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Club Meeting Information
Welcome to the Rotary Club of St. Marys
St. Marys

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Mondays at 6:30 PM
Rotary Parkview building
22 St. Andrews St. N., St. Marys
Parkview Hall, lower level east entrance
St. Marys, ON N4X 1C5
2nd & 4th Monday Check rotarystmarys.ca Hybrid meetings held on 2nd & 4th Mondays
Mailing Address: 12-20 Huron St. N, St. Marys, ON  N4X 1C5
Home Page Stories
Video of new skateboard park courtesy of Square One Skate Shop.
Team rider, Nick Langdon, shredding the Rotary All Wheels Park on James Street in St. Marys, Ontario
Our youth exchange student Eunice learns to curl. Rotarian Diane O'Shea invited her son, Jamie, to teach Eunice how to curl. Enjoy the photos that follow...
D6330 Rotary Youth Exchange Ski Trip
Report from President Mark Oliver:
D6330 RYE just wrapped up it’s annual ski trip to Beaver Valley Ski Club with the Inbound students. A big shout out to Thornbury-Clarksburg Rotary Club and Beaver Valley Ski Resort for organizing another wonderful ski experience for our Inbound students. I’m happy to report that everyone returned home exhausted but happy with no injuries. This was Eunice’s first time skiing. She made amazing progress over two days for someone who has never skied before. "
Our club was the first in District 6330 to participate in the Strategic Planning-Visioning Session on January 15th. Fourteen club members volunteered to participate in our club's Visioning initiative.
Enthusiastic group of members who were very engaged in the process which was led by the District Visioning Team ( Nurdan Tokoz (London-Hyde Park), Dawn Kennedy (Mildmay), PDG Mike Chaffee (Flint) and DG Sonja Glass (Meaford)).
An excellent exchange of ideas, we collectively agreed on our Master Plan, and determined our Action Plan outlining three/four goals, who will lead each goal, and the timeline for follow-up.
President Mark Oliver has some homework over the next 2 or 3 days and several members have a role to play in reaching the creation of our action plan over the next 4-6 weeks. In the pictures that follow, Pres. Mark addresses our members and introduces the Visioning Team, and he thanks the team for the well organized training session.
On January 8th, 2024, Rotary International President-elect Stephanie Urchick announced that the 2024-25 presidential theme is The Magic of Rotary and called on members to recognize and amplify the organization’s power to save lives.

“Don’t misunderstand me – we are not going to end polio or bring peace to the world by waving a wand and saying some funny words,” Urchick told incoming district governors at the Rotary International Assembly on 8 January. “It’s up to you. You create the magic with every project completed, every dollar donated, and every new member.”

