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President’s Bulletins

Kinsmen Club of Peterborough

President’s Bulletin #5 – Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015.

Fellow Kin,

First and foremost I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for everything that you do in our community. I truly believe that this club fulfills its mandate of serving the community’s greatest needs, either in our role as Kinsmen, or in our lives outside of the club. I often tell people that we have served; do serve; and will continue to serve our community as we have done in Peterborough since 1930. This bulletin will serve as my year in review thus far as the President of the Kinsmen Club of Peterborough.

When I decided to take on the role as President of this great organization, I can truly say that I had no idea what I was getting into. I had only been a member for a couple of years at most. What I did know was that I was going to give this club everything I had to give as a leader in the community. I do my best to carry the Kinsmen banner where ever I go and make it known to anyone who will listen that I am a proud member of this club. During the summer, I started these bulletins and hoped to publish them on a regular basis. It was easy to push them out when I was busy thinking about my role as president and the direction I envisioned the club taking. Once September came, it became clear that I was too busy actually doing these things to sit down and write about it. That also results from my philosophy that well done is always better than well said (or written). It should be known that I will never ask anyone to do anything that I would not or have not done myself. I have literally attended every event possible and made sure to get photos and media releases out for all of our functions. I am not beneath volunteering for any job as your President because I do not believe that title should dictate behaviour.

I am often asked by the public in my discussions about Kinsmen what it is that we do. I constantly found myself rhyming off a couple of events and then drawing blanks. At one point I sat down and made a list of what we do and it is shocking. For a club of our size, and considering that life gets in the way so much, we have an immense impact on this community. It is good to be humble, but letting the community know what we are doing is perfectly acceptable. It is possible to humble yourself into extinction. Why wouldn’t we want them to know what it is that we are doing? For example:

Kinsmen Super TV Bingo raised in excess of $123000 in 2015 and those funds helped improve approximately 20 different communities throughout central Ontario. Although Peterborough isn’t included in the title, our club is the driving force behind the success of this initiative. It is approaching 20 years of operation and some of the founding members are still involved today. I feel a good of kin is in order for Life Members Reed Manley, John & Carolyn Holmes and Darrell Junkin as well as members Jim Sturrup, PNP Dave Ronson and Jason Becker for carrying the load when it comes to TV bingo. If I have missed someone I apologize but these individuals stand out as those that I always see at bingo when I am able to attend. A little known fact that this is one of the last live shows done at CHEX.

Hall Bingo continues to provide us with substantial funds through the OLGC Charitable Bingo Initiative. This program puts approximately $1 million per year into the community and we receive a share (approx. $10000/year) of that for our time volunteering for a couple of hours on a couple of Friday evenings each month. This money is then put back into the community through donations and service projects. Thank you to Kevin Vaughan and Bill MacDougall for ensuring scheduling and paperwork are done as required. Please ensure that you switch your shift if you cannot make one in the future. They do not look kindly on groups that do not fulfill the responsibilities agreed upon. The same people cannot be expected to do the bingo all the time. For example, I did 2 weeks in a row on December 11th and 18th and that should not happen in a club of 42 members.

The 2015 Peterborough Kinsmen Santa Claus Parade was possibly the biggest and most successful event held in Peterborough this year. It is estimated that 25000 people lined up along George St to take in the event and no other event can boast about attendance like that. There are events that bring that many people in over the course of a weekend but not all at once. We received a lot of attention on social media (Twitter/Facebook) as well as traditional media sources. I did interviews on CHEX TV, EXTRA 90.5 and there were media releases on all local newspaper and radio outlets. This is by far the largest service project we have and the city loves us for it. I attended the Thomas A Stewart Secondary School Christmas assembly and presented them with their grand champion award last week and the whole school showed their appreciation of our clubs efforts. Thank you all for making it a success once again. The DBIA and the City of Peterborough have proven valuable partners for us in this venture as well.

