he had always been a hockey fan, but as a young man growing up in Ontario he considered hockey to be mostly a white boy sport. It was not until fourteen years later, while working as a radio host in Edmonton, when he worked and became friends with a former hockey player, Georges Laraque that he really became interested in hockey again. He was becoming unhappy with his work as a radio host and a close family member encouraged him to follow his interests, whatever they may be.
Around 2011, he started gathering information about black players in hockey and was surprised to find that there had been a black hockey league in Canada. He knew that he wanted to make a documentary film so he set about finding people to interview. One of the first people he interviewed was Herb Carnegie, who played pro hockey in Quebec in the 1940’s and 50’s. He was lucky in this regard as Herb was 93 when he interviewed him and passed away only a few weeks later. He also interviewed his friend Georges Laraque, and along with these and many other interviews of younger players, his documentary began to take shape. He found that sometimes he had trouble because some older players did not want to talk about their experiences at all because they had been so traumatic. He did his best to present their stories in an unbiased manner. Many of these players went through adversity, but their love of the game was what mattered most, and he did his best to portray this. He was learning as he went along and finally in 2015 his film premiered at the Edmonton Film Festival, where it won the Viewers Choice Award. It has since been shown many, many times in many different places, including just recently on SportsNet. He thinks that his film has helped people to be able to talk about the issues that existed, but not in a bad way, it is all in how you approach it. Currently Kwame is doing some consulting for the NHL and also does hockey related Pod Casts. His film can be viewed online at (password: mason) and you can find his podcasts at
Kwame Damon Mason, Soul on Ice  Vi Hughes 2021-04-20 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Foundation Update

Due to COVID, world-wide donations to the Rotary Foundation are unfortunately very much down.
As a result, the district grants were $3200 this year but will only be $2000 next year and the Global grants will also be reduced. Scholarships have also had to be reduced by $50.
Our club has exceeded the Annual Fund donations and almost matched the Polio Plus donations of last year.
However, we have only about 60% of our members donating to either, this year.
I would like to encourage each member to donate at least $25 US which is about $32 C to the foundation.
As mentioned previously, the club will match new donations up to 50% for those who have never donated, up to 500 recognition points and up to 200 recognition points for those who have not contributed for over two years.
If you wish, you can send donations to me made out to “The Rotary Foundation Canada” and I will fill out the required paperwork and submit it for you.
Bob Sandercock
120 Twin Brooks Cove
T6J 6T1
780 469-5571
Rotary Foundation Update Bob Sandercock 2021-04-14 06:00:00Z 0

Judy Mill, Grandmothers of Alberta for a New Generation

Posted by Vi Hughes on Apr 08, 2021
This week we heard from Judy Mill, a retired university professor of nursing who has spent a large part of her life working with and advocating for people in the HIV/AIDS community, both here at home and abroad.
She is currently trying to put together a media presentation that would tell the stories of three different advocacy groups that work in this area. The first group is GANG (Grandmothers of Alberta for a New Generation), which raises funds locally for the Stephen Lewis Foundation that supports health and human rights in relation to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in fifteen different countries in sub Saharan Africa. GANG has been operating for fifteen years in Alberta and has raised over one million dollars for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. The second group is CANAC (Canadian Nurses in HIV/AIDS Care) which is a specialized group of the Canadian Nurses Association, and the third group is HIV Edmonton. They are working on bringing the professionals from all three organisations together to a promote their common cause.
The video will tell the stories of what they do in relation to the AIDS pandemic and how their efforts have been impacted by the COVID pandemic. These groups provide such things as medical support, housing, food, help with grant applications and many other types of help for individuals and families affected by this disease. It will help with public education and to build public awareness of these three organisations and what they do.
Judy Mill, Grandmothers of Alberta for a New Generation  Vi Hughes 2021-04-08 06:00:00Z 0

Easter Dinner for Wings

Posted by Vi Hughes
This Easter our club put together Easter Dinner boxes for the families in first stage housing at Wings. Our club provided twenty boxes of food, eight bags of clothing, socks and assorted makeup and jewelry. We would especially like to thank Audrey for organizing it all and Rose Marie and Maggi for helping shop and pack the boxes, as well as Arch Enterprises for donating the empty boxes and eight bags of clothing.
Each box contained a ham, mustard, potatoes, carrots, apples, cucumber, tomatoes, pasta and pasta sauce, fruit cups and cookies, buns, coffee and tea, apple juice, snacks and napkins. We also included a bag of assorted makeup and jewellery as well as a makeup bag and a pair of socks.
Rhonda from Wings picked up the boxes and said that they were thrilled with the donation. She said that they provide housing for the families, but the families supply their own food, and with the pandemic strain on their incomes, many families also need food, so our donation was greatly appreciated.
Easter Dinner for Wings  Vi Hughes 2021-04-02 06:00:00Z 0

Entertainment Day with Matt Day and Tracie Gray

Posted by Vi Hughes on Mar 23, 2021
This ZOOM meeting was a blast, with entertainment provided by Matthew Day and Tracie Gray. It was really nice to be able to have a different focus for our meeting this time. Matthew and Tracie entertained us with their musical and public speaking talents. They both have a different focus in their daily lives, Matthew works at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital using the power of music to help stoke patients, brain injury patients and people with other types of mental health issues. The methods he uses, such as cognitive stimulating games and things like musical bingo help people with all types of injuries to recover some of their memories. He says that is also gives people hope for the future. He has also developed a program called EASE (Enrichment Activities for Seniors Everywhere) that he uses to bring entertainment and enrichment to many different groups of seniors. Tracie Gray is a professional emcee with movie, TV and stage credits. She is a stand up comedian and public speaker who does customized presentations, corporate team building and morale boosting presentations for all types of groups. We truly enjoyed our time with them and hope to be able to do it again some time.
You can find more information about them and the entertainment they offer at for music and speaking, for virtual team morale boosting and for entertainment for seniors.
Entertainment Day with Matt Day and Tracie Gray  Vi Hughes 2021-03-23 06:00:00Z 0

Christi McTaggart, ABC Headstart Society

On Tuesday we heard from Christi McTaggart who is a manager of stake holder development at ABC Headstart in Edmonton. Christi said that they offer the largest early pre school early development program in Edmonton. The currently operate out of five different sites and sixteen classrooms located in Delwood, Mill Woods, Afton, Westmount and Newton. They offer both half day and full day programs for children with many different kinds of problems that cause language and learning delays. They currently work with about five hundred children per year. Eighty five percent of their children come from low income families, representing sixty four different countries and speak forty six different languages. She said that ABC Headstart began in the 1960’s in the United States and came to Edmonton in the 1980’s. They employ teams of professionals to work with the children and their families. Their program considers the parent or guardian as part of their team and offers workshops for the families of the children.  They also try to support the families within their own communities.
Their headquarters is located in the Gerry Forbes Center, which is home to many other non-profit organizations and has common warehouse facilities which they can use. They are a registered charity and have a budget of about eight million dollars per year. They employ ten people in their offices and about one hundred professionals such as teachers, early childhood assistants, social workers, speech specialists etc. In normal times they also have many volunteers that help with various aspects of their program. Their program is very similar to that offered by the Edmonton Public and Catholic School systems, both of which have been shut down due to COVID. This means that demand for their services is now higher than ever. Some of their programs have very long wait lists.
One of their current campaigns is the Pre School Toolbox Campaign which creates packages of supplies such as books, paper, crayons, glue sticks, markers, tape and other supplies for the children to use either at school or at home in these COVID times. Christi said that monetary donations allow them to buy these items in bulk. They are also in need of volunteers to assemble and deliver these items to the various locations around the city. We would like to thank Christi for her presentation and look forward to possibly supporting their group in the future.
Christi McTaggart, ABC Headstart Society  Vi Hughes 2021-03-09 07:00:00Z 0

Mike Fraser, Kona Rotary Sunrise Club

This past week we were pleased to be joined in our ZOOM meeting by some members of the Sunrise Rotary Club of Kona, Hawaii. Some of our members attend this club on the big island during their winter vacations.
Their Past President and current President Elect, Mike Fraser, is a Canadian who moved to Hawaii about twenty years ago. He is a charter member of the Kona Sunrise club, which began in 2009. This club currently has twenty-three members.
Mike said that they have taken part in many different projects both in their local community and abroad over the past twelve years. They raised eighty-five thousand dollars by collecting donations for Shelter Boxes for local people whose homes were damaged by the tsunami caused by the Japanese earthquake a few years ago. They also raised ninety-five thousand dollars which provided running water for schools in Kosovo. Their club is proud to have been an EREY (Every Rotarian Every Year) member for the past ten years. He also said that their club generously supports both Polio Plus and the Peace Initiative. He said that they are the number five top giving club in the State of Hawaii, in spite of their size.
Being a small club has some disadvantages, in that the same people end up doing everything, but they enjoy each other’s company and have done their best to support other clubs as well. They support Interact clubs both in Hawaii and in South Africa, and have a sister club in Nagoya, Japan.
They currently have their meetings both live, with ten people in a local restaurant, and via ZOOM. They meet at seven AM Hawaii time (ten AM our time) and would be happy to have any of our members who are interested join them in their ZOOM meetings. Please email Jim Peddie if you are interested.  
Mike Fraser, Kona Rotary Sunrise Club  Vi Hughes 2021-02-23 07:00:00Z 0

Kosta Kostis and Eva Tsinavou, Rotary Club of Ioannina, Greece

This article was partially prepared using additional information kindly provided by our own Dimitri Papanicolas.
We were pleased to be joined on ZOOM by several members of the Rotary Club of Ioannina, Greece. Their President Kosta Kostis thanked us for the help we have given them in the past supporting some of the work they do in Greece, with ELEPAP, a school for handicapped children, and also with Eleni Gyra, a hospice for autistic adults.
Their Past President Eva Tsinavou spoke to us about the Eleni Gyra Boarding House (EGBH), near Zitsa which is about thirty-two kilometers from Ioannina. It is part of the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Autistic Persons (HSPAP), headquartered in Athens. This is a non-profit, philanthropic society run by volunteer parents. The HSPAP also has other facilities in Greece.
Together with the Rotary Club of Ioannina, we recently supported the repair of the roof, for the Eleni Gyra (EGBH) facility (which is now complete), helped to replace the electrical board and provided a computer for their use.
The EGBH facility (property and building) was donated by a doctor from Zitsa, Greece in memory of his first wife. Presently around twelve severely autistic residents aged from 30 years to over 50, one of whom is also blind, live twenty four hours per day at the boarding house.
The twenty-four staff at EGBH are paid by the Hellenic Government, they are government employees. The government contribution covers 85% of costs that are salaries and the remaining 15% is for operational costs. The latter is not enough to cover all the operational costs and is definitely not enough for maintenance or repairs. The local residents of Zitsa, the village nearby, sometimes help with food and minor financial donations as well.
Eva told us that the boarding house is currently in dire need of new clothes washing machines, as the current ones are very old and are becoming quite unreliable. They currently have eight household type machines, only two of which are still working, and use them to wash about fifty kilos of clothing each day. They have looked into replacing these with a larger commercial type washing machine, which would cost about thirty two hundred euros each.
We then discussed various ways that we could help them with this, as well as other items for this facility. We look forward to working with them in future to find ways to fund this and other projects.
Kosta Kostis and Eva Tsinavou, Rotary Club of Ioannina, Greece  Vi Hughes 2021-02-09 07:00:00Z 0

Harjeet Panesar, Perspectives

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jan 26, 2021
This week, as part of the collaboration between Rotary and Toastmasters, we welcomed Harjeet Panesar from the Millwoods Vocabulaires Toastmasters Club. Harjeet is a Professional Engineer and past colleague of Dmitri from Thurber Engineering.
Harjeet spoke to us about Perspective and how we are not truly able to understand other people until we can see things from their perspective, and when we do, it helps to make the world a better place.
He illustrated this point by giving us some examples from his personal experience. Harjeet said that he grew up and received his engineering education in Punjab, India. On graduation his first job was in Dubai. From there he came to Canada. When he arrived in Vancouver, he purchased a calling card, but when he went to pay for the five dollar card, he became upset when he found that the actual cost was sixty five cents more. When he asked why, they told him it was for taxes. He did not understand. In the countries where he had previously lived there was no tax on goods. Once he had been here for a short while he came to appreciate all the benefits that type of tax provided and was more accepting of the tax. His perspective had changed.
He gave another example. When he came to Canada, he had left his wife behind in India. His first job here was the night shift or graveyard shift, at a seven eleven store.  When he told his wife about his job, she made no comment at first. On the second call he made to her she was quite upset and told him that he had to quit his job in the graveyard. I was then that he realized she did not understand the term graveyard as it is used here in Canada to describe the night shift. Once he explained this to her, she was much relieved. Her perspective had changed.
One last example he gave was some sage advice he had received from Dmitri, when he was Harjeet’s manager. Harjeet had been promoted to a managerial position and Dmitri called him in one day and gave him some advice on decision making. He told him that every time he had to make a difficult decision, he should try to imagine how others will see things from their perspective. Harjeet said that that advice has served him well.
In closing, he said that everyone sees things differently. We need to put ourselves in the shoes of others to fully understand their point of view and prevent misunderstandings.
Harjeet Panesar, Perspectives  Vi Hughes 2021-01-26 07:00:00Z 0

Attention All Members, Virtual Meetings

Due to the current COVID restrictions on in-person meetings, our club is using ZOOM to meet from the safety of our own homes. Please join us for these meetings. The first half hour is a social time with the formal meeting beginning at 12:00 noon. We meet on Tuesday every two weeks, starting on Jan 12, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. When members have the ZOOM application installed on their device (smart phone, tablet or computer) they can log in to our meetings by clicking on the meeting link that Graham Gilchrist has emailed to all members.
Attention All Members, Virtual Meetings  Vi Hughes 2021-01-26 07:00:00Z 0

Doreen Slessor, Dogs with Wings

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jan 12, 2021
This week we heard from Doreen Slessor, the Executive Director of Dogs with Wings Assistance Dog Society. This is a group that breeds and trains service dogs. These dogs are trained to help people with many different disabilities. They primarily help people with sight impairment, people who are wheelchair bound, people with autism and as facility companion (child abuse center) dogs. The dogs are carefully selected for calm, quiet personalities and then are given basic training to behave well in busy public situations. Once they have been assigned to a specific person, they are given training specific to the needs of that person. They can help to pick up objects, lead people safely though busy places, sleep on top of autistic children who tend to wake up a lot at night, or simply to lie calmly while strangers talk to and touch them. These dogs help relieve the worry and stress of living with a disability for both the disabled person and their family.
It takes two years and about forty thousand dollars to train each dog but their clients pay only one dollar. Not all dogs will meet their strict requirements. They belong to the Canadian Association of Guide and Assistance Dog Schools and their dogs are accredited through internationally recognized Assistance Dogs International which ensures that they can travel internationally and on airplanes without issues. They are based in Edmonton, but also have sites in Grande Prairie and Calgary for training. They supply dogs to people throughout BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan. In 2020 they placed twenty dogs and had forty eight puppies brought into the program. Only about sixty percent of the dogs make it through the full training process. If they growl, bark or bite, they fail. They must also be in perfect health. The breed of dog they use most is the Labrador Retriever as they are medium sized, even tempered, are very food motivated, do not get strongly attached to their owners and are relatively easy to care for. All of their dogs live in foster homes while they are in training. They are placed with the client at about two years of age. They work until they are about ten years of age. Dogs with Wings keeps track of their dogs and gives them a senior assessment at age eight to determine how well they are doing. They currently have about one hundred twenty dogs living in the community that are ageing out and will need to be replaced fairly soon. Senior dogs usually stay in their client home after they have been replaced.
Dogs with Wings does not receive government support for their program. They are funded through group and individual donations. They also offer sponsorships where for a donation of ten thousand dollars, the sponsor’s name is displayed on the dog’s harness. We would like to thank Doreen for her very interesting and enlightening presentation.
Doreen Slessor, Dogs with Wings  Vi Hughes 2021-01-12 07:00:00Z 0

Simon Cusack and Matthew Broussard, Raffle Box

We were pleased to hear from Raffle Box founder Matthew Broussard and IT and Sales VP, Simon Cusack. They have helped us to organize and run two of our online fifty-fifty fundraising events. Raffle Box provides an online platform that allows small groups to more easily fundraise using a fifty-fifty raffle. They were inspired to start doing this when they saw how much funding can be raised this way by very large groups like the Calgary Stampede or the Edmonton Oilers. They are a Calgary based tech company with a small staff of twelve enthusiastic people. They are Alberta and Maritimes based for now but are planning to expand nation-wide by next year. They have found that the COVID pandemic has forced a shift to online fundraising for a lot of groups. They are currently running three hundred raffles per month and raising about four million dollars per month in total. They are licensed by the gaming commissions in the provinces where they run raffles. They help their customers by handling the technical end of things, providing an online platform where their customers can share links as well as doing marketing and advertising or them. Customers pay a fee based on a percentage of the funds raised.
Their customers range from minor and junior hockey teams to volunteer fire departments to rotary groups to the United Way. Keeping up with all the varying regulations in different locations where their raffles are run is a challenge. They work with government agencies in trying to unify the regulations from province to province. They hope that in future things will become more uniform so that groups across the country will be able to raise funds on a more level playing field. We would like to thank both Matthew and Simon for their presentation. This company has been a great help to us in fundraising for several charities and we look forward to using them again in the future.
Simon Cusack and Matthew Broussard, Raffle Box  Vi Hughes 2020-12-22 07:00:00Z 0

Shannon Stewart, Basically Babies

This week our speaker was Shannon Stewart, the founder and Board Chair of Basically Babies. Shannon told us that this locally based charity has been operating for twenty-seven years in Edmonton and has just expanded to Calgary as well. She said that their goal is to help families with babies that are living in extreme poverty by providing a complete package of baby clothing and supplies designed to last for two years. The layette package includes one hundred and ten items based on a carefully thought out complied list that will provide items for use in spring, summer, fall and winter from newborn to two years of age. Basically Babies partners with other agencies that provide life skills training and the families that they help are recommended to them by these agencies based on their family situation. They also work with social agencies dealing with addictions, refugees, indigenous people, women’s shelters, homeless people, and people with disabilities. These are usually people or families living in extreme poverty, often with other complicating circumstances such as unemployment, low education, language difficulties, and sometimes mental or physical handicaps. Their partner agency picks up and delivers the layette to the family or person in need.
Basically Babies accepts donations of new and gently used items and volunteers clean, sort, iron and prepare the baskets using the compiled list. She said that about ninety percent of their items are gently used. They also accept monetary donations and use these to purchase any missing items for their baskets. Their hope is that by supplying these basic supplies they can help these families to focus their resources on other things. They maintain a warehouse that normally has about four hundred part time volunteers that help out over the year. They usually handle an inventory of one hundred thousand baby items over one year. Their operations protocols have been modified to deal with the pandemic restrictions. They now have a curbside donation set up and their inventory has dropped to three thousand items. Shannon also described some of their management principles and how they plan for contingencies. They recently had a donation trailer stolen, but they did have insurance and are hoping to be able to replace it soon.  Their protocols for handling clothing items has changed to ensure the safety, protection and prevention of infection for their staff, volunteers and customers. Their three major fundraisers for the year have also been cancelled. Most of their funding comes from grass roots donations with about twenty to thirty percent from grants. They can use donations both monetary and in kind and were happy that we helped them out this past year
Shannon Stewart, Basically Babies  Vi Hughes 2020-12-15 07:00:00Z 0

Mike Drak, Retirement Lessons from a Pandemic

Mike is a retirement lifestyle planner and author of several books about retirement. His latest publication is “Victory Lap Retirement’. Mike said that with the advent of COVID on our lifestyles, a lot of people are getting a taste of what retirement can bring if there is little planning involved. People are isolated, bored and generally unhappy.
Mike believes that retirement should not be something we just save money for, it should be a time when we transition from our working life into a new life of our own making, where we can do things that we truly love. A time when you get the freedom to do whatever interests you. A time for adventure, a time to help others, a time to get outside your comfort zone. A happy retirement takes planning and work. We need to have savings, so that we can afford the retirement that we would like. Financial security is a cornerstone. But in addition, we also need to be physically fit, healthy and have enough interests to keep us busy full time. Exercise, eating right and having interests outside of our work are things that we need to start early on if we want to be able to enjoy our retirement. Relationships are important as well, we need to ensure that we are on the same page with our partners before retirement. People who are unhappy in retirement usually have only one or two pursuits that interest them. Happy retirees have at least three or four pursuits.
We need to remember that retirement is often thirty years of your life. Sleeping in, golfing and travel can fill some time but we need more than that to keep us busy fulltime. Time slows, days blur together and some people even take to drinking. Having lots of money is not a panacea. People need a sense of purpose. Some people look for something they enjoy doing that can also earn them an income, others volunteer doing work they love. Whatever you choose, it should be challenging, involve some social interaction and give you a sense of fulfillment.
Retirement can last almost as long as your working life, it should be a time to reconnect with ourselves, our family and others. It should be your victory lap that lasts for the second half of your life.
Mike Drak, Retirement Lessons from a Pandemic  Vi Hughes 2020-12-02 07:00:00Z 0

Tim Schilds, Rotary Foundation Month

Posted by Vi Hughes on Nov 24, 2020
This week we heard from Tim Schilds, our Rotary District Foundation Chair. Time lives in Dawson Creek and made his presentation to us on Zoom.  Tim said that the Foundation is how we can get to be part of a premium community that can help us to do whatever needs to be done, both in our own community and around the world. Our Rotary Foundation was voted the number one of the tem best charities by Charity Navigator as ninety two percent of the funds donated go towards programs.
There are several fund choices within the Foundation that e can contribute towards. The Annual Fund provides micro loans to small businesses in other countries. The areas of focus are peace building, disease prevention, water sanitation and hygiene, maternal and child services, basic education and community economic development. About fifty percent of all funds go towards disease prevention. He said that next year they will be adding one more category for environment.
Global Grants help to support large long term projects like the school in South Africa that our club supports. The programs must have measurable and sustainable outcomes, they must align with the Rotary areas of focus and a common assessment is required. Sustainability is of particular importance, local people must be involved so that whatever is provided can be maintained locally.
District Grants are another category. These include local efforts such as our support of the Be Brave Ranch, or the Dawson Creek club partnering with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to provide books to children in small, isolated communities. They also provide scholarships that we give out. The goals are the projects must be small and short term, less than two years. They can be local or international and they are awarded yearly. They must adhere to stewardship guidelines and must demonstrate cultural sensitivity.
The Annual Fund Share program will invest whatever you contribute for three years, before the money starts to come back out. Fifty percent of the mone goes towards local districts to be used for District Grants. The remainder is used for Global Grants.
Our club’s average donation per member last year was one hundred and thirty dollars. Each time we make a donation to an eligible fund we gain points that are applicable towards a Paul Harris Fellowship. Once we have given one thousand dollars (American) we are awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship. We can also donate our points to other people.
The End Polio Now Campaign is also an important part of our Rotary giving. In 1985, when it began there were one hundred countries in the world where polio was endemic. Now, thanks to our efforts and those of others, there are only two countries left with endemic Polio. Afghanistan and Pakistan had one hundred thirty five cases last year. We are almost there in eradicating this terrible disease, we must keep on giving until it is gone completely. In our present COVID times, an added benefit of the Polio eradication effort has been that we have raised awareness of viral diseases worldwide, and we have trained people all over the world who are able to give vaccinations.
Rotary makes giving easy, through the MyRotary website. You have many different options to choose from. Please consider giving.
Tim Schilds, Rotary Foundation Month  Vi Hughes 2020-11-24 07:00:00Z 0

Norman Leach, Canada on the Home Front WWI

Posted by Vi Hughes on Nov 03, 2020
This past Tuesday we were pleased to hear another very interesting talk from Norman Leach. This time he spoke about the impact that World War I made on the lives of Canadians on the home front. Canada sent almost ten percent of it’s population, six hundred thousand men and women to fight in the war, and about ten percent of those died fighting. This was a very big contribution for a small country like Canada.
The popular song ‘How ya gonna keep them down on the farm, after they’ve seen Paree’, was an apt description of the changes the war made to the lives of these people, and once they returned home, Canada changed forever.  These mostly young men and women were overseas for up to five years. They had lived and fought in both small rural regions and the big cities of England, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Egypt and many other countries. The armed forces had a policy of sending their troops to live in local billets set up in local homes, barns or public buildings that were located in relatively safe regions at least five kilometers back from the front. They would be sent to the front to fight for one week then return to their billets for one week on a rotation basis. They were also given two weeks off each year to go back to London, Paris or another safe large center of their choice. These mostly rural Canadian farm boys got to see some very exotic places and many very different ways of life from what they had previously known.
Combine this with the technological advances that the war brought and the subsequent applications to everyday life, such as tractors and other heavy duty equipment for use on the farm and in industry, which meant that two people could now do the work it took twelve to do in the past and the impact on daily life in Canada was immense. Prior to the war farm families often had eight or more children as their labor was needed to get all the chores done. Smaller farm families now became viable. Trains became more efficient with the introduction of better engines, meaning transportation of people and goods became cheaper. People began moving into towns and cities for more industrialized mechanized jobs. Another technological advance from the war was the use of the airplane and after the war it helped to open up the country, with many of the wartime pilots becoming well known bush pilots, in the distant North.
The war also had a big impact on the roles of women in society. The absence of so many men for almost five years, meant that women had to become more independent and they were encouraged to take on work that would normally have been a man’s domain. Many women also served overseas. Most of these were nurses, who were given the status of officers to keep them from fraternizing with the enlisted men. They got a taste of having more independence, of making their own decisions and earning their own money. They did not want to give this up when the war ended. Women’s suffrage got a large boost from this.
The war also changed our financial ways of life forever as Canada introduced an Income Tax after the war to help to pay for the immense debt the country had incurred. This also resulted in the loss of the concept of ‘Noblesse Oblige’. This concept that ‘From whom great things are given, great things are expected’, where the more affluent in society were expected to make financial and other contributions to the country as a whole. During the war, the Eaton family gave up their mansion to the war department and lived in a small apartment throughout the rest of the war. They also made large financial contributions and paid for the salaries of many soldiers. These types of things all ended once income tax, came in.  
Lastly, the war changed the opinions of the British about the abilities of Canadian servicemen. At the beginning of the war they envisioned Canadians as fill-ins for units when they lost men. By the end of the war Canadian units were fighting side by side under their own leadership with the British. A Canadian officer Major General John Elmsley even commanded the British troops in Siberia near the end of the war. Canada was now considered to be a full and equal partner in the war effort.
Thus the war had resulted in permanent changes that would change our way of life forever.
We would like to thank Norman for this very interesting and informative talk and the renewed respect it gives us for the many thousands who have served our country as well as the many unexpected life changing impacts that this service has had on our country.
Norman Leach, Canada on the Home Front WWI  Vi Hughes 2020-11-03 07:00:00Z 0

Polio Plus Event Thanks

Posted by Jim Peddie on Oct 23, 2020
Congratulations to Trina Vandermeer and Benaiah Guarding Ltd for hosting a great Polio Plus event at MKT on Friday.
I want to express my and the club's appreciation for hosting a great event. Trina and her team put in a lot of hard work to make this an outstanding event. Trina also had many non-Rotarians there to introduce them to the Strathcona Rotary club. She had several retailers showing what their companies do and supplying prizes.
We were also live on Zoom thanks to Graham Gilchrist and Judith Pinto and Vince Campbell joined us. We also had Constable "pat me down” Heather de Kok making sure we raised money and providing frisking services as required, along with posting it on social media.
Thanks to all who attended and once again thanks to Trina and her team for making it possible.
Polio Plus Event Thanks  Jim Peddie 2020-10-23 06:00:00Z 0

Jim Ferguson, District Governor’s Message

This Tuesday we were glad to hear from our new District 5370 Governor, Jim Ferguson. Jim has been a Rotarian since 2005. He currently lives in Stony Plain, but due to the nature of his work, has been a member of E-Club of Canada since 2012. This means that he is also a bit of a techie and his presentation to our club on Zoom was done in the traditional e-club fashion of a pre-recorded video.
Jim presented the Rotary priorities for this year, in keeping with the Rotary International President Holger Knack’s theme of Rotary Opens Opportunities.
He encouraged strategic planning based on what we would like our club to look like five years from now. This includes increasing our impact in our community and expanding our reach by bringing in younger members. We can partially do this by increasing our Rotaract to Rotary crossover rate, which is currently only about five percent. Enhancing member participation through a variety of community volunteer, fundraising and social group activities and by increasing our ability to adapt to a changing world.
He said that the challenges of this year have forced Rotary to expand into areas that we may never have gone otherwise. He also asked us to keep in mind that our local Rotary districts have partnered with Inclusion Alberta to provide employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.
Jim commended our club on it’s wide variety of activities, fundraising opportunities and community support, and in particular how well we have adapted to the shift towards the use of technology in fundraising, hosting of meetings and other activities on-line The current restrictions on group meetings have forced each of us to think outside the box and come up with solutions to ensure that Rotary can continue to open opportunities for all.
Jim Ferguson, District Governor’s Message  Vi Hughes 2020-10-20 06:00:00Z 0
Maxwell de Kok receives Shelterbox award Heather de Kok 2020-10-09 06:00:00Z 0
District 5370 award 2020-10-09 06:00:00Z 0

COVID-19 Ventillator. Local development

Posted by Pradeep Dass on Oct 09, 2020
Pradeep is working on a unique ventilator to be provided to governments in the quest to support Covid -19 patients.  He advises that the prototype will be made public on May 6 and has shared the specifications with us. As well I have attached the presentation regarding the ventilator for all of us to see.  As a former ICU nurse and Instructor, I truly see the value of an artificial intelligence component which would monitor and manage a patient's ventilatory status without human intervention... Way to go Pradeep... We are all amazed at what you do!!!!
Below is the information Pradeep shared with me and now you...  The reference to the pages relates to the attached presentation.
Basic design attached refer page 6/7. It is a simple operator proof design and yet the most sophisticated ventilator available in the market if it goes to the market at all. It uses aerospace components and none of the medical components used by others.
The 1st prototype video will be out on May 6th for the world to see.  I hope I make it by this time.
A video of our first prototype will be out on or before May 6th.   Additional features included.
Just some extra information why our Ventilator will be very unique compared to even the largest manufacturers of ventilators in the world.
  1. It can be adapted to feed one and 20 + patients. Independently controlled for each patient.
  2. Medical personnel does not need to be close to the patient once hooked up as it can be operated remotely once hooked up.
  3. Screens are made large for quick visual and controls with remotely operated systems too.
  4. Specialists can dial in to the ventilator from anywhere in the world and operate it if required while supported by general hospital medical personnel at location.
  5. It can be hooked up in the hospital or in any field area set up to treat as it has its own oxygen and mixture device too. Assembled in module formats as required.
  6. Can be hooked up on the patient’s bed so that unhooking the ventilator while moving the patient may be avoided.
  7. Build in AI where you don’t need a highly trained nurse or respiratory specialist or a trained doctor as it will synchronize with the patient and make recommendations or continue to operate as required manually. Aerospace and Space Technology implemented. “Operator proof” is the plan by introducing AI features in the system. You enter data from around the world and see recommendations in real time for specific patients.
  8. Aerospace, Space and some Oil & Gas equipment parts are mainly used in the entire system with oxygen cleaned and certified as we will not run out of standard ventilator parts used by others.
Will go to certification by any interested manufacturer under Covid-19 expedited certifications initially if all goes well.
“There is many a slip between the cup and the sip” but we are learning quickly and used various medical consultants from the US and UK.
COVID-19 Ventillator. Local development Pradeep Dass 2020-10-09 06:00:00Z 0

Dr. Sean McMurtry and Berth Barberree, Canadian Centre for Men and Families

Posted by Vi Hughes on Oct 07, 2020
This past Tuesday our speakers were Dr. Sean McMurtry and Beth Barberree from the Canadian Centre for Men and Families. The Canadian Centre for Men and Families is a national charity based in Ontario.
They first spoke to us last year when they told the story of their hopes and dreams for a local presence to our Rotary club. Sean and Beth both thanked us for our donation and said that with our help and that of many others, they have been able to organize and set up several programs in Edmonton to meet the needs of men and their families when families break down. Over the past year they have become much more organized and are now able to offer several programs based on what they have heard from the men they help. These men have told them that they need to feel heard, with no judgement, to be offered facilitated solutions that give them a better path forward, and all to be done with empathy and respect.
The programs that they currently offer are ones that were not available from other groups in our community. They now have a website ( and a Facebook and Instagram presence to help let people know what they offer. Their programs include a thirteen week family abuse Recovery Program, a Men’s Peer Support Group, and a Legal Resources Program. These programs are designed to prevent feelings of isolation and stigma and to help prevent the acute mental health crises that can result.
They would especially like to thank rotarians Graham Gilchrist, Donna Hutton, Jim Pedde and Gord Sheppard (of Expert Training Solutions) for their help and advice. Over the past year, their programs have been able to give men a place to go where people listen and understand. They are now hearing that social services are recommending their programs to people in need. They now have a full-time program director and are building their trained volunteer base so that they can expand their services. Their top three goals for the next year are to increase their outreach, diversify their fundraising and implement organizational strategies to improve and stay on track with their goals. They aim to be professional and offer a high quality of service to their clients.
As Sean and Beth both said, when you help men and their families when families break down, you help the entire community.
Dr. Sean McMurtry and Berth Barberree, Canadian Centre for Men and Families  Vi Hughes 2020-10-07 06:00:00Z 0

Basically Babies Donation

Posted by Rose Marie Basaraba on Oct 07, 2020
Thanks to the generosity of Club members, President, Jim Peddie, along with Rose Marie Basaraba, delivered an SUV filled with bags and baskets of baby clothes, blankets and accessories to Basically Babies on September 30th.
This local charitable organization provides layettes to newborn babies whose families are in financial need. On behalf of Basically Babies, Chelsea, their representative, expressed her gratitude to Club members who donated the items during the month of September. Our substantial donation was transferred into a trailer outside the facility. Due to COVID restrictions, tours of the facility are cancelled. 
This was yet another proud example of RCES serving the community. (Thank you to Audrey Martyn for storage and organization of donated items prior to delivery).
Basically Babies Donation  Rose Marie Basaraba 2020-10-07 06:00:00Z 0

Basically Babies Donation Deadline

Posted by Rose Marie Basaraba on Sep 18, 2020
Please be reminded that the deadline for donations to "Basically Babies" fundraiser is September 22, or the day of our face to face meeting at the University Club, formerly Faculty Club.

