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June 18, 2021
 
Jean Truex passed away on Sunday, April 11, 2021. A Celebration of Life was held online on June 17, 2021, with Jean fondly remembered by family, friends and colleagues. It was utterly inspiring to hear about her remarkable life and contributions that made the world a better place. Here is a recording from the wonderful  program. https://youtu.be/9OOes4TIX6o
 
Also read about Jean in this previous article here. 18 remarkable years of the 1*2*3 GO! program
 
June 15, 2021
 
Our club is delighted to be a Gold Sponsor of this month-long Family Fun-Raiser to engage family and friends.
 
The Shelldale Family Gateway community is challenging neighbouring communities right across Guelph to get involved and make it a fun, unique, exciting and physically active time for all!
 
Go to shelldale.ca for details and to register.
 
Help make this a fabulous fundraiser for a good cause! Get your tickets now.  
Guelph's famous annual Rotary Duck Race is virtual again in 2021 due to COVID-19. Tickets are still on sale HERE at GotDuck.ca
 
  • The GRAND PRIZE DRAW on July 1 is $500 per month for a year in food from Zehr's! (Worth $6,000!)
  • Net proceeds from the Duck Race will support the Rotary-inspired FOOD4KIDS GUELPH charity to help feed local children in severely food-insecure families. 
Watch this SHORT VIDEO about this year's Duck Race and how it will help Food4Kids. 
 
And read here about how three generations of the Van Dam family from the Rotary Guelph Wellington Club are supporting the Duck Race. It's a great story reported by Guelph Today.
 
The Rotary Club of Guelph-Wellington has organized the Guelph Duck Race since 1988, making it a fixture on the Speed River every Canada Day. Since 2007, it has been supported by Guelph's The Letter M Marketing and Rotary is grateful for their fantastic community support!  
 
June 14, 2021
 
As reported in Guelph Today.
Upper Grand School Board's Martha Rogers receives provincial award
Award honours an active or retired member of the teaching profession for outstanding contribution to education in Ontario
 
Read the article here
 
We could not be prouder of Martha who has been a member of our Rotary Club for 32 years. 
 
June 14, 2021
 
Jim Stevens quietly passed away at home on Friday, June 11, 2021 in his 91st year. We are remembering what a great person, great scientist, great educator, great friend and great Rotarian Jim was; 43 years in Rotary, including serving as president of our Rotary club in 1998-99.
 
For those who don't know Jim from earlier years, read about him here. He made  the world a better place. We send our heartfelt condolences to Jim's wife Karin and their extended families.
 
If you would like to attend the virtual service for Jim, it will held on June 25th at 2pm. Go to gilchristchapel.com, click on obituaries, then on Jim’s name and then click on https://www.oneroomstreaming@com/login
 
Jim's detailed obituary follows below.
 
June 1, 2021
Reporting from Kitchener CTV News
 

The Canadian Mental Health Association of Waterloo Wellington has received more than $1 million in funding from the provincial government and Wellington County to support youth mental health.

The funding will go toward strengthening the Integrated Youth Services Network (IYSN) and allow the network to expand its operating capabilities.

The IYSN is a collaborative project with the aim of providing youth aged 12 to 26 with the support they need. More than 30 different organizations are part of the network, which is aiming to expand to have seven sites across Wellington County, Erin, Palmerston, Fergus and Guelph.

June 8, 2021
 
Rotary expresses its heartfelt condolences to Muslim communities everywhere in the wake of the deadly attack hit-and-run attack on an innocent family, in London Ontario on Sunday evening, June 6, 2021. Words fail us.
 
Our friends at the Muslim Society of Guelph are planting a memorial garden to remember the London family, and also in support of all other victims of Islamaphobia. They welcome the donation of plants. Donations are also welcome for the MSOG's Antiracism Resource Fund to help combat racism and Islamophobia and maintain the memorial garden. 
 
Speaking on behalf of our Rotary Club's Peace Building Committee, our member Nisha Chandran said this:
 
June 8, 2021
 
Rotary organizer Gisella Gazzola and artist Ben McCarl ran their sixth Virtual Paint Night session on Sunday, June 6. It was thoroughly enjoyed by all the participants, who collectively donated $350 to Food4Kids Guelph, helping to feed a child for almost half a year through this Rotary-inspired charity.
 
