Posted on Sep 07, 2018
On Friday, August 31st, the club's rebound exchange student (returned from exchange abroad), Morgan Bodnaruk gave a great presentation describing her year in Brazil.Some of Morgan's memories and photos included:
  • Eating interesting Brazilian foods
  • Visiting the capitol and seeing Brazil's government in action
  • Fishing (and catching!) piranha's in the Amazon River
  • A fellow exchange student's phone being rescued out of the same Amazon River after a guide dived in to get it for her!
But most of all, the audience seemed to notice the close connections Morgan formed with Rotarians, other exchange students, and friends in Brazil.  Our club is very proud of Morgan, her growth and accomplishments.  She has been and continues to be, a fantastic representative of Rotary.
Brazil Exchange Student Morgan Bodnaruk
Rebound Exchange Student Morgan Bodnaruk Describes Year in Brazil During Club Presentation Kris Podolski 2018-09-07 06:00:00Z 0 Brazil,Exchange Student,Morgan Bodnaruk
D Coy Project Survey Results Overwhelmingly Supportive of Project Kris Podolski 2018-08-07 06:00:00Z 0 Air Cadets,DCoy,Project,Survey
Posted by Kris Podolski on Jul 29, 2018
On July 27th, our club's outbound exchange student, Emma Ruff, presented about her upcoming exchange to Belgium.  Her presentation was full of interesting facts (did you know Belgium is smaller than Vancouver Island, or that Belgium's population is about 100x more dense than Canada's?), and, as one Rotarian put it after the meeting, "a wicked sense of humour."
Emma is 15 years old, and recently completed the 10th grade at Peace Wapiti Academy.  She moved to Alberta from New Brunswick when she was only a year old and has lived here ever since with her parents and younger sister. 
She is an active member of Grande Prairie Interact Club, enjoys being active, and has been involved with wrestling, basketball, and badminton.  She plays the bass clarinet in her high school band.  She also loves reading, painting, and drawing. She loves traveling and trying new things (foods, activities, etc.).  Spending time with family and friends, and being involved in her community is very important to her.
If you would like to wish Emma luck on her journey, feel free to attend her going away party:
Centre 2000
Thursday, August 9th
5:30 - 8:30 PM
Belgium Emma Ruff Exchange Student
Belgium-bound Exchange Student Emma Ruff Gives Pre-Exchange Presentation Kris Podolski 2018-07-29 06:00:00Z 0 Belgium,Emma Ruff,Exchange Student
Posted by Kris Podolski on Jul 23, 2018
On July 20th, Lt. Brent Fulmek and Senior Firefighter Phillip Tufford visited our club to present on their Grande Prairie Firefighters Roatan Group project.
The group was established in 2010 and the first trip was in 2012. Their main focus is to provide training to the Roatan Bomberos in a variety of different skill sets such as:
  • vehicle extrication
  • firefighter survival/rescue
  • technical rope rescue
  • hazardous materials
  • and more
The group raises money and collects donations to send firefighters to the island, who volunteer their time, take their own vacation off work and provide their own meals and spending money. The funds raised go towards flights, transportation, and accommodations. 
Firefighters Roatan
Local Firefighters Present Grande Prairie Firefighters Roatan Group Project Kris Podolski 2018-07-23 06:00:00Z 0 Firefighters,Roatan
Posted by Joanne Ballance
Following the informative presentation by Tru-lee Love about Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) in Alberta schools, I wanted to share the link to the local video From Redneck to Rainbows.
From Redneck to Rainbows video Joanne Ballance 2018-05-29 06:00:00Z 0
RISE AGAINST HUNGER - 2018 Cheryl Montgomery 2018-01-12 07:00:00Z 0
2017 Rotary International Convention - Atlanta Cheryl Montgomery 2017-06-22 06:00:00Z 0
ROTARY for LIFE Eunice Friesen 2017-05-25 06:00:00Z 0
Posted by Joanne Ballance on Oct 22, 2016
Members of the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie donated over $10,500 at the Friday October 21 meeting. Donations were accepted at the door, and those members participating had their pinky finger painted purple, the same way International Rotary Polio immunization clinics identify those who received the vaccine. The donations are matched by the Canadian Government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Once the matching is in place we leveraged our club donation to over $51,000!! Wow! Thank you Rotary Club of Grande Prairie!
Club members support World Polio Day in a Big Way! Joanne Ballance 2016-10-22 06:00:00Z 0
It is already time to start thinking about the 2017 Conventions. You have two to consider the 2017 District Convention in Westlock in April 2017 and the 2017 International Convention in Atlanta Georgia in June 2017.
Rotary District 5370 Conference
Westlock Rotary Spirit Centre
April 6-8, 2017 
Our Club has pre-purchased many Conference registrations in advance at the early bird rate, so if you are interested in attending, please be sure to contact Dori and secure one of the early bird registrations. Planning for travel and accommodations can happen at a later date.  It is always a great time to connect with fellow Rotarians and friends. So mark it in your calendar and consider attending this one if you have never attended before!
Rotary International Convention
Atlanta, Georgia
June 10-14
It is never to early to start thinking about attending the Rotary International Convention, it is always something very special. And 2017 will even be extra special as Rotarians from around the world celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Foundation!  It will be a spectacular event filled with so many activities and opportunities to feel even  more connected with the most successful Organization in the world!  You will want to be there, when they declare the world to be Polio free, this is a once in a lifetime event that Rotary has had the largest impact on with its Foundation Funding. We should all be proud of the fact that the world and our future generations will be Polio Free... Forever because of our hard work and contributions!   This Convention will be an event you won't want to miss. 
Mark your calendars now and check out more on the Convention Website !
Conference and Conventions!! 2016-10-13 06:00:00Z 0
The Horse Lake Graduation for our Rotary Employment Work Partnership program happened over the weekend. It has been a resounding success!
Horse Lake Graduation 2016-03-21 06:00:00Z 0
2014 Dream Home Michelle Gairdner 2014-01-31 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Diana Mabbett on Nov 28, 2013
President Frank Daskewich looks on as Don Gnatiuk presents Fletcher Bootle with a crystal and a diamond pin. This presentation is in recognition of Fletcher and his wife Diane Bootle becoming major donors, level 1  and sustaining members of the Rotary Foundation.
Major Rotary Foundation Donor Diana Mabbett 2013-11-29 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Diana Mabbett on Aug 08, 2013
ImageWe were very fortunate to have a presentation  from Digvijai Singh Parmar and Jason Schembri of the Grande Prairie Cricket Assoc. They have recently built a cricket pitch at the Northridge Field and offer cricket instruction every Wednesday at 7pm with fun games on Saturday and team games on Sunday.
Grande Prairie Cricket Assoc Diana Mabbett 2013-08-09 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jennifer McWilliams on Jul 19, 2012

