Today we were privileged to have Charlie Burbank speak to our club. Charlie has had a long career as a pilot and in flight instruction, and the young age of 84 still helps train Air Canada pilots to fly the 737 Max airplane.
For the past 10 years Charlie has volunteered with the Citizens Advisory Committee, or CAC, at Joyceville Institution. This seemingly thankless yet rewarding work has given Charlie an insight into our corrections system and those in it. This work earned Charlie a Paul Harris Award nomination from Bill Gray.
Charlie's presentation and award can be seen on our Youtube channel, at
Today we had the pleasure of hearing from Kristin Cote. Kristin was the driving force behind bringing a family from Afghanistan to Kingston. The mother and four boys left Afghanistan after her husband was killed in a terrorist attack. The family was not safe and spent time in India after leaving their home. Kristin had experience with hosting a nursing student from Afghanistan with her family years, and it was that connection that got her involved in bringing the Zarif family to Canada. Kristin thanked C-K Rotary and many others for their help.
The full presentation can be seen at;
A very interesting presentation last week. Alexandra is a Registered Dental Hygienist, Myofunctional Therapist, & Breathing Optimization Coach.
Alexandra introduced us to the world of Myofunctional Therapy and how it can benefit us all. She also talked about the connection to dentistry, especialy in young patients.
You can see the whole presentation at
For more information about this topic, Alexandra's website is
Today we heard from RYLA participants Riley Switzer-Pask, Shania Snyder, and Lexi Curson. Also at our meeting was Lauren Hartwick from Pathways to Education Kingston. Riley and Shania were RYLA for their first time; Lexi participated last year and returned to help out this year. Lauren was a great help to our club, helping us find great candidates to send this year.
To see the full presentation you can click on the link -
To learn more about RYLA in our District, go to
Left to right; Riley, Greg Mumford, Shania, Lauren and Lexi
At our regular meeting, May 16, 2023, Tina Bailey gave us an update on the impact on people's lives of the service dogs offered by Kingston 4 Paws, with an update on Millie, currently with foster parents in preparation for training.
Today we were privileged to have Linda Cory and Jake Brant from Kagita Mikam Aboriginal Employment Services. Linda has worked with developmentally delayed adults at Prince Edward Heights, and also with the Federal Government with E.I. clients, before landing at Kagita Mikam. Jake, who is from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, ha a 29-year history of working in the field of Aboriginal Employment, including working at the First Nations Technical Institute.
Their full presentation can be accessed at
Bill Gray gave a superb introduction for today's speaker. The Honourable Pat Bovey is one of 6 senators from Manitoba, and she is the first Senator to come from an arts background. Fortunately she was in town for H'Art Studios 25th Anniversary and came to our meeting to talk about her work in the Senate, and the value of the arts to our economy and society in general.
Senator Bovey was thanked by Elizabeth Cohoe. To see Pat's full presentation, go to
Better Homes Kingston: energy retrofits for your home and the globe!

Last year we heard about the commitment of the City of Kingston to supporting climate action, greenhouse gas reductions and more sustainable city-wide initatives.  Better Homes Kingston is an energy audit and retrofit guidance program designed to support homeowners with making changes to save money, reduce energy inefficiency and promote better technology.  Soren Christianson, Program Director joined us to discuss the program and how the last year has gone for this initiative!

Soren's presentation can be seen at



Steve Fine, founder and president of the Melanoma Education Foundation, attended colleges in the Boston area, receiving a doctorate in chemistry from Northeastern University. He then moved to Pennsylvania, completing a year of postdoctoral research at Lehigh University.  After 5 years as Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, he moved back to New England where he served in technical and management positions in high tech chemical companies.  

Shortly after his son, Dan, died of melanoma in 1998 at the age of 26, he founded the non-profit Melanoma Education Foundation and, since 2000, has devoted full time to the Foundation. The primary activity of the Foundation has been educating high school and middle school wellness teachers about melanoma and providing them with free online lessons to educate their students about self-detecting melanoma while it is curable. 

Did you know? - most people only use 25 to 50% of the sunscreen needed to protect themselves?

If you have a 100 SPF sunscreen, and use 25% of what's needed, what is the effective SPF?

If you guessed 25, you would be wrong - it's only SPF 3.1 !!

Steve's full presentation can be seen at

Bill Gray introduced Jamal Saeed, who we first et years ago through our relationship with The Mess. Bill has gotten to know Jamal quite well, and asked him to come and speak about his new book, "My Road from Damascus", which chronicles the journey of Jamal and his family from Syria to Canada.  In addition Jamal spoke about the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
Jamal's story is dramatic and inspiring, and you can see his full presentation at
Michelle introduced today’s speakers to kick off the Rotary Easter Seals Campaign. Linda Clouthier and Kingston Club Champion Todd Colbourne joined us live from Smitty’s Annual Pancake Breakfast. Linda told us the happy news that the Easter Seals Camps will be up and fully running the year! Todd thanked us for our Club’s long-time support of Easter Seals. We were also joined by Eater Seals Mom Laura and her 9-year-old son Beau and heard their story and how Easter Seals has helped them.
To see the whole presentation, click on the link below.
Speaker February 7th - Travis Blackmore - An Update on Lionhearts
John Farrow welcomed today’s speaker, Travis Blackmore of Lionhearts. Travis and his crew of volunteers have been doing amazing work since the start of the pandemic, increasing food security to vulnerable people in Kingston.
Travis talked about his journey from rock and roll drummer to working as the Executive Director of Lionhearts. He also gave us details of the work of Lionhearts, and talked about the coldest night of the year fundraiser. You can participate in the walk by registering at
To see the rest of Travis’ presentation, click the link at
Mark Nardi is a Business Support Analyst with the City of Kingston's Business Support Office. The Business Support Office leverages knowledge of City departments and municipal processes to help local businesses get effective resolutions when working with the City. It was created because many business owners don't know the services available to them, or may not know how to access them.
To see Mark's full presentation, click on the link below;
President Sean welcomed District Governor Michel this morning. Michel Wong Kee Song is an entrepreneur, community volunteer and a family man. Born and raised in Vacoas, Mauritius, he was surrounded by many different cultures and developed a passion for the travel industry. He has owned his travel business for over 40 years and has been giving time to his community for even longer. Growing up in a struggling neighborhood, he quickly learned what was important and wanted to help others in need.
Michel shared his Rotary origin story with us, and also talked about some projects that he was proud the be involved in. Michel has attended 16 International Rotary Conventions!
Michel was thanked by Elizabeth this morning. To see all of Michel's presentation, click the link below.
John Farrow introduced Mike (Aerosnapper) Hill, who documented, in photos and videos, the construction of the Waaban Crossing, The largest infrastructure project in Kingston's history. Mike wanted to make sure that everyone involved in the project, from designers to construction team members, were recognized for their contributions.
The third crossing of the Cataraqui River has been talked about from the 1940's, and was finally built over 3 summers, 2 winters, and a pandemic. But despite challenges the project came in on time and on budget. This bridge will transform the city over the next 100 years of it's estimated life span.
For the whole presentation, go to;
This morning Director Heather Nogrady presented grants totalling $16,871to the following recipients;
A.  The Joe Chithalen Memorial Musical Instrument Lending Library
Project title:  Music in the Schools
$7,910 for a 19-piece Suzuki-Orff Starter set of instruments.
B. The Mess Studio
Project title:  Photography Group
$2,461 for equipment to develop skills in another medium for artistic expression.
C.  Kingston Symphony Association
Project title:  Share the Music
$2,500 to support the attendance of children and their families for a Kingston Symphony concert they could otherwise not afford. 
D.  Kingston 4 Paws Service Dogs
Project title:  Service Puppy In Training
$4,000 for expenses related to the care and training of a service dog in its first year.
The full meeting can seen on our Youtube channel, at this link;
Photos follow of the meeting
Michelle introduced our speaker from Serenah Faux, who has been selected to dance with Team Canada.
Serenah is a full-time student at Regi/Notre Dame. She is a well rounded young woman participating in athletics and several community projects, but this presentation was about her dancing for Canada in Croatia in November. Serenah has won many special awards in different styles of dance but specializes in tap.
Serenah and the team are competing with 90 nations. She noted there are no government grants in her field, unlike Britain, so she is trying to raise $4900 for her trip.
Serenah was pleased to answer several questions from the members.
Michelle suggested that our members donate individually to help Serenah. Details on doing that will be provided to our members.
Leslie Frise thanked our speaker.
To see Serenah's full presentation, click on the link below;
John Farrow introduced today's speaker Jacquie Rushlow, co-owner of the Keep Refillery in Kingston. Jacquie and her husband opened their first store in Creemore in March 2020, then another location in Meaford, and then a location in Kingston December 2021. The concept is using your containers to refill your shampoo, hand soap, dish soap, laundry soap etc. from bulk containers and reducing plastic waste.
Guest Speaker Introduction by Elizabeth Cohoe.
“Several years ago, at a District Assembly, I had the privilege of hearing a presentation about EarlyAct at Vanier Public School in Brockville.  It’s been in the back of my mind ever since, as a worthwhile club for elementary school students. Over the last few years, our Rotary Club has been developing a strong relationship with Loughborough School in Sydenham, most recently through our assistance with their greenhouse and teaching kitchen.  They have representatives here today to hear about the experiences at Vanier School. Needless to say, I’m very excited about hearing from our speakers today.
Marilyn Powers and Michelle Peters are Rotarians at The Rotary Club of Brockville.  Jeanette Gaffney is a grade 3 – 4 teacher at Vanier School.  It was Michelle who was inspired to get EarlyAct started at the school, when she was teaching there.  On her retirement, Jeanette took over the leadership of the program.  Marilyn is the current Rotary Club liaison for EarlyAct at the school.
When I contacted them to see about a presentation at our club, I was inspired by their enthusiasm for EarlyAct and the impact it has had on their school.”
Marilyn, Michelle and Jeanette’s complete presentation and video is available on our website. Alan MacDonald and his class from Loughborough Public School also joined us this morning to hear their presentation. Greg Mumford thanked our guests with the traditional loaf of bread which will be donated to Lunch by George.
To see more about Vanier Public School's Earlyact Club, see
Our guest speaker this morning is a fellow Rotarian.  She has been a member of the RC of Belleville since 2009, was on their board from 2013 to 2017 and has been the chair of their Indigenous Peoples Partnerships Committee, which is the equivalent of our National Committee since 2012.  In 2017 she established the IPP cluster bringing together like-minded Rotary Clubs from Belleville, Trenton, Wellington and Palgrave…and most recently the RC of Cataraqui-Kingston, realizing the importance and the impact of working together to support more indigenous communities.      
She also looks after the KIVA micro loans for the Belleville club.
Aside from Rotary, she has a diploma as a Chemical Laboratory Technician, worked 10 years for Du Pont and became manager of the laboratory for non asbestos products at Akzo Nobel and was the first female in the company with a Forklift Driver License.
For the last ten years her company Wartenberg Business Consulting has been working with different Indigenous communities, providing workshops for start-ups and existing businesses, and helping with business and marketing plans.  
On a personal note, it has been a true pleasure to work with our guest speaker this last year as part of Indigenous Peoples Partnership Cluster…she is a delight. 
Lise Coghlan was introduced by Michelle Chatten-Fiedorec. Lise grew up in Montreal with her younger sister and brother. When she graduated from high school, she commenced work at the head office of Bell Canada, working in the travel department arranging the travel of the senior executives of the company. This was a seminal moment for her.
It was to be the start of a lifelong career and passion related to the travel industry. During her time at Bell Canada, she won a weekend trip provided by CP Air to Banff. It was her first trip and whet her thirst for more travel experiences.
Later, Lise was invited to apply for a position with the travel agency of The Bay. The interviewer liked her handwriting!! Lise commenced work at Bay Travel, starting at $90 per week. During this time, the manager of the department asked Lise if she would like to travel to Asia as a learning experience. The trip included visits to Tokyo, Hong Kong, Taipei and other locations. Lise made a new friend on this adventure which resulted in the formation of a new travel agency.
Her first assignment was being located in San Diego for a year arranging travel for military personnel all over the world. But, alas, she missed Canada and our four seasons and relocated back to her roots in Canada. This time, to Toronto with Bay Travel. The agency was later acquired by American Express.Two years later, she was offered the position of Area Manager. She declined this opportunity and thirty years ago, relocated to Kingston which in many respects reminded her of her home in Montreal.
During her time working at the Cataraqui Centre in a travel agency, she was asked to arrange a tour for some of the clients of CKWS on very short notice. It was during this time that Lise met Ana Sutherland. Working at the Cataraqui Centre, gave Lise the opportunity to form many relationships with clients in the Kingston area. Her particular interest was to create self-travel adventures/experiences for her clients. She continued in this area of travel adventure with her clients until the recent game changing time of COVID-19. With all of the resulting restrictions of the pandemic, Lise was laid off.
But this only created a new area of opportunity for Lise. She decided to continue with these types of travel experiences for her clients, but as a sole proprietor/entrepreneur.
Nearing the age of retirement did not result in retirement for Lise. She took encouragement and inspiration from influencers - Hazel McCallion, in Mississauga who at 101 continues as a Canadian business woman as the current chancellor of Sheridan College and Coonel. Saunders who started his KFC restaurant chain in his mid-60’s.
The result for Lise was the creation of her own travel agency continuing to create travel adventures for her clientele. She is continuing to do what she loves to do and sees herself being involved in travel for many more years writing her own agenda.
Her hobbies include enjoying nature, walking the many trails in our area, learning to knit and doodle art. Working with the Humane Society on Sundays is a special time for her.
Lise is married and her husband is very interested in sports. Lise’s daughter, who is 36 lives in Ottawa working for the federal government in Foreign Affairs preparing background information for Cabinet Ministers.  
Lise enjoys her membership and involvement with Rotarians, meeting so many special people and the many projects of Rotary locally and worldwide.
Lise closed by sharing a special story about a medal that her father received from the Governor General of Canada celebrating his work as a medical officer in the Canadian Army, as a family doctor and later completing his career working in Indian Affairs. Her father did much good and did it quietly. She  is trying to live by his values.
Joyce thanked Lise for her very interesting presentation.
Michelle introduced our speaker, Kimberly Sutherland Mills, Director, Service Design and Delivery at Kingston Frontenac Public Library.  Kim came today to speak at new happenings at our local libraries.
Kimberly spoke about the history and resources of the library. There are 16 branches with a 30% increase in digital checkouts. New for 2022 are 9,000 eBooks in French, and more intercultural events.The Kanopy service allows streaming for critically acclaimed movies. The library offers 16,000 courses in 7 languages for business, creative and technology skills. They also have unique programs and services to meet identified community needs. They are removing overdue fines to remove barriers to access. The library is involved in a 20 year master plan. Kimberly discussed the characteristics of a modern library that they are aiming for.
Bill Egnatoff asked about the connection to storytelling. Kimberly expanded on their indigenous programming expansion.
Joyce Yee asked about reaching out to immigrants. Kimberly has been working with KEYS with tours and workshops. An example is typing classes being offered to entrepreneurs wanting to build a website for a new business.
John Farrow thanked Kimberly who received our loaf of bread. John fondly recalled his daughter working as a library Page.
To get the full story on all the programs our local libraries provide, go to
Heather Nogrady introduced today's speaker.
Joyce is a co-founder of Little Forests Kingston, a member of the 1000 Islands Master Gardeners, and is an Adjunct Professor at Queen’s University in the Master of Earth and Energy Resources Leadership program.  Recently, NATURE CANADA recognized Little Forests Kingston with its Conservation Partner Award.
Aside from Little Forests Kingston – and when not giving talks - Joyce enjoys writing short essays in which she includes photographs of the plants and wildlife she encounters during her walks on local trails and conservation lands in Kingston.  She also advocates for people in Ontario who are fighting unconstitutional bylaw citations for naturalizing their residential property AND working with communities to create bylaws favouring biodiversity.
Little Forests Kingston is embarking on an ambitious program to increase the forest canopy in our city, thereby making a significant contribution to increasing climate resilience.
Her plan to create a City in a Forest is well timed as it converges with the City of Kingston’s recent declaration of a Climate Crisis and its adoption of the Kingston Climate Leadership Plan.  It also fits with the recent addition - by Rotary International - of “Protecting the Environment” as a new Area of Focus.  Rotary is committed to supporting projects and activities that strengthen the conservation and protection of natural resources, advance ecological sustainability, and foster harmony between communities and the environment.
As Rotarians in Kingston, we see a perfect opportunity to be of service to our community by becoming involved and sharing in the delivery of this project to help transform Kingston into a City in a Forest.  It is Joyce’s dream that in the future, every child will be able to see 3 trees from their window, live in a neighborhood with a minimum of 30% quality canopy cover, and live within 300 meters of a quality green space. 
Joyce talked about our biodiversity crisis, and pointed out that we have much to learn from our First Nations in moving from an egotistic world view to one that is ecotistic.  We need to think of ourselves as “good ancestors”.  Each little forest will provide an island of coherence, and the goal is to make Kingston a city in a forest.
Here are some selected slides from Joyce's presentation;
This week we heard updates from two more of our Fall Grant recipients - Napanee Rotarian Mandy Stapeley from Autism Network Lennox and Addington County, and Tara Bauer from Turtles Kingston.
Mandy spoke about the mission of ANLAC - to support individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and provide education to the community. One in 59 Canadians is affected by ASD, which covers a wide range of conditions (hence 'spectrum'). Autism Network LAC won the 2021 Social Impact Award from the Napanee District Chamber of Commerce for it's work. They received a grant to provide 14 sensory support kits for kids in schools. These kits include tactile items (shown below). The items can be comforting, allow self regulation, help reduce stress, and avoid meltdowns or shutdowns for kids with ASD.
In cooperation with the Limestone District School Board, kits were distributed to kids needing them the most. The LDSB has 4 special Autism support classes and a further 10 referral/support school sites. The kits help foster learning and inclusion, benefiting all kids. With each kit distributed, Autism Canada sned out a package to help families and teachers make best use of the kit.
Other work by ANLAC includes; providing kits to first responders to help kids in stressful emergency situations (which they were very pleased to receive); providing communication tablets to schools; and spreading awareness, especially for World Autism Day (April 2nd) and Autism Awareness Month in Canada (September).
Our other speaker was Tara Bauer, new Director at Turtles Kingston. Tara is an Environmental Scientist with a B.Sc. and M.Sc., and a background in Hydrogeology. Turtles Kingston is dedicated to protecting and educating the public about turtles in the Kingston area. Kingston is home to five of eight turtle species in Ontario, all of which are at risk. Only 1 % of turtle eggs ever reach reproductive adulthood. They are considered a 'keystone' species - their loss indicates severe breakdown in the ecosystem. Turtles help clean the ecosystem and are a conduit between land and water. They help keep fish populations healthy as well.
Our grant provides materials for nest protection boxes. Nest predation is one of three big dangers to turtles (traffic and habitat destruction are the others). The boxes are simple constructions anchored with spikes that help protect turtle nests and allow every egg to hatch. Part of the grant also went to instruction cards and turtle crossing signs.
Boxes are currently being constructed, and an army of volunteers are ready to install them for the nesting season in May. In response to questions, Tara told us they are attempting to expand the science side of their operation, trying to do turtle counts, especially in the inner harbour. They are also working with the city to install more turtle protection fencing like is being done now along Collins Creek. Tara noted that turtle fencing helps others species as well.
Both of our wonderful speakers were thanked by Joyce Yee.  Thanks to the Service Projects Committee for selecting such amazing recipients, including Interval House and The Mess, who spoke two weeks ago.

