Club News
The Indigenous Peoples Partnerships Cluster just finished their 2022/2023 bursary program. The IPPC gave out 8 bursaries at $1,000.  The Rotary Club of Belleville selected two students.
Kaycie Brant - St. Lawrence College (the bursary was presented by the Rotary Club Cataraqui Kingston on Belleville's behalf, photo included here). Kaycie Brant is a Mohawk from the Tyendinaga reservation. She is a Mature, First-Generation student who has recently finished the Community and Justice Services Program at St. Lawrence College, and has been accepted to the Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies at Royal Roads University.
Kaycie has faced many challenges as a single mother and the primary caregiver for her mother; however, she has shown dedication to her studies and her community. Kaycie attended a global learning opportunity in Ireland and has volunteered with Street Health. 
Kaycie's goal with continuing her education is to apply for Queens Law once she has completed her bachelor's degree with Royal Roads University. Kaycie has just been selected as this year's Valedictorian for St. Lawrence College.
Olivia Adams - Lakehead University (the bursary was presented by President Elect Sharon Hollinsworth of the Rotary Club Lakehead on Belleville's behalf)
“It is an honour to be chosen for the Indigenous Professional Development Bursary. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Rotary Club of Belleville for the generous funding. Thanks to the financial support, I am able to continue my education and fulfill my dreams. 
This fall, I will be entering my fourth and final year of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Lakehead University. Through my studies and experiences at Lakehead University (LU) and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC), I have found my passion to make a difference in my community. 
At LU, I am a part of the Lakehead University Nursing Association (LUNA) and Lakehead University Scientists (LUS) Club. Firstly, the upcoming school year will be my four consecutive year with LUNA, in which I have recently been elected as a 4th year collaborative representative. My role and responsibilities include advocating for my classmates questions, comments, and concerns, sharing opportunities and resources, and providing support throughout the school year. Secondly, this upcoming school year will be my third consecutive year as a Co-Director for LUS. LUS focuses on the empowerment of self-identifying women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM). My role includes assigning executive positions, delegating tasks, and planning events for throughout the school year. 
Also, in my current roles with the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) and LU, as an Infinite Reach Facilitator and Métis Student Liaison, I host and facilitate cultural and informative events to connect students to the local MNO community councils, and to the various programs, services, and events of the MNO and LU. 
In addition, at the TBRHSC I volunteer with the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) and I am a member on the Volunteer Advisory Council. Firstly, my main responsibility in the HELP program is to assist in preventing delirium in hospitalized seniors by helping maintain cognitive and physical functioning throughout hospitalization. Also, I train and orient new volunteers to the HELP program. I ensure all trainees are comfortable and have all questions answered prior to starting volunteering independently. Secondly, my role as a member of the Volunteer Advisory Council includes providing feedback, current knowledge, assist with needs assessment, and supporting the TBRHSC organization. 
I really enjoy being apart of the community  and am passionate about volunteering with patients at the TBRHSC, and supporting my fellow Métis and nursing student at Lakehead University.”
Concert of Stars was held on May 24th, a wrap-up evening of the Quinte Rotary Music Festival.  Chair of the Music Festival Committee, John Chisholm, noted that the festival is a combination of efforts by the Rotary Club of Belleville, the Rotary Club of Trenton plus the Belleville Sunrise Rotary Club.  This year the festival was live as opposed to having virtual performances and judging for the past two years.  He thanked the many special financial supporters, noting it cost between $23,000 to $27,000 to run the Music Festival.  Master of Ceremonies and Rotarian, Peter Coy, a seasoned chorister, remarked that all performers and festival competitors obtain a great advantage in life by participating in this Music Festival.  Many amazing performers and many thousands of dollars in awards were presented during the evening.  A stunning and purely enjoyable evening was had by all.
Albert College student Dante Duffus was awarded the coveted Rose Bowl for top vocal winner, one of several awards that he won during the spring Quinte Rotary Music Festival.  Shown here are Rotarian Margaret Seu, Dante and his mum, very proud indeed.
The Budget Committee, consisting of Karen Baker, Peter Coy, Paul Fleming, Andrew Kole, Peter Malone, Rosi Ouellette and Darrell Smith have been working hard to put together the operating and service budgets for the 2023-2024 Rotary Year.  The Committee met in person and online to develop these budgets and they were approved by the Board of Directors at their Meeting on May 16, 2023.
