Local Rotary News and Upcoming Speakers
Fotini Chandrika Walton 
Fotini Chandrika Walton will be speaking to the Rotary Club of Alliston via Zoom on Monday, January 24, 2022 at 7pm. Her topic will be Healing With Horses.
If you wish to be a guest at this meeting, click here for an invitation.
Bio for Fotini Chandrika Walton:

Fotini Chandrika has spent the past decade as devoted Steward and Listener of her four Horses, Spirit, Malachi, Penny and Isa, who are her teachers and partners in their Equine Guided Wellness practice. She is a born empath and has lived in the wonder of sacred communion with the Animal Kingdom and at home in the Natural world since her earliest memories. Fotini is the Founder of Awaken With Horses International, where she is wholeheartedly devoted to the mission of the Horses as they lead the way to a better world for both Horse and Human. Together with the Herd, Fotini shares a unique modality, Horse Wisdom Yoga® which offers intuitively guided, creative, private sessions, small group retreats and various training opportunities at Red Barn Wellness Farm in Loretto, Ontario, Canada.  Fotini strongly believes in the importance of reciprocal wellbeing between both Horse and Human. Through her support programs for Horse Stewards and Equine Guided Professionals, Fotini shares two decades of personal and professional experience in the study of, holistic care for and thriving partnership with Horse as teacher and partner with equine enthusiasts from around the world. For more information, please visit www.AwakenWIthHorses.com or @awakenwithhorses on Instagram. .  *Horse Wisdom Yoga® is not yoga on horseback. All activities take place on the ground. No Horse experience necessary*


John VanderMeer will be guest speaker on Monday, February 28 at 7pm
Please click on this link if you would like to join us to hear John speak about his work in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We will provide you with a Zoom Invitation Link.
John's Bio
My name is John VanderMeer and I was born and raised in Alliston.  After school, I moved to the Oshawa area to work with Ontario Hydro at two of their nuclear power stations. Met my wife Marian there and we have been blessed with 6 children, 3 boys followed by 3 girls.
In 1993, after 12 years working with Hydro, I left to join Wycliffe Bible Translators and SIL International.   For the next 5 years, Marian and I busied ourselves with the needed training and preparations to move our family to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).   When we left Canada, the DRC had once again plunged into warfare, making it not safe to live in the country.  So, we temporarily worked out of Nairobi, Kenya, for two years.   We then moved and worked from Arua, Uganda, a town near the DRC border for about 8 years.  Finally, we moved to Isiro, DRC, for about 6 years.  We continue to support the work in the DRC, but now remotely, from our home in Whitby, Ontario, making yearly trips back, barring travel restrictions from the Covid pandemic.   
Using my technical training, I was able to provide technical support in areas such as solar power, radio communications, computer support and internet connectivity.  This often involved being dropped into small villages within the forest by small Cessna planes or using a 4x4 on some very bad roads.   I have since transitioned to providing support to the different language communities in the area of media.  This includes building apps for smart phones, dubbing films into local languages, audio recording, some video, training and finding hardware solutions.
One of the jobs for the May 2022 Congo trip will include leading an audio-recording training workshop to representatives from 8 different language communities. Discussing this workshop with my supervisor some months back, we explored different ideas to better enable the students to create local audio programs.   Because of limited funding, these students will be expected to share recording and editing hardware among themselves, despite the fact that they live far apart.  This is not good.   It would be like asking carpenters in different towns to share the same hammer and Saw, then wonder why they were taking so long to build their houses.  I offered to try raise the needed funds in Canada so to purchase the needed hardware to take back.  
Andy Owens paddling at Earl Rowe Provincial Park 
Andy Owens spoke to the Rotary Club on Monday, January 10th via Zoom. He shared his passion for volunteering with AIM. For more information about AIM and how you can get involved please visit their website link below.
 Bio of Andy Owens
Locally raised in Alliston since 1956, Andy has taught both elementary and high school students from 1977 – 2009.  Very active in teaching canoeing skills to students and leading canoe trips since 1990.  Upon retirement in 2009, he became associated with Abilities in Motion and have coordinated many adaptive paddling opportunities at Earl Rowe P.P. for persons with disabilities.
Kelly McCague of Royal LePage RCR Realty presents cheque for $1000 to Rotary President Bill Wray
The generous donations by Royal LePage RCR Realty from 2020 and 2021 will be used towards a bench in a park in New Tecumseth. 
Thank you to all the wonderful staff at Royal LePage RCR Realty!
We are pleased to announce that Canadian Tire - Alliston is our newest corporate member.  Welcome Adriano Dalle Rive (General Manager) and Brad O'Neill (Owner) to the Rotary Family.
Left to right:  Rotarian Patricia Middlebrook, Adriano Dalle Rive (General Manager), Brad O'Neill (Owner) and Rotary President Bill Wray
Usually this week Rotarians and community volunteers are out on the streets of Alliston gathering Christmas trees for our 12th Night Bonfire.  Due to safety concerns and health restrictions related to COVID -19 the Rotary Club of Alliston has again had to cancel this celebration of the New Year, 2022.  We hope we can host this great family event next year in 2023.  
12th Night Bonfire - 2019
Each year at this time the Rotary Club of Alliston identifies a charity supporting families in need over the holiday season and asks our members for support.  This year My Sister's Place - Alliston was our chosen charity.  Through the generosity of members and their families we collected $1300 of gift cards and donations to support families in need.  Thank you Rotarians.
Felix Kaechele

Welcome Felix Kaechele to the Rotary Club of Alliston.  Felix was born and raised in Leverkusen, Germany and moved to Canada in 2019 from California.
Felix is 32 years old and married to Sarah. Sarah and Felix and their dog Lotta (she's a Bodeguero, rescued from Spain) enjoy living in Alliston.
Sarah was voted Best Dog Trainer and Best New Business in the Alliston Herald's Reader's Choice this year. Congratulations Sarah! The editor suggests Sarah would be a great future guest speaker.

