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Clifford Rotary Club hears of local vet student’s trip to Africa

Visit to Africa - Clifford Rotary Club president Nick Oleksandriw, right, thanked Alaina MacDonald for her talk on her trip to Africa at the Clifford Rotary meeting held on Nov. 21. Photo by Bonnie Whitehead

Clifford Rotary Club hears of local vet student’s trip to Africa

by Bonnie Whitehead

CLIFFORD - President Nick Oleksandriw welcomed guest presenter Alaina MacDonald and district assistant governor Tim Mancell to the Clifford Rotary Club meeting on Nov. 21 at Gramma Jo’s Restaurant here.

Veterinary student Alaina MacDonald of Drew shared details of her eight-week venture to East Africa. Her fears and misconceptions associated with Uganda and Tanzania were quickly dispelled, she said.

She was eager to lend a hand shadowing veterinarians at farms, spending days at pet adoption agencies, and meeting gorilla doctors at the vet school. She learned about rampant rabies that took the life of a villager, worked with livestock on skin afflictions and experienced the best way for her driver to pay a fine for texting while driving.

MacDonald explained that most farms have at least one dairy cow, but she did see a dairy herd of 50. One village at a time, challenges are addressed - malaria, polio, mosquito nets, schooling, digging wells, chairs for the disabled. People contribute to fundraisers to control the pet population, which in turn reduces the chance for rabid animals to attack and harm people. MacDonald is in her third year of vet school in Guelph and looks forward to graduating and pursuing her career. She expressed appreciation to the club for helping to sponsor her pre-trip medications, supplies and flight.

Mancell shared a slogan “change or perish.” He said clubs are developing new ideas and strategies to attract new members.  Mancell was presented with two cheques: $500 for Rotary Foundation Polio Plus and $2,000 for the Rotary International Fund.

The club’s Christmas party is set for Dec. 5 and a membership drive will be underway. The club meets at 6:30pm on Tuesdays at Gramma Jo’s Restaurant.

Contact Rotarian Randy Ruetz for further information at 519-510-9787 or

December 8, 2017


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