Vice President Karen Baker, soon to be President Elect as of July 1st presented the budget package at the lunch meeting on May 25th and entertained questions from the floor.  A few highlights and special mentions of upcoming plans include resuming the 50/50 meeting draw as of July 2023 to generate interest as the pot grows.  An easy contribution budgeted at $2,000 as Operations Revenue.  The Public Relations line item is budgeted to include the development, printing and purchase of items to increase the community's awareness of Rotary and all the projects that are carried out.  This is one of the themes that came out of the Refresh Rotary survey results and session on May 3rd.  The budget for Membership Recruitment and Retention has been increased, again as a result of the survey and membership input.  It should be noted that all committees who submitted a budget request for their committee's work were funded to the amount requested.  A new budget line item -- Public Image was added with a $4,000 budget to purchase materials for long term use to increase the image and visibility of Rotary beginning in 2023-2024.  A Public Image Director has been identified and is in the process of developing a Public Image Plan.  The budget provided is not expected to be at the same level in the future.  The Rotary Club of Belleville made a $100,000 commitment to the new YMCA build and some budgets and spending areas have been adjusted to assist in that commitment over the next three (3) years.  Both the operating budget and the service budget came in with small amounts to the good.
The Rotary Club of Belleville does a tremendous amount of work, both in the community and around the world through Rotary International and the efforts of each Rotarian to raise funds to continue these much needed efforts is to be noted.  To support disaster relief, Polio Plus, Camp Merrywood, Special Needs Children, Hospice Quinte, YMCA, Kids Against Hunger, the Children's Foundation, Clowns for Kids, Food for Learning, the Rotary Music Festival and other community needs is just a few areas where Rotary is front and center.
President Darrell Smith thanked Karen Baker for organizing and putting together a well laid out budget for today's meeting, noting that the Club has made concerted efforts to move financial stewardship to a positive place.  Most recently the Board approved support through the Red Cross to support Canadians impacted by wildfires.  Thank you to every Rotarian for their on-going efforts and contributions to the work of Rotary, here and abroad.  An email will be forwarded to everyone to vote on this budget and someone committed to donating a happy buck (dollar) for every person who votes.
A special surprise at the Inter-Rotary Spelling Bee finals.  Ian Acton was the lead producer for the video event.  District Governor Josif Ciosa was pleased to advise everyone that Ian was the first Rotary District 7070's Rotary Exchange Student in 1972 when he went to South Africa.  At that time, Wilf Wilkinson was District Governor.
John Chisholm was pleased to introduce Mark Musca and his classification talk at the Rotary Club of Belleville lunch meeting.  Mark is the Head of School at Albert College, a life-long educator and a member of the Quinte Rotary Music Festival.
Mark's middle name comes from his grandfather, Carmine Musca, a proud connection to rural southern Italy, a place called Sannicola di Lecce which is in Publia, the heel of the Italian boot.  Mark's grandfather was a great story  teller and looking back, Mark credits his grandfather for sparking his interest in history.  Carmine was a hardworking, intelligent and wise man and in 1954 he followed a brother to Canada and moved his family to Ottawa, started working as a painter for Canadian National Railway and Mark's grandmother continued applying her seamstress skills.  Through hard work and living frugally, the family was an example of an immigrant experience.  Even Mark's father, who at 12, started working after school understood the need to earn what he could to support the family.  Through the family's perseverance and sacrifices, they bought properties and the rent from those properties paid for Mark's education and Mark recognizes not only the material benefits of his parents and grandparents, but also the guidance their upbringing provided.
Both Mark's parents became teachers and met in Ottawa where Mark was born and spent his early years.  The family moved to Belleville in 1979 and Mark attended school here until the family moved to Smiths Falls where Mark graduated from high school.  One thing Mark remembers from those early years in Belleville was Jim's Pizzeria.  After high school, Mark attended Carleton University, obtaining a BA with a major in history and it was there that he met his wife Claudia on a blind date described by Mark as the 1990's equivalent of online dating.  Mark's career as an educator started after University, as a high school history teacher in Brockville, followed by a move into administration, first as a vice principal and then as principal.  He credits an amazing mentor, early in his career, Jane McMillan and he still finds himself asking "what would Jane do?" in many situations that come up.  His next step was superintendent that included a new role of HR where he had to learn quickly all the ropes dealing with grievance arbitration, contract negotiations, labour relations, many of which were very stressful.  Mark started to consider independent school systems and became principal at Villanova College in King City, Ontario.  As a family, the time was right for a move to York Region.  A large percentage of the student population is made up of students of Italian descent and Mark found it wonderful to work with families who had similar cultural experiences as his own.  Wanting to be closer to his family in Ottawa, Mark applied to Albert College when Head Keith Stansfield, announced his retirement in 2019,
So Mark is back in Belleville, walking the same streets that he did 40 years ago, working at Albert College, a school that has been around longer than Canada has been a country.  Founded in 1857, Albert has been educating international and local students for well over a century and a half.  Student enrolment is 300 from pre-K to Grade 12.  One hundred are international students from over 15 countries around the world.  The greatest benefit Mark has experienced has been driving his children to and from school everyday when they lived in Newmarket and being present at each of his
daughters graduations, presenting their diplomas.
