Club News
Dave Allen, Chair of Rotary Loves Kids golf tournament was very pleased to share final results of this major fundraising event.  Giving full credit to the committee members and the volunteers and the 177 golfers, Dave was pleased to announce that $90,000 was raised!  A phenomenal success by a very hard-working committee.  A great event amidst the challenges of COVID.  The date for 2022 has been set -- July 22, 2022.  Next year's co-chairs will be Dave Allen and Cassandra Bonn who is this year's recipient of the Anne Leverton Award.  This award was created a number of years ago to recognize a Rotarian who shows exemplary leadership and efforts during RLK.  Anne was a long-time Rotarian who fully embraced the ideals of Rotary and was a fierce supporter of RLK.  When we think of Anne, we think of fellowship, loyalty, volunteerism, community and especially Service Above Self.  Past recipients of the award include Bernie Ouellet, Jamie Trudeau, Dan Dickinson, Connie Reid, Greg Knudsen, Kelly McKinney, Sam Brady, Pat Feasey and now Cassandra Bonn.  Congratulations Cassandra, a well deserved recognition for all your work on RLK.  Cassandra was honoured to receive this award and appreciated everyone's support of the overall event.  They are already working on next year's event that promises to be bigger and better.  Cassandra thanked Dave Allen for his leadership.  President Darrell Smith thanked everyone for all their work in making this an incredible event with great results.
Shelter Box is a project partner with Rotary International, a global community of 1.2 million neighbours, friends and community leaders.  By working together with Rotary, Shelter Box is able to collaborate and combine resources to ensure that more communities in desperate need of shelter can be supported.  At any given time Shelter Box Response Teams are on the ground, supporting families to recover after disaster and conflict all over the world.  Rotary is with them every step of the way.  The partnership has provided a place of refuge to people facing some of the most difficult and uncertain moments in their lives.
Rotarian Dr. Ruth Mathieson introduced Stephanie Christensen, Executive Director with Shelter Box Canada where she has been working for eight (8) years dealing with humanitarian needs and reaching the most remote communities around the world.  Shelter Box provides emergency shelters to families who have lost their homes to disaster or conflict.  The most vulnerable families around the world are helped by Shelter Box and Rotary International.  Since 2000, Shelter Box has provided aid to over two million people in 98 countries.
Recovery starts with shelter, having a private place for your family to be together and call home.  Shelter Box provides privacy and security.  When families don't have to worry about where they will sleep, they can begin the process of self-recovery.  Shelter Box provides shelter, tools and household items like solar lights, water filters and cooking sets.  In the last five years, shelter provision has been consistently underfunded and Shelter Box is doing everything they can to ensure that no family is left without shelter and tools to survive.
Family tents are supplied.  They are large enough for a family, sturdy and can withstand extreme weather conditions and temperatures.  They are fire retardant and come with a winter liner if required.  The tool kits contain a selection of materials, including ropes, heavy-duty tarpaulins to make emergency shelters or in some instances, corrugated iron to help make resilient roofing.  The kits can include mosquito nets if applicable, blankets, first aid kits.  Shelter Box works with the community, the community leaders and Rotary Clubs to take advantage of local sources of procurement.  Steps are taken to ensure the shelter tents are robust and items such as water filters can last long term.  The August 14th earthquake in Haiti resulted in 137,000 homes being damaged or destroyed with 1.2 million people requiring assistance.  Recovery will take time and is challenged with road conditions and gang conflicts.  Shelter Box is positioned to get to hard to reach communities, often those overlooked by others.  What sets Shelter Box apart from other organizations?
  • They put families first, using a flexible approach to understand what is most needed to support the family's recovery
  • They specialize in emergency shelter and the essential tools needed to help rebuild homes
  • They go to hard-to-reach communities
  • They have a global network of supporters raising vital funds to help with their mission.
Pictured is a young mother with a baby who lost everything following a 2015 cyclone in Fiji.  Everything was gone, no food, no home.  With the safety and security of a Shelter Box tent, this young mother was provided with shelter when she had nothing.  Shelter Box and Rotary is making this possible.
Stephanie Christensen thanked the Rotary Club of Belleville for on-going financial support and mentioned the Shelter Box Hero Program where Rotary Clubs can be recognized for their contributions as a Club.  The cost of a full Shelter Box unit is $1,200 Canadian.  Anyone wishing to make a personal donation, can visit Shelter Box website where there is a spot to indicate the Rotary Club source.  Tax receipts will be issued.
