Club News
The 2022 Indigenous Professional Development Bursary recipients are Leticia Wabash, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay and Margaret Arquette, St. Lawrence College, Kingston.
Leticia said she is so honoured to receive the Indigenous Professional Development Bursary this year. She just finished her second year of law school at Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University and looks forward to continue her work in the community. Some of the roles she held this past year involved being the President of the Indigenous Law Students Association, student rep on the Indigenous Law Justice Institute Committee and the Anishinaabe Omaa-Minowaywin Committee. She also had the wonderful opportunity to work as the Program Coordinator with PBSC and the OFIFC in working to launch an Indigenous Human Rights Clinic in Thunder Bay, ON. Her future plans involve finishing third year of law school and writing her BAR exam in 2023, with a hope to practice either in Indigenous, Criminal or Human Rights Law. Wherever she ends up, she hopes to continue working with community.”
Margaret Arquette's comments are attached.
The Indigenous Peoples Partnerships Cluster -- Rotary Clubs of Belleville, Wellington, Trenton, Palgrave & Cataraqui-Kingston are looking for NEW AND GENTLY USED ART AND CRAFT SUPPLIES to send to elementary schools in remote Northern Indigenous communities to promote Art for Aid projects.  Deadline for donations is June 30th, 2022.
Bill MacKay introduced today's speaker, Adam Frisk. In February, Bill was going through some of his Rotary items collected over the last 42 years. As part of that collection was a CD of a documentary that was created by today’s guest speaker. Bill remembered the luncheon that Adam made a presentation to our club back in 2002, and thought, “I wonder what happened to him and where is he? What impact did his going to Cameroon for a Rotary National Immunization Day have on him and his view on immunization now that we have spent the last two plus years in a pandemic? And why won’t this CD from 20 years ago not allow me to retrieve the file?” A quick Google search soon revealed that Adam Frisk was working at CTV News, a network he had joined 2019, and that he was a national online journalist at Global News for more than seven years prior to that, specializing in covering breaking news and trending content, and worked in newsrooms at and At CTV News, Adam is a generalist who works closely with local newsrooms across the country while focusing on bringing great, hyper-local stories to a national audience. Adam studied commercial photography at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont., before earning a photojournalism diploma and a post graduate diploma in online journalism from Loyalist College. A passionate photographer, Adam’s photographs, syndicated by Splash News, have appeared in print and on websites around the world, including People, US Weekly, Hello! Canada and TMZ. As we recognize World Immunization Week, please welcome Adam Frisk to our meeting today.
Adam thanked the Club and in particular, Bill MacKay, for inviting him to speak to the Rotary Club about his experiences twenty years ago when he participated in World Immunization Week in Cameroon, West Africa, a ten day trip where he visited with other volunteers, six villages to administer two drops of the polio vaccine in a child's mouth.  It changed his life.  While there he met many Rotarians from around the world, all participating in the goal to eradicate polio worldwide.  Rotary launched Polio Plus in 1985 and since then more than 2.5 billion children have received the oral polio vaccine.  Polio cases are down 99% worldwide.  Adam will be forever grateful that he had an opportunity to see first hand the far reaching impact Rotary had in eradicating polio and protecting a child for life, bringing hope to Cameroon.
Having gone through a serious health issue himself, Adam is very thankful for the skill and expertise of surgeons and medical staff who supported him through his ordeal in the middle of the pandemic and feels there is a connection to his experience twenty years ago to his more recent health scare.  He is convinced that vaccines work because he has seen the effect in West Africa through to the outbreak of COVID worldwide.  Adam shared a video of an interview he did with a Rotarian from Syracuse, New York, a polio survivor.
Dianne Spencer thanked Adam for his willingness 20 years ago to participate in World Immunization Week at personal risk, to document his experience and share with our Club and others.  Definitely making an impact on so many, many people.
