Club News
Birgit Wartenberg would like to thank everyone on the IPPC cluster team for your tremendous work, effort and dedication to make the baseball equipment project such a huge success.  We shipped baseball equipment for approx. 35 kids and 5 adults !!!
It takes a "village" to pull this off. Here is the list of our "village" friends and a big thank you to everyone who was involved in this project. My apology if I missed someone.
  • Colleen Gray, Art For Aid, she and her volunteers packed 13 boxes of art supplies
  • Robert, who drove 2.5 hrs (one way) to pick up the boxes from Art For Aid and deliver to Belleville
  • Jennifer, for designing the poster
  • Nadine, Chris, Jennifer, Michael, Margaret, Lisa, Jo-Anne, Jason & Canadian Tire Belleville, Bruce & Mackay Insurance for their private donations of gentle used & new equipment
  • Rotary Club of Belleville, Rotary Club of Trenton, Rotary Club of Palgrave, Rotary Club of Cataraqui - Kingston, Rotary Club of Stirling for their financial support to purchase baseball equipment
  • True North Aid, who offered to pay for the shipping costs and donated 5 boxes of school supplies
  • Jamie, for offering his garage (again) to store and pack all the equipment & moving the boxes to the warehouse in Trenton
  • Larry from Rebound, where we purchased the equipment, for donating a huge box of hockey skates on top of the baseball donations
It shows once again that we are stronger if we work together. I am very proud to know all these people and how this turned out after a lot of ups and downs.   😉
“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it.”
From President Peter Malone -- hello all and big thank you for a wonderful golf outing and dinner at Trillium Woods yesterday.
Big well done to the prize winners and for the generosity of our host, Past President Steve McCurdy for awesome prizes.
Special shout out to guests, it means a lot to Rotarians that you would give your time to be a part of our world. Thank you.....
Please feel free to share any pictures and here's looking forward to another day.
Hazzem Koudsi, Director of Public Image presented the Rotary Club of Belleville Communications Strategy to the members and supporters of the Club after having worked with a small group of folks to develop a plan going forward with the primary objective to clarify a powerful brand and public image that will engage and motivate both members and public to join Rotary with enthusiasm in achieving Rotary's service goals.  One major way to increase potential membership and awareness of the good work Rotary does within the community is to clearly articulate the impact the Club has through various committees in the community.  A lovely meeting held in the Corby Rose Garden on a perfect day of sunshine.
Rotary members believe we have a shared responsibility to take action on the world's most persistent issues.  The 46,000+ clubs work together to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene,save mothers and children, support education, grow local economies and protect the environment.  Rotarians see differently, think differently, act responsibly and make a difference at home and around the world.
The Rotary Club of Belleville has existed for more than 100 years.  The community it serves has benefitted from its efforts during its storied history.  Over the years the community has come to know and love Rotary's brand for its believe in "Service Above Self".  As we move into the future, it is important to assess whether the Rotary Club is meeting the members' expectations so that they remain engaged and continue to be involved in the community.  A recent survey was conducted by People Minded Business (PMB) Partners, Paul Fleming and Janeen Halliwell (members of Rotary) for the purpose of gathering insights into what matters most to the Club's current members.
A priority was identified to generate awareness of Rotary in the community.  The Club should be seen as the leading service club in Belleville and be recognized for its impact while hoping to inspire others.  Members want to celebrate Rotary's successes.  We are People of Action.  Goal and key audiences were identified as general public, prospective members, current members and media.  Six guiding principles were set down:
  • Brand Consistency - the look and feel of information shared should be consistent with established Rotary International guidelines.  The relevant information is found in the “Our Brand” section of the Rotary International website
  • Timely - the media advisements in advance of planned events should provide enough time for media outlets to attend events and immediately after events, media releases should be provided so there is time to go to print at the earliest opportunity.
  • Accessible - the Rotary Club uses Club Runner for its web presence.  That will increase the likelihood of generating more interest from the general public and prospective future members.  The website needs to be user friendly and following branding guidelines.
  • Concise - establish hierarchy and importance for website content.  Critical, high level information should be placed at the top of the page
  • Engaging - action-oriented photographs should be used to connect Rotary to real-life situations and demonstrate the impact of the work Rotary does
  • Impact - help people understand how the Club's activities support stronger communities and create a better world.
The Rotary Club has a variety of tools that will guide us towards improving our Public Image and demonstrate that we are People of Action including event precis, brochures, print ads, info cards, social media.  And then there are clear and obvious measures such as new members, increased participation at events, increased revenues, increased media exposure and increased member satisfaction.  Using these tools either in isolation or in combination will only bring a positive image for the Rotary Club of Belleville.
Rotarian Dave Albert introduced today's guest speaker, his daughter-in-law, Sarah Albert who shared her health journey and her association with the Kidney Foundation and their vision to achieve excellent kidney health, optimal quality of life and a cure for kidney disease.  During her pregnancy in 2020, Sarah experienced many problems with swelling, high blood pressure and excessive fatigue along with a number of complications.  But she did not give up and her son was born three months early in December 2020, a healthy, perfect 3 lb. little boy.  Following birth and testing, it was revealed that Sarah's kidney function was failing due to atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome (aHUS), a disease that often affects kidney function.
The numbers kept dropping, even with medication to keep her kidneys working.  By the summer of 2021, Sarah's kidneys were functioning at 9 percent, she started dialysis and was placed on a list to receive a kidney transplant.  Sarah had an angel close by and her future sister-in-law Tera gifted Sarah a kidney and on September 2022 at KGH, the transplant surgery was conducted.   With emotion, Sarah said Tera gave her back her life and she gave her back her spirit.  Mentally and emotionally, Tera saved Sarah in many ways.  Sarah can now be who she wanted to be, a mom that she is today.  Everyone needs a Tera in their life. 
Dr. Khaled Shamseddin of KGH said we are born with two kidneys, but we can live with one.  Living donors, like Tera, go through a stringent educational and health screening process to ensure that they understand the commitment and that they are healthy and suitable for the program, posing "no major risk" to their future wellness.  Vera was recently told she is the "poster child" for living donors.  Now Sarah is able to give back to her community, to the care and compassion she received during her serious medical condition.  She is solidly behind the Kidney Walk, to take place in Kingston on September 24th.  Her team is called It Takes Lives To Save Lives.  Anyone wishing to support Sarah and donate to the work of the Kidney Foundation can visit and look for her team page.  Sarah also provided pamphlets on organ donations and information on how kidneys work and how to keep them healthy and why they are so important.  In addition to the walk, Sarah is a patient advisor at KGH, sharing her story and supporting others going through scary health issues.  Quite the warrior as described by Tracy Bray who thanked Sarah for her very emotional presentation, with a happy ending.

