February Newsletter

March 2014
Number 1ofThe
41 41
of District
Chris Rainsforth
Ron Ellsworth
519- 765-4328
District 41 Student Award
Wayne Grosvenor and
Fran Wren
Presentation of Student
Award Honor
Marg Hulls thanked the membership for choosing her as the first recipient of
the District 41 Student Scholarship Award. Marg had chosen to provide a
Spirited Student Award at Dutton­Dunwich P.S. She highlighted some of the
students who received the $100.00 award over the past five years. Marg felt
truly honoured to have been able to make these presentations to some very
special young people. The executive chose Fran Wren as the next recipient of
the District 41 Student Scholarship. We wanted to recognize Fran for her
leadership in recruiting new members and in promoting our Service to Others
program. Through her efforts we have made many meaningful donations to
worthy causes. Most of all, we wanted to salute Fran for being a terrific
motivator, mentor and cheer leader for all our members. Fran will now
choose the school(s) and what criteria the scholarship will represent.
Congratulations, Fran.
Introducing Wellness Day Keynote Speaker--Steve Brinder
Not only is Steve Brinder one of Canada’s finest stand-up comedians, he is one of the
nicest people you will ever meet. His warm engaging personality is reflected in his
performing. Steve is a person of many talents. As well as being a stand up comedian
Steve is a school teacher, a TV host, a TV reporter and an actor. His acting ability
makes his stories come alive with the many characters that inhabit his routines. He has
a keen observational eye, impeccable timing and devastating wit. Full of energy and full
of life, Steve is a joy to watch on stage. Steve has performed at the Evening At The
Improv (Los Angeles, A & E Networks), Cityline (reporter CITY TV) Breakfast Television ( reporter CITY
TV) Just Kidding (Host CTV) Grumps (Host Men TV), The Martin and Lewis Story (Lead Actor CBS
Movie of the Week), Winnipeg Comedy Festival (performer CBC) ,Halifax Comedy Festival, and
numerous community, corporate, and educational functions. He has performed with Jim Carrey, Jay
Leno, Howie Mandel, Sean Hayes, Ryan Styles, Alan Alda and Keannu Reeves among others. Steve
believes that we are all connected, sharing common experiences from childbirth, school, teenage angst,
break ups and marriage. He touches on all these subjects in his material. Steve is fascinated by the
reasons people act the way they do and searches for ways we can make life fuller. He touches on
some of the most elemental truths. The values we learned in school are still important to us as adults in
both our social relationships and in our professional lives. Steve still continues to teach occasionally
because he finds the students ground him and, of course, teaching continues to generate fresh material.
No one has a better time performing on stage than Steve.
Put October 19th on your calendar for this year’s edition of
He is the real deal.
Wellness Day Registrations should be out in time for the AGM.
Get yours in early!
Assets at January 1
General Ledger Balance
Other assets:_________________________
Total Assets
Bilingual Services
Project - Service to Others
Retirement Planning Workshops
Interest on Bank Balance and Investments
Total Revenue:
District Goodwill
Bilingual Services
Project - Service to Others
Provincial Workshops
Newsletter (mailings, printing, postage)
Office expenses
(bank charges, faxes, photocopies, stamps, stationery,
telephone etc.)
Retiree Receptions
Retirement Planning Workshops
Political Advocacy
Other Expenses
Member Activities
Total Expenses
A) Assets + Revenue - Expenses:
Assets at December 31
General Ledger balance
Other assets:
B) Total Assets
Political Advocacy
Uncashed Cheques
The Final Bell Rang for the
RTO Members
Judi Dees Nov 2014
(John) Keith Falconer Nov 2014
Elsie Heeney Nov 2014
Barb Langley Jan 2015
In 2015, Political Advocacy will continue to work
with the LHIN and the hospitals to advocate for
We are very concerned about wind turbines and
the effect on the environment. I missed a meeting
from the opponents of wind turbines in December, but
you can go on-line at [email protected] to receive
information. The Doc Zone has a program "Wind
Rush" that maybe played again on CBC or by looking
at the website http://www.youtube.com.
Another concern is smart meters. Several
thousand smart meters have been ordered to be
removed from Ontario properties over concerns they
could start fires.