Past President Tim McKinney introduced today's speaker at the Rotary Club of Belleville -- Allyson Tufts, a long time resident of Belleville and facilitator, counsellor and author who is unyielding in her support of individuals and families dealing with grief and loss.  Allyson announced the start-up of her Private Bereavement Counselling Practice, sponsored by Tim McKinney and his team at Remax Quinte.  The official start date is on Wednesday, May 11th at "the Loft" at 35 St. Paul Street in Belleville, Ontario.  Allyson's services will be available one day a week to start.  She shared her personal grief over the loss of her grandfather when she was very young and then more recently, the loss of her father and her difficulty in managing her grief. Bereavement counselling changed her life and perspective on dealing with the unbearable moments when grief envelopes us.  Allyson read an article she wrote, shared here.
The love always remains
Since Alex’s (niece) passing there have been many moments that we have felt the ache of her absence.  We’ve also had times that we’ve felt joy and I’ve even seen smiles on the faces of those who loved her the most.  Sadly, there are other moments too.
Things do change and evolve but there is one thing that doesn’t. As you lead up to the anniversary of the loss of a loved one, you tend to think of the days leading up to the death and the ones immediately after. You think of that blissful moment in your life before you got the horrific news and then the moment after when your life was forever altered.  Unfortunately, the moment of finding out that the person you love is gone is a moment that sits with you physically, mentally and spiritually for a lifetime.  The triggers of that horrific moment are everywhere. It could be the sound of a ringtone – when the phone rang and the person on the line told you the horrific news, the sound of a loved one’s footsteps coming to your door at an ungodly hour, or worse, the police coming to tell you the news or it could be a vision, if you were the one holding your loved one’s hand as they left this world. These are the pieces of grief that are the hardest to explain.  These physical moments that are imprinted in your mind and heart of the unthinkable. 
On birthdays, at Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc. you naturally wish your loved one was still here but on the anniversary of someone’s death you are reminded of that unbearable moment when you found out they are gone forever. All the joy, all the love, all the wonder of the person you held so dear has now, if only for that moment, turned into an unthinkable horror that you cannot comprehend. It is an ache, a sting, a flutter that takes over your heart, your stomach and your breath making breathing next to impossible. 
There have been many around us since Alex’s death that have suffered the unbearable loss of a loved one and there were so many before us and there will be more to come. Because death is part of life, it is one of the few things we can be sure of. For anyone who is loving and supporting those who are grieving, please know that it isn’t a choice to go back to this horrific place or feeling, it isn’t a choice to ache, it’s simply a part of their life that they didn’t ask for.  It doesn’t mean they aren’t healing, it doesn’t mean they aren’t succeeding at relationships or jobs or friendships, it simply means that this unthinkable moment is there somewhere in their heart, body and mind waiting to show its ugly face.  Be patient with those who are grieving and be patient with hearing the story again. Take comfort in knowing that their capacity to love is so strong that they somehow manage to move forward in honour of those they lost knowing the ache still lurks below the surface.
There is no time limit on grief but the good news is, and please believe me there is good news…there is no time limit on love either. I believe in my heart that the ache NEVER wins! It may show its ugly face sometimes but the moments of love, giggles and beautiful memories are what sustain us for the rest of our lives.  They are what create the armour to handle the aches.  Stand beside those who are grieving when the ache shows its ugly face so you’ll be there to remind them of all the joy they were gifted with those they loved. The ache, no matter how powerful, is just a small part of the story. The memories you shared with your loved one will always remain and they’ll find a way to show up for you in so many moments as you move through your life.
The ache never wins because the love always remains!
Allyson is the author of two books including Korah's Butterfly, a children's book that deals with grief, sharing healing messages and providing guidance for children who have experienced a traumatic loss.  The book sends a message of hope and healing for all ages.  Allyson's own journey with grief inspired the book and brought her back to her love of working with families dealing with grief and loss.
Each year since 2008, the Club has been nominating and presenting Paul Harris Fellowships to community members.  Each recipient is nominated by a Rotarian for their outstanding contribution to the community and their demonstration of Rotary's motto of Service Above Self.  A Paul Harris Fellowship is one of the highest honours a Club can bestow on a member or on an individual in the community.  This evening's recipients are joining a rather exclusive circle which includes such world figures as Mother Teresa, U.S. President Jimmy Carter, UN Secretary General Javier Perex de Cuellar and so on.  They are also joining 80 members of the Rotary Club of Belleville and 47 past recipients in our community who are Paul Harris Fellows.  Honoured recipients were Elizabeth Ewashkiw (nominated by Dr. Ruth Mathieson), Catharine and Lanny Huff (nominated by Rotarian Dianne Spencer), Rick Watt (nominated by President Elect Cory MacKay) presented by Past President Tim McKinney, Master of Ceremonies and Rotary President, Darrell Smith.
