Convention: Southern hospitality
The Atlanta Host Organization Committee is offering some good old-fashioned Southern hospitality at the Rotary International Convention from 10 to 14 June. It has planned a wide range of activities featuring everything from good food and music to inspiring tours of local landmarks. If it’s your first convention, these events are chances to meet fellow Rotarians from around the world, and if you’re an experienced convention goer, you can catch up with old friends. Hall of Fame baseball player Hank Aaron will host Rotarians for a “Strike Out Polio” night at the new SunTrust Park, where you’ll...
Member spotlight: The power of the press
When Teguest Yilma helped found the Rotary Club of Addis Ababa Entoto in 2002, she thought polio had already been eradicated from most of the world. But while Ethiopia had been free of the disease, Yilma was shocked to learn that new cases had started cropping up in surrounding countries such as Somalia. “I was thinking, it’s not possible, we can’t be free if the countries around us are not free,” she says. Yilma, the managing editor of Capital, Ethiopia’s largest English weekly newspaper, has brought a journalist’s skills to the fight against polio. She became vice chair of the Ethiopia...
Member interview: Writer sheds light on FDR’s right-hand woman
Battling breast cancer in 2000, Kathryn Smith found comfort pursuing her lifelong interest in Franklin D. Roosevelt. The more she read, the more intrigued she became with the 32nd U.S. president’s private secretary, Marguerite Alice “Missy” LeHand. “I thought, what a fascinating life she had because she was by his side through the polio crisis, establishing the polio rehabilitation center in Warm Springs and then after his return to politics,” she says. Smith, a past president of the Rotary Club of Greater Anderson, S.C., and a longtime newspaper journalist, turned that curiosity into a book...
The Rotarian Conversation with Ban Ki-moon
One of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s earliest memories is of fleeing with his family into the mountains during the Korean War, his village burning behind him. His father and grandfather had to forage for food in the woods; his mother gave birth to his siblings away from anything remotely resembling a health facility. “I have known hunger,” he says. “I have known war, and I have known what it means to be forced to flee conflict.” The soldiers who came to their rescue were flying the blue flag of the United Nations. The UN provided them with food and their schools with books....
Culture: Life in the bike lane
Like a lot of us, I spent much of my childhood riding bikes, but fell out of the habit for a while. Forty years. Then my wife and I moved to New York, where cyclists risk their necks in a daily Thunderdome of cabs, police cars, firetrucks, double-decker buses, messengers on motorbikes, and delivery trucks backing around corners at 20 miles an hour. Not for me! At least not until my 50th birthday, when my metabolic furnace flamed out. Calories started going directly from beer bottle to beer belly. It was time to start exercising. Either that or give up Samuel Adams, and I couldn’t do that to...
Home Page Stories
Posted by Mayor Taso Christopher on Jan 09, 2017
Rotarian Adam Zegouras introduced Mayor Taso Christopher and remembers looking for hockey equipment as a young kid and getting treated well through Taso's business at the time. Taso was elected as Mayor of Belleville in October 2014 after serving two terms on Council. He was born and raised in Belleville and has been a resident of River Road in Corbyville for the past 20 years along with his wife, Betty, and three daughters. Taso graduated from Quinte Secondary School and Humber College and has been an owner/partner of the local sporting goods retailer Four Seasons Sports for more than 35 years. He served our community as a Councillor from 2006-2014 and has an in-depth knowledge of how the City of Belleville operates as a municipality. He has first-hand knowledge of the challenges that face our community and the people who live here. In addition to his role on City Council, Taso has been the chair of the Police Services Board, co-chaired the Belleville Waterfront and Ethnic Festival and been a Member of the City of Belleville Planning Committee, City of Belleville Audit Committee and the Library Board. Taso has also been a Member of the Greek Community Board of Directors, Chairman of the QHC Cancer Gala and President of the Quinte Ethnic Festival Council.