Police Chief Antje McNeely was introduced by John Farrow. John and President Ana mentioned how pleased they are to have Chief McNeely speaking at this time of International Woman’s Day with this year's theme being “Break the Bias”. 


Antje McNeely was appointed Chief of our Police Force in late 2018. Her appointment as the 17th chief and the first female police chief of the 181 year old force continued her groundbreaking career within our police force. She has led in the first of many firsts within the police force.


Chief McNeely joined the police force in 1985 following completion of a Bachelor of Science degree. In 1961, the first woman was hired by the police force,staying for 3 years. In 1966 Linda Paul was an early hire. She emphasised to Chief McNeely “Do not change who you are”. 


During her career, Antje McNeely established many firsts within the police force. In 1989, she was the first officer to go on maternity leave. With a young family, she faced many challenges with evening/weekend shifts. In 1992, Antje McNeely was promoted to Sergeant in charge of the sexual assault unit for 10 years. During this time she developed protocols for the working relationship between the  police force and community providers. 

Rick Fiedorec introduced our speakers. Nikki Beaulieu from Kingston Interval House, and Sandi Dodds from The Mess.
Nikki spoke about the grant she received from our club. KIH is full while following Covid Guidelines. With their grant they purchased 5 new sturdy metal beds that they can sanitize easier, creating a safe and comfortable environment. They are hoping to replace all their wooden beds. Nicole answered a couple of questions. They are still waiting for mattresses, and Nicole expanded on how they operated with Covid rules.
Sandi updated us on what’s happening with The Mess. Covid impacted them but the stayed in contact with the artists, and of course they followed all Covid guidelines. They are an essential community resource, and Sandi explained how Covid can impact individuals that use The Mess, especially the effect of isolation. Sandra told us about the washroom renovations – the facilities haven’t been touched in 30 years. Sandra answered questions, in particular about fundraising. They did do an auction last fall. The Show and Sale and Golf Tourney have not happened for two years. They are looking forward to their annual show in November.
Heather Nogrady thanked our speakers.

Dave Hallett was a member of our club until the Waterfront Club was chartered in April 2015.  Dave was very involved in our club, and was President at one time.  While a member of our club, Dave became very involved with Shelter Box.  He has maintained his involvement to this day.
Shelter Box has been very involved recently in the Philippines, offering aid to about 155,000 people.  It is just now switching gears in the direction of Ukraine.   There is currently a team of four in Poland, there to assess what might be required. 
Dave described the various forms of aid that Shelter Box can provide.  There are tents that vary according to need and location, tool kits, and household supports such as solar lights and water filters.  These can be seen in detail at
The team in Poland will be investigating how they can work with the UN to organize around people at the border, and they are gearing up to get aid into the area.  There are two logistics experts and four operations coordinators, and media relations persons.
Today or speakers were David Short from the Rotary Club of Kingston, Linda Clouthier from Easter Seals, and Rachel Hornbeck with her daughter Harlee. Rachel and Harlee have been recipients of the generosity of Easter Seals. They were all here to help launch this year's campaign to our club.
Leslie was introduced by Elizabeth Cohoe. Elizabeth reported how Leslie had joined our Rotary Club during the pandemic. This did not slow her down, as Leslie played an important role in the development of the Clothing Closet at the new Kingston Secondary School. As well, Leslie was actively involved in obtaining donations for our Club’s most recent Auction.
Spirited as Leslie is, she announced that there would be skill testing questions at the end of her presentation!!
Leslie introduced herself by sharing details regarding her family roots, her work history, and her plans for her retirement.
Detailed questions were then presented to the club. Heather Nogrady was the attentive listener and answered Leslie’s questions with ease!!
President Ana reflected on the time years ago when she met Leslie at the Curling Club. Ana reflected on the fun they have enjoyed together, especially chatting at the curling club when perhaps they should have been more attentive to the game in progress! Ana admires Leslie’s goal driven methods and attention to detail.
Leslie related that she has enjoyed the enthusiasm of our club and how infectious this is. Knowing that we are in positions of privilege, the thought of helping others in need is the motivating force that keeps her going.
Bill Egnatoff thanked Leslie for her commitment to her family, community and the enthusiasm, insights, wisdom and practicality that Leslie brings as great gifts to our club.

Robert Reid introduced today’s speaker, Alana Hirtle from the Truro Nova Scotia Rotary Club. After hearing the Club’s story on the news, Alana was asked to speak to the National Committee, then to the whole club. She was here to tell us about the Portapique Buildup Project. This project is to revitalize the Riverside Community Hall, in response to the shooting tragedy that occurred in Portapique almost two years ago.

Speakers – February 8, 2022

Rotarians Bill Gray and Bill Egnatoff
International Service Projects: 
CKRotary at Home Around the World
Jim Rymerson introduced our speaker Bill Gray who became a Rotarian in 1994, is a Past President of the club, a Past District Governor, and Past District Officer.  Bill’s extensive travels have had a great impact on our international projects.  Bill Egnatoff is well known to all, as an active participant in club activities and service. 
This morning we welcomed these two Rotarians who gave us an update on International Service using an interview format.  With the presentation in interview style, Bill Egnatoff drew out the facts with some thoughtful questions.  It was an engaging and interesting update.  Together, the two Bills talked about the process involved in an international project, one specific project, and the relationships that led to it. 

My parents immigrated to Canada in 1953, and I was born in Toronto 6 months later. Hard work and saving every penny made them successful with a restaurant. Even if business was slow sometimes, they could at least feed the family. We moved to Kingston when I was a year old. I still remember the signs we had in the restaurant window. Fish & chips 85 cents, hamburgers were 25 cents.


I attended KCVI and LCVI, I was not academic, I found I was more creative/artistic. I graduated Sheridan College in fashion design, pattern drafting, couture sewing.


In the late 70's, I moved to Edmonton. Knowing it would take time to find work in my field, I immediately found work as a cocktail waitress in a Disco and Cowboy Cabaret bar. Everything was booming in Alberta, so four months later became Head of Wardrobe of the Alberta Ballet Company. That was a huge learning experience. I went on to costuming for the Citadel theater, Banff school of fine arts and numerous costuming and touring contracts for years. Even, unexpectedly, I held musical theater in prison, in Lethbridge Alberta and one in the Yellowknife prison. My parents were aging and getting ill, so I moved back to Ontario in 1989. Unfortunately there was not a lot of work in my field during the Conservative government.


Tom Zsolnay, a Rotarian since 2004, a member of our club for a year, and President and CEO of University Hospitals of Kingston Foundation, offered an overview of The Rotary Foundation. In his talk you will find answers to these questions:

  • What is The Rotary Foundation (TRF)?
  • What is the purpose of each of its major components--Polio Plus, the World Fund, and the Endowment Fund?
  • What happens to contributions to each of those funds? What work do the support in the Seven Areas of Focus?
  • Why does TRF have such a high rating as a charitable organization?
  • How can individual Rotarians and clubs contribute to TRF?
  • What is the Every Rotarian Every Year campaign working? How is our club doing in its contributions to TRF?
  • How are contributions multiplied by matching funds?
  • What is Paul Harris Fellow recognition? Who can be recognized in this way and for what?
John Farrow introduced today's speaker, John Price. This is not the first time we have had a speaker from The Memory Project. The goal of this ongoing project is a Historica Canada initiative to shares the stories of members of our armed forces at schools and community groups. They have reached over 3 million Canadians since 2001.
Major John Price (ret'd) is with us today. He was a public affairs officer and served in Afghanistan, Haiti, Sri Lanka, and with the Navy in the Gulf of Oman.
John began with a story of how when starting out at RMC he was told by a senior cadet that Kingston is beautiful but "you don't get to go there". He wishes he could be in the room with us, but alas can not.
An Introduction to Constantin Muenga
Constantin was invited to join our Rotary Club by Heather Kembel. Heather introduced Constantin today.
Good morning everyone.
I'm so happy that I was able to join and I'm so grateful that Heather reached out to me and introduced me to the Rotary.  I'm so grateful of everything we do and I'm more happy to be part of it. I was born in Rwanda, in Africa, near to Uganda and Tanzania. I moved to India, to study for my Bachelors in applied psychology and in public health.
I have held different jobs positions in the retail industry, immigration, employment services, and administration in nonprofit organizations, in Africa, in India and in Canada.
I am a founder of the Justice Against Racism and Discrimination Facebook page, and I am a founder member of SPEAKingston. I do more volunteering in the community; Board of Directors member with Family and Children's Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington ; United Way Grant Committee member, City of Kingston-EmergencyTeam member and manage different community social media accounts.
So what do I do in this community?  I am currently Regional Program Administrator at Kingston Community Health Center. 
I also own Imperial Cleaning, and Imperial Painting KFLA. 
Our speakers for today were introduced by Michelle Chatten-Fiedorec.  Joanne Castles is the store manager of Northern Helm Cannabis, Kingston, and David Côté, is the founder of Northern Helm and COO of J. Supply Holdings.
Joanna and David attended by Zoom, to talk about their experiences managing Northern Helm, a local cannabis retailer.  Their main points follow:
- October 17, 2018 was the first day of legalization, and they saw customers ranging from age 19 to 91 on the day they opened.
- There have been a lot of changes over the last four years, mainly because they started with so many unknowns.  In the beginning, they thought they would be able to define the average cannabis consumer but that isn’t possible, as there is no such profile, and consumer tastes have been shifting.
- E-commerce started out as a sideline of their business, but the pandemic changed that.
- Ontario and Alberta are soon going to be over saturated with stores, so some will inevitably close, but that is a feature of a mature market.
Greg Mumford introduced Jim Rymerson, who is a neighbor.
Michelle invited all zoom members to wear tiaras. Michelle introduced a Fireside Chat, our new way of getting to know members. Jim noted that he was born in Lakefield Ontario. He went to Queens, then worked at Kingston General Hospital and then Queens as a programmer. Jim discussed his first computer. He wrote code to have pc's access the mainframe and Queens gave it away as freeware. This software program took over his time. Jim started Jolly Giant Software which he worked on his own time, developing the software and customizing it for others. He worked on and sold it on nights and weekends. Jim then left Queens to work on Jolly Giant full time. In 2013 he sold the company, and retired in 2014. Michelle asked about computing. Jim first started out working with Fortran, which he got hooked on, in University. He designed an inventory program for KGH. Michelle asked about work life balance. Jim discussed leaving a stable job to go out on his own. It was a home-based business for 5 years. He then opened an office in the St. Lawrence Business Park, allowing a better division between work and home life. Michelle asked about the future of computing. Jim discussed his first PC was $4500. Everything now is smaller and more powerful. A smart phone now has more power than a Mainframe from years ago. Jim spoke about being a programmer, opining that you either have the gift or you don’t. Programming is very logical, you have to have a logical mind. It can be very tedious. But it's also like an art in some ways. And, enhancements to a program can break something else.
In his spare time, Jim loves gardening and golf, with woodworking in the winter. Jim spoke about his family.
John asked about how he picked the name of his company. His wife picked it.
Robert asked it the company still exists. It does but is not a Canadian Corporation anymore.
Heather asked iPhone or Android. Jim uses Android.
Heather Nogrady thanked Jim for his presentation. With a real loaf of bread.
Editor's note - I promise in the future to get a better picture of Jim!
Bill Egnatoff introduced our three guests who are all part of the post graduate Biology program at Queen’s University, and are part of Queen’s Outdoor Field Experience Initiative.
Emily, Hana and Kristen explained the program, that is meant to increase accessibility to participation in fieldwork experiences.  Many of the students experience financial barriers to participation.  They have a lending library that has received many donations.  They are providing outdoor skill building workshops and seminars, and a website where resources are published.  This may be found at  The website also outlines ways to become involved.  Their contact location is  There are many ways that we can be involved with this valuable program.  Financial donations may be made through the main Queen’s University website.  We can also email them about any outdoor events that their students could be involved in.  There is a current need for sleeping bags and hiking boots.
Jim Rymerson thanked our presenters with a virtual loaf of bread.

John introduced our guest speaker Joyce Hostyn to speak about Little Forests Kingston. Joyce presented a very informative graphic presentation.

Joyce wants to restore relationships with the land. There is a biodiversity crisis.

Joyce plans to build as many little forests around Kingston as possible.

Only 25% of forests remain around Kingston, and Queens is starting a project about measuring climate resilience.  We have lost 2.9 billion birds since 1970. 900 saplings have been planted on Highway 15 as part of the program. This program also ultimately helps with climate change.

This is worldwide, there are over 100 little forests planted in the Netherlands. Each one is adopted by a school.

The Little Forest movement is not just about planting trees; it is about planting forest ecosystems. A little forest can be planted in the area of 6 parking spaces.

Joyce has started a Go Fund Me page for donations.

Martin mentioned an interesting book called The Hidden Life of Trees that he recommends.

Heather thanked Joyce and wished we would all be part of this. Joyce mentioned they have a newsletter you can sign up for.

John introduced today's speaker, David Carey, Leadership Trainer at his company CareyFoward.David Carey is a certified life coach who believes in the transformative power of thinking outside box and embracing change. With over 30 years of experience in the social service sector, a master's degree in leadership, certification in emotional intelligence, and ACC designation with ICF - David is more than qualified to inspire inner change. David was here to talk to us about emotional intelligence.  Dave is a Rotarian who belongs to the Passport Club.
Bill Egnatoff introduced our speaker Katie Kyte this morning by turning the usual introduction on its ear. Bill asked Katie to talk about how she arrived in her role with the Canadian Kidney Foundation. Katie has been with the Kidney Foundation for two years. What led her to work with the kidney foundation is a lifelong desire to give and give back.
Although she has no personal connection to kidney disease, the last two years have resulted in Katie being very familiar with the disease and its effect on Canadians. Katie has been a teacher and a tour guide in the past, so her ability to connect with people has really been an asset in her present job.
Katie came to the Kingston chapter of the kidney foundation as it needed new life pumped into the organization - they needed a Kingstonian to revitalize and recruit new volunteers. Just as she got going COVID hit, and everything changed.
The Rotary theme this year is “Serve to Change Lives” and the multicoloured symbol represents diversity.
We currently have 32 members and 6 Friends of Rotary.  Ana’s goal is that we grow to 40 and 8, but retention is very important. 
Ana is confident of the support by our Board of Directors and members, and the club has some amazing leaders.
This year we will be actively working the Strategic Plan, incorporating the Four Way Test and good communications.
Members should feel that they are able to pitch in within their own expertise and ability.
We all need to be involved in the auction as it is important to the work of the club.
Something new is that we are going to campaign through Canada Helps to support community causes.
We are going to work toward holding safe hybrid meetings.
We are going to continue our mini presentations or getting-to-know-you talks by long time members, and it is hoped that we will be able to have more social events going forward.
Ana had all the members recite the Four Way Test, as we remind ourselves that this is how we should conduct our lives.
Ana looks forward to working with the new board and the various committee chairs.
Greta Du bois introduced today's speaker, Mabyn Armstrong. Greta just happened to be watching a program on turtles in Ontario, and was impressed with Mabyn's knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject. Greta got in touch and so Mabyn was here to speak to us. Mabyn moved to Kingston in 2014, and driving through the Westbrook wetlands she witnessed the deaths of turtles because of cars. She dedicated herself to helping stop this slaughter and re-launched Turtles Kingston in 2018 with a new Facebook page -
Greg Mumford introduced this morning's speakers. This morning we heard from Pareza and Jolee, two wonderful young students who participated in this year's RYLA (Rotary Youth Leaderships Awards). Once again RYLA was held virtually. Pareza is finishing grade 11, and Jolee is finishing grade 12 and is off to Waterloo University in the Fall. Jolee started by telling us that RYLA has taught her to dream big, to help create a more inclusive society. She was inspired by her peers and the instructors, and her favourite part was the project forum, where ideas were discussed about addressing issues. RYLA created a safe space where dreams could be discussed openly. Pareza is headed to Concurrent Education, and enjoyed the open discussing of ideas and the workshops that helped to build her leadership skills. Youth have ideas for change, but need the skills and advice on starting something to make change happen. RYLA helped provide this. There were also public speaking workshops to build confidence, and speakers who inspired the students to pursue their dreams.