 
June 5, 2021  -  World Environment Day
 
The Rotary Club of Guelph is proud to be recognized as "a top seven global winner" in Rotary International's video challenge #IFixThePlanet, a contest organized by #ESRAG ... the Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group. The contest was organized to promote Rotary International's adoption of its seventh Area of Focus for international work, Supporting the Environment. 
 
The announcement of contest winners came on World Environment Day, the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. 
 
Our 70-second video entry about the Rotary Forest project at Guelph Lake was created and submitted by our talented past-president, Carolyn Weatherson, back in February 2021. The video is titled “Trees, Trails, a Nature Centre, Observatory and Planetarium!” and can be watched here Worldwide voting was invited on the many video entries submitted from all over the world. Each top seven prize includes a certificate plus a special congratulation from Rotary International's president, Holger Knaack.  
 
Many Rotarians have supported this project over the years, together with the Grand River Conservation Authority. The project to return a former 100-acre farm back into a forest near Guelph Lake was originally envisioned by our late club member, Dr. Clare Rennie, whose memory is still near and dear. 
June 4, 2021
 
We would like to extend deep condolences and sympathies to the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation on the discovery of 215 children on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops British Columbia.

The discovery of these children is a powerful yet painful reminder of our history. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission research indicates that at least 3,213 children are reported to have died over 140 years of operation at over 150 Residential School locations.
 
No words can describe the scale of pain and trauma that Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Inuit, Métis) have suffered as a result of Canada’s Residential School system and continue to suffer from systemic racism.
 
May we all keep this part of our history as a reminder and a beacon in front of us as we work with our Rotary ideals to bring peace and equality to all.
 
June is National Indigenous History Month, we ask that you support this national time of mourning to honour these children. HIP (Honouring Indigenous People) is asking everyone to wear orange. Let’s walk together and show our support. 
 
 
 
PLEASE READ THIS BOOKLET ABOUT THE INDIAN RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SYSTEM.
May 28, 2021
 
Jacqueline's smiling face has become familiar to us as a guest in recent weeks, and we couldn't be more delighted that she has decided to join our club as a member.
 
Introduced today by Tim Mau, he said, "Jacqueline is a longstanding Guelph resident, having moved here from Toronto in 1977. She worked for ten years as a legal researcher for a corporate law firm in Toronto, has worked as a school librarian and occasional teacher in our school district, and is particularly drawn to support students who are medically fragile or challenged by disabilities. When she's not teaching or working at Shopper's Drugmart, she enjoys hiking, reading and hanging out with her adult daughter, Samantha."
 
Jacqueline, we are really looking forward to getting to know you better. Welcome to the Rotary Club of Guelph!
 
May 28, 2021
 
We are absolutely delighted to welcome Chidi as a new member of our club. He is president at the African Canadian Initiative, and also volunteers in a wide range of activities. He is best described as a Social Justice Advocate and Community Organizer.
 
Chidi's extensive on-the-ground experience has developed a strong sense of justice for both local and global communities, and will enrich our club and our ability to deliver Service Above Self, something that is already exemplified in Chidi's life.  
 
In his own words, "Rotary Club is where great people do greater things, in order to achieve the greatest impact in our communities."
 
Welcome, Chidi!
 
May 27, 2021
 
NEWS FLASH!  THIS EVENT WILL NOW TAKE PLACE ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2021 
 
Here's a wonderful fall activity to have fun while doing good and helping the Sunrise Therapeutic Riding & Learning Centre in Puslinch, Ontario. This "Mystery Car Rally" has been postponed to Sunday, October 3, 2021 - details to follow.  Email fiona@sunrise-therapeutic.ca or call 519-837-0558 ext 35. 
 
 
May 21, 2021
 
Back by popular demand is our seventh virtual Rotary Paint Night, on Sunday evening, June 6, 2021 from 6pm to 8pm on zoom.  
 
Join Rotarian and artist Ben McCarl as he guides online participants step by step to paint this Summer Sunrise. Rotary’s virtual paint nights are open to everyone, all skill levels are welcome and free to attend. 
 
This month's paint night is in support of Food4Kids Guelph, a charity dedicated to closing the gap for families experiencing food insecurity.  With your help, Food4Kids can continue providing grocery gift cards to families in need. 
 
This is a "pay what you can" event. Participants can register and/or donate by following the link below.  A charitable receipt will be issued to those who donate.
 
 
May 19, 2021
 
The Rotary Club of Guelph welcomes Dave Iacocca as its newest member.
 