Congratulations to our 2012 Dream Home winners: Corinne McDonald and Wayne Petrowich with thier son Patrick and daughter Keely.  The family has moved into their new 3000 square foot home complete with four bedrooms , stunning kitchen,  home theatre room, billiards room and landscaped backyard.

Proceeds from the lottery help make dreams a reality here in Grande Prairie, click here to see the projects supported by the lottery. In addition the lottery also supports the QEII Hospital Foundation’s mission to enhance health care and education in our area.

Special thanks to Monarch Homes and all of the sponsors who generously donated materials for the lottery.

We are still totalling the results but it is looking like this year’s lottery along with the fifty-fifty draw has raised over a quarter of a million dollars.  


In the photo: Corinne McDonald and Wayne Petrowich, son Patrick and daughter Keely & President Lorraine


The family, President Lorraine, George Genio (site superintendent), Chad Merriman from Monarch Homes

Dream Home Lottery Winners and Results Jennifer McWilliams 2012-07-20 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Jennifer McWilliams on Jul 05, 2012

David and Cindy Holmes of Grande Prairie were the lucky winners of the $100,000 cash lottery prize. Pam French our treasurer presented them with a cheque at the July 6th Rotary Meeting. Our winners are very grateful to Rotary and are making plans for their new found wealth.

During this first year of this lottery we managed to sell out of all the tickets. Thank you and congratulations to our all Rotary members who volunteered their time to make this lottery a huge success.
50/50 Winner Jennifer McWilliams 2012-07-06 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Michael Frey on Aug 08, 2011
Dear Fellow Rotarians:
          On  behalf of Doug Sloan and Mike Frey (last years Mazatlan drivers), we would like to extend an invitation for drivers for the next trip to Mazatlan.   Tentative Departure date March 9, 2012 for 2 weeks.   Please see the requirements and responsibilities below. Submit your name ASAP to Doug or Mike. Preference will be given to those Rotarians that have not participated in this project in a previous year. Please ensure that you can go on this project as it will involve a lot of work and time to change everything if you back out. If you have any questions, please contact Doug Sloan, Mike Frey, Rod Dunbar or Gary Hessler.     
Grande Prairie Rotary Club Bus To Mazatlan – 2012 Michael Frey 2011-08-09 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers on Jul 29, 2011
The  Clairmont parents committee has been raising funds for 2 years to construct a playground at their new school – grades k to 8.   The  Clairmont School has 317 students enrolled for the coming year and the 25,000  dollar donation from the Rotary club will allow the parents group to begin  construction of the playground.  Sherilyn  Angen and Tina Elford from the parents committee accepted the check from our club treasurer, Henry Kroeker


Rotary Club Supports Clairmont School Playground with a Donation of 25,000 Kevin Hilgers 2011-07-30 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers on Jul 15, 2011
It was fun giving $50,000 to the QEII Hospital Foundation as a result of the Dream Home Lottery. Here lottery chair of the 2011 Dream Home Committee Derek Hall and Rotary Past President Karen Munjak present a check to Foundation Executive Director Cindy Park (on the right side), and Foundation Board of Trustess Chair Sean Sargent (far right). Ever wonder what the Rotary Club does with the rest of the funds? Get a good idea by clicking here
$50,000 check to QEII Hospital Foundation! Kevin Hilgers 2011-07-16 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers on Jul 04, 2011

 Photo:   President Dennis Young and winner Howard McPherson look at Howard's winning ticket.

Howard McPherson is currently a quiet 78 year old living in Dieppe Manor senior home.  That all changed when President Dennis called him to tell him he has won the Dream Home!  And YES he is moving in.   As soon as possible!  Who wouldn't?

McPherson is the winner of the Dream Home Lottery - but the community is just as much a winner.  The lottery netted an estimated $250,000.  The first 50,000 of that will go to the QEII Hospital Foundation.  The balance is for Rotary projects.

Rotarians put in thousands of hours since March.  A committee led by Derek Hall and Glenn Keddie was assisted by people like Henry Kroeker,  Karen Munjak, Carol McLevin,  Doug Henderson and other Rotarians. 

Congratulations Rotarians! 

