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  • 5:15 P.M. today Club Directors ZOOM Meeting;
  • May 23rd is the virtual District Conference - come join the current 175 participants registered, there is still time to come on board;
  • May is Youth Services Month in Rotary - a difficult focus during a pandemic.


President Jack called on Peter Neufeldt to introduce today's Guest Speakers, Gordon and Debra LeMaistre, Co-ordinators of the District 5550 Ripple Effect Program. Gord and Deb are members of the RC of Kenora and in 2008-2009 they assumed the Co-ordinator role of the Ripple Effect Program, which was initiated in 1999. Their co-ordinated and collective passion for the Program, and most particularly the children of Guatemala, has inspired the growth of the initiative as it moves into its third decade of service. To Gord and Deb it is all about the children. Today's presentation is a "pilot" run of the Ripple Effect Program presentation at the District Conference on May 23rd.
Using power point slides and video clips, the LeMaistre's highlighted changes they have seen in the lives of children and communities from their first visit to Guatemala in 2008, until today. Changes include children now starting to go to school in Kindergarten as opposed to when they are ready for grade 1; and, more children stay to graduate from primary school, with some going on to Middle School and still others going on to high school. Schools now have engaged parent groups and supportive municipal leaders. Guatemala has the 4th highest malnutrition rate in the Western Hemisphere, and because "hungry children" cannot learn, over the past decade, increased attention has been directed to "lunch" programs with direct supportive funding for a "mid-school day" meal. A meal which is prepared by the students’ parents (could read "Mothers").
A strong and mutually respectful relationship with the Government's Minister of Education has resulted in important developments, such as the level of education of teachers. In 2008, few teachers had formal training, where as in the current scene, an increasing number of teachers have an educational degree which has added to the sense that education is vital.
"It's about the Children" - Gord & Deb LeMaistre and Marian Kettlewell - Guatemala Sept 2019
In introducing our speakers, Peter referred to the importance of building a relationship with the communities in which schools are built. This has been extremely important as school communities and Rotary Clubs have been inspired to also raise funds for "their" school, which has given them a clear sense of "ownership". The "ripple" expands in response to strong leadership from within the community. This is a story about a partnership in education and poverty reduction, which is "the language of dreams", where all partners will give and all partners will receive.
Marian Kettlewell spent a few minutes touching on the impact the Ripple Effect Scholarship Program is having in assisting Guatemalan youth get a higher education. She expressed the wish we could increase the opportunity of providing funding so more children have access to a high school education, having graduated from middle school. The thankful responses from the parents of graduating students were a clear incentive to support student education in Guatemala.
For today's Ripple Effect presentation, please "click" the ZOOM box at the top of this ROTOR.
Dressed for a Guatemala COVID 19 Day
When there is a school with washroom facilities and qualified teachers, children are enrolled for kindergarten, a step ahead in preparation for Grade 1.
A Poster to remind us May is Youth Services Month
  • 8 days to District Conference - there is still time to register;
  • Members responded positively to Pat Dell's request for "Happy" stories;
  • Gary Carlson touched by the impact of the Ripple Effect Program, commended the LeMaistre's on their leadership;
  • Doreen Pankewich was pleased to tell us that her cousin has recovered from her COVID 19 experience;
  • Peter Peters was proud of Regina Eastview's participation in the Ripple Effect Programs development from its early beginnings;
  • Richard Schwan told us his son's wedding plans have been postponed because of COVID 19; Richard also admitted with all his saving, because of COVID 19 (no Rotary meetings, no traveling, cheap gas), he will be e-transferring $100.00 to the Club Treasurer - this will most certainly start a rush of "transferring";
  • Ann Grahame was pleased to have a visit from her daughter which thankfully shattered the "isolation" mode;
  • Clarence Krause was excited to tell us that he has joined a twice a week exercise class from Saskatoon which is focused on persons with mobility issues and those impacted by MS and Parkinson's;
  • Wonderful Rotary Meeting today - hope to see you all next week.
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Philosopher's Corner

"Wrinkles mean you laughed; Grey hair means you cared; Scars mean you lived!"

Today's guests

Today's guests and Visiting Rotarians included the following: Guests - Jessie Carlson guest of Gary;
Visiting Rotarians from RC of; Kenora, Gord and Debra LeMaistre and John Berringer;  Regina, Doug Keam; Regina Oskaya, Adam Krammer, Amy Collado and Lorna King; and from Moose Jaw Wakamow, Marian Kettlewell.

Next Meeting Responsibilities

Moderator: Jenna Raimbault
Host: President Jack Wozniak
May 14, 2020 12:00 PM
Ripple Effect Program District Conference Presentation
May 21, 2020 12:00 PM
Positivity in Chaos
Jun 04, 2020 12:00 PM
The Stephen Lewis Foundation
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Weekly Lunch Meeting
May 14, 2020 12:00 PM
Board of Directors Meeting
Access Communications Boardroom
May 14, 2020 5:15 PM
Weekly Lunch Meeting
May 21, 2020 12:00 PM
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Stewart Graham advocating for Carol Festval Volunteers
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