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Dr. Peter VanderZaag
Nov 25, 2019
Working around the world to help farmers.
 
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Alliston

Service Above Self

We meet Mondays at 6:30 PM
The Gibson Centre
63 Tupper St. West
Rotary Hall - 2nd Floor
Alliston, ON  L9R 1E4
Canada
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RI News
6 humanitarians honored for their work with refugees

Six humanitarians who are members of the family of Rotary were honored as People of Action: Connectors Beyond Borders during the 2019 

Hoops on the Hudson

In Yonkers, New York, a new basketball court four years in the making provides valuable life lessons to the community’s kids — and its

World Polio Day cheers major achievements toward global polio eradication

Health officials announce type 3 of the wild poliovirus has been completely eradicated, a major step toward a polio-free world.

Rotary provides millions in polio funding as wild poliovirus type 3 is eradicated

Rotary provides millions in polio funding as wild poliovirus type 3 is eradicatedUS$50 million will impact over 38 million children as the program reaches two key milestones: wild poliovirus type 3 eradication and Africa reaching three

Join us for Rotary’s World Polio Day Online Global Update

Join us for Rotary’s World Polio Day Online Global UpdateMark your calendar to join us on 24 October for Rotary’s World Polio Day Online Global Update. It will be streamed on RI’s Facebook pages in multiple languages and time zones

 
Local Rotary News
For the past four years The Rotary Club of Alliston and The Rotary Club of Rivne, Ukraine have been in partnership to make a difference in the community of Rivne and beyond.  The Ukrainian Rotarians have developed and implemented a project worth $90,000 Canadian.  This has been made possible through funding from Alliston and District Rotarians, The Rotary Foundation, and the Government of Canada.
As a group, handicapped children and adults in Ukraine have been neglected and many spend their lives in orphanages and hostels poorly funded by the Ukrainian government.  The fourth highest cause of death in Ukraine is being handicapped.  To address this issue Rotarians between our two countries have just finished a large project focused on the blind and visually-impaired.   
 
First, the project has focused on providing educational aids and training for educators so that children between two and ten years of age across the region can be taught Braille using newly-developed resources which will allow these children to enter an integrated school system similar to what we are used to in Canada.  A new sound studio, where CDs are produced, and a new library that will distribute these have also been funded.  
 
Second, the project, for visually-impaired adults ages 20 plus, creates jobs.  Workers in the textile area have been trained on new sewing and embroidery machines, making uniforms for workers employed in industry. 
 
Other newly-created jobs involve the making of toilet paper which is cut, packaged, and sold for profit. 
Alliston Rotarians are committed to the Rivne area of Ukraine primarily because of the commitment to help their fellow citizens.  Ukraine is the poorest European country and Rivne is a former large manufacturing centre that is struggling to revive a strong economy.  Rivne Rotarians are a dedicated group of professionals and industrialists who are trying to help their community.  Alliston Rotarians are proud to be in partnership with them.  
On Monday, October 21st His Worship Mayor Rick Milne declared World Polio Week in New Tecumseth and raised the End Polio Now flag in front of the municipal offices in Alliston. In an effort to raise awareness of the importance of continued efforts to vaccinate the children of the world, the flag will fly all week. Rotarians from the Alliston club were on hand to witness the ceremony and to show their support for the international partnerships that, since 1984, have been working together to eradicate this crippling, and sometimes fatal, disease. UNICEF, WHO, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, the Gates Foundation, and the government of Canada have all committed to working with Rotary International to keep the promise to the children of the world that polio will be defeated.

Polio remains endemic in two countries only, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where geography, civic distrust, and political unrest create difficult challenges in getting the precious vaccine to vulnerable children. Early in 2020 polio will have been eradicated in the continent of Africa, once Nigeria has been declared polio-free. This gives the partners hope that the millions of dollars and the thousands of volunteers' time and effort will not have been given in vain.

We ask that citizens of New Tecumseth remain committed to vaccinating their children and grandchildren and not to let apathy and disinformation question the wisdom of regular inoculation. Measles has come back; let's not have polio return as well.

Photos: The flag raising ceremony and the proclamation signed and presented by Mayor Rick Milne.

World Polio Day, Thursday, October 24th

World Polio Day is 24 October! Mark your calendar to tune in for Rotary International’s World Polio Day Online Global Update, streamed on Facebook in multiple time zones and languages around the world.  President Sue has sent out a separate note about this unique opportunity.
 
This year’s program will highlight the heroes of polio eradication, with stories from polio-endemic and recently impacted areas.  This is the link:
 
 
Matthews House Hospice is a home in the heart of South Simcoe that offers residential-based care to people in the last stages of their lives, as well as community-based programs for people dealing with grief or a life-limiting illness. Through a dedicated team of more than 100 professionals and volunteers, Matthews House provides compassionate palliative care to area residents and their families.
 
“The final days of a loved one affect all family members deeply,” explains Dave Green of the Rotary Club of Alliston.  “What is often overlooked is the wrenching impact on children and teens who lose a parent.  They may not be able to show or even explain their emotions but the loss can scar them for years -- even their entire life.”
 
“That’s why we’re so pleased Rotary stepped up to enable the launch of our Helping Us Understand Grief (HUUG) program,” added Eryn Samchanda, the Grief and Bereavement Coordinator at Matthews House.  “This unique training program is designed to prepare our counselors to assist young people in coming to grips with the loss of a parent or loved one.  Most kids don’t know where to turn when facing a life-altering tragedy of this nature, which can affect their schooling, friendships and their entire social structure.  Through HUUG, we groom young counselors who can relate to the kids on their own level.  Some of them have even been through similar losses themselves.  Finding the courage to help others helps themselves move forward as well.”
 
