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


Rotary releases $34.8 million for polio immunization activities worldwide
Rotary International released an additional $34.8 million in grants to support polio immunization activities in 10 countries, including Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan, the three countries where the disease has never been stopped. The funds, whose release was announced 20 January, will be used by the World Health Organization and UNICEF for polio immunization and surveillance activities in the 10 countries, as well as to provide technical assistance in several other countries in Africa. The grants include $8.1 million for Nigeria to support its final push to eradicate the disease. Nigeria...
President-elect urges Rotary members to ‘Be a Gift to the World’
Using their talents, expertise, and leadership, Rotary members worldwide are asked to be gifts to the world this upcoming 2015-16 Rotary year. Rotary International President-elect K.R. "Ravi" Ravindran called Sunday's address to incoming district governors the "most significant moment of my life." "All of you have been given so many gifts. And you have now been given this great gift: one year to take all your talents, all your gifts, everything that you are and can become -- and Be a Gift to the World," said Ravindran, revealing his presidential theme at the annual five-day training meeting...
Man in iron lung discovers Rotary
One might think a man living with polio in an iron lung would know about Rotary. But it wasn't until Paul Alexander had a business meeting with a member in Duncanville, Texas, earlier this year that he learned Rotary fights to eradicate the very disease that left him almost completely paralyzed. "I was completely blown away by the idea. For all these years, I didn't know the work they were doing," says Alexander, a practicing attorney in Dallas. "It's such a perfect fit for me." Alexander contracted polio during a major U.S. outbreak of the disease in the late 1950s when he was six years old...
Alumni recognized for expanding mental health services and supporting Rotary’s work
Dr. Geetha Jayaram has dedicated her life to helping people in her native India and the United States overcome the torment of severe depression, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, and other mental illnesses. Jayaram is a psychiatrist and associate professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. Her work expanding access to mental health services is much needed. Depression affects at least 350 million people and is the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. "In India, there is no mental...
Rotary’s innovative tribute to polio eradication in India breaks Guinness world record
To eradicate polio in India, Rotary members displayed impressive coordination and commitment. So it should come as no surprise that Rotary members in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, were able to mobilize more than 40,000 people to create the world's largest human national flag. The tribute to the polio eradication effort qualified as a Guinness World Records-breaking achievement. "What impressed me most was that all of Rotary was represented: Rotaractors, Interactors, and Rotarians," says RI President Gary C.K. Huang, who participated in the event along with his wife, Corinna, and other Rotary senior...

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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 for Friday Lunch, January 23, 2015
Location:  In the Ballroom 
at Fairmont Royal York

Topic: Care, Compassion and Respect for our Veterans

Erin O'Toole was first elected to the House of Commons in November 2012.
In January 2015, Mr. O'Toole was appointed Minister of Veterans Affairs. Previously, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade in September 2013.
Mr. O'Toole graduated from the Royal Military College in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree (Honours) and was commissioned as an officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He served at the Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton, Ontario, and as a Tactical Navigator on the Sea King helicopter in Shearwater, Nova Scotia. Following the completion of his service in the regular forces, Mr. O'Toole transferred to the reserves and attended law school at Dalhousie University. He graduated in 2003 and returned to Ontario, where he practiced corporate law and litigation with two national law firms and served as in-house counsel to Procter and Gamble, a large consumer goods company.
Mr. O'Toole already has an extensive record supporting our troops, past and present. He was a founder of the True Patriot Love Foundation, which has raised awareness and significant funds for programs supporting members of the military, veterans and their families, as well as a former director of the Vimy Foundation. He is also a long time member of Legion Branch 178. As a member of Treble Victor, Mr. O’Toole helped transitioning military members find meaningful employment in private sector. He also served on the Board of Governors of the Royal Military College of Canada. In an effort to raise awareness of Veterans’ mental health issues, he co-founded the Annual Lieutenant Colonel Sam Sharpe Veterans Mental Health breakfast.
Mr. O'Toole lives in Courtice, Ontario, with his wife Rebecca and their children Mollie and Jack.
Guest Speaker for Friday Lunch, Jan. 16, 2015
Location:  The National Club - 303 Bay Street

