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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 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!
 
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. 
February 2, 2021
 
Here in Guelph, we are lucky have quite a number of Rotarians wanting to volunteer their time and service to help others - too many Rotarians for just one club, so the city of Guelph has FOUR Rotary Clubs, each meeting in a different part of the city and at different times. We also have Rotary clubs in nearby Fergus and Elora, as well as a Rotaract club (for younger people) at the University of Guelph. It's very easy for new members to find a local Rotary Club whose weekly meetings can fit into their schedule. http://rotaryofgw.ca
 
The local Rotary clubs are best of friends, stay in close touch and support each others' activities.
 
The Rotary Club of Guelph South has just launched this wonderful fundraiser. Take a look at the great items on their silent auction running from February 1-12, 2021 and know that ALL funds raised will support good causes that help make the world a better place.  
 
ROTARY VALENTINE AUCTION 2021 
 
February 1, 2021
 
This February, the Guelph Black Heritage Society (GBHS) calls on the community to help honour the past, celebrate today, and look toward the future, building goodwill and better friendships.
 
Since 1995, February has been celebrated as Black History Month in Canada. In Guelph, the month of February has mostly highlighted past contributions by Black historical figures. 
 
From 2021, the Guelph Black Heritage Society and its partners (the University of Guelph’s Cultural Diversity Office and the Guelph Black Student’s Association) have decided to do things a little differently, by celebrating Black Heritage Month.
 
“This month will commemorate past and present accomplishments within the Black community and set sights on our bright future ahead,” reads a press release from the GBHS. “While we will continue to acknowledge the resilience and bravery of those who came before us, we must recognize that Black history and experiences are much more than the narrative of slavery.”
 
Several events in February will take place in support of the #ChangeStartsNow education initiative.  
January 29, 2021
 
This week, you might have noticed people on TV and elsewhere wearing a green square. The annual "Green Square Campaign" was launched in 2020 as a reminder against the terrorist attack at a Quebec City mosque on January 29, 2017, when an Islamophobic white supremacist shot dead six Muslim men as they prayed. 
 
The Green Square Campaign now takes place in the week leading up to January 29 each year to remember  the victims and survivors of this attack, and all who were devastated by this hateful act. 
 
The "Green Square" represents a symbol of solidarity and hope towards building goodwill and better friendships.
Our Rotary Paint Nights, led by Ben McCarl, have become so popular that we've offered to run one in conjunction with the Canadian Mental Health Association of Waterloo Wellington, giving more people the chance to have some creative fun.
 
The next Paint Night will be on Monday evening of Family Day, February 15, 2021 starting online at 6pm. It's open to all, free to attend, with donations welcomed by the Integrated Youth Services Network. Participants will paint the pretty winter scene shown below, supplying their own materials (see below).
 
The zoom link will be emailed to registered participants on the morning of February 15th.
 
January 2021
 
In August 2020, our club helped seek art supplies and board games to send to elementary schools in remote Northern Indigenous communities, for ART FOR AID projects. 
 
The project was a huge success! Organized by the Rotary Clubs of Oakville and Oakville-Trafalgar, they received welcome support and donations from Rotary Clubs in Mississauga, Burlington, Kitchener, Milton and Guelph, as well as Art Societies, community individual donors and volunteers. The organizing committee is shown in this photo.
 
When we all work together, amazing things can happen. In October 2020, art supplies were shipped to 19 northern communities across Canada, boxes of wool to Iqaluit, books to Six Nations, paper to the Mississaugas of the New Credit, board games to Nibinamik and novels to Tyendinaga.
 
 Chi miigwetch! 
January 9, 2021
 
Read the fascinating story of how a Rotary Global Grant was awarded for a water project in Ontario.
 
This information is available as a PDF download. Scroll down on Home Page to Download Files (on right hand side) and click on "WATER FIRST Global Grant Project."
A Land or Territorial Acknowledgement is a tradition that has dated back centuries for Indigenous people, but for many non-Indigenous Canadians, officially recognizing the territory or lands we stand on is a fairly new concept. Many Indigenous people say it marks a small but essential step toward reconciliation. 
 
Our Rotary Club often uses the following Land Acknowledgement statement, developed by our Indigenous Awareness Committee, and similar to the one read before Guelph City Council meetings. 
 
