Club Information

Welcome to the Rotary Club of Belleville Ontario! Due to Covid-19 our regular meetings are via Zoom.  Watch for further announcements on a return to Capers..

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 12:01 PM
Capers Restaurant
272 Front St
Belleville, ON K8N 2Z2
Due to Covid-19 our regular meetings are via Zoom. Watch for further announcements on a return to Capers, downtown Belleville on Thursdays at noon.
District Governor Mark Chipman
Aug 06, 2020
Greetings from the District
Home Page Stories
Past President Tim McKinney introduced today's guest speaker, Aidan Girduckis who he has known for a year and a half, described as a top scoring entrepreneur.  Aidan earned a 'C' rating in the 2017 NHL Central Scouting evaluations, part of a promising junior career spent mostly with the Central Canada Hockey League's Carleton Place Canadians. In the CCHL, Girduckis scored 73 points (21 goals) in 137 games, playoffs included. He helped Carleton Place to the CCHL title in 2016-17, then collected all-league third-team honors in 2017-18. Girduckis went on to receive a full ride scholarship to play Division 1 NCAA hockey at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, PA, beginning in the 2018-2019 season. Internationally, Girduckis represented his country twice in hockey - playing for Team Canada East at the 2016 World Junior A Challenge in Bonnyville, Alberta, where he earned an IIHF silver medal and again at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Outside of hockey, Aidan achieved distinction all throughout high school, and studied Actuarial Science at Robert Morris University, where he maintained a 4.0 GPA and was named to the Dean’s list for his entire academic duration at RMU. He was also inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (USA). Additionally, he was recognized as an NCAA “All American Scholar” in 2019 for “recognition of outstanding academic performance, along with on-ice contributions”. Aidan has also received verification certificates for online academic micro-programs: “The Iterative Innovation Process” with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and “Introduction to Engineering and Design” with Brown University.
More recently, Aidan founded (Est. May of 2019 and has been the acting CEO since) of Ducky Brand Apparel Inc., an apparel company that donates 30% of profits from sales to different mental healthcare initiatives. With the company being just over a year old, they have been featured in numerous media publications, including the “Toronto Star”, “CBC: The National”, “The Athletic”, and the “NHLPA”. In February of 2020, Aidan engineered and embarked on a month-long mental health awareness speaking tour with Daniel Carcillo (two-time stanley cup champion, mental health advocate) which took the duo across Ontario speaking to universities, high schools, first responders and even the Royal Canadian Armed Forces. Ducky Brand is now represented (and advocated for) by numerous NHLer’s, olympians and other individuals of stature in the hockey community, including individuals like Andrew Shaw, Nick Cousins, Jennifer Wakefield, Bryan Bickell, and Haley Irwin. Most recently, Girduckis has launched the “Ducky Brand Podcast” in collaboration with podcast hosts Brock Tufts and Jenn Quigley, which has since featured Ducky Brand Ambassadors (mentioned previously) among other special guests like Michael Landsberg and Brock McGillis, which releases new episodes every Tuesday. Girduckis has primarily been focused on developing the “Second Annual Ducky Brand Golf Tournament for Mental Health” which is set to take place on August 20, 2020, with over 50 organizations involved and over 160 confirmed participants, with stanley cup champions and olympic gold medalists among them. Ducky Brand has now amassed a collective social media following of over 20,000 people, and has seen an average monthly growth of over 50% in its first fiscal year.
Aidan provided a glimpse into his younger years, playing hockey and although he was very successful in the sport as well as a top student, he struggled with feeling down, lacking satisfaction and sought help from mental health professionals.  A sports psychologist in Ottawa provided support and guidance to Aidan and he found out what he needed to do.  The sessions were expensive though and that is when Aidan started thinking about the costs that a lot of people just simply couldn't afford and his goal to create a funding avenue for others to get the help they needed.  Now the Ducky Brand Foundation allows people to apply for funding through a screening process facilitated by a Board of Directors.  Aidan recognizes and promotes that mental health goes beyond psychological issues and includes nutrition, life style, exercise and creating a health life style overall.  Ducky Brand Apparel's slogan "let the clothes you wear mean something" is simple yet far reaching through Aidan and his team.  For more information, Aidan can be reached by email at
Rotarians Jeanette Minaker and Chris Finkle shared stories about how Aidan has helped their family member, more specifically Jeanette's daughter and Chris' son Adam who suffered an acquired brain injury.  Chris thanked Aidan for his presentation today and described him as a valuable asset to the community in bringing mental health to the forefront.  Chris's son Adam thanked Aidan as well for his friendship and the significant help he provided.  Definitely living proof.