By way of introducing Jo-Anne today, President John spoke about the genesis of the FAR program at Pathways, and how it seeks to continue the good work of Pathways, how it brought together many partners, and how it has been so successful, despite Covid. John talked about the next step - our project is time limited, so there is a need to ensure long term funding. That's what Jo-Anne was here to speak about today. Jo-Anne is a co-chair of the fundraising committee at Pathways Kingston.
Elizabeth introduced Rebecca Rolfe to the club this morning. Rebecca describes herself as a settler woman who became involved with Focus Forward For Indigenous Youth (FFFIY) soon after it was founded in 2017, starting as a volunteer then transitioning to one of the first two paid staff members. Rebecca holds a B.A. and M.A. from Queen’s
Ana introduced our speaker Brenda Moore, who is the Chair of the Food Sharing Project and also a recent recipient of a Paul Harris Fellow award.
After expressing her appreciation for the support of Rotary both financially and in person, Brenda spoke about a new project in town called The Food Hub. 
This morning our Auction Chairs, Greg, John, and John introduced this year's auction to our club members. This is our biggest fundraiser, and requires everyone to take on a role, even a small one. The Chais stressed that the process is a long one, ending in November, so it's best to be ready to start early.
Heather was introduced this morning by Michelle Chatten Fiedorec. Michelle prefaced her introduction of Heather with a history of Rotary Fireside Chats/Classification talks. This “Getting to know You” event was conducted by Michelle and Heather in an interview format.
John Farrow introduced our speaker, Pat Armstrong, who has been a Rotarian for 15 years.  She is also a member of the Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group.  (ESRAG). Pat works as an educator for sustainability. She has a BSci (Hons.), DipEd. and is currently completing a doctorate on adolescent leadership for sustainability at RMIT University. Pat has worked in a number of roles (mostly in the areas of waste and resource recovery, climate change and biodiversity), including management, strategic planning, grant writing, training, evaluation and publication.
John also briefly covered what a RAG, or Rotary Action Group, is. According to the RI website;
"Rotary Action Groups are independent, Rotary-affiliated groups made up of people from around the world who are experts in a particular field, such as economic development, peace, addiction prevention, the environment, or water. Action groups offer their technical expertise and support to help clubs plan and implement projects to increase our impact, one of Rotary's strategic priorities. This support includes helping clubs find partners, funding, and other resources."
This morning we had a joint meeting between our club and the Morningside Rotary Club of Johannesburg, South Africa.
We have a long and fruitful association with Morningside.
This morning the South Africans reported on two of their projects, and C-K Rotary reported on one of our projects.
Greta reminded us that the relationship of between Morningside and Cataraqui-Kingston goes back at least 10 years.  At one of her yearly visits to Cataraqui she pitched a project out that her club in South Africa was undertaking.  During the last year we have participated with Morningside in two other projects.  Morningside also hosted the Canadians during the friendship exchange, and we had a wonderful visit here with the South Africans.
John Farrow introduced Michelle this morning.  She has lived all across Canada, worked in hospitals and with the RCMP, now runs her own business “Ace Nutrition”.
  • Michelle has a connection to Loving Spoonful – gives 3% of her daily revenue to them
  • Her goal is to help prevent health issues and getting Kingston Healthy
  • Michelle's website is
March is Nutrition Month – the slogan is,“What you eat - unique, like you.”
We all have our own food preference and unique eating habits
Canada is a diverse country with the passing on of food habits from generation to generation
Sutherland introduced our speaker Mara Shaw, who is the Executive Director of the National Farmers Union of Canada.  Before her presentation Mara gave us an update on her daughter Karena whom we all know.  She is attending Carleton University now, and is Co-President of their Rotaract Club.
Speaker Points:
  • The National Farmers Union is not really a union as we know it, but a common voice for policy development. For example, it was this group that influenced the decision to keep bovine growth hormone out of Canadian milk.
  • Our food system is fragile, and during Covid 19, farmers have been adapting. Consumers are preferring local sources and farmers’ markets are important for this.At this time, may have turned to online sales.
  • The NFU is concerned about the issue of migrant workers.
  • The NFU is committed to combat racism, they have called for universal child care and pharmacare, they have stood with farmers in India, and are working on climate solutions.
  • Their website is
Speaker thanks was provided by John Farrow.
John Richards welcomed our two guests, Roger Romero and Jon Oosterman from Pathways for Education Kingston. Roger moved to Kingston with his family from El Salvador in the early 1980's (he has spoken about his experiences as a new Canadian to our club - Ed.). Roger is Program Coordinator for Pathways and is a Friend of Rotary with our club. A graduate of Brock University in Psychology, Roger oversees the after school programs and partnerships for Pathways Kingston. Jon Oosterman is a graduate of St. Lawrence College in Psychology and has worked at Pathways for over 5 years. Jon is the new Facilitator of Alumni Relations (FAR) - where the program name comes from.
What is Pathways? An national organization started in Regent Park in Toronto in a Community Health Centre, dedicated to helping students in disadvantaged neighbourhoods succeed in high school. It was an organization dedicated to being proactive, not reactive in helping kids. Pathways Kingston follows this structure of being associated with a Community Health Centre (KCHC), working to help with the social causes of poor health.
Robert Reid introduced Melissa Larkin, Co-founder and Director of Darkspark, this morning. Melissa is a vocalist and songwriter with an impressive resume. Darkspark received  assistance from our National Committee for two projects in 2017 and 2019. Melissa was here this morning to tell us about that project and what's coming up for Darkspark.
Melissa began with a thank-you for our donation, which came at a critical point in time and has helped launch them on to new heights. She also gave us some background on Darkspark. They started in 2013 and ran on and off until 2016 when they were incorporated. Melissa and her partner D'ari Lisle, a music producer, were asked to teach a history unit at the Quinte Mohawk School - a cross cultural look at colonialism which challenged grade 7 and 8 students to express themselves through song and digital story telling. The program caught the attention of the Federal Government and they received funding to travel to 16 locations across Canada to replicate the program in 2017 and 2018, and the program became Four Directions. The instruction was intergenerational, with an elder always present. The 5 day program challenged students to create 11 short documentaries and 48 songs which were shared millions of times on social media. Our National Committee contributed to the Tyendinaga stop on the tour.
Why song and digital storytelling? Melissa that kids are addicted to pop culture, so why not harness that and turn it toward social change.  The students talked about many issues and turned them into songs - a natural fit.
John Farrow introduced Shawn Seargeant, Director of Operations for Lionhearts, an organization that has been on front lines and front pages for feeding people during COVID-19, including recently established warming hub at Stages, now operating 7 days a week.
Sean began with a thank you. Truly the entire City has made it possible for them to do what they’ve been doing. To keep the ball rolling, Lionhearts has recently received some additional grants. The four Rotary clubs in Kingston stepped up to provide some funding when it was most needed. Sean also offered congratulations on 100 years of Rotary.
Lionhearts is fairly new in Kingston. Seven years ago, a group of friends met concerning food security. They met with various organizations such as St. Vincent de Paul and Martha’s Table who were doing emergency food programs. The problem then: little fresh produce was available to these organizations. It was overwhelming for any one organization to pick up large surplus food donations from places like Costco (who once donated 800 lbs of strawberries). Lionhearts became able to pick up very large donations and distribute it in manageable quantities to various agencies. They picked up $474,000 worth of products picked up in their first year of operations. Last year, the value was $3.2 million of fresh produce, bread, meat, and dairy. Today, three trucks are on the road almost every day, and 32 agencies rely on their deliveries. Lionhearts helps organizations to be bigger, better versions of themselves, just as Rotary does.
John Farrow introduced our speaker Sean Goodall who gave his classification talk . . .
(henceforth to be known as the "Get to Know Me" talk).  Sean has come from Windsor recently where he has taken over the management of the Robert J. Reid Funeral Home. John also encouraged new members to pay close attention so when it's their turn they can have something to refer to.Sean gave a wonderful humour-filled rundown of his life up to his move to Kingston with his family.  Sean was born in Scarborough and grew up in Pickering.  He married his wife Sarah in 1996. They lived in Stouffville for a year and a half before relocating to Windsor.  Shortly after that their first child child Kassandra was born, followed by three more children.  Kassandra graduated recently from the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  She is married and works for Ottawa Public Health inspecting long term care facilities with regard to the pandemic.  Their son Kaleb has graduated from the St. Lawrence College Fire Service Programme.  Being unable to find employment with a fire service, he has begun an electrical apprenticeship. Kendra is attending Houghton College in New York State, working remotely at this time on a double major in education and psychology.  She may be looking at a third major in social studies.  His youngest daughter Kelsey is in grade 11 at LaSalle High School and has a part time job at Tim Horton’s on the base.  Even their new grand puppy has a K name.  She was born in the home of bakery owners in Kemptville, so is called Kaiser.  Since their move to Kingston, Sarah has become employed as a unit clerk at Kingston General Hospital.  For fun, Sean and Sarah enjoy camping.  Sean is a certified referee for both hockey and soccer.  Mostly, he referees youth games but on occasion, adult games. 

Rick Fiedorec introduced our speaker Gabriela (Gaby) Calizaya who needed little introduction because we all had such a great chat prior to the bell. For those who are newer to the club and don't know Gaby, she was our inbound Rotary Exchange Student in 2011-2012, almost 10 years ago!

Gaby spoke about her life since her Rotary Youth Exchange experience with our club, which took place during 2011 – 2012.  Returning to Peru when that ended, she applied to University in August.  As students usually begin university in March, they asked her why she had waited.  When she explained that she had been taking part in the Rotary Youth Exchange, they were very interested in that, and saw it as an asset.  She was speaking English very well due to her experience here.  In 2015, she had an opportunity to do a university exchange and went to attend school in Spain, in Ávila, about an hour from Madrid.  It is a very small town with an ancient city wall, with the new city beyond it.  While there, she took the opportunity to see a lot of other places.  During March there was a two-week break, and she visited places like Rome and Santiago Compostela, walking part of the Camino de Santiago.  They started in Ávila, and walked 15 to 20 km. every day for five days.  Spain has a lot of holidays, and with Ávila being such a small place, she took the opportunity to visit many other places.  She visited Salamanca, and Valencia which is close to Barcelona.  She also enjoyed the seaside.  Other interesting trips were to Marrakech, Morocco, and Madrid and the small towns near there.  When she finished her time at university in Ávila, she still had six months on her visa, so she traveled around Europe.  She visited many places, including a second trip to Madrid and Rome, and then Napoli, the Isle of Capri, and Florence in Italy, and Santorini and Athens in Greece.  She ventured as far as Prague, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Paris.  Returning home, she still had two more years of university.  In Peru, before you can receive a degree, you must complete an internship, and she did that at an oil and gas company in Lima, working in their finance department for a year.  After that she wrote her thesis, a marketing plan, and completed more classes before her final degree.

