Club News
Lieutenant Governor General Elizabeh Dowdeswell was the guest speaker on February 1st at the Grand, an in-person Community Service Club luncheon hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Belleville.  The luncheon was attended by over 120 members from the Shriners, Lions Club, Kiwanis (Belleville and Trenton Clubs), Probus (Belleville and Quinte West Clubs) and Rotary.
Over the years, our Rotary Club has undertaken, or assisted in, a number of projects for the betterment of outdoor parks and spaces in the City of Belleville. Our participation has been both financial and/or in the form of sweat equity. To acknowledge our participation, our Club has been recognized at the locations, with plaques and/or signage.  Issues exist at many locations related to deterioration, equipment malfunctions and vandalism.  With the approval of our Board of Directors, John Smale and I have undertaken to work with the City of Belleville to address these issues in 2023. A spin off of this project will be a booklet for our archives that will compliment work already identified in Our 100th anniversary book “A History of the Rotary Club of Belleville”.
To that end, we have identified the following projects that carry a recognition of our contribution:
  • Rotary (Centennial) Ball Park, (Behind Centennial HS, Off Bridge St. W)
  • Alemite Ball Park (102 Pine St.)
  • 75th Anniversary tree plantings on Keegan Pkwy. (Foster to Herchimer)
  • “Rick Meagher/Medigas Rotary Park” (Pirate Ship, East Riverside Park)
  • Rotary International 100th Anniversary “Children of Hope” statue, (Pinnacle & Front)
  • Rotary Music Garden (beside Pirate Ship}
  • Rotary Fitness Park (east of playpark, Bayshore Trail)
  • Field of Ability ball diamond (Parkdale) 
  • Ongoing tree plantings at various locations
  • The four plaques at Camp Merrywood will also be documented 
The reason for this letter is to solicit your participation with respect to any pertinent facts, related to the above locations, that you feel we should include in our summary; for knowledge of any other locations in Belleville that should be documented.  If you have input, please contact Vince Lynch by February 01, 2023.
Yours in Rotary
Vince Lynch (pictured here at the opening of the Rotary Fitness Park)
Rotarian Ruth Mathieson was pleased to introduce the guest speaker on January 19th, 2023, Marianne McQuillan.  For over 20 years Marianne has been an excellent fundraiser for not for profit organizations, securing major gifts and planned gift commitments.  She connects the donors to ensure they remain focused on the mission and stay connected to causes that matter to them.  Marianne has worked in Hong Kong, Vietnam, India, Ghana, Morocco and Norway.  Since May of 2022, she has been the Leadership Gifts Officer for Casey House in Toronto.  Her parents live in Belleville so we are fortunate to meet Marianne in person.
In the 1980's the appearance of AIDS put fear into many, stoked by the media and ostracizing many people.  In 1988 Casey House opened, a place for people with AIDS to be cared for in a hospice-like setting.  Casey House was supported by a group of people who wanted to support those affected by the HIV/AIDS virus.  The tide was turning and there was success through medication to prolong lives and prevent the disease.  There are 65,000 Canadians who have or who are living with HIV so support is still very much needed.  Patients come from all walks of life, in all sorts of areas.  HIV/AIDS does not discriminate and attacks females, people of colour, new immigrants, Indigenous, people who do drugs, inmates.  Compassion and care are essential in order to support the whole person.   There is no cure, but the focus is to bring the viral load down. 
Casey House is set up as a hospital serving in-patients as well as a day program.  There are 14 in hospital rooms and they are currently at full capacity on a 24/7 basis.  The health of the patients is fragile.  Casey House also serves as a hospice for end of life care, but their biggest focus is on their out-patient program where they provide medical services, social support, government services, hot lunches Monday to Friday and groups of interest such as music, books, gardens and gay clubs.  Casey House is very proud of how they are managed, an accredited organization and recognized by MacLean's Magazine in the Top 10 charities.  They continually strive for excellence.  The Rotary Club of Belleville has supported Casey House for 10 years and a total donation of $36,000 over that time frame.  Marianne acknowledged and thanked the club sincerely for this long-term financial commitment.  Seventy-Five (75%) of their work is out-patient and these programs are not supported by the Ministry of Health so donations are still sought and imperative to the programs offered to provide people with a better life, to reduce the stigma and to ensure COVID does not add to the disease of HIV/AIDS.
Past President Ken Dickson thanked Marianne for the information provided and for the caring work that is done at Casey House.
Dianne Spencer received an update on the results of the 2022 Christmas Kettle Campaign conducted by the Salvation Army in our area.  Even after the kettle campaign was finished, people in the community continued to mail in and make online donations to the Salvation Army, resulting in a final total of $361,598.09.  What a wonderful community.  The Salvation Army is beyond grateful.  Never underestimate the difference you made and the lives you touched.
The Rotary Club of Belleville once again stepped up to assist in the 2022 Salvation Army Kettle Campaign - LCBO Location at the Quinte Mall.  The campaign at this location ran for 18 days, with a total of 87 spots needing to be filled (after the schedule was adjusted due to weather). Rotarians and friends filled 67 of those shifts, with others covered through the Salvation Army. 
