Sault Ste. Marie - North Bay - Sudbury
Division N Director - Pat Bolduc CC, ALB firstname.lastname@example.org
Division N is comprised of 16 clubs and over 260 members located in beautiful Northern Ontario, across the communities of North Bay, Timmins, Sudbury, Espanola, and Sault Ste. Marie. It is characterized as the largest Division as it is distributed over 86,000 square kilometers. This Division is not only rich in forests, minerals, lakes and landscapes, but boasts many diverse clubs that are rich in culture and history. The two longest standing clubs, Algoma Toastmasters in Sault Ste. Marie in Area 1, and Sudbury Toastmasters in Area 3, have been serving their communities since 1958. The newest club, Diamond Dreamers, was chartered in 2015 and is remotely located north of Timmins in Area 2. The division is proud to have francophone clubs at noon hour and the evening. Le secteur est fier de siéger des clubs francophones à l'heure du midi et en soirée.
Small town populations, long travel distances, and limited infrastructure, challenge Division N to think outside the box to connect our clubs and areas with other Divisions and the District. We strive to deliver quality club officer training and vibrant speech contests despite having to navigate extreme seasonal weather conditions. Yet we have fun working together and sharing our knowledge and passion for Toastmasters, either face to face or through video conference technology, and we are proud of our 2015/16 achievement as a Distinguished Division!
Message from Division N Director
I’m excited about all the passion and energy that Toastmasters in Division N are feeling this year! Summer Face to Face Club Officer Training offered in 3 separate locations including Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and North Bay – is giving club leaders the opportunity to build relationships, connect, communicate and learn MORE about their officer roles. Phase 2 training will be delivered at the community level as well.
A full day “Northern Voices - Les Voix Boréales” Toastmasters Conference was led by Alexandre Matte, on Saturday, October 22, 2016 in Sudbury. This special event gave Division N Toastmasters a glimpse of what it’s like to attend a District Conference but was held in their own neighborhood. Educational workshops (in both English and French), vibrant guest speakers and inspirational presentations filled the morning sessions, a delicious lunch was served before the afternoon’s Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contests. Leaders and speakers from across the Division were involved. Thank you to all who stepped up! Congratulations Alexandre for achieving High Performance Leadership (HPL) through this amazing project!
A Toastmasters Open House in North Bay included prominent speakers and public figures from the community. Colleen Charland did an excellent job of promoting Toastmasters through this special event. A dynamic new club is coming together at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Sudbury, which is sure to raise the bar for speakers in Area 3! Gina Kennedy is leading this project. Stay tuned for more information on a charter meeting date to welcome Sudbury's newest club.
The following story is being shared by Cindy Rocca of Greater Sudbury Speakers.
In January, 2016, I began running the 12-week Youth Leadership Program at St. Benedict’s High School, here in Sudbury, with Co-Coordinator, Catherine Ronchin.
There was a lot of interest from the students in Junior High and we achieved 11 members at the on-set of the leadership program. From there, 9 members continued through the 12-week program and the need to charter an official Gavel Club, was evident. We officially chartered in May, 2016 and began to receive requests to have students from home schools, and other schools attend the meetings. For that reason, in September 2016, we decided to run the program out of our public library and the success of the club has been unimaginable!
We are now up to 14 (of the 20 maximum) members, with additional members joining us in January. Most significantly, however, has been the change we’ve witnessed in our members.
When they began with us (some in January 2016 and others in September, 2016) many of them were so shy, they didn’t make eye contact when speaking to others. We had members who suffered from low self-esteem and lacked the ability to communicate with others. After just a few weeks, the growth in these teens was so evident that we received emails of support from parents, telling us how much the Gavel Club has helped their child’s confidence grow.
This past November, we held a joint meeting of the Greater Sudbury Speaker’s Club, and the Greater Sudbury Gavel Club. We had over 50 individuals in attendance and even with an audience of this magnitude, each of our Gaveliers approached the lectern beaming with self-assurance. They presented their speeches one at a time, with poise and articulation. In addition, some of the most timid members even added impromptu humour to their presentations.
These are our future Toastmasters and leaders!
They are a true inspiration to anyone who has ever felt nervousness when speaking, and they demonstrate how to defy that inner voice that claims, “I can’t.” It is through working with these teens each week, in the journey to mentor these young men and women, that I am reminded over and over again, I can!
Thank you Cindy for your accomplishment in building this gavel club and keeping it growing!
If you have a Toastmasters Club or Area event being planned that you would like to promote, send me an email and I’ll do my best to share the news. Or, if you just want to chat about an event idea, I’d love to hear from you.