Felix works for Cisco as a Software Engineering Technical Leader in Emerging Technologies & Incubation. His areas of interest are technology and citizen empowerment to use technology for good.

Felix enjoys Real Crime Podcast Shows, Karaoke and Dad Jokes :)
Felix Kaechele was inducted officially into the club on November 22, 2021.
A big Rotary thank you to all the volunteers, and participants in the Night Lit Santa Claus Parade.  It was great display of lights, music and community spirit.  Special thanks to the Town of New Tecumseth staff for their support and hard work, the Nottawasaga OPP and New Tecumseth Fire & Rescue who helped keep everyone safe.  We could not do it without them!  Thanks to Thomas Funeral Homes for allowing us advertising space on the their new, high tech sign. Looked great!
Here are the winning entries for 2021!
WOW Factor – HD Towing and Recovery
Best Overall – The Circle Theatre
Most Unique – Starlite Graphics & Signs
Best Use of Traditional – Grant Thornton
For more pictures from the  parade click here.  The big guy (Santa) was camera shy this year.
 If you're interested in seeing the video prepared by Rogers Community TV of our parade held on 20 November, you can see it here:
The Parade will be shown on Rogers TV (Channel 65) and also live streamed on the Rogers TV website for anyone that doesn’t have Rogers Cable.  Go to https://rogerstv.com/home?lid=14&rid=93. All show times and dates can be found on the website.
Here is the TV schedule:
Friday   Dec 17th              8:30pm
Saturday Dec 18th            3:30pm – 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Sunday Dec 19th               8:30am – 10:00am – 2:30pm – 5:30pm 9:00pm
Monday Dec 20th             11:30am – 3:00pm – 4:30pm – 9:00pm
Tuesday Dec 21st             9:30am – 11:00am – 2:30pm – 4:00pm – 5:30pm – 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Wednesday Dec 22nd      8:30am – 11:00am – 3:00pm – 5:00pm – 7:30pm – 10:30pm
Thursday Dec 23rd           9:00am – 11:00am – 2:30pm – 3:30pm – 5:30pm – 8:00pm – 9:30pm
Friday Dec 24th                 9:30am – 3:00pm
Rotary Club of Alliston is pleased to announce that the Run 4 Youth Event raised $11,639.25, half for each of Youth Haven and New Path. These 2 organizations help the youth and their families of our region.  
The club is very grateful for the generous support of the sponsors and participants for the Run 4 Youth event held July-September 2021. At our November 22 club meeting the representatives from both organizations spoke to members about the services their organizations provide to youth in our community. Please see details below and links to these organizations websites.
Dominika Zapolnik is the Communications Manager at New Path Youth & Family Services

Dominika is a passionate community builder and not-for-profit communicator. Her current work involves strategic communication, fundraising, and advocacy work for New Path Youth and Family Services and New Path Foundation, child and youth mental health leaders in Simcoe County, Ontario. She is also the Communications Specialist for the South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team, focusing on the co-design of health and social service care with community members and partners of the OHT in the region. She is a graduate of the Ryerson University School of Journalism and, more recently, a graduate of the MA in Professional Communication program at Royal Roads University. She resides in Midhurst with her partner, Michael, her two amazing children, Ruby-Anne and Logan, and three rescue pups.
Kyle Murray, Manager of Clinical Services at New Path Youth & Family Services