Hopefully, you"ll get a chance on Wednesday May
6 to attend our business meeting with Steve Peters.
Steve has been the executive director of Ontario food
processors. He will leave Food and Beverage in
February for a new destination. He plans to establish
an estate auction house. He is an avid historian and
collector. Please make an effort on May 6 to go to
Sheddon to hear him. I had an opportunity when he
was MPP to get a tour of Queens Park. It was
This year, there will an election in the fall on
October 19th for our Prime Minister. We hope to be
involved in the all candidates meeting.
I had the opportunity to listen to Peter Devlin, who
is the President of Fanshawe College. They have an
average of 35 to 40 thousand students attending St.
Thomas, Simcoe and London. They offer health and
human service programs to state-of-the-art technical
programs. They have a 100% employment rate for
the Aviation Program. It was a very impressive talk
with attendance at Fanshawe increasing dramatically
since 2008 at their St.Thomas/Elgin campus.
Any time you have a
concern or a pressing
local issue, please
contact me. We still
need more volunteers
to advocate for seniors.
Project Service to Others
The “Comfort Pack” project initiated by several RTO/ERO members and sponsored through the
Service to Others Grant from RTO/ERO is rolling right along. In December, two volunteer “ Super
Shoppers” searched out the best prices for personal toiletries, comfort socks , toques, T-shirts,
hand warmers etc. This project drew many donations from the community as well. Fifty backpacks
were initially purchased. Miraculously, twenty one donated backpacks appeared at the Inn door
near Christmas. With word of the project spreading, a local dentist donated toothbrushes; several
seniors had their birthday funds donated to the “Inn out Of the Cold” for the Comfort Packs and one
interested person approached a company to donate gym bags and T-shirts in the future.
While “Service To Others” stated the initiative, the caring attitude of RTO/ERO members has spread
throughout the community .The “Inn Guests” have appreciated the comforts which include snack
bars, vouchers for “Talbot House”, a lunch café run by CMHA and Food Cards. At the local library,
“Inn Guests” borrow donated books on a guest card (no fines).Those cards, along with information
on Mental and Social Health agencies are included in the Comfort Packs.
A sheet outlining the contents of the packs has been designed to assist in replacing short supplies
as needed. A local Boy Scout Cub Pack energetically packed the fifty packs and is ready to help
again. This exciting project has been beneficial to those in need and also for those wishing to give
to others.
The members of District 41 are so appreciative of the opportunity to apply for grants through
Service to Others to assist them in their endeavours to work for the good of their community and
possibly change lives.
The program started in 1999.Over the years District 41 have been successful in receiving grants to
assist in the following projects:
Families in Action: Parents and Teens Program
Building Community Links: Violence Against Women Services
CASO Station: Window Restoration
Tents for Tyrconnell Heritage Society: Backus Page Education Days
Backpack Program for Readers at the Children’s Library
Relive the Talbot Settlement: Celebrating 200 Years
Dinner at our House: Ronald McDonald House
World Camp: Pearce Williams Christian Centre
Capital Fundraising: Creating a Teen Centre in St.Thomas
Talbot Teen Centre: Adventure’s Program
Comfort Packs: Inn Out of the Cold
Please contact our executive if you know of a project in which RTO/ERO members are involved and
may qualify for a STO grant.
A huge “thank you” to all of you who volunteer and make our community a more caring place to live.
Many of you are busy behind the scenes and you make good things happen for others …just as you
did in your careers. To Sandy Westaway and the “Inn Out Of The Cold” volunteers-thank you for
your extraordinary gift of service.
Respectfully submitted by Fran Wren
Curling Funspiel
Neither snow nor frigid temperatures could deter the retired teachers
from showing their prowess on the curling ice. With the help of a few
volunteers, we were able to fill six sheets of ice, with a mixture of
seasoned curlers and raw rookies. All the games were close and there
was lots of help for the first timers. Several of the RTO members were
impressed enough with the game to inquire about possible membership
in the St Thomas Curling Club. The games were exciting with plenty of
great shots and a few lucky ‘plan B’s. It was a day of good fellowship,
solid exercise and a delicious lunch catered by the Senior Men of the
Curling Club. Thanks to the 50/50 draw a few people went home a little
richer and six lucky women took home vases of purple tulips. Everyone
seemed happy with the one six end format and the invitation to go back
out for six more was greeted with groans. There will be a few sore
muscles but most people managed to stay on their feet except for the
odd swan dive when a newbie forgot to let go of the curling rock.
