Panda + Community July 2016

Smart Panda - Rotary and Biking

Smart Panda - GolfingPanda + Community – July 2016

We cooked and Peddled our way through the month of July and had an absolute blast doing so.

The Panda got to celebrate birthday #42 by cycling 154 km (~100 miles) from Grandbend Ontario to London Ontario and back. We are part of team Butt Ugly and we have raised almost $30,000 this year to help end MS.  Currently the entire event has raised 1.16 million with the target being 1.3 million which we will definitely reach once all the dollars are counted.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to everybody that supported us out there.

The St Thomas Railway City Rotary Club was out BBQ’n up some awesome hot-dogs and sausages to raise funds for local community projects this month.  A lot of onions and ketchup were dished out making for some very happy customers.  All the funds raised will be going back into the community this year as we gear up to support projects like Inn-Out-Of-The-Cold which helps the homeless in our community survive the winter with food and shelter or the local conservation authority which we have pledged to purchase and plant 100 more mature trees to help the environment and make our wood lots more vibrant and healthy.  The Panda even got put in charge of running the meetings for the upcoming month as our fearless leader got off his bike at the MS ride and jumped on a plane to England to go cycle another couple hundred miles around England (yes – he is crazy).

August we are going to be busy gearing up to support Big Brothers Big Sisters with their annual golf tournament and big-ball drop.  The Smart Panda is a proud supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of St Thomas Elgin, because we feel everybody deserves to have an amazing mentor.

Didn’t get a chance to Support the Ride?  IT’S NOT TOO LATE:  Click here to Support The Panda!

Until Next Month……

Smart Panda - MS Bike 2016 Smart Panda - Rotary BBQ Smart Panda - MS Bike 2016 Smart Panda - MS Bike 2016 Smart Panda - MS Bike 2016 Smart Panda - MS Bike 2016 Smart Panda - MS Bike 2016

Panda + Community June 2016

Smart Panda - Rotary and Biking

Smart Panda - Rotary and BikingPanda + Community – June 2016 (Day by Day)

This June has found The Panda really busy with work commitments.  However, a new Rotary year started July 1st, 2016, and The Panda is President-Elect for The St Thomas Railway City Rotary Club.  It is going to be an exciting year learning from our leadership team and getting out and helping the community! We had the change over BBQ which had some great laughs brought to us by the Kids Division and at the end of the month we had an excellent event where St Thomas Railway City Rotary Club member Diane Chantler was sworn in as the District Governor for District 6330.

In case you didn’t read it above in the Message, its Biking Time! Yes that’s right The Panda and the Butt Uglies will be crossing across Southwestern Ontario over a 100 miles of roads to help raise funds to End MS.  Our team was awesome last year in raising more than $50,000.  I can’t wait to see what we can do this year!

Honestly every dollar makes a difference just ask ALS how they did with the ice bucket challenge.  Please support the Panda even if it is just a couple of bucks, we would greatly appreciate it and the sooner we end MS the better!  If they can find anyway to reverse the damage of the disease it will have a great impact on my family, and that is why we ride!

Click here to Support The Panda!

Until Next Month……

Smart Panda - Change Over BBQ Induction

Smart Panda - Wade and LisaSmart Panda - MS Bike Ride - Day 2

Panda + Community April & May 2016

Smart Panda - Million Trees

Smart Panda - Million TreesMaking a difference one tree at a time

This spring has found The Panda out and about doing all sorts of things.  Several events happened with Big Brothers Big Sisters and The St Thomas Railway City Rotary Club of the past 60 days that has helped make a difference in our community.  It is absolutely amazing knowing that the little things we are doing is making a small difference.

April started with the end of the Inn-Out-of-the-Cold program for 2015.2016, our Rotary Club served up a ton of meals and a ton of dishes were washed (and rewashed).

Next we were up in Sarnia at Rotary Training for our Rotary District.  The Panda is really looking forward to being President of our Club in 2017-2018.  We will be putting a huge focus on kids and will hopefully be able to get a new Interact Club up and running , sending out our first exchange student and hopefully receiving our first exchange student from abroad. The training really gets you thinking about how to the message out to the local and international community. Rotary really helps bring the message the “Rotary is here, something good is going to happen.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of St Thomas Elgin was out serving up hotdogs and sausages at Canadales (an amazing place to get your green thumb – green!).  We served up a ton of great food and made some money to help support all the great programs that help mentor great kids right here in our community. Rotary will be out in July to do the same BBQ! Later this summer Big Brothers Big Sisters will be holding their annual golf tournament and the 2nd Annual Big Ball Drop.  The Smart Panda is honoured to be the title sponsor for these events, and The Panda Team is looking forward to getting the golf clubs out to test our skills on the links! If you are in the area and want to golf – register here! If you would like to find out more about the big ball drop – click here! Interestingly enough myFM which is the local radio station is a title sponsor for Big Brothers Big Sisters and we had to record the commercials for the Golf & Ball Drop, and it turns out that The Panda has a radio voice – who knew.  Maybe that means some podcasts will be in our future.