The 1st EVER Peterborough Sports EXPO was held in October and this is a perfect example of partnering with other community groups to get us out in the public eye. We held a raffle on behalf of Sport Kawartha and gained exposure at a big community event. We essentially had a table for the raffle at the EXPO and as people bought their tickets I was able to discuss Kinsmen with them. Over $500 donated to Sport Kawartha. I think having a spot at any trade show is a great way to get us out and seen in public generating conversations about Kinsmen.

The Rib Cook Off took place in August in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity Storage Wars and $2000 was donated to them on our behalf as a result. Thank you to Dean Doherty for chairing the event. Congrats to Dave Ronson and Sean Auger for placing 1st and 3rd respectively.

In June, we sponsored a Blood Drive with Canadian Blood Services and generated 469 donations during that time. I continue to donate and my next one will be #5. Kin Canada has also started an initiative as a partner for life in an effort to contribute to the need for donations. Thank you to Brad Huggins for organizing the blood drive and Dave Meekin for donating a draw prize.

The Kinette Duck Race and Loonie Auction are not our events. I put them on this list to highlight the support that we give our local Kinettes in their efforts to better the community. Although we are not one club I fully expect every Kinsmen member to support them in what they do. They will have my support and assistance whenever it is needed or requested.

Fireworks sales continue to generate funds to donate to whatever community agency we choose. This year we donated $4000 to the Lakefield Animal Welfare Society as a result. Thank you to Barry Craft and all Kinsmen that work shifts to make the fund raiser successful.

Kinsmen Arena Bar continues to generate revenue despite changes made, at the city level, to the men’s league hockey, that do not help our cause. Good of kin to Dave Meekin for essentially keeping this afloat on his own. Special mention to Jason Chessar who I think has done 3 shifts or more at the bar this year. I expect in the New Year, should the project continue, that a schedule will be made and members will be expected to work a shift or be responsible to switch and have it covered. It simply isn’t fair to expect the same people to do it all the time.

The Kinsmen Charity Golf Tournament held in July raised approximately $1500 for the club and also generated a $2000 donation to Five Counties Children Centre. A great time was had by all and I even got lucky and stuck one on the green for the closest to the hole. Emphasis on lucky! Thank you to Sean Auger and his lovely wife Karen for their efforts.

The Kin Garden Court and the Kinsmen Arena continue to blow my mind in all honesty. To think that a group of men took out mortgages on their own personal properties to make these projects happen really speaks to the quality of members who came before us. Kinsmen of past generations have certainly left their mark on this community in every sense. Times have changed and it is hard to imagine projects of this size or expense but we continue to honor them by hosting our Kin Garden Court dinner each year for the residents and fulfilling our commitment of $125000 towards the renovations of the arena. I want to thank Life Members Ron Kaye and John Holmes for their continued service. They have been Kinsmen longer than I have been alive!

The CF Dart tournament runs yearly and generates approximately $1000 for CF thanks to Don Annette and Jim Sturrup.

The Peterborough Kinsmen Bursary was awarded for the 1st time in 2015 and a student received $1000 towards their post-secondary education. We decided to do this in conjunction with the Kin Canada bursary to ensure a Peterborough resident was receiving something in the event that Kin Canada did not select them as a recipient for one of their bursaries. Thank you to Barry Craft.

The Kinsmen Minor Football League celebrated its 35 year anniversary in 2015 as well. We were on hand to solidify our continued support with a $5000 donation. Simon Treviranus is our new KMFL representative and we thank him for that.

An 18 member team, including several Kinsmen, even helped to put Peterborough on the world map in May 2015 by being a part of a Guinness World Record. The icing on the cake was the $4000 donation our members were able to raise for pediatric cancer research in support of the Pedal for Hope initiative.

Once again this year we made a substantial donation of a total of $4000 for the Salvation Army Hamper Fund and Toy Drive. A group of Kinsmen also assisted by delivering hampers to needy families.

Support Your Sport continues to raise thousands of dollars yearly for local minor sports organizations. Thank you to Life Member Reed Manley and Jason Becker for their work every year on this event.

