Advancing peace brings Rotary, U.S. Olympic athletes together
On an evening in April, more than 50 representatives from the Rotary Peace Centers and members of the U.S. Olympic Committee who had gathered for an event in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, were treated to a surprise: a pre-dinner performance by the U.S. men's Olympic gymnastics team. "They showcased their prowess in tumbling, the high bar, and the pommel horse. It was stunning!" says Rotary International Director Jennifer Jones, who served as the emcee for the April event at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Sponsored by The Rotary Foundation, 1972 Olympic decathlon competitor Barry King,...
Follow our full convention coverage
Korea is playing host to Rotary's largest event of the year, its annual convention. More than 42,000 Rotary members from over 100 countries will come together this month to celebrate service, exchange ideas, and relax among friends at unforgettable concerts and social events. The convention runs from 28 May to 1 June. Attendees will hear from renowned experts in areas of peace, global health, and human rights. Our full coverage will include photos, videos, a live blog, and social media pages World Water Summit Immediately before the convention, the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group...
Rotaract Outstanding Project Award recognizes innovative programs
Though they were a long way from home, members of the Rotaract Club of Bugolobi, Uganda, felt confident they could tackle problems in rural Kanabulemu during their annual 1000 Smiles project. Their original plan focused on curtailing the spread of HIV/AIDS. It's in the Rakai District, where the first case of AIDS in Uganda was uncovered in 1982 and about 12 percent of the population has been infected with HIV in recent years. But the Rotaractors discovered that problems in the village extended far beyond the disease. "The community lacked water, the school was in a sorry state, and the...
Pope welcomes Rotary to Jubilee audience
Thousands of Rotary members, motivated by a special invitation from Pope Francis, gathered at the Vatican in Rome on Saturday to celebrate a message of compassion, inclusiveness, and service to humanity. At midmorning, the group -- numbering some 9,000 members from 80 countries -- made its way through the congested streets of Rome, past the tight security surrounding St. Peter's Square, and settled into the area reserved for Rotary in front of St. Peter's Basilica for the Jubilee audience. Francis, a 79-year-old Argentine, urged the crowd of more than 100,000, which included members of the...
What millennials love about Rotary
From the May 2016 issue of The Rotarian If there is one absolute truth about millennials, it is this: Anyone who says there is an absolute truth about millennials risks being subjected to their collective eye roll. Millennials are individuals, and fiercely so. According to the Pew Research Center, most of them don’t even like being called “millennials,” let alone hearing generalizations about their shared attitudes and behaviors. Case in point: Christa Papavasiliou, 31, recoils at the notion that older folks see her generation as a bunch of selfie-snapping smartphone addicts. “I’m the...
Home Page Stories
Posted by Sandor Johnson
on May 09, 2016
Rotarian Maggie Norris introduced Mr. Sandor Johnson as the Quinte-ssential Renaissance man of Hastings County. Born in Hornpayne, Ontario, Mr. Johnson has started the only winery in Hastings County with his brother Robin. His background is in journalism where he worked in television as a news reporter and a financial correspondent for CNN news in Tokyo, Japan. Sandor is also a much sought after model who has done promotional campaigns for Versace, Armani and others . He also has a recurring role on the soap opera All My Children . He has also been a Special Assistant to the Executive of the Arcus Foundation which promotes harmony between people and the natural world. He lives between New York City and Tweed.
Sandor established Potter Settlement Wines on the family farm together with his parents and brother, who is a chemist with a background in wine making with some large established wineries with huge volumes of production. The farm is located north of Tweed and has been in the family since 1886. Sandor described his own journey to become a wine maker that included trying several varieties of grapes which all died. He settled on a variety of grape from the Pyrenees which grows well in the cold climate of Quebec. He has been working with and aging his wine for ten years before he sold a bottle. The wine he produces is called Marguette. Sandor comes by his craft honestly because his grandfather was well known in the area for the fine moonshine he used to make. Sandor sells his wine directly to the public because the LCBO charges too much to display wine in their stores. He said also large wineries add bleach and a product called tannin plus to sanitize and improve the flavours of their wines . He has spent $1,200,000. of his money to start the winery and has served his wine to President Obama.
Potter Settlement Vineyard and Winery is located on the very edge of the Canadian Shield. The sandy, highly mineral terroir and organically grown grapes offer a unique selection of delicious and intensely flavourful wines found nowhere else in the world. Sandor described the soil of Hastings County as full of super minerals. Canadian soil is great for white wine but bad for red. He has also blasted out of solid rock a wine cellar of sorts to store his products because the underground storage provides a steady temperature in all seasons. You can visit Potter Settlement Winery located north of Tweed on 1445 Potter Settlement Road. Once there, you will see the forged gates and stone walls made by Sandor himself along with a fountain from Florence and an aerator from Italy. You will be able to try the Marguette, ice wine and 11 other varieties of his family made wines. Sandor knew their wine couldn't just be about quantity but also about the quality, not just good or great. They had to be excellent. Come out and see for yourself!
