Another Phenomenal Year for the
Rotary Club of the Battlefords!
Chartered in 1920, the Rotary Club of the Battlefords has made tremendous contributions to the Battlefords and the world for nearly a century.  Like many service clubs, membership has declined over the last decade but with 34 dedicated and active current members, the Club did amazing things once again in 2018-19. 
A review of the Club’s accomplishments shows the Club is vibrant and active not only locally but internationally as well over the past year.
Young people, and their wellness and development, are critically important to the Battlefords Rotary Club. 
The Battlefords Rotary Club awarded $4,000 in scholarships to youth to pursue their education at a post-secondary level.  Scholarships were awarded to students from North Battleford Comprehensive High School (NBCHS), John Paul II Collegiate (JP II) and North West College in 2018-19.
RYLE (Rotary Youth Leadership Experience) is part of the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program. The focus of RYLE is to develop leadership skills in youth between the ages of 15-17. Students from NBCHS and JP II (sponsored by our Club) join youth from across District 5370 to develop leadership and motivation techniques, communication skills, team building and goal setting at the 5-day camp outside of Edmonton. This program is extremely important for youth in our community and we will encourage enrollment in the years to come.
RYPEN (Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment) is a program for teens between the ages of 13-18 to develop self-confidence, self-esteem and personal skills at a four-day camp organized by District 5370. Attendees have reported the event was a life-changing experience. This program is also extremely important for youth in our community and we will encourage enrollment in the years to come.
On December 14th, 2015 our Club was thrilled to assist in the chartering of the Interact Club of NBCHS, the first Interact Club in our community. While sponsored by the Rotary Club of the Battlefords, the NBCHS Interact Club was the result of a tremendous amount of hard work and planning by several incredibly motivated and committed students. Rotary is extremely proud of their achievements and looks forward to supporting their work and growth in the future. There has been interest shown to form another Interact Club in our community. We are in the infant stages of moving forward with this initiative.
Interact Students & Rotarians with Backpack Program
Community Support
The Rotary Club was pleased to provide assistance in 2018 – 19 to the following groups for their very worthwhile causes.
  • Battlefords Union Hospital Foundation – Bike Auction
  • Royal Canadian Legion Remembrance Day Services
  • Kiwanis Music Festival
  • City of North Battleford – Free Public Skating Program
  • Battlefords Dance Festival
  • Sick Not Weak Mental Health Event*
  • 2018 Saskatchewan Winter Games
The New Beginnings Campaign – Saskatchewan Hospital
The BUH Foundation initiated a campaign to raise funds for the cost of the equipment for the new state of the art Saskatchewan Hospital being built in North Battleford. This new hospital would serve all of Saskatchewan as a forensic mental health facility, Our Club donated $10,000 to this project. We also took the lead role in asking Rotary Clubs in Saskatchewan to contribute to this project, raising an additional $10,000 ($5,000 from the Rotary Club of Lloydminster and $5,000 from The Meewasin Club in Saskatoon).
2016-17 Rotary President Warren Williams, Jane Shury (Sask. Hospital Rep), Ben Christensen (Sask. Hospital, Rep. & Rotarian) Corinne Bernier Delainey (Campaign Lead), Terry Blanchette 2017-18 Rotary President
Battlefords Humane Society
The Battlefords Humane Society operated the animal shelter to house stray dogs and cats. They also administer adoption services to ensure these abandoned animals find a good home. The Society has initiated a campaign to raise funds to replace the old, inadequate animal shelter which has been their home for many years. The Rotary Club was pleased to commit $50,000 over 3 years to ensure this valuable resource to our community has a proper environment to undertake the care necessary for these unwanted animals. To date the Club has advanced $25,000 towards this project.
2032 Students
The Rotary Club of the Battlefords began a long-term, 12-year mentoring program with the Living Sky School Division called the Class 2032. We, as a club, will guide an entire class from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Rotarians will act as mentors for the entire class. This is a significant commitment and investment and we are thrilled to forge relationships with these children and their families. 