Kyle is a strong advocate for timely, accessible infant, child, and youth mental health services and supports several New Path Youth & Family Services initiatives. Kyle currently oversees several programs, including Brief Services, Early Years, Intake, and the Call-In Clinic. Kyle is a graduate of York University’s Master of Social Work program. Kyle resides in Shelburne, Ontario, with his partner Abigail and two daughters Everlyn and Eisley. They can often be found hiking the Bruce trail with their two dogs.
The New Path Youth & Family website is: www.newpath.ca
We are also on social media: 
Facebook @NewPathYFS
Twitter @NewPathYFS
Youth Haven
Louise Jones is the Director of Fund Development for Youth Haven.
Louise has been in this role since April 2020. Prior to that, she was the Fund Development Manager for the Child Advocacy Centre Simcoe Muskoka. In addition to her role at Youth Haven, Louise is an avid photographer. Her most recent work is with GoodLife Magazine as their food photographer, capturing photos of restaurants within the County of Simcoe.Louise loves the outdoors, fishing, golfing, hiking and cottaging. As well, she enjoys travelling. Louise is a member of the Rotary Club of Barrie, and has volunteered with the Barrie Minor Baseball Association, COPE Service Dogs, the Barrie Photo Club, Seasons Centre for Grieving Children, Family Connexions, among others. She believes strongly in giving back to the community.
October 2021 -Parvin with students in  Bangladesh     
Rotary Club of Alliston  sponsors Parvin, a mother,  to teach 5 children in her community in Bangladesh.  The program by the Amarok Society teaches mothers and in turn the mothers teach their children and other children in their community. These children would not have the opportunity to attend school without this program.
 Here is the letter from our club's sponsored mother, Parvin.     
Dear members of the Rotary Club of Alliston,
Hope you all are fine with your family. I am also well here with my family and neighborhood children. All five children I teach are doing well in their study. We have got new Bengali & math books. There are different types of learning method, games and activities in the books. So many practical examples, good stories related to our life, livelihood, problematic math and such. We like the books. More importantly some of the stories of the books are written by mothers of Amarok School and pictures drawn by the children of micro-school and our grads. Sometimes I take books to teach in my Micro School. I love them teaching, there are some topics difficult for me but I take help from my Amarok Teacher and sometimes send my students to her. In recent time I have developed some new games for them to make the lesson joyful. It is so fun and enjoyable session when I use new games in my Micro School. So that they are inspired to attend timely and learn very fast.
Our teacher always starts a new lesson with an ‘introduction’. Last week our teacher discussed about six seasons of our country. At the start she asked about the present conditions of last few weeks and asked what could be in a few weeks. We have six seasons in our country but we wanted to know the names of the seasons in English. Our teacher divided us into 6 groups and told each team to talk about the season to do a short role-play to express the season the group belonged without mentioning the name. It takes 3 days to complete the lesson. I belonged to a member of the Spring Team. We acted on 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 the role. Most importantly we learn teaching methods from our school and deliver when we teach children in our micro-schools.    
A new mother admitted in our school named Rohima who is 38 years old. She is a housemaid and her husband is a day labor. She has 3 daughters and 1 son. 2 daughters got married and live in another place and one of daughter lives with her aunt in village. One day she was going to her work place, she met a mother Kohinur who was coming to Amarok School with notebooks. After hearing about our school Rohima wanted to learn. The next day she admitted and learning besides her work. Now she is doing very well and very enthusiastic. When we do group work, she sits with me and she needs support in English. We are supporting her that she can improve her level and come to close to our level.
Now I’m going to share a story of one of my neighborhood children. The name of child is Nahid who is 7 years old. He studies in Micro School of Jhuma. He has a little sister, 4 years old. When Nahid was 3 years old, his mother left them and got married again and left them. After that his father also got married a woman. There are 5 members in his family including a grandmother. Although his grandma is 70 years old, she looks very strong now and she has to do the all-household work because Nahid’s step-mother is a housemaid so she is busy for the whole day. One day Nahid was walking in the backstreet of Nurerchala then suddenly he saw some 10 to 15 years old boys were doing something bad together in that alley. He tried to understand that what happen there but could not understand properly. After a while the boys left the place and he went there to see, he saw that a currency of 100 taka (1.5 $) had fallen on the ground. He picked it up and he fell into greediness. Nahid shared the incidents with her mother, then her mother with her friends in school and they discovered about the little boys smoked cigarettes and did some other bad things. Amarok mothers in a group identified the parents of the children, informed them and the bad practice has stopped finally.
The COVID situation is improving in our country. More people are getting COVID 19 vaccines. Already I received the first dose and I will go to the hospital for my second dose in the next week. I am always careful about health of my family members and my neighbors and go out with safety measures. Our Prime Minister has declared that by March 2022, 80% 18+ people will be under the vaccination. Till now below 18 years children are not entitled for the vaccines.
You know I have a small vegetable garden but there are no good vegetables now because of lot of rain. The vegetables are spoiled due to the waterlogging of the rain water. But the rain has almost gone and I’ll put new seeds in a couple of weeks to get winter vegetables. I hope this year more vegetables will grow as I have experience and use my learning from the past.
Let’s hope for my children that they can be educated and live a better life than me.     
Yours lovingly,
Captain Rachael Tracey was the guest speaker for the Rotary Club of Alliston on Monday, November 8th.
Captain Tracey and her Coxswain CPO2 Talia Rossit did an excellent presentation for our Remembrance Day meeting. Their bios are below.
My name is Captain Rachael Tracey. I am a Reserve (part-time) member of the Canadian Armed Forces as Cadet Instructors Cadre Officer within the Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service sub-component. I have been enrolled as an Officer since November 2011. I am currently the Commanding Officer of Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps 53 Barrie (named after the HMCS Barrie, a WWII Flower Corvette funded by the citizens of Barrie). Before assuming Command this past June, I was the Corps Training Officer, responsible for planning and implementing the Corps yearly training schedule. Prior to moving to CFB Borden and joining RCSCC Barrie, I was an active member of  851 “Prince Edward” Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron in Picton, ON (where I ran the gamut from Supply Officer to Admin Officer to Trg O and occasional Officer Commanding) and 608 “Duke of Edinburgh” Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron (where I was the Admin O and Unit Cadet Conflict Management Advisor). 608 was also where I first served in the Canadian Cadet Organization as a Cadet myself from 2003 until 2009, when I had a brief stint as an Officer in the Regular Forces (permanent full-time) component of the CAF.
In my civilian life, I am a full-time member of the Federal Public Service with the Department of National Defence, currently working at the Regional Cadet Support Unit (Central) at CFB Borden. I am also the Founder of Youth Beyond Enterprises, the online resource for rural young entrepreneurs and young leaders, as well as a newly sworn-in Director on Nottawasaga Futures’ Board of Directors.
CPO2 Talia Rossit
Hello, my name is CPO2 Talia Rossit, I am the Coxswain and most senior cadet of RCSCC Barrie. This is my last year being a part of the sea cadet program. I specialize in seamanship and have a knack for marksmanship and drill. One of my favourite experiences was when I had the opportunity to go on a week-long deployment in BC on an Orca Class training vessel. Since I am considered a senior cadet, it’s one of my responsibilities to instruct classes. Doing so has allowed me to develop my leadership and communication skills and I love every minute of it, I get to light a spark within the new cadets by sharing my experiences with them and giving them motivation to continue in their training and achieve higher ranks.
Rotary Club of Alliston Members and family Lights Up the Gibson Centre for World Polio Day 
World Polio Day was October 24, 2021.
Rotary Club of Alliston in cooperation with the Gibson Centre lit up the building on October 21 and 24  in recognition of Rotary's commitment to eradicate polio from the world.  World Polio Day was Sunday, October 24. Rotary Clubs all over the world raise awareness, funds, and support to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease.
 “I am incredibly proud of the Rotarians, volunteers around the globe and our partner agencies who for 35 years have given so much to eradicate this disease.  We are so close with only two countries in the world still reporting cases. “  said 
 Rotary Club of Alliston President Bill Wray. 
In 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries. Rotary and their partners have made great progress against the disease since then. In 2021, polio cases have been reported in  just 2 countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan. 
Rotary and its partners will continue to try and reach every child with the polio vaccine. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk. 
Rotary has contributed more than $2.2 billion to ending polio since 1985.
Thank you to the Gibson Centre for their support!
 For more information download a Polio Factsheet click here.
Rotary Club of Alliston welcomes their newest Corporate membership of Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation.
Photo Left to right.
Melody McLean(SMHF) Rotarian Paul McCullough, Rotarian Patricia Middlebrook, Rotary President Bill Wray,
Margaret Barber(SMHF)
Photos of hospital in Beirut after the port explosion in 2020.
Rotarian Steve Rutledge spoke to the Rotary Club of Alliston on Monday, October 18 at 7pm to update us on a  Rotary Global Grant Project in Beirut and to share the Adopt a Village Program in Laos.
Rotary Club of Alliston is one of 60 Rotary Clubs that have contributed money towards a Global Grant to replace operating theatre equipment in the pediatric hospital in Beirut.
Steve Rutledge spent his career as co-owner of a mid sized computer company in Toronto.  Since retirement he has narrowed his focus on local and international community support.  Steve has served on several boards and committees in Port Hope including the Municipal Culture Committee, Parks, Rec and Culture Committee, Skatepark committee, Capitol Theatre Board of Directors and others.  He has received two civic awards, the latest for philanthropy and is a multiple Paul Harris award recipient for his efforts (Port Hope, Whitby Sunrise and Beirut Cosmopolitan) and awarded the Spirit of Rotary award in 2016.  In 2018, he received the Family and Community Service award from the Rotary Club of Courtice.  His most recent award was the Bob Scott Disease Prevention award from Rotary District 7070 in June 2020.
With his partner they created a number of large events including one they held in their home netting $61,000 for the Capitol theatre and another town event for 6000 people.
For the last 12 years Steve has ventured into Laos serving the rural villagers with the most basic of needs for sustained life.  Since 2009, Adopt A Village in Laos has completed over 65 villages with filtered water one family at a time, serving over 32,000 rural villagers, constructed 24 permanent water supplies, repaired numerous others, built over 40 banks of toilets, 12 school construction projects and continues to sponsor a host of primary, secondary and university students.
After the Beirut port explosion in 2020, Mr. Rutledge chaired the international sponsoring partner club committee (Whitby Sunrise club) and raised approximately $240,000 from 60 clubs towards a global grant to replace operating theatre equipment for Beirut’s only public hospital.  Steve is also co-Chair of the International Committee at Whitby Sunrise and sits on the District 7070 Water and Sanitation Committee.
For more information on the Water Filter program please click to get the brochure.
Donna Jebb was our guest speaker on Monday October 4th. She spoke to the club members and guests about the Women's Institute.
Donna was born & raised in Alliston to Warren”Pat” & Shirley Gibson
Married to Barry Jebb for over 40 years. 
They farm in New Tecumseth. They have two children & 4 grandchildren.

