Rotaract Club of McGill University by liuhongmei


									    Rotaract Club of McGill University
                                Newsletter  2003‐2004
                                      “Service above self”

Editor’s Note 

Rotaract has had a stellar year. We have contributed to our
local community and global society through a multitude of
events. The success of our activities is attributed to the
dedication and perseverance of our dynamic members and
executives. We held monthly samosa sales orchestrated by
Jeff and Devon. Zoya organized trips to the Old Brewery
Mission in which we had the opportunity to serve meals to
the homeless. Meanwhile, Courtney kept our finances in
check. Wes and Alexandra ensured members were up to
date on the events of our club. Although Ishrat joined us
late in the year, her exuberance was a welcomed addition to
the executive team. Last but not least, our fine President
Naureen, who was an essential asset to the functioning of        Back row, left to right: Jason Lam (Communications &
our club. And of course, Rotaract does not exist without its     Publications), Jeff … (Clubs & Services), Tanya Kahawita
loyal members, who consistently contribute their time and        (Communications & Publications), Courtney Warner
effort.                                                          (Treasurer), Devin Glowinski ( Clubs & Services), Zoya Craig
                                                                 (Vice President); front row, left to right: Alexandra Rheaume
                                                                 (Secretary), Naureeen Karachiwalla (President), Ishrat ….
                                 Editors – Tanya and Jason       (Professional Development).

My Experience at the Old Brewery 
                                                       When I first went to the Old Brewery mission, I didn’t know
                                                       what to expect. I had seen advertisements in the Metro and
                                                       on television asking for help to take care of the homeless, but
                                                       when I got there, I discovered a unique universe of real
                                                       community and friendship. At each visit, what I and the other
                                                       members have to do is quite simple: we serve food and help
                                                       set the table between services. However, these simple actions
                                                       really give me a feeling of being helpful, and that is why I go
                                                       back to the Old Brewery every time I have the opportunity.
                                                       By giving a few hours of my time, I feel I am contributing to
                                                       the improvement of the lives of hundreds of people who do
                                                       not have the opportunities I have in life, and therefore become
 a worker for the improvement of the condition of humanity. Also, seeing the joy on people’s faces when they
 thank you for the food is an incredible reward that no other kind of work can give you. Although it is only a small
 action, I believe it is the accumulation of small decisions that make a difference in the world, and this is why I
 believe it is important to get involved within the community.
                                                                                                   Alexandra Rheaume
                                                           Red and Green Boxes 
                                                           Immersed in our own university setting, sequestered by
                                                           stacks of books to read and papers to write, it was a nice
                                                           relief to be seeing those ubiquitous red and green boxes again
                                                           this year. It meant a chance to spread some Christmas cheer
                                                           to kids without the basics or luxuries we take granted for
                                                           every single day. These boxes are the official Operation
                                                           Christmas Child donation boxes, which are filled every
                                                           holiday season with toys, school supplies and other goodies
                                                           for less fortunate children around the world. This year, the
                                                           Rotaract Club once again took part in this wonderful event
                                                           sponsored by the Samaritan’s Purse of Canada. The initial
                                                           goal this year was to collect twice as many boxes as we did
                                                           last year, and will easily fulfilled this in part by increasing
                                                           our advertisement and joining forces with other campus
                                                           organizations. With the help of members, Rotaractors made
Rotary District 7040 Conference                            announcements in classes and passed out boxes to students
                                                           for two weeks. The effort to spread the word paid off with
This was such an amazing experience. We met at the         mounds of boxes accumulating outside the club office days
Roddick Gates at 6 a.m. and swapped “I only got two        before we were to deliver them to the Montreal drop-off
hours of sleep last night!” stories. We all slept pretty   centre. On a chilly Saturday evening, all 120 boxes were
much the whole way over, but when we got there we          stacked into a Santa-mobile. It was a sight to see! Thanks to
almost immediately met the Queen’s Rotaract execs,         all members and the IDSSA for taking part.
who are all super nice. We looked around the trade
show and visited all the different clubs’ booths                                                               Jason Lam
(while eating all the cookies we could, naturally, and
grabbing as many pamphlets and free stuff as
humanly possible). We then headed into the big
conference room and there were speeches from
Queen’s Rotaract, my last minute and frantically
prepared speech, speeches from Interact clubs, and an
exchange student from Australia. We then met one
Rotaractor from St. Lucia, one from Waterton, NY,
and even one from Courtney’s hometown.

