High Gear, July 8, 2020

Lots of confusion around sign-in numbers today, but eventually about 18 stalwarts made their way to the Zoom meeting. Pre meeting chic chat revolved around dryers and microwave ovens, getting older equals getting smarter or dumber, and the price of cherries.

DG Marc Glass provided the invocation in the form of a Rotary prayer celebrating the diversity in Rotary and the chance to be of service to the world. George Schoen provided a short Financial report noting that semi-annual membership fees are now due.

Anwar Hossain ran down a list of potential future speakers including the Nutmeg Big Brothers/Big Sisters President next week, and Mike McGovern, the Rotary Leadership Institute International Chair on 7/22.

President Bob noted we have been requested to support a Global Grant in the Congo which would provide a computer training room for 70 teachers in the Congo along with needed equipment and computers for 968 young ladies. Total cost is estimated at $40,000. Bob will discuss our possible participation with the Board, noting that money will be tight for contributions this coming year.

High Gear, July 8, 2020 Doug Willett 2020-07-08 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, June 24, 2020

“Where’s the cow?” That was one response to the sound of today’s bell rung by a guy who is both going and coming at the same time. President Bob is multi-talented. We had 18 participants at today’s Club Installation Meeting, including guests Sandy Buettner and Chickie Amberg.

Jack Sayre offered the invocation with recognition that Rotary welcomes members of all religious persuasions if their hearts are devoted to service to their fellow humans. The pledge was made, and the business of the meeting commenced.

First up was newly minted District Governor Marc Glass, the seventh East Hartford Rotarian to occupy this high office since club inception in 1928. District Governor Marc stands on the shoulders of past governors Ray Miller, Spike Spiegel, George Steward, Frank Collins, Jim Sheehan, and Susan Klock.

Marc commented on the new world of Zoom meetings that Rotary has been forced to adapt to under the Covid-19 crisis. Undeterred by this inconvenience, plans are to push membership this year and to find creative ways to support our Foundation objectives and charitable giving.

Marc turned the podium over to out-going Club President Bob Buettner who thanked his board for their contributions and support. He mentioned the success of the spring raffle, the fall golf tournament, the scholarships funded and the sound financial condition of the club. All in all, a particularly good year for East Hartford Rotary. Well done, Bob.

In fact, it was so well done, for the first time in Club history, Bob was installed for a second consecutive term as Club President. Our newly minted President then spoke of the continuing Covid challenge and the need to find new ways to do things and vowed to meet the challenge head on. Next, he introduced his 2020-2021 Board of Directors consisting of George Schoen, Treasurer, Wes Willett, Secretary, Bob Wood, Jack Sayre, Anwar Hossain, Neal Cunningham, Dan Firestone, and Laura Floyd.

High Gear, June 24, 2020 2020-06-25 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, June 10, 2020

It was a little disconcerting to sign into our Zoom Rotary meeting this Wednesday. Several unfamiliar faces appeared on the screen which caused me to wonder if I had joined someone else’s meeting by mistake. But further perusal and I sighted President Bob and Dan Firestone patiently awaiting the session.
Over the next 15 minutes, several others, both Rotarians and guests, signed in and the meeting was called to order at 12:15 p.m. Among the guests with local connections were Conor Martin and Beverly Leone while from outposts across the country were our guest speaker, Robert Luisana and his guests, Sal Sinsigalli, Susan Wolf and Sierra Saykeo. A healthy turn out of East Hartford Rotarians were present as well.
President Bob, smarting at my reference to his previous bell giving off a tinkle rather than a peal, introduced his new acquisition, a “boom bell” from Block Island. Highly effective, well played. Bob lead us in the pledge and provided this week’s invocation. Having no buffet table to send us to, Bob proceeded to some announcements.
To wit:
  • No noon meeting next week. Instead members are invited to join the District 7890 Installation meeting at 6 p.m. Both newly minted District Governor Marc Glass and two-term President Bob Buettner will be installed along with club presidents from throughout the District. Not too late to sign up for this event. Just go to our home page, East Hartford Rotary.org and click on District 7890 on top bar. Once there, click on the Installation event notice on the right side of the page and follow directions to register. Meeting ID is 847 8152 9475.
  • Also, on Wednesday, June 17th, EHRC will participate in East Hartford’s census count. Volunteer members will contact East Hartford residents and encourage them to fill out the census forms and submit them online. Not too late to volunteer to help.
  • On June 24th, EHRC will install our 2020-2021 officers and board members at our regular meeting at noon.
  • Larry Hangland sent word that the Scholarship Committee has chosen six recipients for our $2,000 scholarships for the coming year: Jamkie Koski, Erina Aguillar, Angelena Alfonso, Megan Orobello and Michelle Zhen.
  • Bob requested that in absence of the Sergeant at Arms at these Zoom meetings that anyone wanting to contribute for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special events, do so by sending a check directly to George Schoen. Also, we continue to collect lunch money for Covid 19 relief efforts. Again, pass on to George.
High Gear, June 10, 2020 Doug Willett 2020-06-11 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, May 27, 2020

Promptly at 12:15 PM, President Bob rang the bell and led us in the pledge to the flag.
Jim Watts’ invocation encouraged us to be mindful of the many things for which we should be grateful, and to be thankful for the many random acts of kindness being done by ordinary people.
We welcomed special guest, Bob Rodner, the president of the Rotary Club of Manchester.  We were also glad to welcome Connor Martin back with us today. 
President Bob invited our treasurer, George Schoen, to give us an update on monies available for our Covid-19 relief fund.  Combining the $700, our club’s share of Covid-19 relief funds from The Rotary Foundation,
the $1800 we were reimbursed from the district grant for our Coats for Kids project,
 and other club funds including voluntary contributions from club members, we have $3000 available right now.
In order to make a good decision on how best to spend these funds, the club heard reports from three folks who volunteered to investigate based on prior discussions. 
High Gear, May 27, 2020 Sue Klock 2020-05-27 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, May 20, 2020

Somewhat typically with our Zoom meetings, it took a few minutes for everyone to assemble.  By 12:15, everyone appeared ready; so, President Bob rang us to order and opened with the pledge. 
Bill Saunders’ invocation was well tuned to these days of covid-19 concerns, especially the ways those more fortunate should be empathetic to those more vulnerable.  Concluding his words, Bill suggested we all consider ways to reach out to help neighbors despite the challenge of physical distancing.
We were reminded of Neal Cunningham’s 31st Rotary anniversary.  That number may be off, since there was a great deal of back-and-forth about the total.  Regardless, Neal has been with the club for many years, doing a variety of things which were important for our club and our community, including his long-term commitment to organizing our water station during the Hartford marathon.
Then, we plunged right into the business of the day, focused primarily on the funds collected so far to use for local covid-17 relief projects.  Treasurer George Schoen reported that combining the $700 from the district and $1645 contributed by members, we have $2345 available.  Of course, members are encouraged to continue to support this fund.  (See note at end of this edition of High Gear.)
High Gear, May 20, 2020 Sue Klock 2020-05-21 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, May 13, 2020