For a complete list of winners and pictures of the home etc visit the Dream Home site

Dream Home WInner Takes the Home. Rotary Another big winner! Kevin Hilgers 2011-07-05 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers on Jun 18, 2011
 President Karen awarded "Rotarian of the Year" at the recent Changeover meeting.  Congratulations to Lorraine Gabriel - this years recipient.   Lorraine will be the Club  President for NEXT year (2012 2013) after Dennis Young.   Congrats Lorraine on this prestigious award!
Rotarian of the Year Kevin Hilgers 2011-06-19 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers on Jun 14, 2011

Rotarian Kevin Hilgers received this award from President Karen Munjak at the Change Over meeting.  

This citation program provides a way for Rotary clubs to personally recognize one club member for his or her outstanding efforts in the five Avenues of Service. A club member must have demonstrated support of the Object of Rotary through active participation in each of the five Avenues of Service: Club, Vocational, Community, International, and New Generations.

Avenues of Service Citation Awarded Kevin Hilgers 2011-06-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers on Jun 14, 2011

Here is a heart warming video featuring local youth - including Sexsmith Interact.  This is the Club we sponsored! 

Youth, Interact Club - Why Volunteer Kevin Hilgers 2011-06-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers on Apr 12, 2011

The plaque says it all. 

“In recognition of the Club’s exemplary commitment to support and fund the District 5370 Rotary Employment Partnership in Grande Prairie, which has sustained hope and opportunity for adults with developmental disabilities and their families.”

President Karen accepted the award on behalf of the Club Friday in Edmonton Friday, April 8.   The award was presented by President of the AACL Barb MacIntyre.  

Club Awarded “Community Inclusion Award” Kevin Hilgers 2011-04-13 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers on Apr 12, 2011

Finally!  Member Mac Henderson did a great job getting 60 years of history online.  It is now on our web site     Look under "About us".  In fact - it would be appreciated if you could review and check for items you would like to see added, or altered or adjusted.  Maybe you have stories that should be a part of our pemanent record


Click here for our HISTORY PAGE

Mac Henderson did the work - I posted online.  If you see changes needed - please email me

Kevin Hilgers

Club History Now Online Kevin Hilgers 2011-04-13 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers on Apr 10, 2011

When Rotary Exchange Student Karly Hilgers had to return home from her year in Japan due to the earthquake, Rotarians in Brazil offered to take any exchange student returning from Japan.  Karly signed up and she is on the way to Brazil.  At the same time Club President Karen said out loud "What about the exchange students from Brazil who have to come home from Japan?" Word was sent to Brazil that the 3 Grande Prairie Clubs would take students from Brazil.  There were just a few exchange students from Brazil in Japan at the time the earthquake hit, one quickly took the opportunity to finish the exchange year in Grande Prairie.   Our Club will host Luiza from early May till late July.  She will stay with Munjak family.  Luiza is from a Rotary family as well.  Luiza will attend grade 11 at PWA who jumped at the opportunity to have Luiza as a student.   It's believed to be the first  time our club has had TWO exchange students.  

Grande Prairie Club Hosts Second Exchange Student Kevin Hilgers 2011-04-11 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Joanne Ballance on Mar 17, 2011

Join us April 15 for food, fun and fellowship as our Rotary club celebrates 60 years in Grande Prairie.  The event is sure to be a lot of fun! 

Where: Quality Inn

When: 7 - 11 pm (Program starts at 7:30 pm with a Dance to follow)

Cost: $30/person

Members: This is an attendance meeting - tickets will be added to your Rotary invoice

Guests: Tickets are available for sale; please call Karen at 780.814.7474

Dress:  Come dressed in any decade but this one! 

Spouses and guests are welcome!

Celebrating 60 years of Rotary! Joanne Ballance 2011-03-18 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Karen Munjak on Feb 19, 2011
On Sunday, January 30, the Film Circuit in Grande Prairie is bringing the movie "Waste Land", which is an award-winning documentary about the artist Vik Muniz and the power of art tranforming reality in the world's largest landfill located in Brazil. Half of the proceeds to ShelterBox.
Exchange students raising money for ShelterBox Karen Munjak 2011-02-19 11:29:30Z 0
Web Counter Joel Park 2004-10-20 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Pam French

Reading University recieves a $5,000 donation for their wonderful program. 

Reading University Pam French 0
Funds donated to the local and international community Michelle Gairdner 0
Posted by Jennifer McWilliams

Friday the club was please to present : Fletcher Bootle was presented with his Paul Harris Fellow + 8 pin and Merle Hawryluk was presented with her Paul Harris Fellow + 1 pin



Paul Harris Fellow Awards May 3rd Jennifer McWilliams 0
Cheque Presentations & Paul Harris Awards April 26th Jennifer McWilliams 0
Posted by Jennifer McWilliams

Dave Johnson came to update the club the Youth Wellness Centre at the Composite High School. He happily shared quotes from facility and students on their experiences at the centre. It is safe to say this centre is making a real difference in the lives of students who need mental health assistance in our community......


A lifetime of good deeds recognized by our club. Jennifer McWilliams 0
Cheque Presentation to The Friends of Saskatoon Lake Jennifer McWilliams 0
Rotary Jasper Ski Trip - Family Day Long Weekend, Feb 15-18 Derek Hall 0
Facebook here we come.... Jennifer McWilliams 0
Posted by Jennifer McWilliams

Welcome Doug and Jennifer, the newest members of the Grande Prairie Rotary Club...


New Members Jennifer McWilliams 0
A message from Jessica Manzo Andrés our scholarship student (Project Amigo) Jennifer McWilliams 0
Posted by Jennifer McWilliams

Tim Meng - President of the Rotary Foundation gave a presentation on the Foundation and it's work done locally and internationally.  Tim issued a challenge to  each member to donate at least $10 this year....