Then the really good stuff began, as we had lunch,
followed by the keynote speaker’s address by Craig
Keilberger (who started Free the Children- they build
schools all over the world and work in North
America to increase awareness and empower our
youth towards positive social change). Let me just
say, everyone was in, or close to tears. He had just
returned from Sierra Leone and told us the stories of
some of the children he had spoken with. One was
about a young girl whose family was killed by rebels
                                                           Most children here do not have a social conscience and need
and who had to survive by herself in the bush for
                                                           to have more substance in their lives. This is what Free the
years. She now attends one of their schools.
                                                           Children strives for. He then went on to applaud the work of
However, as sad as this was, he said that even sadder
                                                           Rotary and especially the support given to Rotaract and
was the fact that this type of occurrence is regular in
                                                           Interact, and said that this was far more important than all the
so many countries. This is what children in North
                                                           charity work they do. It was quite a compelling speech, and
America have to be conscious of. He said that the
                                                           he is a very inspirational young man. He was then awarded
focus on consumerism and self-interest here is
                                                           with the highest honour possible in Rotary.
unbelievable.                                                                                                Continued…

After the speech we all got a chance to meet him briefly and to take a picture with him. Then we headed out and went
down to the waterfront, which was absolutely beautiful! We then took a walk around the campus, which is also really
beautiful (but pales in comparison to McGill of course).

After heading back to the hotel, we met the Rotaractors from Ottawa, and once again, they were also a really great
group of people. We also met some Rotarians from other clubs in Montreal. They were really happy to meet us and
said that they would love to support us any way they can. We then headed out to dinner with the other two Rotaract
clubs to this Thai-Cambodian restaurant (yum!). It’s amazing how great the personalities of Rotarians and Rotaractors
are. They are all so friendly, cultured, and aware, and everyone just oozes this collective sense of empathy and
kindness. Every time I meet one of them, it reaffirms my faith in humanity. Jeff is so right- it is like a cult!

We had a nice quiet drive back; we were all thoroughly exhausted, but in high spirits. That is just the type of weekend
one needs when you’re only three weeks into school and already swamped with work! It was a wonderful experience.

                                                                                                Naureen Karachiwalla
Canada and the States Finally Make 
Peace: A Summary of the American Joint                         Get‐together in Ottawa: Rotaractors from 
                                                               Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa, and Montreal meet for 
District Conference 
                                                               a social weekend. 
“50 minutes? How on earth are we going to fill fifty
minutes?” was the club’s initial reaction when we heard
how much time the Americans had given us to speak. Our
president calmed us all down and said, “Just speak really,
really slowly.” Our next shock came when we realized that
we were going to have to wake up at eight in the morning
on November 1st, the day after Halloween. Ouch! Despite
these preliminary glitches, we managed to pull together as
a club, down a few cups of coffee, and knock the
Americans’ socks off with what we’ve been doing over the
past couple of years and what we plan to do in the near

Eager to escape the tedium of New England, three Rotary
districts from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts
decided to have their joint district conference in Montreal
last fall. Hoping to get a local’s perspective on Rotary,
they asked our club to give them a brief summary of what
we’ve been up to and more importantly what being in
Rotary means to us as young people.

On Saturday, November 1st, a group of about ten us of
showed up at their swanky hotel with our laptop and stylish
PowerPoint presentation. To get the ball rolling, Naureen
wowed the audience by leading them in the Canadian
National Anthem. After we had their attention we started
with descriptions of our past projects. As we went from
Old Brewery Mission to Samosa Sales to the highlight of
our past events, the Electrification of the school in India,
the Rotarians showed increasing awe and admiration. We
then got a little emotional and told our audience what being


                                                             in Rotaract has meant to us and why we chose this club
                                                             over the dozens of other community service organizations
                                                             at McGill.

                                                             Perhaps the most exciting part of the morning came when
                                                             we unveiled our tentative plans to attend a Rotary Youth
                                                             conference in Egypt. Never missing an opportunity to give
                                                             money to worthy causes, one of the club members
                                                             promptly stood up and demanded that a collection be taken
                                                             to help us start our fundraising efforts.

