Posted by Allan Cady
Polly and I attended the Rotary Convention in Toronto June 23 – 27.  We shared the Convention with 24,000 other Rotarians.  For us, it was our third RI Convention, having attended both the Sydney and Atlanta events.
Toronto is a vibrant, multi-cultured city with a population of 2.7 million.  The general sessions were held in the Air Canada Centre, while the breakout sessions and the House of Friendship were based in the Toronto Convention Centre.  Both locatons worked remarkably well with ample room for all attendees and presentations.
The Keynote speakers were Laura Bush, First Lady and wife of George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States; Princess Anne, only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip; and Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada.  Polly and I attended a total of seven
breakout sessions.  Our favorites were Getting Your Story Covered in the News, Engaging Young Professionals, Involving Alumni in Rotary Projects, and Rotarians Combatting Human Trafficking and Slavery. Both Polly and I captured many program ideas which we look forward to sharing with Mesa West Rotary in the days and weeks ahead. 
Additionally, Polly and I attended three separate events:  District 5495 Kickoff Dinner; District 6000 breakfast at the invitation of Lee Holmes, our recently appointed Assistant Governor; and a Gift of Life International reception.
While we were in Toronto, we also reconnected with Omar Falcon Aburto and his family.  They stayed at our home during the Mexican-USA Friendship Conference in Phoenix last October and acquainted us with Enchulamma la Silla, a wheelchair project to which Mesa West made a $1,000 contribution last year.
Following the Convention, Polly and I made a side trip to Niagara Falls, a wonder neither of us had previously witnessed.  We thrilled with a Hornblower Catamaran adventure into the mist and rain at the base of the falls.  Many great pictures were captured with our camera and i-Phones. 
Finally, all Rotarians extended a hearty thanks and farewell to Ian Riseley, now Past RI President from Victoria, Australia.  President Riseley is succeded by Barry Rassin from New Providence, Bahamas.  The Rotary theme for 2018-2019 is Be the Inspiration.  The RI Convention next year with all of its friendship, fun, and inspiration will be held in Hamburg, Germany.  Polly and I hope to attend that one too!