Club News
WASN'T THAT A PARTY?!  June 13th was an evening to recognize Rotary President Peter Malone, surrounded by friends, colleagues, guests and of course, Suzanne, his spouse who has been there for him during his year as Rotary President, listening to his "outside the box" suggestions and offering wise counsel.  Sporting a tee-shirt of The Who in the spirit of the British Invasion theme, Peter had to explain to some of the younger generation who The Who were.   He proudly made cheque presentations to the Children's Foundation and the YMCA Centre for Life (see separate stories on these presentations).  Peter's first task was to oversee who would win the prize for the best British Invasion costume and without a doubt, Dr. Ruth Mathieson won hands down with second and third prize going to Shannon Neely and Kim McKinney.
Peter went on to present "awards" to those who have supported him and the Rotary Club this past year.  The Rosalie Cup of Tea award went to Vice-President Tracey Vandervoort for her laid back personality in focusing on what needed to be done, calmly.  The Queen and Country Award went to Collin Myers for getting involved early on in the Rotary Refresh project and having to part with the toast to the Queen.  The Queen's Plate will find a special spot in his home or office.  The Queen Mother Award went to Past President Tracy Bray for making sure everyone else was okay.  Her big heart was ever present.  Host and hostess with the mostes went to Shannon and Marida for all their hospitality in hosting the President's Night.  The Big Ben Award was given to Secretary Jo-Anne Wheeler who was always on time, organized and welcoming to everyone.  She kept the Board on track with Big Ben accuracy and played a pivotal role for the Club.  She also earned a Warrior Pin.
Peter thanked the Board of Directors for creating momentum that will build going forward.  To all the Committee Chairs who busily carry on, often behind the scenes, but an integral part of the overall running of the Club.  Michael Summers and his photography and technical support at every meeting and Paul Ferguson for his original and captivating emails, nudging the membership along.
The highlight of the evening may have been Rotarian Kim McKinney's jump in the pool, spontaneous for sure or at least based on the surprise on everyone's face, it was not planned except by Kim.  And Suzanne shared her part in the jokes that Peter has shared all year.  This time last year she was in Toronto and bought Peter a Book of Dad Jokes as a Father's Day gift.  Well, now you know the rest of the story.
One of Rotary's priority is to leave a legacy in the community and the Rotary Club of Belleville's support of the YMCA Centre for Life represents what Rotary stands for.  President Peter Malone was pleased to present the 2nd installment of the Club's three year commitment, this year's share being $30,000 to Dave Allen, CEO and members of the campaign leadership team at the President's Night event on June 13th, hosted by Shannon and Marida Neely.  Pictured here are Doug Peterson, David Allen, Kristin Crowe, Peter Malone, Cassandra Bonn and Collin Myers, an example of how Rotarians seek out to do incredible work and ensure all the dots are connected for successful initiatives such as this. 
President Peter said it is an exciting project for our club and brings new vitality to our membership. Our club’s pledge to the YMCA Centre for Life will help create a much-needed, deep-community facility in the west end of Belleville. With its five partner agencies, this facility will enhance health, education, support, and fellowship to so many, especially our youth. The Rotary Club of Belleville understands the long-term impact the YMCA Centre for Life will have on our growing community’s health.
In accepting this cheque, Dave Allen thanked all those involved in the work of fundraising for the YMCA Centre for Life.  Over $6 million has been raised todate and there will be a shovel in the ground this summer.  This centre will impact our community for years to come and will change the lifestyle of many. The new YMCA Centre for Life represents an uplifting of our spirits and offers hope of a new and better tomorrow for our community. A place where everyone is welcome, where diversity is celebrated and social inclusion is the cornerstone of our foundation, where people will meet new friends, where young and old, families and individuals alike, and our most vulnerable, including those with a developmental disability, will feel they are accepted and belong.
In the Rotary Year 1999-2000 Rotarian Wolf Tausendfreund suggested a Golf Tournament as a major fundraising event for the Club and Bob Clute stepped up to chair this event.  The priority was to include children and it was agreed from the start that 10% of net revenue would go to the Hastings County Children's Foundation for Kids in Care for educational bursaries.  The first event took place in July 2003.  With a great team of volunteers including Ken Wheeler, Bernie Ouellet, Vince Lynch, the late Bob Michaud, Rotary Loves Kids was born!  Twenty-one years later and the event is going strong for the Rotary Club of Belleville.
