Wendy Cooper ably chaired our meeting today, with Paul G. running the Zoom platform including our National Anthem.  Gary R. was put on the spot for our blessing, but as always did a thoughtful and beautiful job, on point with these unusual times. It was a lengthy but fulsome meeting, thus the girth of this report.
  • Mark G.–a happy $20 for the birth of his first grandchild Amelia. The delivery took place in the new Children’s Hospital and the facilities and health care were top drawer
  • Gary R.–a happy $10 for the recent announcement by Rotary International that VP Jennifer Jones has been named President Elect. Several members including Avis, Mark, Jack, Graham and others matched Gary’s generous contribution
  • Avis H.–happy dollars for her new Computer and her recent Birthday. Happy Birthday Avis!!
  • Graham P.–a happy fifty friendship dollar shout out to Jack who as it turned out tried to raise Graham last meeting on Graham’s busted cell phone to warn him he was late, and then politely refrained from piling on the subsequent generous mocking Graham received for not fully comprehending Day Light Savings Time in BC
  • Drew B.–happy dollars for his receipt of the Shirley Ryan Lifetime Achievement award for both his leadership in the community and in the Insurance Industry via his firm Butler Byers Insurance Ltd.
Paul G. updated the Club on the Foundation’s activities. The targeted goal of raising $2,000 for Polio Plus is growing close with $1,272 collected to date. Progress on Goal #2 of $2,000 for the Share Fund stands at $725 to date. If we can top $2,000 we will qualify for a matching District Grant. The aim is to raise $50 per member.
The Bethany Home program currently sits at $630 collected to date and our Christmas Meeting donation to them should hit $ 1,130.
For the Therapy Dogs program, $2,000 is our target with $1,350 paid out to date.
Nutana Club will run the Enchanted Forest event this year, freeing up our people power to pursue new endeavours. There will also be selected Salvation Army Kettle bell ringing again this year, organized by Bev D. There will be 5 locations and signup is on line. An information attachment was sent out by Paul in his last email to the Club.
The December 14th meeting will be an open forum style with folks sharing their Holiday plans and stories. The idea of a virtual Santa is still evolving, with Wayne S. looking like an ideal candidate, complete with his Santa’s Workshop/Chimney background motif on his Zoom feed. Betty Anne Arscott has also volunteered to play Christmas songs for a virtual sign-along.
Wendy encouraged all to buy Grocery Cards and several members stepped up including the two Marks, Gary, Jack and Avis. This great fundraiser is very adroitly managed by Donna and Paul G.
Gary R. introduced our first Speaker today, our very own Mark Gryba. Mark was past President in 2016 and led the setup of the original Rotary Legacy Project. He has been working tirelessly on this community project ever since.
Mark kicked off with a slide presentation about the concept of a new Community Center building with a Community Garden at Victoria Park, location of the Lions Club skate park.  Our involvement in this new community project would also be a means for us to help celebrate and commemorate our Rotary Club’s Centennial.
The planned site is a half-acre of fenced, sunny land where the lawn bowling club with its clubhouse was located. Their lease has expired and will not be renewed.
The concept is that a Partnership of existing community groups would take over this area for a community garden. They would also roll out an urban agriculture intern training program. A new 650 square foot community center would be built to replace the existing aging clubhouse. The partnership consists of the King George community group, Wild Sky Learning, Riversdale Community Association, the Chep Good Food program and the Saskatoon Food Council. Chep has a youth focus and along with the Saskatoon Food Council offers food preparation training programs.
The new community center would also be used for community gatherings. The City would provide the construction funding and City Council has approved the concept in principal. Additional partners are also being sought to put up additional funding.
The structure itself, while modest in size, should be buildable within the available budget. The new building could also be solar heated and would need a small commercial kitchen.
Our Club, subject to member approval has proposed $40,000 of funding for furnishings, storage space set up, tables, chairs and possibly a screen and projector. We would receive in return space within the building to display a commemorative Centennial plaque and information about Rotary, including perhaps the Four Way test. The City’s funding is conditional upon our Rotary funding.
Unlike the earlier proposed Gazebo project in Rotary park which was deemed too expensive and risky from a cost overrun perspective, this project carries a fixed cost of $40,000 to our Club.
The Partners are in the process of finalizing their detailed business plan for the City and report that they have sufficient budgetary strength to handle the year to year operating costs of the building, estimated to be $4,500 annually. Funds permitting, the square footage might also be expanded, either now or down the road.     
The Club held a quick Zoom vote to approve this Rotary funding concept, and the vote was nearly unanimously in favour.
Well done Mark and your committee on an excellent presentation and for your leadership of this Legacy Project.
Gary R. then introduced Brenda Banbury, who has been a Rotarian since 1991, becoming President in 2009/2010.
Brenda undertook a Walk-a-Thon for Polio Plus in November with a target of covering 250 kilometers and raising $2,500. Furthermore she committed to match all the District’s donations to the walk if she did not hit 250 Kilometers.  
She provided an update on the most recent Polio statistics surrounding the “Kick Polio out of Africa” program. In 2020 Nigeria, the last country to beat Polio reported it has been Polio free for the last 4 years! In all it is estimated that Polio Plus has helped avert 1.8 million cases while administering 220 million vaccinations, wherein every child is vaccinated every year. While the WHO organizes the vaccination program, Rotary is a key advocate and funder along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The focus is now on elimination of the virus in Pakistan (81 cases reported) and Afghanistan (50 cases reported).
In the past it is estimated that in afflicted Countries roughly 1000 children would either die or be paralyzed each day from the virus. There is no treatment, only prevention. Major causes of the spread include fecal matter contamination of the water supply, and poor sanitation in general.
The seven major planks of the effective elimination plan include:
  1. Data measurement
  2. Cell phone apps to reach every child
  3. Strengthened lab networks
  4. Build-out of a health worker network
  5. Communication and education to families
  6. Improved outbreak response
  7. Installation of an accountability framework
In fact Brenda smashed her goal, walking 338.73 kilometers! Congratulations Brenda on exceeding your 250 Km Walk-a-Thon goal and in raising over $36,000 across District 5550 for Polio Plus!!
Wendy C. closed off with special thanks to the Duty Roster folks who included today Wayne P., Gary R., Paul G., Graham P and of course Wendy C.
Yours in Rotary,
Editor Graham