Meeting News

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Aug 31, 2020
  • no guests today.
Club Draw:
  • No winner this week, but a number of interesting garage sale items were purchased as Club Draw prizes.
Minute People:
  • If you are interested in receiving an electronic version of "The Rotarian" please log onto MyRotary and follow this link.  There is a form to fill out, so you can save postage and trees.  You will need the information off the mailing label of your current copy of the Rotarian.  The link is .
  • Doug Fleming mentioned that the Saamis Rotary Club is having a "Cheer for a Year" draw this fall, tickets are available from the Rafflebox website.
  • Dave Panabaker thanked those that has responded, and advised that our September 28th meeting at the Medicine Hat Lodge will "try out" a plated meal, in this case Chicken Parmasian.  The meal will be $25.00 and invitations are going out early that week....please respond so we have enough meals for those that wish to eat.
  • Theresa Eisenbarth was not present, but was thanked by several Rotarians for the great work on the Interact Garage Sale.  The event raised approx $1,700 for the Interact club and was a lot of fun!
  • There is a learning opportunity on Wednesday September 16, 2020 at 7:00 pm.  The District Youth Service Committee is inviting all Rotarians to learn about the wide variety of Youth Service opportunities across the District, with a Learning Webinar.  You need to register in advance, on the District Website..follow the link 
  • Also, if you are interested in the status and updates on the Long Term Youth Exchange Program, there are a series of webinars on Thursday and Saturday of this week.  Please register on the District website.
  • PP Margie mentioned that Nov 21 will be the Online Conference for the New Generations Service Exchange program.
  • Dave Panabaker also mentioned that the annual District Grant qualification webinar is happening on Saturday October 17, from 9 am to noon.  Please register on the District website, the link is 
  • If you have photos or a story to include in the Weekly News, please submit it to Dave P and we'll try to publish it.
Birthdays: August
  • Joe Hrankowski         September 15.
  • Herman Wahl             September 22.
  • Stan Sakamoto          September 30.
Club Anniversaries:  August.
  • Dieter Brand             26 years           Sept 01, 1994.
  • Al Garden                 39 years           Sept 01, 1981.
  • Bernie Scott             36 years            Sept 01, 1984.
  • Doug Fleming has started keeping track of attendance, as we start back at regular meetings.
  • Adolf passed along that Gerry Nadeau is now at home, he's grateful for any and all phone calls.
  • Adolf also updated the club that former member Al Gray has moved into Riverview Care Center.
  • It was wonderful to see Glen Presley on the "ZOOM" meeting today, as he recovers from his cancer treatment.
  • PP Margie spoke to the club about her husband Johan's recovery from surgery and thanked everyone for their thoughts and prayers.
Meeting News Dave Panabaker 2020-08-31 06:00:00Z 0

Mustard Seed in Medicine Hat

The Rotary Club welcomed Mustard Seed Managing Director Colette Eirich to our meeting today.  Colette was introduced by President Mark and provided a short slideshow to speak to the work done by the agencies that went before the Mustard Seed and how that changeover came to be.
Colette spoke about her career before this one, she spent a total of 32 years working at the YMCA.  She finished there in 2017 after the completion of the South Ridge Y and took a year or so off.  After that she began volunteering and then working at the Champions Center, helping write grant applications.
Colette spoke about the three organizations that have merged their functions and resources with the introduction of the support of Mustard Seed.  Champions Center started in 2008, Hope Street Ministry's began in 2002 and Oasis Cafe was 2009.  During pre-COVID times, there were approximately 68 individuals considered homeless and in poverty.  That number was from 2018.  COVID has changed all that, and the individuals needing assistance has skyrocketed.
It was a great presentation, Colette left everyone with a Mustard Seed magazine. More information is available at 
Mustard Seed in Medicine Hat Dave Panabaker 2020-08-24 06:00:00Z 0

Visit of the District Governor - 2020

In keeping with the current health situation, this years visit of the District Governor was a "virtual" one.  The club welcomed Mary Turner, Rotary 5360 District Governor 2020-2021 to our meeting, accompanied by the new Assistant Governor for this area Keith Walker from the Medicine Hat Sunrise Rotary Club.  Both were welcomed by club President Mark Sorenson and DG Mary was introduced by Keith.
Keith introduced Mary, a Toronto native who joined Rotary in 2008 and was club President in Olds for the 2013-2014 year.  She and her husband Steve operate the Wildrose Medical Center in Olds and have been active in the YEX program, hosting 3 long term students.
Mary started out by thanking everyone for attending this meeting, in this unique year and her current nickname within the District is "COVID Mary".  She spoke about the upcoming partnership between Rotary and Toastmasters, the addition of a 7th area of focus for Rotary International, that being "Enviroment".  She touched on the need to increase our diversity, particularly the balance of males and females in each club and she was particularly delighted to announce the appointment of Jennifer Jones, as the Rotary International President for 2022-2023.  Jennifer is a Canadian, a member of the Rotary Club of Windsor and will be the first female President of RI in history.
Mary also spoke about the wishes of current RI President Holger Knaack, Rotary Club of Herzogtum Lauenburg-Mölln, Germany.  Holger would like each club to take on a few goals for his year including. 
  1. Consider new models for membership, satellite and passport clubs.
  2. Have at least one strategic planning meeting each year.
  3. Be very thorough and careful in selecting members.
  4. And remember that we are "this close" to ending Polio, and support the Rotary Foundation in this effort.
DG Mary also invited everyone to the upcoming District Conference, on May 14-16 in Drumheller, AB.  She hopes it will be an in person meeting but flexibility is the name of the game currently.  She ended her presentation by speaking about her "Rotary moment", working in her club to help a school in Kenya and that showed her the impact an individual and a club can have around the world.
Mary was thanked by President Mark and answered a few questions.  We all wish her great success in her year and hope to see her "in person" after January of 2021.
Visit of the District Governor - 2020 Dave Panabaker 2020-08-10 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Drive-Thru Ribfest

Treasurer Gail Halderman explained the logistics and requirements of the planned "drive-thru" Ribfest, scheduled for August 7 - 9, 2020 running each day from 11am - 7pm.  There are a number of logistics to organize, including power, propane and water.  The "ribbers" are very efficient and can process about a dozen cars a minute, so the service should be fast. Questions were asked about insurance, alcohol and traffic control which Gail explained.
The intention is that vehicles will line up using the Murray Chev-Olds parking lot, and will view the menu's and different "ribbers" offerings as they wait in line.  Then they will line up in the line they wish to purchase from, the ordering and payment will all be done on an iPad system and Rotary will be there to sell water, pop and perhaps pass out information about the club.
There will be 4 ribbers and one "tatter" truck, so lots of choice in the lines.
Gail asked Rotarians to consider volunteering, there will be approximately 3 shifts each day of about 4 hours.  We intend to have the Rotary Tent there, and hopefully can provide a "novel" event at this unusual time.  If you are available that weekend please contact Gail, he's helping organize our side of the event.
Rotary Drive-Thru Ribfest Dave Panabaker 2020-07-13 06:00:00Z 0

Induction of the 2020 - 2021 Executive

In another first for the Rotary Club of Medicine Hat, a virtual induction of our new executive was performed on Monday June 29.  A "Zoom meeting" to do inductions is certainly not the normal for our club but pretty much everything in the last four months has been usual, so this was no exception.
Margie Booyens started the meeting with a summary of the past year and a long list of "thank you's" to fellow board members and club members for all the hard work over the past 12 months. She reviewed the accomplishments of the club based on her "slogan" for the year of "Our Club harnesses diversity to strengthen the impact of Rotary Service in the community".  She spoke about the great additions to the club this year, and the flexibility to embrace virtual meetings and changes to our programs.  A complete list of all we've undertaken will be in the DOCUMENTS section of Clubrunner, for everyone's review.  For all the positive, there have been challenges including the loss of some valuable Board members in the process.  We are starting the Rotary year "leaner" but determined.
Margie spoke about the honor and pleasure of serving as President of the club.  She gave special thanks to a long list of board members, executive, committee chairs and Rotarians who provided assistance and effort through the year. She encouraged all to consider making themselves available for leadership positions in the club - "it is a privilege, fun and a growth-inducing challenge."
The new Board and Executive were inducted by AG Dave Panabaker, and are as follows;
President :          Mark Sorenson
Past-President:    Margie Booyens
President-elect:   Terry Partis
Secretary:            Doug Fleming
Treasurer:            Gail Halderman
Directors:  Mike Christie, Melanie Harty, Glen Presley, Dave Panabaker
After the formal induction, President Mark Sorenson took the microphone and ran the balance of the meeting.
Mark spoke about the need to collect ourselves, consolidate the good things about the club and move forward together.  He invited all Rotarians to be in contact with him, encouraged everyone to communicate and collaborate and think about the future.  He recognizes this may be a difficult year, with fund raising changes and less folks around to do the work.  But he is also confident that we can do anything we put our minds to, and the way forward is easy if we work together.
He spoke about the idea of moving venues, something that has been put on hold by COVID and that as soon as we can, he wants to start meeting in person.
Induction of the 2020 - 2021 Executive Dave Panabaker 2020-06-29 06:00:00Z 0

A Pair of District Governors

The Rotary Club of Medicine Hat welcomed both our current District 5360 Governor, Christine Rendell and the incoming District Governor, Mary Turner.  Both ladies were introduced by Dave Panabaker, outgoing AG for this area, who welcomed them to the meeting and provided a little background.
DG Christine spoke about this year of "firsts", not the least of which was the meeting of clubs, boards, RI and many others remotely.  It is great to see how many clubs and Rotarians have taken on the challenge of adapting and learning this new technology, some of which wouldn't have happened without the external stress of the pandemic.  Christine talked about her roll, the changes since the lockdown and how Rotary is dealing with it.  She spoke about the District Learning and Development workshops that have really made use of remote technology, making many opportunities available to all Rotarians.
Incoming DG Mary Turner spoke about how the travel changes have affected her, and that very soon the District level "impact of Covid" survey (with individual club statistics as well) will be available.  Mary also spoke about the volunteer connector project, putting needs and available volunteers together, the "people of action" partnership with Toastmasters to assist in training and her plans for her year.
DGE Mary will hold her convention in Drumheller, AB on May 14 thru 16, 2021 and has great hope that it will go ahead as a face to face meeting.  She will be holding virtual DG visits through the summer and fall and spoke about working with incoming President Mark of our club on the logistics of the new Rotary year.
Both ladies were thanked by President Margie, and the club was very grateful for their presence today.
A Pair of District Governors Dave Panabaker 2020-06-22 06:00:00Z 0

Induction Ceremony for Impa Hiriyanna

The Rotary Club was delighted to welcome Impa Hiriyanna to the club today.  District Governor Christine Rendell was present today and did the welcome to Rotary.
Impa was introduced by her sponsor Milan Vujovic.   Impa has experience in the "non-profit" sector, and was inducted over her phone while she traveled to a meeting she had at 1:00pm.  Impa spoke about the profile of Rotary in the community and how several of her friends were members of the club.  She will be more active and available as the Covid crisis abates, and she is a creative person with many hobbies.  She is also a Mom, which is her top priority during this lockdown.
Impa was welcomed to the club by President Margie and given a "virtual" hug and applause from those members present.  We look forward to learning more about her in the weeks and months ahead.
Induction Ceremony for Impa Hiriyanna Dave Panabaker 2020-06-22 06:00:00Z 0

Elder Abuse Presentation


Shantel Ottenbriet is a City Community Resource worker based out of the Veiner Centre, a trained Social Worker and Chair of the Provincial Elder Abuse Council

She advised there is Elder abuse in Medicine Hat even though we may find that hard to believe.The last census shows 19,995 adults over 55 years, less than 2,000 have experienced Elder Abuse. Not all cases are reported.

Definition of Elder Abuse is: ‘Action or inaction by a person in a trust position towards an Elder’

Types of Abuse: Neglect, Financial, Physical, Mental, Health


Local Activities: Local Coalition formed to provide training to professionals in this field.

Local Resources: Pocket Toolkit - to educate and provide strategies to identify and deal with abuse.

Notice Me campaign on Facebook & Instagram to raise awareness.

Core Alberta is providing information at a provincial level to make more people aware, through promotion, sharing ideas and best practices.


Situation in Medicine Hat.

· Active thriving coalition.

· Working with province on updates to ‘Power of Attorney’ legislation

· Need for Case worker (Dedicated staff) funding required. Shantel is currently handling some cases but only within the City so need for someone who could cover city & district.

· Concerns may be an increase due to isolation as a result of COVID 19.

Veiner Centre which is a resource to seniors currently closed but they are looking at ways to open and provide the activities/services while adhering to the COVID guidelines. I.E how do you social distance & play cards? Sanitizing issues, etc. The City may also be looking for new model to run the Veiner Centre.  A copy of Shantel's presentation is loaded into the Club Documents section of our website.


Following a Q & A Session, President Margie thanked our speaker.

Elder Abuse Presentation Doug Fleming 2020-06-15 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary International statement on racism

President Margie Booyens ended the meeting today, by reading a recent statement from Rotary International, regarding the continuing protests on discrimination and policing issues throughout the world.  She expressed the wish that we as a club and each of us as individuals, could embrace this statement and work hard to live it.
Rotary International statement on racism Dave Panabaker 2020-06-08 06:00:00Z 0

Update from Mayor Ted

The Rotary Club welcomed Honorary member, Mayor Ted Clugston to the meeting today.
Mayor Ted was introduced by Mike Christie (as Ted Grimm), but we aren't sure he wants to serve in the role quite as long as Mayor Grimm did.
Ted ran through a number of issues ongoing in the community at this time, particularly the impact of Covid-19 on the business community and how the City has responded to help restart the local economy and give everyone a little breathing room to pay City Taxes as they become due at the end of the summer.  Mayor Ted also spoke about the large cannibis greenhouse being constructed by Aurora, as well as the annual potential flood event which this community has been dealing with for many years.  The berms are almost finished, but as the Mayor said "a 98% berm is basically not much good, so that work continues".
Ted took a few questions and spoke about the impact of the social distancing and shutdown on operations at City Hall.  As always, a great talk...thanks for your time today Mayor Ted!!
Update from Mayor Ted Dave Panabaker 2020-06-08 06:00:00Z 0

Winter in Mexico - Part 3

This is the third and last part of a story by Rotarian Terry Cooper, on his experience wintering in Mexico.
Escaping Winter in Rincon de Guayabitos – Part 3
During our walks we often took along bags to pick up any pieces of small garbage (especially plastic) which was appreciated by both the locals and visitors. Many thanked us and even contributed to our collection! The beaches were cleaned regularly so we were simply picking up what the cleaners missed and the beaches were far cleaner than we have seen at other beaches we’ve visited over the years.
Staying in a fishing village one would expect that fresh fish would be available along the shore and we weren’t disappointed. Most mornings we walked along the beach to get fresh fish from our favourite fisherman Jose who always greeted us with a smile and often threw in an extra filet of another fish. We normally paid around 200 pesos (~ $14 CAN) for about a kg of fish which gave us a meal for two days. I think ate almost all of the offerings to – dorado (mahi-mahi), sole, red snapper, sea bass, marlin, tuna, shark, prawns. The nice part was that the fish were fileted so there were no bones or extra work.
We often ventured outside the tourist area to visit local communities such as a show factory and brick-making facility. Visiting the shoe factory in Compostela reminded me of the sweat shops we saw in southeast Asia. There were about 5 people, including a school aged boy, who were working the human assemble line. The young boy worked in the morning and went to school in the afternoon. The soles were made from old tires while the rest of the shoe was made from leather. At the front of the shop was the store where the shoes were sold for around 220 pesos (~$15 CAN). Belts were also sold and now I wish I had picked up one seeing the process and labour involved.
On our trip to Compostela we observed a worker making tiles and bricks using a traditional process passed down over the years using basically three components – clay, cow dung, and sawdust. After mixing the three components, the worker poured the mixture into a form, wetted the surface, removed the form and repeated the process. Later the tiles / bricks were used to create the kiln which was then fired using wood. The worker has been working here at this small operation for over 30 years at wages that would embarrass us – pennies per brick. Most buildings in Mexico are made of brick, tile and concrete because wood is very expensive and requires constant treatment to prevent damage from terminates.
Winter in Mexico - Part 3 Terry Cooper 2020-06-08 06:00:00Z 0

