President Marty called on Helmuth Slisaranko, who needed no introduction, to report on our Rotary Local Lager fundraising project.
Good afternoon honourable head table, fellow Rotarians and guests.
(Holding up his strapped wrist for all to see)
I was feeling left out by not being handicapped enough by an injury such as Marty with his broken wing. So I fell on my butt at curling in the Presidents’ Spiel earlier this week and broke my wrist. I’m hopefully getting a cast on it later today. There will be no thumping of my left wrist on the podium to emphasize any points today.
I want to thank the Board for this opportunity to give a beer report today. For those who were at the launch of Rotary Local Lager last August, please bear with me as you’ve heard much of this before.
Our Guelph club’s participation in the project had its conception in September 2016 at a reunion of my Rotary 2006 Curling Tour Team in Peterborough. My Sergeant At Arms, wee Joe McCulloch, served a beer called Roaring Rotarian which piqued my interest. Unfortunately, an 18 year old Glenfiddich clouded my brain and I forgot about it until the Rotary CanAm Curling Bonspiel in Cambridge last January 2017, when the Peterborough Curling team pitched the Roaring Rotarian Fundraising Ale.
I followed up with the contact person, Kevin Duguay. Peterborough Rotary were in the throes of finding a new brew partner as The Publican House, their brewery partner at the time, was dropping their relationship with the project. Being a microbrewery, the volume being sold was beyond their capacity and there were also some issues with Rotary International and the name Roaring Rotarian.
I approached our Board in March 2017, suggesting that we explore becoming a Rotary partner in Peterborough’s beer project. Murray Taylor spoke of our fundraising efforts of late as being a little remiss in what the donors received in return for their coin. Here was a win-win proposition: have a beer and do some good at the same time.
Further discussions with Kevin revealed that they were going to meet with Wellington Breweries about producing a Rotary beer. He invited us to participate.
I brought samples to a board meeting. They supported further exploration of this fundraising idea and with their blessing I recruited the assistance of Past Presidents Randy Seager and Bob Berry. We joined in a meeting at the brewery last May. This resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding between the three parties: the Rotary Clubs of Peterborough and Guelph, and Wellington Brewery.
The critical terms were that 50 cents per can would be donated to Rotary. Of that, 20 cents would go to any Rotary club sponsoring a spot in a Beer Store; 20 cents would be shared by Peterborough and Guelph for all sales, to cover program development costs and raise club funds ; and 10 cents would go to Rotary International to support water filtration projects around the world.
Kevin led the charge with RI in perfecting the name, the logo and Marks of Excellence. Sarah Dawkins and her staff at Wellington Brewery worked on can design and legalities so that we conformed to rules of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. We became the only beer in the world licensed by Rotary International and they approved the name Rotary Local Lager. Once we show a significant history of sales, we expect to be listed and sold in LCBO stores.
We very quickly recruited Richard Broadwith to be on the committee and he has been an incredible addition to the team with his marketing expertise and research. Roger Garriock has agreed to lend his marketing and organizational skills, and when we are ready to go with a social media campaign, your second Vice President, Carolyn Weatherson, will lead the charge.
In November, Gino Tersigni and myself attended a Guelph Rotaract meeting and pitched the beer project to them. Although the University of Guelph is strictly a Labatts account, the Rotaract executive have managed to secure a spot in The Bull Ring and the Grad Lounge for Rotary Local Lager. We agreed to share 20 cents per can with them just to get the exposure.
At the same time, we were looking for some website expertise and have recruited Montana Woolford Browne from the Guelph Rotaract Club and Ryan, a fellow student, to help in the creation of a website for Rotary Local Lager. This is a happy connection as Montana was a very enthusiastic participant in our club’s sponsorship of her Rotary Leadership Camp two years ago. She wanted to give back. It never ceases to amaze me the connections that happen where Rotary is involved. Montana and Ryan will have a sample website for our next Committee meeting on Wednesday, January 10.