Dave says, "Throughout my career, I have had a passion for helping people, organizations and communities understand the benefits of using sustainable and innovative technology solutions. I believe strongly that you can do good and do well. As an experienced business development professional I have worked to deliver products and services to the B2B North American marketplace."
 
Currently, Dave is Director Of Sales, Parcel Services at Metroland Media Group (TorStar).
 
 
 
After consultation with the Chair of the India Rotary COVID Task Force, the most urgent need is for portable Oxygen Concentrators. Rotary is uniquely positioned to help through its strong presence and vast network of Rotary clubs across India.

Rotary Districts and Clubs in Zone 28 and 32 are joining together for an urgent initiative to establish ROTARY OXYGEN BANKS.
 
The Rotary Oxygen Bank would loan an Oxygen Concentrator to a patient in need, with the provision that after the immediate crisis is over, the concerned person would return the concentrator to the Oxygen Bank. Such a bank would be of help to a large number of people over a period of time. These units are portable and will save many lives in the coming weeks and months.
 
Donations are urgently needed by May 24, 2021. Any amount is welcome: Time is of the essence.
 
This is perhaps the worst humanitarian crisis in India in modern times and our fellow Rotarians need our help in action and in spirit.
 
Guelph's famous annual Rotary Duck Race is virtual again in 2021 due to COVID-19, but it's happening!  Tickets are on sale HERE at GotDuck.ca
 
This year's Duck Race is themed around food, with fabulous prizes:
 
  • Three EARLY BIRD DRAWS each offer valuable vouchers to local restaurants.
  • May 18 Draw:  $250 for Artisanale, and $250 for La Cucina
  • June 1 Draw: $250 for Manhattans, and $250 for The Fat Duck Gastro Pub
  • June 15 Draw: $250 for Jesse's on the Green, and $250 for Charcoal Group
  • The GRAND PRIZE DRAW on Canada Day is $500 per month for a year in food from Zehr's!
  • Net proceeds from the Duck Race will support the Rotary-inspired FOOD4KIDS GUELPH charity to help feed local children in severely food-insecure families. 
Watch this SHORT VIDEO about this year's Duck Race and how it will help Food4Kids!
 
The Rotary Club of Guelph-Wellington has organized the Guelph Duck Race since 1988, making it a fixture on the Speed River every Canada Day. Since 2007, it has been supported by Guelph's The Letter M Marketing and Rotary is grateful for their fantastic community support!  
 
Help make this a fabulous fundraiser for a good cause! Get your tickets now.  
 
Watch this SHORT VIDEO about the Rotary Forest at Guelph Lake
 
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the final Rotary Forest Tree-Planting Event is being postponed until spring 2022.
We look forward to planting again with you when it is safe to do so. 
Thank you all for your years of support and dedication to the environment.


Click Here to Donate to the Rotary Forest Project and Help us Plant Trees 
(Under "Fund" Click on arrow and scroll down until you see 2021 Rotary Forest)
 
For 14 years, the Rotary Club of Guelph, in partnership with the GRCA, have been organizing an Earth Day event to plant trees in the Rotary Forest.
Along with hundreds of environmentally conscious volunteers from the Guelph community, we have almost completed planting 60,000 trees in this magnificent 100-acre forest to clean our air and water.
The Rotary Forest now has a trail running through it for all to enjoy.
We can't get together this year to plant, but we have hired contractors to do a non-linear planting of red pine and red oak this year.
Each year we have planted a variety of indigenous species with special groves, lookout points and sitting areas.
Get out and enjoy it.
A walk in nature is not only good for your physical health, but it's excellent for your mental health as well.
We look forward to our final planting and celebration next year in 2022 with all of you!

Photo of the Rotary Forest by Greg Meridith
 
 
April 8, 2021
 
 
Hey #Guelph! Rotary is bringing back an oldie but a goodie from the 70s while supporting our friends from @ICCGuelph and supporting local community groups. #supportlocal
 
Back after a 30-year hiatus is a re-imagined version of Prima Festa May 1, 2021 as it returns to Rotary’s list of special events with COVID-19 style.  Guests are requested to pick up their delicious Italian meals at the Italian Canadian Club in a “take out - eat in” at home mode.  Pickup instructions will be sent to registrants several days prior to the event. Each Prima Festa Dinner ticket is $75 with a tax receipt in the amount of $40. 
 