We are collecting clothing items for 0-24 months  to make up layettes for families  lacking the financial resources  to provide for their babies.  The baskets are designed so thst family members feel a great deal of personal worth and dignity as they enter parenthood.  We plan to make one layette for a boy and one for a girl.

These layettes provide the basic necessities for the first 24 months of life.  Please purchase items from the list below and you can bring them to the meeting on September 22 at the University Club.

Questions call Rose Marie (780) 951-5224 or Audrey 780-722-4262.

ITEMS NEEDED:: socks, shoes, slippers, bibs, towels, receiving blankets, blankets, snowsuits, hats, mitts, sweaters, jackets dresses, pants shirts , tops, storybooks, stuffed toys (small and new).  clothing can be new or gentally used.

Basically Babies Donation Deadline Rose Marie Basaraba 2020-09-18 06:00:00Z 0

Jordan Schwann, 2020 Economic Update

Posted by Vi Hughes on Sep 17, 2020
This Tuesday we heard on ZOOM from Jordan Schwann, a Portfolio Manager with Newport Wealth. Newport has been in business for twenty years and has about three billion dollars in assets under management. About thirty percent of their client base is in Alberta.
Jordan first talked about the effect of the COVID pandemic on our economy. COVID is a world-wide pandemic with significant numbers of infections and deaths which have had and will continue to have a significant effect on economies around the world. He said that there is no way we can go back to normal until we have a vaccine. Vaccine development is ongoing in many companies and countries around the world. There are presently nine companies with a vaccine in final approval Stage 3 trials. Hopefully, several of these will be available sometime next year.
The economic effects of this pandemic have been the sharpest and deepest global recession since the Great Depression. Real GDP growth was already slowing in 2019, but the pandemic effects of business shutdowns pushed it down even further. Central banks and governments have provided monetary stimulus and have cut interest rates to help to compensate. This has resulted in massive purchases of bonds, securities, ETFs and hi yield bonds. Globally governments have spent ten trillion US dollars. Our economy in North America lost about ten-years-worth of job gains in the first few months of the pandemic.  Jordan said that only about fifty percent of those jobs have been regained so far. Fortunately, consumer spending has held up really well throughout, which shows that government transfer payments for low income individuals are working. Unfortunately, one area that is not doing well is small businesses, which are still down about twenty percent. Very large corporations are doing fine finding funds as they can issue bonds, but some large companies in hard hit sectors such as travel, energy and real estate are going bankrupt, if they did not have enough cash flow to cover their debt.
Financial markets sold off quickly at the beginning of the pandemic but rebounded as soon as the central banks stepped in. At the moment the market is showing some unusual trends. The S&P 500 is currently dominated by the values of just six stocks, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google and Microsoft. They currently make up twenty five percent of the entire value of the S&P 500. These companies are attracting a lot of interest right now, but investors should be sure that they are purchasing good companies at a good price as well. Some market corrections are most likely coming. Governments are using low interest rates to support markets, and this is bad news for the bond market. This means people are putting their money into the stock market. Average investors need to think about how to generate income in this environment as low interest rates are here to stay for a while. Some factors to consider are the speed of vaccine development and the correlated economic recovery, the current social and political unrest, inflation rates and levels of pre-existing debt. He said that a broad diversification of investments is the best approach to deal with all of these things.
Jordan Schwann, 2020 Economic Update  Vi Hughes 2020-09-17 06:00:00Z 0
Celina's YEX presentation Celina Jensen 2020-08-15 06:00:00Z 0 Celina
Little Warriors playground Jim Peddie 2020-08-11 06:00:00Z 0 little warriors

History in the Making

Posted by Hans GRANHOLM on Aug 07, 2020
Congratulations to Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland (Ontario, Canada) member Jennifer Jones - who will become the first female Rotary International President in the organization's 115-year history in 2022-23!!
Jennifer Jones, Rotary Foundation Trustee 2019-23
Jennifer Jones is the president and CEO of Media Street Productions Inc., an award-winning television production company in Windsor. Jones has served Rotary in many roles, including as RI vice president in 2016-17. She is co-chair of the End Polio Now: Make History Today campaign to raise $150 million. She has been a leader in cultivating experiential fundraising opportunities such as Rotary’s Polio Golf Day with Jack Nicklaus in Jupiter, Florida, USA, which raised over $5.25 million for polio eradication.
Jones has been recognized with many awards, including the Service Above Self Award and the Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service, the YMCA Peace Medallion, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and she was the first Canadian to receive Wayne State University’s Peacemaker of the Year Award.
Jones and her husband, Nick Krayacich, are members of the Arch Klumph Society and the Paul Harris Society and charter members of the Bequest Society.
History in the Making Hans GRANHOLM 2020-08-07 06:00:00Z 0 Jones

Carin Jansen van Vuuren, Classification Talk

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jul 23, 2020
This Tuesday we heard from Carin Jansen van Vuuren. Carin has been a member of our club for six years, but in some ways she has been a Rotarian all of her life.  Carin was born in South Africa and grew up in Pietersburg in a Rotarian family. Carin’s father was an active Rotarian, and a Past District Governor (PDG) in South Africa, all of his life and Carin was encouraged to take part in many different Rotarian causes and activities from the time she was a child.  
Carin attended University in South Africa and obtained an honors degree in Political Science and Administration. She then went on to work in the office of the Minister of Constitutional Development in South Africa. When at dept of constitutional development we were tasked to negotiate the new constitution for SA. While there she had the privilege of meeting many well-respected people of the 1980’s in the government of South Africa.  In 1988 she married Stephan and in 1990 they decided to come to Canada. Stephan had been offered a position in Eston, Saskatchewan. At first, they had not planned on staying in one place for long, planning to travel around and see North America, both US and Canada. Carin said that stepping off the plane, for the first time, in minus twenty weather, in Saskatoon, was quite a shock.
They then moved on to Two Hills in Alberta. As Carin was not allowed to work here, she kept herself busy around Stephan’s office and with community activities. They soon decided to invest in a local newspaper and Carin learned how to do layout and printing. She would get Stephan to help out as well in the evenings. In 1995 they became Canadian citizens with dual South African citizenship.
Carin loved organizing and administrative work. For several years they organized a South African music festival that took place in Canmore each summer and had a lot of fun doing this. In 2000, Stephan and Carin started organizing yearly tours for people to South Africa. These trips include tours of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. She still does these tours and has made met many wonderful people and made a lot of new friends doing this. In 2008, Carin started a property management company, focused on single family housing. It was quite a challenge for Carin to become familiar with home maintenance and dealing with all of the various trades involved.
On 15 Jul 2014 Carin became a member of our Rotary Club. Her father came for her induction. She said that he gave her one piece of good advice. He said, ”Be a Rotarian, don’t just wear a badge.” We know that Carin has followed this advice in every way and has been a wonderful asset to our club ever since. This sage advice is something that we all should strive to follow.
Carin Jansen van Vuuren, Classification Talk  Vi Hughes 2020-07-23 06:00:00Z 0

Amarok Update Jul 2020

Posted by Amarok on Jul 20, 2020
COVID-19 has reached a new height of infections as of mid-July, penetrating every slum in which we operate. The healthcare system is woefully underequipped to deal with or track an outbreak of this magnitude. The best calculation we can get on COVID’s impact is through the grave diggers who, by mid-June, were burying 10 times the number of people on a daily basis as pre-COVID-19.
But the immediate impact on the physical health of people is only part of the story.
The lockdown has caused severe economic hardship – in particular for our families living in the slums. Just imagine being confined to stay in a hut barely larger than the bed you lay on. There is no television or internet and you’ve never been able to afford a phone or even a radio.
After two months of such confinement, domestic violence and mental health are serious issues. So is constant hunger, and even starvation, as there is no way for most to make money to buy food.
All of the Amarok mothers have shared the importance of regular hand-washing and social distancing with their community, like Helena below. Though, short of growing a pair of wings, there’s little a person in these communities can do to avoid close interaction with others in shared spaces.
All of the Amarok mothers have shared the importance of regular hand-washing and social distancing with their community, like Helena below. Though, short of growing a pair of wings, there’s little a person in these communities can do to avoid close interaction with others in shared spaces.
Many of the Amarok mothers have helped the very poorest families register for the government’s sporadic handouts of rice and occasional onions or potatoes. And, despite most of our mothers and families not having enough food, to date no one has died of starvation. When a neighboring family is absolutely desperate, others come together and provide gifts of rice, lentils, onions, etc. The tone of these neighborhoods has been coloured by the Amarok mothers.
Quarterly Highlights
In mid-April, Asma’s husband, jobless since the lockdown, left the shack and never came back. 28 year old Asma and her 2 little girls, 8 and 4, had to manage on their own, in the face of starvation.
As a mother attending an Amarok school, Asma had become resourceful and had learned to sew. But people were not interested in new dresses these days with the lockdown. But Asma had an idea. With the last of her small savings, she went to the market and bought small pieces of patterned material. Out of these she made attractive masks for both adults and children.  She is now earning almost $1/day in a time when others are jobless.
This has allowed Asma to buy enough food for herself and the girls with some left to help those in greatest need. She gives masks for free to some of the poorest children. And like all the other Amarok mothers, she keeps in communication with the 5 neighborhood children she’s been teaching and their families throughout this stressful time.
The Rotary Partners of Amarok in Bangladesh include the Rotary Club of Shaikat Cox’s Bazar, Cox’s Bazar City and Inner Wheel Cox’s Bazar. They  have all provided food assistance to the mothers of Cox’s Bazar during the pandemic.
Our other partner, the Rotary Club of Midtown Dhaka, is also planning to provide a food package soon. Through generous support from Canadians and Americans, Amarok has also been able to provide food packages to all mothers of the 23 schools and is a wonderful demonstration of the heart-to-heart connection around the world.
My name is Sujon. I’m 13. I have 2 older brothers and 2 younger brothers. We live in one small room with my parents. Me and my brothers share 1 bed. Since I was 11 I’ve been working but I did not like the work and the days were very long. I had to lift heavy things from morning ‘til night.
One evening on my way home from work, I met another boy who lived nearby. He told me about an Amarok mini-school that was teaching him to read and write. We asked the mother who was teaching the 5 children if I could join. She met my parents and they said yes. I was so happy. This has let me enroll in the government school too because I don’t need to hire a tutor –my mother-teacher helps me. I am teaching my other brothers what I am learning.
When COVID hit our slum, my government school and my mini-school were closed down, my dad lost his job and my brothers were paid less for the same work. We fell behind in our rent by 3 months and every night I was hungry.
Then my mother-teacher told me the corner store needed a boy to work 3 hours every morning. I went with my dad to meet the shop owner. The man thought I would not be able to do it. But he gave me some tests of reading labels, weighing and calculating price of vegetables. I could do it and he immediately hired me. Now, every day I work in the shop in the mornings, do my own studying in the afternoon and teach my brothers in the evening. The owner loves me very much and I am so proud to help my family.
12 year old Shahinur has attended a neighbour-mother’s mini-school for the past 3 years. Now,  she can read almost anything. When lockdown came to her slum she could see how desperate, scared and alone everyone felt. The children were crying, Adults were arguing. She saw how sad people were. And her own parents were desperate. The landlord was threatening them with eviction for nonpayment of rent for 3 months, and they were hungry.
Shahinur, wearing green below, decided she would do something about this. At first, she talked to people she saw about the importance of frequent hand-washing. But then she had an idea to make a bigger difference:
  • She went to the landlord and asked if she could tutor his 2 daughters in exchange for rent. He agreed.
  • Next, she decided that every day she would read tales from her mini-school book of stories to groups of little children.
  • With older children she teaches them new games – and always carries extra masks (from Amarok) to give to others.
  • She talks to other girls her age about things that matter to them.
  • She reads the newspaper to older people.
Shahinur is making a very big difference to the well-being of others by connecting with them and helping them. She’s not feeling so very little anymore  - she knows she’s making a big difference.
With the number of new cases still peaking, it’s likely that the families in the slums of Bangladesh and Pakistan are in for several more months of the COVID-19 lockdown. We can count on our Amarok mothers to continue the leadership role they’ve assumed, but mass starvation looms with a continuation of this situation.
We will be launching Facebook campaigns starting mid-July to raise money to buy rice and lentils for the thousand families we work most closely with.
If you’re a member of a Rotary club, other service club or connected to another group of concerned people and are interested in receiving an online-update about what’s happening with the mothers, children and families we serve in the slums of Bangladesh and Pakistan, please be in touch with us at
Amarok Update Jul 2020 Amarok 2020-07-20 06:00:00Z 0


Posted by Donna Hutton on Jul 03, 2020
Over the past week, the implications for group meetings as a result of the Corona Virus have changed. Some of the notifications we have recieved from national and international health advisory organizations are suggesting curtailment of group meetings.
Although our Rotary meetings have usually less than 50 people our concern is that our population is an at risk group because of age and predisposition to international travel.
As a result, our Board has decided to  cancel our weekly meetings until further notice and reassess based upon further developments. We will provide updates to all of you as we continue to monitor developments. Please let us know if anyone needs assistance during this trying always we support each other! 
Thank you, 
ATTENTION ALL MEMBERS! Donna Hutton 2020-07-03 06:00:00Z 0 covid
Highlights (pictures) from parking lot turnover meeting 2020-06-19 06:00:00Z 0

Letter of appreciation from Ronald McDonald House

Posted by Eric Germain on Apr 27, 2020
Hello Rotary Friends,

Trust you and your families are OK in these challenging times.

Please find below, a nice letter we received today from Ronald McDonald House recognizing their volunteers, including our Rotary Interact Clubs.

We have participated in the RMH Home For Dinner Program for over 10 years.

In addition our Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona recently donated money for groceries for the residents at RMH. These funds had been allocated to the future Home For Dinner events this year that were cancelled.

Thanks to everyone who helped and supported our Rotary Interact Clubs at J. Percy Page & Wagner Schools. We had a great Rotary Interact school year until we had to hit the pause button with the community and global health concern.

Nice to know we are still positively impacting people on a daily basis in the community at this time including RMH.

Until we meet again, either in person or virtual.

Healthy Best Rotary Regards,


On Volunteer Appreciation Week, we want to send a message of thanks to the 337 in-House volunteers and the over 8,500 event and Home for Dinner volunteers who contributed their time to RMHC Alberta last year.

It has been said that our volunteers are the heart of our Houses, and this simply can't be overstated. Our volunteers give so much more than just their time; each of our volunteers play an essential role in supporting our mission and caring for our families.

Whether it's a warm cookie, a greeting smile, a clean room, a hot meal, a fun craft, or selling raffle tickets at an event, our volunteers indirectly touch our families in all kinds of different ways.

Most recently, in light of COVID-19, many of our Home for Dinner volunteers stepped up as a part of our #HeroFromHome campaign and we are so grateful for your contributions to keep food on the table for our families.

We wish we could celebrate with you in person, and we miss your presence greatly. Like all of you, we are staying safe with our families, and looking forward to a time when the RMHC Alberta family can be together again.

Please know that we are thinking of you -- not just this week, but every week. RMHC Alberta simply couldn't do what it does without our volunteers.

All the best,
Jason Evanson
CEO, RMHC Alberta


Due to COVID-19 some of our Signature Events have been rescheduled or postponed. The dates below may still be subject to change, but more volunteer details will be shared in the coming months.

  *   Hustle for the House VIRTUAL Run: July 6 - 12
  *   Red Deer Charity Golf Classic: TBD
  *   RMHC Alberta Polo Classic: Postponed until 2021
  *   Grande Prairie Charity Golf Classic: TBD
  *   Shoot for the House Lethbridge: Postponed until 2021
  *   Shoot for the House Winfield: TBD
  *   Shoot for the House Grande Prairie: September 12
  *   Canmore Charity Golf Classic: September 17
  *   Lakeland Charity Golf Classic: September 26
  *   Once Upon A Time Ball: October 17
  *   Taste of Home Calgary: November 14
  *   Taste of Home Edmonton: November 18
  *   House of Hope: December 11

Letter of appreciation from Ronald McDonald House Eric Germain 2020-04-27 06:00:00Z 0

A Lesson From History

Posted by Frank Helman
Publ.: Frank Helman is a nonagenarian Rotarian in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. His wife, Marty, is a PDG in district 7780, currrently governor trainer and past zone newsletter editor 
The most lethal pandemic to hit the United States was the 1918 Spanish flu, which was responsible for about 675,000 American deaths, according to estimates cited by the C.D.C.
The Institute for Disease Modeling calculated that the new coronavirus is roughly equally transmissible as the 1918 flu, and just slightly less clinically severe, and it is higher in both transmissibility and severity compared with all other flu viruses in the past century.
Researchers studied deaths during that pandemic a century ago, comparing the experiences of various cities, including what were then America's third and fourth largest, Philadelphia and St. Louis.  In October of that year Dr. Rupert Blue, America's surgeon general, urged local authorities to “close all public gathering places if their community is threatened with the epidemic,” such as schools, churches, and theaters."  There is no way to put a nationwide closing order into effect,” he wrote, “as this is a matter which is up to the individual communities.”
The mayor of St. Louis quickly took that advice, closing for several weeks “theaters, moving picture shows, schools, pool and billiard halls, Sunday schools, cabarets, lodges, societies, public funerals, open air meetings, dance halls and conventions until further notice.”  The death rate rose, but stayed relatively flat over that autumn.
By contrast, the epidemic had started in Philadelphia before Dr. Blue's warning, so it had taken none of those measures.  Its death rate skyrocketed.  (Source:  The New York Times, March 14, 2020)
The lesson:  The more drastic the restrictions, and the sooner they are implemented, the more favorable will be the outcome. 
Please forward, especially to anyone who can take appropriate action. 
Frank G. Helman
88 Appalachee Road • Boothbay Harbor, Maine 04538
(207) 233-8740 •
A Lesson From History Frank Helman 2020-03-27 06:00:00Z 0

Celina home safe

Posted on Mar 27, 2020
Celina arrived safely in Denmark today, March 27th, and received the Royal treatment on her arrival home.
Here she is with her dad, Allan, mom Katja and sister Fiona and note the RED CARPET at their home!
Thanks to the Youth Exchange Board consisting of inbound counselor Lynne Fisher (Edmonton South), outbound counselor Vince Campbell, Donna Hutton, Kelsey Demer (Edmonton South) and Al Pierog (Edmonton South) and our treasurer Graham Gilchrist.
Celina home safe 2020-03-27 06:00:00Z 0

Some usefull tips from the Jewish Seniors Center

Posted on Mar 26, 2020
North Edmonton Seniors Association has created a handy list of seniors' shopping hours at grocery stores. During these times, the intention is that stores will only be open for seniors.
  • Costco: 8-9 a.m., Tuesday and Thursday
  • Italian Centre Shop: 9-10 a.m., Monday and Thursday
  • Safeway: 7-8 a.m., daily
  • Save-On Foods: 7-8 a.m., daily
  • Shoppers Drug Mart: 8-9 a.m., daily (hours vary by location) 
  • Sobeys: 7-8 a.m., daily
  • Sunterra: 8-9 a.m., Wednesday and Saturday
  • Superstore: 7-8 a.m., daily
  • Walmart: 7-8 a.m., weekdays 
Just because you're at home doesn't mean you have to go into couch potato mode. This collection of exercise resources can help you work up a sweat from your living room and maintain your active lifestyle. 
JDIC Senior Citizen's Centre
10052 - 117 St.
PO Box 17017
Edmonton, AB T5K 0G4
Some usefull tips from the Jewish Seniors Center 2020-03-26 06:00:00Z 0

News from Stephanie Leach in France

Salut tout le monde,
I hope all is well with you, I'm doing very well here in France. As the seventh-month mark of my exchange nears, I am so amazed by how fast everything is going by. Right now all I wish would happen is that everything stops and will never end.
Rotary Youth Exchange is made to push you out of your comfort zone, this is something I've learned time and time again. It was never made to be easy. Exchange is designed to make leaders that can move forward in life and change the world.
In January, I switched host families. What a change!  I've never had any brothers, only sisters. My extent of "brothers" in my life would be my two dogs Whiskey and Baileys back home.
Imagine my surprise when I found myself right in the middle of a family with four sons. I can tell you that I am not prepared for this upcoming April Fools. My younger brother, Charles-Antoine and one of my older brothers, Axel, have had the opportunity to take these two weeks to begin planning April Fool pranks.
This will be the first year that I will be needing to be on my toes, as it will not be like my father who said: "look there are coyotes in the backyard" and that was April Fools.  I am now preparing myself for toothpaste Oreos, hot sauce in ice cream and ice cubes down the shirt.
As the French government has asked everyone to stay at home, my host mom is with us 24/7.  I'm very happy that she's here because it balances out the boy to girl ratio in the house. Though the balance is thrown off when my host dad comes home from work.
My host mom is a speech therapist, putting her incredible teaching skills to use she is teaching me with my grammar. My host Dad works in the military and works 4 days out of 7.
It's been two weeks since school has been officially closed, yet classes continue. My teachers have switched to online courses. For the first time this year, my class is completely silent. Not a peep nor complaint breaks the silence that fills the room, also known as my bedroom. I am pretty sure the fact that we have to mute our microphones might have something to do with it.
Even though I'm at home enjoying the weather and the pool, there is no lack of homework, and there is no lack of not wanting to do the homework.
When I'm not working at school I am either exercising with my host mom, having family conversations, or beating my host brothers at video games.
It may seem that the routine of school, grammar, poolside lounging, and video game victories may become boring, but I promise you that there is no lack of adventures. Just this past week I got the chance to experience what it would be like to be an exterminator.
How did I  experience being an exterminator from the comfort of my own home you may ask, well let me tell you. As I am doing online courses, I've found myself working at my desk and in my room quite frequently.  Last week,  I would see ants parade across my desk or on the floor near my desk.
My host family and I assumed that the ants, looking for someplace warm, were coming from the vents that are in my bathroom. We placed ant poison in the vents and waited a couple of days.
Still, I had ants using my desk as a fashion runway. It was only when my host mom, when searching through her papers in the desk drawer that she located the colony of ants that had found a way into the wood of the desk drawer. With a spritz of ant spray, they were all dead.
My host family is taking this time to teach me not only French grammar but the fine arts of cinema, opera, and music that the French have to offer.
I have watched two incredible French films, La Grande  Vadrouille and Les Choristes. As the Opera House of Paris has closed, they have decided to stream their performances of ballets, operas, and plays for the public to see on TV. My host mom and I take some of our afternoons to enjoy these performances.
To take a break from our busy week, my host family has taken Wednesday afternoon as our anti-technology and family bonding time. We take this time to play board games, talk, eat cookies and chocolate.
My host dad takes this time to purposely mispronounce English words to bother me. Further, as we have many more Wednesdays ahead of us, I decided to order an 890 piece 3D puzzle.
Back home in Canada my family and I enjoy completing puzzles such as this one, and my host family is very excited to take on the challenge.
As you all know, many exchange students have decided to go back to their home countries. My parents back in Canada and I have decided to finish my exchange. In a district that started as 17 students, we are now down to 6. I've said farewell to many friends. I will not lie, many tears have been shed.
One of the hardest farewells was to one of my best friends, Osha. Eva ( from Argentina), Osha (from the U.S), and I have become sisters. At the airport, my heart was breaking as I said "see you soon" to a sister, not knowing when it will be.
Eva was also considering leaving, but the Argentinian embassy told her to stay put. I am very happy with that decision - I will not lie. I was very prepared, and scared, that I would have to "say see you soon" to another sister.
Though I miss all my friends who have left, I know that I will see them in the years to come, and at the 5-year reunion set for 2025. So this is just a pause on our adventures together.
The French government may have me at home, but I would not want to be anywhere else. I am so happy to be here in France living out a dream that is my reality.
I am going to use each day to the fullest. I am going to enjoy French cheese and baguettes; swim in the pool while enjoying the wonderful 20-degree weather, as much as I can in the remaining months.
I am waiting for all the adventures ahead of me. I promise that I will make you proud, and I promise to bring home the trophy of "Survivor of RYE 2020."
Au revoir,

Stephanie Leach
News from Stephanie Leach in France Stephanie Leach 2020-03-26 06:00:00Z 0

Survey Results 2020

Posted by Donna Hutton on Mar 18, 2020
Edmonton Strathcona Rotary Club Members, please find attached the results of our most recent member satisfaction survey which many of you completed in February of this year. 
Please note that Dimitri has done an outstanding job of analyzing the results and providing us with a report format which clearly demonstrates the progress we have made related to the issues identified last year. The information on the right of the chart indicates the responses from last year and the table on the left are the results from this year. 
As you can see, the issues from last year regarding the meeting venue and meals are no longer issues thanks to Woodvale and its staff!!! We appear to have strong support for fellowship meetings, so we will be reviewing how these might be  incorporated into our weekly schedule on an ongoing basis.  Thirdly, we still need to focus on how we might increase opportunities to have members invite family, colleagues and friends to our meetings.
Lastly, we need to address our annual fees.  If you have any questions about these results please email or call me.

In the coming weeks, while we do not have our meetings, I will communicate each Tuesday with you by email through the very helpful assistance of Hans...  thank you Hans..  so stay tuned to more information each week.

