Celina Jensen, Life Changing Lessons

Posted by Vi Hughes on May 25, 2023
Graham Gilchrist, Club President with Celina
Rotarian Carin Jansen van Vuuren with Celina
This Tuesday we were very pleased to welcome back Celina Jensen, our 2019-2020 Rotary Exchange Student from Denmark. Celina told us that when she first came to Edmonton in 2019 she was sixteen and in grade eleven. Now she is twenty and has finished high school, got her driver’s license and attended a year at the Georgia Rotary Student Program in Lawrenceville, Georgia on an ambassadorial scholarship for International Students. She said that through her experiences with Rotary she has learned a few lessons that will stay with her for life. Some of these are:
Dreams can become reality
Don’t wait, take the chance now
Accept that nothing lasts forever
Home is not a place, but a feeling
Celina said that when she first returned home to Denmark from Edmonton she experienced reverse culture shock and it took her a while to adjust to being back in Denmark. She said that she has continued with her knitting, which she first learned in Canada, by starting a knitting club in her High School back in Denmark and more recently one at her College in Georgia. She considers them to be a success because people showed up every week for them.
When she heard about the Georgia Rotary Student Program to promote peace and cultural understanding for young people aged eighteen to twenty-five she decided to apply and was glad to be accepted. She was one of forty-four students from twenty-six different countries.  The program has been offered by the Rotary clubs in Georgia since 1946.  Celina said that she personally had four Rotary Club sponsors, whose meetings she attended and whose volunteer projects she helped out with. She stayed in the college dorm with eleven other girls from the program and became very close with all of them. She really enjoyed college life and the many different activities going on around campus. She also had a host family whom she spent holidays and some weekends with. One goal of the program is to introduce the students to the American way of life and Celina said it did that very well. She said that all the people she met were some of the nicest, kindest people she has ever known. She also said that she had never seen so many guns and American flags before in her life.  She said that she learned a lot about their way of thinking and their opinions about gay people, democrats and mental illness were an eye opener. She also said that she got to experience the southern way of life through country music, rodeos, cowboy boots and many other cultural experiences. She also said she got to do some travelling with short trips to Nashville, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington DC and Florida. She said that as a result of hearing the disparaging way some people talked about their local police she decided to do a ride along with some and learned that they were actually pretty good people who had become police because they wanted to help others.
Through all of her experiences there she learned a few more lessons:
Diversity is a beautiful thing
Talk with everyone despite your differences
We are all amazing, but are not meant to be best friends with everyone
She loves travelling!
We would like to thank Celina for her words of wisdom and we wish her well in whatever future endeavors she undertakes.
Celina Jensen, Life Changing Lessons  Vi Hughes 2023-05-25 06:00:00Z 0

Flag Planting 2023

Posted by Carin Jansen van Vuuren on May 17, 2023
Ben Gomez Planting Flags
Ben Gomez (our newest member) and partner Rhonda Smith (2nd newest member) took over Rose Marie Basaraba’s flag route this year. Here is Ben being very Rotarian like. Way to go guys - jumping in there!
Flag Planting 2023  Carin Jansen van Vuuren 2023-05-17 06:00:00Z 0

Brittany Williams and Abbigale Herbert, Rotary Employment Partnership with Inclusion Alberta

Posted by Vi Hughes on May 09, 2023
This week we heard from Brittany and Abbigale about the partnership that Rotary has made with Inclusion Alberta to help to provide employment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities.  Inclusion Alberta is a sixty year old family based non-profit federation that advocates on behalf of children and adults with disabilities in Alberta. Inclusion Alberta offers many different types of services for families and individuals with disabilities, one of which is help with finding employment.
Rotary Districts 5360 and 5370 have partnered with Inclusion Alberta to provide Rotary sponsors to help them find employment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities in our Districts. Brittany and Abbigale were introduced to us by Bob McGinn from the St. Albert Rotary Club. To date this program has been able to provide 761 jobs in Alberta with 349 of those in the Edmonton area. Rotarians often have business connections that could help with their cause and these sponsors will help to make connections with employment opportunities. The hope is that we will be able to help them to provide even more opportunities. Brittany and Abbigale will be keeping in touch with our club in the future in this regard.
Brittany Williams and Abbigale Herbert, Rotary Employment Partnership with Inclusion Alberta  Vi Hughes 2023-05-09 06:00:00Z 0

Dawn Haines, 117 Rosslyn Scouting Group

Posted by Vi Hughes
This week we welcomed Dawn Haines, a leader of the 117 Rosslyn Scouting Group, who came to tell us about their programs. She told us that the mission of scouting is to develop well rounded youth, better prepared for success in the world. She said that leadership skills are the goal they work towards for these boys and girls. Scouting is a fully coed program for children and young people aged five to twenty-six with programs for five different age groups, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Venturers and Rovers. The Rosslyn Scout Group was formed in 1961 and currently has sixty-two youth from Beavers through to Rovers with twenty-six leaders.
Dawn told us that their group is one of the few in Edmonton to have their own camp facilities, located on Bonnie Lake, near Vilna. She said that camping and outdoor activities are a big part of scouting. This facility is used almost every weekend from spring through fall and many times in the winter for various Scouting activities. She told us that their group uses fundraising to help cover the cost of camping for their boys and girls.  She said that they are currently looking for service opportunities in order to raise funds for the purchase of replacement camping equipment for use at their scout camp and would welcome any service opportunities we might have or know about.
We would like to thank Dawn for taking the time to come and tell us about their group and for their offer of service.
Dawn Haines, 117 Rosslyn Scouting Group  Vi Hughes 2023-05-09 06:00:00Z 0

Volunteer Opportunity at Meals on Wheels

Posted by Vi Hughes on Apr 26, 2023
Our club is looking for volunteers to help out at Meals on Wheels on Wednesday, 14 June from 8 am to 12 noon. Please contact Vince Campbell if you would like to help with this.
Volunteer Opportunity at Meals on Wheels  Vi Hughes 2023-04-26 06:00:00Z 0

Flag Pickup for Route Leaders

Posted by Vi Hughes on Apr 25, 2023
Flag program route leaders will be able to pick up their flags the week of May 16. Please contact Vince at 780-239-3199 to arrange to pick up your flags directly from him.
Flag Pickup for Route Leaders  Vi Hughes 2023-04-25 06:00:00Z 0

Nike Fabiyi, Students First Campaign, MacEwan University

Posted by Vi Hughes on Apr 25, 2023
Rotarian Carin Jansen van Vuuren and Nike Fabiyi, MacEwan University
This past week we heard from Nike Fabiyi, a Development Officer for Grant MacEwan University who gave us some information on their Students First Campaign.
She told us that April 2022 was the fiftieth anniversary of the University which they marked by a variety of fundraising campaigns. She said that they have recently received a one hundred twenty-five million commitment from the Alberta Government to build a new School of Business. The building is expected to be completed in 2027. She also said that as part of this they hope to be able to increase their student body by ten thousand students over the next ten years.
Nike told us that we can help by contributing to the Students First Campaign which provides scholarships, awards and bursaries. Scholarships are given based on academic performance, awards are based on a combination of criteria including volunteerism, leadership and or academic achievements and bursaries are given based on demonstrated financial need. She said that currently only about seven percent of those who apply can be funded. Students who are from underserved populations such as indigenous, disabled or who have child-care needs receive priority for this funding. In the 2021-2022 year they were able to help thirty-six hundred students.
We would like to thank Nike for taking the time to come and tell us about their fundraising programs.
Nike Fabiyi, Students First Campaign, MacEwan University  Vi Hughes 2023-04-25 06:00:00Z 0

Patrick Gibson, April is Microfinance Month, Kiva Loan Program Update

Posted by Vi Hughes on Apr 11, 2023
At Tuesday’s meeting, our club Kiva loan co-ordinator Patrick Gibson, told us that our club currently has about fifteen thousand American dollars out on loan through our Microfinance Program. This program makes small interest free  loans of twenty five dollars or more to owners of small businesses in third world countries who would otherwise not qualify for business loans. They are expected to repay the loans, and once they do, the money is then loaned out again to someone else. He said that he is very proud of how well the small business owners that we have loaned money to in the past have done with repaying their loans and showed us a graph of how well they have done, with very few loans in default.
Patrick Gibson, April is Microfinance Month, Kiva Loan Program Update  Vi Hughes 2023-04-11 06:00:00Z 0

Michael Hrycun, Youth Empowerment and Support Services

Posted by Vi Hughes on Apr 11, 2023
Club President Graham Gilchrist with Michael Hrycun, YESS
This week we heard from Michael Hrycun from Youth Empowerment and Support Services (YESS). Michael told us that their mission at YESS is to walk beside traumatized youth on their journey towards healing and appropriate community integration. The youth they serve are between the ages of fifteen and twenty four and come from many different types of backgrounds. All have gone through some kind of trauma in their lives, have unstable housing and finding a meal and safe place to sleep at night is a constant worry. Many are still attending school but find it hard to stay present due to lack of sleep and constant worry about everyday survival. Trauma can affect your sense of self, safety and ability to regulate emotions. YESS has three main facilities that provide services to these young people. The Nexus Shelter on Whyte Avenue, the Armoury Resource in Old Strathcona and Supportive Community Housing.
Young people are able to drop in for a quiet place to relax or talk to others, find snacks or a meal, receive help with their school work, finding employment, medical care, transportation to appointments elsewhere, finding housing, help filing taxes and much more. Their counselling services provide help with everyday living skills, harm reduction, how to get out of traumatic situations, how to build healthy relationships and more. The Whyte Avenue facility provides stable housing, meals and support for up to fifteen young people for several months at a time to help them get back on track.  The Old Strathcona location provides a drop-in facility that can handle fifty to sixty people for lunch and provides many different support and counselling services. Their supportive community  housing provides spaces for another fourteen youth on a more permanent basis. Michael told us that they have provided services to seven hundred fifty-nine young people in Edmonton over the past year. Their goal is to help them each to find their own voice, get their own place, finish their education and let them make their own life.
Michael said that providing food, clothing and shelter are basic to everything they do. YESS first began as a youth shelter in Edmonton in Sept 1981 and changed their name to YESS in 2012.  He said that they also collaborate with other groups helping youth in the Edmonton area. About forty percent of their funding comes from government, forty percent from fundraising and the rest from other funding through groups such as the United Way. Our Rotary club has provided funding in the past to purchase furniture and also a bus for the Old Strathcona location. We can get more information on them and making donations at email  giving@yess.org.  They also rely on in-kind donations of food and clothing which can be dropped off at the Bissel Centre on their behalf and they are always looking for volunteers to help with their various programs, so there are many different ways in which we can help.
We would like to thank Michael for his very interesting and inspiring talk.
Michael Hrycun, Youth Empowerment and Support Services  Vi Hughes 2023-04-11 06:00:00Z 0

Visiting MYO (Mondesa Youth Opportunities) in Swakopmund, Namibia

Posted by Carin Jansen van Vuuren on Apr 10, 2023
I am happy to report back on our visit to MYO in February this year when a donation of $8,000 was made. Five thousand dollars was donated by the Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona and $3,000 by the Rotary Club of Edmonton Riverview.
MYO is a well-known and intensive after-school education program located in the Mondesa Township in Swakopmund, Namibia. It is the flagship project for the Rotary Club of Swakopmund, Namibia.
It has been operating for almost 20 years. Their focus is on learners from disadvantaged backgrounds who deserve better education that they have access to. Thus, learners with potential but little support at home. At MYO 120 learners ranging from Grade 4 to 8 receive extra instruction in English, Mathematics, Reading, Life Skills, Computers, Sports, and Music.
They cultivate positive thinking and high self-esteem to lay the path for a future generation of forward-thinking Namibian leaders. Their aim is not only to enhance the education of their promising learners but also to guide them into being responsive, confident, and well-rounded individuals.
MYO is a non-profit organization, and their learners participate in their programme free of charge. They rely exclusively on donations from their community and the wider world to sustain their operations.
We have had the opportunity to visit this project in the past as I do tours to Southern Africa and this year we were there on February 28th when we had the opportunity to tour the school, be entertained by the learners with their music and singing and afterwards socialized with local Rotary with a traditional braai (BBQ). The group included amongst other Canadians, seven Rotarians - PDG Judy Harcourt Brown and husband Ron, PDG Tim Schilds and wife Sally, Wayne Kauffman and wife Vivien as well as Stephan Jansen van Vuuren.
Thanks so much to the members for your hard work which enabled the club to make this donation to this worthwhile project.
Attached please find a short video showing you more about the school. Just click on this link.
UNBELIEVABLE UPLIFTING EXPERIENCE!  Visiting MYO (Mondesa Youth Opportunities) in Swakopmund, Namibia  Carin Jansen van Vuuren 2023-04-10 06:00:00Z 0

Kerry Diotte, Getting Involved in Your Community

Posted by Vi Hughes
Club President Graham Gilchrist, speaker Kerry Diotte and club member Richard Karlsson
This week we heard from Kerry Diotte. Kerry spoke to us about becoming involved in our community. He said that he has always admired Rotarians for their commitment to their communities and for finding ways to help others through becoming involved. Kerry has been a journalist for three decades and has also served as an Edmonton city councillor for three years and a Federal Conservative Member of Parliament for Edmonton Griesbach for six years.
Kerry said that he developed an interest for civic issues while covering city issues as a journalist. With the rise of online news he could see that journalism was not what it once was so he started to think about how he could stay involved with his community in other ways. Once he decided that he could make a contribution to his community as a city councillor he had to figure out how to go about doing this. He said that it was not an easy transition and involved getting outside of his comfort zone.
He talked to a lot of people about what it involved, and they all told him the best way was to knock on doors and talk to people. Knocking on doors is difficult, some people are simply not interested. You need to ask people what their concerns are and keep track by writing them down. This gives you a better perspective of your community.  Most of the concerns he encountered involved community safety, money management and using common sense to make decisions. He said that politicians should ask you what you think and what is important to you. He thinks that as a politician you are a servant of the public and should vote for things your constituents want even if you personally not support it. Even people of two very different political stripes can vote the same when they vote as their constituents feel.
When he later decided to run for federal election, he found that becoming a political party nominee is difficult. It involves selling party memberships to people in your constituency by knocking on doors. The constituency he decided to run in had sixty thousand households. In order to do this he spent four hours each day knocking on doors. His team consisted of a few good friends. Each day he sold between one and seven memberships but he kept at it. It was a very hard thing to do. When the day came to count up the results for the nomination he was quite worried about whether they had done enough. Some of his supporters were there but it seemed that the room had filled up with supporters of the other candidates.  He thought that his team had lost, but when the counting was done, he had won the nomination by forty three votes. He then needed to pull together supporters from the other candidates to work towards winning the election.  He knew that the party he was running for had an unpopular leader in his constituency so he emphasised that they were voting for him and not the leader of the party. In the end he won the election and enjoyed serving his constituents as their member of parliament.
Kerry said that as Rotarians, we are often out in the community. As we volunteer in our community we can get to know how they feel about various issues. This may involve stepping out of our comfort zone, but by getting to know the issues, it allows us to be able to make changes in the things we do and in turn to serve our community better.
Kerry Diotte, Getting Involved in Your Community  Vi Hughes 2023-03-28 06:00:00Z 0

Freida Richard, Insolvency 101

Posted by Vi Hughes on Mar 02, 2023
Freida Richard with Rotary Past President Jim Peddie
This Tuesday we were pleased to welcome Freida Richard, a partner at Grant Thornton, to talk to us about the options available to us regarding financial insolvency. She has worked in the financial industry for twenty-nine years and has written a financial column for the Globe and Mail for the past eight years. She and her team at Grant Thornton work with clients to help them understand their options and choose the best one for their personal situation.
Freida began by saying the age group most affected by insolvency has shifted to a younger age group, Millennials aged 27 to 42, since the COVID pandemic. She said this is most likely the result of multiple factors. This age group grew up with using credit over cash and generally do not have enough financial smarts to navigate the much more complicated financial world we have today. They have also been affected by several big downturns in the economy that affected their ability to find and keep well paid steady work, find accommodations that are affordable and deal with the ever more complicated and expensive world around us.
She said that our relationship with debt is a major factor in the increase in the number of insolvencies since 2008. Our comfort level for more debt has increased, partially due to lower interest rates and has resulted in a buffet of credit card options. Some common myths about debt are that it only happens to low-income people, higher income people have higher financial skills, debt results from poor choices, or that having debt means you are lazy. In reality, the top reasons for debt are living beyond your means, relationship breakdowns, gambling or addiction, business failure, medical issues, non-compliance with tax filings and loss of income. Some warning signs to watch for are reliance on pay day loans, being in overdraft every month, and going from one financial crisis to another.
Freida  told us that the first things to do when you become overwhelmed are to consider budget revisions, selling non-essential assets ( this does not include pensions or RRSPs), negotiating with your creditors (only practical if there are three or less), consolidating or transferring your debt to a lower interest loan ( although this can cause issues) and consulting with a not for profit agency such as the Credit Counselling Society to help you negotiate with your creditors.
When these options are not practical there a several federally legislated programs involving the courts available that an insolvency specialist can help with. An Orderly Payment of Debt, a Consumer Proposal and Bankruptcy (the least preferred option). An Orderly Payment of Debt can be obtained through Money Mentors in Alberta. A Consumer Proposal should be prepared by an insolvency specialist and involves a court ordered stay of proceedings to freeze interest and stop collection action. You retain control of your property, it is budget friendly and involves joint proposals from you and your creditors. It presents your creditors with a comparison of what they will get if they agree to this as opposed to what they will get if you declare bankruptcy. The amount you agree to pay on dollars owing in debt must be agreed to by your creditors and the amount owing must be paid within five years Once agreed upon the conditions are legally binding.
The last and most onerous option is Bankruptcy. It is also the most highly regulated option with many specific rules that must be followed. It involves a sale of assets to cover your debts with a list of stipulated assets and amounts that you are allowed to keep. The time frame for payments varies depending on your past history with insolvency and the amount paid depends on your net income and number of people in your household. It also affects your ability to obtain credit for many years to come.
We would like to thank Freida for this very interesting and knowledgeable introduction to insolvency.
Freida Richard, Insolvency 101  Vi Hughes 2023-03-02 07:00:00Z 0