There were a few startup expenses that unfortunately I didn’t anticipate such as artwork, legal and publicity. These are now gradually being reimbursed through Peterborough and Guelph’s shared 20 cent per can revenue.
At this point, I want to acknowledge the work of Sarah Dawkins, Gino Tersigni and others at Wellington Brewery who have been awesome partners in the project. They have been an incredible help throughout what is still an early phase of the project. The accounting procedure that Sarah has set up, and the time devoted by her in answering queries from interested Rotary clubs is certainly Service Above Self.
Guelph launched Rotary Local Lager at the Guelph Curling Club on August 30, 2017 with free beer and tours of Wellington Brewery. Our Peterborough partners brought a dozen Rotarians to the event and Kevin Duguay gave us a slide presentation.
Peterborough had their launch of Rotary Local Lager on September 20 at the Canoe Museum with several of your beer committee members in attendance.
Your committee attended three district conferences last fall touting the project and had serious inquiries from approximately 90 clubs. We are gradually following up with those and have signed up clubs in KW and Dunnville who came on stream in early December. More than 16 clubs had carry-over agreements renewed at The Beer Store at no additional cost to them through the persuasive work of Sarah Dawkins at Wellington Brewery.
Before Christmas, we had our first foray into a promotion with gift packages including four Rotary Local Lagers with two Rotary-logoed glasses and four coasters for $20. We didn’t really make huge dollars on this promotion, but the main purpose was to expose Rotary Local Lager to non-Rotarians. Gift packs were given as host and thank you gifts throughout the holiday season. Peterborough sold 100 units and we in Guelph sold 144 units. I want to thank Rosemary Clark and Paul Dredge for helping me assemble and distribute the initial order. One of our Guelph purchasers has asked for 50 more gift packs over the next year to use as a client thank you gift, and a Peterborough client has asked for 75 more gift packs as well.
Perhaps the most exciting upcoming development comes on January 8, when we meet with Ross Amos of Toronto Rotary and the host organizing committee at The Royal York about Rotary Local Lager being the official beer of the international convention this June. They are expecting in excess of 25,000 Rotarians to attend for the week. A barbecue event is planned at the CNE grounds for 10,000 people, again with Rotary Local Lager being the featured beer.
As I have said before, please go out and tell two friends about Rotary Local Lager. If they tell two friends, by the time we get to the 6th degree, we could have 240 people enjoying a Rotary Local Lager and doing good in our community, in Ontario and around the world, a Win, Win, Win Proposition.
Dianne Dance was thanked for being our greeter today. She introduced the following guests:
Margaret Trainor, a former member of our club and now a member of the London North Rotary Club
Cyndy Moffat Forsythe from the Homewood Research Institute and a guest of Paul Truex
Alice Moore, wife of Ab, and always a most welcome guest!
President Marty Fairbairn
President Marty thanked all the volunteers who had supported Sparkles in the Park, and added extra special thanks for the above-and-beyond services of Ray Funnell, Kerry Johnson, Jim Wadleigh, Bob Ireland and Paul Taylor.
Paul Taylor added his personal thanks to all the volunteers, reminding us that it is fundraisers such as this that help raise the money needed for the wonderful Rotary projects our club supports locally, nationally and internationally.
Terrie Jarvis conveyed thanks from the Adopt-A-Family program with the report that 1,171 families had been helped in this holiday season, including 2,577 children and youth who had experienced the gift of hope and joy from the gifts lovingly chosen for them. In the two families adopted by our club, there were a total of eight children between the ages of one and fourteen, and three parents, and Terrie feels sure we gave them a good Christmas!
The 50/50 draw this week was won by Jim Wadleigh
Judith Martin was recognized for her five-year anniversary at our club, noting that she had also been a member of Rotary in Kingston for over five years, for a total of ten years and seven months in Rotary.
Bernie Kiely was recognized for his birthday on January 4th.
The All Male Head Table L-R Roger Garriock, Helmuth Slisarenko, President Marty Fairbairn, PaulDredge, Gino Tersigni, Murray Taylor