Elizabeth Ewashkiw arrived in Belleville in the Fall of 1967 and has been actively involved in the community ever since.  While completing her degree from Queen's University, she became a volunteer teacher of English for new Canadians, eventually coordinating their children's class and thus began many decades of association with early childhood education.  Nova Children's Centre grew from concept to incorporation with Elizabeth leading the way as founding president.  It is still thriving on Montrose Road to this day.  She joined the Board of the Eastern Ontario Concert Orchestra and quickly rose to President and later General Manager of the Board.  Elizabeth is a member of the Canadian Federation of the University Women, Belleville Branch, is also on the executive of the Retired Women Teachers of Ontario and the Board of Bridge Street United Church foundation.  In 2008 while she was serving meals for "Inn from the Cold" at Bridge Street United Church, she was introduced to two other guests who were knitters, forming Knitters United, an inspiring community group which now has 56 members.  They use donated yarn to knit hats and mittens to donate to those near and far who are in need.  By the end of 2021 they had donated 18,637 items!  They have donated to many groups over the years who are in need, including Hastings and Prince Edward Learning Foundation, the Scott Mission, Three Oaks and far flung places like Iqaluit to Kenya.  Elizabeth is a born leader and fully exemplifies the motto of Rotarians, Service Above Self.
Catharine and Lanny Huff have a history of generous support of their community.  Supporters of hospitals, Loyalist College, arts groups, sports and community organizations, when they see a need, they help where they can.  In April 2021, when presented with an Honorary Lifetime Membership by the Quinte West Chamber of Commerce, Lanny commented that "education and health care" are the causes most important to him and Catharine.  The Prince Edward County Community Foundation was formed in 2009 and Catharine was a founding member.  In 2018 the Foundation announced the establishment of The Huff Family Fund to support area organizations and institutions through grants.  In May 2020, the Huff Family Fund made a significant donation to be used for critical equipment and supplies needed in the fight against COVID-19 across each of the four hospitals in the Quinte Health Care system.  The previous year, the BGH Foundation received a gift of $500,000 from Catharine and Lanny to support nuclear medicine to provide lifesaving advanced cancer diagnostics for the region.  Catharine has a history of volunteer work with Loyalist College and as a Director on the College Foundation, the family has made financial donations for over 25 years including the purchase of a chair in honour of their daughter, a graduate of the College's Nursing Program.  They also established an Endowment Fund in memory of their son, Peter, supporting countless individuals and making a profound impact on the College and future students.  The family supported the building of the Skills Centre at Loyalist, named the Peter F. Huff Automotive Centre in 2013.  Also major donations were made for the development of the Health and Wellness Complex and in recognition of their cumulative support in excess of two million dollars, Catharine and Lanny were named to the prestigious Visionaries level on the Donor Wall.  The Huffs do not seek recognition, accepting it only to encourage others to step up to support a cause.  They seek to promote the welfare of others, especially by donating money to good causes.  They are generous and benevolent and have been recognized as "outstanding philanthropists" by the Association of Fundraising professions in Southeastern Ontario on more than one occasion.
Rick Watt has been volunteering for over 20 years in our community, a familiar face in the Track and Field Student programs and volleyball, making significant contributions to the lives of young students.  Rick has also been the face of Operation Red Nose locally since 2003, first as a driver in 1996, but then re-joining at the invitation of Inspector Merle Foster of the Belleville Police Service in 2003.  The program runs on weekends between late November and the end of the year.  There are teams of three -- an escort driver, a driver and a navigator.  The teams pick up passengers, the driver and navigator then get into your car with you and the escort driver follows to make sure the passenger arrives at their destination safely.  Volunteers, combined with Rick's leadership are the main reasons Operation Red Nose has been so successful.  Rick was named to the Operational Red Nose Hall of Fame for his contributions and the program has been a model for other communities.  In addition to Red Nose, Rick has also been a long-time volunteer at Inn from the Cold at Bridge Street United Church, working closely with the community and other volunteers.  He was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, quite an honour.  Described by Dave Allen as the master of managing volunteers, Rick has and continues to give his time, leadership skills and knowledge to the community, an example of Service Above Self.