Survey Results 2020 Donna Hutton 2020-03-18 06:00:00Z 0

Dr. Jim Sandercock

Posted by Bob Sandercock on Mar 18, 2020
This is a presentation our son Jim (Dr. J.R. Sandercock) did for NAIT
   Many of us are in the highly susceptible age so take all precautions!!
He is a PHD in micro biology Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.  
Hi Everyone,
I don’t post to these groups too often – I sort of smushed a few of them together into a single mail list.
Recently I did a safety moment for our school and then re-recorded a version of it for people who were absent.  You might find this helpful: this disease is definitely something we should be vigilant about, and fortunately there are some logical and simple steps we can take to minimize the impacts on ourselves and our society. 
You can watch the talk at Some of the animations were not captured, but you can reproduce these at the Washington Post at this link:
Stay well!
Jim Sandercock
Dr. Jim Sandercock Bob Sandercock 2020-03-18 06:00:00Z 0

Shelterbox and COVID-19

Posted on Mar 18, 2020
USE for all EMAIL
USE for all EMAIL
As trusted partners in disaster relief I want to give you an update on the measures ShelterBox is taking regarding Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) as well the possible impacts on ShelterBox and our work.
ShelterBox is taking the spread of COVID-19 very seriously. We are implementing precautions and measures to protect our staff and volunteers as well as the communities we work with. We are working hard to prevent the transfer of the virus through our work and to reduce any potential disruption of our support for families after disaster.
It is not yet clear what the extent of the impact the virus will have on our supply chain but we have a significant quantity of aid stored in prepositions warehouses if needed. Our team is also working closely with our travel and security provides, and we are committed to following the advice of local health authorities and the World Health Organization.
While things feel very uncertain at the moment, I know that as people of action we are keen to lead and support our communities through this challenging time.
As more and more clubs are looking to continue their fellowship and meetings online, ShelterBox is offering virtual presentations to engage members. We are available for live virtual presentations or we have a pre-recorded 20th anniversary presentation here:
Even while the true impacts of COVID-19 remain unclear we know that disasters are unpredictable and it is a possibility that a disaster will occur in the coming months. We will continue to work hard to prevent the transfer of the virus through our work and to reduce any potential disruption of our support of families after disaster.
It is through your previous and continued generosity that we are able to provide safe emergency shelter, light for families on the darkest nights, clean drinking water to promote hand washing and prevent the spread of other diseases and ultimately the ability for families to recover. Thank you.
Please stay safe during these times and we will keep you updated if anything changes.
Yours in Service,
Tess Widdifield
Acting Executive Director
Member, The Rotary Club of Toronto Twilight
Please note, the ShelterBox Canada office is currently working remotely. You can still reach our office between 9am - 5pm EDT or you can reach me directly with any questions or concerns at (519) 318-0886.
Shelterbox and COVID-19 2020-03-18 06:00:00Z 0

W.P. Wagner Rotary Interact Club Update

Posted by Vi Hughes on Mar 12, 2020
This week we welcomed several members of the W.P. Wagner Rotary Interact club to our lunch meeting.
Their president, Jasmine, gave us a short update on some of the fundraisers and events they have organized this past year.
Two of the charities they have chosen to support are Ronald McDonald House and the Grandmother’s Campaign.  
W.P. Wagner Rotary Interact Club Update Vi Hughes 2020-03-12 06:00:00Z 0

Brent Francis, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

Posted by Vira Hughes on Mar 12, 2020

This past Tuesday we heard from Brent Francis, the Director of Advocacy and Outreach for the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. Brent told us that the role of the Chamber is to Advocate, Educate and Connect businesses from the greater Edmonton area. He said that they have nineteen hundred member companies in the metro Edmonton area. They help their members to grow and succeed by hosting events, providing trade workshops and providing networking opportunities. They also have partnerships with other business communities around the world. They are part of the Canadian Global Cities Council, a coalition that represents more than fifty percent of the people in Canada. They also work with the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and those in more northerly communities to ensure that businesses in all of Alberta benefit.

Brent said that right now, many businesses are struggling trying to keep the doors open and to attract investment. The chamber advocates on behalf of their members to promote projects such as the trans mountain pipeline. They also advocate for regulations that will make running a business easier for their members, such as more consistency from province to province. He said that right now, when moving large loads on highways, BC only allows transport during daylight and Alberta only allows transport at night. Sizes of product allowed for sale are often different from province to province. Certification for trades is different from province to province. All of these things make it difficult for a local business to expand to other provinces. On the federal front the pipelines are a big issue right now. Eighty percent of our oil is currently exported to the US, but they are becoming a less reliable customer so we need to expand and sell our product to overseas markets.

He said that he wished he had some good news to give us, but that he was actually here to tell us the truth. We would like to thank him for his very honest and interesting presentation.

Brent Francis, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce Vira Hughes 2020-03-12 06:00:00Z 0

Just when I thought I’d seen it all at a makeup

Posted by Ivan Docker on Mar 06, 2020
Just when I thought I’d seen it all at a makeup,  today a visiting Rotarian, who is the current president from the Rotary Cub of North Kohala in Wimea, about a 1.5 hour drive from Kona, brought along an item that had been given to his club by an elderly lady from Wimea. 
The item:  a licence plate (shown in the photo) from the St. Albert Rotary Club!  An impromptu auction took place as a fund raiser, and the licence plate went for $100!
Just when I thought I’d seen it all at a makeup Ivan Docker 2020-03-06 07:00:00Z 0

Nathan Cooper, The Role of the House Speaker

Posted by Vi Hughes on Mar 05, 2020
This week we heard from the Honorable Nathan Cooper, the UCP MLA for Olds, Didsbury, Three Hills and the fourteenth Speaker of the Alberta Legislative Assembly. Nathan told us that he is a former Rotary Exchange student and that he still feels the impact that the people he met during that year made on him.
He was first elected to the Legislature in 2015 and was re-elected in 2019.
He said that as speaker he is responsible for the five hundred employees of the legislative office. He is also responsible for ensuring that the rules for the assembly are applied equally and that every member has the resources they need to do their job.  He said that he thinks that people are losing faith in their democratic institutions because they don’t know what goes on behind those doors. He thinks that educating the public about the processes of the legislature, such as the role of the speaker, will help to restore their faith.
The role of the speaker is to be a non-partisan arbiter, calling out people for offensive language and defending the rights to free speech and assembly. It also includes enduring filibusters that are long on speeches and short on bathroom breaks. He then went on to talk a little about the history of the role of the speaker in our British system. He said that originally the speaker was responsible for relaying the wishes of the monarch to Parliament, and that quite a few speakers in the past were executed by Parliament for just doing their jobs. We still see a little of this history when the speaker is preceded by the mace, the symbol of the monarch, when they enter the assembly each day.
In closing he said that our provincial motto, Fortis et Libre, (Strong and Free) captures the spirit of our province by stating that we want to remain strong and free. He hopes that in his role as speaker he helps to ensure this.
Nathan Cooper, The Role of the House Speaker Vi Hughes 2020-03-05 07:00:00Z 0

Letter of Thanks from Combined Rotary Women’s School, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Posted by Ken Germain on Mar 02, 2020
Dear Rotary Club of Strathcona, Mayfield, Urban Spirits, Whyte Avenue and Hinton,
We hope you all are well in Canada. We are fine and our school is going well. The children we are teaching are also well in good health. Their education is going well. This is our pleasure to share with you about our progress and initiatives. We het inspiration from our school to improve our life and develop our livelihood. We dream for a better future for our children and for the neighborhood children we teach.
Letter of Thanks from Combined Rotary Women’s School, Dhaka, Bangladesh  Ken Germain 2020-03-02 07:00:00Z 0

Letter of Thanks from Karla Sarahi, Project Amigo, Colima


Dear Godparents, Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona.


Hello, I hope you are very well, and thank you very much for continuing to support me in my studies, I thank you very much with all my heart and I will not let you down, I am really looking forward to my studies so that you feel lucky of me and do not regret Of having supported me.

In this month I had a great time, they have already left me homework, I already entered the school again and beginning the first week they left me homework, but for my part it is fine to be able to understand new topics that we will see , they are still the same teachers, I already know them all and also how is their way of teaching, but more than anything I have to feel like it because it is the last semester, about to end this stage.


I feel very happy but at the same time very nervous because we have to see the races which one we like the most, it catches our attention, I really feel very stressed about all this we have to do, apart from all the tasks that leave us and projects, but I know that I can get ahead, I know that all I am achieving is for all the effort and dedication to my studies and because I want a nice future and be a graduate, work on something that I like, but All this is worth it, so I have more courage to move on and it doesn't matter if I reveal myself, stress, cry. But I know that everything I am doing will be worth it.

Letter of Thanks from Karla Sarahi, Project Amigo, Colima Ken Germain 2020-03-02 07:00:00Z 0

Letter of Thanks from Yoselin Ramirez, Amigo Project Fellow

Posted by Ken Germain on Mar 02, 2020

Dear godparents of Rotary club of Edmonton Strathcona!


Hello dear godparents, how have you been ?, I hope you are in very good health and have a nice day, I send you this letter that I wrote with love to you to thank you for all the support you give me day by day to continue with my studies and future plans, because thanks to your support I have more possibilities to meet my goals and achieve my goals.


It is a pleasure for me to greet you once again, I tell you that this month of February began a new semester and like all other times I am putting a lot of effort into the school to be able to get good grades, these days have been very tired since in Some subjects I am learning very difficult subjects, but the truth I have learned a lot and although the topics are difficult I have managed to understand them and even when a partner or friend finds it very difficult I explain the subject.


With my family I am very well every day we get along better and support each other when there is a very complicated situation.

On February 14, Valentine's Day I had a lot of fun. I went out with my friends for a meal and at night we had a delicious dinner at home, and you, how did you spend Valentine's Day? I hope you have a good time and have fun a lot.


I hope you are having a nice month and that the work you do every day is good, that you are in very good health and that you have beautiful, pleasant days and a lot of living with your families.


I say goodbye to you, wishing you a beautiful day full of blessings to

You and your families.


With a lot of love and thanks, Yoselin Méndez Ramírez, Amigo Project Fellow.

Letter of Thanks from Yoselin Ramirez, Amigo Project Fellow Ken Germain 2020-03-02 07:00:00Z 0

Shelterbox -- Thank You!

Posted on Feb 28, 2020
Your support has made a big difference around the world. You've given families the chance to recover from terrifying storms, rebuild after major disasters, and return to normal after losing their homes. Thank you for being a part of the ShelterBox family!
Your support helps change families lives all around the world.
Today, you're helping families like Erti's, whose home was turned to rubble after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit. Because of you, ShelterBox was there to help her family recover.
Please read Erti's story to see the impact you make possible every day. Thank you for your continued support, and for believing that no family should be left wihtout shelter after disaster.
USEfor all EMAIL
ShelterBox and Rotary are official Project Partners in international disaster relief. ShelterBox Canada is a registered charity independent of Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation. Charitable Registration # 84628 3208 RR0001
Shelterbox -- Thank You! 2020-02-28 07:00:00Z 0

Dr. Jack H. Jhamandas, Quest for a Novel Therapy Against Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by Vi Hughes on Feb 27, 2020
This past week we were honoured to hear from Dr. Jack H. Jhamandas, (MD and PhD) Distinguished University Professor, from the Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology. Dr. Jhamandas, a clinician and scientist at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, spoke to us about his search for a novel therapy against Alzheimer’s disease. He opened with a story about how random luck can play a life changing part in our lives, with a clip from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, where Indiana Jones chooses a non-descript cup to drink from, in place of a gold one, and lives as a result. Those who had chosen the golden cup died.
Dr. Jhamandas told us that Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, comprising about eighty to ninety percent of cases. It causes a global loss of intellectual function. It affects about one in nine people at age sixty-five, increasing to about one in three at age eighty-five. About half a million Canadians are presently living with various stages of Alzheimer’s disease. It has been calculated that about one in six Albertans are affected either directly or indirectly by this disease. He said that this disease is not an obvious out-front type of disease that attracts public health attention. It plays out silently in our homes and lives on a daily basis. He then showed us a series of self-portraits made by an artist who made yearly drawings of his face, showing the slow dissolution of self that was very obvious in the changes from year to year, as the face became more and more distorted, until it was almost unrecognizable as a face.  He said that, to date, there have been four hundred and thirteen clinical trials testing two hundred and forty four different compounds as treatments for this disease, and none proven to be effective or practical enough
Dr. Jack H. Jhamandas, Quest for a Novel Therapy Against Alzheimer’s Disease Vi Hughes 2020-02-27 07:00:00Z 0 alzheimer

You never know who you meet when doing a makeup...

Posted by Ivan Docker on Feb 24, 2020
You never know who you meet when doing a makeup --  a fellow Rotary ambassadorial scholar! 
Yukari started out as an ambassadorial scholar from Japan to Munich.  After completing her year of undergraduate studies, she stayed in Munich to complete both her Masters and PhD degrees in Linguistics.  Yes, although she was from Japan, she got hooked on Munich and stayed there, speaks excellent German naturally, and joined Rotary in 2009.  We stayed after the meeting for a chat.
What a delightful and dedicated Rotarian!  Hopefully the photo she sent is attached with her email.
Yukari wrote:
I was ambassadorial scholar from 2001-2002. I studied in Munich Linguistic (PhD). Since 2009, I am member of Rotary Club Munich Bavaria. I am still not club president. But I have lot of positions of Rotary. I am District Chair for Almuni, ICC in Germany (Contact Point Japan) and member and Board member (since 2019) of RFAD (= Rotary Foundation Alumni Deutschland).
This is an old home page. We are working to complete a new Home page of RFAD. 
Ivan's bio:
It is not often that I meet a fellow ambassadorial scholar.  My club is the Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona (District 5370) , in Edmonton, Alberta Canada.  I was an ambassadorial scholar from 1972 – 1973, and my year of study was at the University of Southampton in England.
I joined the Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona in January, 1984, and was our club’s president from 1988 – 1989. 
You never know who you meet when doing a makeup... Ivan Docker 2020-02-24 07:00:00Z 0

Do You Know YEG?

Posted by HANS GRANHOLM on Feb 21, 2020

How well do you know Edmonton? Test your Edmonton smarts and help rid the world of Polio by joining us at our 'Do You Know YEG?' Trivia Night!  

Donna Hutton, Linda & Hans Granholm did their best but fell short of the three-way share of first place. (I think there were more than four groups competing ;-))

The Details:

Where: Polar Park Brewing Company (10416 80 Ave NW)

- The Rotary Club of Edmonton Whyte Avenue
Do You Know YEG? HANS GRANHOLM 2020-02-21 07:00:00Z 0

JDIC Programmer

Posted on Feb 21, 2020
Are you interested in learning bridge?   Please let us know as we have an experienced bridge player who is willing to teach. Lessons to start Tuesday afternoons after lunch at 1:00pm, from the beginning of March.
Tuesday, February 25:       Lunch & Learn with Jacob on
                                               “How to train your brain”
Tuesday, February 25:      1pm - Marilyn Lizee & Norma Spicer
                                                Metis History 101: Culture & tradition of Metis People
Wednesday, February 26: Winter Wednesday Series
10a.m. – 12p.m. Prof. Emeritus David Barnet
Theatre and the Liberation Phase of Life: a look at the work of the intergenerational theatre company.
12p.m Lunch
1p.m. Book Club - postponed
Thursday, February 27: Birthday Thursday with Dr. Jerry Katz and a special celebration of Bozena’s dedication to the Centre!
If you want to acknowledge Bozena, please approach the Office!
Winter Wednesday Series
Wednesday, March 4:      10a.m – 12pm- Rabbi Zolly Claman
                                              The Jewish Concept of the Soul
Thursday, March 5:           1pm – Abe Silverman
                                               Deal of the Century: What it means for Israel & peace     
                                               for the Middle East. 
Luba Allen,
Executive Assistant
JDIC Senior Citizen's Centre
10052 - 117 St.
PO Box 17017
Edmonton, AB T5K 0G4
780.488.4241 phone
780.488.6591 fax
JDIC Programmer 2020-02-21 07:00:00Z 0

Ellen Weber, Linking Science to Service through an Amygdala

This past Tuesday we had a presentation from Ellen Weber, our membership director at large, on how a small part of our brain (the amygdala) is responsible for our responses towards other people, and how we can hone our responses to be healthy, balanced, good and kind.

Ellen said that this part of our brain stores our emotional responses, be they good or bad, and the responses we use most often then become our automatic go to responses when we need to respond quickly or are under stress. She spoke about some of the different types of ‘intelligences’ that each of us has, intrapersonal (are we moral, ethical, confident, humble), interpersonal (are we willing to listen to and learn from others) and how these can impact our influence within our club and our community.

Ellen also let us know that our club is now allowing corporate memberships as a prototype for two years and spoke a little bit about how these would work.

She then had us pair off and talk to another person about what initially drew us to this Rotary club and what currently keeps us coming back. It was very interesting hearing other people’s responses to these questions. Everyone in our club has different reasons for belonging. Some of the responses said that it was this diversity of members and our commitment to service that drew them in and keeps them there.

Ellen Weber, Linking Science to Service through an Amygdala Vi Hughes 2020-02-20 07:00:00Z 0
Happy Valentines Day HANS GRANHOLM 2020-02-14 07:00:00Z 0

Welcome to the ShelterBox Family.

Posted on Feb 14, 2020
Dear Donna,
“Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts for helping us.”
– Rona from the Philippines, who received a ShelterKit and other aid items after Tropical Storm Urduja caused flash flooding that washed away her home.
I am so grateful to welcome you into the ShelterBox family! It is because of you that families all over the world, devastated by disaster and conflict, will receive shelter and aid when they need it most.
Welcome to the ShelterBox Family. 2020-02-14 07:00:00Z 0

Myrna Fundt, Rotary Youth Exchange

Posted by Vi Hughes on Feb 13, 2020
This past week we had a visit from Myrna Fundt, the Youth Exchange Co-ordinator for our district. She gave us an update on some minor changes they are making to the application and training processes for students, counsellors and host families. Rotary International has some very strict rules in place surrounding the student exchange experience that are there to ensure our students have a safe and enjoyable experience. In order to be able to prove that we are doing our part we need to have documentary proof. We have had an online database in place to document all of this for several years now, but it has not always been used and this leaves gaps in our system.
Going forwards, all applications from prospective students must be made in the online database. Paper will no longer be accepted.  Counsellors and host families will also be required to use this database to both register and record their required training and the results from that training. Required courses must be taken, completed and the final quiz must be passed. We need to ensure that we meet all of Rotary International’s requirements in order to ensure we can provide our students with the best experience possible. We would expect no less from our international hosts, so we should expect the same from ourselves.
Myrna Fundt, Rotary Youth Exchange Vi Hughes 2020-02-13 07:00:00Z 0

Jennifer Jones, End Polio Now

Posted by Vi Hughes on Feb 13, 2020

This week, when our scheduled speaker could not make it on short notice, Karen and Jim Peddie downloaded a TEDx/Purdue University talk for us to view that was given in March of 2017 by Jennifer Jones, a past Vice President of Rotary International. It was an excellent overview of the fight against polio and the impact that the elimination of this dreaded disease will have throughout the world. It emphasized that we are not done yet, but we are very close and we need to keep up the fight. It also noted that the public health systems that have been put in place worldwide as part of the fight against polio are now being used to fight other infectious diseases and have allowed us to respond to several other potentially deadly infectious diseases. The implication is that our legacy will live on, in another form, well beyond polio and into the future. For those interested in viewing it, the video can be viewed on YouTube by looking for End Polio Now Jennifer Jones TEDxPurdueU.

Jennifer Jones, End Polio Now Vi Hughes 2020-02-13 07:00:00Z 0

McCullough in Action

Posted by Ken Germain on Feb 08, 2020
Ron gave us an abbreviated recollection of his 1960s flight in a small plane to South America and back to eastern Canada and back to Red Deer.
We were enraptured for 15 minutes as he recalled nights in jail,  flights with no gas left, and the sheer thrill of six months on the road. I mean “in the air“.

Thanks Ron for sharing!

I for one want to hear more about this marvellous trip and your coming of age.
Ken Germain
McCullough in Action Ken Germain 2020-02-08 07:00:00Z 0


Posted by Donna Hutton on Feb 07, 2020
A joint service opportunity between Edmonton Strathcona and Whyte Avenue Rotary Clubs Thursday, February 27, 2020   from 4:45-7:00 pm
Prepare, Serve and Join the homeless in our neighborhood for dinner and fellowship.
Three volunteers from our Club needed CLICK HERE TO VOLUNTEER
RSVP to Donna
STRATHCONA NEIGHBOR CENTER Donna Hutton 2020-02-07 07:00:00Z 0

Patricia Estabrooks, Music Enrichment Program

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jan 30, 2020

This last Tuesday we heard from Patricia Estabrooks, the Program Coordinator for the Music Enrichment Program of the Edmonton String Players Association. She was assisted by Kristine Dahm, the Vice President of the association. We were also treated to a violin selection by one of their students, Andrew Veldkamp.

The Music Enrichment Program is a long established program that was originally sponsored by Edmonton Public Schools, but became independently run in 2013 when the Public Schools withdrew from funding them. They are now a charitable, volunteer run non-profit group. Their goal is to provide music enrichment and affordable instruction in a group setting. They provide instruction in violin, viola, cello, bass and classical guitar to both children and adults through graduated group instruction. They also provide orchestral and chamber group instruction, music theory and music history instruction. They currently have one hundred twenty-two students, spread over fourteen different classes and five orchestras.

String instruction has many benefits. Playing a string instrument requires one to be able to read music and transfer that knowledge out through one hand to the instrument, while listening to the sound and controlling the other arm and hand on the bow. It also requires teamwork, co-operation, concentration, focus and an innate understanding of mathematical principals. The program’s aim is to teach their students to play with skill and finesse. The program can serve as a stepping-stone towards playing at a higher level.

They currently operate out of one small office space and leased spaces in six different schools. Recently they were able to find space in a church that will give them a small office space and a reliable practice space. The use of school spaces has become more of an issue recently with the advent of P3 schools where there is a private building owner in addition to the school administration to deal with when negotiating spaces, times and costs for their classes. Communication about last minute changes to availability of spaces is sometimes not timely and the students and instructor end up out in the cold with no one to let them in to the building.

They currently rely mainly on casinos and bingos for funding and are currently looking to find alternative source of funding. This program can open up a whole new world for children who would otherwise not have this opportunity. More information is available on their website at

Patricia Estabrooks, Music Enrichment Program Vi Hughes 2020-01-30 07:00:00Z 0


Posted on Jan 29, 2020
Posted on 

Rotarians from Edmonton Strathcona brought gifts for residents of the WINGS women’s shelter to their Christmas party

The decision by the Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona to make Women in Need Growing Stronger the beneficiary of its 2019 Christmas project flowed naturally from members’ discussions last year to define the focus of the club’s community service efforts. 

“Our emphasis is on women and children, so WINGS fits very nicely,” say Rotarian Audrey Martyn. “It looks like WINGS will be sticking around with us for a little while now.”

WINGS was established by the Sisters of Providence in 1986. According to its website, “At WINGS, we address the social, psychological and health issues affecting women and children, extending our programs inclusively to clients of all races, cultural and religious backgrounds.”

“It’s a two-stage housing project for women who are leaving domestic abuse,” Audrey says. “In their first-stage housing, they take people in who have just left situations of abuse. Most of the women come with children. They provide them with shelter for the first six months. They also provide counselling for the mothers and the children and they provide daycare services. 

“Then they have stage-two housing, which is after you have been there for six months. Then they place you in an apartment. Organizations and people donate things to help them furnish their apartments. The women are encouraged to go into education, because they need to find a job and move on with their life.

“They can be there for a couple of years before they are phased out. It depends on how successful they are and how much background and education they have.”

Each Christmas season, members of the Edmonton Strathcona club select a charity to support. “We have always done something with a charity that deals with homelessness or people in need in some way,” Audrey says. 

This year, the club prepared Christmas boxes for women and members purchased pyjamas for children at the centre. These were presented to WINGS director Rhonda Jansen, who made a presentation during the club’s Christmas party at University of Alberta Faculty Club.

Rotarians were asked to fill shoeboxes purchased at a dollar store with personal care items for the women. 

“We tell people to put in things like hand lotion, body lotion, lip gloss, deodorant, socks, mitts and small things, because it is only one little box. You need to get it in the box,” Audrey says.

This year, Rotarians also provided pyjamas for the approximately 100 children living at the shelter.

“People were told to wrap them in Christmas wrap and put boy or girl and the size on it,” Audrey says. “We had over 100 pyjamas and more than 60 boxes.”

Members brought the pyjamas to the Christmas party, after which Rotarians loaded them and the boxes into the WINGS director’s van.


Rotarians from Edmonton Strathcona filled a trunk with gifts for women and children at WINGS

In addition to the support they provided at Christmas, members of the Edmonton Strathcona club have donated $5,000 for the daycare facility.

Also they collected clothing for the women. 

“A bunch of us who have a professional background asked if anyone wanted to donate clothing, especially for women who are looking for jobs,” Audrey says. “Many of us are retired or semi-retired, so we don’t need as many things in our closet, or they don’t fit anymore. We collected 12 large garbage bags full of clothing.” 

One member brought in 40 purses. 

“She didn’t want everyone to know, but by the time the evening was over, everyone in the room knew that she had shown up with 40 purses,” Audrey says. “We had a laugh about that. We were like, ‘How many?’”

The Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona meets on Tuesdays at 12:15 p.m. at the Woodvale Facility and Golf Clubhouse, 4540-50 Street NW


WINGS 2020-01-29 07:00:00Z 0

Kiss your sweetheart Goodbye

Posted on Jan 24, 2020

Kiss Your Sweetheart Goodbye Raffle

(In support of the Vision 2020 District Conference)

Grand Prize: 10 nights in a two-bedroom home on the island of Rhodes, Greece (value: $2,200)

2nd Prize: Seven days in a one-bedroom condo in Lake Arenal Condos, Costa Rica. Valid May 1 - June 30, 2020. (Value: $1,250)

3rd Prize: One-week volunteer vacation at Project Amigo, Colima, Mexico. Includes accommodation and meals. (Value: $3,000)

Note: All prizes exclude airfare.

Tickets: $20 each (1,000 tickets printed). Text Terry Demers 780-893-8683, then e-transfer payment to Sales end February 13; winners drawn on February 14.

Kiss your sweetheart Goodbye 2020-01-24 07:00:00Z 0

Dayna Hyman, KidSport

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jan 23, 2020
Last Tuesday we heard from Dayna Hyman, the Executive Director of KidSport in Edmonton. Dayna said that participation in sports can be a game change in a kid’s life as it gives them a sense of participation and belonging to their community. It can really help to overcome feelings of loneliness and isolation and has a ripple effect on their lives, families and schools. Sport can have a big part in making us who we are as adults and give us advantages that are well beyond what most people realize. It instills confidence, teamwork and persistence among other things.
KidSport helps kids living at or below the poverty line in Edmonton take part in forty different sports in the Edmonton community through partial payment of registration fees and also through the provision of sports equipment.  They support all different types of sports such as hockey, dance, soccer, swimming, and many, many more through their All Kids Can Play grant program. The child must be registered to play the sport with qualified instructors. Their application process is a simple one page application that is then reviewed and if the family meets their requirements they send a cheque directly to the sport’s registrar.  The amount to be funded can range up to two hundred fifty dollars per year per child. They work directly with many different sport associations around the city to encourage families who would qualify to apply for financial assistance to help pay for their children’s expenses. They also partner with Sport Central to supply pre-approved equipment.
KidSport Edmonton is part of a non-profit national organization that was founded in 1993 with the local group founded in 1995. Since that time KidSport Alberta has provided over eleven million dollars to support sixty-two thousand children in Alberta to play a season of sport. All funds raised in Edmonton stay in Edmonton to support local children and the local board can approve amounts spent in accordance with local costs for the various sports. Dayna said that KidSport has several ways that we can contribute and they also sponsor several fund raising events each year. This sounds like it would be a very worthwhile cause for us to consider.
Dayna Hyman, KidSport Vi Hughes 2020-01-23 07:00:00Z 0
Interclub Meeting Donna Hutton 2020-01-18 07:00:00Z 0 Shelterbox

Robert Burns Luncheon

Robert Burns Celebration

Each year, the world celebrates the January 25th birth of Scotland's greatest poet - Robert Burns and his many famous works of poetry and songs. This year, the Rotary Club of Edmonton's members (many of whom are of Scottish descent), will be able to participate in these celebrations at our Monday, January 20th luncheon meeting.  

 The Chateau Lacombe's chefs have welcomed the idea of a Scottish-themed lunch for our Club and have promised to serve us an exquisite cuisine of beef barley soup, mashed potatoes (tatees), mashed turnips (neeps) and yes, even haggis! (For those less adventurous, roast beef will be available as an alternative to haggis). You will also enjoy a typical Scottish dessert - bread pudding with a side of custard. A wee dram of Scotch is available for $8 to complement the haggis and for toasting purposes.

This is a first for our Club so we have pulled out all the stops! One of Edmonton's pre-eminent bag pipers will commence the luncheon with some Scottish pipe tunes. Our speaker of the day is a member of The Edmonton Burns Club who hails from Ayre, Scotland. Alex Thomson is a Robert Burns aficionado who will tell us about the influence of famous Scots such as Burns and the many Scottish immigrants who helped in the formation of Canada as we know it today. 

 In keeping with the theme of the day, feel free to wear Scottish tartan socks, a tartan tie or scarf and celebrate the occasion! Come ready to buy some raffle tickets as the winner(s) will enjoy a prize of a bottle of scotch or wine!

 If you know of someone who might be interested in joining us for this unique event, please invite them!

 As we are expecting a good turnout, please be sure to register in advance by going to:

 1. Click on "Register/Modify Registration"below. 

2. Enter your first/last name and e-mail address. On this screen enter your plate number if you require parking.

3. Click on "Select Options", (bottom right hand corner). 

4. Enter how many lunches, parking... you would like to purchase.

5. Click on "Continue to Payment Selection", (right hand corner).

6.  This screen is where you have the option the pay on-line or to save your registration by clicking on "Pay by Check" (you can save your registration and pay at the door)

7. Once registered you will receive a confirmation e-mail.

Click on the link below to register: 

By registering on-line and paying on-line, this saves time for everyone. Note the hotel is told the attendance numbers on Thursday prior to the Monday lunch.

If you have any issues or questions please do not hesitate to contact Geeta at 

 DATE: January 20th, 2020 at 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM

FEE: Lunch - $32
           Attendance - $10    
           Wine - $7 
           Scotch - $8
          Parking - $5  

LOCATION: Salon B, Main Floor
                         Chateau Lacombe Hotel
                         10111 Bellamy Hill 
                         Edmonton, AB T5J 1N7

Robert Burns Luncheon 2020-01-18 07:00:00Z 0 Robert Burns

Joe Schultz, Courage

This Tuesday we heard from Joe Schultz, a speaker from The Memory Project, on the topic of courage. The Memory Project is a voluntary speakers bureau that connects groups with military veterans or Canadian Forces members who are willing to share their stories of military service. Joe told us that he is an infantry veteran, but not a combat veteran. He served in the PPCLI (Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry) for thirty years, from 1959 to 1989. He served in Cypress, Germany and many other locations. He was trained in many different types of warfare and performed many different types of peace time services, such as riot control, security for royalty, interpreter, parachutist, intelligence gathering, jungle warfare training, rappelling from a helicopter and senior explosives instructor.

Joe said that one of the favorite topics for a vet to be asked to speak about is courage. There are many different types of courage- physical, social, moral, spiritual, emotional, intellectual and more. He said that courage and bravery are often confused. He gave the analogy that it takes bravery to grab the balls of a lion, but it takes courage to keep on squeezing. Joe said that he believes that courage can be taught. Proper training gives both physical and moral courage to do things that one would not normally consider such as parachuting, jumping into snake infested waters and trekking for days in bitter cold conditions. The teamwork involved in training also encourages you to do many things that you would not even consider doing on your own, if only from the fear of group mockery or humiliation. Things like parachuting, rappelling both forwards and backwards from a helicopter, winter survival training, wading through snake infested water, explosives training and many more. He also said that the experience gained also gives moral courage to do the right thing, as when he was once tasked with transporting the bodies of dead service members home in a respectful manner, and had to ask two senior officers to recuse themselves from duty as they had had too much to drink.

