It has just turned November and time seems to be speeding up! 7 weeks to Christmas and it seems like AquaRama was yesterday.

October was a great month.

Saara Laine, our exchange student, gave an excellent presentation on Finland-her home country. She had club members guessing which picture was Canada and which was Finland as she outlined the similarities and differences between the countries. She was very complimentary on the friendliness of Canadians. Feedback from club members on her speech was very positive. Good job Saara.

We added a new member- welcome Kevin Wodzak (and of course Vicky). DG Valarie Wafer joined Bernie and me for the formal induction. Each new member adds vibrancy and new ideas to our Club. Kevin and Vicky have already offered to help Joanne Fowler with the Spring Gala on April 12, 2014. Well done. Note to all Rotarians: - if you have not marked April 12 on next year’s calendar- please do so- it is after all the Scugog social event of the year and our top fund raising event. Kevin will be recruiting ideas and donations for the live auction. Arch has already circulated a picture of an oak Deacon’s Bench built and donated by a neighbour of his- so Kevin already has a running start.

Joanne Fowler will come to the November 13 meeting to talk about the coming gala.

The Rotoract Club of UOIT/DC held a fundraising gala for bursaries and scholarships for UOIT students on Friday October 4. There were 8 club members with spouses in attendance. I had the honour of presenting a 10,000 dollar cheque to UOIT from our club for bursaries to UOIT students from Scugog. The donation will be matched by a special fund at the university. Hence- twenty 1000$ bursaries (for financial need students) will be available to students from Scugog in the next two years. The Rotoract gala was well attended by Rotary Clubs from across the district and is expected to be an annual event. Several other clubs also gave donations. For information this is the second donation we have made to UOIT in the last 10 years.

Our Club helped out the Whitby Club with the district conference. Terry Coyne did a first class job of Registration. Larry and Anne Wright and yours truly helped out on the registration desk. Richard Gauder and Jill Wantola each gave well received presentations at the conference. Richard spoke about the India roof project and Jill spoke about youth mental health issues. And of course our Club stuffed the 400 conference gift bags at our October 23 meeting. It was a really good conference and they involved the youth exchange students to a large degree. The conference ended with a poignant speech by our own Saara Laine who thanked all Rotarians for hosting exchange students and assisted in the gift presentation to DG Valarie.

Jill followed up her conference speech on October 30 with her classification speech. A story on her speech can be read in Club Runner. I can certainly see how her involvement in our Club can bring a new dimension to our service projects in the community. Well done Jill.

And our Loonies and Toonies campaign to End Polio was a real success. Thanks to Jim Brady, Arch and Ken for organizing it and all those who braved the rain and collected the money. We raised about 1500$. With the triple matching funds from the Gates Foundation it will mean 6000$ to the End Polio campaign. That is a 50% increase on last year’s collection. Well done.

So it was a busy month in all. On a personal note, Saara moves on to her next host family and Wendy and I are sad to see her go. Hosting a student like Saara is certainly a life enriching experience. I think it is hard to determine who gets more from hosting a student- the student or the host family!

Next month has already started with a bang- our very successful Past Presidents’ dinner on November 1. The high light of the month will be the Seniors’ dinner which is truly a signature service project of our Club. Please help out Bernie and his committee in any way you can.

Yours in Rotary- Bob