Membership seems to be gradually adjusting to our club’s new normal, i.e. Zoom meetings.  Twenty-three of us joined today, gathering virtually and ready to go at 12:15. President Bob led us in the pledge, then shared an invocation which incorporated Rotary’s Four-way Test.
Bob welcomed a potential new member, Connor Martin, who mentioned he was drawn to Rotary through his working with Dan Larson at Goodwin University.
Today’s meeting was largely following up on and making some progress with items from the last few meetings.  Wes reported on his efforts to get us a Zoom account.  We are currently relying on Marc’s district account, but the club prefers to have its own.  Zoom requires a credit card.  President Bob indicated he will follow up by supplying Zoom with his own credit card.  Watch for emails with details for next week’s Zoom meetings, one from Bob about the club meeting and one from Marc about Bingo Happy Hour.
Scholarship information has not changed.  The deadline for applications is May 20th, next Wednesday, and there are currently just 9 applications.
Monday Night Bingo continues, and is fun, even for the “losers.”
Tomorrow, Thursday, there is a Rotary International Zoom meeting originating in Nigeria.  Marc and Bob will be participating, and Bob invited anyone interested in joining to contact him for sign-in information.
High Gear, May 13, 2020 Sue Klock 2020-05-13 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, May 6, 2020

Chatting before the meeting began, there was general agreement that the cold weather and forecast of snow are not welcome in early May.
President Bob joined today’s Zoom meeting from work so had to open our meeting with a vocal “ding, ding, ding” missing his handy portable bell. 
Bob led us in the pledge, then Laura Floyd delivered a very personal, heartfelt invocation.  Laura repeated her daily reminder to herself to be the best she can be to herself and others, of how fortunate she is and of the need to help those less fortunate.  It was like a personalized version of Rotary’s “Four Way Test” and very moving.
President Bob gave a recap of last night’s board meeting, including the following:
  • Though we had to forego our spring fundraiser, a raffle, the fall golf tournament is still scheduled for September 21st at the Manchester Country Club, depending on the facility being open then.
  • Our Rotary District will be giving us $700, the club’s share of a $40,000 grant from The Rotary Foundation to the District.  The money must be used for Covid-19 relief.  So, this amount will be combined with the $550 raised by the club totaling $ 1250 for local Covid-19 relief.
  • Wes Willett, club secretary, is investigating our club’s acquiring the Zoom app to use for future meetings.  We currently are relying on the District’s access with our District Governor-elect, Marc, administering.
  • Board discussed adding a standard line at the bottom of every High Gear until life gets back to normal. Something like :
  • The COVID-19 crisis is having a significant impact on our club’s ability to raise funds for the charities that we support. Please consider donating the money you would have spent weekly on lunches to help fund our COVID-19 related activities, such as additional food bank donations. Checks should be made out to EHRC Charitable Fund for COVID-19 and can be sent to George Schoen at 53 Duxbury Lane Glastonbury, CT 06033. Thanks for your support!
  • After a brief discussion among club members in attendance at today’s meeting, the group agreed to suggesting individual club members contribute $60/month while we are having our meetings via Zoom.  This is entirely voluntary and anonymous.  Checks can be sent to our club treasurer, George Schoen, at his home address (see above).  Checks should be made out to EHRC Charitable Fund, may be per month, or for several months at a time, and should include on memo line that this is a donation to be used for local Covid-91 relief.  As suggested High Gear editors should include a notice about this at the bottom of each edition.
High Gear, May 6, 2020 Sue Klock 2020-05-06 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, April 22, 2020

It was a sunny though brisk 45 degrees outside my window when we all met on our various electronic devices. It was great to see Susan Hanson joining us on Zoom today. We also had our speaker, John Luyime join us from Uganda. With these virtual meetings the number of potential speakers is significantly increased!  After the usual go around getting everyone muted\unmuted\connected, President Bob began the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. There was no invocation and we skipped the Welcome song as well since neither George Schoen nor Art Bradbury were there to lead us.




·         The Rotary Scholarship deadline has been extended to May 20th

·         Rotary in Motion returned the $500 we gave them for seed money last year. Apparently they raised enough that they were able to cover all of the costs. Along with the check, though, we also received a request for $500, for seed money for this year’s event.

·         Goodwin University sent the club a Thank You for the $1000 scholarship that we provided

·         The District Installation dinner will now be a virtual event taking place on June 17th. You can sign up on the District Web site. The link is in the Upcoming Events section on the right. https://www.rotarydistrict7890.org/

·         President Bob’s challenge for COVID-19 related donations has raised $225 so far

·         Laura Floyd announced that she is working with the Hartford Foundation to get grant money to help feed people in need in East Hartford. If she receives the funding then she will be looking for volunteers to help shop, package up food, etc.

·         Next week’s Virtual Happy Hour will feature a BINGO game. If you would like to play, email Marc Glass at Marc Glass dgglass2021.gmail.com@clubrunner.email and he will send you a card.

High Gear, April 22, 2020 Weston Willett 2020-04-22 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, April 15, 2020


We had another successful e-meeting today via Zoom. People are getting more comfortable with the new format. We had more attendees than when we were meeting in person. We saw Larry Frazier again and were joined by Bill Flynn as well. District Governor Elect Marc Glass did not exercise his powers before the meeting started, allowing a lot of cross talk among members. We heard people talking on their phones, so maybe the writer teased him too much last week. He could have muted a few people today! J


President Bob started the meeting by trying to resume our normal structure. He led the pledge of allegiance to a flag he had displayed behind him. Anwar Hossain then provided the invocation, talking about the ways that the human race is being tested. The virus is a great equalizer, effecting all races, nations, religious beliefs, political position, or social status.

High Gear, April 15, 2020 Weston Willett 2020-04-15 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, April 8, 2020

It was a warm and cozy noontime on Wednesday inside my house. I’m not sure what it was like at the Ridge, as it was too cold outside to go up there to find out. I hope everyone was comfortable wherever they were when they Zoomed in to our weekly meeting. (Except that guy in Florida. We are all still paying for the heating oil while he spends his time in his pool.)


