Posted by Peter Masson on Jan 05, 2022
Chair: Danny Cassidy
Toast to the Queen, Canada & Rotary: President Danny
Anthem: (Awaits return to our choir stalls in the future)
Attending: 17 members and guest Dorothy Evans
Program: Directors’ reports for first six months of 2021/2022
Danny made an announcement of a substantial contribution Gerd managed to put together from his contacts:
Gerd's drive to collect donations for our Club was successful again.  He received a total of  $93,500 which has been deposited. 
The major donors are as follows:
$50,000 – Park Property Management
$15,000 – CHAMP Engineering, Our own Anthony Lippa
$10,000 – Brook Restoration (Geoff Grist, last year’s PHF recipient)
$10,000 – ToddGlen Construction
$ 8,500 in smaller donations which were gratefully received.
The club is grateful for these very generous donations.
President Danny called on each of the Directors to give their reports for the first half of the year.
Dhanni Ramdeen
Dhanni Ramdeen as Treasurer of the club reported on the finances for first half of this Rotary year.
With COVID challenges causing no formal fund raising for the year so far, our club managed to receive donations from 4 major sources:
  1. Park Property Management
  2. CHAMP Engineering
  3. Gerd Wengler’s personal fund-raising effort
  4. Our club members and friends of Rotary.
On July 1, 2021, when we began this Rotary year under the presidency of Danny Cassidy, we started with a total cash balance of $242,068.00.
(Cash of $ 84, 394.00 plus investments in 4 GICs at Royal Bank @ 0.5%, a total amount of $157, 674.00).
Club Service Account net income reported is $2,485 for the last 6 months.   (Revenue $9,265 less Expenses of $6,780).
So far, $450 has been received for the camera equipment to be used for our Hybrid weekly meetings.
Your contributions are greatly appreciated to assist in the purchase of this equipment. However, these contributions do NOT qualify for a charitable donation receipt.
As of December 31, 2021, Charitable Foundation received a total donation of $90,319.00. This comprised of $77,00.00 from companies (PPM $50K & CHAMP $27k). A big “Thank You” to both PPM and CHAMP.
Members and friends of Rotary donated $12,800 and from other source $519.
Earlier in the year, preliminary budgets were approved by the Board for C&YS $22,598; International Group $16,539.
Total disbursements as of Dec 31 is $38,325, comprised of:
Community and Youth Projects                              $22,786.00
International Projects                                                 13,439.00
Foundation Walk                                                           2,100.00
A total of                                                                       38,325.00
An additional budget was subsequently approved for C&YS in the amount of $22,500 at the November board meeting, (a total of $45,098 for C&YS)Cheques will be issued this quarter.
Liabilities were decreased by $13,200 for a district grant project, payment was made to the Palliative Care Society of TT.
So as of December 31, 2021, the reported cash balance is $283,347.00.
I received some great news yesterday. Gerd received and deposited an additional $ 28,850. So, in total, through Gerd’s fund-raising effort and CHAMP, our club received a total of $105,850 ($27,000 PPM; $78,850 from PPM and Associates.
As of today, with the additional deposit, the bank balance is $312,197.
The Foundation Charitable tax return was filed in December for the Rotary year ending June 30, 2021.
We currently have 30 active members on record.
2021 Donation receipts will be issued in late February. 
Rocco Colangelo
Rocco Colangelo. Director of Club Service Group provided an outline of their activities.
The names of all the great Club Service Committee members are:
Alan Meredith, Basil Dias, Charles Bakic, Danny Cassidy, Dr. Beauty, Frank Allison, Gordon Brown, Kevin Manuel, Madhavi Chandrasekaran, and of course Rocco Colangelo.
We meet monthly every 2nd Monday at 7:00 PM to plan Rotary functions i.e., Rotary meetings, guest speakers’ bookings, Club activities, social events etc. Although plans are in the works to have lunch meetings in person so far we have only been able to meet virtually.
Club activities, In the first half of the Rotary year, we were able to hold a limited number of Pub Nights and were well attended.
The Christmas party was a no go again this year.
Our group has started discussions about ‘what to do for our Club 60th anniversary in June 2022.
Our next group meeting is next Monday January 10 when we will continue planning for the 2nd half of the Rotary year.
The agenda for the weekly Rotary meetings are run by a POD and rotates monthly among the three groups, this gets all members involved.
The December POD was setup by Rocco for ‘Club Service’ (group 1)
The January POD is setup by Arthur’s ‘Community Service Committee’ (group 2/3)
The February POD switches to Barry’s ‘International Service Committee’ (group 4)
The March POD goes back to Club Service and so on.
Arthur Retnakaran
Arthur Retnakaran reported on the activities of the Community Services and Youth Committee.
1.He included a schedule for this month’s POD responsibilities with blanks filled for the three Wednesdays that meetings will be held in January.
 He went on to report on the activities of the Group:
Warm Hands Distribution included mittens, toques and socks were distributed to 21 elementary schools for a total cost of $1,893.88
2. Funding amounting to $25,802.38 to approx. 12 agencies or causes including two Paul Harris Scholarships to be awarded in June 2022.
3. A supplementary budget was approved for another $22,500 to provide additional support for another seven agencies and additional funding for Agincourt Community Services and, East Scarborough Store Front and Community Family Services of Ontario.