Executive Director of the Children's Foundation Melanie Cressman recently sent a letter to the Board of Directors of the Rotary Club expressing their gratitude for the support over the years.  Last year alone they were able to support over 1500 children and youth, but 2023 marked a significant increase in the number of children and youth supported through the Foundation's core program.  The mission of the Children's Foundation provides and funds programs aimed at ensuring all children and youth in Hastings, Northumberland and Prince Edward Counties have social and physical opportunities to explore, learn, play and thrive.  Their six (6) core programs are:
  • Playing for Keeps - helps cover the registration fees of sports and other activities
  • Camps of Hope - subsidizes the registration fees for camps
  • Strive to Thrive - focuses on mental health supports and therapy programs for youth
  • Reach for Success - supports youth as they transition from care to independent living
  • Keep Baby Safe - supplies cribs, mattresses and car seats to ensure the safety of an infant
  • Holiday Angel Tree - ensures that marginalized families can celebrate with gifts and good food over the Christmas holidays
A recent strategic planning process continues the Children's Foundation alignment with the Rotary Club of Belleville's area of focus of supporting education.  At the June 13th President's Night, Rotary President Peter Malone presented a cheque for $5,000 to the Children's Foundation to continue the Club's support of the work the organization does for children and youth in our community.  Pictured are Cassandra Bonn, Melanie Cressman and Peter Malone.
Jo-Anne Wheeler, Provincial Coordinator for the 2024 Quinte Rotary Music Festival was pleased to advise that the results are in for the participants who went on to the Ontario Provincial Music Festival from the Quinte Rotary Music Festival.   These music students were recommended by the QRMF adjudicators to compete at the Provincials “virtually”.  We should be proud of each and every one of them!

Classical Piano - Level 2: Ethan Guan
Classical Piano - Live 4: Alkina Feng, who received “Honourable Mention with Distinction”
Classical Woodwinds - Level 1: Annika Hirt, who received “1st Place”
Classical Woodwinds - Level 2: William Charles Gauthier, who received "3rd Place”
Classical Voice - Level 2: Alkina Feng, who received “Honourable Mention with Distinction”
Classical Voice - Level 3: Elizabeth Black
Classical Voice - Level 3: Aubrey Demianchuk
Classical Voice - Level 5: Emma Colby, who received “3rd Place”
Classical Voice - Level 5: Braelyn Bird
Small Ensembles - Centennial Secondary School, who received "1st Place"
Musical Theatre - Primary Level: Alkina Feng

Next up - the Live Festival Competitions, which take place in mid-June.

Kaycie Brant is a mature, first-generation, student from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, who recently graduated as the valedictorian of St Lawrence College Kingston in 2023. Kaycie has since started her journey at Royal Roads University in the Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies program with future plans of attending the Queen's University Law program. Kaycie continues to display her commitment to the community with volunteer positions at the Community Spirit Bingo on behalf of Ryandale Transitional Housing, and the Indigenous Education Committee with the Limestone District School Board. Kaycie was also the successful recipient of the Donald Larry Maracle Integrity Scholarship organized by the Maracle family in memory of their late father; "Larry is remembered as a loving husband and father who valued family, friends, community, hard work and education", and Kaycie is proud of this achievement as she shares the same values. Kaycie has shown resiliency, professionalism, academic ability, humanitarianism, and dedication to future career goals and community development. 
A message from Kaycie: "When I began my educational path I was overwhelmed, intimidated, and fearful of failure; however, I did not realize how resilient I was, and how community involvement would provide me with a solid foundation to support my professional development. I encourage anyone considering post-secondary education to take that leap of faith regardless of the barriers you face because your community will provide you with the tools to support your growth. I am very grateful for community partners such as the Rotary Club who have believed in me and have invested in my education because they inspire me to keep going." 
Kaycie received her award from the Cataraque-Kingston Rotary Club at a recent presentation.
