2018 Lead up to Governor: Jan-June

JANUARY 2018 was an incredibly busy year as Governor Elect heading into more governor training.  The second weekend we headed to Seattle for “Blue Denim”.  A chance for the classmates of the PNW to meet up again and learn our roles, spouse roles, share best practices and prepare for PETS in Seattle later in February.  As a Governor Nominee, Elect and Governor, it is always exciting to meet up again with people you have trained with for the past number of years.

Carol Eamer was instrumental in October 2017 to get a number of Rotary Clubs to support a project to ship food to Puerto Rico in a shipping container.  Well it arrived I believe around January and I am sure the residents are very appreciative.

January continued with the most anticipated and exciting event for Governor Elects, the International Assembly of Governors from around the world in San Diego. “Together We Connect”.  We were treated well for a week, many meetings and sessions kept us busy non stop.  The special private lunch with the President of RI Barry Rassin for 2018-2019 was a real treat as I was able to get his autograph on my Banner.  Most surprising was when the unveiled our international theme for the year: “Be The Inspiration”.  My conference committee came up with our own theme Inspired to be the Best.  We quickly realized there was no reason to not piggy back on to a theme that was already inspiring and looked great.

If I thought January was going to be busy, February was crazy!  We returned from Arizona right after San Diego to jump into Pre PETS in Ellensburg, next was the Peace Conference in Vancouver, the Revelstoke Youth Exchange weekend, then the best fun I have every year, PETS in Seattle.  The District 5060 Presidents for 2018-2019 showed great spirit and energy and enthusiasm for their year.  Photo above is a group from Salmon Arm Rotary Clubs.  I was honored at PETS to be MC for Drew Kessler and most memorable was introducing and thanking the wonderful PRIP Rick King on stage for the main plenary.  I was truly blessed, I love this man.

A little less hectic so I used a lot of time to catch up on work due to quarter end in my business. A few highlights were the RC of Kamloops Speech contest with the junior high school age children.  I was in awe of the caliber of speakers that I was privy to listen to. Inspired for sure.  Later in March I headed to Kelowna for a meeting regarding Rotary support for the JoeAnna’s House.  This house that is to be built is to benefit all outlying communities that will require accommodations when their loved ones have to use the Kelowna Hospital facilities. For those that cannot afford a daily hotel rate, this house will be a fraction of the cost to stay while waiting for care.  I would love to see the place supported by Rotary and to see the naming for the gardens, the ROTARY PEACE GARDENS.  March celebrated ROTARACT WEEK.

Immediately following Easter, Jim and I went on our regular annual Rotary Outbound weekend to Penticton.  I balanced my time between Penticton and Kelowna.  Kelowna held an RLI session which I wanted to facilitate the Foundation session.  Later that evening we were invited to the RC of West Kelowna Daybreak’s “Taste of India” Dinner where they presented a cheque to the community and to the BC Wildfire Fund that our clubs in Kamloops set up.  Our Fund is being used by deserving individuals that suffered during the 2017 fires.  Jim and I also travelled to Sechelt for a little break to see our classmate friends Darcy and Doug Long, the DG for District 5040.  Sechelt was charming and beautiful and it was so nice to smell the ocean air again.
April promotes World Earth Day. The Rotary Clubs of Kamloops, Chase, Kelowna and Salmon Arm worked hard at Rotary at Work Day Food Drives in their communities.