This week’s Zoom meeting got off to a good start, with 24 attendees, including several guests. No speaker again, but President Bob is working on that so stay tuned. Bill Saunders gave an invocation giving thanks for all of the essential workers that are continuing to provide needed services, especially those who are taking care of people that have contracted Covid-19 and asking that God help us all get through this trying time.


District Governor Elect Marc Glass started the Zoom meeting by introducing the guests, and glorying in the power that he had to mute people. If only he was able to exercise that power more gracefully. As the meeting went on he called on people to speak but did not un-mute them at the same time. “Wait, let me un-mute you” was heard often.


Other than that, he did a great job organizing the virtual meeting and making sure everyone knew how to get online. We were joined by Area 6 Assistant Governor Randi Sobinski, who apparently had the power to un-mute herself. Marc was quick to assert his authority by muting her again.


We were also joined by Annual Giving Officer for Rotary International, Elizabeth Davis, who admitted to being a Cubs fan. Marc immediately muted her for the rest of the meeting after proclaiming that only 2 sports teams were important and they both are from Philadelphia. No objections were heard to this, of course, as everyone was muted, but I saw a lot of mouths moving in the videos! Also joining us were old friend, Brian Liss and his family, and District Governor Nominee Joanne Alfieri.


High Gear, April 8, 2020 Weston Willett 2020-04-11 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, April 1, 2020

It was a brisk 45 degrees at the Ridge last Wednesday, but it felt more like 60 with the sun when we all did not gather for the weekly lunch meeting. George Schoen was not collecting money for the food that we didn’t have, and Jack Martin was not selling raffle tickets. The world changed a few weeks ago, and we all are being urged to stay home if we want ourselves and others to be safe from the virus that is afflicting the world. It might be some time before we see each other in person again. However, all is not lost for our club meetings. District Governor Elect Mark Glass and President Bob Buettner have come up with an interim solution: Zoom! We might be meeting online for quite some time and Zoom looks like a great way to do that. We had 23 attendees on Wednesday, almost all of them onscreen from their webcams, including some faces from Florida and Maine that we don’t see often enough.


Getting the meeting started went pretty smoothly, with just a couple of hiccups, most of which got straightened out pretty quickly. We were able to see Doug Willett’s face, connected in from Florida, but his microphone did not work, so we could not hear anything he tried to say. I will leave it up to the readers to decide if that was a plus or a minus J There was no speaker, but President Bob did have some announcements. Firstly, let’s all welcome Ray Maselek as our newest member! He joins us as part of the Goodwin University contingent. Ray has agreed to chair our Membership committee. Let’s all help him as much as possible.

High Gear, April 1, 2020 Weston Willett 2020-04-01 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, March 11, 2020

March 11, 2020
As I got out of the car at 5:45 for an away meeting at the Manchester Country Club, my car thermometer read 64 degrees.  It’s been a very Spring like week and one that the golf courses in the area really appreciated.  So much for climate change!
I met President Bob and Ruth Sheehan in the parking lot and continued to the dining room and paid the $15 charge.  The three of us were later joined by 9 other East Hartford Rotarians bringing our numbers up to 12, just 5 short of the 17 Manchester Rotarians in attendance.  Where have all the Rotarians gone????!!!
After a short social hour, the meeting was called to order by Manchester President Bob Rodner. After the usual Pledge to the Flag, the Four Way Test, and a thoughtful Invocation we were all welcomed by President Rodner. 
Our own, and now District Big Wig, Marc Glass updated us on the upcoming District Conference which is being held at the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis May 1-3 in conjunction with District 7950. Cost for the Conference will be $269 per person plus $125 per night hotel cost. Partial reservations are available.  Sign up at www.Rotary7950.com
A great buffet consisting of salad, vegetables, mashed potatoes, roast pork, breaded cod, rolls, and assorted cookies and cakes, was served.  Our table was envious!  After the meal, announcements and introductions were made.  No Welcome Song followed – but we are unique!
High Gear, March 11, 2020 Robert Wood 2020-03-10 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, March 4, 2020 

Bright sun and March winds welcomed us to the Ridge today. The sign-in table encountered a real blast as both front doors opened at once. Suddenly, George Schoen found his money blown all over the entryway. Fortunately, several Rotarians, true to the 4 Way Test, were there to help return the filthy lucre to neat piles on the table and sign-in continued.
 Lunch today consisted of ham, roast beef, veggie and combo subs. Chips and the usual brownie accompanied the sandwich. Of course, Ned Lynch was disappointed with the absence of a cookie tray and several considered collecting the brownies and allowing him to pass them around. Sorry Ned, our next three meetings will not require your services either.
Jim Watts offered a meaningful invocation, expressing concern over the coronavirus and asked blessings for all.
ANNOUCEMENTS: Our next meeting is Tuesday, March 10th with Manchester at the Manchester Country Club – 6:00 p.m.  On March 18th we meet at Goodwin University at Noon and on March 25th we will be attending our annual Paul Harris Awards Dinner at the Gallery in Glastonbury. On June 17th, the District & Club Installations will be held at Maneelys in South Windsor, no daytime meeting.
WELCOME:  We welcomed two visitors today. Old friend Bob Duggar from the Glastonbury Club and Ed Firestone (Dan’s brother) from the Manchester Club.
CARING MOMENTS: Dick McCarthy still recuperating at Glastonbury Health Care. Cards and calls would be appreciated
High Gear, March 4, 2020 Laurence Hangland 2020-03-08 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, February 26, 2020

For some strange reason, your scribe lost track of time and showed up when all Rotarians were heading towards the lunch table. Needless to say, I missed the Rotary Song, the Pledge-of-Allegiance and the invocation. I am sure those events did happen although I was not there to record it. Please accept my apologies.
I reported in the last week’s HG based on what Jack Sayre told me about chicken teriyaki for lunch today; it turned out to be incorrect. Today being Ash Wednesday, many of us refrain from meat. Instead, we had two kinds of lasagna, veggie sandwiches, salad and rolls. All in all, a good lunch followed by Ned passing the cookie tray.
Our two guests, Hope Firestone and Sean Dwyer, were greeted by our enthusiastic signature Welcome Song. Your scribe and Jack Sayre were presented Paul Harris pins by President Bob.
  1. Scholarship applications are now available on the Rotary website. Larry Hangland informed us that the Scholarship Committee will have a meeting at 11:30 AM next Wednesday.
  2. Neal Cunningham reported that he attended the Interact meeting. He was impressed by their enthusiasm and organization. They had just finished the Socks Dive and were working on the next project of helping people in the Caribbean who were affected by the storms.
  3. Habitat for Humanity’s fundraising event, Charity Give Back Night, will be held on February 25 at Maggie McFly’s. Ten percent of your bill will be donated to the cause.
High Gear, February 26, 2020 Anwar Hossain 2020-02-26 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, February 19, 2020

It was a cold but sunny day. Still no sign of snow on the ground which is not normal for this time of the year. Perhaps in March mother nature will make it up by dumping all the snow that we did not get in January and February.

