Happenings in Rotary
After the main portion of the meeting, the club got together and stuffed approx 220 Christmas stockings.  The stockings will be delivered to Cypress View Foundation (Teeoda Lodge) at lunchtime on Monday December 18, as well as at a future date to the St Joseph's home and Carmel hospice.  A great job of organizing the donations by Heather Bach, as well as President Karen and a number of other Rotarians who contributed product and cash to the activity.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In the past month, several great things have happened with the Medicine Hat High School Interact club, and it's nice to share them with the Rotary Club.
 
At the City Council meeting on Monday November 20th, the Interact club was presented with the YMCA Peacemaker of the Year award.  After the presentation they were introduced at the Council meeting.  A wonderful evening to celebrate the work of the Interact students, their student advisor Sue Withers and their Rotary advisor Theresa Eisenbarth.
 
 
Rotary Advisor Theresa Eisenbarth, Interact students Grace, Azin and Jaslin
 
 
A number of Rotarians were presented to witness the award and celebrate.
 
 
Also, the Interact students were invited to present at the Medicine Hat Sunrise Rotary club meeting of November 29.  Accompanied by their faculty advisor, Sue Withers and Rotary advisor Theresa Eisenbarth, they spoke about the club, some of their objectives for this school year and their recent project in Nicaragua.
 
 
 
Rotary advisor Theresa Eisenbarth, Interact students Bella, Azin and Jaslin, Faculty advisor Sue Withers and Sunrise President Les Scholly.
Monday's speaker was Karen Danielson, the newly hired Executive Director of Thrive. Karen explained that Thrive is a strategy put together for Medicine Hat and the surrounding region to help put an end to poverty.  Karen advised 1 in 10 people live below the poverty line. This became evident after events like the last flood. With the assistance of research done by  Medicine Hat College students, a number of local community agencies and groups joined together to try to deal with this issue. Thrive's Vision is: "By 2030, Medicine Hat Will End Poverty In All Its Forms and Ensure Well Being For All."
 
 
Karen then went on to outline Thrive's very ambitious task by outlining the organization's Founding Principle, which include the following: Equal rights for all; Person centered and community driven solutions; Ending poverty will take a collective effort and Ending poverty will take some innovation. Karen then discussed a number of Thrive's Key Actions and Priorities before moving on to the group's Moving Ahead plans, which includes; Setting up Thrive; Connecting the community partners; Securing implementation funding and Driving Year 1 Implementation Actions. Karen suggested "it's not just about surviving, it's about thriving."
 
More information about Thrive and its plans can be found on their website: www.thrivemh.ca.
 
Karen then answered a few questions, before being thanked by President Karen, who presented our speaker with a Rotary Mug.
PDG Sandy Mackay spoke about Rotary Foundation, the charitable arm of Rotary, and the charity to which all Rotarians belong.  The Rotary Foundation was started by the 6th President of Rotary, Arch Klumpf, who donated the net proceeds of his international convention in 1917, the sum of $26.50 to "Do Good in the World".  Through a century of prudent investment, generous donations from Rotarians and careful management of costs, the Rotary Foundation has now distributed over $3B, for projects in every corner of the world.
 
 
All Rotarians know that the eradication of Polio, is the primary job of Rotary International, and we are down to 12 cases worldwide this year.  So from a modest beginning in 1985, we are "this close" to eliminating that disease from the planet. PDG Sandy spoke about Rotary's hope that all Rotarians would donated $100 each year, to ensure that the work of the Foundation goes on.  Our club has been very generous in donations to the Foundation, and lucky to have 3 members of the Arch Klumpf Society as members.
 
Sandy emphasized his point about doing good in the world, a little at a time, by showing a video presentation of our clubs participation in a 4H project in India approx 10 years ago.  The video can be seen at https://vimeo.com/17165881 . This project is one that our club is very proud of and continues to be a model for International projects with the Foundation.
 
Sandy spoke of his wish to use that model to work more closely with our own First Nations communities, to build some understand and rapport with them.
 
Sandy completed his talk by encouraging all Rotarians to consider the Rotary Foundation as their charity of choice, to the extent that they each can on an individual basis and thanked all of the club for their support over the last century.  A number of questions were asked and answered, and Sandy was thanked by President Karen.
District Governor Rick Istead was in attendance for his annual club visit and was introduced by Assistant Governor Dave Panabaker. DG Rick started his speech by stating Rotary is the oldest and largest service club in the world and has been Making a Difference in the World for 112 years. He also congratulated our Club for being around since 1918 and looked forward to helping us celebrate our 100th Anniversary in June 2018. DG Rick highlighted some of Rotary's achievements, in particular our fight to end polio through our Polio Plus campaign. In 1985 when Rotary set out to eradicate polio there were 350,00 case of polio in the world, today there are 12 cases in 2 countries and we are "that close" to ending this terrible disease. Rick related a story that when the idea of eradicating polio was first proposed, people said it couldn't be done.  His comment was never tell a Rotarian it can't be done.
 
DG Rick when on to discuss of some of the initiatives being undertaken at the district level. Last year district conducted a Member Survey which was completed by 40% of the district membership. Feedback from this survey was very valuable and the District Executive are working on strategies and actions to  address issues raised. He also reiterated that District Committees are there to serve the local clubs. Rick then touched on the issue of membership and pointed out the fact that Rotary's biggest problem is not recruiting members rather retaining them. RI and District are working on strategies to allow more flexibility in clubs to keep members engaged and appreciated.  
 
Rick then turned to a discussion of The Rotary Foundation (TRF). First of all, he thank our club for being a District 5360 leader in supporting the  Rotary Foundation.  He encouraged more Rotarian to make TRF their charity of choice 'To Do Good in the World'.  In 2016, The Rotary Foundation was rated the #1 Foundation in the world and for the past 8 years has received a Top 4 Star rating from Charity Navigator. 97% of money donated to TRF goes to Rotary projects, with 50% going to Global Grants and the other 50% coming back to our District to be allocated through a variety of District Grants. 
 
In closing DG Rick thank Rotarians for donating their Time, Treasure and Talent to Doing Good in the World. He then suggested we consider registering for the District Conference in Calgary in May and the International Conference in Toronto in June. Apparently the RI Conference in Toronto is closest it will be until 2025 when it will be held in Calgary.
President Karen thanked DG Rick by presenting him with one of our Medalta coffee mugs.
 
 
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Medicine Hat

We meet Mondays at 12:00 PM
Medicine Hat Lodge
1051 Ross Glen Drive SE
Medicine Hat, AB  T1B 3T8
Canada
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Rotary Club of Medicine Hat
PO Box 1058
Medicine Hat, AB, T1A 7H1
 
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