Rotary Club
Of East Hartford
       High Gear

Volume2 | Issue 41, April 11, 2018


What a change in weather in one week from our last meeting. It was a sunny but cooler afternoon. PP President Bill Saunders, filling in for our recovering President Dave Amberg, got the meeting going with the Rotary Song, the Pledge-of-Allegiance and announcing the invocation by Steve Jacoby. However, he quickly switched gear after realizing that Steve was not in the room, came up with his own invocation, and thus, saved the day.

Jim Tucker Joins the Club

Lunch consisted of roasted potatoes, pork loin, boiled zucchini, dinner rolls and salad. Self-serve breakfast mini cupcakes were on the table in the meeting room. Clearly lunch is not the reason why we come to the meeting.


Bob Wood introduced the three guests at my table, starting with 4 year old Cecilia, the daughter of our scholarship recipient, Chenae Russell and her mother Chantel. Steve Jacoby, having arrived by then, introduced Jim Tucker who was later inducted by PP Bill in our club as a full member. Nick Cecere introduced Ted Marina from Marina Industries in East Hartford, hopefully another potential member. Nick, do your magic.


Happy Jack Martin, our Sergeant-at-Arms, had a long report. Continuing his weekly tradition, Marc again paid for the Eagles being the champion. He also paid for Phillies @ .500 (I am one of the few people in the country who do not follow professional sports so do not know what it means) and Flyers seeking NHL quest for Stanley Cup.


Bob Wood doled out for Red Sox’s tremendous start. Bob Buettner paid for his 75th Birthday and didn’t want any singing. Wonder why. Jim Fallon was just happy to be back. Bev Leone and Ruth Sheehan were happy that the Red Sox “annihilated” the Yankees. Dan Larson paid for the weather, the Red Sox and his mother’s birthday. Someone yelled out “all for one buck”.


Nick Cecere paid for two announcements, the first one about Loren Andreo and Roger Nicholson, both in honor of their 90th birthdays donated $180 to the scholarship fund. You can do the math.


Kevin Kickery was happy to see his grandkids. Laura Floyd paid for the Cleveland Indians and more papers due for her Master’s Degree. More Red Sox fans such as Neal Cunningham and Ned Lynch parted with more “happy dollars”.  Ned also paid for disrespecting Happy Jack. Steve Jacoby paid for you know what, plus more for The Hartford Courant reporting on his grandson’s lacrosse team beating Trinity College. Are we done with happy dollars? My apologies if I missed someone.

Scholarship Recipient Headed to UConn

PP Bill called Chenae Russel to the podium. Her story of a path towards a college degree from Goodwin this year, despite many obstacles and hardship including being a single mother of 4 year old Cecilia, cemented our beliefs that “where there is a will there is way.” Chenae has been accepted in the Social Studies Graduate Program at UConn. This dovetails nicely into the second success story that Steve Jacoby shared with us about the woman form Mississippi who recently passed away in CT. Growing up in Mississippi, she fought the system to get a college degree and became an educator to improve the lives of those who were unable to do it themselves.




1.      We have been informed that past member, Gordon Calano, has passed away in Florida. Gordon was a teacher at East Hartford High School and founder of Calano Furniture, a fixture on Burnside Avenue for many years.


2.      The East Hartford School Business Partnership is inviting all to join its Year End Celebration on May 10, 2018 at 4:30 – 6:00 PM at the Ridge. RSVP to Vincent Crawford by May 1, 2018 at 860-622-5105 or


Marc Glass, our Raffle Master, had Neal Cunningham, last week’s winner pull ticket # 653.  The envelope full of cash went to no one but our newly inducted member Jim Tucker.

Fidelco Dogs Man's Best Friend

Dan Firestone introduced our guest speaker John, who lost his eye sight 26 years ago, accompanied by his seeing eye dog Petra and his wife Pat. He was an Industrial Arts teacher in Manchester. We learned so much about Fidelco, the organization that trains dogs and provides them free of charge to those who need them. Only female German Shepherds from a certain lineage are selected to be trained. These dogs go through 15,000 hours of training before they are certified to serve and cost about $45,000. John has had four such dogs since he lost his eye sight. He demonstrated for us the various commands that Petra can follow. John indicated that Petra and dogs like her not only make a person without eyesight more independent but can save a person’s life at a traffic crossing.


Our speaker next week: Victor Stern from Fraud Watch.



Until next week, your scribe Anwar Hossain

Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.