In October 1976, Rotarian Ken Dobson and I attended the Canadian Rotary Institute in Peterborough , Ontario . One of the sessions dealt with fund raising. An idea that caught our attention was one where a Rotary Club sent a $10.00 cheque to one hundred Rotary clubs around the world asking them to send back an item of interest from their country. All items received were then auctioned off at a gala promoting world understanding. Not only did they receive interesting items at a far greater value than $10.00, most Rotary Clubs returned the $10.00 cheque. Ken and I discussed the idea and felt it had an interesting fundraising dimension but more importantly, it had potential to create a greater global awareness and an appreciation for others.
At the time, I was teaching Grade 8 at McDougall School, Parry Sound. Ken and I decided that I would approach my principal, Mr. Bud Stevenson, to see about involving my Grade 8 class in contacting one hundred schools around the world inviting them to send us a package of information and items from their country. In lieu of sending them $10.00, the McDougall students would prepare a package of items and information representing the Parry Sound area and send it to them.