                                                             Upon our conclusion our members were bombarded with
                                                             questions and compliments. The Rotarians were most
                                                             interested in how to start a Rotaract club in their respective
                                                             towns and districts. They were excited to learn our secrets
                                                             of success and how we managed to build and maintain such
                                                             a large member base. In response, we emphasized the
                                                             importance of telling prospective members not only what
                                                             they can do for Rotary and their community, but also the
Our Annual Dinner with Mr. Franklin                          many opportunities that Rotary can give them. We were
                                                             then ushered into the next room for a gourmet entrée and
Our annual dinner with Mr. Franklin was truly an             dessert. The Rotarians were incredibly welcoming and
inspiring evening. We had the pleasure of welcoming          generous and all of us thoroughly enjoyed the lunchtime
international Rotary members from Mexico, Japan, and         conversation.
Turkey; the immense diversity visible at our meeting
was stunning as one could imagine. Rotary’s mission          All in all, the conference was a tremendous success. Many
statement “Service above Self” was the link that united      of us left with business cards, names and numbers of
all rotary members. Rotary unites all people regardless      Rotarians keen to meet us again and have us visit them at
of age, nationality and profession, all sharing Rotary’s     home. They expressed major interest in donating more
mission statement.                                           money towards sending us to a RYLA conference. The
                                                             meeting fostered a relationship that will no doubt lead to
Mr. Franklin spoke about the newly budding Concordia         lots more cross border collaboration. We may yet be able
Rotaract, which began simply with the interest of one        to prevent a major armed conflict between Canada its
individual. He recounted how he had casually                 neighbor to the south.
mentioned Rotary during a class and how it had peaked
the interest of one of his students. Consequently, this                                                                 Wes Marstaller
student was inspired to establish, along with friends,
Concordia’s first Rotaract club. As Mr. Franklin
                                                             Rotaract Events 2003‐2004
mentioned, all that is required is one person to simply
conceive an idea and the rest will simply fall into place.   Fall Semester                                        Spring
I began to realize as I sat amongst the other members        Activities Night                                     RYLA – to be attended
                                                             Old Brewery                                          by Alexandra
that although we were all different, we were all united      Samosa Sales                                         Westmount Garage Sale
in our mission to serve the greater good. I left our         Operation Christmas Child
meeting feeling inspired and motivated to do                 Mr. Franklin’s Speech + Dinner
                                                             New England District Conference (Montreal)
something. I hope all individuals present that night         Rotaractor Social (Ottawa)
shared my sentiments.                                        District Conference (Kingston)
                                                             Pizza Party
                                       Tanya Kahawita
                                                             Winter Semester
Interesting Tid Bits:                                        Activities Night
                                                             Old Brewery
Did you know Mr. Franklin has three hats?                    Samosa Sales
    1. Rotary                                                Fundraising Blitz: Clothing Sale, Loonie Line, Samosa Sales, Gert’s Candy Sale
    2. International Corporate Lawyer                        Dinner at Pushap’s
                                                             Sugar Shack with Rotary
    3. Consul General of Iceland                             Pizza Party & Westmount Rotary Garage Sale Pick-Up
Rotary Club of Old Montreal Fundraising Gala – Naureen

Each year, our sponsor club, the Rotary Club of Old Montreal
hosts a fundraising gala with many highly distinguished
guests. This year’s gala was attended by the Honourable
Jacques Saada, the leader of the government in the House of
Commons, and Duarte Miranda, Vice President of
International Trade at RBC. The money raised went to safe
drinking water projects in Togo, as well as towards the Polio
Plus Program.

Right: Ali Ettehadieh, President, Old Montreal

Rotaract District Conference (Ottawa) – Jeff Rock           Trip to Sugar Shack – Hilary Papineau

