Club News
Brenda Snider was pleased to provide some background on President Darrell Smith.  He joined Rotary in 2004 and has over 30 years in the financial field.  He is the Chair of the Special Needs Children Committee and has also been responsible for weekly Rotary attendance as well as Treasurer for the Club.  Darrell has been on the RLK Committee and sponsor since 2006.  In addition to his Rotary commitment, Darrell has been the Board Chair of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, VIQ and United Way.  He was recognized as a Children's Foundation Guardian Angel and a member of the Trenton Memorial Hospital Foundation.  Over many years, Darrell has volunteered and sponsored numerous events and programs in the community.
 
Darrell started off by saying if there is anything the last two plus years has taught us as Rotarians and individuals, it is the need to be flexible and willing to adapt to change.  COVID-19 restrictions and the fear of COVID has dramatically changed the way people interact with the world outside our homes.  Darrell was very proud of the Rotary Club of Belleville and its ability to adapt first through the initial onset of COVID-19 and transitioning to a virtual model under Past President Doug Peterson and then a year of virtual meetings with some limited personal interactions under Past President Tim McKinney and finally the first cautionary steps back to active club interactions that have occurred during the past 12 months.  At last, we seem to be in a place where we can have a degree of comfort to meet again on a regular basis in face to face settings as well as continuing the use of a hybrid structure which allows those who cannot join us personally, to attend via a virtual setting.
 
The Rotary Club of Belleville has continued to operate and flourish, continuing to help both local and global communities through volunteer efforts and financial resources that saw us provide support to the building of the Hospice Quinte site, provide tremendous financial support to the people of Ukraine displaced and challenged by the war in their country, provide meals for both our local and indigenous communities, provide an outlet for the arts through our virtual Rotary Music Festival, planting 3,500 plus trees within Belleville to create a greener future.  These are just a few of the organizations that have been positively impacted by the work of the Rotary Club of Belleville.
 
As President of the Club, Darrell was afforded the opportunity to have a much greater appreciation of the scale of impact of our Club, as well as Rotary around the world.  How much better is our community, our country, our world because of the impact of Rotarians.  One specific goal that the Club achieved was contributing to the Rotary Foundation.  The goals for the Annual Fund and Polio Plus exceeded expectations through initiatives of the Club including the Polio Plus Tulip program and the support by individual Rotarians through Every Rotarian Every Year and donations made personally by members.
 
Darrell spoke about the highlights of the past year and the continued level of commitment, enthusiasm and engagement of our members and the opportunity to continue as a viable and impactful club.  We have been blessed by a succession of interesting and timely speakers, presenting on a diversity of topics, bringing the world to our doorstep.  Darrell acknowledged the many people responsible for the success that the Club has realized during the past twelve months including the Board of Directors -- Terry Thomas, Tracey Vandervoort, Samantha Reid, Collin Myers, Len Kennedy and the Executive -- Tim McKinney, Peter Malone, Karen Baker and Jo-Anne Wheeler.  And last, but certainly not least, Darrell thanked his children Marianne and Ryan, grandsons Theo and Hudson and his wife Carmen for their support and love as he fulfilled the responsibilities as President of the Rotary Club of Belleville.  Thanked by Tracy Bray for his time and energy that Tracy jokingly referred to as his practice year.
 
 
 
 
Karen Baker, Treasurer and incoming Vice-President, presented the 2022/2023 budget for the Rotary Club of Belleville.  The budget Committee was comprised of Peter Malone, Chair and Rotarians Tracy Bray, Peter Coy, Karen Baker, Randy Coker, Collin Myers, Rosi Ouellette, Darrell Smith and Jo-Anne Wheeler and worked very hard to put forward a responsible budget for the Club.  Their time and collaboration was recognized by everyone.
 
After more than two years restricted by COVID, everyone has felt the challenges and frustrations that grew day by day, Zoom by Zoom.  Congratulations to Past Presidents Doug Peterson, Tim McKinney and Darrell Smith for their leadership and commitment and for keeping the Club working at almost full strength throughout the pandemic.  The funds raised and projects supported over the last two years is an amazing show of what the Rotary Club of Belleville is all about.  The Club adapted quickly, especially where programs were concerned to ensure those we support were not negatively affected.  Fundraising was adapted to meet COVID protocols while still raising money and maintaining regular meetings for the lunch time and the after-work members.  We look forward to getting back together in person, integrating the magnificent work of those who attend either Rotary meetings, organizing more fellowship and continuing the considerable work of those committees that raise funds and those committees that spend what is raised.
 