Sara McConnell is a 17-year-old senior at Banting Memorial High School in Alliston.  She lost her stepmother Tracey -- “my best friend” -- in November and has been relying on Matthews House to steady her through the grieving period.  “It’s a healthy place you can lean on when you’re going through hard times,” Sara explained.  “It’s good to have someone to talk to and get feedback on how to help myself.  But for a lot of kids it’s harder to reach out to an adult, because of the age gap.” 
 
That’s why Rotary decided to support the new HUUG program to help vulnerable youth who are less able to help themselves through a period of grief.  George Scott, chair of Rotary’s Community Service Committee, explained.  “Our club donates funds and time to a variety of worthy causes in New Tecumseth.  HUUG is one that addresses what we believe is an under-served segment of our society.  It’s personal to me as well, since my daughters lost their mother when they were 18 and 14, and struggled for years in dealing with that big hole in their lives.”
 
At Matthews House, Sara has found the comfort and understanding she needed: “I want to tell Eryn about everything in my life -- not just the loss and grief.  Anything I’m excited about I want Eryn to know about it.”  Asked how Matthews House has made a difference for her in dealing with the loss of her stepmother, Sara said: “I can talk about it without crying now.  I can now remember her in a happy way.”  

Day 4 - Building the Rotary Family in Ukraine

 

The Rotary Club of Rivne is very committed to the growth of Rotary in Ukraine. Today we visited the town of Ostroh with Rotarians Olha and Eugene to talk with young people about Rotary and Rotoract.

Ostroh has a population of about 12,000 people and is situated 50km south of Rivne.  This is a university town centre around the National University Ostroh Academy.  The academy is one of the oldest tertiary learning centres in Eastern Europe having opened its doors in 1576. In it early years it was centre for language and publishing being source of the Ostroh bible.  This 1256 page book was the first complete bible printed in Cyrillic type. The original academy closed in 1636 but was reopened as a university in 1994.

We toured the campus learning about its history and famous people and the after lunch met with faculty and students to talk about Rotary and Rotoract.  Nine young people had many questions about the Rotary movement and how it functions.  The Rivne Rotarians and Rotoractors hope to establish a Rotoractor club on the campus in the near future.

We have had another great visit to Rivne.  The Rotary family here is dedicated to making their community a better place.  We greatly enjoyed the fellowship and their hospitality.  Tomorrow we say our goodbyes and drive back to Lviv for our flights home on Sunday.   

Meeting the new Partners.

 

With the project for the visually impaired community of Rivne completed the Rotary Club of Rivne is now moving forward with a new global grant.  The new grant will address the diagnosis and treatment of people on the Autism Spectrum.   This is a serious issue in Ukraine as being handicapped is one of leading causes of death.

 

Four organizations in the community will partner in this project. Today we visited the partners at their facilities and then participated in a general meeting of the global grant team. The project has three key components: 

  1. New diagnostic tools for the diagnosis of Autism
  2. Training of staff in the use of the tools and treatments
  3. Construction of two sensory “dark” rooms for use by children with Autism.

 

The purchase of new diagnostic tools will allow earlier detection of autism.  Staff training will focus on the use of these tools and new treatment regimes. Additional training session will be held with parents and caregivers so that the treatment plans be implemented on a daily basis.

 

Our first stop of the morning was at the Children’s Rehabilitation Centre.  This centre works with children and youth with mental and physical challenge (up to 16 years of age).  This location will be a group training centre for the project and will have a room renovated into a  “dark” sensory room for treating children with autism.  This centre is a bright welcoming facility, with a variety of treatment approaches including, physical therapy, speech pathologist, art therapy, music therapy, massage, water therapy and more.  

Our second stop is the regional psychiatric hospital. This facility treats more serious cases of mental health treating both children and adults.  They have day and residential programs. This will be the key diagnostic centre for the global grant.  This facility is in need of funding to update the infrastructure.  Such renovations are well beyond the scope and scale of the project.

Our final stop is the Rivne Regional Children’s Hospital.  We have visited this location on previous trip to Rivne.  One of our clubs first projects with the Rotary Club of Rivne was the rehabilitation playground and equipment for this facility.  The hospital is undergoing renovations and we could see the improvement since our last visit.  This location will also receive diagnostic tools and staff training for the diagnosis and treatment of children with Autism.  One of the sensory “dark” rooms will be constructed at this location. At the end of our visit the key staff from each facility met with us and we talked about the co-ordination and implementation of the project.

 

The Rotary Club of Rivne have done a great job in connecting these partners and coordinating the start of the project.  The grant has been approved and will move forward once funds are transferred from Rotary International and our club to Rivne.  The project will result in better care and treatment of people with Autism in the Rivne Region.

Day 2 - Review the results of the project to assist visually impaired

 

Today we visited locations associated with the global grant projects that helped the visually impaired.  This grant is near completion and seeing the final parts of the project in place was inspiring.

 

NGO at the Regional Library

Our partners at the regional library were responsible for the education tools and materials for youth.  They have done a great job with 40 schools receiving the new learning aids and many teachers and parents being trained on how to integrate these tools into the regular learning environment.  They have already taken orders for more materials from 5 schools creating an income stream that will help them become more financially sustainable.

