Lupus Awareness Day 2019



In recognition of World Lupus Day 2019, NKRC had a little chat with our club member Francine White. One of our longest serving members who has been with the club for 5 years and is currently living fabulously with Lupus!

  1. What is the official name of your diagnosis?

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease. In this disease, the immune system of the body mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. It can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs.

  1. When were you diagnosed?

Suspected: 2013

Fully diagnosed: 2014

  1. What were your symptoms that led to your diagnosis?

Over the years before diagnosis, I was always presented with different symptoms for which they (Doctors) couldn’t find a definite cause. Symptoms such as pain all over my body, depression, uncontrollable anxiety, exhaustion, etc.

  1. How did you feel when you were diagnosed?

 I felt a mixture of happiness and sadness. Happy because I wasn’t crazy (I was back and forth to the doctor from I was in high school) and sad because I was actually sick.

  1. What has been your major challenge? 

 Asking for help when I need it and having to disappoint people sometimes. It is a very draining condition and it sucks all your energy to function on a day to day basis sometimes. One moment you are ok and the next moment you are genuinely not, so when you make plans you might have to disappoint people at times.

  1. How do you cope and manage with your diagnosis? 

 I manage my diagnosis by taking prescribed medications on a day to day basis and I cope by seeing where I want to be and knowing that I am not there yet and also knowing that this is just one aspect of my life and even though sometimes I have to take a step back to regroup, that is what I will do.

  1. You have been an exemplary Rotaractor and member of NKRC, how did you manage this with your diagnosis?

I don’t know how to explain how. At the time when I started coming to NKRC, I was just dealing with fully learning what it was that has been affecting me for so long and how it will affect me going forward.

I decided not to let it define me and so service is where I put my focus. By doing this I got to see that everyone is dealing with something and we all got to push through. Also, when you dedicate yourself to a cause you realize that for that time you forget your struggles by focusing on other persons and Rotaract gives me that moment all the time.


  1. What would you like for persons and groups like Rotaract to do more?

Lupus is not one of those “sexy” conditions that is given much attention even in this Rotary/Rotaract circle. There is a foundation here in Jamaica that does a lot of work when it comes to spreading information and fighting for benefits for persons with Lupus. It is a very costly condition. The foundation always needs more help. So support the foundation some more. One good thing of late is that Government of Jamaica (GoJ) has finally added it to the NHF list of conditions so persons will be abler to access medications, but a lot more is still left to get done.

  1. What’s your message to other persons living with Lupus?

Live your life to the fullest (whatever that means to you) and don’t let Lupus define your life.

Fran 2

Stronger than Cancer




Cancer is a broad term that describes the disease that results when cellular changes cause the uncontrolled growth and division of cells. Some types of cancer cause rapid cell growth, while others cause cells to grow and divide at a slower rate. 
It is a debilitating disease that wreaks havoc not only on an individual’s body, but can devastate lives and families. 

In commemoration of World Cancer Day we had a chat with Rtr. Brenesha Bryan about her experience and journey with Cancer.

Which Cancer do you have and at what stage?

Kidney Cancer – Stage 1

When were you diagnosed?
December 2017

What were your symptoms that led to your diagnosis?
Severe back pain, swelling  of the legs, retaining  fluid/ have problem to past urine

How did you feel when you were diagnosed?

Like I’m dying and all hope was gone

What has been your major challenge?
My major challenge was to eat healthy, so I gave up certain foods. And I also couldn’t  keep down food.

How do you cope and manage? 
At first I wasn’t  coping well until i was introduced to the Rotaract  Club of New Kingston, that welcomed me with  open arms.  The energy  push me to keep on the right path.  Managing is hard so my parents help me to keep on track and I make sure I do all my treatments on the given dates.

What would you like for persons and groups like Rotaract to do more?
Promote  against things that cause cancer and try their best to try and help someone  that have cancer because just by communicating  with someone it  makes a major change in their  lives. You just might give them hope and you don’t even know.

What’s your message to other persons battling Cancer?
My message to others is  to not give up hope.  Fight it because I know you are stronger that it . Take your medication  and find a club or similar initiative. It makes your mind clear by the activities the club do. 
Do something that you always wanted to achieve, because  you will use your time fighting  and time will pass by so easy and you won’t even realize . 
Let’s not make cancer kill you, you kill cancer.

Quarter 2 Round Up 2018/2019 Year

Youth Leadership Seminar, October 20, 2018
On October 20, 2018, our members and prospective members attended the Youth Leadership Seminar held at The Montego Bay Community College, St James. Attendees were provided with the opportunity to learn new ideas from the sessions attended regarding Rotary & Rotaract as well as their personal & professional development.