As we gather, we are reminded that Guelph is situated on treaty land that is steeped in rich indigenous history and has been home to a variety of peoples over the millennia. Today, this area has become home to many First Nations, Métis and Inuit people. As a community, we have a responsibility for the stewardship of the land on which we live and work. Today, we acknowledge the historic Mississaugas of the Credit, the First Nation people who were the treaty signatories of the territory on which we are meeting.
 
To learn more on this topic, see the background document prepared by our club's Indigenous Awareness Committee. Scroll down on Home Page to Download Files (on right hand side) and click on "Land and Territorial Acknowledgements." 
 
December 20, 2020
 
This year marks the 22nd year of Rotary bringing Sparkles in the Park to the Guelph community, and the first year in association with Downtown Guelph Business Association. Sparkles runs from December 19 to December 31, 2020 each evening at Riverside Park. 
 
When Covid-19 presented challenges about holding this annual event, the Rotary Club of Guelph couldn't bear the thought of disappointing our community, at a time when we all NEED some good cheer! So thinking caps went on, we conferred with our city officials, and a drive-through, socially distanced plan was devised. It needed some compromises. We had to forego fireworks on New Year's eve, and also cancel the free carousel rides for children, but what is left is still glorious ... with a couple of new twists such as Santa waving at passersby from a large bubble.
 
When you visit, remember that it's also a fundraiser for charity. Please donate what you can. This QR code links to our fundraising page for tax receiptable online donations here, but you can also donate with cash at the park, or by card with with tap-and-go near the park entrance.
 
Our MPP Mike Schreiner and his wife Sandy volunteered at the very first shift of Sparkles, and posted these photos.
 
December 11, 2020
 
After volunteering at Rotary's Sparkles in the Park for the past three years by helping take down lights on New Year's Day to earn high school volunteer hours, teenagers Kaylyn and Amber Proudfoot became Friends of Rotary because they were so impressed by the many charitable causes that Rotary supports.
 
Now 19 years old, the girls were diagnosed with autism and anxiety at a very young age. Through ongoing communications with Rotary member Terrie Jarvis, it became evident that the girls are passionate about many different causes, that they are driven by their heartfelt desire to make the world a better place, and that their fundraising abilities are astonishing. In the past 10 years, they've raised and donated some $30,000, with $3,000 of that being within this difficult Covid year.
 
On Friday, December 11, 2020, Mayor Cam Guthrie presented Kaylyn and Amber with a certificate of appreciation from the City of Guelph for their extraordinary community service, coinciding with their latest charitable donation to Rotary of $300.45 which was designated by them for specific programs and accepted on behalf of Rotary by Terrie.
 
Kaylyn and Amber, we are so proud to have you as Friends of Rotary!
 
 
 
December 7, 2020
 
One of our club's former Rotarians, John Valeriote, was highlighted in this wonderful article in Guelph Today. The article is reproduced here in its entirety, with thanks to Guelph Today.
 
Firstly, we join the community in congratulating John on receiving the prestigious Alexander Lincoln Award - richly deserved! Secondly, the article shares fascinating insights about some of the projects that John supported in Guelph during his amazing 45 years as a Rotarian. 
 
GUELPH TODAY ARTICLE - DECEMBER 3, 2020
 
John Valeriote recognized for his years of community service
‘I have been very fortunate,’ says John Valeriote about his community efforts and the people he's worked with
 
Dec 3, 2020 10:00 AM By:  Ariel Deutschmann
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
John Valeriote. Kenneth Armstrong/GuelphToday file photo
 
November 24, 2020
 
Join us for Rotary's Christmas Paint Night with Ben McCarl and create your own acrylic painting of this adorable Santa.
 
This free virtual event will run from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on December 13 on Zoom. All you need is a canvas, paints (red, blue, yellow, black and white), brushes and a festive attitude.
 
Let Ben know if you and your kids would like to join this fun session online. Click here for our registration page.  
 
 
November 20, 2020
 
In this strange COVID year, with so many of Rotary's normal fundraising activities restricted, our intrepid members are being creative in finding new opportunities and adaptations to old ones. For example, our 40th annual Lobsterfest dinner-dance-auction fundraiser in September became a dinner take-out with our silent auction successfully conducted online. While less funds were raised than in a 'normal' year, the committee still surpassed its goal of raising $15,000 for charity. And now those net proceeds are being disbursed to worthy causes.
 