DRIVE-BY DINNER IN A BAG - MAY 1, 2021
 
 
 

April 17, 2021

Our wonderful Hospice Wellington invites the community to participate in their 17th Annual Hike for Hospice. Although virtual again this year, Hospice Wellington is committed to making this campaign as much fun as possible for family and friends, many of whom join to celebrate a loved one. This year's event will conclude on June 6, 2021.

Our Rotary Club of Guelph president Tracey Curtis is forming a Rotary team to participate. Email Tracey here to join the team.

 
April 17, 2021
 
The Seed is a Do-It-Together Food Movement in Guelph-Wellington, working towards a connected community where everyone has access to healthy food.  The Seed is a proud project of the Guelph Community Health Centre. Read more about the many remarkable programs offered by The Seed here
 

 

With dire Covid-19 warnings and community anxiety running at a high level, the team has urgently scheduled a 10th webinar for next week, Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 7pm.
 
Helen Fishburn Huck and Anne-Marie Zajdlik will be joined by Dr. Nicola Mercer, our district medical officer of public health, to answer your questions about what the third wave of the pandemic means for our communities. As before, the session will be moderated by Marva Wisdom.
 
April 13, 2021
 
Every year on April 22, "Earth Day" brings a special focus to environmental concerns. Many local events usually take place around the time of Earth Day, but this year's Covid-19 lockdown is either postponing or modifying things. Read more details below.
 
  • Rotary Forest Final Planting Day with public help - postponed to April 2022. Read about Guelph's amazing Rotary Forest project here.
  • The City of Guelph's Clean and Green Cleanup is STILL HAPPENING this year, but is modified. Check details here.
  • The Rotary Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup is postponed from April 17-24 to June 2021. Details to come.
April 11, 2021
 
With profound sadness, we learned that Jean Truex passed away on Sunday, April 11, 2021. The entire Rotary family sends its deepest condolences to Paul and the Truex family. A Celebration of Life service will be held on June 17, 2021. 
 
 
July 31, 2020
 
18 remarkable years of the 1*2*3 GO! program
 
Today our club paid warm tribute to Jean Truex, wife of our club member Paul Truex, for her 18 years of dedicated service in creating and running the Rotary-supported pre-school and early literacy program in Guelph called 1*2*3 GO! 
 
Brian Martin, chair of our club's Literacy & Numeracy Committee reported that the 1*2*3 GO! program would not be resuming when schools reopen next September because the program's operating space at the Tytler Public School is no longer available due to renovations. 

THANK YOU, Jean, on behalf of the hundreds of children whose lives you have improved. 
April 12, 2021
 
Calling all Rotarians, Rotaractors, and Interactors from around the District! 
 
On Saturday, May 29th, 2021, the Rotary District 7080 Conference is going virtual. We welcome you to join us for a packed morning of guest speakers, breakout sessions, and fellowship, surrounded by this year’s theme of “Take care of self, each other, and the planet”.
 
Tune in from 9am - 12:30pm for fascinating and inspiring discussions about our theme with:
  • District Governor Dr. Michael Lawrie
  • Guest speakers Valarie Wafer (RI Vice President 2021-2022)
  • Ian Riseley (Rotary International Past President 2017-2018),
  • Entertaining keynote speaker Boris Cherniak  (motivational hypnotist, comedian, speaker, and author)
Registration is now open and will remain open until May 26th. REGISTER HERE.  
 
The Rotary Club of Guelph is delighted to welcome Raechelle Devereaux as its newest member.
 
Raechelle is the CEO of the Guelph Community Health Centre where she has worked for the past 12 years, following several years working in child welfare.
 
The Guelph CHC is an extraordinary asset in our community. It is committed to working with and meeting the needs of people who may find it hard to access health care. 
 
Through Raechelle, we look forward to learning more about community needs and solutions, and how Rotary can help. 
 
Raechelle's Twitter account  @RaechelleDev describes her in a nutshell: Executive Director at the Guelph CHC. Health-barrier-buster. Believer that there is always a better way. Like us, Raechelle believes in the power of the collective, and she looks forward to working more closely with Rotary.
 
Welcome, Raechelle!
April 10, 2021
 
Our friends at KidsAbility invite you to join a fun and interactive three course gourmet cooking class in the comfort of your own home on Wednesday, April 21 from 5pm to 7:30pm.  Any ability can join, no cook is left behind! Registration includes a donation to KidsAbility, plus receiving all the cooking ingredients and online instruction from experts.
 
