Contact Us

Bruce McLeish, Secretary

519-846-5725

bruce.mcleish@gmail.com

Club Mailing Address

P.O. 111, Fergus, ON.

N1M 2W7

Our Club Vision
A strong and vibrant club committed to serving our local and global communities while ensuring equity, diversity and growth for all
Club Executives & Directors
President
Vice President
2nd Vice-President
Secretary
Past President
Treasurer
Membership
International Service
Youth Service
Community Service
Vocational Service
Club Foundation
 
 

Welcome to the Home of The Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora

Fergus Elora

We meet In Person
Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
Heritage River
25 Wellington Drive
Elora, ON N0B 1S0
Canada
Phone:
(519) 846-5725
Meetings changed to virtual on "Zoom" during Covid-19
Stories
 
The Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora is selling cheese packages until mid December to raise funds for local Rotary sponsored projects.  These cheese packages make excellent Christmas gifts for those people on your list for whom you don't know what to buy.  They are also great gifts for businesses to give to their employees. 
 
Should you wish to purchase a cheese variety package(s), please contact any local Rotarian who will look after your order.  The cost is only $35. per package.
 
As an alternative, you can purchase online with your Visa or Mastercard (only) and  pay for the number of packages that you have ordered. Please ensure that you indicate a requested delivery date.  We will confirm your purchase.
It is NOT necessary to have a User Name or Password
 
To order your cheese packages click "HERE"  
 