We had a lean attendance, 18 of us including three guests. Acoustical intensity of the Welcome Song and Pledge-of-Allegiance reflected our low turnout. Jack Sayre’s invocation was about being thankful for our friends, fun and fellowship of Rotary. Three kinds of pizza were waiting in covered boxes ready to be snapped up by the hungry crowd. Thanks to Jack Sayre for keeping in mind the dietary preference of your scribe and Dan Firestone who very much enjoyed box lunches with veggie sandwiches. Jack gave us a sneak preview of next week’s lunch – chicken teriyaki. Should we expect a large turnout?

President Bob rang the bell to get the meeting going. Our three guests today were Bob Dugan, Joe Jaconetta and Alejandro. George and Art led the Welcome Song. President Bob called Bill Saunders to the podium to honor him with PH+7 pin. Thanks, Bill, for your generosity.


  1. Eight Rotarians including our two new volunteers, joining hands with a few non-Rotarians, sorted out over five thousand pounds of meat on Monday at FoodShare. Stay tuned for the date in March.
  2. Habitat for Humanity’s fundraising event Charity Give Back Night will be held on February 25 at Maggie McFly’s. Ten percent of your bill will be donated to the cause.
  3. Our guest speaker on February 26 will be Sean Dwyer from Parks and Rec who will also receive his donation check from our club.
  4. Joint meeting of Manchester Rotary and EHRC will take place at the Manchester Country Club on March 10. A local band will perform that evening. This meeting will be in lieu of our meeting on March 11.
  5. Our weekly meeting on March 18 will be at Goodwin University. Here is my understanding of what Guy said and clarified by Dan Larson. Lunch will be provided by GU followed by a tour of the new manufacturing program. We will pay our usual $15 which will go in its entirety to our club. Thanks, GU.
High Gear, February 19, 2020 Anwar Hossain 2020-02-19 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, February 12, 2020

After two dreary, rainy, cloudy days, it was a welcome relief to see a bright sunny day as we approached the Ridge. Before the bell rang, President Bob gathered us all for a group picture to show solidarity with “SHINE A LIGHT ON SLAVERY DAY” to bring awareness about human trafficking. He marked the backs of our hand with a red X with his magic marker. Can’t wait to see the picture of all 22 of us, red-Xed hands, and facing the camera.

After the Rotary Song and the Pledge of Allegiance, Art gave a somber invocation remembering our recently departed Rotarian Steve Jacoby and keeping his family in our thoughts and prayers.

Lunch consisted of sausages and peppers, salad, and bread rolls. For the folks with dietary restrictions, Jack Sayer had arranged for vegetable sandwiches. Thanks, Jack. Ned, although late for starting his SAA duties, was in time to assume his role as the server of the cookies and to take over from Dan Firestone’s SAA role.

Besides our guest speaker Chris Keating from Hartford Courant, we had some faces today we have not seen in a while, namely Guy LaBella, Hope Firestone, Chuck Clarke and our soon to be new member, Ray Maselek. Art led the Welcome Song to warm the hearts of our guests and almost guests.

High Gear, February 12, 2020 Anwar Hossain 2020-02-12 05:00:00Z 0
Rest In Peace - Steve Jacoby 2020-02-07 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, February 5, 2020

It is odd not to see snow cover on the ground at this time of the year in Connecticut. Just as odd are recent days with temperatures in the high forties or low fifties. Today was one such day. Eighteen Rotarians and two guests joined us for our weekly meeting. The decibel level of the Rotary Song and the Pledge-of-Allegiance reflected the low attendance. Marc Glass, who was scheduled to give the invocation, had to improvise because he forgot it was his turn. Thanks to the internet and the cell phone, Marc was able to deliver a powerful message about the peaks and valleys in our life, and we should always remember the valleys when we are at the peak and vice versa.

Box lunches were laid out neatly at the table with the various choices clearly marked. Ned Lynch, besides being the Sergeant-at-Arms, did not have to do double duty of serving cookies because our dessert was packed inside the box lunch.

Our two guests, Joe Jaconetta and Ray Maselek, were introduced by Dan Firestone and Dan Larson respectively. At the request of one of the guests, the Welcome Song was skipped. You can draw your own conclusion as to why.

High Gear, February 5, 2020 Anwar Hossain 2020-02-07 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, January 29, 2020

Again, today was not a typical January winter’s day – sunny, clear, and in the 40s with no snow on the ground or in the forecast!  Nice!!! See what you’re missing in Florida, Wes!  The usual chaos was present in the Ridge – Ceil was on a cruise and Lunch Master Jack was on his own setting up the beverage and buffet table.  DGE Marc was charged with bringing the cold soda which was left over from his many tailgating outings.  He claimed if you dug down deeply enough in the cooler you might find a few beers.  Several Rotarians had cold wet hands, but no visible beer! George and Jack were at their usual spot doing a very capable job and spreading the Rotary Goodwill while emptying our pockets!
As the clock struck 12:15 President Bob, as he does so well, struck the bell and called us to order.  The usual song, the pledge, and a thoughtful Invocation by Dan Firestone reminding us of our Bounty and asking us to provide help to others who are in need, and to share our leadership and creditability in helping to make the world to be a better place.  Off to the buffet table where the Lunch Master was quickly uncovering our repast.  Today’s feast was roast chicken and guess which one- peas, carrots, green beans, or corn?  If you chose corn you were the winner! A nice mixed green salad completed the table.  Ned Lynch finally had a job to complete – as the official cookie” Monster” Ned had a chance to distribute a fine selection of cookies to each table, even bringing seconds and begging us to break our New Year’s resolutions of shedding a few unneeded pounds.
High Gear, January 29, 2020 2020-01-29 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, January 22, 2020

