Club Information

Welcome to the Rotary Club of Belleville Ontario! Due to Covid-19 our regular meetings are via Zoom.  Watch for further announcements on a return to Capers..

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 12:01 PM
Capers Restaurant
272 Front St
Belleville, ON K8N 2Z2
Due to Covid-19 our regular meetings are via Zoom. Watch for further announcements on a return to Capers, downtown Belleville on Thursdays at noon.
David Bradley and Amanda Misnakoshkang
Oct 01, 2020
In Celebration of Orange Shirt Day
Home Page Stories
President Tim was very pleased to welcome, via Zoom, some of Rotary's Exchange Students, some recent, some from a number of years ago, all with updates on their lives.  We have learned a lot from our exchange students over the years and we are hoping to get the program up and running again soon.
In addition to the students, host parents also participated in the update -- Sam Brady, Tracy Bray, Karen Baker, Doug Peterson, Cory MacKay, Bill MacKay, Darrell Smith, Judy (and Tim) McKinney.
Panu Puhaka (Finland) was a Rotary Exchange Student 9 years ago with the Brady family as his host family.  Panu has recently finished his undergrad degree and is now studying "Political Violence".  He has been volunteering through Rotary (ROTEX) for 7 years in New Zeland.  He has stopped swimming, but is running.  His time as an exchange student gave him valuable language skills and encouraged him to pursue international studies. Panu is pictured here with Len Kennedy.
Salina Savijoki (Finland) was accepted into a foundation program in London (performing arts studies), but became ill part way through the term, then had an injury and had to drop out.  She moved back home to finish all of her high school credits and is now on a gap year, working and doing some travelling.  She applied to universities in the UK for Theatre Arts programs and has opted to attend classes at the University in Chichester, focusing on the three areas of performing arts -- singing, acting and dancing.  She is presently living in Portsmouth in England which is 2 hours from London.  The Rotary Exchange Student program changed her life, helping her to learn about herself, her abilities, to believe in herself and to learn about different cultures.  Selina is pictured here with Sam Brady.
Debbie Lane (nee Howard-Browne) was an exchange student in 1978-79.  She is living in South Africa and has returned a few times to visit Canada.  She had led a very sheltered life and learned a lot while on the exchange program.  She feels this is a very valuable program that offers great benefits to young people and should be continued.  She highly recommends the youth exchange program.
Gaspard Alavoine (France) was a recent exchange student (2018 to 2019).  He graduated Grade 12 and was accepted in a program at a City Culinary School and starts in two weeks!  The exchange program helped him to become more self-sufficient and to work out some personal situations.
Juan Poblete (Chile), also called JuanPi is in 3rd year of law school in Conception, Chile.  Rotary Exchange was the best year of his life and he realizes now what a great country that Canada is.  Very advanced.  JuanPi was inspired to pursue law as a career because he wants to help people.
Julian Kraus (Germany) -- was not on the Zoom call, but this photo will remind you of his visit to our Club.
Jakob Sundman (Sweden), a 2015 Rotary Exchange Student is currently living in Stockholm,  He is a photographer and working for a furniture sales company.  Jakob said the exchange year was very good for him.  It opened him up socially and gave him confidence.  It started his life going forward.  He commented on COVID-19 in Sweden with more loss of life than in other scandinavian countries.  Nine out of twenty cases in Sweden have contacted the virus at work.  Those at risk are told to stay at home, but not much else has changed.  The majority of people in Stockholm have had the virus.
Sam Brady thanked the former exchange students for sharing their comments and updates on their lives now.  The importance of the exchange program is not lost on any of the members of our Club and said it will always be a challenge to attract host families.  What the students bring to you as a host family is as much as what you give to them.
The Indigenous People Partnership Committee is looking for donations to be sent to northern communities.  Art Supplies - canvasses (under 16" x 20"), watercolour paper, finger paint paper, art paper, good paint brushes of all types, pencil crayons, markers, gel pens, art pencils, acrylic paint, watercolour paint, fingerpaint, fabric paints, pastels, sketch books, colouring books for children, children's kraft kits, stickers, small loom kits, weaving supplies, craft supplies, drawing tools, erasers, glue sticks, craft glue guns, white wood glue, good quality scissors, single hole punches, pencil sharpeners, jewellery making and beading supplies, tools, cases, threads, clasps, bracelet making kits, ribbon, hemp, gimp, embroidery floss, feathers, felt squares, sewing needles of all sizes, yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks and thread, embroidery cloth, new child-size t-shirts for shirt-making projects, good quality tanned deer hide or moose hide in ready-to-use condition, good quality crafting needles for sewing hide, good strong scissors to cut the hide, playdough or modelling clay, lego.
