Posted by Nick Aroutzidis on Mar 16, 2019
March 21, 2019: Carolyn Ferguson (RI Foundation Giving Options), Chris Thomson will introduce, and Ralph Robinson will give thanks. 

Head Table:  Our President Paul Roulston, invites, Chris Thomson, Bill Braun, David Braye, Lisa Breault, Harry Brightwell, Norm Briscoe and Colleen Brown, to join him at the head table.

Today at Rotary: Katherine Hahn introduced Bev Robinson, President and CEO of London and District Junior Achievement, and Karen Chafe senior Program Manager for High School Programs.  Karen is a JA alum.  They were accompanied by our newest Paul Harris Fellow, Jeff Caruthers, who has been involved as a volunteer mentor in Stratford since 2010.
Our guest speakers for Junior achievement today from right President Paul, Karen Chafe, Bev Robinson,  introducer Katherine Hahn and Jeff Carruthers
Junior Achievement’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.  As Canada’s largest youth business education organization JA embraces three pillars of experiential learning: financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness.  Formed in 1919 in Springfield MA, JA  aimed to give young people the skills needed to transition from a largely rural background into the emerging urban economy. As the automobile and highway networks facilitated continental travel, JA expanded across the US and into Canada. The subsequent advent of air travel allowed global reach. In this, the hundredth year of JA, programs are active in more than 100 countries worldwide.
Junior Achievement programs operate in the face of economic depression, war and government apathy. They were active in South Africa during apartheid and in Eastern Europe under communist rule. JA was the first to introduce computers in classrooms and is an active champion for the empowerment of young women in all cultures. Educators, CEO’s and world leaders have lauded their efforts.  The need is as relevant  today as it was a century ago. Today, the Foundation for the Future reports that 60% of workers are not employment ready, 90% of new businesses fail and 72% of people suffer from personal financial stress. JA teaches young people to be innovative, adaptable and open to new ideas.
In Stratford, in-class programs are delivered by community volunteers, in co-operation with teachers.  For students in grades 4to 8, in-class programs focus on money management and smart shopping including safe on-line practices. Participants are able to relate living costs to earning potential and appreciate the value of education and training in securing a suitable life style. They also come to recognize the financial challenges their parents face from day to day. Secondary school programs teach business and entrepreneurial skills as well as investment and personal finance.  The “Company Program” meets weekly after school for 18 weeks from October to April.  Five Stratford businesses are currently involved as mentors. Students must identify a need,  find a product to address the need, and market it. Each student is assigned a role in the “company”- president, V-P, financial officer etc.
Volunteers with business expertise are needed in Stratford and area for both in-class and company programs.  JA provides training, materials, lesson plans and digital resources, including an on-line virtual school for volunteers.  Jeff Carruthers spoke enthusiastically about his decade of experience as mentor in the company program. He is extremely proud of what his students accomplish and their “companies” have received awards and even commercialized their products. The current group is marketing a phone charger bracelet, “carget”.  They have already sold 65 toward their break-even target of 95. JA allows Jeff to share his love of business with students who have a similar passion. Though they can learn accounting and financial management in school, that is no substitute for real world experience through JA.  Jeff has the satisfaction of knowing he has made a small positive impact in someone’s life. His students maintain contact and he is thrilled to see them succeeding in post-secondary education and the working world. Most attribute this success to the confidence and expertise they gained through JA.  There is demand for programs in this area, and he urged business leaders in our community to take part.
Jeff Orr thanked the presenters. He noted the importance of financial and business acumen regardless of career path, paraphrasing  actress Cynthia Dale who said the best education for success in an acting career is a business degree, so you know how to deal with agents, producers and contracts.
Scribe: Pat Shewen
Our newest Paul Harris Fellow Jeff Carruthers honoured for his work with Junior Achievement
Fondly remembered past Rotarian John Carruthers by wife Edna, Son Jeff and Jeff’s wife Heather.
St Patrick Day dress up Rotarian Carolyn Drummond who also announced Fashion Show April 28 for Hospice.
Another display of green Rotarian Gerry Thuss.
Guests:  Today we welcomed David Daglish.
Draw: Bert Clifford was the recipient of today's draw which GC from the Scottish Shop by Chris Thomson.
Rotary Announcements
Rural Urban Night – Thursday, April 18 at the Rotary Complex – Social at 6, Dinner at 7.  Tickets will be available at regular Rotary meetings starting March 7.  $35.00 each.  Reserved seating available for tables of 8 or more.
The Social Committee has organized an outing on Friday, May 31 via highway coach to Western Fair Raceway to the Above the Raceway restaurant/lounge.  Cost is $65 pp which includes transportation, buffet meal, and all taxes and fees. 
There is space for 56 people - Rotarians and non-Rotarians are welcome.  Roger Black will be accepting reservations and payments at next Thursday's lunch meeting (March 21).  Or email him.
The motor coach will depart from 30 Queensland Road (former Sobey's mall at the intersection of Queensland and Lorne - lots of free parking) at 5:30 pm, arriving back in Stratford about 11:30 pm.
The Stratford Festival would like to extend a special spring savings opportunity for the Rotary Club. See Little Shop of Horrors, an engaging musical comedy with a twist, and save!
Enjoy matinee performances of the Little Shop of Horrors on the following dates:
  • Monday, April 29
  • Friday, May 3
  • Tuesday, May 7
  • Monday, May 27
B-seating zone only. Use promotion code 86228 to access this special offer.
I hope you can take advantage of this special offer. Directed by Donna Feore, Little Shop of Horrors is brought to vivid life from the creative team that brought you The Rocky Horror Show! Experience how love can grow, with this unique musical comedy.
Visit our website or contact our box office, at 1.800.567.1600 to take advantage of this offer, with our thanks.
Make-ups: No report. 
March’s Attendance Committee: Sarah Hamza (I/C), Jim Scott, John Wright, Andrea Page, Chris Thomson, Al Wakelin, Jo-Anne Hood Tidman, Doug Brown.