Posted by Nick Aroutzidis on Jan 18, 2018
January 25, 2018: Jerrie Petrie, “perspective on NHL as former agent”, our speakers will be introduced by Ken Nesbitt and Bert Clifford will thank our speaker.

Head Table:  Our President Linda Bathe, invites, Ken Nesbitt, Gerry Thuss, Tracy Van Kalsbeek, Dan Vito, Allan Wakelin and Susan Wakelin, to join her at the head table.
This Week: Our topic at this week's meeting was “Brief introduction to programs and work in Community Kiwanis, Optimist, Kinsmen and CFUW”. 
Dr. Tom Walden spoke on behalf of the Optimist Club.  Dr. Tom was born in Little Lakes, but moved to Stratford in 1961.  He has been a chiropractor in Stratford for 35 years.  Dr. Tom has been an optimist his entire life, but did not join the Optimist Club until 25 years ago. 
The Optimist Club of Stratford is 70 years old.  During this time, the Optimists have contributed significantly to the betterment of Stratford in many ways, including:
  • sponsoring annual Fishing Derbies
  • "Friends of Youth" programs
  • construction of two parks
  • basketball, tennis, bowling, bike rodeos and bus trips for youth
  • bingo, for both entertainment and fundraising
  • Optimist Place, (a women's shelter)
  • use of their clubhouse on Water Street for community events
Over the last 20 years, over two million dollars has been raised by the Optimist Club.  The Club is currently sponsoring a bonspiel for 8 local service clubs with the proceeds going to Hospice.
The Optimist Club is currently in the process of selling their clubhouse to the Festival Theatre.  After discussion, the club has decided not to reinvest in bricks and mortar, but to use the proceeds from the sale to create a "Legacy Fund", which will be used to support youth programs, sports teams and children's health.
Anne Carbett spoke on behalf of the Canadian Federation of University Women.  Anne moved to Stratford in 2013 and is a career counselor in private practice. 
CFUW is a non-partisan, voluntary, self-funded organization with over 100 CFUW Clubs, located in every province across Canada. Since its founding in 1919, CFUW has been working to improve the status of women and to promote human rights, public education, social justice, and peace.
Every year, CFUW and its Clubs award close to $1 million to women to help them pursue post-secondary studies. CFUW also provides funding for library and creative arts awards. CFUW Clubs provide life-long learning opportunities and fellowship to its members.
There are over 100 lecture series, 200 book clubs and 75 issues groups offered by CFUW Clubs. CFUW Clubs are involved in community outreach on such initiatives as working to prevent violence against women, child poverty, early learning and child care.
The Stratford CFUW club meets monthly and guests are always welcome.  The meetings focus on a speaker series.  In addition, CFUW members belong to interest groups within the club for learning, fun and fellowship.  The club also has committees for scholarships, advocacy and fundraising. 
Current projects of the Stratford CFUW include:
  • scholarships
  • inter-city transportation
  • reducing dependency on bottled water
  • "Have a Heart Campaign", to assist indigenous children
  • Equal Pay day in April
  • organizing an all candidates meeting focusing on women's issues prior to the provincial election
We are invited to follow the activities on CRUW on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. 
The Kiwanis Club was represented by David McLennan.  David started his commitment to community service early, as an Interact member as a student.  He is now a retired school principal, who remains active as an education consultant, running Stratford Computer Tutor and other ventures.  David and the Kiwanis Club demonstrate their commitment to the environment by recycling, as David is currently the President Elect of the Club, but has already served a term as President. 
The Kiwanis Club of Stratford was founded in 1948.  The Kiwanis motto at that time was "Serving the Children of the World".  Two of their earliest projects were fundraising to install lighting in the operating theatres at the hospital and paying for the funeral of a young drowning victim. 
We are all familiar with the Kiwanis Music Festival, which was started in 1952.  Most of us did not know that the three largest festivals in Ontario are in Toronto, Ottawa and Stratford.  In recent years the winners of the Stratford competition have gone on to take first prize at the national level. 
Kiwanis has also adopted the motto of "We Build".  Building projects include the tennis courts on Water Street and the band shell on Upper Queens Park Street which is used for summer Concerts in the Park. 
The Kiwanis Club's main fundraising activities are running food and beverage operations, particularly with the Festival Theatre. 
We are very familiar with the Kiwanis Centre, but may not have been aware that the building and property is owned by the City.  The Kiwanis Club was granted naming rights in exchange for pledging $250,000 for the construction of a seniors' centre.
Recent and current projects include:
  • construction of the clubhouse at Anne Hathaway Park and installation of new playground equipment
  • the annual Garlic Festival to fundraise and support local agriculture
  • Camp Bimimi, where the club sponsors one of the cabins
  • Passport to Savings, which supports local businesses and also raises funds for local charities
  • Christmas Basket Campaign, in partnership with CJCS, which also provides funds for emergency medical and dental needs
  • eliminating disease, particularly Iodine Deficiency Disorder and Neo-Natal Tetanus
The club will be the hosts for their annual convention in May, which will draw visitors from all of eastern Canada and the Caribbean region. 
Bob Walters spoke on behalf of the Kinsmen Club.  Bob has been a Kinsmen for 45 years, has held all of the offices in the club and is now a Life Member. 
Kinsmen was established in 1920 by Hal Rogers, who saw a need for young men's service clubs.  The motto is "Serving the Community's Greatest Needs.  The Stratford Club was the first service club to become active in providing housing for seniors. 