Member of Tec We Gwill Women’s Institute for 40 years and held different positions in the branch, district & Simcoe Area for the WI.

Past Provincial board director for Federated Women’s  Institutes of Ontario (FWIO) & a member of Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) with that organization Donna has been a member of the UN committee for 6 years & currently second term of the Agriculture committee 
As well was a leader of  4H life skill club in South Simcoe (39 years volunteer)  & past president of that organization their two children were 4H members of the life skills along with the beef club. 
Past member of Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation, co-organized a wheel chair relay race to raise funds for Canadian paraplegic association in our area for 5 years (known now as Spinal Cord Injury of Ontario).
Donna and her mother Shirley were both past recipients of the Rotary Club of Alliston's Elgin Blakely Award for Citizen of the Year.
Welcome Sign for the "Walk in the Footsteps of Banting" on August 20-22, 2021.
The weekend long event was a celebration at the Banting Homestead and Heritage Park for the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin.  Hosted by the Sir Frederick Banting Legacy Foundation, the events included six presentation sessions in the Drive Shed, two on each day, followed by tours of the exhibits in the Reception building and the Farmhouse.  
Rotarians Eric Jagger and John McFarland volunteering on check in for guests.
Rotarians manned the front gate checking registrants in and providing them with a COVID questionnaire.  A pair of Lions members also volunteered and handled parking and way-finding, and two Banting Memorial High School students performed a variety of duties.  
Lion's Volunteers with David Sadleir in centre. 
Rotary President George Scott and Kait Perez Diaz
Rotary, along with the Alliston Lions Club, was also instrumental in the funding and reconstruction of the octagonal drive shed back in 2010.  It’s now a featured building and the primary learning centre for all the SFBLF’s educational programs on diabetes.  
Monument was unveiled to celebrate the 4 scientists who were responsible for the discovery of insulin 100 years ago.
Frederick Banting and his assistant Charles Best discovered insulin in 1921 with the help of Cullip, a chemist, and MacLeod, who ran the lab at U of T. Banting was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1923 and remains the youngest ever recipient 100 years later. 
Rotarian Jan Clayson checking in and assigning volunteers their area for clean up in Riverdale Park on Saturday, August 21st.
Members of the Rotary Club of Alliston and Rotaract Club were part of the Great Lakes Cleanup, a US and Canadian initiative involving hundreds of Rotary clubs on both sides of the border, originally scheduled for Earth Day back in April (but postponed twice because of the Stay-at-Home order and its extension).
Amzy and Irby pitched in representing the Rotaract Club.