The recording studio has been completed and 10 books have been recorded and put on digital media.  The NGO and the library are updating their websites to make these resource available online.  Volunteers are lined up to read more books and enlarge the digital library.

Institute for the Blind

The programs and projects at the Institute for the Blind focussed on job creation and skill development.  The sewing workshop renovations are now complete and all the new equipment is up and running. Six women with visual impairments work producing uniforms and aprons for local businesses.  The new sewing machines allow for more workers and an expanded range fproducts.  The computerized embroidering machine enhances their product by allowing the addition of logos and company names to clothing items.

The toilet paper production equipment is fully installed and employs 4 men per shift.  This process converts large rolls of paper, into small rolls which are covered, cut and bagged for sale and distribution.  We were each gifted with our own bag of 8 rolls...wait until we have to claim that one at customs...”anything to declare?”

The Rotary Club of Rivne pull out all the stops and invited the media to Institute for our visit and the celebration of the completion of the project.  Four TV stations sent reporters and camera people to see the TP paper production and the sewing workshop.

We were thanked and entertained by the people at Institute with speeches and songs.

 

Concert and Dinner

Our day ended with our own personal concert at a local music hall...organ, piano and some beautiful operatic vocals.  We spent our evening with the Rivne Rotoractors at a restaurant serving Georgian foods.  The future of Rotary in this community is bright and enthusiastic with these thirty something young people leading the way.

 

Our journey began a with the 4 hour drive from Lviv to Rivne.  Roads were relatively quiet and the weather was wonderful allowing us to arrive ahead of schedule at 12:45 pm.  Our afternoon was an exploration of old projects and the start of new relationships.  
 
We were met at the Myr Hotel by members of the club, had lunch and then began our walking tour. 
 
First stop...the newly completed accessible playground in the Central Park of the city. It was officially opened just last weekend.  Funds from the Rotary Club of Alliston were used to purchase the equipment.  All the elements are wheelchair accessible.   It is already getting lots of use.
 
Second stop...the playground at the children rehab center.  This is a facility we helped fund and we were in attendance for the opening when we first visited Rivne in 2017.  Patricia Wright’s Toronto West club also helped fund this project.  She was thrilled to be able to see it and learn more about the facility.  We were pleased to see it is well used and well maintained.
 
Third stop...Pogliad Charity Fund headquarters. This group is a partner in the newly approved Global Grant addressing the diagnosis and treatment of people with Autism.  The staff at this facility will be key players in the education and training of parents and professionals who are living and treating people on the autism spectrum.  The facility was bright and filled with a positive energy.  The dedication of the staff and their enthusiasm was infectious.
 
We completed our day at the Maple Cafe enjoying a great meal and wonderful fellowship.
The site visits tomorrow will focus on the projects and programs associated with the global grant assist the visually impaired.
Rotarians provided a fun, virtual reality video to people of all ages at the New Tecumseth Canada Day Celebrations.  The video followed a young adult on her journey to help immunize children in a remote area of Uganda.  Rotarians enjoyed sharing our End Polio story with people celebrating Canada Day in Alliston.
 
 
 
 
The new DG for District 7070 was in Alliston visiting the club on July 8th, 2019.  She spoke to the club about setting specific goals for the upcoming year and Rotary youth programs.
 
Here is Beth's bio...
 
Dr. Beth Selby, District 7070, District Governor 
Beth became a Rotarian in 2004 when she joined the Rotary Club of Belleville. Upon retirement in July 2008, she transferred to the Rotary Club of Cobourg.  She was President in 2015-2016 and an Assistant District Governor supporting the Rotary Clubs of Bowmanville, Oshawa, and Oshawa-Parkwood prior to becoming the 2019-2020 District Governor for District 7070.  In 2016, Beth was the co-recipient of the Les Faludy Leadership Award.  Although relatively new to Rotary, her involvement began in 1993 when she and her husband were Counsellors to an Inbound Youth Exchange student from Mexico. She refers to this experience as her ’Rotary Moment’.  
Beth has almost thirty years’ experience in public education.  She was a secondary school teacher, program consultant, secondary school vice-principal and principal, and superintendent of education. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Guelph and completed her three degrees in education at the University of Toronto.  Her Doctor of Education degree was conferred in 2005. She was a Faculty Advisor with Nipissing University supervising Teacher Candidates in both the Concurrent and Consecutive Bachelor of Education programs, and has also been a Supervisor of Teacher Interns with the University of New Brunswick.
Beth is very involved in her community of Cobourg, Ontario.  In addition to being the immediate Past President of the Rotary Club of Cobourg, she is the immediate Past Chair of the Northumberland Hills Hospital Board of Directors, and is in her eleventh year as a member of the Northumberland YMCA Board of Directors.
Beth and her husband, Rotarian Barry Vail, live in Baltimore just north of Cobourg with their miniature French Poodle, Clicquot.  Sons, Jason and his three children live in St. Catharines, and Matthew, his wife and their daughter live in Whitby. 
 
***MISSED STORY THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN POSTED IN OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER!***
Despite the cold and wet weather, two of our Rotarians, Ed and George, took part in the Bolton Rotary Golf Tournament.
This is an annual tournament that has helped raise 1 Million $ + for both local and international causes.
Great job guys!
Pictured above are: George Scott, Ed Zelinski and Frank Frisen

$1,841.45 was raised at the Flight To Do Right beer pairing event this year! The event was organized by the "newbie committee" of the Alliston Rotary Club, taking place at Redline Brewhouse with proceeds going to Youth Haven.