Winter in Mexico - Part 2

This is Part 2, of a 3 part story done by Rotarian Terry Cooper about his experience wintering in Mexico.
Escaping Winter in Rincon de Guayabitos – Part 2
After spending several winters in the Palm Springs area Carol and I decided to spend the winter in a small fishing town called Rincon de Guayabitos half-way up Mexico’s Pacific coast just north of Puerto Vallarta. We decided to give up the biking, hiking trails, fine arts, frequent rain and cooler weather in the Palm Springs California during the winter period (and the constant stream of divisive American politics in the media) for walking along the ocean and enjoying the almost constant sunshine and warm weather for the Pacific coast. Best of all – no driving! The town, like many along the coast, draws many domestic tourists (especially on the weekends and holidays) but relatively few foreign visitors compared to Puerto Vallarta. Most of the visitors are Canadian with few Americans or other nationalities. Mariachis and indigenous Huichol musicians roam the soft white sands, offering to serenade you for a small fee. Others offer exquisite skewers of freshly caught tuna or prawns grilled in a smoky marinade and doused with hot sauce and lime juice. The Saskatchewan Rough Riders obviously have a contingent of Rider fans down here in Nayarit. One can’t avoid their promotional material whether walking the beach or attending the market in La Penita de Jaltemba. During our visit to the market in La Penita de Jaltemba it was obvious that the sellers were appreciative of the Canadians. However, President Trump ... not so much.
Carol and I decided to stay in a colourful, beachside hotel with twin pools and an outdoor jacuzzi but with an outdoor kitchen and patio and locked off bedroom. Some say we are just one step up from camping given the close proximity to other residents in the complex. There is little privacy but we enjoy meeting our neighbours as they come and go from their rooms.
We had planned to spend a few days in Puerto Vallarta before heading home April 1 but we received a  notice mid March from the Alberta Retired Teachers' Association (ARTA) telling all members who have their ARTA Emergency Travel plan that they must be back in Canada within 10 days or else their insurance won't cover any coronavirus related issues. It took some time to get our flights changed but left March 21 a day before WestJet cancelled all flights home. Up until this time Mexico didn’t seem concerned about the Novid-19 virus but on our way to the airport we did see notices advising locals to begin social distancing. Shortly after all beaches were closed and access to the fishing villages was restricted to local residents only. Rincon has just opened to visitors. Hopefully this virus will be contained soon so we are able to return again next year to this area.
Winter in Mexico - Part 2 Terry Cooper 2020-06-01 06:00:00Z 0

2020 Rotary Club AGM

Past President Dave Panabaker led the club through their annual general meeting, rescheduled to later in the Rotary year and done virtually due to the social distancing restrictions of Covid-19.  This certainly was a different AGM that we are used to in this club, but everyone in attendance was supportive and the process went well.
After dealing with a few housekeeping issues, including checking that a quorum of club members (34 of 65) were in attendance, the meeting was turned over to the current executive.  President Margie Booyens, Club Secretary Doug Fleming, Membership Director Mike Christie all provided short reports.
After a final call for nominations from the floor, PP Dave presented a motion that the club approve the slate as presented, a motion that was seconded by Roger Roy.
2020 - 2021 Rotary Club of Medicine Hat
Proposed Executive
President -             Mark Sorenson
Past President -     Margie Booyens
President - Elect - Terry Partis
Treasurer -            Gail Halderman
Secretary -            Doug Fleming
Mike Christie
Melanie Hardy
Glen Presley
Dave Panabaker
vacant (2)
The slate was approved with no noted objections.  Thanks to all of you for serving the club.
2020 Rotary Club AGM Dave Panabaker 2020-05-25 06:00:00Z 0

Performance by 2020 Rosebowl Winners

The club was delighted to welcome Soren and Laec Lorentzen to our meeting today, to perform as Duo Fratelli.
The boys were introduced by the Chairperson of the Rotary Club of Medicine Hat Music Festival Society, Milan Vujovic.  In part he wished to thank Delynne Lorentzen, Executive Director of the Rotary Music Festival and her assistant Lorie McKenzie for their great work and making our Music Festival on the best in Alberta.  He also thanked Don Davis, Joe Chacko, Terry Brekko and Jillian Koch, for all their hard work on behalf of the Festival.  He spoke about the measurable values of the Festival, the development and showcasing of local talent and ultimately careers in the arts.  He also spoke about the hidden values, the boys and girls who had a chance to develop self discipline, to perform publicly, to experience a sense of accomplishment, to build confidence in their abilities and talents.  This is the unmeasurable value, the part that makes a big difference and has far reaching impact.
Brothers Soren and Laec Lorentzen have been performing together since they were 10 and 7 respectively.  They have individually as soloists both been previous Rosebowl winners and have competed in the chamber/ensemble category for the past three years.  Their music has taken them to many parts of Canada and they have been both competed at the Provincial Festival.
Here is a link to their Rosebowl performance.
Laec will be attending McCoy High School in the fall and Soren will be starting a Bachelor's degree program at Rice University in Texas, within the Shepherd School of Music.  The club thanks them both for their performance and wishes them all the best in their future endeavors.
Performance by 2020 Rosebowl Winners Dave Panabaker 2020-05-18 06:00:00Z 0

New Rotary Track sign

Rotary Club President-elect Mark Sorenson and President of the Medicine Hat Track and Field Society Marg Derbyshire unveil the new signage at the Rotary Track and Soccer complex.  The new signage is bright and very visible from the
roadway.  The original signage had to be removed, when recent expansion and renovations to the facilities were undertaken.
New Rotary Track sign Dave Panabaker 2020-05-18 06:00:00Z 0

History of Estelí English School

My relationship with Nicaragua started when I went with an Oxfam Farmer’s Brigade in March 1987. I spent five weeks teaching farmers how to maintain and repair their newly acquired farm machinery. I was very impressed with their simplicity and appreciation of life, and I always entertained the thought of returning.  Fast forward to Nicaragua 2011 where I ended up looking for old friends from the brigade.  I eventually found 5 people at Casa Blanca, where I had worked, and with whom I spent the day reminiscing about events 24 years ago.
While riding an express bus back to Managua a few days later, a young university student from Estelí seated beside me, passed me a note asking if I spoke Spanish.  I said that I could, barely, and Sarai proceeded to tell me their dilemma of career limitations because of lack of affordable English lessons, a skill that more and more employers were seeking in employees.
I returned to Canada several months later and found the Oxford TESOL (Teaching English to speakers of other languages) course at UBCO in Kelowna. At the age of 55 I was finally going to university.  I finished the course, and in January 2012 found myself back in Estelí, Nicaragua. Sarai introduced me to her church elders and I started teaching in their church three nights a week to a group of 20-30 students.  It was a huge learning curve for a retired grain and cattle farmer from Alberta to start a new career teaching English in a developing country. Two months and dozens of new friends later I said goodbye but promised I would return in October. 
I flew back to Calgary, landed and promptly went to a birthday party.  There I met a dentist from High River, Vicki McMullen, to whom I told about my recent experiences in Nicaragua.
In October 2012 I was back in Estelí with a Canadian ESL teacher, a Nicaraguan teacher, and our own schoolhouse, albeit rented.  Classes five days per week, and we were an actual English school.  Teaching adult and children groups, each with its own curriculum, was a stressful but rewarding challenge.  
In December 2012 Vicki McMullen wrote asking me to organize a dental brigade.  I met Dr. Larry Molina, my since then Nica dentist friend, with whom I organized my first dental brigade which was a resounding success. Doctors Vicki, Larry and Melida Rios, were able to provide 70 adults and children with complete dental care.  This experience led to many more brigades, the largest being Moses Lake Medical Team, which provided medical, optical, dental, and physio care to over 1000 people in 5 days in February 2016.  This connection enabled me to accompany MLMT to Nigeria in November 2016 on a medical mission, an adventure I will never forget or regret.
I joined Medicine Hat Rotary in 2015 by Skype from Estelí, and started to attend the meetings of Estelí Rotary Club in Nicaragua.  Convincing the Estelí club to actively pursue sponsorship from the MHRC, they decided to plan a renovation project at Club Sta Lucia, a home for abandoned and indigent seniors.  MHRC sponsored the project and we were able to almost completely renovate the home.
Medicine Hat High School Interact became involved by the energetic encouragement of Theresa Eisenbarth. They sponsored two projects, one, a house built by Estelí Rotaract Club for 76 year old Alberto Gutierrez, which evolved into three more residences built by the municipality for his siblings.  They had been living in shacks not fit for human habitation. The second project was sponsoring a complete water delivery system to 200 residents in the community of Santa Rosa.
Estelí English School has also secured funds from other sources for another community, Macuelizo, which received latrines, complete water system, grey water system, and laundry facilities.  We also arranged medical and dental brigades to attend the residents, this being the very first time medical personnel had ever been to this community in 50 years!
Today at Estelí English School we have 10 groups of students receiving English classes 6 days per week, all free of charge.  Two qualified teachers manage and instruct upwards of 200 students, from beginner to advanced, with long lists of people waiting to enter our classes.
We at EES have been able to achieve many successes, but those have been shadowed at times by failures, which have not deterred our vision.  Onward and upward, which keeps our motto “English is the key” alive and well.
History of Estelí English School Dave Panabaker 2020-05-17 06:00:00Z 0

Classification Diversity and Membership

The program today for Rotary was a group discussion, led by our club Membership Chair Mike Christie on diversity of membership, both from different walks of life and different classifications but varying kinds of, corporate and others.
It was our first attempt to hold a discussion like this over the "virtual" meeting platform, but Mike was successfully able to share his screen, talk about where some membership and club documents are located on Clubrunner and provide a breakdown of some area's where our club may be missing out.  A recent survey of club members found several area's of the business community where we could potentially expand.  As well, the suggestion was made that as we are members of the Chamber of Commerce, the membership directory of that organization might be a great place to start.
A variety of options and opinions were shared and all of us believe that belonging to Rotary is as relevant and impactful now as at any time in the past.  We all know people who would make good Rotarians, we need to find ways to engage them and improve our meeting alignment, and project contributions to match with a busy world.
Classification Diversity and Membership Mike Christie 2020-05-11 06:00:00Z 0

Santa Rosa Community Water project

The joint Esteli Rotary Club, Medicine Hat High School Interact Club and Rotary Club of Medicine Hat water project has been completed and is operating perfectly.
The project, guided by Medicine Hat/Esteli Rotarian Doug Thorson, aimed to provide potable water to 41 homes and approximately 200 members of the community for drinking, cooking, bathing and other domestic purposes.
The original pump for this well was a hand powered wheel, bringing up a small amount of water with each turn of the wheel.  It took 30 seconds for any water to appear at surface and the pump was in need of replacement due to wear and tear, and use over a long time.
The new pump in the well delivers approximately 100 litres of water every minute into a 2,500 litre storage tank, which then distributes the water through buried pipes to several faucets between groups of houses.  Water distribution is regulated for the time being and will be monitored to discourage wasteful habits.
The project was slightly delayed to January 2020 due to re-submission of cost estimates and municipal licensing requirements.  The contractor ultimately acquired the necessary permits and water tests to ensure that the well water was safe for human consumption.
The Esteli Rotary Club members and the Santa Rosa community members were the lynch pin of this project.  They provided much more that the listed $800US worth of labor and time.  Countless trips to the community, phone calls, meetings, discussions and then momentum to complete the project.
This is a life changing project for the members of this community, and with a total cost of around $5,000 is providing safe drinking water at a cost of about $25/person.
Santa Rosa Community Water project Douglas Thorson 2020-05-11 06:00:00Z 0

Classification Talk - Peter Mueller

The Rotary Club welcomed to the "screen" of our Zoom meeting, one of our newest members Peter Mueller.
Peter provided a wonderful, and touching summary of his life to date, his early years as an immigrant to Medicine Hat from both the aftermath of World War 2 in Europe and the repression that came to East Germany after the war.  He spoke about the difficulty of being German in this area as a child, and how it took a fair amount of time for some of that to fade away.
He spoke about his children and his first wife, some of the wonderful moments and some of the tough times.  He showed a couple of travel pictures, done for his mental health as well as his physical well being.
He talked about his experience as a teacher, and his recent experience running for Provincial politics.  A great presentation, we are lucky to have him in our club and we wish him the best for his new "career" in Rotary.
Classification Talk - Peter Mueller Dave Panabaker 2020-05-04 06:00:00Z 0

Escaping the Cold - Rotary in Mexico

During our winter break in Rincon de Guayabitos Mexico, Roger Roy invited me to the La Penita Bahia de Jaltempa Rotary club meetings (a 20 minute walk away). The club meets every Wednesday morning and the meetings go only for an hour and finishes promptly at 9:00 AM. I think the club president had a stop watch. The Sergeant at Arms role is easy – someone comes around and each visitor is asked to donate (~20 pesos) and say something if they wish. There were no fines as such – just a quasi mandatory donation.
Roger and I brought down a couple of donated walkers which we gave to the local club here and I hope to get a little more involved with the club activities and school projects next year as Roger mentioned in the last newsletter. It is a small world - Fred von Schellwitz used to be a member of our club and we talked about his days in Medicine Hat.
Charlene Bearden District 5360 Executive Assistant for southern Alberta gave an excellent presentation on her role and responsibilities with the Rotary clubs of our region which appeared in an earlier post this year (
I also ran into Gail Surkan, former mayor of Red Deer, and her husband, who have had a condo in this region of Mexico for a number of years. I knew Gail when she and I served on the former Community Savings Credit Union board before its merger with Servus Credit Union in 2008.
Carol and I often took the local transportation to visit other beaches / fishing villages along the coast such as San Pancho (or San Francisco as it is sometimes called) about half way between Rincon de Guayabitos and Puerto Vallarta where we hooked up with fellow Rotarian Dan Kammerer and his partner Cheryl.
The ocean was very rough that day and really only for fearless surfers so we didn’t go in. Of all the beach resorts we visited during our stay in Mexico San Pancho has probably the most amenities including refined restaurants along with a touch of art and culture (a mini Banff).
During our walk through San Pancho the four of us had a chance to visit Entreamigos, a Community and Educational Center that provides educational opportunities to local children and young people in San Pancho which is a story in itself and which Dan could post in a future newsletter.
Escaping the Cold - Rotary in Mexico Terry Cooper 2020-05-04 06:00:00Z 0

Financial Update

With all the changes to daily life and the restrictions on both Public Gatherings and Gaming activities, the Club Board felt it was wise to sit down with the annual budget, and review both where we stand and what the future might look like. So 3 Wise Men (Gail Halderman, Terry Partis and Mark Sorenson) met and review the status of our accounts.
At today's meeting Gail review the preliminary results, preliminary because the return to anything near normal is still uncertain, so the future is very cloudy.  In general, the review resulted in a positive opinion about the clubs position, we have adequate reserves for our known commitments in 2020-2021 and have some hope that our service and giving can be expanded, depending on that cloudy future.
A number of questions were asked and answered, and lets hope "normal" returns soon.  Thanks to all three of the wise fellows for their counsel. 
Financial Update Dave Panabaker 2020-04-27 06:00:00Z 0

Roger's winter in La Penita, Mexico

As requested by our Club President Margie,  here's a brief summary of my Rotary activities this last winter:
I'm also involved w/ Angels for Mexico which is out of Calgary,  Christina Callaghan is CEO and they build playgrounds (this is built in 4 days from raw material) and also supply & train fire departments.  Did lots of traveling w/ Angels for Mexico looking for new playground sites.  Amazing accomplishments!!