Congratulations to everybody, and thank-you for your support.
John McIntyre shows
that skips really can
Jennifer Schuster, Lee Dufty
and Mary MacVicar excitedly
watch their rock slide into the
house as Dave Morris tries to
sweep it out.
Marg McKay, Marja Southerst and
Carol Gagen sweep a rock into the
house as Jody Kline watches
Judy Thorner sets
the target
Sherry Rosevear and Kathy Orsi
discuss strategy.
The most recent edition of Renaissance featured several articles on RTO/ERO members’ bucket lists.
Although I don’t have a bucket list per say, I try as Simon Leibovitz stated to “live each day to the fullest
and try to have fun while doing so”. This winter edition of Renaissance brought to mind an article I had
read some time ago regarding the top five deathbed regrets, as outlined by a palliative care nurse. I
certainly hope that you and I are nowhere near our death beds. However, as we enter the year 2015,
may I suggest you give some thought to the following regrets as one plans activities and actions for this
coming year.
Death has been called the ultimate equalizer. Money, social standing and physical appearance
become irrelevant in death. But that’s not the only way we become one, on our deathbeds. According
to one nurse, many of us share the same regrets.
I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. Most
people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices
they had made, or not made.
I wish I didn’t work so hard. This came from every male patient that this nurse cared for. They
missed their children’s youth and their partnership’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret.
Men particularly regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
I wish I had the courage to express my feelings. Many people suppress their feelings in order to
keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they
were truly capable of becoming.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that
they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving
friendships the time and effort that they deserved.
I wish that I had let myself be happier. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice.
They had stayed in old patterns and habits. The so-called “comfort” of familiarity overflowed into their
emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their
selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in
their lives again.
During 2015, hopefully you will take the time and opportunities
to live your life to the fullest and enjoy the companionship of
those around you.
If you died tomorrow – would you have any regrets?
I hope not!
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy, healthy New Year. Hopefully spring is early
and the crocus are starting to peek through the ground as we are heading back the first part of April. I
hope that Steve Peters will be a great draw and we will have many of you come to the Spring Fling and
AGM. Wellness Day is already in the planning stages and perhaps you will have the time in October to
participate. Snowbirds are able to have their Out of Country Insurance extended to 93 days. What a
$$ saver for those who had to supplement travel at additional costs.
Travel opportunities while in good health is so important.
(It will keep you young, that's my story and I am sticking to it.)
Take care and see you in the Spring.
RTO Christmas Dinner
The annual Christmas feast was held at the Senior’s Centre on December the 10th.
Over one hundred of our retired teachers gathered to renew friendships with
colleagues and celebrate the season. The day was highlighted by a moving
performance by Kathy Luyden and her junior choir from St. Anne’s school. With
students accompanying them on the piano, violin, guitar and drums; the students sang
three beautiful Christmas pieces. What talent! The Centre’s Christmas decorations
and the thirty bright and beautiful poinsettias gave the room a festive air. The
poinsettias were later delivered to our RTO members who were unable to attend.
During the program, Sandy Westaway updated us on the success of our backpack
program at the Library as well as our recent STO project providing needed essentials
to the less fortunate through Inn Out of the Cold. We can be very proud of our
involvement and contributions to both programs.
Dates to Remember 2015
- April Information re 2015 Scholarships https://www1.johnson.ca/article/2013-02-27/scholarship
- April 30th, 2015 - Deadline for Lunch Tickets for AGM
- May 6th, 2015
- Spring Fling and AGM
- September 8th, 2015 - Forget the Bell Breakfast
- September TBA Golf Tournament- Dutton
- December 9th, 2015 - Christmas Dinner
TIME: AGM 10:30 -11:30 ALL WELCOME
Steve Peters
$ 23.00 - NON-MEMBER
Lunch Registration No Later Than
April 30, 2015
$ 18.00
TOTAL ____________________
$ 23.00
Dennis Collins
7 Primrose Crt
St Thomas ON
N5P 0B3