Club News
A special surprise at the Inter-Rotary Spelling Bee finals.  Ian Acton was the lead producer for the video event.  District Governor Josif Ciosa was pleased to advise everyone that Ian was the first Rotary District 7070's Rotary Exchange Student in 1972 when he went to South Africa.  At that time, Wilf Wilkinson was District Governor.
John Chisholm was pleased to introduce Mark Musca and his classification talk at the Rotary Club of Belleville lunch meeting.  Mark is the Head of School at Albert College, a life-long educator and a member of the Quinte Rotary Music Festival.
Mark's middle name comes from his grandfather, Carmine Musca, a proud connection to rural southern Italy, a place called Sannicola di Lecce which is in Publia, the heel of the Italian boot.  Mark's grandfather was a great story  teller and looking back, Mark credits his grandfather for sparking his interest in history.  Carmine was a hardworking, intelligent and wise man and in 1954 he followed a brother to Canada and moved his family to Ottawa, started working as a painter for Canadian National Railway and Mark's grandmother continued applying her seamstress skills.  Through hard work and living frugally, the family was an example of an immigrant experience.  Even Mark's father, who at 12, started working after school understood the need to earn what he could to support the family.  Through the family's perseverance and sacrifices, they bought properties and the rent from those properties paid for Mark's education and Mark recognizes not only the material benefits of his parents and grandparents, but also the guidance their upbringing provided.
Both Mark's parents became teachers and met in Ottawa where Mark was born and spent his early years.  The family moved to Belleville in 1979 and Mark attended school here until the family moved to Smiths Falls where Mark graduated from high school.  One thing Mark remembers from those early years in Belleville was Jim's Pizzeria.  After high school, Mark attended Carleton University, obtaining a BA with a major in history and it was there that he met his wife Claudia on a blind date described by Mark as the 1990's equivalent of online dating.  Mark's career as an educator started after University, as a high school history teacher in Brockville, followed by a move into administration, first as a vice principal and then as principal.  He credits an amazing mentor, early in his career, Jane McMillan and he still finds himself asking "what would Jane do?" in many situations that come up.  His next step was superintendent that included a new role of HR where he had to learn quickly all the ropes dealing with grievance arbitration, contract negotiations, labour relations, many of which were very stressful.  Mark started to consider independent school systems and became principal at Villanova College in King City, Ontario.  As a family, the time was right for a move to York Region.  A large percentage of the student population is made up of students of Italian descent and Mark found it wonderful to work with families who had similar cultural experiences as his own.  Wanting to be closer to his family in Ottawa, Mark applied to Albert College when Head Keith Stansfield, announced his retirement in 2019,
So Mark is back in Belleville, walking the same streets that he did 40 years ago, working at Albert College, a school that has been around longer than Canada has been a country.  Founded in 1857, Albert has been educating international and local students for well over a century and a half.  Student enrolment is 300 from pre-K to Grade 12.  One hundred are international students from over 15 countries around the world.  The greatest benefit Mark has experienced has been driving his children to and from school everyday when they lived in Newmarket and being present at each of his
daughters graduations, presenting their diplomas.
Mark was thanked by Len Kennedy who was on the Board at Albert College when Mark became the successful Head of Education, a good match for the school and the community.
The Board of the Rotary Club of Belleville wanted to hear from their membership as part of a review of the Club and its activities as it heads into the
next 100 years of its existence. The Board wishes to co-create with its members a refreshed Rotary Club of Belleville – one that attracts new members and operates in ways that align with the ways in which the Club serves Belleville as well as Rotary’s seven areas of focus.