Paul Harris Awards & Rotary Foundation Jennifer McWilliams 0
Updates From Our Club Executive - In Photos.... Jennifer McWilliams 0
Posted by Jennifer McWilliams

Last night all for Grande Prairie Clubs came together at the District Governor’s dinner.  Great company and good cheer was shared by all providing an opportunity for the local club members to mingle with other members.






Governor’s Dinner Brought together all GP Clubs.... Jennifer McWilliams 0
Posted by Jennifer McWilliams

What other Rotary Club has a member with a helicopter, willing to offer up a scenic tour of Grande Prairie?


Congratulation to Pauline Spinney from the Peace River Rotary Club; winner of the contest. Pauline's ticket was drawn at the Luau on Friday night.
She decided to take some of our Interact kids along for the ride.

Thanks to Roch and Gemini helicopter's for donating this prize to the District Conference.

And the winner is ..... Jennifer McWilliams 0
Posted by Jennifer McWilliams

Click here  for the full story in the Grande Prairie Daily Herald Tribune written by Graeme Bruce Herald

The Grande Prairie Composite High school is $50,000 closer to its counselling centre after the Grande Prairie Rotary Club presented the school with a cheque on Aug. 10.

The Health and Wellness Suite, which is currently under construction at the Comp, is the first of its kind in North America and will encompass academic counseling, health and medical services, social work, aboriginal issues and suicide prevention.

David Johnson, vice-principal of the Comp was on hand to accept the money during the club’s Friday meeting, and said the project will be available for all students in the area.

“If you’re living on your own, and you don’t have any parental support, who do you turn to for help?” he said. “Imagine that at 15, and it’s not uncommon.”

According to Bruce Beairsto, Rotary Club member and the main fundraiser for the project, they are about halfway to reaching the goal of $400,000.


Treasurer Pam French presented David Johnson and Bruce Bearisto a cheque for $50,000 for the Grande Prairie Comp Health and Wellness Suite.

Grande Prairie Rotary Club Donates $50,000 to the Grande Prairie Comp Health and Wellness Suite. Jennifer McWilliams 0
Posted by Jennifer McWilliams

On Friday August 10th,  Past President Dennis Young and Diana Mabbett made cheque presentations to a few local community groups.

GP Piranhas Swim Club

This group received a $5,000 donation to help them with the aquatic activities they provide for the youth in our community. More information on the group can be found here.

Hospital Auxiliary Foundation

As a thank you for the countless hours these ladies donated in helping with sell tickets for this year's Dream Home Lottery a cheque for $10,000 was issued.  These funds will allow the group to fulfill some of the items on the hospitals wish list. For some interesting history on the group click here


GP Rotary Club Donates to Local Charities Jennifer McWilliams 0
Posted by Jennifer McWilliams
The GP Rotary club was pleased to present a fifty-thousand dollar cheque to the QE II Foundation due to the fundraising efforts of this year's dream home lottery.

The primary purpose of the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital Foundation is to enhance the quality of health care in our community by raising money for the priority and specialized needs of our Regional QEII Hospital. The Foundation plays a critical role in funding for essential specialized equipment, major projects, patient care programs and education. More info here

Thank you to all the clubs Rotarians that have contributed endless hours helping sell tickets for this year's dream home lottery.

In the Photo:  Scott Lissoway. Chair of QE II Foundation and Rotarian, Cindy Park Executive Director of QE II foundation and Past President Dennis Young
Cheque Presentation to the QE II Foundation Jennifer McWilliams 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers
Dan Gorman of Evergreen Park gave me a newspaper article he found from August 1952! It was about the Governor visit in that month.  I posted it on our club history page.

Note reference to Bill Simpson, former member.  And note 2 references in side stories to polio!   Enjoy, and special thanks to Dan Gorman who provided this!
What would a Governor have said 60 years ago in GP? Find out. Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers
I was at Al's News and saw some old post cards.  They look like they are from the 70's or 80's,  maybe 60's.   The text on the rear says "Rotary Campsite, Grande Prairie, Alberta.  Once of the Provinces finest  camspites, complete with showers amd barbecue pits to make summer outings more enjoyable.  Majestic Trumpeter Swans, which nest on waters at the site, are quite tame and sometimes accept donations of food from little visitors".   You can see some swans past the kids in the picture.   The card is on sale at Al's News for 65 cents.

Rotary Campground - Care to Guess the Year? Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers


Wow,  here is a donation of $33,500, presented by Rotarian Joel Park to Cool Aid Society (Helen Ficocelli; Exec Director) for completion of South side facility  and recognition of the support from Doug Nilsson from Nilsson Construction Ltd.

Great work Rotarians!  Newspaper story from the DHT:   

A recent donation from the Grande Prairie Rotary Club will help the local Cool Aid Society complete its south-side location, which is the newest building for the organization.

“To finish the building what we needed is parking for parents to come in. To justify it in my mind for the kids is that they will now have a basketball court and a chalkboard for street chalk,” said Helen Ficocelli, executive director.

The society recently accepted a cheque for $33,500 to help with the project and Nilsson Construction Ltd. has stepped up to help with the building.

The Cool Aid Society is an after-school program that offers children aged six through 12 a safe place to hang out and make new friends. The programming relies heavily on contributions from the community, which allows them to keep things free.

“The fact that we’re free of charge really helps families. There are families in this community who have a lot and then there are others who are really struggling,” Ficocelli said.

