A force for philanthropy, the October inductees included (back row, from left) Sandy and Jane MacKay, Bernice and Wendy Chesley, (front row, from left) Bryn and Randy Styles, Jennifer Jones, Penny and Chris Offer. Verna Dollimore, not pictured, was also honored posthumously. Rotary Images/Monika Lozinska
O n 25 October, The Rotary Foundation inducted five couples and one individual from Canada into the Arch C. Klumph Society. The ceremony, held at RI World Headquarters in Evanston, Ill., USA, marked the first time an all-Canadian lineup was honoured.
Sensing an opportunity for a banner year, Chris Offer, chair of the Canadian Arch C. Klumph Society campaign committee, called on Canadian leaders, including Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair and
Past RI President Wilfrid J. Wilkinson, RI Director Bryn Styles, and a team of regional Rotary Foundation coordinators, to connect with dedicated Foundation supporters.
Leading by example, Offer and his wife, Penny, established an endowed fund that brought their lifetime contributions to US$250,000, the level at which donors are honoured with induction into the society. Styles and his wife, Randy, made a similar commitment.
“We hope other Canadians will step up,” Offer says. “Everybody should contribute to The Rotary Foundation at the level they can, whether a little bit or a lot.”
The following people were inducted at the October ceremony:
Wayne and Bernice Chesley
Wayne Chesley, a retired automobile dealer and a member of the Rotary Club of Medicine Hat, Alta., dove into club service from the moment he joined in 1998. He has served as club president and is a former chairman and master of ceremonies for the Medicine Hat Rotary Music Festival, a multiday performance competition for young musicians. Bernice, who worked as controller for the dealership, is also a longtime festival volunteer.
A trip to India to visit an infrastructure project informed the couple’s gift allocations to the Foundation. They directed a quarter of their donation to PolioPlus and divided the rest among three of Rotary’s areas of focus: basic education and literacy, maternal and child health, and water and sanitation.
“I think Rotary International is a wonderful organization,” Wayne says. “Anyone who can afford to donate to
the Foundation will definitely get personal satisfaction out of doing it.”
Laverna “Verna” Katie Dollimore (deceased)
Although not a Rotarian, Verna Dollimore supported local Rotary clubs and shared the Foundation’s vision for a better world. Upon her death in October 2011, she left a generous bequest to the Foundation.
Verna was a member of the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service during World War II and later joined the Canadian Department of External Affairs. Her career took her around the globe, including postings in Cairo; Warsaw, Poland; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Leopoldville (now Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo); and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She frequently found herself in political hot spots, such as Moscow during the Cold War and Vientiane, Laos, during the conflict in Vietnam. Stationed at the embassy in Tehran during the Iran hostage crisis, she was one of seven people awarded the Order of Canada for their roles in rescuing American diplomats in the covert operation that came to be known as the “Canadian Caper.”
Jennifer Jones and Nicholas Krayacich
Jennifer Jones and Nicholas Krayacich have more than 20 years of Rotary club membership between them.
Jennifer, a past governor of District 6400 (parts of Ontario and Michigan, USA), joined the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland in 1996. Nicholas became a Rotarian in 2006 and joined the Rotary Club of LaSalle-Centennial about three years ago. He is currently club president.
Jennifer has held many leadership roles within Rotary, and currently focuses on the organization’s public face as vice chair of the RI Communications Committee and moderator for the Rotary Coordinator/Rotary Public Image Coordinator Institute.
For five weeks in 2000, the couple volunteered at a medical clinic in the Brazilian Amazon. A Foundation grant funded their work. Jennifer, who heads a television production company, helped with communications and publicity while Nicholas, a physician, provided medical aid. “It was one of the first times that we really saw the Foundation in action, in terms of its full potential. When you have that opportunity, it puts a human face on the dollars,” Jennifer says.
The couple donated to the Foundation this year as a tribute to Wilkinson, who was RI president during Jennifer’s term as district governor, in 2007-08. Their gift will endow an annual Rotary Peace Centers symposium. They also are working with their district to create a fund to support clean water projects.
“We think it’s important to invest in our own charity, and one that we know has the level of stewardship that our Foundation provides,” Jennifer says. “Your money truly can be leveraged by the talents of 1.2 million Rotarians around the world.”
John A. “Sandy” and Jane MacKay
Sandy MacKay, a past governor of District 5360 (parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan), has been a member of the Rotary Club of Medicine Hat, Alta., for 35 years. He served as a 2010 Council on Legislation representative and chairs the Donald MacRae Peace Award Committee for Zone 24 (formerly for zones 24 and 32), which recognizes outstanding support of the fourth object of Rotary.
One of the couple’s most cherished memories is of a Foundation grant-funded project completed in cooperation with the Rotary Club of Calcutta Metropolitan. The US$325,000 effort spanned nearly a decade and brought a variety of services and improved infrastructure to four villages in India.
“I was deeply impressed with the amount of good we were able to do,” Sandy says.
Sandy, a retired ophthamologist, and Jane, who helped run the practice, felt it important that their gift support PolioPlus. They also established an endowed fund for the Rotary Peace Centers. “When I look at the news, every night I see more conflict and war. Through the peace centers, we can do something proactive to try to curb conflict,” Sandy says.
Chris and Penny Offer
Chris and Penny Offer, both past governors
of District 5040 and members of the Rotary Club of Ladner, B.C., have travelled the world representing the Foundation. Chris took part in a Group Study Exchange (GSE) trip to India in the early 1980s and later served as a team leader on an exchange to England. More recently, he joined a polio surveillance team in South Sudan. The couple also travelled together for a Foundation grant project to deliver humanitarian aid to the Philippines.
Back home in Canada, Chris, a retired police district commander, and Penny, who worked in health care administration, serve on the district committee responsible for selecting potential Rotary Peace
Fellows. Their involvement led them to establish an endowed fund to support the Rotary Peace Centers and Rotary peace initiatives.
“We were impressed by the quality of young people we were talking to,” Chris says. “This seemed like a legacy we could leave that could make a difference in the peace centers.”
Bryn and Randy Styles
A member of the Rotary Club of Barrie-Huronia, Ont., since 1986, Bryn Styles has held leadership roles at the district, zone, and international levels. He currently sits on the RI Board of Directors.
Bryn led a GSE team to Australia and has participated in Foundation grant-funded projects to deliver wheelchairs to Antigua and improve irrigation in the Dominican Republic. He and his wife, both pharmacists, have also hosted six Youth Exchange students.
“We’re dedicated to Rotary,” Randy says. “When you sit at a convention or conference with like-minded people, with that many people who want to do good in the world, it’s very inspirational.”
The couple view their gift, which will establish an endowed fund to support the Rotary Peace Centers, as an investment in a more peaceful future.