ONLINE REGISTRATION CLOSES ON MONDAY, APRIL 12 AT 12 NOON! DETAILS BELOW
 
Well-known chefs Jody and Kirstie from The Culinary Studio in Waterloo Create will guide participants to create this delicious meal from scratch.
 
April 8, 2021
 
 
Food4Kids Guelph is excited that Royal City Nursery is offering a generous donation to the charity from the sale of beautiful hanging baskets in time for Mother's Day on May 9, 2021. 
 
What a great way to recognize and thank the Moms in your family, while also helping local children in need, and supporting a precious local business!
 
Quantities are limited so order soon. Orders can be picked up from the Royal City Nursery parking lot on May 6th and 7th, in a safe COVID-19 style with Food4Kids volunteers bringing items right to your car. 
 
On April 6, 2021 at 7pm, join
  • Dr. Anne-Marie Zadjlik, primary care physician and
  • Helen Fishburn, Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington, with
  • special guest Dr. Nicola Mercer, the GWD public health unit's medical officer of health, 
as they talk about finding the physical and mental health balance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds raised support Bracelet of Hope and other local charities.
 
March 26, 2021
 
The Rotary Club of Guelph welcomes Dave Menegotto as its newest club member.
 
Professionally, Dave has worked at Sutherland Insurance for the past 18 years where he is an accounts manager. In the community, Dave is a fan of the Guelph Storm, the Blue Jays, and he is a volunteer with the Stanley Stick Hockey Association in Guelph, an organization for youth that allows everyone to play and encourages a lifelong love for sports.
 
We warmly welcome you and your family to our club, Dave!
 
March 21, 2021
 
Once again, a happy crew of artists followed Ben McCarl's step-by-step instructions for another virtual paint night on Sunday evening on March 21. The subject this time was a sweet giraffe dreaming of spring. And what beautiful creations were produced! Well done, everyone. And thank you, Ben.
 
 
March 19, 2021
 
This hour-long online fundraiser is taking place on Saturday, April 10, 8.00 pm and tickets are $50 per household, including a $25 tax receipt. The funds raised will be used to support local charities and projects in the Guelph Wellington community through the Rotary Club of Guelph Trillium Foundation.
 
You can purchase tickets at https://bit.ly/3vrlNo7
 
March 20, 2021
 
Here's a wonderful spring activity for your Covid "bubble" to have fun while doing good and helping the Sunrise Therapeutic Riding & Learning Centre in Puslinch, Ontario. This "Mystery Car Rally" on Sunday, May 16 is limited to 40 cars, so be quick to register if you'd like to participate!  Email fiona@sunrise-therapeutic.ca or call 519-837-0558 ext 35.
 
 
March 8, 2021 - UPDATE
 
To women everywhere - our thoughts are with you today on International Women's Day, March 8.  IWD is an annual event recognized by the United Nations, for the 110th year in 2021. Here's a good summary to learn more (including an answer to the question - is there an International Men's Day?)
 
Join us at Guelph Wellington's event today honouring four additional Women of Distinction in our community. 
 
February 27, 2021
 

This year's Guelph Y "Women of Distinction" recognition is a scaled back event but going ahead for the 25th year, in a new partnership with Innovation Guelph for a fabulous International Women's Day celebration on March 8, 2021.

We could not be more proud of these Rotarians from our club who will be honoured during the virtual celebration.

  • Cyndy Moffat Forsyth (Member RCOG)
  • Dr. Anne-Marie Zadjlik (Member RCOG)
  • Charlotte A.B. Yates (Hon. Member RCOG)

Get your tickets here  for $29 and receive access to the online marketplace of female entrepreneurs and a fabulous celebration of women in our community!

 

March 5, 2021
 
Join Rotarian Ben McCarl for another virtual paint night on Sunday evening, March 21, 2021 at 6pm.
 
It's open to all, free to attend, and we suggest saying thank you to Paint Night volunteers by donating to the Integrated Youth Services Network (IYSN) to help local youth cope with tough times. Donate any amount through our Rotary Club of Guelph site on Canada Helps and designate "2021 Paint Night". 
 
Participants will supply their own materials (see list below) to paint this charming giraffe which is 'Dreaming Of Spring'. 
 
Space is limited, so register early.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Register at bit.ly/3qmWbF9.
 
March 4, 2021
 
Shelldale's 8th Winter Warm Up Fundraiserthis year will be St. Patrick's Day style! What a great way to support one of our favourite charities.
 