 
Steps to Stop the Silence
 
steps_to_stop_the_silence.jpg
 
 
Fergus Elora Rotary Club member Neil Dunsmore took the first steps to stopping the silence around mental health and suicide by walking 531 km or 330 miles from The Township of Centre Wellington to the nation’s capital Ottawa. When asked why he would take on such a challenge, Dunsmore answered with a typical Rotarian response “It’s about my community! We are 2.7 times the national average for suicide and that’s an issue for me. Someone needs to raise awareness and get this issue on everyone’s radar, the Federal Governments, the Provincial Governments and the service clubs. Our community is in crisis and when a crisis hits, we have no choice but to act. Service above self!
Dunsmore’s goal was to not just raise awareness but also funds for local mental health initiatives sponsored in part by the Cody Shepperd Project. Cody Shepperd was a Centre Wellington Wrestler who on the outside had the world at his feet. He was a champion that represented Canada at the Pan Am games and was popular among his peers. On October 17 2017 Cody died by suicide and his family and friends’ lives changed forever. Cody’s parents Paul and Darcie Shepperd started the Cody Shepperd Project to help families and youth in our community understand Mental Health issues and raise awareness of the services that are out there. Their motto Stop The Silence resonated with Neil and he knew it would be the perfect fit. “As a professional Speaker and Speaker Coach I know the quickest way to reach people is by sharing your story and being honest and vulnerable! Talking about the people in our lives and sharing your own story helps other realize they are not alone. Realize they are not the only one and by sharing your success they find hope!”
Dunsmore is currently a Township of Centre Wellington Councilor but prior to that he was a Provincial Corrections Officer and a Crisis/Hostage Negotiator so he understands the power of connecting with people and he felt now more than ever was the time to do this. “COVID19 has shut my business down, no one is having speakers come to their organization to speak. I realized so many people will be struggling mentally with this isolation and they need to know there are people and services here or them. It was a financial hit as I should have and could have taken a job to help with our personal finances but this was a burning need and that old motto of Service Above Self kept ringing in my ears!”
The walk itself proved to be a battle both physically and mental for Neil who has one replaced knee and another that needs to be replaced. He trained for almost 10 months to make sure he was physically ready and knew that with a bit of pain medication he was capable of finishing the walk. What he wasn’t ready for was the mental struggle he would be forced to endure. “I am an extravert by nature and I thrive best in the company of others and to be out there alone for 22 days! Well that was an eye opener, I walked between 8 to 10 hours a day somedays I would go all day without seeing another person. That’s a long time to be left alone with your own thoughts which I taped so I have a record of what I was thinking, however when you are out there talking to yourself and you finally do meet someone, they can look at you a bit sideways.”  Neil said it was the help he received from home that helped him through the really tough parts. Not just family but a few Rotarians called and texted at just the right time. “I was walking one day and had to stop to take pain medication as my knee began to swell and I didn’t know if I could finish the day. When out of the blue a call came from one of my club members Don Vallery. He just wanted to check my progress and thank me for what I was doing and express how proud he was of me. We talked for almost an hour as I walked and pushed on, when I looked up, I could see the end of the trail! That connection allowed me to push aside the pain and just walk Don who has 2 replaced knees of his own even suggested a minor adjustment to my brace which made all the difference in the world as far as pain went.” On another day it was another Rotarian that helped Neil persevere only this time it was in person! “It was I believe day 18 or 19 and I got a text from our president elect Rob Galloway asking where and what time I would be starting out the next day. He and his wife Donna-Lynn took a detour from their vacation so Bob could walk with me. He actually walked over 5km with me that day! Although his wife asked how I could get him to walk that far be she couldn’t get him to walk the dog! Other Rotarians helped with text messages of support and with donations as well the Fergus Elora Rotary Club made a sizable contribution as did individual members.    “The support I received was heartwarming and humbling. They even invited me to zoom into the annual BBQ there I was my feet in an Epsom salt bath and my knee wrapped in ice it must have been quite a sight for them but it sure helped me! I couldn’t have made it without them”
When asked if he thought the walk made difference in peoples lives Dunsmore became emotional. “I had hoped it would but I know it did at least in 2 lives for sure. The last thing I ever expected was to use the skills and experience I had a crisis negotiator on the trail but I did twice. The first time was around 6:30 am as my son was driving me to the trailhead and I got a Facebook messenger video call from a man in Scotland. He had been following my walk on Facebook and it didn’t take long to realize he was in trouble and when I asked if he was thinking about suicide he said yes. That stopped me in my tracks, I mean have you ever made an international 911 call? I didn’t even know where to start! I talked to him for about half an hour and got hm to a slightly better state but he was still in a dark place. When he hung up, I check my messenger contacts and luckily, he was a distant relative of mine and I also had his father as a contact, I called him right away and by the grace of god he answered. I had him send help to his son and he is now receiving the help he needs. The second situation occurred several days later in the middle of nowhere I had not seen a human being for hours when I came across a woman crying! We were at least 10 km from the next road and 5km from the last road I passed so it was strange to say the least. She was scared and I mean scared. I worked 10 years in a maximum-security facility and I have seen fear on a lot of faces and this poor woman was one of the worst. It took awhile to get her to communicate but she did and I had her walk with towards the next road. She kept looking back making sure he wasn’t following It took her awhile but eventually I convinced her to reach out to shelter and call for help. I waited with he until they picked her up at the next road. Our conversation convinced me she may look back but she is never going back to that situation. Those two incidents alone make the walk worth it! However almost everyone I met out there and the people here in my community who have shared their stories with me and how my walk effected them are truly heartwarming.”
When responding to how did the walk effect you Dunsmore says” Wow! In ways I had never imagined. I always knew I was an extravert but I did not realize the extent to which I need other people in my daily life. This journey was designed to mimic a mental health journey some days are tougher than others and often you are struggling alone but you just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I had no idea how difficult and mentally exhausting that would be and I had my son out there with me he was never more than an hour away and waiting for my call. Still it was hard and my emotions were all over the map as I struggled it was just a glimpse at what people go through on a daily basis but it caught me by surprise. It taught me however that when we as individuals reach out, even just to say hi how are you doing? It has a huge impact! I mentioned earlier about the Rotarians who reached out but there were many others as well and those calls and text messages meant the world to me, they were my tether to sanity. They kept me grounded and kept me going, if people hadn’t reached out when they did I don’t thing I would have finished. I also learned a lot about my own personal strength I have struggled with my health for decades after a car accident and my weight has been all over the map but this walk showed me what I am capable of and I am much healthier for it. I started training in October of 2019 and lost 35lbs in the process. When I left on September 15, I was feeling great and even though I struggled I continued to push and I lost another 10lbs! Physically even though my knee hurts I haven’t felt this good in 30 years.
Finally, I realized the importance of reaching out both from having people reach out to me and me reaching out to them.  Those 2 incidents I spoke of earlier taught me that we are so busy with our day to day lives we don’t see what’s happening to others. I wonder if I had met that women in a parking lot or even in a park near my home with all that I have going on would I have noticed her but on a trail in the middle of nowhere I could miss her and I certainly couldn’t leave her. The call from Scotland haunts me as well how many times have; we all declined a call because we are to busy working or we are waiting for an important call so we set it aside until later. I am glad I was there and helping to save a life/lives is a true blessing. This walk has reminded me that we grow the most as individuals when we step out of our comfort zone to help others. Then again as Rotarians we should all know that, after all isn’t that the secret of Service Above Self! “
I asked Neil how did it feel when you finally finished? “That again was unexpected, there was a rush of emotions from euphoria of completing a monumental task and the relief of finishing. There was the pride of my accomplishment but also a great deal of humility as I approached Parliament Hill and saw that some 25 to 30 people had driven 5 plus hours to see me finish. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you I shed a tear or two and to see Cody’s dad there and his pride and appreciation well that was emotional. Cody was with me in mind and spirit every step of the way!”
 
