Happy To be Outside Again!

Rotaract Club of Willowdale was very happy to join again the Rotary Club of Willowdale in an outside event in July, 2021. We would like to thank Heather and David for hosting such a great event, and for making us feel close to a normal service club again in the company of our fellow members. It was Awesome!
Happy To be Outside Again! 2021-08-26 04:00:00Z 0
Rotaract Willowdale at The 2021 Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup 2021-08-26 04:00:00Z 0

Paul Harris Award Presented to David Daudi Laizer & Doug Dempsey Literacy Award Presented to Rotary Club of Willowdale

The Rotary Club of Willowdale honoured David Daudi Laizer with a Paul Harris Award, for his magnificent work at the J.K. Nyerere Primary school in Arusha, Tanzania. The Rotary Club of Willowdale recognizes that this ongoing, amazing project has been successful with the kind help of David Daudi Laizer, Margaret Adat and Riyaz Adat, without whom the project would never have got off the ground and developed into the ongoing and growing project so close to our hearts today.
Indeed a project recognized and honoured by our Rotary colleagues in District 7070. At the district year end celebration, the club was awarded the Doug Dempsey Literacy Award for our work with the J. K. Nyerere Primary School in Arusha Tanzania. The District 7070 award is due to the great work of our Fellow Rotarian Margaret Adat. Her great team is joined by her husband Riyaz Adat, David Daudi Laizer, Ms Mlay and the Rotary Club of Willowdale.
David was surprised with this beautiful video produced by Riyaz. David was thrilled! Here is his response:
“I would like to thank all members of Rotary Club for your appreciation and for trusting me to be your representative to
J. K. Nyerere Primary School. I know that it was not easy for you to believe and to trust on that. I thank you a lot. may all mighty bless the work of your hands”
We are very proud of this project and of the awards presented to David, Margaret and the Rotary Club of Willowdale.
Paul Harris Award Presented to David Daudi Laizer & Doug Dempsey Literacy Award Presented to Rotary Club of Willowdale 2021-07-08 04:00:00Z 0

Past President Stephen Phillips

Rotary Club of Willowdale would like to extent it's utmost gratitude for all the great contributions we received in 2020-2021. We are at the end of another Rotary year, and It was an honour to serve you as President. I am handing over the GAVEL to our President Elect Chungsen Leung.

Thank you everybody for a beautiful Virtual Turn Over meeting on June 26th, 2021. This was our second one, and I sincerely hope we will have the next one in person with all our Fellow Rotarians.

It's an understatement to mention that it was a very tough year for many! The Pandemic was a big lesson for all of us. The Rotary Club of Willowdale suffered the loss of great members and partners. Jan, Deborah and Carol, we will miss you forever!

Despite it all, people contributed to our projects, and for that we are grateful. Because of your kind donations, our projects were successful and made a significant difference in the life of many in Canada and abroad.

Thank you for contributing to: our Ham & Cheese project benefiting North York Salvation Army, our first Rotary Foundation Virtual Walk, our Food Bank benefiting North York Harvest Food Bank, The Phillips House project at the North York General Hospital, The Arusha School project in Tanzania Africa, The Kerala Schools Project in India -- offering computers to 15 schools in 4 districts, our Gratitude Garden project honouring our front line workers, SMILES benefiting locals and people in the Dominican Republic, and many more projects we are proud of.

I have no doubt that our projects will continue to be successful in the very capable hands of our magnificent team and new board members. Thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity to serve you, and a big thank to my family for all the great support during this past unprecedented year.  Service Above All!

Past President Stephen Phillips 2021-07-08 04:00:00Z 0

Welcome to our new President and Board 2021-2022

One June 26th, 2021, Rotary Club of Willowdale held it's second virtual Turn Over event.
Our President Stephen Phillips handed over the gavel to President Elect, Chungsen Leung.
We welcome our new President Chungsen Leung and his Board of Directors 2021-2022:
Past President
Community Service
International Service
Foundation Chair
Membership Chair
Fundraising Chair
Club Administration
Assistant Treasurer
Public Imaging-Web Master
We are looking forward to continue navigating these special times we are living in, and we are counting on your support to continue with the good work. Our projects are important to our local communities as well as abroad.
Our committees are all set to go and our legacy projects are in good hands.

