Rotary Club of Kitchener


May 11, 2020

Meeting Recording

Our online ZOOM meeting today was recorded and can be viewed at the following link:

President's Comments

President Paul thanked members for attending the online meeting today and for continuing to follow the COVID-19 restrictions.
President Paul announced the passing of the mother-in-law of both Gary Parker and Russ St. Louis and the passing of former, long time member of the club (30 years), Bernie Reid.  Paul expressed condolences on  behalf of all members and indicated that donations to the Rotary Foundation have been made in the name those deceased.


We were pleased to have several special guests today related to our program:
Doug Vincent, PDG, past committee member and participant
Frank Oudesluys, RC of  Guelph South, Shoebox and Beyond Chair
Sajjad Jiwaji, RC of Mississauga West, Committee member
Ardys Pedersen, retired member of Pantano Club, Tuscon, Arizona and  long-time chair of Shoebox program
Alex & Bea Ewing, Cheryl's parents
Susan Ewing, Cheryl's sister and twice Shoebox team member

Bell Ringer(s)

With the cancellation of the Club Leadership Training program earlier in April due to the pandemic, the District Training committee arranged for many of the sessions that would have been presented live to be made available online.  President Paul was pleased to have participated in two of the sessions this past weekend.   President Paul recognized and thanked all of the club members who are on the District Training Committee and assisted in the on-line presentations m- Adrian DeCoo, Darren Sweeney and Louise Gardiner.

Happy Jar

Louise Gardiner was pleased to have celebrated her husband's Graham's father's 90th birthday on the weekend.  Over 30 family members and friends were able to gather online for a virtual party.
Guest Doug Vincent was happy to recognize the anniversary of Rotary's part in the creation of the United Nations.
Martin Jones was very pleased to report that after much discussion, negotiation, and filling out of forms, our Rotary African Women's  Education Fund is now able to fund students in Tanzania.  Our overall total to date is 75 girls who have been provided funds to attend university.
Guest Sajjad Jiwaji was pleased to be able to join us today and for his association in the Nogales project working with Cheryl and Hubert.
Club Announcements
With better, more spring like, weather expected next week, we will have a second round of trail clean up on the Dom Cardillo Trail.  A notice will be sent out later this week.
An evening of family online games is being planned for May 26, an email to sign up will be sent soon.
President Paul reported that our fundraiser for the Food Bank has now concluded.  Members donated $3,100 the club provided matching funds of $2,500 and there was an anonymous donation of $500 for a total of $6,100.

Program Highlights

Our Program today was a report from Cheryl Ewing on our project in Nogales, Mexico in January.
Some Background and Historical Information:
  • Nogales is about a one hour drive south of Tucson, Arizona.
  • The official population is 250,000 but unofficially it has been as high as 500,000 with people from the interior and Central America trying to find jobs in Nogales or the United States.
  • Most of these “extra” inhabitants live in shanty towns outside of the city proper, many without electricity or running water.
  • Nogales is in the high Sierra portion of Mexico and it is not the warm go-to-part of Mexico in the winter.  It can get quite cold in the winter and often has snow.
  • The Rotarians stayed at the Fray Marcos hotel which is a couple of blocks from the border, it was the first hotel in Nogales, Its drinking water is supplied from Arizona.
  • The Shoebox Project started by the Pantano Club in Tucson; it was inspired by a Canadian university student speaking at a conference.
  • PDG Doug Vincent was visiting the area and was invited to see the original project.  He then took a team down the following year.  Cheryl’s first introduction to the project was in January 2003.
  • After the 2017 distribution, Pantano Club withdrew from the project.  The Canadians began working with a new Club – Nogales Industriale, founded by a former member of the Nogales Sonora Club.
  • The project is very much community driven with the Mexican Rotarians determining the priorities each year leading to the addition of groceries and blankets in recent years.
  • Over the years, the project has changed to reflect changes in politics, border issues and needs.
The Focus for 2020:
  • Continuing with the distribution of Shoeboxes containing blanket, gift, mitts and hats and the distribution of bags of Groceries
  • Providing support for the Refurbishing of school desks
  • Providing a commercial oven to a community centre program teaching women to bake and thus providing additional source of family income
  • Two private project, one with the local Los Bomberos (firefighters) and a gift of life surgery to a young boy
  • The Nogales Industriale Club purchased all items to go into the shoeboxes with the exception of hats and mitts provided by Canadians
  • Two of the RCNI club members manufactured the customized boxes
  • Groceries came from the City and were purchased by RCNI Club, blankets donated by the State of Sonora
School Desks:
  • RCNI were given broken desks to refurbish, the Canadians provided funds for materials and the Mexicans did the actual work
  • Delivered to a facility that houses two schools – each desk means another student can attend school
Bakery Project:
  • Supported by the City, women are taught to bake, with the addition of a commercial oven purchased by the Canadians, they will be able to begin complementing their household income
Los Bomberos:
  • The majority of the Los Bomberos are volunteers
  • A cash donation was made to assist their operations
Gift of Life Surgery for Young Bay named Jesus:
  • Persistant arterial duct is a medical condition in which the ductus arteriosus fails to close after birth: this allows a portion of oxygenated blood from the left heart to flow back to the lungs.  It is a Fatal condition if not treated
  • A Rotarian Doctor performed the surgery arranged for by the local Rotarians
  • The first thing Jesus wanted to do when he recovered was run.
  • The local club does its own fundraising now and raised $10K in its first annual golf tournament
  • We now have a formalized Friendship Agreement between our club and Club Industrial Nogales
  • Plans for next year are uncertain due to the pandemic situation

Closing Remarks & Reminders

President Paul reminded members to be on the look out for upcoming emails on the continuation of the Don Cardillo Trail Clean Up and for our special family games night on May 26.
May 11, 2020 12:00 PM
Nogales 2020 Report
May 18, 2020
Victoria Day Observance / Committee Meetings Week
May 26, 2020 7:00 PM
An Online Family Fun Night!
May 30, 2020 8:30 AM
District Conference - Cancelled
Jun 01, 2020
LInda Kenny and Lisa Talbot from KidsAbility will provide a KidsAbility Update
View entire list
Birthdays & Membership Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Laura Mae Lindo
May 6
Tom Mennill
May 14
Pete Gray
May 16
John Webster
May 17
Martin Jones
May 19
David Chatson
May 31
Join Date
Bill Krohn
May 17, 2010
10 years
Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile