Let me sum up Canada for everyone in one word: AWESOME! The whole experience for Rotaract was nothing less than amazing. We got to experience so many new things in the five days we were there. All of our fellow Rotaractors were so friendly while at the conference and we got the pleasure of meeting so many of them. We had a lot of good laughs and shared stories of our projects and our successes. The events we got to go to were all amazing, the food was delicious, and the music was awesome. We got to see three different musical acts while in Canada and we all loved it.
After hearing the speakers and listening to what other clubs have done, I feel like our club is definitely going to get more serious about all that we want to do. We really have big aspirations and this convention really boosted our excitement. We have so many new ideas for fundraisers and events, I think this year is going to be Rotaract’s best year yet! Of course, one of the major things we need to do is recruit new members. But, I think that once people see all that we have done and realize all that we want to do it will not be hard to gain new members. We have very big plans and the small group of us did very well with our plans so I can only imagine how much we could do if we had a larger group to work with!
I have always loved being a member of Rotaract, but this convention really reminded me of all that we are capable of doing. I cannot wait for this upcoming school year so that we can go back to making a difference and raising money for causes that deserve it. It is going to be a year to remember, so watch out for what we’re bringing your way!
June 30th, 2010
Greeting from Montreal!
What an amazing trip this has been so far! We have been go, go, go with workshops and events since we arrived and are loving every minute of it. The international PreConvention has allowed us to network with Rotaract and Rotary members from all over the world. We have been given the opportunity to share ideas and experiences with people just like us.
Being here has inspired our club to bring all of the things we have learned and experienced back to the USA and share it with our own communities. Today we gave back to the city that has been so great to us the past few days and cleaned up a local park. It was great to see so many people come out to help. A job that would have taken our small group of 8 more than a day, took about an hour and a half! The cleanup was followed by a great lunch and fellowship with other Rotaract members. What a day! To put the final touch on our Montreal experience we are going out to a fancy dinner at a Jazz Cafe.
See you all back in the States!
June 20th, 2010
We are nearing the end of our trip and it is a bitter sweet feeling. We had quite a busy day today starting with our volunteer project of cleaning up a park near our hotel. I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout of how many people came to support our environment. After picking up for about an hour and a half we had a nice picnic which included what Canada was most famous for, bagels, and patina which is French fries, cheese curds, and gravy, which was not my personal favorite but I was all for trying something new.
After the picnic we went for a little time on the town and visited the fashion stores that aren’t offered in the States. We also stopped at a couple souvenir shops for the infamous maple syrup. Along with the clothes we stopped for a worldwide treat…DQ Ice Cream, which was delicious as always. We enjoyed that while sitting in the park and got to witness the beautiful fountains. Which some of our Rotaract members ran through!
Then we participated in the Shim Sham dance which was a flash mob dance that occurred in the park at one of the busier streets of Montreal. It was by far one of the coolest things I have ever seen in my life. Swing dance has never been more appealing to me before today. Corina, the Rotaractor that put the whole project together, ended up having a very nice turnout. Many people including Rotaractors, Rotarians, and Interacters all were able to participate along with the professional dancers. It was an amazing day!
June 20th, 2010
Today we have a lot of things planned! First we will be meeting for breakfast, then it is off to a park cleanup. All of the other Rotaract members that are attending the preconvention will be participating in this event. AFterwards, there is a picnic set up for us! The Host Committee has done a great job of planning these events for us! Our social events have been a perfect addition to the workshops and plenary sessions….way to go! Afterwards we are going to do some shopping and return to the House of Friendship. For our later afternoon, we are participating in the FLASH MOB! Luckily the organizers of the event are doing a quick teaching session beforehand! I’m not sure what to expect from this, but I know it is going to be fun! This is going to be a great day….more to come about how it all went tonight!
June 20th, 2010
Club members after the first workshop
Keystone College Rotaract at the PreConvention
Tara is one of the last ones standing in the afternoon icebreaker “Heads or Tails”
Waiting for a bus to go to the House of Friendship
Our new friend from the Rotaract Host Commitee pointing out something very interesting on the front of our school bus!
The KC Rotaract Club is ready for our Fancy Dinner Social Event!
Our dinner entertainment
More of the dinner entertainment
Two of the Rotaract members Irish step-dancing to the musical entertainment (They were AMAZING!)
