Posted by Nick Aroutzidis on Apr 01, 2018
April 5, 2018: Gerry Thuss “Travelling the El Camino Trail Spain”, John Wright will introduce, and Rena Orr will thank our speaker.

Head Table:  Our President Linda Bathe, invites John Wright , Elizabeth Gaffney, Charlene Gordon, Mike Gruszczynski, Bob Gulliford, Katherine Hahn and Sarah Hamza, to join her at the head table.
COMMIT team receiving Peace Medal at YMCA AGM March 28, 2018
This Week: One of the most persistent dreams of the citizenry of Stratford is the evolution of the Cooper Site into a new, vibrant centre for the city’s downtown.  Over the years, we have looked at the decaying hulk of a defunct industry, a chunk of waste land and a meandering parking lot and wondered what that site might be – hopefully in our lifetimes!
Speaker Rotarian Mimi Price introduced by Tracy Van Kalsbeek speaking on Grand Truck Hub and YMCA future development
Mimi Price, the Executive Director of the Stratford YMCA, is at the forefront of those working tirelessly to make dreams into a reality.  Following Monday’s approval of a “concept plan” for the site (now referred to as the Grand Trunk Community Hub) by Stratford City Council, Mimi provided Rotarians with insight into the proposed concept and the important role that the Y will play in that concept.
Essentially, the nearly 18 acres of land will be developed to include a new YMCA, additional buildings for the University of Waterloo’s very successful Stratford Campus (potentially to include student housing), and a hub with flexibility to accommodate seniors’ activities, community groups and students.  There is also provision for some affordable housing, ample parking, possibly on two levels, and lots of green space.  The construction of a new Transit Terminal will be the first phase.  Mimi stressed that the idea is to create a “neighbourhood” with indoor and outdoor spaces, multiple access from adjoining streets and a focus for Stratford that is inviting and inclusive.  Of course there are unknowns and the concept must undergo community consultation and considerable efforts to secure the necessary funding from all levels of government and interested private sector partners.  This will take time, but Mimi did, slyly, hint that an unnamed source at City Hall mentioned possibly 3 years!  We will not hold you to that, Mimi.
For the YMCA, a new building is an exciting and overdue prospect.  The current building has had seven additions since its construction, but is now unable to support the demand for its use.  Mimi reminded us that the Y has been active in Stratford for 148 years and is accessed annually by 1 in 3 citizens of the city.  They have 500 children in daycare, one of the largest in Perth County, support crucial youth programmes, and provide financial assistance to about 1/3 of its members allowing them to access health and wellness programmes.
Much thought has gone into what a future Y might look like.  Mimi presented us some preliminary drawings which show a building at the east end of the site which would include two pools (one of 25m) and would accommodate not only swimming but also aquatic health and fitness programmes; spacious change rooms with showers, a full gym with multiple uses; a fitness centre, multipurpose space for use by the Y and other groups as well as administrative space.  The whole building would support the Y’s mandate to “provide opportunities for personal growth in spirit, mind and body and service to others in an environment that is open to all” and encourage intergenerational activities and discussion.
Stratford (and Rotary) are very fortunate to have people like Mimi who continue to dedicate time, energy, intelligence and commitment to community to achieve the phoenix-like rising of a new life for an old and honoured place in the centre of Stratford.  And we give thanks to them for that.
Scribe:  Guy Chadsey
Guests:  Today we welcomed: Carolyn Drummond – Stratford.
Draw: Elizabeth Gaffney donated the prize today and the winner was Jim Young.
Rotary Announcements March 29, 2018
Steve Monteith presented a cheque to President Linda for the Stratford Perth Rotary Hospice for $2978 from the Rotary Can Am Curling Bonspiel Committee and a collection from the attendees.   MANY THANKS!!
Rotarian Steve Monteith announcing proceeds from Curling Bonspiel and fundraiser of $2978 going to Hospice.
Charlene Gordon:  The Stratford Home and Leisure Show is sold out!!
Pat Shewen: Reminded the Club of the need for volunteers for parking for the Dairy Expo this coming week at the Rotary Complex. We are particularly short of volunteers for Wednesday and Thursday. If you volunteered for set up this Saturday please meet at the far end of the official parking lot, at a construction trailer at 9:00 am.
Bill Lemmon passed on a message from the organizers of the District Conference on May 4th and 5th .  Very few members from Stratford are registered.  Please go on line to register.
Gerry Thuss:  We are in week 20 of Catch the Ace.  Thanks go out to Rob Russell who has agreed to sell CTA tickets at the Scottish Shop especially now that things are getting exciting and we are selling more tickets. Please look at the volunteer sign up for April on Club Runner.
Sarah Hamza: The volunteers list for the Home Show has been emailed to members of the club.  If you sign up you will get free admission to the show for you and your partner. There are 3 positions, selling tickets to get into the show, selling tickets for the craft beer and wine festival and exit control (supervising bouncy castle).
Gary Wreford:  There will be an Aquabox build on May 5th of 600 units. Sign up sheets will follow.
Wendy Anderson:  Rural Urban Night is coming up on April 19th.  We are over 90% sold out.  The volunteer list is posted so if you can help out please sign up.
Grand Trunk Hub Master plan approved by City Council at meeting this week
President’s Corner
I would like to express the club’s condolences to Ralph Robinson and his family on the passing of his mother, Ruth Robinson. Visitation is this afternoon and this evening at the Eaton Funeral Home in Listowel
District Governor Martin Ward sent an email with more details regarding the District Conference.  He wrote  “Our conference on May 4-5 is based on the theme of 'Embracing Change'. One of our speakers is Joani Gerber who will be telling Stratford's story about becoming a 'smart city'. She will be speaking on Friday afternoon (May 4). I thought you and your members might want to know about that - and come out to show her your support”.
And here is a little Easter humour.
Make-ups: No report
April’s Attendance Committee:  Rena Spevak Orr (I/C), Sarah Hamza, Gary Morris, Ron Shaw, Roger Black, Mark Smith, Tony Carter, Patti Riehl, Guy Chadsey