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Board Meeting - Open to Members - Zoom
Jul 15, 2020
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
 
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Jul 22, 2020
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
 
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Russell Hampton
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Rotary Club of Fonthill
Zoom Meeting Minutes
June 24th, 2020
 
Reflection, Toast, Four 4 Test
 
President Mike Taylor welcomed everyone to our Changeover Meeting.  
 
Mask Update
Ann and Mel indicated that after a lull in requests for masks there is now a request from the YWCA for 100 masks.  This will mean that we are well over 3200 masks donated.
 
Honourary Member
The club members welcomed Tove Bowman to the meeting.  Lance Wiebe proposed Tove's membership back in 2004 and everyone soon learned that Tove was a passionate advocate for social justice.  Tove quickly became involved in the End Polio Now campaign.  She started and continues to make Izzy dolls which she sells at Canada Day and all sales go towards End Polio Now.  She also continues to sell pinwheels.
 
Whenever there are initiatives that require support, Tove has always been involved.  She supported the District Conference in making blankets, helped with projects in Mexico and has been an incredible sewer with our current mask project.  
 
As a past secretary of the club, Tove has always walked the talk and lived a life of service.  Mike welcomed Tove back as an Honourary Member.
 
Paul Harris Awards
Mike welcomed Colin Groom to present Mel Groom with her third Paul Harris award.  Mike then welcomed Kristen Groom to award Mel Groom her fourth Paul Harris award.
 
The Rotary Year
 
Mike shared his notes and a video on the Rotary Year in review.
 

Year In Review 

  • July 1st, through Lance’s incredible leadership and efforts, Rotary Kids Day in the Park sprung back to life. Some of our usual suspects were there as well like Annie with her amazing display of all things Rotary both locally and internationally. Pat who like a champ helps to ensure the ‘Sandtasik’ bottle making remains one of the most popular parts of the day. Thanks to all the Crossley student supports as well who helped us in our efforts! There wouldn’t be Canada Day without our ‘snow cones’ and our thanks to all the hands who were there to help dish out the goods. I would be remiss to not remember Tove as well who every year comes with all the dolls she has made raising money for our End Polio campaign! So many Club members each year have been so helpful in contributing to these efforts that have historically been such a big part of the day – we will be surely missing ALL of that this year. 

 
  • With Roy’s involvement and coordinating support, we next tackled ‘Summerfest’ supporting the beer gardens throughout the weekend! To ALL of our club ‘smart-servers’ – thanks so very much for all the time and effort you donated to these efforts…. Somewhat shamelessly, I tended to be a supporter on the other side of the bar as we have historically entertained a houseful of company for the weekend. Summerfest is yet one more activity that this town will certainly miss this year – the marvel each year at the size of the event that this little town created has been mindboggling…. I will miss seeing everyone on the streets celebrating, laughing and dancing all weekend this year.

 
  • In February of 2019, the Arches were blown down by the wind… the Arches were certainly controversial however had grown to be extremely representative of the Town of Pelham and certainly Summerfest. In that the Town was not in a position to take on replacement of them – and a mixed view in terms of whether or not they should be… the Genie popped out of the bottle (otherwise known as our incoming District Governor Frank Adamson) – and with all of us in behind we began planning and organizing in partnership with the Summerfest Committee and Town of Pelham to develop a replacement strategy! This work of course continues on as we know and by it’s completion will be yet one more exceptional landmark through which we can market our Rotary brand. Thanks Frank for your inspiring conviction and efforts…. (more on that in a few moments)…..

 
  • Youth Exchange continues to pour youth and vibrancy through our club and members and we were blessed to have had the pleasure of hosting Geta Zsikla who was such an incredibly sweet, loving and inspiring young woman.. the changeover BBQ last year was an fantastic event and we were able to use it as a means to celebrate Greta’s year here in Canada. Shortly thereafter, we sadly saw her off back home to Hungary while we got ready and regrouped for the student to come…. 

 
  • By August, Mel was back at it representing the Club at the Cluster Grant table – one of 11 clubs across the district. 

 
  • Then there was Frank again in August letting us know of the Arches Fundraiser that he’d been putting together to take place at the MCC on October 5th… while a few of us may have gone a bit kicking and screaming into it – his strong-willed determination was again on full display and ultimately we all got right on Board. 