Interact Students Take Part in Anti Racism Summit

Some members of our Rotary Interact club from W.P. Wagner High School took part in organizing an Anti Racism Summit that took place at the Stanley Milner Library on 15 Feb 2023. It involved one hundred fifty junior high students from the W.P. Wagner catchment area. They gathered with students from several other schools to discuss how to deal with various issues, how to challenge stereotypes and deal with stigma. This summit was reported on for the Edmonton Journal by Madeline Smith and the article is publicly available on their website.
Interact Students Take Part in Anti Racism Summit  Vi Hughes 2023-03-02 07:00:00Z 0

QE II Platinum Jubilee Medal Presentation

Posted by Vi Hughes on Feb 16, 2023
Hans Granholm being presented with the medal by Rotary District Assistant Governor Jeanette Bancarz
This past Sunday our club held a Dinner to present the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal to Hans Granholm in honor of his service and commitment to Rotary over the years. Hans is a founding member of our club (since 1974) and has made many, many contributions of time and talent over the years. He is well known in Rotary circles for his kindness and willingness to share his broad knowledge of how Rotary works to get things done. One of his major contributions was introducing our Rotary club to using the ClubRunner website to help streamline administration and give our club an internet presence in 2004. ClubRunner makes keeping track of members, communicating with members, and advertising meetings and social occasions both to our members and the general public quick and relatively easy. It also streamlines many other formerly time consuming and paper intensive administrative jobs and gives our members one central place to find all kinds of information on our club. He also encouraged many other Rotary groups to do the same and has served as a mentor and troubleshooter in this regard for Rotarians from all over Canada and parts of the US for almost twenty years now.  This one thing alone has probably streamlined many thousands of hours of paperwork for Rotary over the years.
Club President Graham Gilchrist with medal recipients, Tamara Larson, Hans Granholm and Norman Leach
Our club also honored two other Rotarians, Norman Leach, who received a QE II Platinum Jubilee Medal for his longstanding contributions to Canadian Military History and Tamara Larson who received a QE II Platinum Jubilee Medal for her work over many years with District Rotary youth programs.
QE II Platinum Jubilee Medal Presentation  Vi Hughes 2023-02-16 07:00:00Z 0

Edmonton Food Bank Volunteers

Posted by Vi Hughes
On 07 Feb some members of our club volunteered with the Edmonton Food Bank to help sort and pack items for distribution. Many thanks to Loida Lumanlan for organizing this and to Donna Hutton, Richard Karlsson and Dennis Hutton for giving generously of their time.
Edmonton Food Bank Volunteers  Vi Hughes 2023-02-16 07:00:00Z 0

Vi Hughes, Using Ancestry for Family History Research

Posted on Jan 31, 2023
Today we heard from Vi Hughes talking about Ancestry and Ancestry DNA and their use in family history research. Vi said that she has used both of these online subscription databases for many years. She talked about cost and then mentioned privacy and how to maintain it for both you and your family. She said that when she compared the cost of a subscription today with what she paid thirty years ago for time consuming, laborious access to only a few records, there is simply no comparison. This is a deal beyond imagining.
Ancestry allows you to build multiple family trees which are easy to navigate through and performs automatic record searches based on the information you have entered. It searches family trees, photos and stories entered by others as well as scanned and digitized government records, church records, immigration records, books, archive materials, local histories, maps and many other types of records. It has viewing software that then allows you to see and scan through the original record page by page and make your own decision on whether the document is relevant to you. You can then attach the document to the relevant person in your tree or save it to a ‘shoebox’ for later evaluation. It also allows you to easily add the information from the document that applies to someone in your tree directly to their profile.
Ancestry allows you to view the information in your tree and the information in each person’s profile in your tree in many different ways. You may view individual profiles, with facts only, or as a written story. You may also see several types of trees which make it easy to see how others are related. It will also generate many different types of both electronic or paper reports. It will also show your family members home locations on a map and add local history information to their story.
You can search their records either independently or using information from your tree. It will also link you automatically to free archive databases or other subscription based websites and then allows that information to be uploaded to your tree. When searching records it uses a system that will find names in records with many different spelling variations based on sound.
It allows you to message other members to ask questions or just to make contact with relatives. Their messaging system requires the user to log in before using and does not reveal contact information. In addition you can download information from your tree to your computer as either a gedcom file or a pdf and you can download any records you find as jpg files. There is also a free Ancestry Academy which has short educational videos and message boards with answers to common questions that will help you to learn more about family research in general and the best practices to follow.
A separate Ancestry DNA membership which gives you access to your DNA test results, ethnicity, basic info about your DNA matches or cousins and a limited family tree known as ThruLines. The testing identifies several thousand segments or ‘chunks’ of unique DNA from you and then matches them with previous results obtained from other people. These chunks are identifiable as to where on each chromosome they are located and can be matched with chunks from other people whose ethnicity is known. In this way, they can tell you what percent of your DNA matches people of certain ethnic backgrounds to show you an ethnic pie chart. It will also display your ethnic background on a world map showing communities where your ancestors came from and giving you a short historical trip through time of how these people came to North America. They can even show you a color coded map, using Chromosome painter software, of where on each of your chromosomes these ethnic chunks are located.
They can also match you with people who share exactly the same ’chunks’ and tell you how many chunks and how much total DNA you share with them. This allows them to say how closely related you are to each of these people. Since Ancestry DNA is North American based, if you have family that goes back a long ways in North America, you will have thousands of matches (relatives who have also had their DNA tested). You can also identify related matches by matching one against the remaining people. This allows you to see how many are related to each of your family lines. Her own match list shows many cousins that she can identify by family tree branch and common ancestor.
It will also build you a tree (called ThruLines) based on the trees that your matches and others have entered and show you how you are related to many of them as well as tell you who the common ancestor is that you share with each of your matches.
She said that once you have an  Ancestry subscription, there are some things to keep in mind. If you have never done any family history in the past, you will find there is a whole new language to learn before you will easily understand things. As with any interest, you need to learn the lingo. Take your time and look things up if you are not sure what something means. Even the words we use to talk about relationships, like first cousin, grand aunt, and great grandfather have different meanings in different cultures. Ancestry uses the North American standard, which is quite specific and can take a while for you to understand if your family uses these terms in a more generic way.
The Ancestry website view that you have and the ease of use will depend on what technology you are using. A computer or tablet signed on to the actual website gives the most complete access to everything. Using an app for tablet or phone will give you a more limited view of things and may be more cumbersome to use.
In Ancestry, start with yourself and work backwards, entering the information you have, taking care to connect people correctly. Ancestry will then start searching its databases for matching information. Check each suggested piece of information or ‘hint’ out carefully before adding it to your tree. Take it slow and be methodical. It is much easier to do it right the first time, than to have to go back and delete or fix relationships later. Use Ancestry Academy to help you out along the way.
In Ancestry DNA you should enter a very simple direct ancestor family tree going back several generations if possible and link it to your DNA results. This way it will be able to connect you with many of your matches and show you who your common ancestors are.
She closed by telling us a few stories from her own experiences and encouraged us to gather up our information and get started on a never ending journey of discovery.
Vi Hughes, Using Ancestry for Family History Research  Vi Hughes 2023-01-31 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary District 5370 Conference 2023, April 20 -23

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jan 17, 2023
We would like to encourage our members to register for and attend our annual district conference which will be held from Thursday to Sunday, 20 to 23 April at Jasper Park Lodge. The conference theme is Respect. There will be special programs for all ages for those wishing to bring children or other family members with them. One of the special programs is a quilting display and sale. Registration and details regarding programs and speakers can be found at respect5370.com.
Rotary District 5370 Conference 2023, April 20 -23  Vi Hughes 2023-01-17 07:00:00Z 0

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal Recipients

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jan 17, 2023
We have recently learned that two members of our club, Hans Granholm and Norman Leach, have been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal (Alberta) for their significant contributions and achievements as Albertans. We would like to sincerely congratulate them both on this honor.
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal Recipients  Vi Hughes 2023-01-17 07:00:00Z 0

Rose Marie Basaraba Receives Paul Harris Award

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jan 17, 2023
District Governor John Nicoll presented Rose Marie Basaraba with a Paul Harris Plus Six Award for her contributions to the Rotary Foundation over the past year.
Rose Marie Basaraba Receives Paul Harris Award  Vi Hughes 2023-01-17 07:00:00Z 0

Visit from District Governor John Nicoll

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jan 17, 2023
This past Tuesday our club was honored to hear from our District Governor, John Nicoll. John was introduced by our District assistant Governor Jeanette Bancarz who told us that John is a retired Electrical Engineer. He is a member of the Edmonton North East club. John and his wife Donna have been travelling around Alberta in their motor home, since early summer, to visit all of the various clubs in our District.
John told us that this past summer we were honored to receive a visit from our Rotary International President Jennifer Jones. Her chosen Theme for this Rotary year is Imagine. She chose this theme because if you can not imagine something, you can not build it. The four pillars of her theme for Rotary clubs this year are:
  1. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Our clubs should look like our community with equal opportunity and a place for each member do what they do best.
  2. Comfort and Care. Our clubs should talk to our members, find out what their interests are and where they would like our club to go.
  3. Empowering Girls and Women. Our clubs should strive to find projects that support and empower girls and women to make contributions in non-traditional fields such as but not exclusive to Science, Engineering and Mathematics.
  4. Expand your reach.   Our clubs should try to expand their reach by supporting worldwide projects such as Polio Plus. We can do this by encouraging our club members to join the Polio Plus Society. Other ways are to support International projects such as the fundraising campaign to help Ukrainian refugees.  
John said that we need to continuously try to make our clubs a place of fellowship which present a nice place for people to gather and enjoy other’s company with service projects that are meaningful to our members.  He said that most clubs in Alberta are relatively small with between fifteen to thirty-five members. He said that our district suffered membership losses due to the changes brought about by COVID which necessitated some budgetary adjustments, including a relocation of our District office. Plans are to be able to relocate to a permanent office location at Fort Edmonton Park once renovations are completed on the new entrance building in a few year’s time.
John closed with a video promoting this year’s District Conference with the theme of Respect. He said that they chose the Jasper location in order to support our local tourist economy post COVID by having everyone travel a little in order to attend. He said that in addition to the usual Rotary presentations, his wife Donna, who is an enthusiastic quilter, has organized a short Saturday nite presentation on quilting, along with a quilt display and sale as part of the marketplace.
We would like to thank John for taking the time to visit our club and give us an update on what is happening district wide.
Visit from District Governor John Nicoll  Vi Hughes 2023-01-17 07:00:00Z 0

Christmas Box Presentations to Ukrainian Ladies at UCSS

Posted by Vi Hughes on Dec 18, 2022
On Dec 18 we received a thank you from John Shalewa of Ukrainian Canadian Social Services. Twenty six Ukrainian nationals received gift boxes from Rotary Strathcona at an appreciation evening for all the volunteers that are helping out at the Ukrainian free store on 101 Ave. and 104 St. The ladies were thrilled to receive these gift boxes. The smiles on their faces and the love that came with each gift box, made it so special. All in attendance were also treated to a dinner that was provided by a potluck of delicious food.
Christmas Box Presentations to Ukrainian Ladies at UCSS  Vi Hughes 2022-12-18 07:00:00Z 0

Christmas Box Donation to Ukrainian Canadian Social Services

Posted by Vi Hughes on Dec 14, 2022
Brenda McCullough presented John Shalewa, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Social Services based in Edmonton with Christmas boxes to be distributed by them to needy women who have recently come to Canada from the Ukraine.
Our club would like to thank Trina Van der Meer and her ‘Christmas Elf’ volunteers from Benaiah Guarding who generously volunteered their time and talents helped to put these beautiful boxes together.
John thanked us for the boxes and said that their group has had over seven hundred families visit their offices in the past year. He said that they have been overwhelmed by the support for recent immigrants from the Ukraine that they have received from the Edmonton community in the past year.
Christmas Box Donation to Ukrainian Canadian Social Services  Vi Hughes 2022-12-14 07:00:00Z 0

New Member Induction

Posted on Dec 13, 2022
Our club was pleased to induct another new member at our annual Christmas Party on Dec 13. We would like to welcome Rhona Smith whose classification category is Medical Clinic Manager. Rhona was sponsored by Stephan Jansen van Vuuren.
New Member Induction  Vi Hughes 2022-12-13 07:00:00Z 0
Violet Malbeuf, Hypothermic Half Marathon in Support of YESS  Vi Hughes 2022-12-05 07:00:00Z 0

Carin Jansen van Vuuren, RCES District Award

I was so proud on Saturday Nov 26th at the District Assembly to accept a District Award on behalf of our club for our financial contribution to END POLIO NOW for the previous Rotary year.
Kudus goes out to EVERYONE who donated, to our past Foundation Chair Bob Sandercock who did a tremendous job and Community Chair Trina Vandermeer and Amy Stewart with their Polio Fundraiser Events and their continued encouragement to us as members to donate. Congratulations!
Carin Jansen van Vuuren, RCES District Award  Carin Jansen van Vuuren 2022-11-30 07:00:00Z 0

Eric Solash, Why I Joined and Stay in Rotary

Posted by Vi Hughes on Nov 22, 2022
This week we were entertained by Eric Solash, a long-time Rotarian, with stories of his younger days which helped to explain why he is such a loyal Rotarian now. Eric told us that as a young man he attended the University of New Mexico where he majored in drinking and minored in partying. As a result of his failure to achieve much of substance there he decided to volunteer for the Navy. It would give him a chance to see the world and meet lots of admiring young women, or so he thought at the time. The Navy decided that he would make a good electronics technician, so that is the training he first received. Unfortunately, the locations he got sent to did not bring much chance to meet young women, so he volunteered (again) for a longer stint that would put him in Virginia (lots of beach babes there he thought) for computer training. Again, he was disappointed when he figured out two weeks in that this training was for service in nuclear submarines. Each tour of duty on a submarine was one hundred days long and usually involved spending sixty-two to seventy days underwater. Service on submarines is not considered mandatory and people who served had to volunteer for each tour (which he did multiple times, again).
Upon finishing his tour of duty with the Navy, he returned to University and this time he graduated. He then went to work for several different computer companies based in California as a service tech and trouble shooter for their various installations all over the country. Being single he was able to volunteer for some of the more far flung locations, one of which was Edmonton, where he was sent to fix the Public Library computer system. It was while there that he ‘fell in lust’, as Eric put it, with a good looking librarian, who he ended up falling in love with and marrying. Valerie was an audio visual tech at the time but later went on to become the manager of the downtown branch. His wife was friends with the manager of the Mill Woods branch (Linda Granholm) and when Linda mentioned that a group she volunteered for (ARCH) needed help setting up their computers, Eric again volunteered to help. It was thorough this that he became involved with Rotary, as Linda and her husband Hans were very involved with Strathcona Rotary.
Rotary brought him many more opportunities to volunteer his services to help others. Eric has been involved in the Belize Rotary Literature Project which supplied the curriculum for grades one to twelve for a school system in Belize. He built the two servers which held all of the information needed for the teachers in Belize. Eric has also helped to maintain and upgrade the computer systems at ARCH, a local group that helps adults with disabilities become gainfully employed in the community. A third group that Eric has volunteered for is SEESA where he introduces seniors to the world of computers and how to stay safe in it.
We would like to thank Eric for this brief insight into why he loves Rotary. As anyone can see, it is his love of volunteering and the people and adventures it brings with it that first attracted him and now keeps him in Rotary.
Eric Solash, Why I Joined and Stay in Rotary  Vi Hughes 2022-11-22 07:00:00Z 0

Remembrance Day Gathering

The morning of November 11, twelve members of our club, along with several partners and spouses met at the graves of two of our past members, John and Betty Germain, who both served in the Canadian Army in World War Two. We laid a wreath and observed a short ceremony of remembrance for all those who died fighting for our country. We also remembered all those who served and returned home to fight again only in their memories. 
Remembrance Day Gathering Vi Hughes 2022-11-11 07:00:00Z 0

Meals on Wheels Kitchen

Our club volunteered with meal preparation at Meals on Wheels on Wednesday this week. Everyone who helped out worked hard and had a great time doing it!
Meals on Wheels Kitchen Vince Campbell 2022-11-10 07:00:00Z 0
November Foundation Moment Vi Hughes 2022-11-10 07:00:00Z 0

