A few months ago we looked at families and how they are the basis for a productive, caring and just society. The qualities of a dynamic family, we discovered, were truth, justice, communication, loyalty, and trust. In an era where technology is everywhere, it can be difficult for youth to unplug and focus on meaningful relationships. Rotary tries to go beyond this technology to interest young people in group interactions focused on helping the community instead of isolating themselves.
What better way to kick off summer than in downtown Welland, along the canal, for a rubber duck derby. Join the Rotary Club of Welland on June 25th for their first annual duck race at Division street Welland. The race starts at 12 p.m. sharp, a great way to enjoy some fun prior to the Welland Rose Festival Parade which begins at 1 p.m.
This July represents a new Rotarian year and this year we are stressing the fact that we are MAD, or we are Making A Difference. We have been challenged to do this in all aspects of our personal or club lives, from helping the underprivileged, to working on community projects such as the Rose Festival, and technology for elementary schools, to the larger scope of ridding the world of polio.
Each year, Rotary Clubs around the world recognize distinguished leaders within their community by awarding them the Paul Harris Fellowship Award. “This award is the most prestigious award Rotary offers to members of our club and our community,” says Tamara Coleman-Lawrie, president of the local Rotary club, “it is truly an honour to be nominated and to receive this award.”
In 1951, The Rotary Club of Ottawa established it’s annual "Adventure in Citizenship" Program in which some 200 senior high school students, from across Canada, spend four days in Ottawa experiencing tours, lectures, discussions and social events designed to enhance their understanding and appreciation of Canadian citizenship. The Rotary Club of Welland has participated in this unique program for over 50 years by sending an area high school student.

Rotarians come from all walks of life and are all very different kinds of people, but the quality that they all have in common is that they adhere to the motto “service above self.” One such Rotarian is Tim Wright. When we look at Tim’s life, both public as well as private, we notice that it is dedicated to his fellow man. After his university years, although not a health professional, Tim’s life has centred on the health systems of OntarioRising from the position of Director of Professional Services at Kingston General Hospital, the President and CEO of the Welland County General Hospital, the VP of Regional Operations at the Niagara Health System, and finally to the position of Executive Director of the Niagara Peninsula Children’s Centre. Through this, Tim has gathered a unique insight into the problems and needs of the people of Ontario.

The Rotary Club of Welland focuses on humanitarian efforts both at home and abroad. In many third world countries, classrooms employ only chalkboard and book learning and they do not have access to more current technologies.  The Rotary Club of Welland has been assisting the Candelaria district in the Philippines and has embarked on an ambitious three-year program to update their educational capabilities. 
One of the most popular annual events that Rotary sponsors is the youth Slapshot weekend. An acronym for Student Leadership Award Program for Students High On Learning, this program is unique to Rotary District 7090. It is held every April for teenagers aged 15-18 who are already leaders in their church, community or school. 100 young people from Western New York State and Southern Ontario are chosen and sponsored by their local Rotary clubs to gather in the Canterbury Hills outside of Ancaster, Ontario.
Throughout the year Rotary will profile out-standing Welland Rotarians, who have gone beyond the expectations of the Club and who have caused Welland Rotary to be known in far-off corners of the world. The focus of our profile this month is Vic Kerschl.
Since March is Rotary’s Literacy month, let’s take a look at the many ways Rotary has been involved in this field. Over the past ten years, the Welland Rotary Club has been very active, providing dictionaries, thesauruses, and novels to local schools. We have also assisted the Port Colborne Public Library by donating books to their ongoing sales, which provide them with necessary equipment. However, we are most proud of the Read to Feed program that is delivered by the Welland Neighbourhood Project. Under the direction of Heifer International, this program currently operates at six sites in Welland.
Recently we sat down with two very expressive and informed young people, one born and raised in Canada and the other, a student from South America. They expressed many of the hopes, dreams and fears of young people everywhere. These challenges and trends are at the forefront of why Rotary invests in youth development and leadership.
If you have never been involved with a Rotary club or any service club you are truly missing out. I have had the opportunity to work for charitable organizations for a better part of my career. Over these years, I gladly became engaged with many Rotarians, Lions, Kiwanians and other club members.

The volunteer firefighters at Bearskin Lake First Nation have only a small pickup truck equipped with a water pump to keep the community safe, said Pelham fire Chief Bob Lymburner. The gift was arranged by Welland Rotary Club, which contacted the town in the fall to discuss donating the firetruck.

 

“There’s been a lot of fires up there, that’s what really got me,” said Rotarian Douglas Johnson. He said the Rotary Club hopes the donation is the start of a closer relationship with First Nations communities.

Local Rotary Club Takes on International Challenges

Perhaps you’ve seen the effects of Rotary’s work in your children’s schools locally, but seeing the profound accomplishments of your local Rotary club elsewhere in the world isn’t as obvious. From Argentina to the Philippines and beyond, Welland Rotary’s International Committee identifies unique challenges presented from across the globe and seeks to resolve these issues.

Rotary Celebrates Community Giving All Year

 
Well, it is that time of year when one can hear the faint tinkling of Christmas bells in the not so distant future. It is that time of year when we tend to think of giving, and of making sure that all can enjoy this holiday, one of the most joyous times on our calendar. Rotary, too makes every effort to make this come true in our community.
 

What is, or who is, a Rotarian?

There are many myths and misunderstandings of Rotary who “Rotarians” are. One version is that Rotary is a group of wealthy businessmen who get together regularly to self-promote and meet their own needs, and who once in a while give a large donation to the community. While it may be true that in Rotary’s beginning stages the club was made up of only businessmen, but today it could not be further from the truth.
The most visible programs like that Rotary sponsors like Youth Exchange, the Medallion program and RYLA, are often at the forefront of conversations amongst community members. But there are many other programs are much less visible and as a result, get much less attention. Bringing more good deeds to the forefront, this article sheds some light on what goes on behind the scenes of Rotary’s Community Service committee.
 
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