The Board enlisted the support of People Minded Business (PMB) partners, Paul Fleming, and Janeen Halliwell (members of Rotary) to develop an e-survey for the purpose of gathering insights into what matters most to the Club’s current members about their involvement with Belleville Club.The survey launched on January 6, 2023 and closed on February 13, 2023. 56 of 96 members completed the survey representing almost 60% of membership (uncommonly high for surveys).
Not only were the overall response rates high, but each ‘Years of Service’ group had over a 50% response rate which provides a good and accurate reflection of member’s views. Respondents also represented a good mix of ages:
  • 7.1% under 40 years
  • 17.9% 40 - 49 years
  • 21.4% 50 - 59 years
  • 14.3% 60 - 69 years
  • 28.6% 70 - 79 years
  • 8.9% 80+ years
Looking at these two elements together shows that there is a correlation between a person’s age and years of service, with most newer people (<5 years of service) tending to be younger than older members (20+ years of service).
What matters most to Club members was consistent across all age and years of service groups -- giving back (Belleville was mentioned consistently with some international mentions), socializing, engaging and enjoyable activities.
For each of the seven questions on the survey, PMB looked at the responses for major themes in the data.  There are seven themes identified as a result of the survey and these will be drilled down at the working session on May 3rd at Sans Souci.  The themes are:
  • It's Time to Change
  • Recruiting New Members
  • Engaging existing members
  • Meetings, less formal, more fun
  • Satellite Club and Core Club integration
  • Focus and clarity
  • Awareness (public image)
President Elect Peter Malone is looking for the voice of the membership to be loud and clear on May 3rd and from those discussions, actionable items will be identified, driven by the seven themes.  The partners of People Minded Business, Paul Fleming and Janeen Halliwell, fellow Rotarians, will be at the May 3rd session and are looking forward to continuing the very positive momentum that has already been predominant through the survey.
    Tracy Bray introduced Steve Cook. Executive Director for the Belleville General Hospital Foundation and a great addition to the Rotary Club of Belleville.  Tracy enthusiastically mentioned that Steve will be at Camp Merrywood early in May with the rest of the work team.
    Steve Cook moved to the Belleville area five years ago with his wife Melissa and feels fortunate to be in the role he is with the BGH Foundation.  He comes from a global sport environment in the U.K. before moving into the healthcare sector.  He was brought up in the northwest part of England, a coastal town where his parents were involved in the hotel/tourism business and where Steve learned to love the outdoors.  He also was a huge soccer fan growing up, very involved in sports and was lucky to attend two great universities, Leeds and Lancaster.  In Great Britain Steve was Head of Corporate Partnerships for St. Luke's Cheshire Hospital.  In this role he planned, delivered and managed donor development and major gifts, a perfect platform to his current role here in Quinte Healthcare.  Prior to his tenure at Hospice, he was the Commercial Director at Wrexham Football Club, working on sponsorships, corporate partnerships, season ticket sales, program sales and advertising and customer experience strategy.  Before this, he was the Regional Sales Manager for England and Scotland for Sodexo, working on partnerships with The Open Championship.  The networking and marketing opportunities are just some of the skills he transferred to his current position.  Steve developed an entrepreneurial spirit and through a personal health scare, he became aware of how to raise money and to bring growth in raising funds here locally.  All efforts by him and his team at the Foundation are for the betterment of the community and healthcare here and in the region.  Steve thanked everyone for their support of him as a Rotarian as well as the ongoing support of the Hospital Foundation.
    Sam Brady thanked Steve for his investment in our community, for building a successful team and developing huge growth in fundraising for the benefit of all.

    Dear Rotary District 7070 family,

    I am writing to you this afternoon to share some very exciting news!  On March 28, 2023, I received notice from Rotary International that the  Rotary Club of Toronto Tibetan, Ontario, Canada has been chartered! Our District 7070 just added a new club to our Rotary Family!

    Every time a New Rotary  Club is created, it validates the work Rotary does in our communities, serves as  testament to the the dedication in making a difference in the world and the unrelenting commitment to service above self. 

    Rotary is relevant!

    New Rotary Clubs add more diversity, bring new ideas, new enthusiasm, energy and new perspectives; it makes us stronger!

    A Charter Celebration Evening is being organized, I ask you to come out to share in the exuberance with our new Rotary members. Please stay tuned for more info. Please give a warm welcome our Newest Club in our Great District!

    Rotary Club of Toronto Tibetan!

    Our strength is our members!

    Thank you for making a difference!