October Amarok Update

October 2022
Combined Rotary Mothers' School Dhaka, Bangladesh
Dear Members of the Rotary Clubs of Strathcona, Mayfield, Urban Spirits, Whyte Avenue, Grand Prairie and Hinton,
This is our pleasure to share our news and community base social works with you. We are learning and developing ourselves as mother-teachers and social development workers in our neighborhood. We want to do more good work for my community, particularly for the children. We are now giving full support to our micro-school children and our neighbors. This is a very important time for us to recover their losses in education. Now a few mothers of our school have increased their teaching times from 1 hours to 2 hours a day to recover the lessons children missed but some of us work part-time. So, they could not manage extra time but we wish to. The poor families had lost a few valuable assets to buy food during the past pandemic and at present crisis but the situation taught us how to live better with humanity and loving to each other. We were taught in our mother school that humanity is the best creation of God which we proved by our actions and behaviors. We have started getting the benefit of learning in our life. Education has given us acceptance, knowledge, empowerment, humanity, courage to raise our voice against injustice & discrimination in family and in society. And we think, in this journey mothers of our school are the important part to carry out our social development activities. 
Now we will share with you a success story of our mothers, Hasina is a mother of Amarok School. Her husband’s name is Md. Moslem Uddin who works as a day laborer. They have two sons. They came to Dhaka from Barisal for a better livelihood in 2005. Staying in different slums, now they live in Rasulbug slum, East Badda, Dhaka. Moslem Uddin’s income is not stable and regular. So, the family often faced food & other crises in their livelihood. Sometimes children had to go to sleep without having a proper meal, Hasina silently cried, what else could she do until could earn by herself to support the family!  Neighbors often heard quarrelling and shouting between the husband and wife especially when her husband talked about stopping the education of children and engaging them in earning. 
Hasina was admitted in Amarok School for learning and operated a micro-school to teach 5 children including her own.  After a few months of learning in school, she thought about setting a street tea-stall to open in the morning and afternoon for a few hours and shared her idea with her husband. She saved some money as part of the ‘saving-group’ with 8 other friends of Amarok School as an emergency saving. Her husband supported her idea and agreed to assist her after coming back from work. So, she opened her tea shop with inexpensive light snacks like cookies, local slice cake and within a short time her tea shop started running well and her family got back in happiness. Some dishonest people tried to go away without payment after having snacks but Hasina every time caught them by hand as she is educated now and able to monitor payment well. However, during the COVID-19 situation she was bound to close her shop for a long time due to the order of the local government. Hasina’s family again fell down in problem managing food cost and the rent of her house as the COVD situation stayed prolonged. 
Hasina became irregular in Mother School. She was thinking about selling all the materials she bought to operate her tea-stall. One day, Amarok Teacher visited her house and heard about her struggles of livelihood. She advised her to discuss the situation with her friends in school if they could help her. Hasina visited her friends Afsana, Rupa, Shilpi and Nahar. They suggested she take a small loan from a local Cooperative and wait for an improving situation. Rupa and Shilpi, her friends, also agreed to sign as the grantors of the loan. Two months later, the situation started to change. Local government decided to lessen some restrictions informally and some street shops started to open. With the cookeries and tea-stand Hasina opened her tea-staff again but this time she used one-time plastic cups for the customers and placed a dustbin to throw the used cup there. Her thinking & techniques worked well as people found one-time cups as a better option. Hasina didn’t have to buy new kettles & other utensils required. She started paying back the loan from the cooperative and returned to her normal life. Her family starts to get back happiness, now she attends school regularly; education of her children is also going on fully. 
Hasina is grateful to her friends and to her teacher for being with her with their courage and support. She is also grateful to Amarok Society because of educating her and helping her find such great friends. She wants to educate her sons in higher grades and expand her shop. She believes good friends are wealthy and many ways better than money. 
Before our education we did not know many things and did not think about them but now because of our school, reading newspapers, watching television and current situation discussion by the teacher in the class session we can know about the symptoms and prevention of COVID, Dengue and price hike of daily goods. Also, we can know about the world situation like; war between Russia and Ukraine. We think it’s a big political issue. We can see the power practicing attitude by the Russian leader. Because of the war situation we are suffering a lot and our regular market prices are going up day by day. Now cooking oil, rice, wheat, vegetables and grocery items are out of control of our government. This is why we are really passing a bad time to feed ourselves and children. But we are trying our best using the learning from the recent pandemic & food and work crisis. This situation is better because the lockdown has not been imposed. We have learnt humanity, sharing, cooperation and believe we have to solve our problem, no miracle will happen. 
We can clearly remember that we were not like this before. Now we can judge what is right and what is wrong. We can make a clear difference between good vs. bad. Education of our children is the top priority which was not before.
Thank you very much for establishing the mother-school in our slum. 
With love and respect,
Masuma, Afsana, Roji, Shilpi, Tarpina and Surma 
(Mothers of the school)
October Amarok Update Vi Hughes 2022-11-10 07:00:00Z 0

Norman Leach, Broken Arrow, America’s First Lost Nuke

Posted by Vi Hughes on Nov 08, 2022
This past week we were treated to a fascinating true story with many pictures from Norman Leach, a Canadian military historian and author who is also a member of our club. The story took place in 1950 at the start of the cold war. It involved a trial run of the new top secret hi tech (for the times) B36 bomber, a legendary American General, Curtis Lemay, and a ‘Fat Man’ nuclear bomb that belonged to the Atomic Energy Commission.
Th B36 was an amazing piece of machinery for the times. It was three times larger than the next largest airplane, the B29. It was called a ten by ten by ten because it was designed to fly ten thousand kilometers at ten thousand feet altitude and carry ten thousand pounds of ammunition. They originally intended it to be able to fly from Labrador to drop bombs on Germany. It was ordered from Carswell Industries of Fort Worth Texas in 1940 but was not ready until 1948. The plane had several features that made it unique but also created major maintenance headaches and flying hazards. It had six pusher engines in place of puller engines. This gave it more thrust but also meant that it did not do well flying in cold air as the air went straight into the engines without being warmed first. It also had a very thin skin made of aluminum and magnesium which was very light but was also fragile and panels would shake loose on every flight, requiring them to be reattached after every flight. The aircrew also had to be able to make panel repairs as they flew. The cockpit at the front and the aircrew bunks at the back were pressurized, but the remainder of the plane was not. There was a pressurized tube connecting the bunks to the cockpit which the aircrew would use to pull themselves through by cable. The cockpit was designed such that the pilot could control the yoke but not the throttles. He would radio an engineer with instructions to throttle up or down.
The crew for this plane flew out of Carswell Air Force Base in Texas. The airplane required a crew of nine and the Air Force required that each crew member could fly at least three of the nine positions. The crew that flew these missions had to maintain strict secrecy about what they were doing and where they were doing it. One family was ordered to keep getting milk delivered for the airman, even though he was not home to drink it.
General Curtis Lemay was a legendary Second World War General who had come up with many kinds of winning strategies throughout the war. He could fly all nine positions on this plane. He was in charge of the training for the crew of this plane. Part of their training involved making secret training bombing runs over San Francisco, as the street layout somewhat resembled Moscow.  He then decided that this crew needed to have experience handling a nuclear bomb.  The only problem was the air force did not own any nuclear bombs, they were all the property of the Atomic Energy Commission, and there were only thirteen in existence. The bomb was comprised of a fat ball of Uranium surrounded by a casing, with a small hole in the center of the Uranium ball, into which a small plutonium core could be inserted. The outside of the casing had attachments for thirty-two small explosive charges which when detonated would set off an explosion of the plutonium core, if it was present, and then the Uranium would detonate resulting in a nuclear explosion. General Lemay, who was a very resourceful man somehow convinced the Atomic Energy Commission to loan him a bomb, minus the plutonium core. His crew could now practice handling and loading the bomb. The first flight they made, with a crew of fifteen, they planned to fly to New Mexico to pick up the bomb and then to Anchorage Alaska, land and then fly over San Francisco on their way back to Texas. Flying both north and south they would be over Canada, but of course the Canadians were not notified. Their problems began when they were approaching Alaska. Their radio had died, their radar was not working any more and they had lost one engine due to the cold. They hoped to be able to repair things once they landed in Anchorage, but the base commander there refused to let them stay. He gave them a portable radio and radar unit and they left Anchorage with only five engines working.  After a few more hours two more engines had died and the airplane was no longer air worthy, they were over Canada and they had to make a plan to get the crew out, ditch the bomb and the plane. They considered ditching both in the ocean, but they knew there were Soviet ships nearby that would be quick to recover it, and they could not risk having the Soviets find the bomb. They decided to attach the outer charges to the bomb and drop and shatter it in the air over the ocean. It had no Plutonium core so there would be no nuclear explosion. The bomb was dropped and exploded over Queen Charlotte Sound. The air crew then began to abandon the plane. The first four men to parachute out were never found. All but one remaining crew member left the plane and were rescued near Princes Island. One man, Ted Shryer insisted on staying with the plane. The plane was set on a course over the ocean, but somehow he managed to turn the plane around by himself and aim it toward land and head back towards Alaska. Rescue forces were sent out to look for the plane over the ocean but they could find no trace.
One year later the plane was found intact by a fisherman, crashed on a mountainside near Smithers, British Columbia. It had missed landing in the valley by only seventy-five feet. It was only at this point that the Canadian government found out some of what had happened. The location of the crash is now a National Historic Site.
We would like to thank Norman for this amazing story with a glimpse into American and Canadian military history. Norman has also published a book on this story which was published by Red Deer Press. Anyone interested in obtaining a copy can contact him at nsleach@telusplanet.net.  
Norman Leach, Broken Arrow, America’s First Lost Nuke  Vi Hughes 2022-11-08 07:00:00Z 0

Loida Lumanlan, Classification Talk

Posted by Rose Marie Basaraba on Oct 25, 2022
At the October 25th luncheon meeting, Loida Lumanlan, shared her life story during her honest and entertaining off-the-cuff Classification Talk.  Evident was her positive personality and her pride in her Filipino Canadian heritage along with her hard work ethic. Through all this she still finds time to smile and enjoy the life she has achieved as a Canadian.
Loida grew up in very poor country where, even as a child, she found ways to earn her own money. Her earliest opportunity at the age of 9 was helping her mother make turon, a popular banana treat rolled in sugar and selling it in the streets. Her mother recognized her talent for sales and realizing the importance of cleanliness, made her an embroidered apron. She then changed her produce to corn which was more lucrative. She was soon invited to professional homes with her wares which were staffed by working nannies which in turn gave her the opportunity to stay and play with the children before returning home. She was only 9, a child herself, so of course she was often late returning home.
Loida arrived in Canada with 3 young children on October 9, 1987, Thanksgiving weekend, a holiday she celebrates fondly every year.
Her first home was short-lived when she and her family were evicted for non-payment of rent.  In 1988 Win House became the first home for her and her family. It was there she found schooling, shelter, and family support and her first employment in housekeeping cleaning as many as 15 – 17 rooms a day. Canada provided a haven of part-time opportunities of which she took advantage. These included a deli role at Food for Less, a trial as a product/food promoter at Costco Strathcona and Sherwood Park. This in turn led to Strathcona IGA in Sherwood Park where she became front end manager responsible for hiring/scheduling of managers and cashiers. Her last role was with Sobeys. Next came an opportunity to ‘swim with the sharks’ in real estate sales with REMAX, Sherwood Park/Strathcona in 2000.  She is recognized for 22 years in the field which she credits to honesty with customers. A testament to this honesty is that she makes a point of discussing with potential customers, their ability to truly afford the monthly payments associated with the purchase. She genuinely cares for her clients. Through her dedication and hard work, she raised her three children who are now accomplished Engineers (2) and a Psychologist with the Provincial Government.
Loida’s father was a very social small-time politician who greeted everyone with an offer of a cup of coffee. In her own way, Loida inherited his personable manner and genuine interest in people, particularly with her REMAX advertising as the ever popular “Mary Poppins under her umbrella on the two-toned blue SUV seen around Edmonton and Sherwood Park. She is an active member of the Filipino Business Association and supports the community league where she resides. We are proud to say Loida has found the time in her busy schedule to contribute to our Club as an active Rotarian.
Loida Lumanlan, Classification Talk Rose Marie Basaraba 2022-10-25 06:00:00Z 0
Polio Plus Society Vi Hughes 2022-10-20 06:00:00Z 0

Chelsea Leach, Canadian Human Rights Museum

Posted by Rose Marie Basaraba on Oct 11, 2022

Chelsea Leech proved herself to be a delightful and knowledgeable speaker in her presentation to the Club on Tuesday, October 11, 2022.

Chelsea shared her recent experience in a visit, along with other youth, to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg. A personable presenter, Chelsea made us feel as though we were right there with her as she described her experience.

Upon arrival following only 6 hours sleep, her first need for a strong cup of coffee went unfulfilled as the Museum Coffee shop was closed for the Holiday. Her surprise in being greeted by Tamara Larson, Rotary Youth Coordinator, soon erased that experience. Board games brought out the competitive nature of all. As an upstander vs. bystander she felt she had a lot to learn.

Day 2 saw a visit to the Refugee Centre which focused on homework, languages, jobs, and social atmosphere. She particularly noted the extreme politeness of a Somalian refugee family, a mother and 6 children. Hot dogs for the homeless were the menu of the day and although offered more than one hot dog, they all responded with a polite ‘no thank you, one is enough’.

Day 3 focused on the Rwandan genocide, The Holocaust and Surviving Residential Schools. The Holocaust Museum was particularly memorable with haunting music, sounds of broken glass and crying children. She felt that Canada did not come away unscathed as history shows Canada pushing the Jews out of the country and of course, the history of the Residential Schools.

Day 4 brought with it discussion on how to use their talents to change the world, made more emphatic in the words of the song by Buffy Saint Marie. Later in the day they were given free reign of the Winnipeg Zoo and being witness to the polar bear baths.

Day 5 involved a debate about having a grandfather in a Residential School, a last look at the Gallery before running for their buses across the square in a torrential downpour.

Chelsea emphasized that it was a great trip all around and she hopes to return to relearn her experience. She loves to write and her takeaway from the weekend was in learning how to change the world using other people as a reference

Chelsea Leach, Canadian Human Rights Museum Rose Marie Basaraba 2022-10-11 06:00:00Z 0

Rowena Alido, Living a Life that Matters

Posted by Vi Hughes
Carin Jansen van Vuuren with Speaker Rowena Alido
This week we heard an inspiring life story from Rowena Alido, the owner of R3 Cleaning. Rowena told us that in 2003 she left her two small children behind in the Philippines to come to Canada to work as a caregiver in the North-West Territories so that she could support her family in the Philippines. She found that life here was full of twists and turns and many times it was her strong Christian faith that kept her going. She said that she truly feels the need to lead a life where she can make a difference in other people’s lives. After only a short time in Canada, due to problems in her sponsor family, she suddenly found herself without work or a place to stay. She was lucky enough to have a friend who helped her to find work and later, in 2006, to start her own cleaning company.  Through faith, determination and perseverance she has been able to build her company and also to help many newcomers to Canada to work and study, to make a better life for themselves and their families. She also sponsors children to come and study in Canada. She now lives in Sherwood Park, Alberta and her company has contracts across several provinces. They currently employ fifty people. Her cleaning company does both residential and commercial cleaning and more information on their services is available at r3Cleaning.com. We would like to thank Rowena for sharing her trials and tribulations with us, it was very inspiring to hear how she has persevered and overcome them through her determination to live a life that matters.
Rowena Alido, Living a Life that Matters  Vi Hughes 2022-09-27 06:00:00Z 0

Graham Gilchrist, Houston Rotary International Convention

Posted by Vi Hughes on Sep 13, 2022
This week our Club President Graham Gilchrist gave us an overview of his experiences at the 2022 Rotary International Convention. Graham began by giving us some idea of the scale of the Houston conference center, saying that it covers five city blocks and is three stories tall. The main level has a conference hall three times bigger than all three halls of our Expo center here in Edmonton and has one hundred small break-out rooms on the second level of the center. He also said that it is the only building in Houston that does not allow people to carry side arms (hidden guns).  Graham said that the temperature change from outside to inside took a little getting used to as the outdoor temp was 102 degrees Fahrenheit and the indoor temp was sixty six degrees Fahrenheit.
The message from our outgoing president, Shekhar Mehta, stated some of his accomplishments during his tenure. These included putting together four peace conferences and an international membership drive which added twenty-five thousand new members in India alone. He also proposed that Rotary should consider changing our organizational structure to become a Federation, as this would allow Rotary in other countries to change their structure to conform more closely to their local cultures.
One of the breakout sessions he attended was on membership building, with a presentation about the Dallas Fort Worth Rotary group on how their membership was impacted by COVID and how they managed to rebuild. Their membership dropped from seven hundred before COVID to two hundred during COVID. They had to change their approach after COVID to include more community involvement to meet and attract a broader demographic of people and have now managed to build their membership up to five hundred.
Lastly, he talked about our new International President Jennifer Jones and some of her goals for the coming year with the forward thinking theme of Imagine Rotary.  She talked about building membership and how we need to be willing to change within to make room for new members with new ways of doing things, then strive to provide what they need to flourish in our clubs by providing the experiences that they seek. We also need to make empowering girls first one of our priorities, as this will in turn empower women within Rotary and our society as a whole.
Overall we got the impression that Rotary is changing with the times, and in order to move forward we need to be willing to change along with it. We would like to thank Graham for this interesting and thought provoking presentation.
Graham Gilchrist, Houston Rotary International Convention Vi Hughes 2022-09-13 06:00:00Z 0