Working Committees:

Fund Raising

Heather Graeme (Chair/Coordinator)

Jobson Easow

Margaret Adat

John Simpson (Ham & Cheese)


Al Warren (Chair/Coordinator)

Bill King

Peter Vanek

International/Community Projects



Jobson Easow (Chair/Coordinator)

Margaret Adat

Heather Graeme

Environmental Initiatives

Stephen Philips (Chair/Coordinator)

Chungsen Leung

Technical Support (Virtual Meetings)

Al Warren


Legacy Projects:

Arusha, Tanzania - Margaret Adat

Kerela, India - Jobson Easow

Salvation Army (Literacy & Christmas Luncheon) - Dae-Gun Kim

Gratitude Garden - Heather Graeme

Scouts Peace Award (new) - Heather Graeme

Tree Planting (environmental) - Stephen Philips

Water Projects - Peter Vanek

70th Anniversary Celebration - Bill King (Coordinator) Stephen Philips


Thank you to our outgoing Board of Directors 2020-2021:
Past President
Community Service
International Service
Foundation Chair
Membership Chair
Fundraising Chair
Club Administration
Assistant Treasurer
Public Relations
Welcome to our new President and Board 2021-2022 2021-06-29 04:00:00Z 0

Successful Tree Give Away Project 2021

We are grateful to look back at a successful 2021 Tree Give Away event with our partner Bayview Village Association.
Thank you Heather and David for representing the Rotary Club of Willowdale during this event.

Successful Tree Give Away Project 2021 2021-06-29 04:00:00Z 0

Always in Our Hearts

ALWAYS IN OUR HEARTS Jan, Deborah and Carol.
Missing you big time! 2020-2021 was a tough one!
Always in Our Hearts 2021-06-29 04:00:00Z 0

The Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup Was Awesome!

Our Rotary Club of Willowdale had a great end of the year event to close with.
The Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup project was part of the District 7070 district conference last June 26th, 2021, and our members enjoyed making a difference in our environment.
The Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup Was Awesome! 2021-06-29 04:00:00Z 0

Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup June 26th 2021

JOIN THE ROTARY CLUB OF WILLOWDALE GREAT LAKES WATERSHED CLEANUP TEAM. The more the merrier! Saturday 26th June 14.00 – 17.00 hrs. This will be the final activity of the Rotary year 20/21. Location: East Don Parkland on Cummer where the Don River crosses under the road. Call us and join as a volunteer on our team.
Great Lakes Watershed Cleanup June 26th 2021 2021-05-31 04:00:00Z 0

J. K. Nyerere Primary School - Textbooks For All

For the first time ever the students of J. K. Nyerere Primary School now have text books for all standards and all subjects thanks to a very generous donor to the Rotary Club of Willowdale. Thank you to this generous soul.
Click on this link to watch video.
Rotary Club of Willowdale is very proud of all the great people working on this project's success in Arusha, in Canada and other countries. A special thanks to Fellow Rotarian Margaret with her family and friends, Fellow Rotarian Howard with his family and friends, and all Fellow Rotarian members contributing to this beautiful project. PEOPLE OF ACTION!
Click on this link to make donations to this project.
J. K. Nyerere Primary School - Textbooks For All 2021-05-31 04:00:00Z 0
Tree Give Away Event of Bayview Village Association & Rotary Club of Willowdale 2021-05-18 04:00:00Z 0
BVA News Featuring Gratitude Gardens 2021-05-18 04:00:00Z 0

Gratitude Gardens Project on the Radio

Rotary Club of Willowdale's Gratitide Gardens project dedicated to the frontline workers, was featured on CBC Radio One in the Metro Morning show. 
CBC's Mary Wiens interviewed Heather Graeme, the project leader, together with very exited frontline workers. Thank you to everybody for making this project a success. Your donation to continue creating Gratitude Gardens is highly appreciated.
Please visit our donation page on our website.
Gratitude Gardens Project on the Radio 2021-05-06 04:00:00Z 0

New Books - Happy Kids in Arusha

New Books - Happy Kids!
The students at the J. K. Nyerere Primary School in Arusha, Tanzania, are enjoying their new books donated by the Rotary Club of Willowdale in North York, Ontario, Canada.
This is the first time in the history of the school that there are adequate text books for every subject and every standard/grade. Many thanks to a generous friend of the Rotary Club of Willowdale who made this happen.
Your support is always appreciated. Many thanks to all our friends and all that kindly supports Rotary Club of Willowdale's projects. Many thanks to Riyaz and Margaret for putting together this beautiful video.
Please click on this link to watch the video.
New Books - Happy Kids in Arusha 2021-05-06 04:00:00Z 0
2021 Virtual Convention 2021-05-06 04:00:00Z 0
Enjoy The Construction Progress of 3 New Classrooms for J. K. Nyerere Primary School in Arusha, Tanzania 2021-04-24 04:00:00Z 0
First time adequate text books for every subject and every standard/grade 2021-04-24 04:00:00Z 0

The Gratitude Gardens Are In Bloom!

