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.

Our third presentation was from Carin Jansen van Vuuren and the Youth Services Committee. Her committee has a budget of fourteen thousand dollars and they see the awarding of five one thousand dollar student scholarships each year to deserving high school graduates (from five different Edmonton high schools) registered for post secondary education. They also help fund our two high school based Interact clubs, one at J Percy Page and one at W P Wagner. Our Interact club co-ordinator at J Percy Page (JPP) is Eric Germain, in conjunction with school liaison Karen Huculak, and our club co-ordinator at W P Wagner (WPW) is Jim Peddie in conjunction with school liaison Geraldine Vander Muelen. The club at JPP had 38 members last year making it one of the largest Interact club in the district. The club at WPW, which was established March 21, 2018 had fifteen members and looks forward to growing more this year. We also support the cost for meals provided by these clubs when they volunteer at Ronald McDonald House. In addition, our club sends deserving high school students to the four-day RYLE (Roater Youth Leadership Experrence) leadership camp at Camp Nakamun and also to the week long Adventures in Citizenship Program put on by the Rotary Club of Ottawa each year. Their committee also looks after applications for district grants to partially cover the cost of some of these. In addition (and with an additional budget of almost $6,000 plus meals) this year they will be overseeing administration for both of our exchange students in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Edmonton South. Our outgoing student to France, is Stephanie Leach and our incoming student from Denmark, is Celina Adelheid Schøn Jensen. Celina will be arriving August 24th and will be here until next July. She will be staying with her four host families for about two and a half months. Stephanie is departing August 26th. Our outbound student co-ordinator, Vince Campbell and inbound student co-ordinator Lynn Fisher (from RC Edmonton South) will be the contacts for these students. We have also designated a transportation co-ordinator, Ivan Docker (with Bob Sandercock as back up) to look after transportation for Celina to Rotary functions. Celina will be attending our Rotary meeting every two weeks. If you would like to include Celina in a family function while she is here, please contact Lynn Fisher. Anyone driving or hosting her will need to have a current Vulnerable Persons Police Check in place. This is easily obtained by visiting your local police station and is good for three years from issuance. Contact Hans Granholm to get the proper form to take with you to the station.  
Our last presenter was Ellen Weber from the Membership Committee. The other members of her committee are Richard Karlsson, Eric Germain, Stephan Jansen van Vuuren and Roberto Alas.  Ellen said that we, the current members, are the ones who determine the character of our club. We should invite people we think will make friendly, enthusiastic members.  Any prospective member will get one free lunch. She said that we should all do our best to get to know our newer members and prospective members by sitting down and getting to know them by talking to them about themselves. They have even come up with a list of questions on a small card to ask people to help you get to know them better. They have handed some of these cards out to older members and when they had them back in with the questions completed, they also get a free lunch.
In closing, Donna said that we are trying out some new things to advertise and bring in new blood to our club by trying some new approaches. By trying new things we will learn what works best and what does not. If we don’t try we will never know.