The Rotary Club of Toronto


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Club Executives & Directors

The Rotary Club of Toronto President
President Elect
Executive Director/Secretary
Executive Committee Chair
Honours & Awards Liaison Director & Chair
Strategic Planning Liaison Director & Chair
Club Assembly Liaison Director & Chair
Goverance Liaison Director
Audit Committee Liaison Director
Membership Development Liaison Director
Fundraising Liaison Director
Marketing & Communications Liaison Director
Fellowship & Entertainment Liaison Director
Program Liaison Director
Seniors Citizens' Liaison Director
Women's Initiative Liaison Director
Aboriginal Service Liaison Director
Youth & Children Liaison Director
Healthy Beginnings Liaison Director
International Service Liaison Director
Community Service Liaison Director
District 7070 Liaison Director
Rotaract Clubs Liaison Director
Chair of Governance
Chair Audit Committee
Chair of Fellowship and Entertainment
Chair Membership Development
Chair of Marketing and Communications
Chair of Fundraising
Chair Program Committee
Chair Aboriginal Service Committee
Chair Healthy Beginnings Committee
Chair International Service Committee
Chair Senior Citizens' Committee
Chair Community ServiceCommittee
Chair Youth & Children's Committee
Chair Women's Initiative Committee
Chair Children's Christmas Party
Chair Youth Exchange Program
Chair Youth Day Sub Committee-Youth & Children
Chair Retention Sub Committee-Membership
Co Chair Voice Sub Committee-Marketing & Communications
Chair New Members Sub Committee-Membership
Co Chair Voice Sub Committee-Marketing & Communications
Co Chair Environmental Sub Committee
Co Chair Environmental Sub Committee
Chair Research & Appeals FDN
Chair RCT & Argo Community Champion Scholarship Committee
President, RCTCharitable Foundation
Chair of Investment Comittee-FDN


Polio's Retreat
As photojournalist Allison Kwesell walks through the narrow streets of an Indian village, familiarity sets in. She visited here four years ago, when she first met Samir and his family. He was two years old then and had recently contracted polio. Kwesell approaches the front porch of a home when she hears an older woman yelling “Samir! Samir!” She runs toward the voice, wondering if she’ll recognize the boy. She sees six children playing chase on the dry earth, the dirt forming clouds around their feet. From afar she notices a young boy, not unlike the other barefoot children in the backyard...
Rotaract award winners celebrated for their life-changing projects
The village of Kumbharwadi is one of many in a drought-prone region near Mumbai, India. Until recently, its residents had access to only one well with drinkable water. During the summer months, the well runs dry, and the women and girls of the village travel three to four hours a day to search for water. Enter Project Boond, undertaken by a Rotaract club, a Rotary club, and the Watershed Organization Trust to provide clean drinking water and sanitation facilities in Kumbharwadi. Nikunj Pherwani, 2013-14 president of the Rotaract Club of Hassaram Rijhumal College of Commerce and Economics in...
Young writers get published with the help of Rotary
In Jamaica, 11-year-old Jordan Allwood reads his classmates a story about a lonely puppy who finds a new family. The puppy grows into a big dog, enjoys walks along the beach, and survives a frightening autumn day when he is caught in a trap before being rescued by his family. Jordan's story is one of hundreds that were written by children ages 7-11 for a writing contest organized by the Rotary E-Club of the Caribbean 7020 and supported by clubs in 10 Caribbean nations. The best stories, including Jordan's, were published in "The Butterfly StoryBook," produced by the club and sold through...
Clubs breaking down barriers to clean water in Ghana
When Marty Hatala, a member of the Rotary Club of Boaz, Alabama, first traveled to Ghana in 2010 to volunteer at a local orphanage, she saw how local communities struggled to find clean water. Though at least 80 percent of the country's population has access to improved water sources, according to UNICEF, 5 million Ghanaians still use water from unsafe sources. That leaves a significant part of the country's population susceptible to a range of diseases. Worldwide, one out of every five deaths among those under the age of five is caused by water-related diseases. Hatala's experiences in Ghana...
Secrets of a successful crowdsourcing campaign
In case you haven't heard, a man raised nearly $60,000 to make potato salad as a spoof on a popular fundraising site. If he can do that, a campaign to raise money for feeding hungry children or building a school in a war-torn country should be a snap, right? Wrong. The Internet is littered with humanitarians struggling to raise the money and gather the resources for projects that could make a positive impact in the world. So, what is the secret to a successful crowdsourcing campaign? It's simple, really: make it easy to give. Here are some ways you can make it easy for supporters to back your...