May started off with Rotary serving up a huge all you could eat Perch dinner to over 300 people.  The Club was able to raise almost $5,000 which will be used to support many great local programs in the upcoming year. Speaking of great programs, earlier this year we had Kettle Creek Conservation Authority come in and speak to The Club and we were able to use $500.00 most of which was given to use from the Rotary Club of London West when they closed last year and we combined that with a 50% matching district grant of $250.00 allowing us to give $750.00 to purchase trees which we planted in a local park right here in St Thomas (actually the park around the corner from The Panda Headquarters). Sixty beautiful trees were planted in the park all of which go towards the count of the Million Tree Challenge.  It was a nice way to segway into The Club’s second birthday last week.

June will find us out getting ready for The Ride to End MS where we will bike 100 miles from Grand Bend to London (and back). We are looking to try to exceed $1000.00 this year, you can donate here!

Until Next Month……

Smart Panda - Annual Fish Fry Smart Panda - STRCRC 2 Years Old Smart Panda - Planting Trees - Million Trees Challenge Smart Panda - Planting Trees - Million Trees Challenge Smart Panda - Planting Trees - Million Trees Challenge Smart Panda - Planting Trees - Million Trees Challenge
Smart Panda - BBBS

Panda + Community March 2016

Smart Panda - Curl for Kids - Big Brothers Big Sisters

In Like A Lion Out Like A Panda?

March really presented another extremely interesting month of weather for us.  Running in shorts, Biking in heavy gear, and flipflops to toques, you just don’t know what to do.

The good news is we got lots of running in, a little biking, and a lot of great service work.  The most exciting of which was the Curl For Kids Big Brothers Big Sisters event this month.  As we mentioned last month The Smart Panda – is the title sponsor for Big Brothers Big Sisters St Thomas Elgin this year, and this was the first event where we had our flyers!  Our curling team “Hockey Night in Panada” went out and tried our best, unfortunately we struggled to find our groove, but we had no problem having some fun!  In the end the event raised over 15,000 dollars for Big Brothers Big Sisters so they can run their amazing mentorship programs!  We are truly honoured to be able to partner with such a great organization.

The St Thomas Railway City Rotary Club and The Smart Panda were serving up some hot delicious food at Inn-Out-of-the-Cold this past month.  There is a huge need for support in our community as there are too many people that are struggling to get by, the last time we were out we served a record number of meals for the program.  I challenge everybody out there to just do something to help, it could be a simple gesture of cleaning out the closet and putting some unworn clothing in a bag and donating it, to spending some time helping out a program, to giving a couple of dollars instead of having another coffee, it all makes a difference.

Dr Suess - Quote


Until Next Month……

The Smart Panda - BBBS - CurlingThe Smart Panda - BBBS - CurlingThe Smart Panda - BBBS - CurlingThe Smart Panda - BBBS - CurlingThe Smart Panda - BBBS - Curling

Panda + Community February 2016

Smart Panda - BBBS

Winter / Spring / Summer is it really February?

So February is over, and I am not sure if it is Winter or Summer most days.  We definitely had some snow this month but overall it has been very pleasant.  This has afforded the Panda the opportunity to work on some outdoor running and just being active in the community without freezing to death.  Jackson wraps up his hockey season this weekend and although it has been a disappointing season on the scoreboard, as a team the wins just keep on coming.  It really is amazing when you have the right attitude as a player, parent and/or coach at to what can get done. As a coach I could not be more proud of our team. Abagail continues to show great promise in the horse ring, she is riding with confidence and is excited at every jump, but man is it cold standing there watching and that is with the warmer weather.

As for community based activities, The Panda has been busy doing dishes at Inn-Out-of-The-Cold and getting good food out to many folks.  In some regards it is sad to see the level of need within the community, but on the other hand the folks that come and try to make something better for themselves makes the whole process worthwhile.  It would be nice to see more effort from people to make things better, but often times change can only occur when something big happens. It is just nice to help out and know that we are there to help the folks that want to make a change.

So on that note, The Smart Panda has signed on to be the title sponsor with Big Brothers Big Sisters St Thomas Elgin this year. What better way to drive home the point that everybody needs a trusted advisor and/or partner than helping an organization do just that for kids. We are thrilled to be able to help make matches between deserving kids and motivated mentors to invoke a positive impact on our community.  Our Big Brothers Big Sisters organization supports over 200 kids throughout the area with great one-on-one programs, in school mentoring, couples matches and group mentoring programs like Go Girls, Health Bodies Healthy Minds, Game On, Eat Smart, Play Smart, and Live Smart.

The Mentoring Effect: Changing the course of young lives changes the future of communities. By every measure, Big Brothers Big Sisters returns positive results in the mental health employment and civic engagement of the recipients of our mentoring programs.  Based on statistics from Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada, for every $1 invested in mentoring by Big Brothers Big Sisters returns $18 to society, and among economically disadvantaged groups, $1 invested in mentoring by Big Brothers Big Sisters returns $23 to society. Some other interesting statistics with mentoring at Big Brothers Big Sisters:  13% higher earnings at jobs, 17% more likely to be employed, 47% hold senior leadership positions and 63% have post-secondary education.

At The Smart Panda we are excited to “Start Something”! Check out Big Brothers Big Sisters St Thomas Elgin Web Site

Smart Panda - Horse RidingSmart Panda - BBBS BowlingSmart Panda - Road HockeySmart Panda - Horse RidingSmart Panda - Rotary BBBSSmart Panda - Horse RidingSmart Panda - Hockey