Innovative Calgary park to support citizens’ mental health 2021-08-04 06:00:00Z 0
Shelterbox Awards Calgary North Silver Hero Status David A Thompson 2020-08-06 06:00:00Z 0

Covid 19 Impacts Our Club Youth Exchange Programs

Posted by David Thompson on Apr 22, 2020
With the outbreak of Covid 19, our exchange student program has had to be terminated.  As a result Balint Blasko, our inbound from Hungary has returned home, and our outbound students, Hannah Kuipers and Dani Parras have also returned to Canada.  Everyone has arrived at their respective homes, and to date none have been ill with the coronavirus.
Until a vaccine can be developed, our Rotary district, has cancelled exchanges for the new school year as well.  We will be posting information and visiting the Calgary North schools once this situation is under control. 
Covid 19 Impacts Our Club Youth Exchange Programs David Thompson 2020-04-22 06:00:00Z 0

A Just-In-Time Gift

Cindy Ngo, Annual Giving Development Officer, wrote these much appreciated words to Calgary North:
The incredible donation from the Rotary Club of Calgary North last year led to the purchase of a machine that allows for state-of-the-art training for our doctors at the Foothills Medical Centre.
A side note – this machine is currently being programmed to train our doctors to respond to COVID-19 patients. How timely is that? Without even planning for this, your support is helping us transform health care and potentially saving lives during this pandemic. THANK YOU!
A Just-In-Time Gift Sheila Newel 2020-04-07 06:00:00Z 0

Another Success Story

Posted by Sheila Newel on Apr 10, 2019
Rachel Engler (right) and her partner Ava Chow (left)
The Rotary Club of Calgary North received the following fun email from a young lady named Rachel Engler:
Dear President Newel and Members of The Rotary Club of Calgary North, I am writing to thank you for contributing to the Calgary Youth Science Fair.  My partner, Ava Chow, and I were awarded the Rotary Clubs of Calgary Environment Award.  We are in Grade 6.  We are very excited to receive the award!  I thought you might find this story interesting.  Rotary provided more than this award to me.  My Dad was a Rotary Exchange student in high school.  He went to Brazil.  He stayed in my great grandparent's house and first met my mom [there], though they didn't get together until 24 years later, when he visited there again.  Soon after, they got married and had me.  So you see, if it was not for the Rotary Club I would not be here.
Rachael's father, Steven Engler, was sponsored by the Princeton Rotary Club of B.C. in 1978–79 and was hosted by the Rotary Club São João da Boa Vista (Centro) (founded 1939).   Steven's wife's name is Heloisa and they have two younger children in addition to Rachel.  All the kids are dual citizens.  
Steven tell us his exchange trip changed his life in other ways.   He became interested in other cultures and is now a Professor of Religious Studies at Mount Royal University, teaching mainly Christianity and specializing in Brazilian religions for his research
We are grateful to Steven and Rachael for sharing their stories and letting us share them on this Web page.  We are also grateful for every exchange student we have had the pleasure of meeting and hearing about.
Another Success Story Sheila Newel 2019-04-10 06:00:00Z 0

The Longest Night

Posted by Sheila Newel on Dec 29, 2018
For most of us December 21st is the shortest day of the year, but for those living rough - on the streets or in shelters - it's the longest night of the year.  Cold and hunger and how to combat them become the common ground for people living rough and they form bonds, friendships, and informal support groups.   When one of their group is missing, it can hard for them to find out what happened to that person, many of whom died.  

Ryan White, Reporter / Producer @CTVRyanWhite reported that this year, a 'Longest Night of the Year' event "brought current and former homeless Calgarians together to pay tribute to those who lost their lives on the streets.  The service, which was held outside Calgary city hall early Friday evening, honoured the memory of more than 130 people who have passed in recent years.  The names of the deceased, whether it be their birth name or the name they were known by in homeless circles, was read aloud in a display of respect and dignity.  Nigel Kirk, organizer of the event, says homeless Calgarians are at great risk as they can face exposure to the elements, addiction, mental illness, and a dehumanizing attitude towards the homeless."

Rotary Club of Calgary North did what they could to help, gathering to serve coffee, hot chocolate, rice, and chili to the attendees.  This was the first of what might well be an annual event and we were proud to be of service.