The Rotary Club of Belleville has a dream to make our city a little greener and our air a little cleaner. Rotary Loves Trees is an environmental initiative that will help make that dream a reality by working with like-minded individuals like you to plant 50,000 trees within Belleville city limits! This year with the help of a generous donation of $10,000 the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, we are hosting threelarge-scale planting events.These plants will bring together individuals with an interest in land reclamation and an interest in keeping Mother Earth and our city TREErific!
The first planting for 2022 is scheduled for Sunday May 1, beginning at 9am at Clarence Bird Park, 34 Hampton Ridge Blvd.  The planting of about 1,000 native species of trees and shrubs will re-establish a natural shoreline along both sides of the creek that runs through the park.  Natural shorelines help in removing contaminants from the creek runoff and protect water quality.
Your Rotary Loves Trees Committee is requesting the help of Rotary volunteers to help plant seedlings  If you have a strong back and don’t mind the end of a shovel,contact  Carmela Ruberto at and we’ll add you to our roster.  Do you have a high school student looking to incur their volunteer hours?  Bring them along!
On behalf of the RLT Committee, thank you for your support. 
Be sure to visit
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.
Yours in community
Terry Thomas
Past President and current Program Chair Tracy Bray introduced her definitely Irish friend Tom Moran for a little fun on St. Patrick's Day.  Tracy met Tom through coaching soccer, he is now the head coach for the Belleville Soccer Club.
Tom came to Canada from Ireland in 1989.  The plan was to settle in and earn a decent living and have a brighter future than what was available to him at the time back home.  Tom was a skilled tradesman at a time when technological skills were sought after, making his prospects not that golden.  His mother bid him a tearful farewell, hoping that he would not land on a stool in a pub like so many of the lads he used to hang out with.  After two weeks in Canada, Tom was employed in the automotive industry as a jolly Irish car painter.  Worked initially for Brad and Grant Devolin and then at McCurdy's in Stirling.  Tom considered it an honour to be asked to speak to the Rotary Club and so he went on to tell us a little bit about St. Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland.  St. Patrick was originally from Britain, a son of a wealthy man who was a deacon and leader in his village.  It is said that a group of pirates kidnapped St. Patrick when he was 16, sold him to a farmer where he spent six years as a slave.  During captivity, he strengthened his relationship with God through prayer, eventually leading him to convert to Christianity.  He eventually escaped, went into the priesthood and eventually brought Christianity to the people in Ireland.  St. Patrick converted many Irishmen and would give sermons on Croagh Patrick, eventually becoming the first bishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland.  The feast of St. Patrick takes place during the holy time of lent and it is the only day during that time, that the Irish can break their vows of abstinence, so they always made sure they had a good time.  Somewhat sadly, St. Patrick's day has changed over time from a solemn religious celebration to a $5.2 billion dollar industry involving clothing, accessories, decorations, travel, hotels and alcohol consumption over the five days around March 17th.  Tom said to us -- may your wishes come true and your truth be wise!
And a few Irish jokes to round out the lunch hour.  The quickest way to Cork -- Billy stops Paddy in Dublin and asks for the quickest way to Cork.  Paddy says "are you on foot or in the car?".  Billy replies "in the car".  Well that's the quickest way says Paddy.  Digging a hole - two Irishmen were working in the public works department.  One would dig a hole and ther other would follow behind him and fill the hole in.  After a while, one amazed onlooker said "why to you dig a hole, only to have your partner follow behind and fill it up again?"  The hole digger wiped his brow and sighed "well, I suppose it probably looks odd because we're normally a three person team, but today the lad who plants the trees called in sick".  Rotarian Steve Cook thanked Tom for entertaining us on St. Patrick's Day.