Norman Leach, The Chaos Navigator

Posted by Vi Hughes on Aug 18, 2022
This week we were pleased to hear from one of our club members, Norman Leach, who gave us a very interesting and entertaining introduction into what he has done over the years. Norman told us that some of his clients refer to him as the chaos navigator, as he helps them to develop and implement marketing plans for their businesses.  When he first started developing business plans for people, he often found that they had trouble implementing the plan that he gave them. Marketing includes many different aspects of a business including the product, the price, the place, how to distribute it and promotion, but many people only consider it to be promotion. This is when he will step in as a contractor for them, to help implement the portions of the plan that the client feels they cannot on their own.
Norman told us that his inspiration in life came from his grandfather, who was orphaned as a small child, grew up in an orphanage in Quebec and was turned out to fend for himself at a young age. He then went on to find a homestead in Springside, Saskatchewan, raise a large family and become a very successful farmer. He also helped many of his neighbors with their farm businesses, by acting as an intermediary and translator for them in selling their crops, as he was one of the few people in the area who spoke both English and Ukrainian. Norman said that his grandfather strongly believed that the best way to succeed in life was to get lots of education and as much experience as possible, as those were the two things that other people could not take away from you.
Norman said that he first encountered Rotary when at age seventeen, he became a Rotary Exchange student to Japan. He took this as a challenge to learn as much as he could of the Japanese language and became proficient enough to win a Japanese language competition. He said that he still speaks Japanese fluently, along with several other languages including English, Spanish and French. He told us that he has now worked in thirty-seven countries, on many different types of projects.
He then related an interesting and entertaining story of how he met, pursued and married his wife, Maritza. Many years ago, when he was working in Mexico City as the Alberta Trade Office manager and she was the building manager for their office space, he did not speak Spanish well and used one of his employees as an interpreter to communicate with her. After several months and many meetings with her, his interpreter suggested to him that he should invite her as his guest to a social function. He thought this was absurd as he barely spoke any Spanish. The interpreter then told him outright that this was silly as she spoke English quite well and had only requested an interpreter for their meetings as she was not confident in her interpretation of details. After he recovered from the shock of this information, he decided to ask her out, she accepted, and they ended up being married several years later. He said that this also served as a lesson to him to never assume the people around you do not understand what is being said.
Norman then told us that as he is a private contractor, he can and does work on many other types of things. Shortly after marrying Maritza, she convinced him to turn his passion for collecting Canadian military memorabilia and trivia into a business by writing a book about it. His first book about the role of Canadian troops in the First World War, Battle of Paschendale, was promoted for sale to the Canadian Legion, but turned out to become a Canadian best seller, with over twenty-five thousand copies sold.  It was subsequently made into a movie by Paul Gross, with Norman acting as a consultant.  He has now written thirteen books, four of which have become Canadian best sellers (each with more than ten thousand copies sold). One of his other sidelines is teaching, and he now teaches courses for six colleges and universities across Canada. In addition, he has recently become the historian for St John’s Ambulance. He also said that in 2019, he and his wife Maritza, after much research and planning, bought a travel agency, just prior to the COVID pandemic. Through this they learned that not all plans work out as originally thought, but the business is now starting to take off.  
We would like to thank Norman for this very interesting and entertaining glimpse into the lives of both him and his wife Maritza and look forward to hearing more from him in the future.
Norman Leach, The Chaos Navigator  Vi Hughes 2022-08-18 06:00:00Z 0

Amarok Update, July 2022

July 2022
Combined Rotary Mothers' School
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Dear Members of the Rotary Clubs of Strathcona, Mayfield, Urban Spirits, Whyte Avenue, Grand Prairie and Hinton,
It makes us happy to tell you about how things have been here. We enjoy our learning very well. We are learning with joy and fun and we pass a joyful time in school without any stress and sadness, we feel this time as the best time of the day.
Now we would like to share some stories of our success, struggles and overcoming. This is rainy season in our country which is a perfect time for tree plantation. A group of mothers from our school Soniya, Monju, Josna and Pakhi have planted some vegetables in the free space of the slum and on the land owner’s rooftop, like cucumber, bean, eggplant, green chili and tomato inside containers. Plants grow very fast and easily in monsoon. Our teacher had a session about vegetable cultivation & tree plantation in school. We do not care who will eat the vegetables or won the trees but happy to do the work in the free space of the slum and any rooftops.
Afsana is our young friend, intelligent but she did not get any opportunity for education in her childhood. Her father had died before her birth and she has no brother and sister. Her mother did not get married again thinking about her daughter. They used to live in the village but their livelihood was very difficult there. So, when Afsana was 7, her mother moved to Dhaka for a better livelihood. Her mother rented a room in our slum and started working as a housemaid and Afsana used to go to the landladies’ house with her mother. There days were going well but suddenly her mother died by a heart-attack leaving Afsana only 13. One landlady gave shelter of the girl and arranged her marriage in 2 years with a poor boy considering her safety and security. He was a rickshaw puller. After the marriage Afsana had to faced many new challenges which she did not understand how to overcome. She was illiterate and did not know how to handle such situation. One day Afsana and her husband quarreled with each other. Her husband was very lazy. So, he didn’t go out for work regularly. He wanted Afsana to work as maid and take responsibility to run the family but Afsana couldn’t find a better way. One day a mother of our school Josna going beside their room, listened a sound of crying from the slum house. Josna became curious to know what happened! She entered into the room and saw a young girl was crying sitting on the floor. It was none other but Afsana. Josna sat beside her and asked her about the reasons for crying. Afasan said everything to Josna, after hearing Josna shared with her about our Mother School. Afsana became surprised to know about our mother school and its work. She was very excited to visit us. Josna told her that the next day I will take you to our school; and next day Afsana went to the mothers’ school with Josna and admitted here. There was a fellow water land beside Afsana’s house. Afsana took some seeds from the school for planting vegetables by the
side of the pond. Afsana planted those seeds and had got a lot of vegetable there. Later on, she has cultivated a vegetable garden in the free space of our slum, she grows all seasonal vegetables in her garden and earning money. She shares her vegetables with many of us including Josna. Now she collects more productive seeds from the market for her vegetable garden and finally she has found a way. In that way she turns her life, now she is learning and able to contribute to her family. Now they are a happy family. She is thankful to Amarok friends and Amarok society.  
Did we share with you that our school house is relocated a little far from the old location? Some new mothers have been enrolled and our learning progress has been going fast. You would be happy to know that  10 mothers of our school can write about myself, creative sentences & paragraph with any topic like on fruits, flowers, animals, about our school, and birds. We have started writing “journal” change of the life of individual mother. Once a week we practice it. Sometimes, we draw something and then we write about that. 12 mothers are very good in English, can write long sentences and 8 can write good story in Bengali. We are happy to see our learning progress and proud to remove the word ‘illiterate’ from our life.  
Now we will share about a Micro-school student named Liza and her change in characteristic and life. She is 8 years old and a good girl but little lazy. She loves long sleep. Her father sells nuts going door to door and her mother is a housemaid. When her mother went out to work, she loved to stay idle and sleep, did not help her mother. In an afternoon returning home from work, Liza’s mother saw a group of children were going somewhere with pen, pencil and notebook. Liza’s mother became surprised “this is not a schooltime then where are they going”? She asked them, “Where are you going”? The children said, “in our Micro School”. She said again. “Can I go with you? The children said, yes. Liza’s mother went with them and discussed with the mother-teacher Monira and proposed her to teach Liza. This is how Liza became the student of Minira and now an active girl and learning quickly.
Some of the children are graduated from our micro-school and now in the next grades in High School. Koli is one of them. She is 16 and studying in grade 9. She teaches her siblings. Her mother is a housewife and father is a day laborer. She has 2 younger sisters. She is the eldest among them. Her father is extremely poor, could not buy learning materials for the daughter. Koli collects materials from Amarok Mother School and teaches her sisters. Once her father thought about arranging Koli’s marriage but her mother-teacher Parvin after knowing about it and stopped him. It was not easy to change the mind of her father. Our friends Soniya, Josna, Nazma had several discussions and clarified the potential risk of early motherhood and finally her father changed his mind.
We are grateful to your support for our education    
With love
 Sonia, Popi, Fatema, Josna, Nazma and Parvin
(Mothers of Combined Rotary Mothers' School)
Amarok Update, July 2022 Amarok 2022-08-18 06:00:00Z 0

Ken Germain, Classification Update

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jul 19, 2022
Ken is a long-term member of our club, having joined in 1999 and has served in any different positions within the club over the years. He is probably best known to most of us for his corny jokes. This week he gave us a short talk on what he did for a living for most of his life.  Ken owns and operates two companies, Environmental Disposal Systems and Bullseye Marketing. Ken told us that he started out in retail sales, where he learned the ropes of customer service and how to sell just about anything. He then went on to work in the hazardous waste industry, at a time when WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) was just being introduced to the workplace. This is a system that requires all workplaces to educate their workers in the proper handling and disposal of any hazardous materials they may encounter. It also requires a lot of record keeping to be able to prove this has been done.
Ken soon saw an opportunity to set up his own company helping others identify and properly dispose of hazardous materials in a cost-effective manner, while still having all of the proper paperwork in place. He also realized that there were ways to reduce the cost of disposal by processing the waste to remove the small amount of truly hazardous from the bulk of material that could be recycled or resold. This reduces the cost of hazardous disposal substantially. An example that he gave is a mixture of oil, water and metal shavings. The shavings can be separated out leaving behind the oil and water, which can be easily disposed if they show no signs of other contamination once tested. He also said that often hazardous materials can be removed from large amounts of liquid by the use of special flocculents, leaving only a small amount of flocculent material that needs to be disposed as hazardous waste. He said that there are two ways these materials are disposed of in Alberta, one is by burning, in a special hazardous waste facility, the other is by pumping them into a deep well several kilometers down in the earth.
Ken’s ability to sort out the various types of waste, identify them, properly handle them and then know what to do with them has served him well. His many contacts within the industry also help a great deal. His knowledge of the many different companies in Alberta that process, test and dispose of different types of hazardous waste is quite specialized. He also has a special talent (patience and perseverance) for the reams of paperwork involved in this type of work. This is needed as many companies request a ‘death certificate’ for their waste once it has finally been properly disposed.
We would like to thank Ken for this very interesting glimpse into the world of hazardous waste.
Ken Germain, Classification Update  Vi Hughes 2022-07-19 06:00:00Z 0

21-22 Year End Presentations

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jul 07, 2022
Past President Carin Jansen van Vuuren was presented with our 2021-2022 Banner, ‘Serve to Change Lives’ by incoming President Graham Gilchrist.
Patrick Gibson was presented with the District Club Communications Award by Past President Carin Jansen van Vuuren in recognition of his work publicizing our club through Rafflebox to raise funds for several club projects, with recognition also to our Social Media guru Heather de Kok and our Newsletter Editor Vi Hughes.
21-22 Year End Presentations Vi Hughes 2022-07-07 06:00:00Z 0

Jun 2022 Rotating Wheel Dinner

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jun 21, 2022
Our year end dinner was held at the University Club, with Rick Harcourt as Master of Ceremonies and Donna Hutton assisting.
Presentations were made by Donna Hutton for Honorary Paul Harris Fellowships to Maggie Hegan in honor of her many hours spent keeping track of our five hundred plus Canada Flag customers,
Shane Thiberge (son-in-law of Eric Germain) and
Abinash Saravanan, President of the WP Wagner Interact Club.
Paul Harris Fellows were also presented to
Richard Karlsson,
Amy Stewart and Vi Hughes.  
Richard Karlsson, our Membership Chairperson then inducted three new members into our club,
Tammy Wiebe,
Sean McMurtry and
Maritza Meneses-Leach.
The Rotarian of the Year award was presented to
Vi Hughes in honor of her contributions to the club as content creator and editor for our website and newsletter over the past six years.
 Our President Carin Jansen van Vuuren thanked her executive and team for their enthusiasm and accomplishments over the past year, with a special mention to Bob Sandercock (Foundation Chairperson), Patrick Gibson (for running our Kiva, Rafflebox and Chase the Ace fundraising), Vince Campbell (for his work as our Canada Flag fundraising coordinator) Loida Lumanlan (International Projects) and Trina Van der Meer and her team for their enthusiastic approach to both club social occasions and Polio Plus fundraising. She told us that overall, our club raised over half a million dollars this year.
Finally, our incoming President,
Graham Gilchrist was welcomed
and presented his new executive for the coming year, President Elect Heather deKok, Treasurer Patrick Gibson, Secretary Trina VanderMeer and our two Directors at Large Richard Karlsson and Don Henry.
Jun 2022 Rotating Wheel Dinner  Vi Hughes 2022-06-21 06:00:00Z 0

Patrick Kizeke, Giving Refugees Hope in Uganda

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jun 07, 2022
This week we heard from Patrick Kizeke, a Canadian social worker who came to Canada from the Congo via Uganda many years ago. His family fled the Congo twenty-four years ago when the perpetrators of the Rwanda genocide moved into the Congo and started doing the same thing there as well. Anyone who remotely looked like Tutsi was persecuted, run out of their homes and their towns and villages were destroyed. Patrick’s family was among these people. His family were well educated and prosperous urban dwellers. He remembers when as a child, his school was attacked by gunmen and the children were sent home from school in the middle of the day. While walking home he was met by his mother and grandmother who told him they could not go home, they had to keep walking. He said that they walked for four days until they reached what they thought was a safe place. This turned out not to be true so they moved on to a refugee camp in the neighboring country of Uganda. In Uganda they faced a big language barrier. His family was fluent in several languages, but none of them were spoken in Uganda. His family were now destitute refugees. They were given a machete and a small patch of land to live on, but they knew nothing about farming, or how to build a home from scratch. They managed to live there for two years until his father finally made it out of the Congo, having been able to sell their home. They now had some money and were able to move out of the refugee camp and into Kampala. They lived in Kampala for eight years before finally coming to Canada.
A few years ago Patrick set up the ‘Giving Refugees Hope in Uganda’ foundation, based in Spruce Grove, Alberta with Canadian charitable status, to help refugees living in Uganda, who have gone there to escape violence elsewhere in Africa. They have nine unpaid board members in Canada and two paid staff in Uganda who are supported privately. They support several programs to help these refugees. They provide sponsorships for children to be able to attend school (which must be privately paid for in Uganda) , they help families find housing and they also provide some money for food. They fund a training center for women to learn occupational skills like sewing and hairdressing. They provide water filters for people and also teaching on health issues. They are also in the final stages of building a medical center next to one of the refugee camps. Anyone interested in giving to any of their causes can learn more on their website grhu.org, or by sending an email to patrick@grhu.org or by phone at 587-709-2061.
Patrick Kizeke, Giving Refugees Hope in Uganda  Vi Hughes 2022-06-07 06:00:00Z 0

Timothy Massawe, Empowering Poor Children Through Education

Posted by Vi Hughes on May 24, 2022
This week we heard from Timothy Massawe, Past President of the Rotary Club of Hai Kilimanjaro, Tanzania about his foundation that works to empower poor children in Tanzania by finding sponsors to support their educational goals. The foundation identifies candidates with academic potential and connects them with Rotarians willing to sponsor their education. He told us that they are not an NGO so that one hundred percent of the money donated goes towards the student’s tuition and school supplies. He also said that sponsors are allowed to visit their sponsor children if they wish. He said that they also try to instill the values of Rotary in the children by encouraging them to give back to others when they graduate. Many of their former sponsored children join Rotary later in life.
The foundation has been operational now for over twelve years and they have quite a few success stories about their students. Lecton, whose family are Masai tribe herdsmen that do not value education for their children, was able to continue his schooling and university education so that he could become a doctor. Neema, who was an orphan, was able to continue her education and is now a nurse. Oscar, whose father could not find work, was able to become a high school teacher. Eva, whose family was also Masai tribe, had been promised in marriage at a young age, was able to avoid marriage, continue her education and is now a pharmacist.
Most of their sponsors are individual Rotarians, some are groups or clubs, most of which are Canadian. One of their sponsors is our incoming RI President. We would like to thank Timothy for his interesting presentation on this sponsorship opportunity.
Timothy Massawe, Empowering Poor Children Through Education  Vi Hughes 2022-05-24 06:00:00Z 0
May 2022 Rotary Moment Vi Hughes 2022-05-13 06:00:00Z 0

Dates to Remember

MAY 24th
Next CLUB meeting Speaker will be Timothy Massawe, Past President Rotary Club of Hai Kilimanjaro Tanzania.
We need 20.
MAY 24th
Board meeting will follow the club meeting
May 27 & 28th
District Conference – Fantasyland Hotel WEM
15 going from our club!
New Members – Club pays!
June 17-18
Last Polio Fundraiser–Beaumont Blues Festival
$65 incl Brisket-on-a-bun
June 21st
Rotating Wheel Dinner
ONLY $50 – at University Club
Dates to Remember Vi Hughes 2022-05-13 06:00:00Z 0

