April 12 2020
Thursday, April 9, 2020
Due to the on-going Covid-19 Pandemic, the Stratford Rotary Club held its’ first ever virtual meeting today via Zoom Video Communication. 
President Brent welcomed everyone to the meeting and began by saying that these are trying times, that the future is uncertain and that none of us has ever experienced anything quite like this. Now, more than ever, we need to come together and make a difference.  He further thanked and toasted all the front-line workers who are toiling away every day on our behalf.
The Board has been working behind the scenes and Brent provided some details:
  1. All Rotary Projects such as the Home Show, Rural/Urban Dinner, and the Dragon Boat Festival have been cancelled till next year.  Catch-the-Ace has been postponed until further notice. As a result of these cancellations our fund raising will be severely challenged.  How do we raise funds? 
  1. Gerry Thuss and Katherine Hahn have been working at reducing the time frame for succession through the board chairs to becoming President.  The idea is to drop the succession time from an 8 or 9-year plan to a 5-year plan.  More details to follow.
  1. Virtual meetings were discussed and today’s meeting is the start. It is proposed to carry on with this format until we can once again meet in person.  (The question of a Guest Speaker was raised from the floor – the practicality and possibility of this will be passed on to Doug Thompson’s Program Committee for their review.)
  1. What can we do as a club at this time to help those in need?   Perhaps assisting with the purchase of 1000 protective shields that Rotarian Lynn T. has sourced from a local Kitchener supplier?
  2. Usually around Easter our club assists the Local or other charities with a special donation.  If possible, please try to do so.
Dr. Doug Thompson gave us an update of the Covid-19 Pandemic:
I just want to summarize couple points in conclusion.
  1. We are in this for the long haul probably 1 year so learning to adapt and improvise to social distancing and isolation especially in the older population is vitally important. Every interaction you do not have to have and every trip to a public place you do not have to do may save a life including your own. Wear a mask in public places like grocery stores and consider all public surfaces sources of infection so clean hands as recommended often. We do not know enough about spread in all situations. We do not have any good treatment options for anyone but aggressive treatment options are not going to be effective or available for the elderly with co morbidities so isolation is your best protection
  1. Let us face the fact that governments have failed us. Listen to science and the experts and push for leaders and government who will do the same. And realize this is an international problem. We cannot solve this by America First. Do not neglect our international obligations and their problems which will perpetuate or even cause the next pandemic even in a time of our greatest need. We are a global economy and world family. Rotary is in a unique position to make this happen and could be that international force that will make a difference in the same way as polio plus
Debra Swan – Executive Director, The Local
Debra spoke after Doug.  The Local has had to rapidly change its procedures in order to adapt to the new reality. They can no longer serve dinner in-house so meals are provided by curbside pickup or delivery.  All cooking programs have been cancelled.
The demand for the Local’s services is growing. More meals were provided this week than last week. (433 last week; over 500 this week.)
Their Community Garden was deemed non-essential.  They are now developing vegetable planters to be grown at home.
One of Debra’s main concerns is financial.  Most of the Local’s support is from small donations.  While she expects the larger donations to stay, Debra is concerned that the smaller contributors will no longer be able to donate. 
They will also need more drivers. Those drivers must be in the 20 – 45-year-old range.
Some Other Items the Local is looking for:
bags of soil
mason jars
unrestricted monetary donations
connections to other communities - someone from outlying  communities that can organize meal orders and deliveries within their own communities outside of Stratford
For more information about the local please visit 
R. L. Read - Sgt. At Arms
Birthdays:                  Fritz Steigmeier
                                   Nick Aroutzidis
                                   Al Wakelin
Anniversaries:          Jim Scott                     38 years
                                  Geza Wordoff             8 years
                                  Dan Kane                    5 years
                                  Par Feryn                   10 years
Attendance:  Approximately  62 at peak.
Scribe: John Wright
Our next online meeting will be Thursday April 16th at noon - Our guest speaker will be Lisa Stacey  talking about Wellspring 
Topic: Rotary Meeting April 16th
Time: Apr 16, 2020 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 923 5944 3151
Password: 076054

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Meeting ID: 923 5944 3151
Password: 076054