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Club Information

Welcome to Our Club!


Service Above Self

We meet Fridays at 12:15 p.m. please arrive no later than 12:00 noon 
The Fairmont Royal York
100 Front Street West
(Meeting Room, subject to change weekly- call the Rotary office: 416-363-0604)
Toronto, ON  M5J 1E3
Guest Speaker:  Friday, September 5, 2014 
Location:  Imperial Room-Fairmont
Topic:  'On Being a twenty First Century Canadian Humourist'
Two years ago Terry, an outstanding humorist, entertained the club with a presentation on the struggles a self-publishing author must accept before his ‘trials by fire’ lead to a publisher’s acceptance.
Since Terry’s 2002 visit he has had several further outstanding achievements. These include, (a) a television series by the CBC based on his book, ‘The Best Laid Plans’, (b) publication of two more books, ‘Up and Down’ and ‘No relation’, (c) delivery of numerous speaking engagements that have kept him busy almost every day and (d) acceptance of five further awards from distinguished associations.
Guest Speaker:  Friday, August 22, 2014 in the Upper Canada Room
With over 20 years of diverse experience in medical care, advocacy and
research, Marilyn McHarg is the President and CEO of Dignitas International, a medical and research organization dedicated to improving access to quality care and treatment for those with HIV/AIDS and related diseases in resource-limited settings.
Marilyn is a founding member of the Canadian section of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), one of the world’s foremost independent medical humanitarian organizations. Marilyn spent nine years with MSF in Africa from 1991 until 2000 working as a Field Nurse in Uganda, a Training Consultant and Medical Coordinator in Sudan, and a Medical Coordinator as well as Head of Mission in South Sudan and Liberia. Following this, Marilyn served as Operational Director for MSF in Holland and later as Director of Operations for MSF in Switzerland. She then spent six years as the Executive Director of MSF in Canada until July 2012.
Guest Speaker:  August 15, 2014, In the Upper Canada Room
Topic:  "Toronto Argonauts Community SAS with Rotary
Jason Colero started with the Argonauts in 1985 as a ball boy/locker attendant working for the visiting teams on game day. While working with the Argonauts, Jason attended York University and graduated with a BA in Psychology in 1995. He went on to receive a Post Secondary Diploma in Corporate Communications in 1998.

President, Steve Smith to Make Opening Kick-Off for New Rotary Club of Toronto- Toronto Argos Scholarship Winner

– by Nancy Schaefer, Chair, Scholarship Committee

Our Centennial Scholarship Committee is proud to announce the year - three winner of The Rotary Club of Toronto and the Toronto Argonauts’ Community Champion Scholarship. Our unique scholarship is designed to send a deserving high school student to a local university with a four-year tuition scholarship. The student must demonstrate academic achievement, community volunteerism and financial need. This year’s winner is John Chen.

