Club Information

Welcome to our Club!

Vancouver Arbutus

Service Above Self

We meet In Person & Online
Fridays at 12:30 PM
Zoom meeting every other Friday
Vancouver, BC
Canada
Home Page Stories
Jeanis recovering from a broken ankle.  She is an over-achiever, having broken hers in 2 places.   She is grateful that there was a boat available to get her to a car, a husband to get her to Pemberton (no X-Ray machine), the same husband to get her to Whistler, (no surgeon) ditto …husband … to Lion’s Gate Hospital and proper care.
 
Lydiais one of the lucky ones on the surgery waiting list to get a date for her hip replacement.  July 30this the big day.  Her husband promises exemplary after-care.  Lydia is still looking for a bell she can ring, ding-a-ling.  Next year the West Coast Trail?
 
 
HANDS ON (WITH GLOVES, FOR NOW)

Our new Projects Chair is full of great ideas, as always, but Dianna is also eager to have your input.  We do the following annually:
  • Beach Clean-up,
  • Pancake Breakfast,
  • Christmas Tree sales,
  • Bursary interviews,
  • Hoop-a-thon, Polio Walk (some when we are allowed to gather in larger groups again).  
What hands-on Projects would you like to see the Club add to the current list?  Please pass your ideas on to Dianna!
 
 
INTERNATIONAL WORK 
 
Now that the El Salvador Shore-line Clean-up is complete and our joint projects in Africa with the Yaletown Club have finished, Grant is looking for input about the next International goal for us to strive for.  It takes long range planning and grant applications so be creative!
 
 
ONLINE or IN PERSON?
 
Our recent survey about what members want as we (hopefully) move out of our current state of uncertainty was instructive.  
 
Do we like Zoom meetings?  9 say yes, 4 say no, and 5 are neutral … which adds up to a mostly-we’re-OK with Zoom.  Since there was a pretty strong vote for in-person meetings, though, it is clear that we need to meet to keep our friendships strong.  In board discussions the consensus was to do a combination of Zoom and in-person meetings.  Creative ideas of how to do that are welcome.
 
Interestingly, the idea of video being used when we have in-person meetings, to allow those who are uncomfortable with them to participate got  9 votes, for, 4 votes against and 6 votes for “it’s too complicated”.
 
As for how many meetings and what kind of meetings, the clear winner was a combination of virtual Zoom meetings (10) and in-person meetings.  Coming a close second was two meetings a month virtually on Zoom (7) with only a few (3) wanting 1 meeting per month in person. 
 
Our Insurance expert, Hans, is looking into whether we need signed waivers during in-person meetings.
 
 
HANDSHAKES, HUGGING AND SINGING – OH MY!
 
16 people said they agreed not to do it in “live” meetings, 3 said we could find another way to do it.  The general consensus is that we want to do Happy Bucks but must find a new way to actually contribute to a virtual bucket (stay tuned).   And this intrepid reporter thinks we could certainly sing or recite the 4-way test before Zoom meetings
 
 
TO LUNCH or NOT TO LUNCH … THAT IS THE QUESTION
 
Discussions with the Arbutus Club, our former lunch host, have led to the conclusion that our rotary Club needs a new space for meetings once in-person meetings are possible.
 
According to our recent survey in-person meetings were desired by 10 members while 4 did not want them and 1 person said such meetings should only be for small groups.  Whether food and beverages should be part of meetings showed a split in opinions: 6 were in favour, 5 were against and 7 were neutral on the subject. 
 
Our intrepid leader, Grant, is looking into options and welcomes comments or suggestions.
 
 
President Grant has drafted Zoom meeting schedule for the rest of the year.   Club’s website has the list of dates.  You will receive email invitation from rcvancouverarbutus@outlook.com for the Zoom meetings.  
 
You can also join the meeting using the link from the Club’s page.  
 
You might be asked to log onto ClubRunner to access the link.   
 
He and your board are trying to come up with a plan to have an in-person social meeting once a month as well.  If you have a good idea, bring it up!  How about a grassy park and we bring our own lawn chair and lunch??
 
“We should “care about … the bonds of intimate relationships and local community.  To put it simplistically: a society can’t flourish if its citizens can’t make a plan for a” [fill-in-the blank].  “… make this tiny resolution: not to cry off social plans for lame reasons. Which maybe isn’t such a tiny thing at all; when the whole momentum of a society goes towards making it harder to coordinate with others ... do so anyway.”  Oliver Burkman
 
 
 
It was a real pleasure for members to meet in-person for this special occasion – our first “real” meeting since the Covid lock-down began in March! 
 
This “changing of the guard” was handled with aplomb by in-coming President Grant Yao and Mary Stark.  They presented flowers, a plaque for service, a past president pin and some very kind words to outgoing president Lydia Marston-Blaauw.  She looked a bit overwhelmed by all the attention and compliments.  It was agreed by all that it had been an extraordinary year – with both high points and emergencies.  It’s not every President and her executives to have the experience of running a club during a pandemic.
 
Lydia thanks her 2019-2020 support team: Dianna Smith - secretary, Lana Wong - Treasurer, Hans Doge - Membership Chair, Sam Wong, - Foundation Chair, Yoonhi Green - Public relations & Youth Chair and Grant Yao - Program Chair. “It was a pleasure working with you all and thanks for your guidance!”
 
District Governor Dave Hamilton performed the official swearing in.  He spoke with great good humour and with optimism for the year ahead.  He noted President Grant‘s promise to make sure the Arbutus Club remains fun for its members, a goal he thoroughly supports. Then DG Hamilton spoke to the executive members: Teddie Pasut - Secretary, Lana Wong - Treasurer, Hans Doge - Membership Chair, Sam Wong - Foundation Chair, Yoonhi Green - Public relations & Youth Chair, Dianna Smith - Program Chair and Lydia as Past President, reminding them to uphold their RI principles and support the new Club president.
 
 
 
 
Rotary Club of Vancouver Arbutus presented $4,000 to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.  $2,000 was allocated for Baby Steps Program where registered families receive a monthly pick up of baby packs with formula, diapers and baby food.   $2,000 was allocated for Pre-School Children's special supplement Pack supplying families in need with food packs designed to help children’s brain and muscle development with extra cheese, yogurt, oatmeal, hummus, whole grain breads, etc.
 
 
Did you know that polio was known for millennia but it generally broke out in only small cases? 
 
It didn’t become epidemic until the 20th century.  Ironically, there is evidence that this was caused by improvements in sanitation.  In earlier times, children came into contact with the polio virus before age one; while they were still protected by maternal antibodies transferred during pregnancy.  With sanitation, many children only caught it when they were older, especially since polio enters the body by mouth.   Many caught it at about age 5 and their immune systems were just not prepared.  
 
From 1916 onward every summer brought an epidemic.  At its peak in the US it caused 15,000 cases of paralysis every year.  Others had different degrees of disability, and many died.  In fact polio killed or paralysed 600,000 people world-wide annually. 
 
It is important to note that, like Covid-19, some polio-infected people felt no health problems at all and others had only a headache.   Both polio and Covid-19 can be transmitted by people who don’t know they have it. 
 
Polio gave 4–5 % of people serious symptoms including muscular pain, high fever (as the immune system tried to combat the virus) and delirium.  Five to 10% of people who caught polio died before the invention of the iron lung and many died subsequently.  Statistics for infection rates and severity are still not reliable for Covid-19 and will emerge in the future.
 
