Rotary Bulletin Sept. 15 2015
Let’s see – we had a meeting on Thursday, an Aviva performance on Friday, ArtWalk on Saturday and Sunday… Monday was Recovery Day, a time to catch up on all the things we didn’t have time to do over the weekend. And now here it is Tuesday, and Monika is attending a meeting of the area presidents, and whoops, there’s another club meeting coming up in just two days, when the beneficiaries of our bursary program are expected to attend, and we’re all expected to look bright and lively. And the wheel goes 'round and 'round...

Aviva celebrates our Food Bank Building

                On Friday September 11, around a hundred Lake Country residents gathered at the new Food Bank Building on Bottom Wood Lake Road, next door to the Seniors’ Centre, to celebrate progress. Five representatives of Aviva Canada were there in yellow T-shirts, along with their own tame camera operator, to gather interviews and opinions. They wanted to use our story to kick-off their national Community Fund campaign.
                You can see the edited video they shot at
                Food Bank Founder Phyllis McPherson said it best at the end of her on-camera interview: “Miracles can happen. This is one of them.”

ArtWalk keeps people very busy

                Once again Rotary used the food trailer to serve hundreds of people thronging through the annual ArtWalk displays, September 12 and 13. As of the time of writing, I don’t have figures on ArtWalk attendance, or on revenues from sales of hot dogs, hamburgers, perogies and sausage, and coffee. This year we added two new money-making venues – a popcorn machine and a cappuccino slushie-making machine. Both were kept busy right through both days of service.
                A shortage of people covering shifts meant that many members (and their spouses) put in extra shifts cooking, serving, and cleaning up. Bernard and Brenda Dewonck in particular worked about 12 hours a day; after two full shifts at the trailer, they spent Saturday evening slicing up 40 pounds of onions!
                One exhibitor in the Community Complex atrium commented that it was hard to talk seriously about art with the aroma of frying onions wafting through the open doors….

District Governor gives us the thumbs up

                On Wednesday evening, September 9, District Governor Greg Luring from Yakima, at the south end of district, with his wife Jan, visited our club’s executive meeting. Then the two of them came out again Thursday morning for our regular club meeting.
                Jan took on the role of greeter, extending a hand to everyone who came in through the door.
                Unlike some past DG speakers, Greg didn’t spend much time praising Rotary International as an organization. “The place where things happen is at the local level,” he said, referring to our Food Bank project. “I use you guys as an example wherever I go.”
                He made some highly complimentary comments also about the Youth Exchange program which, although organized through RI, depends on local clubs to make it fly. He talked about his own daughter Kimberly going to India 25 years ago: “She wasn’t among strangers – they were Rotarians!” Youth Exchange, he said, is the kind of program that builds one-to-one relationships around the world.
                Currently the owner of 13 McDonalds franchises in the Yakima area, he drew parallels between Rotary and McDonalds. “There are 34,000 individual Rotary clubs around the world,” he said, “and 35,000 McDonalds franchises, in most of the same countries. And they both depend on local initiatives to thrive.”
                His final advice was to break the rules, whenever necessary. “Rules are just written on paper,” he said, dramatically ripping a page out of a fat Rotary manual. “There are no Rotary cops out there. If there’s something you want to do, and it will fit the Rotary Four-Way Test, you have my DG’s pre-approval to go ahead and do it.”

Looking ahead

  • This week, Rotary bursary recipients and their families will be our guests.
  • Saturday night, there’s a Games Night at the Okanagan Centre Hall. Elaine Gibbons writes, “The Hall will open at 7:30 pm, to friends and neighbours. Bring a board game, a musical instrument, a snack to share, and an idea for future Community nights. Coffee, tea and soft drinks will be provided...all at no charge. (But donations are always gratefully accepted.) We are hoping to have a ping pong table set up, along with a popcorn machine for hot, fresh, buttered popcorn. Would be nice if you indicated if you’re interested so we have some idea as to numbers.” If you’re planning to attend, call Elaine Gibbons at 250-766-2372.