Club Information

Proud to also serve Puslinch Township

Guelph South

Come together as strangers,
work together as friends

We meet Thursdays at 7:30 AM
Springfield Golf & Country Club
2054 Gordon Street
Guelph, ON N1L1G6
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Home Page Stories
Guelph has had a strong Rotary presence since the first club, the Rotary Club of Guelph, was chartered in 1920.  Along with that club, the Rotary Clubs of Guelph-Wellington and Guelph-Trillium have also grown and prospered.  Despite that, there appeared to be a need for a new club to cover both the growing south end of Guelph and the Township of Puslinch.  The Guelph Trillium Club decided to sponsor their first new club, and a Steering Committee of Rotarians was struck to organize it.  The first meeting of the new provisional club was held on May 3 2001 and was attended by the Steering Committee and 10 potential members. More weekly meetings followed where more new potential members attended until enough (20) had confirmed their desire to join the new club so that Rotary International could formally charter it.  The new club was chartered on July 31 2001 as the "Rotary Club of Wellington South" and the members were presented with their club Charter by the President of Rotary International in Toronto at a Presidential Conference on August 10 2001.  Due to subsequent confusion with a New Zealand club (also “Wellington South”) a decision was made to rename the club to “Rotary Club of Guelph South” in February 2007.  

(4 Guelph Rotary Club Presidents L-R Colin Ferguson, Bill Hammond, Phil Greenway, Gregg Mitchell)     
 (Inaugural Board of Directors L-R Frankie Shaw, Dianne Paron, Dale Sims, Bill Hammond, Margaret Nixon,  Lora Gatto, Frank Oudesluys - with Ralph Marziano, Rotary Club of Guelph Trillium, behind)   
Like Rotary International itself, our Rotary club has made a commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 
On July 14 2021 the Board of Directors approved the following statement:
We Value Inclusion and Diversity
The Rotary Club of Guelph South believes having members from different backgrounds and with different viewpoints gives us a broader understanding of the local community that we serve in our role as volunteers.
We value diversity and celebrate the contributions of people of all backgrounds, regardless of their age, ethnicity, race, colour, abilities, religion, socio-economic status, culture, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.
Our club will continually strive to cultivate a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture where everyone is welcome.

Thank you for making Tour de Guelph 2021 the most successful year yet! Our community raised $165,000 in net proceeds. This is an astounding success, particular as our usual one-day event had to be held yet again in a virtual format over the June 7-27 time period!  We have so much gratitude for everyone who contributed. This most certainly is the result of our community coming together in a very positive way! We thank:

💚 366 registered riders, runners and walkers
💚 Over 1,800 individuals who supported a participant with a donation
💚 Numerous local businesses who dug deep to sponsor this year’s event or contribute in-kind service and product
💚 Our dedicated team of volunteers

When we hear the words “human trafficking,” we tend to think that this is something that happens in big cities.  Sadly this is not true, and with the 401 highway, this crime is big business right here in our community.
July 1st marks the start of a new Rotary year.  Rotary International 2021-22 President Shekhar Mehta is a member of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India.  Mehta is encouraging Rotary members to change lives through service. His theme Serve to Change Lives asks members to participate in service projects where they can make a difference in their communities and the people who live in them.  "Rotary kindled the spark within me to look beyond myself and embrace humanity," he said. "Service became a way of life for me and I, like many others, adopted the guiding philosophy that 'Service is the rent I pay for the space I occupy on this earth, and I want to be a good tenant of this earth."  Mehta also wants members to focus their efforts on empowering girls and ensuring their access to education, resources, services, and opportunities so that future generations of women leaders will have the tools they need to succeed. Mehta is asking members to use Rotary's belief that diversity, equity, and inclusion is critical in all we do as a compass to guide this work.
July 1st represents the start of a new Rotary year.  We all extend our thanks to now Past President Russ Powell for his year, a year in which every meeting had to be held virtually! 
We welcome our new President Linda Craig as she starts her year.
This week we presented Linda Oakes with a Paul Harris Fellow Award. The presentation of a Paul Harris Fellow recognition is our club’s way of expressing its appreciation for a substantial contribution made in volunteering and who’s life demonstrates a shared purpose with our club. Linda has dedicated her time for decades toward truly selfless action. Our club thanks you for all your contributions in numerous areas to the community. We would also like to recognize the other nominees for their outstanding commitment to community outreach:  Sue Keuhl, Lynn Vanschaik, Lorraine Kruse, Cosmo Carere, and Lisa Pearson.

