Meeting Highlights
The Weekly Westerner Edition 55.34
Box 4572, Station C, Calgary, Alberta T2T 5N3
Grey Eagle Hotel, 3777 Grey Eagle Drive (Corner of 37 St SW and Glenmore Drive)
Mondays 12.00 pm - 1.00 pm
President: Marlene Doherty President-Elect: Linda Anderson 
President Elect Nominee: Rob Rakochey Past President: Bill Fitzsimmons
Secretary: Gail Williams Treasurer: Don Edie
Directors: Judy Cochran, Gord Cox, Terry Felton, Barb Hames,
Les Morgan, Drew Turnbull
Together We Are People of Action - Building Community
April 25, 2022  Edition: 55.34 Reporter: Mike Carlin Editor: Marlene Doherty
RCCW Hybrid Meeting
President Marlene opened the meeting at 12 noon with a warm welcome to all. In the spirit of respect & truth we honor & acknowledge that we live, work & play on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot confederacy; the Siksika, Kainai, & Pikani, The Tsuut’ina, The Stoney Nakoda nations; Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley, the Metis (Region 3) and all the people who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.
The acknowledgement was followed by our National Anthem.
Attendance: Zoom – 25; In house – 17
Introduction of our visitors and guests:
Zoom GreeterChris Ritter acknowledged our guest speaker, Narmin Ismail who will be formally introduced later in the meeting.
In House Greeter – Bill Quinney introduced Neil Copithorne the son of a former member Dave Copithorne of Jumping Pound Alberta, who passed away in 2016. He also introduced Courtney Wilson our Rotary Employment Partnership Coordinator with Inclusion Alberta who will provide an opportunity to assist with employment.

