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Regular Wednesday morning meetings are cancelled for March 18, March 25 and April 1.
Please check back for updates going forward.
Come for Breakfast! 
We meet:
Every Wednesday morning at 7:30 am SHARP
Come at 7:00 am for a Social Time
Cutten Fields, 190 College Ave. E. Guelph
Find out about "Service Above Self"
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Sonia Spekkens is someone who puts her skills and expertise into action.  And over the years, she has garnered expertise in many different areas.  
Originally from Quebec, she studied Recreation Administration at the University of Ottawa.  Following graduation, she and her husband moved to the United States, where her husband was pursuing his Phd in Health and Hospital Administration.  As Sonia wasn’t able to work, she lent her skills to design a playground at the university for the students’ children.
When they moved to Windsor, she decided to go back to school and received a furniture technician diploma  which led her to starting a small business with a friend.  With their drafting skills they both designed and built furniture for clients who wanted custom-made furniture.  Sonia loved doing this but it didn’t last too long because they moved to Burlington.
There she went into banking, taking RBC’s management training program.   However, by the time the training was done, the family was on the move again – to Guelph.  Sonia was able to transfer to manage a branch in Rockwood.  Her job was to focus on the administrative side of the branch and she had little interaction with clients.  She missed the connection to clients and switched over to personal banking.
From personal banking she went into an investment brokerage and from there into financial planning.  Sonia is someone who knows what she wants, and if the work is not what she needs or wants, she is not scared to change and move on to something more suitable.
She is also someone who is not afraid of getting her teeth into a big project.  Asked by a friend to join Rotary, she was invited to become a member at large at the Hospice Wellington.  “I was told that all I had to do was attend meetings and listen.“ advises Sonia.
Right.  It wasn’t long before she became a board member, and then went on to become President.  Under her watch, the Hospice bought a building for its current home.  No small undertaking.   While Rotary provided some seed money, it was the actual physical involvement of Rotarians that helped make the building a reality.
“I always thought that Rotary was a group of men with deep pockets.”  confesses Sonia.  After their involvement with the hospice, she knew better.
Perhaps Sonia’s proudest Rotary accomplishment however was the Paint your Heart Project through which club members transformed the house and garden for a family from Sierra Leone.  “It was just before Christmas, and as news of the project spread it just snowballed, with Guelph residents also getting involved to help this family with six children.”
This type of hands-on activity is what Sonia loves about Rotary.  “You get the opportunity to learn and see the difference you are making in the lives of others,” she adds.
Sonia is keen to create more hands-on activities, both here and overseas, and wants to involve young people so they learn the value of Rotary. 
Watch this space. 
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Welcome to the Home of Rotary Club of Guelph Trillium