The Board is taking steps this coming Rotary year to encourage members to create additional fundraising committees and ideas to compliment the excellent work of longstanding fundraising committees such as Rotary Loves Kids and Diners and Duffers.  More recently we have had fundraising initiatives from the after work members such as Hockey Night in Quinte and the Belleville Senators 50/50 ticket sales.
 
So here's to strengthening post-pandemic fellowship and building on the core initiatives of this great Club.  IMAGINE ROTARY and what we can do!
 
Karen went through the Operating and Service Budgets pretty much line by line and included year-to-date expenditures as well as the 2021/2022 budget and proposed 2022/2023 budget.  The bulk of revenue in the Operating budget comes from members' dues.  It was noted that dues have not increased since 2010 and a recommendation was made to increase from the current $400 per year to $470 per year.  The Operating budget includes the Rotary International Annual Conference, dues payable to District 7070, President-Elect training, office supplies, auditor fees, professional services (bookkeeper), website hosting and maintenance fees.  The Service budget consists of fundraising initiatives, investment fund contributions and other rebates and donations.  Total funds available for disbursement in 2022/2023 Service budget total $149,949 and expenditures based on budget proposals of the "spending" committees total $148,038.  Disbursements include International Service, literacy projects, Indigenous Peoples Partnerships, Quinte Children's Foundation, Kids Against Hunger, Rotary Loves Trees, Food for Learning, Special Needs Children and Global Disaster Relief fund to name some of the expenditure areas.
 
A motion was made by Karen Baker, seconded by Ken Wheeler to adopt the Operating Budget for 2022/2023 as presented with all in favour.  A second motion was made by Karen Baker, seconded by Shannon Neely to accept the 2022/2023 Service Budget as proposed/presented by the Budget Committee with all in favour.  A third motion was made by Karen Baker, seconded by Doug Peterson to approve a dues increase as recommended by the Budget Committee to $470 per year.  All members were encouraged to raise as much as they can with as little cost as possible.
President's Night saw three (3) Presidents front and center -- Doug Peterson, President in 2019/2020, Tim McKinney, President in 2020/2021 and Darrell Smith, President in 2021/2022.  Doug Peterson was first up to the microphone and his year started in July 2019, before any of us really knew about COVID, but half way through his year, that changed and Rotary Meetings pivoted to a virtual platform.  As Doug said, the best part of Rotary is fellowship so it is a pleasure for Rotarians and guests to gather in person and celebrate in style.  Having to meet via Zoom and continue the important work that Rotary does was challenging, but a testament to the Club and Rotary overall.  It took the leadership of many to maintain a focus and remain engaged so thank you to everyone for staying the course.
 
Next up was Tim McKinney, President as of July 2020 until the end of June 2021, all during COVID.  There were no get-togethers and that included Rotary International Conferences.  Tim was set to go to Hawaii, but that didn't happen.  Little did Tim know that all meetings would be via Zoom.  He was very thankful for his wife Judy's support during his year as Rotary President.  Even though the meetings were not in-person, it took a lot of time to organize and co-ordinate by telephone, conference calls and Zoom so he considered himself lucky to have had Judy in his corner.  Although the year was challenging, the speaker lineup was inspiring and proved that Rotary's theme of opening opportunities rang true with the work being carried on locally and around the world.
 