This year McGill Rotaract filled an important void in       The Rotary Club of Westwood reserved spaces for
our club, fellowship with other Rotaract Clubs. At the      different Rotary Clubs throughout Montreal to
District 7040 conference in Kingston we had the             come enjoy a meal at a Sugar Shack near Eastman,
pleasure of meeting fellow Rotaractors from Ottawa          Quebec. On Sunday March 21, McGill Rotaractors
and Kingston.                                               Jeff Rock, Alexandra Rheaume, Hilary Papineau,
                                                            Hamza, as well as Ambassadorial Scholars Harumi
This prompted the first ever Rotaract District 7040         Osaki from Japan and Semih Gurkan from Turkey,
social gathering hosted by the Rotaract club of Ottawa      were able to join the Old Montreal Rotary Club for
and Carlton universities. In mid-November we met up         a festive and social afternoon. The day was filled
with our fellow Rotarctors from Toronto Don Valley,         with camaraderie, great food and lively music at a
Queen’s University, and Ottawa for one heck of a            Sugar Shack just off of the Canada-Vermont
weekend. Accommodations were at the Old Ottawa              border.
jail youth hostel.
                                                            Rotaract members from McGill, Concordia and
The day started with an introduction meeting in which       Ambassadorial scholars were invited by our own
we shared information about the fundraising methods         Old Montreal Rotarians to accompany them in
and activities of our clubs. Also, Mr. Lanthier the         enjoying a traditional Quebecois meal of pea soup,
outgoing District Governor, provided us with a great        ham, eggs, bacon, beans, sugar pie, coffee, and of
motivational talk. Another very productive part of the      course plenty of maple syrup among other
meeting was a challenge we at Rotaract McGill put           delicious items of an authentic Quebecois sugar
forth to the other clubs for a fundraising competition.     house. Rotarians James Johnstone from the
Together, the clubs worked out the details of a two-        Westwood Rotary Club and Christian Martin
week Fundraising Blitz, the proceeds of which would         (Rotary Club of Old Montreal President Elect)
go directly to Rotary International’s Polio Plus            were kind enough to provide transportation by
campaign.                                                   driving the Rotaractors to and from the sugar
                                                            shack. It was a great chance to learn about and
The weekend also involved lots of socializing with the      appreciate Quebec's heritage, especially for
like-minded community oriented students, something          students from other countries and regions who
with seems to be a rarity nowadays. New friendships         may be unfamiliar with such traditions.
were forged and many of us are still in touch. A tour
of the Parliament buildings by a former tour guide, a       Moreover, this trip was a wonderful opportunity
mystery ghost tour of downtown Ottawa, midnight             for Rotaract and Rotary members to mingle on an
beaver tails, and dancing till it hurt were just a few of   informal basis, bond with each other, and
the memorable moments. We are all looking forward           exchange ideas over a lot of really delicious food.
to our next meeting come next fall!
McGill Rotaract Beats Ottawa and Queen's in Successful
Fundraising Blitz – Zoya Craig

If you had seen a McGill Rotaractor sometime during the end of
January, chances are he or she was running to or from an activity that
was part of the weeklong fundraising blitz held in competition with
Ottawa and Queen's Rotaracts. From January 22 - 29 this year, McGill
Rotaractors were busy around campus doing a number of activities to
raise money for polio vaccines. By combining their efforts, these
McGill students spent hours working together and succeeded in raising
$775. Local Rotary Clubs matched our fundraising efforts and we were
able to donate $2340. With one dollar buying nine vaccines, the funds
from the weeklong blitz will be able to buy 21,060 vaccines to be
administered to children in developing countries.

Three Samosa sales, several Loonie collection boxes, lots of used
clothes, and dozens of candy hearts and chocolate roses later, a week of   Mr. Franklin – Founding
fundraising had come to an end. Our dedicated volunteers spent the         President of the Rotary Club of
week selling a quick bite to students in the hallway, and enjoying the     Old Montreal, International
appetizing Indian pastries themselves, while promoting polio vaccines      Corporate Lawyer, Consul for
and asking students to donate towards a worthy cause. They braved the      Iceland.
cold, collecting spare change for an afternoon, and held a clothing
drive on campus, all in the name of "Service Above Self" and the
eradication of polio. The week's events culminated in a celebration at
Gert's, McGill's campus bar, where they sold candy hearts and
chocolate roses to students, and also got to reward themselves for a
busy and highly successful week.

Volunteers were able to bask in their success when they heard they
raised more than the other two Rotaracts with the generosity of Rotary
clubs from Westmount and Old Montreal. These two clubs offered to
match whatever McGill Rotaract raised, thus tripling the rewards of
their efforts and helping nearly 14,000 more children receive polio
vaccines. Seeing the tremendous results that came about from the
week's activities, this hopes to become an annual event to not only
team up with Queen's and Ottawa's Rotaracts, but to collaborate and
donate time and resources towards helping the fight to eradicate polio.

Samosa Sales – Jeff Rock
Ahh…the samosa. This delectable Indian pastry has become part of McGill tradition. There is nothing like
curried peas and potatoes wrapped in a flaky pastry and fried to perfection with its tantalizing chutney to
accompany it. And I for one can’t get enough of it. After all, I am the self-proclaimed king of samosas.

The samosa sales not only supply a much needed nutritious and delicious snack to the McGill community at
large, but also provide an excellent fundraising opportunity. The funds raised from each sale go to such
projects as braille computers for the blind in Lebanon, Polio Plus, the Bancroft Elementary School Arts Fund
three years ago, the funds paid for the electification of a school in Puri, India.

