Posted by Nick Aroutzidis on Dec 16, 2017
December 21, 2017: Judy Madden and Tim Elliott  

Head Table:  Our President Linda Bathe, invites, Brent Shackleton, Ron Shaw, Gord Sherwin, Pat Shewen Paul Siberry to join her at the head table.
This Week: 
Our newest Paul Harris was Presented by Steve Rae to Eddie Matthews for his outstanding endeavors In the  Stratford and Area Community. 
Rick Orr:  Thanked the Club for participating in the food drive today.  The Rotary Club supports The Local with $1000 per month to provide each of the 6 local food banks with fresh and other healthy food.    Today we collected    $1365
President’s Comments
Photo….. our club photo turned out well. If you were not able to attend and would like your head photo shopped in to the picture, Doug Thompson could take your photo after today’s meeting or next week and send it to Terry. Charlene, Mimi and I are making sure we have all the names in the proper order.  We will find out the cost of prints and make them available to club members.  We will make digital copies available as well so stay tuned.
On a similar note…I notice there are quite a few members without photos in their Club Runner profile.  It would be great to have for the use of the newer members.  You can upload your own or get in touch with Charlene and she can add your photo.
Alex Smith has asked for a 3 month leave of absence from the club…I am sure he would appreciate greetings over the holidays.
You may have noticed Dave Scott at meetings recently.  He is officially rejoining the club on Jan 1..welcome back Dave…
If you are thinking of going to the RI Convention in Toronto in June and have not registered yet..there is a price increase starting tomorrow.  Dec 15th
So, back to the 4 way test. 
So far We have talked about TRUTH and FAIRNESS.
We may hear a lot about Fairness in the months to come since I read the Ontario Liberals have decided to run on a platform based on Fairness.
So #3 of the Four Way Test is
Does it build goodwill and better friendships?
In business such as mine, Good will is a valuable asset based on your reputation.
I am sure the founders of the 4 way test meant ….friendly, helpful or cooperative feelings or attitude.
Tis the season for Good will about which I found a quote from Calvin Coolidge.
“Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind.  To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy is to have the real spirit of Christmas”
 And who does not want better friendships….
So as you go about your business this week try to keep Good will and better friendships
Rotary, December 14, 2017
Each year, the Executive Director of the Rotary Respite House, Susan Melkert, comes to Rotary and presents us with an update.  This year she was accompanied by Nancy Farr of Family Services and also two recent guests of the House, Karen and her 7 year old son Preston.
In his introduction of our guests, Peter Roach noted the death this past year of Al McIntryre, one of the founders of the House and one of its strongest advocates.  Peter spoke of Al’s commitment and  drive and his continuing enthusiasm and interest in the House right up to his death,  Al was always grateful for the staunch support of Rotary in moving the project forward, providing funds and ensuring the ongoing operation.  Nancy Farr also spoke of Al’s dedication and the importance of the House as a critical service for families experiencing the challenge of illness and ongoing care.
Susan Melkert reported that this had been an active year for the House.  It was open for 216 days, and now has a staff of over 50 assisted by many volunteers.  Since its opening in 2004, the House has served over 171 different children and their families, and its importance in their lives cannot be overstated as a safe place for rest, respite and care. As a building that is fully accessible, it is a place that welcomes children who have a wide range of health challenges – physical, emotional, and developmental. 
Karen introduced her son, Preston, who has multiple issues including seizures (which have ranged in the past up to 60 a day), heart problems and an NYD (not-yet-diagnosed) muscle condition.  The latter makes it difficult for the family to access funding and specialized medical care for Preston – which only adds to the family’s stress.  Karen remarked that sleep has always been one of the greatest challenges that she and her husband face.  Another is that Preston is the youngest of four and both parents are conscious of the importance of focusing on all the children and that this is sometimes difficult.
Karen discovered the Respite House when attending the Arts and Craft Fair.  She was feeling desperate and when the services of the House were explained to her she realized that it was the one place that could be of help not only to Preston but the whole family.  Now she gets sleep and can have time with her other children, knowing that Preston is with compassionate, professional carers who have the skills to handle his challenges.  When Preston spoke, he said that the House was a fun place and that he felt free there – he is a lesson to us all in handling challenges and finding happiness by trusting in others.
John Fisher presented Preston with two Christmas presents which he eagerly opened and with which he was delighted.  The Respite House is one of Rotary’s signature projects in Stratford and is complimented by our commitment to the establishment of a Hospice.  And if the Respite House is any indication, Rotary’s dedication to the Hospice will always be on-going and strong one.
Reported by  Guy Chadsey 
Karen and Preston Hoyles  our Guest Speakers 
Nancy Farr coordinator and Susan Melkert Executive Director  of Rotary Respite House 
Rick Orr announcing Food Drive results  $1365.00
Guests: Kelly Brooks, Respite House, Daryl Ball, Denise Williams, Eddie Matthews , Paul Harris Receipient Bob Malcolmson and Chris Brisbois, New Members 
Roger Black introducing new member Chris Brisebois 
Kevin Silver Introduced New Member Bob Malcolmson
Foundation Draw Donated by Anonymous  won by Gerry Thuss   
Ribbons for perfect Attendance;
 Gord Sherwin 900, Fritz Steigemeir 1100 and Harry Brigtwell 1200
Make-ups: Rob Ritz Dec 12 Festival City, Andrea Page Dec 14 E-Online
December’s Attendance Committee: Guy Bellehumeur (I/C), Clare McCallum, Ollie Henry, Paul Roulston, Basil Hurst, John Kechnie, Mike Neilson, Fritz Steigmeier, Brent Shackleton.