Local & International News
On November 7th, the Gander Rotary Club hosted its 18th annual dinner and auction. The event was fantastically entertaining and very well attended.  Funds raised from the nights event went to the Central Northeast Health Foundation’s purchase of KangooFix systems for ambulatory care in the Central Newfoundland Region.
 
Aimed at improving care for mothers and babies, the KangooFix Neonatal Restraint System was developed to safely and effectively cradle and secure a newborn during ambulance transportation, allowing the baby to travel with their parent. The club is proud to be a part of the purchase of improved equipment for mothers and babies in our health region.
 
The evening started with a silent auction and delicious dinner at the Quality Inn and Suites in Gander. Guests were also entertained by an enjoyable toast to Dr. Robert Russell, an orthopedic surgeon at James Paton Memorial Regional Health Centre. Dr Russell is a long-time supporter of the Gander Rotary annual dinner and auction. His enthusiasm and contribution to this year’s event has been greatly appreciated by the club.
It is not every day the Rotary Club Halifax North West receives a visit from two of our District Leaders. Barbara Pate, our visiting speaker on behalf of Louisa Horne, District Leader, and Stella Roy, Foundation Leader.
 
Barbara commended us on the growth of our Club and outlined the vision for our District, which we are at Halifax North West, very excited about.
We were all taken by surprise when Stella Roy, announced the purpose for her visit. Our Club had been recognized by per capita Annual fund giving to the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International 2018-2019. A certificate was given to Rotary Club of Halifax North West in "appreciation of its financial support of end Polio Now: Countdown to History Campaign. Together we will fulfill our promise to the children of the world and eradicate polio."  Our Club members are honoured to receive such recognition.
 
 I am also excited to share some additional news regarding our new fundraising initiative. Our Club in partnership with Freemans Little New York Pizza, started a "Chase the Ace" in the Fairview Clayton Park area. Every Thursday evening between 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm we can be found at 3671 Dutch Village Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Rotary Club of Westville (District 7820) received a heartfelt thank you from the Rotary Club of Santiago de los Caballeros in the city of Merida, Venezuela (District 4380). The thank you was one of the most encouraging and heartwarming accounts of how our donation to the folks of Venezuela was used. The members of the Rotary Club of Westville made a difference with minimal funds yet they made a huge difference to people in need in Venezuela. 

Approximately a year ago news came out of Venezuela of the hardship of millions of people, especially children and those in need of hospital care and medicines, both of which are in scarce supply. As luck would have it, our District 7820 Governor Rob Christie of the Pictou Rotary Club had spent time in Venezuela over many years and speaks Spanish fluently, and so was able to converse directly with District Governor Alberto of the Rotary Club of Santiago, De Los Caballeros when he took our donation to the annual Rotary International Convention in Hamburg, Germany in June, and passed it on to District Governor Alberto. 

In the words of the Thank You received from Alberto, “We would like to deeply thank you for the generous donation the Rotary Club of Westville gave us at the Hamburg Convention that we received from the hands of our friend Rob Christie PDG 7820. With the donation we were able to cover the cost of transportation, refreshments and some medical supplies for specialized medical assistance (Neurology, Gynecology, Pediatrics, Cardiology, General Medicine) to more than 700 patients from the population of Canagua, about 260km distant from the city of Merida. Thanks to this kind contribution we were able to transport 22 doctors, 6 Rotarians and 3 Rotaracters who worked hard to fulfill the objective set of providing medical assistance. We hope that in the future we will strengthen our Rotary relations of friendship and we can work together on other initiatives.

The needs are mind numbing yet we have proof that our efforts made a difference. The Rotary Club of Westville is starting an initiative to have other Rotary Clubs support the effort to help Venezuela. Small donations in our eyes are reaping big rewards in Venezuela. Many, many people are being helped. Won't you step up and help our fellow human beings and friends in Venezuela. Together we can make a huge difference in peoples’s lives. 

Sincerely,
Lcda. Auristher Pinto de Camacaro President Rotary Santiago de los Caballeros

It was a real privilege to bring this column to the readers of the Cape Breton Post for the first time. We are truly grateful to the Post for giving us the time and space to share our stories.  
 
Let’s begin with an introduction. I’m a member of the Sydney-Sunrise Rotary Club, their new Public Relations Chair.   We are a community service organization.  Members of the club are your friends and neighbours.  Our motto is “service above self”, and we look for ways to build a better community both here at home, and across the globe.
 
You may know us best as the sponsor of the immensely popular Rotary shows of the past.  These shows were epic—matched only the by the talent that was showcased within them.   Well known broadcaster Ann Terry MacLellan would set the stage for the night, and the magic of the evening would begin.   Today you may know us best as the people who bring you the event of the summer—the Rotary Ribfest. 
 