Taso has proven that he is always willing to ask the tough questions and takes a common sense approach to making decisions to improve the quality of life in the City of Belleville. Taso has been an important part of Belleville’s progress in the past decade including these important projects
- Quinte Sports & Wellness Centre
- Integrated Court House Building
- Doctor Recruitment Program
- Build Belleville Infrastructure Deficit Program
- Veteran’s Memorial Bridge
- Belleville Senators Hockey Club
Mayor Christopher said 2016 has been the busiest construction year and the City has much to celebrate in having completed a number of capital projects, including a new snow disposal program, upgrade of the Corby Rose Garden, 95% completion of the Bay Bridge, expanded Christmas Light display, opening of the new Archive Center at the Library, upgrading of playground equipment in the City. Definitely a year of implementation. The City hosted the U19 World Girls soccer competition with 400 athletes coming together, the first time to Ontario and outside of Europe. The City has completed Phase 2 of the downtown re-vitalization and will be moving forward to Phase 3.
An exciting time for the City is welcoming the Belleville Senators Hockey Club. Mark Fleuer is a large part of the successful results and will be managing the facility upgrade, on time and on budget. The opening of Shorelines Casino, providing 220 full-time jobs in the area, brings gaming to our community. The investments council has made in tourism is attracting different organizations and families to the area. The City of Belleville is leading the province as far as levels of service for a municipality of our size. Overall our economic development has experienced huge growth with newly developed land for sale, industrial expansion of Proctor and Gamble, a low unemployment rate of 4.9 compared to historical average of 6.7, more doctors. The Mayor credited service clubs such as the Rotary Club of Belleville along with churches, the YMCA, foodbanks, all have contributed countless hours to make the City a safe place to work and play.
There are many projects still in the works, the new police facility, upgrades to the arena, Phase 3 of downtown vitalization, a recycling facility, new fire station in Plainfield, renovations to City Hall reception/entrance and the Mayor was excited to talk about plans to help the City celebrate their 200th anniversary in 2017. Mayor Christopher gave credit to the community for welcoming Syrian refugees, proving that we are a community with a big heart and wide arms.
Past President Len Kennedy thanked the Mayor for his presentation, a fitting way to start the year and a reminder of the achievements and developments still to come.
Posted on Jan 09, 2017
Hugh Campbell, Ray McCoy and Kristin Crowe, an established Committee of three made a recommendation to the Rotary Board to make a special presentation to Rotarian Vince Lynch, a Paul Harris Award (2). Vince is a very modest individual and the Committee expected him to be embarrassed to hear the following good things about himself........but here they are!
Vince Lynch joined the Rotary Club of Belleville, seventeen years ago. During that time, he has demonstrated that he is an outstanding member by the leadership roles he has taken in many of our club’s projects and events. It should be noted that his wife, Joy, is also a good friend of Rotary, assisting him in many of these activities. During his early days as a Rotarian, the City of Belleville asked Rotary to assume responsibility for organizing the craft show which was held on West Zwick’s Island during Waterfront Festival. Vince stepped forward. A major aspect of this project was finding participants who were willing to demonstrate their craft skills and products and appear on dates assigned to the festival. Selecting participants stretched from one show to the next. Vince also helped with obtaining the covering tent, and its installation, and worked with the participants to establish mutually agreeable sales areas. Organizing clean-up afterward was no small task by itself.
The Rotary District 7070 Conference was held in Belleville, in 2003, during Bill McKay’s tenure as District Governor. Vince was part of the hardworking organizational team. He helped with registration for over 500 visiting Rotarians.
For several years, Vince and Joy did the shopping for special needs children, for the annual Christmas party. They also wrapped all the presents. Often, up to 25 children were involved. Those of us with three or four children or grandchildren for whom we shop, can understand the time commitment of this endeavour.
Annually, Vince develops, reviews and revises our Rotary Club roster. We have about 130 members, with some leaving and others joining each year. Keeping up with each member’s vocation, address, phone number(s), email addresses, and in some cases spouse(s) is a considerable responsibility. As you are aware, the book also contains names of our officers and directors, committees and chairs, and International Directors. Vince continues to improve the book and make it more useful to us. Included recently, is background information regarding our Satellite Club as well as instruction for Rotary Website Accessing, and Personal Profile Editing.
