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Rotary invited to Philippines funder

By November 18, 2022No Comments
Sydney Palmer explained how a $10,000 donation from the Rotary Club of Lloydminster went toward the construction of a new rural school in the Philippines during a presentation on Monday at the Lloydminster Community Youth Centre. Geoff Lee Meridian Source

 

Sydney Palmer is inviting Rotary Club of Lloydminster members to a Canadian-themed fundraising party in the Philippines in 2024 to kickstart another school-building project. 

Palmer made the pitch to the club at the Lloydminster Community Youth Centre on Monday after he attended the opening of the Rotary Canlaon Mountain School in the Philippines on Oct. 20.

“We’re going to go ahead with a ‘Canadian taste’ fundraiser dinner in the Philippines,” said Palmer.

“We’re going to try to bring some Canadian auctioneers and ring-men to the Philippines and we’re hoping some of our Rotary Club can come to it.”

He says one of the things they will be auctioning is a dinner for four at his condo in San Juan City with the country’s minister of education as a special guest.

Palmer is president of CLS Consulting Ltd., which recruits workers for Canada from an office in the Philippines where he was president of the Metro Venezuela Rotary Club that got the Canlaon school project off the ground.

He wanted to thank the Lloydminster club for contributing $10,000 to the mountain school and show them how their donation was spent.

“We put together a presentation of the building and the construction of it and that’s what we’re going to show today,” said Palmer.

The school is located in the mountains in a province called Negros, where there are no roads within four kilometres of the school.

“Some of these kids have never been to school so they are pretty excited about the school,” said Palmer who hoped they would attract 80 students. 

He says there were 120 children enrolled at the opening and was thinking they should have made it bigger. 

“The supervisor came up to me and she was in tears and said ‘Sydney, I don’t know what we’re going to do with all the space,’” said Palmer.

He says some children over there are used to sitting on the floor, but Rotary donated desks and “the whole bit” as he put it.

“We bought backpacks for all the children and they just thought it was Christmas. It was totally unbelievable,” said Palmer.

Incredibly the school was built at a cost of about $US60,000 including the Lloydminster donation that was matched by Alberta Rotary and the Rotary Foundation Canada.

They get the children’s parents to do the work. 

“We hire an engineer and a cook. If you come to work we feed you. That way there is more personal involvement in the building of your school,” explained Palmer.

He says his Philippines Rotary Club has built about 10 schools and tries to build a new school every second year.

He says because funds are getting harder to secure, he was made chair of a new fundraising idea to invite Rotarians from Lloydminster and other Canadians to come to the Philippines for a project auction party.

“We’ve got some big items donated already. We’re planning on 500 people to be at the event,” said Palmer, who noted it will take place in February 2024.

“We’re going to be another school in the northern Philippines.”

Palmer says he is looking for ideas on what to donate including some things Canadian like cowboy hats and boots.

He is also hoping the Lloydminster club can donate to the school project as well via a dedicated school fund.

Palmer also reported his New Life Opportunities Placement Agency in San Juan bought over 600 Filipino workers for Western Canada in his last two hiring trips.

“We’re picking up orders now in Quebec and Ontario—Saskatchewan is the biggest by far,” said Palmer.