A multi-Club luncheon was held at the Banquet Centre on Monday, February 2nd at 11:30 a.m.  President Len Kennedy was the Chair as the Rotary Club of Belleville was the host for the event this year.  He welcomed everyone and introduced the head table guests:  Mayor Taso Christopher; Councillors Garnet Thompson, Mike Graham and Mitch Panciuk; Richard Courneyea, President of the Belleville Chamber of Commerce and CEO Bill Saunders; Chief of Police Cory MacKay; John Smith, President of Belleville Probus and his wife; Brian Mitchell, President of Kiwanis; Janet Mathany, President of Quinte Sunrise Rotary Club; Betty Anne McGrath, President Probus Quinte; President Jim Lapsley, Belleville Lions Club; Bill Mackay Jr., Secretary of the Rotary Club of Belleville and Shannon Neely, Vice President and Treasurer of the Belleville Rotary Club.  Reverend Hal Wilson offered grace before the meal.
Marjorie Buck of the Belleville Kiwanis Club introduced the guest speaker, Fulvio Martinez, Manager of Community Outreach, Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games (left to right Marjorie Buck, guest Fulvio Martinez and Len Kennedy).  In the summer of 2015, Canada will host the largest international multi-sport Games in its history.  The Games, with more athletes, coaches and sports than the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, will involve 7,600 athletes from 41 countries competing in 51 sports.  Toronto will host the Pan Am Games from July 10 to 26, 2015 and the Parapan Am Games from August 7 to 15, 2015. The Games will take place in 16 municipalities with an expected 1.4 million tickets sold and 250,000 visitors passing through the gates.  Venues include Welland, St. Catharines, Hamilton, Milton, Mississauga, Etobicoke, North York, Innisfil, downtown Toronto, Scarborough, Markham, Ajax, Oshawa, Caledon, Minden Hills and Lake Ontario.  The torch relay wil pass through Belleville.  More than 23,000 volunteers will provide support to the Games, all trained and paired with professionals and experts.  The Games will provide a boost for the local economies, creating 26,000 new jobs and $674 million in TO 2015 venue projects, including the Sport Legacy fund, the Velodrome, one of 2 top facilities in North America and official home of Cycling Canada.  The centre will be used for basketball or other sports and can be converted to a concert venue.  The Aquatics Centre in Scarborough is the largest new-build sport facility in Canada and will become an athletic stadium for York University.  Opening ceremonies will feature a new program, specially created for the Games by Cirque Du Soleil.  There will be 5 week of festivals featuring the people and art of the Americas at Nathan Phillips Square and the CIBC Pan Am Park with more than 25 unique commissioned works on display.  Community Programs will introduce Games to the classrooms, conduct mobile tours and interactive family activities at 520 stops.  A new program called "Ignite" will allow participants to create their own games with themed events.  Four girls in Middle School in Markham have designed PATCHI, the Games mascot, a porcupine with 41 quills, representing 41 countries.
Fulvio Martinez was thanked by John Smith of the Belleville Probus Club.