Ana Sutherland introduced today’s speaker, Chris Cochrane. He’s past President of The Passport Club and serves currently as Chair of Public Image for his club and for our District. He’s been given the moniker “ Mr. Zoom“  for his extensive use and teachings on the platform and he was in the very first group of Rotarians to adopt the Zoom platform for club use back in 2015. In 2012,  he helped to start and grow the eClub of SouthWest USA based in Arizona. In 2015, he was one of the founders of the eClub of Silicon Valley based in California. Today these clubs are recognized by Rotary International as standards for eClubs. Hopefully today he'll give us some ways we can leverage being online to make our club better. 
Chris began by thanking our club for the invitation, remarking he loves the way we do things in our club.  Chris tries to follow the “5 Way Test” – the fifth question is, “is it fun”.
Chris loves to talk about the idea of Zoom and hybrid meetings, because they have so many advantages. They will become the new norm for Clubs that want to have increased impact.
Some of the advantages are;
  • absent members are kept engaged because they can attend from anywhere;
  • make-ups are easy;
  • you have a recorded reference copy of you meetings if you choose;
  • members are retained because conflicts are overcome (that why e-clubs like the Passport Club were started);
  • Clubs can attract younger member, because in general young people hate traditional meetings, but 95% will attend an on-line meeting;
  • Board meeting are easier, because board members can be anywhere;
  • Speakers can be from anywhere in the world.
Introduction for RI President Holger Knaack by Past District Governor Bill Gray
Welcome Holger.  You are the first (sitting) President of Rotary International to attend the weekly meeting of Rotary Club of Cataraqui-Kingston in our thirty-six-year history.  So welcome.  We are honoured to have you with us.  Your theme Rotary Opens Opportunities reflects my experience in Rotary – and I am quite certain for many of us in this Zoom meeting today. Rotary Opens Opportunities for Youth. You have said that after Polio, Rotary is best known for its Youth Programmes.  You did not expect to be President of Rotary International. Rotary opened an opportunity for you to serve in that way. You said yes when you received a phone call in May 2019, serving the shortest President Nominee period ever, just one month.  At the International Assembly in January 2019, you said “Crisis becomes an opportunity.”  No one knew then the crisis the world would be facing in just one year’s time.  We are in good hands.  Fellow Rotarians, please welcome President Holger Knaack.
Highlights of Holger’s presentation:
Rotary opens opportunities for others as well as for ourselves.  This happens through the many service projects that we undertake.  It also provides an opportunity for personal growth.  Members can become better leaders, and better speakers.  It can broaden one’s perspective, and it can raise our level of tolerance for others.  Holger and his wife, Susanne, had no children of their own, but they hosted many different Youth Exchange students over the years. 
No one expected the Covid 19 pandemic, or the changes it would create.  We need to keep all of the things we are learning from it.  For example, Zoom meetings allow us to have interesting speakers from anywhere in the world.  We shouldn’t always be doing the same things, and the pandemic has made us more flexible.  Many people are saving money because they cannot travel, but at the same time we can’t wait to be able to shake hands and hug each other.
Holger believes that each club should have a strategic meeting once a year, to look at where they would like to be in five years.  He is concerned about the increasing average age of Rotarians.  In his club it is 64.  In the whole of the UK it is 75!  This is a good reason to focus on youth as potential members.  Rotary is a place where lifelong friendships can form. 
This is a good time for the theme, “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion”.  The Black Lives Matter movement in the USA has brought this to the forefront, but diversity looks different in every country.  Discrimination is everywhere, and as Rotarians we need to stand up to it and fight it.  Discrimination can appear in the smallest of ways.  Rotary International has now formed a task force to address this.
Questions and Answers:
Q:  You have been involved in the Rotary Youth Exchange.  What can we do to better integrate these kids?  How can we encourage people to be host families?
A:  Look for non-Rotarian hosts.  A great source can be the parents whose kids participated in the programme.  We need to stay in touch with our Youth Exchange participants.  It’s all about engagement.
Q:  How is the Rotary Foundation doing?
A:  In the past few years, contributions have not dropped very much, but the Annual Fund has because applications have doubled. 
Q:  Does RI think of assisting with distributing the Covid 19 vaccines?
A:  Definitely yes because we are organized for this already through polio vaccinations.  The structure is already there and it would be perfect for Africa, Asia, and India.  The companies making the vaccines can only bring them to airports.  Rotary should have a public image campaign in conjunction with this.
Q:  What is RI doing to get youthful members?
A:  RI can only encourage Rotary Clubs in this direction.  Currently Rotary’s membership image is that of a revolving door.  We need to work at keeping our members.
Q:  What is RI doing about dues for Rotaract members?
A:  In 2022 this will be very small…something like $5 to $8.  Rotary Clubs could help them.  At this time there is no cost.  Find ways to get them to join your club.  One district in India has 25,000 Rotaract members.
Q:  Strategic meetings are important, and thanks to Covid we have been given opportunities to meet by Zoom.
A:  Rotary is a grass roots organization, and that’s where strategic planning must take place. 
Q:  What approach should clubs take to balance support of RI initiatives versus the needs of local communities?
A:  Needs vary from one community to another, resulting in a balance that may be different from one community to another.
Q:  How do you (Holger) deal with Zoom fatigue?
A:  Normally a RI President travels a lot.  Because of the pandemic, there is no travel, but I am loving the ability to meet on screen with people, and it has provided an opportunity to reach out to so many.  I see many opportunities in Zoom.
John Gale thanked Holger with a virtual loaf of bread after explaining what we would normally do in an in-person meeting.
Holger’s last remark was, “Don’t forget to have fun!”
Sean Goodall introduced Haresh. November is Rotary Foundation month. Sean reached out to a former director of Rotary Foundation who recommended Haresh Ramchandani.
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we live.”
Haresh was born in India and moved to Kingston, Jamaica. HE has two children and is a real estate developer by profession. Life member of Rotary and PDG of 7020 Caribbean Islands. He currently chairs Rotary International Past District Governors committee. He has many hobbies and loves sports.
Talk Summary (see video for full details)
Marvel has recently introduced a female lead and embraced diversity in its Higher, Further, Faster theme. Rotary has been focusing on that in recent times. What was causing this massive excitement in the Marvel superhero world? An ideal of self-empowerment. We don’t need to wait on anyone. Higher, Further, Faster, More, a message to girls and to the whole world. We are the ones we have been waiting for.
Ramesh walked us through what our Rotary Foundation does, drawing on his love of comic superheroes.
Service Projects Director Bill Egnatoff introduced today's meeting.  This is one of the Club Members' favourite meetings - when we award deserving community groups grant funding.  This time around each group awarded has a Rotarian to act as liaison to help enhance our relationships.
Heather Nogrady is liaison to Lunch by George (LBG) and remarked that it is a pleasure to introduce an organization that not only addresses a great need, but fits in with the values of our club and Rotary as a whole.  Heather introduced Aveleigh Kyle.
Aveleigh is Co-chair of Lunch by George, and Outreach by George.  She told us that since the Covid crisis began they have seen their number of people serviced double. The usual method of delivery had to be abandoned in favour of take out only.  Aveleigh also worries about what will happen when the cold weather comes and there is no warm place to share a meal.  LBG also incurred increased costs of delivery - most of their volunteers are older folks who are vulnerable to Covid, so two staff had to be hired to get the work done.  Of course PPE has had to be purchased to make things safe for everyone. In addition to serving more people, Aveleigh told us the number of young people being served has increased.  As well as distributing food, sleeping bags, warm clothing and tarps are being distributed to people who are sleeping outside for a variety of reasons. Aveleigh played a short video (in verse no less) that was used as a contest entry - this video showed what LBG does every day.
Elizabeth Cohoe is liaison for Kingston 4 Paws Service dogs (K4P).   Our relationship began in 2016, when they received their first grant. This grant today is their third grant of $4,000 which goes toward training and raising a puppy, part of the $20,000 that is needed to fully train a service dog.  K4P has also helped us by being present at many of our events, like the Nut Drive. Being there also helps the puppies' training. They have also helped promote the auction on CKWS TV.
K4P's mission is to train and provide service dogs for people with PTSD and other mental health issues, or Autism.  To find out more, go to
Elizabeth welcomed Sue Markos and Dinah. Sue and her husband relocated to Kingston about 3 years ago.  She and her husband have fostered 3 dogs, included Dinah, the dog we are sponsoring.
Sue thanked the club for our support.  Dinah is 9 weeks old.  Funds assist with Dinah's feeding, vet care, and training for 18 to 20 months. At about 16 months of age K4P will decide what the dog will do and who she will go to. K4P also provides seizure response dogs, but that training is longer because of the nature of the work. Because of Covid, their fundraising has been affected, plus the usual classroom training is not possible, so they've had to find new ways to train because the crowded public spaces that the dog is exposed to are simply not there.  K4P also provides support to dogs and owners for the complete cycle of placement.  They have 63 dogs in the program now (Dinah is #64).  Trainers reach out on a regular basis to see if training needs to be refreshed.
Hopefully we can meet Sue and Dinah in person at a meeting in the future.
Greta DuBois is liaison for Kingston Interval House (KIH). Greta was struck by the simplicity of their request but also the scope of their actions.  KIH requested funds for an industrial washer and dryer to sanitize clothing donations that they receive for clients and their children. KIH's work falls right in line with Rotary's values, but what they do most is empower people. There is no greater gift to a person than empowerment - it pays dividends throughout their lives. Leigh Martens has been working for KIH for 15 years, starting as a frontline crisis counsellor.  Leigh is passionate about what she does, and is always looking for ways to improve KIH.
KIH has been around since 1975, providing services that have changed a lot over the years.  They provide emergency shelter at their facility, outreach programs to help their clients receive counselling, their second stage facility which provides geared to income housing for a year, and much more.  Because of Covid, education has gone on line, and their recently re-launched volunteer program had to adapt. Volunteers sort donations in a safe facility, but clothing donations need to be sanitized.  Our funds will make it possible to make it easy and safe for clients to get clothes without having to go out.  Another benefit is that a laundry pair will be re-purposed to the second stage facility so that there will be laundry on each floor, making it safer for the residents because they will not have to be in close contact with as many people.
KIH supports hundreds of women, and this has not stopped because of Covid - the staff took about a minute to digest the changes required, then got right back to work.  Our donation will make that work just a little bit easier.
Elizabeth - Sue, what's it like having to give up your fostered dog?
Sue - I've fostered two dogs, Walter and Humphrey for 8 or 9 weeks until about 18 months. It's difficult raising a puppy then having them leave you, but it's so rewarding seeing  the difference these dogs make in people's live - they literally open up the recipients lives.  It's like sending a child to university - the pride and joy of seeming them succeed is my greatest reward.
Bill - let's not forget that some of these funds come from our work at Bingo.  It's an important source of funds.
John Gale - Leigh, how has Covid impacted your service needs at KIH?
Leigh - it was eerily quiet at first, something that even Kingston Police took notice of.  The thought was that women were just hunkering down and going into survival mode with abusive partners - that's a scary thought. Request have started to rise and the ways to support the women and their children have had to adapt. Shelter numbers had to be adjusted for social distancing, but many women were choosing the lesser of two evils and staying with their partners.  Groups are now being done with children via Zoom.
Sue - in our case, group fundraising was curtailed, as were events where people came out to meet the dogs.  But demand has gone up a lot because of increased mental health issues. AND, breeders weren't breeding dogs.
Greta - can I foster a dog?
Sue - Absolutely, dog training experience is not required.  Trainers work with the dogs, and fosters learn with the dogs.  This is the only 24/7 volunteer experience out there!  It's fun but demanding.
Bill - in closing, thanks to all for the great work you do.  I leave today thinking this is why I joined Rotary.  Our new initiative mini-grants are closing November 23rd, we have 1 application so far.
Speaker Introduction:  Jim Rymerson, who coordinates our club’s Easter Seals drive, introduced Becky Pero, who is the Development Officer for Easter Seals of Eastern Ontario.
Becky has been working for Easter Seals here in Kingston since January, but was also employed by them from 2008 – 2010 before she returned to school.  She attended Queen’s and obtained a M.A and a PhD there, moving on to work for two years in the Department of Medicine at Queens before coming to Easter Seals.
Everyone should take note of their current fundraiser called Battle of the Wines.  It is basically a raffle for wine, and the winning team of six will receive 168 bottles of wine.  (Ana will be circulating the detailed information about how to sign up and how the game works.)  Deadline to enter is November 27th and the winners will be announced on December 3rd.
Easter Seals will be 100 years old in 2022.  It is a Canadian, USA, and Australian organization.  Ontario has its own chapter, and all money raised here stays here.  Easter Seals assists children and youth who have physical disabilities.  There are two camps, and the one we are most familiar with is Camp Merrywood.  There is another camp in the London area.  These camps employ about 150 staff seasonally.  In order to qualify for Easter Seals support, a child must be under the age of 19, and a resident of Ontario and have a permanent disability that requires a mobility device.  Easter Seals also provides some post secondary educational scholarships.
What used to be the Timmy and Tammy programs is now the Ambassador Program.  Easter Seals also provides resources for parents, and they manage two government funded programs.
They provide equipment funding, offering up to $3,000 per child.  This specialized equipment is very costly and most families would have difficulty affording these things without assistance.  In 2019, 755 requests were funded.  In 2020 there may be as many as 950 requests for things like van ramps, lifts, computers and walkers.  As children grow, they outgrow things and equipment  must be replaced.
At the summer camps, kids feel normal and free because they are among others like themselves.  The same activities that are provided in other camps are provided for the children at the Easter Seals camps…although there was no possibility of camp this summer because of the pandemic.  Attending costs $2,500 and in 2019 there were 744 campers.
Easter Seals is struggling with fundraising this year because most of their traditional events cannot be held.  Still, there are going to be five virtual events this year.
Becky showed us an interesting video which illustrated the kinds of equipment that kids need, and the costs for each.  This may be viewed on You Tube at
There were some questions that Becky answered.  First, there will be 100-year celebrations and a provincial planning committee will be working to create them.  The families own the equipment that Easter Seals helps to fund.  Parents apply for a grant with a quote for what they need.  There is a network through the Child Development Centre at Hotel Dieu Hospital where equipment that children have outgrown may go to another child who needs it. 
Becky also explained where the name Easter Seals came from.  It started as a fundraiser, and supporters received stamp like seals to add to their mail.  It was always a campaign that took place in the spring.  In the beginning the organization was called The Ontario Society for Crippled Children.
Ana reminded us that the Odd Fellows (our usual meeting hosts) provide recovering and refurbishing equipment for various organizations as one of their service projects.
Robert Reid thanked Becky, and her small daughter Isabel who made a few appearances, with our traditional loaf of bread.
Heather Nogrady introduced Garret Cole,  Rotaract chair of Rotary in Kingston and one of the youngest Rotarians (RC Kingston) in Kingston, and a member of Toastmasters. He drives an Audi and loves dogs.
For the past 2 years Garrett has been co-chair for Rotaract, Interact, and Earlyact and the liaison between the Rotary Club of Kingston and the Queen’s Rotaract Club. He spoke about Rotaract in Kingston and beyond.
He began with two examples of recent Rotaract service activity:
Pi(e) Day - selling delicious, well, sometimes delicious, mostly passable and never poisonous pies. Last time they were actually rather good; a volunteer from the Boys and Girls club whose facilities they were using headed up the baking.
Rotaract - Purple Pinky Day. The good news is that the dye isn’t carcinogenic anymore!
Our speaker introduction today was by Ana Sutherland:
Hadi Mortada, our District Governor.
Hadi was born and raised in Beirut Lebanon, and received early education at St Joseph school. Hadi completed a diploma in Electronics Technology at the Beirut Technical College. In 1985 he moved to the United States where he completed English studies and pre-engineering at the University of Georgia. In 1986 Hadi moved to Colorado where he completed Electronics Engineering Technology at the University of Southern Colorado. Hadi is also a Microsoft Certified Professional MCP (1998).  In late 1989 Hadi moved to Canada and completed Sales & Marketing Certificates at Algonquin College. At the same time, he was part of a team that started a daily news paper in Ottawa, "The Ottawa Sun" where he worked with the company for 27 years.
Hadi's Rotary involvement
  • Member of the Rotary Club of West Ottawa since 2003
  • Club President 2013-14
  • Years as AG 2014-2019, 5 years
  • District Legislative Committee
  • Completed all levels of Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI)
  • Paul Harris X 2
  • Bequest Society
  • Lloyd Loynes Volunteer award recipient (Rotary Club of West Ottawa)
District Conference committee 14-15, 15-16, 16-17 PR & Sponsorship
Hadi's roles in his club include - Public Relations committee chair, Calendar Committee, Mums Committee, Membership committee, Club President, Music for Humanity committee, Club Co-Treasurer, Chair Social & Recreational Committee. Hadi also played an instrumental role in developing the club's website. He is Social Media liaison for West Ottawa and the Ottawa area clubs.
Conventions Attended Montreal, Lisbon, Atlanta, Toronto, Hamburg, and many District Conferences
Hadi is a landlord of rental properties, and a renovator, builder, and gardener. His hobbies are travel, cycling, rowing with Dragon Boat Team, classic cars enthusiast and restoration.
Hadi has always been impressed by our club, and what we accomplish both locally and internationally.  He told us about how he became involved in Rotary.  Back in 2002, a friend and client invited him to have lunch at a Rotary meeting, and he eventually joined the club in 2003 while he was still working.  In 2007, he became ill with Crohn’s disease, and had to take time off.  In January 2008, he was hospitalized for three months.  He and his wife had no family here in Canada, and it was his friends in Rotary that responded and supported him.  This is when he came to realize that there is a Rotary family that everyone has.  Rotarians care about each other as well as doing service work together.  People seem to join for one reason and stay for another…this often being the friendships that develop. 
Rotary offers everyone a lot of opportunities.  During this time of Covid 19, we needed to adapt and have often turned a negative thing into different positives.  Rotary is a team.  We were able to use Covid 19 as an opportunity.  It is important that we set goals as they give us direction, whether or not we actually achieve them all.  They can change, but they are important in providing a road map.  We achieve more when we have set goals.  It’s important for Rotary to maintain visibility in our community.
Hadi worked on membership in his club, and has realized that it’s easier to get members than it is to keep them.  Rotary needs to be accessible and affordable.  Maybe we should consider gathering differently and break away from “the way we have always done it”. 
We should look to other organizations for new possible ways to do things.  Invite other service organizations to join us on a project.  We can achieve more that way.
We should be aware of the new Area of Focus on the environment that was introduced by Rotary International.  We should promote District activities among our members.  The first ever virtual District Conference is about to happen, and it’s going to be great. 
In answer to a question, Hadi let us know that we can register for the District Conference up to Friday at noon.  There are going to be some great presenters, and great break out sessions.  Also, there is going to be a drum circle.
John Gale thanked Hadi with our now traditional virtual loaf of bread.
Doug Hicks introduced Sarah Champagne, a journalist from Montreal who was a Rotary Peace Fellow taking her Master's at the University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism.  We've learned recently how rigorous the application is.  Sarah has worked in print, multimedia, and radio.  She has worked for Le Devoir in Quebec, and reported as a freelancer for publications in 15 countries over four continents. Teaming with photographers, she has worked on a large project on human migration. She has been awarded the James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship, a major Canadian journalism award, and has been identified as an emerging talent by two Quebec journalism federations, and she speaks four languages.
Sarah thanked us for sharing peace stories today.  She is now in Austin, Texas, and started with thanks for her Rotary Peace Scholar experience.
(This portion of Sarah's talk was obtained from her Power Point presentation as my connection failed)
Rotary operates the Peace Scholar program from six different countries - England, USA (North Carolina), Sweden, Uganda, Australia, Japan and Thailand.  Sarah participated in the two-year Master's program, and there is also an intensive Professional Development Certificate Program lasting a few weeks (former member Francine Allard was a participant). More tan 1300 alumni work on peace and development in 115 countries.  Over half work with NGO's or government agencies. 6% work for UN agencies.