Rotarians are invited to an exclusive winery tour and tasting on Saturday, May 28th at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Please let Maggie Norris know by May 18th if you are able to attend. Maggie's email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rotary Spelling Bee helps promote literary. Anyone who saw these kids would know they were i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e.......just incredible! Several Rotary Clubs from the region, including the Rotary Club of Belleville, got together on Saturday, May 7th to hold an Inter-Rotary Spelling Bee at the Greek Hall. The event featured 39 students from schools throughout the Quinte area. All of these students had won Spelling Bee competitions at their own schools to qualify for this event.
Kai Siggens of St. Gregory Catholic School in Picton was the winner in the early-morning junior competition, which featured 20 competitors. The intermediate competition was won by Aaron Harvey of C.M.L. Snider School in Wellington. Aaron took home the top prize after a long battle with Katie Giradeau, a finalist from Prince Charles Trenton. The final round had several stages and among the tricky words the finalists had to spell were -- fluoride, epidemic and discretion.
The Belleville, Brighton, Quinte Sunrise, Trenton and Wellington Rotary Clubs contributed to this event. First place came with a prize of $100 for the student plus another $200 for the student's school. The Spelling Bee is one of many projects Rotary Clubs are involved with this year as part of a campaign to promote literacy. All of the students were amazing, the "creme de la creme".........and don't ask us how to spell that!
Posted by Jill Raycroft
on May 01, 2016
Bob Clute introduced Jill Raycroft, a long time resident of Belleville who has brought her life-long learning skills and vision as well as her entrepreneurial experience to the Children's Safety Village as Executive Director. A compelling story of children and their safety in this community.
The Children's Safety Village is a unique community resource. Safety Villages or Traffic Parks (as they are known outside of North America) are built to supplement classroom lessons about safety. Built on the philosophy "involve me and I will understand", the Village is a child-sized model of our community, complete with City Hall, a fire hall, a train station, a church and various other businesses built around a small network of streets. The functioning traffic lights, railway crossing arms, phone booth (for practicing 911 calls) all add to the experience.
Unintentional injuries remain the leading cause of death in children (and adults). In 2012, the Canadian Pediatric Society, Injury Prevention Committee noted that "some countries began implementing strong injury prevention (IP) policies and infrastructure several decades ago and now achieve the lowest injury rates in the world". A commonly cited example is Sweden. If Canada enjoyed the same child injury rate as Sweden from 1991 to 1995:
- 1,233 children would not have died
- 23,000 to 50,000 would not have been hospitalized
- more than 250,000 would not have visited emergency departments
Cyclist or pedestrian injury is the second leading cause of injury in children between the ages of 5 and 9 years old. Vehicle restraints are also a leading cause. Although Jill did not have solid figures around the incidents of injury in our area, it will be the intention of the Children's Safety Village to start tracking these numbers.
Children come to the Village in Grades 2, 3 and 4. The curriculum and programs were developed in partnership with the Hastings-Prince Edward Public Health Unit. Each visit begins with a review of pedestrian safety, traffic signs and signals and appropriate safe behaviours. The program is delivered by a uniformed police officer. In Grade 2 students practice what they learn by walking through the streets of the Village, obeying the signals and making a 911 call. In Grade 3, they get to practice again driving miniature jeeps. In Grade 4 they add on bicycle safety rules, hand signals and helmet fitting. In addition to the safety lessons the children will learn, they build relationships with the officer, reducing some interactions that may have been stressful and conflicted. When children have the opportunity to see an officer as a friend and protector, it helps keep them calm when they are in a less controlled situation.
The primary target of the Children's Safety Village is the teachers of Grades 2, 3 and 4 who use the Village as a field trip. The Village is one of many options, but with restricted transportation budgets, the Village is not always the first choice. Jill pointed out that the Village believes children benefit in a long term way and if one child is saved from an unintentional injury because they knew how to pay attention to the street light or wore their bike helmet in the proper way, their visit to the Village has made this resource worthwhile.
There are Safety Villages around the world and there are 11 in Ontario, but Belleville is the only permanent Safety Village east of Whitby. In 2003 then Deputy Chief Brian Harder took the idea to a man named Jake Nelson with the Quinte Home Builders Association and under the leadership of Eric DenOuden, they took up the torch and reached out to the community for the funds to build the Village. The City provided the land and permits, the Police Service committed to provide an officer and over 150 businesses, service clubs and individuals helped raise nearly $600,000 to make it happen. For nearly 11 years, the Village has been operating, debt free through a volunteer Board and committed partners who tirelessly continue to maintain the buildings and reach out to the community. Jill's job is to raise awareness of the Safety Village in the community and she is very excited to see the numbers jump from 80 children in October to over 400 who visited the Christmas in the Village event in December 2015. Little feet love the Village's little streets. There is a classroom where children can do crafts and learn about safety in a classroom setting. Jill is looking forward to working on some other local events and gearing up for a fundraising campaign. There are two needs, one is maintaining the Village buildings and the second is to work with the school board to support transportation needs to ensure the students get to the Village.