Donors from the Rotary Club of Belleville pooled their resources to get a new playset for the Three Oaks Foundation.
The purchased equipment will allow the children residing in Second Stage Housing the opportunity for enrichment and play, Harold Brennan, Rotary Club member, said in a press release.

“It’s nice to be able to help Three Oaks with play equipment that brings some sense of normalcy to difficult familial situations these children are experiencing," Brennan said.  "Play is the foundation of youth and we at Rotary are happy that we could help these kids experience the joy of play."

Patricia Sokoloski, interim Executive Director thanked the Rotary Club for the donation that allowed them to "create a beautiful playground."  "This is a perfect place for children to engage in free play, be creative, explore their imagination and improve their well-being," Sokoloski explained.  The Three Oaks Foundation is very grateful to be given this grant to build something that alleviates stressors for both children and mothers.” 

Hazzem Koudsi, volunteer Director with the Rotary Club noted how rewarding it is for members of the Rotary Club to see their club contribute towards charitable organizations in the community, like Three Oaks, and have such a positive impact with children that need this type of support.

Three Oaks Foundation is a Shelter and Services for Abused Women and their Children.  Three Oaks has been serving vulnerable women and children in Hastings & Prince Edward County since 1983.  Three Oaks provides safe shelter, 24hr crisis line, Second Stage Housing, Outreach, Children’s Outreach, Family Court Support, Transitional Housing Support and Training and Education. 

The Rotary Club of Belleville was founded in 1920 and is an integral part of our local community and connected to more than 1.4 million dedicated and proud Rotarians doing incredible work in the name of positive peace who create hope in the world. Rotarians are people of action who love fellowship and fun and look to make a positive impact in our communities and around the world.

