East Hartford Rotary News
East Hartford Rotary Club
High Gear

Volume 79 | Issue 41 / June 26, 2024



High Gear Wednesday, June 26, 2024
2024-2025 Installation Dinner
Wethersfield Country Club

The Magic Of Rotary

It’s tempting to say President Bob rang the bell early, and the entire evening whizzed by so fast, I took no notes. In fact, things did move along quickly, and I am surely missing some highlights, but we all had a great time celebrating another great Rotary year and welcoming our awesome new club president, Rob Rosa.

Before the pledge, Bob invited George Schoen to lead us singing This is Rotary.

Mentioning that protecting the environment is the seventh area of focus for Rotarians, Sue Klock read

A Prayer for the Trees by Trees

I am the handle of your hoe, the door of your homestead, the wood of your cradle, and the shell of your coffin.
When you tire, I am the slat of your bed and the seat of your bench.
As a child, you swing from my branches and play in my leaves.
I am the heat of your hearth and your shade from summer sun, the beam of your boat and foundation of your home.
Those who pass by, harm me not!


Bob then moved on to the introduction of guests. This is always a highlight of our meetings, but it is especially exciting when there are so many guests. Incoming President Rob Rosa had an amazing turnout of family and friends. Here are some highlights: Rob introduced his beautiful wife, Jannette, their daughter, Julia, and his parents, Cynthia and Robert Rosa, along with siblings and their partners. Peter and I had the opportunity to sit with all five of Rob’s sons plus son Nathan’s two children. Our table was rounded out by John Forrest and his wife, Rose.

In addition to all our guests, it was great to see Ruthie Sheehan and Deirdre Stolte, who continues the club’s healthy hygiene project nearly single-handedly.

Following the introduction of guests, Bob mentioned some highlights of this year. He acknowledged Ceil Collins for once again managing arrangements for this club evening meeting.

With salads served, Bob invited all to enjoy dinner. Based on our table, the food was great.

Marc Glass was emcee for this event. Stars of the show, though, were outgoing President Bob and incoming President Rob. Bob asked his Board to stand and thanked them for their support and attendance at his weekly meetings. He did not mention that he lures everyone there with some great pizza. He also gave gifts to each of them at a recent board meeting.

There really is no way to adequately thank an outgoing president who has served way above self. This year, we broke a long tradition of giving the outgoing president a personal gift, but hopefully began a new tradition of making a significant donation in the president’s name to the charity of his choice.

Rob gave us an inspiring talk about his goals and initiatives for 2024-2025. He stressed the importance of working together to achieve more, the club’s similarity to a family, sharing talents and supporting each other, and Rotarians making a difference by thinking globally. He certainly has charisma, and, if anyone can bring on The Magic Of Rotary, it’s Rob!

Marc Glass presided over the installation of Rob and the 2024-2025 officers and directors. The Board will be joined by one of our newer members, Charles McGinnis.



As his last official act, President Bob rang the bell, winding up the meeting.

A great time was had by all!

Submitted by Sue Klock.