Read on to see how HOPE House and Shelldale are amongst the latest programs receiving special support from our Rotary funding. And a big thank you to all our hard-working Rotary fund raisers!
In the Fall 2020 newsletter of Hospice Wellington, Executive Director Pat Stuart wrote this:
 
"Our 40th anniversary was not about a big celebration but rather a tribute to what we accomplish together. Thanks to people like Judith Tresidder who sat at community tables so long ago, daring to dream of this facility. I also thank Tracey Curtis, President of the Rotary Club of Guelph. This year marks her club’s 100 years of service in Guelph, one of their projects being the deep support of Hospice Wellington. This Rotary Club and all the Rotary Clubs in Guelph and Wellington have been steadfast friends to Hospice Wellington. We are so proud to have your motto of 'Service Above Self' at work here."
 
The photo shows Pat and Tracey outside the building on Scottsdale Drive.
 
November 20, 2020 
 
What started out as a one-time webinar to bring together physical and mental health experts for a community conversation about FINDING THE BALANCE IN COVID-19 has become a well-attended SERIES of talks, clearly demonstrating their value in both information and inspiration. Attendance is free and donations are welcomed by Bracelet of Hope, the charity started by Dr. Anne-Marie Zadjlik and currently chaired by Tracey Curtis. Be sure to tune in for the next webinar on December 14, 2020. Sign up here
 
Here is the recording of the webinar held on Thursday, November 19 with special guest, Dr. Nicola Mercer. It was excellent and attended by over a thousand viewers. Read about it on Guelph Today here. Shown in the screenshot, L to R, are:
 
Our regular awesome panel:
  • Marva Wisdom (Rotary Club of Guelph) - Webinar Moderator
  • Tracey Curtis (Rotary Club of Guelph) - Webinar Host
  • Dr. Anne-Marie Zadjlik (Rotary Club of Guelph) - Family Doctor, Bracelet of Hope Founder, Covid Warrior on Facebook
  • Helen Fishburn - Executive Director, CMHA Waterloo Wellington, Mental Health Expert
Special guest on November 19 was:
SEE DR. MERCER'S LETTER TO THE COMMUNITY, BELOW.
 
November 14, 2020
 
At this time of year, there are many appeals for wonderful events and fundraisers. In good community spirit, here's a shout-out to some of them, with links where you can get more details. Support where you can, but mostly, help by 'spreading the word'. Details are below about:
 
  • Christmas Bags from ourselves, the Rotary Club of Guelph
  • The annual Christmas Joy Home Tour fundraiser for HOPE House.
  • The annual Guelph Toy Drive for kids in need.
  • The annual Cheese Gift Bags from our friends at the Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora.
 
 

Each November, leading up to Remembrance Day on November 11, red poppies are worn in honour of those who have sacrificed so that we can be free, and to raise funds in support of veterans from all wars and defence forces. 

Poppies were highlighted in the famous poem, In Flanders Fields, written on the 3rd of May 1915, by John McCrae, a soldier-poet-physician who came from Guelph. The City of Guelph feels a particular attachment to the poem and to the commemorative red poppies worn each November.  

November 5, 2020
 
We’ve got both SPARKLES and CHRISTMAS IN THE BAG
 
Great news from the Rotary Club of Guelph. The COVID Grinch is NOT stealing our Christmas 2020! 
 
In fact, we are DOUBLING our Christmas celebrations this year to bring enjoyment to the community and support for local charities with both Rotary Sparkles in the Park and Rotary Has Christmas In The Bag.
 
[Read more]
 
UPDATE:  THIS EVENT WAS QUICKLY "SOLD OUT" ON EVENTBRITE BUT A RECORDING IS AVAILABLE HERE ON THE FACEBOOK PAGE ESTABLISHED FOR THIS SERIES
 
November 3, 2020
 
Coping with the ongoing COVID pandemic is proving to be quite a challenge for many of us.
 
To help us find a balance, a monthly series of talks has been scheduled to take place this winter, hosted by Dr. Anne Marie Zajdlik and Helen Fishburn of the Canadian Mental Health Association-Waterloo Wellington, with sessions facilitated by Marva Wisdom. Both Anne Marie and Marva are members of the Rotary Club of Guelph.
 
Each session will have a community leader as guest speaker. The next session on November 9 will feature Dr. Doug Friars, Guelph Family Health Team and Guelph COVID-19 Clinic Lead. 
 
To participate, you need to sign up in advance, here: findingthebalanceduringcovid19.eventbrite.ca
 
Attending is free but donations will be gratefully received and shared with Bracelet of Hope and HOPE House.
 