Rotarian Ruth Mathieson was very pleased to introduce Colin Thacker to the Rotary Club of Belleville.  Colin is a past president of the Rotary Club of North Bay and chair of the Rotary District 7010 Leadership Learning Institute.  Now retired, Colin worked for 33 years as a certified manager of volunteer resources and has written six books on the subject of volunteering.  In 1999, he was presented with the Linda Buchanan award by Professional Administrators of Volunteer Resources in Ontario for his outstanding contributions in the volunteer administration field.  The Rotary Club of Belleville has supported the Global Grant for the Guatemalan Literacy project, Colin Thacker being the Canadian Arm of this project.  He is guest speaker today to talk about this ambitious Global Grant.
The Guatemala Literacy Program (GLP) is a network of individual Rotarians, Rotary clubs and districts, and the nonprofit organization Cooperative for Education (CoEd) with a common interest in improving education for underserved students in Guatemala. Guatemala is an island of illiteracy in Central America.  Eighty (80%) percent of the people live in poverty, one-third cannot read or write.  There is a lack of opportunity in this country and many walk/travel to the United States for a job.  If we can help these people get educated, they can obtain a middle income job in Guatemala.
Colin's passion for this project came from his own education challenges during high school.  He went on to achieve a honours degree in political science from Laurentian University, a diploma in human resource management from Canadore College, a masters degree in education from Nipissing University and an advance certificate in volunteer management from Washington State University.  Colin's vision is for all children to have an opportunity for education.  Almost a decade ago, Colin saw poverty first hand.  He saw children who wanted to continue their education, but couldn't.  They were pulled out of school to help farm by grade six.  Homes had dirt floors.  Whole families would survive in an 8' x 11' space.  He now works tirelessly on the Guatemala Literacy Project.  Computers and textbooks valued at almost a million dollars have been sent to the effort.  Todate, there has been a total of 207 textbook projects, 53 computer centres created, 94 reading programs put in place and a total of 741 scholarship and sponsorship projects that benefit the impoverished youth.  The Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP) is one of the largest grassroots, multi-club, multi-district projects in Rotary. More than 600 clubs and 80 districts have been working together since 1997 to improve education for underserved students in Guatemala. In that time, nearly 225,500 students have been served through four sustainable programs that are tested and proven to work. In 2017, then-RI President Ian Riseley called the GLP “the gold standard of Rotary projects” for its sustainability and impact.
Colin's current focus is on the RISE program, a program developed to bridge the gap in education.  For $100 a month, individuals or Rotary Clubs can sponsor a RISE  scholar to remain in school, graduate Grade 12 and provide an opportunity for a better education, career and life.  RISE is part of the GLP and this year, Rotary Clubs and individuals are rallying to sponsor over 300 Rise Program scholars who will not be able to stay in school next year without this financial support.  Rotarian Terry Thomas thanked Colin for bringing this project to our attention.  Terry has had a first hand experience working in Guatemala and heard good things about the Guatamela Literacy Project.
Decades of medical service, including helping AIDS patients abroad, have earned Rotarian Dr. Ruth Mathieson a provincial award.  Dr. Ruth is this year's recipient of the Ontario Medical Association's Presidential Award, recognizing her for exceptional and long-standing humanitarian service to the greater community, that brings honour to the medical profession and expresses the highest qualities of service by a physician.  After closing her family practice in 2005, Dr. Ruth began a new routine of travelling to Africa during each Canadian winter, to the Matangwe Hospital in a rural area just east of Lake Victoria in Kenya from 2005 to 2015.  Dr. Ruth worked in the nine bed hospital and its attached HIV-AIDS clinic where the need was so great.  She soon loved the people and the work there, doing everything that came her way from treating open wounds to delivering babies.  Dr. Ruth also gathered items such as surgical gloves and other medical gear for the use at the hospital and went above and beyond, researching solar cooking materials for meal preparation.  Due to drought that had killed the trees, firewood was not available and life became a little easier for the grandmothers in their daily duties of meal preparation.  Ruth Mathieson also volunteered in Nigeria, Guatemala and Tanzania, but mostly in Kenya where she relieved the clinical officer for a month. In this role, she mainly treated HIV/AIDS patients, as well as cerebral malaria and other tropical diseases. She made life-long friends there and continues to help them financially. The work Dr. Ruth did overseas was a calling with rich rewards.  She was generous with her skills, her compassion and gave her time and expertise to those whose need was great.  Ruth thanked the Rotary Club of Belleville for their financial support of her trips to the third world countries.  Congratulations were expressed by President Darrell Smith. 