Rotary Liaison Committee

Joint meeting, St. Georges College Interact Club, November 1, 2018
On Thursday November 1, 2018, our General Meeting was co-chaired by the St. Georges College Interact Club. There was also a fantastic panel discussion in recognition of World Interact Week where our own Rtr. Anique, President Vanessa as well as Rtn. Wayne and Rtn. Julio from our parent club shared their many experiences as interactors during their high school days.

International Tree Planting Day, October 5, 2018
Some of our members joined our sponsor club, The Rotary Club of New Kingston and The Interact Club of St. Georges College, where we planted several trees on the compound of the school in recognition of International Tree Planting Day.

Induction Ceremony of Rtn. Patrick Forrest, November 5, 2018
The Rotary Club of St. Andrew North inducted Patrick Forrest for membership. Members of NKRC came out in their numbers to support Patrick as he prepared to embark on a new journey with his new rotary family and continue to serve communities via impactful projects. AG Novlet was in attendance to assist with his induction ceremony. As well as supporting Rtn’s and past NKRC members such as Rtn. Wayne Thorpe, Rtn. Ryan McKenzie and Rtn. Donair Wilmouth.

St. Georges College Pinning Ceremony, November 7, 2018
We were honoured to be in attendance of The St. Georges College Interact club’s pinning ceremony of their board of directors and members. We were also delighted in the handover of their new banner.

Visit to The Earlyact Club of Queens Prep. School, November 8, 2018
We had an amazing morning with the Earlyactors where President Peta-Gaye from our sponsor club explained to the children the meaning of The Four Way Test.

Joint meeting and project between The Rotary Club of New Kingston, The St. Georges College Interact Club & The Earlyact Club of the Queens Prep School, November 9, 2018
On November 9, 2018 we had an exciting joint meeting as well as a joint project at the Kintyre Basic School. Donation as as well as a reading session was held and it was truly a fantastic day.

Guest Speaker, Rtr. Antoinette, November 16, 2018
Our very own Rtr. Antoinette McDonald was the guest speaker at our Sponsor club’s meeting on November 16, 2018.

Guest Speaker, Rtr. Sean Nelson, November 19, 2018
In recognition of International Men’s Day, our very own Rtr. Sean Nelson was the guest speaker at Calabar High School’s Interact club.

Rotary, Rotaract and Interact Club Visits
Some of members kept busy during quarter 2 when they visited Interact Club of St. George’s College and various Rotaract and Rotary Clubs in and out of Jamaica-East. Some of the club’s engagements were with the Rotaract Club of Liguanea Plains, Rotaract Club of Kingston, Rotaract Club of May Pen, Rotary Club of Downtown Kingston, Rotary Club of Liguanea Plains, Rotary Club of New Kingston and the Rotary Club of St. Andrew North. Members also visited the Earlyact Club of Queens Preparatory School.

Community Service Committee

“Remove the tape, Fly the gate”, Training session, October 6, 2018
We hosted a Youth Empowerment Workshop at The St. Matthews Church Hall in the community of Allman Town. Sessions held were on personal branding, stress management and finance management.

Jamaica for Lifelong Learning, November- December 10, 2018
Every Monday members were scheduled to visit Saxthorpe Methodist Church and Bethel Baptists church where they taught basic mathematics to Jamaica for Life Long Learning Programme participants of varying ages.

Hospital and Donation Visit, November 24, 2018
We visited the University of the West Indies Hospital, children’s ward and made a donation of items for newborn babies. We received new born items from the Azan Supercentre which included numerous bottles, clothes, socks, toys, blankets and a bath pan.

Christmas Treat 2018, December 8, 2018
The Tegwyn Unit of Jamaica National Children’s Home relies solely on aid from the government and donations which more often than not is insufficient. As a result, they face numerous challenges daily. The treat was not only geared towards acquiring the items needed by the unit, but also aimed to provide a day filled with fun and excitement for the children. The activities/rides/amenities included a Bounce-A-Bout, hair grooming, popcorn machine, creative corner & other games led by volunteers. This project was funded solely by our club and we raised additional funds by having a raffle during our December 6th general meeting which was won by rotaractor Shantel Baker.


SugaLifestyle Christmas Connection Tradeshow, December 15, 2018
some of our members were able to assist SugaLifestyle with their amazing Christmas Tradeshow where handcrafted, handmade Jamaica items were sold. We have to also thank SugaLifestyle for their generous donation towards one of our staple projects, the feeding of the homeless at The Marie Atkins shelter in Downtown, Kingston.


International Service Committee
Women of Tomorrow Workshop, October 13, 2018
We hosted our Women of Tomorrow workshop at the Girl Guides Association Auditorium. This was partnership with The National Taskforce Against Trafficking in Persons. There were both presentations and booths set up for viewing.