 
November 2, 2020
 
A grassroots community initiative is well underway, led by the Rotary Club of Guelph, to bring an integrated youth services model to Wellington County and the city of Guelph. Where youth (age 12 – 26) are at the centre of services that are available in our community, and youth have equal access to a continuum of services from employment to mental health and addiction services. 
 
Our vision includes service providers working together to enhance the integration of services and build a system to better meet the needs of youth in our community. 
 
October 23, 2020
 
Carolyn Weatherson, club past president 2019-2020, and Jim MacKenzie, chair of our club's centennial committee, provided the following  update on our club's Centennial Legacy Projects with the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) and the City of Guelph.  
  • The Rotary Forest
  • The new Nature Centre
  • The Observatory and Planetarium
  • The Rotary Forest Trail
  • The Link Trail
 

November is Rotary Foundation Month.

The Rotary International Foundation transforms donations into projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. As the charitable arm of Rotary International, The Rotary Foundation (TRF) taps into a global network of Rotarians who invest their time, money, and expertise into Rotary priorities such as eradicating polio and promoting peace. Foundation grants empower Rotarians to approach challenges such as poverty, illiteracy, and malnutrition with sustainable solutions that leave a lasting impact.

Strong financial oversight, a stellar charity rating, and a unique funding model mean that The Rotary Foundations makes the very most of all contributions. Donations to the End Polio Now campaign are matched 2-for-1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  
 
Give and become a part of Rotary’s life-changing work!
 
October 19, 2020
 
The Rotary Club of Guelph has a long history of supporting children with special needs. In fact, one of the very earliest press clippings we found in our archives, while researching our hundred year history since 1920, was about this very topic. (Also well documented in our club's wonderful centennial book.) 
 
Today, the amazing KidsAbility organization serves thousands of children with special needs at locations in Guelph, Fergus, Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge. Our Rotary Club has been a supporter of KidsAbility for many years.
 
On October 19, 2020 we presented KidsAbility with a cheque for $2,000 as well as a plaque made to commemorate our long shared history in Guelph as part of our club's centennial.  The plaque will be proudly displayed in the Guelph location. 
 
Pictured from left to right are:  
Elspeth Singh - daughter of Betty Raffan who is mentioned in the plaque; 
Tracey Curtis - president of the Rotary Club of Guelph 2019-2020;
Linda Kenny - CEO of KidsAbility;
Lisa Talbot - Executive Director of the KidsAbility Foundation. 
 
 
 
October 16, 2020
 
Our Rotary Club was honoured to host Dr. Sylvia Whitlock as guest speaker, via Zoom from her home in California. What an entertaining and informative story she told about how women members were finally admitted to Rotary only after it actually became a 'civil rights issue' that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987. The court ruled that Rotary did not meet the definition of a 'private club' and therefore could not exclude female members. While Rotary International lost its legal battle to remain a 'men's club' it proved fortuitous, as history shows. That same year, Sylvia became Rotary's first ever female president of a Rotary Club, thus breaking the glass ceiling for hundreds of thousands of women who have served in Rotary ever since. 
 
Sylvia also described how she is still a "Rotary Geek" serving humanitarian causes and encouraging absolutely everyone she meets to become Rotarian - as should we all. 
 
Sylvia's personal and engaging story is on this video (36 minutes) where she is introduced by Jennifer Jones. Jennifer (a Canadian!) will become Rotary International's first ever female president in 2022-2023.
 
Rotary has come a long way since its founding in 1905.  
 
www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HuYE6IbE4g&feature=youtu.be
 
October 17, 2020
 
Rotary's involvement with the End Polio campaign began in 1979 with a multi-year project to immunize 6 million children in the Philippines. Since then, along with our global partners, we have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries. We have helped to reduce polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide and we won't stop until we end the disease for good.
 
In 1985, Rotary launched PolioPlus to bring many added benefits to the polio eradication efforts. The “plus” could be providing a hand-operated tricycle for a polio survivor, or providing access to clean water in a community. It might be additional medical treatment, bed nets, or soap. A 2010 study estimates that vitamin A drops given to children at the same time as the polio vaccine have prevented 1.25 million deaths by decreasing susceptibility to infectious diseases.
 
October 16, 2020
 
Our virtual paint night last August was so much fun, we’re doing it again on Sunday, October 25 from 6-8pm.
 
We hope you'll join us with friends to enjoy two hours of stress-free, creative fun … a relaxing and rewarding break in these COVID-secluded times. And each $20 donation will help support Rotary projects, so you'll be doing good while having fun. Charitable tax receipts will be provided. 
 
