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PROBUS Club speakers bring topics of interest to members
by Sandy Lindsay

August 8, 2016
www.saugeentimesl.com

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Tony Sheard (at mic) introduced the Guest Speakers ....



Geoff Van Geem (L) Manager of Bluewater Community Unit of Canadian Cancer Society and John Willets, Saugeen Shores Volunteer Coordinator

The Saugeen Shores Men's Probus Club continues to host speakers who present a wide variety of topics and interest to the members.

On Tuesday, August 2nd, Geoff Van Geem, Manager of Bluewater Community Unit of Canadian Cancer Society and John Willetts, Saugeen Shores Volunteer Coordinator, explained the benefits that the Bluewater Unit brings to the area.

The speakers were introduced by Tony Sheard who recounted his personal experiences with the 'Wheels of Hope' driving program when his wife, Sylvia, had to undergo cancer treatments in London.  "There were times when I simply could not go with her and, the 'Wheels of Hope' volunteers stepped in and provided the transportation."

John Willetts, responsible for volunteer coordination, said that once a family member is diagnosed with cancer, the entire family becomes involved.  "It's like learning a whole new language with medical and technology terms," he said, "and they have to learn how to access the resources that revolve around cancer."

Van Geem added that, today, two out five people will be diagnosed with cancer but, since 1985, the mortality rate has been cut by half.  "The Canadian Cancer Society mission is four-pronged,' he explained, "Caring, courage, integrity and progressive."

"We are not just about education when it comes to cancer, but are also enhancing the lives of those who live with it and, for that, we rely on fundraising programs such as the Daffodil program that raised $3.5 million this year and the Relays for Life at $15 million."

According to Van Geem, the Canadian Cancer Society is the largest national community based volunteer fundraising organization in Canada whose mission is to eradicate cancer while enhancing the quality of life of those living with the disease.  "We are also the largest fundraiser for the Princess Margaret Treatment Hospital in Toronto," added Van Geem.

One of the most important programs offered is the 'Wheels of Hope'.  "The program is particularly for those who may not have the economic means or transportation to get to appointments and/or treatments," Van Geem pointed out.  "Volunteers take clients to urban centres such as Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Toronto and, now with the oncology suite, many to Owen Sound."

Since 2005, the service of 118 local volunteer drivers has made 5,064 trips for 418 clients for a total of 709,283km.  "A trip to London, for example, costs approximately $100.  The transportation costs in Grey Bruce totaled $250,000 in 2015 and is not funded by the Government."  He also explained that funds raised locally can be specified to go toward local programs, such as 'Wheels of Hope'.

Van Geem went on to say that there are over 200 separate conditions known as 'cancer'.

 "Will we find 'A' cure?  Not in my lifetime because there are so many kinds, but we can enhance quality of life and provide for those who live with a cancer.  We also fund research, particularly, innovative ideas.  Last year, $38.1 million was invested in research with another $14.1 million in prevention research.  New methods are always being considered, such as ultra sound to tell if cells are cancerous and immunology therapy that encourages the body to fight cancer."

For more information on any issue related to cancer, call: 1-888-939-3333 .

 

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About PROBUS

What is PROBUS anyway? It is a club made up of retirees with many common interests and with a desire to chat and trade stories from time to time. Most of the regional clubs have their own character, which seems to evolve with each club to meet local needs and membership change, both in numbers and in demographics.

“Bill Edwards, a Past President of Port Elgin Rotary Club in Southampton, Ontario, founded the Probus Club of Port Elgin and District (now The Probus Club of Saugeen Shores). He was responsible for initiating and promoting the concept of assessing every member of every club $1 to support PROBUS CENTRE-CANADA.”

A History

"PROBUS Clubs spring from two main roots: the 'Campus Club' founded by the Rotary Club of Welwyn Garden City, England and the “PROBUS” Club founded by the Rotary Club of Caterham in England in 1965 & 1966 re-spectively. Since then, PROBUS Clubs have spread worldwide and continue to grow at a rapidly increasing rate as interested people from any field of endeavour and of similar interests are invited to join, recognizing the value of participation with like-minded people. PROBUS is now in 20 countries. They began to appear in Canada in the late 1980’s and, as of June 30th (2016), there are 238 active clubs with 33,733  members coast to coast. PROBUS Canada, through its Board of Directors, encourages and advises on the formation of Clubs, maintains an up-to-date directory of Clubs, distributes lapel pins and other regalia and publishes a Newsletter at regular intervals giving information on PROBUS Club(s) activities. Out of the activities  and membership, there is self-generating goodwill, a sense of fellowship, a diverse background of interests, and cordiality ensuring a highly successful future as a firmly established part of the community. To preserve the integrity and reputation of these autonomous Clubs, they are encouraged to adhere to the Standard Constitution established by PROBUS Canada. The PROBUS Experience has proven to be a very successful basis for serving the needs of retirees in the many countries in which the PROBUS movement is now flourishing.”

 Let’s do our part to keep the numbers growing.

BRING A FRIEND: We encourage any and everyone to bring a summer friend to this or any of our meetings the 1st Tuesday of every month.


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