By: Kelly Ku
This year we volunteered at Toronto Ribfest with Rotarians and Rotaractors from other clubs in the city!
This annual food fest was held from June 27 – July 1 on an ultra long Canada Day weekend. Our volunteers were at Ribfest to do one thing and only thing only: collect toonies! Ribfest has always collected donations and starting last year, they began asking for a $2 donation for each person attending the festival.
Last year, the event raised over $100,000 for local Rotary clubs and charities just from collecting toonies! Lucky for us, we are able to secure a portion of the donations this year for our club based on the number of hours we volunteered. In total, we contributed 104 volunteer hours and sent waves of volunteers to Centennial Park to help our club fundraise and to help other Rotary/Rotaract clubs fundraise for their club initiatives.
All the volunteers had a great time fundraising and many even picked up extra shifts! While we do not have final numbers as of yet, we anticipate that we raised a sizeable amount of funds for our club. Kudos to all the volunteers for a job well done and we hope to return next year to raise even more funds for our club.
Here’s a testimonial from one of our volunteers – Zuzanna Strauchmann, Rotaractor from Poland:
I am Zuzanna from Poland. It was my first visit in Canada, my first volunteering at Ribfest. Oops… no! It was the very first time I have ever experienced Ribfest! My impressions? Friendly people around, hot temperature, and hot ribs! It was a big pleasure for me to meet Rotarians and to help the Toronto community. It was so much fun to share smiles with people who came to Ribfest and wish them BON APPETIT!
By: Sarah Hui
I was given the great pleasure of being the Rotaract Chair of the Youth Civic Leadership Awards as part of the Youth Expo Initiatives along with the Rotary Chair, Don Brooks from the Rotary Club of Toronto. gether we were given the opportunity to award 4 youth in either Grade 10, 11 or 12 in the City of Toronto with a scholarship for youth civic leadership.
We started in December with the creation of the application form and then had dedicated volunteers reach out to guidance counselors/principals/teachers at schools, community centres, scholarship websites, other Rotary Clubs, other Rotaract Club and other various organizations to advertise the awards. I want to thank Mark, Veronica, Fatima and Joanne for their help on this as it was no easy task to spread the word about this scholarship to youth in the City of Toronto.
We received 110 applications and together with a number of Rotarians (Don, Terry, Jeff and Jack) and Rotaractors (Tiffany, Lisa, Paul, Eric, Earlyn and Michael) who spent an entire evening reviewing scholarship application forms, we were able to determine the top 10 finalists to interview. There were many strong applications which make me very hopeful for the next generation of youth who truly want to give back to their community.
The next key step in this was to put together a committee of five individuals (myself, Don, Chialing, Terry and Chioma from Toronto Community Housing) to interview the top 10 finalists on a Sunday. In speaking with the top 10 finalists, we received better insight to how youth of today are truly pushing the boundaries and are keen to give back to their community through various initiatives. After long deliberations, we decided on the following award winners:
Lisa Xiao – Rotary Club of Toronto Youth Civic Leadership Award – $2000
Zameer Bharwani – Rotaract Club Gold Youth Civic Leadership Award – $1000
Yasmine Gray – Rotaract Club Silver Youth Civic Leadership Award – $500
Emman Haider – Rotaract Club Bronze Youth Civic Leadership Award – $500
These youth were celebrated at a Rotary Club of Toronto lunch on Friday, June 20th at the National Club. This lunch was put together by a number of Rotarians and Rotaractors and the MC for the lunch was Paul Churchward, a member of the Rotaract Club of Toronto. At this lunch we showcased the accomplishments of Youth Expo and awarded each of the above winners and recognized the top 10 finalists.
Overall this was a great opportunity as you truly feel that you are making an impact on youth who are working to make their community a better place through their leadership skills.
By: Pamela Ogang
As a volunteer, where else can you experience great food and drinks, an amazing venue, extreme emotion from winners and losers and a businessman disrobing for a group of women than the Rotary Club of Toronto’s Annual Fundraiser. Held at the Steam Whistle Brewery on Thursday March 27th, 2014, the event is a well-oiled machine thanks to seasoned organizers, especially Pat Neuman and Fabio Ventolini, and volunteers. Prizes ranged from gifts to the spa and luxury hotel stays to driving of exotic cars.
The idea for the annual fundraiser came from Rotarian Fabio Ventolini’s goal of leveraging his love for playing the game with his friends and associates to raise money for a good cause. While the event sees new participants each year, the majority of players are associated to Fabio, thus showing how lucrative a passion can be.
Having raised $27,770 last year and a net profit of $30,597 this year, it is an event not to be missed. Be sure to join the Rotary Club of Toronto at next year’s annual fundraiser on Friday March 20th, 2015 as a volunteer, committee member or player – contact Pat Neuman or the Rotary Club of Toronto office. Tickets will be available mid January 2015.
By: Kelly Ku
We are very fortunate to have a strong relationship with our sponsor club, The Rotary Club of Toronto. As a result, we are often invited to their club events, one of which is their monthly networking event called “R2R” which stands for “Rotarian to Rotarian”. It is held at The National Club and members from our club and the Rotaract Club of the University Club of Toronto are invited to meet Rotarians from The Rotary Club of Toronto. On Thursday, May 29th, we held a special “R2R” that we called “Rotaractor to Rotarian”. We increased the promotion for the meeting and had a great turnout from Rotaractors and Rotarians alike. We all took a few minutes to introduce ourselves to the group and it was great to learn about the professions of all the attendees. Making Rotary connections is of vital importance to our members. Not only will building rapport with Rotarians benefit our members professionally, it also promotes fellowship and mutual respect with our sponsor club members and vice-versa. We look forward to organizing more special R2R’s in the near future!
By: Sarah Hui
On Sunday, May 4, 2014, Rotaractors volunteered at the third annual Toronto Wing Festival that was held at Daniel Spectrum in downtown Toronto.
This is an annual event hosted by the Rotary Club of Toronto Skyline that brought together over 15 vendors and gave the opportunity to festival goers to enjoy a number of different chicken wings.
The proceeds of this event went to the Rotary Club for them to support charitable activities. In the past, this club has supported Streets to Homes Toronto, STEP Cambodia, Fort York Food Bank and the Rotary foundation.