December 2022

RI President's Message for December

Jennifer Jones

Jennifer Jones

President 2022-23

December 2022

While sitting with a group of Rotary leaders outside of Lusaka, Zambia, I ask a question: “How many of you have ever had malaria?” Every hand in the room goes up. They even begin to tell me about the first, second, or third time they experienced the disease, one of the main causes of death and sickness in many developing countries.

They are fortunate. They have access to medical treatment and lifesaving medicines. For the people of rural Zambia, their story is very different. 

On a wooden bench in a small village, I sit with Timothy and his young son Nathan. With a camera crew capturing our conversation, he tells me of the time Nathan showed signs of malaria. He brought the boy to the nearby home of a community health worker, where Nathan quickly received medicines that in all likelihood saved his life. 

Calmly, Timothy tells me about his other son’s bout with the disease a few years earlier. He had to race that son to a medical clinic more than 5 miles away. Riding a bike and carrying his child on his back, he tells me, he could feel his son’s legs turn cold and then his little body go limp. As he finally entered the clinic, he screamed for help, but it was too late. The camera stops rolling, and we sit in silence. He begins to weep, and I hold him tightly. “I lost my son, I lost my son,” he says.

This story is all too familiar for the families we meet over the next few days. And yet there is hope. Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia is Rotary’s first Programs of Scale grant recipient, and it is saving lives. Across two provinces of Zambia, 2,500 volunteer health workers have been selected by their communities. They are trained to bring medical care closer to those who need it, and they are able to diagnose and treat malaria and other ailments. Rotary partnerships create lasting change.

Home Page | District 6630

We believe good health care is everyone’s right. Yet 400 million people in the world can’t afford or don’t have access to basic health care.

Disease results in misery, pain, and poverty for millions of people worldwide. That’s why treating and preventing disease is so important to us. We lead efforts both large and small. We set up temporary clinics, blood donation centers, and training facilities in underserved communities struggling with outbreaks and health care access. We design and build infrastructure that allows doctors, patients, and governments to work together.

Our members combat diseases like malaria, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and polio. Prevention is important, which is why we also focus on health education and bringing people routine hearing, vision, and dental care.


We educate and equip communities to stop the spread of life-threatening diseases. Rotary members have hundreds of health projects underway around the world at any given time. 

The Rotary Foundation is changing the world by providing grants for projects and activities around the globe and in your own backyard.
$65 million in grants was given by Rotary to fight disease
99.9%reduction in polio cases since our program started in 1985
Rotary makes amazing things happen, like:
Providing clean water: Rotary has worked with partners to provide more than 80 percent of Ghana’s people with clean water to fight Guinea worm disease.
Reducing HIV infection: In Liberia, Rotary members are helping women get tested for HIV early in their pregnancies. They used prenatal care to reduce new HIV infections in children by 95 percent over two years.
Ending polio: Rotary members have played a key role in bringing the world to the brink of polio eradication. Their efforts have not only ended polio in 122 countries but also created a system for tackling myriad other health priorities, such as Ebola.

Edmonton West in the Community

Edmonton Food Bank

At this time of year the Food Bank needs our help more than ever. Unfortunately, for an increasing amount of people across the province, empty pantries are making the holidays far from festive. As of this year, an estimated 850,000 Canadians rely on food banks on a monthly basis. When there is a need in the community Rotarians respond, especially Edmonton West members! We signed up for 2 shifts in the month of December and also teamed up with volunteers from the MacEwan University Health Centre and MacEwan Rotaract. Thank you to our Happy Hamper Makers and our Super Sorters!

Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society

Bent Arrow is a Traditional Healing Society committed to building upon the strengths of Aboriginal children, youth and families to enable them to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally so that they can walk proudly in both the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Communities. John Donner has been working hard behind the scenes to foster and build sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships with the organization. 
We were given the opportunity to volunteer at the Bent Arrow Christmas Party on December 10 at the Expo Centre. John Donner, Jim Johnston and Rotaractor, Jeremy helped with their registration and hand sanitizing, and Rotaractor Chelsea was on face painting duty. 