Helped ship & disperse walkers & wheelchairs .This was coordinated by Randy & Caroline Vandeen from the Saamis Rotary club in Medicine Hat.  Some of the walkers I placed w/ our club in Guayabitos  (Terry Cooper also brought
one).  Ignacio w/ El Tuito Rotary picked loads & placed with the needy as far as 2 hours south of Puerto Vallarta.

I know a lot of RV'ers, so we bring down cases of school supplies which Helma directs the "All schools project".

We did concrete work at Los Ayolas school.Widened sidewalk, made ramps cut out & widened bathroom door & made all wheel chair accessible.
Volunteer and helped out at the annual Rotary fundraiser...Always a sell out of 400 people.  John Spry (Campbell River Rotary) & myself usually sell close to 50% of they like seeing us back every year.
Every year there's a fashion show which is also a sell out of 400.  It is put on by a group of ladies & funds are used for scholar ships.  As seen we are waiters...Lots of fun.
The wash rooms were not working in a school(La Colema) where we did extensive work over the last 2 years. This is Jim Smith's (Olds Rotary) project. I drafted Libert (RV'er from Calgary) to give us a hand....4 days later we got it done....pressure system was plugged as well as broken toilet bowls etc...Libert's not a Rotarian so I suggested we should give him recognition for the hours of volunteering.  At our breakfast meeting we presented Libert w/ a Certificate of special recognition....Ironically I also received one which was not anticipated!

This gives a brief overview from this last winter.

Gracias (Club Rotario Bahia DE Jaltemba La Penita)
Roger's winter in La Penita, Mexico Roger Roy 2020-04-27 06:00:00Z 0

Youth Vital Conversations - CFSEA

The Rotary Club welcomed guests Sue Edwards and Chris Christie from the Community Foundation of South Eastern Alberta to our meeting today, to speak about a recent project involving youth in the community, and conversations about what they saw as issues and possible solutions.
The Project, which was financed by a large grant from RBC had two main objectives. The first was a "Future Launch Community Challenge" where $60,000 was granted to youth-led initiatives across SE Alberta.  The second was "Youth Vital Conversations" where facilitators hosted youth and directed them through a questionnaire initiative.  The team met with over 800 youth at a wide variety of locations, and many of the participates used a smart phone app to input their answers.
As well, what do you see as the biggest issues facing youth?
Next steps involve sharing the results with Community Partners as they were doing today, sharing data with the Medicine Hat College which was very interested in the results, aligning the grant priorities with the Community Impact Award to reflect the feedback and to report to the RBC Foundation.
Obviously some of the work as slowed down with the recent pandemic restrictions, but they hope to finished over the summer.
Youth Vital Conversations - CFSEA Dave Panabaker 2020-04-20 06:00:00Z 0

Winter in Mesa, Arizona. 2019/2020


Ric and I enjoy 5-1/2 months in our Winter Home (Valle Del Ore), Mesa Arizona. When we arrive the end of October, we immediately begin our busy routine of Water Aerobics, Cycling, Hiking, Tennis, and volunteer duties with the weekly Chapel Service.

We belong to the 250-member Tennis Club, which plays on six courts of artificial turf. There is a league with several other parks in the Mesa area, which we play in.

My real story begins with being the Tennis Clubs, Campaign Chairman for an ‘Adopted Family at Christmas”. Each November, contact is made with the East Valley Baptist church who provides a Food Bank for destitute families. Our designated family provides requests for basic needs (ie: TP paper, laundry soap, diapers, etc.) as well as clothes, and Christmas gifts for the family.

This year we were connected with a single Father (Josh) and his two sons (Nathan – 10 and Ricky – (8). They’re connection with the Church and Food Bank began one day in early November when the truck they were living in ran out of gas. They rolled into the parking lot of the Church, sleeping in the truck that night. The wonderful, caring Pastor Hughes and his wife Mary, took them in and provided food, found living quarters, clothing, and gas money. In return Josh helped stock the food bank shelves and other odd jobs.

I started the collection from Tennis Club members and a friend and I shopped for requested items. The purchases and gifts were wrapped & presented. First on the agenda, however, was paying December’s rent before eviction December 5th. Truck was then repaired with money donated by a member. Transportation other than bikes could now be used to get the boys to school. Broken bikes were repaired by Ric and two newer ones purchased from Goodwill.I approached Management of our Park and by the middle of December, Josh had a job with the Maintenance Department. This $15 an hour job and $940 rent still led to further needs. Food was provided by the Tennis Club, as well as the Food Bank. The next wall was hit, when the repaired truck broke down, and once again the Tennis Club membership stepped up and a used van, in excellent work order, was purchased, insurance bought, and Josh and the boys have good wheels.

Josh continues to work hard and do whatever he can do to support the three of them. This was a very rewarding experience, as I am totally convinced this young Dad and his boys have found a new life

Even though this was not a Rotary Club connection, it was “service above self”, which I have learned to live by through my Rotary involvement.

Winter in Mesa, Arizona. 2019/2020 Anne Carrier 2020-04-14 06:00:00Z 0

Grateful to go Home



As part of our "remote meeting" process, we have time and space for members to share their experiences in the current travel climate.  New Rotary member Shalla Shaharyar provided the following summary of her recent trip home to Pakistan.

We'd love to publish others, please send them in.



When I boarded the airplane to Pakistan, I did not know that this would be my shortest trip home, yet the most reflective. I had planned to stay three weeks in Pakistan, however due to Covid-19 declared as a global pandemic in the middle of my trip, I was compelled to return early. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed my short visit. 

Due to the gradual economic-social shutdown in Pakistan, I eventually became homebound, and unexpectedly with much more time on my hands, as socializing and shopping came to a quick halt.

Shalla & (my mother) Shahida - Waiting for breakfast in the beautiful morning sun!

In hindsight, this extra time was a blessing as I got more time to connect with my two beautiful nieces, which further strengthened my familial relationships, and also provided me the opportunity to learn more about my extended family through stories shared by my mother, the best story teller I know!

My nieces. Eliza and Shiza

Sitting at home also came with extended exceptional hospitality, and I indulged, unrestrained, in savoury curries, grilled skewered meats, fresh organic fruits, special naans, biryanis and much much more!! Not a bad deal after all.  Early spring had just taken hold of Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, when I arrived. It was breathtaking and invigorating to hear the cheering birds, see the budding flowers and trees and the vibrant hues in the backdrop of Margalla hills, a mountainous range that is part of the Himalayan foothills. March is definitely a beautiful month to visit Islamabad.

One of the more adventurous parts of my trip was driving a manual in the chaotic bustling traffic of Islamabad, not once, but thrice and live to tell about it! There is no doubt that driving a stick is fun and thrilling as it requires constant mental vigilance, but I was also glad to know that its a skill that is never lost! 

It was a short trip but one that I will always cherish. I am very thankful for the trip, and also to return safely to Canada, my second home! Now I look forward to spring taking a hold in Medicine Hat…..Shalla

Grateful to go Home Dave Panabaker 2020-04-06 06:00:00Z 0

Sewing Face Masks

A shout out to Rotarian Dawn Barr, who has been spending her self isolation time sewing washable face masks for use in a variety of situations.  Now sewing for Dawn is not a surprise to anyone who knows her but what a great way to help out and contribute while you are staying home.  Dawn is able to sew about 20 masks each day.  Dawn mentioned "How poignant that my mom was sent to Scotland during the war to sew uniforms and here I am sewing masks ..... history does repeat .... feeling her spirit".
If you have sewing skills, and some time I know that Dawn would be happy to share the pattern with you.
Sewing Face Masks Dave Panabaker 2020-03-30 06:00:00Z 0

Classification Talk - Shalla Shaharyar

The Rotary Club welcomed new member Shalla Shaharyar to the podium to give her Classification Talk.  Shalla was introduced by Mike Christie.
Shalla began her talk by expressing her appreciation for the warm welcome extended to her by the members of the club, right from the first time she was present as a guest.  She was born in Islamabad, Pakistan and spent eight years and completed high school in Washington, DC where her father worked in the foreign office.
When she returned to Pakistan, she studied for a Masters in International Relations, then worked for the British Council and married Shaharyar, who is a chemical engineer.  The couple spent time in Copenhagen, Denmark where Shaharyar continued his studies.  The couple emigrated to Canada 18 years ago, first settling in Brandon, Manitoba and then moving west to Medicine Hat.  The couple have two sons, one studying at Queens University and the other at Medicine Hat High School.
Shalla works at the MH College, as the English as a Second Language Administrator, as well as doing diversity training.
Shalla described some of the positives and negatives of their immigration experience, primarily being so far from family.  Shalla joined Rotary to enable further involvement in the community, locally and internationally and because the Rotary Motto of "Service above Self" resonates with her.  The club welcomes her and thanks her for a great presentation.
Classification Talk - Shalla Shaharyar Dave Panabaker 2020-03-09 06:00:00Z 0

The State of the City with Mayor Ted Clugston

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Feb 10, 2020
The Rotary Club welcomed Honorary Member, Medicine Hat Mayor Ted Clugston to the podium today.  Ted was introduced by Mike Christie, who spoke briefly about Ted's history. Mayor Ted had recently given his annual, formal "State of the City" address and he paid us a visit to give us the "Coles Notes" version.  Ted has been a council member since 2007 and Mayor since 2013.
Ted began by speaking about the "team" at City Hall...both his fellow Council members, the Executive and all the staff.  He is extremely proud of the performance of the organization and as shown in a recent article in the New York Times, as a community we "punch way above our weight class".  He spoke about the difference in municipal politics, and how everything is not as bad as it seems in the media.  He spoke of recent success, of the challenges with the recent Aurora Cannabis announcements (he expects 6 of the 36 production bays to be planted this year, with at least 50 - 100 jobs).  That facility is the largest "Controlled Agricultural Environment" in the country, over 1.6 Million sq ft. 
Mayor Ted spoke about the challenges in the home building sector, although commercial building is very healthy.  He spoke about the accomplishments of this Council including the completion of the flood protective berms and the work associated with transforming the "Gas City" with the abandonment of many of the oil and gas assets due to the expected prices. He mentioned expansions at Cancarb and the success of Qinetiq as reasons for optimism in the community.
Ted thanked the Rotary Club for the Rotary Music Festival, he credits it with helping a shy child blossom and finished his presentation with a poem titled "Invictus"...or "the unconquered".  Well done Mayor Ted.
Mayor Ted was thanked by President Margie Booyens, who spoke about the need to know the needs of the community, what issues are going unresolved or unaddressed and where can Rotary make a big impact.  Our club is reviewing those things now and hopefully will be coming up with local community service projects with the biggest "needs" in mind.
The State of the City with Mayor Ted Clugston Dave Panabaker 2020-02-10 07:00:00Z 0

Tourism Medicine Hat talk

Jace Anderson (a member of the Sunrise Rotary Club) and the Manager of the Destination Marketing Office spoke about the impact the community has on visitors and some of the "hidden gems" that locals take for granted but are so important to visitors.  He spoke first about promotions, through the magazine "Experience Medicine Hat".  It helps build awareness of the activities and benefits in the community.
He spoke about various outdoor activities, like our trails system and some of the mountain biking area's.  He used examples like the Rotary Music Festival, the MH Jazzfest. the Tongue on the Post Folk Festival, and other cultural attractions which are emerging as power ways to get visitors to come and stay.
He spoke about the capital investment in the Tourist Center which is going on, to deal with the 23,000 - 25,000 annual visitors they serve every year.  He spoke about the new Sunshine Trolley as a way to get visitors around town and how both the Historic Downtown and Historic Clay District are big draws for out of town visitors.
He spoke about "the passion for the community" which is found in service club and elsewhere and helps provide the opportunity to engage the tourists, currently tourism is the 4th largest industry in Alberta.  He answered a number of questions and was thanked by Karen Blewett.
Tourism Medicine Hat talk Dave Panabaker 2020-02-03 07:00:00Z 0

The history of our 3H project

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jan 20, 2020
Wayne Chesley took the podium today and presented a slide show on a trip to Calcutta India in 2008.  Sandy & Jane Mackay, Joe & Vicki Hrankowski and Wayne & Bernice Chesley travelled to Calcutta India to review the scope and impact of the 3H project organized by our club and the Rotary Club of Calcutta Metropolitan.
Our club raised approximately $6,000 and with the matching of funds through the process were able to give $48,000 to the project.  Rotary International contributed $300,000.  Wayne reviewed the devastating conditions in the villages prior to the start of the project and talked about the impact of the trip on the villagers and on the Medicine Hat Rotarians.  A copy of the presentation is stored in the Club Documents section of our website.
Rotary was able to provide;
  • An eye clinic
  • Vaccinations
  • Specialized health clinics
  • A school
  • Microcredit for over 500 people
  • A number of fresh water wells for village health
  • 450 toilet installations.
  • 11,000 fruit bearing trees, for food and sale.
  • And a road to connect the villages in all weather conditions, named "The Paul Harris Road"
The Calcutta newspaper printed a big article about the project once it was complete and the best quote from the write was "Rotarians won the hearts of 50,000 villagers.
A wonderful presentation with great pictures and a reminder to us that Rotary IS International and "doing good in the world"....thanks Wayne!
The history of our 3H project Dave Panabaker 2020-01-20 07:00:00Z 0

Medicine Hat College - Microgrid

The Rotary Club was delighted to meet at the Medicine Hat College today to listen to a presentation by Tracy Stroud, Manager of Business Development at the College.  The Community Renewable Energy Microgrid (CREM) was a collaborative project with multiple community partners.  It includes the visible components like Electric Vehicle charging facilities, small vertical access wind turbine and a solar panel array.  It also includes a number of learning opportunities and teaching topics for students studying to be part of this upcoming technology.
Tracy spoke about the genesis of this project in 2016, how it has incorporated new technologies and opportunities over the past few years and provided alignment with a number of pieces of MH College curriculum. Tracy answered a number of questions and spoke about a few future prospects.  Many of the project goals speak to the economic changes happening within our province and the country, and it is great to see the College get their share of opportunities.
For those who are interested, more information about the Microgrid and the Electric Vehicle program are available on the college website, follow this link.
Medicine Hat College - Microgrid Dave Panabaker 2020-01-13 07:00:00Z 0