It was a typical January day in New England, cold and sunny. Despite the chill, twenty-one brave Rotarians made it to our weekly meeting at the Ridge. Some of us were carrying bags with non-perishable food to support our new food drive initiative for Goodwin College food pantry.
Rotary Song was sung, and Pledge-of-Allegiance was recited. George Schoen stepped to the podium to deliver the weekly invocation. Fortunate for us today, our caterer did remember to deliver the food. Remember January 8 meeting!! Three kinds of pizzas are what we had for lunch today. I couldn’t help but notice that Dan Firestone had to chew patience for lunch. Some of us do have dietary restrictions to adhere to. Although Ned Lynch, our server of cookies, was present and willing, alas no cookies to serve.
President Bob reconvened the meeting with the following announcements:
  1. Paul Harris Dinner will be at the Gallery on March 25.
  2. Board meeting date has been changed to February 4 at the Y.
  3. High Gear writers for the remainder of the club year are Anwar Hossain (February), Bob Wood (March), Wes Willett (April), Sue Klock (May), and Doug Willett (June).
  4. Marc Glass has selected “Rotary Opens Opportunities” as the theme for the year he will be the District Governor.
  5. George Agnelli, Jr. has donated $200 towards Koats-for-Kids project.
  6. District and EHRC combined Installation Dinner will be at Maneeley’s in South Windsor on June 17.
  7. There are no soup kitchens in East Hartford that are open on Saturdays. President Bob, therefore, will look at other nearby towns if our Club decides to pursue a volunteer opportunity one Saturday a month.
  8. Interact Club has is already doing a drive for socks for the homeless. Our proposed initiative can dovetail with theirs.
  9. Scholarship Committee is looking for more volunteers now that Jim Fallon has moved away.
High Gear, January 22, 2020 Anwar Hossain 2020-01-22 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, January 15, 2020

If this were the month of April, a group would be leaving to hit the golf course right after the meeting.  The day was sunny with a temperature in the fifties.  What more could a golfer wish for!  Upon entering the Ridge, one noticed a complete rearrangement of the lobby.  According to Happy Jack some of the tables had been sent to the rubbish heap, so George and Jack were sitting at a table which usually supported the badge tray. Different!
As usual, conversations were taking place in small groups scattered around the dining room.  One could hear talk of Alex Cora, the ill-fated signal stealer, and now ex manager of the Red Sox.  Perhaps the Sox might be interested in hiring Bill Belichick who also has a questionable history as far as signals go!
Right on the dot of 12:15 acting president Bill Saunders called us together for the traditional song, pledge, and invocation.  The Invocation delivered by Jack Sayre included several well thought out sayings which would be suitable toasts at any get together.
As usual, we were directed to the serving table to take up a nice lunch of roasted chicken, corn, mashed potatoes, and a hearty salad.  Additionally, a tasty tiramisu dessert, donated by one of our visitors, was available and enjoyed by all who chose to give it a try.
After lunch were reconvened and Acting President Bill asked for the introduction of guests.  Among the three today were Ed Firestone, Dan’s brother, PDG Dave Mangs, and dessert provider, Alexandro.
High Gear, January 15, 2020 Robert Wood 2020-01-15 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, January 08, 2020

Wow! We haven’t met at the Ridge since way back last year when we held our Annual Meeting on December 11th, 2019. Luckily, about 27 of us were able to remember directions and showed up at the Ridge to enjoy our annual New Year’s Wine and Cheese party.  Thanks go to Ceil Collins who faithfully pulls this event together! Today’s weather was rather cool and drab, but the wine made things a little brighter as our Rotarians engaged in lively conversations throughout the room.
Almost on time, President Bob brought us together in the usual manner, a song, the Pledge, and a thoughtful invocation from Bill Saunders offering “Faith, Kindness, Peace and Promise,” as well as a happy and fulfilling New Year. Unlike the normal, we weren’t dispatched to the buffet table, as no lunch was to be had! Lunch master Sayre had quickly called Roma’s only to be told – “Didn’t you say February 8th? After brief negotiations, Roma’s indicated that they would deliver in about 20 minutes.  One good thing – the grinders were mighty fresh!!!
Not to be deterred by this inconvenience, President Bob carried on with a list of groups wanting donations – Shelter Box, Rotary Rose Bowl Float, and Hornet Basketball.  Some are already budgeted. He then listed several thank you notes – Goodwin University and D’Esopo’s for the Turkey donations, Social Services for the toys and “adopted” families, and a local foodbank.
Marc was asked to explain an R.I. plan to help with relief in the area of the Australian fire disaster. He indicated information could be found at http://rawcs.org.au. Anwar was called upon to inform us about our Food Share Volunteer Program.  Next work date February 17 -12:30 to 3. Contact Anwar if interested in joining the team. Finally, Jack Sayre gave a report on the Salvation Army bell ringing project.  Over our three Saturdays we raised $1744.  Thanks went to all the Rotarians who braved the cold, and to the Interact kids from CIBA who really helped by manning the 2nd kettle.
High Gear, January 08, 2020 Robert Wood 2020-01-08 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, December 18, 2019

Winter decided to come a couple of days early as about 50 Rotarians and friends made their way to the Gallery this evening as a sweeping cold wave moved across Glastonbury.  The Willetts, fresh from Florida, thought it really cold.  I guess they’ve lost their New England roots! As usual, Ceil Collins was at her table in the entrance passing out meal tickets and selling raffle tickets. She’s a real pro and deserves the club’s thanks for her planning of our events at the Gallery.  Nice job Ceil!!!
After the required check in, people approached the bar and were welcomed by the ever-knowing Chris.  He sure has a great memory for names and beverage preferences.  Next stop was the hors d’ oeuvre table loaded with small bites which included the ever-present meat balls, various cheeses and cold meats, crackers, bruschetta, and fruit.  If that wasn’t enough, the staff passed some great stuffed mushrooms and bacon wrapped scallops.  Who could want anything more?  As usual, some people gathered in small groups to enjoy each other’s company, while others went from table to table to visit and converse. It was great to welcome Pat and Jim Fallon back into the fold.  Jim has had a tough year of various surgeries, but really looked like he’s back in good health. It was also a treat to see a contingent of Woman’s Club members enjoying a night out with their Rotary friends.
High Gear, December 18, 2019 Robert Wood 2019-12-18 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, December 11, 2019