It is the wish of The Rotary Club of Willowdale, that all the frontline workers are smiling and feeling happy with the Gratitude Gardens blooming around their work places in North York. The Covid-19 pandemic brought a lot of hardship and sadness to the World. Our wish is to give hope through nature and feel that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
In the fall of 2020, led by our fellow Rotarian Heather Graeme, the Rotary Club of Willowdale created the Gratitude Gardens in the area of Leslie and Sheppard Avenues, and in the Maddie's Healing Garden at the Phillips House located at North York General Hospital.
Our wish is to bring cheer in the Spring of 2021 and beyond. The idea is to remind us of the dedication of all frontline workers in our community. Bringing cheer to all medical staff and essential workers in these stressful times, is something that is close to our hearts.
Rotary Club of Willowdale, with the help of Rotaract Club of Willowdale, planted narcissus bulbs in the fall of 2020 to bring some colour and cheer to those who have been in the frontline of the pandemic for more than a year. 300 bulbs were planted at Philipps House, part of NYGH. 1200 bulbs were planted at the medical building at 1333, Sheppard Avenue East.
This project was possible from donations made by the community and the Rotary family. All funds raised go back to community projects. Please support this project to show our gratitude.
You can still donate to this beautiful project and help us create more gardens around our community. Please go on our Donation page, and contribute by clicking on General Option and after filling in your details write in the comment box For The Gratitude Gardens. You can also go to this link: https://willowdalerotary.org/page/donate/
Thanks to The NYGH Hospital Foundation and Northwest Properties for partnering with us in this project.
The Gratitude Gardens Are In Bloom! 2021-04-15 04:00:00Z 0


For the first time ever the students of J. K. Nyerere Primary School now have text books for all standards and all subjects thanks to a very generous donor to the Rotary Club of Willowdale.
Rotary a Club of Willowdale is very proud of all the great people working on this project's success in Arusha, in Canada and many other countries around the World.
Click on the following link to watch the beautiful video made especially for us to enjoy the arrival of the books.
THE BOOKS ARE IN! 2021-04-06 04:00:00Z 0
Two Extra Classrooms Completed at Arusha School 2021-04-06 04:00:00Z 0


Rotary Club of Willowdale is happy to be part of the Kerala Schools Project in India.

A beautiful project of over $29,000 CAD: Computers for 15 flood affected schools to help rebuild their IT labs.

This project is lead by our fellow Rotarian Jobson Easow. With the help of many kind people in Canada and abroad, this project completed it's first phase by delivering the first computers to the schools that were affected by the devastating floods in Kerala, India.

In 2019 a committee was formed at the Rotary Club of Willowdale in Canada, to start a project to re-build computer labs in 15 schools in Kerala. A fundraising event was organized and got commitment/support from 7 clubs. Many meetings were conducted between Willowdale and Indian Rotary club. The project applied for RI grant but was not successful, and the team decided to do this project in 3 phases. We are also thankful that in 2020 Kerala Rotary partner up with Rajagiri outreach in India, and the first schools are well equipped now to start rebuilding their IT labs. The Fundraising event in Canada in 2019, organized by Rotary Club of Willowdale's Jobson Easow, raised $29,000 CA. The Kalamassery Rotary Club added $2,000 US to the project. in early 2021, the first phase of this 3 part project was delivered to the first 8 schools in Kerala.


This IT lab infrastructure support project will allow 15 Kerala schools to get connected again.


Kerala is a small coastal state at the southern tip of India and was an idyllic tourist paradise until it was ravaged by unprecedented floods. The fury and ferocity of the rain and resulting floods was devastating for Kerala. The last time a flood of this magnitude occurred was in 1924.

The current floods could be described as the ‘flood of the century’ and it claimed almost 500 lives. The floods have caused immeasurable misery and suffering for the people of Kerala and the scale of destruction and devastation in Kerala is massive. Entire villages have been evacuated and bridges, roads and other infrastructure have been completely destroyed. Over a million people were displaced and it will set Kerala back by decades, at least two according to experts. The damage is estimated in the range of USD 6 to 10 billion. More than 25,000 kilometres of roads along with over 200 bridges have been destroyed or damaged, while estimates of the number of houses to be rebuilt vary from 50,000 to 100,000.

Tourism and agriculture sectors in the state have been badly affected. Needless to say, many people have lost their livelihoods. It is estimated that over 3 million people have lost their livelihood. Several medical facilities in the state have been damaged and health authorities are concerned about the risk of communicable diseases as the flood water recedes.

Rotary Club Willowdale (Canada) with the help of Rotary Club Kalamassery (Kerala) had undertaken the initiative to re-build computer labs in 15 schools of 4 districts in 3 phases.

Happy to report that the Phase 1 of this project is completed. The first 8 schools received their IT lab equipment in early 2021. Awesome job everybody!

Gratitude Gardens 2020-2021 2021-03-05 05:00:00Z 0



Winter Issue Feb 2021


This project began by chance when a fellow Rotarian, Margaret Adat, took a family trip to Tanzania in 2007. As a family, they decided to donate to a local school, J.K. Nyerere Primary School. What happened next is a testament to the results people can achieve when they live and follow Service Above Self, one of Rotary’s two mottoes.