Morton Polson and Scott Wilson, Children’s Autism Services

Posted by Vi Hughes on May 10, 2022
This week we heard from Morton Polson, Communications and Fund Development and Scott Wilson, Family Liaison with Children’s Autism Services of Edmonton about their Respite Lifeline Program. They are a not for profit group and registered charity (with a six percent overhead) that provides many different types of services to families of and children with autism spectrum disorder. This disorder affects about one in sixty-six children with symptoms ranging from mild to very severe. It causes problems with communication, socialization, eating and sleeping. Providing parenting is a 24/7 365 days a year commitment and being able to offer even  a small respite of an hour or two to these parents is a big deal.
They currently provide services for about three hundred local families. Their Respite Lifeline program currently serves one hundred and eighty of these families. Since regular babysitters are not an option for these parents, the Respite Lifeline program provides for a trained person who will look after their children for a few hours so that the parents can go out for dinner, run errands or whatever, without worrying about what is happening at home. Their cost to provide this service is thirty-two dollars per hour or two hundred thousand dollars per year. Recent government austerity has resulted in cuts to their programs and they are currently subsidizing this service.  As they will no longer be able to provide this service, they are now fundraising to try to keep it going. They accept all types of donations and our club has been a donor in the past. We would like to thank both Morton and Scott for their excellent presentation.
Morton Polson and Scott Wilson, Children’s Autism Services  Vi Hughes 2022-05-10 06:00:00Z 0

Kira Eberts and Rehma Khan, RYLE 2022

This week we heard from two organizers of the 2022 Rotary Youth Leadership Experience (RYLE), Kira Eberts, the 2022 Chairperson, and Rehma Khan, the External Chairperson. Kira and Rehma told us that RTLE is a four-day immersive leadership training camp for young people aged 14 to 18 years of age. RYLE will take place this coming weekend, Apr 28 to May 1. The attendees are selected and sponsored by local Rotary clubs. Our club is sponsoring four students this year. The RYLE camp will be held at Camp Nakamun, near Busby, this year. Last year RYLE was held on-line due to COVID restrictions. Most of the attendees are members of their school Rotary Interact club or the University Rotaract club but can also include students nominated by YMCAs, high schools without Interact clubs and other service organizations. Students come from all over Alberta for this event. The RYLE committee also organizes transportation to and from the camp for the students. The RYLE program covers the foundations of communication, goal setting, motivation and introduces them to the pillars of Rotary. It also includes many indoor and outdoor sports-oriented activities and team projects to encourage students to have fun, interact with and learn from each other. Many of the attendees will make long term friendships at this camp. We would like to thank both Kira and Rehma for their very well organized and informative presentation.
Kira Eberts and Rehma Khan, RYLE 2022  Vi Hughes 2022-04-28 06:00:00Z 0

Project Amigo Canada Society Thankyou

We recently received a thankyou from Project Amigo for our most recent donation from Project Amigo Canada Society liason Elly Contreras.
Thank you so much for supporting Karla in her studies! Many of our scholars tell us that when they feel overwhelmed with school or with challenges at home, they think about their sponsors and that helps them to keep moving forward. Your support is so much more than just the financial part.
Thank you for your contribution of $500.00 on 021 Feb 2022 to provide a university sponsorship for Karla Sarahi Carrillo Andres. With your gift, you are changing not just one life but the lives of the student’s family as well. Your generosity assures a better future for all of us because education creates change. Karla Sarahi Carrillo Andres will be able to have a career and change the destiny of an entire family for generations to come.
Education is powerful; our graduates have gone on to become mayors, doctors, teachers, and other professionals. One of our students, who graduated as a doctor and for a period of time oversaw 52 health centers in the State of Colima. Another is the Program Director of our new Quesería Education Center; another whose future would have been cutting bananas at a very low wage is instead the manager of a large banana plantation. During our Volunteer Weeks, you may meet one of these graduate students and hear their success story.
Please note: Sponsorships are not exclusive. All sponsorship funds are pooled to assure that every child and higher education student in our program receives the same benefits whether he/she has a sponsor or not. Some students in our program each year don’t have a sponsor, meaning that other students may have more than one to assure funding is available for the incentive programs and sponsorships of every student.
Thank you again for being part of this life changing program
Project Amigo Canada Society Thankyou  Vi Hughes 2022-03-31 06:00:00Z 0

Pilgrims Hospice Society Donation

Club Vice President Graham Gilchrist presenting our donation of $5,000 to Pilgrim’s Hospice Society representatives Liz Bartlick and Elaine Warick
Pilgrims Hospice Society Donation  Vi Hughes 2022-03-29 06:00:00Z 0

Tammy Wiebe, Valley Zoo Development Society

Posted by Vi Hughes on Mar 29, 2022
Donna Hutton thanking Tammy Wiebe from the Valley Zoo Development Society
This week we heard from Tammy Wiebe on behalf of the Valley Zoo Development Society. Tammy told us that the Valley Zoo Development Society raises fund for many different zoo projects and that they give one hundred percent of donations they raise back to the zoo as they have other zoo related ventures that support their operating costs. She told us that the Valley Zoo plays an important role in the lives of many Alberta children. The zoo reaches over sixty thousand children per year who come to the zoo for registered programs. These numbers do not include regular zoo attendance numbers. The Valley Zoo is the number three attraction in Alberta behind only the Calgary Zoo and the Telus World of Science.
Some of the goals of the Valley Zoo are to promote awareness of conservation, biodiversity and climate change action. All of these will help to improve the lives of animals in the wild. Over the last several years the Zoo had embarked on a development program to improve the animal habitats at the zoo. Just recently the City of Edmonton approved funding for the latest phase of development called Nature’s Backyard. This will provide new habitats for some of the zoo animals that will allow visitors to see them where they normally hang out, in the tree tops, on the ground or underground.
The zoo also has other plans to bring the zoo to more people. One of these is the project they are asking us to support. During COVID the zoo came up with a program to provide remote access for the public via a rentable thirty-minute educational video focused on one or more of the zoo’s inhabitants, followed by an online thirty-minute live question and answer period with a zoo keeper or interpreter who could answer questions about that animal or group of animals. This project is called Pay it Forward for the Planet’. This was such a big success that they would like to expand it to ten different videos on various animals or groups of animals. The one which our club would be sponsoring would be the one on Canadian carnivores. She also told us that they have enlisted Daintre Christianson to be the presenter for this video.  These videos can be rented by anyone for a fee, they even allow groups pay for the video by performing a conservation project such as cleaning up their school yard.   
The zoo also has many other programs which we can donate funds towards, such as research on enrichment programs for the animals in the zoo that can be applied to help manage animals in the wild. These include such things as food, sensory, cognitive, social and habitat enrichment. Visit their website at www.buildingourzoo.com for more information on the many ways that we can support their efforts to improve the lives of animals both in the zoo and in the wild. We would like to thank Tammy for the very interesting presentation and look forward to being able to support some of their many projects.
Tammy Wiebe, Valley Zoo Development Society  Vi Hughes 2022-03-29 06:00:00Z 0
Bob Sandercock Presents Bottle of Bubbly to Brenda McCullough  Vi Hughes 2022-03-15 06:00:00Z 0

Abinash Saravanan, W.P. Wagner Interact Club Update

Posted by Vi Hughes on Mar 15, 2022
L to R: W.P. Wagner Interact Club, Simar Sidhu (Secretary); Zalak Simar (Vice-President); Abinash Saravanan (President); Carin Jansen van Vuuren (President) and Richard Karlsson (Interact Club Liaison)
This past week we welcomed Abinash Saravanan, the President of the W.P. Wagner High School Rotary Interact Club. He and two other members of the club, Zalak Simar, Vic-President and Simar Sidhu, Secretary were introduced by Richard Karlsson, their Rotary club advisor. Richard told us that Rotary Interact Clubs are for students aged twelve to eighteen. They are self-governing clubs, sponsored by a Rotary club which are expected to support at least two service projects per year with one of these being an international project.  
Abinash began by thanking our club for our support and guidance.  He said that their club currently has about sixty members, thirty of whom are very active. He said that over this past year he has been blown away by their collective talents and abilities.  He told us that in the fall their club decided to clean up the ravine behind their school as a community support project. They called for volunteers to come out on a weekend and managed to pick up over forty kilograms of waste in only a few hours. Their second project was to go to the Edmonton Food Bank on a weekend and help to sort and pack food. They had a very good turn out and had a lot of fun doing it. They then decided to have a fundraiser for charity by their club before Christmas with a Candygram promotion. A Candygram is a small note attached to a candy cane or cookie. The purchaser then writes the name of the person they wish to send it to along with the classroom number and time it can be delivered. The club members then deliver the candygrams to the recipients. Their club set up two teams to help with all of the promotions, poster production, sales and delivery of the candygrams. Overall the project was a great success and they raised seven hundred and seventy dollars for charity. This money will be donated through Rotary to a charity of their club’s choice. They are presently promoting a local project to collect gently used coats for people in need in Edmonton. If any of our members would like to help we can contact Richard for more information.
Abinash said that his first year in Rotary has been very inspiring for him. He said that Rotary gives people who have a passion to help others the ability to do much more than one person alone can do. We would like to thank Abinash for his very eloquent and interesting update on activities of the W.P. Wagner Interact Club.
Abinash Saravanan, W.P. Wagner Interact Club Update  Vi Hughes 2022-03-15 06:00:00Z 0

Paul Harris Fellowship Award to Dr. Sean McMurtry

This past week our club presented Dr. Sean McMurtry with a Paul Harris Fellowship Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to health care in Alberta over many years. The award was presented by our club President Carin Jansen vanVuuren  and our club Foundation Chairperson, Bob Sanderock.
Paul Harris Fellowship Award to Dr. Sean McMurtry  Vi Hughes 2022-03-03 07:00:00Z 0

Dr. Sean McMurtry, Aging Well and Heart Health

Posted by Vi Hughes on Mar 01, 2022
This week we were pleased to welcome back Dr. Sean McMurtry, to talk to us about strategies for aging well. He told us that aging well to most people means being able to do the things you enjoy. Everyone has different values, some of which are not health promoting. There are some things which we have no choice over, such as our age and genetic makeup, but the lifestyle choices we make can also have a big effect on how well we age. The main lifestyle choices that can affect our health are smoking, obesity, alcohol consumption, diet and a distant fifth, chemical exposure.
He said that heart disease is now the number two killer in Canada. It has dropped from the number one position (now held by cancer) as we have come a long way in being able to treat cardiovascular disease. The three major causes of death from heart disease are heart attack, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation.
Heart attacks result when blood vessels in the heart are blocked by plaque that causes them to thin and burst. Risk factors that we can treat for this are high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol in the blood and diabetes. He said that everyone should ‘know their numbers’ for these and have them treated if necessary. That can go a long way towards lowering our risk of disability and death over time.
Heart failure results when the heart enlarges trying to compensate for damage that can be caused by many different things. The disability this causes can also be a big problem.  Some of the causes are uncontrolled high blood pressure, previous heart attack, coronary disease, damage from long term alcohol abuse, cirrhosis and many other things.
Atrial fibrillation occurs when the upper chambers of the heart become enlarged. Some of the causes are high blood pressure, heart failure and alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse over time (more than two drinks per day for women or three per day for men) can cause end organ failure resulting in dementia, heart and liver failure.
Dr. McMurtry said that many of the risk factors can be controlled by lifestyle choices, not smoking, keeping an eye on our blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels and getting treatment for them as needed, eating and drinking in moderation and staying active. The responsibility for aging well falls on us and the decisions we make every day.
Dr. Sean McMurtry, Aging Well and Heart Health  Vi Hughes 2022-03-01 07:00:00Z 0
New Hope School Video Link Vi Hughes 2022-02-28 07:00:00Z 0

Passing of Long Time Member Bill Skelly

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of long time member Bill Skelly on February 19th. He was in the Palliative Care unit at the Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre.
We send our deepest condolences to his wife  Lorraine and the rest of his family. 
Bill joined Rotary in 1986 and was President of our club in 1989-90. Twice he received the Rotarian of the Year Award, in 1988-89 and again in 1995-96. In 2016 Bill became an Honorary Member of our club.
Many of us will remember the lovely soap stone carvings he made.
Passing of Long Time Member Bill Skelly Vi Hughes 2022-02-28 07:00:00Z 0
Wear Your Pin 2022-02-17 07:00:00Z 0

Punch Jackson, Men’s Sheds

Posted by Vi Hughes on Feb 15, 2022
This past Tuesday we were glad to welcome Punch Jackson to talk to us about Men’s Sheds. Men’s Sheds is an organization that began in Australia when a few men decided to get together to talk, drink coffee, swap stories and create things. The space was usually someone’s tool shed, but could also be a warehouse space, truck bay, coffee shop or meeting room. It is a space where men can get to know each other through a shared project such as woodworking, metal work, doing tech repairs, rebuilding things, learning to cook, carving, refinishing furniture, fixing things or just tinkering. It was a way for men to make new friends and have something interesting to do in their week.
Loneliness and boredom can often set in and finding a way out can be difficult. Men can often find themselves adrift after they retire or become unemployed, become separated or widowed, downsized their home and now have no workspace, or their wife just wants them out from underfoot.  This gives them a place to go, things to do and people to do them with. Men are often reluctant to talk to each other face to face but will talk shoulder to shoulder with other men while doing something else with their hands. Some groups also bring in speakers to talk about topics of interest. The men who come to Men’s Sheds come from all walks of life, old and young, professionals and tradesmen. The younger men help the older men with technology and the older men help the younger men with things like how to use woodworking tools.
Man’s Sheds has now spread to many different countries with about twenty-five hundred groups in all. We have around forty groups in Canada, with around nine groups in Alberta. Each group has it’s own focus with many different types of meeting places. Finding a suitable meeting place and sponsors to cover the cost of rent and maintenance for the meeting place is the most difficult issue for most groups. Rural areas seem to have less trouble with this than urban groups. Finding men who are willing to help to set up a group can also be a challenge.
Some of the projects that Men’s Sheds have undertaken are things like building a gazebo and planter boxes for a senior’s residence, making wooden toys for a day care, refurbishing bicycles for children or making benches for a local park. The benefits that the men receive are a sense of purpose, learning new skills, a chance to be creative, a chance to give back to their community. They also learn health by stealth, as many men’s groups talk about men’s health.
Rotary was a key to getting Men’s Sheds started in many places in Australia. Rotarians can help by letting them know of spaces that may be available for them to use, or by helping to get funding or sponsorships for groups.  We can get more information on their website mensshedsyeg.ca, by email at mensshedsedmonton@gmail.com, on twitter @mensshedsyeg, on Facebook at Edmonton Men’s Sheds or by phone at 780-717-6710.
Punch Jackson, Men’s Sheds  Vi Hughes 2022-02-15 07:00:00Z 0

Ivan Docker, Kona Sunrise Club Service Project

Posted by Ivan Docker
Last Tuesday I volunteered with the Rotary Club of Kona Sunrise for their monthly Meet and Eat program. We arrive at 4:30 p.m. at Kona’s Intermediate (Junior High) school. We bag up groceries, mainly donated by Costco and local produce farms, and these are handed out, along with containers of hot meals, to families as they drive by. This Tuesday, the cost of the hot meals was funded by the larger Rotary Club of Kona, and the meals were prepared and packaged by a large resort hotel. The cars start rolling by at about 6:00 p.m. There are many needy families, and anywhere from 100 to 200 cars come each Tuesday. The Rotary Club of Kona Sunrise volunteers on the first Tuesday of each month (and have been doing this for 3 years now), and other organizations volunteer on the other Tuesdays. We had about 10 volunteers, including spouses of Rotarians, help out this week.
In the photo are my two Rotary buddies Dennis Rast (a retired principal from San Diego, and also a past president of their club) and Mike Fraser on the right, who is currently club president. Mike and his wife Bev (also in the club) are Canadians who came to Kona many years ago from Invermere, B.C.
Ivan Docker, Kona Sunrise Club Service Project  Ivan Docker 2022-02-04 07:00:00Z 0

Edmonton Interfaith Centre for Education and Action

Posted by Vi Hughes
The week of Jan 31 is World Interfaith Harmony Week, and in recognition of that we heard from Len Gierach, Netta Phillet, Guy Blood and Karen Gail from the Edmonton Interfaith Centre for Education and Action (EICEA). They told us that their group began twenty-five years ago with the goal of bringing people of all faiths in Edmonton together through education. Their membership is a coalition of thirteen+ religious groups, including Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, Hindu, Zoroastrian and Indigenous faiths. Their goal is to show people that we can find ways to keep our own faith while using it to help us unite with people of other faiths by offering peace and understanding through education. We need to recognize that everyone has a right to their own faith. They said that sometimes what we perceive as religious issues are really more about money and power.  We need to be more committed to peace, justice and compassion in our personal lives. They also said that we can help to break down differences by sharing our culture with others. Each of us connects with the divine in our own way.
They presented an excellent short documentary by film maker Eric Spoeth entitled ‘Building Bridges’, which hilites the roots of interfaith conversations and efforts in Edmonton. This documentary can also be viewed online at edminterfaithcentre.ca.
We would like to thank them for this very interesting and thought-provoking presentation.
Edmonton Interfaith Centre for Education and Action  Vi Hughes 2022-02-01 07:00:00Z 0

Foundation Fundraiser Gala

Posted by Bob Sandercock
Wednesday, 23 Feb from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Mountain Time. Pre Gala reception starts at 5:15 p.m.
Celebrate the work of Rotarians with the 43 Districts in Rotary Zones 28 and 32. Funds raised will go to support the Rotary Foundation. Speakers District Governor Donna Barret and other District leaders. Entertainment provided by Ariana Whitlow.
Organise your own group of friends and join us with the ZOOM link provided on registration.
Consider joining the Gala and invite others to join you for a wonderful social evening.
Your guests can also be non Rotarians such as family, friends or neighbours.
The event fee for the evening is $120 US per person (about $148 Canadian)
You will get a tax receipt for about $126 Canadian so you will get about $63 back from revenue Canada on your next years taxes.
The evening can be a dinner, wine and cheese, potlatch, skip the dishes, pizza, take out or any other form you wish. Formal or informal. The venue can be your house, a restaurant or any other meeting place. Just have a wonderful social evening with people you may seldom see. It can be like the Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner socials that we used to have.
Go to :tinyurl.com/TRF-2022 for details.
Foundation Fundraiser Gala  Bob Sandercock 2022-01-20 07:00:00Z 0

