Twelve months ago, many Past Presidents told me that my term of President would go by very fast, and that I can attest to. It truly has been an honour and privilege to serve this great club. Many members have asked me what was the highlight of your year?
As there were many, the one that stands out the most is the final meeting of the AKtion Club before the summer break. Watching these members interact with each other was unbelievable, and, as the meeting came to an end it was very evident that they couldn’t wait to return in the fall. We are a very fortunate club to have had a member like the late Tom Assaly, who brought the concept to us, and members like Harold Moore who follow through with such passion. We currently support two AKtion Clubs with over 100 members and they are considering starting a third club. Our sponsored youth programs had another very successful year.
Under the leadership of Ian Hendry, both Circle K Clubs – at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University experienced growth, and participated in many community projects. Our four key Clubs at Lisgar, Glebe, Nepean and Sir Robert Borden High Schools, with Ross McIntyre at the helm, contributed many volunteer hours within our community, and held fundraising activities to help the needy.
The Young Children Priority One Committee, under the leadership of Ian Sterling, saw an exponential growth in our Read-A -Thon project, with over 220 schools in 12 different countries participating.
Our two sponsored Cadets Squadron (211 Air cadets & Governor General’s Foot Guards), with Guy Milne as the Chair, had a very successful year. I had the good fortune of seeing both groups on parade and it was very rewarding seeing the discipline and leadership skills of these young men and women.
Our Direct Assistance committee, with Les Morin as Chair, continued to help some of the neediest in our community with financial assistance, as well as, help our youth attend camps and participate in sporting events.
The Hands-On component of this committee once again participated at the Mayor’s Seniors Breakfast on July 1st , as well as clean up at Camp Smity. Co-Chairs Dominic Ferrarotto and Bob Fisher ran a successful Medical Foundation Committee, and held a very successful fundraiser, with music provided by Mark Max and the Courriers.
I would like to thank the following Chairs of our Fundraisers: Bed Race – Alison Poirier and Gary Flockton; Bon Appetit- Phil Rossy and Bruno DiChiara; Charity Golf Tournament – Patrick McGarry; Partners in Caring- Clive Woolley, and Project Development – Ken Nelson. Without these events we would not be able to do all the good work and projects within the community.
I would like to thank Tom Pullen and Angela Cummings for Co-Chairing the Membership Committee, along with their sub-committee chairs, David Fair, Tom Beveridge, and David Daubney. This is an area we must continue to focus on. We were pleased to welcome our first Corporate Member – Algonquin College – and the committee is working on inviting many more corporate partnerships.
The Programme Committee, under the leadership of Lynda Campbell, did a marvellous job in bringing top speakers to our luncheons. We were honoured to have such speakers as General Rick Hillier, Mayor Larry O’Brien, Retired Police Chief Vince Bevan, Nana Mouskouri, and our International President Nelson Tucker. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Vic Whittaker, who, with the help of Lynda Campbell and our office, organized the luncheon to Salute all Mayors prior to amalgamation - our largest attendance for the year.
Jamie Johnson and the Communication Committee did a great job keeping our name and commitment to our community, front and centre as is evident by the banners that are on display around the room, and, at our events.
I would like to acknowledge the hard work of our office staff with Mike Kruger and Rita Harper. Just when you thought you had me in line, you are going to have to start all over again with Bill.
I was very fortunate to have Past President Sam Bhargava, and a very hard working Board of Directors to assist me with a number of very difficult issues. A big thank you to each and every one of you. I would like to assure President Bill that I will be equally supportive over the next 12 months, as we continue to deal with some contentious issues.
I would also like to thank Gary Flockton, who contributed to the Board this year, however, had to step down in June do to business pressures. Sam, as you step down from the Board I would like to thank you for your dedication and commitment to Kiwanis.
Last, but not least, I would like to thank my wife, Linda, for all her support and understanding over the past 12 months. There were many Kiwanians that apologized to her for keeping me so busy over the past year; however I think she liked it.
In closing, I would like to thank all the members of the club for giving me the opportunity to be the 89th President of this great club.
Yours in Kiwanis, President Neil McDonald 2006-07