Fearless Leaders Richard White (Club President 2013-2014) and Pat Neuman (Chair of Fundraising) show the rest of the volunteers how it’s done!
RIBFEST 2014-by Shannon Lundquist
Another Canada Day and another scorching hot Ribfest! With over 100,000 attendees to the 15th Annual Toronto Ribfest, anticipated net proceeds to Rotary charities will total over $60,000. All told, 97 boisterous volunteer Rotarians from Toronto and Sunrise, as well as Rotaractors from UofT and Toronto, contributed more than 665 hours to greeting at the gate. Action was non-stop and there was never a dull moment.
Ribfest brings out the heat (and humidity) for both tasty treats and those in search of shelter! Our own celebrity judges: Richard (chicken), Steve (pulled pork) and Pat (ribs) can attest to the delicious quality and variety. Food Network, here they come!
Fellow Rotarians
Welcome to the New Rotary year! I am honoured and delighted to serve as President for the 2014/15 year and look forward to working together to continue the good works of this great club.
As a result of the tireless contributions of our current members, and those members who have served over the last 101 years, the Rotary Club of Toronto has made a significant contribution in the lives of an innumerable amount of people in our community and abroad. And we will continue to do so.
The spirit of Rotary and the philosophy of “Service Above Self” has remained constant since our club was founded. The reasoning, the “Why”, we become Rotarians has not changed over the years. The goal of making a difference in the lives of others remains as strong today as when we began in 1912. With the passage of time, however, demographics change and the ways in which we perform and deliver our services to the community has evolved. Today we are an organization of men and women from many varied backgrounds (and age groups!) that bring an extensive and diverse set of talents and skills to the table. This is the “Power of Rotary” today. And in order to thrive, we must continue to attract likeminded people who will join us. In the words of a certain poet/songwriter, the Times They are a’ Changin’! In fact, have changed. And we must continue to evolve with the times. This does not mean that we abandon the tradition of our great club. It means that we must build on it and find innovative ways that are even more effective and to continue evolving so that we can attract new members, including young professionals and corporations, with similar altruistic goals.  This is the basis our Strategic Plan.
Guest Entertainer August 8, 2014 in the Upper Canada Room
Born in Toronto of Ukrainian parents, pianist Heléna Bowkun has established an international reputation as a performer, teacher and commentator on music. Since her highly acclaimed debut with the Toronto Symphony in which she played the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto to a standing ovation and sold-out hall, Ms. Bowkun has performed extensively in recital and in concert, on television and radio. Some of her orchestral appearances as soloist include The Toulouse Symphony, The National Arts Centre Orchestra, The Edmonton Symphony, The Hamilton Philharmonic, CJRT and CBC Orchestras (Toronto).
Guest Speaker:  Friday July 25, 2014 in the Imperial Room
Topic:  "Youth:  A Voice"
It is a good experience for the club members when one of our own assumes the task of being the guest speaker. Shelley is a new member of our club but in the past has been active in the Rotary Club of Mississauga.
Shelley was called to the BAR of Ontario in 2000, and graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1998.  In her professional capacity she has been, for the last fourteen years, with the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (OCL) in Toronto. The OCL is an independent law office operating within the Ministry of the Attorney General, Victims and Vulnerable Persons Division. The OCL delivers legal and clinical services, in family and civil law, in the administration of justice, on behalf of children under the age of 18, the unborn, and the unascertained.
At the OCL, Shelley is a litigator and supervisor in the Personal Rights Department and her caseload consists of custody and access, child protection, adoption and secure treatment matters. She trains and supervises a panel of lawyers who do OCL work in the Central South Region of Ontario, as well as articling students within the office.  She previously supervised the secure treatment panel at the office.
Guest Speaker:  Friday July 18, 2014 in the Upper Canada Room at the Fairmont Royal York
Brian Thompson often says that "Rotary is one of the best things that ever happened to me".
Brian was born in Toronto and grew up in Don Mills. He received his Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto and became a Professional Engineer, working in the nuclear industry for Ontario Hydro. He was also a Commercial Pilot, working part-time as a flying instructor at Toronto Airways in Buttonville, Ontario.
Most of Brian's nuclear career was in Public Relations, based at Pickering. He was seconded for two years to serve the Canadian Nuclear Association in Ottawa as Director of Communications, working in Government and Media Relations, and finished his career with Ontario Power Generation at Darlington.
The Year in Review
On July 5, 2013, I assumed the Presidency of The Rotary Club of Toronto. For the four years leading up to the Centennial, the Club had worked very hard in preparing for the celebrations and spent countless hours vetting and approving the Centennial projects. Under the inspiring and tireless leadership of President Neil Phillips the Club’s Centennial Celebrations were the envy of the Rotary world. Highlights were the Founders Day Lunch at the King Edward Hotel, The Tanaka Lunch, the Gala Celebrations in the Canadian Room of the Royal York Hotel and, of course, all those special Centennial Lunches with amazing speakers during which we gave away a million dollars.
While this was going on, all the normal, everyday Club activities were quietly taking place including the Children’s and Senior’s Christmas Parties and Youth Day. At the request of President Sandy Boucher, I was privileged to establish the Strategic Planning Committee in the spring of 2012. This Committee worked hard over the next year to consult with the Club and establish a Strategic Plan to take the Club forward into its second century. A big thank you to the members of this committee – Lori Brazier, Greg Vermeulen, David Hetherington, Susan Hunter, Prince Kumar, Steve Smith, Sandy Boucher, John Whincup and Ric Williams – with special mention of John and Ric for their invaluable professional help and guidance.
I believe more than ever that The Rotary Club of Toronto is a standout in the Rotary world. Our past deeds speak for themselves. We have always had and continue to have the talented members and resources to carry out unique and meaningful projects which make a difference in the lives of the disadvantaged in our community and around the world. We run first class events which we carry off with style. Our Charitable Foundation is unique in the Rotary world. It has greatly increased our ability to initiate and help fund projects in our community. It is the envy of all Rotary clubs, many that are two or three times our size.
Guest Speaker:  Friday March 14, 2014 in the Upper Canada Room
Topic:  "Porter Airlines: Flying Towards Toronto's Future."
Robert J. Deluce, President and Chief Executive Officer
Porter Airlines
Robert J. Deluce is one of Canada’s most knowledgeable and respected airline owners and operators. He brings to the industry over 60 years of Deluce family experience in successfully owning, financing, restructuring, operating and managing a number of regional airlines in Canada.