Darrell Smith thanked Doug and Tim and as his presidency year comes to a close at the end of June, he will continue on as President for the 2022/2023 Rotary Year, the first time in the history of the Rotary Club of Belleville that a President has served for two consecutive years.  The last two years has taught us to be flexible during the difficult days of COVID, changing how work was done dramatically.  When we thought things were returning to normal, COVID proved otherwise.  Now able to meet in a hybrid structure, the Club has operated and flourished.  Rotarians have risen to the challenge to support so many people and projects in the local and global communities.  Significant efforts were made and overall the scale of impact has grown and created a greater appreciation personally for Darrell, but also collectively as a Club.  President Darrell listed the accomplishments over the past year including RLK, a return to Camp Merrywood, being involved as a community champion of the environment through Rotary Loves Trees and the Great Lakes Cleanup.  A presentation on Polio Plus and the immunization efforts brought home the important and crucial work that Rotary does.  Darrell thanked Program Chair Tracy Bray for the lineup and diversity of speakers that were able to present to our Club.  He also thanked the Board for their commitment and continued engagement as well as the support of his family and in particular his wife Carmen.  Darrell thanked everyone for all their hard work and passion for others and to quote Gandhi "be the change you wish to see in the world".
President Darrell Smith presented Michael Summers, IT support person extraordinaire with a Paul Harris +2, recognizing him managing both virtual and in-person Rotary Meetings over the past months, since March to be exact when the Club started meeting in-person again.  Not an easy task with technological challenges at every meeting.  But Michael persevered in his usual calm manner and covered all the bases.  As a thank you and in recognition for going above and beyond, Michael was presented with a Paul Harris Fellow.  Congratulations!
 
Scientists from two continents working together to improve the health of the African Great Lakes, affected by climate change, invasive species, fragile fisheries, algal blooms, etc.
 
Ruth Mathieson, Co-Chair of the International Service Committee for the Rotary Club of Belleville, introduced John Borst, a member of the Rotary Club of Kingston, to speak about IISD-ACARE's goal to save the Great Lakes of Africa (GLA).  IISD - International Institute for Sustainable Development and ACARE - African Center for Aquatic Research.  John's career in education spanned 36 years, including 3 years as Director of Education for the Dryden Board of Education.  Now retired, he acts as an Education Consultant, writes articles in the magazine Education Today, blogs on Education in Canada and has served 7 years as a school trustee.  In 2010 John joined the Rotary Club of Dryden, founding and editing the first Clubrunner website and was President in 2013/2014 as well as being active on the International Service Committee.  In 2021 John moved to Kingston and became involved in the Rotary Club of Kingston.
 
The African Great Lakes are highly valuable natural resources, renowned for their rich fisheries and "biodiversity hotspots"  Consequently, they and the ecosystem services they provide, underpin the welfare and livelihoods of over 50 million people across 10 countries.  Despite the recognized importance of the African Great Lakes, they are threatened by the impact of human activity by numerous anthropogenic stressors at local, regional and global scales.  The African Great Lakes are Albert, Edward, Kivu, Malwai/Nyasa/Niassa, Tanganyika, Turkana and Victoria.
 
The partnership between IISD and ACARE provides an opportunity for the world's freshwater laboratory and networks on the African Great Lakes to come together and strengthen science on large freshwater resources and the countries in which they reside.  The partnership combines the legal and policy expertise of IISD and ACARE's newly created African network of large-lakes experts and scientists in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.  During the first year, the new partnership will boost the activities of six Advisory Groups that were created to address specific issues on each of the African Great lakes.  Members of each group are harmonizing priorities on the lakes to advance work on scientific inquiry, monitoring, climate change and education and training among other issues.  IISD-ACARE established a program African Women in Science (AWIS) to train young African women scientists in water research, as women in Africa, like much of the rest of the world are under-represented in the field of aquatic science.  Included in this training is to introduce this group to Canadian/American organizations involved in preserving the North American Great Lakes, spending a week in an area of 58 real lakes in Northwestern Ontario, doing experiments on those lakes. (pictured here are the AWIS participants with their guide and fellow scientist).  The majority of the American portion of the trip has been funded by a single American philanthropist.  The Canadian portion of $60,000 is currently not funded and John's goal is to help find the money via the 112 Rotary Clubs on the Canadian shores of the Laurentian Great Lakes plus clubs in District 5550 in northwestern Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.  John intends to speak to 100 of those clubs.and raise $600 from each.   His personal goals include educating Rotarians, creating a network of people concerned about fresh water, applying for a Global Grant, asking for a representative from each Rotary Club to help work on this project that will support specific areas of Rotary International's Areas of Focus, supporting the Environment, Water and Sanitation. 
 