Rotary Club Helping Youth! Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers

I am attaching a letter we received from Jessica Manzo Andres.  She is a University Student in Mexico that our club is helping to support.  I have run her letter through Microsoft translator and cleaned it up as best as my limited Spanish would allow. She is a very bright young lady and it is gratifying to read her letters and see how our Club's support is helping her reach her potential. Greg Podmore

Hello godparents President Dennis, Rotary Greg, and members of the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie:

How have you have been? I hope very well, so you can feel the gratitude that I would like to convey through my letter, everything you do for supporting me so that I can finish my professional education is worthy of applause and a great recognition. I'm about to finish my sixth semester, already almost beginning final exams and the work that will make us crazy has returned to me and my colleagues. I'm not complaining, it is part of our training as professionals, all that stress we may have work for canalizaremos them positively so we operate more effectively and efficiently, as robots a little exaggerated truth? But the teachers have told us that we canalicemos stress to expedite the work, we deal with things that our time yield more.

In my school there is a teacher who is very good with us, advises us on our future life, says that we must adapt to change, do not expect that solutions to fall from the sky, we should learn to look for them, and that encourages us to continue the fight to succeed.  It is quite right when he says that, change happens when we least expect and need to be prepared to not miss the opportunities that life can give us.  He recommended we read a book called "who moved my cheese"? The book talks about adapting to changes.  A very good book indeed. I recommend that you glance and nurture of information that is very useful for professional and personal life to me personally I liked this reading, and I presume them that this year I have been 4 books read completitos, and I'm going for more, this was one of my new year and glide purposes much, reading to increase my vocabulary and my general culture. By soon I say goodbye, is everything on my part, hope have a good month to already start this next, and succeed in all their professional and personal affairs?


Jessica Manzo Andres

Hola Padrinos! Letter from someone our club supports Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers

The Annual Change Over evening is a fun event for Rotarians and spouses/guests,  Thursday evening June 7.  Hear President Dennis talk about the year - and hand over the torch to President Elect Lorraine.  The new Rotary year starts July 1.  Also attending is District Governor Harry Buddle and President of the Rotary Club of Edmonton Ron Coloumbe..  It is tradition the host club of the District Governor hands over the "District Governor Flag" to the new host club for their year.  That would be our club.   Haven't RSVP'?  Email President Dennis and join us.  Spouses/guests encouraged.   It's a nice evening to celebrate in and outgoing executives.  Email Dennis.        Details here .  Also at the Changeover:  Awarding of Rotarian of The Year. One of THE most prestigious awards ever!   See you there!

Ever wonder what becomes of our efforts internationally?  A heartwarming story from Mexico below.

Another opportunity to do a fun Make Up!   Everyone likes to keep their attendance up at Rotary meetings.  If you miss a meeting did you know you can do  a "make up" at any Rotary meeting in the world?  Now Grande Prairie's newest Rotary Club can officially hand out make ups.  The "Rotary Club of Grande Prairie After Five" was officially given "Provisional Status" which means it can provide make ups.   Join them at 5:00 Wednesday evenings,  2nd floor of the downtown Curling Club.  Just $10.00! Have a beer there.   Out at 6 PM. Their Charter Evening and Celebration of the new Club is Wednesday June 20th and all are welcome.  $35 includes supper.   Email Frank Wright.and see you there!

Our Weekly Newsletter Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers
ImageWhy do we sell Drea Home tickets?  For reasons like this:

Here is President Elect Lorraine Gabriel presenting a donation of $5000 to Rhonda Side to support the Grade 3 Reading University Program.  A great reason to sell Dream Home tickets!

More reasons include this newspaper headline: 

Rotary Club donates thousands to local organizations

By Graeme Bruce Herald-Tribune staff 

The Grande Prairie Rotary Club donated a substantial amount of money to two local organizations on Friday.

The 577 Squadron of the Air Cadet League of Canada was given $20,000 during the club’s regular Friday meeting on May 25 at the Rotary Room at the Quality Inn & Conference Centre.

The club has been giving support to the squadron throughout the squadron’s 59-year existence, and for commanding officer Capt Brandy Boychuk, the money is very welcome.

Why do we sell Dream Home tickets? Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers

Ever wonder why we do bingos or sell Dream Home tickets?    So we can make our community even better.  here is another example of our small donations committee and your efforts at work.  Lorne Radbourne and his crew hand over a few more dollars!


Picture on the left: Carla Shkworak, Executive Director Grande Prairie and Area Safe Communities, $2000 to support carpet replacement in the Peace Country Safety Resource Centre.

Picture on the right: Ray Rupertus, Coordinator Client Services CNIB Grande Prairie, $500 to support programs and services for blind  and partially sighted children
in the Region.Image

Making our community even better! Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers

After having heard happy stories from exchange students around the world, I would like to share with you how good it can be for a family to receive an exchange student.

Once upon a was back in 1978, my parents, who lived in Randers, a provincial town in Jutland, Denmark, were asked by the local Rotary Committee, if they would consider having a young girl staying for some months.
I remember that my parents were reluctant, as their only child (it is me) was 29 years old and had left home long ago. My parents had a busy grocer's shop and were living upstairs from the shop in the middle of the town, and my mother was worried because we only had one bathroom! They ended up saying yes, and I remember looking together with my parents at the papers seing the smiling face of 17 years old Canadian Karen Louise McFarlane from Penticton B.C. She looked truly sweet. Her plans were to study physio therapy, and I had graduated as a physio therapist a few years before.
How we got a wonderful Canadian family we did not know before. Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers
Ever wonder where  efforts go to?   Many areas and many groups and many communities are touched by our work.  Our small donations committee handed out a few checks.    Lorne Radbourne and his group have been busy.

Donation of $500 to Volunteer Services Bureau representative Sheila Emijjo to support their National Volunteer Luncheon.