End Polio Now Walk-a-Thon, October 27, 2018
Our First End Polio Now Walk-a-Thon was held on October 27, 2018. The aim of project was to raise funds in a fun way that would benefit participants. The money raised will be donated to the END POLIO NOW FOUNDATION created by Rotary International. Participants were asked to donate a registration fee of$2000JMD. The Walk-A-Thon was held on the grounds of the Mona Dam and commenced at 6:00AM to 8:00AM.

International Men’s Day, November 17, 2018

On November 17, 2018, we went to the Jamaica National Children’s Home where we had a motivational session with the boys aged 6-16 under the theme “Positive Male Role Models” in recognition of International Men’s Day. We then joined our sponsor club at their Health Fair and assisted where necessary.

Health and Lifestyle Symposium, December 1, 2018
Our fourth annual Health and Lifestyle Symposium was held on December 1st where community members were treated to a day of medical checks, dental cleanings, eye screenings, blood and sugar tests. Members of the community were also able to get Free HIV/STI tests in recognition of world aids day. Not only were persons able to get free tests and checks, there was a rigourous exercise session led by Jamaica moves and Sweet Energy Fitness.

Fundraising Committee

Evoke: Y2k Skoolaz Edition, November 24, 2018
On November 24, 2018 we held our annual fundraiser Evoke at The Escape 24/7 Bar and grill. Tickets were still $500! Yes only $500 where patrons got to enjoy the easy and lit music by Dj Flexi!!! Patrons enjoyed and danced the night away to music from the 2000’s and onwards. Let’s not forget members coming out in the alma mater school colours and repping greatly for the night.

Re-Use Don’t Abuse Campaign, November 28, 2018
A fantastic campaign launch geared towards the preparation of the plastic ban in our country which would be effective on January 1, 219. Persons would be able to purchase reusable bags, straws and water bottles. All proceeds made from sales would be in aid of our service projects. Bags are being sold at $800 and $400 for two straws, full silicone and stainless steel with silicone tips.

Professional Development Commitee
Learn Something New, November 21, 2018
We continued our Learn Something New Learning Series with a Self Defence Workshop. It was an interactive session where members, prospectives and guests were taught basic and practical self defence techniques to help protect themselves if they were to be attacked. It was not only a great learning experience but FUN as well.

Club Service Committee
Membership Celebrations
We love to celebrate our members. Happy Members, Happy club. We had numerous membership birthdays throughout quarter 2. We had members celebrating up to 4 years of membership in the club. We’re always thankful for our members and we’re continually grateful to have such dedicated members in NKRC.

Fifth Thursday Lyme, Salsa Edition, November 29, 2018
We had such a blast learning the smooth moves of the famous Salsa Dance. Members quickly caught on to the steps and were surely ready to take on any salsa challenge given to them. We also had members from the Rotaract Club of St. Andrew and The Rotaract Club of Kingston join us for this interactive session.

Induction Ceremony, December 6, 2018
On December 6, 2018 we welcomed 8 new members to The Rotaract Club of New Kingston. It was a fantastic end to a truly fantastic year. Newly inducted members Rtr. Nick, Rtr. Kerisa, Rtr, Dwayne, Rtr. Brenesha, Rtr.Dana, Rtrr. Antonet, Rtr. Keon and Rtr. Alecia. This induction is especially significant to us as it marked NKRC’s membership reaching a whopping 50 members. A first in the club’s history and also symbolic to 50 years of Rotaract service in the world!


Christmas Dinner 2018, December 16, 2018.
Our annual Christmas dinner was an exciting occasion where members and prospectives followed through to the t with the theme handed to them. We were treated to a bevy of talented pieces from the club’s members and also witnessed the official launch of the club’s very first website at



Christmas Dinner 2018, The Masquerade: ‘A Night In The Hills’

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It was said by W.J. Tucker that “Christmas means fellowshipfeastinggiving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home”. To share in the ‘magic’ of the holiday season, the Rotaract Club of New Kingston, through its Club Service Committee, hosted its annual Christmas Dinner on December 16, themed “The Masquerade: A Night in the Hills.” Rotaractors, Rotarians, Prospective Members and Friends of Rotary gathered in their ‘black tie’ and masks attire on the beautifully decorated gardens of Rtn Mitch Stephenson’s home, to celebrate family, togetherness & commitment.

The evening began with the sultry singing of our Master of Ceremony Vice President Latoya Smith who brought the evening to a start with the tune O’ Holy Night. She led the gathering into an ice-breaker activity that saw us forming into groups to prepare and deliver a medley of Christmas songs to the delight of our fellow participants. This activity was a clear indication that NKRC has really got talent!

President Vanessa Williams then brought greetings and welcomed everyone officially to the Christmas dinner. She spoke briefly on the wonderful and impactful work that NKRC has been doing and expressed how immensely proud she was of the club that has continued to serve with passion and zeal despite our many challenges.