First week of May started off busy. A visit to the RC of Oliver, then on to Yakima to the celebration of “30 Years of Women in Rotary”.  What a wonderful warm welcome by the Clubs of Yakima and Tressa Stadel our AG for the area.  We were also treated to the warm hospitality of Greg and Jan Luring.
Leaving Yakima behind we winded our way back up to Summerland BC to attend the “Spring Open Conference” organized by Peter Schultz.  Greetings by the RC of Summerland for a social afterwards.  These open conferences are a great way for Rotarians to gather and ideas share.
A week later it was Mothers Day. A special day for many of us who have mothers and who have lost moms like Jim and I have.  When RC of Sun Peaks asked us to present at their Mothers Days Polio Fundraiser, there was no hesitation.  They put on a fantastic fun event and buffet.  A great little club with so much energy. Celebrating one year!
Last but sure not least, the Prosser District Conference.  (as I type this now July 08, 2018, we are in Prosser) What a nice community and such a fun conference. The weather was perfect and lots of time to mingle with fellow Rotarians.  I was able to have the Peace breakout session continue as I had the main speaker brought in live on line for the two sessions we had to do.
Awards for the Cadmen and the Henderson went to PDG Greg Luring and Dr. Stan Fike – well deserved for their long time dedication to the ideas of Rotary.
RYLA was supposed to have taken place but was cancelled in early 2018 due to lack of registrants. I am determined for the 2019 year, this does not happen. RYLA is so beneficial and helps so many young people with leadership skills.

Jim went to Toronto to see family in June, many Rotarians in our district took in the Toronto RI Convention and I stayed home as the pending July governor start date was getting so close and I was still not 100% prepared.  Besides Rotary work mounting my own company work was building and this was coming up to our companies second quarter where results had to be met. I think I wore out my office chair this month.  Before Jim went to Toronto, we took a road trip for my work from a golf tournament we were at in 100 Mile House, to Williams Lake, Prince George, Burns Lake, Terrace, Kitimat and on to Prince Rupert.  Running into a fellow Rotarian in Prince Rupert we decided to stay an extra night rather then burning back after our last meeting another 8 hour drive. BC is so beautiful.
June was busy with RC Club Installations of their presidents. I was able to do four of our five clubs in Kamloops as well my friends threw a DG Installation for me on June 15th.  Many PDGs came as well as a few AGs and my employer showed as well.   The idea of a second female governor in our district attracted the media from news to TV to radio. Good for Rotary.






Lots of good in Rotary, every day, every year…

We lose good Rotarians all the time, either they move away, leave for reasons of their own or through a death.  We lost a dear friend this year Rosemary Smart.  Her energy and passion for life and Rotary was infectious. She will be missed in our club and in life.  I send out prayers to Jim Smart and hope he will return to Rotary and his Rotary Friends.

rosemary and jim

The Wild Fires this year were devastating for areas like Princeton, 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Ashcroft/Cache Creek.

What does a bunch of Rotarians do in a pinch when a small community like 100 Mile House is in need of organizing food for returning victims?  They jump in vehicles and drive to the town and sort food all day. And they do it with a smile and the feeling of doing good and the chance to get together for some bonding and fellowships.  Two clubs came together this day to lend a hand.

Volunteering for 100 Mile House

We get some great speakers at Rotary meetings and this year we had the Hon Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, Judith Guichon attend our club meeting.  President of RC Of Kamloops Daybreak is a wood turner, so I commissioned him to make her a symbolic wooden bowl made from the large tree that was felled in front of the hospital and we engraved the Rotary emblem.

Rotary Bowl

Rotary Socials = Fellowships

There are many benefits to Rotary, the one that is very powerful is the bonds you make, the support you get from others, and the friendships that last a lifetime.  Rotarians young and old get to share similar interests and a history of working together as a team to help others.

The social on August 19th 2017 was for celebrating anything and everything. We celebrated friends, anniversaries, engagements and a retirement.  The band the Journeymen were fantastic and our friend Cristal Odenbach also graced us with her singing and humours MC talents.  The night was pleasant, not smoky, and a lot of dancing was enjoyed.

August to September

August was a quiet month for Rotary in general however our club had a few socials, like our annual corn roast at the Newson’s.  Our newer energetic younger member Tyson who organizes the Brewloops in September grabbed an opportunity for our club to host the beer gardens for the Tragically Hip showing at Riverside Park.  Good funds raised by serving Craft Brews. It was so much fun slingin beer for four hours!