Finding a Cure for Polio/Fighting it into the Future

In North America, the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (NFIP)was founded in 1938 by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt who famously had polio.  His associate, Basil O’Connor, was tasked to build an organization that could quickly respond to polio epidemics and fund virus research. He launchedthe March of Dimes initiative.  It’s medical research and patient aid programme was taxed to its limits by the huge polio epidemic of 1949.  By the 1950s, the 3,100 chapters of the NFIP were operated almost completely by volunteers. 
 
A breakthrough at the University of Pittsburgh by a March of Dimes grant recipient, the young physician, Jonas Salk, pressed on from a routine virus typing project, to the creation of a vaccine, to the end of polio epidemics in a matter of years.  Tested in a massive field trial in 1954, it involved 1.8 million school childrenin the US, Canada and Finland.  It was the first time the now-standard double-blind method was used.  The Salk vaccine was licensed for use on April 12, 1955 and soon wiped out polio in the west.
 
As Polio cases dropped in developed countries Rotary came on board to help continue the fight against polio in other parts of the world.   When RI president James L. Bomar Jr. put the first drops of vaccine into a child’s mouth on 29 September 1979 in the Philippines, he ceremonially launched Rotary’s international efforts.  It was Rotary’s first Health, Hunger and Humanity (3-H) Grant project.
 
Soon, few people with paralysis were seen outside of special care homes in Canada. The horrors of polio – the visible evidence of what viral diseases can do – had faded from people’s minds in developed countries.  A Rotarian recently said she was astonished in the 1990’s to see a modern, well-groomed and apparently affluent young woman in Morocco who had had polio.   She thought the disease had long been conquered. And indeed there have been no cases in North America since 1979 and in the UK since 1984.  However, according to local polio support groups and doctors, some 40,000 polio survivors with varying degrees of paralysis live in Germany, 30,000 in Japan, 24,000 in France, 16,000 in Australia, 12,000 in Canada and 12,000 in the UK.   
 
The anti-vaccination movement is now a worry – not just in remote tribal villages but right in our own Canadian cities and towns.  We seem to need visible reminders to stay vigilant against these viral horrors.  
 
Researchers are now suggesting that, like the polio virus, Covid-19 may always have been out there.  Humans just had not had a serious outbreak to warn us that this pandemic might yet come. Our hope now is for a vaccine.  We hope one is found, but will we then forget this crisis as we have forgotten others?     
 
Excerpts from Linda Rodriguez Mc Robbie’s article about Polio Guardian Weekly, June 05/2020.  March of Dimes Material from MOD Foundation History on-line; This Day in History.com
As the horrors of polio and the visual reminders of it are now hidden in a few care homes and in foreign countries, this disease has slipped from many people’s consciousness.  Rotary has not forgotten.  We continue the fight to end polio everywhere.  With all our minds on the experience of living through the COVID pandemic, we are also looking at past experiences.  It is important to remember that polio is a shattering illness. 
 
A description of onset in a six year old was published in a Guardian weekly story in early June.  The experience: his neck hurt, his head pounded, in a few days his fever soared and aching pains entered his limbs; in three days more he could no longer hold a crayon, speak, swallow or cough.  He was paralyzed.  At the hospital he was at first left to die and then given an emergency tracheotomy to suction the mucous from his lungs.  Waking 3 days later he found himself encased in a machine and under a shroud.  He thought he was dead.  When the covering was eventually removed all he could see were the heads of other children encased in metal canisters, “as far as you can see, rows and rows of iron lungs full of children crying in pain.”
 
Our own member, Teddie Pasut was a young nurse at the time and remembers those days and how horrible it was to hear so many children crying and terrified.  So little could be done to help. 
 
Poliomyelitis kills by suffocating -- not by damaging the lungs as COVID does -- but by attacking motor neurons in the spinal cord either weakening or destroying the communication between the nervous system and muscles.  It caused extraordinary misery and crippled tens of thousands of Canadiansespecially between the years 1949 – 1954.
 
Recently there have been a lot of articles about this big outbreak of polio, but it was already seen in Canada in1910 and was recognized as early as the 1800’s in Europe.  
 
Unlike with COVID, children under 5 were most affected.  But just as with COVID and SARS, Provincial Public Health Departments quarantined the sick.  Just as today, they closed schools.  Children were restricted from travelling or going to movie theatres and pools. But these measures did not prevent polio’s spread. In some jurisdictions they sprayed for mosquitoes, knowing full well that it would not help, but needing to do something.  In New York, during an outbreak in 1916, they killed 72,000 cats and 8,000 dogs in a month thinking they might be transmitters – they are not. 
 
As early as 1930, Canada’s first “iron lung” was brought to The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.  There was a rush for more iron lungs after a severe outbreak in 1937.  
A recently published photo shows hundreds of iron lungs, each with a patient paralyzed and unable to breathe for themselves. Some women gave birth while confined in an iron lung and the Royal Canadian Air Force made emergency deliveries of iron lungs across the country for these births. 
 
An estimated 11,000 people in Canada were left paralyzed by polio between 1949 and 1954 -- in just 5 years. The disease peaked in 1953 with nearly 9,000 cases and 500 deaths – it was the most serious national epidemic since the 1918 influenza pandemic. An effective vaccine against this virus did not appear until 1955 (Salk).  But the last major polio epidemic in Canada occurred in 1959, with nearly 2,000 paralytic cases. Many people in Canada, including Rotarians, had polio and survived.  Some are now feeling the effects of post-polio conditions.
 
Rotarians have not forgotten those dark years, are still fighting this terrible disease and helping its many current victims.
 
Excerpts from Linda Rodriguez Mc Robbie’s article about Polio Guardian Weekly, June 05/2020
Canadian stats from Canadian Public Health Association
 
 
Polio Donations
Thanks to everyone who responded to the recent, extra request for a Polio Donations. Polio is spreading again because this new Covid pandemic is preventing vaccinations.  Rotary donations to the effort were also down in 2020.  Our request to members was based on the cost of a typical Rotary lunch meeting.  Some gave more generously than that benchmark.  Special thanks to Lana and Mary for the paperwork.
 
Members who were at the meeting on July 3rd will have filled out a short questionnaire from Lydia and Grant asking about preferences once we return to in-person meetings.  If you were not there, you will soon get one by email.
 
Rotary International and District 5040 asked that all clubs survey their members to find out how they feel about an eventual in-person re-start. We have asked about Zoom meetings in general, whether you want food and beverages served, how much touching should be allowed and how many meetings are preferred.
 
For those who have not yet filled out one of these surveys, please do so as soon as yours arrives and return it to Past President Lydia.
 
  • Friday June 19 was the last meeting chaired under President Lydia’s “gavel”. One of her last duties was to consider how the club should prepare for eventual in-person meetings.  A short survey to hear your thoughts will be distributed on July 03 at Carlos O’Bryan’s and, for those not attending that day, via email.  It will ask you about your preferences for meetings, dates, types, and your post-lock-down feelings.  Please return these to Lydia.  The Membership Committee and the Executive will use your feedback to consider how to proceed.
 
  • Congratulations to Leigh Higinbotham.  He has been appointed District Policy Chair.  Leigh will work with the District Governor Team and District Committee Chairs to establish their policies and procedures.  We are very proud of you Leigh.
 
  • Joy, Michael C. and Lydia have been working on an article for the Rotarian Magazine about the El Salvador Project.  Lydia has finished the writing and Michael is working on photos.  Joy is the accuracy editor.  Fingers crossed, but there is no guarantee it will be published.
 