Doug Peterson welcomed everyone (mostly by Zoom) to the 35th and final meeting of the Rotary Club of Belleville in the 100th Anniversary.  It has been an interesting and challenging Rotary year.  President Doug was very pleased to recognize the work of Rotarians and the results of that work by dedicating the Rotary Fitness Park to the City of Belleville.  This is the Club's final major project honouring the Club's 100 years of service in the community.  Past District Governor Bill MacKay, Rotarians Vince Lynch, Bill Lowther, Ken Wheeler, Cory MacKay, John Smale and friend to Rotary, Ross Wagner collaborated on this meaningful project.  The dedication of this Fitness Park comes almost a year after Rotary's first project, the Rotary Music Garden, dedicated at Riverside Park on July 3, 2019.  The same hard-working crew was on the job then!
PDG Bill MacKay, Chair of the 100th Anniversary Committee was personally very pleased  to mark the Rotary Club of Belleville's 100th Anniversary with the opening of the Rotary Fitness Park, an idea suggested by Director John Smale in conjunction with some other projects.  A Celebration dinner was planned, unfortunately was sidelined by COVID-19, but re-arranged as a virtual Zoom celebration meeting!  The start of the celebration saw the dedication of the Rotary Music Garden a year ago, followed now with the Rotary Fitness Park and a history book to ensure the Club's history continued to be captured.  The final idea that was acted on was to develop a video of past presidents and their stories.  The Rotary Club of Belleville has now launched their own YouTubeChannel that will also be posted on our Facebook page.  To the members of the 100th Anniversary Committee, to the Committee Members of the 100th Dinner Celebration and Chair Pat Feasey, to the Club History Co-Chairs Jo-Anne Wheeler and Karen Baker and the team of editors, to the Music Garden and Fitness Park Team Leader Vince Lynch and his team of installers and to all those who helped and assisted in making this year such a special one, thank you.  Bill was very proud to say that between him and his father, long time Rotarian Bill MacKay Sr. they have a combined 100 years of service in Rotary, as Past Presidents and Past District Governors, all from the same Club.  Quite a milestone and appropriately linked to today.
Vince Lynch as the key installer of the Rotary Fitness Park, refers to the timing as "just in time", finishing at 8:30 a.m. this morning after a very busy month of June taking delivery of the equipment on June 9th, getting the site excavation started, installing the equipment (18 pieces with 84 anchors), installing the sign, all done under the constraints of COVID.  Vince thanked his right hand man, Bill Lowther who was invaluable and always available on short notice.  Vince also made special mention of Rob Rashotte, site lead from the City along with Joe Reid and his Parks and Open Spaces staff.  Everyone was determined to get the job done in time.  And a thank you to Mayor Panciuk and Council for their support.  The Rotary Assembly Crew are becoming experts at park installations!  Great job.
Mayor Mitch Panciuk was excited to accept this Rotary Fitness Park on behalf of the City of Belleville and although he was looking forward to the 100th Anniversary Dinner, was very impressed with the Club moving forward with their project and not stepping back.
Historian Jo-Anne Wheeler announced the availability of the Club's History Book, a special walk through the century that was.  The content of "A History of the Rotary Club of Belleville" will surprise you.  The book committee headed up by Jo-Anne included Bill MacKay, Cory MacKay and Karen Baker and they all worked on this project for almost 4 years.  With the assistance of Past President Garth Stephanson and the generosity of Rotarian Ian Anderson, owner of JB Print, the book is available at the low price of $25.  Every Rotarian, past Rotarian and anyone who knows a Rotarian should not miss the opportunity to purchase this piece of history.
Incoming President Tim McKinney thanked everyone for this much needed facility, for their countless hours planning and constructing this Rotary Fitness Park as well as the Rotary Music Garden.  The location of the Fitness Park is appropriately located with trees in the background as part of the Rotary Keegan Treescape project from the Club's 75th Anniversary.  A proud moment for Rotary and the Club.  Tim is looking forward to his term as President of the Club as of July 1st, the 101st year of the Rotary Club of Belleville.
Rotary Club of Belleville - The Rotary Fitness Park Project & Dedication Ceremony
July 2020
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