We want you to get to know us better.   Through this column, we’ll keep you informed about the events and the activities of the Club.    We want to let you know why we exist, how you can get involved and where the funds raised by Rotary are directed.
 
We are one of four clubs in CBRM.   There is a club in North Sydney, New Waterford, and an additional club in Sydney.   We are the early risers, and meet each Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m. at Boston Pizza.  We always welcome new members, so please come and check us out.  We are pretty lively even at that hour (and there’s lots of coffee available!)   We regularly have presentations from interesting and informative speakers that help us understand what’s happening in our community.    For instance, we recently heard from the Executive Directors of Celtic Colours and the Cape Breton Partnership.
 
We have a number of regular activities that keep us busy in our community.   We pay regular visits to the New Dawn Guest Home, pay for and serve meals at Loaves and Fishes, provide funds to the Cape Breton Regional Library and the Boys and Girls Club in Whitney Pier to name just a few.   
We also take the time to have fun, with a number of regular social activities planned each month.
 
There are a number of other worthwhile organizations that we are able to assist because of the support we receive through Ribfest and a fundraiser we have embarked upon called “play your number lotto”.   The funds raised through these projects have allowed us to give back to organizations like Under One Umbrella, Every Women’s Centre, local food banks, and Meals on Wheels.  
 
We are also connected to the Glace Bay High School as a sponsor of the Interact organization, and the University of Cape Breton through Rotaract.  These initiatives are all about developing the next generation of leaders.  The young people that are a part of these groups carry on the Rotary tradition by raising funds for a number of worthy and deserving organizations.    We’ll be bringing you more information about these amazing individuals in the future.
 
As Rotarians, we have the benefit of an international organization behind us.   This allows us to work with other clubs around the globe, leverage the funds we raise, and have a real impact on things like immunizing children with the polio vaccine. In fact, the eradication of polio is one of the priorities of Rotary International.  In the past 30 years, Rotary has helped to immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries.   More about that later.
There are also lots of opportunities to take on leadership roles, both within the club and on the international stage.   While our Club is relatively new, (founded in 1996) one of our members served as the area’s District-Governor, the late David Muise. As the District Governor, this individual meets with and promotes the efforts of the 46 clubs in our area.  In 2020, club member Ian Doyle will take on the role of District-Governor. Ian and his wife Anne are already seasoned travellers, as they have led numerous missions bringing much needed dental services and medical supplies to communities around the globe.
 
In 2020, we will be celebrating 100 years of Rotary in this area.   We are pretty proud of our track record, and look forward to another 100 years.   Till next time.
 
Michele McKinnon has happily returned home to Sydney to retire.  She is the Chair of the Sydney-Sunrise Club’s Public Relations Committee and is a proud Cape Breton Rotarian. 
“Rotary Connects the World” is not just the Rotary theme for this year, it’s a phrase very familiar to the members of the Rotary Club of Bridgewater & District who know full well the benefits of connectivity.  In its 23-year history, this “not-so-large” Club (as members like to say) has seen the benefits that come from connecting with other organizations to work on projects in the local community.  None of these partnerships, however, have been as successful as the relationship the Club has developed with the Town of Bridgewater, especially when it comes to food security for residents.
 
In 2017, the Bridgewater Rotarians were attempting to respond to a challenge by then R.I. President Ian Riseley to plant a tree for every Rotarian.  However, none of the members knew much about selecting, planting or nurturing trees. Chris Sanford, the dynamic coordinator of the Bridgewater Community Gardens, found out about the Club’s plans and the rest, as they say, was history.  The Community Gardens operate as a program of the Town of Bridgewater and was started in part to help address food availability and food security for town residents.  An integral part of the policy is the Town’s “Foodscapes” or edible landscape program and Chris and her colleagues are always looking for new partners to help expand the number of food-producing trees and bushes.  Accordingly, the Rotary Club’s interest in tree planting was a welcome new partner for the town. 
 
Chris was quite happy to help guide the Club on which food-producing trees the Club should purchase and, as it turns out, peach trees are a good fit for the local climate and soil of Bridgewater.  She then arranged for the purchase of the trees from a trusted nursery and cared for them at her own farm until it was time for planting.  When the time was right, the Rotarians, with help from Chris and volunteers from the Community Gardens, planted the trees at two sites in the Town. 
Happily, all the trees have done well and have started to produce fruit. 
 
Not surprisingly, the success of this cooperative effort prompted the Club to examine other new projects it could do with the Town and the Community Gardens and it didn’t take long to find one.  This time it was a shed for gardeners who use a ¾ acre plot of land in the centre of the town called the Hodge Podge Garden. The town set aside this land to give residents a place to grow their own food or to donate their crops to the local food bank. Working with Chris and her Town colleagues once again, the Club came up with a design with a price tag of $4,800 for the project.  The Club raised half the cost of the materials through its annual golf tournament and funded the other half through their successful application for a grant from District 7820.
 