Kinsmen clubs are only active in Canada.  There is a national program to eradicate Cystic Fibrosis and sine the 1960's over forty million dollars has been raised for this cause. 
Two of the local Kinsmen club's most successful fundraisers have been Millionaires Night and Comedy Nights.  The also staff the concession booth at Allman Arena and host an annual barbecue. 
Other activities and projects include:
  • hosting hockey tournaments
  • staffing the Salvation Army kettles
  • toy drives
  • the Charity Cook-Off
  • Camp Tanner, in memory of Bill Tanner who died much too young from cancer
The Stratford Kinsmen Club will celebrate their 75th anniversary in 2020. 
Charlene Gordon introduced the four speakers and John Wright thanked them.  All of the members in attendance found their presentations both entertaining and educational and hope that this will become a regular part of our programming. 
Scribe: Steve Lichty
Guests:  Today we welcomed: David MacLennon - Kiwanis Club of Stratford, Bob Walters - Kinsmen Club of Stratford, Barry France - Kinsmen Club of Stratford, Anne Carbert - Canadian Federation of University Women, Rich Wallace - Greensboro North Carolina - Summit Rotary Club, Dick Macartney - Snead’s Ferry Rotary Club, North Carolina
Tom Walden - Stratford
Draw: The prize this week was a Rheo Thompson Chocolates gift certificate,  was donated by Anonymous and won by Ollie Henry.
Rotary Announcements Jan 18, 2018
Gerry McEwen, Harry Brightwell and Ralph Robinson were recognized for 100% attendance and received their free lunch tickets.  Treasurer Ralph will not need his, since he will be dining on crow for insisting that there are no free lunches.
The recipient of the Dr. David Scott Scholarship has sent a letter of thanks.  Her first name is Tessa; her last name is much too challenging for this scribe to attempt.
Michael Fox: Readers are required for entries to the Annual Rotary Short Story Contest.  Stories will be forwarded to the readers as they are received.  You do not need any qualifications to be a reader however judges will be needed as well and they will need a degree in literature or appropriate life experience to qualify.  Please contact Michael if interested
Lisa Breault:  The Youth Services (Interact) Committee met with the Interact Club at Central School and they presented us with a cheque for $300 towards Aquabox.  They had a fundraiser for a week selling hot chocolate and apple cider at their school.
Craig Pearce: To any new members or members looking to join a new committee, we just had our first meeting of the Rotary Golf Tournament.  The next meeting is Wednesday February 21, so if you are interested in joining we would love to have you.  Please send me(Craig) an email and come on Feb 21 to the board room at Mitchell and Pearce accounting firm on Ontario Street.
Rick Orr: Is happy to announce that one of their young staff in Goderich is holding the inaugural meeting of the Rotaract Club in Goderich.
Gerry Thuss:  The Ace still lives.  This past Saturday Sue Wakelin and Arlene Pol made a great video in support of Catch the Ace. Please log into The CTA facebook page and check it out.
Presidents Corner:
I read a couple things last week that led me to think about our Local Media especially the Beacon and what a loss it would be to the community if we lost it.   Last Friday was a good day for Rotary in the Beacon Herald. Yes, I am one of the few Strafordites that still gets the Beacon delivered.  There was a story on the first page about the Rotary Respite House with a picture of Susan Melkert, Nancy Farr, Karen and her 7 year old son Preston who spoke to us before Christmas,  On page 3 there was a feature about our guest speaker Roy Verstraete and his talk about NAFTA. After reading both, I searched the Beacon Herald web site for Rotary Stratford and there are dozens of stories in their archives covering Aquabox, Dragon Boat, Respite House, Hospice, Catch the Ace and many of our speakers.  There are at least 8 stories in this Rotary Year alone.
Then on Tuesday night I saw a letter to the editor from Tim Elliott, you will remember Tim as Judy Maddren’s husband who played the piano for our Christmas Meeting.
His letter said in part:
‘we are aware that journalism costs money and good journalism costs more.  With the closure of 36 local papers….and skepticism about the value of journalism in some quarters, it’s very important for us to support our local daily paper.’
At the end he asked readers to ask their friends and neighbours to do just that.
I wouldn’t ask people to take out a subscription but I want everyone to know that the Beacon benefits every time someone reads a story on line or shares that story with a friend electronically or on facebook as we do on the Rotary page. Every click they get helps them sell advertising and supports professional journalism. They even track how long each user spends on a page. So to support the Beacon, and since not every Rotarian is a subscriber, each time they run a Rotary Related story I will share with a group email to the whole club as I did this morning with the two stories from last Friday.  I hope you take the time to read them and share with your friends and family. 
I was remiss in not mentioning our local radio station as well.  They have also been very supportive of Rotary and we could support them as well by using their news website:   I will try to also send out a link to any Rotary related story on their site to all club members.
So I will not be here next week, Kevin has graciously offered to run the meeting. I am lucky enough to have a week skiing in Fernie This picture is to make the skiers jealous and if you have never been to the top of the mountains in winter to introduce you to snow ghosts.
Make-ups: Angus MacDermid, at the Fort Walton, RC., and Steve Rae at the Estero RC.
January’s Attendance Committee: Gerry Culliton (I/C), Bob Martin, Ralph Robinson, Tracy Van Kalsbeek, Karel Hodgert, Bruce McLaren, Katelyn Aitcheson, Diane Sewell, Craig Pearce, Peter Maranger.