Gently Used Board Games -- Battleship, Candy Land, Scrabble, Connect Four, Trouble, UNO, Sorry, Checkers, Chess, Yahtzee, Monopoly, Risk.
Gently used Books -- by authors W.E.B. Griffin, Clive Cussler, James Patterson, Lee Child, Mary Higgins Clark, Harlan Coben, James Rollins, Daniel Silva, Ken Follett, Danielle Steele, William W. Johnson.
For pick-up or drop-off, please contact Jamie Trudeau at or Coreen Reynolds at
Thank you!
Past President Tim McKinney introduced today's guest speaker, Aidan Girduckis who he has known for a year and a half, described as a top scoring entrepreneur.  Aidan earned a 'C' rating in the 2017 NHL Central Scouting evaluations, part of a promising junior career spent mostly with the Central Canada Hockey League's Carleton Place Canadians. In the CCHL, Girduckis scored 73 points (21 goals) in 137 games, playoffs included. He helped Carleton Place to the CCHL title in 2016-17, then collected all-league third-team honors in 2017-18. Girduckis went on to receive a full ride scholarship to play Division 1 NCAA hockey at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, PA, beginning in the 2018-2019 season. Internationally, Girduckis represented his country twice in hockey - playing for Team Canada East at the 2016 World Junior A Challenge in Bonnyville, Alberta, where he earned an IIHF silver medal and again at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Outside of hockey, Aidan achieved distinction all throughout high school, and studied Actuarial Science at Robert Morris University, where he maintained a 4.0 GPA and was named to the Dean’s list for his entire academic duration at RMU. He was also inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (USA). Additionally, he was recognized as an NCAA “All American Scholar” in 2019 for “recognition of outstanding academic performance, along with on-ice contributions”. Aidan has also received verification certificates for online academic micro-programs: “The Iterative Innovation Process” with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and “Introduction to Engineering and Design” with Brown University.
More recently, Aidan founded (Est. May of 2019 and has been the acting CEO since) of Ducky Brand Apparel Inc., an apparel company that donates 30% of profits from sales to different mental healthcare initiatives. With the company being just over a year old, they have been featured in numerous media publications, including the “Toronto Star”, “CBC: The National”, “The Athletic”, and the “NHLPA”. In February of 2020, Aidan engineered and embarked on a month-long mental health awareness speaking tour with Daniel Carcillo (two-time stanley cup champion, mental health advocate) which took the duo across Ontario speaking to universities, high schools, first responders and even the Royal Canadian Armed Forces. Ducky Brand is now represented (and advocated for) by numerous NHLer’s, olympians and other individuals of stature in the hockey community, including individuals like Andrew Shaw, Nick Cousins, Jennifer Wakefield, Bryan Bickell, and Haley Irwin. Most recently, Girduckis has launched the “Ducky Brand Podcast” in collaboration with podcast hosts Brock Tufts and Jenn Quigley, which has since featured Ducky Brand Ambassadors (mentioned previously) among other special guests like Michael Landsberg and Brock McGillis, which releases new episodes every Tuesday. Girduckis has primarily been focused on developing the “Second Annual Ducky Brand Golf Tournament for Mental Health” which is set to take place on August 20, 2020, with over 50 organizations involved and over 160 confirmed participants, with stanley cup champions and olympic gold medalists among them. Ducky Brand has now amassed a collective social media following of over 20,000 people, and has seen an average monthly growth of over 50% in its first fiscal year.