21 Belleville Rotarians stepped up to volunteer, and were joined by Stirling Rotarians Bill & Cory MacKay, and former Rotarian, Sharon McConnell. Four friends of Rotarians also volunteered.  A shout-out to Rotarian Kerry Paul for sharing his technical skills and setting up the Volunteer list on ClubRunner, allowing Rotarians and other volunteers to readily sign up! 
With 67 shifts covered, 134 volunteer hours were generously provided, helping to collect a total of $16,526 at this location! Final numbers are still to be confirmed, but the Salvation Army has announced a preliminary campaign total of $319,864, topping the goal of $315,000. 
While this isn’t a fundraiser for our Club itself, the volunteer hours provided by Rotarians are invaluable in assisting with the Salvation Army’s annual community campaign. Kudos to the 28 individuals who stepped up to help, and in particular, special thanks to those taking multiple shifts - our Rotary Rock Stars! Nadine Langlois and Jamie Trudeau, who each covered 6 shifts;  Karen Baker, Harold Brennan, and Hazzem Koudsi  - 4 shifts, and Pat Feasey, Vince Lynch, Ray McCoy, and Darrell Smith, who covered 3 shifts each. 
A huge thank you to all who assisted in this important Community Service initiative!
Rotarian and Past President Tracy Bray introduced Mayor Ellis to the Rotary Club of Belleville's lunch meeting on January 5th.  A great start to 2023.  Mayor Ellis is the City's 77th Mayor, born and raised in Belleville with deep roots in the community.  He has had two previous terms as Mayor, followed by Member of Parliament for four years.  He has come full circle with his service to this community.
Mayor Ellis recognized the years that the Rotary Club of Belleville has been in existence - 102 years and the work they have done during their tenure.  Service clubs support the social fabric of our community and drive change.  Council's work will be a challenge over the next decade and will require a multi-faceted focus.  Putting people first is a priority and this involves the current doctor shortage.  In 2006 there were 10,000 people without doctors and through a successful doctor recruitment program, that issue was solved.  But here we are in 2023 with a population growth, the retirement of many family doctors and we are back at 15,000 people without doctors.  This is a priority.  The City has hired a full-time doctor recruiter and Mayor Ellis was pleased to announce that Karen Poste has taken this position as of January 1st.  There are 34 municipalities looking for doctors so we have to be aggressive in our program to encourage medical students to consider Belleville as a great option for them to start their practise.  We all know there have been challenges in healthcare, particularly evident over the past 2 1/2 years and part of Ms. Poste's job will be to work with Loyalist College on their nursing program that will include nurse practitioners and nurses.  A doctor recruitment committee will be set up as part of Karen's responsbilities.
Affordable and transitional housing is also on the list of priorities and Councillor Paul Carr was successful in getting Council's approval to hold a Homelessness Mental Health Summit in the spring of 2023.  Student housing is being reviewed as well with new partners to provide and support students attending Loyalist College.  
Economic development as it relates to the City's infrastructure is another priority.  While there is good news coming as far as announcements, the City needs serviced lands in order to attract businesses to the area.  New companies and companies that are expanding are in the works that will provide tremendous growth to the area.  Overall, the City needs to develop a 10 year capital plan to include these areas of focus as well as a complete waste management project that will cost in the area of $150 million dollars.  The current plant was built in the 60's so the City has to be ready.  Over the next 10 years, 21,000 residences will be needed to accommodate the population growth.  Other areas of attention will be a fleet management plan to review and make decisions as they relate to electric and hybrid vehicles.  The City's current transit system is being reviewed and discussions about a possible sub-terminal or regional service may be part of those discussions.  
Mayor Ellis pointed out that he has been in office 4 weeks with a great council, new and seasoned and he is looking forward to working together to address the needs of the City.
President-Elect Peter Malone thanked the Mayor for his insightful presentation and pointed out that the City and the Rotary Club of Belleville are close in age and have worked together for a long time.  We look forward to that continuing and look forward to the future growth and opportunities this City has to offer.  Peter presented the Mayor with a copy of the Rotary Club of Belleville's History Book.
Mayors of the Week | This past week, the Rotary Mayors of the Week toured City facilities and met with management and Mayor Neil Ellis to learn more about municipal government. This program gives local high school students an inside look at how our municipality operates. Last night the students joined council and shared their experiences.  They will be special guests of Rotary in the New Year to share their likes and dislikes and perhaps to offer some suggestions to the city leaders.
A quick report from the IPPC Chair, Birgit Wartenberg regarding the board games being collected for Tipi Moza.  Just wrapping up our last project for 2022. We successfully collected ...... tada......
approx. 52 board games & 20 decks of cards
  • RC Trenton -12, Brian already delivered them to Ana, see photo
  • Jennifer - 30, delivered to Jamie Trudeau, see photo
  • Jamie Trudeau - 10
  • Shoreline Casino, Belleville and Jamie Trudeau - 20 decks of cards
Jamie delivered three boxes to Burke's Funeral Home and Eric Thompson will take them over to Kingston on December 16th. 
Thank you all for another quick and successful project. Birgit passed on her appreciation for all the support when she comes up with "an idea".
She said something about already working on something for January. 
Good work everyone!
Rotary Club of Belleville
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Upcoming Events
Belleville Rotary Satellite Club
Rotary Loves Kids Golf 
Quinte Rotary Music Festival