Reclassification Talk - Gail Halderman

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jan 06, 2020
Our Club Treasurer, Gail Halderman kicked off what is hoped to be a series of "reclassification talks", to provide long service Rotarians with a chance to introduce themselves to younger club members and to tell everyone a little bit about how their experience in Rotary has affected their life.
Gail is the 15th Rotarian in our club to hold the role of Treasurer. He also holds the distinction of being the second longest serving Treasurer.  He has now held that role for 22 years, beginning in 1998.  
Gail spoke about his childhood in rural Saskatchewan, and how at 27 he began his "education" by purchasing a farm implement dealership.  That began a career lasting 36 years, of which the last 20 were in Medicine Hat.  He and his wife Diane have been blessed with 4 children and 8 grandchildren.
He spoke about the "giving back" spirit, in many aspects of the dealership and rural life, and found himself at a Rotary meeting courtesy of Jim White.
A wonderful talk, thanks for your contribution to the club and that great presentation.
Reclassification Talk - Gail Halderman Dave Panabaker 2020-01-06 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Social event

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Dec 30, 2019
The Rotary Club has a wonderful social event to finish the calendar year 2019 and celebrate the halfway mark in this Rotary year.
Sgt-at-Arms Mike Christie helped run a "know your Rotarian" game for the tables, and lots of fun was enjoyed.  We learned who didn't have property in Arizona, who had more than 2 tattoo's and who the model train lovers in the crowd were.  (although the last one wasn't a big surprise) There was a "cheap" gift exchange and a lot of fun and some stealing of gifts was enjoyed by all.  A wonderful way to end the year, thanks to the organizers and to Mike for leading the event.  A Happy New Year to all!
Rotary Social event Dave Panabaker 2019-12-30 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Friendship Exchange - District 7850

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Dec 23, 2019
Dan Kammerer, accompanied by his partner Cheryl, participated in the most recent Rotary Friendship exchange between District 5360 and District 7850.  District 7850 is a cross border district in northern Vermont, northern New Hampshire and a portion of the Province of Quebec (around Sherbrooke).  The District includes 42 clubs, with 25 in Vermont, 11 in New Hampshire and 4 in Quebec.  The exchange took place from Oct 5 thru Oct 19, 2019.
Dan spoke about the activities associated with a Friendship exchange, which stresses the Fun and Fellowship side of Rotary membership.  You are constantly on the move and see both "touristy" things and many behind the scenes things that tourists wouldn't be allowed access to.  It is entirely in keeping with the current Presidential motto that "Rotary Connects the World".
There are currently two separate District 5360 trips in the works for later this year to Brazil, and Dan spoke about the process within District 5360 for qualifying for one of the exchanges.  The work of hosting incoming groups, and participating in exchanges is scored and the clubs work counts toward participation.  More information is available on the District website 
Dan also spent a little time mentioning Rotary Fellowships, which are another social aspect of membership.  Rotary Fellowships are international groups for Rotarians that share a common passion. Being part of a fellowship is a fun way to make friends around the world, explore a hobby or profession, and enhance your Rotary experience.
Much more information about Fellowships are found on the Rotary International website 
Rotary Friendship Exchange - District 7850 Dave Panabaker 2019-12-23 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Exchange student - Maddy Caparini

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Dec 16, 2019
It was wonderful to have Maddy Caparini with us today, to give us her presentation about her year in the Republic of Czechoslovakia.  She was only 15 when she embarked upon her life changing experience and she spend the 2018 - 2019 school year in Trebic, Czech Republic.  This community is about 2 hours from Prague, but she truly enjoyed the community.  She was hosted by a small Rotary club, with only about a dozen members but they had three different Rotary exchange students that year.
Trebic has a terrible history from WW2, it was once one of the largest Jewish populations in Europe but was basically cleared out during the war and very few family's remain.  It is full of UNESCO World Heritage sites, they have many many churches and castles....Maddy really loved it!
She had 3 host families, in a variety of locales while she was there.  She did many presentations in her school about Canada, and made many new friends.  She showed photos of all of the host families, of the food that was popular, of her classmates and her various trips.  This particular District hosted 94 Exchange students, we will have 12 in our District this year according to Brian Robinson, who was her outbound councilor.   Maddy especially enjoyed her Eurotour, which is the District trip through France, Spain and Italy.  She showed many great photos.
Maddy was emphatic that she thanked Rotary, particularly her sponsor club which was Saamis - Medicine Hat, for this life changing experience.  She is very grateful for the time and money spent on her behalf and she promised to be involved with Rotary in the future.  She was thanked by President Margie.
Rotary Exchange student - Maddy Caparini Dave Panabaker 2019-12-16 07:00:00Z 0

Minute People today

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Dec 09, 2019
There were a long list of Minute People today, so it developed into a separate section of the Newsletter.
  • On behalf of Past President Chris, President Margie mentioned that the club Past Presidents will be contacted about their suggestions and recommendations for the next President-elect, to follow Mark Sorenson in the leadership of the club.  Please be thinking about candidates to take on this role.
  • Margie also reminded Rotarians to work hard on selling their Club 1000 tickets, so we are in a good position at the start of the year.
  • Ken Zollner mentioned that he, Sharon, Don Davis and Don's son Matt worked at the Co-op Christmas Party on Saturday and sold 50/50 tickets for their raffle.  They earned a $500 donation to the Rotary Music Festival, great work and thank you.
  • Teresa Schile, our Community Service (International) Director had two minutes;
    • First about our current project in Sri Lanka to assist in the dentistry to elder patients.  The first 6 have entered the program and the expectation is between 275 and 300 are hopefully going to be helped.
    • Second, that the International Committee is working on a new Indian project, with some of the contacts that our club used on previous projects.  An opportunity to go on a fact finding mission using District Travel grants in being explored, so stay tuned for that.
  • In keeping with the International Project theme, Wayne Chesley is going to do a presentation on the clubs previous 3H project in India on January 20th.  Wayne accompanied Sandy Mackay on a tour of that work about 8 years ago and has seen the "good done in the world" first hand, should be a great session.
  • Dave Stalwick is looking for a few more floor workers for the "Christmas" bingo on Monday evening, December 23rd.
  • Heather Bach advised that the delivery of the Christmas stockings will be at the Masterpiece Seniors facility on Friday December 13, beginning at 2:00 pm.  Please meet there, about 6 - 8 people are needed for the delivery service.
  • Heather also mentioned that she has set up a "Private" - Members only discussion group on Facebook to allow additional discussion and debate on changes to the club.  If you have a Facebook presence, please join in.....
  • Milan Vujovic mentioned that our most recent Rosebowl winner at the Music Festival, Soren Lorentzen will be holding a recital on Sunday afternoon, January 26th at 3:00 pm.  It promises to be a great afternoon of music, with several other Friends of the Music Festival.
  • Terry Brekko introduced himself to new and old members alike, he's been away from the club meetings for a few weeks and wanted to remind everyone that January is our push for patron donations and advertising for the Music Festival.  He hopes to have the packages available next week and because the Festival starts on March 1st, the funds need to be gathered in January.  Also, this is "ABSOLUTELY" his last year to be involved in this, after a 30 year run and he is looking for someone or someone(s) to take on this role.
  • Dave Panabaker presented President Margie with a certificate from Rotary International, thanking our club for our support of the End Polio fund.
  • Dave also mentioned that the club has been approached by the Children's Wish Foundation of Alberta, who are in urgent need of several casino workers for Thursday December 19th and Friday December 20th.  They particularly need an alternate GM for both afternoon shifts (3 pm - 9 pm) and a count room person for the second day at 1:00 am.  Please contact if you can help them out.
  • As a "post meeting" minute, Adolf Seiler phoned in the following.
    • The top three donation spots were;
      1. Walmart - Tim Hortons entrance.
      2. Northlands Co-op.
      3. Superstore.
    • Our club raised a total of $2,648 for the Salvation Army on Nov 30th, which equates to $47.28/hr for every one of our 56 volunteer hours.  Great work, and a BIG thank you from Adolf for all the cooperation and the volunteers.
  • Dave Panabaker also showed a series of photos of Rotarian Roger Roy at work in Mexico.  Roger was working with "Angels of Mexico" to build a playground and then with local Rotarians and members of the Saamis Rotary Club to bring wheelchairs and walkers down to Mexico.  His note read "it's just another day in paradise", but it looked like lots of hard work.
Minute People today Dave Panabaker 2019-12-09 07:00:00Z 0

Community Foundation Presentation

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Dec 02, 2019
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 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!
Community Foundation Presentation Dave Panabaker 2019-12-02 07:00:00Z 0

Strategic Direction Discussion

Posted by Mike Christie on Nov 25, 2019
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.
Strategic Direction Discussion Mike Christie 2019-11-25 07:00:00Z 0

Presentation by Chief Andy McGrogan

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.
Presentation by Chief Andy McGrogan Dave Panabaker 2019-11-04 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Centennial Park  - Tree planting

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Oct 28, 2019
Past President Chris Perret took the podium to review our last Centennial project, the creation of a park along the Eagle Butte Road in Dunmore to be called "Rotary Centennial Park", and allow the club to plant 100 trees to commemorate our 2018 Centennial.
PP Chris reviewed the history of the project, and that getting a spot to plant the 100 trees together within the City of Medicine Hat wasn't possible.  We didn't want them spread out throughout the City, as they would lose the recognition of 100 years.  Chris spoke about the new partnerships that this project could bring to the club, and that after a lengthy review of the storm water runoff pond on this property, the County has committed $80,000 to the project.  Our contribution would total $25,000 and would provide a lasting memorial to the 100th anniversary.  It would also complete our commitment to Past RI President Ian Riesley's wish that every Rotary Club would plant one tree for each member during his year.
There were a number of questions asked and answered from the club and then the project was approved unanimously by the members present.  We look forward to celebrating the completion of this area in the spring of 2020.  Great work by PP Chris to stay on this idea, through a number of twists and turns.
Rotary Centennial Park - Tree planting Dave Panabaker 2019-10-28 06:00:00Z 0

Meeting News

Introduction of Guests:

  • Lori McKenzie, Office Manager of Rotary Music Festival 


  • Jack Snedden               October 26.


  • Dale Stein             12 years     October 22, 2007
  • Terry Partis           19 year       October 25.2000

Weekly Draws:  

  • Teresa Schile - won a box of bulbs to be planted in the garden

Club 500:

  • No draw this week.

Minute People: 


Ray - A book was gifted to Ray called Adventures in Rotary Service dated November 30th, 1964 he is going to add it to the Rotary Library

Margie - The Club History document should be ready soon

Kitt - Shared the flag her a Dieter received from their trip to Ontario

Don D. - Anne is looking for 2 volunteers to join the South Country Coop Christmas dinner to sell 50/50 tickets.  It will include dinner and a $500 donation.  December 7th 6pm - 11pm 

Sandy Mackay reminded the club that World Polio Day is Thursday Oct 24, he is hosting an education session at the Medicine Hat Library from 4pm - 8pm


Meeting News Heather Bach 2019-10-24 06:00:00Z 0

Medicine Hat College update

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Oct 07, 2019
The Rotary Club was delighted to move their meeting today, to the Courtyard Room at the Medicine Hat College and enjoy a presentation about the direction and strategic plan updates that have been taking place under the guidance of the new Medicine Hat College President, Kevin Shufflebotham.  Kevin was introduced by "Acting President" Gail Halderman, who presented Kevin as the 10th, and youngest, President to hold this role at the Medicine Hat College.
Kevin is new to the College but not new to the area.  Both he and his wife Corrine are from this region, and he "loves being at the college".  He emphasized that they are focused on the mandate of the college, to "be the best you can be" and also focused on "the students".  The reality is that MH College is all about the students, which currently has approx 3,350 enrolled in various programs.
The college has been going through a Strategic Planning process, to envision the next 10 years at the institution.  He intends to be here to "see through" the changes that the adoption of that plan will bring.  He reviewed the "SWOT" analysis done as part of that process, the Strength's, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats to this institution and engaged the Rotarians present in discussion of several of those points.
Kevin encouraged those present to take the questionaire at to "Think, Discuss and Engage" about the future needs in the region and where the programs of the Medicine Hat College can at add to the value chain.  He spoke about the need to "refocus" their programs for the next 10 years and he spent some time comparing the situation here to SAIT or Olds College.
Kevin was thanked by Rotarian Terry Cooper ( a former VP Academic at MHC) and presented with a token of the club's appreciation.  He answered a number of questions and directed other questions to some of the senior college staff who were present.
A great lunch meeting, and we wish Kevin and the college staff every success in the future.
Medicine Hat College update Dave Panabaker 2019-10-07 06:00:00Z 0

Music Festival Impact - Jason Vaz

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Sep 23, 2019
The Rotary Club welcomed Dr Jason Vaz to the podium.  Jason was a performer in the Rotary Music Festival from 1990 to 2005.  He began competing at age 3, and was twice runner up in the Rosebowl competition. After graduation from high school he started to focus on dancing and ended up pursuing dance professionally with Citie Ballet (Edmonton), Alberta Ballet, Ballet Jorgen Canada and several other companies.
He has subsequently pursued an undergraduate  Biomedical Science degree at the University of Calgary, and completed his MD at the University of Alberta.
He is completed his final year of Anesthesia Residency at the U of A and did a year long fellowship in Pediatric Anesthesiology at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
His words said it best, " I owe so much of my current success to my formative years in the Rotary Music Festival.  I believe all those years of practicing endlessly, balancing multiple activities and dealing with performance pressure, set the foundation for me to be able to pursue music, dance and medicine. "  "Looking back, I am so grateful to the Rotary Club of Medicine Hat for their continual support of the Music Festival.  I really believe that studying music opens countless doors and that my childhood in Medicine Hat would not have been the same had I not been involved in music".
Dr Vaz spoke about the lifelong friendships he maintains with fellow performs and the self confidence he still feels to this day.
The whole club wishes Jason well, as he takes up his new position at the Children's Hospital in Saskatoon, in their Anesthesiology department.
Music Festival Impact - Jason Vaz Dave Panabaker 2019-09-23 06:00:00Z 0

Honorary Paul Harris Fellowship - Malcolm Sissons

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Sep 23, 2019
DG Christine Rendell and PDG Sandy Mackay were pleased to present Malcolm Sissons with an honorary Paul Harris Fellowship on behalf of the Medicine Hat Rotary Club.
Sandy Mackay advised that this is the second recognition of Malcolm made by this club, the first going back to 1976, when then DG Leo Lewis recognized Malcolm for his work in the community and with a Post Graduate Fellowship in Grenobal, France.  Malcolm spoke about being newly married and spending a year in France.
The presentation touched on many Heritage and Historical topics within the community which Malcolm has been active in.  Malcolm is well known in the community for his weekly historical article in the Medicine Hat News and being a "go to" authority on historical places and buildings within the local area.
Malcolm's work and community spirit will be recognized later this year with an Alberta Award of Excellence.
All the members of the club congratulate him on his achievements and thank him for his service to the community.
Honorary Paul Harris Fellowship - Malcolm Sissons Dave Panabaker 2019-09-23 06:00:00Z 0

Official Visit of the District Governor

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Sep 23, 2019
The Rotary Club of Medicine Hat welcomed Christine Rendell, District Governor for 2019 - 2020 to the meeting today.
DG Christine was introduced by local AG Dave Panabaker, and told us about her experience with Rotary starting with induction in 1999.  She has now been a member of the Calgary East club for 20 years, and she and her husband Brian have been partners in the Rotary journey.  She joined while she worked for ATB Financial, as an opportunity to give back to the community and network through the business community. She has been President of the Calgary East club and a member of the District 5360 Board. 
She is working this year under a motto of "Connect, Communicate and Collaborate".  She has been part of the Calgary East "Police Reading in School" program, mentoring youth and building homes in Mexico.  She believes the time is exactly right for Rotary, for growing it with our increasing diverse community and she read the new "Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement".  There is room for everyone in Rotary.
Rotary's Strategic Plan has four pillars
  1. Increase our impact.
  2. Expand our Reach.
  3. Enhance Participation and Engagement.
  4. Increase our Ability to Adapt.
DG Christine thanked everyone for all they do for Rotary, and provided a summary of upcoming events and activities in the District.
Christine was thanked by President Margie, and given a Rotary "Half-full" cup to commemorate her visit.
Official Visit of the District Governor Dave Panabaker 2019-09-23 06:00:00Z 0