Volunteers spent three hours covering the entire park that borders the Boyne River and then sat down for a pizza lunch courtesy of Rotarian Jack Van’t Spyker.
Rotarians Bill, Sue and Dave
Rotarian Megan and daughter Riley ready to start collecting litter.

And the winners are......

Congratulations to the winners of the Taste of the Town Raffle Draw.
Grand prize - Cindy Simpson
Pizza for a year - Peter Gordon
Pie for a year - Sally Sainsbury.

Sincere thanks to all those who purchased tickets. All funds go directly to the most urgent needs of the Gibson Centre to remain rich in heritage and alive with culture!

Gibson Centre

Rotarian Ed Zelinski(3rd from left) took part in the draw.

A special thanks go to Rotary Club of Alliston, our lead sponsor for this raffle. Your support means so much to arts and culture in our community.
The Rotary Club of Alliston donated $2500 to the Gibson Centre for Community, Arts and Culture for their annual Taste of the Town. Photos and text from the Gibson Centre Website.

Mary Lou Harrison in action.
Storytelling for Community Engagement - On September 27, Assistant Rotary Public Image Co-ordinator Mary Lou Harrison joined us for a Zoom conversation about attracting volunteers, new members, community partners, and additional participants in Rotary programs and activities through strategic storytelling and active listening. Thank you to Mary Lou sharing her time and talents with the club.
Mary Lou Harrison's Bio:
A strong advocate for the role of women in Rotary, Mary Lou constantly seeks to increase the diversity of Rotary’s membership and leadership to better serve our world.
She is proud to be a Charter Member of the LGBT Rotary and Friends Rotary Fellowship. Mary Lou is also a Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Northumberland Sunrise, a Past President of the Rotary Club of Whitby Sunrise, and an active member of the Rotary Club of Toronto Sunrise. She is honoured to serve as an Assistant Rotary Public Image Co-ordinator (ARPIC) and looks forward to becoming the Rotary Public Image Co-ordinator for Zone 28 in the 2022-23 Rotary Year.
Her Rotary District 7070 roles have included District Governor 2018-19, Assistant Governor, Vocational Service Chair, and Co-Chair of RADAR (Rotary Action for the Development of AIDS Responses). She supports our Rotary Foundation as a Benefactor and a Rotary Direct Donor.
Currently, Mary Lou is the Director of Partnerships & Administration for St. Anne’s Anglican Church, a national historic site, arts venue, and active parish in downtown Toronto. Her work life has included positions within the Ontario government, her own catering and events management company, teaching cooking, freelance writing, and being the editor of a community newspaper. In addition, she has her own blog - coolnotcool.ca.
Both inside and outside of Rotary, Mary Lou seeks to be a changemaker.
Rotary Club of Alliston donated 8 New Tablets for use by residents of Simcoe Manor. Tablets were presented by Rotarians Jack Van't Spyker and Ed Zelinski (centre of photo) to staff at Simcoe Manor. Photo by John McFarland.
Residents of Simcoe manor enjoying the Rotary Tablets.
Parvin in "Mother's" School
Through the work of the Amarok Society the Rotary Club of Alliston is supporting the education of Parvin and 5 children in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh.  Parvin attends a "mother" school to learn to read, write and other life skills. She then returns home to teach 5 local children in her "micro" school. Her new education allows Parvin to earn a better living and to support other families in need in her community. In addition to teaching the children in her school Parvin is also using the techniques she learns to help neighbourhood adults become better readers.  She is empowered to make a difference in her community.
For more information about the Amarok Society please visit: https://www.amaroksociety.org
Playing a word game in "Micro" School
Kait Perez Diaz from the Sir Frederick Banting Legacy Foundation will be speaking about the 100th Anniversary of the Discovery of Insulin on August 9th.
Kait Perez Diaz, BA
Kait is the Program Director, Sir Frederick Banting Legacy Foundation (SFBLF) and has served in that role since August, 2016. She is responsible for delivery of all SFBLF on-site programs, general coordination and oversight of facilities, administrative support for the Board of Directors and is a key contributor to new program and exhibit development.
Kait moved to Alliston in 1992 and is a 2000 graduate of Banting Memorial High School. She earned a diploma in Marketing, Seneca College, followed by a BA (Anthropology), Trent University.
Kait has travelled in 18 countries including two student exchanges to Japan during high school. Post-university, she spent 2 years teaching English in Japan followed by teaching English as a second language in Australia, Brazil, Guatemala and Canada. She holds the CELTA certificate, University of Queensland, in recognition of her ESL teaching skills and has taught at the Canadian Foreign Language School, CF Base Borden. Kait speaks Spanish and can communicate in Japanese and French.
Raising her family is Kait's top priority but she does find time to play volleyball and baseball. Over the years, her community volunteer work has included respite care through Catulpa Tamarac, Stevenson Memorial Hospital and the Red Cross.
Kait lives in Alliston with her husband, son (9) and daughter (10).
The Rotary Club of Alliston awarded its Paul Harris Bursary to Dayna Spence, a graduating student at Banting Memorial High School in New Tecumseth.  Named after the founder of Rotary International, the award goes annually to the student who best exemplifies the qualities of scholastic achievement, exemplary leadership, community service through volunteerism, and financial need.  
Pictured with Dayna are her proud father Jeremy and mother Kelly, along with George Scott, club president.  George was ably assisted in the review of applicants by club member Captain Rachael Tracey of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets Corps.  George added: "This $2,000 bursary is an important way Rotary can reward excellence and support our youth, who are our community's precious resource."  
Monday, June 28 was our year end celebration on Zoom. Unfortunately we could not get together in person.
It has been a challenging year but President George Scott has done an awesome job of leading the members  and helping us to help our community. The chairs of committees presented year end reports and Dave Green put together a slide show of the year’s activities.
George thanked the current board, chairs and members. He welcomed the incoming directors.
President George Scott shown here wearing his Past President’s Pin. 
Beautiful Siberian Huskies, Awe-Inspiring Wilderness, Breathtaking Adventure.
 Tanya McCready, co-owner with husband Hank Debruin of Winterdance Dogsled Tours spoke to Rotary Club of Alliston on Zoom. 
21 years ago, Hank and Tanya quit their jobs and moved to Ontario's wilderness to build their dream of starting a business, a family and creating a lifestyle around their beloved Siberian Huskies.

