Serving Up a Plate of Fun

Bright and early on Saturday, August 31st, a group of Rotaract volunteers ventured to the Fort York Food Bank. In addition to donating time, the Rotaractors donated $25.00 worth of meat to the Food Bank. All the volunteers rolled up their sleeves, put on their chefs’ hats and worked towards creating a delicious meal. The volunteers enjoyed preparing the food and showing off their culinary skills, but the most enjoyably part of the morning was serving the food and interacting with patrons. The volunteers were delighted to serve second and third helpings of the food. On that day, the volunteers prepared a hot meal including: spaghetti and meat sauce, casseroles, mashed potatoes, and tuna salad.

At the end of the shift, the volunteer coordinator remarked that it must have been a good meal, as the dining room was silent. A silent dining room indicates a good meal, whereas when patrons are unhappy with the meal they tend to talk more. The Rotaractors are looking forward to continuing to cook and get to know the Fort York Food Bank patrons over the next year.

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Rotaractors Building Feral Cat Shelters with the Toronto Animal Services

On a beautiful Sunday, a group of Rotaractors came together to volunteer at the Toronto Animal Services to build feral cat shelters. We received an orientation on volunteering and learned about the different opportunities with the organization including cat cuddling, dog walking, and the various programs that help at risk youth. We learned about the educational awareness program where workers bring in their canine partners into schools. We also learned about the importance of this organization and its efforts to promote pet adoption and pet identification.

We then heard from a master feral cat house builder and his work with Toronto Street Cats. Their mission is to improve the lives of Toronto’s homeless cats by offering spay/neuter services free for feral cats and building shelters for the cats during the winter months. They also work to increase public awareness about Toronto’s homeless cat population and the importance of spay/neuter and trap/neuter/return.

After the presentations, our group went right to work to build 20 feral cat shelters! These shelters are vital for feral and stray cats as the cold winter months in Toronto can cause frostbites on the ears and paws of these cats and in worse case scenarios these cats may be impacted by hypothermia. Building the shelters required strong team working skills as it required a group of people to cut out the styrofoam that insulates the plastic tote shelters, then another group to construct and insulate the shelter using tape, Styrofoam and a plastic pipe, and finally when all that was done, straw was added into the shelter.

Upon completion of the 20 feral cat shelters, our group was given the opportunity to receive a tour of the facility where we saw some cute cuddly cats kittens and some adorable dogs!!

For more information about this, please see the article that was published in the Toronto Star on Friday, January 25, 2013.

Toronto Animal Services January 27, 2013 Photo 1

100 Volunteers for the 100th Grey Cup

By: Sarah Hui

Around 150 volunteers including Rotaractors, Rotarians, Argos Foundation, Eva’s Initiatives, Toronto Brigantine as well as friends and family were out selling 50/50 Raffle tickets at the 100th Grey Cup held in Toronto on Sunday, November 25th, 2012. The event was an overwhelming success and all the tickets sold out more than an hour before the game even started!

In fact, there were game attendees who were coming up to our group asking for more tickets and we had to redirect them to other sellers around the area. The crowd was enthusiastic about the 50/50 Raffle and even several people came up to us asking to buy $100 worth of tickets.

This fundraising effort raised over $30,000 for the different charities. One of which included funding for the Rotary Youth Expo that will be held in May to inspire 800 youth in grade 8,9 and 10 students from schools in the Regent Park area and beyond.

It was an exciting game for all, especially since the Toronto Argonauts beat the Calgary Stampeders 35 to 22 with a half time show that included Justin Bieber, Gordon Lightfoot, Marianas Trench and Carly Rae Jepsen.

Rotaractors sell 50/50 Tickets at the 100th Grey Cup Game in Toronto
Rotaractors sell 50/50 Tickets at the 100th Grey Cup Game in Toronto

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

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®.

Trick-or-Eat with the Rotaract Club of Toronto

Hello Fellow Rotaractors, it’s almost Halloween, that means its TRICK OR EAT TIME!

We would like to invite you to participate in the annual Trick or Eat volunteer opportunity on October 31st in High Park.

What the heck is a “Trick or Eat”?
You and your friends go door to door collecting food for the Daily Food Bank!

You need:
1) A fun Costume!!
2) Bags, canvas sacks, or a wagon to carry the food. Your collection of goods gets really heavy, really fast!

Why Help Out?
On a serious note (For more info see the Trick-or-Eat website.)
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, make a difference in their lives by supporting Trick or Eat®.
Continue reading “Trick-or-Eat with the Rotaract Club of Toronto”

UforChange: Creating a better world through creativity

‘Vivacity’, (pronounced how you would say vivacious), celebrated its 5th annual three day arts showcase on October 12 to October 14th. The celebration? The graduation of its cycle 5 participants from a 6 month program, created by the charity, UforChange. UforChange raises funds to provide arts-based education program for low-income youth living in Toronto. It is this mission statement that has attracted Rotaract Toronto to be a part of the cause, and has donated $14,000 to further these programs for its youth.

The 3 day celebration showcased its graduates talent (from fashion design, to films, to singing, to dancing), and saw a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate its renewal, which the cofounders asserted – represents the re-upbringing of a Phoenix from the fire. Barry Avrich, Director of the Toronto International Film Festival also acted as guest speaker at the celebration, and it was announced that he would be joining the Board of Directors to help provide guidance and inspiration to the youth participating in the program.

One of the best moments was when one of the recent graduates made a speech on his time in the cycle 5 program. He emphasized how he loved being a part of the program, how it made him feel a part of a family, and how his passion for film was reignited and reinforced from this program.

Rotaract Toronto is happy to be a part of creating a better world through promoting creativity.

Rotaractors volunteer at the UforChange Vivacity Event on October 13th, 2012

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

Rotaractors give a helping hand with the Annual RCT Golf Tournament

By: Sangin Lee, Rotaractor

On August 23rd, Felix Loosmann, a fellow Rotaractor from Germany, and I had a great opportunity to volunteer at the Rotary Club of Toronto Golf Tournament. The event was held at Richmond Hill Golf Club. We helped one of the Rotarians facilitate the Putting Contest and assisted the photographer to find golf teams on the field. Similar to other Rotary events, we enjoyed good food and conversation with nice people.

Every year the Rotary Club of Toronto Gold Tournament raises money for a specific cause or charity and this year the Rotaract Clubs were asked to decide who would benefit from the funds raised. The Rotaract Clubs of Toronto and the University of Toronto have partnered with UforChange, an organization that works with new Canadian and low-income youth living in and around St. James Town to inspire them and give them the tools to succeed by providing support and resources to pursue higher education, volunteering, job shadowing and/or employment opportunities. We had the opportunity to meet the team from UforChange during the dinner portion of the day and had a great conversation with them.

It was a wonderful experience for me not only because it was the Rotary event, but also because it was my first experience on driving a golf cart on the golf club!