The Rotary Club of Vancouver's RHF Hearing Foundation donations


Janet Weil, Executive Director of Children's Hearing and Speech Centre, thanks the Rotary Club of Vancouver for their donation of $25,000 in support of the Centre's Language Acceleration Program.  This program teaches deaf and hard of hearing children how to listen and how to speak.

LAP is one of 7 core programs and 4 services that the Centre provides to deaf and hard of hearing children. Visit their web site at


The Foundation also donated $24,000 to the UBC Clinical Speech Technology Lab to further enhance the training programs for audiologists and speech therapists.  This was an extension to the Rotary Club of Vancouver's legacy grant in 2013.

Our Newest Paul Harris Fellow
Franz Gehriger

Presented by President Peter Clarke

It is my great pleasure to present our club’s next Paul Harris Fellow.
Shortly after joining our club in 1985, Rotary International started its Polio Plus Campaign. In today’s Rotary his contribution would have earned him a PHF 10 times over.
He is one of the most dedicated members of the Bike-A-Thon and one of the largest contributors, both as a fundraiser and as a speedy rider often finishing right behind those perky Hayto children.
He was instrumental in providing office space for our club and has provided the Rotary Club of Vancouver the “best price” for an office in the downtown core as well as a boardroom at no cost many times over the years.
He has worked on many committees including Ski Weekend, Scholarship, Group Study Exchange and Bike-A-Thon.
Rotary is one of his utmost priorities. He hardly ever misses a meeting even when he is travelling and he supports all the club’s social functions. He complete believes in and supports all Rotary causes. He keeps a Rotary plaque on his desk to remind him of the principles of being a Rotarian.
He was President in 2011-12, and during his term had some inspired ideas about how to improve our club and gain the recognition it deserves. He conceived of and ensured a wonderful new crab fest event and also organized and provided sandwiches to the poor in Oppenheimer Park.
I am sure there are many other Rotary accomplishments that I am unaware of.
He is a consistent and dedicated Rotarian and someone I admire very much.
Please welcome our newest Paul Harris Fellow – Franz Gehriger.

Paul Harris Fellow
Heather Baker

Presented by President Mary Laing

Rotary is an amazing organization because of its members. But it is not just the members who make great things happen for Rotary and the people we serve. The families of Rotarians and Friends ofRotary also make things happen. There are times when these non-Rotarians make a huge difference by helping out and using their vocational skills to further the goals of the club. Today we honour such a person.

It takes a lot of planning and organizing time to put on a “President’s Ball” to recognize a retiring President in a special  way as a thank you for their contribution to the club. It is usually a large and unique event designed to suit the individual  President. Over more than a decade, this Friend of Rotary has organized not one but 4 retiring Presidents’ events. 

In the Fall of 2012, when of the chair of the “Novemberfest” auction/dinner was no longer able to carry on due to pending  surgery, this Friend of Rotary, on short notice, agreed to assist the planning team. This team regrouped and went on to  organize a fun and successful event, raising over $19,000 for the club for 2013-14. 

The biggest celebration ever for this club, our 100th Anniversary, occurred the week of April 16th to 20th. There were  many people who helped make the week a success. It was truly a club effort. There was one person, however, who was  not a Rotarian and who spent hundreds of hours to make the celebration events fun, classy, and representative of Rotary.  She started as the overall Event Chair and then manager of the Gala. While she did receive a nominal payment, it in no  way came close to the real value of the time spent over a period of 1.5 years. Even when times got tough, stressful with  so many balls in the air and opinions and suggestions to sort out, she never gave up. 

While the work of the event planning was ongoing, there was another huge task that she took on because there were no  other club Rotarians who were willing or able to do it….that was the Public Relations function. She took it on because it 

was so connected to the success of the 100th Anniversary events. If we could not get our message out, the 100th celebration would not be successful and that was not an option. Working with the Board, she developed a PR Strategy for 2012-13 and systematically went about guiding us to  implement it. She did this without a committee and she pushed us and pushed us hard. She was always there to remind  us of our brand and our key strategies. She has also left us with recommendations to take us into the future so we don’t  lose what we have gained for the public awareness of the RCV. Without her drive, energy, experience and commitment,  the celebration week would not have been the success it was.

Members and guests, please join me in congratulating the RCV’s newest Paul Harris Fellow, Heather Baker.


