Enriching Dominican Lives with Music

One of the projects our Rotary Club’s International Committee was involved with earlier this year, was an Outdoor Musical Instrument Installation Project in the Dominican Republic.

The purpose of this project was to improve the lives of poor and disadvantaged people living in the Puerto Plata region through the installation of an outdoor xylophone.

The xylophone was purchased in Canada, then shipped to the Dominican Republic and installed in the village of Pancho Mateo by Rotarians during an international service mission that took place between January 15 and February 5, 2020.

HHART (Hispaniola Humanitarian Assistance and Relief Team) is the Rotary Club of Wasaga Beach’s international service team. HHART was the cooperating organization. Its Rotary members were the ones who cared for, helped install and trained the local custodian.

Between 1,800 and 2,000 people will benefit from this project. All members of the community, young and old, can play with and enjoy the xylophone. This musical instrument installation will bring joy and a greater sense of cooperation, and improve the musical literacy of those who choose to play or watch and listen to others playing the instrument.

Free books for students on Rotary Book Day

Again this year the Rotary Club of Barrie with the Simcoe County District Board gave a free book to grade 2 students at 25 Barrie and area schools to promote literacy and goodwill. At the event called “Rotary Book Day” readings were held by influential community members from politicians to police officers to principals.

“Andy & Elmer’s Apple Dumpling Adventure” is a story of a young entrepreneur who starts an apple dumpling business guided by the Rotary worldwide moral code which uses four questions to test the voracity of both personal and business relationships. They are…

  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?


Rotary Book Day 2018Rotary Book Day 2018Rotary Book Day 2018Rotary Book Day 2018Rotary Book Day 2018

Rotary Book Day 2018

Cambodian Well Project Underway

Drilling has started at the Ta Prom school in the Kampot Province of Cambodia. Once complete the well will provide clean drinking water to hundreds of students. Cannot wait to see the end results.

Filling Needs in Haiti

I wanted to thank the three Rotary Clubs of Barrie (and the Haiti Committee) for helping to organize the recent volunteer dental project I was a part of in April. With your help, Dr. Tanya Farooq and I saw roughly 100 patients in the new school established by Rea Dol. Rea provided medical tables and a suitable room for us to work in, complete with a fan to combat the heat! We very likely saved some lives from the ravages of unchecked dental infections (with the help of the Broken Earth team delivering intravenous antibiotics).

Your generosity allowed me to purchase a refurbished dental autoclave, as well as other small pieces of dental equipment, such that we were able to deliver safe, First World dentistry, with adequate infection control, to the people of Haiti we saw. I am proud of the level of care these people received.

The items I purchased with your generous donation will be used repeatedly for other international projects. I am leading another dental team to Cambodia in January, and am in discussions about projects to Bhutan, India, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and a return to Haiti (this time, to a remote village accompanied by the Chief of Nursing from the Haitian hospital we stayed at).

It is my passion to carry out this work. I am constantly reminded of how very lucky we are to live in a country such as Canada. It also allows me to see firsthand, the wonderful cultural diversity this world has to offer, as well as the ingenuity people from other countries implement in the face of adversity.

I have been successful in expanding my dental team with additional experienced dental colleagues. I will need to purchase three extra mobile dental units for these additional professionals. Any funding your organization could provide for this would be greatly appreciated. Each unit costs roughly $5000.00 CDN.

It would be my honour to work with people such as your fellow Rotarian Doug Manning, a true humanitarian (who was our sterilizer/infection control/ assistant) again in Haiti, or other countries in need.

I would be most happy to provide your organization with a short presentation about the work we did in Haiti, should you wish me to do so.

Once again, thank you so much for assisting with the logistics of this Haitian mission, and providing for the purchase of much-needed equipment!

Dr. Laurie Houston, DDS

65 years of “greening” Barrie

BREAKING NEWS ( Mar17 2018 ): R.C.O.B. is providing $5,000 to Fruit Share Barrie to purchase, plant & maintain 50 fruit trees at various locations including schoolyards in Barrie!

Serving in the armed forces can make a man think about his mortality and legacy. Upon leaving the Royal Navy and returning home in 1953 Charlie Wilson involved his Rotary Club of Barrie, 30 other veterans and the Boy Scouts to plant 3600 trees near West Gwillambury by the 400 as his legacy and gift to his community. Today these trees are a forest.

The trees weren’t Charlie’s only legacy though. Our club was the first and very few Rotary clubs to form an “Environmental Committee” that would ensure the continuation of the yearly tree planting projects as well as facilitate and encourage other green projects in Barrie. The Rotary Club of Barrie created the “Charlie Wilson Environmental Award”, an annual award given to a person or group within the City of Barrie that demonstrates environmental activism and consciousness.

Since that start Charlie Wilson, the Environmental committee and our club have planted about 5,000 trees and shrubs at schools, public spaces, parks, and more around town at a cost of $5,000/year.

Seven years ago the tree project went a different direction as locations for tree planting became scarce. The School Tree Planting Project was born. Schools wanted outdoor classrooms shaded by trees on their schoolyards but didn’t have the budget required to do them. Rotary stepped in bringing $4,000 / year, the people and tools to plant 6 12-foot trees each at 2 schools a year. This project continues today.

The greening of Simcoe County

The original military roots motivating the greening of Barrie were reflected again when 360 trees were planted to commemorate Canadian Afghanistan veterans whose service cost them their lives.

Most recently more than 25 oak trees from the famous World War 1 battlefield “Vimy Ridge” where the Canadian Core suffered 10,602 casualties securing victory over the enemy were planted at the Military Heritage Park on Lakeshore Drive.

Spanning 65 years and thousands of trees, the Rotary Club of Barrie’s Environmental Committee also contributes to the greening of Simcoe County with projects from our “Spring Tonic” fundraiser with the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, contributions to the Friends of Fort Willow, 9 Mile Portage, the Royal Victoria Hospital “Healing Bush” and more. And they’re just one of numerous committees in our club whose purpose is to make Barrie ( and the world ) better!

Families Facing Difficult Times Given A Perfect Christmas

Each year Rotary Club of Barrie Members’ personal donations enable our Club to help several families have a happy Christmas. Through the Barrie Food Bank families are identified, and Rotarians get to work shopping all the gifts are wrapped and distributed to the families. Each family receives gifts like winter jackets, boots and clothing, a couple of fun personal gifts, and a No Frills gift card to stock their fridge. This year we raised $3,400 and helped 5 families totalling 18 people.

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