Cindy Rivers, LGBTQ+ Inclusion and Diversity- Gender and Sexuality

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jan 18, 2022
This past Tuesday we heard from Cindy Rivers, a local trans advocate and actor, who spoke to us and answered our questions about the updated terminology and how to better ally ourselves with the community in general. Her very interesting, informal presentation set us at ease immediately and there were many questions people had which she was happy to answer.
Cindy started with explaining that gender is what your innate sense of self is.  This may not always align with your physical appearance or biological parts. It may be what we think of as masculine, feminine or neither.  It is also not always linked to your sexuality, which is who you are emotionally attracted to. They are two very different things.  Looks do not always translate into sexual orientation.
She explained that people in the trans community are almost always very happy to share what their preferred pronouns (he, she, his, her) for use in general speech are and we should not be afraid to ask.  We can also avoid issues by using gender neutral language as much as possible.
She also explained the meaning of the LGBTQ2SIAAP ‘alphabet’ that is often used.  The meanings are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans sexual, Queer or Questioning (not sure ) , 2S Two Spirited, Intersex (born with body parts of both) , Asexual (not attracted to either) , Agender (neither female or male) , and Pansexual. The terms Cis and Trans are also often used. Cis meaning ‘on the same side’ and Trans meaning ‘on the other side’. She said that people can be born with all kinds of combinations of body parts and the gender they are raised as by their parents does not always align with who they feel they are once they grow up.
Cindy said that people in this community are often confronted with threats to their personal safety, and that the better they present themselves to others the safer they are. The use of gender specific public washrooms can be a problem which is best dealt with by the inclusion of gender-neutral individual washrooms, just like you have at home. She said that people should use the washroom they are most comfortable with.
We would like to thank Cindy for her very open and interesting talk. She has hopefully made us more aware of the issues surrounding this community and has given us some ideas on how improve inclusion for people in this community.  
Cindy Rivers, LGBTQ+ Inclusion and Diversity- Gender and Sexuality  Vi Hughes 2022-01-18 07:00:00Z 0

New Hope School continues to equip Learners

Posted by Vi Hughes on Jan 04, 2022
This past Tuesday, President Carin, who has recently returned from South Africa, gave us an update on New Hope School which we have supported several times over the past six years. This was a joint international project with the Rotary Club of Pretoria. We have supported them through local donations, a global grant and a GoFundMe Fundraiser.
Patrick Gibson presenting our donation to the school with PDG Linda Robertson & previous principal Dawie Harmse
She told us that this school for children with disabilities has a mission to help each learner to develop their unique, individual skills to be able to function to the best of their abilities as an adult in their communities. Our funding was aimed at helping the students, especially young women, to have a way to support themselves as adults.
As a result of our gifts the school has been able to equip and develop new programs in the Technical Occupational Phase, a Hair and Nail Salon, a computer skills room, a new sewing machine and most recently a laser cutter.  The school has partnered with a nail academy to offer a diploma program. Students can take a diploma course during high school so that when they exit grade 12, they are employable.
They also have a partnership with the Ekurhuleni Artisans and Skills Training Center to equip students with essential skills in a workshop environment. The laser cutter has enabled them to train all levels of students to take part in the line production process from designing and cutting through to finishing of the final product.
Carin van Vuuren getting to see the laser scanner in action
The school presently has 417 learners from preschool through to grade 12. They have a staff of educators, psychologists, physio and occupation therapists, speech therapists, classroom facilitators, a nurse, a social worker and a counsellor. They offer three streams of learning, Academic main stream, Vocational skills and Life skills. More recently they have been receiving an increased number of students with more severe disabilities, so their challenges are increasing. This means that they find they need more staff, a larger emphasis on vocational and life skills training. More assistants per room in turn necessitates larger rooms.  There is a limited social safety net for young adults with disabilities in South Africa and so learning a vocational skill to be able to function in society becomes a case of life and death for many of these students.
All in all, things are going well with the school. They are blessed with a wonderful dedicated staff.
They would like to once again express their heartfelt thanks to all the members of the Rotary Club of Strathcona and all of the other clubs in surrounding areas who donated so generously to the school over the past six years.  They wish us all the best in 2022.
New Hope School continues to equip Learners  Vi Hughes 2022-01-04 07:00:00Z 0

Eleni Gyra Hospice Update

Posted on Jan 04, 2022
The delivery of the washer, dryer and AC equipment whose purchase we supported took place on 18 Dec 2021.
Members of RC Ioannina, Vasili Papayanis, President Kosta Kontis and Nikos Liolios delivering the washer, dryer and AC equipment at “Eleni Gyra” Hospice on December 18, 2021.
President Kosta beside the washer, dryer and AC equipment.
Eleni Gyra Hospice Update  Vi Hughes 2022-01-04 07:00:00Z 0

Incoming Executive for the 2022-2023 Year

The three positions that were up for nominations were President Elect, Secretary and Director at Large. These positions were filled by Heather de Kok as President Elect, Trina Vandermeer as Secretary and Don Henry as Director at Large. We would like to thank these people for stepping up to help keep our club running smoothly.
Incoming Executive for the 2022-2023 Year  Vi Hughes 2021-12-20 07:00:00Z 0

Dec 2021 Wings Donations

Posted by Audrey Martyn
This year the Strathcona Rotary did the Wings Christmas Project collecting gift boxes of personal items for women and pj's for children. We collected 75 gift boxes and 100 pj's for Wings - we met our target and Rhonda from Wings was thrilled with our donation. Thank you to all the Rotarians who took part and to Arch Enterprises who teamed up with us again this year with a generous donation.
Dec 2021 Wings Donations  Audrey Martyn 2021-12-14 07:00:00Z 0

Daniel Schieman, Wings of Providence  

Posted on Dec 14, 2021
The speaker at this year’s Christmas Dinner was Daniel Schieman, the Community Engagement Officer from the Wings of Providence Shelter for women with children who have experienced family violence. Daniel gave a short presentation in which he told us how they provide shelter and support along with quality trauma informed programs for both women and children. He said that this past year has been a challenging one for them due to the effects of the COVID pandemic, with them seeing larger numbers of women and children in need. He then went on to tell us about the debut of their Wingman Campaign, which is designed for men who stand up and oppose family violence. He told us that they really appreciate incredible people like us who have been supporting them for a long time. They could not do it without us. He then went on to say that they would like to thank us for this year’s donations and wish us all a very merry Christmas.
Daniel Schieman, Wings of Providence    Vi Hughes 2021-12-14 07:00:00Z 0

Sad News on the Passing of Betty Germain

Posted by Carin Jansen van Vuuren
It’s with great sadness I have to inform you of the passing of Betty Germain, honorary member & wife of Charter President Johnny Germain as well as father to club members Ken and Eric Germain.
Message from the Germain family:
'Sad news. Our Mom, Betty Germain passed away peacefully this morning, in her sleep. The past few months especially saw her flame diminish. Her spark will stay with us forever. She was 95 1/2 years old. The Germain family will advise you of funeral arrangements.
Love to all. Carolyn, Allen, Ken, Eric and Denise.’
Our deepest condolences to the Germain family. We will always remember Betty as a lady with a lot of spunk, always smiling, always positive. It has been a privilege to know her and to learn from her. What an example to aspire to.
Sad News on the Passing of Betty Germain  Carin Jansen van Vuuren 2021-12-05 07:00:00Z 0

Upcoming Summer 2022 Visit from Jennifer Jones, RI President Elect 2022-23

We have news of great upcoming events that will occur late June into July 2022. Our Rotary International President-Elect Jennifer Jones 2022-23, with her husband Nick will be travelling across Canada stopping off at 13 hubs. Jennifer is the first woman ever to become the President of Rotary International! And she is Canadian! Jennifer Jones has demonstrated exceptional leadership in her personal, professional, and Rotary life.
We have had four meetings with Jennifer and her Cross Canada Tour Team to determine her vision, purpose and what she hopes to accomplish with the tour. Her mission is to showcase to the world that Canadian Rotarians are People of Action!
To date, I have met with present and future Governors to share some ideas for July 9, which is Jennifer’s arrival for a day in Edmonton. I was thrilled at the synergy and the many ideas that we will discussed and will follow up on.
I have invited a group of Rotarians to form a core committee that will put into action a program inviting our family of Rotary to demonstrate that we really are People of Action. The plan is to extend an invitation to Rotarians in our District to gather your ideas and examples of doing good in our communities.
As one of the chairs of the hubs, direction to us has been very clear that there are no borders for this tour and this is not a District event but a Canadian Rotary event with one of the hub stops in Edmonton. We are the only province to have two hub stops. Calgary will be hosting the RI 2025 Convention so Jennifer will be making a stop there as well. Calgary hub stop will involve the Calgary Stampede so the competition is on for us to make her stop in Edmonton over the top.
I hope you will embrace this exciting opportunity and be part of the Jennifer Jones Cross Canada Tour on July 9, 2022. Mark your calendars!
Warm Rotary regards,
Betty L Screpnek, Director
The Rotary Foundation Canada
Chair, TRFC Program Committee
Upcoming Summer 2022 Visit from Jennifer Jones, RI President Elect 2022-23  Betty Screpnek 2021-12-02 07:00:00Z 0

Hope Mission Donation

Posted by Audrey Martyn on Dec 01, 2021
Rose Marie and Audrey delivering the Rotary Club’s donation of 14 large garbage bags of: socks, underwear, shirts and pants, for men and women to the Hope Mission south side depot . We were met by Lauren Reid, Community Relations and left our donation with them Dec 1, 2021. Special thanks to all the staff and clients at Arch Enterprises for their generous donation to our donation to the Hope Mission.
Thank you to all those who dropped off donations.
Hope Mission Donation Audrey Martyn 2021-12-01 07:00:00Z 0

Harald Kukertz Scholarship Awarded

Our Student Scholarship this year has been awarded to Alleya Bourne, a member of the University of Alberta Rotaract club at the U of A. She is studying for a Bachelors degree in Neuroscience with the goal of becoming a naturopath.
Harald Kukertz Scholarship Awarded  Vi Hughes 2021-11-17 07:00:00Z 0

Dec 14, Annual Meeting and Christmas Party

Our Annual Meeting will be held on Tuesday 14 Dec at 12 noon.
This will then be followed by a Christmas Dinner and Party at 1:00 pm at the Woodvale Facility
Please register for this online as usual.
Dec 14, Annual Meeting and Christmas Party  Vi Hughes 2021-11-17 07:00:00Z 0

Chase the Ace Winner

We would like to congratulate Rose Marie Basaraba who was the winner of our latest Chase the Ace fundraiser for our Community Foundation which is used to fund our Student Scholarship program. 
Chase the Ace Winner Vi Hughes 2021-11-17 07:00:00Z 0

Step Up to the Plate Special Speaker, Paul Brandt

Nov 22, Rotary Club of Edmonton Downtown
We would like to extend an invitation to all Edmonton area Rotarians to attend the Rotary Club of Edmonton (Downtown)’s annual Step Up To The Plate Luncheon at noon on Monday, November 22.
This year’s key note speaker will be country music star Paul Brandt, chair of the provincial government’s task force on human trafficking. The primary beneficiary of the funds raised will be the Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation ICEASES).
There are both in person (at the Chateau Lacombe Hotel) and on-line options
Tickets are $75 which will earn a $30 tax receipt. Get tickets at:  stepup2021rotary.eventbrite.ca.
If you can’t attend, you can also support this worthwhile cause by purchasing tickets on our wine tree at  https://www.rafflebox.ca/raffle/rotaryclubedmonton .
Or by bidding on one of the attractive items in the online auction at  https://www.32auctions.com/StepUpRotary2021
Step Up to the Plate Special Speaker, Paul Brandt  Jim Saunderson 2021-11-17 07:00:00Z 0

2022 Flag Program, Early Bird Special

Our Price for 2022 Flags is changing to $60 per year.
From now until December 31 you can pay for the 2022 flag year and the cost will be just $50.00.
Starting January 1 the cost will be $60.00.
2022 Flag Program, Early Bird Special  Vi Hughes 2021-11-17 07:00:00Z 0

November is Foundation Month

Posted by Bob Sandercock
The Foundation is Rotary's fund raising charitable arm to" Do Good in the World".
Donations can be to the Annual Fund, Polio Plus Fund, endowment fund, bequest fund or as a benefactor.
Your donation to the funds will be given a tax receipt so you will get a reduction on your taxes by the government.
The focus areas of the foundation are:
1. Promoting peace and conflict resolution.
2. Fighting disease
3. Providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene
4. Supporting education
5. Growing local economies
6. Supporting the environment
The aim of the foundation is to have "Every Rotarian Every Year" donate at least $25 US toward the above areas of focus. That is only about $1 per day Canadian $ for one month or 10 cents per day for a year.
Please research the Foundation by going to My Rotary web site.
There is extensive information there.
Means of donating:
1. Rotary Direct which is an automatic donation via credit card monthly, quarterly or annually.
2. Phone direct at toll free 1 866 976-8279 to The Rotary Foundation Canada
3. By mailing a cheque to the foundation or the foundation chair
4. On line at rotary.org/donate
Donations will be credited to your account and a Paul Harris recognition will be given to you for every $1,000 US
that you donate over one or several years.
Don't put it off or I will be contacting you every month!!!
Our club is one of the highest contributors per member to the Foundation. Lets keep that up this Rotary year also.
Thank you in advance for all your generosity to Rotary.
Bob Sandercock
November is Foundation Month  Bob Sandercock 2021-11-17 07:00:00Z 0
1924 Rotary Cartoon Ken Germaine 2021-11-06 06:00:00Z 0

Oct Update, Amarok Mothers School, Dhaka

Dear Members of the Rotary Clubs of Strathcona, Mayfield, Urban Spirits, Whyte Avenue, Grand Prairie and Hinton,
We hope you all are well. We are not very good as our life is going through many challenges after the covid crisis.
The season is changing, children are suffering in fever & cough. As still very few less than 3% people are infection by covid, we always advised people to go a doctor if the sickness is longer. However, we have a common problem for children in our slum like ‘pneumonia’ in every year. Often the local doctors prescribe antibiotic which is very much harmful for the growth of human body especially for children and we strongly suggest not to take antibiotic rather wait or take other precautions to cure from the cough and fever. Actually, we have learnt about the bad impact of ‘antibiotic’ from our teacher which she learnt from Gem Munro sir who came from Canada. In our slum and country people do not know about it. We know and share with other people of the slums about the good bacteria and bad, how it damages the natural immunity.
Our friend Rubi has been sick for couple of days. She has a different case caught by Dengue fever. Doctor gave some medicine for treatment of dengue. After taking medicine she feels well now. She told us, “2 years before I had caught by typhoid very badly. I was very sick and nobody was there to take care of me. Even I couldn’t take the medicine properly following the doctor’s prescription because that time I was illiterate. A neighbor who lived little far from my house helped me to understand the doctor’s advice. But now my friends around me, supporting me and I can take care of myself easily. Nowadays, I help other in their needs”. Rubi added that she is confident now and believes she can do many things on her own. Our education has given us such courage and all mothers of our school is like Rubi.
Another common disease in our country is ‘diabetic’. In our communities many people are suffering in diabetics even some of our mothers, their husbands and family members are suffering in this disease. Even many people do not know about their disease as they do not test their blood sugar. When they feel weak, health break they do test and very scared to know about it. In our school our teacher arranged a drama session to give us the massage of diabetic. We performed in the drama and other community observed our drama and got many messages about diabetic. Drama and role-play are always a good way to say something to others keeping their full interest till the end. But when we discuss or say something people loss interest in a few minutes. People enjoy, understand the messages well, enter into their heart when the presentations are interactive like drama or through images. We also aware people to take less carbohydrates although rice is our main food. 
Our session covered;
  • What is diabetic and why it attacks?
  • Types of diabetics
  • Symptoms of the disease
  • What should do and shouldn’t for a diabetic patient
  • Perfect food chart for a diabetic patient and such
Baby Begum and Molina of our friends in school were very attentive and interested in the session because they are suffering in diabetic. After getting information they keep control of foods, do exercise, eating more vegetables and do regular walking. A diabetic patient needs periodic checkup of blood sugar and by any reason if the sugar level goes high or very low should go to doctor for medicine. Our teacher also provides us the name and address of a government specialized diabetics hospital where we can meet specialized diabetic doctors and do blood test with very little cost as a token. We are grateful to her for the information. More interesting our friends Baby Begum and Molina are leading the team to share the message in the slums around that people become aware about ‘diabetics’.
We shared before about the days of Shorifa, now her baby is 8 months and she is giving him a compact meal with crashed rice, lentils and vegetable which she has learnt in ‘child food & nutrition training’ in Amarok School. She told us “When I play with him and talk to him. It seems to me that he understands my words. He is healthy and not suffering in any major disease as I take care of him very well because now, I know how to take care and feed at this age. After joining in Mother School there are lots of changes in my life and I am a happy person. But when I was new in school, I had many wrong believes about child development but after receiving many sessions now I am fully aware about child development and nutrition”. She is attending in school regularly with her little baby. We all love her baby very much. Our school is running well. Last week Shorifa conducted a session in our classroom on “caring newborn baby”. She smiled and conducted the session with confidently from her own experience.
Mina is enjoying her responsibility as the Librarian of Amarok library and focusing her goal to develop reading habit among children. She can see community people & children like to read story books more. If she can develop a large number readers including children, we will successful.
Now many of our friends do small street and mobile selling for earning as we all want economic empowerment. Fully depending on husband’s income is not safe and respectful, almost all mothers are experienced of that. We have realized the need of savings during the covid lockdown and joblessness.  Our friend Jhinuk has started to sell inexpensive cloths, with her little savings. She went to ‘Islampur’ a wholesale market to buy cheaper ladies wear and child readymade dress with help of Rumi. Sheuli is very good at sewing work. Sometimes she buys old dresses and modify size. Jhinuk shared her initiative with her and got the business idea. After that she collected cloths and sells them by feet for 2 hours every day walking around. She also has started to go door to door for selling. Her husband is very happy as her earnings afoords the family to eat better and could save some to meet the future crisis. Her husnad sometimes goes with her and carries the goods. We want to change our lives by education, by educating all children of our slum and being independent in earnings.
We are not only learning in our school but also doing good for our community. Our friend Parul has a small deposit in a Cooperative which is in Satarkul a little far from our place. She goes there once in a month for deposit her saving. One day she examined her deposit book with the office ledger and became surprised to see the balance as they did not put entry all the amount. Immidiately she raised her voice and asked for a checking. The staff wanted to do it later but she said, “it has to be now, in front of me”. After the checking the errors found in the office ledger and possibly the corruption was done by the corrector intentionally. But the in-charge instantly corrected her book adding the amount she should get. Next day in our school she told us her story confidently and we all inspired. It happened to many of our lives when we were illiterate but now does not happen now.
With our love and respect to you,
Rubi, Sheuli, Baby, Jhinuk, Molina and Mina
(Mothers of Combined Rotary Mothers’ School, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Oct Update, Amarok Mothers School, Dhaka Vi Hughes 2021-11-06 06:00:00Z 0