SERnina presentation by Danielle Skogen

Posted on Sep 16, 2019
The Rotary Club of Medicine Hat welcomed Danielle Skogen ( a new member of MH Sunrise Rotary) to the club meeting and the podium today, to speak about her experiences in Guatemala.  Danielle is the founder of an NGO in Guatemala named SERnina (which means "to be a girl" in Spanish).
Danielle grew up in Medicine Hat from the age of 5, and graduated from high school here in town.  A teacher by trade, Danielle has always believed that education and empowerment are the keys to ending poverty.  She picked up stakes at age 23 and moved to Guatemala.  Danielle met many resilient, brave and hopeful young girls in the countryside, and took action to help them reach their full potential.  Alongside REALgirl Empowerment Program, Danielle co-founded SERnina to provide leadership, self-esteem and empowerment workshops to at-risk girls and women.  It has reached thousands of girls and is growing every year.
Danielle has moved back to Medicine Hat and is now launching a life coaching practice to support local women and girls and help them become the best version of themselves.
SERnina presentation by Danielle Skogen 2019-09-16 06:00:00Z 0

Presentation by Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Sep 09, 2019
The Rotary Club welcomed Lisa Kowalchuk to the meeting today.  Lisa has been the Executive Director of the Chamber for slightly over 10 years, and has been a significant force in the Chambers amazing performance at the Provincial and Federal levels.  The local chamber has been recognized as the Alberta "Chamber of the Year" 3 times in the last 10 years, most recently in 2018.  The Chamber of Commerce has been around since 1900 and has had to adapt to grow and prosper in this changing society.  there are 870 members of the MH Chamber, and over 25,000 in chambers across the province.
Lisa mentioned that one of her current Board members is Rotarian Sara Koch, who was in the audience and she acknowledged the contributions of a number of Rotary members to the success of the Chamber over the years.  She talked about the goals of the Chamber, some of the challenges of a small chamber and a number (and it was a significant number) of accomplishments over the past year.  Lisa spoke about the makeup of the chamber and how that has shifted over the past 10 years.  As well, they want to be a credible advisor, to their members and to governments at all levels.  That means their approach has to be balanced and to the benefit of the entire community.
Lisa answered several questions from the audience and was presented with a Rotary "Medalta" half-full coffee mug by Mike Christie.  Lisa's presentation in "pdf" form is available on the club website under club documents and presentations.
Presentation by Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce Dave Panabaker 2019-09-09 06:00:00Z 0

Short Term Youth Exchange

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Aug 19, 2019
It was a pleasure to welcome our current Short Term Youth Exchange participants, Karli Mardian from Medicine Hat and Bennedetta Minello from Italy to the meeting today.  Bennedetta is on the reciprocal portion of the exchange, after her family entertained Karli in Italy earlier this summer.
The girls were introduced by Rotarian Neil Mardian, and provided photographs of both halves of the exchange.  Karli spend 3 weeks in Italy and Bennedetta has one week remaining on her three week visit.  The girls have had a wonderful time, and everything has gone swimmingly (lots of water sports photos).  
Information about Youth Exchange can be found on the District Youth Exchange website 
Short Term Youth Exchange Dave Panabaker 2019-08-19 06:00:00Z 0

Adventures in Citizenship

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Aug 12, 2019
The Rotary Club was delighted to welcome two members of last years Interact Club, Azin Dolatabadi and Rhea Nayak, to the meeting today.  The girls were introduced by Theresa Eisenbarth, who is the club representative to the Medicine Hat High School club.  Both girls attended this years edition of "Adventures in Citizenship", in Ottawa.  They began their presentation by speaking about the travel and meeting their host families.  The event was attended by over 220 students from all across the country, for three days of education and fun learning about may aspects of government, and some of the things that make Canada great.
They visited the Canadian War Museum, got a tour of the west block of Parliament, meeting both the Speaker of the House and the Privy Clerk.
They witnessed an emotional citizenship ceremony and toured the Shaw center learning about the challenges of the indigenous peoples and trying some traditional foods.
Both girls are headed to university, attempting degrees in science.  We wish both the girls well in their future endeavors and thank them for their community service through Interact and their great presentation.  The girls were presented with Rotary mugs by President Margie Booyens.
Adventures in Citizenship Dave Panabaker 2019-08-12 06:00:00Z 0

Honorary Club Membership - Herman Wahl

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jul 29, 2019
In a special presentation today, Past President Chris Perret announced that Herman Wahl was being made an Honorary Member of the club.
Herman joined the Rotary Club of Medicine Hat in 1962, and took the Rotary charge to heart, participating in club projects and activities for 57 years.  He demonstrated the qualities of head and heart that epitomize being a Rotarian and has been an inspiration to many in the club.  Herman was introduced to the club by Bill Sellhorn ( Anne Carrier's father) and was given the classification "flower farmer" to fit with his greenhouse industry business.
In 2019, Herman's health has been a challenge and he needed to reconsider active membership and took a leave of absence.  The Membership Committee and the Rotary Board did not want to end over 57 years of dedicated service and fellowship and therefore converted his membership to honorary.  What that hopefully means is all the fun and less of the work.  We also hope to see Herman and Fran at future Rotary events and we all thank Herman for his many years of service to Rotary and the Community.
Honorary Club Membership - Herman Wahl Dave Panabaker 2019-07-29 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary in the Park with the District Governor

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jul 22, 2019
The Rotary Club celebrated the start of this years Stampede Week with our annual picnic in the park.  Rotary Park was one of the major activities of the Rotary Club in the last century, and the site of the old pool has been preserved as a beautiful urban park and greenspace.
It was a special pleasure this year to welcome this years District 5360 Governor, Christine Rendell and her husband Brian Carnahan.  Christine is a native of Bishop's Falls, Nfld and had a long career at ATB prior to retiring in 2006.  She and Brian have two sons and one 3 year old granddaughter.
Christine spoke very briefly, and shouted above the traffic noise from Maple Ave, about her love of Rotary, some of her past experience and her general views on this year.  She will be returning in September to a regular club meeting for a more formal presentation of this years theme and some Rotary International updates.
Everyone enjoyed a wonderful meal, catered by Skinny's Smokehouse and organized by Jillian Koch (many thanks for a great job Jillian!!).  Also congratulations to the winners of the "dress up for stampede" contest, both Anne Carrier and Stan Sakamoto took home door prizes.
Rotary in the Park with the District Governor Dave Panabaker 2019-07-22 06:00:00Z 0

Presentation by Katarina - New Generations Service Exchange

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jul 15, 2019
The Rotary Club welcomed Katarina Braess, our visiting New Generations Service Exchange student to the podium, who provided a summary of herself and of her community.
She began her presentation by thanking everyone for providing her with this opportunity, she is having a wonderful time and learning a great deal about her chosen profession.
Katarina began by speaking about her hometown, Regensburg which is in Southwestern Germany in Bavaria.  She believes that Bavaria has the most distinctly German culture of any of the area's of Germany.  The City means "Castle at the Rain" and has a population of 150,000.   It has history dating back to the Roman Empire, and the medieval inner city is a UNESCO world heritage site. She is sponsored for her exchange by Rotary Millenium Regensburg. 
Katarina is almost 19, has graduated from high school and is taking a gap year before entering university.  Her high school was founded in 1505 and her description of high school sounds like a lot more school and a lot less sports than in North America.  She also described her previous participation in the Short Term Exchange program and their family had a Long Term Exchange student from Brazil stay with them.
In her gap year she has taken a French language course in Paris, spent time in Morocco doing social service work and has done legal internships in Regensburg and Munich.  Definitely not an idle year, that's for sure.  She will be returning home in late August, with intentions to attend university close to home.
We wish her all the best in her future endeavours.
Presentation by Katarina - New Generations Service Exchange Dave Panabaker 2019-07-15 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Friendship Exchange

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jul 08, 2019
The Rotary Club of Medicine Hat welcomed fellow Rotarians from District 9930, which takes up the middle of the North Island of New Zealand.  This was the second half of a Friendship Exchange that saw a number of District 5360 Rotarians in New Zealand last year.
The visitors were treated to a tour of City Hall, where they met Mayor Clugston, and also enjoyed a visit to Medalta.
On Friday evening, a special club meeting was held and Michael Nightingale and Carl Tookey from the New Zealand group presented a great slideshow on District 9930 and the flora/fauna of New Zealand.  A great time was had by everyone and we wish the group well in their further travels over the next 10 days.
Rotary Friendship Exchange Dave Panabaker 2019-07-08 06:00:00Z 0

2019 - 2020 Club Budget

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jul 08, 2019
Club Treasurer Gail Halderman presented the 2019 - 2020 Budget for approval by the club.
The meeting had two components, as the first half was related to Gails presentation and the second PP Chris Perret spoke about issues with our Club 500 draw, and the need to think carefully about our fundraising activities and how we can work together with the Music Festival Society to improve our ability to fundraise.
A number of questions and suggestions were put forward by Rotarians on both topics and the budget was ultimately approved.  A copy of the budget can be found under "Club Documents" in Clubrunner.
2019 - 2020 Club Budget Dave Panabaker 2019-07-08 06:00:00Z 0

Introduction of Katerina Braess, NGSE student 

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jul 08, 2019
The Rotary Club welcomed Katarina to the meeting and our club on Canada Day.  There was a welcome party at Skinny's Smokehouse, which was attended by host families and other Rotarians.  Great food and wonderful to see so many folks out to introduce themselves and visit with our first New Generations Service Exchange student
Katarina was also put to work at the Salvation Army Hot Meal program on Wednesday evening.
Introduction of Katerina Braess, NGSE student Dave Panabaker 2019-07-08 06:00:00Z 0

Induction of 2019 - 2020 Rotary Executive

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jun 24, 2019
The annual Executive changeover was completed at the meeting, with the installation of Margie Booyens as President, and the induction of the 2019 - 2020 Board of Directors.
PP Karen Blewett, who has been working on our Strategic Plan update, spent some time speaking about the "experiment" we are undertaking with this board, developing revised member roles and creating several "at large" Directorships, to allow us to be more flexible and nimble.
We all wish the Board success and the changes will be reviewed in December at the AGM.
Induction of 2019 - 2020 Rotary Executive Dave Panabaker 2019-06-24 06:00:00Z 0

Welcome to New Member - Rod Dal Collo

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jun 24, 2019
It's a great privilege of Past President's to induct new members to the club, and today PP Mike Christie read the induction for Rod Dal Collo.  Rod is a former Rotarian, with previous service at both Calgary Olympic and the Hinton Rotary Clubs, but has been away from Rotary for a few years.  Rod is a native of Redcliff, and has returned to this area in his profession as a lawyer with Stringam LLP.
Rod's sponsor was PP Dave Panabaker, who told the club a little about Rod and who worked with Rod's father at the City of Medicine Hat Gas Utility.  President Chris Perret presented Rod with his member pin and the certificate of membership
We all welcome Rod to the club and look forward to his contribution to the club and to the community.
Welcome to New Member - Rod Dal Collo Dave Panabaker 2019-06-24 06:00:00Z 0

Presentation of Paul Harris Fellowships

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jun 19, 2019
PDG Sandy Mackay was pleased to present two Rotarians with recognition of contributions to the Rotary Foundation, with Paul Harris Fellowships.
First, because the Rotary Club of Medicine Hat is a 100% PHF club, Sandy presented Lisa DesRouches with her first PHF, as a new member and for her enthusiastic participation in the club since joining this year.  Great work and thank you.
Sandy then presented Honorary Rotarian Sieg Kappler with a Paul Harris pin with 5 sapphires, to recognize his continuing contribution to the Rotary Foundation.  We all benefit from these contributions with funds returned through the District and Global grant programs that allow Rotary to "do good" in the world.  Thanks Sieg!
Presentation of Paul Harris Fellowships Dave Panabaker 2019-06-19 06:00:00Z 0

Honorary Paul Harris Fellowships

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jun 10, 2019
Marg Mazerolle took the podium and presented the work of a small committee which has been tasked with selecting community members for Honorary Paul Harris Fellowships.  This form of Paul Harris Fellowship (PHF) is an honorary recognition by Rotary as a way to say "thank you" to an individual for their contributions to improving the quality of the life in the community.
The committee recommended two names, which were voted on by the members present and approved unanimously.
Because this award is done confidentially, the two individuals will now be approached and arrangements made to make the presentations.  Thanks to the committee for their work, they have come up with two worthy recipients.  Names to be announce once confirmed.
Honorary Paul Harris Fellowships Dave Panabaker 2019-06-10 06:00:00Z 0

Induction of Neil Mardian

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jun 10, 2019
The club is always thrilled to welcome a new member to the Family of Rotary, so Past President Doug Fleming and sponsor Mark Sorenson were pleased to induct Neil Mardian into the club, and present him with the pin and membership certificate of a Rotarian.
Neil is a co-worker of Mark's at TD Canada Trust in their financial planning group.
We welcome Neil to the club, and look forward to helping him contribute to the life and vibrancy of this community and the world.
Induction of Neil Mardian Dave Panabaker 2019-06-10 06:00:00Z 0

Humboldt Strong - D5550 Scholarship winner

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jun 10, 2019
The club was very proud to welcome Michael Clark, this years winner of the Rotary District 5550 scholarship in honor of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team.
The purpose of the Rotary District 5550 scholarship is to honor the Humboldt Broncos who lost their lives or were injured in the April 2018 bus accident, and to recognize a Humboldt Broncos player who shows caring for others and demonstrates an attitude of "Service above Self".In order to be eligible for the award, three criteria are in place.
  1. A player must be playing with the Humboldt Broncos in his final year of junior eligibility.
  2. A player must demonstrate a commitment to his academic pursuits with a Grade 12 average above 70% or have completed a minimum of 2 post-secondary courses.
  3. A player must have contributed a significant number of volunteer hours in the community while playing for the Humboldt Broncos.
Michael was born in Medicine Hat in August of 1998, and soon moved to Newfoundland where the majority of his family are from. He has a life long love of hockey, playing on a frozen pond in Terrenceville, NFLD when he was just walking and has been at a rink one way or the other for most of his 20 years.
Michael spoke about winning the award, his community involvement and the lessons this hard year has taught him.
All of us wish him the absolute best, as he pursues a degree in Finance at the University of Lethbridge beginning in the fall.  He is a worthy recipient of the scholarship and we are sure he'll do great things in the future.
Humboldt Strong - D5550 Scholarship winner Dave Panabaker 2019-06-10 06:00:00Z 0

Strategic Discussion - Pillars of the Club

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jun 03, 2019
The meeting of the club was spent discussing a key strategic decision for the club go forward, that of our key focus areas.
The club is in the midst of a number of discussions about sustainability and modernization, and for the short term future it is advisable to establish some "Pillars of the Club", which will help define the club both internally and within the community.
Chris Perret, Karen Blewett and Heather Bach led a discussion of those pillars.
A questionnaire is going out to all club members this week and the intention is to integrate whatever pillars are approved more intentionally into the work of the Rotary Club.
Strategic Discussion - Pillars of the Club Dave Panabaker 2019-06-03 06:00:00Z 0