As a global network that strives to build a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change, Rotary values diversity and celebrates the contributions of people of all backgrounds, regardless of their age, ethnicity, race, color, abilities, religion, socioeconomic status, culture, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.  A top priority for Rotary is growing and diversifying our membership to make sure we reflect the communities we serve.  We're creating an organization that is more open and inclusive, fair to all, builds goodwill, and benefits our communities. We want people with differing perspectives and ideas who will help Rotary take action to create lasting change in communities around the world. 
On April 15th Steven Wright was our guest speaker.  He provided us with breathtaking photos and a talk on his and wife Theresa’s trip of a lifetime…a hike on the Inca Trail in Peru to Machu Picchu.
At our April 8th weekly meeting we had a virtual visit from Dani Bristow, Volunteer Program Coordinator for Shelter Box Canada.  Shelter Box is a global charitable organization and a Rotary project partner since 2012.  Our club has supported this organization including providing donations for the supply of 2 Shelter Boxes to Haiti following a disastrous 2010 earthquake.   

We were pleased today to welcome Nevine Yassa, a Scarborough Rotarian, to our ZOOM meeting to speak about ROOTA (Rising Out Of The Ashes) a Canadian charity whose mission is to alleviate poverty and enhance education. ROOTA currently supports a marginalized community of trash collectors in Egypt commonly referred to as “The Zabaleen”.  Along with support for education in the community, ROOTA also has a program to provide COVID-19 support to 1000 families.  ROOTA also works to provide local women with sewing and quilting equipment in order to help them create self-sustaining income.  More information can be found on their website or their Facebook page @rootazabaleencanada, or their Twitter feed @RootaZabaleen.
We were honoured to be able to welcome Rotary International Director Valarie Wafer as our very special guest speaker at this morning's meeting.  Besides being a Collingwood-based Rotarian, Valarie also chairs Rotary International’s new Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Taskforce that is charged with shaping a comprehensive action plan with achievable, measurable and meaningful outcomes for Rotary.  Rotarians from other clubs in our Guelph-Wellington Cluster also joined us in the ZOOM meeting to hear Rotary Club of Guelph South President Russ Powell and Rotarian Geoff Allen introduce Valarie and provide her biography.
Thursday March 11 2021 marked 1 year to the day since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.  With the development of vaccines and imminent availability of them to all Canadians, we were fortunate to receive a very informative presentation at our March 11th 2021 weekly meeting.
The presentation was by none other than a grade 5 student, Rosie.  Her grandmother is a member of our Rotary club and advised us that Rosie had won a speech contest (on another topic, we want her to give us that speech as well!) and suggested her as a speaker.  Given that it was International Womens Week, and with her lineage she is no doubt a future Rotarian, we were happy to welcome her.  And she did an awesome job - she was poised and succinct, and I think we all learned something.  We took a screenshot of the ZOOM session when she was speaking - she is in the bottom row, second from the left:
Thanks Rosie (and grandma Deb for suggesting) and we'll look forward to hearing your speech contest winning entry about the three levels of government.
Welcome to Rotary John!! President-Elect Linda Craig formally inducted new member John Persson at this morning's meeting. John's wife + sponsor, Rotarian Sharron Riley-Persson, did the honours, pinning him, while his mentor, charter member Peter Clark, introduced him.
We just know you will be a fantastic addition to our wonderful Rotary club.
On November 1rst the Nutcrackers came to town at 101 Wyndham Street.  A big thank you to Sharron Riley-Persson, owner of SR-P Creations, for the donation of 104 Nutcrackers from her private collection that were auctioned off.  The successful event raised $8,000 dollars, so thank you to all who participated by placing bids. Congratulations to the successful bidders.  All the nutcrackers had special meanings to Sharron and she was thrilled to see how excited people were when they picked them up.  It made giving them away so much easier knowing they were going to a new loving home.  Special thanks to Lorraine Kruse, of Defined Space and Staging, for decorating the windows at 101 Wyndham St to display the Nutcrackers and to Megan McCormack, of McCormack Photography, for photographing each one for the Auction Site.  Thank you ladies for donating your valuable time. 