(Connection restored)
Sarah showed us her class (class 16 and 17), highlighting a couple of students who made a special impact on her. Linh Vo from Vietnam raised herself because her parents were so poor - her father was a bomb sawyer after the Vietnam War, selling metal from dismantled bombs. Vo now works in Vietnam in the area of ethical investment.
Emilya Huseynova is from Azerbaijan.  She is an epidemiologist, working in the US on the Covid response. Emilya was raising three children while studying as a Peace Scholar.  She felt that as a woman from a former Soviet country that her role as a Peace Scholar is very important.
Yared Lemma is from Ethiopia. Yared found his niche through the Peace Scholar program, working in the area of migration and applying data science to peace building.
But what about Sarah? She has travelled to Cameroon, Guatemala, Mexico, Nepal after an earthquake, Benin, and many other places.  Why did she want to return to school? In 2015/2016, she was preparing for a project on remittances - small amounts of money sent home by immigrants for basic needs.  Together these remittances account for three times the world's formal development assistance. People take their fates into their own hands to climb the social ladder - this is what attracted Sarah's attention.  If those immigrants' remittances were a country, the GDP would rank 25th in the world.
Sarah went to meet the families benefiting from these remittances.  She traveled to Haiti, Mexico, and then Turkey to meet Syrian refugees.  There she met Sarah, a young woman the same age, who was waiting for a sponsor, as Turkey was only a temporary home.  Sarah returned to Montreal to write a story for Le Devoir, thinking that if people could meet people life Syrian Sarah, it would influence opinions to welcome other refugees. The same day her article was to be published, she also wrote a piece on Donald Trump's Muslim ban, and the shooting that occurred at the Quebec Mosque.  This pushed Sarah to apply for the Peace Fellowship.  She decided to try to promote dialogue through her stories, and the Fellowship would help her do just that. That principle - dialogue through stories - would influence all her work. She is trying to merge her values with Rotary's Four Way Test and what she has learned as a Peace Fellow.
She researched peace journalism, focusing on stories of transformation - how can someone involved in war be an agent of peace. For her Filed Applied Experience between the two years of the Fellowship, Sarah traveled to Columbia. Columbia signed a peace treaty in 2016 that was supposed to end 50 years of conflict, although the reality is more complicated. Sarah was very interested in the Peace Commission, which collects stories around the country to help write an official history.  Following their work and attending their meetings, and met a man who was forced to be a child soldier when he was 13. After demobilization through a government program 4 years later, he became a cameraman for one of the largest TV stations in Columbia. He became a model of the idea that it doesn't matter who you are, or what you've done, it's who you can become.  He represents for Sarah the whole history of Columbia.
Sarah also told us that she was working for the Texas Tribune based in Austin, although she was working remotely. She pitched a project to Le Devoir in the vein of how do people reconcile divisions?  She new that there would be many articles in the US talking about division leading up to the election but wanted to take a different approach.  So she returned to Austin (after 5 other states) to write articles.
Questions - Bill Egnatoff - your work reminds me of my time in Sierra Leone.  How to women drive the quest for peace? For women it's just the fight to survive, to 'push the life in front of them'. Their interest in peace is much higher, and they have to pay a role in peace building. A researcher speaking at the Fellowship told the class that peace treaties are 50% more likely to work if women are involved early in the process. Women experience particularly brutal violence in war, and need to be involved in peace making.
John Gale - what is the common thread of studies in the Fellowship given everyone's varied background?  There is one compulsory class each semester, including mediation and negotiation, which has really helped Sarah in her work. Other experts lectured as well, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees spoke at the University.  Many Alumni have given presentations, and some have joined Rotary.  Alumni also continue to meet online.
Greta - is there a link between the Universities involved in the Fellowship? The major link is Rotary. There are common sessions, and a common newsletter. Unfortunately time constraints don't allow travel to other centres, but the directors meet regularly.  The Alumni will also form a strong bond between centres.
Heather Nogrady thanked our speaker today. Thank-you for another learning experience for a relatively new Rotarian.
Sophie was born and raised in Kingston. She received her education from Queen’s University, Humber College and Athabasca University.
Sophie has a long and positive history of work in public and stakeholder relations, is a solid team builder and is accustomed to work in stressful situations with unpredictable and continuously shifting priorities.  She speaks French and English is her first language.  
Sophie spent seventeen years working in retail management and as an entrepreneur.  She spent five years living in Turkey and France studying English literature and French at Athabasca University part-time.  She volunteered in an ex-patriot women’s group to raise funds in Turkey to help build their first women’s shelter.  Upon returning to Canada from Europe, she started working in residential and commercial renovation, interior design, and rental property ownership. 
Sophie ran for the Liberal nomination and became our Liberal MPP in the 2014 election. During her tenure, she has served as a Parliamentary Assistant to several ministers, most recently as PA to the Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. 
In 2014, Sophie focused attention on the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. As part of her campaign to raise awareness, she publicized the Faceless Doll Project, an art project which uses faceless female dolls to represent the missing women.[7] On October 23, 2014 she read a Members' motion in the legislature calling on the Ontario Legislature to support the National Aboriginal Organisations' call on the Federal government to initiate a public inquiry to study the issue. In July 2020, Sophie revealed that she was running for the Ontario Liberal Party again with the nomination set to take place in 2022. She is a fellow Rotarian and is member of Kingston Waterfront Club.
Sophie Kiwala spoke about helping the community during the pandemic.
Before her presentation, Sophie talked about a project at Q.E.C.V.I. that helps financially challenged graduating students with the fee for post secondary applications.  Having heard about what we are doing at Pathways, she thought this might be of interest to the club.
Sophie began her talk by sharing that she had lived overseas for five years, and when she returned, she wanted to start a business.  Her brother in law’s experience has always continued to inspire her.  He developed a company that made chimney liners, and went knocking on doors for contracts even before he knew how chimney liners were made.  This kind of optimism has always struck her as the way to go about something. 
After the 2019 election had taken place, and she found out about the Christmas time closure of programmes that provided free meals to people in need, she decided to take action.  She reached out, looking for volunteers and for a source of training for herself.  She attended Lunch by George to learn about how this could be done.  She found two venues, at St. Luke’s Church and at the Renaissance Event Venue.  Sophie was overwhelmed by the amount of support that her idea received.  There were many donations of time and of food from the community. The Muslim Association sponsored and did the cooking at the Renaissance.  It was really moving to see the number of volunteers.  In fact, so many people wanted to help, she was having difficulty finding things for everyone to do.  The owner of the Renaissance, Paul Fortier, was also very generous and helped with the cooking.  Even a young boy made cards for all the gift bags. 
After that program came Covid, and Sophie worried about changes in the food supply chain and how it would affect people in need.  Two community members, Salahuddin and Ulfat Jalaluddin, came forward with an offer of having a large garden planted on their property which is near the Robinson Farm.  Pyke Farms delivered compost and Loving Spoonful donated seed.  Tomlinson Organic also provided some soil.  Friendships developed among the volunteers who worked in the garden.  A mask making project evolved from this project, and proceeds from that went to the Youth Shelter and the Humane Society.  Many people were involved, wanting to give something back to the community.
Michelle Chatten-Fiedorec offered our thanks to Sophie with our traditional loaf of bread that has become virtual. Sophie was touched by our thanks and told us about something in the Koran that it reminded her of…  If I had only two things, a loaf of bread and a hyacinth, I would give the loaf of bread to someone who needed it, and keep the hyacinth to feed my soul.
Introduction by Martin Thomas: Some say that the character of a society is measured by how they take care of the needy and vulnerable. I think that includes pets and animals. The Kingston Humane Society originated in 1884. Its objective is to provide shelter and care for animals and to investigate cruelty to or abuse of animals in the Kingston community.
Gord Hunter, Executive Director, Kingston Humane Society (KHS).
Gord began with Big Paws, the KHS fundraiser, September 15th - October 15th, for which the media launch was September 15th, shortly after our meeting. Normally it’s at Lake Ontario Park but this year is online, with participants logging their dog-walking kilometres, aiming to reach right across Canada!
KHS is nearly 140 years old, the longest-running Humane Society in Canada. The Montreal SPCA has been going a bit longer. Generally, the SPCA has been in charge of investigation of cruelty and welfare issues. The Humane Society has helped, but not necessarily been involved in investigations. This year, a local judge decision affected charity involvement in law enforcement, so the SPCA in Ontario couldn’t continue investigations, so they stopped as of June 30 last year. The KHS stepped in and got some provincial funding for involvement in investigations for 6 months. Then the Solicitor General’s office took over in early January.
KHS is a shelter, providing municipal services for seven municipalities in the Kingston area—City of Kingston, Loyalist Township, Stone Mills, Gananoque, and Central, South, and North Frontenac. We usually hold animals for up to 5 days. If animals are not claimed, then they can be put up for adoption. KHS feeds, treats, and spays or neuters as needed before adoption.Last year KHS took in about 1800 animals, 65% cats and 35% dogs. The cat return rate is only 5% but the rate is well over 60% for dogs.Seventy percent of KHS funding comes from the community, including regular donations and estate gifts. Funds are used to treat and care for animals. A veterinarian is on staff four days per week. She does spays and neutering and treats injuries.Funding is obtained through public events such as Big Paws, Bowl for the Animals, a month-long bake sale, and an online auction. KHS lost or changed some events due to COVID-19, through which they lost about $100,000 in funding.
In response to COVID-19, from March 17 to May 6, KHS stopped adoptions. On May 6, they started contactless adoption and fostering, which got a great response. They now have a cohort system for their staff to work safely to avoid another potential shutdown. They use Zoom for placement arrangements. Luckily, they have remained COVID-free. In June, KHS re-started adoptions and taking surrendered animals. They’ve done about 250 adoptions since May 6. The community and staff have taken well to this, although the contactless adoption is more work and is more time-consuming. Cats can be done entirely on Zoom. For dogs, prospective adopters can choose them through seeing them in an off-leash area.
The annual Big Paws event in Lake Ontario Park is very exciting for the staff and participants. It draws a huge variety of dogs. All staff assist. This year it had to be done differently—a month-long Big Paws across Canada virtual event. People track their walks. The goal is to complete a virtual walk across Canada. The registration fee is $25. Walk reporting is done on a Web site.
The staff have done very well, with no infections. They have even covered duties of the usual 200 volunteers.
Greta: Is KHS involved only with pets or also wild-life in the city?
A: We are partnered with Sandy Pines for wildlife and transfer to them.
Rick: introduced Trixie-Lou, who came from KHS seven years ago. What is the hold time? With Trixie-Lou it was an extra five days. She was not claimed, so the original owners' loss was my gain!
A: Hold time is decided by municipalities. If the animal has a micro-chip, we can contact the owner. If there’s a collar, we hold it as long as possible. Strays are usually easily identified as such. We have partnerships with local lost-and-found Web sites and a woman who is a “pet detective.”
Rick: Is having a staff vet new?
A: Yes. Our veterinarian, Dr. Lorie Games, works with us 4 days a week. We don’t want to adopt out unaltered animals or have poor outcomes.
Elizabeth: What percentage of strays have been microchipped by their owners? Do you microchip animals that go out?
A: Less than 30% come with microchips, and about the same portion with tags. We encourage tag purchase. We hold micro-chip clinics, which will resume some time in the future.
John F: Has there been an increase in voluntary surrender during COVID?
A: There has been a decrease. There has been a 40% reduction of intakes across Ontario. All SPCA shelters are still closed to surrenders. Our surrenders are now scheduled, which eliminates spontaneous surrenders. Also, people are around their houses more so are less likely to have problems.
Elizabeth Cohoe: What about unclaimed strays of particular breeds? Do you work with breed-specific rescues?
A: Yes, we have partners. Example:  Great Pyrenees, a protective breed. This dog needs to go to someone who understands the challenges. We work with breed-specific or behaviour-specific rescue organizations.
John Farrow: and do you work with Sheba’s Haven?
A: Yes. Some rescue organizations are familiar with palliative care. We started our own program recently. Some families are willing to provide care.
Martin Thomas: Our son adopted a great dog from Texas. A friend adopted one from Alabama. Are dogs from the southern USA an issue?
A: We’ve helped too; for example after a hurricane, the International Humane Society goes down. We take dogs in shelters there so dogs lost in the hurricane can be admitted. During COVID, you worry about fomite carriers so we quarantine and use full personal protective equipment. (Scribe note: The American Veterinary Medical Association published this, which has a paragraph on fomite  transmission—transmission through touching contaminated surfaces: COVID-10: FAQs For Pet Owners.)
Martin: Are cats in need of therapy during COVID?
A: I’ve seen the jokes about dogs and cats! Cats don’t do as well in shelters, since we can’t let them out for walks.
Rick Fiedorec: As a recipient, I’m truly thankful. ( Rick presented a virtual loaf of bread.)
Elizabeth Cohoe introduced our speakers this morning. Holly Gwynne - Timothy is the Artistic Director of Melos Choir, and has a great history with music. What you may not know is that her knowledge extends to the actual functioning of the human voice. And with Holly was Julia Davies, a social worker for the Cancer Center of South Eastern Ontario. She overseas a lot of the therapeutic programming for their clients, so together they're going to talk about the project called Finding Our Voice, a program that was partially funded through our Community Grants process in the fall of 2019.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak. Um, I really appreciate it. And obviously we very much appreciated the grant that you provided. I'm Julia Davis. I'm one of the social workers at the Cancer Center here in Kingston. There are four social workers at the Cancer Center, and more recently I have been involved in trying to look at some more alternative type of therapeutic groups for our patients. Ideally what I wanted to try and do is not to have groups at the Cancer Center. We found historically that groups are not well attended at the Cancer Center, and really that I feel came from the fact that people spend enough time there having treatment and multiple appointments that, really, who wants to come to the Cancer Center.  I started to think about the idea of, well, why don't we have more groups in the community and move? The attendance would be better as well as being much more therapeutic for someone. Often the Cancer Center can be really triggering to people. Often people who have finished their treatment do not want to go back there unless they absolutely have to, which, I'm sure we can all really understand. So when I started to think about alternative groups I came across an article from out of the UK actually written in collaboration with the Welsh Cancer charity, who did some reach research into the therapeutic value of singing. So I thought, well, why not have a singing group?
I asked Holly if she was interested in it, and in her usual style. Holly was immediately enthusiastic and it actually didn't take much organizing. We found a venue, Holly was on board and it was publicized through the Communications Department at the hospital. It was really good. We started off using the Tett Center as our venue a couple of years ago in the fall and we got good attendance. What I what I found with the group from a social perspective is that it's really worked. The feedback we've had is that people have really appreciated that it's been off site - not been at the Cancer Center. Anecdotally, I think it's ticked the mental health box for a lot of people. I think a lot of people after treatment become quite isolated socially. A lot of confidence is gone and so it was really quite good to get people physically out to an event. It was really good that it became part of people's routine and Monday night they came to singing. WhatI really loved is we got a really great cross section of people. I think at one point our youngest member was 29 and our oldest was in her 80s. We struggled a little bit with getting men along,  but I think at one point we had 4 four men and on average. On a on a really good night we'd maybe have about 13 people out. Sometimes people really struggle with stamina and with ongoing side effects of treatment, so there was never any pressure for people. Holly and I made it really clear that it wasn't exactly a drop in, but you really didn't have to make any kind of firm commitment and we were always really pleased to see people whenever they could attend. Another really nice thing that we did was we moved from the Tett Center to St. Paul’s Anglican church on Montreal and Queen. The church was a really lovely facility for people and from my perspective it was really nice. Halfway through we all had tea and there was an opportunity for people to speak during that time. We when we took breaks it was really interesting because I think what people really liked about the group was it wasn't all about cancer.
Being a non-musical person, it was very interesting to me because I think when I started the group I had in my head I would be the Social Work person there and of course I wouldn't sing and then the first day it dawned on me like obviously I would sing as well. I think for the people who came were maybe a bit shy and you do make yourself a bit vulnerable when you haven't ever done any choir singing or any group singing. We did have a sort of festive group. Members of Melos joined us and we had some festive singing at the Cancer Center last December. Families came and sat and listened as well.
I have so many memories of sitting in my office, speaking with people who were really struggling with mental health and not knowing what to do and I would say to them all, why don’t you come to the singing group?  it was a very good project and to my mind very successful and patients are talking about it to me now and they really miss the group and the sense of camaraderie, but mostly actually really are missing singing.
It’s a little hard after six months of quarantine and no singing to just suddenly feel such a flood of gratitude and memories about this experience of working with Julia and her clients at the Cancer Center. You know, she's a great listener, but also now I know a great speaker and she's good singer. I do want to say that I've worked in my with people with damaged voices or impaired voices. I've had the privilege of working with a couple of people with cancer, some people post-stroke, but this was my first time in a group setting and it was also my first time kind of being connected to such people as a complete stranger. Other times that I've had the chance to work with these people, they've come to me through a known connection and there's been a little bit of safety for them in jumping into the agreement to sing My main goal was to work on functional vocal exercises that would restore the autonomic reflexes in the vocal tract. These are things that we don't think about much unless we start to lose our speaking voice. The main thing is frustration and difficulty communicating feelings and thoughts to their loved ones and colleagues. This is one of the things with cancer treatment. It's such a shock to the system and a lot of the overt physiological elements of cancer treatment are exceedingly damaging to the vocal tract. On top of that, we had people in the group, some of whom had throat, cancer, lung cancer, Esophageal cancer and brain cancer. All of which were accompanied by surgeries which were extremely invasive, so you can begin to imagine the sorts of anxieties they had around their bodies and the frustrations from things they were in the in the middle of experiencing or had recently experienced. So I was pretty nervous about working with a mixed group. We had someone in the group who'd been singing all her life, and then a couple of professionals who came through one right on the heels of treatment for throat cancer and so we had others who had never opened their mouths to sing. That mixture really in a sense, helped the emotional tenor of the group. The levelling factor was cancer, so the desire to find something optimistic and forward moving and the desire not to dwell on anything negative or frustrating was important. So my challenge in setting the exercises was not to push them into that zone of fatigue and frustration, but to allow exercises that would enable their bodies to generate sound more effortlessly. I would say I had pretty good success rate and I certainly got some amazing feedback from people about sensations, of improved breathing, phonation, and developing a singing voice. I had one or two that I felt I couldn't help in the physiological sense, who week after week reported “wow, my voice still doesn't sustain itself”, but I think Julia touched on the communal benefits, the emotional benefits the pure joy we had. There was never any shame, never any sense that one should be improving. Even when you're singing without cancer, you have to take each day as it comes, because the voice is a mirror of so many things - what you've eaten, how much sleep you've had, your emotions, allergies in any number of things can affect the voice on a given day, so one must always take what's given to you on a given day and in that spirit, I led the group and encouraged them to be gentle in their judgements about the sounds they were making and how they were feeling. So it was a really a true privilege and I want to thank the Rotary for everything you did to support this endeavour.
Holly then read a couple of very heartfelt letters from a couple of the participants in the group.
