A Letter from our President (2020-2021) Dr. Colin Rousseaux

Welcome to spring, a time of hope.
 
Looking back over the year, I hope you’ll be as proud of the Rotary Club of Ottawa as I am. In addition to our many accomplishments, we’ve “adjusted” to meeting online allowing club members to keep connected. I hope the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions will soon allow us to meet again in person.
 
In 2020-21, the club completed a successful 70th annual Adventure in Citizenship (AiC) program in a new virtual format. Adventure attendee numbers were down, however, those who attended were treated to excellent presentations from two former Prime Ministers among others, breakout groups moderated by Rotarians and Rotaractors, games, a care package and more. The club’s profits from AiC will help fund our service projects.
 
During the year, Rotary Ottawa continued its support of local and international communities. Below I’ve highlighted each committee’s work with one or two examples, because the wonderful accomplishments of each are simply too numerous to detail in this space.
 
While the pandemic hindered some of the New Generations Committee’s work, it was actively engaged with Rotaract Ottawa, and sponsored local students to attend AiC. Most recently, the members have reconnected with some of the club’s former international exchange students.
 
The Membership Committee introduced 11 new members to Rotary Ottawa increasing the membership to more than 50, an increase of six over the previous Rotary year.
 
The Program and Communications Team kept us inform using social media and a new monthly newsletter and a new podcast. The programming side organized several member vocational talks and interesting community speakers such as Dr. James Wright, former Olympian Martha Henderson, and a meeting with the Rotary Club of Dhulikhel Nepal.
 
The International Service Committee engaged in several important and interesting projects such as promoting literacy in Guatemala, in partnership with Rotary Windsor-Roseland and other Canadian Rotary clubs. 
 
Community Service organized a campaign to supply Operation Come Home with new take-out containers, sleeping bags and warm clothing for its youth forced to sleep and eat outside, because of COVID-19.
 
The new Environment Committee is responsible for Rotary’s newest focus area, the environment. Its Mother’s Day Gift of Trees program and now the Father’s Day Gift of Trees program are examples of how this committee is integrating Rotary values.  Personally, I am looking forward to seeing the “Trees for Humanity” effort come into fruition.
On the fun side of things, the power of Zoom meant several social gatherings with Rotarians in San Antonio, Texas, and a virtual recipe swap.
 
Thank you for all your help in making this year a successful one, especially under pandemic conditions.
 
Best wishes,
Colin Rousseaux, President 2020-2021