Interact Meeting

Posted by Doug Fleming on May 29, 2019
The May 27th Rotary meeting was an evening meeting held at Medicine Hat High School with the MHHS Interact Club.  25 Rotarians; 7 Spouses/Partners; 8 Interact Students and 6 guests were in attendance. The Interact students ran the meeting with some help from President Chris and Sergeant-at-Arms Adolf.
The meeting was opened by Interact Co-Presidents Azin and Michael. Following the singing of O'Canada lead by vocalist Miranda and Noah on piano, a lovely supper was served by the cafeteria staff.  Following supper, Presidents Azin and Michael then explained the proceeding for the evening.  They highlighted the silent auction items and reminded those present to buy raffle tickets for the 10 table succulent plant centre pieces which were made and donated by President Azin's mother.
Azim and Sergeant at Arms Adolf then went around putting the touch on all Rotarians in attendance. The proceeds when to the Interact Club's hospital project so no one objected too much to being fined.
Interact members Azin, Iqmat and Micheal then presented a Power Point overview of the Hat High Interact Club. The Club has 18 active members and have been raising funds through bake sales and various other activities. They then presented an impressive list of the Club's projects and activities.
  • Renovating a room in the Pediatric Ward at the hospital (Main project for the past 2 years.)
  • Helping our Club serve Hot Meals at the Salvation Army.
  • Purple Pinkies for Polio.
  • Bake Sales.
  • Canada Day PopCorn Concession.
Two members of the Interact Club attended RYLA as participants while one went as a Junior Leader. Two Club members also went to Ottawa for the Adventures in Citizenship program. 
The Interact Club received funds from the Community Foundation's 'Youth in Philanthropy', to donate to organizations of their choice. They decided to donate funds to Saamis Immigration ($1500) and The  Medicine Hat Health Foundation ($1500).  Cheques were then presented to representative from these organizations.
Following the cheque presentations, the Interactors showed a short video on their Pediatric room project and the formal part of the meeting came to a conclusion as the winners of the silent auction were announce. Members in attendance then had an opportunity to mix and mingle with these active and enthusiastic Interactor before heading home.
During the evening, a number of comments were made to the effect that these Interactors are the future of Rotary and judging from the actions of these students, the future looks bright.
Interact Meeting Doug Fleming 2019-05-29 06:00:00Z 0

2019 Rosebowl Evening

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Apr 29, 2019
On Monday evening, April 25th, The Rotary Club was very happy to welcome the Lorentzen family to our evening meeting, and hear an amazing performance by the 2019 Winner of the Rotary Rosebowl, Laec Lorentzen.  Laec played two pieces on the cello and was accompanied by Con Shandro.
Laec was introduced by the 2019 Chairman of the Festival Committee, Milan Vujovic who did a review of the Festival history and talked about recent events.  Laec performed Haydn's Cello Concerto in C and by the modern composer Martinu, "Variations on a Theme of Rossini by Paganini".
The room was pretty full for the performance and we all wish Laec the best at Provincials.
2019 Rosebowl Evening Dave Panabaker 2019-04-29 06:00:00Z 0

TED talk, by Mayor Ted Clugston

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Apr 08, 2019
The Rotary Club of Medicine Hat welcomed honorary member, Mayor Ted Clugston to the meeting today and enjoyed a quick review of the State of the City.  Mayor Ted is in his second term as Mayor and has now been on City Council for over 10 years.  He started by introducing the current council, and by talking about making Medicine Hat a municipal environment where people want to "Live/Work/Play".  Mayor Ted spoke about the transition from huge capital projects, such as the river flood berms and the Canalta Center to seeing those projects augmented with Private Developments that complement that work.
Ted spoke about the development of large scale commercial in the City's SE quadrant and the massive new industries such as HUT8, Aurora and Folium.  He also spoke about the "patient" money being invested by the private sector, who see it as a good time to build for a future which is much brighter.
He talked about the Financially Fit program, which adjusted City revenues for the loss of the large Energy Dividend, and touched on a number of other timely issues.
He was asked about Supervised Consumption site, about Utility Bill charges and for an update on the Energy Division exploration program.  Certainly it could have gone on a long time, but Ted had to run to take part in the announcement on a Ronald MacDonald house adjacent to the hospital (a blessing for families dealing with illness).  He was thanked by President Chris for a great talk.
TED talk, by Mayor Ted Clugston Dave Panabaker 2019-04-08 06:00:00Z 0

Folium Bioscience Presentation

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Apr 01, 2019
The Rotary Club welcomed Ryan Jackson, General Manager of the new Folium Bioscience plant currently under development in Medicine Hat.  Ryan has spent the last four years at the helm of Invest Medicine Hat and been very successful at diversifying the local economy with new industries and many new jobs.  Folium Bioscience was created in 2013, and headquartered in Colorado Springs.
They are the largest vertically integrated producer, manufacturer and distributor of hemp derived phytocannabinoids in the USA.  They intend to supply their unique 0.0% THC phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil to 32 countries, to diverse industries including the supplement, cosmetic, personal care and animal heath industries.
They employ in excess of 200 people, and will add approximately 200 jobs with the startup of the Medicine Hat facility.  "Not all hemp is created equal" is their slogan and they will be working to develop markets in South America from the local plant.  They will be building a 100,00 sq ft extraction/purification plant and a 70,000 sq foot finished goods facility.
Several questions were asked and answered, the audience learned a lot and Ryan was thanked by Mark.
Folium Bioscience Presentation Dave Panabaker 2019-04-01 06:00:00Z 0

Aurora Sun - The "Grass City"

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Mar 25, 2019
The Rotary Club welcomed Bernard McGillivray, General Manager of the new Aurora Sun plant being constructed in the Box Springs Business Park.  The facility is a huge building, in excess of one and a half million sq ft and when it is fully operational in the second quarter of 2020, will produce approximately 150,000 kg of medical quality marijuana every year.  Bernard shared that weight of product was approximately three and a half million "joints".  He talked about the business environment, which is a transition from a "black market" product to a legal one.
Bernard spoke about the scope and extent of Aurora, it is positioning itself to be a worldwide force in the cannabis business, and is  focusing on Product R&D to help legitimize the value of their products in the medical marketplace.  The estimated worldwide size of that market is in excess of $70B, so worth going after.  He spoke about the timelines for this plant, with approximately 400 local jobs and touched on the difference between hemp and cannabis.
He answered a number of audience questions and was thanked for his informative talk by Gail Halderman.
Aurora Sun - The "Grass City" Dave Panabaker 2019-03-25 06:00:00Z 0

Food Bank, Caring and Sharing

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Mar 18, 2019
The Rotary Club welcomed Celina Symmonds, Executive Director of the MH Food Bank to our meeting today.  Celina is well known in the community as a former member of City Council, a current member of the Public School Board and her work at the Food Bank.
Celina began her talk by reviewing some of the history of the Food Bank, which started in 1982 as a method of enuring food security for those who were hard hit by the economic downturn occurring at that time.  They were not expected to last many years, but are still an unfortunately thriving part of our social security net.  The organization has a "Food First" Plan, and have been working with families to provide about 12 weeks of education, to help impress on them the importance of making food a priority.  This has been remarkable successful, with many of the program graduates moving beyond needing the Food Bank, and helping lift them out of poverty.
This work has led the organization to propose a Community Food & Wellness Center, with access to a meal with friends, a teaching kitchen for food safety and serving.  As well, the facility would provide contact access for other social service groups, including medical and dental care, as well as contact with organizations like Phoenix Safe house for those driven to the food bank by domestic violence.  Celina played an impactful video of the food bank in action.  She also provided some facts and figures on this proposed 35,000 sq ft building, at a cost of $8.5 Million.  Currently MHSD # 76 has come on board as a major partner and she spoke about opportunities for service clubs to provide facilities or help access grants.
A number of questions were asked and answered, and she was thanked by Wayne Chesley with a token of our appreciation.
Food Bank, Caring and Sharing Dave Panabaker 2019-03-18 06:00:00Z 0

Cypress County update

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Mar 04, 2019
The Rotary Club of Medicine Hat welcomed County Reeve Dan Hamilton to the meeting today.  Dan spoke about the large rural municipality which surrounds Medicine Hat and Redcliff and talked about a number of the upcoming projects in the county.
First, Dan spoke about the great enthusiasm that Cypress County has for the construction of the walking trail connecting the City trail network to the Desert Blume development.  They are thrilled that Rotary is a part of that project and look forward to its start as soon as the frost is out of the ground in July or Aug......(editors note - hopefully not that long).  The other major recreation project is a new boat launch being constructed at the Sandy Point park on the South Saskatchewan River.
Also important is the creation of a signalized intersection in Dunmore, at the intersection near the High School.  Construction is expected on this work over the summer.
Dan spoke about a number of other projects, probably none more vital to life in the county that water.  The county leadership are developing a water strategy for all of Cypress County.  As well, the support for an equestrian center in Dunmore, and an ice surface at the high school are high priorities.
Dan also spoke about a number of interesting green energy projects in Cypress County, including the 91,000 panel solar PV facility at Suffield.  With state of the art solar panels, manufactured in South Korea this facility will be an interesting test of large scale solar power production.  Dan answered a number of questions and was thanked by PP Karen for attending the club meeting today.
Cypress County update Dave Panabaker 2019-03-04 07:00:00Z 0

New Generations Service Exchange

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Feb 25, 2019
President Elect Margie Booyens was the speaker today.  Margie is helping District 5360 enter a new portion of youth service with the New Generations Service Exchange program.    The program is being led by noted Calgary Rotarian Christina Assan, and provides an opportunity for youth professionals, either during their post secondary education or their initial years as a professional, to experience a cultural and learning exchange.
The New Generations Service Exchange (NGSE) program is a short term International Exchange program, the objective of which is to create goodwill and international understanding. In addition to vocational experience and cultural immersion there will be the opportunity to take part in international voluntary service opportunities.
Two youth adults have taken part already, one from Italy in engineering in Calgary and one from German who is a geologist and was in Drumheller, AB.
The program is very inexpensive for Rotary, the applicant is responsible for most costs and there is no youth certification required.  It is intended to help build interest and appreciation for Rotary in the next generation of adults who could be Rotarians.  Margie talked about opportunities and next steps and got several suggestions from the club.
New Generations Service Exchange Dave Panabaker 2019-02-25 07:00:00Z 0

Medicine Hat Recovery Centre

Tracey Jangula of the Medicine Hat Recovery Centre was the speaker on Monday and was introduced by Heather Bach. Tracey, an addictions counsellor and  manager with the centre started her talk by reporting that this spring, the centre will be celebrating its 3rd year of operation in Medicine Hat. Tracey advised the need for such a facility was identified a number of years ago, but it took time to find a suitable site and come up with the facility design. Tracey reported the facility on Kipling street was designed to serve the needs of their program.
The Medicine Hat Recovery Centre operates 24 hours a day, with an  interdisciplinary teams of professionals.  The facility houses two programs. First there are 18 beds for the Detox Stabilization Program, where clients spent from 3 to 14 days at the centre going through a program to medically manage withdrawal symptoms from the withdrawal of alcohol and other substances. The second are 12 beds for  the Intensive Addiction Treatment Program where patients can spend 4 to 6 weeks in a recovery program. 
In addition to the in-house support, the centre provides Outreach support, in the form of a social worker and Addictions Counsellor for people who have left the facility. Tracey advised that the centre operates on a "Reduction of Care Model" and have had good support from the Medical Community.  When asked if she though the program was a success, Tracey replied that she felt it was very successful, not only helping people with their addictions, but also with other aspects of their lives.  She went on to say that people with addictions often suffer from other mental and physical issues and the program has been successful in helping some connect with family, friends and other services in the community, all of which which can go along way to reduce addictions.
Tracey then held a question and answer session which generated more interesting discussion and information. Our guest was then thanked by Sergeant at Arms Don Davis who presented Tracey with a Rotary Mug. 
Medicine Hat Recovery Centre Doug Fleming 2019-02-04 07:00:00Z 0

Introduction to Clubrunner

Posted by Dave Panabaker
President Chris Perret presented a short introduction to Clubrunner, the software program that Rotary in this District (and many others) use to run their administration, their websites and provide event planning and attendance management.  As well as the PC based program, a new addition to the options available is the clubrunner "app", which is available for download on most major smartphone platforms.
Clubrunner has a "public" face, as well as a confidential side that is available only to Rotary members.
Chris went through the login information, and if any member of the club is having trouble with that, please contact Doug Fleming who can provide your login name and password.
President Chris showed the members present the public club documents, as well as the location of the private paperwork, such as member lists, Board agendas and minutes and other Rotary documentation.  He also spent some time showing members the advantages of using the Clubrunner app, which provides contact information for all members.
Clubrunner has a great number of valuable features, today highlighted just a few and more will be explained in the near future.  As displayed at the meeting the "Club Hub" button at the top of the website, now contains President Chris's presentation and the information on downloading the app.
Introduction to Clubrunner Dave Panabaker 2019-01-28 07:00:00Z 0

BBB - Top 10 Scams Presentation

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jan 14, 2019
The Rotary Club welcomed Ron Riemann, an accredited Business Service Consultant with the Better Business Bureau (serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay).  Ron took some time to explain the origins, funding and purpose of BBB.  The BBB was created in 1912 and now has a total of 113 Bureau's across North America.
He took some time to speak about the Mission and Values of BBB, which is NOT a gov't agency, gets NO funding from any level of gov't, is NOT a "for profit" business or a regulatory agency.  They are really in the knowledge and education business, for consumers and service providers.  Much more information is available on their website at 
He outlined the Top 10 Scams of 2017, spoke about how technology is changing the nature of scams and cons, and that law enforcement is likely not to get involved.  He spoke about the $95 Million dollars lost to scammers in 2017 just in Canada, and that they tend to prey specifically on teens and seniors.
The top three scams were
  1. Online purchases
  2. Wire Fraud/Spearphishing
  3. Online Dating scams
A great presentation from an authority in the field.  His parting advise, "if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!"  Beware.
BBB - Top 10 Scams Presentation Dave Panabaker 2019-01-14 07:00:00Z 0

Medicine Hat Women's Shelter Society presentation

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Dec 10, 2018
The Rotary Club welcomed Peggy Revell, Community Education Coordinator for the Medicine Hat Women's Shelter Society to the meeting today.  Peggy is a former reporter for the Medicine Hat News, and has recently taken on the role with the MHWSS to help support their out-reach and support programs for victims of family violence in this community and surrounding area.
Peggy reviewed the definition of family violence, which is "violence or abuse of power within a relationship where there's trust, dependency and family".   There was a good size crowd at the meeting today, which filled the room and was nice to see so close to the Christmas season.
She spoke about familiar programs, such as Phoenix Safe House and the 24/7 help line (1-800-661-7949).  She also talked about the "Housing First" initiative, Musasa Second Stage Housing and their outreach programs.  A wonderful presentation, a lot of information and a number of subsequent questions asked and answered.  Great presentation about an unfortunately necessary service in the community.
Medicine Hat Women's Shelter Society presentation Dave Panabaker 2018-12-10 07:00:00Z 0