Topic: The Role and State of the Canadian Military Chaplaincy

Rob was born and raised in Oakville.  After feeling a call to the priesthood he began his seminary training in 1986 at Resurrection College Seminary at St. Jerome’s College, University of Waterloo. After graduating with a BA in Philosophy in 1989 he began his theological training at St. Peter’s Seminary at the University of Western Ontario graduating with a Master of Divinity degree in 1993. Rob was ordained a Deacon on April 17, 1993 and a priest on May 7, 1994 for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hamilton. While with the Diocese of Hamilton, he served in parishes in Brantford, Guelph and Hamilton.
Guest Speaker:  Friday, January 9, 2015 - In the Upper Canada Room
Topic: Way To Go, Rotary!
Don't imagine for a minute that 2015 won't start with a really fine program at The Rotary Club of Toronto.  Our first, inspirational speaker is Dr. Gillian Kupakuwana.
Gillian has a fascinating story to tell, and Rotary is a big part of it. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Gillian applied for a Harare Club scholarship to participate in the Rotary Exchange program. Not long after she showed up at John and Irene Oudyk-Suk's home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. At the end of her year the Grand Rapids club and local Rotarians helped make it possible for her to attend college in the United States. She eventually graduated from Grand Valley State University with a BS in Chemistry and Syracuse University with a PhD in Structural Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics after working to develop biological sensors for Cryptosporidium Parvum in drinking water.
Gillian’s passion for addressing the healthcare disparities in resource-poor settings led her to choose to attend medical school instead of pursuing a postdoctoral position. She is now finishing a medical degree at Columbia University in New York City.
Happy 2015 Everyone!  I hope you had a very happy and safe Holiday Season and Merry Christmas.
I was delighted to welcome everyone to the Rotary Club of Toronto’s Annual Christmas Party on Friday, December 19, 2014.
At this time of year we gather to celebrate the festive season and give thanks for this magical season and the gift of family and friends. This is a time to share with others. The Rotary Club of Toronto has a long history of doing just that. Two weeks ago we filled the Royal York with the laughter of Children as we hosted our 85th Children’s Christmas party. Snowballs flew, clowns, police officers and Rotarians danced, children visited with Santa and each child went home with a bag full of Christmas presents. Joy was in the air as this event, for many, is truly the height of this magical season. Last week we continued our long standing tradition as we welcomed the more seasoned members of our community to the annual Seniors’ Christmas party and were regaled with wonderful Christmas melodies from our members as well as from the John Wanless Children’s Choir and, of course, another visit from Santa bearing gifts. Today we gather with fellow Rotarians and family to share Christmas cheer and to reflect on the gifts of fellowship and friendship that we have enjoyed throughout the year.
In the tradition of this great club, we also provide for the less fortunate in our community. In addition to our philanthropic activities throughout the year, at each year’s Club Christmas Party, our Foundation makes a donation to a local charity. This year we will be giving $5,000 to FoodShare.  Their “Good Food Programs” deliver fresh affordable high-quality vegetables and fruit to people and communities in Toronto and Northern Ontario. Their programs increase food access and support skill development, through the Good Food Box, markets, and bulk distribution.
My best wishes to all for a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Wonderful 2015!

Guest Speaker for Friday Lunch, December 5, 2014 
Lunch Location:  The National Club
Mr. Patrick O’Driscoll is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Corby and has been a director of Corby since July 2009.  Mr. O’Driscoll’s career in the Spirits and Wine industry spans over 25 years.  Prior to joining Corby he was the Chief Executive Officer of Malibu-Kahlúa International, a dba of Pernod Ricard U.S.A. LLC, from 2007 to 2009.
Toronto’s oldest running Christmas Party for Children celebrates its 85th year of hosting the party!
The Rotary Club of Toronto, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012, and is now into the next century with its kick off for the holiday season:
The Annual Christmas Party for children with disabilities at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel (where it debuted in 1929, the year of the opening of the Hotel).
Over 650 guests, the very special guests being children with physical disabilities and along with their families, will start their holiday season at the Annual Christmas Party hosted by The Rotary Club of Toronto.
The Christmas party took place on Saturday, November 29, 2014 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto, where it has been held since 1929!
In celebrating its 85th Party, the Rotary Club will be working with the following groups to make this a truly memorable event: 
Easter Seals Ontario
Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf
Lake Scugog Camp Kids
Gilda’s Club of Greater Toronto
Starlight Foundation of Canada
“The Children’s Christmas party is one of the highlights of the year for many of these kids and
we make sure it is a very special afternoon,” says Steve Smith, President of 
The Rotary Club of Toronto.