  • Dues notices are out.  Please make your payments to Lana well before June 30 so we can pay our International dues invoice in a timely manner.
 
  • A special commendation to our new member Jean Gardner, who joined our Zoom meeting from her car while she and her husband were travelling through Whistler on their way back to their cabin at Anderson Lake.  What dedication to attendance!
 
  • Several members joined the Burnaby Club’s meeting at 1:00 to hear speaker Dr. Choi on the subject of Fear during COVID-19.
 
Mark your calendar – July 03, 1:00pm  
 
New District Governor, Dave Hamilton and his partner Tanya will attend the installation of our 2020/2021 President and Executives.  The event is at Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighborhood Pub at corner of Burrard st & 7th ave starting at 1:00pm. If you have not registered your attendance, please get in touch with Hans as the Pub staff needs to prepare for us. 
 
It will be great to meet District Governor Hamilton and hear what he has to say about the year ahead.  
 
Lunch and drinks can be ordered on arrival and for those of you who have time to linger, or aren’t hungry at 1:00pm, Happy Hour starts at 2:00pm with great prices.  Just remember – there is no table-hopping allowed.  You will be seated at well-spaced tables.  After the installation, we will devote ourselves to the joy of being social once again.
 
As we are not meeting in person yet we are having lunches at home before our Zoom meetings.  Members contributed the regular lunch cost to Polio and raised over $500.  This is matched by the Gates Foundation to make a contribution of over $1500!

The Covid-19 pandemic has been very hard on women and children that experience high levels of violence and homelessness.  The Downtown Eastside Women’s Center has, since 1978, been one of the only safe spaces within the downtown eastside specifically and exclusively for all women and their children.  
 
We provided them $3500 to remove existing shelving in the kitchen and put up a prep table with shelving on the wall above that would carry the existing items stored on the shelves.    This change to the kitchen will assist with social distancing while people are working in the kitchen.
 

BEFORE RENOVATION

AFTER RENOVATION
 
New Board
It’s almost time to hand over the Rotary gavel to our incoming President, Grant Yao, who follows 3 successive women presidents in our Club.  At the meeting on July 3rd we will induct the new executive members under Grant’s watch.  They are: 
Past President Lydia
Secretary Teddie
Treasurer Lana
Program Chair Dianna
Public Relations Chair Yoonhi
Foundation Chair Sam
Membership Chair Hans 
Shail will continue as administrator and bursary organiser
Joy will continue to monitor volunteer hours
 
 
New Year = Dues = invoice from RI
Just a heads-up: members will be receiving their dues invoice from Treasurer Lana soon.   The Club will be receiving its dues invoice for all members from RI which must be paid on July 01.  If you have made any plans that do not include Rotary membership, please let both Treasurer Lana and Secretary Teddie know so that the club does not pay RI an unnecessarily high fee-per-member.
 
We have 23 members now and that is happy news as we look forward to another year of fellowship and service under Grant’s leadership.
 
 
Things to note: 
Digital access to Rotarian Magazine at www.myrotary.org/en/news-media/magazine
Letters to the Editor of Rotary Magazine at www.yourletters@rotary.org
Rotary International Learning Centre www.rotary.org/learn
Ideas for meetings on-line www.rotary.org/onlinemeetings
Listing of existing Rotary Fellowships www.rotary.org/fellowships
 
International Conference (Hawaii 2020) outstanding international speakers scheduled to appear at the conference (cancelled due to COVID) will be on-line starting June 20-26 at www.Rotary.org
 
 
 
Home from New Zealand
Member Bill has returned safely from New Zealand and joined our Zoom meeting from a friend’s boat in False Creek where he is self-isolating for 14 days.  He looked hale and hearty.
 
 
Rotarians Reach out a Helping Hand from Vancouver to Ottawa
Oh the joys of Zoom: frequent visitor to our club, Ken Pepper, joined us virtually from Ottawa last week and during Happy Bucks/Sad Bucks – recounted that his Volvo was completely “dead” on his arrival from Vancouver.  What’s worse, the battery is in the trunk and, with all electric systems disabled, including ‘keys’, it could not be reached for re-charging.
 
Several members piped up and offered advice including Michael Cowhig and Leigh Higinbotham. While the meeting continued, Michael did a quick internet search, found instructions and relayed them to Ken.  Later that day came the happy news: “As of a few minutes ago, success on every front!  I found the positive 'emergency ' post in seconds, put on the charger, went to the driver’s armrest & activated the open doors button, & all doors were open.  Alas, my newly acquired high-tech, do-everything charger would not charge a totally flat battery! So, I hitched up my low tech 40 years old Sears one and charged it in several hours. And she started!  A lap or two round the block, & I put it away for the night.
 Good night and thank you!  I will pour a wee dram now!  Slainte, Ken”
 
As Michael said – “it’s amazing how we can help a fellow Rotarian 3,000km from here.  See what happens when we share what is happening in our lives?”  A sad story was replaced by a happy one in no time!
 
Good news
Long time member Jag Dhillon and his wife got back to Canada on a charter flight on May 14.  They are getting over their jet lag and we will soon hear more from them about their adventures in India.
 
 
More good news 
Bill Bourlet will also be getting back from New Zealand where he has been boat-bound for several months.  He returns at the beginning of June.
 
 
Welcome New Members
Jean Gardner and Ron Fulton will be inducted to Rotary Arbutus on May 22 Zoom Meeting.  Be there to welcome them!
 
 
Arbutus Members Hard at Work
The stats are in: over the month of April Arbutus members put in 117 hours of Rotary work.  Some of it was on Club administration and part of it was Club learning and another part was committee work.  For instance the Projects Committee met to consider contributions to worthy community organizations.  There were plenty of courses to take too and members took full advantage of that.  
 
More members will have taken courses in the month of May too.  Watch for Joy’s prompt in early June and keep track of all the volunteer work you have done.  Rotary is one of international organizations asked by the UN to submit volunteer hours. They want to quantify the time and value of Rotary members’ efforts to effectively keep a world-changing organization like ours ticking along.
 
 
Bursary Applicant Interviews Underway
Thanks to Shail’s efficiency we now enter that special time when we interview high school students. These young people have applied to our Club to receive $1,000 bursaries for their post secondary educations. Fifteen exceptional students will receive this assistance.  Five of them through our contribution to the Hoop-a-thon event and 10 of them from schools we traditionally support.
 
 
We have Even More Good News:  
With only a few days left in the Hoop-a-Thon fund raising campaign Gary Chomyn says we have reached the $7,000 mark on our on line Charitable Impact page!  This means we will receive a matching pledge of $5,000 from the Vancouver Basketball Foundation!   This is in addition to the $38,000 already raised, This means we will be able to support kids in need with all this year’s initiatives, including scholarships, youth leadership and the Strathcona Basketball Program. 
 
On behalf of the kids, The Rotary Clubs in Vancouver & Rotaractors, THANK YOU!
 
 
Vision Quest
Congratulations to us all! Over 2,090 pairs of used eyeglasses have been donated by Rotarians and their friends.  As you will remember, the District 5040 spring conference was named the Vision Conference.  It was a double entendre for the goals of the conference – to envision the future of Rotary – and to the World Eye Care Society.  It shines up and repurposes our used eyeglasses and provides them to people in need.  The goal was to collect 2,020; a nice nod to the year 2020.
 
The Arbutus Club’s collection was pretty impressive but we have not been able to get them to the Society yet as they are stuck stored in Amica, our former meeting place.  There are others to come from several clubs so the goal will have been truly met.
 