Joe Schultz, Courage Vi Hughes 2020-01-15 07:00:00Z 0

Australian Bushfires

Posted on Jan 10, 2020
The notice below originates from Tim Schilds, District 5370 Rotary Foundation Chair
Hello and Happy New Year Everyone
So far it is not a very Happy New Year in Australia.  I am sure you have all been watching the devastating situation as Australians suffer through the worst Bushfire season in their history.  District Governor Tracey has been receiving many inquiries regarding the situation and Rotary’s reaction.  The Rotary Foundation is not generally a First Responder in disaster situations.  I am sure that many Rotarians in Australia are on the frontline and there is worldwide support of the idea that we need to help.  And we will help, Rotary will be there for the long term rebuild. We have heard from The Rotary Foundation that they are working with Australian Rotarians to develop a plan which will ensure any donations will get to where they are needed most.  We will wait to hear from our partners and follow their direction.  If you or your club wants to help now I would suggest the options set out below:
Australian Bushfires 2020-01-10 07:00:00Z 0

Thank you from L'Arche Edmonton!

It has taken us some time to purchase the appliances that the Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona so generously provided funding for in October 2019.
We wanted to wait until Black Friday sales in order to maximize our purchasing dollars, and I am forwarding you some photos of four appliances (two fridges are the same) that we were able to purchase with your grant.
We had requested funding for two fridges, a washing machine and a dryer, and we were able to purchase all four with the funds from the Rotary Club, because of very competitive pricing in November. In fact, you provided us with $3,000, and these four appliances totalled $2,900. We put the additional $100 toward another washing machine that we had requested in our letter of application.
Thank you again for your support, and all of us at L’Arche Edmonton wish all of you at the Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona a very Merry Christmas!     
Debbie Weismiller
Grant Writer
L’Arche Association of Edmonton
10310 56 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T6A 2J2
Phone: 780-465-0618, ext. 213
Fax: 780-465-8091
L'Arche Logo - Blue - Horizontalmimi2 (4)
Thank you from L'Arche Edmonton! 2020-01-10 07:00:00Z 0

Pradeep Dass, Space Engine Systems

This last Tuesday we were delighted to hear from one of our members, Pradeep Dass, who spoke to us about his company Space Engine Systems. This company was voted as one of the top six space companies in Canada in 2019. Pradeep said that they are developing an engine that will be able to take off horizontally and land horizontally, while also being able to attain speeds sufficient to take a vehicle into earth orbit and beyond. Obtaining funding from the Canadian government for this venture has not been possible so far as they are not presently interested in launch vehicles.
Currently he is funding the development mostly from his own funds. Only a few other companies are working in this field but the vehicles they are using are all rockets of one kind or another. Rockets are inherently expensive as they are one-way vehicles, that may recover and reuse some parts, but a large portion of the vehicle is not reusable. Pradeep’s DASS GNX engine and vehicle will be fully reusable. The engine has both a jet fuel portion that uses nanoparticle injection combined with a smaller rocket engine that burns hydrogen. It also has a unique heat exchanger that allows it to operate more efficiently.
Pradeep Dass, Space Engine Systems Vi Hghes 2020-01-09 07:00:00Z 0
New Member Meeting, Dec 10 Ellen Weber 2019-12-07 07:00:00Z 0

YESS Volunteer Call

Posted on Nov 29, 2019
YESS Volunteer Call Out 11-26-2019
We need your help for the following:
Event:  Battalion Breakfast – (15 & 41) Service Battalion coming to ARC to bring some holiday cheer.  Hot Breakfast will be served.  Elf will facilitate gifts being given to the YESS youth in attendance.  Youth & Guests invited to look at Military Vehicles and any extra restored older military vehicles that the Battalion may bring.
Address:  10310 85 Avenue, Edm.
Date:  December 8th, 2019 Sunday
Time:  8:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Volunteers Required: 6 total;                
2 -Greeting/Doors/Shovel & Salt walkway & stairs (if it snows), Mop floor, assist with tear down at end of event at the Armoury
2 – Kitchen assistance to help make the Coffee/Hot Chocolate/Tea and set up of Buffet Table and Refreshments Station, assist with tear down at end of event.
2 – Set up Tables/chairs on main Floor & Tear Down of Tables/Chairs at end of event.
Please let me know if you are available to help.  Thank you.  780-468-7070
We are still in urgent need of volunteers to help in our kitchen at Whyte Avenue.  The YESS kitchen is undergoing a major renovation and we will still be preparing all the meals for our youth.   It could be a great opportunity to learn new skills.
                . You could be asked to make or prep salad’s, potatoes, vegetables, tray desserts, crack eggs,
                  make sandwiches. 
                . Organize fridge, freezer and pantry.   Sweep and mop floors, take out garbage/recycling and
                  help transport food between locations. 
Shifts:  Monday To Fridays starting Nov. 27 (9 AM to Noon) to Dec. 13th
Address: 9310 82 Avenue, Edm.
Dress Code:  Closed shoe’s, hair tied back
We are also in search of volunteer Tutors, for Math 30 and Math 10.   Our youth are preparing for exams and would be grateful for any help working on their studies over the next couple months.   Flexible 3 hour shifts available.  Please let me know if you can help in any way.   Thank yo                                                                _____________________________ 
We need a volunteer on Monday and Wednesday Mornings (9 to Noon) starting Dec.  9th, 2019. The task would be sorting Christmas donations here at Whyte Ave. through to Dec. 30th.
If you or anyone you know would be interested in volunteering for any of these opportunities, please let me know  or 780-468-7070.
YESS Volunteer Call 2019-11-29 07:00:00Z 0 yess

WIN House - Christmas

Posted on Nov 29, 2019

WIN House's Christmas Hamper Program

Help sponsor a family this Christmas season!
We currently have 20 families still in need of sponsors. 

Christmas is just around the corner and for many of us this is an exciting time of year; a time when we can enjoy the company of our families and friends. For some though, Christmas can be a time of worry. The Christmas Hamper program supports families who have recently left shelter by giving them a magical Christmas experience.
Are you interested in sponsoring a family?
How do I get involved?
Step 1: Review the form and determine the family size and plan that best suits your budget.
Step 2: Once you have determined the family size you would like to be matched with and the type of plan, submit your form to
Step 3: Once you have submitted your form, we will get to work on matching you up with your preferred family size. Once you are matched, we will contact you by email with your family’s wish list
Step 4: Happy Shopping! It’s time to hit the stores! Take your family’s wish list with you when you shop to use as a guideline. Remember to keep receipts if you require a tax receipt 
Step 5: Hamper drop off dates are December 10th and 11th at the Knights of Columbus Hall (11112-95 A Street) from 9:00am to 9:00pm. Once you have dropped off your gift, our team will put on their reindeer hats and ensure the gifts are delivered to your sponsored family before Christmas Day!
Become A Sponsor - Download Form
WIN House - Christmas 2019-11-29 07:00:00Z 0

Programs of Interest at the Jewish Senior Citizens Center

Posted by Vi Hughes on Nov 28, 2019
The JSCC (10052-117 St., Edmonton) is sponsoring a series of free guided conversations with both Jewish and Indigenous presenters dealing with the loss of culture which may be of interest to many of our members. Please call their office at 780-488-4241 for further information. Here is a selection of some of their offerings:
Nov 25
Dec 2
1-3 pm
Living with Loss
Jan 13
Jan 20
1-3 pm
Feb 3
Feb 10
1-3 pm
Image and Reality
Mar 16
Mar 23
1-3 pm
Living in Two Worlds
Apr 27
May 4
1-3 pm
Food and Power
Programs of Interest at the Jewish Senior Citizens Center  Vi Hughes 2019-11-28 07:00:00Z 0 jewish,jscc

Donna Hutton, Rotary Int’l Conference, Jun 2019, Hamburg

Posted by Vi Hughes on Nov 26, 2019
This week our President Donna Hutton gave us an inspiring update on the Rotary International Convention which she attended in June. Firstly, she said that she would like to thank our club for supporting her in attending this Convention. Donna said that the venue for this Convention was just huge, covering twenty square blocks in Hamburg. She said there were over twenty-seven thousand attendees from over thirty-six hundred clubs around the world. It was so big that just getting from one workshop or presentation to another could be a very long walk of more than thirty minutes, so she had to plan her choices carefully with this in mind. The presentations covered four main topics, leadership, the new strategic plan, the impact of volunteerism and the importance of integrity and innovation.
In the area of leadership, they emphasized that we should all make a personal vow for challenging times that entails asking ourselves, what can I do now to change the world for the better. The outcome will become your legacy, whether good or bad, but it will be something to be proud of as it was undertaken with integrity. Inspired leadership involves demonstrating kindness, friendship, recognition, fairness and truth. Rotary should be a social network for service that creates decisive action.
Rotary’s New Strategic Plan has four pillars for our clubs to strive towards. Increase our impact, Expand our reach, Enhance engagement and Increase our ability to adapt.
Donna told us the Rotary’s world-wide impact on volunteerism is huge. In one year, Rotarians performed forty-five million hours of service, equivalent to eight hundred and fifty million dollars. She said that last year our club alone gave forty-five hundred hours. The challenge is for all Rotarians to do what they love in the service of people who love what they do.
The final topic of Integrity and Innovation involves believing in ourselves and our own ideas and abilities to get things done and encourages us to avoid allowing HIPPO (the highest paid person’s opinion) to take the front seat when we put forward our ideas. When we innovate and try new things we never know where it can take us, but it is worth the journey. We need to make value based decisions, be vulnerable, humble and willing to admit mistakes. We also need to persevere and not walk away from an idea or project when things get tough. A person of integrity expects to be believed because what they speak is the truth. We need to have the courage to do what we believe is right.
Donna Hutton, Rotary Int’l Conference, Jun 2019, Hamburg  Vi Hughes 2019-11-26 07:00:00Z 0

Interactors at Ronald McDonald House

Posted by Eric Germain on Nov 22, 2019
Rotary Interact Clubs Visit Ronald McDonald House  For "Meals That Mend"
The Rotary Interact Clubs from J. Percy Page & W.P. Wagner Schools combined forces to provide an Italian Lasagna Feast Dinner for over 100 people at Ronald McDonald House on Thursday November 21st. They also cleaned things up, including surfaces and windows in the big main area including a kids play room just off the dining room and kitchens.
It was the first time to RMH for the Wagner Interactors, and they seemed to enjoy the experience and meeting the Page Interactors and Celina Jensen, our lovely Danish Rotary Exchange Student, who makes friends fast with her friendly nature.
The families in residence at RMH were very appreciative to have a lovely dinner provided and served with style. It makes them feel a bit more at home with a home cooked meal that they don’t have to worry about preparing, all while going  through some challenging children health issues. Families were from Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Fort McMurray, Saskatoon, and anywhere else outside of 45 kms. from Edmonton. Fun to see the cute kids finger painting after supper with Moms and Dads and brothers and sisters. Makes you appreciate children’s good health, and the good children health care services in Edmonton for Western Canada and beyond.
Thanks to everyone who helped out ,especially our Rotary Interact Club members, many who were rookies, who made it out, and our Rotary Teachers Karen and Taso from Page, and Neesha and Jeff from Wagner. Thanks to our Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona drivers and helpers Hans, Dennis, Richard, Vi, and Les.
Yours in Rotary,
Rotary Interact Club Advisor
Interactors at Ronald McDonald House Eric Germain 2019-11-22 07:00:00Z 0 interact

GEM Munro, Amarok Society Combined Rotary Women’s School

Posted by Vi Hughes on Nov 19, 2019
This week we welcomed G.E.M. Munro from the Amarok Society which we support along with several other local Rotary clubs (Mayfield, Urban Spirits, Whyte Avenue, Grande Prairie and Hinton).  He spoke to us about their ‘Teach a Mother, Change the World’ school program in Bangladesh. This program teaches mothers in the slums of Bangladesh to become teachers, so that they in turn can go home and teach their children and their neighbour’s children (both boys and girls) everything they have learned. It then gives many of these children an opportunity they would otherwise have no opportunity to do. He used the example of one young boy named Shabo, of about ten, who spends every day working in a tea shop earning a living, who attends a mother’s school program after work. This child (and many others like him) should really be in school during the day but his family is so poor, he must work to help support them.
The Amarok program empowers these mothers, children and their families by giving them the gift of an education. It then in turn helps to lift them out of poverty by giving them skills that will help them get better paying jobs. It also gives them a wider window on the world at large. This makes it less likely that they will become radicalized as they learn to make their own judgements and think for themselves. It is well known that uneducated children are easily radicalized. Schooling gives them critical thinking skills as well as the practical skills needed to be productive citizens. We would like to thank Gem for his short informative update on this Amarok Society program.
GEM Munro, Amarok Society Combined Rotary Women’s School  Vi Hughes 2019-11-19 07:00:00Z 0 amarok

Jacquie McNulty, YONA-Sistema

Posted by Vi Hughes on Nov 19, 2019

YONA Sistema

This past Tuesday we welcomed Jacquie McNulty, the YONA (Youth Orchestra of Northern Alberta) site manager who spoke to us about their program which gives youth in our community an opportunity to learn to play an instrument and hopefully inspires them to think beyond any limitations they may currently face in life. The program is sponsored by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and provides instruction five days a week for three hours each day.
This after school program is currently based at St. Alphonsus School, with about eighty-five students in grades one to nine, with a smaller (about thirty), younger (grades one to three), group at St. Teresa of Calcutta School in Edmonton. The program provides daily activities that include singing, musicianship, music instruction on orchestral instruments (string, percussion, horn, trombone and reed), nutritional snacks, academic time and free play time. It also includes arts time, movement classes and visits from ESO members. These students receive instruments and instrumental group lessons, led by qualified teachers, at no cost to their families. They also offer special Saturday workshops for the Junior High students. The students also get to demonstrate their skills to their families and the wider Edmonton community through two major concerts, at the Winspear Centre each year. This coming year, these will take place on January 24, at 7 pm, and June 9, at 7 pm.
Jacquie told us that music helps to create a sense of community, gives confidence and pride in addition to providing a sense of humanity that everyone can relate to. It helps to empower students by giving a sense of belonging. It also gives their parents an opportunity to get to know their community better. The program has been operating since 2013 in Edmonton and has recently expanded to a new twice a week program at the Kipohtakaw Education Center on the Alexander Reserve, an hour north of Edmonton, with thirty students where two YONA teaching instructors offer one hour of violin instruction twice a week during school hours.
Jacquie said that their biggest challenge is finding enough classroom space for their expanding program. They currently occupy three classrooms, a kitchen and a hallway at St. Alphonsus. They currently have to combine children of differing ages and abilities due to space constraints. Their program is largely funded by private donations and they also have an instrument donation program.  We would like to thank Jacquie for her update on the program and hope to be able to support them in the future.
Jacquie McNulty, YONA-Sistema  Vi Hughes 2019-11-19 07:00:00Z 0 YONA

Maggi Hegan, Foundation Month Moment, Paul Harris Society

Posted by Maggi Hegan on Nov 19, 2019
Today our Foundation Month moment is dedicated to the Paul Harris Society. This Society recognizes Rotary members and friends of the Rotary Foundation who contribute $1000 or more (US) each Rotary year to the annual program fund, the PolioPlus fund or the other humanitarian grant programs of the Rotary Foundation.
Paul Harris is the founder of Rotary. In 1905 he worked as an attorney in Chicago. His vision of fellowship and service led to him persuading other local businessmen to meet and discuss forming a club for commercial trade, community and fellowship. On February 23, 1905, they held what would later become known as the first Rotary Club meeting.
The Paul Harris Society was formed and administered by the districts until July 2013 when it became an official Rotary Foundation recognition program.
The purpose of the Paul Harris Society is to identify, engage, thank and recognize members who have the ability and desire to make substantial gifts to help communities around the world.
Rotarians who contribute $1,000 US (or in whose name $1,000 US is contributed) are recognized as Paul Harris Fellows. A Paul Harris fellow receives a special certificate and a gold pin.  Paul Harris Fellows continue to receive recognition for each additional $1000 US they contribute.
We currently have 40 Paul Harris Fellows in our club! 
Next week I will talk about Foundation recognition points that are awarded to contributing donors at a rate of 1 point for every US dollar contributed.
Maggi Hegan, Foundation Month Moment, Paul Harris Society  Maggi Hegan 2019-11-19 07:00:00Z 0 paul Harris society
Friendship Seniors Society Loida Lumanlan 2019-11-16 07:00:00Z 0

DG Tracey Vavrek

Posted on Nov 16, 2019

Tracey Vavrek

Dear Friends of the Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona, 

Thank you for the warm welcome and sharing in fellowship. It was wonderful to spend time together celebrating your impact to community.  Vince and I truly appreciate your fellowship and incredible commitment to serve.  Be proud of your dedication to service and to make a difference for others. Edmonton and surrounding areas, and communities abroad are stronger as a result.

Please know from my heart I am grateful for everything you do. 

Together, we are connecting Rotary with the world. 
Best wishes, 

Tracey Vavrek
Rotary Club of Grande Prairie After Five  
District Governor 2019-2020, Rotary International District 5370
DG Tracey Vavrek Donna Hutton 2019-11-16 07:00:00Z 0

Celina's Hockey Night in Canada w/pictures

Posted by Eric Germain on Nov 16, 2019
Our Rotary Exchange Student from Denmark, Celina, went her first hockey game ever. It was the Edmonton Oilers against the St. Louis Blues, the defending Stanley Cup Champions on Wednesday November 6th . She was the guest of yours truly, Eric Germain.
In her words, “It was an awesome night. I love hockey” . Celina had her photo taken by the Wayne Gretzky statue, and she tried her hand stick handling before the game at the Connor McDavid interactive display. First time holding a hockey stick and deciding she shoots right not left. It was amazing to watch her innocence, and appreciation regarding ice hockey, our great Canadian traditional game.
Celina was impressed with the new Rogers Place arena. Apparently there are 17,000 people in her home town in Denmark, so they would all fit in the arena.
She picked up the rules of the game quickly, and was impressed at how fast the players “run” on their skates, and how hard they hit and shoot the puck. She liked how fast and fluid the game was compared to the Eskimo football game she recently went to.
It was a pleasure introducing this confident young lady to a number of people at the game. Folks were impressed with her excellent English, maturity and friendly nature.
It was a great night, except for the final result. The Oilers were trailing 3-2 with 2 minutes to go and had a power play, only for the Blues to shoot into the empty net with the goalie pulled for an extra attacker. The good old hockey game.
Celina was pleased to see #52 on the Oiler roster is Patrick Russell from Denmark. In fact he is from Bickerod (not Bickenrod as spelled in the Oiler program) [Publ. I believe the correct name of the town is: Birkerød], Denmark. Interestingly it is also the home of the Rotary Club that sponsored Celina to come to Edmonton as a Rotary Exchange Student, and very close to her home town.
Oh well, like we say, it’s always a great night when it’s Hockey Night In Canada.
Celina's Hockey Night in Canada w/pictures Eric Germain 2019-11-16 07:00:00Z 0

Passchendaele, October 1917

Posted on Nov 16, 2019
Guest speaker, Nov 5
Norman Leach,
military historian – topic Battle of Passchendaele, October, 1917
The Canadians were tasked with taking Passchendaele, which like Vimy Ridge several months earlier, had been the site of unsuccessful Allied assaults.
  • It took four days for the Canadians to seize Passchendaele
  • the artillery barrage which preceded the attack resulted in a shell hitting every 18 square inches
  • the artillery barrage and heavy rains left the ground a muddy cesspool. Canadian soldiers had to be ordered not to pull their comrades from the pools of muddy water to avoid being pulled in by drowning men
  • Canadian troops by this time were referred to as “Storm Troopers” by their German counterparts, because they came at the Germans “like a storm.”
  • Arthur Currie, the Canadian commander, correctly predicted the cost would be approx.. 26,000 Cdns killed or wounded
  • Field Marshall Douglas Haig, gave the Canadians full credit for the victory
Passchendaele, October 1917 Peddie 2019-11-16 07:00:00Z 0

Tracey Vavrek, District Governor

Posted by Vi Hughes on Nov 12, 2019
This past Tuesday we were pleased to welcome Tracey Vavrek, our current District Governor, to our meeting.
She spoke to us using the new Rotary logo of multiple colored ribbons as representative of the many different people that make up both Rotary and the people we endeavor to help through service above self. She said that since taking office in July she has travelled over twenty-nine thousand kilometers throughout Alberta in her trusty and colorfully beribboned vehicle named Amelia and has met an amazing group of Rotarians. She also said that both she and her husband Vince have met many different people around the world over the years as members of Rotary.
The Rotary logo or wheel is a recognizable symbol to many around the world and helps to connect people with like minded values. It also serves to provide a sense of connection and fellowship within the Rotarian community. Tracey emphasized that we never truly know the impact we are making through the projects we support in that  they often act as seeds in the minds and hearts of others that grow and multiply in many unforeseen ways. A small act of kindness to someone can have a very big impact on both them and others later in their lives. We show others through the change that we create, that they too can have opportunities they may never have dreamed of.
She said that sometimes we may get disheartened and tired, especially when we forget that we have others around us to encourage and support us in our efforts. After all, this is one of the reasons that we joined Rotary.  
People today have an endless list of causes that they can join, so why choose Rotary? Rotary is unique in that it can provide fellowship, friendship, and the opportunity to serve any sector of the community that we choose through it’s six avenues of service. Our wheel of rotary, the four way test and the well known objects of Rotary all combine to give us an instantly recognizable international reputation that results in trust from communities, charities and governments. This trust is invaluable in enabling us to carry out our projects and contributes to the power of Rotary. The number of volunteer hours alone, put in by Rotarians, saves our communities many millions of dollars. We need to continue to keep changing and listening to our communities and clients in order to remain relevant in the world. Rotary also keeps changing to accommodate what their members would like and will continue to do so.
She then presented our President Donna Hutton with a certificate in thanks for our club’s contributions to Polio Plus. She closed with a quote stating: ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service’.
Tracey Vavrek, District Governor  Vi Hughes 2019-11-12 07:00:00Z 0

Amarok update

Posted by Ken Germain on Nov 09, 2019

Amarok in action

Now we would like to tell you about our friend ‘Ameena’ that how she stopped early marriage of her little sister. ‘Ameena’s sister is only 14 years old and she reads in grade 7 in a Government School. Ameena’s parents lives in their village. One day she came to know from a relative that her father is thinking to marry off her youngest daughter soon. After hearing Ameena straightway went to the village at her father’s home without any delay. ‘Ameena’ talked to her parents about the bad effects of early marriage but they weren’t convinced.  Then she went to the school where her sister reads in. She shared all the things with the schoolteachers and requested them to help her to stop the early marriage. Then she came back home with some of the schoolteachers of her sister. They explained to Ameena’s parents about the bad impact of early marriage and clearly shared the law of our country against early marriage. Her parents were surprised because the schoolteachers told them the same things Ameena told a little before. Ameena’s father replied the schoolteachers that he will think. 
After the teachers left her father asked to Ameena from where she has learnt these things. She replied to them that in Dhaka she is now in Amarok Mother School and beside of learning how to read and write she has also learnt many other relevant things of life from her school. Finally her parents agreed with her and didn’t marry off their little daughter. We are very proud of Ameena.  She is really a good example of empowerment.
Now we like share with you another successful story of our friend ‘Shahana’. She has one son and one daughter. Her son’s name is ‘Pavel’. He is a very good student and very well mannered. He always achieves first position in exam.  ‘Pavel’ helps his little sister at home is learning. ‘Shahana’s’ husband runs a street shop.  ‘Pavel’ helps his father in his free time. ‘Shahana’ says that she is very lucky to be mother of ‘Pavel’. His aim is to be a schoolteacher in his future.
Thanks to you and Amarok Society for supporting us for learning.
With love,
Rehana, Panna, Khorsheda, Ranu, and Khuku
On behalf ofCombined Rotary Women’s School
Amarok update Ken Germain 2019-11-09 07:00:00Z 0

Auction of a Danish dinner, Nov 12

Posted by Celina Jensen on Nov 09, 2019
A Note from Celina re the Auction of a Danish Dinner
The auction for a three course Danish dinner for four will be held on November 12. I will come, cook, and serve the food in your home and eat it together with you. My counselor, Lynne, will also come. The date for the Danish dinner is not announced yet, but we will arrange the date together, so it can work for everyone. If you or any of your guest have allergies, please let me know. 
This auction is a fundraising for two trips that I hope to attend with the other Rotary exchange students. We are going to ski in Jasper in December, and we are going to the Human Rights museum in Winnipeg in March to learn more about Canada, human rights and indigenous people. The two trips are extraordinary expensive, $2850, I therefore hope that the auction will help me to collect some money to pay for the two trips.
What I have already learned during my two months in Canada is how important it is to give back to the community and help other people. I want to give something back to the community and help people in need. I have therefore decided to donate half of the money I get from the auction to Polio Plus.  My goal for this year is to raise $2850 for my trips and $1000 for Polio Plus. So – I might need to do a little more fundraising through the year, too. 
This auction is a lifetime opportunity for you, if you want to learn more about how it is to be a Viking, what the so called “hygge” is, what a Danish dinner tastes like and more about Denmark.
Auction of a Danish dinner, Nov 12 Celina Jensen 2019-11-09 07:00:00Z 0

Glögg anyone?

Posted by Richard Karlsson on Nov 06, 2019

You're invited...

Richard and Laurina invites you to join them for a traditional Swedish Christmas Fika* on December 14 at their home.
Do I see Glögg on the horizon?
Please RSVP to Richard (see image)
*(Fika (pronounced fee-ka) is a Swedish custom, a kind of social coffee break where people gather to have a cup of coffee or tea and a few nibbles. Fika is such an important part of life in Sweden that it is both a verb and a noun)
Glögg anyone? Richard Karlsson 2019-11-06 07:00:00Z 0

Celina Jensen

Posted by Hans Granholm on Nov 01, 2019

Celina Adelheid Schøn Jensen

Following president Donna's efficient and detailed quarterly update on the club's affairs with directors and committee chairs as supporting cast, we were treated to an excellent presentation from our co-sponsored exchange student Celina from Denmark.
In a slick power point presentation she told us about her family and her daily life now compares with her daily life in Denmark. Very interesting.
We were, unfortunately, running out of time and the audience did not have an opportunity to ask questions of Celina, but she is quite prepared to do so at any of our meetings she is attending.
Please consider including this fascinating young lady in your family activities.
Celina Jensen Hans Granholm 2019-11-01 06:00:00Z 0 Celina

Community Service with a smile

Posted by Hans Granholm on Nov 01, 2019
During the Edmonton Comedy Festival, Oct 16-20, members of the Edmonton Strathcona Rotary Club provided drivers to transport performers to and from the airport and between performance venues on show nights.
This was the ninth year of the festival and members like, Patrick Gibson, Vince Campbell, Donna Hutton (also Dennis Hutton), Ivan Docker, Dennis Freeman, Len Gierach generously donated their time to drive the performers. 

This endeavor generated 107 hours of community service hours. 

Thank you to all.
Hans G.
Community Service with a smile Hans Granholm 2019-11-01 06:00:00Z 0 comedy,ecf

YESS urgent need for volunteers

Posted on Nov 01, 2019
URGENT 10-30-2019 YESS Volunteer Call Out
We need your help for the following:
Event:  YESS will be hosting Remembrance Day Refreshments of Coffee/Tea/Hot Chocolate at the Armoury Resources Centre this year.  We will be preparing for 200-250 guests.  A Remembrance Day Ceremony will be taking place in the Light Horse Park next to the YESS Armoury Resource Centre.
Address:  10310 85 Avenue, Edm.
Date:  November 11, 2019 Remembrance Day
Time:  8:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Volunteers Required:  2 -Greeting/Doors/Crowd Control/Shovel & Salt walkway & stairs(if it snows)                                 2 – Upkeep (1 Volunteer for main floor and 1 Volunteer for 2nd floor)
                                2 – Kitchen help to make the Coffee/Hot Chocolate/Tea (Main Floor)
Please let know directly if you are available to help.  Thank you.
We are in urgent need of volunteers to help in our kitchen at Whyte Avenue.  The YESS kitchen will be undergoing a major renovation and we will still be preparing all the meals for our youth.   It could be a great opportunity to learn new skills.
                . The volunteers would need to know how to use knives and commercial kitchen equipment
                  (oven, steamer etc). 
                . You could be asked to make or prep salad’s, potatoes, vegetables, tray desserts, crack eggs,
                  make sandwiches. 
                . Organize fridge, freezer and pantry.   Sweep and mop floors, take out garbage/recycling and
                  help transport food between locations. 
Shifts:  Starting Nov. 1 to 15th (9 AM to 3:30 PM)  and Nov. 18th to Dec. 13th  (9 AM to 12PM)
Address: 9310 82 Avenue, Edm.
Dress Code:  Closed shoe’s, hair tied back
We are also in search of volunteer Tutors, for Math 30, Chemistry 30, Biology 30 and Science 30.   Our youth are preparing for exams in January to get their diplomas and would be grateful for any help working on their studies over the next couple months.   Flexible 3 hour shifts available.  Please let me know if you can help in any way.   Thank you.
If you or anyone you know would be interested in volunteering, please let me know  or 780-468-7070.
YESS urgent need for volunteers 2019-11-01 06:00:00Z 0 yess

New Hope School >NEWS<

Posted by Carin Jansen van Vuuren on Nov 01, 2019
Learners from New Hope School, South Africa equip themselves with RI Grant

We are pleased to inform you that eight (8) Learners from the New Hope School (NHS) in Pretoria, South Africa completed courses in refrigerating and air conditioning, electrical and arc welding at the Ekurhuleni Artisans and Skills Training Centre. They were awarded their certificates on the September 14, 2019 after the successful completion of the three-month courses.

The Learners will forever be grateful to Rotary for the funding received from the Rotary International Grant. Two of the Learners have already secured part time work, because of these newly required skills!