4. A request for shared funding for the Warm Hands Program has been submitted to the district.
5. A request for suggestions regarding distribution of proceeds from the White Elephant auction or other funding available included:
Food Banks. Because of rising prices, rent increases and loss of employment due to Covid there are increasing demands placed on food banks such as Rising Sun Food Drive
Women’s Shelters: Increasing home confinement due to Covid has resulted in a dramatic increase in domestic violence. This can be addressed by support for Women’s Shelter e.g. Scarborough Women’s Shelter.
Refugee Support: With the influx of refugees from places like Afghanistan there is a need to provide support for those who fall through the cracks and resort to pan handling. This has become apparent e.g The Canadian Centre for Refugees.
Our group would welcome other suggestions for support for needy projects which can be investigated by the Community Services Group.
Barry Smith
Barry Smith reported on the work being done on international projects by his committee.
He pointed out that one of the issues that must be planned for in their budget but is an unknown is unpredictable but possible Disasters. They can come anywhere at any time. Thus, we purchase a Shelter Box every year which is paid for and ready to go whenever or wherever a disaster takes place. 
The other part of their budget is for projects that they have been supporting over the years such as Operation Eyesight, and bed kits for Sleeping Children Around the World
The third part of their activities are the projects that have been initiated to serve international needs that have come to their attention. These typically take a long time to put together by engaging other organizations to share the cost and to assume responsibility for stewardship of the project at the local level.
An example of that is the Palliative Care project which has now been completed this year but has been several years in coming to a satisfactory conclusion. Another example is the MPP project that Trudi Tumusime has brought to the group’s attention. And now discussions are underway with a Ugandan Rotary club to be a local sponsor for this project. If we want to multiply our funds by using matching grants from the district then that requires setting out the details of how, why and where the project is to take place as well as the commitment of clubs sharing the cost of the project. This all takes time and we have already passed by the time to make a proposal for a District Matching grant this year, but we have been assured that we have a slot in the District agenda for next year. We did have another Trudy speak to us about this project and confirm the importance of this project.
Danny asked whether there were any questions concerning the reports that had been presented today.
Peter Masson commented on how the committee structure at least for our club covers the needs of the community, the needs of youth and the needs internationally that Barry has described but that it seems to have nowhere to accommodate the needs elsewhere in Ontario or even Canada. How we discover what the needs are in northern Ontario and with the First Nations communities that we can address we seem to not have addressed.
Barry suggested that a joint committee from Community and International could be drawn together for researching and proposing support for such a project but first we need to have the needs be known.  In the past we have supported a publication of a book that was taken to a remote community up north.
Gerd commented on some of his experiences organizing a book drive throughout his apartments that
produced many books that were sorted and then taken down to a very poor part of the Bahamas.
Danny said that it is very sad that we would have to look after those in need in our own country. He said he will try to find out what Rotary is doing in the North to address these needs.
See the source image
Courtney Fisher  
Courtney reported on the status of any potential new members. Unfortunately, the one who had expressed an interest and who had joined in a couple of our Zoom meetings but while many of her questions about Rotary and this club were answered she just was not prepared to make the commitment that is required in joining as an active member. He still will stay in touch with her and invite her to our meetings but for the moment the door is only slightly open. But he and Danny have spoken on this and they both see great potential in canvassing the Scarborough Business Association membership and other community groups to see if we can develop interest in Rotary and our club membership.
See the source image
Danny Cassidy
Danny then wound up the meeting by going back to our Fireside in July 2021,that set out some objectives for the year ahead. He then proceeded to address them.
Meeting location: We are still looking for a restaurant, but Gerd’s Aurora Court community center will work for hybrid meetings. All the equipment that has been obtained is portable for wherever we go and he has now obtained gratis a flat screen TV screen which will improve the clarity of the speaker from wherever they are connected. With the screen set for “speaker view” that will make it much easier to notice the speaker. He also has had discussions with a caterer who he knows who would supply food for us. She will provide us a price list to consider.
Board Meetings at home: Danny reported on the difference he has experienced when we do have meetings at member homes rather than via Zoom.
Fund Raising: He has raised this issue at each meeting he has attended but we still need a solution.
Gerd and Anthony have been very generous in their support of the club and our efforts to help the community. But that has not been fair that they have carried the load of financing the work of the club. What we need is a committee for fundraising. Any of the clubs that he has been in touch with indicate that you need at least six months to organize a fund raiser. We will talk about putting together a committee to consider options for fund raising.
Social Media and Club promotion: This has been  addressed by upgrading the website and having someone ( Trudy ) committed to updating our social media sites, inserting more photos of us out and about in the community.
Social Activities: Thanks to Gordon who has been organizing the social outings whenever possible, they have been a great way of keeping in touch when we can, during the Covid restrictions.
Club Membership: Danny wants to talk with Cynthia Lai about reaching out for potential membership in the diverse community that is Scarborough. Her knowledge of the people who make up that community is unmatched. We should draw on that knowledge to make potential members more aware of what Rotary does.
The district wants us to establish an Environment Committee.  This may be difficult for a small club such as our, but we do have some enthusiasts in the club who would like to encourage matters affecting environmental issues.
Courtney Fisher was the Sergeant at Arms and thus did the rounds to determine what we all had been doing since our last meeting. No fines were recorded.
All of the "Happy Thoughts'' , and the Director reports can be seen on the following link:
Danny closed the meeting wishing everyone a great week ahead.