On 15 June 2021, Rotary Club of Cambridge North (RCN) member Dean Fitzgerald delivered more than 30 tomato plants to Kitchener’s Meals On Wheels (MOW) garden. While sporting a mask, gloves, and Covid-19 inspired long hair, Dean again helped plant nine heirloom varities of red, yellow, and orange tomato included in the 30+ plants grown from his seed collection. Dean planted the tomatos with Leslie Houston, Garden Leader, Community Support Connections, MOW, and one other volunteer. Dean selected these heirloom varieties because they are indeterminate, and thereby produce fruit all season. It was reported that these plants produced fruit from July to September this year! This was the second year that RCN contributed to the garden and the activity was faciliated by Jodi Carreiro, Volunteer and Community Engagement Faciliator. If you are interested in helping out with their facility and activities, Jodi can be reached at: email@example.com.
The Rotary Club of Cambridge North (RCN) has again contributed to the Fairview Senior’s Community Kindness Trees. This is the third year for the Kindness Trees at Fairview and this is the second year that RCN has contributed gifts to the residents. The Fairview website states they are: “…a not-for-profit, charitable, faith-based Continuum of Care.” The Fairview community is located at 515 Langs Drive in Cambridge. The website also states: “Fairview is both a home and a community where each person is valued, respected and welcomed. All cultures. All faiths. All financial means.” Since Fairview in inclusive, RCN is keen to support their efforts. More information is available at: https://fairviewmh.com.
This year, in a repeat to 2020, RCN Rotarian Fred Schiedel led the efforts to purchase 24 gifts for the Kindness Trees. To keep all things warm and fuzzy at Fairview, Rotarian Fred purchased 12 pairs of pajamas and 12 sweaters for the residents. In 2020, Rotarian Fred also purchased pajamas, winter hats, and sweaters for the residents. All of these items came from Mark’s and during both years, where nice discounts were applied. Thanks Mark’s for assisting the Rotary Club of Cambridge North in its support of the Fairview Seniors Community Kindness Trees program.
Photograph 1: View of the 30+ heirloom tomatos destined for the MOW garden.
Photographs 2 and 3: Rotarian Dean helping plant tomatoes at the MOW garden.
Right here in Cambridge you can find the Adults in Motion organization that provides in-person programs, supports and virtual programming for people with disabilities and their families. Their mission is to build a strong, safe and supportive community for people with disabilities while meeting needs, creating opportunities and inspiring inclusion. Donations and community support directly benefits a person with a disability at Adults in Motion. A community’s inclusion and generosity helps create opportunities, enhance life experiences, and provides social and community connections for people with disabilities. Adults in Motion invites you to get involved and visit us at adultsinmotion.org or our new location at 653 King St E, in downtown Preston.
The generosity of your $2500 donation from Bingo proceeds will not only help us continue to offer quality programming, but it has also helped us feel connected to our community- which doesn’t come easily these days.
Thank you to all those that support the Cambridge Bingo and Gaming Centre that allowed this donation to happen.
Kaiden was the 2017 KidsAbility Ambassador and is a gentle, sweet, happy 4-year-old little boy. His smile lights up a room, and his giggle is contagious.
Kaiden suffered from West Syndrome as an infant, leaving him with global developmental delays and low muscle tone. With medication, treatment and therapy, he was doing well.
In October 2017, he started having chronic seizures. They are related to his sleep, 99% of his seizures happen in the middle of the night.
On January 2, 2018 Kaiden started having a seizure and, just as with most of his seizures, he was silent. His seizure didn’t stop on its own and wouldn’t stop with medication. Kaiden ended up on a ventilator and airlifted to McMaster Children’s Hospital.
He experienced status epilepticus, and now that he has, he is at a great risk of experiencing it again. It is dangerous and life threatening. Because Kaiden’s seizures are silent and because none of the seizure alarms available will properly detect all his seizures, one of his parents must be awake all the time to monitor him and make sure he doesn’t go into status epilepticus again.
His dad stays awake all night to watch Kaiden on the baby monitor, while his mother, is his full-time caretaker during the day. On average Kaiden has anywhere from 2 to 6 seizures a week, sometimes up to 3 in one night, but the timing is always unpredictable, leaving his parents feeling constantly on edge and unable to relax.
Kaiden is such a beautiful and strong little boy. He is a hero to so many people. His strength and determination are amazing. Through a realtor friend the family has been blessed to acquire a Waterloo home to renovate to accommodate Kaiden’s special mobility needs.
Thanks to the help of Mike Jennings’ contacts at Cambridge Elevating, an elevator has been installed in their home that will allow Kaiden to navigate the three stories safely and relieve the parents from having to carry this growing 4-year-old up and down stairs daily.
The Funding Process
After becoming aware of Kaiden’s family’s plight Jamie Hamilton, the president of Cambridge Elevating committed to donating in time, labour and materials one third of the cost of the elevator and installation. This amounted to $10,000 towards the total project cost of $30,000.
With this contribution Mike Jennings, the president of the Rotary Club of Cambridge North went to work to raise the balance of the money needed to pay for the elevator.
The board of the Cambridge North Club unanimously supported a donation of $5000 to get the ball rolling. Then Mike reached out directly to the Rotary Clubs in Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo.
Over the months of January through June 2019 the following clubs donated $2000 each:
- Cambridge Sunrise
- Preston Hespeler
- Kitchener Grand River
- Kitchener Conestoga
Finally, representatives from the above clubs gathered to see the finished elevator and meet Kaiden and his parents Joe and Melissa in person.
Thank you to all the club presidents for their championing of this important initiative.
On April 16th, 2019 the Rotary Club of Cambridge North was proud to present a cheque for $5000 to Bill Davidson, the Director of Langs Community Centre to help with development of their family Hub. The funds were raised by the club in partnership with the Cambridge Bingo & Gaming Centre.
From left to right Mike Bernard, Club President Mike Jennings, Incoming President Laureen Van Groningen, Bill Davidson (Langs), Gerry Menezes, Bingo Chair and Larry Olney.