Thanks go out to all the members who tirelessly fund-raised, the District 5370 for their matching grant, to the clubs who donated; Drayton Valley, Nisku Leduc, Sherwood Park, South Edmonton, St. Albert and Stony Plain and the international public who donated online at GoFundMe for making the RI Grant a reality. “This is the beginning of great results of the projects funded with the Grant!, says Ys Visser, Rotary Club of Pretoria: Projects”
New Hope School &gt;NEWS&lt; Carin Jansen van Vuuren 2019-11-01 06:00:00Z 0 new hope

Event Coming Up with Saint City Rotary

Posted on Nov 01, 2019
Rotary Club of St Albert - Saint City is proud to share with all of your members and freinds two wonderful trips!!
This is a fundraiser for our club and we would love to have your members and friends join us this Febraruary to Vietnam!!
We have a short amount of time to get your reservations in but I can guarantee you will have a fantastic trip.  It is all inclusive flying out of Vancouver.  Airfare, four/five star hotels, 3 meals a day, English speaking guides and all entrance fee to attractions.
Deadline is November 3rd, 2019 for final payment.  Trip leaves February 11th-20th
Please share with your members.  If you get a group of 20 you will have your own bus.
We also have a second trip to offer your members
China in April!  This is all inclusive from Edmonton Interrntaional airport!  $2499! 
Deadline is December 4th.  We have offered this trip in past years and it is the most wonderful trip for the bet price.  Over 200 people have gone through our club and loved it!
See attachments for the details on these two trips/
Please call me at 7809826716 and leave a message.  Thank you.
I hope you can join us on this trip-of-a-lifetime brought to you by Saint City Rotary.

Diane Ellis

President Elect 2020-2021

Saint City Rotary

Event Coming Up with Saint City Rotary 2019-11-01 06:00:00Z 0

Word of Thanks

Posted on Nov 01, 2019
It is with a heavy heart to inform you that my father, Eugene Sekora passed away suddenly on Oct 18. We were sent flowers from the Rotary Club. Please pass the message onto whomever sent us the beautiful flowers. They are very comforting during our time of loss.

Thank you


Eugene's daughter
Word of Thanks 2019-11-01 06:00:00Z 0

“Personal Story of the Day” or “Getting to Know You”

Posted by Donna Hutton on Nov 01, 2019

Our "Staying Connected" committee, chaired by Rose Marie Basaraba, in response to my request to recommend an alternative to our Story of the Week, has suggested that we rename the weekly opportunity as:

“Personal Story of the Day” or “Getting to Know You”.

This would  enable fellow members to get to better know the speaker whether it be interests, experiences (Rotary or otherwise), life happenings learned through experiences, etc. (humorous or otherwise). 

 As of November 12, I would request that individuals scheduled to share their stories, keep these guidelines in mind and manage this sharing within a two minute time frame.  I look forward to learning more about each member of our club and thank you to Rose Marie and the Staying Connected Committee for their suggestion.


“Personal Story of the Day” or “Getting to Know You” Donna Hutton 2019-11-01 06:00:00Z 0

Sad News, Eugene Sekora 1940-2019

Posted by HANS GRANHOLM on Oct 22, 2019

Eugene Sekora, 

We are so sad to inform you that early in the morning, October 18, our fellow Rotarian, Eugene Sekora died from a massive heart attack.
We extend our most heartfelt condolences to his wife Mary Ann and his family for their most profound loss.
Devine liturgy on Friday October 25th - 10:00 am at St. Basil's Ukrainian Catholic Church, 7007 109 Street, Edmonton
Hans G.
Sad News, Eugene Sekora 1940-2019 HANS GRANHOLM 2019-10-22 06:00:00Z 1

The Honourable Paula Simons, Senator, When the Dust Settles…

Posted by Vi Hughes on Oct 16, 2019
This past Tuesday we were pleased to hear from the Honourable Paula Simons, Senator, who spoke to us about her first year in the Senate of Canada.  She said that Wednesday, the 16th of October, would mark the anniversary of her first year in the Senate. Currently the Senate meets in the beautiful old beaux arts Ottawa train station with their various personal offices spread out in several other buildings, as their original offices in the House of Parliament are under renovation. She said that the Senate was formed in 1867, at the Confederation of the four founding provinces of Canada- Ontario, Quebec New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. She explained that in order to get all four provinces to agree to the confederation they needed to put in place some safeguards to protect the rights of the less populous, but more economically advantaged maritime provinces. They had to guarantee they would somehow have an equal influence on any legislation. They agreed on a bicameral system with two equal governing bodies, one of which, The House of Commons, would be elected by representation by population, and another, The Senate, which would be appointed for life. The approval of both bodies would be required to pass any legislation. The less populous provinces were granted greater influence in the Senate, such that it would counterbalance their lower influence in the House of Commons. As Canada did not have an aristocracy who could be appointed to the Senate, they came up with the next best thing. Any appointees would have to be male, over the age of thirty, owning more than four thousand dollars value in property and having other assets in excess of four thousand dollars. At that time, it meant that the senate would basically be composed of rich, old, white men.
The Honourable Paula Simons, Senator, When the Dust Settles…  Vi Hughes 2019-10-16 06:00:00Z 0 Paula Simons,senator

Arch Enterprises featured

Posted by Maggi Hegan on Oct 12, 2019
Follow us on Facebook at Follow us on Instagram at
This week we are at Arch Greenhouses in the South Edmonton Business District. Arch greenhouses started as a therapy program for those with disabilities and they now have turned into a non-profit organization that employs those with disabilities. They have over 250 varieties of plants including, annuals, perennials, and seasonal products in their 35,000 sq ft greenhouse. You can visit Arch Greenhouses at
Follow Small Business Saturday at
Arch Enterprises is one of our community partners.
If the Youtube window is missing above you can CLICK HERE
Arch Enterprises featured Maggi Hegan 2019-10-12 06:00:00Z 0

Christmas boxes

Posted by Audrey Martyn on Oct 12, 2019

Wings of Providence

Christmas boxes and PJ’s for Wings

This year our Christmas project is to support the women and children staying at Wings over  Christmas. There are 49 women and 100  kids.
We will give gift boxes for the women as in other years and PJ’s for children (sizes 4-12 most needed).
Start collecting now- there are only 6 weeks to put Christmas Party.

Questions call Audrey
Christmas boxes Audrey Martyn 2019-10-12 06:00:00Z 0

Charter president John Germain tribute

Posted on Oct 12, 2019

John Germain, dob October 8, 1919

On this date, October 8, 2019, our charter president, John P Germain, was born in Quebec.
His son, past president Eric Germain had arranged a display at our meeting place as a tribute to John's life as a family man, military hero and Rotarian.
Charter president John Germain tribute 2019-10-12 06:00:00Z 0 John Germain

Dr. Stephan Jansen van Vuuren, Medical Cannabis

Posted by Vi Hughes on Oct 10, 2019
This Tuesday we heard from one of our members, family physician Stephan Jansen van Vuuren and his associate, Kristen Stefanec, an LPN and Cannaboid Therapist and Educator from Canada House Clinics. Stephan gave us some background on the use of cannabis, which has been used for medical purposes in China for many thousands of years. He said that the first of many active chemical compounds to be discovered was THC (delta 9 tetra hydro cannabinol). It was first described in 1964 by medicinal chemist, Raphael Mechoulam. Since then over one hundred and fifty different compounds have been found in this plant, many of which have physiological effects. He was also instrumental in the discovery of the endogenous (naturally found in the human body) compound anandamide and it’s receptors in the human body in the 1990’s.  It was found to have receptors on cells both in the brain and in various locations throughout the body. This and related compounds have effects on things like pain relief, sleep patterns, anxiety and the immune system. Only two of the compounds found in cannabis cross the blood brain barrier, THC and CBD (cannabidiol). The others all have their effects in other parts of the body.
Stephan first became interested in these compounds about ten years ago when he encountered patients who suffered from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and who had found that cannabis greatly relieved their symptoms. Families and friends of these people said that cannabis had given them back their loved one.  At that time very little was known about the medical uses of cannabis and in his words it was ‘the wild west’ of cannabis use, prescriptions were only very loosely controlled. He thought that caution was called for, so he decided that he first needed to learn as much as possible about this new treatment. Since then he has learned a lot about the medical uses of cannabis, and the interactions it can have with other medications. He cautioned that it is not considered a first line therapy and that it should only be used when the first line treatments have failed. He said that there are a lot of preconceived notions about cannabis and these can be hard to dispel.  
Dr. Stephan Jansen van Vuuren, Medical Cannabis  Vi Hughes 2019-10-10 06:00:00Z 0 canabis,marijuana
District 5370 Pictures Carin Jansen van Vuuren 2019-10-05 06:00:00Z 0 conference

Ron Dobbin

Posted by Vi Hughes on Oct 03, 2019

Ron Dobbin, 1933-2019

We are sorry to have to say that one of our long-time members, Ron Dobbin, passed away this past Saturday.  We would like to extend our condolences to his family and friends. We observed a moment of silence in his honor at our last meeting. He was a long time Rotarian and good friend to many of us and he will be sorely missed.
Ron Dobbin  Vi Hughes 2019-10-03 06:00:00Z 0 Ron Dobbin

Gift for Nicole and baby James

Posted by Vi Hughes on Oct 01, 2019
James Evan Theberge
This Tuesday, we were pleased to be able to see and cuddle the newest addition to the Germain family, Nicolle’s baby James. Rose Marie Basaraba presented our gift to Nicole for baby James and then we cut a cake in honor of him. Nicolle thanked us for our gift and said that she hopes to be able to raise another giving person and future Rotarian.
What a special day to have Nicolle Germain to bring her baby James Evan Theberge, at 4 months old, to his first Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona lunch meeting on October 2nd.
James, the great grandson of our Rotary Club’s Charter President John Germain, and grandson of Eric and Karen Germain, was well received and well behaved on the day. He seemed to enjoy the company of everyone who got to hold him, and those who appreciated having him attend the lunch.
Thanks to the Rotary Club for their warm reception, and special recognition for parents Nicolle Germain and Shane Theberge.
Grandpa Eric
Gift for Nicole and baby James  Vi Hughes 2019-10-01 06:00:00Z 0

Heather de Kok, Club Social Media

Posted by Vi Hughes on Oct 01, 2019
This past Tuesday Heather talked to us about how she is using social media to promote our club. She said that it has been a very busy time so far setting up everything and she along with her committee are now trying to set some goals for how to best spend our budgeted funds to advertise our club to the people who we would like to encourage to join Rotary.
We are currently on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. She said that each of these media have different audiences that follow them. Twitter is text based very short messages and their audience is mostly younger male businessmen and women, promoting their businesses. Instagram is a photo-based system with short descriptors added and appeals mostly to younger women.  Facebook is mostly used by older folks who want to keep up with their family and friends.   She said that she is using a program called Buffer to help her to make the many daily posts that are required in order to keep each of our social media accounts active.
Each of these media use a lingo of their own which takes a while to understand. On Twitter each user has a unique ‘handle’ or user-name.  In order to make it easier for their users to see only the things they are personally interested in they use ‘tags’ which are prefixed by # (a hash mark). A user can then ‘follow’ a particular handle or hashtag. Thus, when a posting includes the word ‘flower’ or has the hashtag #flowers attached to it, all users interested in this topic will receive this posting in their ’feed’. By attaching the international descriptor of ‘yeg’ for Edmonton it helps to narrow it down to a more local audience. Since it is obvious that these tags can snow people under, they need to be very specific and relevant to the audience that the user wishes to attract. Coming up with good hashtags that will work for our group is very important and we are still working on developing these. They do have analytics that we can look at to see how many people are reading our posts and they give a breakdown by location, age, sex etc.  Heather said that seventy percent of our twitter followers are from the Edmonton area. Our club hash tag is #yegstrathcona. Some other hashtags that she uses a lot are #giveback, #volunteer and #yegdonates. She said that the #rotary hashtag seems to include a lot of odd mechanical posts probably relating to motors and rotors, so it is not very useful.  She makes a point of also attaching the hashtags used by our speakers so our audience can then easily get to their postings as well.  She said that after doing this for a short while and seeing how much time and effort it takes, she can fully understand why a lot of companies have full time staff to manage their social media.
Heather said her biggest challenge right now is coming up with content to post. She needs to make three postings a day to Twitter alone. She said that she would greatly appreciate it if all of our members would email or text her with any and all Rotary related activities that they take part in. She also said that photo quality is best if sent by email. Our club pays for each posting we make so she needs to make them current and relevant to the audience we want to reach. Otherwise it is like throwing money at a wall.  So please, keep Heather in the know so that she can in turn let others know what our club is doing.
Heather de Kok, Club Social Media  Vi Hughes 2019-10-01 06:00:00Z 0 social media
ELENI GYRA BOARDINGHOUSE - visit Dimitri Papanicolas 2019-09-27 06:00:00Z 0 elepap

Westlock Rotary Dinner Theatre

Posted by Donna Hutton on Sep 27, 2019

Performance Dates at the Westlock and District Community Hall

Oct  - Friday 18th Saturday 19th matinee Sunday 20th  ( show only no meal)

Oct  -Thursday 24th Friday 25th Saturday 26th matinee Sunday  27th  ( show only no meal )

Nov - Friday 1st  Saturday the 2nd

Doors at 5 pm show at 7:15

Matinee Doors at 1pm show at 2

Prices -  $65 per seat first three row from the stage

           -  $60 per seat balance of tables

           -  $30 per seat Matinee

Westlock Rotary Dinner Theatre Donna Hutton 2019-09-27 06:00:00Z 0

Congratulations Hans!

Posted by Vi Hughes on Sep 26, 2019
At the recent Zone Conference 2019 for Rotary International Zones 24 and 32 held in Niagara Falls, our own Hans Granholm was presented with an award by Rotary International Director Jeffry Cadorette for his outstanding support to our international zone.
Rotary International Zones 24 & 32 is a four country, two language, community of Rotarians in Bermuda, Canada, France and United States spanning six time zones. Hans Granholm is the Website Administrator for this administration zone which encompasses a total of 827 clubs in Zone 24 (covering all of Canada and St. Pierre Miquelon) and 987 clubs in Zone 32 (covering the North Eastern US and Bermuda).
Congratulations Hans!  Vi Hughes 2019-09-26 06:00:00Z 0 hans

Celina Jensen, Exchange Student Short Report

Posted by Vi Hughes on Sep 26, 2019
This past Tuesday we heard a short report from our exchange student Celina. She is now enrolled as a grade eleven student in Vimy Ridge Academy. She goes to school each day with the son of her host family who is also a student there. She said that she just loves the skyline of downtown Edmonton that she sees each day on her trip to the school.
She has had a busy couple of weeks and has had a lot of fun getting to know her host family, local Rotarians and the other exchange students from around the Edmonton area at various social functions. She said that she also had a good time making cinnamon buns, which she had thought were only a Danish thing, and now knows that they are also popular here as well.
We look forward to getting to know her better and to hearing more of her impressions and adventures in Edmonton.
Celina Jensen, Exchange Student Short Report  Vi Hughes 2019-09-26 06:00:00Z 0 Celina,exchange student

Dr. Shawn McMurtry and Shane Hudson, Canadian Centre for Men and Families

Posted by Vi Hughes on Sep 24, 2019
Last Tuesday we heard from Dr. Shawn McMurtry, Branch Director and Shane Hudson, a volunteer for the Canadian Centre for Men and Families. Dr. Shawn McMurtry, a local cardiologist, spoke about why it is important to think about men more than we have traditionally in the past. Why do more men die younger than women when there is no obvious biological reason. Could it be that their lifetime experiences are very different from women. We know that more men die from cardiac disease, liver disease and suicide. For some reason men are more vulnerable to these preventable outcomes. The reason in some cases could be the stress brought on by the inequalities our justice system visits on many men whose marriages have fallen apart.  
The impact of separation and divorce on their lives that happens with the division of property, child custody, and the financial burdens of child and spousal support. When we look at the decisions of the judicial system we can clearly see that most of the time the woman gets custody of the children. In most cases where there is unequal access to their children this in turn means there is also a greater financial burden placed on the father for child support.  This also places these men in a precarious position if they happen to lose their job or experience a change in their physical or mental health that affects their income. Even large incomes can be insufficient to support mortgage payments and support payments.
The government is very punitive in its treatment of men (or women in some cases) who fail to make their support payments, regardless of the reasons. In turn when these individuals also lose their connections to their children and are more vulnerable to financial pressures, the stress can lead to mental health issues, changes in sleep patterns, and sometimes may lead to substance abuse, violence and criminal behaviour.  This can also have an effect on their work lives as safety can be an issue when they are preoccupied by family worries. This is one of the things that can send men’s lives off the rails in mid life. These types of situations are also not good for the children involved.
Dr. Shawn McMurtry and Shane Hudson, Canadian Centre for Men and Families  Vi Hughes 2019-09-24 06:00:00Z 0

Programs of Interest at the Jewish Senior Citizens Center

Posted by Vi Hughes on Sep 23, 2019
The JSCC (10052-117 St., Edmonton) is sponsoring several programs, talks and films that would be of interest to many of our members. Please call their office at 780-488-4241 for further information on cost and registration. Here is a selection of some of their offerings:
23 Sep
1-3 pm
Israel: Past, Present and Future
Abe Silverman
24 Sep
12 noon
Lunch and Learn, Traditional Jewish Melodies
Jack Goldberg
25 Sep
7 pm
Italian Opera Masterpieces
Edmonton Opera
26 Sep
12 noon
Lunch and Learn, Traditions and Symbolism Associated with Rosh Hashana
Rabbi Mendy
28 Oct
04 Nov
11 Nov
10-12 noon
Politics: Edmonton and Alberta
Stephen Mandel
29 Oct – 03 Dec
1-3 pm
Solo Flight: The Concerto from Vivaldi to Ravel
Michael Thomas Roeder
30 Oct – 04 Dec
10-12 noon
Revolutionary Exploration: Rock’n Roll’s First Tumultuous Decade
D T Baker
31 Oct – 05 Dec
1-3 pm
YEG’s Public Art
Kathleen Silverman
12 Nov
12 noon
Lunch and Learn, Geriatric Psychology and Dementia
Dr. Leon Kagan
Programs of Interest at the Jewish Senior Citizens Center  Vi Hughes 2019-09-23 06:00:00Z 0

New Hope School--UPDATE

Posted by Carin Jansen van Vuuren on Sep 20, 2019

new hope school, South Africa

We are pleased to inform you that eight (8) Learners from the New Hope School (NHS) completed courses in refrigerating and air conditioning, electrical and arc welding at the Ekurhuleni Artisans and Skills Training Centre. 
They were awarded their certificates on the September 14, 2019 after the successful completion of the three-month courses. 
The Learners will forever be grateful to Rotary for the funding received from the Rotary International Grant. Two of the Learners have already secured part time work, because of these newly required skills!  Thanks to the members of the Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona and other Edmonton and surrounding clubs for making the RI Grant a reality. This is the beginning of great results of the projects funded with the Grant!
New Hope School--UPDATE  Carin Jansen van Vuuren 2019-09-20 06:00:00Z 0 new hope

Alison McIntosh, Climate Change in Alberta

Posted by Vi Hughes on Sep 17, 2019
This last Tuesday we heard from Alison McIntosh from the Parkland Institute. The Parkland Institute is based in the Faculty of Arts at the U. of A. They take a political economy approach to issues affecting Albertans. Their work is supported by grants received mostly from unions and also some individuals.
She started her talk by saying that climate change happens in cycles of warm periods followed by ice ages.  One of the contributing factors in these changes is the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, when it’s levels are high, warming occurs, when it’s levels are low, cooling occurs. The highest levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in the past were around three hundred parts per million. At present the level is around four hundred parts per million. A large part of this increase is due to world wide combustion of fossil fuels by humans. When they break down the percentages of carbon from various sources in Alberta the major contributor is fossil fuel extraction. She discussed the changes in weather over the past fifty years and some of the many ways in which Albertans have experienced changes over that time. In particular, she said that the most costly two weather related disasters in Canada in that time were both in Alberta. The 2016 forest fires in Ft. McMurray and the 2013 flooding in Southern Alberta. When combined with the recent drop in provincial revenues, being able to plan for possible future disasters becomes problematic. We need to work out how to respond and set policies that will create a more resilient approach to weather related changes while at the same time recognising that these will also create employment issues for Albertans as oil and gas production is a very big part of our economy in Alberta.
She said that there are a lot of issues that government needs to address in order to comply with agreements on climate change that they have already signed and at the same time reduce the impact on workers and their families whose lives will be impacted in a serious way. They need to find ways and set policies so that communities will be able to support themselves in a ‘new economy’ that relies less on fossil fuels. One such proposal is the ‘Green New Deal’ and the associated ‘Just Transition’ that it will bring, as proposed in the US by some Democratic senators. In closing she said that we need to keep the conversation with our politicians and policy makers going to ensure that they know what we think on these issues.
Alison McIntosh, Climate Change in Alberta  Vi Hughes 2019-09-17 06:00:00Z 0
Shelterbox in action Donna Hutton 2019-09-13 06:00:00Z 0 Shelterbox

Sad News

Posted by Rose Marie Basaraba on Sep 13, 2019
Condolecence thoughts are extended to Sam Lilly in the loss of his mother in Vancouver last week. Our thoughts are with him.
Sad News Rose Marie Basaraba 2019-09-13 06:00:00Z 0 sam lilly

Meals on Wheels fundraiser

Posted by Vince Campbell on Sep 13, 2019
Join Edmonton Meals on Wheels at our Annual Fundraiser September 19th! Event proceeds to benefit low-income seniors and homebound individuals throughout our city.
The event features a DJ, live artists, silent auction, door prizes and delicious appetizers made by our Red Seal Chef!
Purchase tickets to our annual fundraiser on EventBrite HERE
Don’t forget about our 2 raffles:
WestJet Travel Voucher, get your raffle tickets HERE                                      
$500 VIA Rail Travel Voucher, get your raffle tickets HERE
+18 only
Meals on Wheels fundraiser Vince Campbell 2019-09-13 06:00:00Z 0 meals on wheels
Gibson's in Greece with the Greek Dimitri Papanicolas 2019-09-13 06:00:00Z 0 greece

Judith Pinto, Classification Talk

Posted by Vi Hughes on Sep 10, 2019
This past Tuesday we heard from one of our newest members, Judith Pinto. Judith’s classification is Occupational Therapy and her club sponsor was Jim Peddie.  
Judith told us that she first encountered Rotary about twenty-three years ago when she was working as a community health development worker and she was giving talks to various community groups. Judith said that she originally studied zoology and was hoping to go into genetics, when her father suggested she apply to become an occupational therapist. She was hoping for a rejection letter when she got accepted and her life’s direction changed completely. She said that sometimes life is like that and we just have to find a way to pull ourselves into a field that we never would have considered at first. Judith said that she has always loved music, art and playing with doll houses and miniatures, and now she gets to do it every day.
She now has a private practice as an Occupational Therapist specializing in Psychotherapy and is a certified sand play therapist. She works with children with special needs, learning disabilities and mental health challenges.  Many of these children are non-verbal and the sand play is an opportunity for them to understand their world better and also to let others know what their inner world is like. They get to build a mini version of their inner thoughts using miniature figures of all different kinds in a tray of sand. Judith said that she has shelves and shelves full of all kinds of figures, toy furniture, mini houses and other kinds of objects that they can choose from.  She said that doing this often helps these children with things like recurring nightmares and other issues that they may be having. In the end it helps the children grow into who they are. Judith also gave us some background on the rationale for sand play and said that it is often useful with adults as well.
On a more personal note, Judith told us about her love of animals, in particular birds. She said that she used to keep budgies and that one pair they had actually had a clutch of babies. She now has a twenty-six year old blue and gold Macaw. She said that when they first got it, it did not know how to fly even short distances and would launch itself onto the ground from it’s perch, often breaking off feathers or worse in the process. She and her daughter also have two dogs, a maltese cross and a husky cross.  She said that as a teen she played piano, guitar and ukulele, but now her musical passion is to sing jazz. She first got interested in it while living in Japan where it is very popular. Then a co-worker encouraged her to give it a try. She ended up taking a lot of workshops and has sung in public a few times.
Judith said in closing that she hopes to get into more volunteer work and be able to use some of her talents to help others through Rotary. We would like to thank Judith for her very interesting and entertaining talk and look forward to getting to know her better.
Judith Pinto, Classification Talk  Vi Hughes 2019-09-10 06:00:00Z 0 Judith

Max de Kok, ShelterBox Canada Donation

Posted by Vi Hughes on Sep 10, 2019
This week we were very pleased to have Max de Kok, Heather’s son, come to our meeting to donate the sixteen dollars he earned by selling lemonade to ShelterBox Canada to help with the disaster in the Bahamas.
Max de Kok, ShelterBox Canada Donation  Vi Hughes 2019-09-10 06:00:00Z 0 Max de Kok,Shelterbox

22 October O’Byrnes Irish Pub Fundraiser

Posted by Vi Hughes on Sep 05, 2019
Come and join us for a pint and listen to a Celtic band any time after 6:00 pm at
10616-82 Ave. NW, Edmonton.
There will be a Cover Charge of $25 which will go to Polio Plus. SIGN UP HERE
There will be no regular meeting this day so that everyone can attend this event.
22 October O’Byrnes Irish Pub Fundraiser  Vi Hughes 2019-09-05 06:00:00Z 0

Lucy Hines, Royal Alberta Museum

Posted by Vi Hughes on Sep 03, 2019
This past week we heard from Lucy Hines, the Assistant Curator of Western Canadian History at the Royal Alberta Museum (RAM). Lucy’s major interest is in clothing and textiles.
She began with telling us about the currently running Viking exhibit at the RAM. They have a very good You Tube video that was used to introduce the exhibit when it opened in June. It can be viewed at, #yegvikings, The Vikings are Coming! She told us that the RAM is the largest museum in western Canada, with four hundred nineteen thousand square feet and thirteen curatorial programs. This includes two main galleries, a children’s museum, a bug gallery and a feature gallery, which currently houses the Viking exhibit.
Lucy said that the move to the new location in the heart of downtown from an outlying neighbourhood was an adjustment for the staff at the museum. They embraced this by partnering with the Mustard Seed to sponsor a Greeter program, whereby clients from the Mustard would be hired and trained as Greeters at the Museum. This program has been such a success for the Mustard Seed and the RAM that the greeters are now able to find other jobs and they need to train new staff.
Lucy Hines, Royal Alberta Museum  Vi Hughes 2019-09-03 06:00:00Z 0 RAM,museum

Cabaret 2019

Posted on Sep 03, 2019

Edmonton Comedy Festival presents:

Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona is proud to participate with the Edmonton Comedy Festival to raise funds that contribute to our End Polio Now campaign!
Tickets go on sale September 2nd – priced at $25.00 each
Our club has 20 tickets to sell for this fundraiser.
Rotary members can purchase online from our Clubrunner site. You can also purchase directly from us at our Tuesday meetings. See Audrey or Maggi
Cabaret Series
Friday, October 18th at 8:00pm at the Varscona Hotel on the PRODUCTION WORLD STAGE - RUN TIME: 90 MINUTES
Comedians tell us every year that the Varscona Hotel is their favorite venue so we brought it back. The Cabaret Series has a more casual feel to it with the audience up close and personal. We pack the room with local charity and not-for-profit groups looking to raise money for their organizations and then deliver a great comedy show. This one features L.A.’s Lisa Alvarado with Edmonton’s Mike Dambra and Vancouver’s Julie Kim hosted by the “Edmonton Comedy Festival On Tour” regular Paul Sveen.
Cabaret 2019 HANS GRANHOLM 2019-09-03 06:00:00Z 0 comedy

Hurricane Relief Efforts

Posted by RID Jeffry Cadorette on Sep 02, 2019


Hi everyone,
This morning (Monday) I texted with Past President Barry. While Nassau was spared the full force of Dorian, and he and Esther are fine, other parts of his country are devastated having been dealt a blow with Dorian’s full fury. Dorian is now headed toward the US and other parts of our neighboring  Zones 33 & 34.
Whether you want to help Barry’s District, the Bahamas, or one of the states in the southern part of the US that are awaiting Dorian, the link below will give you information on how to do that.
At the bottom of the link is a form telling you additional ways you can donate. The Rotary Foundation Donor Advised Fund (DAF) is set up in North Carolina and is able to make international donations. You can designate where you would like the funds to be directed in the memo portion of the check you write. A representative from each district in Zone 33 &34 will determine where to allocate the funds. They have experience with this DAF and process having had multiple hurricanes last year. Share this link on social media wherever you deem appropriate
Hurricane Relief Efforts RID Jeffry Cadorette 2019-09-02 06:00:00Z 0

RC St. Albert October Fest

Posted on Aug 30, 2019
Guten tag!
You are cordially invited to join us at our second annual Oktoberfest event!
September 21, 6:00pm
Red Willow Place (7 Tache Street, St. Albert)
Tickets:  include first drink free, full traditional German meal, live band, fun activities, and free collectors mug: $65 for 15oz mug; $85 for 33oz mug (supplies limited)
For more details and to order tickets, please go to this link.
We hope to can join us for an über good time!
RC St. Albert October Fest 2019-08-30 06:00:00Z 0 October Fest

Karla Sarahi Letter from Project Amigo, Colima A.C.