 
Congratulations to member Joy Johnston for winning a “People of Action” Award from District 5040!  The award was for her leadership in our Club’s joint work with Club Rotario San Salvador Noroestre to clean shorelines in El Salvador.  Our Club did the fundraising, District 5040 provided a matching grant and the local folks – hundreds of them -- did the hard work of removing garbage and plastics from their beaches and shorelines.  It was a gargantuan effort spanning 3 years.   It was a tremendous success and Joy passionately championed it with the support of her Arbutus Club.
 
Grant, Yoonhi, Shail, Lana, Madhu, Mary, Lydia, Dianna, Joy, and Teddie met on May 08 to consider the research done on worthy causes.  We understood that our focus should be on the gaps created by the COVID-19 crisis.
 
Though approved by the committee, these project funds must still be approved by the board before cheques can be issued
 
$6,500 - to Downtown Eastside Women's Centre (Mary) for a much neededupgrade to their serving kitchen to meet new health standards and to install a portable hand-washing station. 
 
$2,000 – to (Madhu) The Committee notes that it would like to establish on-going support with this organization by conducting fund raising in the future possibly utilizing a District Grant.
 
$2,000 – to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank (Lydia) Baby Steps Program Registered families receive a monthly pick up of baby packs with formula, diapers and baby food
 
$2,000 – to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank (Lydia)Pre-School Children's special supplement Pack supplying families in need with food packs designed to help children’s brain and muscle development with extra cheese, yogurt, oatmeal, hummus, whole grain breads, etc.
 
$1,500 – to the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project – (Lydia per speakers heard in January) for equipment needed to pick otherwise un-harvested, wasted fruit: picking poles, picking bags and first aid kits etc.  This organization volunteers as harvesters and redistributes fruit to tree owners, seniors centres and community aid groups
 
$2,000– to Kids Safe Program – (Joy) Kids Safe operates during school breaks with educational programs, security and nutrition. As schools are closed, they deliver lunches to kids who would normally be fed at school and supply their families with donated bulk groceries. With increased need their supplies run short and they have to buy the groceries. 
            
El Salvador Beach Cleanup (Joy) District 5040 has declared this grant project complete.  It exceeded expectations due to the hard work and community engagement leveraged by our partner Club Rotario San Salvador Noroestre.
 
EL SALVADOR
 
Our Community Development/Shoreline Cleaning project in El Salvador in now entering its last year. The project began with fundraising by our club and a small district grant.  Our on-the-ground partners were Rotario San Salvador Noroestre. With the success of that trial, a second and much more ambitious fundraising effort by our club began and a much larger grant was attained.  The El Salvador Club has been much more experienced during this second phase and was able to leverage community and civic support leading to much more extensive shoreline cleaning than anticipated.  The project has made an astonishing impact and will continue to do so in this final phase. 
 
 
MEMBERSHIP:  WE’RE DOING IT RIGHT
 
Rotary International President-Elect Holger Knaack isn’t setting a target for membership growth in the year ahead.  He wants us to grow Rotary organically and sustainably using positive member experiences and on the basis of club vibrancy for current and new members.  At the Arbutus Club we were already doing that before COVID intervened.  We have continued with Zoom meetings, have a buddy system in place and are looking forward to more in-person meetings when we are given the go-ahead.  In the meantime members can register for 
Webinar #4 – 60 minutes
Thursday, May 7th, 7:00PM click here to register
Saturday, May 9th, 10:00AM click here to register
►Growing Rotary - Membership and Club Flexibility
►Rotary Citation for 2020-21
 
 
 
ROTARY’S EFFORTS TO END POLIO
 
BC Place Stadium, Telus Science World and Vancouver City Hall lit up their buildings during what was to be the District conference weekend.  Gabor Gasztonyi, the organiser of the annual End Polio Walk along New Westminster’s Quay, in which our club would again have participated took some terrific photos.
 
 
 
 
HOOP-A-THON GOING AHEAD BY NOT GOING AHEAD
 
This fundraiser which supports student bursaries and training (this year across all of Vancouver, thanks to our Club lobbying for this change) has already raised $38,000 in spite of the inability of the event to take place at Strathcona School.  This year, hoopers will shoot their hoops on camera in back yards and lanes and anywhere they can set up a hoop.  Rotary Arbutus will once again interview for and select students for 5 bursaries of $1,000 each to contribute to this worthwhile event.  Photos from last year can be seen here. Our Club was well represented by members and friends, including Vanessa, one of our speakers and a participant along with Moritz – both from Germany.
 
 
KENYA
 
Last year Rotary Arbutus joined the Yaletown Club again in supporting a water and sanitation project in Kenya.  $1,225 of our Foundation donations went to this project. The other participants were the Rotary Club of Hurlingham, Nairobi and the Rotary Club of Vancouver. 
 
February 2019:  Construction begins - Nakurto Lukuny School, Suswa
March 2019:  Construction continues
June 2019:  Construction complete - 300,000 litre tank and harvesting roofing system
July 2019:  Toilets for girls and boys completed
September 2019:  Health and sanitation education and training
 
 
ZOOM ON FRIDAY, MAY 08th
 
Watch for your Zoom invitation to our Club’s meeting on Friday, May 08.   Join the fun and bring your happy bucks stories.
 
 
YOUR PROJECTS COMMITTEE HAS BEEN BUSY
 
With the confirmation and receipt of our Provincial Gaming Funds, the projects committee has been busy researching worthy recipients and discussing existing programs.  
 
At this point the committee has agreed to fund student bursaries for a total of $10,000.  Club interviewers have been assigned.  We will also be interviewing for $5,000 in Bursaries that will be attributed to our Hoop-A-Thon commitment.   We are part of a consortium of Vancouver Clubs, District 5040, Global TV and HoopLaw in this effort.
 
We are confident that Rotary Youth Leadership Camp (RYLA South) will be occurring in the spring of 2021.  $1,600 has been allocated to support the cost of sending 4 students to this amazing leadership training.
 
Coast Mental Health has set up a meal program during the COVID shut down to provide one take-away meal per day to their clients at their Support Centre. Our Club has contributed $3,500 to that program.
 
We have also assigned, in principal and pending further information, a contribution to the Downtown East Side Women’s Centre.
 
There are at least 4 other project contributions that are in the research stage.  Look for details in the next Bulletin.
 
 
AND IN VOLUNTEER EFFORTS
 
We have a team set up and waiting for requests to do grocery shopping for seniors and shut-ins at Red Oaks Housing in Kitsilano.
 
 
AND MORE KUDOS
 
Members continue to be involved with all sorts of training programs being offered by the District and RI.  Thanks to all those who are engaged in the learning and are bringing their up-to-date information back to the club.  Well done!
 
 
THANK YOU! 
 
To all the members who have paid their Special Assessment, following the recent financial review.  Well done!  Our hard working treasurer is particularly happy.  smiley
 
In further financial musings: for those of you who would like to use e-transfers for your Rotary banking needs – we have a definitive answer from our bankers.  Their systems cannot give access to deposits on accounts that require 2 signatures on cheques.  For now the onsite “square” (and on-line billing services) for credit cards, and old fashioned cheques will have to do.
 
 
Home Page Stories
Jeanis recovering from a broken ankle.  She is an over-achiever, having broken hers in 2 places.   She is grateful that there was a boat available to get her to a car, a husband to get her to Pemberton (no X-Ray machine), the same husband to get her to Whistler, (no surgeon) ditto …husband … to Lion’s Gate Hospital and proper care.
 
