Rotaract Changeover 2013!

By: Sarah Hui


On Friday, July 19th, 2013 the Rotaract Club of Toronto had its 2013 Changeover at the Spoke Club. Luckily the event started right as storm clouds were growing in the downtown Toronto area so all of us were safe and dry inside.

The MC for the night, Neisely, did a great job in keeping us all entertained and ensuring the flow of the program.  We thanked the 2012-13 Board of Directors for an exciting year filled with giving back, making new friends and growing as a club. This year we welcomed 26 new members under the leadership of President Netila Demneri. The 2012-13 Board of Directors also included Vice President Kelly Ku, Secretary Sarah Hui, Treasurer Andrei Lezau, Club Service Director Neisely Eugene, Community Service Director Maria Shibaeva, International Service Director Aislynn Austin, Communications Director Andrea Tirone, Professional Development Director Ben Sinclair, Past President Chialing Ku and Liason Director of Rotaract Clubs Don Brooks.

We also gave out the Jamie Maynard Award and the Team Spirit Award. The Jamie Maynard Award is given to a member who has shown outstanding leadership within the club over the past year. The winner of this award is Kelly Ku.  The Team Spirit Award is given to a member who makes all members want to succeed and is awarded to a member who is not only a key player in the Rotaract Club of Toronto team, but who also strives to make our team stronger, by engaging and encouraging everyone to work together in service and fellowship. This person helps bring fun, energy, and collaboration to our team. The winner of this award is Neisely Eugene.

There is a third award, the Herbert J. Taylor Award which is awarded to the member who best exemplifies the spirit of Rotary International’s four way test: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Does it promote goodwill and better friendships? Is it beneficial to all concerned? The top contenders from this award are Netila Demneri, Eric Muller and Jana Yee.

Finally, we again congratulate the 2013-14 Board of Directors and look forward to another exciting year at the Rotaract Club of Toronto.
President: Kelly Ku
Vice President: Neisely Eugene
Secretary: Sarah Hui
Treasurer: Melanie Watts
Club Service Director: Maria Shibaeva
Community Service Director: Leslie Lee
International Service Director: Faridah Saadat
Communications Director: Eric Muller
Professional Development Director: Faiyyad Hosein

Rotaractors Spend an Evening “Puttin’ on the Glitz”

December 8, 2012. It wasn’t just your typical Saturday night!

“Puttin’ on the Glitz – Second Annual Charity Winter Gala” was a special evening of dinner, fashion show, dance and fellowship organized by the Rotaract Club of Mississauga. Rotarians, Rotaractors and friends of District 7080 came together to support and celebrate the PACT Urban Peace Program, which was launched by Rotarians in 1995.

What is PACT? It builds peace and hope in the urban and rural communities by helping youth reach their full potential in life through “Participation, Acknowledgement, Commitment and Transformation”. More specifically, it is an award-winning, result-driven and cost-conscious registered Canadian charity dedicated to working with, supporting and empowering under-privileged and at-risk youth, as well as repeat offenders.

In the Rotarian style, its members have been offering their time, service and charity to maintain this long and valued Rotary-PACT relationship. There are multiple LifeSkill initiatives, but the gala focused on the fruits of labour from the PACTFashion group. Celebrating progress and seeing a live t-shirt cutting design demonstration reinforced how contributions to the community can really pay off! It’s particularly exciting when the PACT initiative is so close to heart.

The evening ended off with a salsa lesson and a workout on the dance floor. The positive, upbeat momentum just kept going. What a Saturday night worth re-living!

Toronto Rotaractors attend Puttin' on the Glitz - the annual winter fundraiser for the Rotaract Club of Mississauga
Toronto Rotaractors attend Puttin’ on the Glitz – the annual winter fundraiser for the Rotaract Club of Mississauga

Rotaract Teams up with Third World Canada Tour and donates Housing Exhibit

On November 8th, 2012, the Rotaract Club of Toronto showcased a home exhibit based on the 3rd World Canada film screening at the Royal Ontario Museum. The 3rd World Canada film made it’s first stop in Toronto to a sold out show. The night consisted of a drum performance by the Waking Spirits drum group, the home exhibit, a discussion panel hosted by the KI community and the film.

Since October, members from the Rotaract Club of Toronto have been building the home exhibit to educate the public on living conditions of First Nation communities in Northern Ontario. The home was constructed inside a 14′ rental truck, which John Andras, from the Rotary Club of Toronto, helped drive to Peterborough to continue the tour. The home exhibit was made possible by the contribution of many notable Rotaract members. Members also contributed to research on health, education and clean water statistics, which were highlighted on placards within the exhibit, with the generous help of Sarah at the Algonquin College Museum Studies Graduate Program. From this experience, members learned the social and economic challenges of First Nations living in Canada. The Rotaract Club of Toronto is honoured to support projects that exemplify our motto, “Service Above Self.”

Rotaractors attend the Third World Canada screening
November 8th, 2012 at the Royal Ontario Museum

Rotaract Club of Toronto’s Housing Exhibit for the Third World Canada Southern Ontario Tour

Rotary UN Day 2012

The United Nations and Rotary International have been partners in service for decades. Every year, Rotarians, Rotaractors, Interactors, Youth Exchange students, RYLArians and guests come together at UN headquarters in New York City to be educated, inspired and to learn about the relationship between these two organizations.