Guelph Trillium

Service Above Self

We meet Wednesdays at 7:30 AM
Cutten Fields
190 College Ave East
Guelph, ON N1H 6L3
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Venue Map
Home Page Stories
The four Rotary Clubs of Guelph proudly came together as a Diamond Sponsor of the Beyond Borders Charity Gala for 2020. With Rotary celebrating 100 years in Guelph, it was a great opportunity to showcase Rotary in the Guelph community.   Pictured below are Hazel Dickie, Peter Marshall, Tracey Curtis and Noma Vales.  Rotary Club of Guelph Trillium was represented by Ave Edington and Donna Graham. 
Beyond Borders is a unique one-semester program offered to Grade 12 students in Guelph. The program focuses on leadership development, business, math, and global development and  sustainability. There is a strong emphasis on team-building, skill development, and experiential learning. This inspiring program is led each year by teacher Mike Parsons, in the Upper Grand District School Board. 
This year, 49 students participated in the Beyond Borders program, culminating with their Charity Gala at the River Run Centre on Saturday evening, January 18, 2020. All 750 show tickets were sold out. The  they also had a wonderful silent auction with over 100 items, plus exceptional food treats for guests in the lobby.
The students are only given about 6 weeks to prepare this huge Charity Gala event, and each year, the students do an amazing job. It's hard to imagine how each gala could possibly be better than the one before, but somehow they continue to raise the bar with their amazing effort and talent. The 2020 gala was called "Illuminate: Be The Light".  And wow - these students shone in a big way, raising $114,500 for charity!  
 January Report - Kenya
Report on November trip to Kenya,
Many of you will remember that back in November Jess Lacoursiere , Kath and I headed out to Kenya with the goal of setting up the earth block making machine and training a Kenyan team on how to use it. We had brought along a soil testing kit so our first goal was to teach them how to analyze the soil to determine what kind of mix would work best to make the blocks. This was implementing the training that Jess and I had taken back in April with the “Dwell Earth” organization in Texas.
We did a number of soil tests on soils directly from our building site and from a few other locations within the greater Kitale area. All the tests showed that the clay was consistently the same in the whole area. The clay had very high in plasticity and would work well as a binder. In fact it was too sticky so we had to add 30-35% sand to the mix to keep it from gumming up our machine. We were able to work with a 6-8% cement content which acts as a stabilizer.
Our team worked hard with a slow production rate per day to start but by the end we had them making 500 per day.  We then challenged them to raise a new goal of 800 per day and they began to make that goal also. The target was to make enough blocks to construct 8 classrooms when we return next month. They have to date made all the half blocks, ¾ blocks and channel blocks needed and are just about there on the full blocks. The target was 30,000!
What will the total budget be for the 8 classrooms? We are not entirely sure as we have never built using our blocks as yet. Our past buildings using local fired bricks took a huge amount of cement for mortar joints and plastering due to the inconsistency of the brick sizes. Now that we are using this method the amount of cement should be greatly reduced! However roofing and lumber costs will probably  remain the same as in the past. I imagine that our total budget for the 8 classrooms will be around $40,000-50,000 USD. Many of you have been very generous in contributing to us already and for that we are very thankful. We have raised about $15000 towards the Khalwenge Highway Academy school fund to date so we still have a ways to go. If we have enough we will push forward on all eight classrooms but if not we will do 4 this winter and the rest will have to wait until fall.
Kath and I will be there for all of Feb and March. A team of another 2 couples from Stratford will be joining us for Feb and 3 Guelph Rotary club members are coming in March.
If any of you would like to contribute to this cause you can do so by sending cheques to
Forgotten People Connection