What’s next? “Well I don’t think I will ever do anything like this again but I am not done with Steps to Stop the Silence. This walk was just the first step of many, the next steps belong to all of us. I have learned the power of reaching out both from the receiving side and the reaching side. I encourage all Rotarians to reach out to someone in your life or your club. Maybe it’s someone who has stopped showing up to meetings or who left the club altogether. Reach out you don’t need to fix them or the situation just check on them and talk. Trust me it helps more than you think.
Next look around at family and friends and see who is struggling, we all know someone who is or we think are. Your reaching out is an act that creates a life line to this world! It may just be the act as random as it may seem that keeps them here. Most of us don’t do that because we are afraid of what to say or we may say the wrong thing so we don’t. It’s more important that you try, don’t worry about what to say, talk sports or the weather anything it’s the connection that makes the difference.
Finally, if you are struggling please reach out, pick up the phone and call your local crisis line there are people here waiting to help. Just reach out your life is worth!
 
Neil raised over $17000.00 for The Cody Shepperd Project in support of Mental Health and Suicide Awareness in his community. If you would like to contribute you can do so at https://www.thecodyshepperdproject.com/raffle-prizes or you can make a donation to your local mental health organizations.

In 1996, the great African leader Nelson Mandela launched the Kick Polio Out of Africa campaign with Rotary International’s support, setting out a vision for a polio-free Africa. At the time, wild polio paralysed 75,000 children each year. To protect communities from this crippling disease, African leaders, health workers, volunteers, parents, global donors and organizations united to reach every child with polio vaccines.  

 

On 25 August 2020, after four years without a single case of wild polio, the African region has been certified free of wild poliovirus. Decades of extraordinary investment has paid off. 

 

Yet, the job is not finished. These efforts must continue to prevent wild polio from returning and to end all forms of polio for good – both in Africa and globally.