Posted by Bob Wood on Dec 12, 2019
When I looked out my window this morning I saw a Winter Wonderland – Snow on the trees, sidewalks and roads.  When I checked my computer a frantic message from President Bob who was stuck in the snow in Tolland - “What do I do? Do we hold the meeting?” I replied that the snow had stopped, and it looked OK. The best advice came from Lunch Master Sayre – “Hold the meeting or you’re stuck with 24 chicken lunches”.  ‘Nuf said, we held the meeting at the Ridge with the sun out, parking lot plowed, and a very Spring like afternoon.  The big question – “Will we have a quorum for the Annual Meeting?”  With today’s membership we need 14 live bodies, a far cry from day’s long past!  Counting members as they paid George, we had our Quorum by Noon!
President Bob called us together around 12:15 and we sang, Pledged and were uplifted with a thoughtful Invocation from Dan Larson who talked about our common bond, our commitment to the goals and purposes of Rotary, and to recognize and share our abundance.  With that message we were dismissed to share the abundance of our lunch – roast chicken, corn, salad, and Ned’s cookies! Due to time constraints, we changed our format and took care of some of our ritual in a different order.  LaToya, the Ridge attendant, was called up to receive her Christmas gratuity.  Following that Sgt. At Arms Jack Sayre rushed through a series of fines levied upon those who liked or disliked his ugly Christmas sweater – negatives won out!  A new first – Steve Jacoby paid for being early! The big catch of the day came from Dan Larson who was celebrating (for the 3rd time today) his 70th birthday, and 48 years of wedded bliss. He sure had to pay dearly as he forced us to listen to Jim Watts sing Happy Birthday to him. Jack said he hit up every member in attendance – he deserves to be a permanent shakedown artist!
High Gear, December 11, 2019 Bob Wood 2019-12-12 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, December 4, 2019

Posted by Anwar Hossain on Dec 04, 2019
Having just returned from a family Thanksgiving in Los Angeles, the sight of the high snowbanks, so early in the season, was a truly a surprise. It reminded me once again that we live in New England. Perhaps that explained the light turnout of 19 and one guest.
After the Rotary Song and the Pledge-of-Allegiance, Art Bradbury gave a thoughtful invocation about Rotary being the place for fellowship, comraderies, blessings and service to others.
Box lunches with a variety of meat choices, packets of chips and hermetically sealed chocolate brownies greeted us at the buffet table. Some folks went for the yellow gel-packs, most probably mustard, to enhance the taste of their choice of sandwiches. I must mention that our guest speaker today made an unsolicited comment about how good the lunch was compared to many other lunch meetings that she attends regularly.
Marc noted that the High Gear last week should have spelled “Salisbury” and “Randy Chappell.”  If I got it wrong, Bob Wood will be making the corrections next week when he returns to assume his position as the scribe for the month.
High Gear, December 4, 2019 Anwar Hossain 2019-12-04 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, November 27, 2019

Posted by Weston Willett on Nov 27, 2019

We finally had some Fall-like weather this week at the Ridge. Bill Saunders was sitting in for George Schoen, collecting for the meal. Jack Martin was selling the raffle tickets and Larry Hangland was collecting for Sgt at Arms. Several members of the East Hartford Police Department were mingling with our members. They were there to accept a donation for their cultural outreach program.


President Bob rang the bell to start the meeting. We sang the Rotary song and pledged Allegiance. Then Dan Firestone read a Thanksgiving prayer for the Invocation. Before we proceeded to the meal, President Bob presented the representatives of EHPD with a $3,000 check, as they were not able to stay. They gave great thanks for the donation and talked a little about how they would use the money to help improve relationships between the police and the residents.   Once they concluded we enjoyed a lunch was ravioli, salad and bread. Ned Lynch passed the cookies.


High Gear, November 27, 2019 Weston Willett 2019-11-27 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, November 20, 2019

Posted by Weston Willett on Nov 20, 2019

It was another cold day at the Ridge, with some rain sprinkles added this week for our added enjoyment. At least the heat was working inside, even if a little too well. George Schoen was collecting for lunch; Jack Martin was selling raffle tickets and Larry Hangland was again hitting people up for Sergeant at Arms donations.


President Bob rang the bell, we sang and pledged, and then Jim Watts gave the invocation. He called on all of us to reaffirm the Rotary motto to help heal the partisan division that currently afflicts the country. Lunch was Chicken breast with corn and salad. Ned Lynch made the rounds with the cookies we had for dessert. We had 3 guests today, and so sang the Welcome song for District Governor Mark Brady, Assistant Governor Randi Saboski, and Enfield Rotarian Bill Squires.



·         The club will be donating 52 turkeys to the Goodwin College / Foodshare Turkey + 30 Drive

·         We will be donating 2 food baskets for 2 needy families Thanksgiving dinners

·         Sat Nov 23 there is a food drive at D’esopo Funeral home 10am – 1pm

·         Jack Sayre announced that he heard back from the Interact President and the students will be joining us for bell ringing

·         The Annual Meeting will take place on Dec 11.

·         There will not be meetings on Dec 25 or Jan 1

·         The Holiday Party is scheduled for Dec 18

·         Marc Glass announced that if people are interested in helping with the Manchester Road Race next Thursday please let him know. There will be a breakfast for volunteers this Sunday at 9am at the Elks club in Manchester.

·         Anwar Hossain has another Rotary Foodshare day scheduled for next Mon (Nov 25) in Bloomfield

·         Bill Saunders has a $10 gift certificate if anyone is planning to spend more than $20 at Staples soon


Caring Moments

·         Former member Dan Dienst lost his son in a car accident

·         Jim Fallon is doing well recuperating from a knee replacement


High Gear, November 20, 2019 Weston Willett 2019-11-20 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, November 13, 2019

Posted by Weston Willett on Nov 13, 2019

It was another unseasonably cold day at the Ridge this week. Will Fall ever get here? We seem to have gone straight to Winter L George Schoen and Jack Martin manned the table in the foyer, collecting for lunch and the 50-50 raffle. The tables in the main room were spread far apart in anticipation of the Fireside Chats that were scheduled. President Bob rang the bell promptly at 12:15 and we all sang the Rotary song. After the Pledge of Allegiance Dan Larson discovered that he had lost his notes for the Invocation, but he did a wonderful job improvising.  We then all collected our box lunches and spread out to the tables to hold our Fireside Chat discussions.


The format of the Fireside Chats was the same as usual, the only difference being they were held at a regular meeting and not at peoples’ houses at night. Each table had a facilitator to keep the discussion focused on the questions, and a scribe to take things down. Notes will be compiled by Jack Martin and presented at a future meeting. People seemed to be happy with the new format. After some time, President Bob called the meeting back to order to conclude our regular business.