Their business, Winterdance Dogsled Tours welcomes over 2000 guests from around the globe every winter. From day tours, to moonlit tours, to heli dogsledding, and recently, virtual dogsledding tours, they have stayed true to their dream and built Winterdance to what it is today.

Hank and their huskies have had many adventures from Maine to Alaska including competing in six 1000-mile races in Alaska and the Yukon. Out of the many lessons and countless stories from these races, a corporate presentation was born that focuses on building and leading great teams through challenging times.

Hank and Tanya also have a 2500 tree maple syrup farm and have co-written 2 books. Their latest book, Journey of 1000 Miles released just last Christmas has become an international best seller. This book is available for purchase on Amazon.

They share their lives with their 4 children, 150 huskies and 5 cats.

For more information please visit Winterdance Dogsled Tours by clicking on website
A few pictures to celebrate the end of the 2020-2021 Rotary year.  Thanks to George Scott our president and all Rotarians who have stepped up during the last 12 months.
Rotary President George Scott clearing underbrush and deadfall from parkland near Town Tennis Courts.
Paul McCollough, Nate and Bill Wray helping with the cleanup.
Rotarians have volunteered for 3 evenings at parkland in New Tecumseth. 
Bob Burgar spoke to the club on Monday, June 14 via Zoom. Bob gave a great presentation with stories about his grandfather's WW1 Trench Watch. In researching the watch through documents and letters, he was able to discover many stories about his grandfather.
Bob Burgar was the senior archaeologist for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority for twenty-five years. From 1982 to 2005, Bob was responsible for the TRCA’s archaeological unit. Some of the programmes’ notable accomplishments during that time was the development of the province’s first proponent funded archaeological resource management program of public lands, and the designation of the Humber River as a Canadian Heritage River. For three decades one of Bob’s tasks was to act as the senior archaeologist of Canada’s longest-running high school archaeological field school. It was through his experiences at the Boyd Archaeological Field school that he developed his love of teaching – so much so that Bob went back to school (in the evenings for two years at Trent University in Peterborough), obtained his BEd, retired from the Conservation Authority and started working for the York Region District School Board. After teaching for a decade at Aurora High School (his alma mater), Bob retired in 2015.  Bob has gone back to school in his retirement and is working on his PhD at York University, looking at the data collected during the field schools. Bob is an avid plastic modeler with an interest in WW2 aircraft and has had a long association with the 48thHighlanders of Canada as an Officer and a member of the Officer’s Association. Bob’s talk today is based on an essay he prepared for a course in his doctoral programme.
Imagine being a child in a world that is silent or with limited sound. 
Members of the Rotary Club of Rivne, Ukraine identified a need to have the equipment to diagnose hearing impairment in their region. With the help of their Rotary partner clubs in Canada , United Kingdom and other charitable organizations in Canada the Rotary Club of Rivne was able to purchase diagnostic equipment for the region’s hospital. 
With the funds raised, five children received hearing aids to bring the gift of sound to their lives.
Congratulations to the Rotary Club of Rivne, Ukraine and to all their partners. The Rotary Club of Rivne has just reported the project is now complete.
The Rotary Club of Alliston was grateful to be part of this worthy international project!
L to R..Rotary President George Scott presents $10,000 cheque to Whitney Sallach from Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation with Rotarians John McFarland and Eric Jagger
The Rotary Club of Alliston to proud to have made a commitment to the SMHF to donate $50,000 over 5 years in 2020. On March 5, 2021 Rotary President George Scott presented a cheque for the 2nd installment for $10,000 to Whitney Sallach from the Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation. Please join us in supporting our local hospital.
Introducing Parvin, a mother who the Rotary Club of Alliston is sponsoring through their donation to the Amarok Society to attend School and to teach 5 children in her neighbourhood in Bangladesh.
Introduction of Parvin
April 2021
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Dear members of the The Rotary Club of Alliston,
I am Parvin, 28 years old. I'm a housewife but I am good at hand sewing on clothes and able to make beautiful design with my needles on covers. I have two sons and one daughter. My husband Fazlur Rahman is 40 years old. He is a carpenter, makes new furniture reshaping the old furniture. We live in a joint family with my husband, children and in-laws. My husband income is about 12,000 taka ($200) per month but not regular. Sometimes he has no work and seats idle. So, we have to suffer those days for our food and other needs. I have cleaned a space of unused land of our slum to plant some vegetables there. I spent my free time to take care of the little vegetable-garden. When I get vegetables, I eat some and share with my neighbors.
I never went to school in my childhood, so I was completely illiterate before I joined in Amarok Mother School. My father was a farmer. He used to live in a remote village of Kishoreganj district and we lived there nearby a river. Due to seasonal flood, often our houses, crops and lands were washed away in the monsoon. So, my father had to borrow money in interest to run our family. In such situation, finding no way out, we all moved to Dhaka 10 years ago and started living in Nurerchala slum of Dhaka.
When I was 15, I was married off as my parents wanted to reduce the food cost of the family. During marriage I thought my marriage will give me some freedom but it did not happen. I had to face many problems. I didn't understand how to manage a joint family, how to take care of babies, could not feed them properly being an early mother. My mother-in-law used to act badly with me when I made a mistake including some physical punishment. I had no freedom to talk and to provide my opinions. I did all household works without any appreciation.
One day I heard from my neighbor Nazma about Amarok Mother School for the illiterate women to learn and to teach little children. I went there with a woman, met the teacher and expressed my interest in learning and teaching children. Since then, I have been learning a lot from my school. Now I am able to read and write Bengali and English independently and I have started to teach 5 children at my home including my own children. They children I teach are;
Age (years)
Other learning support of my children
My own son
My own son
My own daughter
Also attends in Madrasa for religious learning
Also attends in a non-government school
After joining in Amarok Mother School, I can see changes in my life. Still my learning is not as good as many other mothers who are there for a longer time. With my basic learning I have got many health and social awareness sessions from my school which I practice in my family and share in the community who do not attend in our school. Last month I got a session about COVID-19 and it was very helpful for me and for the community people. I want to educate my children that they could find a better life in their future.
I would like to continue my education and teaching to children.
With love,
For information about the Amarok Society, please click on the link below.
Polo for Health (2001-2010) for Stevenson Memorial Hospital
Sweat Equity and Community Development, Kilema, Tanzania (2006-2015)
Rotary Club of Alliston welcomed cadets CP01 Abigail McGuire and CP02 Talia Rossit of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps #53 Barrie as our guest speakers on April 26th. They spoke passionately about their opportunities and experiences in the Corps. They were introduced by their Commanding Officer Captain Rachael Tracey, who is a member of the Rotary Club of Alliston.
Children with hearing loss in Rivne, Ukraine are now getting the testing they require to equip them with hearing aides.  The Rotary Club of Rivne has report that the new audiometer/tympanometer is now installed and being used to test the hearing of children in the region.  Eight high priority cases were immediately identified and tested.  Funds from the project have now been used to provide much needed hearing aides for 5 of these individuals.  A big thanks to all the partners who helped make this happen. The Rotary Club of Alliston contributed $1000 to the purchase of the testing equipment and the hearing aides.
The audiometer being setup ready for hearing tests.
Local Charities are the winners!
L to R....Rotary President George Scott, Rotarian John McFarland presents cheque to David Sadleir and Kait Perez Diaz of Sir Frederick Banting Legacy Foundation,  Rotarian Eric Jagger
The Rotary Club of Alliston worked with the Rotary Club of Barrie Huronia and several other Rotary Clubs to sell Daily Cash Calendar/Lottery tickets for 2021. The proceeds of this fundraiser are donated to the chosen charities. The charities chosen for 2021 were Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation, Sir Frederick Banting Legacy Foundation and Alliston Out of the Cold. The Rotary Club of Alliston donated $1740.00 to each of the 3 charities. The charities were asked to participate in the promoting and selling of the Daily Cash Calendar/Lottery Tickets. Thank you to all our members, Canadian Tire Alliston and the charities for helping us raise funds for such worthwhile local causes!!
L to R...Rotary President George Scott, Whitney Sallach, Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation receives cheque from Rotarians John McFarland and Eric Jagger of the Fundraising Committee.