Below is a picture of Marnie MacKay (newbie committee member) presenting the cheque to the executive director, Lucy Gowers and board member, Ian MacLennan.

 

 

 

The Rotary Club of Alliston members, family and friends attended a very interesting and educational presentation at Base Borden on Monday, April 29th.

John, Dave, Collin and John, four dedicated volunteers, shared what they have been spending their spare time doing every other Saturday at Base Borden's Museum.  They, along with other volunteers (including students) have been working hard to reconstruct a Flakpanzer IV "Wirbelwind" self-propelled anti-aircraft gun made in Germany in 1944.  

This event was suggested by Rotarian Jack Van’t Spyker and he had provided some interesting background information if you would like to learn more HERE.

If you haven't been to the museum, you should go!  

The hours are as follows:

Open daily except Mondays and the day after holiday weekends. Hours are Tuesday to Friday, from 9 am to 3 pm (closed for lunch 12-1) and Saturday and Sunday from 1 pm to 4 pm. Admission is Free; Guided Tours cost $2.00 per person. 

Rotarians Suzanne and Marnie MacKay, visited Alliston Union Public School to draw a winner from our colouring contest submissions.  
Colleen Kotnisz of CPK Accounting provided the electronic toothbrush as a prize for the winning artist.
 
For those who aren't familiar with the Brush-a-mania program, it is designed to promote oral health and awareness among young children from Jr. Kindergarden to Grade 6.
This year, over 70,000 students in Ontario registered to take part in the event.
 
 
 
Alliston Union Public School:  Ellayah, Grade 2
Our feature in Snapd showcasing the Flight to Do Right Beer Pairing fundraiser!
 
Snapd Write-up:

Flight to Do Right Beer Pairing Event

Recently joined Rotary Club of Alliston members Marnie MacKay, Suzanne MacKay and Tanya Wall (also known as the Newbie Committee) hosted a fundraising event at Redline Brewhouse in support of Youth Haven. The evening featured guided brewery tours of the facility before everyone sat down to enjoy a four-course meal paired with delicious craft beer. "We didn't want to decide on our own where the money should go," said Marnie MacKay. "We surveyed people within the community to see where they would like to see the funds go. Youth Haven is an amazing place that offers youth shelter, and a safe place to get their lives together."

See more pics of the event HERE!

 
Rotarians worked hard cleaning up along Hwy89  of Alliston. Over 30 bags of garbage were collected as part of Pitch In week!  Way to go guys!
 
 
Two students, Laura Nielson and Amanda Dick, gave an amazing presentation of their D-Day trip experience.  They were part of a group of 72 students from grades 10-12 in attendance from Banting Memorial High School. Dana Wright joined Laura and Amanda for the presentation.  She traveled with the students to Europe. 
 
 
The following is a thank you letter from Banting Memorial High School for Rotary's support of their trip to Europe.
 
 
Banting Memorial High School
203 Victoria Street East, Alliston, ON L9R 1G5 Tel: 705-435-6288 | ban.scdsb.on.ca
 
March 25, 2019
 
Dear Rotary Club of Alliston, 
 
On behalf of the Banting staff and students that participated in the D-Day trip, we would like to thank you for your generous donation in support of our adventure.  Your contribution helped 73 students experience key events in Canadian History and bring the lessons that we learn in our classes, come to life. The trip encouraged appreciation for the significant sacrifice that was made, on our behalf, by the thousands of brave men and women who have served and continue to serve, in Canada’s armed forces.  Additionally, our students gained through their exposure to cultures and histories different from their own.
 
Our travels took us to war memorials at Omaha, Dieppe and Juno beaches, Beaumont Hamel, and Vimy Ridge.  Students conducted ceremonies at both Juno Beach and Beny Sur Mer that were both meaningful and heartfelt.  We visited Tyne Cot Cemetery and the memorial at Menin Gate.  Students were impressed with the hardships soldiers faced during a tour of the Wellington Quarries in Arras. I have attached pictures of a few of these experiences.
 
In addition to the memorial experiences, students also had the benefit of touring the Palace of Versailles, medieval Bruges, Ghent and Brussels and spending three days in London. Several of our students fell particularly in love with the medieval centres in Belgium and along with the architecture and rich History, enjoyed the frites, Belgian waffles and endless chocolate.
 
To close, I would like to include a sample of the some of the reflections of our students themselves.  When asked to comment on the highlights of the trip, here are some of the responses:
 
“Honestly speaking, everything. It was such a unique experience, and I don't know what to choose as a top favourite place. I think the best part of the trip was being there, immersed in history and culture.”
 
“Being at vimy ridge, being able to see and listen to what the troops had to go through, and just getting to be in Europe”
 
“Every walking tour had so much information to give to students, and enhanced my experience of the places in which we stayed.”
 
“The overall experience I got from this trip was amazing! The London eye, Omaha/Juno Beach, and Brussels stick out in my mind though”
 
 
Thank you again for your contributions to this experience. The Banting community is enriched by the support it consistently receives from the wider community that embraces it.
 
Sincerely, 
 
Dana Wright, Chair Canadian and World Studies Department
 
 
David Green and Joan Hayward were greeted with great enthusiasm when they visited the Life Skill Class at Banting Memorial High School.  Student from the program were excited to learn that thanks to a donation from the Rotary Club of Alliston, they would be participating in a horse back riding program in April at the Hope Haven Therapeutic Riding Centre. The Rotary Club of Alliston provided $1500 to support the program.