High Gear, November 13, 2019 Weston Willett 2019-11-13 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, November 6, 2019

Posted by Weston Willett on Nov 06, 2019

It was a cold, sunny day as we gathered at the Ridge this week. Luckily the heat had been fixed a couple weeks ago, so the inside was toasty warm. The bell was rung promptly at 12:15 p.m. and we all sang the Rotary song, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Larry Hangland gave the invocation and we all proceeded to choose our boxed lunch. There was Ham, Turkey, Veggie and Combo subs available along with chips and a 3 lb. hockey puck, um, I mean fudge brownie. Someone brought a cookie assortment, which Ned Lynch passed around, so desert was saved.


President Bob started the meeting at 12:40 with a list of announcements.

                EHRC collected $256 for Polio+ last week

                We are looking for volunteers to do secret Santa shopping for the holidays. Signups were passed around.

                Bell Ringing signups have been going around, and the last open spot was filled during the announcement.

                Foundation Dinner is (was) Nov 7. EHRC had 2 tables and our own Jim Watts was honored along with the EH club itself.

                The next Board of Directors meeting is set for Nov 12, 5:30 at the Y. All are welcome.

                November 13th instead of a regular meeting we will split into groups and do the Fireside Chats. Questions are below

                Nov 20th District Governor Mark Brady will be our guest speaker

                Nov 25th will be another EHRC Foodshare volunteer day

                Nov 27 there will be cheese and wine before the meeting, and we will be presenting the EH Police Dept with a check to help with their cultural outreach program

                Marc Glass announced that he will be filling in for Past President Kevin Kickery in nominating the Board of Directors for next year. Nominations should be presented a month before the annual meeting, which gives him a week to collect suggestions. If you would like to serve please let Marc know as soon as possible.

High Gear, November 6, 2019 Weston Willett 2019-11-06 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, October 30, 2019

Posted by Anwar Hossain
The changing weather pattern of New England was visible today in the form of a misty and cloudy day. Despite the weather, 21 of us were present including a number of Halloween guests, five of them in scary pumpkin faces, Mr. Skeleton in a seat, and last but not the least the mechanical giant spider making a sudden unexpected leap that surprised us. Luckily, we did not have to feed them.
The bell struck, which promptly got us to our feet to sing the Rotary Song followed by the Pledge-of-Allegiance. Yours truly, doing double duty as the High Gear writer and the invocation giver was called to the podium by President Bob. The theme was to help others and defend the rights of all citizens and residents.
We headed to the lunch table without our esteemed guests. Lunch from Congress Rotisserie consisted of roast chicken, corn, salad and cookies. Filling in for Ned, Dan Firestone served the cookies around each table.
President Bob rang the bell to start the second part of our Halloween themed meeting, thanking Ceil for the decorations. The announcements followed next.
  1. Happy Jack made the observation that today is the first anniversary of George Agnelli’s passing.
  2. Polio Plus envelope was making its round for donations.
  3. Foundation Dinner will take place at Chez Joseph in Agawam on November 7 and will honor, among others, our own Jim Watts.
  4. Next Board meeting will take place on November 12.
  5. The Ridge is not available during the evening until the end of November. So Fireside Chat needs to take place as previously announced on November 13. Main topic of discussion will be the future of the club.
  6. D.G. Mark Brady will be the Guest Speaker on November 20. Let’s show our support by attending.
  7. Cheese-and-Wine will be served before the meeting on November 27. A check will be presented to EHPD the same day.
  8. Debbie Bain will be our guest speaker on December 4. She will talk about how to navigate through the health insurance maze.
  9. Mr. Xin, an exchange teacher, will speak to us about Chinese culture on December 11.
  10. Jack Sayre indicated that based on the number of volunteer hours pledged, the club can do three days of bell ringing. The dates are December 7, 14 and 21, all Saturdays. He provided three signup sheets.
  11. Jackie is back into Hartford Hospital.
  12. Jim Fallon is recovering from knee replacement surgery.
  13. Frank Collins is recovering from a successful surgery.
  14. Calling Hours for Jean Roland will take place at 10:00 AM at Rose Hill, Rocky Hill followed by the service and burial at 11:00.
High Gear, October 30, 2019 Anwar Hossain 2019-10-30 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, October 23, 2019

Posted by Anwar Hossain on Oct 23, 2019
Fall colors, vibrant and bright, were hard to miss as I approached the Ridge, and the sun was shining contrary to the forecast for the day. It was a small group today with one guest and the guest speaker. The bell was rung on time. We sang the Rotary Song, recited our Pledge-of Allegiance and listened to a thoughtful invocation by George Schoen about the joy of caring and sharing which we do well as an organization.
As we were about to head out to get our lunches, Jack Martin announced that the lunch was not here yet. President Bob altered the sequence of the meeting and started with the announcements.
  1. Koats-for-Kids gave out 77 coats last Sunday although 110 had originally signed up.
  2. Another successful FoodShare volunteer event last Monday was made possible by members from our Rotary Club who sorted out 3,795 pounds of assorted food and non-food grocery items.
  3. The First Paul Harris nominating meeting took place today.  Jim Watts and his committee will come up with recommendations soon.
  4. Our weekly meeting on October 30 will reflect the theme of Halloween. Participants are free to dress up accordingly.
  5. The Foundation Dinner will take place at Chez Joseph in Agawam on November 7 and will honor, among others, our own Jim Watts.
  6. Next Board meeting will take place on November 12.
  7. Fireside Chat will take place in lieu of the regular lunch meeting on November 13 at the Ridge. President Bob will provide topics for discussion soon.
  8. D.G. Mark Brady will be the Guest Speaker on November 20. Let’s show our support by attending.
  9. Cheese-and-Wine will be served before the meeting on November 20. A check will be presented to EHPD the same day.
  10. Debbie Bain will be our guest speaker on December 4. She will talk about how to navigate through the health insurance maze.
  11. Mr. Xin, an exchange teacher, will speak to us about Chinese culture on December 11.
  12. Jack Sayre passed around the sign-in sheet for bell ringing.
  13. The winter protocol for no meeting will follow school closings in East Hartford. No school, no meeting, simple to remember.
  14. Marc Glass has several filing cabinets, empty no doubt, that are up for grabs. Bob Wood will take the 2-drawer one.
High Gear, October 23, 2019 Anwar Hossain 2019-10-23 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, October 16, 2019