The Longest Night Sheila Newel 2018-12-29 07:00:00Z 0

A Success Story in the Making

Posted by Sheila Newel on Nov 18, 2018
Sonny's story is engaging, energizing, and captivating for sure; but above all else, it is heart warming.
Sonny Carmona, a former Rotary Club of Calgary North exchange student from Venezuela, is now an international student at Seneca College.  We always found her charming and willing to work hard at anything she tackled.   It appears that Seneca College feels the same way.  
Every year the top 16 colleges with marketing programs in Ontario are called to participate in the the Ontario college marketing competition, a process that starts early April to pick the top 16 students in the school of marketing to be pair up and represent different categories.  Sonny was selected to represent the Direct Marketing Team with another young woman who is from the from Dominican Republic.  After eight months of really hard work Sonny and her team mate accomplished FIRST PLACE in the competition
Sonny also received a special award, one that is given to just one person.  Sonny was nominated by her school for an award that recognized the recipient as someone with "outstanding character and leadership skills" and who is a hard worker and an excellent, collaborative team member.  We are so proud, but not surprised, to know that Sonny received this award. 
Sonny particularly appreciates being the first Venezuelan to be recognized in this way and shares her glory with Rotary.  This is what Sonny has to say:
"YOU are behind it.  Rotary is behind it.  Since 2011 when I got the opportunity to travel I would have never imagine I would had meet amazing people like you, each one of you had tough me, give me knowledge and pull my ears more than once when it was necessary every day until today each one of you had help to shape me to be ME to give 300% to be able to live in a country where I can live and not just survive and there will be never enough words that can express my feelings and gratitude for you.  Thank you , thank you, thank you."
Sonny, you are welcome, admired, and much loved.
A Success Story in the Making Sheila Newel 2018-11-18 07:00:00Z 0

New Exchange Student for Calgary North

Posted by Sheila Newel on Sep 02, 2018
Rotary Club of Calgary North's 2018-2019 YEX Student from France has arrived and our 2017-2018 YEX Student is settling back in in Sardinia.
This Stefan on his first day in Calgary attempting to get a view of downtown Calgary.  Unfortunately, it was still a tad smokey at that time.   The other picture is Michele back home and purchasing a suit for his sister's wedding.
Watch this space for more information on Stefan, his background and his time in Canada and news from YEX alumni.
New Exchange Student for Calgary North Sheila Newel 2018-09-02 06:00:00Z 0

Literacy in Jamaica

Posted on Jun 24, 2018
The Hanover Educational Institute in Western Jamaica resides in the parish of Hanover, where a population of 70,000, has a illiteracy rate of 35%.  Furthermore, Hanover is ranked #4 out of 13 parishes with the highest rate of persons getting infected  by HIV even though there is vigorous on-going outreach program in the communities.  As if that weren't difficult enough, Hanover is ranked #2 behind St. James as the Parish with the highest number of young men involved in scamming. Young men are dropping out of high schools as they see this activity as the way out of poverty. 
Literacy in Jamaica Sheila Newel 2018-06-24 06:00:00Z 0

