Durham College receives donation from Whitby Rotary Club

Durham College's president, Don Lovisa makes a speech at a Whitby Rotary Club meeting after accepting their donation.

The Rotary Club of Whitby has donated $20,000 to Durham College’s Centre for Food (CFF), located at the DC Whitby campus.

Lovisa says the donation from the Rotary Club will be used to build an arboretum at the Centre for Food, which is a garden area with a collection of trees and shrubs. These will be used for educational purposes.

The Centre for Food opened in September 2013 with a “field-to-fork” focus, achieved through the harvesting, storage, processing, packaging, sale and consumption of food, all of which is done on location.

However, Durham College president, Don Lovisa says there is still a lot of work to be done on the grounds of the CFF. The fields and surrounding areas were designed in such a way that they are all part of the classroom experience.

“If you put it on a one to five scale, we’ve completed level one, but students over the next three to four years will take it to level five, as they build up the lands, it will all become part of the classroom… this is the beginnings of it,” says Lovisa.

Even though Lovisa says the CFF is at “level one” on his scale, he stresses that “level one” is still a very high level and there’s a lot already there. There are gardens, greenhouses, trees, apple orchards. Lovisa says, “you really need to see it in person, in order to understand.”

Desmond Newman has been a member of the Rotary Club of Whitby for more than 10 years. During that time, he was president of the club at two separate times.

About two years ago, when Newman was president, he spoke with Lovisa about contributions to the then planned Centre for Food.

Soon after, the contribution idea was presented to the club’s board of directors. The contribution was finally approved and was made at one of the club’s meetings on November 10, 2015.

The $20,000 donation was collected through a number of fundraising events. One of those was the Food Truck Frenzy where 20 food trucks came to Whitby in May 2015, for the community to enjoy.

In years past, the Food Truck Frenzy has raised more than $50,000. The money that is raised from events are put into a pool and is used to support a number of charitable operations.

Newman says the club is a strong supporter of literacy and education. That’s why they make contributions from time to time to institutions such as Durham College.