The Rotary Club of Alliston, the Firefighters of New Tecumseth and The Town of New Tecumseth had an impressive turnout at the Annual 12th Night Bonfire in Riverdale Park.

The massive bon fire was lit at 6:30pm and was viewed by hundreds as they feasted on hot dogs and hot chocolate.  

It was a hugely successful event thanks to all the volunteers, as well as, Country Meat Cuts for supplying the hot dogs and Tim Hortons in Angus for donating the hot chocolate. Also, a shout out goes to Sheldon Creek Dairy as for supplying bottles of chocolate milk to be handed out to all the children!

 

 

 

 
 
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Local Rotary News
For the past four years The Rotary Club of Alliston and The Rotary Club of Rivne, Ukraine have been in partnership to make a difference in the community of Rivne and beyond.  The Ukrainian Rotarians have developed and implemented a project worth $90,000 Canadian.  This has been made possible through funding from Alliston and District Rotarians, The Rotary Foundation, and the Government of Canada.
As a group, handicapped children and adults in Ukraine have been neglected and many spend their lives in orphanages and hostels poorly funded by the Ukrainian government.  The fourth highest cause of death in Ukraine is being handicapped.  To address this issue Rotarians between our two countries have just finished a large project focused on the blind and visually-impaired.   
 
First, the project has focused on providing educational aids and training for educators so that children between two and ten years of age across the region can be taught Braille using newly-developed resources which will allow these children to enter an integrated school system similar to what we are used to in Canada.  A new sound studio, where CDs are produced, and a new library that will distribute these have also been funded.  
 
Second, the project, for visually-impaired adults ages 20 plus, creates jobs.  Workers in the textile area have been trained on new sewing and embroidery machines, making uniforms for workers employed in industry. 
 
Other newly-created jobs involve the making of toilet paper which is cut, packaged, and sold for profit. 
Alliston Rotarians are committed to the Rivne area of Ukraine primarily because of the commitment to help their fellow citizens.  Ukraine is the poorest European country and Rivne is a former large manufacturing centre that is struggling to revive a strong economy.  Rivne Rotarians are a dedicated group of professionals and industrialists who are trying to help their community.  Alliston Rotarians are proud to be in partnership with them.  
On Monday, October 21st His Worship Mayor Rick Milne declared World Polio Week in New Tecumseth and raised the End Polio Now flag in front of the municipal offices in Alliston. In an effort to raise awareness of the importance of continued efforts to vaccinate the children of the world, the flag will fly all week. Rotarians from the Alliston club were on hand to witness the ceremony and to show their support for the international partnerships that, since 1984, have been working together to eradicate this crippling, and sometimes fatal, disease. UNICEF, WHO, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, the Gates Foundation, and the government of Canada have all committed to working with Rotary International to keep the promise to the children of the world that polio will be defeated.

Polio remains endemic in two countries only, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where geography, civic distrust, and political unrest create difficult challenges in getting the precious vaccine to vulnerable children. Early in 2020 polio will have been eradicated in the continent of Africa, once Nigeria has been declared polio-free. This gives the partners hope that the millions of dollars and the thousands of volunteers' time and effort will not have been given in vain.

We ask that citizens of New Tecumseth remain committed to vaccinating their children and grandchildren and not to let apathy and disinformation question the wisdom of regular inoculation. Measles has come back; let's not have polio return as well.

Photos: The flag raising ceremony and the proclamation signed and presented by Mayor Rick Milne.

World Polio Day, Thursday, October 24th

World Polio Day is 24 October! Mark your calendar to tune in for Rotary International’s World Polio Day Online Global Update, streamed on Facebook in multiple time zones and languages around the world.  President Sue has sent out a separate note about this unique opportunity.
 
This year’s program will highlight the heroes of polio eradication, with stories from polio-endemic and recently impacted areas.  This is the link:
 
 
Matthews House Hospice is a home in the heart of South Simcoe that offers residential-based care to people in the last stages of their lives, as well as community-based programs for people dealing with grief or a life-limiting illness. Through a dedicated team of more than 100 professionals and volunteers, Matthews House provides compassionate palliative care to area residents and their families.
 
“The final days of a loved one affect all family members deeply,” explains Dave Green of the Rotary Club of Alliston.  “What is often overlooked is the wrenching impact on children and teens who lose a parent.  They may not be able to show or even explain their emotions but the loss can scar them for years -- even their entire life.”
 
“That’s why we’re so pleased Rotary stepped up to enable the launch of our Helping Us Understand Grief (HUUG) program,” added Eryn Samchanda, the Grief and Bereavement Coordinator at Matthews House.  “This unique training program is designed to prepare our counselors to assist young people in coming to grips with the loss of a parent or loved one.  Most kids don’t know where to turn when facing a life-altering tragedy of this nature, which can affect their schooling, friendships and their entire social structure.  Through HUUG, we groom young counselors who can relate to the kids on their own level.  Some of them have even been through similar losses themselves.  Finding the courage to help others helps themselves move forward as well.”
 
Sara McConnell is a 17-year-old senior at Banting Memorial High School in Alliston.  She lost her stepmother Tracey -- “my best friend” -- in November and has been relying on Matthews House to steady her through the grieving period.  “It’s a healthy place you can lean on when you’re going through hard times,” Sara explained.  “It’s good to have someone to talk to and get feedback on how to help myself.  But for a lot of kids it’s harder to reach out to an adult, because of the age gap.” 
 