June 20th, 2010
Hey everyone! It’s the second day of Preconvention and things are going so great! We had a ton of sessions where we learned a lot to better our club and new ideas for fundraising. I am so excited for what is going to happen when we get back. I really think that this convention has made all of our club members more dedicated and excited for big projects, travel opportunities, and making a difference in the world! Everyone here is so nice and that just encourages us to keep going!
The most inspirational speaker I have seen in quite awhile spoke in front of us today. He was a polio survivor himself and used braces and crutches to walk all of his life. He cycled across Canada and spoke to thousands of people about eradicating Polio. He was such a great speaker and I feel so empowered just by hearing him and knowing that he has faith in us to also make a difference. I was so moved by his speech and his life.
We went to the House of Friendship today in the building where the Rotary International Convention is located. There are tons of booths with people advertising their projects and trying to get support along with booths of merchandise to buy. We all got a lot of information for volunteer projects and also bought some new pins to sport at meetings. I know that what we have learned is going to better our club and help us recruit new members and I cannot wait!
June 20th, 2010
Today has been great! We are all exhausted after the late night club social event last night but it was totally worth it. It was so incredible to see the whole city light up from so high up. The only thing negative thing was wearing heels the whole night! I was hurting pretty bad! But as for today, we went to the House of Friendship and got to see a lot of really cool things people are doing to help others. My favorite thing I saw was the Shelter Box. It contains all you would need to survive for about six months. Did I mention it’s for ten people? How cool?! For more information you can go to www.shelterbox.org. It’s really awesome. I’d suggest checking it out!
We are leaving for the fancy dinner and show in about a half hour. I’m very excited to see all of the ladies dressed up and I’m pretty stoked for the three course meal too. Everybody here knows I love to eat! =) Well that’s pretty much it for now. I bet this show will be awesome and we will update whenever we get the chance to let you all know how it was!!
June 19th, 2010
We started out by grabbing a quick breakfast in our hotel with some time to network with other Rotaractors just afterwards. Then, it was right to our Opening Plenary Session. The guest speaker was amazing! This first morning session was my favorite event so far. As much as we know about Rotary/Rotaract and their mission to eradicate polio, this made it all so much more real. The speaker, Ramesh Ferris entered the banquet room on the floor, dragging his legs behind him. As he got closer to the podium, the applause from the room continued until he made it to the stage. He was a polio survivor. Ramesh shared details of his life and how his mother put him up for adoption when he was less than a year old. She knew that she did not have the resources to help her son, who she found out had polio. She wanted to ensure he was able to receive braces and special care to walk. As he explained this to us, he was in the process of putting on his braces. With his first brace in his hand from when he was a young boy, he took his cane in his left hand and stood up, and walked to the podium to continue his speech. I could feel the tears immediately start to fill up in my eyes! What an amazing man, what an amazing story…but it got even better! Mr. Ferris went on to tell us of his connection with the Rotary and their goal to eradicate polio. He decided to bike to raise awareness and funds for his Cycle to Walk Journey across Canada. Educating people along the way, he showed photos of classrooms and even lifeguards that he spoke to about his mission. In the end, he rode 7,140km!
Needless to say, Mr. Ferris received a standing ovation! His story was inspiring! This made our club realize the importance of fundraising for PolioPlus and our role in helping to make sure the next generation does not have to worry about this terrible disease.
June 19th, 2010
We arrived in Canada yesterday after a very long ride. Everyone was exhausted when we got here, but we went to registration and got everything settled. Next, it was off to explore the city!! We went to an awesome restaurant where I had some amazing spicy pasta. We ended up being in Montreal at the perfect time. There is a huge music festival going on, so we were able to check that out, listen to music and peek at the vendor booths. After a long day, we returned to our rooms and I fell right to sleep.
Today was full of fun too. We attended a few workshops that taught us how to better our Rotaract club. We also got to hear about amazing service projects people are doing all over the world. After networking and learning more about Rotaract, we walked around the city. We saw some sights, but the best part of the day was going to a club high above the city on a rooftop! It was scheduled by the Rotaract Host Committee (RHC). Here, Rotaractors got the opportunity to network and get to know eachother in a casual way rather than for business and club purposes. I met a lot of wonderful people from all over the world, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Germany, etc. Now I have global friends and fellow Rotaract members that can help our club. Looking forward to what tomorrow has to offer, but for now……
it is time for me to go to bed. Night!
June 19th, 2010
All ready to go to Canada!
Pitstop at Lake Ontario
Ready for Rotaract PreConvention!
June 18th, 2010