President Sam Bhargava's Speech from the AGM

Fellow Kiwanians,

You know that the service club sector, including ours, stumbled badly from the turn of the century. There is no question that the last 2 years has tested our club when we had to deal with volatile times and tough competition for the charity dollars and volunteer time. An environment like this with all its challenges is the ideal time to make decisive moves for the future.

Our long term planning and focusing started, when some of our smart people, challenged our planning process. We listened to our members and started taking action. We made goals for ourselves. We have made progress but a lot more progress has to be made. We have done major restructuring of club organization and the office for optimization and achieving savings. Your Board and Finance Committee were supporters and Prime movers in this exercise.

We are relocating our office to a more user friendly location and saving significantly. We have no choice but to reinvent ourselves and start loving change.

Community Service Committees are the heart of our club and I have observed tremendous enthusiasm and passion for what they do. They have said they are doing amazing things and I am not expecting anything less.

Program and Membership Committees bind us all. They have been very creative and pro-active, and the results can be readily seen. One of membership goals is to achieve success in changing the face of the club. Its about opening the doors and hearts. Diversity will happen when we make it a priority.

Medical Foundation has an excellent record of member participation. Fundraising, of all Committees, are undergoing major transformation. These Committees are staffed by dedicated team and very competent leaders. There are existing and some new initiatives. The challenge is to succeed in all.

The new Project Development Committee, as most of you know, has shown promise by succeeding in securing $ 25,000 from Trillium Foundation. They, together with Kiwanis office, will be happy to assist other Committees to seek grants or non-traditional ways of fund-raising.

You had approved a brand new fundraiser – “Helping Hands”, introduced by V.P. Peter Patafie and Director Dawn Morewood at Nov.4/05 Business meeting. We are ready to roll on this project. Above all we need you, I need you, and I am depending on you to make this new project a success. In a new project, there may be shortcomings. If we fall, we get up again and go – that’s the team approach. AND WE ARE A TEAM!

Last, but not the least, I am very fortunate to have a strong Board for guidance and protecting the interests of our club. This year Board members are spearheading many initiatives of their own, or in groups. Some of the initiatives include: a) Complete Revision of by laws for presentation to you in the next Business meeting; b) Finance Committee to watch costs; c) Partnership development; d) Volunteer Management; e) Communication; f) Office and others.

Yours in Kiwanis Service

Sam Bhargava 88th President , Kiwanis Club of Ottawa