With the awarding of the district grant, everything fell into place and work began in the fall of 2018.  And once again, connectivity came into play. Chris arranged for the Town to use its equipment to prepare and landscape the site.  Still another connection was made when a local construction company, Tilia Builders, found out about the project and generously donated their skilled labour to the project.  In their spare time, the “pros” worked alongside Rotarians and garden volunteers to quickly finish the project in time for the start of the spring growing season.
 
The new shed is now a marvelous new addition to the downtown area of Bridgewater. Not only does it offer space for storing gardening equipment, but also for seed, fertilizers and produce for distribution.  It’s also used as a venue for educational programs for gardeners.  Now the Club will be working with Chris to find yet another new project.  As with the fruit trees and the shed, this future project is sure to be another example of how making new connections certainly does create lasting benefits, especially in a small town like Bridgewater.
 
 Just ask the members of this vibrant “not-so-large” club!
In November, the first provincial Vital Signs community checkup was launched in PEI, in partnership with Rotary Clubs of PEI – the first time a partnership of its type has happened in Canada.  Implemented by the Institute of Island Studies at UPEI, Vital Signs measures the vitality of communities and identifies significant trends in a range of areas critical to quality of life.
 
What does Vital Signs offer Rotary?  Vital Signs provides considerable information about trends across the province that allows us to make better informed decisions about projects we consider and to enhance the impact we can have.  In addition, we generally do the same things to share our stories and attract new members every year… and our membership has been declining.   We must try some new things if we are to grow and thrive – collaboration and leverage from linkage with other organizations presents a good opportunity.  We can increase our reach and leverage connections while building awareness of the good work we do.
 
Specifically, we played a major role in the launch event and facilitated discussions at follow-up information sessions in four locations across PEI where numerous non-Rotarians were exposed to Rotary.  The Rotary wheel is on the front and back covers of over 30,000 printed copies of the report and the online version.  See www.cfpei.ca
 
What did we learn?  Top priorities across PEI include health and well-being, people & work, housing, the environment, belonging and leadership, poverty and more. We heard from the follow-up sessions that many people have interest in addressing these priorities and that building community and civic engagement are of prime importance.  Hopefully discussion will continue about how Rotary can play a role in the next steps, and the relationship will have an impact on communities and our service to them.
 
Discussions are also underway in Nova Scotia about a relationship with Engage Nova Scotia and their recent well-being study across the province.  Stay tuned!  In the meantime, do you have suggestions of other organizations that we could explore for potential partnerships?
 
 
The Rotary Club of Lunenburg was honoured to be selected as Volunteer of the Year by the Lunenburg Board of Trade at their Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, November 18. The award was presented to President Rebecca Crouse and Past President Donald Gray by Tim Lekhi, President of the Board of Trade and her Honour Mayor Rachel Bailey.
 
The club is deeply appreciative of the award as it was an affirmation of the work we do in the community and internationally to improve people’s quality of life. President Crouse outlined the five avenues of service that Rotary performs in the Club, vocationally, community -wide, internationally, and with the youth. Rotary projects promote the opportunity for all children to fully access the benefits our community has to offer.
 
Past President Gray highlighted our new project – Municipality f the District of Lunenburg ProKids program - our support of Bluenose Academy, Bayview Community School and Forest Heights Community School and the Dictionary Project done in conjunction with the Bridgewater Club. This program personally delivers dictionaries to every Grade Three student in Lunenburg and Queen’s Counties. The dictionary/gazetteer is designed to support learning at this critical stage of development.
 
Our club is especially grateful for the great community support that has allowed us to present a very successful concert series over the last 18 months, featuring Men of the Deeps, Ashley MacIsaac, and the Northern Pikes. These concerts allowed us to raise funds to continue to expand our community work. President Lekhi highlighted our work with Harbour View Haven, the Folk Art Festival, Meals on Wheels, Health Services Foundation of the South Shore, The Santa Claus Parade and our Yuletide efforts during Christmas.
 
On the first Saturday of every month from October through May we also run the Rotary Flea Market at the Lunenburg Community Centre. Our Rotary Club meets weekly on Wednesdays at noon in the LBOT building on Blockhouse Hill. The last weekend of every month is an evening Pot Luck Social
 

WELCOME TO THE DISTRICT 7820 WEBSITE

 
District Leadership Team 
 
Chair, District Leadership Team Home Page

Louisa Horne

 
 
 
District Mailing Address
Godfred Chongatera
District Secretary
 
Suite 608
1888 Brunswick Street
Halifax, NS
B3J 3J8
Cell: 902-225-9626 
Office: 902-431-4405
rotarydistrict7820@gmail.com
 
District Social Media
FaceBookTwitterYouTube
 
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