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RTO/ERO Distinguished Member Award

By Lynn Hitzman

This spring the Executive of District 34 was proud to nominate Dick Duffin to receive an RTO/ERO Distinguished Member Award for his service to District 34 as newsletter editor and website designer and webmaster.

Dick Duffin

From his nomination, “When Dick retired, about 20 years ago, he joined District 34. He joined the Newsletter Committee and began to improve the methods of communication. It seemed to be a simple progression of events, but each move was meticulously researched, planned, costed and shared with the executive before any implementation. We have been grateful for his skills, patience and enthusiasm during the sixteen years he edited the newsletter and developed our website.”

Dick Duffin also joined the Provincial Communications Committee in 2008. He maintained email communication with 80 district newsletter editors and webmasters providing them with information and individual support. He made five presentations at annual conferences. His evaluations from workshop participants were always outstanding.

In Dick’s nomination, Grant Dale submitted the following statement. “I have had the pleasure of experiencing Dick’s tutelage when I was selected to follow him as editor and webmaster. His patience and gentle pacing is what I attribute for whatever skills I have developed in my use of InDesign and Dreamweaver. It is an honour for me to try to follow in his footsteps ….”
Dick Duffin will receive his Award at the Fall Senate, October, 2014. At that time, he will also receive $350 to be awarded to the charity of his choice.
Congratulations, Dick.


Recipients of the Bruce Shiga Memorial Volunteer Recognitions for 2014

By Evelyn Lawrence

At the Spring luncheon on May 29th, the Executive was very pleased to recognize four of our members for their work as volunteers in their local communities.  The following is a very brief account of some of their activities.

Virginia Dawson worked for a number of years in the gardens of the York Region Police Community Safety Village to rejuvenate and then maintain the plantings to return the gardens to their original attractive state. She also helped create and develop the memorial garden in the Village for a fallen York Region Police officer. Virginia is an active volunteer at her church helping with many fund raising events, serving on committees and participating in various other activities.

Ann Murphy has volunteered at her Markham church for many years where she has organized rummage sales and bazaars, assisted with food preparation for events and has served as Church Warden and Treasurer. Ann is a driver for CHATS, taking seniors to any number of events and appointments.  She has worked in various capacities as a volunteer at the Markham Fair for the last 10 years. Overall, her many activities have given support to numerous people in her community.

Helen Smolkin was a founder of her local synagogue and Hebrew school. She has served on the Board of Directors of those since their inception, giving much time for meetings and various fund raising and other events. She has served as the President of the Friends of Yiddish of Toronto for many years. For this organization she plans monthly luncheons, lectures, concerts and does outreach for membership.
She serves on the Board for the United Jewish Appeal and works with the Status of Women Committee.

Mary Pittson Vautour has served for over 20 years as a volunteer for the Richmond Hill Arts Council. As President from 2005-7, she oversaw the approval and building of the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. Mary has been recognized by the Council of Richmond Hill for her contribution to the Richmond Hill Youth Art Festival in 2012 and 2013.  As well, she was the recipient of a recognition award from the House of Commons Council. Mary also finds time to visit the residents of the Marianne Home for Seniors in Richmond Hill.


From Our Provincial Office

Charitable Foundation

                                                FOUNDATION NEWS
                                                       July 2014

Happy Summer!
Here are a few updates regarding the RTO/ERO Foundation.

  1. The ad for the new Director of Advancement and Fundraising has been posted on the Charity Village website as well as the RTO/ERO website.  Charity Village is a free site where organizations advertise for positions such as the one we are seeking.  The deadline for applications is July 30.

  2. It is our intention to have the new Director begin as soon as possible.

  3. The new software program “Raiser’s Edge” is now up and running.  Both Ewa and Adina have been trained on the financial end of it.  Both report that it is user friendly.  As I indicated in the April newsletter it replaces many of the tasks that were done by hand.

  4. Now that this software is in place it is possible to resume automatic monthly withdrawals either from a bank account or a credit card.  For either method inform Adina Nedelcu at the provincial office of your decision and give her the necessary information.

  5. The redesign of the income tax receipt is underway.  For those members who make a monthly donation one receipt will be issued at the end of the year.

  6. The survey questions will be finalized at the August meeting of the Foundation Board.  However, the survey will not be sent out to the sample group of members until the new Director has some input.  Please note that this group will include District Presidents as well as District Foundation Representatives.

  7. The plaque presented to RTO/ERO by the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto will be displayed in the reception area of the 3rd floor at the RTO/ERO office at 18 Spadina Road.

  8. Our Foundation continues with its mission “To improve the quality of life for seniors.”

  9. Donations may be made to the RTO/ERO Foundation at the following address:

RTO/ERO Foundation
18 Spadina Road, Ste. 300
Toronto ON M5R 2S7


  1. Our Foundation is a Canadian Registered Charity as granted by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) under the Income Tax Act, registered charitable number 848662110R0001.  It is a separate entity from the not-for-profit organization of RTO/ERO.

  2. Our Foundation Logo is registered with the Canadian Revenue Agency.  It cannot be used with other additions or deletions.


Foundation Chair – Valerie Mah
Chair, District Involvement – Joanne Murphy


Thank you for your input and assistance with our Foundation.

Joanne Murphy