From all over the world, the Youth Exchange arrive in August and September.  September we went to the Inbound Weekend in Penticton and were impressed with the young leaders of tomorrow.


DG Vern Neilsen set the tone with some inspiration to the youth and the committee, inspiring them to give this year their best and learn and share. He also was able to share his personal story with everyone.


Jim and I headed to Winnipeg or the Zone Institute, a Rotary training conference that gathered the District Governors past and present and future all together for a indepth training session for their term as District Governors. The latter part of the week was geared to general leadership inspired plenary sessions.

Dean Rohrs our RI Director was the chair and did a wonderful job of attracting key note speakers like Oscar Arias who spoke at the Human Rights Museum dinner gala on Friday night.  Truly a most spectacular experience for us.


June to July


The month of June was filled with Rotary Club Installations including our club’s.  I was invited to two other club installations; Rotary Club of Chase and Rotary Club of Kamloops.

Our club’s venue was at the Fawcett Thoroughbred ranch in Heffley Creek, a really nice outdoor setting however the storm came through and we were invited to continue indoors around a most beautiful living room that features a stream and Koi pond. Kim Cooper and her directors were installed by ADG Mike Dedels. Many awards given out to the outgoing board.  Rotarian of the Year selected by members was Anna Harrison.  Anna has worked tirelessly at membership growth, fundraising activities and extends her energy outside the club at district level.

Chase had their install at the local hall and they invited local dignitaries. The food served was homemade and so delicious. They get top marks for the food of the month for sure.  Young Roy was installed as their president and his goals are membership growth and high energy. WP_20160611_19_03_21_ProSterling handed out the Rotarian of the Year to Richard Waugh, a second time recipient for his club.



The Rotary Club of Kamloops had their installation event at Hotel 540 Kamloops 2016poolside. The turn out was great. A little warm that night but quite entertaining. PDG Marvin Munro had the honors of installing Devon O’Toole, Irish Style.


Every club has their own style and culture and it doesn’t matter how the evening is arranged.  An evening of recognizing people, showing importance of the leaders of the club and the social WP_20160618_20_33_24_Pro aspect, is all too important and improves the sustainability of the Rotary Club.




Vern Neilsen was installed at his club by PDG Greg Luring. It was all performedDG Vern 2016 with the power out and still worked out well. It was nice to see about 12 PDG’s attend for this momentous occasion for Vern Neilsen, DG for 2016-2017.

Group Study Exchange from Australia
The crew visited Kamloops and ADG Mike Dedels did a great job at touring the four young vocational people and the Rotarian team leader around this area.WP_20160607_07_32_35_Pro

They were specifically interested in farming, animal husbandry and of course they visited another winery. They were done with wineries however, having spent most of their 5 weeks touring Washington and the Okanagan vineyards.

I hosted Claire who was into fisheries. She didn’t have too much vocational touring of this line of work but said she thoroughly enjoyed the entire time in the USA and Canada.   We have a new place to visit now in Australia.

Taking a break from Rotary in August. Checking back with you in September.

From Club Fun to District Fun

Preparing for their presentation
YE at Conference Preparing for their presentation

March to May

St Paddy’s Day Club Fundraiser in March: our club put on a fun evening event with an Irish theme, live music and games. A fun raiser that saw about $12,000 for our worthwhile community service projects.

April 15: The outbound YE weekend in Lake Chelan attended by some of our DG chain, as well this is for the outbound students and their families to learn more about Rotary YE. The YE committee lead by Richard DeRock was well run and one can see the amount of work that goes into these YE weekends. Tiresome and full of passion for such a great program.  Lake Chelan is so beautiful, I cannot wait to return.

April 23: Spring Training in Kelowna hosted by DGE Vern Neilsen. 75 plus members attended for the 11am-3pm leadership training. It was kind of like a brush up for the President Elects who just returned from PETS in February and for them to include their incoming board.  The AG facilitators were to the point with their information and the groups were able to have a bit of group discussion and fellowship, ideas sharing which proves valuable for building better friendships.

