Stitching For The Foundation

During the era of COVID-19, seeing people on the streets wearing masks has gone from oddity to commonplace.  Noting the increasing demand, Louise Wright came up with an idea to supply masks to those in need, while supporting Rotary at the same time.  Although not a Rotarian herself, Louise’s spouse Gord Svenson is a long time Rotarian and a founding member of the Rotary Club of Parksville AM.
Gord sent out the word that Louise was willing to make masks in return for donations to the Rotary Foundation.  To date, a total of $945 has been raised.
A former Home Economics teacher and avid quilter, Louise certainly knows her way around a sewing machine.  Not only are her masks lovely to look at in a variety of colourful fabrics, they are also designed so that a filter can be inserted to provide additional protection. Louise also extends a thank you to Rotary member Jo and Sandy Dunn for the elastic used in the masks.
While not technically a Rotarian, Louise nonetheless exhibits all the qualities of “Service Above Self”.  She has been on six of the seven Rotary Live Different builds in Mexico, contributing her valuable skills in carpentry, painting and sewing, and her qualities of kindness and good humour.
Louise has made quilts for the new homes in Mexico and has also collected used sewing machines, overseeing their transmission across the border.  Never content to leave a job half done, she has given instruction to women in the area so that they can sew clothing for their families and perhaps even start their own micro-businesses.
Thank you Louise, for all that you do for Rotary and, by extension, for the ways in which you make the world a better place.
Stitching For The Foundation 2020-05-16 07:00:00Z 0

Making a Difference in Challenging Times

Despite the fact that all Rotary fundraising activities have been suspended for the foreseeable future due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Rotary Club of Parksville AM is continuing its commitment to local community organizations when their need is greatest.
Making a Difference in Challenging Times 2020-05-14 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Partners With Backcountry
Hunters & Anglers  to Get the Job Done!

We are on the home stretch in our goal of cleaning up Little Mountain of the trash and debris that has been a blight on this pristine area for so many years.
This initiative began in May of 2019 and the goal is to finish the job in May of 2020.  So far, through the support of Mike Gillen from Kestrel Helicopters, two major lifts have resulted in the removal of 13 tons of waste.
Preparing the mountain for a helicopter lift is a labour intensive and backbreaking job. 

Volunteers must work on the slope of the mountain base to sort and pack garbage into bags that can be picked up by the helicopter. 
After the first lift, Rotarians and Little Mountain residents were joined in this task by the BC Chapter of the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers who have given the project a tremendous boost through their muscle and enthusiasm. 
Rotary Partners With BackcountryHunters & Anglers  to Get the Job Done! 2020-03-14 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Meetings Worth Attending

Rotary meetings, held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, are always worth attending ... for fun, fellowship, and an opportunity to learn something new.

On March 11, the Rotary Club of Parksville AM welcomed the world's newest Rotarian, Andrea (Andy) Manson,  an event that gladdens the hearts of all Rotarians!
Club members were then treated to a fascinating talk and demonstration by member and guest speaker, Judy Elliot who spoke about her lifelong passion for spinning and knitting, including a demonstration of spinning and displays of her yarn and completed projects.
Rotary Meetings Worth Attending 2020-03-13 07:00:00Z 0