Guest Speaker: Narmin Ismail 

Founder and CEO The Spark of Hope Foundation, Empowering Women

Gail Williams introduced our guest speaker.
Narmin Ismail has always been passionate about empowering youth with the skills, experience and aptitudes to become leaders. Her entrepreneurial career includes being Co-Founder of the Climb for Leaders, an international youth-oriented leadership challenge, and the CEO of the Daughters for Life Foundation.
In 2014, she decided to tackle the huge funding and accessibility gap at the university level for young females, especially in the Global South in areas of conflict and remote and under-served areas. So she established The Spark of Hope Foundation to provide university level scholarships to young women with a mission to help develop the next generation of women leaders.
Narmin has a B.A. in Psychology from York University and an MBA from Athabasca University.
What is Spark of Hope Foundation?
By providing scholarships and personal support for post-secondary education, the Spark of Hope Foundation empowers bright young women from the Global South (formerly the developing world) to become tomorrow’s leaders, especially from regions that are in turmoil and those that are remote.
The biggest gender inequality issues that we face today, such as legal discrimination, unfair social norms and attitudes, decision-making on sexual and reproductive issues and low levels of political participation, are better resolved in societies where women and men are equally educated.
We strongly believe that better education not only gets women out of the cycle of poverty and develops the next generation of women leaders, but also makes them more resilient in vulnerable situations such as economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters. 
By working closely with our on-ground partner in the student’s country of origin and our university partners, we help these young women secure all the funding they require to pursue university programs at the Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional and PhD levels.
The Problem - 132M children are denied education annually. 70% are girls, 66% of global illiterate are women. Gender parity for young women at 25% for upper secondary education. Women are generally excluded from decision making in the community due to lack of education.
Our Leverage – Through University and on ground collaboration agreements, SoHF receives highly qualified & pre-screened candidates for consideration. SoHF agreements result in 6X the funding SoHF provides. From an average education cost of $27,000 our scholarships provide amounts from $500 to $5,000.
Key successes – 201 Scholarships provided; 62 institutions attended globally; 57 scholarships provided at the master’s level; 52 students at the S.T.E.M. fields (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math). 29 countries of origin; 39 students pursuing medical studies; 6X multiplier effect for every donor dollar. 12 PHD Students; international public law; international monetary and financial law; mobility and transport; forestry sciences; social forestry; wood sciences; educational studies; hepatology and electrical & computer engineering.
Our Impact – The academic focus of scholars has significant effect in the developing world including, Bioinformatics, Computer science, Communication, Earth sciences, Economics, Education, Environmental sciences etc.
Narmin shared with us the stories of 3 young women.
  1. Aaliya Dad, Northern Pakistan –working towards sustainable development of rural mountain communities.
  2. Sheetal Rimal, Nepal – removing pollutants from the wetland ecosystem.
  3. Israa Issa, Lebanonhas a passion for sustainable engineering and is the only one of 200 in her Mechanical Engineering class. 
Empowered women, empower women!
  1. What is the global south – previously known as the 3rd world
  2. Why the emphasis on Master’s & PHD levels of education – the majority of funding is from the University who have much more funding at the Master’s & PHD levels. All parties have to be invested in the student including the father & family.
  3. Following completion of their degrees are there any statistics of how many go back & support their communities? Between 97/98% go back to their communities or staying in the countries in which they received their education & making a difference there.
Barbie Hames expressed the thanks of the club to Narmin Ismail by stating that she is “truly a spark of hope” – “I might only have one match but I can make an explosion” - You have certainly done that for a lot of young women.
In appreciation of Narmin’s presentation a donation will be made to Shelter Box, in her name.
Kurt Schurer – My Story – Calgary West Rotary member since June 2007
Married to Mary-Anne for 38 years and has 2 children; a daughter who is a CPA and a son who works in the family business. He is a Calgarian since 1997 and previously worked & lived in various areas in British Columbia. Formerly with the JC’s & Kiwanis – but “I like this Club” – introduced by Mike Carlin.
Likes to travel, salmon fish, play golf, chess & crib. Loves to do Norwegian folk dancing & will likely provide a demonstration in the future. In his youth he endeavoured to hitch hike across Canada from Prince George to PEI. He only got to Toronto & called for dad to get him home, when he ran out of money.
He went on to share his “house of death” – his encounter with the Rotary Hospice in Prince George. An outstanding experience with warmth and love with people who cared for Kurt’s father prior to this demise. Death with dignity, something we all aspire to. The experience made Kurt want to give back and become a Rotarian.
As chair for the LCS committee, Kurt took the moment to advise the committee is looking for projects to award their remaining budget. Applications should be made by May 3ost. If you require assistance with the application form or are interested in joining the LCS committee next year, please contact Kurt.
Jean Claude Munyezamu shared that he is involved in the integration of children from the Ukraine providing support to ensure they succeed.
Linda Anderson was invited to present her vision for next year. However, this was done by video at our Assembly and unfortunately didn’t work. Therefore, we will have to wait until Linda takes the gavel in July to dispel her direction for the club. An email has been sent requesting our input & for those who don’t read or respond, a formal letter by post will be sent!
Bill Quinney – advised that Les Morgan has COVID and will not be able to help prepare\serve breakfast at the Alex on Friday. He is in need of a replacement and Tim Anderson rose to the occasion…thanks Tim.
Marlene Doherty acknowledged Bill Quinney & presented him with a Building Community pin. Judy called Bill an “angel” as he was instrumental in identifying and securing students sponsored by Calgary West to attend RYLA. This is National Volunteer week and Bill has lined up several organizations which need our help.  There are opportunities in the morning, afternoon and evenings as well as weekdays and weekends. The shifts vary in length of time and physical ability required.  Based on last years survey results, we are striving to achieve 2 volunteer hours per member, so if you haven’t done so, please go to the “events calendar” on our web site & sign up to help.
Barbie invited all members to the Rose & Crown Pub on Sunday May 1/22 from 2-4 pm to celebrate our impact in the community during National Volunteer week. Please send your photos to Dan Doherty by 6pm April 30/22 and we’ll share our volunteer experiences and photos.
District Conference- Reminder, May 6/22 is the deadline to register for the one-day District Conference in Cochrane on May 14/22. Registration is $100 and the Board passed a motion to subsidize new member registration costs and Les Morgan will be contacting our new members.
Mother’s Day Hanging Baskets – members who ordered hanging baskets for Mother’s Day will have received an email regarding pick up on May 4/22. Thanks for supporting NSTEP and RCCW.
Birthday Wishes to David Williams today!
Courtney Wilson our Rotary Employment Partnership Coordinator with Inclusion Alberta has requested our assistance to help a candidate seeking employment.  Winston is a reliable individual seeking part time employment in North Calgary. Winston has many gifts including his organizational skills, interpersonal skills and customer service. He is friendly & outgoing and would like to work in a position where he can interact and help others. Ideally, he would like a job which is active and keeps him on his feet. Winston has experience as a kitchen assistant at a restaurant, an associate at Superstore, and a customer service representative at Blockbuster. He would be well suited for a customer facing role and would be open to any opportunity. Members can reach out to Courtney at or Bill Quinney or Steve Kuiack.
Marlene expressed her thanks to team 2 for their assistance in today’s meeting.
President Marlene adjourned the meeting following our usual rendition of the 4 Way Test at 1.00 pm.
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The nonprofit Music Mends Minds, launched by Rotary member Carol Rosenstein, provides people with memory loss an opportunity to reconnect through song.


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