Bruce and Marjolein came up for Membership Matters.  They put on an organized and easy to follow presentation on membership. It was well attended by Kamloops Clubs including some from Salmon Arm and Rotaract.

I attended a Wednesday evening North Kamloops Rotary Family Dinner: Rotary Club Of Kamloops puts on a large family dinner every other Wednesday. The people that enjoy a meal by these hard working Rotarians are so appreciative.  Chris Sequin, who attends most said he has known these kids since they were toddlers, seeing them grow up over the years and benefitting from these gatherings; makes it all worth it.

RLI weekend was April 30th as well as the Kamloops/Chase/Kelowna Food Drive. A busy Rotary Day. Those that attended RLI could not do their beloved Food Drive. We are never short of volunteers to pick up food from every household.  RLI was organized by Ron Hooper – not sure where he gets his energy – RLI/Vision. He is so good at this. I attended first thing to facilitate Rotary Opportunities. It was so much fun, I hope I inspired some to look into Rotary Fellowships and Rotary Action Groups. After my presentation I scooted out for my event.
This was my second past club Presidents Reunion at our home which saw 19 of our past 36 club presidents attend with their spouses. A very nice warm night on the balcony overlooking the city, a group photo.

May 2-8: Jim and I travel from Kelowna to Yakima.
We stopped into Kelowna to attend a funeral, stay with good friends and then head to Wenatchee to see Jim and Carol Adamson for dinner Tuesday. I wanted to get to know them better and see how his year as DG was and find some inspiring ideas to help me. I always thought his DG year was one of the best and I have always liked his style.  It was a good few days.  We then headed to Tim’s YMCA camp just past Leavenworth on Wednesday. We enjoyed spending time with Tim McElravy during YE events and wanted to see where he worked. We arrived and toured the cabins and then came upon the most beautiful lake.

We left Tim after lunch and headed for Yakima to stay for four nights which lead up to their district conference.

Yakima Conference May 6-9 was superb. Great speakers, good rooms and location, nice Thursday BBQ, and home hosting as always was a highlight. The Luring’s had us attend the most beautiful home in Yakima, featuring 26000 sq. ft. of elegance overlooking the valley. I am still in awe. WP_20160513_19_11_08_Pro

May 28: “I Did it for Rotary” Wine tour. Club Fundraiser
Our club organized its 2nd annual wine tour and this time it was to Summerland.  The organizers worked with Summerland Rotary specifically Roch who put on an amazing lunch and dinner for us and assisted with the wine tour to the wineries.  The Summerland Rotary Club served lobster for dinner, which was probably the best I have had.

Our club raised about $11,000 for the one day event with sponsorships and attendees and their club raised some money from a live auction.

May 31: Vision Session
Ron Hooper is coming from Salmon Arm to help out with Vision session for Kamloops Rotaract. Myself and our P.P. Anna Harrison will assist tonight. It should be interesting to see what the younger generations strategy sessions produce.

Planning Time

March has been a month of focusing on my own Rotary club, work, and the start of golf.

I have spent time working on the schedule for this years travels in Rotary and booking hotels.  I am booked for facilitating Training sessions, RLI, and a Vision session in April/May.

Osoyoos district training April 23, RLI April 30 and a May Vision session for Rotaract.

Conference in May has been booked for Yakima.

Youth Exchange Weekend in Lake Chelan April 15th weekend for Outbound orientation will be interesting and I am looking forward to a lakeside weekend away. It is about 4.5 hour drive from Kamloops.


February 2016

This month has been busy. 20160201_204151880_iOSI attended Kamloops Rotary meeting and was asked to help honor those new members of Rotary.

February is for club presidents. Pre pets was held in Kelowna the last weekend of January and in the South the first weekend of February, and was well organized by Vern Neilsen DGE.

