Leveraging Rotary: A Story of International Collaboration in a Time of Crisis
Oct 25, 2021 12:00 PM
Steve Rutledge
Leveraging Rotary: A Story of International Collaboration in a Time of Crisis

Steve, a Rotarian from the GTA, was one of the keynote speakers at the District 7010 Conference 2021, held in Timmins in September.

Steve will be speaking on the topic of Leveraging Global and District Grants.  Steve will present on two successful projects where participation by many individual Rotary Clubs in Canada and beyond provided the resources that triggered Rotary Foundation funds for both a Global Grant and for a (large) District Grant project.  He will highlight ways in which Clubs can participate in an increased range of projects without necessarily having to expend a large amount of money.

Steve spent his career as co-owner of a mid sized computer company in Toronto.  Since retirement he has narrowed his focus on local and international community support.  Steve has served on several boards and committees in Port Hope including the Municipal Culture Committee, Parks, Rec and Culture Committee, Skatepark committee, Capitol Theatre Board of Directors and others.  He has received two civic awards, the latest for philanthropy and is a multiple Paul Harris award recipient for his efforts (Port Hope, Whitby Sunrise and Beirut Cosmopolitan) and awarded the Spirit of Rotary award in 2016.  In 2018, he received the Family and Community Service award from the Rotary Club of Courtice.  His most recent award was the Bob Scott Disease Prevention award from Rotary District 7070 in June 2020.

With his partner they created a number of large events including one they held in their home netting $61,000 for the Capitol theatre and another town event for 6000 people.

For the last 11 years Steve has ventured into Laos serving the rural villagers with the most basic of needs for sustained life.  Since 2009, Adopt A Village in Laos has completed over 65 villages with filtered water one family at a time, serving over 32,000 rural villagers, constructed 24 permanent water supplies, repaired numerous others, built over 40 banks of toilets, 12 school construction projects and continues to sponsor a host of primary, secondary and university students.

After the Beirut port explosion in 2020, Mr. Rutledge chaired the international sponsoring partner club committee (Whitby Sunrise club) and raised approximately $240,000 from 60 clubs towards a global grant to replace operating theatre equipment for Beirut’s only public hospital.  Steve is also co-Chair of the International Committee at Whitby Sunrise and sits on the District 7070 Water and Sanitation Committee.


This a Virtual/In-Person meeting, with a limit of 20 in-person attendees allowed.

In-Person Selection Process

  • We are using a lottery system requiring those wishing to attend in-person, to register their intent up to 2 days prior to the meeting. REGISTER HERE
  • Selected attendees will be notified the day prior to the meeting.

The balance of the members/guests are welcome to join the meeting via Zoom - Direct Link.