Panda + Community March to June 2017

Panda + Community March to June 2017

Curling, Bowling, Dancing, Conferences, Running, Biking, Cooking, Field Trips, the question may be what haven’t we done over the past couple of months.

This July will find the Panda out Riding to End MS again for the 3rd time with Team Butt Ugly. We have almost 50 riders on the team and we are on a mission to be at the top of the fundraising board this year. Please Support The Ride! I plan to get some video blogs out soon so keep an eye for that. However, any support you can offer is greatly appreciated.

As for March to June well, we went out and Curled for Kids with Big Brothers, then we helped out at the Big Brothers annual BBQ cooking up hundreds of hotdogs and sausages, and then turned around and Bowled for Kids. Big Brothers Big Sisters is a fantastic organization and we are thrilled to be associated with them, because we believe that everybody should have a mentor in their life, personally or professionally or both. Mentors make a huge difference. The Smart Panda has many mentors and literally all the success that we have had has come through their advice, experience, and motivation. To each and every one of them, we tip our hat!

In Rotary we have been busy as well, as we formed a group in the club to “officially” run more, so I believe we are 12 members strong now and we run regularly, and just last week we did a run to Port Stanley in which the short run distance was 5km and the top runners clocked 18kms. I was able to gut out 8, but it was just awesome to be part of the group. On the Rotary side, I have gone and got trained to be President for the 2016-2017 year, we have planned and now we get to execute starting next week. Combine that with the District 6330 conference which had almost 400 Rotarians, saw some fantastic speakers, and engaged people from 5 to 95 learning and even dancing (to the YMCA) and even topped off with a well choreographed Viennese waltz (Done by our Rotary Dance Club).  Early this month a group of us from the Club went to Atlanta for the Rotary International Conference in which 40,000+ Rotarians showed up.  Talk about impressive. However, they really did a good job in focussing on a really serious issue with “Human Trafficking”. I don’t think that is a best term for it, because this is a very serious topic and if you think it doesn’t exist or it doesn’t affect you – YOU’D BE WRONG. I am really excited to help lead our club in some new projects to help to try to scratch the surface of this issue.

Check back next month for pictures from the MS Ride – Grandbend to London (Donate NOW)! Till next month……

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Panda + Community February 2017

Smart Panda - OOC - Curl-4-Kids

Panda + Community February 2017

Okay, seriously, what is up with this crazy weather?  This past month I drove through snow, sleet, rain, 100 mile per hour winds, a tropical depression and a tornado warning zone all within 24 hours. Combine that with dressing in 3 thermal layers to run outside one day and dawning the summer run shorts the next.

This past month did not yield many exciting things in the community as I spent a majority of it out of town, but I did receive my Paul Harris +3 pin, which came as a surprise as all the extra we have been doing yielded an extra +! This year we were pleased to be able to ear mark the Paul Harris funds towards erradicating Polio (yes — that’s still a thing). The Canadian Government along with The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation both matched donations 2:1. This means that over $5000.00 USD dollars went to the cause.

In a couple of weeks we will be Curling-4-Kids with our local Big Brothers Big Sisters. We are excited be the title sponsor again this year with our Big Brothers Big Sisters organization which provides hundreds of amazing kids amazing mentors through their various programs to help make our community strong and better. If you could spare a dollar or two to support our Curling Team that would be FANTASTIC! [Click To Sponsor]

Check back next month for pictures from the Curling Event! Till next month……

Smart Panda - Cornell - CS92 Go-Live

Cornell -CS 9.2 – Go Live

Smart Panda - Tornado in February

Tornado in Texas

Smart Panda - Paul Harris +3

Paul Harris +3

The Smart Panda - BBBS - Curling

Curling 2016

Panda + Community Year in Review 2016

Panda + Community Year in Review 2016

What a truly amazing year 2016 turned out to be. One of the main reasons for this was we gave back. In all the business coaching over the years, the most successful people/groups all give back in some way. Simple enough concept, but this past year we stepped it up, and not surprisingly the success that followed has produced outstanding results.  Here are just a few things that were done:

  • Rotary Foundation – Paul Harris +1 & +2 – Helping Communities through the Annual Fund & Polio Plus
  • Animal Aide – 2 Years worth of Rent for its Thrift Store.
  • MS Bike Ride – London to/from Grandbend – Team Butt Ugly raised over $35,000 to end MS.
  • Christmas Care St Thomas – Provided 5,000 lbs of Apples for the Christmas Hampers.
  • Helped Local Hospital Raise over $60,000 at its annual gala.
  • Provided hundreds of meals at local missions and through financial support.
  • Supported The Canadian Wildlife Federation & World Wildlife Fund.
  • Title Sponsorship of Big Brothers Big Sisters St Thomas Elgin – providing mentoring opportunities for amazing kids.
  • Worked on several projects with St Thomas Railway City Rotary Club.
  • Worked on several projects with Christmas Care St Thomas.
  • Support of Local Legion, Salvation Army and Local Hockey.