In response to questions, Holly told us that the group hopes to resume once Covid restrictions are eased.  In the future a more distinct division between those only interested in the Monday night group and those wanting a collaboration with Melos will be pursued. They hope to continue performing at the Cancer Center as well because that was very satisfying to both the group and the patients.
The program received funding from several sources but both Julia and Holly are confident that funding for the group can be secured from various sources.
As said by one of our members, we can all be proud of the funding we provided for this great program.
Bill Egnatoff thanked Julia and Holly for a great presentation.
Michelle Chatten-Fiedorec introduced PDG Katie Burke, who was our District Governor in 2010-11.  She has a long history of involvement in education.
During this presentation, we learned about the types of funded studies that are available through Rotary. 
For a Global Grant Scholarship, the applicant must live in our District 7040, but already be accepted for the first year of study at a Masters level outside of their home country.  Their study must be within one of Rotary’s seven areas of focus, and they must be endorsed by a 7040 Rotary Club. Note that there are now seven areas of focus, as “Supporting the Environment” has been added to the former six.
There are two types of Peace Fellowships.  One is for a two-year Masters level program at one of seven universities around the world.  The other is for a three-month certificate program at one of two universities, following at least five years of work experience. Rotarians and their lineal descendants may not apply.
Katie talked about the type of person who would make a good candidate, and the list was of pretty amazing credentials.  For details about the application process, you may visit
Our District can recommend a candidate, but the final decision comes from the Rotary Foundation.
Natalie Kauf is a past recipient.  She was nominated by our Rotary Club, and has attended as a speaker.  This year, Audrey Wagner will be going to Oxford University and will be studying aspects of food security.
Some may remember Ambassadorial Scholarships- they no longer exist.  Their place was taken by the Global Grant Scholarships.
Speaker thanks were offered by Sean Goodall.
Auction:  Greg Mumford reported.  This year’s auction will need everyone to be active in seeking items.  Over the past three years we have netted less each year with $40K, $47K and $54K.  This is money that is directed to service.  Bingo money will be down due to the closure, so this is our main opportunity to make money for the club to use in service. 
There has been an idea floated to promote purchasing gift certificates from businesses rather than simply counting on them to donate.  John Farrow will be drafting a special message to our honourary members and former members of the club about this.  There may also be former members who are still in business and able to contribute.  John is also going to approach donors who haven’t participated in a number of years.
Murray reviewed sponsorships, with Rotarians who were present.  If you have ideas for sponsorships this information needs to be given to Murray. 
Greg reviewed all of the available support tools, and asked that everyone keep him updated on the status of donors.
Membership:  Ana reported on membership initiatives.  We should be inviting people to see who we are and what we do.  We would like to aim for diversity, equity and inclusion, recognizing that being a member of Rotary is about doing something meaningful for ourselves as well as service to others.
The Rotary in Kingston website will be showcasing all of the clubs for the community, and it is hoped that it will drive membership.
The membership committee is building a strategy for the year.  We will be inviting speakers to be members.  Becoming a Friend of Rotary, for some is a lead in to becoming a full member.  Last year, two Friends of Rotary became Rotarian members.
The Rotary in Kingston website will make it possible for community members to see the different club profiles, and there will be links to each club website.
Our meeting agendas with the link to Zoom are being sent out to our honourary members as well as Friends of Rotary.
National Committee:
Robert Reid reported.  There is a strong committee this year.  Last year we invested all but $28 of the budget, and this year we will have about $8,600.  Sean Goodall is a new member, and there are three Friends of Rotary on the committee.  (Amanda Stolk, Mike Amesse and Katie Koopman)
The club bursary at SLC now has a principle value of $40,000, as $12,000 has been added over the last several years.  Before any more money is added to this, we will be investigating whether the current situation has had a significant effect on it.  It is difficult to be in contact with the student recipients due to privacy rules.
The committee is interested in participating in the Tipi Moza project again this year in collaboration with the Community Service Committee.
There have been conversations with True North Aid, and there are two projects that are of interest.  They are sending activity packages aimed at children of northern communities, and also masks.  Katie Koopman has referred two more seamstresses to Ana, and there will be 250 masks to send north.
It was noted that John Farrow has a supply of masks and bandanas at Kingston Dodge.  If you have ideas about further distribution of these items, please inform John.
Focus Forward for Indigenous Youth may have another project that we can become involved in.  This is the organization that had the greenhouse project on Manitoulin Island.
We have given $5,000 of the $10,000 needed for the orchard at No. 9 Gardens.  Trees will be planted that are mature enough that they should bear fruit in a year or two.  We are hoping to be able to get student involvement in the planting.
Don’t forget that September 30th is Orange Shirt Day.  You can order a shirt (if you don’t already have one) up to August 15th.
The National Committee will be addressing support of the auction at future meetings.
International Service:
John Gale reported.  Most of this year’s budget was committed prior to June 30th, due to a change in the matching formula used by The Foundation.  There are currently three projects of interest. 
One is an equipment upgrade to four government schools in India.  This is a $50,000 project and our involvement is $3,000.  Another is equipment for a maternity health centre in western Uganda.  Both of these have been submitted to TRF.
A breast screening project in India was approved last year, and we are committed to $5,000.  This is already being reviewed at TRF.
We have requests from three clubs to become sister clubs.  These are Madras East, Madras Coromandel, and Madras Channapatna.  We will do the ceremonies on Zoom. 
Madras Coromandel is going to be celebrating Rotarians there who are members of the Arch Klumph Society.  They both have 10 years of service, and this is a very active Rotary Club. 
Greta presented an update on the Sechaba Project of the Morningside Club of Johannesburg, in association with the Early Care Foundation.  Our commitment is $1,500.  The project is located in a very poor area that has been affected badly by the pandemic.  Greta showed a video that explains the project.  View at
Community Service:
Bill Egnatoff reported.  The committee will be discussing a number of topics.  These are whether to hold the fall call for grant proposals, whether we should consider another priorities survey, collaboration with other clubs, or other organizations, hands on opportunities.  We should be careful to consider projects and not underwriting the running of other organizations.  Could we couple fundraising to a specific project?  Bill had a very good discussion with a new member of the Frontenac Club, and who is very enthusiastic about community service.  One of our new members, Sean Goodall is also very interested in community service.
It was suggested that a discussion of these topics and how we will do community service should be formalized on the agenda of a future club meeting, as all members should have input.
Rotary FAR Project:
John Gale reported.  The money has been received from TRF, a coordinator has been hired, and we should be receiving invoices from Pathways to Education.  The mentorship training has happened and now individual interviews of future mentors is taking place.  Updates will be sent as needed to all of our partners and TRF.  A steering committee will be established.  An Interac Club is planned for Pathways to Education.
As time ran out, John Farrow will bring his report to our meeting next week.
John Gale introduced his daughter Reagan Gale whose topic was about changes in thinking as we age. 
Reagan received her PhD from the University of Windsor with a focus in Clinical Neuropsychology.  She is the founding president of the Psychological Society of the Yukon and President-Elect of the College of Alberta Psychologists. Reagan is the Director of Clinical Psychology for the Yukon Department of Health and Social Services, where she has been formally recognized as one of the emerging leaders within the public service.  She has practiced privately providing neuropsychological, psychological, and psycho-vocational assessment in Whitehorse. Reagan’s practice focuses largely on the areas of aging, cognition, and brain injury.
Reagan was a Rotary Exchange student to the Philippines, hosted by the Rotary Club of Kingston and the Islands, and is a current member of the Rotary Club of Whitehorse.  She has two young sons, a highly neurotic dog, and enjoys running (slowly) in her spare time.
“Forget About It”
As we age, some things slow down and some things become stronger, and it’s normal for thinking to change as we get older.  Cognitive processing slows and reaction time slows.  Speech is harder to hear and understand.  Novel problems are harder to solve, and there are small changes in working, or short-term memory.  Most older adults believe that memory will decline with age, so are primed for it and look for it.  The use of memory strategies can improve our ability to learn and remember new information.  Examples of strategies are writing lists, and using phone reminders about things to do.
Some things improve with age, like memory for words and concepts.  Emotion and logic are integrated in our reasoning.  Older adults have an increased acceptance of ambiguity and uncertainty.  Unexpected and challenging changes would be in thinking, social behaviour, personality and self care.  Some changes do merit attention.  It’s normal to forget names of people, but forgetting names of close family and friends or recent events, and asking for the same information over and over is not.  It’s normal to misplace items but putting objects in unusual places, such as putting keys in the microwave are concerning.
It can be normal to pick up a pill bottle and wonder, “Did I already take this?”  Unfortunately, although this is normal, some older adults worry that this is a sign of dementia.  Everyone has memory lapses and it’s usually unnecessary to worry about it.
It would be abnormal if one is very confused and not just slower.  It is normal to find multitasking more difficult but it’s not normal if it is really hard to concentrate and pay attention.  It’s normal to make a bad decision sometimes, but not normal to frequently show poor judgment in dealing with money or assessing risk.  Everyone makes occasional mistakes in dealing with their own finances, but not normal if a person can’t keep track of monthly bills.
Regarding language, it’s normal to have difficulty finding a word, but not normal if this is frequent or if someone begins to refer to really common objects as “that thing”.  It’s normal to lose the thread of a conversation especially if distracted or if many are speaking at the same time.  To regularly lose the thread of what someone is saying is not.
Stress can increase these challenges.  We tend to remember things that we pay attention to.  You can’t remember what you didn’t learn, or in other words put into your memory, if your attention is elsewhere at the time.  Low mood and high anxiety both impair memory and if that is the case, these should be addressed.
Usually people don’t have a problem with orientation (that is knowing who, where and when you are).  It is not normal to lose track of the date, the season or the passage of time.  Getting lost or not knowing where you are in a familiar place is troubling. 
Most adults do not get dementia, but many people worry about it, and this can lead to thinking that normal lapses are a symptom.  Depression related cognitive dysfunction leads to a quicker onset of dementia, whereas it could otherwise take as much as fifteen years.  Vagueness, memory loss and slowed speech can be a sign of dementia and these can go into remission with effective treatments.
Adults today are under pressure to age perfectly.  You are told that if you just do enough to keep fit, eat a healthy diet, and do things to stimulate cognition, you can do this.  There is an industry in selling products to look young and this is especially aimed at women.  You cannot prevent normal changes, but you can learn to be gentle with yourself and have fun.
There is some truth in crosswords and similar pursuits being helpful.  What can be more protective is doing NEW things that are both cognitive and physical, such as learning to play a new musical instrument.  It is important to maintain social relationships.  This can be a challenge in retirement, and you need to be intentional.  Rotary can play an important role.
Is a decline as the day progresses a sign of impending dementia?  No.  It could just be normal fatigue.  In dementia there is a term “sundowning”.  Many people with dementia evidence increased agitation and confusion as the day progresses.
If anyone would like to ask Reagan a question, she would be available by email at
Heather Nogrady offered our thanks, and as a loaf of bread was out of the question, Reagan said she would go and make herself some toast and peanut butter for breakfast.
Reagan's presentation can be viewed at
Greg Mumford introduced Paul Elsley, one of our speakers.  Paul is the President of the Rotary Club of Kingston, and is a real example of Service Above Self.  It was Paul with his affiliation to Isthmus who brought the Covid 19 food project together, and he is also involved in a back pack project every fall.  Paul has been Bill Egnatoff’s partner in Adventures in History, and with his connections to the schools, he has been instrumental in getting students to attend Rotary youth programs.  He took over RYLA when it came to Kingston three years ago, and took it virtual this year.  Paul is going to be assisted by Jorja Majury, who is a student who attended RYLA this year. 
RYLA 2020:
RYLA occurred in May from the 29th to the 31st.  It’s always difficult to find a time that works for all the school boards with differing exam and course schedules. 
The rationale for Rotary Youth Programs is schools are less able to provide enrichment programs, and these experiences can be transformational.  They build cultural literacy and provide a place to form life-long friendships.  Youth programs are integral with the Rotary International ethos.  They also serve as a place to expose youth to Rotary and eventually have a relationship with Rotary.  Paul attended RYLA as a student in 1975, and he has also found that many of today’s members were introduced to Rotary through youth programs.
Recruitment is also a challenge  – this doesn’t work without including schools in the process.  The idea is that it should be a collaboration between Rotary and the schools.  We should also invite youth who have attended a program to come and speak at a club meeting.
Numbers – There were 53 students, representing 25 Rotary Clubs in District 7040 and 7010.  They were 15 – 18 years old, between their third year in high school to their final year, and there were 13 male students and 40 were female.  There were 12 from the USA and 41 from Canada.  A unique benefit of being online is that American students can participate without the hassles of border crossing!
Location – This is the last year in the cycle for Kingston.  RYLA will move to Montreal next year.
Key Personnel – Leaders came from multiple Rotary Clubs and Rotaract Clubs.
Hurdles – This year, the Covid 19 pandemic made recruitment a challenge because the schools were physically closed.  It made it more difficult to connect with the delegates.  There were technical challenges due to running the program virtually.  Typically, we can engage with students within a classroom setting but this wasn’t possible.
Opportunities – There were some benefits in the way RYLA was held.  Kids are familiar with technology.  Costs were reduced and some logistical problems with the international border didn’t exist.  Time commitment was limited, 2 hours in the morning and 2 in the afternoon.  The potential number of participants was unlimited.  The fee was $100 rather than $500 so some clubs sponsored multiple students. 
Jorja took over and talked about her experience as an attendee.  She found that the speakers were amazing, and she gained confidence in talking to and meeting people.  She learned a lot about leadership, identifying her own leadership style and skills.  The participants developed a project called Fitness 4 Food that is going to raise money for the Covid 19 food project. 
Paul said that being in charge of RYLA has been a rewarding experience.  There was a lot of collaboration between Rotary Clubs, and seeing it evolve over three years was interesting, as it improved every year.  There was great support received from the schools as well as the Rotary Clubs.
For the Fitness 4 Food project the students will be choosing an activity and then looking for pledges.  Jorja was asked to send an email that will be forward to all of our members. 
During the question period, we learned that Greg Mumford has known Jorja for about 10 years, as it was her grandfather Greg Hasted who brought Greg into Rotary. 
John Gale thanked our speakers, pointing out that this year’s theme for Rotary is “Rotary Brings Opportunities”.  This presentation showed that Rotary brings opportunities to Rotarians as well as youth.  John also noted that the Rotary FAR project wants to establish an Interact Club.
President’s Prologue
I spent the last week at cottage on the north shore of Lake Huron, a fabulous week. Last night, I got a call from my daughter in Whitehorse, calling to congratulate me for beginning our new Rotary year. She joined Rotary in Whitehorse. We discussed the new theme for the Rotary year—Rotary Opens Opportunities. She sees the impact of COVID on Rotary as an opportunity to redo how we do meetings and to rethink how we do our fellowship. I am finding meeting through Zoom more interesting than our breakfast meetings. We seem to all be able to talk with one another, not just with the same people at the same table. Her club is old, and we’re also an older club. If we rely on new media, we have an opportunity to invite people and make it an attractive meeting place.
President’s Address
The theme for this year is Rotary Opens Opportunities. The impact of Zoom and new technologies has been beneficial for our club. I first want to talk about how successful our year was last year. Fifteen months ago, I challenged us to embrace a big project building on our international connections, to build connections with Pathways. It has now been approved by the Foundation and is well underway. We now have an opportunity to deliver that project to the community. Already, because of this project, we are building a whole panel of Rotarians who want to act as mentors. There are many more graduates than mentors, so I hope that many more Rotarians will want to become mentors to the Pathways graduates. I expect that the mentorship role will develop. I expect that other Rotarians and other people in the community will volunteer to act as mentors. It becomes a way to build connections not simply with Pathways but to draw other members of the community into what Rotary is doing in Kingston. It is a way to introduce ourselves to the community as a whole and to bring people into our club, without relying on the old personal-connections model.
Because we’re now involved with Pathways, we have the opportunity to do other things besides mentorship with the Pathways project—the Rotary FAR (Facilitator of Alumni Relations) Project. For instance, we just helped Pathways celebrate the graduation of their high school students. That will bring other opportunities to build and deepen the relationship with Pathways. Our focus in the Rotary FAR program is on getting students into post-secondary education and into the workplace and to help graduates find employment. One of the key partners is KEYS Job Centre, an organization in Kingston that is focusing on helping youth find employment in the Kingston area. It will be a key participant in making the FAR program a success. It’s an opportunity for us to build a relationship with KEYS, to assist them in helping graduates from the Pathways program to find employment.
Lots of things will happen for our club this year as we work on delivering the FAR Project. We will have to build relationships that will help to build the brand of Rotary in the community and bring people into our club.
Other things happened last year in addition to embracing Pathways and doing something that’s really ambitious. At the end of the year there were three big projects that involved a lot of “sweat equity”, as Murray (Cotton) likes to say. Through our National Committee, we have the development of a relationship with the community of Loughborough and the Loughborough Public School. We’re now talking about building a greenhouse, assisting that school to integrate with its community in a way it hasn’t done before, through the re-establishment of a home economics course at that school. We’re going to be able to build on that throughout the year. We’ve put a lot of our funds into making that happen. We’re going to assist the community and the school to work out how that’s going to work. It’s an opportunity for us to facilitate and integrate the efforts of the community in that part of Kingston. It will also be a way to build awareness of Rotary, to build personal connections with that community, and to draw members of that community into Rotary.
That’s the product of the work of our National Committee over the last year or two. We’re now starting to see real accomplishments and the possibility for big impacts because of the efforts of that committee. Finally, the COVID-19 food hamper project, a co-operative effort of all of the clubs in Kingston, is a real opportunity for sweat equity. Many of us are delivering or packing food hampers. That’s a way to build relationships among our clubs. This COVID-19 project has really facilitated individuals from the various clubs to get together and to talk to one another again in a way they haven’t done in many years simply because our clubs become silos. We talk among ourselves but we haven’t really had a lot to say with the other clubs because we’re not going to their meetings. Participating in a joint effort like the food hamper project leads to meeting Rotarians across clubs regularly. We build links that are very helpful for building the Rotary brand in Kingston. Rotarians start to think of themselves simply as Rotarians, rather than as members of particular clubs. Those are all good developments that provide opportunities for building our brand, delivering meaningful service to our community, and attracting new members.
I remember when I was first thinking about how I would go to the club and talk people into a big project that was going to last for a few years, with total cost over $100,000US. I thought that most people in our club would shirk that because it seemed overly ambitious. It was a much larger project financially than we had ever bitten off. It turned out that finding the money wasn’t the most difficult thing at all. We found the money because we were able to build on our international network, but we were also able to get the support of other clubs in Kingston. We should never forget that the Rotary Club of Kingston put in $6,300 US into that project. That’s almost $10,000 Canadian. That’s a big contribution. We wouldn’t have been able to do the project without that or it would have been that much more difficult to accomplish. But because we were able to raise that money, building on our existing relationships, we got that project going.  Now the challenge is to actually deliver the project.
