Club Information

Edmonton Mayfield

We meet Wednesdays at noon
Until further notice our meetings have moved on-line
for a meeting invitation, email President Jeanette Bancarz
using the link below.
Edmonton, AB T5L 3C2
Canada
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Stories

Congratulations Wendy McDonald, Rotary International SERVICE ABOVE SELF award recipient. Award was presented via ZOOM at District 5370 Changeover Meeting by Director Jeffry Cadorette.

Wendy's story - one Rotarian making a difference and changing lives, thru the creation and development of the Rotary Employment Partnership.

In 2000 when Wendy McDonald was preparing for her year as President of the Rotary Club of Edmonton Mayfield, she attended the Rotary International Convention in Buenos Aires. At that Convention she was inspired by incoming RI President Frank Devlyn who challenged Rotarians and clubs to create employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Wendy describes this as a moment when her life as a Rotarian and her life as a Mom collided. Wendy and her husband Blaine have two sons, one of whom has a developmental disability. Although her son with a disability wasn’t even in kindergarten at the time, she was curious as to why Rotary would be raising this as a project to work on in our communities.

Following the convention Wendy came home and began to do some research. In Alberta (and across most of North America), there is a close to 80% unemployment rate for individuals with developmental disabilities. This means that individuals life lives of isolation, poverty and Government Assistance. A life without possibilities. As a Mom this devastated her and as a Rotarian, she was embarrassed that this reality existed in her community and she was totally unaware.

The Mayfield Rotary Club began the Rotary Employment Partnership in 2001. It became clear that Rotary could not do important work without partners. A partnership was formed between Inclusion Alberta and the Government of Alberta.

(Inclusion Alberta is a family-based non-profit federation that advocates on behalf of children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families. Together, we share a dream of meaningful family life and community inclusion for individuals with developmental disabilities. As an advocacy organization we support families and individuals in their desire to be fully included in community life.)

The Government of Alberta provides the funding for the partnership and Inclusion Alberta connects individuals with developmental disabilities to the jobs created by Rotarians and assists the employers to sustain employment by utilising natural supports.

Individuals work in roles (office administration, front desk, assembly teams) in organizations that are highly valued and not commonly seen through more traditional supported employment practices. Most striking is the resultant public advocacy of Rotarians and Rotary clubs in promoting the employment of individuals with developmental disabilities.

By capitalizing on the substantive networking capacity of Rotarians to create jobs, this initiative has proven to be the most cost-effective employment strategy in Alberta in the last 19 years.

There are currently over 30 clubs in Alberta involved. Over 550 jobs have been created to date. The average wage is substantially above minimum wage. The income of individuals with developmental disabilities increases by 50% on average upon the individual joining the partnership. There has been success in both rural and urban communities.

One day we will have a Polio free world. Perhaps the next step would be to ensure after eradicating a virus that creates disabilities, we can make sure that those living with disabilities have a meaningful place in community by having Rotarians, and their networks, open their doors to create employment opportunities.

The Rotary Employment partnership has been recognized internationally by the ESSL Foundations Zero Project as one of 40 innovative practices worldwide.

(The Zero Project focuses on the rights of persons with disabilities globally. It provides a platform where the most innovative and effective solutions to problems that persons with disabilities face, are shared. Its sole objective is to assist in creating a world without barriers, based on the Articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.)

It was a 'Happy Leaving' as our friend and colleague Kristen Hudson departed for Toronto. Kristen has been a reliable and friendly face at our meetings over the past many years, preceding most of our current members. Kristen, you will be missed and we hope that you find another lucky Rotary Club to join.
Members, alumni and guests all gathered at Brightview School for the annual Holiday luncheon. This is the highlight of our Rotary year!

We were delighted to welcome our District Governor Tracey Vavrek and husband and driver, Vince Vavrek to the Best Darned Rotary Club in the Whole Wide World. We had a few laughs, and just a few tears, as we shared our stories. Thank you Tracey for your inspiring presentation and visit.
Thank you to our Fork It Over Sponsors
Would you like to support our causes? Donate Now at ATBCares.com and select our Partner 'Edmonton Mayfield Rotary Charitable Society"
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