Monica Robson, Pilgrims Hospice

This past week we heard from Monica Robson, the Executive Director of the Pilgrim’s Hospice Society. The hospice was founded in Edmonton in 1994 by Dr. Helen Hays and Marion Boyd. They offer hospice services including a Day Program, Grief Support for both individuals and groups to adults, teens, children and families. They also have the new twelve bed Harold Roozen Family Hospice Center, a residential hospice which opened this year. They are a registered charity that is ninety seven percent funded by donations. Their day program is supported by Alberta Health Services, which comprises three percent of their overall funding. They are governed by a Board of Directors. In addition to their professional staff they rely on trained volunteers for many different functions. They also have five physicians working with them who work in the facility as well as doing home visits. All of their programs are free to participants. They are located in west Edmonton near 148 St and 98 Ave.

Monica told us that most people would prefer to die at home, but in Alberta about sixty percent of people die in hospital. Most people need some level of 24/7 care in their final days and this is very hard to provide at home. A hospice which sits between home and hospital care can provide a residential atmosphere while still providing the nursing and health care aide support needed. She said that they rely on the same criteria as AHS for admissions, but they are not part of the AHS hub system. They keep their own waiting list, take direct referrals and make their own decisions on admissions.  She said that quality of life should also include death.  Families need room to grieve and they do their best to assist this. They firmly believe in the principle that no one dies alone. She then showed us a video of the new hospice facility through the eyes of a family with a family member who was a resident of the facility.  We would like to thank Monica for her very interesting and moving presentation.

Monica Robson, Pilgrims Hospice  Vira Hughes 2021-11-02 06:00:00Z 0

WP Wagner Interact Club Day of Service

Posted by Richard Karlsson on Oct 17, 2021
Background for the Joint Service Week:
Rotary International is partnering with our friends at Kiwanis International, Lions Clubs International, and Optimist International to increase our collective impact through community service.
Celebrate Community was a weeklong service event taking place 10-16 October. During this time, Rotary, Rotaract, Kiwanis, Lions, and Optimist clubs were encouraged to collaborate with one another to complete a service project that benefits the community.
We chose to collaborate with our Interact club at WP Wagner High School. We were very curious about our young partners, since we have not been able to see them during the pandemic. This gave us a wonderful opportunity to “interact” with the students in a relaxed and cooperative way.
The mission was a cleanup in the sports field in front of the school and the ravine behind the school. We met at the greenhouses at WP Wagner in the morning. The event lasted just short of three hours. There was intense activity, and the group almost filled the refuse container at the school.
7 Rotarians attended (+1 grandson who worked hard as a human scale for weighing the collected bags). They were:
Vincent Campbell
Patrick Gibson
Carin Jansen van Vuuren
Stephan Jansen van Vuuren
Richard Karlsson
Jim Peddie
Amy Stewart
We were very impressed with the 12 interact members that attended. They are mature, friendly, and intelligent. We had lovely weather & it was interesting and fun talking with the students while we were working.
A big thank you to the president of WP Wagner Interact Club, Abinash Saravanan. This was a very nice format; we should do it again next year!
WP Wagner Interact Club Day of Service Richard Karlsson 2021-10-17 06:00:00Z 0

Oct Foundation Moment

Please make your donation online at Rotary Foundation Canada or send cheque by mail to Bob Sandercock at 120 Twin Brooks Cove, Edmonton, T6J 6T1
Oct Foundation Moment  Bob Sandercock 2021-10-12 06:00:00Z 0

Calen Paine, Wise Warrior Gym

Posted by Trina Vandermeer on Oct 05, 2021
In the Self-Defence Industry, there is a standard that states you may not recognize the best trained people because you never see them coming. They don’t flaunt their skills/talent/training, they just DO it.
This is the standard Wise Warrior Gym Founder/Owner/Director, Calen Paine, not only practices in his personal humble style, but the standard to which he leads and challenges his students to attain and maintain.
With 26 years in the Self-Defence industry, Paine, a 50 something, braided mohawk sporting, wiry, part-time musician, brings his quick wit, a wealth of knowledge, and experience to all his classes and students.  Whether they come from a career-based learning (Law Enforcement/Security/EMS/Social Services or a needs-based learning (students being bullied/persons being stalked); or the general public who want a 2-for-1 (physical fitness and Personal Safety) Program—wrapped up into one, time-saving package.
Asked how he got involved with training, Paine, with his usual self-deprecating humour laughed, “…I was a skinny kid, tired of being picked on….I wanted to meet girls…It was just my thing.” And over the years, his thing became a passion, and his passion became a career.  “Let’s face it, Self-Defence can be a “dark” subject—nobody likes to consider the need for it, so I wanted to make it “light”—take away some of the things that intimidate people about training and make it accessible for everyone.” A gong, music, the occasional personal serenade by Paine are regular Training techniques at the Wise Warrior Gym which focuses not only on the physical but also on the mental processes useful to self-protection and in many cases, personal growth.
“The best part of my job now is watching the development in others—seeing them reach their goals, whether it a new skill that helps their confidence, or tactical thinking that helps them feel safe in their surroundings, or them (the student) bringing real-life, on the job situations they didn’t know how to handle, or maybe weren’t successful with, and working it through so they can try something new the next time they face the situation. It’s just a great feeling.”
Paine doesn’t believe self-defence is just for kids or athletes. His brand of Jiu-Jitsu based martial arts, incorporates a number of other practices which has resulted in a fluid teaching style which allows him to, when needed, tailor the program to the needs of the student based on their age, fitness level, training purpose, and commitment level.
Located at 12832-141St, Wise Warrior Gym serves the Edmonton community with classes for those age five to 75, including the “SAFE” Program (Situational Awareness For Everyone/Everyday/Everywhere) which he is offering the three-session “Hard Target: Intro to Self-Defence”  through October and November to Rotary Club members for an Introductory price of $125 vs the usual $175 price. The program which focuses on awareness, pro-active planning vs reactive response, and some basic de-escalation techniques is a good place to start your self-defence/fitness routine in a Training center where Safety Procedures—including all Co-Vid protocols and Social Distancing are in place.  For those with some basic training and looking for something a bit more challenging,  personal one-on-one sessions, Weapons Training and Retention, and group training sessions are all available upon request.
You’ll need a comfy pair of pants and t-shirt, indoor shoes or clean socks as street shoes are not permitted, and the expectation of learning something new to attend, BUT, leave your ego at home as everyone attending class is there to learn and connect with others with the same purpose.
For more information or to register for the Rotary Club Special, Calen can be reached directly at 780-667-9911.
Calen Paine, Wise Warrior Gym  Trina Vandermeer 2021-10-05 06:00:00Z 0

Bob Sandercock, Sep Foundation Update

Posted by Bob Sandercock on Oct 01, 2021
So far five members have donated to the foundation this Rotary year.
The club donations since chartering now stand at $498,922 US so we have $1,078 US to go to go over the top of $1/2 million US in donations.
I have a nice bottle of bubbly for the member who puts us over the top! November is Foundation month but any time is donation time. Whether it is $25 US or greater any donation will count toward the bottle of bubbly.  Also I have in my budget over $200 to celebrate at an in person meeting with a glass of bubbly for everyone.
The executive has again passed a resolution to match up to 200 recognition points to members who have never contributed or did not contribute last year.
Just let me know when you contribute and the amount, the exchange rate is 1.27 this month.
The easiest way to contribute is to phone RI toll free at 1-866-976-8279. Other methods are to mail in, use rotary direct payments, benefactor donations, bequests, or give your donation to me made out to The Rotary Foundation Canada and I will process it.
By Phone:           1-866-976-8279
Rotary Direct:    my.rotary.org/rotary-direct
Online:                 rotary.org/donate
By cheque:         The Rotary Foundation (Canada)
                                c/o 911600
                                PO Box 4090 Stn A
                                Toronto, ON, M5W 0E9
To me:                  120 Twin Brooks Cove
                                Edmonton, T6J 6T1
Donations are to be in Canadian dollars and you will receive a Canadian tax receipt for your donation.
Bob Sandercock, Sep Foundation Update  Bob Sandercock 2021-10-01 06:00:00Z 0

Attention, ALL Members

In person meetings have been put on hold. Our Club is once again meeting by ZOOM every two weeks. A link to the ZOOM meeting will be emailed by Graham Gilchrist to all members and invited meeting attendees. 
Attention, ALL Members Vi Hughes 2021-09-28 06:00:00Z 0

Alan Nursall, Telus World of Science

Posted by Vi Hughes
This past week we heard from Alan Nursall, President and CEO of Telus World of Science. Alan thanked us for the sensory back packs and read a note that he had recently received from a mother who had recently visited the Telus World of Science with her nine year old son. She said that the backpack had really helped him to be able to enjoy their visit to the Science Centre.
Alan told us that the Science Centre opened in Edmonton in 1984 and that when he came to it in 2014 they were thinking about how to update it to best serve the City. The plan that was decided upon was called the Aurora Project, which was an ambitious multi year program to completely update the facility. At that time they asked the city for twelve million dollars and since then they have raised forty one million dollars towards the renovation.  This renovation which began in 2016 is almost complete now. They plan to be done in early 2022. The Science Centre space has been expanded to twenty thousand sq ft. housed in the new Cardinal building and includes many new or reimagined galleries including CuriousCITY (for children eight and under), The Science Garage (with hands on experiments), The Nature Exchange, The Health Zone in the Allard Family Gallery, a reimagined S.P.A.C.E. Gallery and a new Arctic Exhibit in the Newell Gallery. The renovations also included a completely renovated state of the art Zeidler Dome.
Alan told us that the Telus World of Science is the second largest ticketed admissions facility in Alberta after the Calgary Zoo. In 2019 (pre COVID) they had 560,000 ticketed admissions. They also have about 90,000 students visit per year and have recently put 30,000 students through online school programs and 1,000 students through online summer programs. Their hope is to be able to inspire young people to become thinkers and creators. They also take part in many projects that bring science to the general public around the province such as the dark sky event that takes place in Jasper every fall.
We would like to thank Alan for his very interesting presentation and look forward to being able to work with them in some small way again in  the future.
Alan Nursall, Telus World of Science  Vi Hughes 2021-09-21 06:00:00Z 0

Bernd Reuscher Memoriam

Posted by Rose Marie Basaraba
The Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona mourns the loss of our member of 31 years following a major brain aneurism. Bernd Reuscher was a staunch supporter of the Paul Harris Fund who shared his physical support at meetings and special events.  As guest speaker at our July 27th Rotary meeting he shared some of his personal connection with Germany and Canada as well as his International ventures. During his presentation to our Club based on his personal experience with COVID and loss of business, Bernd quoted a phrase used in Germany following the recent major flooding in Lipsieg: “The end is near: actually, it is just the beginning” prior to describing changes in his own life which resulted in poor health, depression and bankruptcy. Sadly, his personal commitment to change his own life based on having a ‘second chance’ ended with his passing exactly three weeks after his presentation (he did not share these thoughts with his family). Bernd’s intelligence, thoughtful and kind demeanor will be missed.
Bernd Reuscher Memoriam  Rose Marie Basaraba 2021-09-14 06:00:00Z 0

Membership Event- 11 Sep 2021

Posted by Richard Karlsson
  • Membership chair (Richard Karlsson) welcomed everyone to the event
  • New members were finally properly introduced to the club:
    • Norman Leach (in the company of wife Maritza)
    • Amy Stewart
  • Prospective members were introduced:
    • Kim Schmidt & husband Peter (guests of Heather de Kok, introduced by Carin Jansen van Vuuren)
    • Rhonda Smith in the company of partner Ben Gomez (introduced by Stephan Jansen van Vuuren)
    • Candace Cole (introduced by Amy Stewart)
    • Jacquie Riske in the company of husband Ken (introduced by Ken Germain)
  • Information of the objectives of Rotary were given as information to new & prospective members
  • Assistant District Governor (District 5370) Jeanette Bancarz (in the company of husband Marc Hanatschek) was our honored guest and gave the club the best wishes from the district.
  • The Paul Harris Fellowship Award was given to Ellen Weber.
  • Committee Reports:
    • Foundation (Bob Sandercock)
    • International (Patrick Gibson for Loida Lumanlan)
    • Youth (Brenda McCullough)
    • Flag Program (Vince Campbell)
    • Community (Carin Jansen van Vuuren for Trina Vandermeer)
  • An outstanding brisket was served, and the rest of the evening was a successful social event.
Membership committee
Richard Karlsson
Stephan Jansen van Vuuren
Membership Event- 11 Sep 2021 Richard Karlsson 2021-09-13 06:00:00Z 0
Sep Foundation Moment Vi Hughes 2021-09-13 06:00:00Z 0

Ellen Weber, Paul Harris Fellow Presentation

Posted by Bob Sandercock on Sep 11, 2021
The Rotary Foundation was set up over 100 years ago to raise money for the many international and community projects that the various worldwide Rotary clubs sponsor each year. The donations are divided into district grants which each club has access to, global grants for larger projects and disaster response grants. Global grants are for support of fighting diseases, providing clean water-sanitation and hygiene, education, women and child welfare, promoting peace, growing local economies and protecting the environment.
Our club has raised almost half a million US$ for the foundation since being chartered. Last year we raised over $27,000 US for the annual and polio plus funds with 75% of our members donating $25 US or more to the foundation. Of charitable organizations, ours (Rotary) has received the highest 4 star rating from the Charity Navigator for 13 straight years. There are several ways of donating and I will outline them in the club bulletin in the future. You can also look up all the information on the Foundation by going to the My Rotary Foundation web site.
Paul Harris Fellow recognitions are given out to members who have contributed $1,000 US or more and to persons who the club or other members feel have contributed to the well being of Rotary. Last year 27 Paul Harris Fellow were given out plus 3 major donor recognitions.
It is with pleasure that we give a Paul Harris Fellow to our past member Ellen Weber for all the work she had done for the club.
Ellen Weber, Paul Harris Fellow Presentation Bob Sandercock 2021-09-11 06:00:00Z 0

New Member Welcome BBQ

Posted by Vi Hughes on Sep 11, 2021
This Saturday we held a BBQ at the home of Carin and Stephan Jansen van Vuuren to welcome our new members to Rotary.
See the photo album below for more pictures from this event. 
Our very generous hosts opened their home and large outdoor patio and served us smoked brisket with a large helping of hospitality. The word was that Stephan got up at 3 am! to start smoking the brisket, which was perfectly cooked and absolutely delicious!
The program from Richard Karlsson, our Membership Chairperson and Carin, our President gave a short introduction to Rotary and what it represents for our new members. It also included a Paul Harris Fellowship presentation to Ellen Weber, our past Membership Chairperson.
Everyone who attended had a wonderful time visiting with each other while knoshing on snacks and warming themselves around the three fires (two propane and one bonfire). The cloudy weather held off and we ended the evening with an almost clear sky.
A good time was had by all who attended and we would like to extend a very big thankyou to our very gracious hosts, Stephan and Carin.
New Member Welcome BBQ  Vi Hughes 2021-09-11 06:00:00Z 0