We have many opportunities for personal service—as mentors to the students in the FAR Project, as managers of the COVID-19 food hamper project, or as facilitators or community organizers at the Loughborough Public School and the greenhouse project there, or packing or delivering food hampers. We have real opportunities as Rotarians and members of the club to actually physically deliver service to the community.
In each case, with all of these projects, we start with the money to get things going. Money is important to us because we’re a service organization, but it’s just the key that allows us to help facilitate the planning and delivery. It’s what we bring to the table initially, but what we also bring is our own talent and time to devote to these projects. We have time and talent to contribute, not only to those three projects that we have going. As we begin to think more ambitiously about what we might do, all of us have contacts in the community as a whole. As people become aware of the potential that Rotary presents, our members are going to be able to come back to us with suggestions for what else we might do. But in each case, I think we’re going to find that the first ask from members of the community is going to be our money, but the second ask is our time and talent. Actually, I think our time and talent is the bigger, better contribution, one that we’re going to be able to deliver. The real opportunity for us, going forward, is to be able to develop other projects that our members think are important. We’ll be able to support one another in doing these things.
I want to end with this. Our first contribution to most of these projects in Kingston is the delivery of money, but, I think, not the most important and certainly not the last. Contributing funds enables us, if we wish, to become involved in the planning and delivery of the projects that are undertaken. We become facilitators. This is different from what we used to do a few years ago, when we raised money and gave it to other people (organizations) and they went off and did their stuff.  Often we never heard from them again with respect to whether their projects were successful. We should be levering our money to get into planning and delivery of projects. That’s an opportunity that Rotary provides to us. The funding of our projects, whether internationally or locally, has enabled us to develop a whole network of contacts. We’re going to be able to go back to those people, the people that we’ve worked with in the past, and to new people who become attracted to us, to develop projects.
As a service club, we need to raise and spend money. How do we contribute meaningfully to our club’s major fund-raiser this year, our Internet auction? It has been on hold for a while. The people who have been planning it feel that we should go ahead this year. I want to emphasize how important it is for us as a club to raise those funds. I thought about issuing a challenge that we should aim to raise so many thousands of dollars per member. Maybe that’s better left for a later discussion among our members.  We ought to be establishing a target, I think, bearing in mind that the money we raise allows us to finance serious projects, but more importantly, our financial contribution really is the way that we get to the table to be engaged in planning and delivery, the sweat equity that Murray has talked about on many occasions. There’s no point in simply raising money to give to other people. If we raise the money to have a role in deciding how it’s spent, that’s much more fun.
That leads me to the final point—remembering how Ana finished her talk at the beginning of the year—let’s not forget that we have fun. And we did. We had more fun last year than we have in a long time. I hope that we’ll have as much fun this year as we did last year because we all pitched in and got enthused about Rotary.
Ana: I like what you said a lot and I plan to support you every step of the way!
John Farrow: I noticed with interest that our new RI president did not rise through the ranks of Rotary in the traditional way; he came through very active involvement in student exchange and he is dedicated to getting more young people involved in Rotary.
Doug Hicks: Thanks to John Gale. Based on observation from experience in several cities, and membership in two Rotary Clubs and Kiwanis, he knows we need a stable platform from which to do our work. We have that, a template for other Rotary clubs. More important is our vision for the future. He thanked the club for the opportunity to be part of it.
Although we could not meet in person, our annual year-end meeting was a great success.  The evening started off with Bill and Joan Egnatoff, aka Classic Delights Duo, performing some summer themed music for our listening pleasure.  The sound was great (on my speakers anyway).
Then Ana called the meeting to order.  There was much to cover. Ana talked about the achievements of the Club in a year that saw significant challenges since mid-March.  After a short break our meetings resumed using Zoom, thanks to Ana pushing us to keep meeting, and to Ed's technical help.  Funds from the Club, community donors, Rotary District 7040, and several NGO's like the United Way were pooled to support a food delivery project that helped the most vulnerable in Kingston - kids who depended on The Food Sharing Project for healthy food, and their families.  The program will continue through the summer.  It is a great example of Rotary coming together in tough times. International Projects continued, especially the Breat Cancer Detection Project with our sister club in India.  And the Pathways Project (officially FAR) came to fruition.  There is much to look forward to in John Gale's Year as President.
Ana also had the pleasure of inducting for new members and welcoming two new friends of Rotary.  Geln Roberts and Jim Rymerson have both transitioned from Friends of Rotary to full time members, and Sean Goodall and Doug Hicks were inducted as new members.  We'll hear more about Doug and Sean soon, and Glen and Jim too. Amanda Stolk and her partner Mike Amess were also welcomed as friends of Rotary.  It's been a long time since 6 inductions occurred at one year end meeting - it bodes well for our club's future.
There were 5 Paul Harris Awards given out at the year-end meeting as well.  Ana awarded Rick Fiedorec with a Paul Harris for all he has done for the club since handing over the reins to Ana as President (more about Rick later).
The Foundation Committee awarded four members, but first, never missing an opportunity to talk about our Club and member support, John and Bernie highlighted some of the achievements of the year - our Club is first in per-capita Annual Fund donations, and also first in total Polio Plus donations.  Bernie also highlighted some notable milestones for Polio - a new vaccine has been developed that is safer, thank to The Gates Foundation.  Nigeria will likely be declared Polio-free in August, and next year India will celebrate 10 years being Polio free.
John first awarded Murray Cotton, noting that Murray is an extraordinary fundraisers in all the club's activities, has pushed us to make "sweat equity" projects part of our club experience, and always questions how we do things and thinks of how we can be a better club.
John also awarded Robert Reid.  Robert has steered the National Committee for several years, making it an integral part of our donations, improving the lives of Aboriginal communities and furthering the cause of understanding in area schools.
Bernie awarded Paul Harris recognition to both Ana Sutherland and Ed Thomson, one of our "dynamic duos" of C-K Rotary.  Ana has led the club with skill and grace, pushing us to keep meeting via Zoom, and making sure that our physical meetings ran smoothly in our new location, often being the first to arrive and the last to leave.  Ana also took on the role of Area Governor even before her term was up - a big sacrifice at any time, bigger when you are still President.
Ed Thomson was also recognized as being a driver of our weekly meetings, helping with set-up and takedown most weeks, and also helping with the technology end of things for the speaker when needed.  Ed also helped us get our Zoom meetings up and running, as well as participating in the auction committee as an aid to John Farrow (with Doug Townsend) in the task of gift entry.  Ed also performs a valuable behind the scenes role as keeper of our auction database (information is power!).
Thanks to all five recipients for all you do for the Club and for Rotary.  There is much more that could be said about the work these folks do, this is just a sample of how valuable they are to us.
Ana also had the pleasure of rewarding the Rotarian of the Year Award to Rick Fiedorec.  Rick transitioned from two terms as President and did not miss a beat this year.  He assumed the role of Treasurer and tackled the task of getting the books in order from the last few years.  Working with our new bookkeeper, he achieved that task about mid-year.  His work as Treasurer has helped guide the Directors and we have been kept well informed of our financial position.  Rick has also acted as a mentor to Ana through her year as President.
Ana introduced John Farrow, who actually needs no introduction, as our speaker.  John did say that he joined the club in 1990.
The Rotary Foundation:
John talked about what it is, why it is important, and how you can help. 
The Foundation was created in 1917 following the Atlanta Rotary Convention, with an initial amount of $26.50.  (Scribe’s note – The Bank of Canada says the value in 2020 would be $473.16). Every year, 50% of your Annual Fund donation goes back to the Districts (District Dedicated Funds, or DDF), and 50% goes to the World Fund to advance the goals of Rotary.  The Global Fund matches District Designated Funds and makes the scope of projects larger.  There is never enough money to match all the applications that are received.  The Foundation encourages - and requires -partnerships among Rotary Clubs.  These will be even more important as starting July 1st R.I. will no longer match club and donor monies for a project.  John notes this is a challenge, but with the partnerships our club has made thanks to people like Bill Gray and John Gale (and others) we can overcome this.  The ending of R.I. matching dollars is actually a testament to the quality of the projects out there.
The grants in order of the amounts awarded go to the following areas of focus.  1. Preventing Disease, 2. Clean Water, 3. Education, 4. Growing Local Economies, 5. Saving Mothers and Children, and 6. Promoting Peace.
Charity Navigator gives The Rotary Foundation the highest rating possible, as 92% of the money goes to projects.
Why is it important to us?  It aligns with our reasons for joining Rotary.  Our club has benefited by thousands of dollars over the years.  There are always six or seven active projects involving our club, representing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Many of our members donate to The Foundation.  It puts the “international” in Rotary International as Bill Gray reminded John recently.  The Annual Fund invests money for three years before investing in a project, and the interest accrued helps pay many of the expenses of running the Foundation. 
"Rules are a good thing", according to John. There are very rigorous rules to adhere to in order to receive a grant.  A project must be sustainable.  A Rotary Club partner is required at the other end.  It’s important for a club to have champions, and we have this in Bill Gray and John Gale.  We also have dedicated people in District 7040.  Bonnie Black and Bette Miller lead the effort in our District, and John remarked after attending the Global Grants Workshop, he was even more confident in donating to the Foundation.
John then used our Rotary FAR project to illustrate the way that money can be combined.  Our club contributed $15,000, and with money we raised outside of our club funds it became $21,200, but the Rotary Clubs of Kingston, Napanee and the Passport Club all contributed.  Five clubs in India contributed, as well as District Designated Funds, and The World Fund.  So…all combined to support a project that has a value of almost $109,000.  Through working together with other clubs, and with The Foundation, we can do things that we couldn’t do on our own.
How can you donate? 
The Annual Fund is the primary source of money for project grants.  We have a goal of “Every Rotarian Every Year”.  Every year, 50% goes to the World Fund and 50% to the District Designated Fund. 
You can donate by writing a cheque, by a monthly withdrawal plan, or monthly on your credit card.  You can choose a specific area of focus where your money will go.  You can also support Polio Plus, and you can also support a specific project that you know of until it is fully funded.
The Endowment Fund ensures long term viability of Rotary International programs.  Money is invested and only the interest is used. 
A Benefactor is someone how has added The Foundation as a beneficiary of their will.
John outlined the various qualifications, you can achieve, starting with being a member of the Paul Harris Society ($1000).  Increased donations take you to Major Donor, Bequest Society, and Arch Klumph Society.  Our club aims to have every member donate every year.  There is also a Rotary credit card in which a small amount from every purchase goes to The Foundation.  It’s a small amount but has raised over $8.6 million in recent years.
Our club has constantly been at our near the top of giving, with the average per member of $360 - first in the District to date.  Over all donations have been $65,750, with $7,214 to Polio Plus, again, first in the District.
You may contact John for any information you need about making a donation to any of the funds.
Thinking about directing donations, is the Rotary FAR project now fully funded?  Yes but there are always new projects being proposed.
Bill Gray noted that most clubs don’t have enough money to do large projects, and so they find allies.  We have a very active International Committee.  Cooperation between clubs is increasing and we are finding new partnerships.  We have built a network of partner clubs around the world, and it has benefited our FAR project.
Ana offered our thanks to John for his presentation.
Paul Harris Society recognition:
Ana announced that Heather Nogrady is not only a Paul Harris Society member but has achieved recognition for being a Paul Harris + 2. 
Speaker thanks was offered by Bill Egnatoff who also noted the many ways that John has contributed to our club and to Rotary.  He pointed out an interesting slip that John made that actually formed a new word, “transparity”, which seems to describe balancing the inequities in the world.
Michelle Clarabut, Ph.D, Programs and Communications Manager, Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston
John Farrow introduced our guest speaker. Inspired by a recent TV news segment on the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes and the news that Brett Smith has helped to “repurchase” the building that used to house the Museum, he contacted Michelle Clarabut, Programming and Communications, to talk about its Memory Project, commemorating the Battle of the Atlantic.
Michelle - It’s great to be out in community. I’m the Programs and Communications Manager, in a full-time staff of two. We will have two summer students, one of which has started just last week. Two years ago, we had to leave our 55 Ontario Street location. We leased the building from the Government, which sold it, but we now own the building. The Museum has been temporarilyhoused at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour and hope to get back to our original location some time this year. We are closed to the public right now, but hope to open soon.
A lot is happening behind the scenes. We have recently completed our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, Steering into the Future, which emphasizes our mission to create an inclusive space that inspires the enduring connection with the maritime heritage of Kingston and the Great Lakes, including social, economic, and environmental history of our area. The plan provides an overview of our own history and outlines our thee priorities for the next five years. We are re-imagining what the Marine Museum will look like, and are also working on our business plan, including our 5-year capital and operational budget. We are researching the acquisition of a new historic ship. The Alexander Henry was returned to Thunder Bay a while back, where it was built.
Last summer, we were given by a former museum member, the Red Jacket, a very well-known Canadian racing yacht. It was designed by George Cuthbertson and George Casisan and built by Erich Bruckmann. It was the first Canadian and non-American boat to win the overall title at the Southern Ocean Racing Conference in 1968 in her second year.  This vessel will be a great addition to our exhibits.
Typically, we have summer camps and educational programs at local school. Last summer we reached over 578 Kingston youth. We also have Nautical Nights, a winter speaker series, January to March. This year it was cut short because of COVID in March We also do public tours, including in local retirement homes. We’re very active in the community, trying to engage people with maritime history.
After the March break, we started Virtual Challenges to take the place of cancelled live events.. The first was a one-week boat building challenge—build it, name it, see how many marbles are needed to sink it; a lot of fun—open to everyone. We have had others in the past, including environmental challenges (building water filters, talking about pollution in the Great Lakes) and art-related projects (designing a Great Lakes cruise ship). These provide opportunity for youth, families, and groups, to be creative.
This Thursday, June 18th is our first Virtual Talk, “Turtle Talks,” by Mabyn Armstrong. This talk is about local ecosystems and invasive species. Join us on the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes Youtube channel. Information is on our Facebook page.
Forged in Fire: Kingston Goes to Sea was a project I put together, with a personal and community story. To commemorate 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II and the Battle of the Atlantic. Kingston a had huge role in the Battle of the Atlantic and the Second World War through ship-building. Twelve ships built here served as convoy escorts in the North Atlantic. Two didn’t make it home. The huge contribution of Kingston is a story that doesn’t often get told. The project is about the ships, the people who built them, and the men and women who served including Wrens, volunteer reserve, and Merchant Navy. The project is about community engagement. Many veterans are unfortunately deceased, but we would love to have stories by the second and later generation about a loved one who served—people from the Kingston area and involved in either ship-building or having served in another maritime capacity. It could be about how they met their husband or wife during the war, funny anecdotes about their training experience, personal stories and anecdotes that were passed on. The project Web space is a place where people can come and share their stories including pictures or artifacts.  . Once a story is submitted, it becomes available to the public. A few have been submitted so far. We are especially interested in those who built the ships, often forgotten and also those who served on the ships built in Kingston. We are collaborating with RMC Museum. We intended to create a 2020 pop-up exhibit, but COVID-19 has prevented that (so far). We are discussing making it a virtual exhibit and feeding into a blog series to bring stories together. We are looking for commonalities or links across the stories; e.g., people who were on the same ship at the same time, unknown to their families. We are also hoping to share hidden stories, e.g., community gatherings for launches - we have some amazing pictures of that. We are also developing educational program, for schools and local community groups. Now after three months that we’re going to be opening up, it will be interesting to see how that will work out.
Bill Egnatoff mentioned how much he appreciated the opportunity of having Adventures in History work in the Museum and visit its archives. One student said, “This smells like history.”
John Farrow: Have you reached out to the Genealogical Society? He will connect the Museum through his wife, a member. A call could go out through all Ontario branches.
John Gale: Will you be able to give sense of how many women were employed in the shipyards?
Michelle: Unfortunately, a lot of records have disappeared. WWII years are a gap in the records. I would love to find information on that. I would like stories of women serving as “Wrens,” (WRCNS, Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service), and stories from Indigenous communities. I am reaching out to Prince Edward County, and Gananoque (part of the Kingston area). Individual stories are not being told; I want to find them. They deserve to be told.
Murray Cotton: I loved the first photo of the Canada Steamship Lines. My father worked for them for over 50 years. He wanted to serve, but was deemed an essential worker so had to go back to the docks. I refer you to Terry Hicks.
Robert Reid thanked Michelle. He is pro-development downtown, but was very concerned to learn about the sale of the property where the museum was housed. He was very happy to learn of the recent purchase of the property so the Museum could move back in. He visited with his children, and was also there for the funeral held there. He acknowledged the very aggressive plan and budget. Robert thanked Michelle with a virtual loaf of bread.
John Farrow introduced Amanda Stolk.  Our first encounter with Amanda and True North Aid was assisting them with their collection of medical devices back in 2015.  Amanda was here to tell us about the work of True North Aid as it is today.  She is the Project and Communications Director of the organization.
True North Aid has been in existence since 2009, supporting Canada’s northern communities.  It is based in Kingston but has volunteers in many other places.  There are eight foundation stones to their work.  These are self determination, reconciliation, water, food, health, housing, hope and education.
Amanda outlined some of their key projects.  Currently there is a Covid 19 emergency fund, and they are sending shipments of things like masks and critical care supplies.  The Canadian government is assisting, but sometimes things needed just don’t get there fast enough.  One in ten diabetics will die from this disease and diabetes is a common health issue in the north due to diet.  In fact, many people have a lot more other underlying health problems that make their outcomes poorer.  True North Aid ran a recent campaign to support this need for supplies.
They are currently backing the children’s needs related to learning from home.  Backpacks full of school supplies were sent.  These bore a cost of about $40 each, and were sent to the Clearwater River, Canoe Lake and La Loche communities, but now no one can go there. 
Fly in communities have more protection from the virus whereas those with road access have a bigger problem.  Housing is crowded, often with three generations under one roof so this encourages the spread of disease.  Amanda showed us photos that illustrated the kind of medical assistance that is being given. 
People ask why they can’t just relocate south where they are not so remote, but to them, this is their home.  Many of the elders do not speak English.  True North Aid wants to be able to support them so that they can stay in what has been their home for so countless generations.
For more information, visit  Amanda may be reached at
Questions followed.
Is Covid 19 affecting these communities disproportionately?  The answer is yes.  Health problems make the risk greater, and living conditions cause the spread to be easier.
What happens if someone is so sick, they need to be on a ventilator?  They get sent to Thunder Bay.  Amanda reminded us that it is really third world conditions for many of these people.
How much communication is there between the various communities?  The communities are currently blocking inter-community communication. 
Ron Pols thanked Amanda with a virtual loaf of bread, saying that thinking about these people, the words resilience and pride come to mind.