Emergency Department Has Our Club Name

To recognize the generous contributes from the Rotary Club of Fergus Elora to the Groves Hospital Foundation, the Emergency Department at the New Groves Hospital was named Rotary Club of Fergus Elora in perpetuity. To date, the Rotary Club of Fergus Elora has donated $500,000 to Groves Hospital Foundation.
The Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora continues to support local Charities even during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The success of our annual cheese gift bag and Canada Day fundraisers allowed us to give $2000.00 to the Fergus Food Bank, $3000.00 to Big Brothers/ Big Sisters, $3000.00 to the Community Resource Centre, $4000.00 to KidsAbility, $1000.00 to Women in Crises,  $2000.00 to Helping Heroes and $1500.00 to On The Spot Productions "Snow White" Nov. 26 - 29.
The $2000.00 given to the Food Bank is unique in that we provided 80 twenty-five dollar grocery gift cards to purchase food at a local grocery store. In order to keep their distance Jackie Andrews on the left and Brian Dowling on the right accepted the cards on two miniature hockey sticks. The others in the backround are co-presidents Ed Davis on the left and Bob Wright with manager of the foodbank Fred Aleksandrowicz on the right. Chair of Centre Wellington Board of Directors, Jackie Andrews mentioned this program will have a very positive impact on the people coming into the Food Bank as it gives them a chance to go and purchase some food they like.
 
The Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora Cares
Due to the pandemic of COVID-19, the Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora bingo held at Grand River Raceway has been cancelled until further notice.
 
Wightman TV, Channel 1, every Tue has also been cancelled.
 
Past President Leanne Iravani was presented with a Paul Harris Fellowship
 
 
Top Photo - Leanne Iravani receives Past Presidents pin from Ed Davis
Next Photo - Co Presidents Bob Wright and Ed Davis with Leanne Iravani
Next Photo - Ed Davis and Bob Wright hold Rotary theme flag for 2019-2020
Bottom Photo - Co Presidents for 2019-2020 Ed Davis and Bob Wright

Presentation Day - Jun 4/19

Organizations that received funding this spring are pictured below:  Presentations made by Leanne Iravani, Club President, were made to Fergus-Elora District Soccer - Special Needs Soccer, $1,000. received by Pat Espina, Centre Wellington District High School, Bikeshare Program $1,378 received by Matt Arnold and Brianna Redwood; Centre Wellington Food Bank, Christmas hamper program $1,488 received by Jackie Andrews;  Community Resource Centre, several programs totalling $4,200, received by Lauren Petty and June Baldwin; Big Brothers-Big Sisters, Camp URU $1,500 received by Kristen Drexler; The Grand 101.1 FM $2,500 for signal antennas received by Scott Jensen  Missing is KidsAbility that received $2,900
 
At their Annual General Meeting, Centre Wellington Food Bank provided the Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora with the Friend of the CW Food Bank Award.  This was received for Hall Rental for Annual Christmas Hamper, Food Drive volunteers,  and Christmas Children Book Drive.
Pictured is Leanne Iravani , President of the Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora with the award.
Pictured above: John Martin, Vice President -Royal Canadian Legion, Fergus; Stephen Street, Groves Hospital CEO; Leanne Iravani, President-Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora; Lori Arsenault, Executive Director-Groves Hospital Foundation; Randy Graham, President- Royal Canadian Legion,Fergus and Bruce McLeish Secretary-Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora.
The Rotary Club held a Catch the Ace draw to raise funds for our new hospital and help to fulfill the $500,000 pledge that the club made to the hospital.  The $44,707.15 is the full net proceeds of the Catch the Ace draw.  Thanks to Wellington Advertiser and Fergus Printing who helped substantially to make this draw such a success.  
The $30,000 jackpot winner on April 28, 2019 was John Fines.  He holds the Ace of Spades that was contained in envelope #37 that is held by his wife Kathy.  Congratulations to the winner and thanks to everyone who purchased tickets during this lottery draw.  All net proceeds that will be in excess of $40,000 will be donated to Groves Hospital Foundation.
Round # 2 of Catch the Ace is underway with draws every Sunday at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 275, Fergus with the 1st draw on May 5, 2019.
 
