Happenings in Rotary
Guest speaker Emily Bakhita is a member of the Rotary Club of Kisumu Winam in District 9212, Kenya. Overcoming many odds as she grew up, she now has a degree in commerce and is studying for her Master’s degree in public policy and management.
 
Emily is a founder of a NGO called ‘Rise to Shine Education Foundation’, which previously operated as a Community Based Organization called ‘Scars to Stars’.
 
Emily spoke passionately about the work of the Foundation, which seeks to empower and enable young, bright students from impoverished backgrounds, in four counties in the lake region of Kenya.
 
 
Sadly, too many poverty-stricken girls and young women in this region resort to ‘sex for fish’ to earn money and food, many picking up HIV in the process.
 
 
The Foundation sponsors young people, boys and girls, enabling them to attend (mostly high) school and get an education. Their school fees are paid and they are equipped with school uniforms, bags and shoes, as well as food. This level of support enables them to develop their potential and step out of the cycle of poverty - to ‘rise to shine’.
 
 
Over 500 children have been assisted since 2012.
 
Emily put forward the option of sponsoring one or more children, for four years of High School education, at a cost of about CAD1,000 per student, per year, saying:
“We invite you to join us to heal their scars, change their life, and inspire their future”.
 
We thank you for your presentation, Emily, and salute you and the Foundation for the significant difference you are making in young people's lives.
 
Members of the Rotary Club of Medicine Hat went out into the community this lunch hour, for a tour of the Root Cellar and an education on the programs that are being run from that facility.  The Club was very lucky to have the Root Cellar Executive Director, Melissa Mullis as our tour guide and instructor.
Melissa began by explaining that the name change was really part of a branding effort, to avoid limiting the public perception of the facility and the work that they do.  She spoke about getting to the "root" of the problem of food security, and that a root cellar always had something for everyone.  Alberta has the highest food bank use in the country, and they have seen their client numbers skyrocket from between 50 - 100 calls per day to over 300.  They have added outreach and social workers to their intake process and as resources for clients.
We were given a tour of the building, which of course was at one time the main City of Medicine Hat Fire Hall.  They are creating a social enterprise, to run a cafe in the "Co-op" Community Cafe and will be inviting everyone to use the space.  The idea is to remove some of the stigma attached to the facility.  Melissa spoke about their Food Rescue Program, the Food First Culinary Experience, the School Brown Bag lunch and other family support services.
The Root Cellar has also been a conduit for our Team Freewheel folks to get bikes to families who need them.  More information can be obtained by checking out their website at http://mhrootcellar.com
 
A marvellous tour and an amazing group of community focused volunteers and staff.  Thank you so much for the education and your hard work!
Let us aim for a population of 110,000 in 20 years
Our guest speaker, Dr Glenn Feltham, interim City Manager of Medicine Hat since June this year, gave an excellent presentation, first about his career and achievements, then his impressions and views of the city of Medicine Hat.
 
 
His educational background? A PhD in Accountancy (U of Waterloo); MBA (U of Montana); LLB (Queen’s U).
Dr Feltham is a man who has made his mark in the post-secondary sector in Alberta and Canada, serving in a number of significant positions, including: Professor in Accounting; chair of Polytechnics Canada; chair of the Council of Post-Secondary Presidents of Alberta; President and CEO of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)(2011-2019); President and CEO of Grande Prairie Regional College (now Northwestern Polytechnic); and, recently, Vice-Chair of the Premier’s Council of Skills.
Dr Feltham emphasized the need for young people go into skills training, this being a fundamental for city and country economic growth.
Glenn thoroughly enjoyed academic teaching – empowering future generations.
He also enjoyed research, writing (“I hate writing but love having written!”) and the administrative part of his positions over the years.
In addition to impacting the post-secondary field, Dr Feltham has also made significant contributions in Canada and Alberta through serving on numerous Boards in the economic, governmental, academic, cultural, and social spheres.
While Glenn finds retirement ‘awesome’, he decided, when approached (through a phone call while watching a Formula 1 race on TV!) to take on the short-term challenge of assisting Medicine Hat until the next City Manager is appointed – likely by the end of this year.
Dr Feltham describes Medicine Hat as a complex city, that he has come to love. What especially does he appreciate? The facilities like the airport, the principal parks, the river, the trails, the historic downtown. He believes that mostly good decisions have been made by those in charge, over the years.
He believes Medicine Hat is in good shape … gas has been a major economic driver over the years…and he believes that the city has financial sustainability… but that it needs to grow in a meaningful way. Who and what do we want to be as a city?
One growth strategy is a targeted immigration policy, seeking needed talent and skills from around the world.
With purposeful growth, “the best days are ahead”.
We thank Dr Feltham for the role he is playing as City Manager in the transition period in our city… and wish him all the best for his post-Medicine Hat retirement!
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
The Rotary Club of Medicine Hat has returned to meeting in person, face-to-face meetings as of Monday March 21. A ZOOM link will still be available for those who are cautious, ill or are away on vacation.
Club Contact Info
Rotary Club of Medicine Hat
PO Box 1058
Medicine Hat, AB, T1A 7H1
 
mhrotary@gmail.com