Paul Harris Fellow
Barbara Welsh

Presented by President Mary Laing

She is the daughter of a successful entrepreneur and a former long term RCV member. She is very much a selfmade professional.
After she found herself a single mother of three, she moved to the Cariboo in the interior. In subsequent years, she turned her hobby of wildlife photography into a profession. She learned marketing skills and succeeded in selling her pictures of BC wildlife in galleries throughout the province.
After several years in Horse Lake, she remarried and with her husband, raised their six children. After tragedy struck, she became the sole parent of the blended family.
While raising her family and pursuing her photographic career, she learned everything she could about investment. She worked daily and continued on a path which has resulted in financial success.
Since joining the RCV, she has been an active participant and generous contributor to all fundraising activities, participated as a rider to raise funds for the Bike-a-Thon, and has been an enthusiastic participant in all the club’s major social activities.
Barbara Welsh was elected to the Board and assumed responsibility as liason with the WCSC. She joined Stephanie and Verona in our first club mission to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to participate in the opening of the first phase of the Water for Life project in 20 Schools. She became the photographer and chronicler of the mission, recording with her new professional camera (purchased for the mission), the sights and sounds of Rotary’s work in Dar es Salaam. She spent weeks refining and formatting that material and, despite major technical challenges, was able to present that record to our club in February.
After further refining the presentation for the 100th Anniversary celebration it was presented at the project seminar at Kayo’s dinner for visiting international Rotarians.  She has now taken on the co-chairmanship of the WSCS for 2013-14.
\When I became sick with the flu and couldn’t get out of bed one morning, Barbara dropped everything when I called to ask if she could walk over to a downtown hotel and pick up the 40 letters from Russian children for a joint RCV and Russian RC peace project. Without hesitation, she did this for the club and for the kids.
She has the heart of a true Rotarian.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please join me in congratulating the RCV’s latest Paul Harris Fellow, Barbara Welsh.

RHF Hearing Foundation makes major gift for hearing clinic renovation at St. Paul’s Hospital

The RHF Hearing Foundation has donated $250,000 towards a $500,000 campaign to help St. Paul’s Hospital’s Rotary Hearing Clinic expand and improve services for ear and hearing patients from throughout British Columbia.

“The RHF Hearing Foundation is proud to announce this gift to St. Paul’s Hospital as part of the Rotary Club of Vancouver’s 100th Anniversary celebrations,” said Mary Laing, president of the Rotary Club of Vancouver. “With this gift, the RHF Hearing Foundation has now donated more than $700,000 since 1998 to support patients across the province at the St. Paul’s Rotary Hearing Clinic.”

The RHF Hearing Foundation’s most recent gift will go towards purchasing an audiology booth and renovating St. Paul’s Rotary Hearing Clinic. The $500,000 project also includes the purchase of innovative ear surgery equipment for the operating room and support research, education and innovation in ear and hearing.

“On behalf of the patients we serve throughout the province, I’d like to thank the RHF Hearing Foundation for its long history of support to St. Paul’s Rotary Hearing Clinic,” says Dr. Brian Westerberg, head of St. Paul’s Division of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. “Once this project is complete, we will be able to provide timelier and more efficient and effective care for people with ear and hearing-related disorders.”

If you would like to make a gift to this campaign to support patients at St. Paul’s Rotary Hearing Clinic, please visit

Speaker at Rotary Luncheon Feb 19th, 2013

Lauren Wilkinson was the youngest member of the 2012 silver medal winning Olympic women's eight. She hails from North Vancouver, British Columbia and is a graduate of Crofton House School and Princeton University. Rowing runs in the Wilkinson family. Both of her parents rowed on the Canadian National team and her brother, Michael, was also 2012 Olympian. She is now pursuing graduate studies at the University of British Columbia in Microbiology & Immunology. She maintains close ties to the Rowing BC Provincial team and Clean Air Champions, a program that inspires kids to live healthy and sustainable lifestyles. She continues to train with an eye towards the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In the photo from left to right: Cindy Hayto, Jane Davis, Lauren Wilkinson, Susan Wilkinson, Phil Webber, Mary Laing, David Wilkinson


David Greenwood
Paul Harris Presentation by President Mary Laing

This member has distinguished himself through his work on our club’s World Community Service Committee and Rotary World Help, a network of over 30 clubs of which our club is a charter member.
This member took over the VP, Shipping role for Rotary World Help when the person in that position was no longer able to do the job due to work pressures. It is a very complex and time consuming position responsible for the coordination of all container shipping. This involves working with local and international partners to make sure the containers are at the warehouse for loading and that they arrive at their destinations on time. This member is also making significant changes and improvements to make the process more efficient.  Read more...


