Evening meeting this week

Don’t go to the Holiday Park meeting room Thursday morning! (Holding a meeting all by yourself doesn’t qualify for a make-up.) This week’s Rotary meeting has been moved to 6:00 p.m., same place, so that we can present Paul Harris Fellowships to a few deserving recipients who simply cannot make it to a morning meeting.
                Our special guests will be:
  • Shani and Chris Wendell
  • Holly McNeil and Jeff Hay
  • Jamie and Alaina Podmorrow
  • Shannon and Stacy Jorgenson
                For this special occasion, spouses and partners are welcomed. Well, they’re always welcomed, but for many of those spouses and partners, an evening meeting is more feasible than getting up at 6:00 a.m. However, Trish Lugrin (lugrins@shaw.ca or 250-766-1649) needs to know how many are coming so that she can arrange the catering with Sharon Brooks.
                Trish would also like to know who’s coming to the Games Night, Friday November 21 at 7:00 p.m., to be held at the meeting room at Margaret Brown’s condo complex, 11290 Bond Road.

Other matters

                Last week’s speaker was Sharon Marshall of the Reach Out program that tries to put people back on their feet, often when they have given up on themselves. Sharon shared some stories of people they have helped, working one on one.
                Young people are especially vulnerable, she said. In the 15-19 age group, suicide is the second highest cause of death among young men – because they have given up.
                In a startling statistic, 38% of those that Reach Out helps have suffered some history of abuse. “People don’t cite it as a cause of their illness or disability,” Sharon said, “but it’s there just the same.”
                Asked if the young man alleged to have stabbed a bus passenger could have been helped, with early intervention, Sharon noted that our society is still uncomfortable dealing with mental illness. We seem to consider it shameful. The man in question had a longer history of criminal offences, some of which he committed specifically so that he could be sent to jail, where he might get some help. Otherwise, she added, the waiting list for help is at least six months long – in which time a person seeking help spirals deeper and deeper into trouble.
                Reach Out has been working for 30 years. It currently owns its own building on Ambrosi Road in Kelowna. It spends nothing on advertising and self-promotion. “That’s why we come to you, to tell our story and seek your help,” Sharon finished.
The previous week, new District Governor Bruce Falkens visited our club. He said we were the “very last club in the district” – he and his wife Donna had been to 59 other clubs before finishing off with us. Now he was looking forward to relaxing for a while, before starting up again in the new year.
                Along with talking up the values of Rotary, Bruce presented three awards to members who had done the most to bring new members to the club: Dan Sigal, Rich Gibbons, and Patty Garrett. Unfortunately, on Rich was present. The others will get their rewards later.
                Every club has membership concerns, Bruce said. There are people coming in the front door, and others going out the back door. He suggested we need to work hard at keeping members, as well as attracting new ones. “They may not be ready to consider joining when you first invite them,” he advised. “Don’t give up. Ask them again. And again.”
                Bruce also challenged us to make sure we wear our Rotary pins every day, not just on meeting days.
Remember that the semi-final round of voting for the Food Bank on the Aviva Fund competition begins December 1. We had 800 or so supporters in the last round, but many of them only voted once. We need to get each person to vote all ten days.
                If your friends and acquaintances are willing, Shannon Jorgensen will enter their e-mail addresses into a program that will contact them every day, to remind them to vote. (Make sure you’re on her list, too!)
I think it was also that week that Glenn Downes moved that our club take on the regular clean-up of Bottom Wood Lake Road, as a community project. The club voted to do it. Now we need volunteers.