On Saturday, November 3, five Rotaractors from the Rotaract Club of Toronto attended Rotary-UN Day at UN Headquarters. The first thing we noticed when we walked towards the guest entrance was that all the flags, except for the UN flag, were taken down due to Hurricane Sandy. Upon entering the building, we saw a Shelterbox set up in the hallway and guests mingling about. Before the program began, we were lucky enough to meet RI President Sakuji Tanaka to take a group photo. Mr. Tanaka is a strong supporter of Rotary youth programs and recognizes that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. The theme for the program this year focused on promoting global peace – similar to Mr. Tanaka’s theme of “Peace through Service”. We learned about how Rotary has partnered with UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education to educate our future water professionals to tackle water and sanitation issues. We heard from Rotarian Nevine Abdelkhalek, who spoke about women and social peace in Egypt. We also heard an update from Ian Pett, Chief of Health Systems and Strategic Planning at UNICEF, who discussed ways to end preventable child deaths.

Rotary truly has a special relationship with the United Nations that many people are unaware of. Did you know that Rotary International holds the highest consultative status offered to a nongovernmental organization by the UN Economic and Social Council? Did you know that Rotarians helped draft the UN Charter? Did you know that Rotary has an office at UN Headquarters? Our two organizations have partnered for years to help end polio, promote global peace and understanding and so much more. The work we do continues today.

Rotaractors with RI President Sakuji Tanaka at the Rotary UN Day in NYC

Rotaractors Collect Over 500 Non-Perishable Food Items on Halloween Night

The Rotaract Club of Toronto partnered with Meal Exchange for the annual “Trick or Eat” event to go out on Halloween Night (October 31, 2012) to collect non-perishable food items for charity and the fight against hunger.

The partnership with Meal Exchange meant that they gave us official materials such as posters, thank you cards and official volunteer badges. Also anyone who donated food could go online, register their donation and Loblaws would double their donation through a contribution of food to charity.

We canvassed the High Park area, spanning from Keele Station to Runnymede station therefore covering a lot of homes and ground.

Approximately 18 Rotaractors from the Rotaract club of Toronto and 2 Rotaractors from Rotaract club of York University went on to brave the elements and showed the true meaning of service above self.

In rain and also cold weather, they picked up approximately 500 items of food in the High Park area and this was given to the Yonge Street Mission in the fight against hunger!

Every month, over 850,000 Canadians don’t have enough food in their cupboards and have to go to a food bank to receive emergency food supplies. This Halloween, we made a difference in their lives by supporting Trick or Eat®.

Rotaract Volunteers with AFCY at Nuit Blanche

By: Nisha D.

Having just moved to Toronto, I joined Rotaract as a way to meet new people and become an active member of the community. Through Rotaract I become aware of the various ways I could volunteer in my area. The first event I participated in was with Arts for Children and Youth (AFCY) at Nuit Blanche on Sept 29th, 2012 at Younge and Dundas Square. Nuit Blanche is a contemporary interactive art gallery displayed throughout the downtown core. We have partnered with AFCY throughout the year as they are the choice recipient of the $50,000 Centennial Award from The Rotaract Club of Toronto and The Rotaract Club of the University of Toronto in celebration of The Rotary Club of Toronto’s Centennial Year.

At Nuit Blanche, I distributed pipe cleaners and encouraged the attendees to express their creativity and emotions through pipe cleaner art. That night I was able to meet people, both young and old, who were able to enjoy themselves together because of their common love of art. That night I believed that even in such a large city like Toronto, the value of coming together and being a community was still alive and well. That night I knew that being a member of Rotaract added more value to my life than I could have ever imagined. It was a fantastic experience and I would encourage anyone who wants to get involved to join the Rotaract Club!

Rotaractors volunteering during Nuit Blanche with Arts for Children and Youth

RCT Donates $100K to the Youth Employment Service of Toronto

The Rotary Club of Toronto invited the Rotaract Club of Toronto to his second Centennial Luncheon on August 24. This time the $100,000.00 Award was presented to the YOUTH EMPLOYMENT SERVICE YES. An organization that is the largest and most experienced youth employment counseling center in Canada today and that was once founded by Rotarians. YES “[…] believes that employment is empowerment and the cornerstone of safe and healthy communities.”

During his speech Zach Paikin underlined the importance of a strong youth to the future of Canada. He said that without an strong youth future challenges, like the ageing society and the worlds multipolarism, can not be faced.

We warmly thank the Rotary Club of Toronto for the invitation to that Luncheon and for giving us the opportunity to listen to a great speech.

End of Polio Gala Event – Montréal

The Rotary Club of Montréal

invites you to join them for a dinner to raise awareness and funds for global polio eradication

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Rebel Brasserie Urbaine 1470 St Catherine St East, Montreal QC H2L 2J1
Corner of Alexandre de Sève, near Beaudry metro station

Featured Speakers:

The Rt. Hon. Paul Martin, Former Prime Minister of Canada and polio survivor

Paul Beaulieu – Master of Ceremonies and Rotary International Coordinator Zone 24 East

Wilfrid J. Wilkinson – Chairman, The Rotary Foundation

Robert S. Scott – Chairman, Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee

d’Arcy Lunn – The Global Poverty Project and The End of Polio campaign

Ramesh Ferris – Canadian polio survivor and Rotarian

Price: $75.00 per person (includes dinner, cash bar is separate)

Payable in advance by cheque to: The Rotary Club of Montreal mail to: PO Box 205, Station B, Montreal, QC H3B 3J7 or upon arrival (cash only)

Please RSVP by August 25, 2012 to Manon Lennon, District 7040 Polio Plus Committee Chair Phone (514)-862-2392

If you can attend please join us, it would be wonderful to have you there! RSVP to Manon at