 
 
 
 
October 12, 2020
 
Many thanks to everyone who purchased ducks to support this Rotary fundraiser.
 
October 7, 2020
 
Once again this year, the Rotary Club of Guelph will “Adopt-A-Family” for Christmas, and is asking for the usual generosity of club members and friends to become the Secret Santa for families in need.
 
Liz Sandals, the club's campaign coordinator, says, "In 2019, our club supported five families, an increase over previous years (two families in 2017, three in 2018). How many families can we support this year? Let's make it a bumper year, because so many families are in need."
 
Adopt-A-Family is a bit different for 2020, 
because of COVID
September 27, 2020
 
 
With so much attention paid to COVID since March this year, this exciting announcement made on June 25, 2020 has received little recognition, but it's a big deal. Huge, in fact.
 
"The Rotary Foundation Trustees and Rotary International Board of Directors have both unanimously approved adding a new area of focus:  supporting the environment."  
 
Supporting the environment becomes Rotary's seventh area of focus, which are categories of service activities supported by global grants. It joins:
  • Peacebuilding and conflict prevention;
  • Disease prevention and treatment;
  • Water, sanitation, and hygiene;
  • Maternal and child health;
  • Basic education and literacy; and
  • Community economic development.
Global grant applications for projects will be accepted beginning on 1 July 2021. 
 
September 30th is Canada's annual "Orange Shirt Day" in recognition of the harms done by the residential school system. It's a day when all Canadians should tune in and create bridges with each other for reconciliation. It's a day for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter, as well as the many others who suffered effects. It's a day about self-esteem and well being. WEAR ORANGE on September 30 to show your support.
 
The date, September 30, was chosen because that was the time of year the trucks and buses would enter Indigenous communities to “collect” the children and deliver them to their harsh new reality of cultural assimilation, abuse, shame and deprivation.
 
A LEARNING OPPORTUNITY
Many Canadians remain poorly informed about the history of residential schools and the generational after-effects, so here is a great chance to learn by attending a 1.5 hour webinar presented by the Rotary Club of Pickering and the Rotary-inspired HIP organization (Honouring Indigenous People). It's on September 30, 2020  from 4pm to 5.30pm. Details and pre-registration are here
 
ABOUT ORANGE SHIRT DAY...
September 10, 2020
 
For many years, our club has supported Rotary Global Grants in Cameroon, working in close contact with the Rotary Club of Kumbo. We have formed a strong bond with past president Ibrahim Yaouba of RC Kumbo, who oversees our Rotary projects there and who visited us in Guelph about 15 months ago.
 
Ibrahim has updated us regarding the desperate humanitarian tragedy in Cameroon's NorthWest region where our projects are located. Local lives continue to be impacted by the effects of continuous displacement, confrontations between the military and non-state armed groups, as well as the threats posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.
 
Rural hospitals and clinics in Cameroon are bare, dilapidated and totally rundown. Rotary is stepping up to send shipments of medical supplies but help is needed to cover the cost of shipping.
Hectorine Villanovich, wife of our former club member Aldo, passed away on July 22, 2020 after a long illness. Her memory will live on through this couple's tireless Rotarian work in supporting poor communities in Guatemala. In fact, a school will be named after Hectorine.
 
After relocating from Guelph to Burlington, Aldo joined the Rotary Club of Burlington Lakeshore, and that club is spearheading the next improvements to Hectorine's special school in Guatemala.
 
Donations are welcomed. 

September 2, 2020

When Rotary reached its centennial in Guelph this year, the Rotary Club of Guelph-Trillium decided to celebrate 100 years of Guelph Rotary in hundreds of ways. 

RECOGNIZING VOLUNTEERS x 100

The call went out to nominate local non-Rotarian volunteers who make or have made a difference by helping others with their Service Above Self. 100 volunteers will be selected and recognized over the coming weeks, each one is being thanked during a weekly meetings of the Guelph-Trillium club. Each volunteer will also receive a letter of thanks, a certificate and $100 towards their chosen cause. Nominations are still being accepted. Email info@trilliumrotary.org for more information.

EGGS AND CHEESE x 100

A goal was set to collect and donate 100 dozen eggs and 100 blocks of cheese for the Food Pantry at Chalmers Community Services. Since June, over 249 dozen eggs and 102 blocks of cheese have been collected for the Pantry!   

100 cheers for the Rotary Club of Guelph-Trillium. We are so proud of you! 

