April 2024                                         

Rotary International President Gordon McInally's April 2024 Message


In President Gordon McInally's April 2024 Message, he says that Rotary has a vital role to play in advancing the cause of peace. He often says Rotary needs to work toward peace as aggressively as those who wish to wage war. He says that it is up to us to model peacebuilding behavior among each other. He asks us to help each other find greater understanding and productive alternatives to words that cause hurt and distrust and to stick to our principles, but never doubt the sincerity of each other to end conflicts, not inflame them. Gordon says that it is in times of crisis and despair that we need empathy most of all. Empathy is the most powerful tool of peace, and it is vital if we are to take the first brave, humble steps to Create Hope in the World. ......

Think like a Rotary Peace Fellow

Dear fellow Rotary members,

These are times that cry out for peace. The Middle East is in its most volatile condition in years. The war in Ukraine is the largest in Europe since World War II, and there are armed conflicts in Sudan and
parts of Central Africa. Nearly every continent is experiencing a major armed conflict.

Rotary has a vital role to play in advancing the cause of peace — I often say Rotary needs to work toward peace as aggressively as those who wish to wage war. It’s the spirit found in our vision statement:
“Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change — across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.” We must never lose track of that last call — that to
bring about change in the world, we need to foster change within.

It is up to us to model peacebuilding behavior among each other. We can do better than questioning the motives of one another and jumping to the harshest possible explanation. After hearing words that might strain or offend us, we have an opportunity to ask, with compassion and curiosity, the intent of those offending words. And then we have another opportunity to repair the breach.

If we wish to be a beacon to the world, let us start by being so to one another. Let’s help each other find greater understanding and productive alternatives to words that cause hurt and distrust. And let’s stick to our principles, but never doubt the sincerity of each other to end conflicts, not inflame them.

I’m reminded of a speech that U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy made on 4 April 1968, that dreadful day when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Kennedy was in Indianapolis speaking to an audience in a predominantly African American neighborhood where people had yet to learn that Dr. King had been killed.

He shared the terrible news. He honored Dr. King for all he had done for the cause of justice and peace. And then he connected with the fuming, grieving crowd by saying: “For those of you who are Black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and distrust at the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I can only say that I feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed.” It was the first time he had spoken publicly about President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. And while many American cities exploded in violence that night, Indianapolis did not.

It is in times of crisis and despair that we need empathy most of all. Empathy is the most powerful tool of peace, and it is vital if we are to take the first brave,
humble steps to Create Hope in the World.

Gordon McInally

President, Rotary International

Rotary Theme for April

ROTARY THEME FOR APRIL | Rotary District 9685
The Rotary Foundation Trustees and Rotary International Board of Directors have both unanimously approved adding a new area of focus: supporting the environment.

More than $18 million in Foundation global grant funding has been allocated to environment-related projects over the past five years. Creating a distinct area of focus to support the environment will give Rotary members even more ways to bring about positive change in the world and increase our impact.

RI President Mark Maloney says that during his travels around the world as a Rotary senior leader he encountered many Rotary members and Rotaractors who advocated for the environment to be an area of focus.

Foundation Trustee Chair Gary C.K. Huang says that with the global population reaching near eight billion, protecting the environment is increasingly important.

“It is time for us to use our collective resources to invest in a smart and efficient way to protecting our environment,” says Huang. “We are qualified to take this initiative because we are a global group of problem solvers with diversified talents.”

Supporting the environment becomes Rotary's seventh area of focus, which are categories of service activities supported by global grants. It joins peacebuilding and conflict prevention; disease prevention and treatment; water, sanitation, and hygiene; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; and community economic development.

Edmonton West Community Service

Edmonton Food Bank

Our hard working volunteers were building hampers at Edmonton's Food Bank. 
Assembled in the main warehouse, a hamper is a box of food that consists of fresh and non-perishable food products, the majority of which are gleaned from the food industry. Each hamper is assembled according to the number of individuals it is intended to feed (i.e. the number of adults, children, and infants in the household) and any dietary requirements our clients may have. Clients can request additional resources such as pet food, school snack items, and toiletries, to be included when available.

Hope Mission

An small but enthusiastic group of members volunteered at the Hope Mission. This is one of the best places to volunteer because they keep us busy and productive. 
A well-designed volunteer program not only benefits the nonprofit, but also the volunteers themselves. We always come away from the event feeling like we have done a good job and made a difference. The kitchen staff are well organized and appreciative of our work. 
Each day the Hope Mission provides over 1000 meals. Thanks to our members who volunteer their time to help out.

The Daytimers

Al Sanderson has been connecting with our community and has had two great meetings.
Firstly he met with Dusty Friesen, Associate Director of Facilities for all Ronald McDonald houses in Alberta - she is located in Red Deer.  They are searching for a new facility manager for Edmonton but don't have one yet, so Dusty is taking care of Edmonton for now.  She has a couple of outdoor projects for us - 
  • power washing and painting white metal railings, 
  • power washing and painting black metal railings, and 
  • refinishing some outdoor teak furniture. 
Al determined that they would power wash one day, let it dry, then paint after that. There are lots of railings so they can use all the help possible! 
Secondly, he met with Sinkunia, along with representatives from a few local charities to discuss the community garden, what is needed, and how the Daytimers can help.  They identified several projects for us:
  • Assembling 4 raised bed planters - these are steel, manufactured pieces that use nuts and bolts to assemble -these can be constructed in a shop on site and left there until they have dirt to fill them
  • maintenance on a couple of wheelbarrows, a lawn mower, providing some fuel, possibly some other tools (the club has funds for this in the budget)
  • constructing some arches so plants like beans and cherry tomatoes can grow upwards (last year they were all on the ground)
  • If they get the appropriate permits for chickens, construct a chicken coop and fenced yard. 
  • Possibly building compost bins
Thirdly, Karen Sanderson is going to help teach sewing on Wednesdays, and the club may consider funding a couple of sewing machines. 

