Posted by Nick Aroutzidis on May 13, 2018
May 17, 2018: Honour Students Banquet: Our Speaker will be John Kastner, this is an Evening meeting (beginning at 5:45, meal served at 6:30) at the Rotary Complex - this is the annual Honour Student Banquet.  **The meal price is $20.

This Week:   
Dragon Boat Festival -Gary Wreford made a presentation today on behalf of this great annual event.  To date, the net profit from 22 years has been just over $800,000, funds that have gone directly to many worthwhile projects in our community and beyond.  A couple of milestones for Dragon Boat are in sight – the 25th annual event in 2020, and the 100th anniversary of our club in 2022.  Gary challenged the club to reach the goal of $1 Million raised by 2022.  It is possible with the combined efforts of club members and our sponsors.  It was announced today that Rotarian Heather Carr has stepped forward to become the platinum sponsor of the 2018 Dragon Boat Festival through her two companies – Heather Carr Design and Chisholm House B&B.   Thanks to Heather and congratulations to the members of the committee for their efforts in supporting this year’s Dragon Boat Festival.
Stratford Perth Rotary Hospice – President Linda shared the good news with the club today.  The approval of the funding ($400,000) for two more hospice beds was received on Tuesday.  This brings the number of funded beds to 8 instead of 6. The Ministry has also promised to expedite the contract process.  The official groundbreaking for the Hospice has been set for Thursday, June 21.  Further details to follow.  Congratulations to all involved.
Aquabox and Global Medic
Following a successful ‘build’ on Saturday when 600 Aquabox kits were assembled by 54 volunteers in just under 2 hours, the Aquabox committee was ready to share the program’s accomplishments since it was introduced in 2006.
Walt Bathe began by drinking some purified water from the Avon River.  He also unveiled the new promotional materials that were recently designed by new Rotarian Steve Weed to spread awareness of the program and encourage donations to keep it going.   Walt and Rena Spevak Orr shared the current design of the ‘kits’ that will supply fresh water to a family of 5 for a year in areas of natural disaster wherever they occur.
To date the Rotary Club of Stratford Charitable Foundation has shipped over 9000 units, providing almost 45 million litres of clean drinking water to people in need around the world.  The Committee has worked with a variety of distribution partners but has settled on the partnership with Global Medic, which has been very successful since 2010.
Like Rotary, Global Medic operates mainly with volunteer hours.  Its goal is to stop deaths and reduce suffering in areas of natural devastation.  Global Medic has an annual budget of $6 million dollars with only 4 paid employees.  It receives some funding from the Canadian government but 100% of the public donations it receives goes into the serving the people who need assistance.
Global Medic volunteers are often paramedics or people with medical skills who must be ready to leave home for up to a month with only 24 hours notice.  They are often deployed within 48 hours of a disaster occurring.  Assessments of the physical situation are made using drone technology and are shared with local government to assess and prioritize the most crucial needs.
When a Global Medic volunteer demonstrates the Aquabox kit in a devastated area, the first thing they do is sample the water, just as Walt did at the beginning of the meeting, to establish trust with the recipients.  They shared photos from their Aquabox distributions in Nepal and Dominica.  No matter where in the world they were, the smiles on the faces of the recipients told the whole story!
Our speakers were thanked by Dan Kane.
Scribe: Wendy Anderson
Guests: We welcomed today: Robin Young - Global Medic, Jennifer Cripton - Global Medic, Brian Labelle – Georgetown, Glen Williamson, St Michaels Interact: Julianna Sabo, Grace Quinlan, Wynter Overnichuk, Evan Biehn, James Mamac, Jacob Bossence.

Draw prize: The prize today was donated by David Scott and won by Steve Lichty (GC Fanfare Books)
Make-ups: No report
The Rotary Club of Stratford is on the move! Please note the following meeting dates, locations, and details:
Thursday, May 24 - noon hour meeting at Festival Motor Inn (ANAF hall is reserved for a wedding).
Thursday, May 31 - back to the ANAF hall for a noon hour meeting
May’s Attendance Committee:  Gezaghn Wordofa (I/C), Gord Steed, Charlene Gordon, Steve Weed, Ed Dujlovic, Kevin Nonomura, Mimi Price, Katherine Hahn, Colin Brisbois.