AG’s facilitated the various sessions to help the incoming presidents prepare for their year and for PETS in Seattle February 26th.

In between we had the pleasure of going back to Revelstoke like we did last year for Youth Exchange. Inbound and outbound youth gathered to meet up again to enjoy outdoor activities as well as learn more about their role in Rotary and their YE experience.

Robin/Richard DeRock and his committee do an outstanding job with YE for our district and should be commended.  Revelstoke Rotary Club and specifically Graham Harper are hard at work organizing the event at Powder Springs hotel for accommodation, meals and activities for the youth. They had a fun time and our student Valeria newly arrived from Columbia did too.

We are off to Omak this weekend for the Foundation Seminar and looking forward to the new location 12 Tribes Casino Hotel.

January 2016

First Training: BLUE DENIM WEEKEND January 8-10, 2016

What is Blue Denim?

Held in Seattle, 8 districts get together to provide training and support for the incoming District Governors. It is a weekend to meet for the first time your “Class Mates” that you will work with for the next four years, you will bond with, you will seek support and bounce ideas.WP_20160108_13_24_36_Pro

The current district governors who have been to this weekend three times previous organize this and create sessions for training in public speaking, protocols, planning for future events and what to look forward to.

We arrived Friday January 8th and attended the most beautiful display of glass creations at the Chihully Museum. We went for dinner with our classmates and got know everyone a little better.

Blue Denim Event is a weekend of preparation for the year to come.

Side Trip to Ontario California: ROTARY INTERNATIONAL PEACE CONFERENCE January 15-16, 2016

I decided to treat myself to a weekend away from our place in Mesa AZ and attend a Rotary Peace Conference held in Ontario California organized by the 6 local districts in that area. They brought in many empowered speakers of peace advocacy.

US ambassadors of Peace, CIA, FBI, and actors who make peace their mission. Human Trafficking was a topic with many speakers. A large problem in North America, a 32billion dollar industry surpassing the gun industry and soon the drug business.

Berndt Wollschlaeger, was a German who’s father was a German Nazi commander a criminal of war, who became Jewish because he did not follow his father’s ways, is able to speak of his past. He speaks now to teach that we can overcome and we can give back to peace.20160116_171104700_iOS

Sharon Stone makes peace her mission. We were not to sure about her message as her talk was not too understandable, a little abstract.20160115_211249610_iOS

The First Duty

If the duties are all like this in Rotary as District Governor to be, then give me more.

Jim and I spent the weekend in the mountains at Vernon Silver Star December 11, 12, 13 2015. It was for the new Inbound Youth Exchange Students that come from all over the world to experience life in Canada and the USA.

The students enjoyed the snow, skiing and fellowship. This is their second time all meeting up and most have started bonding forever to be friends.

YE Silver Star

We didn’t know the Youth Exchange Committee well nor the PDG Bruce and his wife Donna who were there.  We shared the same cabin as well with Richard and Robin and quickly found out however we knew, the YE committee is the hardest working and have the heaviest work load in the district.  The crew worked tirelessly at Youth issues, outbound destinations and and planned on strengthening the committee for future leadership.

The committee has a very advanced tool that was created by Dennis to calculate countries the outbound would go to based on their preferences. They do everything they can to give the students their top choice countries.

Devon was also bunking in our room and we discovered his quick wit and charm, and that he steps out of the box every now and then right into “onesy’s”. Not sure how to spell that but Robin and he were great sports entertaining with the kids.

Bruce looked great as santa and all the students were nice enough not to hurt him on his knee.

We left the mountain Sunday morning from the cute village of Silver Star and met up with PDG Roger and Judith to pull more answers out of their experiences. I think we exhausted PDG Bruce and Donna, so we found others to bug.

We were like deers in headlights until this weekend passed. We are starting to see the bigger pictures, and those images are very exciting for us.

Stay tuned for Blue Denim weekend January 8 2016.

“If the heart feels warm, you are doing it right”.

Sherry Chamberlain, DGND.