As a follow-up report to a Toyota Hiace Van that was purchased in December 2015 for the Matangwe Hospital, the van continues to be used to serve the clinic and the community.  It is used for critical patient transfers as well as general transport to other centers or for consultation, as medical outreach to schools or remote villages.  Lives have been impacted by having this van available to the clinic.  It is estimated that in 2020, 760 lives were so impacted.  Recently the Rotary Club of Belleville through Dr. Ruth Mathieson received this updated report along with sincere appreciation for supporting the Matangwe Community Health and Development Patient clinic.
Rotarian Randy Coker introduced Dr. Andrew Janikowski, a resident of Prince Edward County and a long time family doctor in Picton until his retirement two years ago.  Dr. Janikowski worked as a general practitioner, a family doctor, anaesthetist, emergency room doctor as well as being one of the county coroners for over 36 years.  He still holds a Nunavut licence and helps cover the needs of the Inuit communities both by telephone consultation and by regular visits to the north.  He has been a Rotarian since 1988 with involvement in youth exchange initiatives both at the local and at the district level.  When the youth exchange was cancelled in Picton after many decades of involvement, Dr. Andy decided to see what could be done to continue a youth exchange opportunity for county students.  From this, the idea grew to become the Youth to Youth program.
Honouring Indigenous Peoples has launched a new opportunity for youth in our District 7070 and District 7010, the Indigenous communities within the Williams Treaty area called the Williams Treaty Youth-to-Youth Engagement Circle on October 8 - 10, 2021.  This learning experience will involve Indigenous and Non-Indigenous youth in grades 9 to 11.  This event has been developed by HIP (Honouring Indigenous Peoples) and co-created by a strong list of stakeholders including Indigenous Elders, Teachers, Education Counsellors, Knowledge Keepers, Rotarians and other ethical leaders.  The engagement circle will focus on peace and reconciliation while inspiring youth to work together and take action towards becoming good stewards of the land.
The students must be nominated by a local Indigenous Community, Organization or Rotary Club to be considered.  All youth nominated should have demonstrated leadership potential within their communities.  The 3 day curriculum will focus on relationship building among the 50 youth (25 Indigenous and 25 Non-Indigenous), an opportunity for youth to learn about Indigenous heritage, culture and about treaty relationships, providing youth with a hands-on understanding of nature and what it means to be a good steward of the land.  Rotary Clubs are being asked to support the program with a donation and to nominate and support a student to attend.  We are looking at students to become ambassadors and share their experiences about the event and what they learned.  By delivering presentations, the youth develop leadership skills and an opportunity to network and connect.
The Youth to Youth engagement event will bring together a balanced group of rural and urban non-indigenous and indigenous students at Camp Kawartha in Peterborough for relationship building activities focused on land-based education.  This will provide an opportunity for these youth to build friendships with like-minded youth and inspire them to take action towards creating sustainable environmental change.  The event will cost over $1,000 per youth and HIP is looking to Rotary Clubs, Indigenous Communities and other organizations to help cover expenses by making a $750 donation per youth sponsored.  The long term goal is to host 40 more Youth to Youth engagement circles across Canada by 2024.  John Currie, HIP Executive Director states "we have arrived at a critical point in our history that requires us to work together as responsible partners for the ongoing stewardship of the lands on which we learn, share and live".  Dr. Janikowski said miigwech (thank you).  More information is available from the HIP website
President Elect Cory MacKay thanked Dr. Janikowski for providing this information and taking steps to build on the Youth Exchange Program.  Our youth are our future and it is vitally important for us to educate and empower them.
Aug 12, 2021
The Satellite group met on August 12th at the Belleville Club.  Main topic of discussion was Rotary Loves Trees.  All Rotarians would have received a follow-up email from Melanie Cressman, Chair of this committee.  The Fall 2021 tree planting date is scheduled for Saturday, September 11th and tree planters are needed.  All Rotarians, friends and family are encouraged to participate.  The day will start at 9 a.m. behind Kawartha Court development (east end of Belleville).  The more volunteers, the merrier.  All COVID restrictions will be followed.  Get outdoors, meet some friends and support a Rotary initiative.  The following Saturday, September 18th Rotary Loves Trees will support a seedling give-away to people in the community.  The Committee is looking for 3 volunteers from 9 a.m. to noon.  If you can join in either of these dates, please contact Carmela Ruberto by email at and let her know you are available.
International Committee Co-Chair, Dr. Ruth Mathieson, is very pleased to advise that a recent donation by the Rotary Club of Belleville has paid big dividends for the Karanda Mission Hospital in Zimbabwe.  Dr. Ruth was involved in sourcing these heart monitors from Avenue Pacific Health in San Clemente California, for Ray Richardson, Rotary Club of Shelburne.  A very worthwhile project.