DINNER:  For $30 per person you can enjoy an authentic three course Irish meal with your choice of Shepherd’s Pie or Corned Beef & Cabbage, ready for contactless pick-up at Shelldale Family Gateway.  Order here by March 7th as dinner tickets are limited.  
 
SILENT AUCTION:  It will run online from March 7 to March 17, but you can already preview the items here
 
ENTERTAINMENT:  At 6pm on March 17, you can join the Shelldale Zoom Room to mix and mingle with special guests, and enjoy live music by guitarist and folk singer Bob MacLean.
 
February 26, 2021
 
When our club president Tracey Curtis finally got to meet Sue Wigston, the CEO of GIVESOME, they became 'best buds' within minutes. Very shortly, Tracey was saying, "Sue, you simply have to join Rotary." And here she was, happily being inducted as our newest member.
 
Welcome to our club, Sue! 
 
Before introducing Sue, here's a little reminder that our club encourages donations and the paying of "Happy Bucks" to any of the four projects we have listed on the terrific Givesome app.  Go here
 
 
February 24, 2021 - UPDATE
 
The Rotaract Club of Guelph's 7th Annual Spring Gala is all set for Friday, March 5th at 7pm, and just needing our support! This year, their chosen beneficiary is the Integrated Youth Network Services (IYSN). 
 
February 27, 2021
 
This is amazing news.
 
As Rotary members continue the fight against polio, they’re also responding to the COVID-19 health crisis by addressing the urgent needs of the communities it’s affecting worldwide. And now with the development of COVID-19 vaccines, Rotary is ready to use its expertise in distributing polio vaccine and communicating about vaccine efficacy to assist local health authorities in promoting and delivering COVID-19 vaccinations. 
 
February 23, 2021
 
Rotary International and the Rotary Club of Guelph share a birthday, with different ages. Both were founded on February 23rd.
  • Rotary International in 1905, celebrating 116 years in 2021
  • Rotary Club of Guelph in 1920, celebrating 101 years in 2021
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
 
Take a 5-minute virtual tour of Rotary International Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois.
 
February 23, 2021
 
We're delighted to give a shout-out to our sister club in Centre Wellington for their Spring "PICK ME UP" Bags Fundraiser.
 
For just $25, each bag includes $38 worth of products from local vendors, including handmade soap, handmade scented candle, chocolates and a spring flower. What a treat to give a "pick me up" to someone special, or even yourself! 
 
To order and pre-pay: either e-transfer $25 to cwrotary05@gmail.com with name and email address, or drop off cash or cheque to Wilmot Financial Services (181 St. Andrew St. E., Unit 6 between 9am and 5pm Mon-Fr). Susanne@WilmotFinancial.ca
 
Pick up the gift bags on Saturday, March 13 between 1pm and 4pm at the Fergus Community Centre (550 Belsyde Ave. E. Fergus). 
 
 
February 15, 2021
 
A happy group of around 50 participants joined Ben McCarl at his fourth Paint Night and created individual masterpieces in about an hour a half. The next Paint Night will take place on March 21 - registration details to follow soon.
February 14, 2021
 
Our wonderful Guelph Arboretum is open year-round, from dawn till dusk for walks and exercise ... even during Covid-19 lockdowns.
 
The Arboretum's January 2021 newsletter had this eye-catching photo (by Justine Richardson) of their intriguing "Octopus Tree". It is a hackberry that was split apart by the 2013 ice storm but left in place, and now sprouts branches growing straight up that look like mini-hackberry trees.
 
It is located in The Rotary Grove, a collection of over 130 trees comprising 33 varieties, chosen primarily for aesthetic reasons. This grove was established in 1980 to commemorate Rotary International’s 75th Anniversary and the Rotary Club of Guelph’s 60th Anniversary. The inaugural planting took place May 31, 1980 during a visit from Guelph's sister Rotary Club, Japan's Zushi District 259. Four trees were ceremoniously planted: Canada's national tree, the Sugar Maple and three Japanese Maples.
 
Several years later, in May 1999, the Rotary Club of Guelph dedicated the Rotary Tree Grove to Roy Hammond, a long-time Rotary member and one of The Arboretum’s most dedicated supporters.
 
It used to be an annual event for RCOG club members to visit the grove and provide maintenence by cutting grass, removing weeds and debris. Jim Anderson was the lead and funds were budgeted in the Environment Committee each year. Funds were paid to the University of Guelph for annual maintenance.
 
