Kitchener Rotary e-Newsletter
May 8, 2023

Meeting Recording

This was an in-person meeting today so no video is available.  You really should have been there for a great meeting with a super presentation.

President's Comments

President Adrian welcomed all to this our 21st meeting of our 101st year of Service Above Self.


Adele Alfano, Autism Dog Services, Speaker
Megan, Autism Dog Services, Presenter
Amanda Schultz, Autism Dog Services, Presenter
Ermin Omerovic, guest of the club 

Bell Ringer

President Adrian thanked Secretary Bill Proctor for the work he did in supporting the District Conference this past weekend.  Bill added that Adrian was also to be thanked for the excellent and well received session he presented at the conference.

Happy Jar

Martin Jones was happy to report that he won a gold medal at a Pickle Ball tournament on the weekend.
Richard Bruckeder was happy that he and his wife were able to make a recent trip to Fredericton to visit their son and his family.  He said the flight with Porter Airlines was excellent.
Ermin Omerovic, said he was happy that today is his birthday and that he feels he has finally found a Rotary Club he would like to join.

Club Announcements

Pickle Ball Lessons Coming
Louise reported that we have rescheduled the Pickle Ball program that was cancelled due to a COVID situation for the fall.  We will also be helping to run a Pickle Ball tournament in October as a fundraiser.
Member Update – Russ St. Louis
Russ St. Louis has recently moved to Luther Village in Waterloo.  Unfortunately, just after arriving the complex went into a COVID lockdown and Russ is confined to his room.  Phone calls will be most welcome (519-783-2329).
Your Forever Fund
Information packets have been distributed and follow up phone calls are being made by committee members.  Any member not receiving a package or with question sis asked to contact Louis Gardiner.
Land Acknowledgment
To ensure that our Land Acknowledgments are being done in a manner that is appropriate to the Indigenous peoples we have asked Richard Shipley to do some research and to rework our Land Acknowledgement accordingly.  In conversations with Indigenous contacts Richard indicated that it was stressed that provided a Land Acknowledgment provides meaning and context they are welcomed and appreciated by the Indigenous community but they should not be done as a routine matter and just by rote.  Moving forward, as we do our Land Acknowledgments additional information will be provided to explain aspects of it and/or provided historical context.  Today Richard began by providing some background information on some of the Indigenous groups that we mention in the acknowledgment.
50/50 KW Lottery
The next early bird draw is coming up on May 17th with a chance to win a $250 Ultimate Dining Gift Card and $250 Shopping Card for Cadillac Fairview malls. 
Have you got your tickets yet? Buy your tickets at and challenge your friends and family to get on board to help support KidsAbility. 

Program Highlights

Our speaker today was Adele Alfano from Autism Dog Services, who was introduced by Sharon McDonald.
Adele Alfano is the Fund Development Manager for Autism Dog Services, a charitable organization pairing trained service dogs to children with autism. Unlike the singer, Adele has enjoyed a successful career in sales, marketing, and advertising in the newspaper industry. Throughout the years, she has enjoyed a variety of roles that included event planning, training and development and as a professional motivational speaker and author. In her current role, Adele works closely with the team to raise funds, build community partnerships, coordinating events and oversee fundraising volunteers. Adele is motivated with changing lives and making a meaningful difference and she is happy to share the organization with your service club.
Joining Adele was Megan, the Puppy Parent of eighteen-month old Cash the future service dog and Amanda Schultz, who looks after the whelping of many of the dogs.
Adele provided interesting background on children with autism and the kind of support the service dogs can provide.
There is a wide range or spectrum of characteristics of children dealing with Autism, some of which can put the children in serious danger at times.  One of these is that children with autism often have do sense of danger, often bolting from an uncomfortable situation and running into traffic.  Another is that emotional melt downs can be very frequent with vigorous thrashing and inflated heart rates.  Hence, the two main actions that autism service dogs are trained to perform are being leashed/connect to the child and stopping on command and serving as a “weighted blanket” where they would lay next to or partially on top of a child having a tantrum and helping them to calm down.
The most common breeds used are Golden Retrievers, Labradors and Labradoodles, due to their intelligence, calm nature, and ease of training.
Potential service dogs are raised by their puppy parents until the age of 18 months during which time they go everywhere possible with the family to ensure they are exposed to a many varied social situations, and receive basic taring such as heeling, come, sit, stay etc.  Around 18 months they start their advanced training.  The organization has over 130 volunteers and is always looking for more.  In addition to the puppy parents they need puppy sitters who may look after a dog for just a day or two when the puppy parent is not able to.
Children requiring the support of a service dog usual get their dog around the age of four and keep them until the age of 18, however, the bond becomes so strong that after the dog is “retired” from officially serving as the service dog it is adopted by the family as a pet.
The cost of raising and training an autism service dog is between $25,000 and $30,000 which is funded fully through fundraising and donations.  So far the organization has provided just over 140 dogs and there are 15 families on the waiting list.  The pandemic caused a delay in providing dogs which they are just now beginning to work through.
Potential autism service dogs that do not get certified most often get picked up by other agencies, with many of the dogs working for border services.
Sharon Yule thanked Adele, Megan and Amanda. 

Closing Remarks & Reminders

Next meeting is on May 29th. Next week is club committee meeting week and the following week is the Victoria Day long weekend so no meeting on Monday the 22nd. 
Upcoming Speakers
May 08, 2023 12:00 PM
Adele Alfano & her puppy raiser will join us with their special guest - A puppy!!
May 15, 2023
Committee Meetings to be Scheduled by Committee Chairs
May 22, 2023
Victoria Day
May 29, 2023 6:00 PM
Josh Brooks will enlighten us on Virtual Reality in play, work and life
View entire list
Birthdays & Membership Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Laura Mae Lindo
May 6
Tom Mennill
May 14
Pete Gray
May 16
Mehreen Shahid
May 17
Martin Jones
May 19
Hubert Singh
May 21
David Chatson
May 31
Join Date
Ailton DIas Santana
May 17, 2021
2 years
Betty Bax
May 17, 2021
2 years
Linda Bennett
May 17, 2021
2 years
Paul McIntyre Royston
May 17, 2021
2 years
Simen Kainth
May 30, 2022
1 year