Posted by Karla Sarahi on Aug 28, 2019
Dear Godparents, Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona.
Hello, I hope you are very well, and thank you very much for continuing to support me in my studies, I thank you very much with all my heart and I will not let you down, I am really looking forward to my studies so that you feel fortunate and do not regret having supported me.
In this month I had a great time, they have already left me homework, I already entered the school again and starting the first week they left me homework, but for my part it is fine to be able to understand new topics that we will see , but in school I am doing very well until today. This semester does not look as difficult as I thought, but on the contrary, a little easier, because several of the teachers who give us I already know them and I know how it is their way of teaching and how to evaluate, but I know I have to really want it because it is my last year in the Baccalaureate, and I feel very excited because I am advancing a lot in my studies and I never imagined going as far as I am doing today, time passes quickly and little by little we are seeing How our life progresses.
In the same way I feel very good because most of my classmates are still studying and that is what makes me more happy, because they are noticed that they still want to continue studying, and they went on to those who I thought would not be able to pass, but what I see they really wanted to continue being with us this last year that we have left in the Baccalaureate.
Karla Sarahi Letter from Project Amigo, Colima A.C.  Karla Sarahi 2019-08-28 06:00:00Z 0 project amigo

Brenda Johnson, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, MADD

Posted by VI Hughes on Aug 28, 2019
This past Tuesday we heard from Brenda Johnson, the National Board Chairperson of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Brenda is also currently the President of the Parkland County Chapter of MADD. Brenda told us a little of her personal journey as the mother of a victim of an impaired driver. Thirteen years ago, she lost her son in an accident caused by impaired driving, so she knows first-hand the long lasting effects that an accident like this can have on a family.
MADD Canada was founded in 1989 with a mission to stop impaired driving and to support both the victims and the families of those affected by impaired driving (whether from alcohol or drugs). They now have over one hundred chapters across Canada with seventy-five hundred volunteers. Brenda said that there were sixty-five thousand people who were impacted by impaired driving in Canada last year.  This averages out to four people killed each day in Canada which makes impaired driving the leading criminal cause of death in Canada. They estimate that one in ten drivers on the road today are impaired in some way and expect the numbers to go up to three in ten with the legalisation of cannabis. Their areas of focus cover victim/survivor services, youth services, public awareness and education, public policy and the use of technology to stop impaired driving.  
MADD Canada conducts research and constantly lobbies for policy changes to government legislation that will lower these numbers.   MADD Canada has a lot of legal people, scientists and health professionals as advisors to help them with this. Some of the changes they have lobbied for in the past that are now making a difference are graduated licensing for new drivers, and more recently the passage of Bill 46 in March of this year, the new impaired driving law which brings in screening for three new drug related driving offences.  They estimate that this new legislation took three hundred and fifty impaired drivers off the road in June alone. They are currently partnered with other organisations to bring in other new programs related to the sale and use of Cannabis.
They sponsor may different educational campaigns and public service announcements to educate the public and also work closely with both national and local law enforcement personnel to provide both information and support. They also run many different types of fund raising campaigns across the country and locally. In addition, they sponsor a yearly national conference which is held in September each year. This year the focus of their conference is to educate law enforcement services about the effects of cannabis. Her local group is sponsoring attendance for three local law enforcement personnel to this conference.
In closing Brenda said that we need to remember that driving is a privilege, not a right. We would like to thank Brenda for taking the time to present this very informative and interesting talk.
Brenda Johnson, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, MADD  VI Hughes 2019-08-28 06:00:00Z 0 MADD

Flag Program

Posted by Vi Hughes on Aug 28, 2019

Canada Flag Program

We would like to give a big thank you to all of those who have planted, picked up or helped in any other way with our flag program to raise funds for our club this year.
Flag Program Vi Hughes 2019-08-28 06:00:00Z 0 Fl;ag Program

Ron McCullough honoured

Posted on Aug 24, 2019

Ron McCullough

On behalf of the University of Alberta Alumni Association, we wanted to pass along information about the Alumni Awards, September 19 at which  Ronald Grant McCullough will be recognized with an Alumni Service Award for extraordinary volunteer service to the University of Alberta.
University of Alberta honours Ronald Grant McCullough
Community invited to celebrate at 25th annual Alumni Awards ceremony
The University of Alberta is pleased to announce that Ronald Grant McCullough, ’54 BSc(Ag) will receive an Alumni Service Award for extraordinary volunteer service to the University of Alberta. UAlberta President David H. Turpin will present Ron and 31 other alumni with their awards on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton.
The Alumni Service Award recognizes extraordinary volunteer contributions to the University of Alberta.
Ronald Grant McCullough, ’54 BSc(Ag)
Ron McCullough’s love of agriculture is matched by his passion for his faculty. Since graduating 65 years ago, McCullough has helped the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences develop partnerships with industry and other post-secondary institutions. He suggested a “Centennial Club” to mark the faculty’s 100th anniversary, inspiring 100 donors to each give $100,000 to ALES. McCullough and his wife, Brenda, have sponsored the Lilian McCullough Chair in Breast Cancer Surgery. His career has bridged cattle ranching and public service, serving as Red Deer alderman, Alberta assistant commissioner of the Canadian Grain Commission and director general of the federal Department of Regional Economic Expansion. McCullough still nurtures the bonds of his beloved Class of ’54, publishing his “Saggie Aggies” newsletter and being a homecoming class booster since 1990. 
All community members are invited to celebrate Ron McCullough’s contributions at the 25th annual Alumni Awards ceremony:
Date:               Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019
Location:        Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium (11455 87 Ave), Edmonton, Alberta
Time:              7 p.m. ceremony with dessert reception to follow
Cost:               Free, register for tickets at
Dress:             Business attire
For more information, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 780-492-3224, toll free 1-800-661-2593 or 
Ron McCullough honoured HANS GRANHOLM 2019-08-24 06:00:00Z 0 Ron McCullough

Bruce Flesher

Posted by Bob Sandercock on Aug 23, 2019

Bruce Flesher

Bob Sandercock has graciously submitted the following UPDATE:
Bruce is and has been in the hospital for two weeks.
I had talked to him when he first went in but he was discharged after one day.
I did not know he was readmitted a day later.
He is in good spirits but still needing tests and therapy.
He is turning 88 on Saturday!!
Bruce is now at the Glenrose rehab facility.
Bruce Flesher Bob Sandercock 2019-08-23 06:00:00Z 0 Bruce Flesher

Welcome two new members

Posted on Aug 23, 2019
On Tuesday, August 13, we welcomed two new members:
Judith Pinto sponsored by Jim Peddie and with the classification, Occupational Therapy, and
Ryerson Christie a former Rotarian sponsored by Hans Granholm and with the classification, Management Consulting-Retired.
Please introduce yourself to both at our future meetings and make them feel welcome.
Welcome two new members 2019-08-23 06:00:00Z 0 new members

Two Ivey MBA students back for 2nd year after S. American tour, 6 June - 25 Aug. '59

Posted by Ron McCullough on Aug 23, 2019

what a story!!


We found our airplane 60 years later, just 40 km. south of Edmonton

Sixty years later, Class of ’60 MBA students Ron McCullough and Robin Eccles find an old friend.  


The story begins during a Marketing class in April 1959 with a note from Ron to Robin reading: “Let’s do something different on this summer  break!”

“Sure, what’ve you got in mind?” Robin wrote back.

“Let’s buy an aeroplane and tour South America!” -  Ron was a licensed pilot with over 2000 hours.

“You’ve got to be kidding.......... seriously?”


“OK, let’s do it!”

And so began an adventure which was to take them a total of 27,000 miles in 92 days down the Pacific coast of Central and South America; to cross the Andes via the Curico Pass 150 miles south of Santiago de Chile; across the Pampas to Buenos Aires; returning north through Brazil and the Caribbean across N. America to Ron’s home ranch headquarters near Red Deer, Alberta.

Ron had already identified a single-engine Piper aircraft which they bought for $4,200.00.  

A frantic three weeks followed, securing the charts, visas, flight permits and other paraphernalia they would need to overfly the countries they would be visiting.  Robin rushed through a crash course for his pilot’s license. 

Finally, on 6th June, Mrs. F.W.P. Jones, the Dean’s wife, christened the  aircraft “The Canada Goose”.  Fellow student Rev. Barry Brooks, MBA blessed it. And away they went to Laredo, Texas.   

In Laredo they had the back seats replaced by a large auxiliary fuel tank to give them the 1,000 miles range they would need in places where aircraft fuelling facilities were few and far between.

Of their many adventures, the closest call they had was the passage through the Curico Pass.  The charts showed the altitude as 12,000 ft.  The ceiling of the aircraft was about the same - leaving no margin for error with controls made sloppy by the thin air.  Members of the local flying club were adamant the altitude was less, and that The Canada Goose could get through quite safely. (“American charts...... gringos.......what do they know!”).  In fact the charts were accurate.  But by the greatest of luck there was a strong breeze off the Pacific blowing up the valley towards the summit. The updraft this created lifted the ‘plane sharply over the crest with 400 or 500 ft to spare and dropped it equally sharply down the other side.  Without that following wind, they would certainly have crashed in the high Andes - one of the bleakest places imaginable.

But their relief was soon tempered by the realisation that they were seriously off course.  The plan had been to follow a valley running northeast out of the mountains towards Mendoza where they intended to spend the night.  Instead, they were dropped into a valley which veered southeast towards flat grasslands without any features they could use for navigation.  They were lost. The only thing to be done was to keep going in the hope of finding a ranch or village where they could land before running out of fuel. Again fortune was on their side when they came across a well-equipped runway complex not marked on the charts.  They landed - only to be arrested and jailed for landing at a military airport without permission.

That incarceration was the first of three in which the Canadian Consular Service demonstrated its skill in getting their citizens out of trouble!

Over the years since that trip - it was once described as “Our Dream Flight to South America” in an article they sold at the time - Ron and Robin had wondered whatever happened to the little CANADA GOOSE aircraft that served them so well.  This year, sixty years later, another search discovered it near Edmonton - owned by commercial pilot Forrest Miller - extremely well maintained and still happily flying! 
Two Ivey MBA students back for 2nd year after S. American tour, 6 June - 25 Aug. '59 Ron McCullough 2019-08-23 06:00:00Z 0 Ron McCullough

Patrick Gibson, Future of Drones in Alberta

Posted by Vi Hughes on Aug 20, 2019
This Tuesday we were treated to a talk by one of our long-time members, Patrick Gibson, on his latest obsession in retirement, drone flying and photography. Patrick said that the use of drones is just starting to take off and they have a very bright future in Alberta and Canada in the future. Drones have opened up a whole new world of aerial photography.
All basic drones come with a camera, but the quality varies a lot. They also come in all sizes, from very small fold up hand-held drones to very large drones built to carry heavy payloads. Some come with a built-in camera and others have a mount to which any type of camera can be attached. The quality of the cameras is commercial grade and Patrick said that he has lowered the picture quality from 4K to 1080p so that his small drone is easier to fly. They are able to be flown either in first person mode, by active control using the screen, or by preprogrammed computer control. The memory needed to save the photos or to send them to a computer as it flies, was causing pauses in the screen picture and made the drone harder to control in first person mode.  This meant that the drone could collide with an object in a second while the screen was on pause. His small drone also takes thirteen Mega pixel still photos., which is more than enough for the average person.
Commercial uses for drones are just beginning to be realised. Most drones come with built in GPS, altimeters, collision avoidance sensors and WIFI. The types of camera that can be attached are almost limitless. Drones, cameras and software to control them and analyze the data for all types of commercial uses are now available. One of the most common types of software to control the drone is called waypoint software. It allows the user to preplan the route they want the drone to fly and upload it to the drone. It will then take off, fly the pattern that was programmed, which can be well out of sight of the operator. It will return to the point is was launched from for a battery or memory card replacement and then take off again and return directly to the pattern where it left off to continue with the planned route.
Aerial mapping and three dimension modelling is the future of drones. The images taken by the camera can be used to identify where a sod crop needs more water, where there is standing water in a field, what type of tree saplings are present on a piece of land, what the elevation of selected points of land are and many, many other uses.
The larger drones that can handle payloads, can also be programmed to spray crops and orchards. They can do a better job in nearly all cases, as they are not restricted by accessibility issues and do not crush the crop as they move across it. Drones will put some types of occupations onto the scrap heap of time and will, in turn, create new ones to take their place.
Drone users are big proponents of a 5 G network as this would make it easier for a drone to transmit data as it flies along without having to return to home to get its memory card swapped out. Technology is changing so fast in this field that it is hard to imagine where it will take us.
All drones over a weight of two hundred fifty grams (a very small drone) require a license to fly them for recreational purposes. There is currently no commercial licensing for drones, but this is coming and will open up all kinds of new uses for drones. Patrick is confident that drones will find all kinds of new and currently unimagined uses in the future.
Patrick Gibson, Future of Drones in Alberta  Vi Hughes 2019-08-20 06:00:00Z 0 drone flying
New member Day Ellen Weber 2019-08-17 06:00:00Z 0

Eye Ball Gala

Posted by Audrey Martyn on Aug 09, 2019

Saturday September 28, 2019

Westin Hotel

10135 100 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta

Our second annual Eyeball Gala will bring together ophthalmic specialists, surgeons, business and community leaders, and loyal friends to raise awareness and funds for the fight for sight and life-enhancing work of the Eye Institute of Alberta.

Please contact Audrey Martyn for more information. 
Eye Ball Gala Audrey Martyn 2019-08-09 06:00:00Z 0 eye ball

Mark Polet, An Ethical Journey

Posted by Vi Hughes on Aug 08, 2019
This past Tuesday we heard from Mark Polet, a retired biologist, who along with his wife Terry has spent the last seven years in the middle east helping companies to become more ethical in their business practices.
They are currently helping a cleaning company in Tajikistan. Tajikistan is a small Persian speaking country that borders Afghanistan, with which it shares many of the challenges found in that part of the world. Tajikistan is the smallest and poorest country in the region, but, is also very culturally rich.  Tajikistan is a former Soviet Republic, which has since suffered through a civil war and is now a familial dictatorship.  As the country is extremely poor they do not pay their civil service a living wage and they are expected to pay bribes to ‘buy’ their jobs, collect bribes from their customers and pay kick backs to their superiors. For those who refuse to pay bribes the penalties can be very harsh. School students who have been doing well will get final marks that are failing, young men in the military can suffer beatings, businesses ‘caught’ on trumped up charges of not meeting regulations or paying all of their taxes must pay onerous fines ( bribes). All of this results in a society that is very untrusting of everyone but their inner family.
Their host family is a devout muslim family that love what Mark and his wife do in Christian service.  He compared what they have been doing to our Rotary Four Way Test. Their overall lack of honesty means that the truth is often hard to discern. It is not fair to anyone and even those who try to be fair get tarred along with everyone else. Goodwill does not exist as the atmosphere of mistrust shadows everything. The benefits flow only to those who threaten and mistreat others. Mark and his wife work with small businesses helping them with payroll, labour standards, bookkeeping and taxes to become so scrupulously honest that the government auditors have a very hard time finding holes to use to extract bribes. It costs the business more in taxes and less in bribes, but they also gain personal dignity. For example, many companies there keep multiple sets of books, some of which do not include the bribes and kickbacks paid to others, or the wages paid to some employees. In one business they started keeping only one set of books which included everything and confessed their past mistakes to the auditor, who was impressed that they were so honest. Along the way they have come to know some government inspectors who now have respect for their business practices.
In a final comparison with the Four Way Test for this business they can now say yes to all of the criteria. Yes it is the truth, it is fair as they now pay all taxes due, it has built goodwill, as the people they come in contact with respect them for their honesty, and this has proven beneficial to all.
Mark Polet, An Ethical Journey  Vi Hughes 2019-08-08 06:00:00Z 0

Membership Adventure Aug 13th

Posted by Ellen Weber on Aug 02, 2019

 Join the adventure on Tuesday, Aug. 13th  meeting to help us roll out our exciting new rotary mentorship program. We’d love to meet your applicants and introduce guests to our friendly Rotarian community at the same time.   

Our meeting goal is to grow our Rotary club and enhance both personal and collective roles of service and fellowship in ways that benefit all. You will find opportunities to speak up and feel heard through fun two-footed questions that relate Rotary’s vision to what we each do and care about most.
Get to know newer participants over lunch and learn how we each can win a $20 lunch ticket by participating in this mutual mentorship rollout. 
 Any questions? Contact Ellen.
Membership Adventure Aug 13th Ellen Weber 2019-08-02 06:00:00Z 0

Donna Hutton, Strategic Plan

Posted by Vi Hughes on Aug 01, 2019
Our meeting this past Tuesday was a presentation by President, Donna Hutton and several committee chairpersons about their plans for the upcoming year. We will be having several updates like this throughout the year with presentations from different committees at each one.
The first presentation was from Heather de Kok with her plans for our Communications Committee. Heather’s committee, which also includes Patrick Gibson and Carin Jansen van Vuuren, plans to expand our club communications publicize the many things our club and members do to a wider audience. They will use part of their budget to purchase a program which will allow Heather to prepare all of our activity updates at once and the program will then post them in a timely manner on our social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. Social media accounts require that you make a certain number of posts (usually two or three) either daily or weekly in order for them to remain active. She will also apply hash tags (ways to connect) to any of the speakers or events that have their own social media accounts. This will help to spread knowledge of our activities to a wider audience and will also allow each of us to follow the things we are interested in such as the activities of our exchange student, Stephanie Leach, who has her own social media accounts. Heather asked us to help her out with this by letting her know of any upcoming things, both small and large, that we are doing to support our Rotary club.
The second presentation was from Rose Marie Basaraba and the Staying Connected Committee. Her committee members are Audrey Martyn, Don Henry and Barb Craig. Rose Marie said that when they notice someone is missing, they will get in touch with that person to say hi, we missed you, and ask if everything is OK. They will also send cards or flowers. They asked that if we know of anyone they should do this for, to please let them know.  Their committee will also be organising monthly events throughout the year which will alternate between social and service events. Audrey told us about the first four ones that they are working on. They include driving for the comedy club, a baby shower for Nicole, the Wings project and a Christmas Party.

Donna Hutton, Strategic Plan  Vi Hughes 2019-08-01 06:00:00Z 0 strategic plan

New Members BBQ -- MARVELOUS!

Posted by Ellen Weber on Jul 26, 2019
Thanks to member hosts Stephan and Carin van Vuuren,  our club’s  2nd new member BBQ brought most of us out for sheer fun and fellowship on Saturday, July 20th.
Newer members and the rest of us enjoyed a welcoming extravaganza at van Vuuren’s  Ardrosan acreage. After weeks of rain, weather cooperated, members relaxed in mixed circles with delicious Alberta beef and top grade trimmings from the grill that graced plates. Premium wines were graciously donated by Leslie and Doug Milne.
Once again, this widely popular, semi-annual BBQ allowed our club’s newer members to mix with valued senior members. We especially enjoyed hearing one another’s stories over a few laughs and a refreshing glass of wine together in this warm home setting.
New Members BBQ -- MARVELOUS! Ellen Weber 2019-07-26 06:00:00Z 0 new members

Joanne Patterson and Jamie O’Connell, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jul 24, 2019
This past Tuesday we heard from Joanne Patterson and Jamie O’Connell from the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. They spoke about how donations can help children reach their full potential by helping to fund the hospital beyond the government supported standard level of care. Our donations make a difference through helping them to invest in the best people, programs, equipment and research.  
The Stollery Hospital is one of three most specialised hospitals in Canada for children’s care. Some of the specialised services they have are pediatric intensive care, pediatric cardiac care and pediatric organ transplants. Last year the hospital served over ninety eight hundred pediatric inpatients and almost two hundred and twenty three thousand pediatric outpatients. About forty percent of those came from Northern Alberta and elsewhere, outside of Edmonton.
The Stollery Foundation invests in many different pillars. Recently they have helped to provide changes to the heart transplant unit to provide for an enlarged, better equipped and much more child friendly operating unit. They are also working on converting their three intensive care units to more child and family friendly spaces. This also includes providing for a wider range of equipment better suited to pediatric care. They are also co-funding a new pediatric mental health care facility which will open near the RAH in 2024.  
They showed us a video entitled ‘Little Fighter’, which touchingly presented the story of Cameron, a premature child who has been a patient at the Stollery for several years. It documented his journey from birth to present and the ways in which the Stollery has helped him to reach his full potential.
In addition, they support neonatal care units at the Royal Alex Hospital, the Sturgeon General Hospital and the Grande Prairie Hospital.  In future they hope to be able to build another tower at the U of A site, as the current Stollery Hospital is at capacity now.
The foundation has many different ways that we people can help. Through their community initiatives program they will provide signage, online support, letters of approval, donation tracking forms, event signage and even a representative speaker to groups or individuals wanting to sponsor a fundraising event. These can range from a lemonade stand or a dinner party in your home all the way up to a golf tournament or large fundraising dinner. Donors can choose to direct funding to a specific cause or into general funding.
We would like to thank our speakers for a very interesting and informative talk that clearly presented the many different ways that we can help them to support children’s care in northern Alberta.
Joanne Patterson and Jamie O’Connell, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation  Vi Hughes 2019-07-24 06:00:00Z 0 Stollery

Mike Brecken, BMO Wealth Planning

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jul 16, 2019
This week we head from Mike Brecken, a Wealth Planning Director with BMO and also Nesbitt Burns. Mike said that he helps clients to develop comprehensive wealth plans in conjunction with a team that includes an estate planner, a tax planner, an insurance specialist, a business succession planner and a cross-border tax specialist. The first things they look at are the family members, corporate organisation, estimates of returns (using conservative estimates), tax planning, insurance planning, philanthropy, disability planning, family law issues and estate planning.
They determine the client’s goals and objectives in order to customize the best plan for them. Financial planning is then used to develop a current net worth and work forwards taking into consideration things like business partnerships, transition from a business ownership, the impact of capital gains, sale of assets and the possible use of an estate freeze to make the transition easier for your heirs in the future.
He then discussed each of these items in more detail and the pros and cons of each, using examples of how common situations such as the ownership of a second home, or a home in the US can affect your plans. He said that we should all ensure that we have a will, a power of attorney and a personal directive in place to ensure we can be looked after if we become incapacitated and to ensure the smooth passage of our estate to our heirs after death. He discussed the use of a Henson trust to ensure income for any handicapped family members and then talked about some ways to make probate easier and ways to include philanthropy in your plan. In particular, he said that if you wish to leave money to a charity on your death it is best to state an actual number rather than a percentage value, as this can greatly complicate matters for your executor. He also said that you should be careful when choosing your executor as this can be a very complicated job. If you do not have anyone you think can handle it, the bank can also serve as an executor and that they charge the same fees that an independent executor is entitled to charge.
In closing, he said that they tie all of these things together to set up the best plan for you and that any advisor you have should also be doing the same, with a focus on things such as family, business and legacies.
Mike Brecken, BMO Wealth Planning  Vi Hughes 2019-07-16 06:00:00Z 0 planning,wealth

News from the Combined Rotary School - Amarok Society

Posted by Ken Germain on Jul 12, 2019
July 2019
Combined Rotary Women's School 
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Dear Members of The Rotary Clubs of Strathcona, Mayfield, Urban Spirits, Whyte Avenue, Grand Prairie and Hinton,

We hope you all are fine and here we are doing well too. In this letter we will tell you more about us and about our School. Our school is located in Dhaka. The school is in a slum of ‘Uttar Badda’ area. One of the rooms in our slum is our School. 25 mothers from our community come here to learn and we 25 mothers teach 125 community children. Our school starts in the afternoon for two hours. Many mothers of our school work as part-time housemaid. We enjoy our schooltime as this is the only time, we are free from work and live in happiness. Our school is our meeting place for learning and sharing our topics with one another. We take help from each other, share problems & ask for suggestions from our friends.

News from the Combined Rotary School - Amarok Society Ken Germain 2019-07-12 06:00:00Z 0 amarok

Alexis Ksiazkiewicz and Emily Ball, U of A Community Engagement

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jul 09, 2019
This week we took part in a Community Engagement Consultation with two people from the University of Alberta Government and Community Relations department.  Alexis Ksiazkiewicz is the Associate VP of Government and Community relations and Emily Ball is the Director of Community Relations. This consultation is part of the University of Alberta’s institutional strategic plan entitled ‘For the Public Good’ to engage with the community.  The university wants to know how they are doing, what things are they doing poorly, what things they are doing well and suggestions for how they could do better to engage the community. As part of this plan they have struck a twenty-five member committee composed of half university members and half general public.
They have developed a plan to survey people from across the province to engage with people, gather and compile information. The four main questions they are asking people are:
  • Is the university doing a good job of creating reciprocal, mutually beneficial learning experiences, research projects, partnerships and collaborations with the community? Community being their campuses, city and region, province and nation.
  • Is the University doing a good job of engaging with the community, and if not, what is missing?
  • How can the University improve existing programs, initiatives and activities?
  • How can the university move forward on fulfilling it’s objective to engage with the community?
Alexis Ksiazkiewicz and Emily Ball, U of A Community Engagement  Vi Hughes 2019-07-09 06:00:00Z 0 U of A
Mentor Opportunity 2019-07-05 06:00:00Z 0 DiscoverE
Bon Voyage Stephanie Carin Jansen van Vuuren 2019-07-05 06:00:00Z 0 Stephanie,student

Dues are Due!

Posted on Jul 03, 2019

membership dues are due!

The 2019-20 membership dues are due. An electronic invoice was emailed on July 3, 2019. The due date is August 16, 2019.
You can pay online from the link in the invoice or you can always open and click the link in the My Billing Account Balance link in the My ClubRunner box on the Admin page after login.
If you wish to pay by cash or cheque, give the $280.00 made out to "Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona" to Graham Gilchrist at your earliest convenience.
Membership fee in the club covers District dues, CN$80.00 annually and Rotary International dues, US$55.00 semi annually or US$110.00 annually.
Thank you for your prompt attention.
If you have any questions, please contact Graham Gilchrist, Treasurer, e:
Dues are Due! 2019-07-03 06:00:00Z 0

David Ries, ConnectAd

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jul 02, 2019

David ries

Our speaker this past Tuesday was David Ries, from ConnectAd, a company that helps non-profit organisations with the use of Google Grants for Digital Marketing. He told us that Google has a grant program for non-profit organisations that offers them ten thousand dollars worth of free Google advertising per month, if they meet certain criteria.
When anyone makes a computer search using the Google search engine, Google returns the answers in a specific order. People who wish to have their websites appear close to the top of the list, pay Google an advertising fee for each time their website is clicked on.  They do this by submitting AdWords that relate directly to the service or product they are promoting, and when these words appear in a search request their website is listed near the top where people are more likely to see it. This is called pay-per-click advertising.
Google has some requirements for the non-profit organisations that apply for their grant. Some of these are that they must be a registered non-profit. They must be registered as a non-profit with Tech Soup Canada. They must have a clean high quality website landing page that leads directly to the relevant search result. They must not be a government entity, child care center, hospital, academic institution or university. They also need to be able to set up their website appropriately, select the best words for the project they wish to advertise and must be able to monitor their results.  The Google grant is in the form of advertising credits that recur with no end date as long as the organisation continues to meet Google’s standards.
Organisations wishing to use this form of advertising can do it themselves or they can hire an outside company to do it for them. This is where ConnectAd comes in. They have the computer expertise to do everything needed from defining the project to be advertised, building the landing page, finding appropriate key words and on to monitoring the results. Google Grants could be one way our group advertises itself and our various projects and is something we could consider in the future.
David Ries, ConnectAd  Vi Hughes 2019-07-02 06:00:00Z 0 ConnectAd,Google
Canada Day Hans Granholm 2019-07-01 06:00:00Z 0

Honorary Membership at Rotary Club of Ioannina - Greece

Posted by Dimitri Papanicolas on Jun 29, 2019

Dimitri honoured

It is my pleasure to inform you that at the Turnover Dinner of the Rotary Club of Ioannina, Greece, I was presented, by outgoing President Foti Drougas, with an Honorary Membership at the Club. I received this membership with honor filled with emotions as it is coming from my family's hometown Rotary Club.
This Honorary Membership also recognizes the Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona for all its support for ELEPAP and recently the "Eleni Gyra" Boarding Residence. During the speeches there were several references to the RCES for its support and acknowledgement that without the financial assistance from RCES those two centers could not have been supported. I thank the RCES too.
Point to note, the President for the 2019-20 year is Eva Tsinavou the first lady President of the RC of Ioannina. Some of you that participated in the Tour of Greece have met Eva.
Yours in Rotary.
Dimitri Papanicolas
Honorary Membership at Rotary Club of Ioannina - Greece Dimitri Papanicolas 2019-06-29 06:00:00Z 0 dimitri

Year End Rotating Wheel Dinner

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jun 28, 2019
Our outgoing President Vince Campbell thanked all of the members of his Executive and extended thanks to everyone in the club who has helped to make his tenure a success.
Photos by Carin Jansen van Vuuren
He presented our Rotarian of the Year Award to Carin van Vuuren for her outstanding service to our club over the past year.  
Our incoming President Donna Hutton introduced her Executive and also the members of the various committees that will be helping to keep our club running smoothly. Donna said that almost eighty percent of our club membership help out in some capacity with club business. 
She said that the three key commitments for our club this year will be Communication both with our membership and others including the use of social media, Staying Connected with our members and Having Fun.
Year End Rotating Wheel Dinner  Vi Hughes 2019-06-28 06:00:00Z 0 rotating,wheel

Induction of Trina Vandermeer

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jun 28, 2019

trina vandermeer

We were pleased to welcome Trina Vandermeer as our newest member at our year end Rotating Wheel Dinner. 
Trina’s classification is Security Services and she was sponsored by both Donna Hutton and Anna Syrianou.
Induction of Trina Vandermeer  Vi Hughes 2019-06-28 06:00:00Z 0

Don Wedman

Posted by Hans Granholm on Jun 28, 2019

Don Wedman

Effective immediately, Don Wedman, has graciously accepted the task with scheduling door duty and setup duty responsibilities.
If you have any questions or concerns as we move forward, please contact Don directly by text: 780-953-0358  or email:  
Please REMEMBER if you notice a conflict with your personal calendar, it is YOUR responsibility to arrange a switch with another member. Both schedules are posted and updated weekly on the club home page  
Thank you for your kind cooperation.
Hans G.
Don Wedman Hans Granholm 2019-06-28 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Golf & Barbecue June 25, 2019

Posted by Eric Germain on Jun 25, 2019

Golf 2019

Photos by Eric Germain
The Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona held their annual golf tournament and barbecue on June 25th at the Millwoods Golf Course.
This was the fall back date from our rainout last week. The rain did fall heavy before our tee off, but the skies cleared for dry and sunny afternoon. We had 19 golfers and 30 people out for the barbecue. The golf game was a 9 hole best ball game, requiring team work and strategy.
The golf game with our random golf ball team selection process ended up being very close. We had 3 teams who scored 40 and 2 that had 45 on the 9 hole tourney.
The winning team, determined by a total team par and birdie count, was Eric Germain, Ivan docker and Daryl Eggen. Second place team was Ellen Webber, Barb Craig, Rose Marie Basaraba, and Don Hughes. Third place team was Doug Mulholland, Scott & Cherri Montgomery, and Alison de Haan. Fourth place team was Donna Hutton, Gary Frohlich, Les & Jutta Cyrynowski. The final place team, often referred to as “the most honest golfers” was Ken Germain, Val Solash, Maxine Hetherington, and Vi Hughes.
The individual awards were, Men’s longest drive – Doug Mulholland; Men’s closest to the pin- Eric Germain; Ladies longest drive- Cherri Montgomery; Ladies Closest to the pin- Alison de Haan; Longest Putt- Rose Marie, and the putting contest 50/50 winner- Daryl Eggen.
Thanks to everyone who made it out and making it a great day. Thanks to Hans Granholm for his tech support, and to Ken Germain our MC and prize and silent auction set up guy & co-organizer.
Rotary Golf & Barbecue June 25, 2019  Eric Germain 2019-06-25 06:00:00Z 0 golf

Day of Caring

Posted on Jun 21, 2019
On Tuesday June 18, a number of dedicated Rotarians, championed by Carin Jansen van Vuuren, Wally Romaniuk, Bob Sandercock, Rose Marie Basaraba, Sam Lilly and Jim & Karen Peddie, did kitchen duty at the "Operation Friendship Seniors Society".
Day of Caring Carin Jansen van Vuuren 2019-06-21 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona Golf and Barbecue,

Posted by Eric Germain on Jun 21, 2019

Rotary Club Golf and Barbecue, June 20 was Cancelled
We have been advised the Millwoods Golf course is closed today due to the rain.
We have cancelled our Rotary Club golf tournament and also the barbecue.
We have rescheduled to Tuesday June 25th (we have no Rotary lunch meeting that day) .
Golfers will meet at the Millwoods Golf Course at 10:30 AM on Tuesday June 25th , with tee times starting at 11 AM.
Our barbecue lunch will follow at 2 PM at the Millwoods Golf Course Woodvale facility.
Please advise if you are able to attend the golf and/or the barbecue.
We will provide full refunds for anyone who can not attend our rescheduled date.
Best regards, on a rainy day,
Eric Germain

The June 25th Fun Golf Day is a good chance to have some Summer fun with other Rotarians and friends.

It can be an opportunity to support some worthwhile cause. Last year we raised food, money and awareness for the Edmonton Food Bank. Previous years we’ve assisted Operation Eyesight, Polio Plus and The Amarok Society.

With the flood of refugees into Bangladesh recently we felt it to be a good time to dedicate this Golf Day to The Amarock Society once again.

“Bang the Ball For Bangladesh”

An Auction and Putting contest will be the highlights of this fun raiser.

Auctions (Both Silent and Noisy) for items left over from the Oil King February event.

Including Hotel Nights! Oiler Photos, Framed Sketches, Spa treatment. Maybe More!

Please plan to attend.

Guaranteed fun or Double your Golf Balls Back!

The golf will start at 2 PM at the Millwoods Golf Course in Edmonton.  The 9 hole golf tournament will be a 4 player Texas Scramble. No previous golf experience or skill required. An experienced golfer will be the Team Captain, and the team plays the best ball on each shot. The golf package includes your nine hole green fees, shared power golf cart, practice range balls to warm up, use of the practice putting green, a tee gift which includes 3 Taylor Made golf balls, golf tees, ball marker, divot repair tool and a bottle of water. The golf package cost is $55 per player.

The Barbecue Dinner will start at 5 PM at the Woodvale Community Center at the Millwoods Golf Course. We will have the prime rib burger dinner with buns, fixings & condiments, fries, Caesar salad, coleslaw, vegetable pasta salad, dessert squares, fruit, coffee & tea, and a cash bar. The barbecue dinner package cost is $25 per person.

The combined Golf & Barbecue package cost is $75 per person


Eric Germain,  E-mail: or telephone 780-991-0417. All Rotarians, family and friends are welcome to attend.

Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona Golf and Barbecue, Eric Germain 2019-06-21 06:00:00Z 0 golf

Eric Germain, J Percy Page Rotary Interact Club Update

Posted by Eric Germain on Jun 19, 2019
The club has selected to support the following charities with the funds they have raised this year in their club account for this purpose:
  1.  Rotary Polio Plus- $200
  2.  Operation Smile- $100
  3.  Food For All in Pakistan- $100
  4.  Edmonton Compassion House- $100
  5.  Edmonton SPCA - $100
  6.  Amorak Bangladesh- $100
  7.  Kiva- $100
The sub-total amount is $800.
In addition, they have already made donations to:
  1.  J. Percy Page School for 4 underprivileged Grade 12 students to attend the high school graduation ceremonies- $200
  2.  Landscaping supplies for the school planter rejuvenation project- $500
The total amount of the above donations is $1,500.
Eric Germain, J Percy Page Rotary Interact Club Update Eric Germain 2019-06-19 06:00:00Z 0 interact

Stefan Cherwoniak, Junior Chamber International

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jun 19, 2019
On Tuesday this week we heard from Stefan Cherwoniak, the Executive VP for Junior Chamber International (JCI) Canada. JCI is a worldwide organisation with over two hundred thousand members and forty-six hundred local groups in one hundred and twenty countries.  It was founded in 1918 with similar goals to Rotary and is focused on the age group of eighteen to forty. There is one local group in Alberta, based in Edmonton, with thirty-five members.
JCI aims to connect and develop young people, to create positive change in themselves and their community. They provide leadership workshops, public speaking training and mentorship training opportunities and encourage their members to dream big, get involved and be active. JCI gives young people opportunities through volunteer work and through partnering with other organisations to take on larger projects than they could do alone. Their goal is to create measurable, sustainable change. They look for projects in areas affecting health and wellness, education and resources to help others in need.
The JCI group in Edmonton is looking to partner with a local Rotary group so that we can pool our talents and work together on some local projects to create some small lasting change in our community.
Stefan Cherwoniak, Junior Chamber International Vi Hughes 2019-06-19 06:00:00Z 0 jci

Rose Marie Basaraba, Margaret-Ann Armour, A Remarkable Life

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jun 13, 2019

Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour

This Tuesday we heard from long time member Rose Marie Basaraba, who gave a fitting tribute to Margaret-Ann Armour, who was scheduled to speak to us on Tuesday. Margaret-Ann Armour may have passed away just over two weeks ago, but the legacy she gave to many through her mentorship and passion for science lives on.
Margaret-Ann was born and raised by a single mother (her father died during the war) in Scotland and received her first two degrees from the U. of Edinburgh, worked for a few years and then earned her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the U. of Alberta in 1970. She held post docs at both Universities and then joined the U of A Chemistry Department in 1979. Her field of research was in hazardous chemical waste management, with a career spanning over four decades, but her true legacy lies elsewhere.
Margaret-Ann was a lifelong champion of women in science and worked tirelessly to promote the sciences as a career for women every chance she got. She was also known for her patience, kindness and inspirational mentorship among both colleagues and students.  She championed women as a co-founder of WISEST (Women in Scholarship, Engineering and Technology) and the WinSETT Centre. Over the years she became known as a leader and public speaker promoting science education and the sciences as a career for women. She served as the associate Dean of Science, the board chair of St. Stephen’s College and held many other positions throughout her life. She was also a Rotarian, being a charter member of the Rotary Club of Glenora and a past president.
Over the years she received many honours for her tireless work as a champion for diversity and women in the Sciences, the Governor General’s Award, the Canada 150 Ambassador award and for her work as researcher and teacher with the Montreal Medal from the Chemical Institute of Canada and the prestigious 3M Teaching Fellowship. In 2016 she was honoured in having a public school named for her in Windermere, Edmonton. She also received multiple honorary degrees from various institutions including University of B.C., NAIT, McEwan University and Concordia College with the most recent being from the U of A, presented at her bedside the day before her passing.  
She will long be remembered for her selfless, kind, patient approach and for her abiding passion for Science.
Rose Marie Basaraba, Margaret-Ann Armour, A Remarkable Life Vi Hughes 2019-06-13 06:00:00Z 0 Armour,Margaret-Ann

Norman Leach, D-Day, The Beginning of the End

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jun 06, 2019
This Tuesday we were pleased to hear from Norman Leach, a historian, award winning writer, documentary producer and professional speaker. Norman has his own consulting company specialising in marketing, sales and security services for private companies. He is also the author of multiple books, a speaker and a consultant on military history related topics.
Norman is the father of our current Rotary exchange student, Stephanie Leach and a former Rotary exchange student himself. Norman said that as a young man he had a love of history but found that once he had graduated from the U of Manitoba, finding work in that area was tough, so he went into sales and marketing. Once he met his wife, she encouraged him to find a way to make an income from his abiding love of military history. In his search, he went to see a movie producer to ask if they had any need for a historian to help with military productions. This producer then asked him if he knew anything about Passchendaele (the first World War battle) and whether it had Canadian connections. Being the salesman that he was, and a salesman never admits ignorance, he said he did. This was fifteen years before the movie Passchendaele, the story of a young Canadian soldier from Calgary, was eventually released. Norman ended up working on the production as a historian.
D-Day took place on the 6th of June 1944 on the beaches of Normandy, France. In D the name comes from the planning of the operation which referred to it as simply the Day. The planning had started in 1942 when Hitler started building an Atlantic Wall, a chain of defence battlements along the coast of Normandy.  On that day one hundred fifty thousand troops hit the beaches, a mix of British, Canadian and American soldiers and support personnel. There was also air support provided by this same international mix of airmen. Canada put fifteen thousand men on Juno beach in the first day of the battle. Three hundred and eighty-nine Canadians were killed and over one thousand were wounded on the first day alone. The leader of the Canadian troops had requested a piper to lead the men off the ships. He was the first man to disembark and played his pipe all the way to the top of the embankment.
Norman talked about how we need to think about these men and women as individuals who risked their lives for us. He went on the give some details of the experiences of three men whose experiences have been made into three separate Historical Minute documentary films.  
Norman Leach, D-Day, The Beginning of the End Vi Hughes 2019-06-06 06:00:00Z 0 D-Day

Nicolle & Shane had a son!

Posted by Carin Jansen van Vuuren on May 31, 2019

James Evan Theberge

"Shane and Nicolle Theberge (Germain) are pleased to announce the birth of James Evan Theberge. Born May 27th, 7 lbs 13 oz, 21 inches long. Congratulations from all of us at the Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona to Shane & Nicolle as well as grandpa Eric & grandma Karen Germain and great grandma Betty Germain (honourary member).
Nicolle &amp; Shane had a son! Carin Jansen van Vuuren 2019-05-31 06:00:00Z 0 germain

Dr. Lee Foote, U. of A. Botanic Garden

Posted by Vi Hughes on May 28, 2019
This Tuesday we had the pleasure of meeting at the U. of A. Botanic Gardens and enjoyed a lunch in the open air Pine Pavilion followed by a nice walk in the sunshine and a guided tour of the Aga Khan Garden by Rotarian Lee Foote. Dr. Lee Foote is a professor in the Department of Life and Environmental Science in the Faculty of Agriculture and Director of the UofA Botanic Gardens. Lee told us that he is a lifelong Rotarian, having been an Interact Member and Rotary Exchange student in his youth and is now a member of the Edmonton Rotary Downtown club.
He spoke to us on the topic of gardens and their meanings to various people. He said that gardens have a special place in the human psyche, having a calming effect and on the human soul. They bring solace when our lives are full of inconsistencies and trouble. Gardens take us back to perfection. Gardening is an exercise in perfection, even if we never fully get there.  The U. of A. Botanic Garden has all kinds of people who visit, from the school children to young people who sneak off into the bushes for a little hanky panky, to the young moms with their children in strollers and on to older folks with canes or wheelchairs. They come because the garden offers something different to each of them and brings them peace in some way.
The garden now occupies two hundred and fifty acres, all of which was donated over the past sixty years to the U. of A. by various people who saw the value in gardens. It is composed of twenty-three modules each with a different emphasis, and many of which support ongoing research studies at the U. of A. He said that they have twenty five hundred different species of plants, both native and non-native. The garden hosts about seventeen thousand school children each year who come to learn about nature, He said that they have three basic rules for the children who come , they have to get dirty, they must experience something gross and they should know that there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. As we walked through the garden after his talk we passed several groups of children down on the muddy edges of the many waterways and ponds fishing for bugs and critters with their hand nets.
Dr. Lee Foote, U. of A. Botanic Garden Vi Hughes 2019-05-28 06:00:00Z 0 Devonian

W. P. Wagner Interact Club Report

Posted by Vi Hughes on May 23, 2019

This past Tuesday we heard from the members of our newest Interact club at W. P. Wagner. President Ore reported that they have had a very good year, with a few first-year bumps along the way.

WP Wagner Interact Club. 

L to R. Anya Wolfe, Hannah Key, Ore Osinboyejo, Dree Beaudry and Jim Peddie. 

Their Roses for Valentines fundraiser raised four hundred and forty dollars for their club. They also hosted an Open Mike Nite. Some of their members attended the RYLA and RYLY camps and they said that they learned a lot about how to solve problems that affect their Interact group. They also received an Emerald grant this year and plant to use it to clean up the yard behind the school. They are really looking forward to next year.

W. P. Wagner Interact Club Report Vi Hughes 2019-05-23 06:00:00Z 0 interact

ClubRunner Mobile

Posted by Hans Granholm on May 17, 2019

ClubRunner MObile -- are you in?

Quick question -- How many of you have taken the time (5 minutes) to download the ClubRunner Mobile app to your iPhone or Android device?
Complete feature information on the home page widget.
Are you familiar with the features of this app and the freedom it gives you to contact members on the fly?
I would love to get some feedback.
780 918-1079
ClubRunner Mobile Hans Granholm 2019-05-17 06:00:00Z 0

J. Percy Page High School Commencement Ceremonies

Posted by Carin Jansen van Vuuren on May 17, 2019
J. Percy Page High School Commencement Ceremonies
On Tuesday May 14, 2019 at the J. Percy Page High School Commencement Ceremonies, Hamda Ahmed was presented with the Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona’s $1,000 Scholarship. The decision to select her for this prestigious award was unanimous from a panel of seven staff members. Her personality, commitment to her studies, engagement in many, many school activities and her amazing community involvement truly exemplify what it means to be a J. Percy Page Ambassador and Rotary Club Representative. By overcoming personal challenges, she has achieved extremely high academic standings, yet was an engaged, incredibly active leader throughout all three of her high school years. Hamda is involved in the Rotary Interact Club, Students’ Union, Key Club, and Earth Club, just to name a few. Along with her tireless involvement at school, she is extremely busy with her volunteer work in her community, which are too numerous to mention, except to say this young lady managed to maintain her rigorous schedule even with a broken leg during the second semester!  Hamda has been accepted to the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus, where she will be continuing her studies in September.

Together with the $1000 scholarship, Hamda was also given a token with the Rotary 4-way test on it. The Rotary 4-way test is a meaningful tool to use to make decisions and thus making the world a better place despite differences in belief and opportunities.

Carin Jansen van Vuuren
J. Percy Page High School Commencement Ceremonies Carin Jansen van Vuuren 2019-05-17 06:00:00Z 0

Dr. Ioanis Nikolaidis, Wireless Communication and Privacy (or not)

Posted by Vi Hughes on May 15, 2019

Wireless Communication and Privacy (or not)

This Tuesday we heard from Dr. Ioanis Nikolaidis on the topic of ‘’. Dr. Nikolaidis is a Full Professor and Assistant Department Chair (Research) in the Department of Computing Science and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the U. of A. His research interest lies in the area of building inexpensive wireless communication systems to be used in conjunction with small complicated equipment such as medical devices.
Dr. Nikoaidis said that wireless communication allows us to communicate more easily, but it can also affect our privacy. He said that even though large parts of the radio spectrum have been licensed to various businesses, this does not mean that they are securely linked to just that provider. All of these frequencies are relatively easy for others to intercept, especially with todays equipment. Signals like those from an exercise watch can easily be picked up. If money is no objective and satellites are used, they can focus it at any desired location and pick up many different signals. These signals can then be combined with other types of information. For example, they can be combined with a photo also taken by satellite of the same area and each signal can then be associated with a particular location, buildings, vehicles, people etc. to create a much more informative picture. On a budget, one can now buy from Amazon a receiver that will pick up signals and identify them, even those that have been encrypted. In some countries possessing these types of devices is illegal.
There is also a device that will track he signals sent out by all airplanes and these are commonly used by some people to follow the movements of people they are interested in.
Our devices are very chatty. A single mobile phone sends and receives WiFi, Cellular and Bluetooth signals. They are constantly trying to connect to nearby devices and networks by sending out signals.  In doing this they also reveal your identity to some extent.  If you think you are not being tracked, think again. We do now have identity randomization technology that will transmit a false identity, but this technology can be easily defeated by some tranceivers that have protocols to recognize and break through this type of technology. Once your device is connected to a local network, they no longer need to triangulate your location. Most merchants can now track your movements up and down their aisles, recording where and for how long you stop. Some even combine it with video to get a much more complete picture of your visit to their business.
All devices have implicit identifiers. That means that they can be identified as to manufacturer and type by the type of transmission they use, the length of the transmission and the timing of those signals. Due to the restraints on military budgets, they nearly all use commercially available devices, which means they too can be identified to some extent. When combined with a satellite, the individual transmissions can be tracked from their point of origin, through the repeaters and on to the final destination of the signal. Thus the signal can be seen and heard, even if not decoded.
We would like to thank Dr Nikolaidis for his very interesting and enlightening talk. It certainly gives all of us who use these devices daily some food for thought.
Dr. Ioanis Nikolaidis, Wireless Communication and Privacy (or not) Vi Hughes 2019-05-15 06:00:00Z 0

Mother's Day Essay

Posted by Ellen Weber on May 10, 2019
Hope you are all well and blessed and that a spring week will soon opens its arms to you all again. Wanted to let you know that my latest essay that will appear in the Globe and Mail on May 10th, and online at one week from this Friday may relate. 
You may enjoy it as it was written with our moms, ourselves, and many we care about in mind, as Mother’s Day approaches a couple of days after it appears. Enjoy the week😎
Best, Ellen
Mother's Day Essay Ellen Weber 2019-05-10 06:00:00Z 0 Mother's Day

Summer Solstice Celebration

Posted by Donna Hutton on May 10, 2019

Summer Solstice Celebration

As a proud sponsor of the 2019 Fort Edmonton - Rotary Fundraising Event  the Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona invite you to be our guest on Wednesday, June 19th at the Summer Solstice Celebration!
To register, please Click Here 

Attached is a revised invitation to the June 19th Summer Solstice Fundraiser at Fort Edmonton Park.  The deadline for registering on May the 1st has come and gone.  The attached revised invite notes that if you RSVP by May 27th, you’ll be eligible for a trip for 2 to Las Vegas.  Your live link, previously sent, will direct your guests to Eventbrite which has also been updated to reflect the May 27th RSVP date.  You’ll want to use this invitation for additional guests that you may wish to invite. 

Your admission into the event is your 100% tax-deductible donation to Fort Edmonton Foundation.  The amount is up to you.  Details about how to donate will be included in your RSVP confirmation e-mail and in the package you will be receiving in June.
Fort Edmonton Park holds a special place in our Region’s history.  With the Capital Expansion, we will continue to share this community treasure with the world for generations to come.
All levels of government have contributed to the $168 million project.  The remaining $11 million is being raised by the community and events like this.
We hope we can look forward to your support and that you can join us for a great “Summer Solstice Celebration” featuring Trooper!
The Edmonton Strathcona Rotary Club
Donna Hutton
Summer Solstice Celebration Donna Hutton 2019-05-10 06:00:00Z 0 fort edmonton park

J Percy Page Interact Club

Posted by Vi Hughes on May 08, 2019

J Percy Page Rotary Interact Club

This Tuesday we had a visit from some members of the J Percy Page Rotary Interact Club. They gave us a short update on the many activities they have done over the past year. These included a Halloween fundraiser, a movie night fundraiser and a Valentines fundraiser. They also worked to clean up the planters in front of the school. They were presented with Rotary Youth Leadership Award.
Additionally, this year they teamed up with the Earth Club to help plant trees around the borders of the school. They thanked our club for providing them with club logo shirts. One of their members, Abiya, spoke about her opportunity to attend the RYLY camp this year. She said that the environment there, and the relationships she made have really helped her to grow both as a person and as a leader.
J Percy Page Interact Club Vi Hughes 2019-05-08 06:00:00Z 0 interact

Dr Eleni Stroulia, Sensors, Data and Health

Posted by Vi Hughes on May 08, 2019
Our speaker this week was Dr. Eleni Stroulia, from the Department of Computing Science at the U. of A. Eleni spoke to us about four new technologies that are helping to transform our health.  The first new technology is data collection in the form of life logging. Many people are now using many different types of computer applications and services to maintain a running log of everyday things that are happening in their lives. This data can hen be used to help us determine patterns in our physical and mental health. The second technology is machine learning which allows us to build data driven models of health and disease. It also allows us to build decision trees that can help us to make predictions. For example, if we learn that walking makes us feel good, we can incorporate more walking into our daily activities.  He third technology is gamification. Games engage people in a deep way because they allow people to do things that they are goo at, while challenging them at the same time to improve their skills. In this way, they can be used to incentivize healthy behaviours by encouraging people to move a little more, eat better and improve their quality of sleep.  The fourth technology involves decision making based on ubiquitous augmented intelligence. This is where a logging device such as an activity logging watch, can be connected in real time to software housed on the web which can then feed information back to you in real time on whether you are meeting your current goals, or need to do a little more activity that day.
Eleni said that the key to all of these improvements, is the sensing devices being used. There are currently many different types of sensing devices available, and many more are in development. Eleni is interested in intelligent sensors, that can be swallowed, or attached to your body, that will then send messages to your smart phone, letting you know what they have found. One such sensor is a small pill sized device that can be swallowed and will then sense the presence of heme, a component of blood, in your digestive tract. This can let you know whether you have a bleeding ulcer or other problem with your digestive tract.  Another type of sensor is a wearable sensor with a sticky pad that attaches to you and can track you heart rate. This sensor can alert you when it detects something that is not right and then ask you to record how you are feeling at that moment. This can, in turn, help to create a real time record for a health professional to evaluate later. Another type of sensor is one that attaches to your skin and can sense you blood glucose levels. It can talk wirelessly to an implanted insulin pump which can then supply more insulin to you as needed, without the need for intervention by the wearer. These can be invaluable for people with diabetes who are not physically or mentally able to handle their daily insulin dosing.  One more type of device is a sock for babies that can sense blood oxygen levels, which can provide care givers with notification that a problem is present.
Other types of sensing are the smart condo, which is an apartment like space that is fitted with sensors throughout to follow the movements and activities of the inhabitant. There are sensors built into all of the doors, cupboards, appliances, chairs and beds. This allows for a person to be evaluated on their daily activities without having another person present watching them. The information gained can then be used by occupational therapists to determine the type of treatment that may be required in order to improve a person’s quality of life.  One more type of sensor is a functional mobility analysis that entails the use of a virtual gym to evaluate a person’s balance, walking and other activities to allow an occupational therapist or physical therapist to make recommendations or create a treatment plan.
Eleni said that the Tricorder of Star Wars fame is now a reality, albeit one with limited ability. It will only be a matter of time before we have a hand held device that will allow us to perform many types of complicated testing in even the most rustic of places.  The use of these technologies is now and will continue to transform modern medicine.
Dr Eleni Stroulia, Sensors, Data and Health Vi Hughes 2019-05-08 06:00:00Z 0

Dr. Michelle Fuko, Intersections of Race and Gender in STEM

Posted by Vi Hughes on May 02, 2019
This past Tuesday we heard from Michelle Fuko, a U of A researcher, on the intersections of race and gender in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine). This topic was the subject of her master’s thesis where she examined data collected in another study that surveyed the members of the science, technology, engineering and medical faculties of a large eastern Canadian University. She used a quote from Dorothy Vaughn, an African American mathematician and early computing specialist who worked for NASA, in regards to the discrimination she faced in the workplace, ”I changed what I could, and endured what I couldn’t” to illustrate the many faceted character of discrimination in our society. Michelle said that over the last several decades, the field of science in general has expanded and become much more accessible to the general public in many ways and along with this has come higher visibility for scientists and the discussion around diversity ( or lack thereof) of gender, race, indigeneity, disabilities, nationality and many other factors in our academic ranks.  There is now a discussion of- are we giving everyone what they uniquely need in order to succeed, or are we simply saying everyone is treated equally?  
Academia tends to be a very slowly changing field in that the higher ranks have been filled with white men for many years, and the policy of tenure ( a job for life, essentially) combined with education budget cuts, means that established people do not change jobs, and there are very few job openings for younger people of any type.  This is then combined with the fact that each person has their own unique niche of gender, race, sexuality, language, disabilities etc. that could, and does, affect their chances of being hired for any rare opening.  In addition, in academia, there is the bias with regard of the quality of someone’s academic qualifications, which country, which institution, etc.  Currently our legislation strives for more equality in some of these areas, but it falls short when multiple factors are involved.  Black women have different issues than white women, people whose first language is not English, or whose name has not been anglicized have issues that are unique to them. The ranks of academia are also affected by the innate, unconscious biases that we all have when we see someone who is ‘not like us’, which also has a subtle but real effect on the careers of people in academia.
Michelle’s study showed that males dominated the higher ranks, with women falling into the lower ones. Visible minorities were lower in rank as well, with visible minority women the lowest of all. Trends varied largely from one discipline to another and could be skewed by the specific hiring practices of individual departments, such as actively recruiting more women, or recruiting more candidates from a particular country, such as China or India. The experiences of minority academic members in general are also different in that they are often asked to do much more committee work, or to supervise more students than others so that the institution can present a more balance ‘face’ to the public at large. This then puts them at a disadvantage by giving them less time for research and their teaching duties.
Overall, we as a society have a long way to go the give everyone what they uniquely need in order to succeed. We need to open our eyes more to the many ways in which discrimination creeps into our everyday lives and try to look at the experiences of others from their point of view.
Dr. Michelle Fuko, Intersections of Race and Gender in STEM Vi Hughes 2019-05-02 06:00:00Z 0

Harald Kuckertz receives prestigious award

Posted by Bernd Reuscher on Apr 26, 2019
On April 23, Harald Kuckertz was presented with the Dr. Horst Schmid Life Time Achievement Award sponsored by GERMAN CANADIAN BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ALBERTA
This award is given to persons who have made significant contributions to the German-Canadian Community in Alberta.
Harald Kuckertz receives prestigious award Bernd Reuscher 2019-04-26 06:00:00Z 0 harald kuckertz

Someone in our club is $851 dollars richer!! Guess who?

Posted by Patrick Gibson on Apr 26, 2019
If you attended our Christmas party this past December at the faculty club and bought some of those yellow 50/50 tickets from me, you could be the winner of  $851.
So dig out those tickets and check your numbers, the lucky winner will be the holder of
                                                 ticket number 7708123
...And the winner is HARALD KUCKERTZ -- who graciously surrendered the mulah to his wife Irene who had twisted Harald's arm to buy more tickets.
Someone in our club is $851 dollars richer!! Guess who? Patrick Gibson 2019-04-26 06:00:00Z 0 50/50

Someone in our club is $851 dollars richer!!

Posted by Patrick Gibson on Apr 26, 2019
If you attended our Christmas party this past December at the faculty club and bought some of those yellow 50/50 tickets from me, you could be the winner of  $851.
So dig out those tickets and check your numbers, the lucky winner will be the holder of
                                                 ticket number 7708123
...And the winner is HARALD KUCKERTZ -- who graciously surrendered the mulah to his wife Irene who had twisted Harald's arm to buy more tickets.
Someone in our club is $851 dollars richer!! Patrick Gibson 2019-04-26 06:00:00Z 0 50/50

Rotary Interact Club of J. Percy Page School Spring Cleanup & School Planter Revitalization Environmental Project April 2019

Posted by Eric Germain on Apr 26, 2019
The Rotary Interact Club of J. Percy Page School Environmental Project to rejuvenate the school planter boxes was in April , 2019.

The project involved over 30 Rotary Interact Club Members and 2 Teachers. It was great to see everyone working hard on a blue sky Alberta spring day.
They worked to clean up and refresh the planters they worked on last year, and to rejuvenate some other large planter boxes on the South and North sides of the school. They brought in, and distributed 3 truck loads of mulch for the planter beds to help maintain moisture and improve the planter soil conditions. They cleaned up, and plan to plant additional  perineal trees, shrubs, plants and grasses, and some annual flowers.

The planters are  a key feature to the entrances of the school, and will provide a nice backdrop to the upcoming graduation celebrations. The planter boxes also add a good home and feeding area for the bees and birds in the area.
The Rotary Interact Club appreciates the support of the Alberta Emerald Foundation and the Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona to make this environmental improvement project possible.

Good work on a job well done!

Rotary Interact Club of J. Percy Page School Spring Cleanup &amp; School Planter Revitalization Environmental Project April 2019 Eric Germain 2019-04-26 06:00:00Z 0 interact

Sam Lilly, Classification Talk

Posted by Karen Peddy on Apr 23, 2019
This article was transcribed by Vi Hughes from notes taken by Karen Peddy.
On Tuesday April 23 we heard from one of our newer members, Sam Lilly’s classification is Charitable Gaming, Compliance. Sam came to Alberta from B.C. He was raised in a single parent family. He has served in the Canadian military and has worked as a civilian in the security field. He spent some time at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. He then was convinced to go to work in the casino industry.
Sam Lilly, Classification Talk Karen Peddy 2019-04-23 06:00:00Z 0 sam lilly
Membership Launch April 2019 Ellen Weber 2019-04-19 06:00:00Z 0 membership

2018/19 Rotary Hockey Pool season comes to an end

Posted by Patrick Gibson on Apr 12, 2019

The end of the current NHL regular season brings an end to another Rotary Hockey Pool for PolioPlus


We had great success this year and set a new record with 50 teams competing, that’s a 56% increase in participation over last year.  The goal for players was to win one or more of the following categories:

  1. highest overall team score

  2. highest performing group of forwards

  3. highest performing group of defencemen

  4. highest performing group of goalies


A $1000 was collected with $500 of that going to PolioPlus and the rest being allocated across  the winners of each class….and the winners are!!


Highest overall team score: 12274 points accumulated by team “WOP” (Bernie Giacobbo)

                                                  Bernie wins 35% of the prize pool

Highest performing group of forwards: 8107 points accumulated by the team “Flying Irish”  (Patrick Gibson)

                                                              Patrick wins 20% of the prize pool

Highest performing group of defencemen: 3934 points accumulated by the team “In It To Winnik”  (Destiny Reay)

                                                                   Destiny wins 20% of the prize pool

Highest performing group of goalies: 413 points accumulated by the team “EWBT”   (Brian Thompson)

                                                          Brian wins 10% of the prize pool


In conjunction with the hockey pool we also ran a 50/50 draw, the winning ticket will be drawn at the regular Tuesday luncheon meeting of the Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona on Tuesday April 16th.  The current pool is $1601 dollars which will make the winner $800.50 dollars richer.