February 13, 2021
 
A short video about Guelph's Rotary Forest project has been entered in a Rotary International contest. Please watch our video and vote for it!  A cash prize would help us plant more trees, and the seven best videos in the contest (i.e. most votes) will be rewarded with a local zoom conference with Rotary International's president, Holger Knaack.  
 
It's an easy two-step process:
Please share our Guelph pride story and invite others to watch and vote too!
@RotaryGuelph
#Guelph
#IFixThePlanet
#ESRAG
 
Kudos to Carolyn Weatherson (past president, Rotary Club of Guelph, 2019-2020) for cleverly creating this video. 
 
February 12, 2021
 
Our Rotary club member, Domingo Bernal, grew up in Guatemala and a piece of heart will always belong there. Last November, when his birthland experienced devastating damage caused by back-to-back hurricanes Iota and Eta, just two weeks apart, it severely compounded local hardships already made harder by COVID-19. 
 
Now a businessman living in Guelph with his family, Domingo was heartbroken to hear from Guatemala contacts just how bad the situation and suffering was. So he decided to act. He jumped into fundraising mode and then travelled to Guatemala, spending four weeks helping to organize practical relief and connecting with aid agencies. His contribution and self-sacrifice was an exemplary example of Service Above Self. This has also laid the groundwork for future projects to help with the start-up of small enterprises in Guatemala to generate family income and improve quality of life for participants. 
 
Domingo is now chair of our club's World Service sub-committee for Latin America, and he has specific ideas on how Rotary can make a difference, in both Guatemala and Honduras, short term and long term. Domingo is our favourite kind of Rotarian ... a "make it happen" kind of person with vision, passion and huge empathy, so this story is likely to have many follow-up chapters!
 
Meanwhile, Domingo's fundraising for Guatemala continues through an ongoing Bottle Drive collecting beer, wine and liquor bottles: http://www.videsa.org/bottle-drive/  and donations through www.videsa.org/donate. You can contact Domingo (through the Videsa website) to arrange pick up, or you can drop them off at location, or even return your bottles to stores to redeem the deposits and then make a donation to Videsa. 
 

February 15, 2021

Most of us know that the third Monday of February is a public holiday called FAMILY DAY in Ontario and four other provinces. This year, it falls on Monday, February 15. This holiday celebrates the importance of families and family life to people and their communities. Family Day is a public holiday where it is a day off for the general population, with schools and most businesses closed.

But do you know that February 15 is also the NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA DAY? At the stroke of noon on February 15, 1965, Canada’s red and white maple leaf flag was raised for the very first time on Parliament Hill. On the same date in 1996, National Flag of Canada Day was declared. Our national flag is a symbol that unites Canadians and reflects the common values we hold dear — equality, diversity and inclusion. You can read more interesting history about our flag on the government's website here

On February 15, 2021, let’s celebrate the #CanadianFlag!

February 6, 2021
 
Today, some of our club members attended a 30-minute, Saturday morning Rotary meeting to hear Doug Vincent, former District Governor of our club's District 7080 and a Rotary representative at the United Nations, speak about Rotary's involvement with the UN. A fascinating story of how Rotary was a charter member of forming the United Nations, and is still a key player. (Read more herehttps://www.rotary.org/en/history-rotary-and-united-nations)
 
Attending this online meeting also introduced us to a very interesting group - a Rotary e-club that claims to be one of the newest, fastest- growing and most diverse Rotary clubs in the world:  The Rotary Club of All Nations. (https://www.facebook.com/RotaryCAN/)
 
This online club is not bound by the geographic location that usually determines club members, since the e-club members can connect from anywhere in the world, and they do. In fact, they meet on the first and third Saturday morning of each month, for a short, sharp 30 minutes with a guest speaker of note, and they livestream their meetings on Facebook. All are welcome to attend meetings and/or join their e-club.
 
E-clubs are an interesting development as Rotary continues to evolve and find news ways of bringing people together. 
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Links
Speakers
Upcoming Speakers
Tracey Curtis - Outgoing Club President
Jun 25, 2021
2020-2021 Our club's Rotary year in review
Mahmud Hassain - Incoming club president
Jul 02, 2021
2021-2022 Our Rotary year ahead
Past Speakers
Stephen Jackson, CEO Anishnabeg Outreach Center
Jun 18, 2021
Kamloops Discovery and Anishnabeg Outreach Programs