Years 2011-2013

A Brief History of the Dryden STO/RTO/ERO

Part Nine: 2011-2013

2011 - Last fall John Borst made a presentation to the District Executive about the Amarok Society, a group founded by the Munro family to help mothers in the slums of the capital of Bangladesh to improve their lot in life by learning English He made the presentation to the membership at the February Luncheon. In partnership with the Dryden Rotary, a dinner was arranged for the Dryden Cultural and Training Centre where Mr. Munro spoke and showed slides. The event was well attended and well supported ($ 2,000 was raised) and a provincial Project Service to Others Grant was received to the tune of $ 4,000 for this project. John Borst approached the Webkinz Foundation and secured an additional $ 5,000. In total the amount raised was equivalent to 1.5 Amarok “Mothers” schools. The new President of District 35 RTO/ERO was Marilyn Tinkess. Unit 2 (Red Lake) President Dennis Gushulak welcomed new retiree Angela McLaren to the fold. A number of new retirees joined the ranks of District 35 RTO/ERO this year including Doug Bergman, Max Bernauer, Leanna Bullock, Susan Kobelka, Beverly Kupper, Angela McLaren, Althea McMonagle, Kaylene Rourk, Lise Turbide Bibeau and Valerie Spoozak. Guest speaker at the March Luncheon was Allyson Coogin, Executive Director of Hoshizaki House, who told us about the short and long term programs offered to the women and children experiencing domestic abuse. When John Borst learned that the plush toy given to each child when they arrived at Hoshizaki House was usually taken with them when they left and that it costs Hoshizaki House a considerable sum to replace these plush toys (on average 200 toys a year), John contacted GANZ, the maker of the Webkinz plush pets, and he was able to acquire, at no cost, 216 such toys for Hoshizaki House (retail value$ 2,500). With warmer temperatures in April it was appropriate that Anne Sikkema, former Vice Chair of the National Award winning Dryden Communities in Bloom Committee, was the guest speaker on “Container Gardening”. A damp golf tournament in June did not deter members from participating in the game and lunch organized by Frank & Susan Clarke at the Evergreen Golf Course. Thelma and Barry Sampson, District 35’s “World Travellers,” had their “Destinations” illustrated article on their “Explorations in France” reprinted in the May District 35 Newsletter. Gordon Cressy, Director of Advancement and Fundraising for RTO/ERO Charitable Foundation [to create a Chair of Geriatric Research at the University of Toronto] presented a very interesting talk on why we should support a research chair which is designed and intended to help seniors. Guest speakers in the fall included Stephanie Cran, Health Educator at the Northwestern Health Unit speaking on the “Locavore” intitiative (eating food grown and produced in the local area) at the September luncheon. Judith Hamilton spoke about the Dryden Area Cultural Partnership at the October Luncheon, Bill Hovi, Chair of the Dryden Youth Justice Committee, spoke on that committee’s role and John Borst talked about social media networking. This year we tied for second place in the Member Recruitment competition. The retirement Planning Workshop in October drew 25 participants. Condolences were sent to the families of Suzanne Borst, Larry Guenther, Paul Hampton and Johanna Burgstahler.

2012 – Marilyn Tinkess continued as District 35 President. When Marg Ogilvie moved out of the area the position of 2nd Vice remained vacant, as did the position of Political Advocacy when Geraldine Savian moved to the Member Services position. John Borst volunteered to take on the newly created District 35 executive position of Charitable Foundations. Donna Gereben volunteered to take photos at the luncheons for the Website. New members this year included Alana Bartlett, Ada Carlucci, Suzanne Chartier-White, Cliff Fuerst, Marian Furkalo, Joan Henderson, Shelley Jordbro, Micheline Lovenuk, Gordon Lundmark, Jeannie McMaster, Elaine Morris, Brenda Patterson, Janice Radburn, Margot Saari, Christine Scime, and in Red Lake, Dale Untucht and Margaret Vermette. The annual District 35 Golf tournament organized by Frank and Susan Clarke was well-attended as usual. Former D.H.S. Vice Principal, Harry McMaster, was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his years of dedication to the Dryden High School Athletics Program. The October Retirement Planning Workshop drew 28 participants. Robyn Kunza was a new voice with the Dryden Phoning Committee. Guest speakers at the fall District 35 RTO/ERO luncheons included Carrie Rafter of the Red Cross speaking on “Personal Disaster Preparedness” and Olga Sampara on “After Care” by the Patricia Regional Senior Services. District 35 RTO/ERO membership had reached 223. The province boasted 67,066 members. Condolences were sent to the families of Herb Lindsay, Helen Semeniuk, Gerry Hayden, Winnifred Coutts, Diane Chappell, Dennis Bloomfield and Bob Conner (of Red Lake).

2013 – Peter Andrusco became the District 35 President this year. A change in Executive positions occurred after Christmas, 2012, when Julie Dzeoba stepped down after many years as the Phoning Committee Chair and Luncheons’ Chair. Past President, Judith Hamilton, stepped in to take over this responsibility, assisted by Elaine Morris. New members welcomed to the Dryden District 35 RTO/ERO included Judy Benham, Alice Bloomfield, Carol Favot, Gail Goldrup, Loretta Hayden, Sheryl Hoshizaki, Mary Mennell, Eugene Palko, Pat Ross, Susan Sheridan, and Michele Wyndels. Numbers at the fall Retirement Workshop were down this year – perhaps there were fewer people coming up to retirement. Peter Andrusco delivered a “Wellness Workshop” power point presentation at the Dryden Seniors’ Centre in October. The annual District 35 RTO/ERO Christmas luncheon was held at the Dryden Cultural Centre. Live music with a Christmas theme was enjoyed by the members. In the past, performers have included Tom Veal, Paul Hampton and the Denby’s. Beautiful centre pieces created by a group of very talented ladies including Shirley Cole, Lucille Ayers, Judy Thorley, Pat Donahue, Gerry Powell, Lea Bullock, Trish Cook and Judith Hamilton were given out as door prizes at the conclusion of the meal. At the annual Patricia Gardens birthday party for residents having birthdays in January, Sharon Allan-Riives played the piano while other District 35 RTO/ERO members joined in the Sing-A-Long. Condolences were sent to the families of Doug Bergman, Alan Best, Dave Benham and Hank Parks.