Jill was thanked by Brenda Snider who reiterated that we all learn by doing.
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Apr 25, 2016 by John Smale and Dianne Spencer
John Smale was honoured to speak about the Bob Michaud Bursary, a way to remember a good man, a great friend and a Rotarian who lived his life by the 4 Way Test. Bob Michaud was a leader among us and a loyal follower, a one of a kind guy. Bob's wife Carol Lynne wanted to have Bob remembered within his beloved Rotary Club. The idea of a yearly bursary in Bob's name awarded to a Loyalist College student who aspired to and displayed the attributes so identified with Bob. The recipient would be decided by the staff at Loyalist with the criteria being that the person would be a team player in sports and was pursuing a career in sales or marketing, two areas dear to Bob's heart. Each year that the award is bestowed reminds us how special Bob was around Rotary. He was always positive as Ken Wheeler and John jokingly recalled recently -- even on the golf course where a bad shot was soon followed by gales of self deprecating laughter. It is so fitting that our Fun Day of golf in August is named in Bob's honour - life is supposed to be fun after the heaving lifting parts. John was pleased to invite Dianne Spencer and this year's recipient, Alex Hoftyzer to the platform.
Dianne was excited to tell the Club more about this year's recipient of the Bob Michaud Bursary. Alex Hoftyzer was nominated by Mr. Jeff Hoskins, head coach of the Loyalist Lancers cross country team. Alex is a second year student in Customs Border Services and has been with Lancers cross country both years. Jeff Hoskins believed Alex has the qualities that Bob had -- sportsmanship, community service and entrepreneurship, making him worthy of consideration for this award. Alex has shown tremendous sportsmanship with the cross country team which has made him a pleasure to coach. He is always at practice early and ready to go with a positive, upbeat attitude that always seems to spread to those around him. And whether it's high-fiving teammates after practice or shaking hands with other runners at the finish line, Alex is always just as happy to celebrate the successes of others as he is his own. Alex was presented with the cross country team's Fair Play Award at the Loyalist Athletics Banquet held in March 2016.
Coach Hoskins' nomination goes on to say that Alex's community service can be seen by how involved he is in within the College community. Beyond his academic and athletic commitments, he is also part of Student Government as the Justice Studies Leader and works security for the Shark Tank pub. He often lends a hand in other ways around the school as well, whether it be helping out with residence move-in or manning the athletics table at a College Open House. He also takes part in campus recreation activities and joins the crowd for Lancers home games.
And he has shown entrepreneurship in how he has taken the initiative to get involved around the school and balance it all in a way that he is able to succeed with everything. In doing so he has put himself in a place to get the most out of his College experience, while doing what he can to enhance the experience of everyone around him along the way.
Coach Hoskins felt that the Bob Michaud Award would be a great way to recognize Alex for the pride he takes in the Loyalist College community and everything he does that enriches the lives of those around him. Dianne Spencer introduced an outstanding Loyalist graduating student and this year's recipient of the Bob Michaud Bursary -- Alex Hoftyzer (pictured L to R - President Kelly, Carol Lynne Michaud, Alex Hoftyzer, Dianne Spencer and John Smale).
Apr 25, 2016 by Bill MacKay
Secretary and Past District Governor Bill MacKay shared a Rotary moment with the Club and spoke about how Rotary works with many local and international organizations and educational institutions to carry out worldwide humanitarian efforts such as polio eradication. Rotary International is a leading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative along with World Health Organization, UNICEF, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and donor governments.
The incidence of polio continues to shrink worldwide and the disease is now on the brink of being eradicated. No cases caused by the wild polio virus have been reported in Africa, including Nigeria, for more than one year. And polio cases have decreased in Pakistan by nearly 70% compared to a year ago. Rotarians continue to generously donate their time and personal resources, immunizing children, donating and raising funds, mobilizing public support for vaccination and engaging governments in the cause. Rotary is a leading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and by supporting the final push to eradicate polio, we can ensure that future generations of children will never have to suffer from this devastating disease. Rotary has donated more than $688 million to fight polio in Africa, including over $207 million to Nigeria. Rotarians have led the way in contributing their time, energy and personal resources in the drive to eradicate the disease. The number of new polio cases in the world has dropped 99.9% since the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to fewer than 40 in June 2015 from 350,000 in 1988.
As Rotarians we should be proud of being part in making a difference around the world.