Lydiais one of the lucky ones on the surgery waiting list to get a date for her hip replacement.  July 30this the big day.  Her husband promises exemplary after-care.  Lydia is still looking for a bell she can ring, ding-a-ling.  Next year the West Coast Trail?
 
 
HANDS ON (WITH GLOVES, FOR NOW)

Our new Projects Chair is full of great ideas, as always, but Dianna is also eager to have your input.  We do the following annually:
  • Beach Clean-up,
  • Pancake Breakfast,
  • Christmas Tree sales,
  • Bursary interviews,
  • Hoop-a-thon, Polio Walk (some when we are allowed to gather in larger groups again).  
What hands-on Projects would you like to see the Club add to the current list?  Please pass your ideas on to Dianna!
 
 
INTERNATIONAL WORK 
 
Now that the El Salvador Shore-line Clean-up is complete and our joint projects in Africa with the Yaletown Club have finished, Grant is looking for input about the next International goal for us to strive for.  It takes long range planning and grant applications so be creative!
 
 
ONLINE or IN PERSON?
 
Our recent survey about what members want as we (hopefully) move out of our current state of uncertainty was instructive.  
 
Do we like Zoom meetings?  9 say yes, 4 say no, and 5 are neutral … which adds up to a mostly-we’re-OK with Zoom.  Since there was a pretty strong vote for in-person meetings, though, it is clear that we need to meet to keep our friendships strong.  In board discussions the consensus was to do a combination of Zoom and in-person meetings.  Creative ideas of how to do that are welcome.
 
Interestingly, the idea of video being used when we have in-person meetings, to allow those who are uncomfortable with them to participate got  9 votes, for, 4 votes against and 6 votes for “it’s too complicated”.
 
As for how many meetings and what kind of meetings, the clear winner was a combination of virtual Zoom meetings (10) and in-person meetings.  Coming a close second was two meetings a month virtually on Zoom (7) with only a few (3) wanting 1 meeting per month in person. 
 
Our Insurance expert, Hans, is looking into whether we need signed waivers during in-person meetings.
 
 
HANDSHAKES, HUGGING AND SINGING – OH MY!
 
16 people said they agreed not to do it in “live” meetings, 3 said we could find another way to do it.  The general consensus is that we want to do Happy Bucks but must find a new way to actually contribute to a virtual bucket (stay tuned).   And this intrepid reporter thinks we could certainly sing or recite the 4-way test before Zoom meetings
 
 
TO LUNCH or NOT TO LUNCH … THAT IS THE QUESTION
 
Discussions with the Arbutus Club, our former lunch host, have led to the conclusion that our rotary Club needs a new space for meetings once in-person meetings are possible.
 
According to our recent survey in-person meetings were desired by 10 members while 4 did not want them and 1 person said such meetings should only be for small groups.  Whether food and beverages should be part of meetings showed a split in opinions: 6 were in favour, 5 were against and 7 were neutral on the subject. 
 
Our intrepid leader, Grant, is looking into options and welcomes comments or suggestions.
 
 
President Grant has drafted Zoom meeting schedule for the rest of the year.   Club’s website has the list of dates.  You will receive email invitation from rcvancouverarbutus@outlook.com for the Zoom meetings.  
 
You can also join the meeting using the link from the Club’s page.  
 
You might be asked to log onto ClubRunner to access the link.   
 
He and your board are trying to come up with a plan to have an in-person social meeting once a month as well.  If you have a good idea, bring it up!  How about a grassy park and we bring our own lawn chair and lunch??
 
“We should “care about … the bonds of intimate relationships and local community.  To put it simplistically: a society can’t flourish if its citizens can’t make a plan for a” [fill-in-the blank].  “… make this tiny resolution: not to cry off social plans for lame reasons. Which maybe isn’t such a tiny thing at all; when the whole momentum of a society goes towards making it harder to coordinate with others ... do so anyway.”  Oliver Burkman
 
 
 
It was a real pleasure for members to meet in-person for this special occasion – our first “real” meeting since the Covid lock-down began in March! 
 
This “changing of the guard” was handled with aplomb by in-coming President Grant Yao and Mary Stark.  They presented flowers, a plaque for service, a past president pin and some very kind words to outgoing president Lydia Marston-Blaauw.  She looked a bit overwhelmed by all the attention and compliments.  It was agreed by all that it had been an extraordinary year – with both high points and emergencies.  It’s not every President and her executives to have the experience of running a club during a pandemic.
 
Lydia thanks her 2019-2020 support team: Dianna Smith - secretary, Lana Wong - Treasurer, Hans Doge - Membership Chair, Sam Wong, - Foundation Chair, Yoonhi Green - Public relations & Youth Chair and Grant Yao - Program Chair. “It was a pleasure working with you all and thanks for your guidance!”
 
District Governor Dave Hamilton performed the official swearing in.  He spoke with great good humour and with optimism for the year ahead.  He noted President Grant‘s promise to make sure the Arbutus Club remains fun for its members, a goal he thoroughly supports. Then DG Hamilton spoke to the executive members: Teddie Pasut - Secretary, Lana Wong - Treasurer, Hans Doge - Membership Chair, Sam Wong - Foundation Chair, Yoonhi Green - Public relations & Youth Chair, Dianna Smith - Program Chair and Lydia as Past President, reminding them to uphold their RI principles and support the new Club president.
 
 
 
 
Rotary Club of Vancouver Arbutus presented $4,000 to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.  $2,000 was allocated for Baby Steps Program where registered families receive a monthly pick up of baby packs with formula, diapers and baby food.   $2,000 was allocated for Pre-School Children's special supplement Pack supplying families in need with food packs designed to help children’s brain and muscle development with extra cheese, yogurt, oatmeal, hummus, whole grain breads, etc.
 
 
Did you know that polio was known for millennia but it generally broke out in only small cases? 
 
It didn’t become epidemic until the 20th century.  Ironically, there is evidence that this was caused by improvements in sanitation.  In earlier times, children came into contact with the polio virus before age one; while they were still protected by maternal antibodies transferred during pregnancy.  With sanitation, many children only caught it when they were older, especially since polio enters the body by mouth.   Many caught it at about age 5 and their immune systems were just not prepared.  
 
From 1916 onward every summer brought an epidemic.  At its peak in the US it caused 15,000 cases of paralysis every year.  Others had different degrees of disability, and many died.  In fact polio killed or paralysed 600,000 people world-wide annually. 
 
It is important to note that, like Covid-19, some polio-infected people felt no health problems at all and others had only a headache.   Both polio and Covid-19 can be transmitted by people who don’t know they have it. 
 
Polio gave 4–5 % of people serious symptoms including muscular pain, high fever (as the immune system tried to combat the virus) and delirium.  Five to 10% of people who caught polio died before the invention of the iron lung and many died subsequently.  Statistics for infection rates and severity are still not reliable for Covid-19 and will emerge in the future.
 
Finding a Cure for Polio/Fighting it into the Future

In North America, the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (NFIP)was founded in 1938 by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt who famously had polio.  His associate, Basil O’Connor, was tasked to build an organization that could quickly respond to polio epidemics and fund virus research. He launchedthe March of Dimes initiative.  It’s medical research and patient aid programme was taxed to its limits by the huge polio epidemic of 1949.  By the 1950s, the 3,100 chapters of the NFIP were operated almost completely by volunteers. 
 