Donation of $1000 to Goodwill Industries representative Brittany Trudeau to support staff recognition and social events.

Donation of $800 to Young Life representative Dylan Bressey to support summer camp scholarships for local teenagers

Your efforts. Big Results. Better Community. Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers

ImageDear Rotary Club of Grande Prairie,

 I have to apologize for slightly falling off the radar the last month or so! Life has been completely crazy, as everyone warned me it would be in the springtime! I’ll try to condense things, but be forewarned that this newsletter is probably going to be a pretty long one!

March started off with a bang for me, as I had been asked to escort a friend of mine to the formal dance part of their graduation. It was similar to our Grand March as far as everyone getting dressed up, but that’s where the similarities ended. We had to go to a special class once a week for 5 weeks to learn this dance called “Lancier.” It’s a traditional Danish dance that’s been done as part of the graduation ceremony for as long as anyone can remember. It’s really fun and reminded me alot of Pride and Prejudice! My fellow exchange student from Canada, Jayme, was also asked to escort, so the two of us got to do the whole thing together! The big night was the first Friday in March and it was an incredible day! Jayme and I spent the day getting ready at her host family’s house and then went out for dinner with our dates before the dance part started. We had a lot of laughs and we all enjoyed each other’s company a lot! The dance part itself was pretty nerve-wracking. Our whole school was packed with family and friends, and I was so worried about messing up in front of everyone! But my partner told me repeatedly that it wasn’t a big deal and he wasn’t worried. In the end, he ended up messing up more than me! It was so much fun and I’m so glad that I got to participate in it! I’ll never forget it, that’s for sure!

Our exchange student - enjoying her year! Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers
ImageRotarian Dave McRae presenting a Donation of $2,000 from ISL Engineering to support the Rotary Greenathon scheduled for May. Accepted by Dawn Miller (Greenathon Chair) and President Dennis Young.

Greenathon is nearing, thank you ISL Engineering Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers
ImageCongrats to our newest members and the sponsors that brought them in!

Left to right Mellisa Hunt, Shawn Dyrkach, sponsor Lyle Carlstrom, Jennifer McWilliams, sponsor Kevin Hilgers, Colleen Gerus, sponsor Jennifer Douglas, President Dennis Young.

Please make our new member feel welcome!
New members inducted. Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers

ImageHenry Kroeker and Fred Gardner depart from the Grande Prairie Tim Horton’s at 6:00 am on March 9th heading for Mazatlan Mexico along with 4 other emergency vehicles driven by Swan City and Sunrise Rotary members.

Thank you to Sean Sergeant and the employees for their helping to get the vehicle ready for the trip.

A nice history of the event was in Friday's newspaper. 

Local Rotarians bound for Mexican sister-city

Posted 3 days ago

For the 10th straight year, thanks to Rotary clubs in Grande Prairie, some villages in Mexico are about to get much-needed and much-appreciated vehicles.

Rotarians from all three GP clubs today begin a seven-day road trip to Mazatlan, Mexico, the Swan City’s sister city, where they will donate two fire trucks, a tanker, an ambulance, as well as a school bus to nearby villages in need.

Off to Mazatlan Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers

On behalf of the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie  Dennis  Young   presents a $10,000 donation to Jacquie Aitken-Kish (director for PACE) to supportImage upgrades to office facilities to allow for additional youth and child services – a joint project between PACE/RCMP and Child & Family Services.

Funding for this would have come from our Dream Home proceeds from 2011.

PACE Mission Statement - Our mission is to provide a confident, caring approach to people in crisis.

 About us - PACE provides a wide range of crisis intervention, support and counselling services dealing with sexual abuse, sexual assault and child abuse. PACE opened its doors in 1981, and continues to grow and incorporate new programming in response to the needs of our region.

Rotary Provides $10,000 Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers
ImageIf you ever wonder what we do with funds we raise as Rotarians - here is another answer.

We have a "Small Donations Committee" that hands over donations to groups that ask for funding.   Here Lorne Radbourne presents a Rotary Donation of $1000 dollars to Chelsey Huber (Friends of Saskatoon Island) to support busing of seniors to Trumpeter Swan viewing and Tea. (March 2 2012). 

Did you know: 

A yearly swan festival in organized in the park each April by the Friends of Saskatoon Island Cooperating Association. It celebrates the spring migration of the
trumpeter swan.

The park takes its name form a large island that used to be in the middle of the lake, where
Cree natives used to pick saskatoon berries to use in pemmican. The island merged to the adjacent plains when the water level dropped in 1919, and the lake was divided in two sections.[1]

A settlement was established on the north side of the lake. The community of Lake Saskatoon was incorporated as a village in 1912. It was eventually abandoned after 1924, when the Grande Prairie-Grande Cache Railway missed the settlement by 9 kilometers (5.6 mi) when it was constructed on a more southern route through Wembley instead.

A provincial park was created on the spit of land dividing the two parts of the lake. It was established on November 21, 1932. The area was declared a Federal Migratory Bird Sanctuary in 1948.

Rotary Makes A Difference Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers

Each of the 3 Rotary Clubs in GP have donated $1667 to support travel costs for GP firefighters to train volunteer firefighters in Roatan, Honduras.

here Lorne Radbourne of the small donations committee makes his presentation to Dan Lemieux, Fire Chief for Grande Prairie Fire Department.   - The DHT newspaper did a nice story.

Local firefighters heading to Roatan

Trio to share skills with Caribbean island counterparts

Posted 5 days ago

Three local firefighters will spend a week in Central America training their Honduran counterparts on the island of Roatan at the end of the month.

