September 2021
West Side Stories is back:) I will be sending it out once a month. If there is anything you want me to include or if you have anything to say please email it to me. Also send me photos if you have them! I hope that this will help everyone feel connected and learn about what's going on behind the scenes. 

coming together for service

The Food Bank is one of our most popular service projects. Before the pandemic we did hands on volunteering at the warehouse at least 6 or 7 times a year. This came to an end as the restrictions were introduced to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our club still looked for ways to support this worthy organization and over the past year we have donated $6000.
As things began to open up we have had the opportunity to volunteer in the warehouse again. The Food Bank announced this week that starting November 1, staff, volunteers, agency representatives and contractors will be required to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination to enter our facilities.
On Tuesday Edmonton West Volunteers spent a productive evening creating hampers and enjoying themselves.
Rob, Elizabeth, Jim Johnson, Karen Gibbens,  Al and Karen Sanderson worked the Food Bank on September 21  total.  - and they are all smiling behind the masks!

fun and friendship

rediscover Fort edmonton park

Thank you to Ingrid Neitsch and Rob Dunseith in organizing an amazing Rotary fellowship event for Rotary Club of Edmonton West and other Edmonton area Rotary Clubs! 
On September 1 we enjoyed fellowship while rediscovering and exploring Fort Edmonton Park with an enthusiastic group of Rotarians and friends representing
Edmonton West,( host club), Edmonton Downtown, Edmonton Sunrise and Edmonton Riverview!🎊💗
Thanks to Neil, Laura, Katherine, Janet, Everett and Courtney from the Fort Edmonton Management and Foundation for their kind assistance!


Fellowship hike and picnic

It was a beautiful autumn day for our fellowship hike at Strathcona Wilderness Centre. Spending time in nature with others can positively influence our relationships and overall happiness, not to mention create some lovely memories! The hikers were Karen Gibbens, Al and Karen Sanderson, Richard and Karen Dickenson, Rob and Elizabeth Dunseith, Zen Moisey and myself. Thanks for a wonderful hike and we look forward to seeing more people next time.

Community service

Grandview Flooring project 

by Al Sanderson
Almost 20 years ago, Edmonton West designed and built the Friendship Room at Grandview with support from the Government of Alberta. It has been a very popular and well used addition to the Grandview Capital Care Centre. While the original flooring in this room was commercial grade, over the years it had become worn out and in need of replacement. Grandview approached our club to see if we would fund that work, and we agreed.
Our club committed $5,000 towards the project, and we applied to our District 5370 for a District Grant of $3,000, which was approved.  We were all set to have the project completed when Covid hit in full force, the facility was basically closed to outsiders, so the project had to be put on the shelf.
As restrictions eased this summer, Grandview was able to bring the tradespeople in to actually replace the floor and that has now been completed. As the cost was less than anticipated, we have some funds remaining so we will work with Grandview to determine the best use of those funds.

