Our speakers were two seasoned Rotarians - John Digby and Paul Bannon.

 

John has been in banking for 25 years and a Rotarian for 10. He grew up in Brampton and his passion is International Youth programs.

Paul was introduced to Rotary by a friend of his parents.  He joined the Oakville club and has held many offices including that of President. His family has hosted many exchange students and his daughter, Mary, was recently an outbound student in the program.

They are both very active in fundraising for many charities - MS rides, CN tower climb and the Ride to Conquer Cancer to name but a few.

Paul told us the Oakville club, like most, has struggled with fundraising. They have sold tickets, worked Bingo (he called this a "sociological study"!), Lobster nights but each has eventually run its course, and it is increasingly hard to find new fundraisers. They have been fortunate enough to have been given a golf tournament. This is a tournament already in existance and was given to them by a  businessman and his wife.

John was originally a member of the Georgetown club which had a lot of local activites. They had a Gala night which raised significant funds, a book drive. He feels there are 3 criteria to making a successful fundraiser:

1. It must have committed members

2. Members need to attend the club meetings on a regual basis and be involved

3. The rundraiser must be fun

Both the Brampton and Oakville clubs have a Day of Giving in the Spring. This is where they can get out and do something for those who cannot do it for themselves. This does not cost much, but gives back to the community and brings the club together. The Brampton club also runs a Breakfast with Santa. They obtain the childrens' names from community services and the schools, organise a breakfast and a gift from Santa. They help with Literacy tests in one of the schools and for many years ran a Halloween dance for special needs children.

Both stressed the importance of involving new members immediately and also educating them about Rotary both at the local and international level.

They certainly gave our members something to think about both in the fundraising area and the community service area.