 District Governor Peace Project
The Club supported and donated funds to our District Governor’s World Peace Project.
Shelter Boxes
When disaster hits around the world people are often left without housing or shelter for their families.  Shelter Box Canada provides self-contained housing and survival equipment in any area where emergency accommodations are needed. The Rotary Club of the Battlefords donated $3,600 US for the purchase of three Shelter Boxes in 2018-19.
The Rotary movement, with clubs from all around the world, are committed to the eradication of Polio. Through the tremendous work of Rotary International, polio has been eradicated in all but three countries worldwide. Our local Junior A hockey team (the Battlefords North Stars) allowed Rotary to promote the fight against polio at one of their games. Club members attended the game and collected donations for polio.
Over the past 99 years the Rotary Club of the Battlefords has done much in our community, leaving a legacy of projects that help make our community such a wonderful place to live and raise our families.  Some of the notable initiatives the Club has undertaken or has made significant contributions to include:
  • Herb Sparrow Rotary Splash Park
  • Rotary Skateboard Park
  • King Hill Lookout over the Saskatchewan River Valley
  • Rotary Park – adjacent to the Chamber of Commerce
  • Battlefords Boys and Girls Club building
  • Rotary Plaza and Chiming Clock at the CUPlex recreation facility
  • North Battleford Walking Trail
  • Paws Off-Leash Dog Park
Our members not only fund very worthwhile causes but they also contribute their time to help make our community a better place – “Hands on Giving”. 
Bell Ringing for the Empty Stocking Fund – Rotarians provided bell ringing services at the Empty Stocking Fund donation kettles for one day at five locations around North Battleford. Our efforts helped raise funds to provide Christmas hampers and gifts to needy families.
Christmas Gift Packaging – a dozen Rotarians prepared Christmas gift hampers for people in our community who may not have as much as others during this time of the year. We prepared hampers for more than 200 children.
Christmas Hamper Delivery – four Rotarians provided chauffeur service to take home families and their food hampers from the food bank at Christmas.
Meals on Wheels – Rotarians assist Saskatchewan Health Authority by delivering Meals on Wheels to the elderly and infirmed in the community several weeks per year
Rotary Park Clean-up – Rotary Park, on the edge of North Battleford, is used by many travellers as a place to rest, stretch their legs, walk the dog or have a picnic.  Many residents of the Battlefords can also be seen enjoying the picnic tables located in this beautiful treed environment.  Each year Rotarians and their families and friends gather for an evening to use their skills at using a rake or mower to beautify the park – making it a true gem for the travelling and local public.     
Cleanup Work-crew (Rotarians) and helpers @ Rotary Park
In 2018-19 the Rotary Club ran four very successful fundraising projects, resulting in nearly $ 42,000 for the charitable work of the Club. Also, there was an increase in spending on projects of 25.8%. from the prior year These initiatives were successful due to the incredible efforts of Rotarians and volunteers, plus tremendous support from the business community and the public of the Battlefords and area.
Spudnut Booth
The Club operates a booth at the Battlefords Agricultural Society annual fair.  Held in August, the fair attracts people from all over the region. Rotary’s Spudnut booth is one of the main food attractions.  Operating the booth for the three-day fair requires a tremendous amount of human capital. Rotarians and volunteers arrive early in the morning to start mixing the dough. During the day, when in full production, you will see 12 – 14 Rotarians and volunteer supporters involved in the mixing, cutting, shaping, cooking, glazing and selling of the wonderful culinary delight known as a Spudnut (a huge deep-fried, potato flour donut).  Over 500 person hours are contributed during these three days, helping the Club raise achieve a net profit of more than $14,000 in 2019.