Sunriser for February 26, 2020

Posted by Diana Matsuda on Mar 03, 2020
Ray Walker welcomed 15 members to our meeting in the Sand Dollar Room this morning.  Joining us were our two guest speakers, Laurel Wright and Jocelyne Asselin, and a prospective new member, Andy (Andrea) Manson.
Rotary Education:
Don Luke spoke about Paul Harris Fellow pins, outlining the various levels and their meanings.  He noted that those who have earned Paul Harris Fellow pins reached 1 million worldwide in 2006. 
Don is looking for new ideas for Rotary education.  Please let him know if there are topics you would like him to cover.
John O’Brien then recognized Don as a “Paul Harris Champion”.  In order to attain this status, a member must:
  • Be a Major Donor, having contributed $10,000
  • Be a member of the Rotary Bequest Society
  • Be a Paul Harris Society member, committing to $1000/year until polio has been eradicated.
Congratulations Don.  Your generosity and dedication to the humanitarian efforts of Rotary is inspirational!
Installation 2020
Gord Svenson outlined the plans for installation.  It will be held on May 27 at 7 pm at the Black Bird Schnitzel Haus in Qualicum Beach.  There will be a sign-up sheet soon, but mark your calendars now.
Guest Speakers: Walk For Alzheimer’s
Oceanside’s inaugural “Walk For Alzheimer’s” will be held Sunday, May 3.   Laurel Wright, Manager of the Berwick Qualicum Beach and Jocelyne Asselin, Community Relations Manager at The Gardens Qualicum Beach are co-coordinators of this event and are looking for participation, sponsorships and donations.  
The Oceanside walk is now part of the national campaign, although all money raised will stay in the community.  Previously, residents at The Gardens had participated in a “Walk in a Box” and raised $5000 with 50 participants.  Now that the Oceanside walk has been opened to the public, Laurel and Jocelyne are hoping to attract 300 participants and raise $30,000 for Alzheimer’s education and research.
The Alzheimer’s Society of BC has as its vision a world without Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, a world that begins with a more dementia-friendly society, where people affected by dementia are acknowledged, supported and included.
Their mission is to ensure that people affected by dementia are not alone, by educating and mobilizing a broader community of care around them, and supporting valuable research into the disease and people living with it.
The walk will begin at Kwalikum Secondary School and will be on a paved path, accessible to those with wheelchairs or walkers.  To register and fundraise, go to:  and select “Oceanside” as your city.  Better yet – contact our own Matt Breedlove – he is going to organize a Rotary team so we can all walk together.
John O’Brien provided an update on all our 2020 fundraising endeavors to date.  Be sure to mark them on your calendars and be prepared to pitch in to those that suit your schedule and abilities:
  • Parksville Uncorked and Swirl – this event has just ended – thanks to Jo Dunn and Gord Svenson.  Not only will we receive our honorarium from The Beach Club, but our two Rotary drivers also racked up some significant tips. 
  • March 21 – Oceanside Health & Wellness Fair – Parksville Community & Conference Centre (PCCC).  We are catering lunch; Ray will lead.
  • April 4 – Pacific Brant Carving, Woodworking & Art Show (PCCC).  We are catering lunch.
  • April 4 – Eagle Release – North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre.  We do the parking.
  • July 4 – Parksville’s 75th Anniversary in the Community Park.  We will operate a concession; we need a champion for this event.
  • August 1 – Oceanside Idlers – Coombs Fairgrounds.  We are catering breakfast and lunch.
  • Recycling at The Beach Club – this is an ongoing weekly activity which raises about $7000 annually.  Volunteers are always needed!
  • Beach Fest – no dates yet as Ambassador’s list is currently being formed.

Other Announcements
  • Matt Breedlove advised that a Daffodil Tea & Fashion Show will be held on April 18 at Sunrise Ridge in support of the Canadian Cancer Society.  He will provide further details as received.
  • Kim Hancock asked members to consider helping load bags at Little Mountain on March 14.  We are nearly finished this massive clean-up project but still need workers to help finish off the job.
District News
  • As Incoming President for 2020-21, Bashir El-Khalafawi attended PETS in Washington this past weekend.  It was an inspirational event, with 702 attendees, 650 of them Rotarians, including RI President Elect, Holger Knaack and Past President, Rick King.  Bashir presented the new RI banner with the theme “Rotary Connects” to President Ray.
  • President Ray reminded members that the District Training and Conference will take place on May 15 & 16, with a revised format that allows attendees to register for all or parts of the conference.  Check it out at:
Sunriser for February 26, 2020 Diana Matsuda 2020-03-03 08:00:00Z 0

One Helicopter Lift at a Time!

The Rotary Club of Parksville AM is pleased to honour Mike Gillen of Kestrel Helicopters with a Paul Harris Fellowship for his efforts in removing the garbage on Little Mountain.   Click here for the story of how this all began. 

One Helicopter Lift at a Time! 2020-02-12 08:00:00Z 0

Rotary Team Mexico: On the Home Stretch

After four very intense working days, Rotary Team Mexico has basically completed the house for Arnulfo, Olga and family, with the exception of a few tiny touch ups such as door trim and last minute painting.  Photo above shows our work to date.  Even the baño has been painted to match.

Our Interact students continue to amaze us with their talents, energy and enthusiasm.  What valuable members of our team they have proven to be!
Photo below shows Jesus and Edalia’s bedroom, complete with pretty blue curtains made by the wife of Jim McFarlane.  Jim is a talented and knowledgeable volunteer who has been on the last five builds with us.
Rotary Team Mexico: On the Home Stretch 2020-02-06 08:00:00Z 0

Rotary Team Mexico Commitment

Rotarians have been on the job site in Mexico for the past five years!  See Rotarians "Up Their Game" in Mexico. For more photos and a daily account of how a "small but mighty" group of Rotarians and friends built an adult education centre in just 8 days, click here.  Daily updates from our 2019 are posted on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 5

And be sure to read about the International Award received by the Rotary Club of Parksville AM for their ongoing work in Mexico.

