Kitchener Rotary


June 6, 2022

Meeting Recording

This was an in-person meeting at rare Charitable Reserve in Cambridge. While there is no recording of the meeting there were some great photos were taken at the site. 

President's Comments

President Adrian expressed appreciation to our hosts for their informative presentation and presented rare Charitable Reserve with a donation on behalf of the club.


Christine Thompson, Major Gifts Manager, rare; our guest presenter
Rita Ross, Fundraising Consultant, rare, guest speaker

Bell Ringers

Three new Rotarians inducted to Kitchener Rotary after our tour at the Airport:
Emma Marriott, Simenpal Kainth, and Vic Folliott.
Congratulations and Welcome!!
Kudos to Louise Gardiner as well as a member of the organizing committee for a very successful District Conference on Saturday May 28th.

Club Announcements

Our Club’s Official 100th Anniversary Meeting - Monday June 27th 
This is the event you do not want to miss this year!  We are celebrating 100 years of Service to our community and the world!  Join us for fellowship, learning and celebration.  Friends and family are most welcome to join in the festivities.
Catch the Ace
Bill A. of St. Catharines wins the weekly prize. Another three time winner!  Jackpot is over $12,600 and growing. 
How do they do it?  
Our weekly winner of Catch the Ace was Bill A. of St. Catharines. After winning in week 18 and 22, Bill has continued to be a regular player and has seen the results in winning again this week.  His choice this week was card #8, revealing the 4 of Clubs. He won the weekly prize of $419, our highest weekly prize since week #1.
When you buy tickets you have a chance to win the weekly prize and if your card is the Ace of Spades you will also win the Progressive Prize which is now over $12,600 and growing.  The next weekly draw is on Thursday June 9th.  The deadline to get your tickets as always is Wednesday at Midnight.
When you play Catch the Ace not only do you have a chance to win great prizes but you also win by knowing that the net proceeds will all be going to KidsAbility.
KidsAbility Sensory Garden Maintenance Project
Our next hands-on, community event – our ongoing maintenance of the Sensory Garden at KidsAbility, is scheduled for Saturday, June 18th.  Mark the date and stay tuned for more details.
Help Wanted
We are looking for members who can help with various tasks. For example, someone who could help in the preparation of this e-newsletter; an easy do at home task where you can also hone your Clubrunner skills. Check the Bite Sized Job List on our webpage for details. 

Program Highlights

Our program today was a trip to the rare Charitable Reserve in Cambridge.  Our host was Christine Thompson, Major Gifts Manager and Rita Ross a former long-term volunteer but now a Fundraising Consultant.  Christine was introduced by Louise Gardiner.
Christine has been in non-profit fundraising since 2000, having started in the healthcare field, then moved on to social services, raising over $15 million as Campaign Manager to build affordable housing for Women and Indigenous families, and then on to rare as the Gifts Officer – where she has been for the last seven years and has helped to raise over $12 million for new land acquisition and priority programs and projects.  Christine works from home in Niagara Falls where she lives with her husband, two children, 4 cats and 2 guinea pigs.  She travels to Cambridge when opportunities arise to meet with friends and supporters in person – just like today.  Prior to going into the not-for-profit sector, Christine worked for many years in an insurance adjusting firm in Parry Sound.
Christine and Rita provided some historical and background information about rare which was followed by a short walk along a portion of their over 11 km of trails.
Founded on December 6 2001, the rare Charitable Research Reserve is a community-driven urban land trust, nature reserve and environmental institute with its headquarters and first three locations comprising over 900 acres within the Haldimand Tract that spans six miles on either side of the Grand River from source to mouth, land granted to Indigenous Peoples in 1784 to recognise their support for the British in the American Revolution.
Within a matter of weeks after its incorporation, rare unveiled its vision for the former University of Guelph Cruickston Park Farms to the community: to preserve land for its inherent ecological value.  The specific objectives of this vision were a year in the making: while the Board of Directors established the charitable status and financial commitments, an Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) undertook a four-season inventory of the reserve.
For all its properties, rare acknowledges and is grateful to all of the original stewards of the land.  This land has been rich in diverse Indigenous presence since time immemorial.  We would like to honour and respect the sovereignty of both First Nations in our area: the Onkwehon: we Peoples of Six Nations of the Grand River and the Anishinaabe Peoples of the Mississaugas of the New Credit. Nia:weh and Miigwech to these Nations who share their lands with us.  We’d also like to acknowledge the Neutral people, for whom we have archeological evidence dating back 10,500 years. 1837, The Lamb’s Inn was built in Blair, the oldest village in Upper Canada, as a stage coach inn.  The charity’s administration has operated out of the Lamb’s Inn since 2005 and purchased the building in 2007.  Prior to rare, the building was most famously known as Nicholson’s Tavern.
In 1853, William Ashton purchased about 230 acres of land along the Galt-Blair Road.  In 1858, he sold his property to Matthew Wilks.  The estate remained in the family until Matthew Wilks’ grandson, Matthew Wilks Keefer, gifted the estate to the University of Guelph, which took possession of it upon his death in 1973.  Wilks Keefer’s original vision was for the university to conserve the property and use it for research and education, particularly agricultural research.
In 1996, the University of Guelph severed 53 acres of the Cruickston Park estate which included the manor house and sold it to private owners for personal use.
In 2000, with funding from concerned citizens, the remaining 900+ acres of were purchased as part of a conservation strategy.  In December 2001, the Cruickston Charitable Research Reserve was incorporated as a charity, and by February 2002 the land transfer was completed, allowing the 900+ acres to be preserved in perpetuity.
In October 2004, the Cruickston Charitable Research Reserve was renamed “rare” to begin a new chapter in the stewardship of the property.  Its bold new name and accompanying graphic logo has helped to end the confusion between the private 53-acre Cruickston Park and the newly formed charity.  It also signaled an acknowledgement of the reserve’s history beyond that of the colonial time of the Cruickston Park estate, highlighting both the past and the future.
Since that time, volunteers and staff, with the financial support of hundreds of donors and many partners, have made much progress toward the rare vision; offering the community, including local Indigenous Peoples, the international community and future generations, a diverse network of connected natural areas, protected intact in perpetuity.
In October 2016, rare hosted the inaugural meeting of the raresites Land Securement Team, which was formed in response to the community need for a multi-property land trust in Waterloo Region/Wellington.  This team effort brings together representatives of many local and provincial/national conservation and environmental groups and has created a land securement strategy for the entire upper Grand River watershed, focused on ecological integrity and connectivity.
In March 2019, the work of the raresites Land Securement Team resulted in the successful protection of rare’s first satellite property, an 87 acres reserve with pristine forests, creeks, wetlands, grassland, cliffs and flood plain in Rockwood, the beginning of rare’s Eramosa River Conservation Corridor.
The rare Charitable Research Reserve acknowledges those Indigenous Peoples who currently live, work, play and learn in the urban landscape around us, such other self-identified and status First Nations, Métis and Inuit. We believe that, as a community, we need to learn about and uphold our role within treaties and natural law to honour our ongoing commitment to meaningful reconciliation with the Onkwehon:we Peoples of Six Nations of the Grand River and the Anishinaabe Peoples of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation on whose treaty and ancestral territory we live.