Picture: Crowded classrooms, shortage of books

Picture: Semi-completed classrooms

Pictures: Construction currently underway to build additional classroom

The Adat family did donate to J.K. Nyerere Primary School nearly 14 years ago. And the impact that visit had on them inspired them to ask friends, family, colleagues, community members and the Rotary Club of Willowdale to support students, teachers and the infrastructure of a once neglected school.

The impact that our club has made in thousands of students and family’s lives in Arusha is nothing short of incredible. Since 2013, the Rotary Club of Willowdale has raised over $100,000 in support of J.K. Nyerere Primary School. Some recent initiatives include:

· Completing the construction of 3 classrooms due to overcrowding

· Adding another water tank to provide adequate water

· Ongoing repairs, including painting and purchasing supplies (desks, blackboards, etc.)

· Finishing the construction of the teacher’s residence to improve the school’s security

· Feeding students during national examinations (Standard 4 and Standard 7)

During the most recent Standard 7, the entrance examination for secondary school, 99% of students from J.K Nyerere Primary School passed. The school is now ranked 36th in the school district, a leap forward from it’s previous ranking of 69th, and a clear indication that our efforts are making a difference.

Feeding grade 7 students during naTonal examination period.

Rotary Club of Willowdale is very proud of this project and would like to thank our fellow Rotarian Margaret Adat and family for leading this project since 2013 in an extraordinary manner. SERVICE ABOVE SELF!

Enjoy the J.K. Nyerere Primary School in Arusha video, and get inspired to help us keep their students' dreams alive.

Go to our Donate button on our home page and contribute to this beautiful project.




In a kind letter directed to our club's President, the SMILES Foundation recognized our Rotary Club of Willowdale for its contribution in 2020. Our club donated to SMILES Foundation for many years, and we are very proud to be considered a valued partner in their annual projects.
Highlights of Letter from SMILES Foundation to Rotary Club of Willowdale:
I wanted to personally reach out and express our gratitude for your generous donation in 2020. Your support has helped us continue the very important work with the less fortunate in the Dominican Republic. 

We have attached your 2020 Donor Recognition certificate that we hope you will print and proudly display in your office. 

As the world continues to go through unprecedented and challenging times, Smiles Foundation strives to keep up our operations in the Dominican Republic in the midst of the pandemic. 

I hope that together we can continue and make a difference shaping this world into a better place for everyone.  Thank you for your partnership... ...and your invaluable effort to better our humanity.

Director of Donor Relations and Communications

Over 38 Thousand Dollars Donated to NYG Foundation for The Phillips House & Maddie's Healing Garden

THANK YOU! Jan would be proud.
Over 38 thousand Canadian Dollars was recently presented to North York General Foundation for The Phillips House and Maddie's Healing Garden. A total of $36,165 plus $2,289 was raised, which last amount was directly send by kind people honouring Jan Siegel's wish for her funeral to donate to NYGH Foundation. The funds were raised within various Rotary clubs of district 7070 and private sector. This facility is the home of North York General Hospital's child and adolescent outpatient mental health program. Our beloved Immediate Past President Janis D. Siegel started this project in 2019. Jan passed away in July of 2020 after a courageous fight with cancer. The Phillips House project and the cheque ceremony was dedicated to Janis, honouring her great work and dedication to this project and many others.
In 2019 the Rotary Club of Willowdale, together with Rotary Club of North York and Rotary Club of York, presented this beautiful fundraising project to the Rotary District 7070, and many clubs joined to make this project a reality.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the planned Celebrity Dinner event could not take place on November 6th, 2020. A heartfelt and touching virtual cheque ceremony took place with just a few people outside of The Phillips House and many others from District 7070 joined via Zoom. 
Over 38 Thousand Dollars Donated to NYG Foundation for The Phillips House & Maddie's Healing Garden 2020-11-12 05:00:00Z 0

Successful Start Of Our New Project The Gratitude Gardens

Thank you everybody for helping us with our wonderful new project called The Gratitude Gardens.
This project is dedicated to all the frontline workers during this COVID-19 pandemic.
We had a great start planting outside at the North York General Hospital and at Maddie's Healing Garden located at NYGH's Phillips House. You can still donate to this project by going to our donation page.
Successful Start Of Our New Project The Gratitude Gardens 2020-11-12 05:00:00Z 0

Annual Ham and Cheese Fundraising Project

Rotary Club of Willowdale is ready for the holidays with our annual Ham and Cheese fundraising project.
Remember to order your Ham and Cheese from John by November 15th, 2020.
Annual Ham and Cheese Fundraising Project 2020-11-12 05:00:00Z 0
Help us collect Food Items for North York Harvest Food Bank 2020-11-12 05:00:00Z 0
Virtual Foundation Walk 2020-11-12 05:00:00Z 0
Bottle Drive Rotaract Club of Willowdale 2020-09-15 04:00:00Z 0

Have We Got a Tree For You

We could all use another tree in our yard, and the Bayview Village Association, along with The Rotary Club of Willowdale and The City of Toronto, is here to help.