A breakthrough at the University of Pittsburgh by a March of Dimes grant recipient, the young physician, Jonas Salk, pressed on from a routine virus typing project, to the creation of a vaccine, to the end of polio epidemics in a matter of years.  Tested in a massive field trial in 1954, it involved 1.8 million school childrenin the US, Canada and Finland.  It was the first time the now-standard double-blind method was used.  The Salk vaccine was licensed for use on April 12, 1955 and soon wiped out polio in the west.
 
As Polio cases dropped in developed countries Rotary came on board to help continue the fight against polio in other parts of the world.   When RI president James L. Bomar Jr. put the first drops of vaccine into a child’s mouth on 29 September 1979 in the Philippines, he ceremonially launched Rotary’s international efforts.  It was Rotary’s first Health, Hunger and Humanity (3-H) Grant project.
 
Soon, few people with paralysis were seen outside of special care homes in Canada. The horrors of polio – the visible evidence of what viral diseases can do – had faded from people’s minds in developed countries.  A Rotarian recently said she was astonished in the 1990’s to see a modern, well-groomed and apparently affluent young woman in Morocco who had had polio.   She thought the disease had long been conquered. And indeed there have been no cases in North America since 1979 and in the UK since 1984.  However, according to local polio support groups and doctors, some 40,000 polio survivors with varying degrees of paralysis live in Germany, 30,000 in Japan, 24,000 in France, 16,000 in Australia, 12,000 in Canada and 12,000 in the UK.   
 
The anti-vaccination movement is now a worry – not just in remote tribal villages but right in our own Canadian cities and towns.  We seem to need visible reminders to stay vigilant against these viral horrors.  
 
Researchers are now suggesting that, like the polio virus, Covid-19 may always have been out there.  Humans just had not had a serious outbreak to warn us that this pandemic might yet come. Our hope now is for a vaccine.  We hope one is found, but will we then forget this crisis as we have forgotten others?     
 
Excerpts from Linda Rodriguez Mc Robbie’s article about Polio Guardian Weekly, June 05/2020.  March of Dimes Material from MOD Foundation History on-line; This Day in History.com
As the horrors of polio and the visual reminders of it are now hidden in a few care homes and in foreign countries, this disease has slipped from many people’s consciousness.  Rotary has not forgotten.  We continue the fight to end polio everywhere.  With all our minds on the experience of living through the COVID pandemic, we are also looking at past experiences.  It is important to remember that polio is a shattering illness. 
 
A description of onset in a six year old was published in a Guardian weekly story in early June.  The experience: his neck hurt, his head pounded, in a few days his fever soared and aching pains entered his limbs; in three days more he could no longer hold a crayon, speak, swallow or cough.  He was paralyzed.  At the hospital he was at first left to die and then given an emergency tracheotomy to suction the mucous from his lungs.  Waking 3 days later he found himself encased in a machine and under a shroud.  He thought he was dead.  When the covering was eventually removed all he could see were the heads of other children encased in metal canisters, “as far as you can see, rows and rows of iron lungs full of children crying in pain.”
 
Our own member, Teddie Pasut was a young nurse at the time and remembers those days and how horrible it was to hear so many children crying and terrified.  So little could be done to help. 
 
Poliomyelitis kills by suffocating -- not by damaging the lungs as COVID does -- but by attacking motor neurons in the spinal cord either weakening or destroying the communication between the nervous system and muscles.  It caused extraordinary misery and crippled tens of thousands of Canadiansespecially between the years 1949 – 1954.
 
Recently there have been a lot of articles about this big outbreak of polio, but it was already seen in Canada in1910 and was recognized as early as the 1800’s in Europe.  
 
Unlike with COVID, children under 5 were most affected.  But just as with COVID and SARS, Provincial Public Health Departments quarantined the sick.  Just as today, they closed schools.  Children were restricted from travelling or going to movie theatres and pools. But these measures did not prevent polio’s spread. In some jurisdictions they sprayed for mosquitoes, knowing full well that it would not help, but needing to do something.  In New York, during an outbreak in 1916, they killed 72,000 cats and 8,000 dogs in a month thinking they might be transmitters – they are not. 
 
As early as 1930, Canada’s first “iron lung” was brought to The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.  There was a rush for more iron lungs after a severe outbreak in 1937.  
A recently published photo shows hundreds of iron lungs, each with a patient paralyzed and unable to breathe for themselves. Some women gave birth while confined in an iron lung and the Royal Canadian Air Force made emergency deliveries of iron lungs across the country for these births. 
 
An estimated 11,000 people in Canada were left paralyzed by polio between 1949 and 1954 -- in just 5 years. The disease peaked in 1953 with nearly 9,000 cases and 500 deaths – it was the most serious national epidemic since the 1918 influenza pandemic. An effective vaccine against this virus did not appear until 1955 (Salk).  But the last major polio epidemic in Canada occurred in 1959, with nearly 2,000 paralytic cases. Many people in Canada, including Rotarians, had polio and survived.  Some are now feeling the effects of post-polio conditions.
 
Rotarians have not forgotten those dark years, are still fighting this terrible disease and helping its many current victims.
 
Excerpts from Linda Rodriguez Mc Robbie’s article about Polio Guardian Weekly, June 05/2020
Canadian stats from Canadian Public Health Association
 
 
Polio Donations
Thanks to everyone who responded to the recent, extra request for a Polio Donations. Polio is spreading again because this new Covid pandemic is preventing vaccinations.  Rotary donations to the effort were also down in 2020.  Our request to members was based on the cost of a typical Rotary lunch meeting.  Some gave more generously than that benchmark.  Special thanks to Lana and Mary for the paperwork.
 
Members who were at the meeting on July 3rd will have filled out a short questionnaire from Lydia and Grant asking about preferences once we return to in-person meetings.  If you were not there, you will soon get one by email.
 
Rotary International and District 5040 asked that all clubs survey their members to find out how they feel about an eventual in-person re-start. We have asked about Zoom meetings in general, whether you want food and beverages served, how much touching should be allowed and how many meetings are preferred.
 
For those who have not yet filled out one of these surveys, please do so as soon as yours arrives and return it to Past President Lydia.
 
  • Friday June 19 was the last meeting chaired under President Lydia’s “gavel”. One of her last duties was to consider how the club should prepare for eventual in-person meetings.  A short survey to hear your thoughts will be distributed on July 03 at Carlos O’Bryan’s and, for those not attending that day, via email.  It will ask you about your preferences for meetings, dates, types, and your post-lock-down feelings.  Please return these to Lydia.  The Membership Committee and the Executive will use your feedback to consider how to proceed.
 
  • Congratulations to Leigh Higinbotham.  He has been appointed District Policy Chair.  Leigh will work with the District Governor Team and District Committee Chairs to establish their policies and procedures.  We are very proud of you Leigh.
 
  • Joy, Michael C. and Lydia have been working on an article for the Rotarian Magazine about the El Salvador Project.  Lydia has finished the writing and Michael is working on photos.  Joy is the accuracy editor.  Fingers crossed, but there is no guarantee it will be published.
 
  • Dues notices are out.  Please make your payments to Lana well before June 30 so we can pay our International dues invoice in a timely manner.
 
  • A special commendation to our new member Jean Gardner, who joined our Zoom meeting from her car while she and her husband were travelling through Whistler on their way back to their cabin at Anderson Lake.  What dedication to attendance!
 
