Charity Chix is born!

Windsor’s newest service group has an intriguing unofficial motto: if you’re not having fun fundraising, you’re not doing it right.

And the good times start with the name: The Charity Chix.

Comprised of successful women form a wide cross-section of the community, the Charity Chix held their inaugural event — Chic @ the City, a fashion fundraiser with attitude at the City Grill.

Windsor’s newest service group has an intriguing unofficial motto: if you’re not having fun fundraising, you’re not doing it right.

And the good times start with the name: The Charity Chix.

Comprised of successful women form a wide cross-section of the community, the Charity Chix will hold their inaugural event Thursday — Chic @ the City, a fashion fundraiser with attitude at the City Grill.

Read more at The Windsor Star

Lobsterfest 2013

Biz X Magazine, July 2013
The 29th Annual “Windsor-Roseland Rotary Lobsterfest: A Maritime Party

May 31, 2013 at the Ciociaro Club, Oldcastle. Photos by Rod Denis. All people in photos listed from left.

Windsor Star Ghana article, Dec 2012

Kim Spirou experienced near-death car rides, health clinics with farm animals but no electricity and rustic African villages.
And she already plans to do it again…

Kim Spirou’s Media Tips

Fortunately, crafting memorable messages and turning around “gotcha” questions are skills that can be learned — assuming, of course, that you acknowledge you want some help. Read on for some media-savvy lessons and six tips from Spirou and Associates who have been there and done that.

Never wing it!
The first lesson is not to wing it. Just because you’re immersed in some subject every day doesn’t mean you can spontaneously pull on the right threads to weave a public performance.
The fundamentals always come down to preparation. Whether you work with a professional coach or prefer to go it alone, invest time and effort in rehearsals. Get your spouse or partner or a trusted friend to fire questions at you. Make sure those questions have some zing. How will you respond to tough or hostile questions? Do you have a clear, honest, and appropriate answer to the most negative query you can imagine?
Plan your answers with key messages and try to second-guess supplementary questions. Make sure to research your audience and their expectations beforehand. In any interview, you’re really speaking via the reporter to his or her readers, listeners, or viewers. Videotape your performance and use the results to make changes.

Shaping your message
The real difference between talking to the media and talking directly to an audience, of course, comes down to control. For a speech, you pick and choose your points and timing. But for interviews, reporters wag the dog.
That doesn’t mean you lean back and remain passive. The idea is to get out the message you want while still responding to questions and ceding control to the reporter. At the outset, it helps to personalize the experience. It is a good idea to break the ice with reporters by asking something about them — where they grew up, what their interests are, what kind of stories they have covered. Showing an interest in them makes you more likable.

Once you’ve accomplished that, here are six tips to help you master the art of getting out your preferred message.
1. Set goals for every appearance.  Articulate your objective, strategy, tactics, and audience before any interview. Everything communicated should have a plan to hammer home your key messages. For interviews, keep answers — especially for TV or radio — to about 25 to 30 seconds each. When it’s appropriate, use props or visual materials to vary your pacing.

2. Nothing is 100% off the record. “Once notes are made, editors, publishers, and lawyers can review them. This goes for all appearances, not just interviews.” Whatever you say — anywhere — can follow you around endlessly and perhaps disastrously. If you don’t know the answer to a question, say so. Then later on, be certain to get back to the reporter with an answer.

3. Watch your body language. Even in positive interview situations, interviewees sometimes look tense or stiff, which can have a big impact on credibility. Before on-camera interviews, if there is time, do some exercises or walk around to relax your body.

4. Stay on track with your message. Reporters usually can only use what you say against you. If the interview goes off track, stop it. You can ask for a break, a glass of water, a visit to the restroom. It doesn’t matter if the excuse seems lame — they will use footage of you on-camera, not off.

5. Learn how to “bridge”. This technique allows you to deflect any attempts to derail your message. “Bridging” creates a transition so that you can move from one subject to the message you want to communicate. First answer the direct question, then transition to your message. Consider using the following bridging phrases as: 
• “Before we get off that topic, let me just add…”
• “Let me put that in perspective.”
• “It’s important to remember that…”

6. Prepare take-aways. Always plan the points or facts you want the reporter and, by extension, the audience to walk away thinking about. You might identify these points as the building blocks of your presentation. If someone else prepares your material, discuss the take-away points first. Narrow the focus. Then, to get listeners to remember you, deliver those points passionately and succinctly through analogies and re-creating experiences.

Finally, it’s not over when it’s over. Make sure to track the results and get reviews of your performance. Ask pals and peers how well your message went over. Be smart and brave enough to make the necessary improvements, so you do even better next time.

Kim Spirou, Spirou and Associates

Kim Spirou, Laura Joy, Safari Soiree

On September 27, Kim Spirou partnered with Laura Joy to host the Safari Soiree – a fundraiser for the November Rotary trip to Ghana. They were successful in raising a good contribution towards the $30,000 needed. The event was held at Panache on Pitt Street East. This photo spread appeared in The Windsor Star Saturday, Sept. 29. Photos by Tyler Brownbridge.
Kim Spirou Laura Joy

Safari Soiree Aids Rotary Mission

A Sept. 27 Safari Soiree will raise funds for the 2012 Rotary mission to Ghana, Africa.

Fifteen people are planning to go to Ghana in November for 16 days and the money raised will help support the building of a primary school, the digging of a well, buying mosquito bed nets and plans for an eyeglass clinic.

“We are so blessed in Canada. I just thought I’m a normal person and normal people can make a difference and everybody in Windsor can help us make that difference for these people in Africa,” Kim Spirou, past president of the Windsor Roseland Rotary Club who plans to go to Ghana, said Thursday.

The Safari Soiree fundraiser is being hosted by Spirou and Laura Joy at the Panache Restaurant at 53 Pitt St. from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27.

The event includes hors d’oeuvres, wine, a silent auction and music.

Tickets are $100 a person and will include a tax receipt. Donations of $20 or more will receive a tax receipt.

Spirou said the Rotary needs about $18,000 to reach its $35,000 goal for the trip. RSVP by Sept. 25 by calling Spirou at 519-551-3747.

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