Rotary Club of Vancouver's Community Service Committee has donated $15,000 to the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House to assist them in upgrading their Kitchen.  Receiving the cheque from Greg Stevens (left) and Evan Crow is Irene Jakson, Executive Director of the Neighbouirhood House.


Rotary Club of Vancouver's RHF Hearing Foundation has donated $132,700 to the UBC School of Audiology and Speech Sciences to equip their Clinical Speech Lab making it the premier teaching lab in Canada.  The School trains Audiologists and Speech Therapists in a 2 year program.  The Therapists work primarily with children suffering from hearing loss and those who have newly acquired a cochlear implant.  Receiving the donation from Jack Zaleski, President RHF Foundation (left) are Valter Ciocca, Director of the School and Stephanie Huehn, Associate Director of Development, Faculty of Medicine.


Adopt-A-School: Norquay Elementary "Very Grateful" for Rotary support

Vancouver Rotary Club treasurer Bill Dauphinee, shown at his office in Vancouver on Thursday, says the Computer Assisted Learning Solution that the club supports ‘gets a kid’s reading level up by two or three years in a very short time.’
Photograph by: Les Bazso, VANCOUVER SUN

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Paul Harris Award Honouree - Mr. Mass Abedi.

Presented by Anne Lippert, May 29th 2012.


Mass joined the Rotary Club of Vancouver in 2008, and immediately became active with the World Community Service Committee.  On a trip to the Congo with others from the club in 2008 for a Water Wells Project, he produced an 8 minute video which was shown at a club meeting (and at the District Conference??? Nor sure)  He has also filmed at a number of other club events, and sometimes is able to broadcast these events on AhTV.  


Mass was born in Germany, but is a Canadian citizen. He splits his time between Europe and Vancouver. He was educated at the Ludwig-Maximillans University in Munich and graduated with a German Business Administration Degree.  


Pursuing his passion for the film business in Canada, he attended the Vancouver Film School, completed the Motion Picture Producer’s Program at SAIT in Calgary, and became a member of the Director’s Guild of Canada. He returned to Germany where he went to work for Berlusconi’s TELE 5 Network as Assistant PrManage and Production Contoller. He later joined Kirch Group’s German SportsNetwork DSF and the Plaza Media Broadcast Center as Project Manager for live Outside Units. 


In 2001, he was contracted as Event Manager for the German Canadian Co-production Exchange Forum in Munich, sponsored by the Deutsche Bank, the Bavarian Government Funding Agency FFF-Bayern and the BC Film Commission.    Mass is currently the Producer at ABCO Film Corp., and produces features for Ahorn TV, a German Language Television station, and Tulip TV, a Dutch language TV station.  During the 2010 Olympics, Ahorn TV covered many events and broadcast the events to Germany.  


Mass enjoys memberships in a number of film associations, the Vancouver Board of Trade, and several Canadian German Associations. 


Rotary Donates Over $57K to 5 Vancouver School Literacy Programs

Vancouver (May 9, 2012) Vancouver’s Windermere secondary and four elementary schools with multi-grade Extended Learning Assistance Classrooms (ELACs) are receiving perpetual site licenses for award-winning Academy of Reading® software from the Rotary Club of Vancouver and the Rotary Club of Vancouver Arbutus.  The five schools have had historical success of students gaining up to three grade levels per year in reading with a Rotary International Computer Assisted Literacy Solution (CALS) version of the Academy of Reading® software. These significant results have prompted the two Rotary clubs and associated Parent Advisory Councils (PACs) to sponsor the commercial version of the Canadian-developed Academy of Reading® to ensure that teachers can offer the software to children, in perpetuity.  Teachers with or without specialized literacy training will be able to help over 360, at-risk, or learning disabled students with evidenced-based reading software for years to come...

To see the full article please click here.