    President Elect Peter Malone explained that the Club is working on the budget process for the Rotary Year July 1st, 2022 to June 30th, 2023 and looking at new ways to raise money to support the many important initiatives that the Rotary Club of Belleville facilitates.  In addition to the 2021/2022 fundraising activities, there are three new fundraising initiatives that are budgeted to bring in an additional $23,498 for the upcoming Rotary Year.  Below is a quick breakdown:
    • RLK - $101,594
    • Diners and Duffers - $13,750
    • Sens 50/50 - $6,572
    • Bottle Drive - $4,004
    • Happy Bucks - $2,059
    • Waterfront Car Parking - $4,539 (new for 2022/2023)
    • Clowns for Kids - $10,321 (new for 2022/2023)
    • Rotary Winter Games - $8,638 (new for 2022/2023)
    • Total of $151,477 for the 2022/2023 Rotary Year!
    Cassandra Bonn -- RLK is the biggest fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Belleville and all hands on deck are needed.  RLK has raised $1.8 million dollars in its 20 years history.  That is incredible!  Three golf courses, Party on the Bay, over 200 golfers and 300 party goers!  Very pleased to announce and confirm that the 2022 RLK event net profit was $101,500.  So how can you get involved?  Be a sponsor, speak to Sam Brady and Kelly McKinney to encourage others to sponsor.  Golf at Trillium Wood.  Donate to the money tree raffle.  Buy a ticket for Party on the Bay.  Volunteer by helping with golf registration, take photos, be a hole spotter.  Set up/tear down the Party on the Bay location.  Tend the bar (Smart Serve required).  Let Brenda Snider know where you can volunteer.  The 2023 RLK Committee is already hard at work with Sam Brady, Kelly McKinney, Rosi Ouellette, Tracy Parks, Collins Myers, John Smale, Shannon Neely, Hazzem Koudsi, Melanie Cressman, Peter Malone, Mike Henry, Brenda Snider and Co-Chaired by Cassandra and David Allen.  Save the date of Friday, July 21st for golf and Party on the Bay.  Be part of this!
    Cassandra Bonn -- Rotary Winter Games held its first event the end of February, a fun event at the Belleville Club attended by 110 people.  Games, auction, band, a wonderful time was had by all.  A net profit of $7,100 was raised and that is expected to grow.  Join the committee, donate auction items, be a sponsor, invent a game, attend in person, bring a friend.
    Ken Wheeler -- Diners and Duffers was started by Hugh Campbell and the Rotary Club of Belleville and made a great contribution over the years by a two people committee, now grown by double the size with the addition of Dianne Spencer, Harold Brennan, Peter Coy and Chair Ken Wheeler.  The 2023 Diners and Duffers Book is available now, hot off the press at a cost of $40 for a $4,000 value.  An excellent opportunity for restaurants, golf courses, wineries, breweries, theatres and other businesses in the Quinte area to promote themselves and to offer outstanding real value to their customers.  Check out the 2023/2024 Quinte Area Rotary Special Events inside back cover of the book.  Lots going on.  Sales of the book increased by 25% over last year and raised $13,750, the 2nd largest fundraiser for the Club.
    Ken Wheeler -- the Bottle Drive was started by Peter Malone and is now managed by Ken Wheeler and Harold Brennan.  Total profit is approaching $4,500.  Pickup is four times a year.  The committee is looking for a drop off location if anyone has access to a secure facility that could become a drop off location, opening one day a week would be helpful.
    Melanie Cressman - basically a committee of one and part of selling 50/50 tickets at the Senators home games.  Five charitable organizations were part of the program initially, the Rotary Club of Belleville being one.  Over $7,000 was raised for the Club through a difficult time with COVID.  It's a fun night out, people line up to buy a ticket and it puts the Rotary Club of Belleville out there with 2,000 to 4,000 people in attendance at the games.  Volunteers are needed from 5:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. on game night, two Rotarians per game are required.  The pot is divided by how many games the Rotary Club covers and there are now nine charities involved.
    Heather Hall -- Clowns for Kids is the newest fundraiser for the Club.  The event is tied in with the Santa Claus Parade, November 19th this year and is kid focused, an opportunity for youngsters to participate in the parade, dress up as a clown with face painting included, food music and hot chocolate after.  They feel like a celebrity.  A net profit of over $10,000 was raised in the first year.  Being the first year, an inventory of costumes had to be built up.  Corporate sponsors are expected to increase along with having team competitions.  Heather is looking for 6 to 8 volunteers the day of and is looking for committee members to approach businesses to sponsor.  Planning will start in July so please reach out to Heather.  Suggestions are welcome and Heather is focused on this initiative to bring in double in year two.