Captains Terry Haughian and Jason Mazurkewich and Lieut. Ian Krauskopf, all members of the city’s fire department, will fly to the small island in the Caribbean to train local firefighters in a variety of areas, including airport firefighting, motor vehicle collision response and extrication, confined space work and a variety of emergency medical response facets including defibrillator use.

“(It’s) a chance to share some skills and hopefully teach some other firefighters who never had the benefit of all the training that we’ve had here in Grande Prairie,” said firefighter Todd Russell, president of the Grande Prairie Fire Fighters’ Association (GPFFA).

“It’s really nice to be able to share some of those skills.”

Local firefighters heading to Roatan thanks in part to Rotary Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers

Dear Rotary Club of Grande Prairie,Gal Friends

 In comparison to my other monthly updates, this one will be fairly uneventful I’m sorry to say. At the end of January I got some form of infection that has taken its sweet time leaving! At first I thought it was a chest cold, and so I took a few days off of school to hopefully sleep it off, but unfortunately that didn’t help me too much. Being home too much drove me crazy, so every now and then I’d go to school, hang out with my class for a while, and then go home again to sleep and watch TV. After two weeks of this and still not feeling any better, I went and visited my first host dad who’s a doctor. He did a white blood cell test on me to check my infection level (he was sure it was some form of Bronchitis or lung infection) and explained to me after that if it were a simple cold my level would be at about an 8. My level was a 58. So he put me on some anti-infection pills that seem to be working, though I’m still not feeling my best. Anyway, right now I’m just working on getting healthy again , so my adventure-level has certainly decreased this month!

Taking a Brazilian for a Skate Outbound Exchange Student Eilee Checks in Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Tymmarah Zehr

The Rotary District Conference will be in Grande Prairie this fall - Sept 21 - 23

As part of the making the 2012 District Conference in Grande Prairie more accessible for Rotarians and at the same time, encourage fellowship and fun, we would like to offer a Home Stay Program and we need Grande Prairie Rotarians to register as Hosts!

What the Host provides:
 ·         A place to sleep while Rotarians are in Grande Prairie for the Conference
·         A chance to get to know Rotarians from other clubs outside the Conference
·         Meals are part of the conference, so hosts do not provide meals
·         Accommodation for pets is not provided

Interested in hosting Rotarians this fall? - 2012 District Conference Home Stay Program Tymmarah Zehr 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers

The following is from my Blog - a few notes about our incredible experience in San Diegio.  Kevin.

We just finished a week at Rotary’s International Assembly in San Diego.  The event was one of the last steps in the journey towards a year of being District Governor starting July 1, 2012.   All 530 District Governors Elect attended for a week of intense training, idea sharing and education.   It was a week of little sleep and long days for DGE’s and spouses.  There were many highlights.  One was finding out Rotary’s commitment to raise 200 million dollars by June 30, 2012 to help in the fight to eradicate polio was met – last week!  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation challenged Rotarians to raise that 200 million when they contributed 355 million towards Rotary’s efforts to end polio.   The CEO of the Gates Foundation was there and was so pleased with this news – announced the contribution of another $50 million to Rotary’s efforts. We still have a way to go – but we are down to THREE endemic countries – India being declared polio free for one year now just 2 weeks ago.

Training for District Governors Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers

Member  Lyle Carlstrom was in Panama where he came across Rotarians who explained a need for assistance from our Rotary Club.  A bridge was needed for their community.    Our club contributed $5000 and another $2500 of Rotary Foundation dollars was used.    More reasons we are all happy to support the Foundation.  Pictures and explenation below. 

Image Image

Bridge in Panama Built Thanks to Rotary and Grande Prairie Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers
Merry Christmas Rotary Club of Grande Prairie!
I remember when I went to Spring Training in March 2011 one of the Inbounds at the time said that the year starts out slowly and then speeds up as time goes on. The longer you’re on exchange, the faster it goes. I’m experiencing that in a huge way lately, especially with the Christmas season! In less than a week Christmas will have been and gone. I can’t believe it!
Pic:  My  younger host brother in my second family. We love Christmas!
Chistmas in Denmark - our outbound exchange student checks in with us Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Karen Munjak

Latrine - originalThe Rotary Club of Grande Prairie has partnered with the Rotary Club of San Miguel de Oruro and Save the Children to provide “Child Friendly Schools” to the indigenous people of the Bolivian High Plateau.  We have worked closely with JAKISA, which is the umbrella organization that serves the indigenous people of the region.

 The Child Friendly Schools concept is:

·         A school where children can attend in an environment that is conducive to learning
·         A school that has skilled teachers with books and furnishings to serve the needs of the students
·         A school that is part of the community
Photo- ORIGINAL LATRINE (wall is about 2 ½ feet high, so not a lot of privacy.)

The program has three phases.  In phase 1, we provided teacher training, library facilities, books, desks and backpacks full of school supplies (sourced locally).  A group of Rotarians traveled there in spring 2009 to deliver the backpacks to the schools.  In phase 2, we tackled the sanitation issues at the schools.  Latrines were built or significantly improved in 16 communities and hygiene training was provided to the teachers.  Phase 3 is yet to be determined, but will be done in consultation with Rotary, Save the Children and JAKISA.Image
RIGHT - new latrine! 
We are building Child Freindly Schools in Bolivia! Karen Munjak 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers

ImageHarry Sandhu and I are in Belize looking at the Literacy program our District sponsors.

You can see a few pictures and notes here.