Rotarian Jamie Trudeau introduced Birgit Wartenberg, Chair of the Indigenous Peoples Partnerships Committee.  Birgit moved to Prince Edward County and shortly after in 2009, joined the Rotary Club of Belleville, participating on a number of committees, eventually taking over International Service and establishing a network of Rotary Clubs with a focus on Indigenous organizations and how Rotary could get more involved.  With her drive, energy, ideas and drive to get things done, Birgit has created a cluster of five Rotary Clubs -- the Rotary Clubs of Belleville, Trenton, Wellington, Palgrave and Cataraqui Kingston.  The vision of the Cluster is building trust with the indigenous communities, fostering community involvement meaning they have ownership of the results and seeking to develop personal contacts and friendships.  The partnership with the Indigenous communities is about what the people want and what their priorities are, rather than what we think they need.
The Committee has been very busy and Birgit provided background on their projects.  The Fort Albany project started in 2012 through a District Grant at a cost of $12,000 to install solar heat panels and bathroom exhaust fans, window film (for approximately 200 people), shipped and installed by trained locals and Rick Brant from Tyendinaga. In addition to the District Grant, six (6) Rotary Clubs contributed, including the Rotary Club of Belleville.  The group of Rotary Clubs then turned their attention to the John C. Yesno School in Fort Hope, gathering and sending hockey equipment, skates, sticks north so that the outdoor rink that had been built in the community with hours of volunteers at work and 16000 lbs. of lumber could be filled with happy children and youth, something they hadn't had for years.
Closer to home in Kingston, Ontario, Tipi Moza is the only aboriginal housing organization between Ottawa & Peterborough, providing housing but also helps with education and employment.  The Indigenous Peoples Partnerships provided back packs to the children, filled to the brim with school supplies as well as gift cards at Christmas for families in transitional housing.  In 2013, the Kids Against Hunger Committee, led by Birgit, packaged food that was sent to Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte Resource Food Centre, Sagamok First Nation and Wikwemikong, Manitoulin Island.
The Kairos blanket exercise is an interactive educational program that teaches the history of colonization in Canada. The program was created in response to the 1996 report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and is used as a teaching tool across Canada.  A partnership with Art for Aid has seen the IPPC supply art items for schools in remote communities in Canada.  This initiative has been very well received in the northern communities.  The community of Nibinamik is remotely located 530 km north of Thunder Bay, 370 km northeast of Red Lake and 655 km northeast of Winnipeg and the committee has been actively involved in many aspects of need in this community, ranging from $1,000 GoFundMe page for the grade 7 & 8 students' trip to Toronto (pictured here), art supplies, baseball equipment, volleyball equipment, soccer balls, 100 pairs of socks, books in Ojibwe-Cree, tooth brushes (gift from Public Health), board games and laptops (80 laptops, iPads and phones!).  Just imagine Jamie Trudeau's garage full of these items before being shipped out.  On top of that, the EarlyAct Club of  Murray Centennial P.S. in Trenton, organized a movie night  in support of the students at the Nibinamik Education Center and raised $2,531. 40. The Rotary Club  Trenton added another $ 1,000.  The IPPC has provided Indigenous Professional Development Bursaries at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and St. Lawrence College in Kingston and were very pleased when one of the recipients, Kaycie Brant, was chosen as the Valedictorian 2023 at St. Lawrence in the Community and Justice Services program.  Kaycie has been accepted to the Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies at Royal Roads University.
These are not all of the initiatives that the Indigenous Peoples Partnerships Cluster have been involved with, but certainly supports how busy this cluster committee is and how hard the Rotarians work.  Rotary Club of Belleville members, Birgit Wartenberg, Jamie Trudeau and Timbrell Meehan are front and center and Chair Birgit thanked the Rotary Club of Belleville for supporting these initiatives and providing an opportunity to share some of the stories.  Birgit was thanked by Rotarian Chris Finkle who impressed everyone by thanking her in German, for spearheading these humanitarian projects and giving of herself 100%.  Labour intensive, but so effective.  Creating hope in the world.
Brenda Snider, Chair of Community Grants, shared how a $1,000 grant this Spring was given to the Quinte Symphony Spring Fun Fest.  The event was designed to inspire young people to play instruments and become involved in the music.  Children were allowed to volunteer to "conduct" the orchestra and older youth were allowed to participate and play along.  Afterwards, people were invited to chat with the musicians and examine their musical instruments closely and even to be given some instructions on how to set your sights on being a Maestro.  Nancy Lewis, President of Quinte Symphony Board of Directors thanked the Rotary Club of Belleville for their contribution.
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