That’s why Rotary decided to support the new HUUG program to help vulnerable youth who are less able to help themselves through a period of grief.  George Scott, chair of Rotary’s Community Service Committee, explained.  “Our club donates funds and time to a variety of worthy causes in New Tecumseth.  HUUG is one that addresses what we believe is an under-served segment of our society.  It’s personal to me as well, since my daughters lost their mother when they were 18 and 14, and struggled for years in dealing with that big hole in their lives.”
 
At Matthews House, Sara has found the comfort and understanding she needed: “I want to tell Eryn about everything in my life -- not just the loss and grief.  Anything I’m excited about I want Eryn to know about it.”  Asked how Matthews House has made a difference for her in dealing with the loss of her stepmother, Sara said: “I can talk about it without crying now.  I can now remember her in a happy way.”  

Day 4 - Building the Rotary Family in Ukraine

 

The Rotary Club of Rivne is very committed to the growth of Rotary in Ukraine. Today we visited the town of Ostroh with Rotarians Olha and Eugene to talk with young people about Rotary and Rotoract.

Ostroh has a population of about 12,000 people and is situated 50km south of Rivne.  This is a university town centre around the National University Ostroh Academy.  The academy is one of the oldest tertiary learning centres in Eastern Europe having opened its doors in 1576. In it early years it was centre for language and publishing being source of the Ostroh bible.  This 1256 page book was the first complete bible printed in Cyrillic type. The original academy closed in 1636 but was reopened as a university in 1994.

We toured the campus learning about its history and famous people and the after lunch met with faculty and students to talk about Rotary and Rotoract.  Nine young people had many questions about the Rotary movement and how it functions.  The Rivne Rotarians and Rotoractors hope to establish a Rotoractor club on the campus in the near future.

We have had another great visit to Rivne.  The Rotary family here is dedicated to making their community a better place.  We greatly enjoyed the fellowship and their hospitality.  Tomorrow we say our goodbyes and drive back to Lviv for our flights home on Sunday.   

Meeting the new Partners.

 

With the project for the visually impaired community of Rivne completed the Rotary Club of Rivne is now moving forward with a new global grant.  The new grant will address the diagnosis and treatment of people on the Autism Spectrum.   This is a serious issue in Ukraine as being handicapped is one of leading causes of death.

 

Four organizations in the community will partner in this project. Today we visited the partners at their facilities and then participated in a general meeting of the global grant team. The project has three key components: 

  1. New diagnostic tools for the diagnosis of Autism
  2. Training of staff in the use of the tools and treatments
  3. Construction of two sensory “dark” rooms for use by children with Autism.

 

The purchase of new diagnostic tools will allow earlier detection of autism.  Staff training will focus on the use of these tools and new treatment regimes. Additional training session will be held with parents and caregivers so that the treatment plans be implemented on a daily basis.

 

Our first stop of the morning was at the Children’s Rehabilitation Centre.  This centre works with children and youth with mental and physical challenge (up to 16 years of age).  This location will be a group training centre for the project and will have a room renovated into a  “dark” sensory room for treating children with autism.  This centre is a bright welcoming facility, with a variety of treatment approaches including, physical therapy, speech pathologist, art therapy, music therapy, massage, water therapy and more.  

Our second stop is the regional psychiatric hospital. This facility treats more serious cases of mental health treating both children and adults.  They have day and residential programs. This will be the key diagnostic centre for the global grant.  This facility is in need of funding to update the infrastructure.  Such renovations are well beyond the scope and scale of the project.

Our final stop is the Rivne Regional Children’s Hospital.  We have visited this location on previous trip to Rivne.  One of our clubs first projects with the Rotary Club of Rivne was the rehabilitation playground and equipment for this facility.  The hospital is undergoing renovations and we could see the improvement since our last visit.  This location will also receive diagnostic tools and staff training for the diagnosis and treatment of children with Autism.  One of the sensory “dark” rooms will be constructed at this location. At the end of our visit the key staff from each facility met with us and we talked about the co-ordination and implementation of the project.

 

The Rotary Club of Rivne have done a great job in connecting these partners and coordinating the start of the project.  The grant has been approved and will move forward once funds are transferred from Rotary International and our club to Rivne.  The project will result in better care and treatment of people with Autism in the Rivne Region.

Day 2 - Review the results of the project to assist visually impaired

 

Today we visited locations associated with the global grant projects that helped the visually impaired.  This grant is near completion and seeing the final parts of the project in place was inspiring.

 

NGO at the Regional Library

Our partners at the regional library were responsible for the education tools and materials for youth.  They have done a great job with 40 schools receiving the new learning aids and many teachers and parents being trained on how to integrate these tools into the regular learning environment.  They have already taken orders for more materials from 5 schools creating an income stream that will help them become more financially sustainable.

The recording studio has been completed and 10 books have been recorded and put on digital media.  The NGO and the library are updating their websites to make these resource available online.  Volunteers are lined up to read more books and enlarge the digital library.

Institute for the Blind

The programs and projects at the Institute for the Blind focussed on job creation and skill development.  The sewing workshop renovations are now complete and all the new equipment is up and running. Six women with visual impairments work producing uniforms and aprons for local businesses.  The new sewing machines allow for more workers and an expanded range fproducts.  The computerized embroidering machine enhances their product by allowing the addition of logos and company names to clothing items.