The award ceremony for our infamous ‘Vibe Awards’ followed. After a week of voting, quite a number of members received certificates having copped the majority of votes in the respective categories. Congratulations were extended to our ‘Fashionistas’, ‘Denzel Washingtons’, ‘Sunbeam & Moonlighter’, ‘Dapper Dan’, ‘Sole Snatcher’ & ‘Sock-o-holic’, ‘Ever-stressed’, to name a few.


We were serenaded throughout the night by the soulful sounds of Rtrs. Kimberly Sommerville and Samuel McDermott as well as Dir. Sandrika Dunkley through their renditions of a few popular Christmas songs. We were also entertained by Sec. Melzetta Smith with her stellar sign language performance.

The Christmas dinner would not have been complete without one of the most important activities for the season; the exchange of Gifts! After several weeks of secret treats and mysteries, all Pixies aka Secret Santas were revealed! Rotaractors and friends exchanged their brightest smiles and warmest hugs as they received or handed over gifts. In the spirit of gift giving, PP Mitch Stephenson received branded wine glasses as small tokens of appreciation from President Vanessa for his warm-hearted assistance in catering to the club.

To top it all off, all attendees received NKRC 2019 Calendars from the Club Service Committee, and President Vanessa revealed to the family of NKRC, the official club website that has been ably created by Rtr Nickquane! The website can be accessed at for all to keep up with all things NKRC and to check out our featured sponsors.

Special thanks for the evening extended to the following persons for their immeasurable contributions: Rtn Mitch- Venue & set-up; Rtr. Nick Morris- Music; Rtr. Nickquane-

Health and Lifestyle Symposium 2018

The Rotaract club of New Kingston staged its annual Health & Lifestyle Symposium on Saturday December 1, 2018 on the grounds of the Nannyville Community Health Centre. There was an approximated twenty eight (28) members and prospective members present, two (2) Rotarians from our sponsoring Rotary club of New Kingston who turned out to assist with serving an estimated 133 registered community members.

The Health & Life Style Symposium focused on sensitizing the participants on the importance of having and maintaining healthy lifestyle practices and to also pay attention to their mental health just as much as their physical well-being. Great importance was placed on HIV/AIDS status and educating attendees about safe sex practices. The project had workout sessions and medical check-up booths, eye screening area and HIV counselling area. During the course of the event, structured information on lifestyle illnesses, best practices, proper hygiene and health practices, mental health awareness and means to maintain a balanced lifestyle were shared in the general area by the event’s host.

Work out sessions were conducted by Jamaica Moves. In this session attendees and Rotaract members participated in fun cardio activities. The members of Jamaica Moves showed community members various exercises that could be conducted at home to lose weight, maintain proper breathing patterns and is great for cardio while being fun.

The Nurses gave regular check-ups to attendees, including blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar checks. The participants were then ushered to the Doctors’ Station where they were provided with a more thorough check-up and consultation regarding identified areas of concern.

There was also HIV/AIDS Testing and counselling provided by CHARES who also distributed condoms, spoke to persons about safe sex practices, as well as extended counselling on how to cope and enjoy a full life despite being HIV/AIDS positive.


Eye testing was conducted by the Mona Lions Club. They were able to conduct testing on a majority of attendees and offered expert opinions on whether glasses were needed. Some participants were provided with eyeglasses free of charge or were referred to an Ophthalmologist where conditions were deemed to be advanced.


The National Heath Fund conducted cholesterol and blood pressure testing. They also measured the person’s weight and advised on how to stay in a safe BMI, and how to lower an individual’s cholesterol, blood pressure and weight by eating healthy and exercising.

Free dental checks, cleanings and extractions were conducted by the mobile Dental Unit which a huge demand at the symposium.



























Vice President’s Message for “International Nelson Mandela Day”

Today we spent time with the children at The Queens Preparatory, reading and quizzing them about the Former South African President Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela is a champion for changing the world for the better. We as Rotaractors also strive to make the world a better place through giving back to our communities. So it is fitting that on Mandela Da, through this activity with the children at the Queens Preparatory School, we seek to raise awareness and educate the younger generation about how important Nelson Mandela is to the world and to inspire them to take action towards making the world a better place, which of course was his lifelong objective.

Ryan McKenzie
Vice President

Vice President & Past Queen's Preparatory School student Ryan shares some highlights of Mr. Mandela's Presidency with the students

Vice President & Past Queen’s Preparatory School student Ryan shares some highlights of Mr. Mandela’s Presidency with the students

Prospective Member Moyen & The Queen's Preparatory Students listen keenly to the presentations of Nelson Mandela's Life

Prospective Member Moyen & The Queen’s Preparatory Students listen keenly to the presentations of Nelson Mandela’s Life