 
  • Not that too much developed after this, but we did talk in August as well about the possibility of developing a ‘satellite’ club that could meet in the evenings for people who weren’t able to attend the breakfast meetings. Ultimately we didn’t move forward with it given there was a significant population of people who still preferred morning meetings and we were ALL concerned that fracturing attendance for two clubs may not bring about the best outcomes for either…… a pause now I suppose to reflect on the irony of those discussions considering where we are today – I’ve had a great number of opportunities to consider just how much we may have taken for granted ahead of the pandemic.

 
  • In early August, Laura Kenney gave us a fantastic presentation on her year in Taiwan during exchange and later in the meeting we inducted her mother Emma as our newest Club member… now THAT’S the way a program should work…

 
  • In Mid August we welcomed yet another amazing young woman – Fanny Etienne from Belgium - to her year here in Fonthill and Canada and at the same time Hugh and Annie were hard at work ramping up Club energy and efforts towards the TV Auction

 
  • Coming into September, Mel again reared her ambitious head and almost immediately we were happily charting a course towards our very first Purse Bingo in November. 

 
  • In September as well, the Club agreed to support Gateway Niagara in providing funding that would support the purchase of appliances in an apartment in their new building providing safe and affordable living space for people suffering from and/or recovering from serious mental health issues.

  • By early October just ahead of the Arches fundraiser, Frank let us all know he’d sold 20 of 16 Arches to local sponsors and the enthusiasm of his campaign was building nicely. The evening itself supported by so very many members of the Club was an incredible success and more than one smile was evident as Mayor Marv ended up as the successful bidder for the large painting of the arches that was donated for the live auction! Clearly the community was starting to build with excitement with the idea of restoring the landmark.

 
  • Final touches and planning was underway for our Paul Harris event in November and near the end of the month we inducted our second ‘new member’ of the year Heather Scott.

 
  • October 24th a number of us attending Crossley to support Interact and their ‘End Polio Now’ bake sale and finger nail painting fundraiser. What an amazing and inspiring group of kids they all were.

 
  • In November Temperanceville was once again set up for the holidays and once it was done…. we got to set it up again having not considered the access required for sidewalk snow removal purposes. We were more limited in space because we didn’t want to leave an possibility of damage to the freshly laid sod for the Bandshell.

 
  • Oh yeah – Purse Bingo update – sold out almost immediately and was an enormous success raising just over $5400 … Energizer Mel took the lead in charting us towards another to be held in Spring 2020.

 
  • We had an intimate and very enjoyable Paul Harris Awards dinner with Andrew Larmand again reminded us of both his rich understanding of Rotary and it’s history and his marvelous sense of humour as our MC. We were pleased to honour Mary Lou Hillier, Toni McKelvie and Joe Matthews from the community and from within our Rotary family, the rock & foundation of attendance, history and all things money – Gail Levay as well as past member Jeanette Lewis who has been pouring her energies into supporting Pat in the oversight of the Crossley Interact program. 

 
  • In December with Paul Snack’s vision and initiative he undertook the updating of our Club’s promotional ‘business card’ bring all information up to date and refreshed.

 
  • In January we inducted yet another new member to the Club – John Cappa (3rd this year).

 
  • The Club endorsed the financial support of I-Canter (horse therapy farm/program) and support of the Bandshell Committee’s Peace Park upgrade campaign (sponsored three benches to be installed at the park).

 
  • Right – almost forgot – there was Mel again this time leading our District Grant participation – this year helping us to support Socks for Change and St. John’s Ambulance. She also reported that the 2nd Purse Bingo sold out again immediately and has a lengthy waiting list. At the time we considered twice a year Bingo’s until their popularity may fade.

 
  • The ‘Paul Squared Team’  - Paul Snack and Paul Allen in February were seeing the fruits of their efforts in putting together the next ‘Family Funfest’ at Bissels having already amassed over $7500 in sponsorship and setting Radio 105 on board to support the event live.

 
  • In early March, Angela led the Club in a review and update to our Strategic Plan and is working to synthesize the plan with the annual club citation goals on Club Runner. I have yet to confirm with Ang but I’m sure we’ve hit the Citation and a strong change as well that we’ve achieved with Presidential Distinction as well 

 
  • We were keen at the time to convene a Fireside Chat however as fate would have it the pandemic arose very quickly over the month and those ideas fell down the list of priorities.

 
  • As I mentioned a moment ago, COVID-19 blew the world up in ways we could not imagine and at a pace no one expected and within two weeks the entire world was shut down. Using a boxing analogy we were down on the matts but refused to give up! Within the month, Purse Bingo was cancelled, we lost access to place to meet, Family Funfest was postponed (and subsequently cancelled, schools were closed for the rest of the year, and everything we new and had established as our day to day routines were obliterated. 

