Kitchener Rotary


November 22, 2021

Meeting Recording

A recording of Today’s Meeting can be found here.

President's Comments

President-Elect Rohit Kumar, welcomed everyone to the meeting and let us know that he was stepping in for President Adrian who is recovering from recent back surgery but doing fairly well.

Happy Jar

Ernie Ginsler and wife Judy are pleased that after 20 years working for the Stratford Festival and living in Stratford their daughter has accepted a position with the House of Friendship and will be relocating back to Kitchener.
Louise Gardiner was extremely delighted to announce that her daughter is now married.  After 5 or more cancellations and rescheduled events the wedding was finally held this past weekend.
Gary Parker was pleased and proud to tell members about his grandson whose triple A hockey team, which was ranked 5th in the province played a tournament in Ottawa recently and won it by defeating the number one ranked team in the final game.
Karim Karim is happy that he will be able to have wife Tasreen and their children join him on his coming up business trip to Chicago.

Club Announcements

Neil Swayze gave an update on our recently concluded Online Auction.  Preliminary reports indicate that we should have another record year.  We have exceeded our target for the number of items donated and our return on the items is running at about 66%.  Neil thanked the committee and all who solicited donations as well as those who have signed up to assist with the distribution of items this coming weekend.  A few more volunteers are still needed and members who are able are asked to respond to the invitation that has been sent out.
Paul Rostrup reminded members that our Online Car Lottery is coming to a close, with this our final week and the draw this Saturday, November 27th at 2PM.  Members are asked to do a final push and to send the link to the site ( to any friends, relatives or colleagues not already contacted and ask them to buy tickets. 
Special thank you to our sponsor Audi Kitchener-Waterloo.