Sinkunia Work Bee

John, Karen S, Karen G, Destiny and Al assembled the four raised bed planters. Destiny is a UofA student doing some work with Sinkunia (he is the fellow between John and Al). 
The the brown jacket is Gus who started the whole Bosco Foundation that owns the land and buildings.
When the work was completed the Sinkunia leaders all came out for a photo shoot standing in the raised beds. They were very excited and appreciative of all the hard work. What a fun bunch!
Big thanks to Al, both Karens and John!!

Sinkunia Sewing Class

Al's wife Karen heard about a group of people associated with Sinkunia who were getting together to learn how to sew and quilt. She offered to help teach and tutor them given her many years of teaching sewing at junior and senior high schools, and her love of quilting.
On Wednesday she attended the first session and was expecting half a dozen “students” but 20 showed up eager to learn. Needless to say Karen was busy. She supplied 4 of her own sewing machines and Karen Gibbens donated one as well. This looks like it will be a weekly occurrence as the enthusiasm level is very high!  We may look to the club to lend some support. 
What a wonderful project!! Huge thanks to Karen.
Upcoming Events
Meal Prep and Service at the Hope Mission
Hope Mission
Apr. 28, 2024
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Peace Pole Ceremony at Fort Edmonton Park
Fort Edmonton Park
May 02, 2024 4:00 p.m.
Club Assembly - meeting location options
University Club
May 06, 2024
11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.
30th Rotary Integrity Awards Gala
Chateau Louis Conference Centre
May 15, 2024 5:30 p.m.
Volunteering at the Food Bank
Food Bank Warehouse
May 21, 2024
5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Golf Tournament Planning
Suite 205, 14127-23 Avenue NW
May 25, 2024
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Wheels of Hope wth Mark Kahan
University Club
May 27, 2024
11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Highway Clean Up
Petro Canada
Jun. 02, 2024 10:00 a.m.
Music Mends Minds - Dr Anne Fanning-Binder et al
University Club
Jun. 10, 2024
2:34 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Golf Tournament Planning
Suite 205, 14127-23 Avenue NW
Jun. 15, 2024
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
View entire list

World Immunization Day

Celebrating World Immunization Day: A Testament to Rotary's Commitment

Bob Taylor, Alma Nebraska Rotary Club
Rotary Regional End Polio Coordinator

In a world often fraught with uncertainties, one thing stands as an unwavering beacon of hope: immunization. As we embark on the weeklong celebration of World Immunization Day from April
23rd to 30th, it’s a time to reflect on the incredible strides made possible by the tireless efforts of organizations like Rotary International.

Immunization stands as a triumph of human ingenuity and collaboration. Through vaccines, we've witnessed diseases that once ravaged populations brought to their knees, their impact
significantly mitigated if not eradicated. At the forefront of this global endeavor stands Rotary, a beacon of service, humanitarianism, and goodwill.
Rotary's commitment to immunization knows no bounds. From pioneering initiatives to fund research for new vaccines to facilitating their distribution in the most remote corners of the
globe, Rotary has been instrumental in the fight against Polio, when in 1985 they declared a program to rid the world of Polio.
Their dedication has saved countless children’s lives and paved the way for healthier, more resilient communities worldwide. But as we celebrate the successes of Polio immunization, we must also recognize the challenges that lie ahead. The recent global pandemic serves as a stark reminder of the critical importance of vaccines. Viruses do not discriminate; they go where people go.
Only through widespread immunization can we hope to shield ourselves from their devastating effects. In this regard, the role of organizations like Rotary becomes even more vital. Their unwavering commitment to immunization serves as a bulwark against the forces of disease and despair. By championing vaccination efforts, Rotary continues to uphold its core values of service above self, leaving an indelible mark on the annals of public health.
As we commemorate World Immunization Week, let us reaffirm our collective commitment to safeguarding the health and well-being of all. Let us stand in solidarity with organizations like
Rotary, whose dedication to immunization knows no bounds.
Together, we can build a future where preventable diseases are but a distant memory, and every individual has the opportunity
to thrive. And let us march forward with unwavering resolve, knowing that with organizations like Rotary leading the charge, a healthier, more prosperous future lies within our grasp.

The Rotary Integrity Awards

This will be an event you don't want to miss. Twelve local Rotary Clubs have nominated a non-Rotarian who embodies Rotary's values. We will hear how their contributions to our community make Alberta a better place to live, work and play.
There will be a special guest joining us for this inspirational evening. The Lieutenant Governor, "Her Honour, the Honourable Salma Lakhani, AOE, BSc, LLD (hon)" will be attending our event. 
Join us as we celebrate people who are making a difference in our community. Sign up on the link below:
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Bern Ayotte
April 4
Sam Nsair
April 7
James Johnston
April 24
Brian Rawlings
May 15
Jackie Hobal
May 20
Bruce Hobin
Kate Hobin
May 28
Join Date
James Johnston
April 1, 1986
38 years
David Weir
April 11, 2016
8 years
Bern Ayotte
April 17, 2023
1 year
Wendy Boje
April 17, 2023
1 year
Spencer Mueller
May 5, 2014
10 years
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