Rotary Team Mexico Commitment 2020-02-04 08:00:00Z 0

Rotary Team Mexico On the Job Site!

Photos show work on the house for Olga and Arnulfo and their two small children.  Photo at left shows their current house. After a full day of building on Day 1, all four walls and all four roofing panels were constructed and painted.

We are now on Day 2 and we are all so excited at how quickly things are progressing.
Rotary Team Mexico and our WestJet partners are bonding beautifully and we are enjoying our work together, knowing that we will soon have built houses for two families through our collective efforts.
Our team also includes four Interact students who are enjoying learning new skills and wowing us with their enthusiasm!
The walls are now up on both homes and soon setting the roofing panels will be put in place, after which we will begin working on the interior.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to see how far we have come on our two house builds.  It is a privilege to work alongside our partners, our families and Live Different in changing the lives of two families.
Rotary Team Mexico On the Job Site! 2020-02-03 08:00:00Z 0

Darryl Craig Award Announced

Darryl Craig was a highly respected Principal of Ballenas High School and a valued member of the Rotary Club of Parksville AM, known for his enthusiasm and his dedication to the Rotary motto of "service above self".  Darryl passed away in 2018, yet his Rotarian legacy lives on through the generosity of another member of the Club.

Ian K Dewar retired recently from the Rotary Club of Parksville AM, leaving a large number of Foundation Recognition Points as a result of his many contributions to the Foundation over the years. Such recognition points can be used to award Paul Harris Fellowships to deserving individuals, and Ian has requested that his points be used to establish an award targeted to the youth of our community through the Ballenas Interact Club.

To be known as the Darryl Craig Award, a Paul Harris Fellow will be presented annually to a member of the Ballenas Interact Club who has demonstrated leadership and commitment to the ideals of Rotary.  As a former educator, Darryl dedicated his career to the mentoring and inspiration of youth, and thus this award is particularly meaningful.

Announcement of this award was made at a Rotary meeting with Darryl's wife, Jill Wilkie and Ian Dewar in attendance, as shown below.

The recipient of the Darryl Craig Memorial Award will be an Interact member who, during the school year, shows leadership in fulfilling the Rotary Foundation slogan of “Doing Good in the World” and who puts the most effort into achieving this.  The recipient will be selected by members of the Ballenas Interact Club, along with the teacher advisor and the Rotary advisor. The recipient will receive a Paul Harris certificate and pin.  They can reflect achievement of this award on their future school and work applications.

It is hoped that the recipient will continue to have an involvement with Rotary after high school, possibly becoming a Rotaract member while at college or university, and a Rotary member after that.
Darryl Craig Award Announced 2020-01-07 08:00:00Z 0

Rotarians Support Paul Harris Foundation

Rotary started with the vision of one man — Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed the Rotary Club of Chicago on 23 February 1905, so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas, form meaningful, lifelong friendships, and give back to their communities.

Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges those individuals who make contributions of  $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation.

In December 2019, Foundation Chair Lynne Pearson presented a Paul Harris +3 to to Bill Rawlins (L) and  a Paul Harris +7 to Garry Cox (R).  The contributions from Paul Harris Fellows such as these support the six areas of focus identified by Rotary to build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world to support our peace efforts and end polio forever.

In January 2020, three more Paul Harris Fellowships were presented by John O'Brien (Back Right): Gord Svenson (L) received his Paul Harris +2 and +3, while Lynne Pearson and Ray Walker were both recipients of Paul Harris +7. 

Clearly, Parksville AM Rotarians are strong supporters of The Rotary Foundation!
Rotarians Support Paul Harris Foundation 2020-01-07 08:00:00Z 0

Rotarians Ring those Bells!

Posted on Nov 30, 2019
Rotarian Bashir El-Khalafawi rings the bells for the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign.  This is an annual commitment for the Rotary Club of Parksville AM and this year, Club members will cover 20 shifts, thus assisting the Salvation Army in reaching its goal and helping so many in our community. 

