Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of our Charter (July 31, 2001)
20 weeks of "TBT" memories
Week #11 (October 7, 2021)
   In late 2009 one of our members presented the club with an opportunity to become involved with an economic development project in Nicaragua.  Condimentos del Carrizal was a sustainable development project created by the partnership of Roothams Gourmet Preserves and Syngenta Crop Protection and supported by our Rotary Club and local partners there.  We were excited to be involved at the ground level of such a worthwhile venture and be able to help create a simple sustainable business that leveraged existing skills, experience and interest of the community members – primarily the local women who were already making jams and jellies by the side of the road using local fruits.  Poverty is alleviated and the quality of life improves through employment and training in sustainable agriculture, growing cash crops that are consumed locally to improve nutrition and health, sold into local markets and manufactured into all natural gourmet condiments sold at a profit to local restauranteurs and tourists.  By 2011 the project was well under way, and members of our club traveled to Nicaragua to bring supplies donated by the club members and meet with the women and the local partners.  Our initial funding provided cooking and jarring supplies, along with providing instruction in business planning and teaching English so the women would be able to communicate with the tourists traveling through the town on their way to Costa Rica.  Subsequent funding through 2013 (a project total of $19,924) went towards construction and equipping of a project kitchen building and piping in of potable water – a vast improvement from the roadside campfires and hauled in buckets of water previously used by the women to do their cooking!
    Locally we continued to support Guelph’s Michael House Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services with donations of $11,500 in 2010-2011 towards the building of the new supportive housing complex, later to be called “Emily’s Place”.  Since then we have been proud to donate another $6,100 between 2012 and 2017 towards their important community programs.  In 2011 we also began supporting Guelph’s Wyndham House, an organization working to prevent, reduce and end youth homelessness, and through 2017 that support totalled $19,515.
    Our members continue to always make us proud and none more so than charter member Ann Caine who was awarded an Ontario Medal For Good Citizenship, one of 13 exceptional Ontarians to be so honoured for their contributions to their community.  Ann’s award was for supporting children with special needs and their families by way of her creation of, and leadership for decades of, the Sunrise Therapeutic Riding and Learning Centre in Puslinch. She was presented with this honour by the Lieutenant Governor David Onley at a special ceremony at Queens Park in Toronto.
Nicaraguan women selling Condimentos del Carrizal product to tourists
Rotarian Geoff Allen in his Nicaragua baseball jersey
Ann Caine (first row, 2nd from right) receiving the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship
Russell Hampton
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