Program Highlights

Our program today was a presentation about our International work.  Cheryl Ewing and Dave Martindale kicked it off highlighting some of our past projects.
  • Kitchener Rotary has had a long history of International service
  • Some of our past projects include. . .
    • Guatemala Literacy Project – in collaboration with the RC of Rochester, Michigan
    • Mantangwe Community Health Centre in Kenya
    • Community Development Care Centres (CDCC in KwaZulu, Natal D9270)
    • In this project we provide support for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and their caregivers, in their own community.
    • Currently there are 1 million AIDS orphans in South Africa - approximately 400,000 in KwaZulu Natal alone.
    • This is equivalent to having 50,000 orphans in a typical Rotary District like ours.
    • Over 4200 orphans and vulnerable children are being assisted and fed five days a week, in 32 sites supported by contributions from Canadian Rotarians. A total of 52 CDCC’s are in operation.
Cheryl then spoke about two of our current projects in Mexico
  • Nogales
    • Kitchener Rotary has been involved with the Nogales initiative for almost 20 years
    • Nogales is a US/Mexico border town and many migrants from Mexico and Central America arrive in Nogales hoping for an entry into the US. This migrant population lives in squalid conditions in the outskirts of Nogales. An official population of 250,000 the actual is estimated to be closer to 500,000.
    • We joined with Rotary in Tucson, Arizona providing shoeboxes for this desperate population, providing shoeboxes for kids packed with pencils, activity books, small gifts, hats and mittens, and some clothing
    • Several Rotary Clubs in District 7080 and 7090 have participated (Guelph South, Mississauga West, Norfolk Sunrise, Grand River)
    • Kitchener Rotary raises funds, participates in hands-on distribution of the shoeboxes in Nogales. Many members of our Club and members of their families have travelled to Nogales and participated in the hands-on distribution of clothing, food, and gifts
    • The project evolved to include providing food, blankets, and winter coats for this migrant population
    • The project also expanded to include many other things including:
    • Providing support for the local Bomberos (fire fighters)
    • Providing supplies and equipment for the local Bomberos (Fire fighters)
    • Providing kitchen equipment for local community centres
    • Refurbishing school desks for a shared school expanding its reach
    • Sending down PPE equipment
    • Providing oxygen tanks
  • Caborca
    • Our participation in Caborca came about in typical Rotary fashion…somebody knows somebody who knows somebody, and…
    • One of the former Nogales Rotarians moved to Caborca, he subsequently bumped into Kitchener Rotarian Hubert Singh, said ÈWe need help in Caborca, and the rest is history
    • Hubert appealed to the District for anyone interested in a polio immunization trip to Caborca Mexico
    • This was very successful and several trips have followed
    • Since then we have collaborated with the Caborca Club to provide funds for hospital equipment
    • We continue to have a strong relationship with the Caborca Club and are working on several Rotary grant opportunities
Martin Jones then provided an overview of the Rotary African Women’s Education Fund (RAWEF)
  • We support post-secondary education for Women in East Africa
  • A significant donation from Rotarian Audrey Wipper got the fund started
  • Supported our first student in 2010 and have supported 98 students to date!
  • Our bursaries cover tuition, books and living expenses
Cheryl concluded this portion of the presentation by speaking to the future of our International work
  • The Impact of COVID and lasting effects relating to international travel are still being felt
  • We will not be travelling to Nogales this year but hope to do so in 2023
  • Key things we have learned…
    • We all contribute to the Rotary Foundation, and making use of District and Global grants is a way to have a hand in using the funds in the Foundation
    • Personal international connections are very important in initiating international projects
    • Relationships developed with international partners are really important to ensure successful projects
    • Repeat projects help to develop long term relationships
    • Hands-on visits to the projects bring them to life
    • Having a Club Champion is essential for our international projects to succeed
  • So, use what we have learned, to seek out and undertake new international projects
  • It’s worth it!
Foundation Board Chair Ross Newkirk talked briefly about how our Foundation operates and how members can get involved.
The Kitchener Rotary Club Charitable Foundation (KRCCF):
  • Is this Club’s Charitable Foundation
  • Manages invested funds in excess of $1.5 Million
  • Oversees the RAWEF Committee and  its Program
  • Provides the funds to operate RAWEF
  • Is developing its Permanent Fund to support various other charitable activities from invested funds.
Kitchener Rotary Club Charitable Foundation Statement of Charitable Purpose
To. . .
  • aid children with disabilities,
  • advance goodwill and peace and the improvement of health,
  • alleviate poverty,
  • support education and the arts and
  • support the work of Rotary around the world.
KRCCF support is directed Internationally, Regionally, Locally in areas of focus that are consistent with those of The Rotary Foundation (TRF).
KRCCF Identified Areas for Support
  • Aid to or work with children with disabilities, including KidsAbility.
  • Promoting peace: Training leaders, supporting conflict resolution, mediation, and peacebuilding - supporting studies and training.
  • Fighting disease, especially Polio: Promoting, funding and participating in disease prevention programs.
  • Enhancing the health infrastructure of communities.
  • Providing clean water: Providing equitable access, develop, fund, and maintain sustainable water and sanitation systems, supporting studies and training.
  • Saving mothers and children: Reduce the child and maternal mortality and morbidity rate, improve access to essential medical services.
  • Supporting education and the arts: Increasing child and adult literacy, reducing gender disparity, supporting studies and training for career-minded professionals in education, literacy and the arts.
  • Enhancing and supporting local public facilities. This includes facilities for Health, Arts, and Education (HAE), programs and agencies.
  • Growing local economies: Supporting entrepreneurs, community leaders, supporting studies and training.
KRCCF Coming Year Objectives
  • In cooperation with RAWEF committee develop program to Leverage the funds to:
    • Support more African women students
    • Increase the pool of invested funds for RAWEF
  • Mount a “Grow the Permanent Fund” program to provide more discretionary funding for charitable support from invested funds.
A KRCCF Director
  • Is elected to a renewable 3 year term.
  • Participates in (approximately) quarterly KRCCF Board meetings.
Any member interested in serving as a director of the KRCCF is asked to contact Ross directly:
Ross Newkirk, Chair of KRCCF Board
Phone: 519-884-0985

Closing Remarks & Reminders

President Elect Rohit reminded members about the upcoming meeting on Nov. 29, and our AGM on Dec. 6,
As well, we are looking forward to the Dec. 13 - In-Person Evening Holiday Social and Paul Harris Fellow Celebration at the Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery - mark the date - this will be a registered event and details will be coming soon.
Nov 29, 2021 12:00 PM
Speaker Series - Climate & The Environment - Community & Organization Sustainability
Dec 06, 2021 12:00 PM
AGM and new member Who Am I - Marissa Watkins
Dec 13, 2021 6:30 PM
In Person - Registered Event
View entire list
Birthdays & Membership Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Jess Perucho
November 6
Rohit Kumar
November 11
Dave Martindale
November 23
Ed Fowler
November 24
Mike Ellis
November 25
Join Date
James Brown
November 3, 2014
7 years
Jess Perucho
November 4, 2019
2 years
Kelly Miller
November 23, 2020
1 year
Kingsley Madu
November 23, 2020
1 year
Erin Way
November 24, 2020
1 year
Darren Sweeney
November 28, 2011
10 years