Aidan provided a glimpse into his younger years, playing hockey and although he was very successful in the sport as well as a top student, he struggled with feeling down, lacking satisfaction and sought help from mental health professionals.  A sports psychologist in Ottawa provided support and guidance to Aidan and he found out what he needed to do.  The sessions were expensive though and that is when Aidan started thinking about the costs that a lot of people just simply couldn't afford and his goal to create a funding avenue for others to get the help they needed.  Now the Ducky Brand Foundation allows people to apply for funding through a screening process facilitated by a Board of Directors.  Aidan recognizes and promotes that mental health goes beyond psychological issues and includes nutrition, life style, exercise and creating a health life style overall.  Ducky Brand Apparel's slogan "let the clothes you wear mean something" is simple yet far reaching through Aidan and his team.  For more information, Aidan can be reached by email at
Rotarians Jeanette Minaker and Chris Finkle shared stories about how Aidan has helped their family member, more specifically Jeanette's daughter and Chris' son Adam who suffered an acquired brain injury.  Chris thanked Aidan for his presentation today and described him as a valuable asset to the community in bringing mental health to the forefront.  Chris's son Adam thanked Aidan as well for his friendship and the significant help he provided.  Definitely living proof.
We were hoping this news might not be necessary. Unfortunately we heard from Camp Merrywood's Manager, Jacques Schryer, that our annual sweat equity trip must be cancelled for this spring. 
We received this message from Jacques:
"For over 40 years the members of the Rotary Club of Belleville have been making the trek to Merrywood for there annual work weekend in helping getting camp ready for the campers. With all that is happening with covid-19 with new legislation coming out tomorrow to keep this virus from spreading even more it is best that we cancel this year weekend.
We need to stop the spread if we hope to have camp this summer.
I will miss everybody who come up to help it’s always greatly appreciated by myself and the campers.
We will keep in touch."
Of course this is disappointing and is the best decision to ensure the camp can open for the kids who look forward to their time there. 
We will let the club know if we are lucky enough to reschedule our work trip to Merrywood.
Thanks to Tracy and Shannon for the work they have already done to prepare for this years weekend.
September 2020
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Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Past President
Director of Community Service
Director Community Service
Vocational Service
Director of Communications
Director of Meetings
International Service
Rotary Foundation
Director of Fundraising
Vice President
Executive Secretary
Youth Services
Home Page News
District Governor Mark Chipman started his presentation by referring to Rotary International President Holger Knaack's theme for the 2020-2021 Rotary Year -- Rotary Opens Opportunities.  Rotarians need to seize opportunities that Rotary offers to enrich our lives and the communities we serve.  Rotary is an invitation to endless opportunities.  If Rotary is to realize its proper destiny, it must be evolutionary at all times, revolutionary on occasion.
Mark introduced us to Assistant District Governor, Brenda Hellyer from the Picton Club.  The Rotary Club of Belleville, Wellington Rotary Club, Trenton Rotary Club and Cobourg Rotary Club are under her umbrella.  Rotary's plan for the next five years is to:
  • Increase our impact - people of action are effective problem solvers
  • Expand our reach -  people of action activate and inspire one another
  • Enhance participant engagement - people of action strive to understand the needs of others
  • Increase our ability to adapt - people of action are inventive, entrepreneurial and resilient
District 7070 consists of 54 Rotary Clubs with 1,902 active members, 11 Rotaract Clubs and 13 Interact Clubs.  The largest age demographic is 70+ and the second largest demographic are Rotarians 60+.  The District has developed four strategic directions -- do more together, use clear and consistent messaging, build awareness of and pride in the Rotary Brand and help Clubs take meaningful action.  The Rotary family is growing and members are closely aligned with the demographics of our communities.  Our Clubs more fully utilize the skills and resources of their members, other Clubs and the District to better engage and serve our communities.  District 7070 remains a North American leader in support of the Rotary Foundation with more clubs accessing Foundation grants and programs.
Each of the four strategic directions have an action plan laid out including facilitating cluster meetings and joint club meetings where the Rotary family comes together, creating common messaging for clubs to use when communicating externally, profile different projects on the website to raise awareness, host forums for new members to meet and learn more about Rotary, create a district diversity, equity and inclusion committee to better reflect our communities, establish pathways to leadership positions and opportunities within District 7070.
And lastly, Mark presented three (3) Super Hero Awards highlighting the commitment, dedication and superheroic spirit to uphold the ideals of doing good in the world.  Presented to Cory MacKay, Susan Finkle and Chris Finkle, now officially declared as a Rotary Hero.