August 25, 2020
 
The World Health Organization has officially certified the Africa region to be free of wild poliovirus.  

This milestone comes four years after Nigeria — the last polio-endemic country in Africa — recorded its final case of wild polio. It’s a significant step forward in the fight to eradicate polio and protect the world’s children from this paralyzing disease.

Steve Dyck was our guest speaker this week with his Classification Talk which is now known in our club as an Up Close & Personal presentation. Our club loves these opportunities to get to know more about newer members!

Steve joined Rotary in October 2019 with the classification “Solar Energy.”  He is the owner of Guelph Solar, a rapidly growing company headquartered in Guelph.  Steve was the Green Party candidate in the last Federal Election.

Steve's life story is fascinating, especially as he marvels at the changes that have occurred. What hasn't ever changed is his constant love of people, starting with his family, and living up to his lifelong value for decision-making: Will it be beneficial to all?
Watch the video recording here
 
"This is why I come to Rotary," commented one member during this presentation
 
This week's well-advertised meeting was attended by over 70 individuals, including many prominent guests. The very high expectations regarding our speaker were easily exceeded by his authentic presence and compelling story. He told about a little boy called Devon Clunis suddenly transplanted from Jamaica to Winnipeg at age 11, with the cultural shock and difficulties that ensued but overcome with help from special individuals in his life. All of which led him to a life of service helping others, and becoming the first Black Police Chief in Canada.
 
What an uplifting story, and what a message of hope and inspiration about the POWER OF ONE that each of us can be if we just treat others with dignity and simply ask, "HOW CAN I HELP YOU?"
 
Special tribute this week:
Two of our longstanding members had anniversaries of note:  Ron Newton, a Rotarian for 67 years, and Joe Valeriote, a Rotarian for 53 years! Congratulations, and thank you for your lifetime of Service Above Self. 
August 7, 2020
 
When Covid-19 struck in March 2020, and shutdowns suddenly occurred everywhere, even the university closed down, and most students returned home.
 
However, about 60 international students were stranded at the University of Guelph and could not get home for various reasons. Since then, life has been been difficult for these young students, isolated on campus in Guelph with little to do and far from home.
 
So how did a bunch of them end up participating in a Rotary Online Painting Class, led by Ben McCarl from the Rotary Club of Guelph, learning to paint this Night Sky scene?
August 13, 2020
 
 
A Rotary District Matching Grant of US$8,000 is going to help Food4Kids Guelph with the purchase of grocery gift cards being mailed to families needing help during these Covid times.
 
All four Rotary Clubs in Guelph are chipping in $1,000 each that will be matched by a Grant from our Rotary District 7080.
Watch the video recording here.
 
Today, the Rotary Club of Guelph welcomed as our guest speaker The Honourable Bob Rae, Order of Canada, former Premier of Ontario, professor, lawyer, international mediator, author and the newly-appointed Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations.  What a tremendous opportunity to interact with one of Canada’s most outstanding political and intellectual leaders. 
 
Despite his well-earned fame, Bob seemed just like one of us, with warm chit-chat and appreciative humility. He spoke of his great admiration for Rotary, what it stands for, and for Rotarians being action-oriented people that get things done for the greater good. This matched Bob's theme throughout his presentation:  that what we SAY is not enough; it's more important what we DO and HOW we do it. 
 
He went on to address the global challenge of Covid-19, giving us an insight into one his top priorities representing Canada at the UN. As a lifelong activist in Human Rights, we could not have a better Canadian representing all of us in his new role. 
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Our Sponsors
2020
Speakers
Upcoming Speakers
Rotary International Membership Development Team
Feb 25, 2021 4:00 PM
Exploring the Black Experience in Rotary
Marva Wisdom and Guests
Feb 26, 2021 12:15 PM
Panel discusson on Collecting Courage: Joy, Pain, Freedom, Love
Cyndy Forsyth & Paul Dredge
Mar 05, 2021 12:15 PM
The Integrated Youth Services Network - An Update
Beverley McLachlin, P.C. and Panel Discussion
Mar 09, 2021 7:00 PM
The Challenges of Leadership Today
RI President-Elect Shekhar Mehta
Mar 10, 2021 7:00 PM
Director Dialogue: Rotary's Vision of PEACE
Valarie Wafer, RI Director
Mar 18, 2021 7:30 AM
Rotary's Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Past Speakers
Dr. Liliana Chocarro - Rotary Club of Brampton mtg
Feb 22, 2021 12:00 PM
The safety of the vaccines against Covid-19