L to R ....Rotary President George Scott, Rotarians Annabelle Song and John McFarland(chair of Fundraising) present cheque to Lisa Nicol and Jenifer Pergentile of Alliston Out of the Cold, Rotarian Eric Jagger
Rotary opens doors to connect members with leaders in our community and around the world.
Thanks Eric Jagger for sharing your Rotary Moment.
Capt. Rachael Tracey gave our Remembrance address back in Nov 2020 at her very first meeting as member of our club...she had been recognized for her contributions to The 2020 National Veterans’ Week Speakers Program in the letter below.
Letter of Appreciation to CAF Speakers for the 2020 National Veterans’ Week Speakers Program
January 2021
To Whom It May Concern,
As the Director of Outreach and Speechwriting (DOAS), I would like to extend my sincerest appreciation for the participation of Capt Rachael Tracey in the 2020 National Veterans’ Week Speakers Program.
This year, the NVWSP shifted to virtual presentations to ensure the health and safety of CAF members. I am happy to report that Canadians responded with overwhelming interest to this new course of action. We received 2,570 requests for the CAF speaker videos, with another 378 requests for virtual presentations, allowing us to reach more than 931,000 Canadians.
Without the willingness of current serving members such as Capt Tracey, who adapted in a virtual environment and who devoted time and energy to share their experiences, the program would not be as successful as it has been.
The positive feedback received from schools and community organizations is a true testament to the fact that Canadians appreciate hearing first-hand about the great work that our military members do on a daily basis.
Now more than ever, Canadians must know the importance of remembering CAF members who have served and who continue to serve, as well as those who have given their lives for our country. For this, I would like to express my gratitude for your dedication to the program.
Once again, please accept my sincere thanks for your excellent contribution to the 2020 National Veterans’ Week Speakers Program. It is our hope that you will participate again next year.
Elana Aptowitzer
A/Director, Outreach and Speechwriting
Assistant Deputy Minister (Public Affairs)
Department of National Defence
Thanks Rachael. Well done
Rotary collaborates with other like-minded groups to make our community a better place to live. Thank you Jack for sharing your Rotary Moment.