The story of day three looks like this:   "Today we drove for 2 hours or so of gravel to the border of Guatemala. We ended up at a small village where the Rotary Club of Camrose has adopted a school of 100 students. A while ago the school principal would have provided a"wish list" of supplies. We provided today. We met the principal, 2 teachers and the 100 students who were a joy. We left books and a globe (!) and a few other goodies. It would be easy to ship all this via Rotary to the school but it is pretty cool to do in person sometimes as well"



Rotary District 5370 Literacy in Belize Program Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers

ImageThe new Multiplex opens in early December.   It proudly bosts Rotary  with all the clubs chipping in financially.

When everyone comes in they will see the Rotary logo built into the floor ceramics.  The text reads "Rotary Clubs Of Grande Prairie".  The area is called "Rotary Way". 


New Multiplex Boasts Rotary Way Kevin Hilgers 0
1958: Three Hundred Expected on Weekend for Largest Convention Held in North Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers

Dear Rotarians, How are you all in the (cold) Grande Prairie? Is it snowing there already? I remember my arrival on August the 26th 2004 and one week later there was snow falling from the sky. I only thought, “Oh my god, where am I?” But I enjoyed every second of my exchange year there, because you all made it such a great experience for me. THANK YOU sooooo much for that! For those who don´t know/remember me: I´m Tanja from Austria. I was the exchange student from August 2004 until July 2005. I went to the Composite High School and I have always enjoyed playing the flute and the drum. (image - Tanja harvesting grapes)

Tanja harvesting grapes 

A Note From a Friend in Austria Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Eilee Repka

It’s hard to believe I’ve already been here for a month. If this is how fast the year is going to go, I’ll be back in Canada before I know it! I don’t even want to think about having to leave these incredible people.  (Pic,  day one,  airport, with host family!)
Even though it’s only been a month, I’ve managed to get myself into a few ridiculous situations. Maybe it’s my adventuresome spirit, or maybe I’ve got bad luck but Eilee and traveling just don’t mix! I barely arrived in Copenhagen in one piece. Customs in Germany took ages, and I had to run the length of the Frankfurt Airport to catch my flight. FIVE minutes before it took off! Having traveled for 20 hours, I was in pretty rough shape. Anyway, I arrived to an incredible welcome. My family was there, along with my counsellor and his wife. It was a whirlwind of hellos, goodbyes and Danish. I arrived early in the morning, so I stayed awake for most of the day and got to know my family.
Greetings from the most beautiful country in Europe! Eilee Repka 0
Posted by Joanne Ballance
Join us Friday April 15, 2011 to celebrate 60 years of Rotary in Grande Prairie. On January 22, 1951 the first Rotary club in the city was chartered. Watch the website for more details and join District Governor Jackie Hobal for our celebration event.
Rotary Club of Grande Prairie celebrates 60 years! Joanne Ballance 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers
In the Friday April 11 Daily Herald Newspaper, the fourth chapter of 12 in a monthly Potpourri flashback series marking the 50th anniversary of Grande Prairie achieving city status.- The clipping is attached, here is the story:  "The largest convention ever held in Grande Prairie drew some 300 Western Canadian Rotarians, welcomed by district governor Art Balfour of the city. John Wilson headed the local club. Convention committee chairmen included: George Simpson, Peter Gammon, Alex MacLeod, Charlie Husel, Ben Fee, Jack Jansen, Hal Tipper, Bill Fair, Lionel Dobson, Jack Mackie, Oscar Soderquist, Lorne McNair, Gottfried Sprecher, Terry Whittacker, and Jack Crummy."  Rotary Editor's note, Art was our Charter President, John was President of the club in '58.
Our Club, 50 Years Ago This Spring Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers

Originally printed in District 5370 January 08 Newsletter, available in it's entirety HERE


I am writing from Kona Hawaii, and hope to do a make up this week. Hence, my thoughts. A fellow Rotarian in Grande Prairie attended a make-up meeting in Winnipeg and was surprised that not only did the club not announce him as a guest - they didn't even ask his name at sign in! It made me think how easy it is for all of us to slip into the habit of not making welcoming guests a priority in our clubs. How is your club doing?

How Welcoming is YOUR Rotary Club Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers

Note - Originally printed in 5370 District Newsletter. Editor Kevin Hilgers, also on Board of Directors Rotary International District 5370

Good question.  Is it the membership chair?  The executive?  Is it seasoned long term Rotarians?  Before I answer - a fact.  In North America Rotary is on the decline.  In fact our current President Wilf Wilkinson said in Vancouver "Without new members, nothing else matters.  Without our youth and new members, it will only take a few decades for Rotary to disappear" .  Pretty dramatic words isn't it?  Here's what I like to mention to clubs when we discuss membership growth.     

Whose responsibility is it to get new members?? Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers

*** Cheryl did a bang up job on a brochure for prospective new members.  It's printed and will be in the cupboard at Rotary - and explains in 2 pages about our club,  Rotary, and it's obligations and priveledges.   A great introduction for prospective members.  You can also DOWNLOAD it Watch for the link called   Prospective Member E-Club Brochure under DOWNLOADS o our web site at

New brochure perfect for potential members Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers
Are you wondering about becoming a Rotarian? It's often said that nobody joins Rotary. Instead, a person with high ethical standards and a desire to help others becomes a Rotarian. The following information will help you understand more about how you could become a Rotarian.
So you want to become a Rotarian Kevin Hilgers 0
Posted by Kevin Hilgers

The "New Member Proposal Form" is available on our web site 
Look under downloads on our web site ---  or simply hit:  PROPOSAL FORM - and the form will open in your computer.  Try and fill out digitally, save in your computer and send via email. This makes everyone's job much easier.


How to Propose a New Member Kevin Hilgers 0
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