Terry Vaughn, What’s the Buzz about Bees

Posted by Vi Hughes on Sep 07, 2021
This past week we were pleased to welcome Terry Vaughn, a local business woman (The Humble Bee) and bee keeper. Terry brought along a live observation hive that was buzzing with bees and gave a very engaging presentation on the lives of bees and their importance in the environment.
Terry, who is a former schoolteacher, and her husband Jeff, started bee keeping in 2016 after her husband was diagnosed with arthritis and found he could not tolerate many different kinds of foods, including nearly all sugars, with the exception of natural maple syrup and honey. Switching up his diet made a huge difference in his life, so he and Terry decided to go into the bee keeping business, both to supply their household with enough honey for their needs and as a profitable business. They now have twenty-six hives. Terry said that it was a very steep learning curve and they are still learning. Terry also shares her knowledge of bees by giving talks to local schoolchildren and other groups. They  make and sell honey (two thousand pounds this year) and bees wax products such as wax coated food wrappers and bees wax candles.
Terry says that bees are like babies, they take a lot of care and attention. In our climate they need hives made of material that can resist the extreme cold and keep the bees warm and dry thoughout the year. The bees need to keep their hive at a constant thirty five degrees in all weather and they also need to control the humidity in their hive in order to stay healthy. The outside of the each bee hive is painted in a different colour so the bees can find their way home. The only colour not used is red, as bees cannot see this colour.
The yearly cycle of a beehive starts in the spring when the queen bee can lay up to three thousand eggs a day. The eggs take twenty-one days to become adult bees. The worker bees (girl bees) do all the work in the hive from cleaning out empty cells to feeding and cleaning the queen, gathering nectar (honey) and pollen, making new cells, feeding the young and helping to maintain the constant temperature and humidity in the hive by fanning their wings. The drones (boy bees) only purpose is to fertilize the queen. The drones are killed off before winter as they are not needed again until spring. Queen bees live three to five years, worker bees only forty-five days in spring and summer and up to one hundred days in winter. By fall the queen is laying very few eggs and the hive is preparing for winter by filling and capping cells with honey and pollen to keep them over winter. The hive is still buzzing all winter long as the bees still raise a small number of young to replace those who die. They also need to go outside once in a while to do their business, as they will not go inside the hive. They will fly a short distance from the hive just long enough to do their business on warm winter days. The main threats to a hive are mites, moisture, humidity and starvation, especially in April before the flowers come into bloom. It is important for bee keepers to leave their hives with enough honey to last through the end of April.
Bees are the main pollinators of most of our native plants and agricultural crops. Bees will forage up to six kilometers out from their hive. They look for nectar and pollen from all kinds of plants, so no bee keeper can truly say their honey is only from one plant. They also need a clean safe source of water for drinking year round. Bees are an essential part of our ecosystem and we need to support them in every way we can. We would like to thank Terry for her very interesting and entertaining presentation.
Terry Vaughn, What’s the Buzz about Bees  Vi Hughes 2021-09-07 06:00:00Z 0

Sep 21 Project Amigo Update

Posted on Sep 06, 2021
Hello, good morning, dear members of the Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona, I introduce myself, my name is Lety and I am part of Project Amigo.
I am getting in touch with you to inform you that unfortunately your goddaughter from Project Amigo, Yosselin Méndez Ramírez, is leaving the scholarship program, since she did not manage to be accepted at the University of Colima where she took the admission exam, she did not remain in the career in the which did the paperwork, which was Architecture and since it was not, she was insisting both at the University of Colima and at the Technological University of Colima, both schools are the only public schools that offer the Architecture degree, but it was not accepted either, so decides to study in a private school, which is called Vizcaya University, Yosselin is aware that Project Amigo cannot support her to study in private schools, she is determined to study in this private university and to pay for the expenses, she will work and her parents will also they will be helping to cover expenses.
Yosselin will contact you shortly to thank you for all the time you have been supporting her with her generous sponsorship.
Thank you for the trust placed in Project Amigo, thank you for helping to change the lives of children and young people.
For any clarification, please direct your questions to Mr. Kirk Dretzka, General Manager and Mr. Jorge Torres, Director of Student Services.
I bid you farewell with gratitude and respect.
Lety Valle
Dear Rotary Club Edmonton Strathcona sponsors!
Hello, dear sponsors, how are you?
It is a pleasure for me to be able to greet you through this letter, but I also feel sad since I will stop being a fellow at Proyecto Amigo, due to complications that I had at the school I wanted to enter since I was not accepted, that is why I decided that I am going to study Architecture at another school that does not qualify for the Proyecto Amigo scholarship.
I assure you that even if I no longer continue in the Scholarship Program, I will always continue to strive to achieve my goals and be able to finish a professional career, just as I have always told you.
During this time that I was a fellow at Proyecto Amigo I felt very good, I learned many things and was always supported, I met great people and always learned from them, I keep many good things and many experiences.
I thank you with all my heart and I will always be grateful for all the support you gave me during these 3 years, I feel very happy to have shared so many things with you, but above all for knowing that there are people like you with a good heart and very generous who they are always ready to support others. My family and I are very grateful to you for all the financial support you gave me for my school expenses, as I told you at the beginning, even if I do not continue with the scholarship, I will always strive to meet my goals and be able to finish a professional career and be a great professional.
I say goodbye to you, wishing you have an excellent day, that you always have good health and that you are always very lucky in the work you do every day, I will always remember you and carry you on my mind and in my heart. My family and I send you a big hug.
Thank you for everything, I will be eternally grateful, I love you.
With much affection, love and gratitude,
Yosselin Méndez Ramírez.
Sep 21 Project Amigo Update  Vi Hughes 2021-09-06 06:00:00Z 0

Bernd Reuscher’s passing

Our dear friend and fellow Rotarian Bernd Reuscher passed away August 17th from a devastating stroke.
Our deepest condolences go out to his wife Wendy, his children, and the rest of the family.
The Club was blessed to have Bernd as our speaker on July 27th when we returned to in-person meetings. Bernd was a ​Rotarian for almost 21 years and his extraordinary skills to create goodwill and better friendships, even over the Atlantic, stands as a testament of the exceptional person he was. He will be ​missed, but never forgotten.
The Funeral Service for Bernd Reuscher will take place on Monday, Aug 30th.
To respect everyone's comfort level and given the evolving nature of the COVID pandemic and restrictions on both gatherings and travel, they are providing two options for attendance (in person and by live stream).
The family is asking you to RSVP how you will be joining them by using this LINK https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdgSPVuZIW_vEpSvYWdSt78cgQTy3uJA79-PNYS9vzMKXaP3g/viewform
Bernd Reuscher’s passing 2021-08-26 06:00:00Z 0
Rotary Foundation Moment Vi Hughes 2021-08-25 06:00:00Z 0

Norman Leach, New Member Induction

Posted on Aug 24, 2021
Our Newest Member
This Tuesday, Past Pres Stephan Jansen van Vuuren inducted Norman Leach as our newest club member with the classification of Marketing Consultant.
He reminded all that Rotary is not just another club. It's a way of life. He told Norman he was elected to membership because we felt he would fit into this way of life. Always remember Rotary's two official mottoes: “Service Above Self “and “One Profits Most Who Serves Best.”
Every member is expected to perform his share of club and community service, and the committees of our club will afford him opportunities to give service. For the rest of this Rotary year, Norman will be serving on the International committee.
In closing Stephan said “Lastly, but by no means least, is our ideal of friendship. As you expect to receive, so give. May you be stimulated by the friendship you find here and may we in return know you to be an added source of strength to our club. Rotary is like everything else - you get out of it what you put into it.”
We would like to welcome Norman to our club and look forward to getting to know him better.
Norman Leach, New Member Induction  2021-08-24 06:00:00Z 0

Graham Gilchrist, Classification Talk

This Tuesday we were pleased to hear a very interesting talk from our long-time member Graham Gilchrist. Graham told us that that he first became interested in Rotary in 2002 when he went to Indonesia on a Rotary Group Study Exchange. After returning to Canada he joined Rotary in Vegreville, and then continued with Rotary once he moved to Edmonton. Graham told us that he has been a licensed Agrologist for more than thirty years and currently holds two licenses, one in Alberta and the other in British Columbia. When he left public service, about five years ago, he started his own consulting company, focused on the corporate side of agrology. Four years ago he started doing forensic agrology, working as an independent expert witness in cases involving disputes concerning agriculturally related cases. He now also holds a private investigator license which allows him to testify in court in these types of cases.
He then went on to talk about some of the many interesting public cases he has been involved with over the past few years. He has been asked to certify that fields qualify for inclusion in the carbon credit market or to determine how many acres have been damaged for insurance or remuneration purposes. He has also been asked to determine whether the cattle included in an estate still exist, whether a crop has been harvested last fall or more recently and is often asked for evaluations on farming corporations, land or labour (seeding, fertilizing, combining) used to determine settlements between two opposing parties. He also does costing out calculations for valuations of carbon credits, supply chain systems, and costing out of expenses used to set prices for products. In some cases he advises on the division of labour, which types of decisions are best made by the corporate board, and which should be made by the corporate manager. He has also done water flow trending for the Milk River in order to inform how Canada can fulfill it’s commitment to the international water commission. Graham said that he often finds he can give people solutions to problems they never even knew they had!
We would like to thank Graham for this very interesting glimpse into his work and can see that he is a good representative for the principles of Rotary.
Graham Gilchrist, Classification Talk  Vi Hughes 2021-08-24 06:00:00Z 0
Attention All Members, Advance Registration and Payment for Meetings  Vi Hughes 2021-08-05 06:00:00Z 0

Bob Sandercock, RCES Final Foundation Report for 2020-2021 Year

Posted by Bob Sandercock
Our club’s total donations since being chartered stand at $496,848 US.
We will easily surpass the half million $ mark in the 2021-2022 year.
I will give a prize to the member who puts it over the top.
I can get that information from RI.
Also I will have an open bar with members getting one drink ticket for a bubbly wine to celebrate.
Our total donations this past year were $27,309 US.
That comprised of $18,043 US for the Annual fund.
and $9,286 US for the Polio Plus fund.
36 members donated which is 75% of our members which is short of my lofty goal of 100%.
29 members were Every Rotarian Every Year ($25 US or more).
27 were sustaining members ($100 US or more).
The average donation was $535 US per member.
We had 27 Paul Harris Fellows presented.
Also there were two new Major donors recognized ($10,000 US or more).
And one Major donor level 2 recognized ($20,000 US or more).
I will try to present all of the recognitions at in person meetings.
I would like to thank all our members for being so generous in such a difficult year.
Contacting each member is so much better in person than on the phone.
However I did enjoy all of the phone calls.
Bob Sandercock, RCES Final Foundation Report for 2020-2021 Year  Bob Sandercock 2021-08-05 06:00:00Z 0

Bernd Reuscher, Living Through Trying Times

Posted by Rose Marie Basaraba on Jul 27, 2021
Bernd engaged the attention of fellow members and guests with a partial review of his life as a child escaping East Germany with his family through the underground tunnels of Berlin in 1946 to completion of his Engineering degree in 1994. Through the years he has continued to promote relations between Canada, Alberta and the Republic of Germany along with fellow Rotarians, Fritz Koenig and Hugo Lehmann.
In his presentation which he referenced to a newspaper article “The end is near, actually this is just the beginning” he focused on a personal experience that reflected on being allowed another chance in life, much as the Germans who survived two major floods and rebuilt their communities and their lives.
In late January, 2020, with no direct flight from Hong Kong, he was forced to take a flight home from Singapore in less than admirable conditions. After arriving home he began experiencing respiratory problems which resulted in his being admitted to the Royal Alexandra Hospital from the end of May to the end of June when he was discharged after determining he did not have COVID.  His recovery meant that he was unable to monitor his business and was forced to sell his assets: keeping afloat was a nightmare. This situation brought on a severe depression and referral to a Psychiatrist which eventually lead to a personal testament to his ability to overcome procrastination in completing those ‘personal duties’ ie. Wills, etc.
Recalling his involvement in assisting provinces in Germany to rebuild following devastating flooding and loss of lives (more recently Leipzig), he determined he now had been given a second chance to rebuild his life as well. His determination is built in the belief that there is always a new beginning: fear and worry or makes us stronger. People come together to help one another in a show of solidarity: being there for one another. COVID affected everyone: adversity is a part of life’s plan; suffering is optional. Bernd recommends the following for a more satisfying life:
Switch off the TV: it provides an endless embodiment of bad news.
Be selective with the people: surround yourself with positive people.
Music: Enjoy favorite music: it is an absolute healer
Be in Nature: nature is therapeutic
Start treating yourself: small things in life are a big deal.
Thank you, Bernd, for this very sobering and therapeutic presentation.
Bernd Reuscher, Living Through Trying Times  Rose Marie Basaraba 2021-07-27 06:00:00Z 0

Trina VanderMeer, Community Service Committee Update

Posted by Trina Vandermeer on Jul 26, 2021
A busy time for the Community Services chaired by Trina VanderMeer
A Walk to Remember took place June 29th in the INEW Indigenous Park, a subsection of Queen Elizabeth Park, which combined both a ParticiPACTION Grant from the Federal Government with the Diversity Focus implemented by Rotary at both the District and International levels.
The walk saw 16 participants review North American history from the Indigenous perspective through a blanket ceremony and Smudge presented by a representative of the ISKEW healing center. Cree Subs provided soup and Bannock for the event which had 13 of the 16 attendees indicate they enjoyed the experience, and 4 attendees ask if another such event could be held with time for a Q and A session, and the suggestion of possibly a Sweat Lodge experience be included. This is currently being looked into as an educational opportunity to be arranged privately, so if you’re interested, please let Trina know.
The second priority Phase 2 and 3 of the “Accessibility Back Pack Program.”
This joint effort between Rotary Club of Edmonton Strathcona (RCES) and Variety Children’s Charity, saw the “building” of 30 backpacks at Wise Warrior Gym by two AMAZING teams of Rotary members—The Tuesday night team was led by Vince and Vi, who had MOST of the entire team’s focus completed before everyone showed up…which allowed for some face-to-face friendship!
The Wednesday night team took longer—TWO Presidents on site, Jim Peddie and Carin Jansen van Vuuren - what do you expect — they broke or broke-in new member Amy Stewart who had some difficulty keeping track of her squeaky toys!
Thank you to both Loida, and Rose Marie—who were quite disappointed the work were completed too quickly for them to feel like they worked hard!
Then Phase 3 of this project kicked off with President Van Vuuren and Community lead Vandermeer dropping of 10 completed back packs at the Edmonton Co-op in Hawkstone to District Manager Kris and Store Manager Karl, for Distribution to their 5 local stores. Training for these folks is slated for July 28th via Zoom.
Ninety-minutes later, Jansen van Vuuren, Peddie, and Vandermeer, met up with Variety Children’s Charity representative Carole Alvarez-Cornell, and presented the Telus World of Science Center with two backpacks.
The team of Telus, including CEO Alan Nursall and a representative from each department, took our team to the new children’s imagination center, where they promptly started playing with all the Sensory-based toys supplied, while OUR team played in the Airplane. Jim said Sir Richard Branson reached the edge of space & Jeff Bezos successfully completed a historic space launch. Now two Rotarians are on their way - one small step for Rotary!
Watch out for Alan Nursall and his team to visit a future club meeting and update RCES on the $40m renovation the Telus World of Science Center is currently undergoing over the next year and offer funding opportunities for our two groups to work together on.
In the meantime, if you have any suggestions on where you think we should put the Sensory Backpacks, let Trina know. She is currently working on supplying them to the Edmonton Zoo and West Edmonton Mall and waiting for contact info from members regarding Ronald McDonald House and Stollery Children’s Hospital.
Trina VanderMeer, Community Service Committee Update  Trina Vandermeer 2021-07-26 06:00:00Z 0
Pradeep Das, Space Race Global News Interview  Vi Hughes 2021-07-20 06:00:00Z 0

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

JOIN a Rotary Days of Service Project

Participate in a 5K & 10K Fun Run or Walk to raise funds to ERADICATE POLIO

Fellow Members - Our CLUB has registered a TEAM!
Sign up and complete your virtual 5K or 10K walk or run anytime between September 11th and 19th, 2021.
Together we can End Polio Now!
Interested? Contact Past President Jim Peddie at jim@peddieinsurance.ca

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 vimeo.com/141191285 (password: mason) and you can find his podcasts at player.fm/podcasts/Kwame.
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 MattDay.ca for music and speaking, GrayDay.ca for virtual team morale boosting and EaseMusic.ca 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

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 (CCMF.ca) 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
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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 amaroksociety.org@gmail.com
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 time....as 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 • frankhelman@polaris.net
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 https://nait.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=3fb6cd12-2b5d-492f-9c23-ab80016de90d. Some of the animations were not captured, but you can reproduce these at the Washington Post at this link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/
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
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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: shelterboxcanada.org/actiontoolkit/presentation.
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
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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

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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
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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
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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 musicenrichment.ca.

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


Posted on Jan 29, 2020
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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 terridd@yahoo.ca. 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
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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  admin@edmontonrotary.com 

 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
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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.  volunteer@yess.org  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 volunteer@yess.org  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 marketing@winhouse.org.
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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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 Eileen.papulkas@yess.org 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 volunteer@yess.org  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 www.facebook.com/annelisedotca Follow us on Instagram at www.instagram.com/annelisedotca
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 www.archgreenhouses.com
Follow Small Business Saturday at www.annelise.ca/smallbusinesssaturday
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