Last Meeting of the 2016-2017 Year

Last Meeting of the 2016-2017 Year
June 27, 2016

A Shared meeting

Current President Maria Serban opened our meeting with the usual welcome to all, national anthem, and grace.  The remaining business from the 2016-2017 year consisted of the submission, by Treasurer Dan Turner, of the Financial Statements for the previous year, which have now been balanced and accepted by the Audit Committee.  The membership voted unanimously to accept the Financial Statements as presented.
Once the Sgt at Arms (Sheila) had imposed fines and collected happy bucks, the group sang “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow” to Steve Moore who had only one more meeting to attend before moving to Ontario and a brand new club.  We will miss Steve a great deal and wish him well.
Frank pulled a few more bucks than usual from the crowd for the 50/50 draw and then presented the $$ to Paul Ramike who shared the pot.  Well, actually they shared 75% of the pot because between them they came up with only 3 of the 4 points in the four-way test, so they were fined the remainder.
At the meeting’s half way mark, Incoming President Jeff Cuell took over the agenda and outlined his plans for the new Rotary year.  Jeff hopes to continue the positive momentum the club has gained and thanked Gerry Darichuk and others for their help in getting the new year started right. 
These are the Incoming President’s and Incoming Directors’ hopes and aspirations:
  1. We will return to and stay in the much more welcoming and spacious upstairs room for the next year.
  2. We will return to weekly meetings.  Jeff and others acknowledged and thanked Maria for trying the new format (which was actually introduced by Martin at the end of his year), but the majority of members prefer meeting every Monday but those on which holidays fall.
  3. Membership Director: Gerry Darichuk:
    1. Gerry intends for our club to grow by 10 members.  However, Gerry will, in fact, try for 20, in the hopes that at least half of that number become long-term Rotarians.
    2. We will set up a buddy system, which will have snow birds, and other members missing several consecutive meetings, sending a substitute temporary Rotarian to meeting sin their stead.
    3. We will ensure each new member has a mentor, who is, in fact, actively mentoring.
    4. We will have a visitor host for each meeting (Turgay or a Turgay-appointed substitute).
    5. We received notice that we are all pro forma members of the Membership Committee.
  4. We will re-establish respect for club protocols by reinstating a head table format for guest speakers and Rotary executive.
  5. We will get back to being a 100% Paul Harris sustaining club.
  6. We will have this monthly schedule:
    1. Week One –Speaker
    2. Week Two – Classification Talk
    3. Week Three – Speaker
    4. Week Four – Business
    5. Week Five – ad hoc
  7. We will re-establish our relationship with daughter clubs, Airdrie and Cochrane.
  8. We will have a spring fund raising dinner again.
  9. International Director: David Thompson (standing in for Richard Edwards)
    1. We will support, as much as funds allow, two International Projects.
  10. Club Service One: Frank Faria
    1. We will now pay a toonie for our 50/50 draw since the cost hasn’t been raised in a long time.
  11. Youth Services: Cliff Tyminski  (and assistant Robb Liebel)
    1. We will assess the program and ensure we improve our relationship with the District.
  12. Foundation Donations: Bud Watson (Tally Abougoush)
    1. We will try to ensure Cliff doesn’t keep winning the matching funds every week!  (Didn’t it used to be Jill who always won?)
Jeff will continue to lead PEC for the time being and we are still looking for someone to lead our Fundraising.
The meeting ended with …
  • Congratulations and thanks going to Maria for stepping up to the job at the last minute last year    and
  • A very good joke from Jokemeister, Ron Stickley.
Last Meeting of the 2016-2017 Year 2016-07-05 06:00:00Z 0

Brian's Craft Talk

This week, we were able to get to know Brian L. just a little bit better.
Brian began by sharing a bit about his Rotary history and what Rotary means to him.
Brian has been a Rotarian for about 10 years at various clubs. He expressed his passion for Rotary with these words, "for me it's about the values of Rotary and the 4-Way Test;Spending time with like-minded-hearted people who subscribe to Rotary Moto: Service above self".
Brian's distinguished career has been large and varied. He began his career with RPN Saskatchewan, then moved into a position as a nurse educator at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, then became Executive Director of the Pheonix Residential. After a number of other interesting positions, Brian eventually becme the President and CEO of Lakeland College.
Now semi-retired, Brian's list of jobs while retired is as long as when he was working. Among other positions, Brian is the President of Brian Larson Consulting and sits on the ABSA Board of Directors.
Brian is married to Marilyn, has three daughters and eight grandchildren. He also plays the piano accordian.
Thank you Brian for a fun and informative Craft talk.   Next time a performance . . :)
Brian's Craft Talk 2016-06-26 06:00:00Z 0

Parkinson Alberta

Posted by Anna-Maria Korell
This week we welcomed guests Pam A. and Katie V. from Parkinson Alberta who shared information about Parkinson Alberta and the services it offers.

What is Parkinson disease?

  • First described by James Parkinson in 1817 in “An Essay on Shaking Palsy”
  • It affects 1 in 100 individuals over the age of 60
  • It is a neurodegenerative condition
  • It affects the production of dopamine in the brain
Symptoms can include:
  • Tremor at rest
  • Bradykinesia (slowness of movement)
  • Muscle rigidity (stiffness)
  • Must have two of the three symptoms
•Over the past 7 years Parkinson Alberta has contributed over half a million dollars to Parkinson’s research.
•3 research projects Parkinson Alberta has contributed research monies to include:
•Dr Patrick Flood.  Focused on determining the role of inflammation in PD and how can affecting the change in that inflammation alter progression of the disorder.
•Dr Janis Miyasaki.  Focused on advanced care planning involving learning about the types of healthcare decisions that might need to be made for the future, thinking about those decisions ahead of time, and letting others know about preferences.
•Dr Forkert.  Focused on developing and evaluating new image processing methods, and software tools for the analysis of medical images.
•Parkinson Alberta offers singing classes that include 6 sessions, $65 for Members, $70 for non-members

Research indicates that singing can help improve some speech problems commonly associated with Parkinson's.  Higher vocal loudness and better vocal control have been reported after participating in therapeutic singing. 