We established Kin Cooks in order to save money on dinners at meetings and put even more money back into our community instead of paying for caterers. We are blessed with talented cooks and have never eaten so well. Thank you to Dean Doherty for that idea (and anyone else that had a hand in it).

I feel the need to mention our role in Hockey Day in Canada in February 2013. The Kinsmen Club of Peterborough was instrumental in pulling this event off in such short order. We were the major source of volunteers for the set up and take down of the rinks and the banquet. I remember even finding myself on stage modelling a hockey jersey for the silent auction. At that point the thought of “what have I gotten myself into” popped into my head. Our club was seen and mentioned on CBC Hockey Day in Canada by Ron Maclean and Don Cherry and it is an event that myself, and the City of Peterborough will never forget.

An area that I have concentrated on greatly, with the help of Mike Fillmore, is our website and online presence. I cannot thank him enough for the time and effort he has put into these tools. The website is doing well and I encourage you to look at it. On the site you will find the roster, bingo schedule, and other tools that the club uses in its daily activities. There is a gallery for pictures and videos to see what it is we are doing and assist you in navigating things like the house rules and rules of order. Our Facebook page is doing well with over 200 likes at this point and we have over 700 followers on Twitter. That means nothing to some of you but it is good to see. Our online presence will be the single biggest factor for reaching the next generation of Kinsmen.

Mike Fillmore and I attended Kin Kollege in September and it was an awesome experience. We learned a whole lot about Kin and made some new friends from around District 8. This was the turning point for me. I can honestly say that I was headed out the door because I didn’t understand the point of Kin to be frank, and our seasoned members were not doing a great job of mentoring new members. I want to thank Erin Thomson and the entire group that made that weekend in Sudbury happen. I would have most likely left Kinsmen if not for that experience.

We also hosted the District 8 Fall Leadership Conference in October and had the National President, Kim Peters in attendance as well as Executive Director Grant Ferron. Thank you to PNP Dave Ronson and Simon Treviranus for running that event. My greatest memory of that weekend will be visiting Mike McGratton in hospital with DG Doug Robinson, NP Kim Peters and PNP Dave Ronson. We presented him with a card signed by the FLC attendees. At the Christmas executive meeting we were also thankful to have Mike attend his first meeting since embarking on his battle with cancer. I will say it again. Cancer is a word, not a sentence. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear”. Family and friends are more important to Mike than fear.

As previously mentioned, be proud of our club and its accomplishments. I am. I will continue to tell anyone who will listen, and hopefully, after reading this bulletin, you can provide those that ask you the same question with a fuller picture of what it is that we do and the thousands upon thousands of dollars we put into our community, not to mention the countless volunteer hours.

What amazes me is that we are still able to have so much fun while doing all this good in the community. Service in conjunction with fellowship is what this is all about for me. It is important that everyone finds the reason “WHY” they are here as a member. It is easy to answer questions of who, what, where, when and how but the most important of all is your WHY. Are you here to serve your own needs? Serve the community? Make friends? Simply have nothing better to do? Whatever your reason; please find it, remember it, and cherish it. It is what keeps you coming back and staying involved as an active member.

ARE YOU AN ACTIVE MEMBER?

Are you an active member?

The kind that would be missed?

Or are you just content

That your name is on the list?

Do you attend club functions?

And mingle with the crowd?

Or would you rather sit at the back

And complain both long and loud?

Do you give a little time?

And help to make things click,

Or leave the work to just a few

And whine about the clique?

There’s quite a programme scheduled

Which means success if done,

And it can be accomplished

With help from everyone.

So think it over members-

Are you right or wrong?

Are YOU an active member?

Or do you just belong?

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! My family is wishing you and your families all the best during this holiday season. I hope to see you all on Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 for our 1st meeting of 2016. Yours in Kin,

 

Justin Ledoux

President

Kinsmen Club of Peterborough

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