Our outbound exchange student, William Kennedy, is spending a year in Korea. His host club sponsors a school in Laos and William went with his host club to volunteer at the school. While in Laos, William tried eating fried grubs. Well done, William!
Watch the video of William eating fried grubs - click here (links to Rotary Facebook Page -  you don't need Facebook to see the video, just click on the 'X' to remove the login to Facebook)
Fresh grubs waiting in the bowl: (Screenshot from short video.)
School children in Laos singing "Baby Shark". (Screenshot from short video.)
Since 2014, our club has provided the Grand Bend club with volunteers and financial support. The first pictures show the RC St. Marys contingent including spouses and friends.
There were 100 guests attending the 100th container celebration at Hessenland. How appropriate!
Brian Hall, Chair Global Literacy Project sent us a recap of the evening:
Dear Linda,
While many of you were part of the 100 in attendance last Wednesday at Hessenland for our 100 container blast there were many who were unable to attend. I wanted to share some pictures and information delivered at this very special event organized by Morag Watt.
Speakers included Peter & Dini Twynstra who spoke about the inception of the project, Rotarian Morag Watt, who shared some of the lessons learned by seeing loadings and unloadings and Brian Hall who recognized the support provided by our many partners & volunteers. In addition, Peter's granddaughter, Shelby Mackenzie, recounted her experience spending time in South African schools. St. Mary's Rotary President Charlie Hammond spoke about how the school they still support in Uganda grew from 30 children to 450 after the container of school furniture arrived in 2014. Their Club has supported the creation of a "Skilling" Institute to teach the school graduates real world skills to improve their ability to access meaningful jobs.
One of the biggest surprises came in an email received from our contact in Sierra Leone , Stephanie Dobrowolski, a Canadian and friend of the daughter of Goderich Rotarian Dr. Bruce Thomasson.
In March of 2017 The Goderich Rotary Club, assisted by Grand Bend Rotarians, loaded 2- 40’ sea containers with books, school furniture and supplies which went to a Rising Academies School in Freetown Liberia. With our 100th Container Celebration on the horizon we asked Stephanie to reflect on the donation and her update is below. We are thrilled to have been a small part of the success Rising Academies has experienced, but more importantly to see the smiles on the faces of these learners who now have a chance to improve the lives of their families and their country.
“When the Rotary Club decided to offer their generous support, Rising Academies was still early days and only a couple years on from the Ebola crisis that closed our very first school. In early 2018, we were a network of 8 schools in Sierra Leone and 5 government partnership schools in Liberia, with about 4,000 students. Today, Rising is a network of over 930 schools serving over 250,000 students across Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana and Rwanda. We have over 700 staff members and have trained over 13,500 teachers, including over 3,000 just last August. It is through the support of organizations like the Rotary Club at very key junctures in our journey that we have managed to weather the challenges of the past decade and continue to grow our network of schools. In Sierra Leone, our students just achieved some of the highest marks in the country on the government exams, with 100% of our students passing the grade 6 and grade 9 exams (shown in the final picture). Achieving these results requires good quality teaching and learning materials, and the Rotary Club helped set Rising Academies on a path to higher quality education. More than 6 years on from your donation, on behalf of the Rising Academies team I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Rotary Club for choosing to support our schools, and ultimately reach the lives of thousands of students and teachers. Congratulations on your 100th container shipment and once again, a very sincere thanks!” Stephanie Dobrowolski  https://www.risingacademies.com/
These turn out to be some of the ” seeds” which sprout when we do little things to support literacy.
Thank you to Morag, John Smits for his AV talents and the Global Literacy Committee members who helped make the evening a huge success. We are all looking forward to Container 101!
Yours in Service,
Brian Hall
Chair, Global Literacy Project
Rotary Club of Grand Bend
After visiting many community projects of the Rotary Club of St. Marys, DG Sonja Glass was kept very busy during her official visit. Besides her official presentation to the club, DG Sonja presented President Charlie Hammond with three club awards.
DG Sonja Glass and Pres Charlie Hammond present a Paul Harris recognition to a non-Rotarian. The club chose to recognize Sheila Greason posthumously for the tremendous contribution she made to our community. Her good friend, Sienna Kainz accepted the award on behalf of Sheila's family.
Our 2nd Paul Harris recognition goes to Rotarian Ron McDonald for reaching the next Paul Harris level, a multiple PH+2 pin, resulting from his donations through the Every Rotarian Every Year.
Our 3rd Paul Harris recognition goes to President Charlie Hammond who was recognized by the club for his many hours of  tireless service as Club President since July 1st, 2022.
DG Sonja announced one more special recognition being awarded to Rotarian Gary Cumming.
"I am pleased to take this opportunity to honour Gary Cumming who has generously contributed to the Rotary Foundation, and in so doing has achieved Major Donor status. Because of his dedication to our Foundation, we honour Gary with Major Donor level 1 recognition. Your gift inspires others to give, not just of their gift but of their time and of their talent! In recognition of your investment in The Rotary Foundation's wonderful projects and programs, I present this crystal and Major Donor pin on behalf of The Foundation's Trustees." 
DG Sonja also presided over the Presidential Changeover from Charlie Hammond to Mark Oliver as well as the installation of Club Officers and Directors.
DG Sonja Glass visits The Rotary Club of St. Marys on November 13th, 2023. Her husband, Dave, also participated in her presentation. They are both members of the Rotary Club of Meaford.
RI Theme for 2023-2024                                 