The species diversity of rare is significant for one-third of the plants of Waterloo Region are found here together with 70% of the birds, 60% of the amphibians and reptiles and 50% of the mammals.  As well, about two dozen species of fish inhabit the rivers and streams of rare.  This diversity reflects its location along the boundary formed by the Carolinian forest zone of southern Ontario with the Northern Hardwood forest zone of the province.
Conservation is rare’s priority and the organization has developed a unique method based on 3 fundamental principles:
  • undertake research to further science and equally value and support Indigenous ways of knowing and being that will result in best practices for use around the world;
  • train the next generation of land stewards who will perpetuate these values; and
  • create an entire community of support for them and for shared goals between scientists and Indigenous communities.
With 24 different habitats and more than 4,000 species on its first three properties the goal of rare is to preserve its sites and their ecosystems intact in perpetuity, for the community to enjoy in their natural states.  Through sustainable management, sensitive lands and research sites are protected while the public can enjoy 8 km of trails, extensive community gardens and regular interpretive events.


While rare’s goal is to steward its sites and ecosystems intact in perpetuity, for the community to enjoy, forever, in a natural state, it also promotes the lands as a living laboratory for research — including in-house monitoring programs and partnerships with other institutions, citizen scientists, artists and Indigenous Peoples. Research then informs restoration practices and education programs through a Chain of Learning that reaches even the youngest learners in a program called Every Child Outdoors (ECO), a model of active, hands-on, problem-based environmental learning, driven by inquiry in the out-of-doors.
We are a truly collaborative, multidisciplinary site where resources can be used most sustainably to tackle big questions as comprehensively as possible, and where ideas can soar in an environment that fosters cross-pollination involving different knowledge systems that come from diverse backgrounds including (but not limited to) the social sciences, humanities, archaeology, psychology and the arts, to name a few.  We bring together internationally-renowned experts, aspiring early-career researchers, artists and the larger community.
The education department at rare attempts to provide equal space for scientific research, multi-disciplinary inquiry and Indigenous knowledge in the experience of the landscapes at rare.  By informing students and their classroom teachers of Indigenous histories and the current effects of colonialism in Canada, rare creates an emphasis on living together in reciprocity, based on our belief that sustainability is an attainable goal that can be reached if we recognize people as part of the environment and work together towards responsible stewardship.
Close to 19,000 students have gone through our school-based and youth environmental education program, called Every Child Outdoors or ECO, which delivers curriculum-based education programs for K-12 including specialized Mirrored Research programs — programs that allow students to “mirror” the research and monitoring activities conducted on the reserve.
We also offer public community events to help inform and to engage with the community on a variety of environmental, arts-based and Indigenous-focused topics.


President Adrian reminded all to register for the 100th Anniversary Luncheon on June 27th. 
Jun 13, 2022 12:00 PM
Kick off with Dave Chatson & Mike Crosby of Audi Kitchener-Waterloo
Jun 18, 2022 9:00 AM
IN PERSON 9AM-12NOON - 5 Club Event - meet at the front entrance and bring your gardening gloves
Jun 20, 2022
Committee Meetings to be Scheduled by Committee Chairs
View entire list
Birthdays & Membership Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Candi Harrington
June 1
Bill Krohn
June 10
Louise Gardiner
June 17
Cheryl Ewing
June 18
Betty Bax
June 24
Darren Sweeney
June 26
Ray Taylor
June 30
Join Date
Bill Proctor
June 1, 2002
20 years
Gary Parker
June 1, 1994
28 years
Martin Jones
June 1, 2009
13 years
Rohit Kumar
June 13, 2016
6 years
Neil Swayze
June 22, 2015
7 years
Ernie Ginsler
June 30, 2002
20 years
Ray Taylor
June 30, 2002
20 years