Jim Dixon, draw winner Jan 20/19 received a cheque for $590 from Jim Gibbons, Chair of the Catch the Ace Committee of Fergus-Elora Rotary Club.  Jim Dixon hoped that his selection of envelope #3 would contain the Ace of Spades and he would have won an additional $9,553.50 that is in the jackpot.  Tickets for this weekly draw are available at Fergus Legion and Dixon Home Hardware and cost $5 each.  All net proceeds will go to Groves Hospital Foundation..  
 Catch the Ace has now started in Centre Wellington. Tickets will be available starting September 24, 2018 at Fergus Legion for the 1st draw on October 7, 2018.  Enter the Legion Club Room from the east entrance.  The 2nd round of Catch the Ace starts May 5, 2019
 
To learn about Catch the Ace and see our rules click on the menu tab at top of this page or click stories/catch-the-ace-details-and-rules

The Paul Harris Fellow is the highest form of recognition given by Rotary clubs world-wide. Individuals who have shown by exemplary effort, sacrifice or dedication to the causes and principles of Rotary, that they deserve the recognition of the Paul Harris Fellow, are eligible to be nominated, whether they are members of Rotary or not.

 

On behalf of the club, John Campbell presented a Paul Harris Fellowship to Bruce Hawkins (left).
Leannne Iravani, Club President presented a Paul Harris Fellowship to Jeremy Hewitt while Ed Davis and Barbara Lustgarten-Evoy look on.
Colleen Roberts received a Paul Harris Fellowship that was presented by Karen Welch.
Thanks to all our bingo players who played TV bingo in the Fergus and Elora area during the past year.  We will be returning near the end of October 2018 on Wightman TV channel 1 on Monday nights.
 
A huge thank you also to our sellers of bingo cards who gave their commission back to the club so that we could help worthy charities in our community.  We hope that you will continue to shop in their stores. These card sellers were:
 
 CANADIAN TIRE, 950 TOWER ST SOUTH,FERGUS
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 ZEHRS, 800 TOWER ST SOUTH,FERGUS
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  DIXON HOME HARDWARE BUILDING CENTRE
                                                  745 ST DAVID ST NORTH, FERGUS
----------------------------------------------------
 
  COLDWELL BANKER GRAND HOMES REALTY
                           162 ST ANDREW ST EAST, FERGUS
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WIGHTMAN
                          490 ST ANDREW ST WEST, FERGUS
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Charmaine Brown of KidsAbility receives a cheque from Leanne Iravani, Club President.  Funds are to be used on their 6 and Up children's program.
Rotary tree planters receive planting instructions .
From left to right Toni Ellisof Neighbourwoods, Don Fisher, Councillor of Township of Centre Wellington, Bruce McLeish, Matt Alain, aborist from Township of Centre Wellington, Karen Welch, Donna Humphrey, Bob Grant, Don Darroch, Cecil Wolfe, Bryan Welch, Jim Gibbons
Rotary Club President Leanne Iravani with Toni Ellis of Neighbourwoods.
Leanne  Iravani, President of Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora presents a cheque to Laura Muirhead, Executive Director of Child Witness Centre.
Pat Espina of Fergus Elora District Soccer receives a cheque from Leanne Iravani, President of the Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora.  The cheque is for the special needs soccer program.
Mar 27/18 - Kristen Drexler, Executive Director of Big Brothers-Big Sisters, Centre Wellington receive a $1500 cheque from Leanne Iravani, President of Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora.   Funds were used towards the first ever URU Camp in Centre Wellington that is designed toward Grade 5 and 6 students.
Leanne Iravani, centre, presented a cheque to Lindsay Cowan, Supervisor of Early ON and Alyssa Cunningham, Supervisor of Outreach and Support Services of Community Resource Centre.  $1200 will be used for books for the Literacy program, $500 toward startup of Memory Cafe. and $1500 for swim passes.
 
December 19, 2017 - A number of children from KidsAbility joined in with our related young ones to have lunch and meet Santa at our Annual Children's Christmas Party with KidsAbility.
 
 
Brian Pollock (right)worked with Rotary and installed a large stone where a plaque was mounted that commemorated World War 1 veterans.  This Vimy Oaks site in Victoria Park, Fergus was developed by the Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora.

 

 

Ivan Ostic, centre, was congratulated for his 50 years in Rotary and was presented with a suitably engraved clock. 