c/o Allen Remley
4458 Sideroad 20 N, Guelph N1H 6J3
February Update:
Subject: Goudys and Steingards in Kenya
We are in Kitale with Allen and Kathie Remley now, having arrived Feb 4th in this area.  Now we feel we are seeing the true African life as we visit villages and hear personal stories of the people here.  So much we could tell you.  So hard to know how to put in words our days here. 
Al and Vern are focused on building a school in a remote village area using blocks made by a manual machine and using a local soil mixture. The workers dug trenches for the foundation by hand yesterday;  shovels with no handles, bare feet, with probably no food in their bellies till they were fed at 2pm by the school cook.  
Kathie Remley, Catherine and I are focused on preparing new baby gift bags and women's reusable feminine hygiene products bags.  We will hit schools, women's groups and hospitals next week.  
Jerry is doing some outings to the villages with us and spending some time on book writing.  
Here are a couple stories: 
1. We were so moved by a young man we met here of 19 yrs that the Remleys are assisting to get his education. He is finishing highschool and wants to continue on to university to become a history lecturer.  His mother died when he was 11 yrs old, no other family could care for him and he has basically been on his own since 11 yrs.  The Remleys found him in a sad situation where he had become basically enslaved.  God saw him and gave him a hope and a future and he took it, resisting the opportunity to turn to crime.  He chose life instead.  He was quiet and without expression when we met. But respectful and determined to make good choices. 
2. We met with a missionary couple from Ontario who have been here since 2005 and are running a boys home for orphans and boys at risk. We listened to their story and our hearts broke at the things they have seen here.  They took in a newborn baby boy found abandoned in a field, with the plan to adopt.  He has been with them since 8 days old.   At a few months old they noticed he was not developing as expected and he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. The Kenyan government has now banned foreign adoptions because there were so many reports of human trafficking of babies.  They are unable to adopt their beloved boy.  And yet there are reports of unwanted babies being sold out the back door of the local hospital and being thrown down latrines.  This couple feel their time here may be wrapping up here in Kenya and they wish to take their boy, now 4 yrs old, home to Canada so he can get the therapy he needs. But the challenges are huge.  We feel God has offered us the privilege of coming along side them even for a brief time to listen to and love them. 
3. Then today, we went to a home that takes in abandoned babies. They had a one day old baby there, rescued yesterday.  The workers in the home heard that a young girl was having a baby and did not want the baby. When they went to collect the baby, the village midwife was standing holding a machete, blocking the door.  The midwife would not allow them to take the baby.  This midwife has a reputation of being the one you can go to if you don't want your baby and she will sell it for you.  The workers from the children's home stood their ground and would not leave. They called the police, who came 2 hrs later and eventually they were able to take the baby and the mother out of the village. The baby is in the children's home and the mother, who may have some developmental delay, is in a home for girls getting the care she needs. 
Sunday we go to Northwestern Kenya to some villages.  The woman there walk 4 hours each way for water.  Al Remley is looking to facilitate the drilling of a well for them.  There will be a church service in the shade of a tree.  Jerry will preach and we will pray for the sick. We will take sweets and pencils for the kids and gifts for the women. Catherine hopes to check out some pregnant women and new babies.  
The foundation for the new school being dug
The current temporary school. 
Rescued baby.  One day old. Not even named yet. 
The school progresses - next the top plate and rafters
Photos courtesy of Frank Scott.
It was a good event with the breakfast and giving us a chance to mingle In addition to commemorating the continuing efforts to eradicate Polio.