Rotarians Ring those Bells! 2019-11-30 08:00:00Z 0

Rotarians Support SOS Toy Drive

Posted on Nov 28, 2019
The SOS Caring for Community at Christmas Program ensures that local children and youth experience the magic of Christmas, and that adults and seniors also experience joy and dignity over the holidays.  This year marks the 11th year of the Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive, the biggest toy drive of its kind on Vancouver Island.
Rotarians Support SOS Toy Drive 2019-11-28 08:00:00Z 0

Fundraising For Causes

Fundraising is an important activity for all Rotary clubs, as it takes money to be able to carry out humanitarian projects in our local communities and throughout the world.
Fundraising For Causes 2019-11-14 08:00:00Z 0
Backcountry Supports Polio Plus 2019-11-14 08:00:00Z 0

Interact Brings Youth To Rotary

Posted on Nov 14, 2019
Interact is a service club for youth ages 12 to 18 who want to connect with other young people and have fun while serving their communities and learning about the world. Clubs, which meet at least twice a month, are sponsored by local Rotary clubs. Interact clubs organize two projects every year, one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding. Members of sponsoring Rotary clubs mentor Interactors as they carry out the projects and develop leadership skills.
The Rotary Club of Parksville AM is proud of its sponsorship of the Ballenas Interact Club in 2014.  Since then its members have exhibited extraordinary leadership and commitment to making a difference in our local community and internationally.
The following overview was prepared by 2018-19 Ballenas Interact President, Casey Reumkens:
What is Ballenas Interact Club?

Ballenas Interact Club focuses on local and international initiatives. Their motto is service above self because volunteering time is more meaningful than what money can buy. Service above self truly means putting others needs above your own, noticing what needs fixing and volunteering to fix it. The club uses creative methods to raise money for important causes, and many of their causes affect either the students at Ballenas or the city of Parksville.

Local Initiatives
Some initiatives include the annual collection of non-perishable food items, unused toiletries, and warm clothing for the cause called Halloween for Homelessness.  Many people in our city battle homelessness and cannot afford these commodities we take for granted; this initiative ensures warmth and comfort through the cold fall and winter season.

Another annual cause is the spring cleaning garage sale. This year, the garage sale raised money for a set or two of bleachers for our football field. Currently, the only way to view sports on the field is by standing or sitting on the uncomfortable damp field. This viewing method simply is not feasible for parents, grandparents and students trying to support Ballenas athletics.  By coming together and donating to this cause the Interact Club can reach this goal before the end of this school year. 

While fundraisers are a great way to contribute to your community, volunteering can be just as rewarding, if not even more rewarding than donating.

Another cherished local cause is when the group meets at Arrowsmith Lodge (a local old folks home) and they volunteer their time to keep the residents company. The students are helping the residents, but are gaining life experiences and skills in return. There is no better way to learn about life than from those with so much valuable life experience.

International initiatives
Last year an initiative based around lending money to people in developing countries was born. Using an online international non-profit website called Kiva loans, the  Interact Club was able to use fund raised money to contribute to people in need. This initiative is an ongoing project because when your loan is paid back, the cycle restarts and the money is continually loan to those in need.

Other international initiatives are continually being developed as the years progress or specific developing countries are in need of relief.  While the Interact Club has a majority of local initiatives, they still try and spread the money raised equally.
Interact Brings Youth To Rotary 2019-11-14 08:00:00Z 0
Parksville AM Celebrates 25 Years 2019-11-10 08:00:00Z 0
Trash Removal Continues on Little Mountain 2019-11-09 08:00:00Z 0
Recycling Offers Returns For Rotary 2018-12-19 08:00:00Z 0

Rotarians Serving The Community

Posted on Oct 03, 2018

While Rotarians are often known and recognized for their work on Rotary projects, many of our members work locally over and above their Rotary activities. Below is a listing of only some of the numerous organization that members of the Rotary Club of Parksville AM have devoted hours of volunteer time to support.  Need something done in the community - involve a Rotarian!

Forward House Society

Home owner Strata organizations and councils 

100 Women Who Care

Career Centre Advisory Committee

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance

Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association

Parksville Downtown Business Association

Salvation Army (Soup Kitchen and Christmas Kettles Program)

Oceanside Community Safety Volunteer

Oceanside Victim Services Society

Chamber of Commerce

Oceanside Community Policing

Qualicum Cat Rescue


Disaster Aid and Soap for Hope programs

PGOSA and Parksville Panters

Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers

Live Different

Woodwinds Pass alternate school

Habitat for Humanity

Revenue Canada's Community Volunteer Income Tax Program


Rotarians are people of action and together, we do inspire.

Rotarians Serving The Community 2018-10-03 07:00:00Z 0
RCMP Musical Ride 2018 Garry Cox 2018-08-28 07:00:00Z 0
All About The Kids 2018-08-17 07:00:00Z 0