Service Above Self - 2021-2022 Club Projects
These three words describe the heart and soul of this great organization called Rotary. When 1.4 million Rotarians all over the world gather and enjoy fellowship in different countries, different settlings, different time zones, they are also planning projects to help others. Many of those who are being helped are within the community, but many are in far off places in distant corners of the world. Rotary is changing lives by fighting diseases, providing clean water, educating children, and providing temporary shelters.
The East Hartford Rotary Club (EHRC), like the other 33,000 clubs in the Rotary world, is doing its part in following the Rotary Motto of Service Above Self. This year, despite the impediments posed by COVID-19, we continued our efforts participating in hands-on service projects. Here is the list of projects from January-through December 2021:
Covid-19 gave birth to a new project this year. Early in the pandemic, the shortage of face masks hit first responders and frontline care providers. ROTARY stepped up to the plate to help. Working through our local club, thousands of masks were provided to our police and fire departments.
Socks are among the list of items most needed by the homeless. Thanks to the generosity of Bombas Socks Company, our club received 250 pairs of new socks which were distributed to several shelters in the surrounding communities.
Rotary in Motion (RIM), a collaboration of the Rotary clubs of Manchester, East Hartford, and Rockville, recently held its third annual free community wide program celebrating " mobility" of all forms.
In addition to a 17- and 26-mile bike ride, mostly on the East Coast Greenway, the Charter Oak Greenway and the Hop River Trail, the day included a 2-mile mountain bike ride, a walking tour of the Charter Oak Park in Manchester, and Golf cart and Rickshaw rides. East Hartford members participated in the planning of the event and by staffing a water station at Wickham Park. 
A new and unique community service opportunity came our way this year. Our club members rolled up their sleeves and took part in painting a portion of the mural in East Hartford celebrating the diversity of our community. Our club and its members also made monetary donations to the project.
The East Hartford Rotary Club has participated in the Greater Hartford Marathon since its inception many years ago. The day for volunteers from our club starts early morning, setting up tables, filling hundreds of cups of water, handing these to 10,000+ racers who sprint/run/walk by the water station and later making sure that every used cup and other trash is picked up and bagged. By the time we leave a few hours later, we make sure that the grounds look as pristine and clean as we found it. We are rewarded handsomely with free donuts, coffee, and jackets.
We never thought it would be so much fun sorting, stuffing candies in small clear plastic bags and tying a colorful ribbon. Following an assembly line system, members of our club prepared 500+ bags in an hour while the Rotary meeting was being zoomed for others who could not attend.
The Covid-19 pandemic created a new Halloween tradition. Parents with their kids simply drive slowly past candy stations while volunteers toss the candy bags in the open trunks. EHRC participated in one such event at Rentschler Field. Our candy station, one of the twenty plus other stations, where club volunteers dressed in Halloween costumes got to practice their candy throw in the car trunks five hundred times. We have never seen so many smiling kids in one day.
This was the second year the EHRC, in partnership with the Connecticut International Baccalaureate Academy (CIBA) and Living World Outreach Ministries Pentecostal Church, participated in leaf raking projects for the senior residents of East Hartford who are physically unable to tackle this yearly chore. Sixty students and sixteen adult volunteers, including several members of EHRC, broke into fourteen groups and drove off to their designated locations and completed the tasks in just a few hours. The volunteers were rewarded with a pizza lunch at the church. The bigger and better reward was the appreciation and thanks expressed by these seniors.
This is a new project that EHRC has added to the list of service projects. The day before Veterans Day 11/10, our club cooked and served 120 lunches in the new East Hartford Senior Center for East Hartford veterans in grateful recognition of their service to our country.
Once a month, members of EHRC report to the FoodShare distribution center in Bloomfield and help sort food. Unbeknown to many, food insecurity exists among our communities. The Pandemic has exasperated the situation. FoodShare provided fourteen million meals worth of food last year. Volunteers like us make it possible for FoodShare to make our neighbors a little more food secure.
In keeping with East Hartford Rotary’s theme of Empowering Women, we are conducting a drive to collect feminine hygiene products for the middle and high schools in the town. The focus of this drive is to collect various feminine hygiene products for the school nurses to be able to distribute to young women in need of them. We plan to incorporate local family shelter and food pantries along with any other location that comes to light in town to benefit from this as well.
For the past twelve years, the EHRC has donated dictionaries to all third graders in the East Hartford Public School system. Creative teachers explain how to properly
use the dictionary and incorporate word sourcing activities into their lesson plans. In addition to improving student vocabulary, the dictionaries have sections on the United States Constitution, a list of Presidents, information of each state, and maps of the world. For many children, this dictionary is the very first book they can call their own. The thoughtful thank you notes the Club receives from the individual recipients demonstrate the value of this project.
A popular project for East Hartford Rotarians is our annual bell ringing effort in support of the Salvation Army. Rotarian Roy
Spiller instigated our participation with the Army in 1992. At the time, their headquarters were on Forbes Street in East Hartford.
In 1992 we had more than ninety members and we rang bells at both doors at Stop and Shop in East Hartford on both Saturdays and Sundays on the four weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We rang from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Today with a much smaller membership, the Club covers one door on three Saturdays while East Hartford High students cover the other door from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Usually there are two students covering the door and they sometimes bring along musical instruments to entertain themselves as well as the shoppers.
East Hartford Rotary has collected thousands of dollars for this charitable cause over the past thirty years.
Many, many times shoppers have told us how the Salvation Army had helped their families when they were kids. Shoppers always have a kind word and offers of hot coffee on the frigid days.
As is so many of our projects, we, as volunteers, benefit as much as our recipients.
A favorite East Hartford Rotary Club project is our annual food basket donation to the East Hartford Social Services Department. In 2021, E.H. Social Services provided us with the names and addresses of thirteen families who would benefit from our donations. In addition, Rotary member Laura Floyd, who is the Executive Director of the East Hartford YMCA, identified another ten families in need this holiday season.
Using the $3,300 budgeted for this project, we purchased twenty- three custom food baskets for our client families from Michelle’s Florist in Vernon. East Hartford Rotarian volunteers picked up the baskets on November 22 prior to the club meeting. After the meeting, the volunteers delivered the baskets to the thirteen families from Social Services and ten more baskets to the YMCA for distribution.
East Hartford Rotarians Alex Wisz, Sue Klock, Peter Klock, Jason Primus, Marc Glass, Anwar Hossain, and George Schoen worked with Project Leader Bob Buettner to complete this project.
The East Hartford Rotary Club is proud of its ninety-three-year history of serving East Hartford and its commitment to the Rotary ideal of “Service Above Self.” We believe that East Hartford is a better place to live and work because of organizations and people who give back to the community. We invite like-minded adults seeking a service outlet to consider joining us in our efforts. Learn more by visiting our website at: www. East Hartford Rotary.org.
July 2024
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Goodwin University
3 Pent Rd
East Hartford, CT 06118
United States of America
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Meeting ID: 846 8006 7018 Passcode: 472692
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Rotary Club of East Hartford
PO Box 380035
East Hartford, CT 06138-0035