2016 has been a huge year for us in the community.  Seeing the smiles on families and kids faces is such a reward. The impact of even the smallest thing is sometimes hard to quantify, and it’s amazing knowing that The Smart Panda Team is out there making a difference. We are really excited about working with our Local Big Brothers Big Sisters program again this year, and setting up a program with our new local STEAM center.

For Rotary 2017, in May we have the Rotary District Conference being hosted by our Rotary Club, it will be a fantastic opportunity to show off our community to all the members of Rotary District 6330. In June a large group of us are heading to Atlanta Georgia to attend the Rotary International Conference.  Combine that with Wade being Rotary President of the Railway City Rotary Club starting in July, it is going to be exciting year working with Rotary!

All the best in ’17.

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Panda + Community Christmas 2016

Panda + Community Christmas 2016

Santa, a crazy tree dude, and The Panda in an ugly Christmas Sweater! Always a good time to be had at the Rotary Christmas Party this year.

We just finished up an amazing run of projects over the holiday season.  The one I am most proud of is that we were able to join forces with Great Lakes Farms and get 5000 pounds (17,000) Apples delivered to Christmas Care and packaged up into over 1500 individual packages to go into the hampers.  It took over 30 Rotary folks, family and friends to pull this project off this year.  The feedback from the folks receiving the hampers has been great, as the apples have been missing for the past several years. The Smart Panda is thrilled to make this project a reality again.

This year, another 112 bears were sold in this year’s Bears for Christmas Care campaign, and 64 of them were donated back to Christmas Care and $846.00 was donated back from the proceeds of the the sales. It was a hard sell through the month of November, but December saw an amazing effort put forth and we were able to make a lot of kids smile this year, in just a couple of hours all the effort will have been worth it!

Salvation Army allowed us to work with them on the Kettles again this year.  I personally must have wished 5,000 people a Merry Christmas during my shifts this year.  The Kettles raise a significant sum of money, all of which stays local in our community, and allows many great programs to run throughout the year.

We were also able to start the holiday season off in early November but take a day to Remember. A group of us from Rotary were out collecting donations for Poppies.  All of the proceeds we raised helps go back into the community to support Veterans.  Its great to give back to the Veterans since so much has been sacrificed for us to be able to enjoy all of what we have.

Looking forward to seeing what 2017 will bring! All The Best……
Smart Panda - Christmas 2016 Smart Panda - Dancing Smart Panda - Christmas 2016 Smart Panda - Christmas 2016


Panda + Community September 2016

Smart Panda - Masquerade DancingPanda + Community – September 2016

Okay so you might be saying are those Panda’s dancing? Yes, yes they are. This Dancing Panda video by hongmogu on youtube is awesome! So you might be asking why are the Panda’s dancing? Well, that is a really good question, I honestly didn’t think Panda’s could dance, but it turns out they can.

As part of our local hospital here in St Thomas, they are in the process of raising funds to expand and grow to meet all the needs of our local community. Wade and Lisa have been asked to dance with Ian and Jennifer in the open dance number at the Hospital’s Gala Night event.  So in addition to working an insane amount of hours the past 6 weeks, the dance floor has been busy trying to show a Panda with absolutely NO rhythm how to move his feet to music and actually not look like a bumbling idiot doing so.  (Not convinced it is working).

In addition we are busy gearing up for Christmas – yes I know – but literally it is just 2 months away. Considering how fast the months are going now that is about 6 blinks away. Oh wait, 5, I just blinked.  The Panda’s will be assisting Christmas Care this year, as Wade has joined the border of Christmas Care and will be working hard to sell Bears-4-Christmas-Care again this year.  This year The Smart Panda Corporation is going to try and bring back an old tradition that has been missing in the hampers for the past several years – Apples.  Yes Apples!  Smart Panda - Christmas ApplesWhat Christmas isn’t complete without an apple in your stocking.  There appears to be all sorts of theories behind the giving of apples and/or oranges at Christmas, but for me it just reminds me of Christmas morning opening your stocking.  We are trying to get 5000 pounds of apples that will be packaged up and put in each of the 1500 hampers.

Speaking of Apples, Eat-2-Learn which is a program here in our community that helps ensure that kids from 38 different schools have food to eat so that they can learn at school.  The eat-2-learn program is incredible offering up breakfasts, lunches, and snacks to kids from kindergarten to teenage high-school students.  The best part of the program is it isn’t limited to one kid, it is for the entire school.  This inclusion helps make sure that all kids have the right food to learn. Our Rotary Club here has helped with the program at several schools and we were recognized at the Principal’s breakfast in September where each of the schools got their funding to ramp up the programs for the school year. My kids love the program and I know the kids that are actually hungry love it too.  There is some pretty amazing statistics around the program when it comes to the power of food in regards to learning – It really makes a difference.

Lastly, it may have been stupid warm here today, but soon enough the cold weather will be back upon us, and we are gearing up for another season working the kitchen at Inn-Out-Of-The-Cold serving up some hot delicious food to some of locals that need a little help during those cold months.

Until Next Month…… (I honestly can’t find any pictures —– next month we will have some!)

Smart Panda - Dancing Panda Smart Panda - Hospital