John Farrow introduced Greg Podmore.  Greg is a member of the Rotary Club of Grand Prairie Alberta, and his club has been involved in a large Guatemala literacy project since 2004.


Greg told us about the high need for their program among indigenous children in Guatemala.  Four out of five are illiterate.  Parents cannot afford to send them to school.  This is a large grass roots project that receives $200,000 annually from the Rotary Foundation.  There are also large donations from around the world.  Rotary works with an organization in Guatemala called Cooperative for Education.  It all started in Cincinnati by two young men who were teachers in Guatemala who thought that text books could be provided to students there.  600 Rotary Clubs around the world are now involved.  It started with text books, and then expanded to computers.  Children find the books to be exciting.  One third of indigenous people cannot read or write.  Teachers receive two years of training.  First, a story is read to the children.  Then when they understand it, they take the story back and put on puppet shows or act out the stories.  Later they learn to write their own stories. 


At first, the adults didn’t understand why their children needed this.  The books include learning about math, social studies, science and Spanish.  60% of mid level jobs require a knowledge of computers.  95% of the individuals who go through the program are able to get employment. 


There is a sustainability plan, and the schools also put in money.


RISE is a youth development program that starts in grade 7.  Students often leave school after grade 6.  Students are chosen in grades 5 or 6 for RISE.  They look for tough and determined kids, and not necessarily the brightest ones.  They are also children whose parents cannot afford their education.  Without this program, 95% will never finish high school.  They will go to work farming like their parents did. 


The Rise program is much more than books.  They gather monthly for training in things like interviewing for jobs.  They also tour places where employment may be located.  They come together to see different ways to improve their communities.  Each student has a counsellor.  They learn about good citizenship, and volunteering in their communities to help needy people.  It’s all about breaking the cycle of poverty.


How can you get involved?  Rotary Clubs can sponsor a class or a student in the Rise program.  Canada has also matched the TRF grants.


The next trip to Guatemala is planned for February 2021. 


Greta spoke about attending a Friendship Exchange in Guatemala.  John Gale spoke about a local group of Rotarians that attends the Uniendo Conference in Central America, and asked whether this project is linked to the Guatemalan stove project.  (They are not.) 


The question was asked whether they are mostly dealing with just rural populations or also cities.  They are involved in both, but mainly in the western highlands.


Heather Nogrady offered our thanks with a virtual loaf of bread.  It was interesting to hear about how this project evolved, and to see photos of children who were so obviously happy and proud, and that said a lot.

John Farrow introduced our guest speaker, remarking that Queen’s University is a great source of speakers for our club. The recent Alumni magazine had a feature article on Laura. A 1994 grad, she is a recognized expert in elder law an elder issues. Laura has started a program through Queen’s and also started a national seniors’ advocacy organization, CanAge
Please see the speaker’s slides: Rotary Club May 19 Social Isolation
Laura: (It's still dark here in British Columbia.) Thank you for the invitation. I have been connected to Rotary for many years. Our family has hosted two Rotary Youth Exchange students.
Kingston is about as COVID free as anywhere in the country, so stay there!
CanAge is a national not-for-profit which collaborates with Queen’s, government, and a variety of other agencies. It’s mission “is to advance the rights and well-being of Canadians as we age.” Its vision, “for older Canadians to live vibrant and connected lives,” is for the polar opposite of social isolation.
As a senior, if you’re well connected and don’t smoke, you’re probably doing pretty well. Laura shared some of her personal experience in dealing with COVID-19. Her parents are Queen’s grads and her son has finished first year at Queen’s. Her parents, 83 years old, have great social networks and are active and healthy. It took a while for them to get used to the COVID-19 situation. She had to tell them starkly that if they got sick, they were going to die and nobody would give them medical services. It was the first time in their lives that they had experienced social isolation and the first time that they had to ask for help, including for grocery shopping.
CanAge creates seniors' projects through partnerships. A most recent one links Queen’s students and senior alumni. In planning this, when Laura approached the V-P of Advancement, Laura told her that she hoped Queen’s was not asking elders for money at this time. Thankfully, it was not. Instead, the Office of Advancement collaborated in creating a friendship program. Laura asked the United Way for help, as she did with Canadian Frailty Network and Elder Abuse Prevention (ON). They had the program up and running within 1 1/2 weeks. Organizations are working together in a way she’s never seen in 25 years of work, launching new programs very quickly.
Laura gave us some background on social isolation and how bad it is for our health. One study out of Harvard compared the impact of social isolation to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. People need about 3 to 4 good relationships, including intergenerational relationships. It is very challenging to raise money for programs for seniors. But this one time, since all people have experienced some form of isolation, it has been easier. A phone call two to three times a week to a senior can have a huge impact on physical and mental health. Social isolation and loneliness are not the same thing. Social isolation is the idea that you really don’t have people to reach out to if you wanted. A recent study in Holland measured all the health indicators when a program for 4-year-olds was moved into a long-tern care centre. The functionality of residents increased remarkably.
Laura shared some statistics on social isolation among Canadians before COVID-19. Sixty-two percent or seniors would like more time with friends and family. During COVID-19, 54% of Canadians report feeling lonely.
Laura also shared info about abuse and neglect. No government has given any money to address this during the Covid Crisis. About one in five seniors experienced abuse and neglect before COVID-19, now the figure is possibly one in three. Two-thirds of this is propagated by family and friends. Financial abuse is also very high. Laura and the organizations with which she works are trying to figure out how to address this problem. COVID-19 frauds and scams came out very quickly.
The Queen’s program matches students with older people. Queen’s found about 6,000 Queen’s alumni across Canada who might have been at risk. Training for the students starts with various myths and ensures that they have a good understanding of who they’ll be contacting.  Only 8% of seniors will ever be in a nursing home. All are vulnerable to the virus, but many may not be otherwise vulnerable. It’s important not to treat seniors like children. About half of people over 80 have some cognitive impairment. Mild impairment starts showing up about 10 years before diagnosis of serious dementia. Families don’t necessarily take care of their senior parents, as many are physically distant from them. Often the older person is the one supporting the younger. Hearing loss is very common, so students need to take that into account in their conversations. Reading lips of people with masks is impossible, so this is a problem for those who rely on lip-reading.  Laura's mother can no longer read (some) people’s lips.
The program started early in the COVID-19 situation, and had 50 volunteers very quickly. Then Alumni Associations started participating. The program has been running for about three weeks and is already being much appreciated. Communities are being built. The United Way guidelines on communication are being followed.
Twitter: @ltamblynwatts
John Gale: How are you able to measure elder abuse?
Laura: It’s too early for absolute numbers. The Elder Mistreatment Survey, the largest of its kind, gives detailed background. Abuse takes many forms. We’re currently looking at agency response numbers, including from the police and seniors’ help lines. Call volumes are up about 10 times what they were in pre-COVID-19 times. Usually elder abuse is significantly under-reported.
John Farrow: Laura, first, I feel for you in dealing with your parents. It took my wife and her two sisters two weeks to convince her parents to return from Florida. What finally convinced them was that they couldn’t be guaranteed their health insurance coverage would hold if they got sick. Second, as an initiative of the Southern Frontenac Community Services, whose Grace Centre is closed, a group of volunteers led by its Executive Director David Townsend, are calling every senior they service once or twice a week.
Laura: I live in B.C. and Toronto. In Toronto, I’m seeing people checking in or their neighbours. Faith communities and others are doing a lot of work. Current restrictions limit support from family care-givers.
Robert Reid: Will your son stay in BC with Queen’s going online?
A: It depends on whether the community wants him back! He loves Kingston and Queen’s. “What would you like to do?” “I’d like to go back to Kingston.” The loss to students is big. They’re learning a lot about resilience.
Laura: It is interesting to hear stories about influenza pandemic and other past events. I really want to hear stories from our community. Please send them to me.
Ana Sutherland thanked Laura, explaining that we would normally give her a loaf of bread.
Laura pointed us two a major reference on elder abuse: Into the Light: National Survey on the Mistreatment of Older Canadians 2015 (NICE National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly. Dr. Lynn McDonald (University of Toronto), Principal Investigator/Author)

There are some 4,000 students who participate in the Food Sharing program in schools. Many of these children receive breakfast, lunch and a snack every school day between September and June. My program, Isthmus, bridges the gap between Friday and Monday for these children giving them a hamper of food for the weekend. With COVID-19, numbers are growing and will continue to do so.
When the schools closed, these programs had to rethink how to get food to these children (and their families). The FSP and Isthmus partnered sharing resources and ideas and, with the help of the Limestone District and Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District school boards, and with other partners like Lionhearts and Stock Transportation, we developed a new model. The education boards sought permission from families to share their addresses, phone numbers and number of children in each family. They have subsequently, through their Principals, identified families in need and received the necessary permissions. As of 3:00 pm today, almost 400 families in 31 schools have asked to participate in our food distribution program. Again, this number is sure to grow as situations become more precarious.

We held our first distribution on Friday handing out 226 hampers to 167 families. This test involved the 5 schools that my program serves. Those schools are Rideau Heights PS, JG Simcoe PS, Molly Brant PS, Centennial PS and St. Francis of Assisi CS. Food was purchased or donated on Tuesday and Wednesday. Hampers were packed on Thursday and Friday. The food was delivered between 2:30 pm and 5:30 pm on Friday. Families receiving the food were so thankful!

For this delivery, the hampers included the following items: one block of cheese, one litre of milk, broccoli, a small bag of carrots, 4 apples, 4 bananas, 4 oranges, 2 boxes of mac and cheese, a can of pasta sauce, a package of spaghetti, 2 cups of apple sauce, 2 juice boxes, a loaf of bread and 2 packages of oatmeal. Not enough food to get the family through a whole week but we assume they have other sources of food.

The bread is donated by Cobbs bakery through Lionhearts. The rest of the food is purchased at wholesale prices from Deodatos, Grants No Frills and the Wholesale Club.

Going forward, the plan is to run the Isthmus program (5 schools) one week and the Food Sharing Project the next (26 schools) alternating between the two.
Paul Elsley, Rotary Club of Kingston
P.S. Since I first wrote this note, the number of schools and families has gone up.

Not to be deterred by Covid-19, we continue to have guest speakers!
Ana introduced our speaker for today, Jackie Blakney. Ana met Jackie through BNI and became friends and business colleagues then introduced her to Rotary.

Jackie is a real estate broker and has loved real estate since she was young. She bought her first house at the age of 18!  Jackie served as a law clerk for 20 years in real estate, all the while raising two kids on her own.  The last 15 years she has been selling real estate. People ask her why - she simply responds I had two kids and a mortgage to pay! Jackie had nine people working in her office. They sold 165 homes last year but she wanted to bring a more personal touch to her business, so she’s downsized to a team including her sister, her two sons and a full-time assistant located at Remax Finest on Gardiners Road.

Jackie thought everyone wanted to know how real estate was managing during the Covid crisis. Several government bodies regulate real estate - new clauses are present in every offer.  There is a chance that the registry office might be closed to process transactions and allowances are made for this.  Interactions with people now mean masks, gloves, buyer and seller declarations, and acknowledgement of the risks of open houses. Although a lot is done virtually Jackie cautioned that buying a house totally over the Internet is not a good idea.  When showing a home now sellers are asked to turn on the lights, leave the doors open, some of the cupboards open, and the perspective buyers are only allowed to touch the doorknobs which are cleaned often.  Buyers even leave their shoes outside.  Jackie also belongs to an organization of the top 100 Remax agents across Canada.  They chat daily about ways to meet the challenges. She doesn’t listen to the news much but the phones are ringing, probably because Canadians are not good at being cooped up.  We have withstood that for 30 to 45 days, but now people need to move and real estate is an essential service.  Jackie continues to offer services like grocery delivery to senior clients - she has some clients in care homes and arranged for a delivery of chocolate recently to one of them.  One of the great things is how we’re helping each other, and and she is actually enjoying spring for the first time in a long time because it’s usually her busiest season. She thinks there may be a surge coming - she has 20 listings ready to go and some people just can’t wait. There are still bidding wars although instead of ten bidders we now have two or three.
Questions?  John Farrow asked what is the status of the military? Jackie functions as a rental agent as well as a sales agent for military. Transactions that were already in process have been completed and the leaders are moving regardless of the Covid crisis. She said that the effect on the Kingston real estate market market is not as big as you think.
John also asked the difference between a broker and an agent. Jackie responded after becoming an agent there is an education process to get to be a  broker - you can then become our broker manager and a broker owner when you own real estate brokerage.

Greg Mumford asked about her partner Tim? They are separate now.  Jackie figures she has about 10 years left in real estate and it was a business decision to downsize.

Bill Egnatoff asked if Jackie has mentored other agents? Jackie responded she mentors both clients and agents - she gives lots of new agents advice and they share forms and good ideas. She learns from her daily interactions with customers and shares them with her team. Real estate is full of problems and she learns every day how to handle those.  Some day she will write a book about mushrooms, bats, and buried logs!

Martin asked how does it affect your family time?  Jackie said it’s tough when you’re a single mom - you need to learn to set time aside for yourself. She once had a seller call her on Christmas Eve but politely rebuffed them. She’s never worked on Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas. Jackie is part of a large family which matters to her a lot - she shares this with her team and she tells her sons "don’t be like me"!
Thanks for a great talk Jackie!
Karen Lawford
Karen’s background includes a B.Sc. in Sciences from Trent University and a Bachelor in Health Sciences specializing in midwifery.  She went on to earn a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa.  She is currently an Assistant Professor of Gender Studies at Queen’s.  Her research interests are; maternity care on reserves, medical evacuation, Midwifery, Indigenous feminist theories and methodologies, Indigenous women and Two Spirit Leadership, Indigenous health and wellness, and health care.
Karen loves finding a solution to a problem.  She has investigated how health care systems work.  Health care in Canada involves many levels of government…Federal, Provincial and Territorial systems, although most people are unaware of the Federal system.  The Federal level of health care deals with the military, First Nations, penitentiaries and the RCMP.  A lot of these jurisdictional divisions go back to 1867, and also to the Indian Act of 1876.  This act allowed the government to have authority over all aspects of the lives of people on the reserves.  They were unable to leave a reserve without a pass, and attendance at the residential schools was compulsory.  If children were not sent there, the RCMP would come and get them.  The reserves are on what is considered Crown land, and this means residents cannot own the land, or make money from it.  The Indian  Act also specified that they couldn’t sell crops grown on the land.  This illustrates the power of the Indian Act.  Some groups recently have taken the government to court, for things like the under funding of schools. 
Karen’s specific interest is health care.  If you live on reserve then health care is federally provided.  Each reserve has its own funding agreement.  Care used to be provided by nurses, but some nursing stations are being closed, partly because there have been recent 40% cuts in funding. 
Karen showed us a map of Canada that showed the large number of tribal councils with different health care systems being managed by the Federal government.  It looks like a logistical nightmare.  All councils have different agreements with the Federal government.  All of Canada is covered by some Aboriginal treaty, but Indigenous people are saying that health care isn’t a treaty right but rather a human right.  Many treaties were signed under duress and in English which those signing didn’t understand. 
There are also four Inuit regions in Canada.  Comprehensive land agreements there include health care.  They cannot be negotiated any more even though the treaty was signed years ago, although there have been challenges to this now. 
Karen’s research during her M.A. found that in 1892 the government hired two obstetricians to deliver babies on reserves.  Now there is an evacuation policy, which means that toward the end of her pregnancy a woman has to travel to a larger city to wait for labor and delivery.  Astonishingly, this is still in effect.  One of the women in her research in Manitoba had to fly out of her community to Norway House and await delivery.  There is no prenatal education provided and no prenatal care.  When a woman leaves her community to give birth there is no provision for a family member to accompany her.  She is not allowed an escort. Another woman drove herself 1.5 hours to Winnipeg.  Because it turned out that she wasn’t actually in labour, she had to make this trip three times.  This was her first pregnancy.  She did have prenatal care from a nurse on her reserve, and two weeks of post-partum care.  If there had been a midwife on reserve she would have received the proper care most Canadian women have access to.  There is also the difficulty of having different health care systems involved in their care, and there seems to be a communication problem between these two providers.
Robert Reid thanked Karen with our traditional loaf of bread, and the hope that reconciliation will lead to better understanding.