 

Shirley Scott (left) received a special memento from the club.  Shirley is a Friend of Rotary that has faithfully helped us by selling bingo cards for the past 10 years.

 

Donald Darroch, centre,  was congratulated for his 50 years in Rotary and was presented with a suitably engraved clock.

 
 

Polio is on the cusp of being eradicated and there is a lot to learn.

The polio endgame is near. It really is. The target is to eradicate polio by 2019 and judging by the numbers this year, we are almost there. The global WHO polio report on September 27, 2017 reported there were a total of 11 cases globally: 6 cases in Afghanistan and just 5 cases in Pakistan. In the last few years, I watched polio cases drop off a cliff. Just 3 years ago, annual polio cases in Pakistan crossed 200 in total. This remarkable shift in just three short years is truly amazing. There really have been some key milestones and I will illustrate them here.

A strong role model can make all the difference during a child’s formative years. For Bob Grant, his father Roy set the standard as a Charter member of the Mount Forest Lions Club and by serving his community in humanitarian needs.
 
 
Oct 10/17 - Leanne Iravani, Club President provided a Polioplus thank you certificate to District Governor, Kathleen Dick who visited the club on her annual official visit.
 
 
Oct 10/17- Les Frayne from S.H.A.R.E. Foundation received a club cheque for $2,000. to help with that organizations international water projects.  Also in the photo is Club President Leanne Iravani and Marg Frayne.
 
 
Aug 15/17- Thanks to Don Vallery and Pine Meadows Retirement Community, we were able to use the community hall and facilities for our member and guest BBQ.  A good time and excellent food was enjoyed by all.
Thank you to everyone who purchased a ticket in the draw for the quilt.  The quilt was won by R. Wheatley of Fergus who had the winning ticket #0130.
 
 
Jun 13/17- Doug Calder from "The Door" operated by Highland Youth for Christ was presented with a $1,000 cheque for youth programming.
 
 
Friends of the Grand River represented by Jason King and Terry Ryckman were presented with a cheque by Club President Jim Waites.  $1,962 will be used toward the planting of new trees along the river and $500 will be used to assist with the deep water fish habitat.
 
 
Jim Waites, Club President presented a $5,174.00 and $250.00 to Lisa Talbot, CEO of KidsAbility Foundation. The larger amount is the second half of a donation that was approved last spring for a speech pathologist on a part time basis at the Fergus location.  The smaller amount was to put together a pilot program for boys in Fergus with disabilities for socialization.
 
 
Jim Waites, Club President, presented $1,000 cheque to Centre Wellington Food Bank Chair, Jackie Andrews. The funds being provided are used by the food bank to partly cover the cost of renting space in Centre Wellington Sportsplex for their Christmas Hamper Program.  A Township grant is no longer available for this rental.
 
 
Jim Waites, Club President presented a $1,000 cheque to Margaret Hill of Spark of Brilliance.  The funds will be used for art and other material used in putting on workshops that are open to anyone but are particularly geared to those individuals who are coping with mental health issues.The organization aims to bring together those who might otherwise be socially isolated.Many of the attendees live below the poverty line, most being on disability pensions.  The workshops promote an atmosphere of acceptance and a sense of accomplishment and well-being.
 
 
Jim Waites, Club President presented a $1,000 cheque to Maggie Baratto and Vanessa Belanger from Father's Heart Healing Ministries.  That organization operates a residence home for women exiting human trafficking, the sex trade and addiction.  Funds will be used to purchase tables, chairs, hair salon equipment for new salon for hair and make up to be established as a part of their operations. This will assist in the increase of self esteem in their clients through appropriate self-image and self-care.
 
 
Jim Waites, Club President presented a cheque for $2,700 cheque to Alissa Cunningham and Ron MacKinnon from Community Resource Centre.  $1,500 of the funds will be used to purchase swim passes for children age 1-19.  Last year, 90 children from 39 families were enabled to engage in a healthy activity within walking distance of most individuals.  The balance of $1,200 will be used to purchase books for young mothers as part of a kit to build literacy in young children.
 