There are some interesting stats associated with the great lakes.  The North American Great Lakes support 30 million people.  The African Great Lakes support 62 million people and that is expected to double in the next 28 years, a real potential for disaster.  The North American Great Lakes represents 23% of the world's water, the AFGL represents 25%.  The annual fish yield for the AFGL is 1.5 million tons per year compared to NAGL of 25,000 tons per year.  The Great Lakes Fishing Commission was founded in 1954.  It took 40 years for Canada and the U.S. to create that commission.  The AFGL have to do in 20 years what it has taken us 60 years to do. 
 
Donations can be made personally or corporately as a Club by visiting https://www.iisd.org/awis
 
Terry Thomas thanked John for his presentation to a network of Rotarians in order to support the African Great Lakes.  Peace and conflict prevention/resolution is also promoted within this project that ties in with Rotary International's areas of focus.
Dave Allen started off the presentation to the Rotary Club of Belleville about the capital project surrounding the proposed new YMCA facility being built in the City of Belleville.  The YMCA Centre for Life will be a 60,000 sq. ft. multi-purpose community hub that will feature two pools, whirlpool, gymnasium, conditioning centre, aerobics/exercise studio, universal/family change room, multi-purpose/community meeting rooms, lounge and social areas for people of all abilities, convenient Kids Kare, Children's Treehouse, partner organization services.  Dave announced that Ed Lehtinen and Kristin Crowe will be the YMCA Capital Campaign Co-Chairs, supported by a Cabinet including, Wolf Tausenfreund, Cassandra Bonn, Ruth Aulthouse, Susan O'Brien, Sullivan Auctions, Doug Peterson, Bernie Ouellet, John Mastorakos, Mark Phillips, Heather Williams and Kelly McKinney.  Wolf and Elaine Tausendfreund are Honourary Chairs for the Community Building Campaign and are very proud to have made it a priority to share their time and energy to support this organization.
 
Kristin Crowe shared a description of the YMCA by the numbers:
  • 780 children and youth found friendship, support and physical activity through a subsidized YMCA membership
  • 500 children were enrolled in YMCA Child Care and Before and After School programs
  • 1330 adults participated in the Post Cardiac Rehabilitation program
  • 195 young people learned how to inspire others through Leadership Programs, preparing them to be the role models our communities need
Kristin encouraged people to tour the current building to get a sense of all that happens at the Y. The current building no longer meets the accessibility requirements that we have a duty to provide.  The population in Belleville is growing. The current facility cannot accommodate the growing popularity of programs and services.  Why the Location?  The site, at the corner of Bridge and Sidney Streets, was determined by Leisure Plan International, to be the optimal site for the delivery of a range of aquatic, fitness, recreation and community services. The site is well poised to take advantage of neighbouring communities as well as vehicular traffic across the Bay Bridge (approx. 15,000 cars per day). The west end of Belleville is embarking on a revitalization effort and is seeing strong residential growth. The site will be well served by public transit and is accessible to trails for active transportation such as walking and wheeling.
 
Kelly McKinney shared that David Brown, retired Senior  Partner from Taskforce Engineering, has agreed to fulfill the pivotal role  of Project Manager.  It is estimated that the construction of the YMCA Centre for Life will, through the direct spending by the YMCA and the indirect (rolling over) effects of this spending in the area, generate more than $30M of economic activity and create the equivalent of 200 full-time jobs over the length of the construction project.
 
With a projected budget of $27,494,000, the YMCA Community Build Campaign has its work cut out for it.  Ed Lehtinen advised that significant calls have been made already with respect to funding requests.  The Federal and Provincial Governments have committed to 33% and 27% respectively in addition to the City of Belleville's contribution.  The overall campaign goal is $900,000.  One area in the new building will house a Children's Treehouse, providing children with the opportunity for fun physical activity while exploring movement through multiple spaces and terrain changes with family and friends.  It was suggested this would be a good fit for Rotary to get involved with, a legacy project that will serve our communities for years to come.
 
The speakers were thanked by Peter Malone, who acknowledged the great things that the YMCA has done for this community and surrounding areas.
 
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.
 
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