The stubs are in and money is counted and the membership exceeded our goal of selling 500 tickets!

The total tickets sold are 524 tickets total revenue of $10,480.00. Congratulations to our membership! Half of the revenue $5,240.00 is from selling the calendars/lottery tickets will be divided up among the 3 charities named at the beginning of the fundraiser, Alliston Out of the Cold, Sir Frederick Banting Legacy Foundation and Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation.

The club’s membership is to decide collectively on the percentage to each beneficiary with a motion. The motion needs to be conducted by January 15 2021 so the Rotary Club of Barrie-Huronia can complete the overall accounting. A motion has been sent to the board and a notice of motion will be sent to the membership which will open the motion up for discussion at the club level and the inclusion of all members who want to contribute in the discussion to the final allocation of the funds raised to the three beneficiaries named at the start to the fundraiser.

Ad revenue is split, half of the ad revenue is returned to the club that places the ad on the calendars.

One ad value of $250.00 was purchased so additional revenue is $125.00 was added to our total.

Total revenue raised from calendars/ lottery tickets $5,375.00

Recognition and our sincere thanks to:

Rotary Club of Barrie- Huronia. – Sue Carr and committee for sharing the idea and spearheading it.

Canadian Tire Alliston – member Megan White for organizing the selling of calendars/tickets at cash registers.

Colleen Kotnisz  member for having calendars available at her office.

Christine Brayford for having calendars at Flato Homes Sales office in Beeton.

The beneficiaries for their promotion of the fund raiser on their social media platforms, and selling of the calendars /lottery tickets.

The membership of the Rotary Club of Alliston  - Thank you all!

As a result of the campaign but not part of it was the generous donation from Flato homes of $2,000.00 specifically $1000.00 each to the Sir Frederick Banting Legacy Foundation and Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation. This donation was made directly to the club charity account and then cheques were distributed to each organization. This donation was not associated with the Rotary Club of Barrie-Huronia.

Flato Homes did not forget Alliston Out of the Cold, they had already given a corporate donation of $10.000 to the organization prior to our campaign starting.



Next Fundraising meeting is January 14th at 7:00a.m. via Zoom. Please let John know if you would like to attend and are not on the committee and he will send you an invitation to the meeting.  


Thank you for your help

John McFarland  Fundraising, Committee Chairperson

Alliston Rotary Club



“COVID protocol, physical distance yourself, wear a mask if you can’t,wear a mask everywhere in public,wash your hands several times a day.”


Rotary provides members opportunities to expand their skills while doing good in the community.  
The Rotary Club of Alliston was pleased to help coordinate Santa's visit to the communities of New Tecumseth. Great work Emergency Service, New Tecumseth.
Big thank you to the social committee for hosting our first and hopefully only online Zoom Christmas Party.  Great to have Rotarians and family join us online for some silly activities. Photos from Christmas past, Trivia and "festive attire" combined for some fun.  
Trivia winners:  Marvellous McFarlands (they are making a habit of this)
Funniest Attire:  Tanya Wall - great Antlers.
Most Festive Attire:  Ralph Jones
Thank you to all Rotarians and Friends of Rotary for keeping us moving forward in this most unique year.
Pictured above is Rotary President George Scott. To his left left, starting with two thumbs up, is Lion Scott Cooke, then Lion Ken Wright and Lion Stuart Millard. To his right is Lion George ‘Big Dutch’ Bik.
This is a cheque presentation by Rotary to the Alliston Lions Club for $1,000 -- a supplemental gift (to our usual annual support) sponsored by the generous people at Flato Developments.
 Now in its 40th year, the Hamper program will help to feed 180 needy families and seniors this year.
Great work Lions.
A big Rotary thank you to Royal LePage RCR Realty for a $1000 donation towards the sponsorship of a bench on the future trail in Riverdale Park. President George receiving the donation from Kelly McCague.
Welcome Annabelle Song our newest member of the Rotary Club of Alliston
My name is Annabelle Song. I'm working at Flato Developments as Public Relations, Sales and Marketing Manager. I worked in an ad agency for around 3 years in Toronto as Media Planner since 2017, and experiential marketing agencies in Beijing for over 5 years as Senior Account Manager before coming to Canada. I finished 2 bachelor degrees in China, one in Electrical Engineering, the other in Business Administration.
I came to Canada in 2014 for my Master Degree in International and Intercultural Communications in Victoria, BC, then move to Ontario after graduation. I'm also a volunteer of The Canadian Red Cross, participated several major responses in BC, AB and ON.
Volunteer with Rotary
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Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Mondays at 6:45 PM
Currently On Zoom (The Gibson Centre)
63 Tupper St. West
Rotary Hall - 2nd Floor
Alliston, ON L9R 1E4
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Past President
Community Service/Public Image/Fundraising
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RI News
Owori will become first Ugandan to head Rotary International

Business leader Samuel Owori will become first Ugandan to head Rotary

PolioPlus is engaging reluctant communities by addressing basic needs

PolioPlus is engaging reluctant communities by addressing basic

Rotary Projects Around the Globe January 2022

Rotary Projects Around the GlobeJanuary

Fotini Chandrika Walton
Jan 24, 2022 7:00 PM
‘Healing with Horses’
Valentines Day Meeting
Feb 14, 2022 6:45 PM
John VanderMeer
Feb 28, 2022 6:45 PM
"Hammers and Saws - tools helping peoples of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo tell stories".
Online Free Reading Program