international service

Belize Medical Project
by Al Sanderson
At the 2018 District 5370 Conference which our club organized, Spencer met with Doug Jackson, CEO of Project C.U.R.E. Project CURE is a US based non-profit organization that collects and refurbishes used medical equipment, and sends it by the container load to needy hospitals around the world. Centred in Denver Colorado, they have seven distribution centres and many collection centres.
Spencer spoke with Doug about our connection to Belize, and about the possibility of Project CURE supporting a project with us in Belize. Doug was enthusiastic about the idea!  
A Project CURE team conducted a Needs Assessment for the hospital in Corozal and 4 rural clinics associated with the hospital, and through discussions with the hospital staff identified a serious need for equipment and supplies. Our club began the process of developing a Global Grant through The Rotary Foundation to acquire the funds required for shipping and other project costs.
We got commitments to support a Global Grant from several sources: Edmonton West committed $10,000 US, our District 5370 matched our contribution with another $10,000 US, the Rotary Club of Highlands Ranch in Denver committed $1000 US, and we obtained $25,000 US from the Rotary Canada fund (part of the $5million provided to Rotary Canada by our Federal Government).
With these commitments, and based on the Needs Assessment and the support of the Rotary Club of Belize City, we forged ahead and prepared a Global Grant Application and submitted it to The Rotary Foundation. On January 14, 2020, while I was in Guatemala working with Ben and the team at the eye clinics, I received word from The Rotary Foundation that our application for a Global Grant was approved – much rejoicing all around! This grant provided an additional $26,575 US
With the funds secured, Project CURE was now in a position to begin collecting the equipment and organizing the two containers for shipping to Belize. The containers were shipped in July and arrived in Belize in September, and the hospital staff were overjoyed to receive the equipment and supplies, as they were desperately short of essential equipment.
This was a great project, but as with any project, there were a few hiccups along the way. Project CURE had originally agreed to leave one of the containers at the hospital so it could be insulated, air conditioned and turned into a small vaccination clinic and pharmaceutical storage unit. Given the numerous changes of personnel at Project CURE and TRF along the way, that agreement did not survive; however, we had funds left so we authorized the Belize Club to secure another container for that purpose which they did.
Also, the project had included an amount for a training team from the US to travel to Belize to provide equipment training, but it turned out that the hospital staff did not require any training. As we still had funds in the account, we asked the hospital for suggestions for using the remaining funds, and they requested insulating and air conditioning the container as originally planned. We prepared a request to TRF, but after some back and forth, The Rotary Foundation would not agree with this plan. So back to the hospital and the Belize club. After many more months of back and forth and many emails, the hospital finally sent us an itemized, ranked list of additional equipment needs. Back to TRF and YAY TRF agreed with this proposed expenditure. Based on an agreement to work with the hospital and ensure we get receipts for the purchases, we have now sent the remaining funds to the Belize Club to manage on our behalf. And we hope the project will be completely wrapped up before the end of this calendar year.
Lessons learned:
  • When doing a Global Grant, be prepared for hundreds of emails. So far for this project I have 625 emails and those are just the ones I kept – I estimate at least 1000 in total!
  • Ensure you have a responsive organization – much time was lost waiting for replies, and reminding people about the need for answers to questions. The Belize club was very good, but we did a fair amount of waiting for replies from the hospital.
  • Be prepared for a good deal of interaction with TRF and ensure you read and understand the Global Grant process thoroughly. TRF rules are quite clear, but they adhere to them closely with little room for alterations even when the suggested changes may be completely logical.
  • Everything will take longer than you expect!
This has been quite a journey, but the good news is that the Corozal hospital and 4 rural clinics now have much better equipment to serve the residents of the area! Special thanks to club members who have provided excellent support including Spencer for kicking this off, Vicky for the many machinations of looking after all the complex banking, David for his support during his Presidency, Fred for helping with some sections of the Global Grant Application.
Corozal Hospital
San Pedro-Cristo Rey Clinic
Container Arrival
Equipment Unload
Equipment Unload

clubrunner tips 

by Al Sanderson

In case you didn’t know, all members have access to Clubrunner which has lots of information about our club, our members and many other items.
One of the elements of Clubrunner that I have been working on has been to populate and keep updated the “Documents” section of the site. In this section there are currently the following pieces of information:
  • Board of Directors meeting minutes 
Clubrunner isn’t the most intuitive site so it can be difficult to find things if you don’t know exactly where to look, so here is a description. To access the Documents Section, here is the path:
  • Log in to Clubrunner (if you don’t know how to do this, give me a call)
  •  Go to the Members area tab located on the top right
  • Scroll down, down, down until you come to the main heading “Organization”.
You will see
  • Club Information
  • Executive and Directors
  • Committees
  • Documents – Click on this tab
The first section is organized by year starting in 2009-10 and leading up to the current year. If you click on the tiny black triangle to the left, that year’s section will expand to show you whatever was put there in the past – Board of Director minutes didn’t start going digital until 2014-15.

The next section is Archives which to date just has our previous bylaws.

After that is the Club Policies, Procedures and Permanent Records, which expand to include
  • Bylaws and Other Legal Documents
  • Director Roles 
  • Finance
  • Membership
  • Program Development
  • Projects
  • Strategic Planning
Feel free to browse through any of this information. If you have suggestions for additions or changes, let me know and I will be happy to update the site.
Upcoming Speakers
Sep 27, 2021
Gene Zwozdesky Centre at Norwood
Oct 04, 2021
Edmonton's Economic Prospects Emerging from the Pandemic
Oct 11, 2021
Meeting Rescheduled
Nov 15, 2021 12:00 PM
Alberta's Future
View entire list

rotary international 

Fighting disease is one of Rotary’s main causes, so members already support efforts to promote proper hand washing techniques, teach people other ways to stay healthy, and supply training and vital medical equipment to health care providers. Now they’re helping health authorities communicate lifesaving information about COVID-19 and donating protective gear and other supplies to clinics and hospitals that are under strain because of the pandemic.

Members are also ramping up efforts to help communities navigate the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic: vaccines. Rotary will tap into its decades of experience in bringing polio to the brink of eradication, to highlight the power and efficacy of vaccines. Rotary’s tenacity, strategic partnerships, and innovation can all support the effort to protect communities from COVID-19. 

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102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7
Russell Hampton
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