Happenings in Rotary
The Rotary Club was delighted to welcome Susan Edwards, the Assistant Director of the Community Foundation of South East Alberta (CFSEA).  Susan was introduced by Club Service Director Heather Bach and spoke about the recent distribution from the Foundation, to a total of 39 agencies and $207,000 in the fall of this year.
Susan also spoke about the expansion of the Foundations reach, recently the "give where you live" theme has been taken up in Brooks & District, 40 Mile and Prairie Crocus (the Oyen area).  Separate rural community funds have been set up for these areas, with dedicated coordinators in each area.  She was hopeful that Cypress County will also have a specific fund and administrator soon.
Susan also acknowledge the role of RBC, who have funded significant grants to youth led initiatives.  Approximately $60,000 has been donated to fund this aspect of Foundation work.
Susan revealed that new endowments had been set up specifically for the Mustard Seed, and for HALO...to assist them in gathering funds and providing long term financial support.  The Foundation has $14.4 Million dollars under administration with a goal to surpass $15 Million by 2020.
Rotarians are reminded that our club maintains an endowment at the Foundation in support of the Rotary Music Festival.  That fund currently contributes over $8,000 to cover the operating cost of the Festival.
Susan was thanked by Acting President Melanie and presented with a Medalta mug with thanks!
The presentation and subsequent discussion were the main elements of today’s meeting.  PE Mark Sorenson described a process the Board had been going through to consider the future direction and culture of the Club.  Mark referred to a recent report from the Rotarian (available at each table) profiling a Club in Halifax which had gone through considerable change.  Truly embracing change and remaining open minded and accepting diversity might be a challenge for some. Mark’s own motivation for joining Rotary was related to enjoying the lunch style meeting and a desire to give something back to the community, but he recognized the need to ensure the longevity of the Club by becoming irresistible to new and younger members.
A Think Tank had been created by the Board and had taken several weeks to research and collect information and report back to the Board.  In essence the report provided a number of alternatives described by Mark and Gail (in no particular order of priority) as:
  1. Maintain Club as is – no change – do nothing
  2. Modify Existing Club to appeal to Younger Members
  3. Completely Revamp Existing Club to an Innovative Culture
  4. Maintain Existing Club as is and Start a Satellite Club/Charter a New Club 
The Board did not have 100% consensus on which alternative might be best and there was obviously a lot to think about.  For example, Mark described the Rotary Music Festival as perhaps needing to be little more independent so that the Club could reduce the current 80% of time and money spent on the Festival.
There were lots of questions and comments from members including, Dick Bide, Ken Fester, Lisa DesRoches, Sandy MacKay, Kitt Brand, Adolf Seiler, Jan Stalwick, Dieter Brand, Marg Mazerolle, Theresa Schile, amongst others.  Comments and suggestions were related to the need for more of this type of communication with members, making membership as diverse and the process of becoming a member as easy as possible, getting younger members is one thing but expecting to get them straight into leadership roles is quite another, when other things need to take priority in their busy lives.  Live streaming meetings would help those who can’t be present, so as to stay connected.  Rotary ideals and 4-way Test are still a good draw for any age, and different types of meetings would also help.
This is a sample of the comments which took the meeting to almost closing time and some attendees needed to leave.  No decisions made but a promise from Margie to hold further discussions on what can be done in the short and longer term, to make our Club more attractive, more diverse and to increase our impact in the community, during the December business meeting, scheduled for December 9th.   A summary of the discussion was sent out to all club members, so absentee's and "snowbirds" weren't missed.
The Rotary Club was delighted that Police Chief Andy McGrogan made it to the meeting today and spoke about some of the success's and challenges facing both the Police Service and the Medicine Hat Community at large.  Chief McGrogan was introduced by Rotarian Bruce Shepard,  and welcomed to the meeting.
Chief McGrogan began his career with the Medicine Hat Police Service in November of 1980, and has a wide variety of roles from patrolman up to the position of Chief, to which he was appointed in November of 2008.  He has also been very active in the community, with a role for 6 years on the board of the Medicine Hat Women's Shelter and as the Alberta representative on the Canadian Chief of Police Council.
Andy spoke of the organization he is in charge of, 113 Police officers and a total staff of 150 including the civilians.  He wanted to express his thanks to the community at large, for the general support that his officers receive in their daily duties, and the funding received through City Council.
Chief McGrogan spoke about the changes that have occurred in Policing through his career, and about several important issues.  The first was the legalization of Cannabis, which he termed a "non-event" so far although he did mention that technology to prove impairment is still not readily available.   He also mentioned with the introduction of "edibles" in the next year, there may be more issues coming forward.
He spoke about the opioid crisis, and about the bigger issue facing the community from methamphetamine.  "Meth" is highly addictive and introduces a great deal of social disruption to the community in general.  It has a cumulative effect on all the social services, from police to emergency response personnel to the social service community. 
Andy answered a number of questions and was thanked by President Margie Booyens.
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Medicine Hat

We meet Mondays at 11:45 AM
Medicine Hat Lodge
1051 Ross Glen Drive SE
Medicine Hat, AB  T1B 3T8
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Rotary Club of Medicine Hat
PO Box 1058
Medicine Hat, AB, T1A 7H1