Salvation Army Christmas Kettles

Volunteering for the Salvation Army's Christmas Kettle Campaign has been an Edmonton West tradition for many years. It is a great opportunity to spend time with fellow Rotarians, ring some bells and spread Christmas Cheer. And of course help raise funds for a very worthy cause. Thank you to the volunteers who gave their time and collected donations from the Costco Shoppers...Bert, Jim, Ingrid, Kirsten, Karen, Natasha, Jeremy, Dave, Fred, Ben, Vic and myself. So far this season, the current total raised is approximately $340,000.  This is a phenomenal number!
What is the Christmas Kettle Campaign?
The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign is a fundraising effort that occurs each year during the Christmas season. Kettles are found in 2,000 locations across Canada and are an opportunity for the public to donate whatever funds they can to support the work of The Salvation Army during the Christmas season and throughout the year.
What happens to the money raised?
For too many Canadians, the necessities of life needed for basic human dignity are out of reach. Poverty is the root cause that puts dignity out of reach for millions of Canadians, making access to everyday needs, like food, clothing and shelter, difficult.
Funds raised through donations made at Christmas kettles, together with other sources of funds, help provide direct, compassionate, hands-on service to over 1.9 million people each year in Canada, restoring hope and dignity to those who might otherwise remain invisible in society.
Upcoming Events
The Rotary Foundation with Donna Barrett
University Club
Jan 09, 2023
11:45 AM – 1:30 PM
View entire list


August is Rotary's Membership and New Club Development Month | Rotary  District 9930
To increase the impact of Rotary around the world and in our communities we need to attract new members. Our club is very fortunate to have 4 new members; Bruce Hobin, Karen Gibbens, Jigo George and Carol Lund. We extend a warm Edmonton West Welcome to them all.

Karen Gibbens

It was my pleasure to introduce my good friend Karen to the membership. Many of you already know Karen.
She was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan.  In 1994, she moved to Edmonton with her husband, David, and kids Nicole and Nolan. Karen worked in the federal government for over 35 years in administrative positions with Agriculture Canada (PFRA) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
Karen's husband, David, joined the Rotary Club of Edmonton West in 2013 and she has volunteered with us and been involved in many events and projects since then.
Karen retired in January 2020 and now enjoys volunteering, daily walks and planning future travel experiences.
I am thrilled that Karen is joining the Edmonton West Family and I look forward to volunteering with her and for all the adventures that are to come. Welcome to Rotary!
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Vic Rudkowski
January 2
Karen Gibbens
January 5
Richard Dickinson
January 10
Joseph Lizotte
December 16
Mike Ryan
December 25
Join Date
Ben Doz
January 1, 1993
30 years
John Donner
January 6, 2020
3 years
Jarret Brophy
January 9, 2017
6 years
Bruce Hobin
January 10, 2001
22 years
Arthur Lachance
January 13, 2013
10 years
David Graham
January 28, 2022
1 year
Ann Orsini
December 1, 1991
31 years
J P Poirier
December 11, 2017
5 years
Anthony Lazaruk
December 19, 2014
8 years

District 5370 Fall Assembly

The Assembly is open to all Rotarians, but Presidents-elect and their leadership teams are highly encouraged to attend as part of PETS training. Many of our members attended the event, one being Bruce Hobin who shared his experience.


Attending the District’s Fall Assembly, November 26
Bruce Hobin
Being a recent member in the Club, I thought that it would be an excellent idea to attend the Fall Assembly conducted by the District at the Chateau Nova Yellowhead Hotel. Here, I would have the opportunity to meet other Rotarians from the District and become more informed about what has been happening. And, it was good to get back into a face to face event after a two year hiatus due to COVID-19.

From what I noticed, it looked like about 60-70 attended the day’s event. Besides me, President Doug, Vicky, Ingrid, John and Vic also attended from the Club. There was also a good participation from Rotaractors. Arrangements were made for those who were unable to attend in person to participate through Zoom.

DG-Elect, Brent Collingwood (Edmonton Riverview) Chaired the program. He began by presenting the term, BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals). This approach provides the realm of possibility for clubs to consider moving forward. He also challenged the clubs to work towards achieving EREY status by having every club member contribute at least $40 CDN to the
Mark Dixon (St Albert Rotary), District Chair for Membership presented the results of the membership survey that was conducted in late summer. In addition, Mark asked us to consider the following four factors associated with recruiting new members; Assess, Attract, Welcome and Engage.

Laurie Zuckerman (Boise Idaho Rotary), Chair, Communications, Marketing and Education for the Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group joined us via Zoom to talk to the Assembly about the various action themes and projects related to biodiversity, circular economy, climate, food systems, pollution, and sustainable living. I found her presentation to be thorough and informative.

