Happenings in Rotary
As is the custom of our club, the Past President, Margie Booyens introduced those Rotarians who have volunteered to serve on the Board and Executive for the 2021-2022 Rotary Year.
 
They will be inducted in late June, to take off for July 1 but those people introduced today were.
 
Past President - Mark Sorenson
President - Terry Partis
President Elect - Melanie Harty
 
Secretary - Doug Fleming
Treasurer - Gail Halderman
 
Directors at Large
Terry Cooper
Mike Christie
Peter Mueller
Dave Panabaker
 
Past President Margie advised that their are two spots available as Directors, should anyone wish to volunteer.  Not having enough Directors will hinder some of our service efforts, as four can't cover the work of six.
 
Terry Partis thanked Margie for all her work over the past three years in the President stream, and Margie thanked outgoing Director Glen Presley for his service over the past four years.
 
The second half of our AGM was a review of the Year end 2020 Financials with Treasurer Gail Halderman, who advised on our current financial position and how our reserves are sitting.
Gail spoke about the large spending in the previous year, related to the Rotary Centennial Trail along South Boundary Road.  All those expenditures were run through our club books, so some pretty big numbers accumulated in the Community Service column.  Gail advised that the club has approximately $30,000 of unrestricted funds in the bank, after the completion of transfers to the Music Festival for last year and  may need some of that money to fill in for our Club 1000 raffle if it doesn't sell out.  As well, our commitment to the "Dunmore Park" tree planting will use up some of those funds as well.
 
Several other projects, such as signage on Rotary Centennial Trail and other Service Projects will be affected by the availability of District Grants and a restoration of bingo.  It appears we will not have a casino in this Rotary year, so our funding will be tight.
 
Alternative methods of fundraising are being discussed by the incoming Executive and the Community Service team.  More information on that to come.
The Rotary Club enjoyed a Classification talk and presentation from Edward Lipin, a new Rotarian this year.  Edward began his presentation by clearing his lap of cats, and making sure he could access his computer without fear of "attack" from the relocated feline.
He titled the presentation "the first 34 years of Edward Lipin", and did a wonderful job of sharing his life experience so far.  He spent most of his youth in Elora, Ontario, a beautiful mill town and tourist area in Southern Ontario.  He joined the military at age 19 as a Local Communication and IT Technician, and did a six month tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2009.  He spoke about some of his private sector jobs after leaving the military in 2013, and how he ended up in Medicine Hat as the Director of Technology for Medicine Hat School District # 76.  He has finished his MBA very recently with the University of Fredericton and now looks forward to a little more free time.  He and his partner Tara have 5 rescue cats, some Canadian and some American.  He enjoys squash, crossfit and NFL football (he's a Pittsburgh Steeler fan by marriage).
 
He talked about the impact of COVID on education, particularly the introduction of the online HUB, and how that might affect elementary school going forward.
 
A number of questions were asked and answered, welcome to Medicine Hat Edward and Tara, and we look forward to your participation in our club and our community.
The Rotary Club was delighted to welcome Elly Contreras to our meeting today, to speak about Project Amigo, "Ending Poverty through Education" in Manzanillo, Mexico.
Elly was introduced by Kitt Brand, who made her acquaintance at the meetings of the E-Rotary Club One.  Elly joined Rotary in 1996 with the Rotary Club of Stoney Plain in District 5370.  Project Amigo aims to help end poverty amongst migrant farm workers and their family's, by encouraging and assisting children to finish school.  Many families in this area end up as unskilled farm labor, and their children are often captured by the same working environment, and only half finish middle school, and only 20% finish high school. Although Mexico has the 14th largest economy in the world, they also have one of the highest percentages of poor people.
 
Project Amigo aims to improve academic standards, and using a rewards based system provides material, scholarships and facilities to aid in further education.
 
The program has so far graduated over 80 students from university, often the first person in their family to achieve that level of education.  This year they had 26 Jr High grads, 22 High School grads and 8 university graduates.  Many of the university grads "give back" to the program to help keep it going.
 
A wonderful presentation, more information can be obtained by contacting Elly or visiting their website.
 
Upcoming Events
Medicine Hat

We meet In Person & Online
Mondays at 11:45 AM
Medicine Hat Lodge
1051 Ross Glen Dr SE
Medicine Hat, AB T1B 3T8
Canada
Meeting Virtually until at least February 8th, 2021
Club Contact Info
Rotary Club of Medicine Hat
PO Box 1058
Medicine Hat, AB, T1A 7H1
 
mhrotary@gmail.com