In the Upper Canada Room, at the Fairmont Royal York


Ron is a keynote speaker who is starting to aid senior business leaders and is a relationship management expert.


Ron is a married father of 4, who resides in Toronto.


Ron built his career in finance with Euro Brokers Canada Ltd./Maxcor Inc., where he held increasingly progressive roles culminating in the role of Vice President.


In 2000, Ron was one of two Canadian employees selected to close the Canadian operations and shift the Canadian business to New York City and excelled in the larger, fast-paced trading culture consisting of 350 specialized brokers.


Working in the World Trade Center and surviving the life-changing events of 9/11 in NYC, Ron was the last known man out of the South Tower of the World Trade Centre.  Twice during the ordeal, Ron was just minutes away from being killed.




ImageWhen I said I was looking to build partnerships last year, little did I know what this would entail! Over the Canada Day Weekend, there were 35+ volunteers from this Club who put in 550+ hours of volunteering over four days. I had the onerous personal responsibility of helping judge all 16 Ribbers for their BBQ chicken, pulled pork and ribs. I also was forced to perform taxing PR duties with Pinball Clemons, Miss Teen Ontario and Miss Teen Canada.

Pat Neuman agreed to take on the initial organisation of this initiative and Jai Persaud was our weekend coordinator. He was with me 12 hours each and every day, keeping everyone in line. On Sunday, he became a well-deserved Rotary Warrior. I am delighted to report that our Club’s net proceeds were $65,000. This in addition to the same amount going to the Rotary Club of Etobicoke and monies being provided to the Toronto Sunrise Club, who were gracious enough to help us staff the weekend. Thank you to all who came out and brought friends. I am looking forward to seeing even more of you next year!  


Take some time to give thanks for all those in the armed forces

who have made sacrifices to preserve our rights and freedoms.

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow

Between the crosses row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.



2012-Youth Civic Leadership Awards

Young People are our future!

How many times has this well-worn phrase been used to express the possibility of things to come?  At The Rotary Club of Toronto, we believe that young people in this city are not only our future, they are our present.


