With the Holiday season fully upon us and finally some snow on the ground, I guess I have to accept that we are almost through the first quarter of my Presidential year. A great deal has already happened, but we are really only getting started with what we need to accomplish this year. I was told that my year would go by very quickly, but I didn’t expect it to be this quick.
I am very pleased to tell you that since my last report our committees have continued their hard work on the business of the Club. All of our fundraisers and our service projects are making progress. Our Engagement, Recruitment and Retention Campaign is also going well with many of the interview reports in already. However, we are very close to the point in the plan where all of the interviews where to be completed, so please schedule and complete your interviews as soon as you can. I am excited by the responses that these interviews are getting and the commitments that many members are making to recruit new members and volunteer their time. This is a very important project and we need the input from all of the teams and each of the members – thanks to everyone for their participation.
Attendance at our regular meetings has continued to be strong, with an unexpectedly large turnout for the meeting on November 20 that surprised our host Alison Poirier and taxed the resources of the kitchen at the Hilton Airport Hotel. The hotel staff adapted well to the additional turnout and Senator Mike Duffy, who presented a mix of a serious message from the Minister of Finance and numerous antidotes from local political activities – many involving our own members, entertained us all. Clearly his sense of humor has not been dampened by his ascension to the Red Chamber.
At the December 11th luncheon, our own member, Bob Chiarelli, shared with us some of the challenges of Ottawa's transformation from a small city, which amalgamated into a big city, and the growing need for a new perspective. As well, we formally thanked Lee Scott, who had stepped down as Read-a-thon Project Coordinator last summer when she was hired by OCRI, leaving a great program in the hands of our new coordinator Laura Johnson.
The members’ and the family Christmas parties were both great events. About fifty of us spent a very enjoyable evening at Bill and Joanne Gosewitz’s home to celebrate. Thank you very much to Bill and Joanne and to Bob Garrow and his Interclub, Sports and Social Committee for putting together such a great party. On Sunday, December 6, the Family Christmas party has 150 attendees, with members and their guests (55 of which were under 12 and many more that just seemed like they were). Dominic D’Arcy’s Rising Stars kept us entertained through lunch and then Santa made an entrance that will not soon be forgotten (he’s fine, by the way). Thank you to everyone who helped put the event together, especially Gary Flockton for organizing the entertainment, Kanta Marwah for helping with the set up, Sam Bhargava for donating the loot bags and Rita of course, for all the organizing and making sure everyone had a seat.
Our first major fundraiser is nearly upon us. The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa Bedzz Race will be held on February 6, 2010 on Dows’ Lake. The major sponsors are in place and Gary Flockton and his Committee are hard at work confirming the teams’ participation and they will soon be asking for volunteers for race day. Please consider entering a team from your work place this year – they will have a great time. At the Division Council meeting on December 5, I challenged the presidents of all of the Kiwanis Clubs in Divisions 12 and 13 to enter a bed. This will hopefully result in a special Kiwanis Club Challenge heat to see who is the fastest Club on the ice. We will have lots of fun and each Club will have a new opportunity to raise some money for their Club. Perhaps we can challenge some other service clubs to a race as well. Wouldn’t it be great to kick some Rotary butt!
Finally, in response to the concerns that were expressed regarding the Members’ Survey and the lack of time available for discussion at our meeting of Nov 30, your Board of Directors will hold a town hall meeting on January 14, 2010, in the banquet hall of St. Anthony’s Soccer Club. This meeting will begin at 6:00pm with a brief review of the survey results and then we will open the floor for discussion. A buffet dinner will be provided. We want to have a full discussion of the issues and concerns that have arisen from this survey, so we will need a large turn out for the event. Please watch for further details and plan to attend.
All the best to you and your families in this holiday season. Activity levels are always very high at this time of the year, but I hope that you can take an opportunity to relax and enjoy time with your family and friends at the events that occur this time of the year. Rest up; I want you all back in the New Year with a renewed energy and determination to move our Club forward. Thank you all very much for your hard work and support.
All the best for 2010.