  • Several members joined the Burnaby Club’s meeting at 1:00 to hear speaker Dr. Choi on the subject of Fear during COVID-19.
 
Mark your calendar – July 03, 1:00pm  
 
New District Governor, Dave Hamilton and his partner Tanya will attend the installation of our 2020/2021 President and Executives.  The event is at Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighborhood Pub at corner of Burrard st & 7th ave starting at 1:00pm. If you have not registered your attendance, please get in touch with Hans as the Pub staff needs to prepare for us. 
 
It will be great to meet District Governor Hamilton and hear what he has to say about the year ahead.  
 
Lunch and drinks can be ordered on arrival and for those of you who have time to linger, or aren’t hungry at 1:00pm, Happy Hour starts at 2:00pm with great prices.  Just remember – there is no table-hopping allowed.  You will be seated at well-spaced tables.  After the installation, we will devote ourselves to the joy of being social once again.
 
As we are not meeting in person yet we are having lunches at home before our Zoom meetings.  Members contributed the regular lunch cost to Polio and raised over $500.  This is matched by the Gates Foundation to make a contribution of over $1500!

The Covid-19 pandemic has been very hard on women and children that experience high levels of violence and homelessness.  The Downtown Eastside Women’s Center has, since 1978, been one of the only safe spaces within the downtown eastside specifically and exclusively for all women and their children.  
 
We provided them $3500 to remove existing shelving in the kitchen and put up a prep table with shelving on the wall above that would carry the existing items stored on the shelves.    This change to the kitchen will assist with social distancing while people are working in the kitchen.
 

BEFORE RENOVATION

AFTER RENOVATION
 
New Board
It’s almost time to hand over the Rotary gavel to our incoming President, Grant Yao, who follows 3 successive women presidents in our Club.  At the meeting on July 3rd we will induct the new executive members under Grant’s watch.  They are: 
Past President Lydia
Secretary Teddie
Treasurer Lana
Program Chair Dianna
Public Relations Chair Yoonhi
Foundation Chair Sam
Membership Chair Hans 
Shail will continue as administrator and bursary organiser
Joy will continue to monitor volunteer hours
 
 
New Year = Dues = invoice from RI
Just a heads-up: members will be receiving their dues invoice from Treasurer Lana soon.   The Club will be receiving its dues invoice for all members from RI which must be paid on July 01.  If you have made any plans that do not include Rotary membership, please let both Treasurer Lana and Secretary Teddie know so that the club does not pay RI an unnecessarily high fee-per-member.
 
We have 23 members now and that is happy news as we look forward to another year of fellowship and service under Grant’s leadership.
 
 
Things to note: 
Digital access to Rotarian Magazine at www.myrotary.org/en/news-media/magazine
Letters to the Editor of Rotary Magazine at www.yourletters@rotary.org
Rotary International Learning Centre www.rotary.org/learn
Ideas for meetings on-line www.rotary.org/onlinemeetings
Listing of existing Rotary Fellowships www.rotary.org/fellowships
 
International Conference (Hawaii 2020) outstanding international speakers scheduled to appear at the conference (cancelled due to COVID) will be on-line starting June 20-26 at www.Rotary.org
 
 
 
Home from New Zealand
Member Bill has returned safely from New Zealand and joined our Zoom meeting from a friend’s boat in False Creek where he is self-isolating for 14 days.  He looked hale and hearty.
 
 
Rotarians Reach out a Helping Hand from Vancouver to Ottawa
Oh the joys of Zoom: frequent visitor to our club, Ken Pepper, joined us virtually from Ottawa last week and during Happy Bucks/Sad Bucks – recounted that his Volvo was completely “dead” on his arrival from Vancouver.  What’s worse, the battery is in the trunk and, with all electric systems disabled, including ‘keys’, it could not be reached for re-charging.
 
Several members piped up and offered advice including Michael Cowhig and Leigh Higinbotham. While the meeting continued, Michael did a quick internet search, found instructions and relayed them to Ken.  Later that day came the happy news: “As of a few minutes ago, success on every front!  I found the positive 'emergency ' post in seconds, put on the charger, went to the driver’s armrest & activated the open doors button, & all doors were open.  Alas, my newly acquired high-tech, do-everything charger would not charge a totally flat battery! So, I hitched up my low tech 40 years old Sears one and charged it in several hours. And she started!  A lap or two round the block, & I put it away for the night.
 Good night and thank you!  I will pour a wee dram now!  Slainte, Ken”
 
As Michael said – “it’s amazing how we can help a fellow Rotarian 3,000km from here.  See what happens when we share what is happening in our lives?”  A sad story was replaced by a happy one in no time!
 
Good news
Long time member Jag Dhillon and his wife got back to Canada on a charter flight on May 14.  They are getting over their jet lag and we will soon hear more from them about their adventures in India.
 
 
More good news 
Bill Bourlet will also be getting back from New Zealand where he has been boat-bound for several months.  He returns at the beginning of June.
 
 
Welcome New Members
Jean Gardner and Ron Fulton will be inducted to Rotary Arbutus on May 22 Zoom Meeting.  Be there to welcome them!
 
 
Arbutus Members Hard at Work
The stats are in: over the month of April Arbutus members put in 117 hours of Rotary work.  Some of it was on Club administration and part of it was Club learning and another part was committee work.  For instance the Projects Committee met to consider contributions to worthy community organizations.  There were plenty of courses to take too and members took full advantage of that.  
 
More members will have taken courses in the month of May too.  Watch for Joy’s prompt in early June and keep track of all the volunteer work you have done.  Rotary is one of international organizations asked by the UN to submit volunteer hours. They want to quantify the time and value of Rotary members’ efforts to effectively keep a world-changing organization like ours ticking along.
 
 
Bursary Applicant Interviews Underway
Thanks to Shail’s efficiency we now enter that special time when we interview high school students. These young people have applied to our Club to receive $1,000 bursaries for their post secondary educations. Fifteen exceptional students will receive this assistance.  Five of them through our contribution to the Hoop-a-thon event and 10 of them from schools we traditionally support.
 
 
We have Even More Good News:  
With only a few days left in the Hoop-a-Thon fund raising campaign Gary Chomyn says we have reached the $7,000 mark on our on line Charitable Impact page!  This means we will receive a matching pledge of $5,000 from the Vancouver Basketball Foundation!   This is in addition to the $38,000 already raised, This means we will be able to support kids in need with all this year’s initiatives, including scholarships, youth leadership and the Strathcona Basketball Program. 
 
On behalf of the kids, The Rotary Clubs in Vancouver & Rotaractors, THANK YOU!
 
 
Vision Quest
Congratulations to us all! Over 2,090 pairs of used eyeglasses have been donated by Rotarians and their friends.  As you will remember, the District 5040 spring conference was named the Vision Conference.  It was a double entendre for the goals of the conference – to envision the future of Rotary – and to the World Eye Care Society.  It shines up and repurposes our used eyeglasses and provides them to people in need.  The goal was to collect 2,020; a nice nod to the year 2020.
 
The Arbutus Club’s collection was pretty impressive but we have not been able to get them to the Society yet as they are stuck stored in Amica, our former meeting place.  There are others to come from several clubs so the goal will have been truly met.
 
 
Congratulations to member Joy Johnston for winning a “People of Action” Award from District 5040!  The award was for her leadership in our Club’s joint work with Club Rotario San Salvador Noroestre to clean shorelines in El Salvador.  Our Club did the fundraising, District 5040 provided a matching grant and the local folks – hundreds of them -- did the hard work of removing garbage and plastics from their beaches and shorelines.  It was a gargantuan effort spanning 3 years.   It was a tremendous success and Joy passionately championed it with the support of her Arbutus Club.
 