“Each child is made to feel especially welcome at the event and our volunteers and donors from across the city make sure that no one leaves the event without a visit to Santa and an overflowing gift bag.”
Members of Toronto’s Police Services including Senior Police Officers joined the party with a strong team of volunteers including their popular in-house band known as The Coppertone’s.  Volunteers from the Toronto Fire Department will be in full force and will bring one of the Pumper Trucks to the Front entrance of the Royal York Hotel so the kids who are able may climb aboard!! 

Click on the following link to see the Snowball fight with the Toronto Police Services.
More Pictures- click on link below!
Guest Speaker for Friday Lunch, November 28, 2014
Location:  Fairmont Royal York - Upper Canada Room, 18th floor

Topic: The World Remembers 

R.H. Thomson, one of Canada’s foremost actors and directors, includes among his accolades the Toronto Drama Bench Award for “outstanding body of work” spanning thirty years and covering theatre, film and television and the Gascon-Thomas Award recognizing his career in the arts. On stage, his theatre roles have ranged from Marc Antony in Julius Caesar at Canada’s Stratford Festival to Glenn Gould in the plan Glenn. R.H. Thomson was Artistic Director for the 1991/1992 Season of Toronto’s World Stage Theatre Festival as well as the Co-Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Works until 2006. He hosted Man Alive on the CBC for three seasons.
Guest Speaker for Friday Lunch, November 21, 2014
Location:  Fairmont Royal York - In Tudor 7 & 8
Topic: Kids Against Hunger

Wayne McConnachie:

Did you know that about 1 billion people on this planet go to bed hungry each night, and that a child dies every 6 seconds due to a hunger-related cause? It is these alarming statistics that motivate Wayne McConnachie to be a part of the solution.

Guest Speaker for Friday Lunch, November 14, 2014
Location:  Fairmont Royal York - Upper Canada Room, 18th floor
Topic: Lessons in Partnership: What Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle Taught Us About Working Together
Ray Argyle is the author of five books, the most recent of which is The Paris Game, which describes the Liberation of Paris and France which marks its 70th Anniversary this year and was the turning point of the War. His other books include Turning Points, the Boy in the Picture, Scott Joplin and the Age of Ragtime, and Joey Smallwood, Schemer or Dreamer.  
Remembrance Day Guest Speaker for Friday, November 7, 2014 
Lunch Location:  The National Club
Brigadier General Julian Chapman joined the Canadian Forces in 1980.  He graduated with a baccalaureate in History and Political Science from the University of Toronto.  BGen Chapman began his military career in Toronto Scottish Regiment as a Private.  He was commissioned in 1982 and has held most of the officer appointments in the Regiment.  His staff experience includes five years at Toronto District Headquarters which is now known as 32 Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters.  





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.


