Rotary District 5370 Update
November 15, 2020

In this issue:

District Governor Jim Ferguson’s message for November: Foundation Month

From the Rotary International District 5370 News blog: Edmonton Whyte Avenue Rotarians deliver meals to those in need in a COVID-safe manner

Upcoming Rotary International, District and Club events: The District 5370 Fall Club Learning Series; Rotary Employment Partnership is expanding; dates for President-Elect training; and the Rotary International Convention 2021

Club fundraisers: Edmonton Gateway Bottle Drive; Spruce Grove Silent Auction; Learn to Cook Pad Thai (YEG Passport); Beer for a Year raffle (Wainwright); Cars for Christmas Lottery (Grande Prairie—Swan City); Rotary Club of St. Albert—Saint City Wine Survivor; Edmonton Riverview and Edmonton West Hot Sauce Sales; YEG Passport online auction; and 50/50 Raffles: Slave Lake, Fort Saskatchewan and Nisku-Leduc.

A Foundation Moment: What is a Rotary Foundation Benefactor?

Membership Matters: Make membership growth your club’s top priority

Vision 2020 Virtual Project Fair: Creating Opportunities for Guatemalans and Grande Prairie Rotary Clubs Wellness Centre Society

Deadline for submissions for the November 22 issue of the District 5370 CONNECTIONS is noon on Friday, November 20. Send your submission to

District Governor Jim Ferguson’s message for November: Foundation Month, plus PDG and District Foundation chair Tim Schilds recognizes clubs for their contributions to TRF and PolioPlus during 2019-2020

Recent posts to


When the Mustard Seed community support centre had to halt its meal service from its Edmonton inner-city location due to the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the Rotary Club of Edmonton Whyte Avenue stepped forward to help fill the gap.

The Mustard Seed is a non-profit agency that has served individuals experiencing poverty and homelessness in Edmonton and other Alberta communities for more than 35 years.

Prior to the pandemic, 200 to 400 people received meals daily at the agency’s location in Edmonton’s inner city.

Two weeks after the closure of its location, the Mustard Seed adapted to the restrictions by launching its Dinner2Door meal deliveries program on April 1. D2D engages volunteers to get meals out to those in need.  Arrangements were made for volunteer teams to cook at their facility in a safe, socially distant manner.  

Volunteers prepare and deliver approximately 230 to-go containers of cooked meals every weeknight, to community members experiencing food insecurity.  

Members of the Whyte Avenue club, with support from family members, friends of Rotary and Rotarians from the YEG Passport club, volunteered to deliver meals on Thursdays, beginning in October.

Continue reading >>>


During the months of November and December, District 5370 will be hosting a series of Virtual Club Learning events. Each one-hour event will address timely topics of interest to all club members. Please mark your calendars and join us. Click on the program title to register.

All Rotarians and Rotaractors are welcome to attend these programs.

November 5, 7:00 PM (MT)

Membership Engagement: Together is Better

Hosted by Tracey Vavrek, Past District Governor 

Click here to view recording of this session.

November 12, 7:00 PM (MT)

Virtual Fundraising: What Clubs Need to Know

Hosted by John Nicoll, District Governor Nominee

(A recording of this session will be available shortly)

December 3, 7:00 pm (MT)

The Rotary Foundation: The Heart of Rotary

Hosted by Tim Schilds, Past District Governor and Chair of the District 5370 Foundation Committee

December 10, 7:00 pm (MT)

Rotary Service: Sharing Successes during COVID-19

Hosted by Jim Ferguson, District Governor and Donna Barrett, District Governor-Elect



Dates for President-Elect training

The Learning and Development Committee has scheduled five one-hour training sessions for 2021-2021 presidents-elect:

Tuesday January 12, 2021            7:00 p.m. MST Click Here

Tuesday February 9, 2021            7:00 p.m. MST Click Here

Tuesday March 9, 2021                7:00 p.m. MST Click Here

Tuesday April 13, 2021                 7:00 p.m. MST Click Here

Tuesday May 11, 2021                  7:00 p.m. MST Click Here

More information available soon


Need current, authoritative COVID-19 information?

The District website provides up-to-date COVID-19 information with links to provincial and territorial health authorities, Health Canada, the World Health Organization and Rotary International.


Check out these booths from the Vision 2020 Virtual Project Fair by clicking on the image:

Grande Prairie Rotary Clubs Wellness Centre Society

Creating Opportunities for Guatemalans

These and the other 13 booths will continue to be available to visit until mid-December.


Make membership growth your club’s top priority

And make sure every member understands that. “I always tell presidents and presidents-elect that the best way to make their year as president easier is to bring in more members,” says Tom Gump, a former president of the Rotary Club of Edina/Morningside. New members bring new energy to a club and mean more people to serve on committees, work on projects and events, and raise money for the Foundation.

Adapted from: Step right up: in Rotary’s membership game, everyone’s a winner by Geoffrey Johnson (originally published in The Rotarian, August 2018)

Rotary Employment Partnership expanding

The Rotary Employment Partnership has received additional funding which will allow it to expand operations in Districts 5360 and 5370

As a result of the new funding, REP will be adding a full-time Rotary Employment Partnership co-ordinator in both Edmonton and Calgary, a full-time regional co-ordinator in Calgary (this position will provide oversight to the co-ordinators in D5360) and a half-time co-ordinator to start a partnership with the Rotary Club of Vermilion. 

Carla Hamarsnes, who was the REP co-ordinator in Calgary, has been hired for the regional co-ordinator position in Calgary, which means that there are now two REP co-ordinator positions to be filled in Calgary.