Mark was thanked by Len Kennedy who was on the Board at Albert College when Mark became the successful Head of Education, a good match for the school and the community.
The Board of the Rotary Club of Belleville wanted to hear from their membership as part of a review of the Club and its activities as it heads into the
next 100 years of its existence. The Board wishes to co-create with its members a refreshed Rotary Club of Belleville – one that attracts new members and operates in ways that align with the ways in which the Club serves Belleville as well as Rotary’s seven areas of focus.

The Board enlisted the support of People Minded Business (PMB) partners, Paul Fleming, and Janeen Halliwell (members of Rotary) to develop an e-survey for the purpose of gathering insights into what matters most to the Club’s current members about their involvement with Belleville Club.The survey launched on January 6, 2023 and closed on February 13, 2023. 56 of 96 members completed the survey representing almost 60% of membership (uncommonly high for surveys).
Not only were the overall response rates high, but each ‘Years of Service’ group had over a 50% response rate which provides a good and accurate reflection of member’s views. Respondents also represented a good mix of ages:
  • 7.1% under 40 years
  • 17.9% 40 - 49 years
  • 21.4% 50 - 59 years
  • 14.3% 60 - 69 years
  • 28.6% 70 - 79 years
  • 8.9% 80+ years
Looking at these two elements together shows that there is a correlation between a person’s age and years of service, with most newer people (<5 years of service) tending to be younger than older members (20+ years of service).
What matters most to Club members was consistent across all age and years of service groups -- giving back (Belleville was mentioned consistently with some international mentions), socializing, engaging and enjoyable activities.
For each of the seven questions on the survey, PMB looked at the responses for major themes in the data.  There are seven themes identified as a result of the survey and these will be drilled down at the working session on May 3rd at Sans Souci.  The themes are:
  • It's Time to Change
  • Recruiting New Members
  • Engaging existing members
  • Meetings, less formal, more fun
  • Satellite Club and Core Club integration
  • Focus and clarity
  • Awareness (public image)
President Elect Peter Malone is looking for the voice of the membership to be loud and clear on May 3rd and from those discussions, actionable items will be identified, driven by the seven themes.  The partners of People Minded Business, Paul Fleming and Janeen Halliwell, fellow Rotarians, will be at the May 3rd session and are looking forward to continuing the very positive momentum that has already been predominant through the survey.
    Tracy Bray introduced Steve Cook. Executive Director for the Belleville General Hospital Foundation and a great addition to the Rotary Club of Belleville.  Tracy enthusiastically mentioned that Steve will be at Camp Merrywood early in May with the rest of the work team.
    Steve Cook moved to the Belleville area five years ago with his wife Melissa and feels fortunate to be in the role he is with the BGH Foundation.  He comes from a global sport environment in the U.K. before moving into the healthcare sector.  He was brought up in the northwest part of England, a coastal town where his parents were involved in the hotel/tourism business and where Steve learned to love the outdoors.  He also was a huge soccer fan growing up, very involved in sports and was lucky to attend two great universities, Leeds and Lancaster.  In Great Britain Steve was Head of Corporate Partnerships for St. Luke's Cheshire Hospital.  In this role he planned, delivered and managed donor development and major gifts, a perfect platform to his current role here in Quinte Healthcare.  Prior to his tenure at Hospice, he was the Commercial Director at Wrexham Football Club, working on sponsorships, corporate partnerships, season ticket sales, program sales and advertising and customer experience strategy.  Before this, he was the Regional Sales Manager for England and Scotland for Sodexo, working on partnerships with The Open Championship.  The networking and marketing opportunities are just some of the skills he transferred to his current position.  Steve developed an entrepreneurial spirit and through a personal health scare, he became aware of how to raise money and to bring growth in raising funds here locally.  All efforts by him and his team at the Foundation are for the betterment of the community and healthcare here and in the region.  Steve thanked everyone for their support of him as a Rotarian as well as the ongoing support of the Hospital Foundation.
    Sam Brady thanked Steve for his investment in our community, for building a successful team and developing huge growth in fundraising for the benefit of all.
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