A Freeman Maple in all its glory (photo courtesy of Connon Nurseries)

The Neighborhood Tree Giveaway Program, formally known as “Tree for Me,” supports the City of Toronto’s goal of reaching a 40% tree canopy cover by 2050.
​This year’s event will be held on Saturday, October 17, 2020, from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Forest Grove United Church, located at 43 Forest Grove Drive.

The “Neighborhood Tree Giveaway Program” program offers residents a free native tree that is best suited for their planting space and provides reference materials as well as a workshop on proper planting and care. To register go on EventBrite, at the following link.


A few facts about your free tree:
• The City of Toronto and Connon Nurseries provide all trees, which are native to Toronto’s seed zone and suited for our urban environment.
• Trees come in 1-2 gallon buckets and are small enough to carry on the TTC or sit in the back of a car.
• Residents will be limited to two trees (total) per address.
• Species of the trees/shrubs are subject to availability:
Large Trees: Freeman Maple, Ironwood, Hackberry
Medium Trees: Eastern Redbud
Shrubs: Purple Flowering Raspberry, Nannyberry, Service Berry, and Bush Honeysuckle.

Any questions about the program? Contact Sharon Johnson, BVA Environment Committee at environment@bayviewvillage.org.



Have We Got a Tree For You 2020-09-10 04:00:00Z 0


Dear Rotarians,

It our pleasure to announce to you that the African region has just been certified wild poliovirus-free.

Rotary members have played an invaluable role in the effort to rid the African region of wild polio. We should be proud of all the hard work that we’ve done to eliminate the wild poliovirus throughout Africa and in nearly every country in the world. 

This progress is the result of a decades-long effort across the 47 countries of the African region. It has involved millions of health workers traveling by foot, boat, bike and bus, innovative strategies to vaccinate children amid conflict and insecurity, and a huge disease surveillance network to test cases of paralysis and check sewage for the virus. 

Over the last two decades, countless Rotary members in countries across the African region and around the world have worked together to raise funds, immunize children, advocate with local and national leaders, and raise awareness about the importance of vaccination, enabling the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) to effectively respond to and stop polio outbreaks. 

This milestone is an incredible public health achievement for Rotary members, the African region, and our GPEI partners, and a huge step forward on the road to global polio eradication. But we still have important work to do in order to eradicate wild polio in the last two endemic countries.

We have faced many challenges in our journey to eradicate polio. But we’ve made remarkable progress, and the polio infrastructure that Rotarians helped build will serve as a lasting legacy that will continue to help protect vulnerable children against other diseases for decades to come.

We are calling on you today to recommit yourselves to ending polio. We need each and every one of you to help finish this fight and continue raising $50 million each year for PolioPlus. The eradication of wild polio in the African region shows us that polio eradication is achievable, and shows how our hard work, partnerships and financial commitment continue to propel us forward, even during a global pandemic.

Thank you for your continued efforts, for achieving a wild polio-free African region, and for remaining committed to fulfilling our promise of a polio-free world.

Holger Knaack, President, Rotary International
K.R. Ravindran, Chair, The Rotary Foundation

Rotary International President Holger Knaack and Nigeria National PolioPlus Chair Dr. Tunji Funsho congratulate Rotarians on eradicating wild polio in the African Region. Watch here.

Deborah, you will be missed.

With her devoted husband of 42 years at her side, Deborah Harriet Chute passed away on 1st September, 2020, in her 73rd year, at Mackenzie Health hospital in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Deborah was born in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia in 1947 to Ronald and Brenda Chute. She is the beloved wife of Chungsen Leung, dear mother of Elysia and partner Jason Dahl.  She is remembered by her brother John. Deborah will be deeply missed by many relatives, friends, members of the Cummer Avenue United Church, North American Native Plants Society and the Richmond Hill Garden and Horticultural Society.  Deborah is an Earth Enthusiast constantly striving to protect, preserve and promote: native plants, wild bees and butterflies.

The visitation will be at Chapel Ridge Funeral Home & Cremation Centre, 8911 Woodbine Avenue, Markham, Ontario on Thursday, September 10, 2020 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm and again from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. We request all attendees to wear a mask at the visitation. The ushers will ensure adequate physical distancing for the safety of all.  A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date when it is safe for all of us to meet in person.

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to the following organizations and causes that are dear to Deborah. 