The toilet paper production equipment is fully installed and employs 4 men per shift.  This process converts large rolls of paper, into small rolls which are covered, cut and bagged for sale and distribution.  We were each gifted with our own bag of 8 rolls...wait until we have to claim that one at customs...”anything to declare?”

The Rotary Club of Rivne pull out all the stops and invited the media to Institute for our visit and the celebration of the completion of the project.  Four TV stations sent reporters and camera people to see the TP paper production and the sewing workshop.

We were thanked and entertained by the people at Institute with speeches and songs.

 

Concert and Dinner

Our day ended with our own personal concert at a local music hall...organ, piano and some beautiful operatic vocals.  We spent our evening with the Rivne Rotoractors at a restaurant serving Georgian foods.  The future of Rotary in this community is bright and enthusiastic with these thirty something young people leading the way.

 

Our journey began a with the 4 hour drive from Lviv to Rivne.  Roads were relatively quiet and the weather was wonderful allowing us to arrive ahead of schedule at 12:45 pm.  Our afternoon was an exploration of old projects and the start of new relationships.  
 
We were met at the Myr Hotel by members of the club, had lunch and then began our walking tour. 
 
First stop...the newly completed accessible playground in the Central Park of the city. It was officially opened just last weekend.  Funds from the Rotary Club of Alliston were used to purchase the equipment.  All the elements are wheelchair accessible.   It is already getting lots of use.
 
Second stop...the playground at the children rehab center.  This is a facility we helped fund and we were in attendance for the opening when we first visited Rivne in 2017.  Patricia Wright’s Toronto West club also helped fund this project.  She was thrilled to be able to see it and learn more about the facility.  We were pleased to see it is well used and well maintained.
 
Third stop...Pogliad Charity Fund headquarters. This group is a partner in the newly approved Global Grant addressing the diagnosis and treatment of people with Autism.  The staff at this facility will be key players in the education and training of parents and professionals who are living and treating people on the autism spectrum.  The facility was bright and filled with a positive energy.  The dedication of the staff and their enthusiasm was infectious.
 
We completed our day at the Maple Cafe enjoying a great meal and wonderful fellowship.
The site visits tomorrow will focus on the projects and programs associated with the global grant assist the visually impaired.
Rotarians provided a fun, virtual reality video to people of all ages at the New Tecumseth Canada Day Celebrations.  The video followed a young adult on her journey to help immunize children in a remote area of Uganda.  Rotarians enjoyed sharing our End Polio story with people celebrating Canada Day in Alliston.
 
 
 
 
The new DG for District 7070 was in Alliston visiting the club on July 8th, 2019.  She spoke to the club about setting specific goals for the upcoming year and Rotary youth programs.
 
Here is Beth's bio...
 
Dr. Beth Selby, District 7070, District Governor 
Beth became a Rotarian in 2004 when she joined the Rotary Club of Belleville. Upon retirement in July 2008, she transferred to the Rotary Club of Cobourg.  She was President in 2015-2016 and an Assistant District Governor supporting the Rotary Clubs of Bowmanville, Oshawa, and Oshawa-Parkwood prior to becoming the 2019-2020 District Governor for District 7070.  In 2016, Beth was the co-recipient of the Les Faludy Leadership Award.  Although relatively new to Rotary, her involvement began in 1993 when she and her husband were Counsellors to an Inbound Youth Exchange student from Mexico. She refers to this experience as her ’Rotary Moment’.  
Beth has almost thirty years’ experience in public education.  She was a secondary school teacher, program consultant, secondary school vice-principal and principal, and superintendent of education. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Guelph and completed her three degrees in education at the University of Toronto.  Her Doctor of Education degree was conferred in 2005. She was a Faculty Advisor with Nipissing University supervising Teacher Candidates in both the Concurrent and Consecutive Bachelor of Education programs, and has also been a Supervisor of Teacher Interns with the University of New Brunswick.
Beth is very involved in her community of Cobourg, Ontario.  In addition to being the immediate Past President of the Rotary Club of Cobourg, she is the immediate Past Chair of the Northumberland Hills Hospital Board of Directors, and is in her eleventh year as a member of the Northumberland YMCA Board of Directors.
Beth and her husband, Rotarian Barry Vail, live in Baltimore just north of Cobourg with their miniature French Poodle, Clicquot.  Sons, Jason and his three children live in St. Catharines, and Matthew, his wife and their daughter live in Whitby. 
 
***MISSED STORY THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN POSTED IN OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER!***
Despite the cold and wet weather, two of our Rotarians, Ed and George, took part in the Bolton Rotary Golf Tournament.
This is an annual tournament that has helped raise 1 Million $ + for both local and international causes.
Great job guys!
Pictured above are: George Scott, Ed Zelinski and Frank Frisen

$1,841.45 was raised at the Flight To Do Right beer pairing event this year! The event was organized by the "newbie committee" of the Alliston Rotary Club, taking place at Redline Brewhouse with proceeds going to Youth Haven.

Below is a picture of Marnie MacKay (newbie committee member) presenting the cheque to the executive director, Lucy Gowers and board member, Ian MacLennan.

 

 

 

The Rotary Club of Alliston members, family and friends attended a very interesting and educational presentation at Base Borden on Monday, April 29th.

John, Dave, Collin and John, four dedicated volunteers, shared what they have been spending their spare time doing every other Saturday at Base Borden's Museum.  They, along with other volunteers (including students) have been working hard to reconstruct a Flakpanzer IV "Wirbelwind" self-propelled anti-aircraft gun made in Germany in 1944.  

