Submitted by AG Darlene Carpenter
At the April 2, 2020 District Council meeting I reported that my cluster was developing plans to initiate the Red Ribbon campaign to honor Essential and Front-Line Workers for COVID-19. We are aware that red ribbon also signifies other worthy causes but still decided to use red.  It has now rolled out and I wanted to share the details and press release (below). 
Also the Guelph Wellington Fergus Rotary cluster would like to encourage any other cluster(s) or clubs throughout the District to participate. Simply tie a red ribbon on a balcony, post or around a tree in your front yard to honor essential and front-line workers.  Tag #RotaryResponds.  Don’t forget to send out a photo via social media to spread the word from Rotarians.
PRESS RELEASE: Rotary Club of Guelph Announces RotaryResponds, a COVID-19 Response Project – April 2020
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the Guelph community, local Rotary Clubs are launching a new campaign to raise funds and support essential and frontline workers.  RotaryResponds is a multi-phased initiative designed to help provide vital equipment and supplies to the Guelph General Hospital while recognizing the efforts and sacrifices being made by all essential and frontline workers in the community.
The Rotary Club of Guelph Charitable Foundation will match community contributions through its website up to $10,000 to support the Foundation of Guelph General Hospital’s COVID-19 Critical Response Fund.  
"We have been supporting much-needed programs in our community for 100 years and Rotarians are standing ready to help during this crisis”, says Rotary Club of Guelph President Carolyn Weatherson who earlier announced that many of the club’s Centennial celebrations and projects would be cancelled or postponed.  “Rotarians are overcome with gratitude for everyone on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, from grocery clerks to emergency personnel.  Our healthcare workers are especially vulnerable as they are doing everything they can to take care of us while putting themselves at risk.”
Members of the community are encouraged to visit the Rotary Club of Guelph Charitable Foundation’s website at . Every dollar raised through the site will be directly matched up to $10,000.  These funds will go to help purchase much needed medical equipment and supplies at the hospital. 
To show further signs of support, all Rotary Clubs in Guelph, Fergus, and Elora will lead a ribbon campaign, encouraging members of the community to tie a red ribbon on a balcony, post, or a tree in their front yard in honor of essential and frontline workers in the community.  “We believe this small gesture can go a long way to help build morale and show support for those who are putting themselves at risk every day to battle this virus and keep us safe”, says Weatherson.  “Whether you tie a ribbon to show your support for someone you know on the front line, or essential workers as a whole, it would be wonderful to see the entire community decorated in red ribbons to show support and gratitude”. Citizens are encouraged to take a photo of their ribbon and post to their Social Media using the hashtag #RotaryResponds
Rotary is celebrating 100 years in Guelph.  Since 1920, the Rotary clubs in Guelph have shared a legacy of Service Above Self having supported many community projects that include Hospice Wellington, KidsAbility, and Food4Kids.  These projects have been made possible through many of the club’s fundraisers including Canada Day in the Park, Sparkles in the Park, and Lobsterfest.