 
 
Jim Waites, Club President presented a $1,000 cheque to Elizabeth Deberge from Wellington County Learning Centre. The funds will be used to purchase English language learning books for a number of recent refugees to this area.  The books will be used during the attendance of these refugees at English as a second language classes organized by the learning centre.
On Sep 13, 2016, 6 new members were inducted into The Rotary Club-of Fergus-Elora.  These 6 new members will meet at our satellite club that meets in the evening, The inaugural meeting of The Rotary Satellite Club of Fergus-Elora Evening will take place on Sep 28 .  Jim Waites (left), Club President, is pictured with the six new members that are from left to right Don Vallery, Dave Roberts, Angela Tamblyn, Claire Warren, Carl MacArthur, Rob Murray.  A big welcome to these new members.
 

 

John Jefferson cooking steak.

Rick Roberts getting some wieners and sausage  ready to eat.

Dorothy Henson was presented with a Paul Harris Fellowship (Rotary's highest honour) by Jim Dixon. 

Volunteers for Rotary events during the past year were presented with thank-you certificates.

 

 
 
Leanne Iravani, Director of International Service, Marg Frayne from SHARE, Jim Waites, President of Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora and Les Frayne, Project Manager from SHARE.  A cheque for $3,000 was presented by the Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora to S.H.A.R.E. Agriculture Foundation for the purchase of 44 eco water filters for 44 families (250 people) in a remote area of Guatemala where young community members help to improve conditions in their underserviced communities. 
There are few supports to communities in this area of Guatemala and the project work is done in Mayan villages which are very isolated and impoverished. All but a few of the communities are accessible by long and difficult jungle trails. A few communities are accessible by boat.  The families grow corn on the hillsides to feed their families. Some families have a pig or some free range chickens or turkeys. Some that live nearer the water are fishermen. The homes are traditional thatched huts with dirt floors and wooden walls. Women cook on open fires in the hut.  The water in many of the villages is sourced from streams and springs sometimes at a distance from the villages and it is polluted.  Families suffer from recurring intestinal illnesses from using this water.

 
 
Past President Bob Wright and President Ed Davis present a cheque for $1,000. to Linda Mark of Child Witness Centre.  Funds will be used toward their 2017 Youth Symposium for up to 1500 Grade Eight students and teachers in Guelph and Wellington County of which 230 are from Fergus and Elora.
During the course of the day students and teachers have the opportunity to hear 3 inspiring speakers.  Key messages include: You can be the change !  It takes ONE to make a difference ! Step outside your comfort zone and try new things ! Be an 'energy giver' not an 'energy taker' ! Students are given tools and strategies to help them face challenges in their own lives as they enter high school, a key point in their development.
 
 
 
Dave Beynon and President Ed Davis present a cheque for $3,000. to Michael House Pregnancy Care Centre, 187 Bristol Street, Guelph.  The centre serves women not only in Guelph but Wellington County.  Funds will be used to equip their teaching room at their newly opened supportive housing building.  Funds will be used for board room table and chairs, refinish floors and paint the room and the purchase of audio visual equipment.
 
Past President Paul Rogers and President Ed Davis make a presentation to Jackie Andrews of Centre Wellington Food Bank.  Funds from the donation are used to assist with rental costs of space at Centre Wellington Sportsplex for their Christmas hamper program.
 
 
 
For a number of years, the Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora has provided a Community Service Award to a graduating student from each of the local elementary schools.  The above picture is Leah Hutchinson, a student of John Black Public School who received the award that was recently presented at their graduation ceremony in June 2016.  Congratulations to Leah and all of the other students in Fergus and Elora who received this award.
 
Cecil Wolfe and Bruce Oldfield are both Charter Members of the Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora.  The club was officially chartered on May 26, 1966 and they have now been members for 50 years.  At a 50th anniversary club luncheon on May 31, 2016, they were presented with special gifts in commemoration of this event.
 