This event was suggested by Rotarian Jack Van’t Spyker and he had provided some interesting background information if you would like to learn more HERE.

If you haven't been to the museum, you should go!  

The hours are as follows:

Open daily except Mondays and the day after holiday weekends. Hours are Tuesday to Friday, from 9 am to 3 pm (closed for lunch 12-1) and Saturday and Sunday from 1 pm to 4 pm. Admission is Free; Guided Tours cost $2.00 per person. 

Rotarians Suzanne and Marnie MacKay, visited Alliston Union Public School to draw a winner from our colouring contest submissions.  
Colleen Kotnisz of CPK Accounting provided the electronic toothbrush as a prize for the winning artist.
 
For those who aren't familiar with the Brush-a-mania program, it is designed to promote oral health and awareness among young children from Jr. Kindergarden to Grade 6.
This year, over 70,000 students in Ontario registered to take part in the event.
 
 
 
Alliston Union Public School:  Ellayah, Grade 2
Our feature in Snapd showcasing the Flight to Do Right Beer Pairing fundraiser!
 
Snapd Write-up:

Flight to Do Right Beer Pairing Event

Recently joined Rotary Club of Alliston members Marnie MacKay, Suzanne MacKay and Tanya Wall (also known as the Newbie Committee) hosted a fundraising event at Redline Brewhouse in support of Youth Haven. The evening featured guided brewery tours of the facility before everyone sat down to enjoy a four-course meal paired with delicious craft beer. "We didn't want to decide on our own where the money should go," said Marnie MacKay. "We surveyed people within the community to see where they would like to see the funds go. Youth Haven is an amazing place that offers youth shelter, and a safe place to get their lives together."

See more pics of the event HERE!

 
Rotarians worked hard cleaning up along Hwy89  of Alliston. Over 30 bags of garbage were collected as part of Pitch In week!  Way to go guys!
 
 
Two students, Laura Nielson and Amanda Dick, gave an amazing presentation of their D-Day trip experience.  They were part of a group of 72 students from grades 10-12 in attendance from Banting Memorial High School. Dana Wright joined Laura and Amanda for the presentation.  She traveled with the students to Europe. 
 
 
The following is a thank you letter from Banting Memorial High School for Rotary's support of their trip to Europe.
 
 
Banting Memorial High School
203 Victoria Street East, Alliston, ON L9R 1G5 Tel: 705-435-6288 | ban.scdsb.on.ca
 
March 25, 2019
 
Dear Rotary Club of Alliston, 
 
On behalf of the Banting staff and students that participated in the D-Day trip, we would like to thank you for your generous donation in support of our adventure.  Your contribution helped 73 students experience key events in Canadian History and bring the lessons that we learn in our classes, come to life. The trip encouraged appreciation for the significant sacrifice that was made, on our behalf, by the thousands of brave men and women who have served and continue to serve, in Canada’s armed forces.  Additionally, our students gained through their exposure to cultures and histories different from their own.
 
Our travels took us to war memorials at Omaha, Dieppe and Juno beaches, Beaumont Hamel, and Vimy Ridge.  Students conducted ceremonies at both Juno Beach and Beny Sur Mer that were both meaningful and heartfelt.  We visited Tyne Cot Cemetery and the memorial at Menin Gate.  Students were impressed with the hardships soldiers faced during a tour of the Wellington Quarries in Arras. I have attached pictures of a few of these experiences.
 
In addition to the memorial experiences, students also had the benefit of touring the Palace of Versailles, medieval Bruges, Ghent and Brussels and spending three days in London. Several of our students fell particularly in love with the medieval centres in Belgium and along with the architecture and rich History, enjoyed the frites, Belgian waffles and endless chocolate.
 
To close, I would like to include a sample of the some of the reflections of our students themselves.  When asked to comment on the highlights of the trip, here are some of the responses:
 
“Honestly speaking, everything. It was such a unique experience, and I don't know what to choose as a top favourite place. I think the best part of the trip was being there, immersed in history and culture.”
 
“Being at vimy ridge, being able to see and listen to what the troops had to go through, and just getting to be in Europe”
 
“Every walking tour had so much information to give to students, and enhanced my experience of the places in which we stayed.”
 
“The overall experience I got from this trip was amazing! The London eye, Omaha/Juno Beach, and Brussels stick out in my mind though”
 
 
Thank you again for your contributions to this experience. The Banting community is enriched by the support it consistently receives from the wider community that embraces it.
 
Sincerely, 
 
Dana Wright, Chair Canadian and World Studies Department
 
 
David Green and Joan Hayward were greeted with great enthusiasm when they visited the Life Skill Class at Banting Memorial High School.  Student from the program were excited to learn that thanks to a donation from the Rotary Club of Alliston, they would be participating in a horse back riding program in April at the Hope Haven Therapeutic Riding Centre. The Rotary Club of Alliston provided $1500 to support the program.

The Rotary Club of Alliston, the Firefighters of New Tecumseth and The Town of New Tecumseth had an impressive turnout at the Annual 12th Night Bonfire in Riverdale Park.

The massive bon fire was lit at 6:30pm and was viewed by hundreds as they feasted on hot dogs and hot chocolate.  

It was a hugely successful event thanks to all the volunteers, as well as, Country Meat Cuts for supplying the hot dogs and Tim Hortons in Angus for donating the hot chocolate. Also, a shout out goes to Sheldon Creek Dairy as for supplying bottles of chocolate milk to be handed out to all the children!