Guest Speaker for Women's Committee Friday Lunch, October 31, 2014
Location:  Fairmont Royal York - Ballroom, C Level
Topic: Understanding Alzheimers: Why 70% Of New Cases Are Women
Lynn Posluns is Founder and President of the Women’s Brain Health Initiative, the global charitable foundation raising money for research and education to combat brain-aging diseases that affect women. While serving as Founder and Chair of Women of Baycrest, Lynn recognized the need to raise awareness and funds beyond Toronto to help women stay brain healthy longer. Lynn’s passion and commitment for the cause now continues on a worldwide basis supporting worthy institutions that want to combat this impending crisis.
Guest Speaker for Friday Lunch, October 24, 2014, World Polio Day
Location:  Fairmont Royal York - Upper Canada Room, 18th floor
Christopher J. Rutty is a Toronto-based professional medical historian in private practice with special expertise in the history of public health, vaccines and biotechnology in Canada. After completing a diploma in Classical Animation at Sheridan College, Chris shifted focus to science and the history of science and medicine at the University of Western Ontario during the 1980s. He then received his PhD in History from the University of Toronto in 1995 and focused his dissertation on the history of polio in Canada. He has since written and presented extensively about the history of polio and polio vaccines. The title of his presentation for World Polio Day is "The Middle Class Plague: Ontario and the Polio Years."
Special Guest for Friday Lunch, October 24, 2014, World Polio Day
Location:  Fairmont Royal York - Upper Canada Room, 18th floor
Back in the day, young Roger Ashby was considering life as a university student, had even paid his deposit, when a radio station in Hamilton stepped up and hired him during the summer. Ashby decided to forego university and embarked on what would become a rather remarkable career in radio. Ashby was a radio nut even as a kid and his dad set up a home-made radio studio in the basement, with speakers throughout the house, and Ashby would practice his "broadcasting" every afternoon after school.
Guest Speaker for Friday October 17, 2014 Zone Lunch
Location:  Fairmont Royal York - Concert Hall on C. Level

Welcome Zone Institute Delegates and Other District Guests

K.R. "Ravi" Ravindran is CEO and founder of a publicly listed company with a worldwide clientele in the tea packaging industry. His company, Printcare Plc, is the winner of national and international awards of excellence. He also serves on the board of several other companies and charitable trusts. He is the founding president of the Sri Lanka Anti-Narcotics Association.
A Rotarian since 1974, Ravindran has served RI as treasurer; director; Foundation trustee; committee member, vice chair, and chair; task force member; RI training leader; and district governor.
As his country's national PolioPlus chair, Ravindran headed a task force consisting of the government, UNICEF, and Rotary and worked closely with UNICEF to successfully negotiate a ceasefire with the northern militants during National Immunization Days. He also chaired the Schools Reawakening project, sponsored by Rotary clubs and districts in Sri Lanka, to rebuild 25 tsunami-devastated schools to benefit 15,000 children.

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 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.
Official Visit of Their Royal Highnesses the Crown Prince Couple of Denmark
Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark will be our guests of honour at The Rotary Club of Toronto luncheon meeting to be held on Friday, September 19, 2014, in the Concert Hall at the Fairmont Royal York.  
We will be honoured by the presence of their Royal Highnesses the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess of Denmark who are attending in support of our guest speaker, Thorkil Sonne, the Founder and Chairman of “Specialisterne” and the not for profit “Special People Foundation”. The Foundation has as its mission the enabling of one million jobs for people with autism and similar challenges.
On the occasion of the official Canadian visit by the Royal Couple from September 17 to 19, a large Danish business delegation headed by the Danish Minister for Trade and Development Corporation will travel to Ottawa and Toronto to strengthen and increase existing business relationships between Denmark and Canada. Danish companies in fashion, healthcare, pharma, medical devices, food and beverage, building construction, interior design, city planning and energy efficiency fields will be represented.
Thorkil Sonne, Founder of the Danish Social Innovation Specialisterne
More and more people are being diagnosed with a disability and struggle to find meaningful and productive jobs in the labor market. At the same time many businesses face a shortage of skilled employees. The gap between untapped talent among people with disabilities and vacant jobs can be reduced or even removed. The founder of the Danish Social Innovation Specialisterne will share experience from Denmark and Canada and discuss how stakeholders can work together to realize the goal to enable One Million Jobs for people with autism and similar challenges.
Thorkil Sonne is the founder and chairman of Specialisterne and Specialist People Foundation. Thorkil first became involved in autism when his son Lars was diagnosed with infantile autism in 1999. He became active in Danish Autism Society, eventually leaving his Technical Director position in an IT startup company to establish Specialisterne in 2003. Thorkil has since played an active role in global social entrepreneurship, and was named an Ashoka Fellow in 2009 and Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur in 2012. He is now based in the United States where he is driving the expansion of the Specialisterne model.


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!
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.
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!  


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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