RI President, Gordon McInally


District Theme: Plant A Seed           

District Conference: June 21-23, 2024  Owen Sound

District Golf Tournament: Cobble Beach Golf Links : June 20th, 2024

Rotary vs. Polio: A Timeline
Rotary is an international community that brings together leaders who step up to take on the world’s toughest challenges, locally and globally.
The eradication of polio is one of our longest standing and most significant efforts.
Along with our partners, we have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries.
We have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide and we won't stop until we end the disease for good.
Finishing the Fight  
Together with our partners, governments, community leaders, health workers, and volunteers, we must stay vigilant.
Until we eradicate the disease, we must continue to immunize every single child against polio.
To eradicate polio for good, we need your support!
Together, we end polio.
                                   Donate to End Polio | End Polio          
What an engaging young woman! Alexandra Stephens, daughter of Rotarian Lucie Stephens and Sandy Stephens, gave a very impressive presentation about her experience participating in the 2023 World Dragon boat Races in Thailand. This young athlete brought home 7 medals, 4 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze.  Canadian boats won all he categories. This was an experience of a lifetime. Well done and congratulations to Alexandra and her teammates!
Rotarian Pierre Chateauvert thanked Alexandra for sharing her experience with us.
The Rotary Club of St. Marys are sponsoring the weekly Saturday introductory and advanced classes of ESL for Ukrainians for the next six months. Our club provided dictionaries, grammar and speech booklets to assist with their learning the English language.
Rotarian Andrew Middleton who  is with ESL teacher, Tetiana Pipus, showing three of the dictionaries that have been made available to the 33 Ukrainian families. The second picture shows students participating in the advanced ESL class. The youngest members of the class were not very talkative but it was great having Bobby and David in attendance.
Youth Exchange Officer, Mark Oliver, met our inbound exchange student from Taiwan at the Toronto airport. Her name is Ching-En Li. Her adopted English name is Eunice.
She is currently living with Walter and Teresa Pearce who are the parents of former exchange student to Croatia, Angie Pearce.
Rotarians please include Eunice in your family outings. Let's make her as welcome as possible.
On Friday, September 1, 2023, members of the Rotary Club of St. Marys Literacy Committee presented a cheque to the St. Marys Public Library to cover the costs for books donated to the library in honour of our guest speakers for the coming year. The books selected for the children’s library reflect Rotary’s 7 areas of focus.
Pictured around Rotary's Open Book statue that was gifted to the library when the Rotary Club of St. Marys designed and installed the Rotary Reading Garden in 2005:
(L-R) back row-Sarah Andrews, CEO St. Marys Public Library, and Rotarian Linda Schuyler; front row (L-R) Kate Long, Cataloguing and Acquisitions Clerk at the Library, and Rotarian Diane O’Shea.
St Marys Rotary Exchange Student William Kennedy 2023-24 has arrived safely in South Korea and was met by his host family.
If you are interested in being a host family for exchange student coming to St Marys, please message us for further details.
Rural Urban 2023!
This event would not have been possible without the incredible support of our corporate sponsors, event coordinators, venue operator, food caterer, volunteers, and over 400 guests.
Besides great food and fellowship, we were entertained by author, playwright, and public speaker, Dan Needles who kept us laughing. 
Since 2013, the Rotary Club of St. Marys has been donating books to the St. Marys Public Library in honour of their guest speakers. To date, almost 430 books have been donated to the library. On September 20, 2022, members of our Literacy Committee presented Library Acquisitions and Cataloguing Officer, Kate Long, with a cheque to cover the cost of the books purchased for this program.
Pictured around Rotary's Open Book statue that was gifted to the library when the Rotary Club of St. Marys designed and installed the Rotary Reading Garden in 2005.
Standing: Pierre Chateauvert (L) and Diane O' Shea
Seated:  Linda Schuyler (L) and Kate Long
Paul Harris award to non-Rotarian and
Apr 22, 2024
Lesia and Tatiana to talk about their journey from Ukraine to today