Recent Activities at Valley Town

Valley Town continues a Remembrance Day tradition

Nov 11, 2022

Valley Town Toastmasters proudly continued a tradition and placed a wreath at the Dundas Cenotaph. This was a tradition that was interrupted by the pandemic. Toastmasters own Tony Bratschitsch marched in the parade, along with the air, army and sea cadets, as a member of the Royal Canadian Legion's Colour Party.

Tony Bratschitsch (far left), a member of the Royal Canadian Legion's Colour Party
Photo courtesy of @DundasIsMyHome
Guest speaker India Paul explains and educates on 'the 3 R's of Recycling

The 3 R's of Recycling

Nov 10, 2022

Valley Town Toastmasters in person meetings are in full swing after a successful open house on Nov 3, and an excellent guest speaker on Nov 10.

India Paul from the City of Hamilton took on a journey discussing the '3 R's of Recycling'. Everyone in attendance learned something new.


March 17, 2022

Valley Town Toastmasters welcomed horticulturalist, author, speaker, and host of The Food Garden Life Show, Stephen Biggs as a guest speaker to how to "Dream Big, Dream Green, and Eat That Yard"

Make a stunning garden and yard—one that you can eat. Use edible plants to create ornamental appeal as you incorporate edibles into existing garden beds. Or, add in ornamental plants that are also edible. Grow in unused spaces — like a driveway or on a rooftop.

His talk was informative and inspiring.

A Trip to Paris

January 27, 2022

Tonight's Coach's Corner was a discussion on web security and web tools for productivity and fun. Part of this was a live demo with some tools resulting in taking 3 of our illustrious members, Walter Lehman, Tony Bratschitsch, and Tom Shears virtually to Paris.

The Power of Emotion

January 20, 2022

Valley Town Toastmasters was honoured to have author and espeaker expert Linda Marshall as a special guest at our January 20th meeting to discuss "The Power of Emotion"

As president of Marshall Connects, Linda Marshall is an entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker, television host, and thought leader in emotional intelligence. She brings more than 35 years of experience working with and educating teams to strive for excellence and reach their potential.

Linda’s debut book, ‘Giving Back, How to Find Your Personal Joy and Make a Difference to Others’, was designed to offer continued personal growth; something she’s continued within her second book, “The Power of Emotion: A Practical Guide to Making The Most of Your Emotional Intelligence.”

Thank you Linda

Club and Area Contests

January 14, 2022

As our 1st place winner in the Valley Town Toastmasters contest for both speech and table topics, our club president David Hayes represented Valley Town in the Toastmasters Area 51 contest.

David had a strong showing and placed second in both the Table Topics Contest, and the International Speech Contest. He represented himself and our club exceptionally well. We are Valley Town proud of the fact that he was the only contestant who participated in both contests, following his first-place finishes at the club level.

The International Speech Contest was won by Leah Montani from Brant.

The Table Topics Contest winner was Kit O'Sullivan from McMaster.

Congratulations to David and all the Toastmasters from our Area who competed in this evening's contests.

The Spirit of District 86 - Shahan Aaron

October 23, 2021

Last Saturday, club member Shahan Aaron was honoured with the ‘Spirit of District 86’ award for making a significant and notable contribution to District 86’s success.

Shahan joined Toastmasters in 2016 and since then, he has held leadership positions at the club, area, and district levels. Most recently, Shahan was the District 86 Social Media Manager at a time when, due to the pandemic, connecting online became more important than ever. During Shahan’s tenure, the District held many successful online events, from small workshops to officer training sessions and even the multi-day Spring Conference.

About his Toastmasters experience, Shahan says “Toastmasters really helped boost my confidence and resilience needed to communicate effectively.”

Congratulations, Shahan. We’re very proud.

The Zoom Immersive Experience

October 14, 2021

At our most recent Thursday meeting, our meeting chair Emily Nichols introduced us to the Zoom Immersive experience. At Valley Town our motto is 'laughing and learning', and we are always happy to explore learning the latest in how the world is adapting to the online meeting experience.

Meeting in person (finally)

September 2, 2021

For the first time since forever (March 2020), Valley Town Toastmasters met in person at the Dundas driving park.

We were back to laughing and learning in no time, with an agenda that included table topics, and 3 speakers.

Thanks to Kenrick Chin for the photos, and Darryl Hartwick for the montage

Valley Town Zoom-iversary

Members have shared their experiences, fears and success stories each week - See Full Article below

From the Dundas Star, June 28, 2021 - Author Darryl Hartwick

Dundas Valley Town Toastmasters celebrate Zoom-iversary

When COVID-19 forced members of Valley Town Toastmasters to pull up stakes from their meeting space at the Dundas Town Hall last April, no one thought they would still be laughing and learning in the virtual world in May of 2021 and beyond. But the club’s members marked a historic milestone recently: 13 months of meeting weekly on Zoom.

The two-hour online meetings have become a soft and supportive place to land for members during the many lockdowns and stay-at-home orders necessitated by COVID infection rates over the past year. Members use words such as “safe,” “community,” “motivating” and “rejuvenating” to describe how the club has helped them navigate life during a pandemic.

David Hayes is the club’s vice-president of membership. He said the need to pivot from in-person weekly sessions to online meetings has been a challenging evolutionary process.

“We are still able to see and talk with each other,” said Hayes. “This maintains my connection to people I consider my Valley Town Toastmasters family. I truly value that, and I look forward to seeing them each week.”

The doors of the club’s usual meeting place in the Dundas Town Hall auditorium have been locked tight for months now. So, the 20 members use their weekly Thursday evening sessions on Zoom to help each other grow their communication and leadership skills. Lately, that includes frequent reminders to make eye contact with the camera lens above the computer screen and a gentle nudge to turn on the laptop’s microphone before starting to speak.

Karen Wood has been a member of the club for the past dozen years and through a lot of hard work has achieved the designation of “Distinguished Toastmaster” from Toastmasters International. Karen concedes she was somewhat reluctant to hold virtual meetings when the COVID restrictions began last year.

“I'm not technically inclined. I know that each time I reach for the computer, it means a mental workout and a continuing learning curve. However, some members saw the potential to learn new skills such as presenting online in front of a camera.”

“These are valuable skills to have in the 21st century. So, I conceded, and I am so glad that I did,” she said.

Toastmasters International migrated its cornerstone education program online when it introduced Pathways a couple of years ago. Projects on eleven different interactive paths allow members to build real-world transferable skills at their own pace under the umbrella of leadership and communication. Topics include motivation, collaboration, leadership development and presentation mastery.

However, beyond the formal education program, Valley Town Toastmasters meetings have become an important self-care resource. Members can count on an outlet where they can share their experiences, fears and success stories each week. Peter Wallace sits on the club’s executive board and said the regular Thursday evening meetings bring some order to much of the disorder associated with the pandemic.

With such a diverse group of individuals, it provides a level set on the unique challenges and hardships faced by individuals. But (it also) provides a much-needed positivity boost and a reminder that we are indeed ‘all in this together.’ ”

Valley Town Toastmasters achieve personal and professional success by laughing and learning together each Thursday between 7 and 9 p.m.