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Local Rotary Club News
The Rotary Club of Spruce Grove and The RavenWolf Brewing Co. are once again putting on a three-day BBQ rib festival in Spruce Grove's Central Park from July 22 - 24, 2022.  The organizing committee's theme for this year is "MORE, MORE, MORE!" and they have expanded the event on all fronts.
 
This year's festival will feature five rib trucks plus ten or more local food vendors.  A lineup of 17 local bands will take the stage over the three days, and Saturday will feature a family fair hosted by the Spruce Grove Public Library and a vendor market by the Spruce Grove City Centre Business Association.  Once again, the Spruce Grove Skate Park Society is hosting scooter, skateboard, and BMX competitions on the weekend and the car show being put on by the Rotary Club of Parkland After Dark has been expanded to three days with different exhibitors showing up on each day.
 
Admission is free, and organizers hope to see over 10,000 people take part in the festivities over the three days.  "Free admission is the most important thing about Ribfest," says event co-chair Brad Mastaler.  "This event is about strengthening community and making sure that anyone and everyone is welcome to come down and enjoy the entertainment.  Obviously, there's a cost for the food and drinks, but everyone's welcome to come sit down and listen to the music, wander around the car show, and watch the amazing talent on display at the skatepark.  It's a celebration for all."
 
Supported by sponsorships from the local business community to offset event costs, the net proceeds from food and drink sales at the festival will fund the community service projects undertaken by the Rotary Clubs of Spruce Grove and Parkland After Dark.  The Rotary Club of Spruce Grove has served the community by constructing amenities, supporting social enterprises, and developing youth through leadership and international student exchange programs in Spruce Grove for almost 30 years.  The Rotary Club of Parkland After Dark has been doing similar things in the region in their own way for over a decade.

Jan and Randal Gillet, owners of The RavenWolf Brewing Co. are proud to have their brewery be part of a community-focused event again this year.  "Ribfest brings people together from all walks of life and gives people a chance to connect and let them know the community cares about them," according to Jan.  "The world is desperate for community," adds Randal, "and this is a way to bring people together from all backgrounds.  When you do come down and spend some money on food and drinks, you're really just making an investment back into the your own livelihood and wellbeing because all the funds raised are going straight back into the community."
 
The event opens at 3 PM on Friday and 10 AM Saturday and Sunday.  The activities end at 10 PM Friday and Saturday, and 9 PM on Sunday.  General parking is available at Brookwood, Woodhaven, and Broxton Park Schools.  Accessible parking will be available on the event site as well as a passenger drop-off and pick-up zone.  While there will be seating for hundreds on site, attendees are also encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets to enjoy the weekend's entertainment on Central Park's grassy areas near the Lion's Log Cabin.  Having the event in Central Park makes it very accessible for anyone who's out and about on foot, on their bikes, or in their cars.  VIP day passes are available for those who want an upgraded experience, including "fast lanes" at the rib trucks, tent-covered lounge seating, on-site parking, a dedicated private bar, and upgraded washrooms.
 
For more information, see www.groverotaryribfest.com or email info@groverotaryribfest.com.
On Saturday, March 5th we baked cookies to support our Brown Bag Lunch Program for area schools. On Monday, March 7th, using product from our Food Rescue Program, we made sweet and sour ham over rice, beef stew, and corned beef hash.  These meals are made in our commercially approved kitchen and then flash frozen to maintain all heath and food standards. 
 
If you, or someone you know, who may be dealing with food availability concerns and could enjoy a couple of meals, please make arrangements with Our Community Pantry by calling 780-916-8149 or by emailing us at rotaryocp@gmail.com.
In recognizing that other Alberta communities were developing programs dealing with Food Security concerns and Food Rescue opportunities, a few members of our Rotary Club of Spruce Grove investigated the need for similar programs in our local community. The result is “Rotary, Our Community Pantry”.
 
Working with Parkland School Division (PSD) in support of its school lunch program, and with our food rescue partner, North Central, our community owned Co-operative, our Rotary volunteers gather twice weekly at St. Andrew’s United Church in Spruce Grove. We are thankful that St. Andrew’s offered their amazing kitchen, and a separate pantry space, for both our Brown Bag Lunch Program and our Food Rescue Program.
Our Brown Bag Lunch Program is prepared for school children as identified by their school communities, and consists of a fresh sandwich, a piece of fruit, a juice box and a granola bar. These lunches are delivered to local schools twice a week.
Across Alberta, 80% of people with developmental disabilities are unemployed or underemployed.  Inclusion Alberta and Rotary District 5370 have formed the Rotary Employment Partnership to improve this statistic, and if you're an employer or you can talk to your employer about this fact, you can help!
 
Hiring a person with a developmental disability can make a positive difference to your bottom line and your corporate culture.  On Wednesday, February 9, 2022, please join me for a one hour "Lunch and Learn" session on Zoom to find out more.  To see more of the possibilities and success stories, check out the Employment Partnership's January E-Blast here.
Last year, The Rotary Foundation approved a global grant for construction of a potable water system in the Rio Muchacho valley near Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador.  Our club is an international partner on this project, the second time we've worked with the club in Bahia to bring clean drinking water to a community.  Last week, we received an update from Bill Stumbaugh, the project lead in Ecuador.  Please see his message below and a link to some pictures are videos of the water diversion phase of the project taking shape.
 
Dear Rotarians,
 
I´m writing to provide an update to our sponsors about the progress of this Global Grant project, #2119179.
    
Last month, we began the project construction by successfully drilling a test water well bore 30 meters deep that produced an abundance of water.  However, the water stinks horribly and has a milky color.  Maybe sulfur or some other element...we don't know and opted to not bother to test it.
So, we changed to option B which is to capture the surface water near the point of the river's origin, upstream from 99% of the population.   The work to create the capture point is now in progress.   Some photos are attached.
 
A pipeline is being laid from the capture point following the river shoreline downstream to the place where the test well was drilled.  From there it will be pumped up to the ridge on the side of the valley where water tanks will be placed to store water as well as create the lift for gravity flow downstream to the distribution network and the homes.
 
The rainy season has begun.  It will likely mean that at some point, we´ll have to slow down system construction as the dirt roads and river crossings will become difficult and hazardous.  Also, the Omnicron is now here, and more restrictions are back in place.  Schools closed again, restaurants are high capacity, etc.  Hope you are all well.  Any questions you may have will be welcomed.
 
Bill
 
William F. Stumbaugh, Ph.D.
Past President
Rotary Club of Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador
Rotary Foundation Technical Cadre: Basic Education and Literacy
RPCV, Dominican Republic 1968-70