Christmas  Stockings for Seniors

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Dec 03, 2018
The Rotary Club took on a challenge to supply 150 Christmas stockings to the seniors at Masterpiece - Southlands.  Led by Heather Bach, the club purchased a number of fun things and at our meeting on Dec 3rd, did an assembly line of "stocking stuffing", to prepare the gifts for delivery later in the week.
Sometimes this group can be forgotten at the Christmas season, so hopefully this will brighten many spirits.  Great work all!
Christmas Stockings for Seniors Dave Panabaker 2018-12-03 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Foundation Presentation

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Nov 19, 2018
Past District Governor, Sandy Mackay gave a comprehensive and informative presentation to the club on the Rotary Foundation.  The foundation is the charitable arm of Rotary, which has a mission to "do good in the world".  The Foundation was created in 1917, by the 6th Rotary International President, Arch Klumph, with the "profit" from the convention that year.  The Rotary Club of Kansas provided him with $26.50.  Today the Foundation administers an endowment of over $3 Billion US dollars and provides in excess of $100 Million dollars every year in grants.
PDG Sandy went through a number of important Objects of Rotary and how they relate to the Foundation, the Foundations "areas of focus" and some of the efforts to promote peace in the world, including Peace Scholarships, Ambassadorial Scholarships, Polio-plus and the Global Grant process.
A great presentation, several questions were addressed and Sandy encouraged all Rotarians to check out the Foundation, through . Please sign up and if you wish contribute.  It is the Foundation that we are all a part of, as Rotarians and the funds come back to Rotarians for the decisions on what/where to support.
Rotary Foundation Presentation Dave Panabaker 2018-11-19 07:00:00Z 0

Presentation on Prairie Gleaners

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Nov 05, 2018
The Rotary Club welcomed James Smith, Board chair of Prairie Gleaners to the meeting.
James spoke about the history of Prairie Gleaners, about their particular inspiration, a passage in James 6:12 which said "Let nothing go to waste", and that approximately 45% of the fruits and vegetables grown around the world go to waste.  He showed some slides of the carrots, tomatoes, beans, lentils and cabbage that they collect with the truck donated by the Rotary Clubs of Medicine Hat.
He spoke about their immediate needs, the use of volunteers to prepare about tons of vegetables, to dehydrate the produce and package it for shipment around the world.  They reduce the size of the product by a factor of five and the weight by a factor of eight, without losing the nutrition value.
A great presentation about a wonderful ongoing project to capture lost product for the benefit of everyone.
Presentation on Prairie Gleaners Dave Panabaker 2018-11-05 07:00:00Z 0

End Polio Presentation to Interact club

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Oct 23, 2018
On Wednesday October 17, PDG Sandy Mackay attended the Medicine Hat High School Interact club and presented a slideshow on polio, on the disease itself because all of the students are too young to remember polio as a feared disease, on the Rotary program to end polio around the world and an update on the status of that endeavor.
The presentation was well received and the suggestion was made that Sandy's talk be delivered to the club at some point in the future.
The Medicine Hat High School Interact students will be holding a "Purple Pinkie's" fundraiser for End Polio starting on Wednesday October 24, in the common room from 11:45 am to 12:20 pm
Please come out one of these three noon hours, and support both the Interact students and the Rotary End Polio campaign.
End Polio Presentation to Interact club Dave Panabaker 2018-10-23 06:00:00Z 0

Rotary Music Festival Society - AGM

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Oct 22, 2018
The main program for this Monday's Rotary meeting was a meeting of the "Rotary Club of Medicine Hat Music Festival Society", the separate, charitable society that is operated by the Rotary Club.
Rotarian Allan O'Byrne was President of the Music Festival Society this year and presented the reports, and matters for votes by Rotarians.
Rotarian Don Davis was Chairman of the  2018 Music Festival, and will be succeeded this year by Milan Vujovic.  
Special thanks were made to Don Davis, for his role in Festival operations the last 5 years and to Cathie Catalano, who has had to resign from the society for health reasons.  The club appreciates the great work of these and all the Rotarians who volunteer to manage and operate the Festival.
Rotary Music Festival Society - AGM Dave Panabaker 2018-10-22 06:00:00Z 0

Honorary Paul Harris Fellowship presentation to Bill Yuill

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Oct 15, 2018
The Rotary Club of Medicine Hat was delighted to recognize the professional and philanthropic achievements of Bill Yuill, with the presentation of an honorary Paul Harris Fellowship.
Past President Karen Blewett provided a short history of the Paul Harris Fellowship and some "fun facts" about Paul Harris himself.
Bill's work at the local YMCA, his involvement in the local hospital Foundation and Cancer Center and his support of the Medalta arts community are all activities that Rotarians admire.  His many decades of philanthropic work in the community as a whole is a wonderful legacy. We all congratulate Bill on his many years of service.  The PHF was presented to Bill by President Chris Perret and AG Dave Panabaker.
Honorary Paul Harris Fellowship presentation to Bill Yuill Dave Panabaker 2018-10-15 06:00:00Z 0

NAV Canada in the Global Air Navigation System 

Gary Busch, Medicine Hat FSS Team Supervisor provided the Medicine Hat Rotary Club with and educational presentation.  NAV Canada is a private company incorporated under the Not-for- profit Corporate Act.  It was purchased from the federal government in 1996 for 1.5 billion dollars. They support 12 million aircraft movements annually and manage 18 million square kilometers of airspace. They are regulated by federal government on safety performance. 
  • They employee 4,800 across Canada
  • Support 40,000 plus customers
  • Have invested  2 Billion in new technology since 1996
  • They will invest 500 Million over the next 3 years into new technology
Not to mention the environmental impact they are making.  It was a great presentation Thank you Gary!
NAV Canada in the Global Air Navigation System Heather Bach 2018-10-02 06:00:00Z 0

Update on YEX outbound from Saamis Rotary Club

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Oct 01, 2018
Many of the club members will remember Katie Caparini, who was an outbound student to Austria about 3 years ago.  This year, the Saamis Rotary Club has an outbound student, who is Katie's sister Maddy.  Maddy was one of the co-presidents of the MH High School Interact program last year and will spend this school year in Trebic, Czech Republic.
She has been gradually learning Czech and will be sending regular monthly updates which will be passed along to our club.  Attached are several photos of Maddy, with her host Mom, at the orientation and with the other Canadians in her area.
Here Facebook persona and email address are in the note that went out to the club, please "friend" her if you want to watch her adventures.  She is not doing a blog.
We wish her all the best in this life changing experience.
Update on YEX outbound from Saamis Rotary Club Dave Panabaker 2018-10-01 06:00:00Z 0

Interact meeting - Sept 27

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Oct 01, 2018
Most of the 25 students, our MH High School teacher liaison Sue Withers, and Rotarians Theresa Eisenbarth and Anne Carrier (photo credit to Anne) met last Thursday and there was much enthusiasm in the room.  Two of the students are set up to assist Rotarians at the Hot Meal program and the Interact students will hold a bake sale on Oct 16 and 17.
Rotarian Sandy Mackay will be speaking to the students on Oct 18 about Rotary International and the polio eradication efforts.
The students will be holding a "purple pinkies" fundraiser on Oct 24, World Polio Day.
Interact meeting - Sept 27 Dave Panabaker 2018-10-01 06:00:00Z 0

Update on MH High Interact Club

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Sep 24, 2018
Theresa Eisenbarth, the Rotary Club liaison with the Medicine Hat High School Interact Club provided an update on the club for 2018 - 2019 with the start of the school year behind us and with some time for the students to begin the organization process.  Theresa and Anne Carrier have been helping get the club organized this year, and they have 15 - 16 diverse and enthusiastic members this year.
Currently the selection of Executive is taking place and they have a couple of fundraisers already planned.
  • They are running a 3 day bake sale, to coincide with Parent-Teacher interviews.  The dates are October 17th and 18th. Donations of baked goods from Rotarians would be appreciated.
  • On Wed Oct 24, they will be fundraising specifically for World Polio Day by doing a "Purple Pinky" promotion.  All Rotarians are invited to stop by and participate.
They are also hard at work on their Hospital room project.  They had raised $1,241 in 2017-18 and then were the recipients of a $2,000 grant from CFSEA.  So, some painting and window stenciling has taken place and they are working on curtains and furniture at this point.  It is room # 50 on the Pediatrics Ward, and they hope to have a nautical theme for the room.
Update on MH High Interact Club Dave Panabaker 2018-09-24 06:00:00Z 0

Chief Librarian Ken Feser

Posted by Heather Bach on Sep 10, 2018
Ken Feser started his presentation with a quick story about his connection to Rotary.  In 1982 he was selected to be part of a Rotary Exchange to Brazil.  He found the experience to be very impactful to his life's direction and he raised the question " How do you measure impact"
Three key benefits of Public Libraries:
  • Children entering school are ready to read - thanks to Libraries
  • People are able to gather information and assistance they need to take care of business
  • The Community has a gathering place where connections and resources can be shared
The Medicine Hat Public Library
  • Completed the renovation of the theatre this year 
  • Saw 50% increase in program attendance over the last two years
  • Since 2014, the Library funding has NOT kept pace with inflation (CPI)
Ken left us with three thanks
  • Thank you for Rotary for supporting the Library
  • Thank you Rotary for your impact on our community
  • Thank you Rotary for allowing Ken to travel to Brazil
Brenda Lea is a Director of the Medicine Hat & District Food Bank in charge of Fundraising.  She shared with us her vision for their up coming event called "And All that Jazz"
  • September 29th, 2018
  • 6:30pm
  • Cypress Center
  • Tickets can be purchased online
  • The theme is 1920's
  • You should go!
Celina Symmonds the Executive Director told us what this event is raising money for.  She told us Food Banks don't work for solving the problem but were created to support emergency food hampers.  The Food Bank has a bigger vision.  A Community Food and Wellness Center can support the whole community and the whole person.  Learn to cook classes, doctors, dentists, Food hampers and them reach their goal. 
Club Business:
  • Chris is going to open the Rotary store again for clothing sales.  Watch for the link coming to email box
  • Motion by Ken Zollner Seconded by   Motion Carried
    • Rotary club of Medicine Hat makes an application to Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commision for a license to run the club 500 Raffle for 2018-2019
Notice of Motion regarding the Rotary Trail project
President Chris will provide a full presentation at the next Rotary meeting explaining all the details regard the change in the Trail project.
He will also be sharing some back ground information to your email boxes soon.. 
Chief Librarian Ken Feser Heather Bach 2018-09-10 06:00:00Z 0

2018 - 2019 Budget approval

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Aug 20, 2018
Club President Chris Perret and Treasurer Gail Halderman provided an overview of the Club's financial picture and announced the fees for this Rotary year.  For 2018 - 2019 the fees will remain the same at $230/person.  The presentation stressed the "avenues of service" for Rotary, and showed the cash flow of the club over the next few years.
There were a number of questions addressed to both Gail and Chris;
  • Dave Panabaker asked about the figures related to the Music Festival and the annual output from the Community Foundation endowment.
  • Dave Stalwick asked about the cost of the Rotary Centennial trails project, and whether the approval level of the Board ($1,000) had changed.
  • Jay Chesley asked about the presentation, and had questions about the actual budget presentation.
  • Wayne Chesley asked questions about the presentation as well.
As part of the debate, President Chris noted that a copy of the detailed budget, broken down by the Directorships of the club would be available on the club website.
After some debate, a motion was made by Gail Halderman, seconded by Roger Roy to approve the 2018 - 2019 Budget, and to set the annual fees at $230.  That motion was passed by a majority of the Rotarians present.
2018 - 2019 Budget approval Dave Panabaker 2018-08-20 06:00:00Z 0

Update on September 2018 RYPEN camp

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Aug 13, 2018
The Rotary Club welcomed Kristen Price, one of the Adult Leaders of the RYPEN camp held every fall under the sponsorship of Rotary.
Kristen has been involved in RYPEN for 15 years, as a participant, youth leader and now as an adult volunteer.  RYPEN (which stands for Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment) takes place at the South Alberta Bible Camp (SABC) near Lomond on Sept 20 - 23.  RYPEN focuses on students who wouldn't normally get an opportunity for this type of training, those students who are marginal or "on the edge"
It builds character and teamwork through a holistic - whole person approach and uses a lot of team based positive reinforcement.
Kristen spoke specifically about the "letting go" ceremony, and how it helps kids move forward by dealing with a past issue in a positive way.
Please encourage school counselors and teachers, to enroll kids during the back to school period, it can certainly change lives.
Update on September 2018 RYPEN camp Dave Panabaker 2018-08-13 06:00:00Z 0

2018 Rotary Youth Entrepreneurship Camp

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jul 16, 2018
The Rotary Club enjoyed a talk by Sean Blewett, who is the General Manager of Community Futures - Entre Corp, and has a senior organizational role in the Alberta Youth Entrepreneurship Camp, which has operated at Eagles Nest Ranch for over 20 years.  Sean spoke about the recent partnership of AYEC and Rotary District 5360, which will add this camp as one of the sponsored youth programs in this District and change the name slightly to Rotary Alberta Youth Entrepreneurship Camp.
Sean introduced Ethraim Blair, who was a youth camper in 2017 and he spoke about the activities and valuable outcomes of attending the camp.
 The program begins every year with training for the Youth Leaders, who are previous campers and they will begin a week of training on August 8th at the Medicine Hat College.  Then approximately 60 campers, from all over Alberta arrive for the camp from August 12 - 18.  August 18th is an important day, it's called "business day" and its when the teams of young entrepreneurs are able to sell their products.  The public is welcome on the 18th, please bring "cash" and the sales go from 11 am - 1 pm.  Sean described it as the only summer camp where you can leave with money....Ethraim's team made over $100 in profits on their mugs and coasters last year.
The camp has a big impact on the post secondary performance of these students, those who take leadership roles in their communities or come back from camp and start a business.
2018 Rotary Youth Entrepreneurship Camp Dave Panabaker 2018-07-16 06:00:00Z 0

Executive Changeover - 2018

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jun 18, 2018
Because President-elect Chris Perret will be at the RI Convention in Toronto next week, and then on vacation in early July, the club held our annual Executive Changeover meeting today.  President Karen thanked all the Board members for their support through this busy year, thanked those were stepping down and welcomed two new members who will begin serving in the next year.
The charge to the President and the Board was read by AG Dave Panabaker and the club thanks everyone who takes on an executive position for the club!
The 2018 - 2019 Executive are President Chris Perret, Past-President Karen Blewett, President-elect Margie Booyens.  Doug Fleming will stay on as Secretary and Gail Halderman will continue as Treasurer.
The Directors for 2018 - 2019 are Teresa Schile - International Service, Glen Presley - Ways and Means, Shann Snedden - Youth and Vocation, Bruce Shepard - Membership, Mark Sorenson - Community Service and Heather Bach - Club Service.  Thanks to all of you for serving.
Executive Changeover - 2018 Dave Panabaker 2018-06-18 06:00:00Z 0

New member Induction - Krista Lawson

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jun 04, 2018
It is always a privilege to induct new members into the club, and this week that privilege belonged to Past President Doug Fleming.
With the assistance of President Karen Blewett, he inducted Krista Lawson, Classic Valuations into our club.  Her sponsor is President-elect Chris Perret and he was present to say a few words about Krista and to welcome her into the world of Rotary.
We look forward to getting to know Krista as time goes on and welcome her contributions to the club and the community.
New member Induction - Krista Lawson Dave Panabaker 2018-06-04 06:00:00Z 0