The additional funding also means that the partnership is able to re-start the Youth Employment Partnership in Calgary (there is a Youth Employment Partnership in Edmonton). The Youth Employment Partnership works with high-school aged youth with developmental disabilities to secure part-time jobs. 

“As exciting as this is, we are going to need Rotarians more than ever to be introducing the Rotary Employment Partnership to your own clubs and members,” says Wendy McDonald, the chief operating officer of Inclusion Alberta.


Earlier this year, Wendy was selected as a recipient of a 2019-2020 Service Above Self award from Rotary International in recognition of her work to establish and maintain the Rotary Employment Partnership. 


Buy Hot Sauce from Belize to support literacy initiatives in Belize

As the weather turns cold, here’s your opportunity to bring the Belizean Heat!

To support literacy initiatives in Belize, Rotary Clubs of Edmonton Riverview and Edmonton West have teamed up for a unique and deliciously spicy fundraiser: Marie Sharp’s award-winning hot sauces (plus jams, spreads, chutneys, jellies, salsas, juices and seasonings).  

Marie Sharp created the Marie Sharp’s brand of pepper sauces 40 years ago. Her company employs more than 70 people locally in the Stann Creek region of Belize, with a large emphasis on helping women and their families.

Ingredients for the world-renowned, award-winning Marie Sharp’s product line are grown on Marie’s 400-acre estate. These ingredients are picked fresh and processed right on the property. It’s all about quality of ingredients and tried-and-proven recipes.

All products are all-natural, gluten-free and have a three-year shelf life. Most sauces do not even need to be refrigerated.

Orders are delivered directly to your address and shipping is free on orders over $99. 

Click here to discover a variety of options and gift packs. Sales end December 31.

Belizean youth—and your stomach—will thank you for ordering Marie Sharp’s!



Win wine for the holidays — or as holiday gifts

Rotary Club of St. Albert—Saint City Wine Survivor

175 bottles to be won—only 1,350 tickets will be sold

Early-bird "immunity" for each ticket sold before Nov 17— that’s like an extra chance to win

Sales end December 13

Click here for more information and ticket sales.


YEG Passport is seeking gently used or new items with a minimum value of $50 for its online auction to support the Balinda Children’s Foundation in Uganda, which was founded by the club’s newest member, Joseph Balinda. The foundation supports girls to reach their full potential.

Contact to contribute. You can also register as a bidder or make a donation on the auction website. The auction opens on November 25. 


Rotary Club of Edmonton Gateway Bottle Drive — raising funds for emergency school lunches. 

Now that school lunches have been cancelled due to COVID-19, some children are going without lunch because they don't have the resources to bring one from home.

Our bottle drive offers contactless pickup on Mondays, from October 26 to November 16.

Email GatewayRotaryYEG@gmail.comto arrange for pickup. (Include your name, phone number and address.)


Spruce Grove Silent Auction

Bidding continues until Tuesday, November 17.

Click here for a list of silent auction items.

Virtual Gala: On the night our virtual auction wraps up (November 17), please join us in a physically distanced celebration of our community and of Rotary's service. Click here for more details and to register.


Learn to Cook Pad Thai

A virtual cooking class sponsored by the Rotary Club of YEG Passport as a fundraiser for Misión Claridad (Mission Clarity), our cataract mission to Ecuador. 

Saturday, November 21, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. MST

In just one hour, learn the secrets of creating great pad Thai in your own kitchen from Edmonton-based chef Steve Buzak, of the Royal Glenora Club.

Seven to 10 days prior to the event, you will receive the recipe, a list of ingredients (including protein options), a list of the kitchen tools/equipment you will be using and instructions for preparing to cook along with Steve.

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets (only $25).


Regarding Raffles Sponsored by Alberta-Based Rotary Clubs

Due to provincial regulations, only Alberta residents, aged 18+ may purchase raffle tickets.


The Rotary Club of Slave Lake 50/50 Cash Raffle Fundraiser

The winner will receive a  minimum cash prize of $4,000 up  to 50% of ticket sales to a maximum of $10,000. 

Ticket sales end December 4. Draw date: December 9


The Fort Saskatchewan Rotary Club has just launched its second online 50/50 draw to support local youth organizations.

For the last 12 years, the Rotary Club of Fort Saskatchewan has provided safe rides home to residents who have been out enjoying themselves during the Christmas season, through Operation Red Nose. This service has raised $67,000 to support community youth organizations.  Due to COVID-19 we will be unable to provide this service this year, but we still want to provide funding to local youth organizations.

Click here to purchase tickets. Sales end November 16


Rotary Club of Wainwright’s Beer for a Year raffle

Prizes: Two beer-for-a-year packages ($1,000 value), barbecue ($850), patio set ($850) and a meat gift package ($100). Proceeds will help to fund the CT Scanner Project at the Wainwright Health Care Centre. Purchase tickets ($5 each) by texting Cal Clarke at 780-209-0213 and e-transferring  your fee to You will receive a picture of your tickets.

Draw date: November 22.


Normally, at this time of year, the Rotary Club of Nisku-Leduc would be selling tickets for our annual cruise raffle. COVID-19 has changed that so we are excited to announce our new online 50/50 raffle. The money raised will go to support local, national and international projects.  

Ticket sales end November 30 and the winning ticket will be drawn December 10 during the club’s weekly meeting at the Redtail Landing Golf Course.



The 2021 Rotary International Convention will be here soon — and it’s going to be an unforgettable experience. Join Rotarians from around the world in Taipei, Taiwan June 12-16 to Feel the Energy at a convention that will offer fantastic entertainment, motivational speakers, inspirational sessions and uplifting energy.

Early-bird discounts end December 15: Rotarians, US$365; Rotarians and guests under 30, US$120, and guests aged 5 to18, US$10.

Watch the official convention video

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