Our next Fundraising Auction will be a Valentine theme, focusing on items/gift certificates from local businesses. We are strongly committed to supporting our local stores as they struggle to get through the Covid lockdown restrictions.  
The auction will take place again on from Feb 1 to Feb 12th.  Come back to this site for more details at the end of January and #InvestInGuelph! 
We were pleased to welcome Habitat for Humanity Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph CEO Steve Howard to our virtual Rotary meeting on Dec 17th where we advised him of the $4,000 donation being made to Habitat for Humanity WDG from the recent Nutcrackers auction. A virtual "big cheque" presentation followed by e-transfer!
Each organization receives $1,000.00.  Sadly we were not able to host 10 volunteers from each organization as well for a special brunch and cheque presentation ceremony at Cutten Fields as we would normally do. Rotary Club of Guelph South is so grateful to the sponsors who help make this event possible, including presenting sponsor Davies & Mahnke Private Wealth Management and Hammond Power Solutions.
Check out the photo album (right side of website home page) and the photo carousel (left side of website home page) and watch the website for information on the start of nominations for organizations to be honoured at the 2021 Annual Volunteer Appreciation Brunch.
10 organizations    100 volunteers     $10,000 donations
Thank you Deb Allen for your incredible leadership over the past year.  You made sure our club never skipped a beat by immediately starting a Zoom Breakfast meeting.  We were able to still enjoy some incredible speakers and share  fellowship time.  This support was invaluable during our isolation time at home.  Thank you for guidance, patience and humour over the past year.   I think we are all in agreement that our year was still successful and continued strong to the end of your time.  Thanks for giving us your time and talents.  We look forward to our new President Russ Powell and of course to hopefully being able to meet back at Springfield face to face.  From all our members a very heart felt Thank you!! 

Already over $60,000 net fundraising revenue raised of our
$100,000 goal!
Thank you to all those who have already registered and who have been fundraising!
This progress is all you! Incredible!
If you haven’t registered yet, you can still get in on this!
Registration will remain open until Sunday July 26th, 2020.

Have you already completed your ride or walk? Submit your photo to the Tour de Guelph 2020 Online Photo Album, presented by Elinesky Schuett Private Wealth Management of RBC Dominion Securities and hosted by
In response to the COVID-19 crisis and in adherence with current physical distancing recommendations, Tour de Guelph 2020 will not be held in its usual single-day event format.
Instead, we welcome all new and past riders to register, fundraise, and complete one of our Tour de Guelph routes on your own, making sure you are physically distanced from other riders, any time on or between the fourth Sunday of June, 2020 and the fourth Sunday of July, 2020, (Sunday June 28th, 2020 to Sunday July 26th, 2020). Take a photo of yourself on your ride and email it to us, we’ll post it in a special online photo album. Please also share your pictures on social media using #TdG2020.  We are also welcoming those who prefer to ride at home on their bike trainer or stationary bike. We are also welcoming walkers this year!
Proceeds of Tour de Guelph support Guelph General Hospital. Did you know that every piece of equipment used in the direct care of patients at Guelph General are funded through community donations? Over the past six years, proceeds from Tour de Guelph have funded IV Pumps, an Ultrasound Machine, Respiratory Ventilators, and have also helped fund Interventional Radiology, a new CT Scanner and a new Centralized Cardiac Monitor. All this equipment is essential to the delivery of patient care at Guelph General.  This year, proceeds from Tour de Guelph are needed to purchase blood pressure monitors for the Hospital’s Day Surgery Unit. Blood pressure is an extremely important vital sign to monitor in patients undergoing surgery to ensure their safety.

BONUS!  All registered riders to fundraise $300 or more will receive an exclusive Tour de Guelph 2020 cycling Jersey!