But it’s not all about money – the Spudnut booth provides a unique opportunity for Rotarians to socialize not only with each other but also with the many family members and other volunteers who donate their time in the booth.  It is quite common to see high school students chatting with the owner of a big business or an elderly supporter of Rotary.  The conversations cover a wide range of topics but generally they lead to much laughter – everyone has fun.  The Club also uses our presence at the fair to promote the many worthwhile projects we have supported over the years – many fairgoers are not only surprised by the number of projects the Club has supported but also by the size of our financial contributions.
                                                       Lineup people wanting Spudnuts at Rotary Booth (left), Rotarians & Volunteers shaping Spudnuts (right)
The 5th annual Oktoberfest was held on October 20th, 2018. The Rotary Club of the Battlefords and the Battlefords Agricultural Society teamed up to organize this wonderful event. The Agrivilla was transformed into a Bavarian paradise for a traditional Oktoberfest festivity. A near sell-out crowd enjoyed the traditional German music, dancing and food, along with a beverage or two.
Donations from businesses and local citizens, 50/50 draws, food sales, liquor sales and event ticket sales helped achieve a net profit of over $5,400. Another great project helping our Club to help our community and world.
This event, like most Rotary events, would not have been possible without the countless hours put in by the committee members and the event volunteers.  Over 325 hours were needed to plan and deliver this event.  Almost half the membership (15) were involved as were 12 non-Rotarian volunteers.  What would we do without the support of friends and family!
Trip of the Month
The Trip-of-the-Month lottery has been one of the best fundraisers for our Club for many years.  Draws are held each month for a fabulous vacation package beginning each December and running until November of the following year.  For the first time in several years the lottery sold out - all 325 one hundred-dollar tickets were sold! Numerous ticket buyers also participated in the 50/50 add-on – the lucky winner received over $3,000.
With a sellout of tickets, the Club realized nearly $15,000 in net profit in 2018-19.  This fundraiser doesn’t require a significant investment of time (approximately 70 hours to arrange trips, prepare tickets, phone ticket selling campaign, administration) or resources. The Club is confident that those supporting the Rotary lottery not only do so for the chance to win a wonderful prize but also because they support Rotary causes.   
Hockey Draft
Each spring brings an annual ritual to Canada – the NHL playoffs.  And along with the playoffs comes Rotary’s hockey draft.  In April of each year, the Club hosts an event for up to 120 hockey enthusiasts to join us for supper, spirits and all the frivolity that goes with 10 rounds of drafting players to form their playoff teams. 
Twenty-eight, four- person teams participated in the 2019 draft, selecting players from the 16 teams involved in the NHL playoffs.  Entry fees along with the Calcutta, 50/50 draws, liquor sales and fines for breaking draft rules netted the Club over $7,000.  But most importantly, Rotarians and the community once again had a tremendous time at this much anticipated annual event. 
Fun, Random Acts of Kindness (FRAK) Committee
This year our Board enacted a new committee to bring more enlightenment and spontaneity to our meetings, as well as to increase our presence in our community.
A few initiatives saw our club offer free ice cream cones to the public, visiting and bringing pastries to the RCMP and Fire Hall as well as delivering flowers on Valentine’s Day. Our members were very involved in these activities and it raised our profile in the Battlefords – a Win-Win scenario.

Rotary Club of the Battlefords accepts Saskatchewan Premier’s Service Club Award

This year, our Club was honoured to be selected by Premier Scott Moe as one of four recipients of the Premier’s Service Club Award. We were humbled to be chosen for this award due to our commitment and volunteerism in our community. Our motto is “Service Above Self” so this recognition is something we never expected, nor strive for, but we are certainly thrilled to be recognized.
Herb Cox, MLA & President Wayne Ray
The Club was equally shocked and saddened by the passing of another long-term member, Mr. Terry Blanchette. Terry served two terms as President (1996-97 and 2017-18) and was also a Paul Harris award recipient. His many contributions to the Club, along with his witty personality, will never be forgotten.
 “The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”
Kalu Ndukwe Kalu