Camp Merrywood is one of the experiences that defines many of us in Belleville Rotary. When we lost Glynn Reynolds, our long time leader in this initiative, Kristin Crowe and Vince took on the task as co-chairs in 2009. The number of volunteers, both Rotarians and others, taking part each year in the three day spring clean up, continues to grow. Kristin and Vince do a great job of working with the Merrywood Staff to assess needs, and then assigning up to fifty volunteers to painting, woodcutting, building, electrical, landscaping (as I personally discovered to be the most dangerous), and various other work groups. Kristin and Vince have the skills to establish an atmosphere where volunteers complete the tasks, while enjoying fun and fellowship.
Rotary Loves Kids is our largest fundraiser, providing an opportunity to help us to help others. Vince was a long term member of this committee which meets frequently throughout the year. He has been involved in promotions, setting up sponsor signs at the three golf courses at the beginning of the day, and removing them at the end. Some signs were stored for the year in his garage.
In addition to these main responsibilities, Vince always is ready to help out in other Rotary projects and initiatives such as investing the time to take the “Smart Serve” course to allow him to serve alcohol at public events. During the Waterfront Festival, Belleville Rotary Club members help by serving at the beer tent at Zwick’s Island. In return we receive a percentage of the profits. Vince fills several shifts. He takes many turns helping at the Salvation Army Kettle each year and helps out with Meals on Wheels when called upon. He worked with Michael Maloney and others in the renovation, cleaning, and updating of the portable for the tutoring program “Each One Teach One”. If someone is ill or in need on a personal level, Vince has shown on several occasions that he is quick to respond, whether that need is transportation, food or simply a friendly visit.
Vince exemplifies the qualities of an outstanding Rotarian. We are thrilled that his contributions to our club, to Rotary in general and to our community are being recognized through this Paul Harris 2 Award.
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Posted by Jamie Trudeau on Jan 11, 2017
The Rotary Club of Belleville was awarded the prestiigious Bell Ringer Award for the second year in a row for the group or organization providing the most volunteer hours. Rotary fully manned the Christmas Kettle at the LCBO location at the Quinte Mall for the duration of the Kettle Campaign with 244 volunteer hours by Rotarians and friends of Rotary. This was accomplished by 65 Rotarians, many doing multiple shifts. The total collected in this particular kettle was $21,314, the highest of a single kettle location. The Salvation Army set a goal this year to raise $160,000 with their Christmas Kettle Campaign and for the first time, reached their goal before Christmas. They are grateful to the community and volunteers such as the Rotary Club of Belleville for helping them surpass their expectations and collecting a total of $178,000. A sincere thank you was received from the Salvation Army to the Rotary Club of Belleville and each volunteer will receive a certificate of appreciation from them for their contribution to the success of their campaign which allows them to do so much in the community. Sixteen Rotarians and friends attended the volunteer appreciation dinner on January 11th hosted by the Salvation Army at their headquarters on Bridge Street West. Jamie Trudeau thanked all Rotarians who contributed volunteer kettle time to make this happen for such an important cause. The monies raised in this campaign remain in the community and support programs such as the Warm Room at 295 Pinnacle Street, nightly from November 15th to March 15th from 6 - 8:30 p.m. where people can get a free hot meal and fellowship, watch some television or a movie and play games. The Salvation Army also runs an emergency food bank and distributes winter coats free of charge to anyone who needs one. During the summer, they financially support sending children to camp. The lunch and warm room program prepares 300 meals a day for people in the community who gather for warmth and friendship provided by Salvation Army workers and volunteers. Co-ordinating the kettle, cheerfully and willingly is our own Jamie Trudeau, assisted by Chris Finkle. Without their effort, the Salvation Army would struggle to meet their program commitments. Thank you to all and God bless! A special presentation of the Bell Ringer Award to Jamie Trudeau by Abby Mills, Director of the Salvation Army Family Services and Debbie Scott, Co-ordinator of the Kettle Campaign for the Salvation Army.