The Rotary Club of Toronto is launching a scholarship opportunity making it possible for a young person from Toronto to attend a post-secondary institution to obtain a university degree or college diploma. The scholarship focuses on youth with scholastic ability combined with a strong commitment to Service Above Self, but who experience financial and life disadvantages. The youth will have an interest and ability to attend occasional Rotary luncheons and events, act as informal ambassador for The Rotary Club of Toronto, and possibly have an interest or a need for mentoring by a Rotarian. There will be on-going opportunities for Club members to mentor a scholarship recipient and if interested, join the Scholarship Committee. This level of financial support is unusual, making this a very unique scholarship opportunity. 

As well, partnering with the Toronto Argonauts Football Club makes this a very distinctive project. The Argos will promote the scholarship to all high schools in both school boards; jointly select the students with our Rotary members; publicize the scholarship to the media; promote our Club and the scholarship winner during the July 18thhome game; and organize an Annual Rotary Luncheon around the scholarship, the first lunch will be held on Friday, June 1st.   


Guest Speaker November 15, 2013 in the Upper Canada Room, on the 18th floor at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel

Corey was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg. In 1967, he went to England to begin postgraduate studies in art history. On completion of his postgraduate studies, Corey joined the ROM's curatorial staff working for the European Department.

Corey is a recognized authority on the history of Renaissance and Baroque bronze sculpture and European arms and armour. His interests include Medieval sculpture, Gothic and Gothic Revival architecture, Medieval and Modern stained glass, the Russian Orthodox Church, icons, Judaica, and ships (he is a well-known lecturer on the Titanic) as well as firefighting apparatus. He is a frequent speaker at Toronto churches and synagogues on subjects ranging from liturgical art to stained glass.


Topic:  Domestic Human Trafficking  Location:  At the National Club 303 Bay Street, Toronto. 

Detective Wendy Leaver-Toronto Police Services

Wendy Leaver is a Detective with the Toronto Police Service, where she has worked as its Sexual Assault Coordinator since 2004. She has been a Toronto Police Service officer since 1975 and a Detective with the Sex Crimes Unit since 1991. As the Sexual Assault Coordinator, she is responsible for the implementation of the services provided to victims of sexual assault and to liaising with approximately 100 agencies in the City of Toronto in relation to the mandate of the Sex Crimes Unit. In this capacity, she also provides training to agencies on sexual assault investigations and victim issues. She has also been a team leader in the Sex Crimes Unit, responsible for monitoring and directing investigations involving unidentified and serial assailants. In the course of her career with the Toronto Police Service she has been assigned to the Toronto Police Service Youth Bureau and to the Ontario Provincial Police Joint Forces Pornography Unit, investigating occurrences of child and adult pornography across Ontario.



In the UPPER CANADA ROOM ON THE 18TH FLOOR, NEW ROOM LOCATION, at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel

Topic:  Landmines and the Impact of the Ottawa Treaty

Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Winnipeg, graduated in 1961 with a BA from United College (now The University of Winnipeg), and received an MA and PhD from Princeton in 1963 and 1972 respectively. 

At The University of Winnipeg, Dr. Axworthy is working to renew the campus and its downtown community with the view to making post-secondary education more accessible to inner-city, Aboriginal, new immigrant and refugee students.  He is also expanding the University’s outreach in the areas of Aboriginal education, environmental studies, and human rights.


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Bulletin Nov 11


Sep 05, 2014
Terry Fallis, Novelist, in the Imperial Room
"On Being a Twenty First Century Canadian Humourist'
Sep 12, 2014
David Soknacki, Mayoral Candidate
City of Toronto Finances - In Tudor 7 and 8
Sep 19, 2014
Thorkil Sonne, Founder and Chairman Specialisterne
"The Power of Thinking Differently"
Sep 26, 2014
Oct 10, 2014
No Friday, Lunch due to the Holiday Weekend
Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
Oct 17, 2014
Ravi Ravindran - Rotary International President-El
Welcome Zone Insitute Delegates and other District Guests - Concert Hall
Nov 07, 2014
Remembrance Day Lunch, Speaker to be Determined
at the National Club, 303 Bay Street, Toronto
Dec 05, 2014
Patrick O'Driscoll - CEO, Corby Distilleries
at the National Club, 303 Bay Street, Toronto

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