The PD Helpline provides information for people with Parkinson’s, care partners, students, employers, and health care professionals


  • Twice a year, Parkinson Alberta presents our Parkinson Alberta Grows Campaign to raise funds and awareness for Albertans living with Parkinson’s and their loved ones.This March, Parkinson Alberta sold beautiful Canadian-grown red parrot tulips and chocolate tulip lollipops and raised over $10,600 in Calgary!In November, our Parkinson Alberta Grows Campaign will feature mini red poinsettias.
  • Save the Date to ‘set your course’ for support at our 25th Annual Tulip Golf Tournament.Enjoy lunch, followed by a fun day of golf with on-course whisky tastings and more! Our evening program includes a cocktail reception and dinner followed by silent and live auctions and a performance by Calgary’s own Heebee Jeebee’s!
  • FLEXXAIRE PARKINSON STEP 'N STRIDE is Parkinson Alberta’s largest annual fundraising effort to provide the services that make every day better for those with PD and the people who care for them.Fundraising event with wine and food tasting, silent and live auctions and more!Co-hosted by the Champions of Hope Committee October 22nd at J. Webb Wine Market
Parkinson Alberta Anna-Maria Korell 2016-05-28 06:00:00Z 0

Creating Employment Opportunities for People with Developmental Disabilities

Posted by Anna-Maria Korell
Creating Employment Opportunities for
People with Developmental Disabilities

District 5360

An Inclusion Alberta/Rotary Employment Partnership


Today's speaker was Mike Colborne talked to us about this unique partnership.

Inclusion Alberta, (formerly AACL)  is a non-profit, voluntary association of more than 40 organizations from across Alberta representing the interests of children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families for almost half a century.

Why It’s Important

  • *Having a job provides an identity, purpose, belonging, and value
  • People with developmental disabilities can and want to work
  • *Children with disabilities now grow up at home, are included in school, develop aspirations and as adults have opportunities for inclusive post-secondary education and a home of their own in community
  • *Over 70% of adults with developmental disabilities are unemployed
  • *Family and individual dreams to have a career, make a contribution, earn an income and be valued community members are not realized
Project Success
  • *To date Rotarians have created 379 jobs across the province
  • *40 of those jobs have been created in Calgary
  • On average, an employee with developmental disabilities’ personal income increases 44% because they have a job
  • *Enhance your reputation and business as an inclusive employer with a diverse workforce
  • *Demonstrate corporate citizenship
  • *Get a loyal, committed employee*Change a life
  • *Administrative Assistants
  • *Car detailing
  • *Labourer
  • *Customer Service
  • *Data management
  • *Mail room assistant
  • *Registrar at Rotary
Creating Employment Opportunities for People with Developmental Disabilities Anna-Maria Korell 2016-04-22 06:00:00Z 0
Thank Yous and Cards Anna-Maria Korell 2016-03-17 06:00:00Z 0
4-Way Test 2015-09-11 06:00:00Z 0

Club History

Posted by Charlene Bearden
Gerry Darichuk is updating the Club's history and has sifted through photos and memorabilia but needs assistance from anyone that has more to offer. Please send photos and captions and history notes to Gerry for inclusion in the archives.

Stories and anecdotes are appreciated so that a full and comprehensive history can be cobbled together. Since the Club has been through many years, there is certainly plenty of history that needs remembering. Some examples of partially archived items include: Funny Hat Days, Enthias Project, Curling, City Counsellors, Opera Singer, Integrity Awards, Louise Dean, Buchanan School, Sailor, Exchange Students, Haggis !, Challenger Park, Ugly Tie Auction, Drama Plays, Social Events, Pot Lucks, etc.
Please pass along anything to Gerry Darichuk or call for pickup of hard copy items.
Club History Charlene Bearden 2015-05-18 06:00:00Z 0