Past President Bob Wright and President Ed Davis make a presentation to Alissa Gibson representing Sunrise Therapeutic Riding & Learning Centre. Some of the funds will be used to purchase ribbons for their annual horse show.  Regardless of where they place, the ribbons are all stunning and the children are thrilled to receive them.  Many of the riders have never before had an experience of winning an activity, so it is a special moment.  The other part of the funds will be used to purchase new feed bowls and hanging water buckets as well as grooming supplies for the therapy horses.
 
 
President Ed Davis makes a presentation to Sara Wilbur, Executive Director,  and Richard Seibel, Board Member, of Grand River Conservation Foundation on behalf of the club. These funds will support the development of the new Guelph Lake Nature Centre, which supports about 1,100 students from the Centre Wellington Area each year (in 2014, thirty-one elementary classes and ten classes from Centre Wellington District High School.) Students at the Centre make essential connections with nature at a time when children no longer simply go out and play; the lessons learned there increase their interest in the outdoors, foster self-reliance and encourage our community’s young people to become our next generation of environmental ambassadors. Exposure to the outdoors helps promote physical and mental health in kids, reduces anxiety and offers young people who may not thrive in a traditional learning environment to feel good about their accomplishments.
 
       $100,000.00
The Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora has agreed to contribute the above amount to The New Groves Hospital Campaign which will be used in support of the New Groves Hospital located in Fergus, ON.  This amount will be contributed over a period of 5 years at $20,000 yearly commencing in 2016.  This club has been a strong supporter of Groves Hospital, and in addition to many yearly contributions, it provided $250,000 a few years ago to the Groves Redevelopment Campaign.  The first payment of $20,000 took place on May 31, 2016
During the pre-Christmas season, members of the Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora sold hams and cheese baskets to raise funds for community and international projects.  Pictured is the winning sales team.  Thanks to many local businesses and individuals who purchased ham and cheese baskets.  A special thanks to Zehrs Markets, Fergus who made this fundraiser possible.
On December 15, 2015 the club held it's annual children's Christmas Party.  Children from the local office of KidsAbility were invited to attend.  Everyone enjoyed the special menu of hot dogs.  Gifts for the children purchased by the Rotary Club were presented by Santa.
 
In the spring of 2015, the Fergus-Elora Rotary Club approved an application for funding from Arthur Trail Group.  Rotary President, Ed Davis (on top picture) presented a donation to that group to assist with the trail development.  The official opening of the trail was held on September 26, 2015 in Arthur.  Bruce McLeish, Secretary, John Campbell, Treasurer, and Bob Grant attended the opening ceremonies (included in bottom picture)  that were held in Arthur at a kiosk on the trail.  As a continuation of the Arthur Trail work already organized, carried out and providing  local benefits, the Trails Group is looking to link the existing trail with the Upper Grand Trail Dufferin.  This Upper Grand Trail Wellington would begins at Wells Street in Arthur and extend along the old railbed between the village of Arthur and the East/West Luther townline.  The project provides multiple environmental and community benefits: natural conservation; increased volunteerism; safe, varied fitness benefits; educational opportunities.  Approximately 1000 trees planted along the trail will provide cooling, erosion control, maintenance of the water table and shelter for wildlife. All trees are native species.
Local High School students will assist in the planting. Sowing of wildflower seeds is included.  These and the majority of the trees will support the needs of all kinds of native pollinators, at a time when many of them are in decline. Members of local 4H will be building birdhouses to place along the trail.
 
 
 
Ed Davis, President (on left) with some of our volunteers.  We appreciate the assistance of volunteers who often help with our fundraising projects. If you would like to volunteer to assist the club on our fundraisers, please contact any Rotary member. 
 
Scotiabank provided generous sponsorship funds to the club in the past year.  Ed Davis and Norm Manning present the Fergus Branch Manager with an appreciation plaque.
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