In addition to supporting the Hospital, every year, many local groups aimed at youth development, family support, and community building are supported by Tour de Guelph proceeds through the Rotary Clubs of Guelph South and Guelph Trillium.
This year, through the Rotary Club of Guelph Trillium, Tour de Guelph proceeds will help support The Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington Food & Friends Program to supply healthy food to hungry minds. Proceeds will also provide financial support to HOPE House and their Harvest of HOPE program. The Harvest of HOPE is a volunteer-driven community garden harvesting farm-fresh produce for families across Guelph that makes good food more accessible in our community.
Through the Rotary Club of Guelph South, Tour de Guelph proceeds will help support Food4Kids Guelph which provides packages of healthy food for kids aged 1 – 14 years with limited or no access to food each weekend. Proceeds will also support the Volunteer Appreciation Brunch which is an annual initiative to recognize 100 volunteers from 10 local charities. Each participating charity receives a $1,000 donation!
We are sad to report that one of our Rotarians – member Arnold Bolliger – passed away on Saturday February 29th.  Arnold starting visiting us in 2007 and finally became a Rotarian, joining our Rotary club as a youthful 75 year old, in February 2008. Arnold contributed to the club in so many ways, serving on a number of different committees including Membership and Rotary Foundation.  Arnold was surprised and pleased to be honoured by the club with a Paul Harris Fellow in 2016.  He had one of the best attendance records of any member, was never without a smile on his face, and was a prolific fundraiser for worthy causes and events supported by the club.  It will take some getting used to, to seeing his usual chair empty at weekly meetings at Springfield Golf & Country Club.
RIP Arnold – thank you for your service to Rotary and our Rotary club - you will be missed.
(A photo album has been created, showing Arnold as a Rotarian through the years – see the frame on the right hand side of the club website, and the photo carousel on the left hand side)
The Annual Pasta Dinner is in the books for 2020. We had a great turn out yet again and the food was amazing. Lots of hard work went into this event, especially from the kitchen staff volunteers that put in a 14 hour day! It's always great to see such an enthusiastic group of attendees from the community and of course, to raise money for great community organizations like Sunrise Therapeutic Riding Centre.
Presenting local charities we have chosen to give our fundraising dollars to is always a highlight of some of our Breakfast Meetings.  
Rotary is celebrating 100 years in Guelph in 2020! There are now 4 clubs in the city, including ours, that all do great work putting service above self. Here's to 100 more!
Carla from Lutherwood attended our meeting on October 3 to give us the run down on the employment services they offer to newcomers to Canada. They are doing great work to help people with training, networking, and other employment support in the Waterloo Region and Wellington County. 
Upcoming Events
Club Leadership Team
Past President
Rotary Foundation Committee Chair
Membership Committee Chair
Service Projects Committee Co-Chair
Youth Service Committee Chair
Public Relations Committee Chair
Environment Committee Chair
Service Projects Committee Co-Chair
Eradicating Human Trafficking Committee Chair
August 2021
Diana Boal
Aug 05, 2021
Guest Presentation - Shelldale Family Gateway

Diana is the Executive Director of Shelldale Family Gateway and she will tell us about their very successful recent "Fun-Raiser" event and other news from Shelldale.

Neil Mahnke
Aug 12, 2021
Club Meeting - Rotary Rewind
Lynn Vanschaik
Aug 19, 2021
Guest Presentation - The challenges faced by the Guelph Storm Hockey Club during the pandemic
Africa’s Agents of Change

The arrival of the first peace fellows at the new peace center in Kampala, Uganda, heralds the beginning of a new era for Rotary and the continent.

Rotary 2022 International Convention to be held in Houston

Rotary 2022 International Convention to be held in HoustonThe event will bring more than 20,000 participants from around the world and deliver $30 million in local economic

Rotary projects around the globe

Rotary projects around the

Former refugees help defectors adapt to South Korea

In 2016, North Korean immigrants chartered the Rotary Club of Ulsan Freedom — a fitting name for those who risked their lives for their freedom.

Meet Rotary’s New President

Our new president, Shekhar Mehta, envisions Rotary’s next chapter – and is ready to make it a reality.