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Happenings in Rotary
Dave Panabaker, Jenna Raimbault and Chris Perret gave a presentation on our Rotary Gala held at the end of March this year. The committee outlined their  goal for the Gala:
  1. To raise $35,000 for our Centennial Trail Project
  2. To Showcase Festival Performers & Local Artists
  3.  Have a Fun & Entertaining Evening
  4. Introduce our Centennial Trail Project.
The Gala Committee conducted a survey of the event and were please with the 40 responses which were very positive and encouraging. The committee held a post Gala review and were pleased to report the following to the Club. Overall, they felt we achieved our goals and were pleased with the event. For a first event, we had a total of 236 paid guests with a total of 275 people in attendance and made a total profit of $25,4000, thanks in part to the great support from the Club. In general, the committee was please with the activities on the various levels and have ideas to change and improve things in the future.
 
As part of the committee's post-mortem, they identified a variety of areas that could be improved such as the congestion at the entrance; the venue not the most conducive to showcase festival performers and the evening went by too quickly. There were also a number of other area that they would do differently a second time around. They also reported that feedback from the survey, said people enjoyed the event and wanted to see it continue again next year. Based on all the feedback, the committee asked the Club if we should put it on again this coming year, even though we are planning a 100th Anniversary Evening in June. With the help of DG Rick Istead, an invitation was sent to RI President Ian Riseley to attend our celebration and that of the Lethbridge Rotary Club who are also celebrating their Centennial this year. The Lethbridge Club has advised that depending on the RI President's availability, they would be willing to move their celebration date to suit his schedule and President Karen suggested our Club may be will to do the same if the RI President is willing to come.
 
Following a question and answer period, where there was good discussion whether to hold the event again or not. The matter of the timing of the event was raised. Comments from the survey suggested the event should be held on a Saturday rather than a Friday. The committee suggested a couple of potential dates: Saturday April 29th and Saturday May 12th, 2018. It was pointed out the board needs to review the findings and possible dates.
Denise Henning moved  a motion that the Club hold a Gala again this year, seconded by Sandy MacKay. After more discussion, the question was called and the motion was carried. 
 
On behalf of the Club, a big thank goes out to all who helped make the Gala the success it was.
The Rotary Club of Medicine Hat was pleased to welcome Lisa Kowalchuk to our meeting today as guest speaker.  Lisa has been the Executive Director of the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce for the past 8 1/2 years, and provided a review of the Chamber's membership, their objectives and the updated Mission and Vision statements which they have recently approved.  Lisa was introduced by Program Chair, Heather Bach.
 
 
Like Rotary, the Chamber of Commerce values the network established by it's members, and the other Provincial, National and International members that make up their organization.  The power of that network, to create effective partnerships, to establish powerful connections, to bond common interests and to support influential voices. The Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce has been around for 118 years, older than Rotary but not as old as the first Canadian Chamber started in Halifax in 1750 or the first chamber, established in France in the 16th century.
 
The new Vision Statement for the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce is to be "The most unified, valued and influential business network" in Medicine Hat & District.  They strive to stimulate a strengthened and vibrant economy in our region through connections, support & influence.
 
Lisa spoke about Statement of Principles, and that they hope these actions will cultivate increased credibility and awareness of their network.
 
Lisa spoke about several of their partnership agreements, their hosted activities and "value added" programs to members, as well as their policy and advocacy initiatives.  She left a comprehensive brochure for each person in attendance.  Lisa was complemented from the audience on the profile and accomplishments of the Chamber and thanked for her presentation by President Karen.
The new executive and officers of the Rotary Club of Medicine Hat were inducted on Monday July 26, 2017.
 
First it was an opportunity to thank Uwe Krickhahn, who stepped into the void left by the passing of Ernie Benesch and helped move the club forward.  This was his second term as President, separated by 25 years of perfect attendance, and he's seen a lot of changes in the Rotary world over that time.  He took a minute to thank his Board and several Rotarians for their contributions during this past year.  He singled out Sandy Mackay for his donation of Paul Harris points, to make the club a 100% PHF club.  He also pointed out the financial contributions of several and the weekly contribution of Herman Wahl to the meeting, with birthday and anniversary roses.
 
On behalf of the Board and the Club, Secretary Doug Fleming presented him with a token of our appreciation.
 
 
AG and Past President Dave Panabaker then performed the induction of the Board and Officers for 2017 - 2018.  Our new President is Karen Blewett, and the President-elect is Chris Perret.  A round of applause for both Uwe's efforts and for the new board was given, and special executive pins were given out by Secretary Doug Fleming.
 
 
President Karen then did a short presentation about some of the focus area's that she sees going forward this Rotary year.  She introduced the theme for the year, "Making a Difference" and also spoke about an upcoming Rotary International led advertising campaign about Rotarians as "People of Action".
 
She spoke about the recent District survey, the work done previously by the club on our Strategic Plan and how there seems to be reasonable alignment.  She spoke about meeting changes that she sees coming in this year to modernize the meetings and ensure timely completion of each noon meeting.  She also sees a more consistent schedule of programs, based on 1 community presentation, 1 business meeting,  1 Rotary information and 1 social/fellowship meeting each month.
 
 
Best wishes to President Karen and the whole board for 2017-2018.
 
 
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