Posted by Nick Aroutzidis on May 25, 2017
June 01, 2017:  Club Ownership.

Head Table:  Our President Kevin Silver, invites, all major chairpersons, to join him at the head table.
Guest Speaker Ryan Stokes of Black Swan Brewery
This Week:  The May 25th meeting began with a lot of good news for the club. The community food drive courtesy of Rick and Jim garnered $1,400 in donations today--the highest ever. Craig handed over to Pres Kevin a cheque for $15,000 courtesy of minor hockey, and the recent Hike for Hospice raised $45,000 in donations. Sydney, last year's generation student in England presented the club with Rotary banners, and the student honour banquet committee was recognized for an excellent venue. Peter Maranger announced the upcoming adopt a highway event, and also brought to our attention to check out the recent Rotarian edition. Those who register early for the 2018 Rotary International Convention to be held in Toronto will get a real deal on the registration fees. If you have never attended an International Rotary Convention--put it on your bucket list! It is a wonderful experience.
Our speaker today was Ryan Stokes, now owner of the Black Swan brewery here in Stratford. He and Bruce Pepper ( fellow teacher ) started the business together in 2014 after sharing a "tasting conversation" of their own home brewed beers. He was very complimentary re Bruce who studied jazz at university, made a movie with George Clooney, and played on cruise ships for a number of years. A trip to Ottawa, where the craft brewery business is booming, resulted in them discovering 3 different styles of micro breweries. They opted for the "inviting environment" style where people can sit and taste their beers and enjoy a tour of the facilities as well. They wanted their facility to be a community oriented style, so with a bit of their own savings and loans they found a place on Downie Street and began to build their brewery. The business is doing very well--sales from the plant and local bars/restaurants is augmented by sales in the KW area, Cambridge, and London. They presently have 4 different beers, and Ryan indicated that expansion in the future is on his radar screen. An ideal setting for him would be a large enough facility where organizations and community events could be held right at the brewery.
Despite the disappointed that Ryan DID NOT bring SAMPLES, there were several questions. Of note was the fact that it is very expensive to get your products on the shelves of the beer retail stores and the LCBO . Other questions resulted in learning about the rules and regulations of starting a business, as well as a description of the process of brewing beer--rather than describe that process here, I would recommend stopping in at the Black Swan for a tour followed by an opportunity to actually savour a pint or two ! Ryan was introduced by John Wright, and thanked by Doug Thompson.
Scribe: Wilhelm Zitrone
Guests: We welcomed today, Andrew Fraser – Stratford, Debra Swan - The Local Community Food Centre, Sydney Fuhrman - Stratford
Draw: The prize today was donated by “Mr Anonymous” and Mimi Price was the winner.
Make-ups: Dave Hunt, May 16 at the FCRC.
Rick Orr collecting for food bank. Club gave $1400 today.
Craig Pearce announcing Rotary’s share of Silver Stick Tournament of $15000.
Respite House Update
February 1, 2017- April 30, 2017
Weekends of Respite                                      12
Weeknight overnights                                      5
Mondays & Wednesdays(4-8pm)                     10  
Total days of respite                                       54
Total children served                                     166- since January 16, 2004
What’s New:
1. 3 new children began visits to the house since February  1, 2017.    
2. We are providing extra overnight respite to a young adult who has complex medical needs.
3. We provided extra day respite to 9 families over March Break
4. The house received an exceptional rating following our annual Licensing review this year with no areas of non compliance and no recommendations to improve our service.
June’s Attendance Committee: Brent Shackleton (I/C), John Carruthers, Gary Lingard, Paul Siberry, Doug Page, Pat Feryn, Jerry McEwin, Lisa Breault
July’s Attendance Committee:  Bob Lightfoot (I/C), Tina Buechler, Jim Snider, Bill Braun, Rheo Thompson, Dan Vito, Steve Lichty, Reg White, Bill Lemmon