  • Cummer Avenue United Church (www.cummeravenueuc.ca), Online donation is available through www.canadahelps.ca.
  • North American Native Plant Society (www.nanps.org), Online donation is available through www.canadahelps.ca.
  • Mackenzie Health Hospital (www.mackenziehealth.ca), Online donation is available at their website.
  • Richmond Hill Garden and Horticultural Society (www.richmondhillgardensociety.org). Online donation is not available.  Please mail your cheque to:  David Biench, c/o Treasurer for Richmond Hill Garden & Horticulture Society, 14 Westpoint Crt. Richmond Hill, Ontario. L4B 2V6
Deborah, you will be missed. 2020-09-03 04:00:00Z 0

Gratitude Gardens: A unique project for Frontline Workers

Bring a smile to all Frontline Workers during the Pandemic of 2020. The Rotary and Rotaract Clubs of Willowdale will be planting bulbs in the Fall of 2020 to create Gratitude Gardens in the area of Leslie and Sheppard Avenues.
Our wish is to bring cheer in the Spring of 2021 and remind us of the dedication of all Frontline workers in our community. We need your donations now. Please go on our Donation page and contribute by clicking on General Option and after filling in your details write in the comment box For The Gratitude Garden.https://willowdalerotary.org/page/donate/
Gratitude Gardens: A unique project for Frontline Workers Uka Marchena 2020-08-19 04:00:00Z 0

Letter From The President of Rotary International

Greetings, fellow Rotarians and Rotaractors!

I am so honored to serve as your president this year. We have important work ahead of us at Rotary, and we are going to have a lot of fun as we do it. 

Last year, we launched our five-year Action Plan to build a stronger future for Rotary. We are working to increase our impact, expand our reach, enhance participant engagement, and increase our ability to adapt. The last several months have shown that we — as Rotarians and Rotaractors — can realize these goals as we forge a new path for the future.

Without question, COVID-19 has posed new and previously unimaginable challenges for Rotary. But within every challenge is perhaps an even greater opportunity. And while I could not have known what lay ahead when I selected my theme for the year, Rotary Opens Opportunities has even greater relevance as we begin our new Rotary year.


I am incredibly inspired by how our members have adapted and responded to COVID-19. This global pandemic has made it difficult for many of our clubs to operate as usual, but we persevered, and over the past few months, I’ve enjoyed connecting with my fellow Rotarians and Rotaractors in a new way: by visiting hundreds of clubs from my home. It’s been fun to attend so many meetings virtually. If you haven’t already, I encourage your club to try an online meeting or add an online component, like hosting a guest speaker from a Rotary or Rotaract club located in a different part of the world.


As we build a stronger future for our organization, it’s good that we are reaching out to new people and introducing them to Rotary. It’s important that our clubs reflect the communities we serve. More diverse voices in our clubs and in our leadership will help Rotary stay in touch with a changing world.

So let’s find every opportunity to show we value each and every member. Let’s seize this moment to build on what we’ve learned, to embrace our new reality, to welcome new faces, and to find additional ways to shine. This is how we will have a continuing impact on the world. And if you need assistance along the way, Rotary offers many resources that can help you reach your goals.

Rotary means different things in different parts of the world, but we are all united by our core values and by The Four-Way Test. Rotary may change, but our values remain constant.

I look forward to hearing about how you’re finding new opportunities to engage and make an impact in your club and community. Rotary Opens Opportunities, both for the people we serve and for ourselves.

Thank you.

Holger Knaack
RI President, 2020-21

Letter From The President of Rotary International 2020-08-18 04:00:00Z 0
Mark Chipman District 7070 Governor 2020-2021 2020-08-18 04:00:00Z 0


Rotaract Club of Willowdale names

"Smiles In Action"

their Number One Community Service Project in 2020-21

This article was published in the August 2020 Rotary District 7070 Newsletter

The Rotaract Club of Willowdale decided to make the "Smiles In Action" program their number one Community Services project for 2020/2021 and beyond, as both groups have forged a meaningful partnership for fostering goodwill,  making an impact is our communities and opening doors for opportunities.The Smiles Foundation is a non-profit institution with its seat in Canada, based in the United States and in the Dominican Republic. Their goal is to provide life-enhancing activities, dental care and primary health care education to children in the Dominican Republic, free of charge, as well as to offer underprivileged communities tools to develop and improve their health, environment, and safety through our educational and social enterprise programs. Here area a few images of the new Mobile Clinic in the Dominican Republic.  The clinic was used only a few times before we had to close it due to COVID - 19. 668 children got treated in it and a few thousand family members received primary health care and dental education. 

For more on this organization, please get in touch with Courtney Doldron at the Rotary Club of Willowdale (at csdoldron@rogers.com)

Smiles In Action: 2727 Steeles Avenue West, Suite 301, Toronto, Ontario, M3J 3G9, Canada
Canadian Charitable Organization Registration # 86854 4362 RR0001
T: (416) 739 1237 - - smilesinaction@smilesfoundation.org - - www.smilesinaction.org

SMILES IN ACTION 2020-08-05 04:00:00Z 0

Information on Jack Marshall's Funeral

Jack Marshall, age 96, died peacefully on July 23, 2020 at Sunnybrooke Veterans Centre, Toronto, his home for the past 4 1/2 years. He was the adoring husband of Audrey for 69 years until her death in 2012, and the surviving older brother to Keith, Joan and Ted (2019). Survived by sisters in law Loreen Scales and Anita Marshall. Jack was father to Patricia Bangay (Garth), Janice Henty and Lesley Willox (Rob); grandfather to Alyson (Gilles), Meghan (Chris), Meredith, Jessica (Chris), Jeremy (Sarah), Liam and Sarah; great grandfather to Isabelle, Olan, Oliver, Carys, Peter, Matthew, Julianna, Ben and Walter