Rotary Club of Vancouver Rotor

April 24, 2012
  -             -      Kayo Otake -  Paul Harris Award, presented by Verona Edelstein

Today our club is honouring a Rotarian, a person who exemplifies the Rotary values of caring and service to the communities.

This Rotarian is successful in business and is a parent and grandparent. This Rotarian is quick off the mark to contribute to club Fund Raising and also has personally spearheaded three other fund raisers. This Rotarian brought an international festival to Vancouver.

This Rotarian is a brilliant and generous host. This Rotarian comes from a line of 20 generations of physicians on the male side, and twenty generations of artists and musicians on the female side. This Rotarian, bridges two cultures and considers people in every part of the world as part of her community. 

I am referring to Kayo Otake. Since joining our club in 2004, Kayo has been an active member of the World Community Service Committee.    Read more...

Janelle Milne received her new Cochlear Implant controller on November 1st 2011 and for the first time she is able to hear on the telephone when her Dad calls her.

As her mother Natalie says "Janelle heard her Dad on the phone this afternoon for the very first time in her life!!  her old implant did not work with the telephone. A million thanks. It will give her a lot more independence being able to use a phone. I am sure as the days go by we will have lots of "hearing" stories to tell."

Thanks to the many Riders who donated on her behalf and to the RHF Foundation for providing the funds she needed to purchase this replacement for her failed controller.  Janelle is the "poster child" for our annual Bike A Thon which raised money for the deaf and hard of hearing in BC.  When Janelle was 5, she received her Cochlear Implant and was featured on a CTV broadcast on the day her implant was first turned on. None of us has ever forgotten the look of astonishment on her face when she heard her first sounds.


Polio Plus Press Release

On January 22nd, 2009, at the Rotary International Assembly, Bill Gates Jr. addressed the District Governors for the term 2009-2010.  In a stirring speech he announced the additional gift to the Polio Plus program of $US 255,000,000.

Rotary has been asked to match $100 Million of this amount, and to date has already reached and matched 72 Million of the first $100 Million that was given last year.

This is a historic day for Rotary International, the Rotary Foundation and their Partners:  the UK Government has now announced a donation of 100 Million pounds and Germany announced a donation of 100 Million Euros.

Rotary went to the World Health Organization and asked them to partner on their Polio Plus Program in 1985.  Today, 24 years and $700 million later, the incidence of Polio diagnosis has been reduced 98%.  It is hoped that these additional funds will allow this disease to finally be vanquished, within twenty five years.



What in the World is Rotary? 

The Rotary Club of Lane Cove, in District 9680 on Sydney's North Shore, New South Wales Australia, recently completed production of a wonderful new eight-minute community service announcement, narrated by award winning newsreader Roger Climpson, on what it means to be a Rotarian.

You can view the video here.


Clean Water Project in the Congo 

$10 can bring clean water to 40 people for life.  Help the Rotary Club of Vancouver provide clean water for 125,000 villagers in the remote Bokoro District of the DR of the Congo.

Over 90% of the Congo's 62 million people survive on $1 a day.  With no access to clean water, water-borne diseases  bring misery and kill tens of thousands every year. In Bokoro District women and children must walk 4 km on treacherous steep slopes to fetch water.

Early in 2009, the first four of fourteen wells were completed with support from the Vancouver Rotary Club and partners in the Congo, France, Japan and the Rotary Foundation.  With your help we plan to raise US$210,000 to drill 10 more wells. These wells will change the lives of Bokoro villagers, especially those of women and children.

rwhn1rRotary World Help Network ships $97 Million of Aid  & Supplies to Countries in need, since 1997


Did you know that the Rotary World Help Network is a co-operative effort of 38 Rotary Clubs in District 5040 and District 5050. Since 1997 we have shipped 255 containers of medical supplies and equipment, computers and educational material to 48 countries around the world. In addition we have shipped 815,000 doses of flu vaccine to El Salvador, Hepatitus vaccine to the Caribbean, bicycles to Uganda, 5 Fire Engines to El Salvador and a Dermatological Unit to Tanzania.

Total value of these shipments? Over $89 million!

If you would like to learn more about the World Help Network and perhaps become part of this great humanitarian service, click here or visit our web site at

Rotary Club of

"Ride for Hearing"

will take place on
July 13th

Read more....