The afternoon program featured brief presentations from the District Committee Chairs, updating us on what has been happening and plans for the coming Rotary year.

Information booths

Set up around the perimeter of the meeting room were a number of information tables about various Rotary activities. Personally, I was pleased to see the booth promoting Project Amigo. This coming February, my wife Kate and I will be travelling to Mexico to participate in Canadiana Week. The Rotarians at the booth were able to provide me with additional information and how to prepare for our visit. In addition, I got to chat with other Rotarians who had previously participated, and I also met two other Rotarians from the District who will attending at the same time as us.

District Conference 2023

DG John Nicoll (Edmonton Northeast) promoted the upcoming District Conference that is to be held at the Jasper Park Lodge April 20-23. Having attended previous District Conferences in other Districts, I have always found them to be very informative and worthwhile. My wife and I are looking forward to attending this one.

Assembly Highlight

A number of District Awards were handed out at the Assembly. The Rotary Club of Edmonton West received the District’s award for the highest average donation by Club members to the Foundation. President Doug accepted the award and shared it with the Club members at a recent meeting. It makes me very proud to be a member of this Club.

New Directions

John Donner
Continuing to Imagine and Explore New Directions, Relationships and Potential Partnerships President Jennifer Jones has asked us to Imagine Rotary – which fits well with New Directions.

We have been active so far this year, especially in Diversity, Peace and Indigenous Relations. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
In July, many club members joined Edmonton Mennonite Centre newcomers at the Laurier Park picnic as part of our diversity agenda.
Later, Al and others helped at Sinkunia in the Northeast,
which led to inviting Shelley Sabo to talk to the club about diversity and community engagement. We are exploring how we could help out at Sinkunia and/or at the Jasper Place Wellness Centre – another of Shelley’s suggestions.


Ingrid leads Peace initiative at both district and club levels. Ingrid is following up with U of A staff and Rotaractors and with MacEwan on Peace Poles; the Fort Edmonton Peace Pole has been ordered. The District Peace team is arranging a speaker for Peace Month. As a Peace-Builder Club, we will be donating to the Peace Rotary areas of focus or peace centres.

Indigenous Relationships

We continue to seek to build awareness and relationships with Indigenous peoples and agencies. Bert and Ben have been gathering winter clothing for Bear Clan patrol. Jim sampled
all the soups at Bent Arrow’s Soup and Bannock, then served others at the Bent Arrow Christmas party. We are exploring opportunities with Nigninan Housing and Jasper Place Wellness Centre. This fall we had two Indigenous Speakers in the district series – President of the Metis Nation, Audrey Poitras, and John Currie, Executive Director of Honouring Indigenous Peoples. John offered an opportunity for Rotarians to nominate Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth to a national reconciliation event in March.


At the fall assembly, our highway clean-ups were part of the list of District activities contributing to Rotary’s Environment focus area. The presentation on behalf of the Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group identified a number of possible areas for
engagement, including circular economy and food systems.
There are many opportunities, not only in the environment result area.
The New Directions committee will be meeting later in January. Let John know ( if you would like to be part of the discussion.

Christmas Lunch

It was lovely to get together and enjoy a delicious Christmas Lunch. It is an opportunity for Rotarians, their partners and special guests to enjoy seasonal fellowship. When we get together stories are shared and connections made. Our club is full of interesting and amazing members and our future is bright....a reason to celebrate.
Among our special guests were the Ojo's, the Ukrainian family that we have been helping to get settled into their new home. Olu and Yuliia were welcomed by all and were grateful to meet the Rotarians who have donated items for their home. Karen Sanderson had a special gift for the family. Karen is a quilter extraordinaire and made a beautiful quilt for them. It was the perfect gift for them to get to know Canada. 

Happy Christmas to All

One of the joys of the holiday season is the opportunity for me to to thank each and every member for your treasured contribution to our club, and for the many hours you have volunteered to the club and the many organizations we assist in the community. All this would not be possible without your endless support and commitment to the ideals of Rotary.
Spencer and I hope you have a Christmas that is warm and bright and may the magic and love of the season follow you throughout the year. We look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.
Rotary Quote by bigevanb1981 on DeviantArt
Please add to your safe sender list or address book.
To view our privacy policy, click here.
102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7
Advertisement for Russell Hampton
Advertisement for ClubRunner
Advertisement for ClubRunner Mobile