Jack served as a navigator in a Halifax Bomber during WWII, returning to Canada and to his wife Audrey in 1945. He opened his own chartered accountancy business in Willowdale which later merged with Thorne Riddell, then KPMG. Jack became a well known member of the community and a committed member of the Willowdale Rotary Club, serving as their treasurer for many years. The club awarded him Rotarian of the Year 1989-1990 and he was a Paul Harris fellow. Jack was a man of strong ethics who worked tirelessly until his retirement in 1986. In retirement, he donated his expertise as church treasurer to St Patrick’s Anglican Church, played bridge, golf, and enjoyed social events with Audrey and friends in both Canada and Florida.

We would like to thank all the people over the years who have shown such kindness to Jack, including niece Catherine, and companion Dawn. There are too many to mention, but all of the staff at Sunnybrooke Veterans’ Centre are to be gratefully thanked for their exceptional care of Jack. Their commitment to excellence is beyond measure.

A private graveside service will held on July 26th, you are welcome to join the family remotely by following the link below:


The family ask that any donations in his memory be given to Rotary International.

Rest eternal grant unto him Oh Lord.

Information on Jack Marshall's Funeral 2020-07-27 04:00:00Z 0

Information on Jan Siegel's Funeral

IPP Jan Siegel of the Rotary Club of Willowdale Funeral Services will take place at 11:00am on Monday the 27th of July, 2020 from the graveside of Pardes Chaim. Due to social distancing and Covid-19 restrictions, only immediate family members are permitted to enter the grounds for the funeral services. The services will be live streamed, and you may google Benjamin Park Memorial, then go to Jan Siegel's name, and you will be instructed how to get to the live stream.

Details of the services are listed in the newspaper and on Benjamin's website. You can view the funeral by going to benjaminsparkmemorialchapel.ca and scroll down to Current Listings, click on Siegel Janis, then on the YouTube link provided on her page.


Jan's request is to have all donations made out to NYGH Foundation in care of Phillips House & Maddie's Healing Garden.

AG Courtney Doldron D7070
RC of Willowdale

Information on Jan Siegel's Funeral 2020-07-26 04:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Willowdale is mourning the loss of one of the club founders, Jack Marshall.

Rotary Club of Willowdale is in mourning for one of the founders of our club, Jack Marshall age 96, who passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 23rd, 2020.
Jack was a kind hearted person always ready to serve the community. Jack was at Sunnybrook in the Veterans Wing when he passed away. Jack was an honorary member and joined Rotary in 1958. He was a professional Accountant and among other, served often as a treasurer in the Board of Directors.
In the name of all our members and our President Stephen Phillips, we extend our deepest condolences to Jack's family.
Jack was a remarkable Rotarian. Fellow Rotarian Jack, you will be missed. We love you Jack. Rest in Peace.

Our Fellow Rotarian Howard Back wrote the following letter in honour of FR Jack Marshall:
Jack Marshall passed away on Thursday, July 23, 2020. Jack joined the Rotary Club of Willowdale on August 1, 1958 and was elected an Honorary Member of the Club. He was a Chartered Professional Accountant and served as Club Treasurer for many years.

Jack was extremely proud to be a Rotarian. His personal and professional life exemplified the ideals of Rotary. He was always an active participant in Club projects and social activities. He and his wife, Audrey, regularly played bridge with their Rotarian friends, the Dobsons, the Johnstons, the Ellises, the Griffiths and others.

He operated an accounting practice in village of Willowdale and eventually became a partner of KPMG. He was proud of his profession. He was equally proud of his service with the RCAF in Europe during World War II. He has lived in the Veterans Centre of the Sunnybrook Hospital for the past several years.

Due to his health, we have missed Jack’s attendance at the Club’s meetings with his friendly smile and a word of encouragement to new and long-time members. Above all, Jack was a true gentleman. We will never forget his service to our country and to Rotary.


Rotary Club of Willowdale is mourning the loss of one of the club founders, Jack Marshall. 2020-07-25 04:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of Willowdale is heartbroken for the passing of our Immediate Past President, Jan Siegel.