Grant, Yoonhi, Shail, Lana, Madhu, Mary, Lydia, Dianna, Joy, and Teddie met on May 08 to consider the research done on worthy causes.  We understood that our focus should be on the gaps created by the COVID-19 crisis.
 
Though approved by the committee, these project funds must still be approved by the board before cheques can be issued
 
$6,500 - to Downtown Eastside Women's Centre (Mary) for a much neededupgrade to their serving kitchen to meet new health standards and to install a portable hand-washing station. 
 
$2,000 – to (Madhu) The Committee notes that it would like to establish on-going support with this organization by conducting fund raising in the future possibly utilizing a District Grant.
 
$2,000 – to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank (Lydia) Baby Steps Program Registered families receive a monthly pick up of baby packs with formula, diapers and baby food
 
$2,000 – to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank (Lydia)Pre-School Children's special supplement Pack supplying families in need with food packs designed to help children’s brain and muscle development with extra cheese, yogurt, oatmeal, hummus, whole grain breads, etc.
 
$1,500 – to the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project – (Lydia per speakers heard in January) for equipment needed to pick otherwise un-harvested, wasted fruit: picking poles, picking bags and first aid kits etc.  This organization volunteers as harvesters and redistributes fruit to tree owners, seniors centres and community aid groups
 
$2,000– to Kids Safe Program – (Joy) Kids Safe operates during school breaks with educational programs, security and nutrition. As schools are closed, they deliver lunches to kids who would normally be fed at school and supply their families with donated bulk groceries. With increased need their supplies run short and they have to buy the groceries. 
            
El Salvador Beach Cleanup (Joy) District 5040 has declared this grant project complete.  It exceeded expectations due to the hard work and community engagement leveraged by our partner Club Rotario San Salvador Noroestre.
 
EL SALVADOR
 
Our Community Development/Shoreline Cleaning project in El Salvador in now entering its last year. The project began with fundraising by our club and a small district grant.  Our on-the-ground partners were Rotario San Salvador Noroestre. With the success of that trial, a second and much more ambitious fundraising effort by our club began and a much larger grant was attained.  The El Salvador Club has been much more experienced during this second phase and was able to leverage community and civic support leading to much more extensive shoreline cleaning than anticipated.  The project has made an astonishing impact and will continue to do so in this final phase. 
 
 
MEMBERSHIP:  WE’RE DOING IT RIGHT
 
Rotary International President-Elect Holger Knaack isn’t setting a target for membership growth in the year ahead.  He wants us to grow Rotary organically and sustainably using positive member experiences and on the basis of club vibrancy for current and new members.  At the Arbutus Club we were already doing that before COVID intervened.  We have continued with Zoom meetings, have a buddy system in place and are looking forward to more in-person meetings when we are given the go-ahead.  In the meantime members can register for 
Webinar #4 – 60 minutes
Thursday, May 7th, 7:00PM click here to register
Saturday, May 9th, 10:00AM click here to register
►Growing Rotary - Membership and Club Flexibility
►Rotary Citation for 2020-21
 
 
 
ROTARY’S EFFORTS TO END POLIO
 
BC Place Stadium, Telus Science World and Vancouver City Hall lit up their buildings during what was to be the District conference weekend.  Gabor Gasztonyi, the organiser of the annual End Polio Walk along New Westminster’s Quay, in which our club would again have participated took some terrific photos.
 
 
 
 
HOOP-A-THON GOING AHEAD BY NOT GOING AHEAD
 
This fundraiser which supports student bursaries and training (this year across all of Vancouver, thanks to our Club lobbying for this change) has already raised $38,000 in spite of the inability of the event to take place at Strathcona School.  This year, hoopers will shoot their hoops on camera in back yards and lanes and anywhere they can set up a hoop.  Rotary Arbutus will once again interview for and select students for 5 bursaries of $1,000 each to contribute to this worthwhile event.  Photos from last year can be seen here. Our Club was well represented by members and friends, including Vanessa, one of our speakers and a participant along with Moritz – both from Germany.
 
 
KENYA
 
Last year Rotary Arbutus joined the Yaletown Club again in supporting a water and sanitation project in Kenya.  $1,225 of our Foundation donations went to this project. The other participants were the Rotary Club of Hurlingham, Nairobi and the Rotary Club of Vancouver. 
 
February 2019:  Construction begins - Nakurto Lukuny School, Suswa
March 2019:  Construction continues
June 2019:  Construction complete - 300,000 litre tank and harvesting roofing system
July 2019:  Toilets for girls and boys completed
September 2019:  Health and sanitation education and training
 
 
ZOOM ON FRIDAY, MAY 08th
 
Watch for your Zoom invitation to our Club’s meeting on Friday, May 08.   Join the fun and bring your happy bucks stories.
 
 
YOUR PROJECTS COMMITTEE HAS BEEN BUSY
 
With the confirmation and receipt of our Provincial Gaming Funds, the projects committee has been busy researching worthy recipients and discussing existing programs.  
 
At this point the committee has agreed to fund student bursaries for a total of $10,000.  Club interviewers have been assigned.  We will also be interviewing for $5,000 in Bursaries that will be attributed to our Hoop-A-Thon commitment.   We are part of a consortium of Vancouver Clubs, District 5040, Global TV and HoopLaw in this effort.
 
We are confident that Rotary Youth Leadership Camp (RYLA South) will be occurring in the spring of 2021.  $1,600 has been allocated to support the cost of sending 4 students to this amazing leadership training.
 
Coast Mental Health has set up a meal program during the COVID shut down to provide one take-away meal per day to their clients at their Support Centre. Our Club has contributed $3,500 to that program.
 
We have also assigned, in principal and pending further information, a contribution to the Downtown East Side Women’s Centre.
 
There are at least 4 other project contributions that are in the research stage.  Look for details in the next Bulletin.
 
 
AND IN VOLUNTEER EFFORTS
 
We have a team set up and waiting for requests to do grocery shopping for seniors and shut-ins at Red Oaks Housing in Kitsilano.
 
 
AND MORE KUDOS
 
Members continue to be involved with all sorts of training programs being offered by the District and RI.  Thanks to all those who are engaged in the learning and are bringing their up-to-date information back to the club.  Well done!
 
 
THANK YOU! 
 
To all the members who have paid their Special Assessment, following the recent financial review.  Well done!  Our hard working treasurer is particularly happy.  smiley
 
In further financial musings: for those of you who would like to use e-transfers for your Rotary banking needs – we have a definitive answer from our bankers.  Their systems cannot give access to deposits on accounts that require 2 signatures on cheques.  For now the onsite “square” (and on-line billing services) for credit cards, and old fashioned cheques will have to do.
 
 
Club Executives & Directors
President
Treasurer
Service Projects
Foundation Director
Immediate Past President
Membership
Public Relations

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Speakers
Madhu Toshniwal - via Zoom
Jul 24, 2020
classification talk
Zoom meeting
Aug 07, 2020
Zoom meeting
Aug 21, 2020
Zoom meeting
Sep 11, 2020
Zoom meeting
Sep 25, 2020
Zoom meeting
Oct 23, 2020
Zoom meeting
Nov 06, 2020
Zoom meeting
Nov 20, 2020
Zoom meeting
Dec 04, 2020
Club Society & Foundation