Birgit Wartenberg, Chair of the IPPC, shared some good news about a recent bursary presentation to Tristen Brown, a 2024 recipient from Lakehead University.  The presentation was made by the Rotary Club of Lakehead.  Tristen is a member of the Cree First Nation from Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, located near Grande Prairie, Alberta.  Currently, Tristen is pursuing his Ph.D in Civil Engineering at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, where his journey is marked by dedication, distinction and a profound commitment to serving his community.  He is investigating an innovative housing solution for northern Indigenous communities across Canada through collaboration with a dedicated research group.  Tristen is leading efforts to develop a cost-effective, resilient modular housing solution that integrates traditional Indigenous practices.  His research has accumulated recognition and support from the Rotary Club of Belleville, which has generously awarded him the Indigenous Professional Development Bursary.  This financial assistance will help support Tristen's academic pursuits and enable him to focus on his research without undue financial burden.  He greatly appreciates the Rotary Club for their unwavering support.  Tristen is dedicated to collaborating with Indigenous-owned companies to implement his research findings in real-world settings.  His primary goal is to make a substantial difference in the lives of Indigenous communities, ensuring access to safe, sustainable housing that reflects their cultural identity and values.
As we recognize education week, Dianne Spencer was very pleased to introduce the guest speaker at Rotary Club of Belleville, Mark Kirkpatrick, President and CEO of Loyalist College.  Mark joined the Loyalist team in 2005 as Director of Information Technology after working in manufacturing, insurance and financial service sectors.  In this role, Mark modernized the College's Information Technology Department and implemented a campus wide IT infrastructure to innovate and bring change across the college.  As Director of Facilities and then Senior Director of Infrastructure, Mark played a key role in planning the redevelopment of the campus inside and out.  In 2020 he joined the senior leadership team as Senior VP Corporate Services and CFO.  During the pandemic, Mark led the work at Loyalist to open the college facilities to accommodate COVID vaccinations for 50,000 individuals, people from our communities.  Mark became the 6th President and CEO of Loyalist College in March 2023.  Since then the changes at Loyalist have continued and they are remarkable, but it's not just about buildings.  It's about people and programs.  Loyalist is 47 years young this year and continues to provide opportunities for people of all ages to learn, grow and discover new pathways to develop their careers.  Mark Kirkpatrick has been an integral part of that over the past two decades and we look forward to hearing about what's going on today and what is next.
Mark Kirkpatrick's power point was entitled Loyalist College Moving Forward and Mark started off by sharing numbers.  Gross Revenue FY 23/24 $172 million.  Capital Investment FY 23/24 $40 million.  Number of employees 1000+.  Economic Impact Study for FY 21/22 on the region is $433.3 million, representing about 5,579 jobs supported or 3.6% of regional GDP.  Student spending in the region added $11.5 million in economic benefit.  Of this, $6.5 million is attributable to international students.  Over 7,000 students are enrolled across all locations and students are from over 40 different countries.  Port Hope campus is 21,500 sq. ft and Belleville campus is 750,000 sq. ft with over 600 residence beds (and more to come).  Loyalist College serves the communities of Lennox & Addington, Hastings, Prince Edward and Northumberland Counties with locations in Tyendinaga, Belleville, Bancroft, Port Hope and Toronto.
Loyalist College believes every student in our community has the right to a first class post-secondary education in a first class facility taught by first class faculty with first class services and without the need to travel to a major city.  Every business deserves access to first class workforce development and applied research opportunities to expand their operations.  This support should come from a post secondary institution within their communities, one that understands their unique needs because the college is here.
Mark spoke about the Community Speaker Series introduced at the College.  For $10 people can hear well-known speakers on a variety of interesting topics and the events are sold out!  Community Integration is partnering with local organizations such as the Belleville Senators, the Santa Claus Parade, cultural events on campus and in the community, military connections, working with local industries to upskill and teach skills to enhance local opportunities to expand, research with local business to help support the needs in the community, introducing an RN program so that students who train here will stay here.  Program such as Elevate Plus are available to people who need help to enter the workforce, teaching them jobs skills that guarantee job prospects.  This year donor-supported bursaries and scholarships were given to 435 students with a value of $601,760, last year 217 students received awards with a value of $347,825.
The campus is evolving with a new outdoor facade and gym, academic teams, a new Spa (Unwind), Maker Space and a new Health and Wellness space, culinary updates, Nourish Restaurant.  All in all, Mark bragged about having a great job and we can see why!  Mark was thanked by Rotarian Cristina Cadavid, a proud Loyalist College grad (pictured here with Mark Kirkpatrick).
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