Today, July 25th, 2020, at 7:26 AM, our Immediate Passed President Jan Siegel passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Her husband, Courtney Doldron Assistant Governor Rotary District 7070, was with her at the moment of her passing. Our Rotary Club of Willowdale is heartbroken for this loss of an exceptional human being!
Jan, age 71, was a warm, loving and kind hearted person, always ready to help by showing true action and literally serving the community above herself until the very end. Our club members extend our deepest condolences to her husband Fellow Rotarian Courtney Doldron, their children, grand children and family: Ashley and Kevin Todoroff with their children Harper and Pyton, Tiffany and Justin McMillan, Whitney and Martin Dowers with their children Aaron and Jacob. Jan was a devoted mother and grandmother. She was the loving step-mother of Melissa, dear sister and sister-in-law of Pam and Guy, devoted step-grandmother of Azhar, loving aunt of Brendan and Pam, and Morgan and Trudy.
We love you Jan! We will miss you tremendously. It was a privilege to know you and serve the community with you. Rest in Peace. 
Our President Stephen Phillips presents the following letter in honour of Jan Siegel at this heartbroken moment in our club:

It was with untold sadness that I learned from Courtney of Past President Jan’s death. Jan passed away at 7.26 am this morning, 25th July 2020.

Jan was one of the bravest and most capable persons that I have had the privilege to know and count amongst my friends. She had an outstanding mind. She was brave in every sense and in every action that she took. She was a brilliant President of the Rotary Club of Willowdale. Jan and Courtney together, as a fantastically capable team brought an untold energy to our Club and set the achievement bar so high that future Presidents will live in their shadow for many years to come.

Jan brought up three wonderful and capable girls and was able to briefly enjoy the adoration of her grandchildren, all of whom will miss her tremendously for the rest of their lives.

I am truly thankful that I was privileged to share Jan as a part of my life and my love and best wishes go to Courtney and all the family in the hope that they can now start to rebuild their lives.

I am sure that Jan would not want us to mourn, so it is now incumbent on all of us to step up and give to the Rotary Club of Willowdale, in every sense, as Jan would have expected us to do.

I mourn Jan and will miss her terribly.


Rotary Club of Willowdale is heartbroken for the passing of our Immediate Past President, Jan Siegel. Uka Marchena 2020-07-25 04:00:00Z 0
A look at Jan Siegel's amazing 2019-2020 President Year of the Rotary Club of Willowdale 2020-07-25 04:00:00Z 0

Community Building with Rotary Club of Willowdale & NYGH  

The Phillips House and Maddie’s Healing Garden

Rotary Club of Willowdale is organizing their annual Community Building Fundraising Event, and this year the Phillips House and Maddie's Healing Garden at North York General Hospital will be the recipients of the funds raised during the Celebrity Dinner on November 6th, 2020.

The theme of the project is Community Building, with a concentration on Youth Mental Health and specifically Eating Disorder. The fundraising event will be a special Celebrity Dinner and Silent Auction. This year the dinner will be held at the Grand Luxe Event Boutique on Bayview Avenue in North York, and you can also become a sponsor.
Community Building with Rotary Club of Willowdale & NYGH Uka Marchena 2020-07-21 04:00:00Z 0
Annual Luncheon December 19, 2019 Uka Marchena 2019-12-04 05:00:00Z 0 Fund Raising Event,Help the Children,Holiday Event,Reading Program,Rotary Club of Willowdale,Salvation Army,School Program,Yorkwoods

New Meeting venue for Rotary Club of Willowdale

Posted by Rotary Club of Willowdale on Nov 14, 2019
Rotary Club of Willowdale will be meeting from Nov. 21 onward at the Grand Luxe Event Boutique, 3125 Bayview Ave. ( Between Finch Avenue E and Sheppard Avenue E) for our future meetings. 
New Meeting venue for Rotary Club of Willowdale Rotary Club of Willowdale 2019-11-14 05:00:00Z 0
65th anniversary 2017-05-10 04:00:00Z 0
The beginning of the Rotary Club of Willowdale John Maas 0

The Rotary Club of Willowdale was chartered in 1952

Posted by John Maas

The Rotary Club of Willowdale was chartered on May 1st, 1952, with the approval of Rotary International and became part of District 7070. Rotary is an organization that represents about 1.2 million Rotarians in 30,000 clubs in 162 countries around the world.

Our club has over 50 members from many different walks of life. We represent many of the professions and businesses in Willowdale. Women have been encouraged to join our club for a dozen years.

Some of our traditions in the Rotary Club of Willowdale include: - Regular attendance at the weekly Thursday lunch meetings is encouraged in order to keep in touch with Rotary friends and Rotary projects.

If a member is travelling, he/she can attend any other Rotary club and receive credit for make-up attendance. Many Rotarians take pride in regular attendance. One member of our club has more than fifty-four years of perfect attendance.

Over the years the Club has started, sponsored or started many projects both local and international. Some the project descriptions can be found in the "Our Club at Work" article.

At nearly every meeting we have a guest speaker that present events happening at their particular organization or on current affairs. A few months after a new member joins our club, he or she is asked to give a classification talk at a lunch meeting, with a brief summary of his/her life history, vocation and connection to Rotary. It also gives the new member an opportunity to promote and advertise the particular business or industry they are in.

The Rotary Club of Willowdale was chartered in 1952 John Maas 0