Rotary Club
Of East Hartford
  High Gear

Volume 2 | Issue 33, February 14, 2018




Valentine’s Day at the Ridge was windy and cloudy, but a little warmer than normal. Perhaps this contributed to all the donations for the holiday to the Sgt. At Arms. We all gathered in the meeting room and our President rang the bell to start the meeting.


Recruitment Effort Fails

A decent rendition of the Rotary Song was sung, and we recited the pledge. Alex Wisz gave the invocation, encouraging us all to treat those in our lives according to the 4 Way Test. We then filed in and were served a lunch of mashed potatoes, pork slices in gravy, string beans and a roll. We also had salad available. Dessert was the typical Big Y cookie plate, but there was a delicious cake provided by Peter Klock in celebration of Sue Klock’s birthday.


After we ate, President Dave rang the bell to start the meeting. Guests were introduced. Vincent Crawford introduced Sudheer who was visiting from Wisconsin, accompanied by Rotarian David Sayam who was visiting from India. Dan Larson then introduced Patrick Kennedy from the Manchester club. He is a past president for both the South Windsor club and the Manchester club. An attempt was made to recruit him to be a President for East Hartford also, but he wasn’t having any of it. George Schoen and Art Bradbury led us in the Welcome song.

Sing The Damn Song Already!

Sgt. At Arms Marc Glass was greeted with a mixed reception and he proceeded to announce today’s contributions.

·         Mary Martin paid $5 to thank Bob Wood for covering High Gear for Wes Willett last week

·         President Dave contributed $1 because he didn’t think Marc would get the first announcement right. Marc claims that he did and that Dave owes him another $1

·         Happy Jack Martin gave $1 for Valentine’s Day and his lovely wife Mary Martin and then another $1 for The Eagles victory over the Patriots in the Super Bowl

·         Bob Wood gave $1 because Marc Glass is such a great guy

·         George Schoen gave $1 for not showing up last week

·         Ruth Sheehan gave $1 for just being here

·         Art Bradbury gave $1 for being happy in life

·         President-Elect Kevin Kickery gave $1 because there are still a few more months before he becomes President. He gave another $1 in thanks for his Dad’s improved health

·         Ned Lynch gave $1 to congratulate Marc on the Eagles victory, $1 for his son passing his driver’s test and another $1 for spring training

·         Larry Hangland gave $1 for being happy

·         Wes Willett gave $1 to celebrate being in Florida when the ice storm hit CT last week

·         Ceil Collins gave $1 for Valentine’s Day

·         Hope Firestone gave $1 in hopes that her husband will teach her to drive the new car he just bought

·         Alex Wisz gave $1 for Valentine’s Day and for leaving early

·         Frank Collins gave $1 for feeling 90% healthy. Our mathematically challenged Sgt. At Arms did not want to know about the other 2%

·         Dan Firestone gave $1 for his new car

·         Peter Klock gave $10 to celebrate Sue Klock’s birthday. We then tried to sing her “Happy Birthday”, but Marc was not willing

·         Neal Cunningham and Dan Larson both gave $1 for Valentine’s day

·         Sue Klock gave $40 to celebrate her (40th) birthday. We then again tried to sing for her, but the Sgt. At Arms was not yet willing to give up the mic, so we had to wait on that

·         Marc Glass gave $52 the Eagles finally winning a Super Bowl after 52 years in the league

·         Vince Crawford gave $1 for his first Valentine’s Day as a married man

·         Finally, George Agnelli gave $1 for being late


The Sgt. At Arms report finally ended and we sang Happy Birthday to Sue.

Awarding Funds, Proposing Meeting Changes and New Fundraisers

Alex Wisz announced that the Job Shadow program is underway again. He is looking for hosts to volunteer a couple hours to show an East Hartford High School student what work life is like. There is a potential issue with getting the students out to the job sites due to town budget cuts, since the town is required to provide the transportation.


Happy Jack had Peter Klock pull the winning raffle ticket, which was one of the last one sold today. No one immediately claimed it, and since Steve Jacoby had not yet arrived, there was speculation that he was the winner, but Neal Cunningham finally stepped forward and claimed his winnings.


President Dave then announced that we were having a club assembly in lieu of a speaker. He reviewed some of the years accomplishments. Our club has donated about $35, 000 so far this (Rotary) year, including grants to the Academy of Finance, Holiday Families being adopted, Koats for Kids, and donations to the Y. We have also donated money to ShelterBox when we were hit by the hurricanes last fall. The club has had several successful game nights. Vince Crawford touched on some of the uses to which the club’s school donations have been put. We will be getting a more detailed report next month.


President Dave then talked about the board’s intention to start having 2 meeting per month at dinnertime. We hope that this will encourage new members to join our club.  There are several challenges that need to be addressed first, including the caterer.

Bob Wood talked about the scholarship committee’s activities. Applications for the 6 $2000 scholarships have been distributed to the schools and are also online. Kevin Kickery then described a proposal from Lionel Lessard for a new fund raiser. The West Hartford Rotary club is holding their Vines of March event, which is a food and wine tasting night. They are very successful at this and we are considering doing something like this in the future. The original proposal was as a replacement for the Duck Raffle, but the board decided to do both.


Sue Klock talked about the Dunn Scholarship, which used to be available to East and West Hartford graduate students but has now been opened up to the entire district. The value this year is $30,000 and it is for students that want to do graduate work abroad. Sue also let us know that the district grant process is being changed this year to require proposals be completed earlier than before. Dan Firestone announced that next week’s speaker would be talking about human trafficking. He also let us know that he and Bob Buettner have been working with the Glastonbury and Manchester Rotary clubs on a fund raiser centered around a 25-mile bike ride.


President Dave then appealed to the club for more volunteers to do the weekly invocations, and for more people willing to join the High Gear rotation. There being no other topics of discussion, President Dave rang the closing bell.


That’s it for today. See you all next week – Wes Willett




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