    Peter Malone thanked the Committee Chairs, friends of Rotary and Rotarians for all their work year 'round.  Money is raised and money is spent, the trick is to balance everything to help the spending committees continue to do the good work in the community.
    Amarok Society is a Canadian charity that goes into the world's most forbidding slums to teach mothers to teach children too poor for school. Daily, each mother goes from her Amarok Society Womens' School to teach at least 5 children from her neighbourhood in her own home. Amarok Society teaches literacy in Bangla, English and numeracy as well as health and hygiene and child care and development. The wonderful women of our Mothers of Intention Projects overcome a lifetime of bitter discouragement to find inspiration and hope in the promise that the children will be able to work their way out of their terrible poverty and debilitating ignorance. This is a new, effective, sustainable and cost-efficient method of addressing a very serious and dangerous problem that has resisted improvement in the past. Teach a Mother, Change the World.
    Dr. Ruth Mathieson, Rotarian was very pleased to be able to introduce Dr. Tanyss Munro of Amarok Society to the Rotary Club.  Dr. Munro has devoted her life, along with her husband Gem, an author, to improving opportunities for disadvantaged people.  She has been an advisor to Federal Ministers in the Canadian government and a Director of Good Governance with the Commonwealth.  Her work has ranged from the Centres of Power to the poorest and most overlooked communities in the world.  In 2006, Dr. Munro and her husband founded and are Executive Directors of the Amarok Society.  The Rotary Club of Belleville has a long-standing commitment to the Amarok Society, through Michael Maloney, Chair of the Literacy Committee and the hard-working members of the Committee, former Rotarian Sharon McConnell and Elizabeth Grew who led a Global Grant which took eight years to complete.
    Dr. Munro was excited to have Sharon McConnell in person at the lunch meeting and to have Michael Maloney join on screen.  When Dr. Munro and her husband moved to Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2005 with their four children, they soon saw a situation that was much worse than they had imagined.  There was no one working on education in the slum areas.  They identified Rotary as an ideal partner to come up with an effective and sustainable solution to make a difference and the possibilities have been remarkable.  By instilling a culture of education in the slums, caring neighbourhoods have been developed where people have a sense of others and are deeply committed to the program.  Dr. Munro gave credit to Michael Maloney who approached them to connect with the Rotary Club of Dhaka and to Elizabeth Grew and Sharon McConnell who were instrumental in putting together a Global Grant that resulted in Rotary Clubs around the world becoming aware of their work in Bangladesh.  Dr. Munro and her husband are forever grateful to Rotary for understanding the problem they were facing.
    Dr. Munro shared some true stories about young people whose lives have experienced a great trajectory change through the program and help of the mothers in the program.  Not only teaching young children, but ensuring they are fed, collecting food and helping them find safe places to live.  Through the schooling, young people are able to access better jobs and are paid a little more.  They have seen first hand the courage and strength of the mothers.  The mission of the Amarok Society is to advance human rights, peace and understanding through education.  Dr. Munro left us with a quotation from Rabindranath Tagore, "I slept and dreamt that life was joy.  I awoke and saw that life was service.  I acted and behold, service was joy".  Thanked by Masud Alam who knew of one school that was very close to where he lived, he acknowledged the commitment of Dr. Munro and her husband and Rotarians Michael Maloney, Sharon McConnell and Elizabeth Grew.  Give us a good mother and we will give you a good nation.
    Rotary Club of Belleville
    Rotary Clowns for Kids
    Upcoming Events
    Belleville Rotary Satellite Club
    Rotary Loves Kids Golf 
    Quinte Rotary Music Festival