We are opening up further ticket purchases to hockey pool participants, you have until midnight Monday April 15 2019 to purchase more tickets at $1 each.  Let’s see if we can push the winners purse to $1000


Tickets can be bought here


The Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona thanks you for your support.
2018/19 Rotary Hockey Pool season comes to an end Patrick Gibson 2019-04-12 06:00:00Z 0 50/50

Brooklyn Alcock, Zebra Child Protection Centre

Posted by Vi Hughes on Apr 10, 2019
This week we heard from Brooklyn Alcock, a child protection worker with the Zebra Child Protection Centre. She told us that when danger appears in the wild, zebras form a circle around their young, with all of their stripes blending together to protect them. The Zebra Centre here works in much the same way with their multidisciplinary team of thirteen full time staff, over one hundred highly trained volunteers. and three very special service dogs. They work in conjunction with child protection police officers, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, public defenders and court officials.
When the police receive a call concerning a child in need, they notify the Zebra Centre and they start their investigation. They will send out a police officer teamed with a social worker to begin the investigation. The child in question will be brought to the Zebra Centre for their interview, and never have to set foot in a police station.
The Zebra Centre has six child friendly spaces that are bright, colourful and filled with toys for the children to become settled. They have several support dogs for comfort and play. They also have several calming interview rooms that are fitted with cameras for recording the child’s story, so that they need only give their story to one person, one time. Court dates can sometimes be five years in the future, so having a recording is very valuable. The child is also given the choice of having a support dog to be with them during all of this. The children are given a choice of who they would like to tell their story to. If they are nervous around men, they can choose a woman. Once they have given their statement, they are given a chance to choose a toy from the toy closet to take with them.  If the case does go to court, each child is assigned a court worker to accompany them throughout the court preparation and all of the court proceedings. When they testify, they do so behind a screen, hidden from the court room, and are allowed to keep the support dog with them throughout. They do not have to walk through the court room, but have access through the judges chambers. The children and their families also receive regular support and follow up that can last for many years regardless of whether the case goes to court or not.
The majority of their cases, eighty-three percent, involve sexual abuse, about ten percent are physical abuse, five percent are child witnesses to a criminal act and the remainder involve child abductions and other crimes. Most of the children are between the ages of twelve and fifteen, but can range from very small children to older teens.  Ninety percent of the children know their offender, as a family member of family friend. The conviction rate for these crimes has gone up dramatically to seventy percent since the institution of the court support program. Last year the Zebra Centre handled over eight hundred referrals, and just under two hundred fifty court cases and their volunteers put in almost six thousand hours.
We can help by giving of our time, as volunteers, by making donations to their toy closet or by making monetary donations.
The Zebra Centre provides a valuable resource for our community that we, as Rotarians, should try to support.
Brooklyn Alcock, Zebra Child Protection Centre Vi Hughes 2019-04-10 06:00:00Z 0 zebra
Edmonton Community Foundation 2019-04-05 06:00:00Z 0 Endowment fund
An elegant evening of Scotch Mist 2019-04-05 06:00:00Z 0 scotch

Brent Collingwood, River Valley Alliance

Posted by Vi Hughes on Apr 02, 2019

This Tuesday we heard from Brent Collingwood, a fellow Rotarian and the Executive Director of the River Valley Alliance. This is an alliance of seven municipalities in the Edmonton region formed with the goal of creating trail connectivity to the North Saskatchewan river valley from the U of A Botanic Garden in Parkland County in the west, to the mouth of the Sturgeon River east of Fort Saskatchewan. When completed the project will have created the largest metropolitan park in North America, covering eighteen thousand acres with a single trail that has a length of one hundred kilometers. Currently our river valley is used by over twelve million people a year.
Our river valley was very industrial at one time, filled with with coal mines, lumber yards, brick yards and other businesses. In the flood of 1915, this was all swept away and the businesses there never rebuilt. In 2003 a group of people with a common vision got together and they formed the River Valley Alliance. It is a non-profit organization made up of shareholders from seven municipalities, with sixteen representative members on their board. This was quite an achievement, as trying to get even some of these municipalities to agree on anything is a challenge.
The Alliance has a twenty-five year plan for connecting all of these municipalities with one continuous trail, and also helps to provide amenities and facilities that would otherwise be unaffordable for some of the smaller municipalities, such as better access to the river, cross river pedestrian bridges, boat docks and launches, and community centers. Phase one of their plan was completed in 2017 and helped to create seventy kilometers of new trails as well as a funicular, a footbridge, a community center along with several other projects. Phase two of their plan is now underway an is expected to be completed by 2025/6. The municipalities cover one hundred percent of the up front costs and the River Valley Alliance then reimburses them for sixty percent of their costs from Federal and Provincial government grants they have applied for and received. This really helps the smaller municipalities to be able to afford this type of amenity. We can see several maps of the trails and plans for the future on their website,  We would like to thank Brent for coming to tell us about this very interesting and inspiring project.
Brent Collingwood, River Valley Alliance Vi Hughes 2019-04-02 06:00:00Z 0 river valley

Carrie Creaser, Valley Zoo Development Society

Posted by Vi Hughes on Apr 02, 2019

This Tuesday we also heard from Carrie Creaser, the Director of Fund Development for the Valley Zoo Development Society. Their mandate is to raise funds and promote awareness to ensure the continued development of the Edmonton Valley Zoo. The society is a registered charity. The Edmonton Valley Zoo has been in continuous operation for sixty years and is continually changing. The Zoo’s goal is to educate people about the natural world around them. She used quote from Baba Dioum which says: ‘We only protect what we love, We only love what we understand, We only understand what we are taught.’
Zoos and aquariums attract more visitors each year than all of the major sporting franchises combined. This provides a get opportunity to educate people about becoming strong towards of our environment and to promote the preservation of species. Our zoo alone saw half a million visitors last year.
In 2007 the Edmonton Valley Zoo began an ambitious plan to transform the zoo. The first phase, Arctic Shores, opened in 2012. The second phase, The Urban Farm, opened this spring. The next phase, called ‘Nature’s Wild Backyard’, will include an ‘Over Zone’, to show off the animals that live above us in the tees, a ‘Between Zone’ to show off animals that live on land and in water and an ‘Under Zone’ to show off animals that live underground. The highlight of this phase will be a new Red Panda habitat. This phase also includes an area called ‘The Yard’, which provides plenty of space for adults and children to rest, have an ice cream or lunch and run off some energy playing.
The society receives some funding form the City of Edmonton, but also does a lot of fundraising throughout the year through various activities.  Some of these include behind the scenes animal experiences, special events such as the Christmas light display, ‘Zoominescence’, a food vendor and zoo visit in June entitled’ Zoofest’, a fashion show, entitled ‘Zoolander’ and an event in August called ‘Zoobrew’, where you can sample brews from fifty different vendors. Another of their fundraisers is the ‘Adopt and Exhibit’ program, which our club has done. There are many ways that we can help to support our zoo that are both entertaining and educational at the same time.
Carrie Creaser, Valley Zoo Development Society Vi Hughes 2019-04-02 06:00:00Z 0 zoo

Lunch at the Devonian Gardens

Posted by Audrey Martyn on Mar 29, 2019

On  Tuesday May 28, 2019 Strathcona Rotary will hold its regular meeting at the Devonian Gardens followed by a tour of the gardens. [MAP]

Lunch is $20.00 but, you  must sign up online.

You can pay online for you and your guest(s) [CLICK HERE]

Come and join us for a fun luncheon and bring guests.

Lunch at the Devonian Gardens Audrey Martyn 2019-03-29 06:00:00Z 0

Rotating Wheel Dinner 2019

Posted by Audrey Martyn on Mar 29, 2019


Please join  the Board of Strathcona Rotary at the Rotating Wheel Dinner on June 28 at the Faculty Club. 

We have a  wonderful BBQ dinner with a chance to visit and meet the new Executuve for 2091-2020.  Bring a spouce or friend for a great night. 


Rotating Wheel Dinner 2019 Audrey Martyn 2019-03-29 06:00:00Z 0

Inspiring Peace Event for Members and Exchange Students

Posted on Mar 29, 2019
This would be a great event to have youth exchange student participate in! It will be interactive and very inspirational. The $25 fee covers the workshop and lunch! 
Saturday April 6 at 0900-1400 (includes lunch)
Here is the EventBrite Link to purchase tickets and the poster is attached! 

Paul K. Chappell is an international peace educator and serves as the Peace Literacy Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. He graduated from West Point, was deployed to Iraq, and left active duty as a Captain.
Realizing that humanity is facing new challenges that require us to become as well-trained in waging peace as soldiers are in waging war, Chappell created Peace Literacy to help students and adults from all backgrounds work toward their full potential and a more peaceful world. 

Peace Literacy frames peace not merely as a goal, but as a practical skill-set that allows us to increase realistic peace in our lives, communities, nations, and the world. Peace Literacy also helps us fully develop our human capacity for empathy, conscience, reason, and realistic hope.
Chappell is the author of the seven-book Road to Peace series about ending war, waging peace, the art of living, and our shared humanity. The first six published books in this series are Will War Ever End?, The End of War, Peaceful Revolution, The Art of Waging Peace, The Cosmic Ocean, and Soldiers of Peace.

Lecturing across the country and internationally, he also teaches college courses and workshops on Peace Literacy and Peace Leadership and leads a Peace Literacy curricular development team for k-12 and higher education.
Chappell was raised in Alabama, the son of a Korean mother and a half-black and half-white father who was a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars. Having grown up in a violent household, Chappell has forged a new understanding of war and peace, rage and trauma, and vision, purpose, and hope.
His website is; for more information about the Peace Literacy curricular project, visit
Inspiring Peace Event for Members and Exchange Students 2019-03-29 06:00:00Z 0

Larry Vanderveen and Scott Roberts, Building a New Fiber Network

Posted by Vi Hughes on Mar 26, 2019
This Tuesday we were given a very interesting presentation by Larry Vanderveen, from Telus Broadband Technology, and Scott Roberts, from Telus Communications. Scott spoke about the changes that are coming to small business as a result of the shift towards internet technology and also the shift in customer demographics towards a younger age group.  
Telus is currently in the process of upgrading it’s copper based transmission system to a new glass fiber network. Their new network will bring the technology into every home in Edmonton, whether they are a Telus customer, or not. The new network will be able to carry much more data. Data usage has been growing at a rate of thirty percent per year. People have shifted from using physical storage for music, video and many other types of information to using web-based storage and this in turn necessitates the transfer of large amounts of data from web storage (the ‘cloud’) to the user.  Only a few years ago the biggest user of web storage was big business, but that has now filtered down to the individual.  The next wave of change will be the personalisation of all of this data by the use of artificial intelligence in marketing so that people can receive only the information that may interest them personally. The transmission of all of this data requires a much larger data ‘pipe’. Telus, in one internet minute, currently sees over one million facebook log-ins and over eight hundred thousand online purchases. In terms of businesses, online shopping is now the lifeblood of many.
Millennials, those between twenty-two and thirty-six years of age, are the up and coming customers of the future. They make up thirty seven percent of the current workforce and have a very different approach to how they look for and buy things.  They prefer to do their research online and compare items using the opinions of others that have been posted online in the various social platforms such as facebook. They use their smart phones for nearly all of their online interactions, so this means that applications specific to mobile platforms are needed. They also do not use credit cards to purchase items, preferring to use debit instead. They tend to be debt averse. They do a lot of their purchasing online, so businesses that want to sell to them need to have an online presence in several different ways. This can be done much more cheaply now than a few years ago and there are many companies that can help with this. The world of technology keeps changing and we need to keep changing along with it.
Larry Vanderveen and Scott Roberts, Building a New Fiber Network Vi Hughes 2019-03-26 06:00:00Z 0 Telus

Boot camp for Rotary Exchange

Posted by Vince Campbell on Mar 22, 2019
Here are a few pictures from the boot camp I went to with our student Stephanie Leach and her parents Norman and Maritsa. We learned a lot about what to expect for the next 2 years like what not to do and first hand accounts from previous students. Tamara and crew did a great job of presenting this info and I would say we had a good time learning it. 
Boot camp for Rotary Exchange Vince Campbell 2019-03-22 06:00:00Z 0 boot camp,youth exchange

Roberto Alas, International Business Relations

Posted by Vi Hughes on Mar 20, 2019
This past Tuesday we heard from one of our newest members, Roberto Alas and one of his business associates, and a possible future Rotarian, Richard Leafloor, of Monarquest VIP Medical Tourism. Roberto is originally from El Salvador and has been involved in many different types of business relations for many years. His company, Alas International Business Relations Inc., specialises in corporate training, marketing, business consulting and business development. He also assists companies in making connections with other businesses in Central and South America.
Roberto introduced us to Richard Leafloor, who gave a presentation on his business, Monarquest VIP Medical Tourism. Richard was born in Ottawa into a diplomatic family and he travelled a lot as a child, learning several other languages along the way. A few years ago, he and his wife looked into an alternative treatment for her that was offered in Mexico.  In the end it turned out to be a very expensive and stressful experience for them for several reasons. On their return to Canada they decided that this did not have to be the way things went for others and decided to set up their own company to help others who would like to travel outside Canada or the US for medical treatment.
Their company, Monarquest VIP Medical Tourism, offers Stem Cell Treatments provided by carefully vetted doctors and medical clinics in Central and South America. About one year ago he overheard Roberto having a phone conversation in a local Costco store and struck up a conversation with him. They have been collaborating on this business ever since.  Stem cells are naturally present in the body and they help to combat disease and injuries. There are several ways that they can be isolated, activated and then injected into the body where they can do the most good.  The clinic in El Salvador that they recommend, isolates them from the patient’s own fat cells, purifies and activates them overnight and then injects them back into the same patient the next day. The procedure when done this way is quick and low risk. The company makes all arrangements for airfare, accommodations, treatment and even some tourist activities while in the country, providing a bridge to make the whole process less stressful.
Roberto is involved with other companies as well, helping them to grow their businesses, to develop their expertise and to make new connections with other businesses. We look forward to getting to know more about him and his company in the future.
Roberto Alas, International Business Relations Vi Hughes 2019-03-20 06:00:00Z 0 Monarquest,stem cells

She's All That

Posted by Vi Hughes on Mar 13, 2019
District 5370 Governor, Ingrid Nietsch invites all Rotarians and their guests to celebrate the dynamics of Women leaders in Rotary.
She's All That Vi Hughes 2019-03-13 06:00:00Z 0

Kerry Woodland, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters

Posted by Vi Hughes on Mar 12, 2019
This Tuesday we heard from Kerry Woodland, Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Edmonton and Area. She said that the two groups merged into one eight years ago in the Edmonton area. They provide services for youth between the ages of six and twenty four, such as providing after school activities and connecting them with mentors. They have about three thousand volunteers who help them out each year along with one hundred and twenty full time staff and a budget last year of six point eight million.
They provide after school services in many locations throughout the Edmonton area, sometimes in schools and sometimes in their stand-alone locations. They currently have reading programs in fifty local schools. They also provide one on one mentoring and work with new immigrants to help them bridge their connection to the community. For their mentoring program, they interview the child’s family and do their best to match them with an appropriate mentor.  
They are always looking for volunteers and prefer to have people who can make a one year commitment of their time as it takes time to build a relationship with a child and their family.  Volunteers must complete an in-depth enrolment process, submit an application, provide three references and go through the Vulnerable Persons Police check and meet several other requirements. Their volunteers range in age from teenagers to people in their seventies.  She asked that if we know of anyone who would make a good mentor for a young person, please encourage them to look into helping them out.
Kerry Woodland, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters Vi Hughes 2019-03-12 06:00:00Z 0 Big Sisters,Boy and Girls,big Brothers

Free Footie Volunteers Needed: 2019 Spring Season

Posted on Mar 12, 2019
I am reaching out to your Rotary/Interact Club in efforts to find volunteers for the upcoming Spring Soccer Season.
Our organization is called Free Footie, and we provide an afterschool free soccer program. This upcoming season, we have 11 different game locations located throughout Edmonton with 60 schools participating and close to 2,000 kids playing.
Game Days are Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday from 3:45/4:00 PM – 4:45/5:00 PM.
Season runs from May 6 – June 21st.
Free Footie Volunteers Needed: 2019 Spring Season 2019-03-12 06:00:00Z 0 footie,soccer

Volunteer Drivers needed for Interact

Posted by Eric Germain on Mar 08, 2019

We are looking for volunteer drivers for Thursday March 14th . This is for our Rotary Interact Club members to travel from J. Percy Page School to Ronald McDonald House to supply and prepare dinner.

We will be picking up at Percy Page High School (2707 Millwoods Road) at 3:30 PM and driving the students to Ronald McDonald House (7726-107 Street).

You are welcome to stay at RMH or return at 7 PM to drive the students back to Percy Page High School.

All drivers are required to have completed the police check for working with youth.

Please advise if you can help out.

Best regards,


Tel: 780-991-0417


  MAP TO JPP                                MAP TO RMH

If you have any technical issues, contact Hans Granholm 780-918-1079


Volunteer Drivers needed for Interact Eric Germain 2019-03-08 07:00:00Z 0 interact
International Womens Day 2019 Dimitri Papanicolas 2019-03-08 07:00:00Z 0

Meena Deccan, Instructing Honor, “Black Sheep Crimes”

Posted by Vi Hughes on Mar 07, 2019

Transcribed from notes taken by Audrey Martyn

On Tuesday we heard from Meena Deccan, a practising lawyer in Alberta and a member of RC Edmonton West. Meena has been interested in the socio-economic constructions of honour for many years.

In some ethnic communities in Canada, persons at risk are dealing with honour issues. In 2007 there was a death in Ontario that was an honour killing. In 2009 Sharia Law was introduced in Ontario, but it was ultimately rejected, as it would have replaced Canadian law in the Muslim community.

Authorities dealing with domestic violence in these communities do not have a full grasp of the issues at hand. The present toolkit involves looking for alcohol, substance abuse, police calls, hospital visits, and displaced aggression or impulsivity. These indicators are not present in these cases.

Domestic violence in ethnic communities does mark an alternative community in Canada. The construction of honour rather than ‘code’ implies a system of rules and regulations honouring a dynamic of societal differences in ideology.

Dishonourable anti social behaviour against society takes place in Muslim, Hindu and Sikh communities in Canada. Gender based violence is community based. The crimes are most often committed by a cousin, uncle, or neighbour. Related female victims outnumber unrelated ones. 43% of murder victims are males, thus denying males access into the group. For example, Saudi women would not marry an outsider, but a Saudi male could take an outsider as a wife.

Religion based violence is seen in Islam, Sikkism, Hinduism and Catholicism. Divorce laws in Catholic countries have only changed in the twentieth century. Intermarriage only works when the family agrees to help each other. As long as everyone buys into the plan things work, but when one person disagrees or refuses the marriage, then the system breaks down and violence occurs. Dissension from the family plan causes violence.

Meena Deccan, Instructing Honor, “Black Sheep Crimes” Vi Hughes 2019-03-07 07:00:00Z 0 honour

Renate Sainsbury, The Butterfly Approach

Posted by Vi Hughes on Feb 28, 2019

Dementia Care

This Tuesday we heard a presentation from Renate Sainsbury and Dorthe Flauer on the implementation of the Butterfly Approach to dementia care at their Lifestyle Options Communities locations at Whitemud and Leduc.
The Butterfly Approach was developed in the UK some twenty years ago by Dr David Sheard and his UK based organisation, Dementia Care Matters, and has spread to Canada and then to Alberta, where there are now seven accredited Butterfly Care Projects. Lifestyle Options became part of the project in 2015 and now operates two participating facilites in the Edmonton region, at Whitemud and in Leduc.  A third is currently in planning, to be located in north Edmonton, at Schonsee. All of these facilities incorporate multiple levels of seniors living, ranging from independent living apartments to studios with services designed for supportive living for people living with dementia.
The Butterfly Care Home Program involves changing the environment from being large units, sterile, colorless, empty of stuff, that are very structured and task focused, to being colorful, full of memory stimulating stuff, small living households with staff who spend more time connecting with their patients. Patients who are stimulated and engaged change from being wandering, aggressive, loud and exit seeking to being calm and happy with a much improved quality of life. Care is tailored to the experiences each patient has so that they can connect with their environment.   Staff wear normal street clothes, to help create a more homelike environment. Dining room, kitchen, household, recreation and nursing staff, who are trained extensively during the implementation of the program, are much happier and look forward to going to work each day. They are encouraged to spend more time with each patient so that they get to know their patients better. Scheduled meal times are much longer, and staff are encouraged to converse with their patients, which improves the overall mealtime experience.
Renate said that they have published the results of their experience on the Alberta Health website. They noted a decrease in the need for anti-psychotic and pain medication, a decrease in falls and also a decrease in staff sick time. There has been an increase in the well being of the people living with dementia, an increase in family engagement and an increase in staff satisfaction. Renate noted that there is a very good video made by a facility in the UK on the Butterfly Project available on you tube, entitled ‘We are Family’. She is really encouraged by the results they have seen since they started with this program, and hopes to see it implemented in many more dementia care homes in the future.
Renate Sainsbury, The Butterfly Approach Vi Hughes 2019-02-28 07:00:00Z 0 Butterfly,Dementia

50/50 tickets for the Food Bank

Posted on Feb 22, 2019

The Food Bank needs you support

Hi Everyone,
Doug from the Food Bank is looking for Volunteers to sell 50/50 tickets at the Oilers game to raise money for the Food Bank. If your club would like to participate please call him directly.
Annie Mueller
Rotary Club of Edmonton West  
Club President 2018-19
Club Service Chair
Here is his email:

Good Afternoon Volunteers:


Can you help us out?


Edmonton’s Food Bank is excited to announce that we have been selected by the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, to be the beneficiaries of 50/50 ticket sales at the upcoming March 26, 2019 NHL Game vs the Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Place.


This is a wonderful opportunity for us, with the potential to receive upwards of $10,000+!


But we need YOUR help to make this possible.


We require 55-70 volunteers for this event. 


Please sign up as an individual or get a group together and help us raise money to feed our neighbours in need.


Event Details

Where: Rogers Place (10220 104 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5H 2X6)

When: Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Time: 4:30 pm-10:00 pm

What: To sell raffle tickets, assist in counting money collected and perform such other duties as requested 


Volunteer Requirements:

  • Volunteers must be 18+ no exceptions.
  • It is imperative that volunteers arrive on time. Late volunteers may not be admitted.
  • Valid government-issued photo ID is required for entry to Rogers Place. 
  • There is NO free or public parking. You are encouraged to take public transit. The Metro Line LRT stops right at Rogers Place (MacEwan Station).
  • All Food Bank volunteers are to meet at the south entrance of Ford Hall, please see the attached map.
  • An Oiler Foundation designated contact will bring our group to the designated 50/50 room where we will receive our orientation
  • Volunteers will be required to pass through a metal detector upon entry to Rogers Place.
  • Volunteers can only wear the following branded items: Oiler friendly Apparel, Food Bank pinnies will be provided to all 50/50 ticket sellers
  • Edmonton's Food Bank will provide snacks for the volunteers.


Volunteers will be given breaks throughout the duration of the event. Volunteers are encouraged to bring an non-branded EMPTY reusable water bottle to be filled inside Rogers Place. Break times will be determined by each volunteer role (i.e. seller, counter, etc.).  (pinnies can be removed when on break)


Smoke breaks will NOT be permitted, as there is no re-entry to Rogers Place. If you leave the building, you will not be allowed to come back in.


As with all Food Bank events, volunteers are not permitted to purchase or consume alcohol at any time during their shift. Volunteers are also not eligible to win the 50/50 prize.



Group Volunteers please call Doug directly.

(group size can range from 2 to 30 people)


If you have any questions regarding this opportunity please reach out to Doug Hunter at 780-425-2133 ext 238 or


Thank You, Doug


Resource Development Assistant

Edmonton's Food Bank

(cell: 780-245-3250)

50/50 tickets for the Food Bank 2019-02-22 07:00:00Z 0
ROTARY NIGHT, End Polio Now Donna Hutton 2019-02-22 07:00:00Z 0 end polio

Lauren Becker, Bissell Centre

Posted by Vi Hughes on Feb 19, 2019
This Tuesday we heard a presentation from Lauren Becker on the Bissell Centre’s vision for the future. The goal of the Bissell Centre is to eliminate poverty, both financial and social poverty and give people hope for the future. To this end, they provide a wide range of supports and programs for inner city families and residents. They currently operate twenty different programs with a staff of one hundred and forty people.
Their recently renovated building has offices, meeting rooms and spaces for all kinds of programs. They have a large indoor space where they offer coffee, meals and snacks, which are available at all times, washrooms, shower facilities, clothes washing facilities, and various meeting rooms.  It is a warm welcoming space for people to just come and hang out, if they so desire. They regularly serve one thousand cups of coffee every day. They offer services such as acting as a mailing address for people living on the street, offer supports to help with basic banking, help with filing tax returns and accessing government benefits, and financial literacy workshops. They also have a large kitchen where they teach people how to prepare meals. Some other programs they provide include a drumming circle, Yoga classes, sharing circles and computer basics.
Another of their programs is Employment Services to help people with applications and resumes, They also offer help with housing in conjunction with Homeward Trust, and have a team of people who go out onto the streets to help people living there to find housing. They offer loans to help people who already have housing, but need some financial help, to stay in their current housing. Another of their programs is Victims Services, for people who have been a victim of crime. They help with filing police reports and applying for victims services aid.  In addition, they currently operate a Day Care for thirty-seven children, which will soon be expanding to serve seventy children as part of the Alberta government daycare initiative. They also offer clothing and supplies to their clients and their families.
The Bissell Centre is always looking for volunteers to help prepare meals, teach classes, sort clothing and help with their various fundraising endeavours. All of their volunteers undergo a short training session prior to starting their service. The Bissell Centre receives some government support for their programs but also rely in individual donations, so there are many ways that we can help them out.
Lauren Becker, Bissell Centre Vi Hughes 2019-02-19 07:00:00Z 0 bissell

Stephanie Leach, Rotary Exchange Student

Posted by Vi Hughes on Feb 12, 2019
This Tuesday we were introduced to Stephanie Leach, the Rotary Exchange student that our club is co-sponsoring along with the Edmonton South Rotary club.
Stephanie is sixteen and a student at Vimy Ridge Academy in Edmonton. She told us that she will be following in her father’s footsteps, as he was also a Rotary Exchange student to Japan many years ago. 
Stephanie will be going to France for her exchange. She told us that she is really looking forward to this experience. Her mother Maritsa also spoke and thanked us very much for giving their daughter this wonderful opportunity.
Stephanie Leach, Rotary Exchange Student Vi Hughes 2019-02-12 07:00:00Z 0 youth exchange

Honorable Betty Unger, Retired Senator

Posted by Vi Hughes on Feb 12, 2019
We were very pleased to have the Honorable Betty Unger speak to us this past Tuesday. She told us that she was very pleased to be asked to speak, and that she has never attended a Rotary meeting before.
Betty is the first woman ever to be elected and then appointed to serve on the Senate. She was elected to represent Alberta in 2005, but was not appointed until a Conservative government, under Stephen Harper, came into power in Ottawa in 2012. She served as one of the six senators representing Alberta, until her retirement last year at age seventy-five.
Betty was born and raised in Sexsmith, Alberta.  She went on to take her nursing training at the Misericordia in Edmonton, and then worked as a nurse for some years before she founded her own nursing services company. She is a strong Catholic Women’s League supporter and has served on many different boards across Edmonton and Alberta.
During her time as a senator she thought it was her duty to be present for the full time that the senate was sitting. She maintained a residence in Ottawa and only returned to Alberta for short visits. She said that the senate is known for it’s in depth study of each bill that comes before them, as most senators spend much more time in Ottawa than the Commons representatives. She attended the Alberta conservative party caucus meetings in order to stay up to date on all local Alberta issues and the national Conservative Party caucus meetings as well. Betty said that sometimes she had very long days, where the meetings or sessions would start in early morning and go until after midnight.
Betty served on several different senate committees during her time as a senator. The first committee she served on was the Transportation and Communications committee, which during her time, had to deal with the Lac Megantic rail disaster. The second committee she worked on was the Agriculture committee, which was dealing with the honeybee disease issue.  The last committee she served on was the Banking committee. She said that she greatly enjoyed her committee work as the people and speakers she came in contact with were so knowledgeable and the work was very interesting. One other thing that she greatly enjoyed was the public speaking and information sessions that she had the opportunity to do with so many of the grade nine (the grade when they study Canadian government) students across Alberta. Betty said that she truly enjoyed her time in office and was very thankful that that she had the opportunity to represent all Albertans in this way.
Honorable Betty Unger, Retired Senator Vi Hughes 2019-02-12 07:00:00Z 0 senator,unger

Mustard Seed Dinner

Posted by Sam Lilly on Feb 08, 2019
It was a great success. We fed around 200 people a hot meal of ravioli pasta, salad, buns, and baked goods for dessert. 
It was around -22 degrees celcius outside and some of the folks who came to the old converted church were shivering so bad they had difficulty steadying their plates. 
We met some real characters. I cracked up when one of the fellas (who sounded like he was from the maritimes) said jovially with a smile, “Sorry miss, I don’t eat that rabbit food” as he came up for seconds. He skipped the salad and made a B-line for a second helping of pasta and dessert. He wore a dangly trapper hat with a big grey beard and kept people laughing at his table; a real comedian!
Another fella’s glasses had a layer of frozen condensation on them and when asked to choose the dessert he wanted he said, “Oh, I have no idea, I can’t see them. Just surprise me!”
A young mom with three young kids came up and after modeling a pronounced “please and thank you” for the kiddos the oldest came up 3 more times to display his “please and thank you” just for the dessert station! 
The whole of the group was well mannered and the high spirits folks had was inspiring. I heard “please”, “thank you”, “god bless you” several times. Some of the folks humbly kept their heads down too. Not everyone was able to muster good spirits. You saw the various stages of poverty in our community and the toll winter was taking on them.
After leaving the event to go home I felt a sense of sadness for I didn’t know what many of the people we just met would be going to after they left the building. 
Our situations are more fragile than we think and many people in our society are only a pay cheque away from homelessness. What Rotary does makes a difference and we know there is much more to do. 
A huge thanks to our super volunteers:
Vince Campbell
Donna Hutton
Dennis Hutton
Louise McNeil
Matisse Nikolopoulos
Dimitri Papanicolas
Anna Syrianou
Couldn’t have done it without them... and a big shout out to Anna’s 12 year old grand daughter Matisse, her home made sugar cookies were a hit.
Publ.: Sam, Thanks for organizing.
Mustard Seed Dinner Sam Lilly 2019-02-08 07:00:00Z 0 mustard seed

Youth Environmental Engagement Grant

Posted by Eric Germain on Feb 08, 2019
Good news!
The J. Percy Page High School Rotary Interact Club was again successful in obtaining the Alberta Emerald Foundation Youth Environmental Engagement Grant for 2019. We thought you would like to know.
Youth Environmental Engagement Grant Eric Germain 2019-02-08 07:00:00Z 0 interact


Posted by Patrick Gibson on Feb 08, 2019
The Rotary Club of Bakersfield California thinks they can bring more people to a Condors game then we can to an Oil Kings game....REALLY???  
Can't make this a 4 ticket voucher ($100) to any Oil Kings game this season.
Don't like hockey... you can still support the cause by buying 4 tickets ($100) and donating back to OEG's "classrooms and hockey" program.