With 250-350 units sold at each sale with a profit of about 45 cents each you can imagine why everyone is a
winner at a samosa sale - delicious cheap food, but still a great profit margin turned. So keep on eating
samosas and check out Pushap’s Vegetarian Restaurant & Sweet Shop, from whom we order our samosas, at
5195 Pare Av. near Namur metro station. Bon appetite!
    A Farewell from our Current President                       A Greeting from our Future President 
From the moment I was introduced to Rotary at a Rotary      I know as every one of our members is pulling their hair
Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) conference four years         out over the stress of finals, it’s hard to think about next
ago, I have been fascinated by the extraordinary empathy    year, but the summer will come (thank god) and we’ll be
that emanates from every Rotarian and Rotaractor that I     back in Montreal before we know it. Our exec and
have met. This spirit of service is what attracted me to    dedicated members have built up such momentum over
Rotary and I joined Rotaract as soon as I got to McGill!    the past eight months; we have to be ready to take that
                                                            momentum and run with it next September.
It is amazing how quickly the year has flown by. This
year has been particularly exciting for me, not just        Thanks to all our club has done this year, getting new
because I got the remarkable opportunity to serve as the    members should be no problem at all. A simple display
President of McGill Rotaract, but because of what I have    of pictures and descriptions should be enough to
learned throughout the year. School is so much more         convince students that they’d be fools not to join. Once
than classes and papers and
                                                                                             our members have been
exams. It is here that we                                                                    added and our e-mail list
are able to grow and to                                                                      is a little longer, I hope
experience things that                                                                       we can sit down and
we will carry with us for                                                                    develop and number of
the rest of our lives.                                                                       goals for the year.
Being a part of Rotaract                                                                     Having clarity of vision
has taught me that it is                                                                     should        help       us
possible to make a                                                                           accomplish most or our
difference in the lives of                                                                   goals. A few things I
others; it has taught me                                                                     hope to see get put on
what it really means to                                                                      our list of objectives are:
be part of a team and                                                                        getting members to
part of an organization                                                                      better identify       with
that strives to work so                                                                      Rotaract,         donating
selflessly for the benefit                                                                   money to local Montreal
of others, and most                                                                          initiatives that need
importantly, it has taught                                                                   financial help, building
me time management!                                                                          on our relationship with
                                                                                             local and non local
The executive team this                                                                      Rotary and Rotaract
year       has      been                                                                     Clubs, setting overly
exceptional and I think                                                                      optimistic     fundraising
that there has been a                                                                        goals, establishing more
dynamic among us that                                                                        international           aid
is    rare   and    truly                                                                    projects, and sending at
inspiring. From our first                                                                    least a couple of
exec       meeting     in                                                                    members to a RYLA
September, we all seem                                                                       conference.
to have clicked, and we have grown closer as we have
worked together. I think I speak for all of us when I say   I want to extend a big congratulation to all the new
that this experience will not soon be forgotten. It has     members of the exec and express how excited I am to be
been especially meaningful to lead such a dynamic group     part of this group. I know we will be able to accomplish
of people that is so dedicated to serving others. Working   amazing things next year.
together to achieve a common goal is the most important
way in which to accomplish so much more than finite
goals; it can be a force for global cooperation,                                 Wes Marstaller
understanding and peace.                                                       President 2004-2005
Rotaract has accomplished so much in the last eight                    Miscellaneous Photos: 
months, and none of it would have been possible without
the hard work and dedication of the exec members, as
well as the Rotaract membership. From our bi-weekly
samosa sales and trips to Old Brewery, to conferences in
Kingston and Montreal, our trip to Ottawa and our
incredible win in the Fundraising Blitz with Queen’s and
Ottawa Rotaracts, this year has been extremely busy, and
extremely rewarding.

As always, next year promises to be even better, and the
new executive team is already showing much promise. I
wish them all the best and hope that their experience will
be as fulfilling as ours was this year. We would like to
thank the Students’ Society of McGill University                       Samosa Sale
(SSMU) for all their help and assistance this year. I also
wish to extend our sincere gratitude to the Rotary Club of
Old Montreal for all their support this year. Their
guidance and encouragement have provided us with the
drive to accomplish our goals and we appreciate that we
have been considered such an integral part of the Rotary
family. I hope you all have a wonderful summer, and I
look forward to seeing you all next year!

                     Naureen Karachiwalla
                     President 2003-2004                               Activities Night

Executives 2004‐2005 

                                                                       Clothing Sale for our Fundraising Blitz

  Back row, left to right: Jeff… (Vice President) Tanya
  (Communications & Publications), Courtney (Treasurer), front
  row, left to right: Idy (Clubs & Services), Alexandra (Secretary),
  Ishrat (Clubs & Services), Hilary (Communications &
  Publications; missing in Sweden: Wes (President)

   Thanks to all Rotaractors for a wonderful 
      year!  See you again in September! 

                                                                       One of Rotaract’s bi-weekly meetings

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