Centennial promotion and Events

Posted by Dave Panabaker on May 28, 2018
President-elect Chris Perret spoke about the activities of Rotary Week and some of the other upcoming Rotary events.
- The Rotary "tent", which was set up at the back of the hall will be used at our Canada Day cake cutting, to showcase Rotary.
- In addition, new table covers, a podium cover and a collapsible background have been purchased, to upgrade the Rotary brand at our meetings and our events.
- Chris also indicated that he will be working after the Centennial Celebration to re-open the online store for Rotary branded clothing, in case anyone didn't get an order placed.
- New flags have been ordered for the Rotary week flag flying at City Hall.
- Chris also spoke about the Rotary Float for the Stampede Parade this year.  Because of the Centennial he would like it to be special, and anyone interested in helping out should contact him.  He is trying to recruit volunteers from all three clubs, to make it a collaborative effort.
- He would also like to see Rotarians out doing "random acts of kindness or service" during Rotary week.
Centennial promotion and Events Dave Panabaker 2018-05-28 06:00:00Z 0

Presentation on the Interact Club

Posted by Dave Panabaker on May 14, 2018
Co-Presidents of Interact, Kara Gilbert and Jaslin Ghotra spoke about the fundraising efforts at the high school this year and about their projects.
The club has been quite active, participating in two bake sales during Parent-Teacher interviews in Oct and Mar, as well as Purple Pinkie project to raise money for Polioplus.  They also worked on a "Fall into Winter" fundraising event and are currently setting up "Nickle and Dime" wars, as their last fundraiser of the year.
They spoke about completing their international project last year, with the Rotaract club of Esteli, Nicaragua.  They raised $2,000 last year to replace the home of a well known Nicaraguan artist, Don Alberto Gutierrez.  Through the work of the volunteers in Nicaragua, and a local Rotarian who teaches in Esteli, the home was completed last spring.  They were justifiably proud of the impact they had on her life.
On April 25, 2018 the Rotary Interact students and their advisors met with Cassie Hider, Major Gifts Coordinator at the Health Foundation to present a check for $1,000 to begin their support for the decoration of a room on the new pediatrics ward at the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital.  This is the first of a series of three contributions to have the room done in a beach atmosphere.
The club is participating in the Community Foundation's  Youth in Philanthropy program, by helping decide on and then donate $2,000 from the CFSEA to a worthy charity.  They will also be volunteering at the hospital.  Several students also spoke about Adventures in Citizenship and the RYLA camp.
A wonderful program, and a great evening...thanks to all the students for the tour, the meal and the event.
Presentation on the Interact Club Dave Panabaker 2018-05-14 06:00:00Z 0

2018 Rosebowl Winner performance

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Apr 23, 2018
The Rotary Club welcomed our 2018 Rosebowl winner, Soren Lorentzen to our meeting today.  He is a 15 year old, Grade 10 student at Crescent Heights High School and performed on the viola for us this evening.  He was accompanied by Ms Elaine Dobek-Shandro on piano.  A wonderfully gifted performer, he did an amazing job and we wish him well at the Provincials and in the years to come.
2018 Rosebowl Winner performance Dave Panabaker 2018-04-23 06:00:00Z 0

Presentation by Youth Exchange student

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Apr 16, 2018
The Rotary Club welcomed Carla Ruegg, a participant in the Rotary Youth Exchange program who is being hosted by the local Saamis Rotary Club.
Carla is from Schupfheim, Switzerland, a canton in the Entlebuch region in central Switzerland.  She comes from a family of five, both her mother and father are involved in the education system and she has two older sisters, one still in high school and one in university.  She spoke about the differences in the education system, in the way sports programs were delivered and how many students decide on whether to pursue university after Middle school (grades 7 - 9).
She explained a little about the system of government in Switzerland , with 3 principal regions and 26 cantons.  The age of majority in Switzerland is 18, after which everyone can vote for representatives in the National and State Councils.  She also spoke about things that the Swiss were known for; cheese, chocolate, army knives and watches.  She misses the extensive Swiss railway system.
Carla speaks four languages including German, French and English.
A number of questions were asked and Carla provided great responses.  A great visit and we wish both Carla and Maddy well.
Presentation by Youth Exchange student Dave Panabaker 2018-04-16 06:00:00Z 0

YMCA - Strong Kids Presidentation

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Apr 09, 2018
The Rotary Club was delighted to welcome Sharon Hayward, CEO of the Downtown YMCA.
Sharon began her talk by thanking the club for our involvement in a community project - with the Life Saving Society, in having a life jacket loaner station at the YMCA.  The Rotary Club has a long history of involvement in swimming and water safety in the community and the Y's proximity to the river made this effort a natural fit.
Sharon also spoke about their annual Strong Kids campaign, which is the Y's main fundraising activity.  The YMCA believes that physical activity is essential for everyone, for their health and to reach their athletic potential.  The campaign allowed the Y in 2017 to assist 363 children with memberships, and send 71 kids to camp.  As well, it provided almost $40,000 in community donations to other charities for fundraising activities.  In total approx. 8% of the total membership received financial assistance.
She also spent some time talking about other Y programs, such as Get Active and Living Fit.
A very well prepared and informative talk.
YMCA - Strong Kids Presidentation Dave Panabaker 2018-04-09 06:00:00Z 0

Canadian Humanitarian - Dick Northcott

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Mar 12, 2018
The Rotary Club of Medicine Hat was very happy to welcome Richard (Dick) Northcott, who spoke about Canadian Humanitarian, a charitable organization run by himself and his spouse Deborah.  It is an education support program, working in Ethiopia and Malawi.  They operate what was described as a "child centered network", everything done surrounds the child with opportunities.
They currently have 10 ongoing projects, with approximately 50 - 70 children in each project.
In closing, Dick mentioned that "in one generation - everything changes", and that change for the better should happen in this country driven by it's young people.
Canadian Humanitarian - Dick Northcott Dave Panabaker 2018-03-12 06:00:00Z 0

Safety City Presentation - Tom Carney

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Mar 05, 2018
The Rotary Club welcomed Tom Carney to our meeting today, to speak about Safety City.  They work toward improving community safety and injury presentation by education and awareness.  Their primary focus has been through schools, from Kindergarten to Grade 6.  They are a charitable, not for profit organization incorporated in 1981.
Safety City Presentation - Tom Carney Dave Panabaker 2018-03-05 07:00:00Z 0

Program for the Evening Rosebowl Celebration - Joe Chacko

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Feb 26, 2018
Rotarian Joe Chacko took the podium to encourage all members of the Rotary club to attend the Rosebowl competition on Friday evening, March 16th at the MH College Theater, beginning at 7 pm.   After the winner of that competition is announced, it has been traditional that the club entertain the winner of this competition, at an evening meeting to hear a performance and celebrate the completed Music Festival.
That event is scheduled for Monday evening, April 16th, at the MH College cafeteria, for dinner and a special performance.  Please mark it on your calendar!
Program for the Evening Rosebowl Celebration - Joe Chacko Dave Panabaker 2018-02-26 07:00:00Z 0

Induction of Whitney Ogle

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Feb 26, 2018
The Rotary Club of Medicine Hat was pleased to welcome Whitney Ogle to the family of Rotary today.  We look forward to Whitney's participation in our projects and learning much from her about aboriginal issues within our community and our country.  She was inducted by a Past President of our club, Dawn Barr and welcomed by her sponsor, Sandy Mackay, Club President Karen Blewett and Membership Director Bruce Shepard. 
Induction of Whitney Ogle Dave Panabaker 2018-02-26 07:00:00Z 0

Lyle Johnson - Emmanuel Foundation

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Feb 12, 2018
The Rotary Club was delighted to welcome Lyle Johnson, Executive Director of the Emmanuel Foundation for International Community Development (and Ted Cowtan's brother in law) to our meeting today.  Lyle has been the Executive Director of the Foundation since 2007, and prior to that served as a pastor for 27 years at several Northern Alberta churches.

Lyle Johnson - Emmanuel Foundation Dave Panabaker 2018-02-12 07:00:00Z 0

Kidsport Medicine Hat

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Feb 05, 2018
The Rotary Club of Medicine Hat was delighted to welcome Connelly Sherwick, a local agent for Wood Gundy, who has been a volunteer with Kidsport - Medicine Hat for the past 14 years. 
Kidsport Medicine Hat Dave Panabaker 2018-02-05 07:00:00Z 0

January Business Meeting

Posted by Doug Fleming on Jan 29, 2018
Monday's meeting was a Club Business meeting aimed at informing the membership of some of the activities happening in the Club.
Club Service
First of all, Margie Booyens, Club Service Director gave a presentation of the Structure of the Club Service Portfolio by outlining the various committees under her portfolio. There are a total of 13 committees under the categories of House, Club Information and Special Events Committees. Under the House Committee are the Sergeant-at Arms, Meeting Set-up and Guest Book, Welcoming, Music committees. Under Club Information are Website, Club Bulletin and Social Media, Program, Magazines, Club History and Public Relations committees. Under Special Events fall Dinner Club, Interclub Visitist, Rural-Urban Tour and Parade Float committees.
Margie then went on to discuss some of the Positive development that these committees have accomplished this year. Which include, creation of a functioning PR Committee, reintroduction of a Rotary Float in the Stampede parade as well as establishing or updated guidelines for the Program Committees, Speakers and Front Desk. 
Finally Margie outlined some of activities which are in the planning stages and will hopeful come to fruition in the future. 
In closing, Margie issued an appeal to all members to review the roster and consider joining a committee or subcommittee to help lighten the load and get things do in the Club.
  Centennial Update
Centennial Photo - Dave Panabaker gave an update on some of our Centennial projects. First of all, Dave advised that a Centennial Club Photo will be taken on Monday May 7th. Please mark that date on your calendar and make every effort to attend.  The question was raised if missing members couldn't be 'Photo-shopped in',  and the answer was yes it is technically possible but only for a few and it will require some preplanning. 
Centennial Trail Project - Dave then went on to update the Club on the progress of the Centennial Trail Map & Marker project by reviewing the progress to date with the City's Parks Department. The Club has committed $125,000 of our funds plus $100,000 from a Community Enhancement (CEFP) grant and $7,500 from a District Grant toward the project and is reviewing the City agreement. The City recently adopted a sign standard policy and depending on prices may have some impact on the number of maps & marker we can install. Using the City's consultant's cost estimates ($10,000 to $16,500)  the Club should be able to install 6 Trail maps, 6 Markers and 6 Interpretive signs. The final number of each is still under review and we will be looking at which combination of maps, marker or signs will give the Club the best exposure.
Below are samples of what is being proposed. (Left to Right - Trail Maps, Interpretive Signs & Trail Markers)
January Business Meeting Doug Fleming 2018-01-29 07:00:00Z 0

Medalta Pottery Update

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jan 15, 2018
The club was very happy to welcome the "new" Executive Director of the Medalta Clay District, Aaron Nelson.  Medalta is a "World Class cultural destination with a heart of clay", and strives to do four things well:
  • Creativity
  • Learning
  • Community
  • Heritage
Medalta Pottery Update Dave Panabaker 2018-01-15 07:00:00Z 0

Update on Rotary Impact Assessment

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Jan 08, 2018
As an important part of our recent Strategic Plan, and to provide help in our recruiting activities for Membership, and as part of our Centennial Celebration the Rotary Club of Medicine Hat initiated a Rotary Impact Assessment last year.  The intention was to provide statistics, feedback, testimonials and collaboration for the activities of the club.
Update on Rotary Impact Assessment Dave Panabaker 2018-01-08 07:00:00Z 0

Christmas visit to Cypress View Foundation

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Dec 18, 2017
A number of Rotarians missed our last meeting of 2017 for the very best reason, they were out "doing good in the world".  Specifically they were delivering the Christmas stockings that the club members prepared two weeks ago, to the residents of the Cypress View Foundation (Teeoda Lodge).
Almost 200 stockings were delivered at noon on Monday, and it looks like it was a wonderful time.  Thanks to Heather Bach, Adolf Seiler, Joan Sauve and Terry Cooper for brightening the day of the residents.
Christmas visit to Cypress View Foundation Dave Panabaker 2017-12-18 07:00:00Z 0

Santa Claus Fund presentation

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Dec 18, 2017
The Rotary Club was delighted to welcome Ms Theresa Hardiker, President of the Medicine Hat News Santa Claus Fund Board of Directors as our guest speaker today.
Theresa described this year as their most needy year to date.  This is the 31st year of the Santa Claus fund, and their client families increased by almost 25% this year, to a total of 498 families assisted by this organization alone.  Theresa estimated that between the Salvation Army, the Phoenix Safe House, and their fund, almost 100 families received assistance in the community this year.
Theresa reviewed the assessment and qualification process, and spoke about the attempts to avoid duplication in the process.  The Santa Claus fund provided over $46,000 in food vouchers  and the families could shop in the warehouse, to tailor the  gifts to the age, sex and interest of the children.  Most of the local grocery stores honor the vouchers.
Theresa also shared a testimonial from one of their clients, which reinforced the need and appreciation of the service.  She also spoke in general terms to the future, with the new THRIVE program and how these individual funds will work in the future.
Great work by Theresa and her volunteers and as a group we are grateful for their efforts.
Santa Claus Fund presentation Dave Panabaker 2017-12-18 07:00:00Z 0

Christmas Meeting

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Dec 04, 2017
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.
Christmas Meeting Dave Panabaker 2017-12-04 07:00:00Z 0

Interact Club News

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Dec 04, 2017
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.
Interact Club News Dave Panabaker 2017-12-04 07:00:00Z 0

Business Meeting - November 27

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Nov 27, 2017
It is the intention of this year's Board, to hold a regular business meeting (closed to guests) on the last Monday of each month.  In that way, Rotary business can be discussed in a regular schedule and any items needing the Boards attention can be dealt with quickly at the Board meeting the next month.
  1. The Rotary Impact Assessment is being moving along toward a January presentation to the club.  Jace Anderson is looking for contact information for past Youth Exchange Students and anyone with information please contact Bruce Shepard, Doug Fleming or Karen Blewett.
  2. President Karen will be on holidays "down under" for the December 11th and December 18th meeting.  President-elect Chris Perret will handle both those meetings in her absence.  It was also noted that both the December 25th meeting and the January 1st meetings fall squarely on the holiday, so both are cancelled.
  3. President-elect Chris Perret came to the podium to discuss the notice of motion which was due for a vote today.  In order to consolidate all RC of MH material in one location, the Board has proposed that "Based on an maximum estimated expenditure of $6,000, proposed to purchase a Sea-Can, to be installed in available space at the rear of the Top Hat Bingo Hall, be used to store all the clubs material".  
    • The location would allow accessibility at all times.
    • Sea-Can's by their nature are almost air tight, and should keep out weather and vermin.
    • A nominal fee is going to be charged by the Bingo Society for use of the space, and this opportunity may be offered to other members of the Society.
    • Shelving and containers may be needed to properly store the material.  As well, the possibility of a used container exists.
          Based on the information presented, Chris Perret moved and Terry Brekko seconded the motion.  It was approved unanimously.
Business Meeting - November 27 Dave Panabaker 2017-11-27 07:00:00Z 0


Posted by Doug Fleming on Nov 20, 2017
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:
Karen then answered a few questions, before being thanked by President Karen, who presented our speaker with a Rotary Mug.
Thrive Doug Fleming 2017-11-20 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Foundation presentation - Sandy Mackay

Posted by Dave Panabaker on Nov 13, 2017
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 . 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.
Rotary Foundation presentation - Sandy Mackay Dave Panabaker 2017-11-13 07:00:00Z 0

District Governor Visit

Posted by Doug Fleming on Nov 06, 2017
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.
District Governor Visit Doug Fleming 2017-11-06 07:00:00Z 0