This year, the Club had approximately $32,000 to allocate to community organizations, proceeds from Ribfest, Tour de Guelph and Scotch Nosing.  21 recipient organizations attended club meetings in February and March to receive their funds.  Pictured below are this year's recipients.
L-R: Dan O'Donnell, Allocations Chair, Peter Gill, Chalmers Community Service Centre, Laura Muirhead, Child Witness Centre, Mira Clarke, Action Read, Mike Treadgold, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Guelph, Brittany Webb, Diabetes Canada, Cherylynn Lumsasag, Beginning Family Services, Anita Macfarlane, Children's Foundation, Norm Greensmith, Club President.
L-R: Dan O'Donnell, Allocations Chair, Simon Bell Focus on Nature, Leslie Fisher, Guelph Contemporary Dance, Justine Morgan, G-W Women in Crisis, Susan Carey, St James the Apostle Anglican Church, Pat Stuart, Wellington Hospice, Kristin Tilley, Lakeside Hope House, Beth Harris, Michael House, Norm Greensmith, Club President.
Front L-R: Penny Jamieson, Power of Hope, Kim Rodrigues, Hopewell Homes, Karen Semma, St. Joes Health Care, Sharon Stewart, The Julien Project, Eric Charlesworth, YM-YWCA,
Back  L-R:  Dan O'Donnell, Allocations Chair, Colin McVicker, Sanguin Health Centre, Jackson Mathieu, Guelph Enabling Garden, orm Greensmith, Club President.
Community Funding  - Guelph Rotary Trillium 2017-8 Disbursement
Request Details
Action Read Community Literacy Ctre.
Membership for credentialing clients basic digital literacy skills
Beginnings Family Services
Support for prenatal classes for those in need (Note split in funding request)
Big Brothers - Big Sisters of Guelph
Continuing support of the Play On program for pre-teen girls
Chalmers Community Service Centre
Provision of coffee/snacks for patrons utilizing the food pantry
Child Witness Centre
Support of the Guelph Youth Symposium for 1,500 grade 8 students
Children's Foundation
Support of the Food & Friends program providing breakfast for students
Diabetes Canada
Funding to send a child with Diabetes to summer camp
Focus on Nature
Funding of 3 full day workshops at low income neighbourhood schools
Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival
Funding for 6 underserved youth to attend March Break camp
Guelph Wellington Women in Crisis
Funds to purchase a new washing machine for Marianne's Place shelter
Hopewell Homes
Funds to repair siding on home and replace 2 windows
Hospice Wellington
Funds to deliver their 8-week Adult Grief Group
Lakeside Hope House
Help to develop a social enterprise café operated by members
Michael House
Funding to complete maintenance & repairs at housing & office locations
Power of Hope
Support the "Basket of Hope" hygiene project for 75 homeless people
Sanguen Health Centre
Fund the purchase of supplies for "the van" in support of homeless people
St. James the Apostle Anglican Church
Support the "Living Better on Less" 8 week program
St. Joseph's Health Centre Foundation
Funding of 5 "comfort carts" in support of palliative patients for 1 year
The Guelph Enabling Garden
Funds to support the ongoing replacement of wooden garden bed structures
The Julien Project
Funds to be used to support local marginalized adult & youth cooking skills
YMCA-YWCA of Guelph
Support of the SHARKS swim program for 3200+ grade 3&5 students
In recognition of her outstanding contribution to volunteering and leadership in the community, the Club presented Suzanne with a PHF this past Wednesday, January 31.
Suzanne Bone is CEO and President of The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital.  She joined the Foundation following a placement at Guelph General Hospital as part of her Masters in Health Administration in 1991, and since that time has directed fundraising activities for the organization that have raised more than $50 million. She is a certified fundraising executive, and the 19th Canadian to hold the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy Fellows designation.
She is also a Guelph YMCAYWCA Woman of Distinction in the Public Service category and was a Guelph Chamber of Commerce board member.  Currently she is on the Board of Innovation Guelph.
She has been a very active volunteer including serving as a member of the Volunteer Centre of Guelph Wellington Leadership Advisory Committee and the Association for Health Care Philanthropy Canadian Cabinet, treasurer of the Hospital Development and Education Fund of Canada, and she is a past board member of the Victory Kids Club and the United Way of Guelph Wellington.
This years recipient is Seelan Moodley. 
Dr. Moodley has been a member of our Club since 2004.  He is a Past Board Member and has been very active in hands-on projects.  He annually organizes pyjama collection at Christmas time for the Power of Hope charity.  He also has organized hands-on Day of Giving at the Drop In Center.  He regularly mentors medical students from McMaster University.
Several Paul Harris Fellowships were presented on December 13th recognizing both Club Members and local community leaders
Two members were presented with their multiple PHF's - Patsy Marshall with her +7 and David Halls with his +5.
Rosemarie Coombs, recently retired founder of Michael House seen here with President Norm Greensmith and PHF Committee Chair, Peter Moore.
Penny Jamieson, Power of Hope
Glenna Banda, The Children's Foundation, seen here with colleague and Club Member, Laurie Lantaigne
Emma Rogers, United Way with President Norm and Club Secretary, Ken Boyd

Our Mission:

The Rotary Club of Guelph-Trillium is dedicated to enhancing the lives of others through local and international projects.

Our Beginnings:

The Rotary Club of Guelph-Trillium was officially chartered in October 1991. The committee to form the club began its work in the early months of 1991 with the development of a list of potential club members. Committee members from both the Rotary Club of Guelph and the Guelph-Wellington Rotary Club submitted names of those who they felt would be potential Rotarians. A list of 30 potential members was drawn up and invitations were extended to the first provisional meeting which was held at George Michals Restaurant on Woodlawn Road. This meeting began at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday March 27th, with an attendance of 49 people, of which 20 were Rotarians from other Rotary clubs and the rest were potential Rotarians for our new club.

Today, the club has over 50 members and annually hosts one of Guelph's favourite festivals, Ribfest.