 
  • Everyone at our Club though was quick to confirm that we all wanted – wait perhaps better said we all NEEDED to continue to the work of Rotary in spite of the circumstances. We quickly moved to a virtual club space – shifted our meetings to the evenings and rolled forward with all the energy we could muster! Clearly in all my years, the bond of our Fonthill Rotary Family was no more apparent than now.. the significance of that by itself though needs to be teased out because I have ALWAYS treasured the incredible wisdom, camaraderie and caring nature of our Club and it’s members. Our Club rallied hard and I was frequently brought to tears in awe of it all these past few months. 

 
  • Case in point – Mel and Ann quite early on pitched the idea of putting a ‘working group’ together to sew protective masks to be donated to essential workers in the region. No sooner was the idea discussed it was live and in action… our own club members Mel, Ann, Annie, Angela and past member Tove Bowman joined forces with members in our broader community  - not the least of whom was Jennifer Allen who was an absolutely HUGE asset in acquisition of materials and supplies for the mask. I’m mindful though to acknowledge that even I don’t comprehend how significant this has become… last week while standing in front of my bank, a fellow parishioner from my Church approached me only to let me know that she had heard of and was now sewing as a part of Rotary’s Mask project…. You don’t have to look to far in the news or social media to see the appreciation and extend of efforts that these wonderful people have put forward – including my own staff and Agency! At last count we were at or above 3500 masks produced….. oh yes – and consistently we’ve learned that there are about 2 masks created by Tove for every other mask produced in the project! 

 
  • After tormentuous deliberations with her family and many of us here, Fanny elected to go home early and we tearfully said good-bye to her during March break. A wonderful spirit who is truly missed BUT who was so very deeply appreciative of the experience she gained while here.

 
  • Rotary in light of the pandemic initiated a special covid grant process and true to form – there was Mel again to lead the process and have us successfully awarded funding to support Pelham Cares and in partnership with MT Bellies provided them with weeks of fresh foods. 

 
  • In  true Rotary spirit, 9 Niagara Region Clubs banded together to pool funds to support the purchase of tablets to be donated to long term care homes across the region to help facilitate contact and communication with families while visiting restrictions are in place. Fonthill sponsored two tablets to the cause!

 
  • Family Funfest was ultimately cancelled for this year and deferred to the Spring of 2021. We were able however to confirm the clubs $5000 contribution to Big Brothers Big Sisters who were overwhelmingly appreciative of the contribution given the impact on their own fundraising the pandemic has caused.

 
  • Each year we have tended to put together a team of people in support of Ronald McDonald House… under this year’s restrictions that would not allow us to do so, we instead provided a cash donation that provided an evening’s meal…. Again  - Rotary adapting to ensure we can sustain our support….

 
  • Emma and Dale Kenney became grandparents while after the start of the pandemic. Because of the restrictions, they weren’t able to have direct contact with their son before/during and after the birth. Rotary again stepped forward and organized a surprise celebratory drive-by for them both (their daughter Laura was a huge help to us in organizing). There is perhaps no better example of the power of good works like this in that their son Josh was allowed to come home and have dinner and spend the evening with them shortly thereafter and it’s suggested that it was the video of the drive-by that contributed to this possibility. We do good deeds because it’s a good thing to do – the most wonderful power of it is that it breeds other good deeds and outcomes as well!

Rotarian of the Year

Mike then announced that he wished to acknowledge and recognize a Rotarian for always stepping up, providing support to him, and the club and leading numerous events, grant applications and activities.  Mike called upon Kristen Groom to present Mel Groom with the Rotarian of the Year award.  Mel was overwhelmed and appreciative of the recognition and her whole family, Rick, Kathryn, Colin and Kristen helped her to celebrate.

Passing of the Gavel

In his last act as President of the Rotary Club of Fonthill, Mike Taylor passed the gavel to President Hugh Graham.  Hugh thanked Mike for his service and invited Nancie and Eli to participate as the club members all expressed their appreciation for Mike's leadership and thanked Nancie and Eli for their support throughout the year.  

Happy Loonies

The club members thanked Mike, congratulated Mel and wished Hugh all the best.  They also wished Frank all the best as he assumes the role of District Governor this coming Saturday.

 

President Hugh adjourned the meeting.   

Note: There will be no meeting on Canada Day


 
 
Rotary Club of Fonthill
Meridian Community Centre, 2nd Floor
100 Wellspring Way
Fonthill, Ontario
Meeting Weekly Wednesday 7:15 am