Posted by Anwar Hossain
Cloudy sky and somewhat mild temperature greeted us as we approached the Ridge. It was hard not to notice the autumn foliage color in almost full bloom. The first thing I noticed as I was paying at the cash table, there was no lunch in sight. That explained why there were more people in the lobby than in the meeting room speculating if or when the delivery will take place. That also explained why so many of us did not make it to the meeting room as the bell rang.
Even at our ages we can simultaneously sing the Rotary Song and slowly march into the meeting room. By the time the Pledge-of-Allegiance was recited, most if not all twenty-one of us had ambled into the room in time for a wonderful invocation by Laura Floyd. “Autumn Prayer” was the perfect invocation theme for the season reminding us of the creativity of the Divine Artist reflected in the hues, colors and the feel for the seasonal change.
Better-late than never-arrived lunch consisted of three trays of ravioli in sauce, a tray of mixed salad and rolls. It could have been worse, which is no lunch that did happen one other time if my memory serves me right. Cheer up, next week is pizza week. Ned Lynch did his best to cheer us up by passing the cookie tray.
  1. Goodwin College Foundation Scholarship event will take place in the River Room on October 17 at    195 Riverside Drive between 3:00-4:30 PM. You are welcome to join since our club is one of the donors.
  2. Koats-for-Kids will take place at 9:00 AM at the Burlington Coat Factory at 9:00 AM on October 20.
  3. Jim Watts announced that the Paul Harris Nominating Committee will meet at 11:30 on October 23 at the Ridge.  
High Gear, October 16, 2019 Anwar Hossain 2019-10-16 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, October 2, 2019

Posted by Robert Wood on Oct 02, 2019
As I approached the Ridge today it was warm and overcast with the promise of late afternoon showers and a major temperature drop which would remind us that Fall is truly here.  This was also indicated with the slight change in color in the trees along the way.  Inside the Ridge there was a small gathering of Rotarians seemingly waiting for a larger contingent to arrive.  I guess the wait wasn’t too productive as we leveled off at 17 members, with an 18th arriving a little later.
Where, oh where, have all the Rotarians gone????
President Bob called us to order and we sang, Pledged, and listened to a thoughtful Invocation Delivered by the Rev. William Saunders.  We were dispatched to the Buffet Table without the limitation of “one serving”. The meal consisted of a platter full of great roast chicken breasts and thigh portions, corn, and a nice tossed salad.  It was fortunate that Ned Lynch wasn’t here today as the caterer forgot to leave Ned’s cookie platter.  As usual. Ceil’s Keurig idea of making your own coffee continued to be a great success (as well as a big money saver). But, alas, no Ned, no cookies.
High Gear, October 2, 2019 Robert Wood 2019-10-02 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, September 25, 2019

Posted by Sue Klock on Sep 25, 2019
Another beautiful day here at the Ridge.
Past President Bill Saunders did a great job filling in for Bob Buettner, ringing the bell promptly at 12:15.  Following the pledge, Bob Wood delivered a thoughtful invocation urging us all to work for peace and remember the Rotary motto Service Above Self.
Lunch was pizza and a mixed green salad with vinaigrette dressing.  We were cautioned to limit ourselves to one piece on the first pass by the buffet table to avoid running out.  Despite some mumbling and grumbling the group managed to stick to that, and Jack Sayre remains in charge of our lunch offerings.
Guests today were Dan Firestone’s wife, Hope, and our program presenter, Carolyn Brodginski.  George and Art led us in a creditable version of our welcome song.
Marc Glass served as Sergeant-at-Arms.  Great to welcome Marc back from a successful week at GETS (Governors-elect Training Seminar) and the Zone 24/32 Institute in Niagara Falls, Canada.  Marc reported on numerous, humorous comments about sports teams.  Wes Willett paid to celebrate successfully renting his home.  Peter Klock contributed so we all happily sang “Happy Birthday” to him.
Bill read a letter from our past member and past president Bill Flynn. He commented that he has been enjoying “reading in High Gear about all the great things [we] are doing.  This inspired him to make a $500 contribution to our charitable fund.  Past President Bill continued that he is thrilled that his daughter, Mary, a social worker and Director of Development for Hospice St. Francis of Brevard County (Florida) will be joining the Viera Rotary Club.  To a great extent this is a result of her having attended some of our club meetings with dad Bill when she was in High School here and then while attending college at “a small distinguished, liberal arts college in Maine.  Wonderful example of a Rotary membership success story!
High Gear, September 25, 2019 Sue Klock 2019-09-25 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, September 18, 2019

Posted by Sue Klock on Sep 18, 2019
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
— Margaret Mead
Great day and a great week for our club.  Though we had a small group gathering at The Ridge today, we were all ready to celebrate what we can accomplish following our successful golf tournament Monday.
President Bob got the meeting underway with the pledge.  Bob Wood delivered a very thoughtful invocation reminding us that smallness does not equate with powerlessness.  The above quote, attributed to anthropologist Margaret Mead, seems to have been written for a Rotary Club such as ours.  Committed people can change the community and the world.  Bob asked that we give thanks for the opportunity to fulfill our motto of Service Above Self
With those thoughts in mind, the stampede began.  Lunch offerings were a variety of appealing sandwiches, ranging from roast beef to tuna, and a chopped salad with a choice of dressing, rosy vinaigrette or ranch.  Everyone seemed quite happy with today’s lunch, which was followed by a plate of extra-large cookies, passed by our own cookie monster, Ned Lynch.
President Bob began our meeting by expressing his appreciation of the outcome of our golf tournament:  beautiful weather, eighty golfers, and a great showing by the usual volunteers.
Caring Moments:  Jackie Jacoby is still recovering at New Britain Hospital.  While we are asked to refrain from visiting, an email or card to Steve would be thoughtful.  Here is his contact information.
Address is 5 Lower Heatherwood, Cromwell, CT 06416-2714, cell phone (860) 280-5690, email  Stephen_Jacoby@yahoo.com .
High Gear, September 18, 2019 Sue Klock 2019-09-18 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, September 11, 2019

Posted by Sue Klock on Sep 11, 2019



President Bob rang the bell, and with some improvement over a week ago, our small group sang a creditable rendition of R-O-T-A-R-Y, settled down to say the pledge, and then turned to face the podium where Marc Glass delivered a thoughtful invocation.  Marc encouraged us to remember hurricane Dorian’s victims, who continue to struggle with the effects of that devastating storm, to remember all those who lost family in the terrorist attacks eighteen years ago and concluded by exhorting us to continue striving to make this a better world.


Following this rather serious kickoff, those in the know rose quickly to get to the lunch offerings – two pizzas, one cheese, the other pepperoni, accompanied by a large mixed-greens salad with a creamy Italian vinaigrette dressing.  The two pizzas were large but not sheet size and ran out before the last in line reached the table.


We sang our welcome song for our guest, Toral Maher, Senior Program Officer for Liberty Bank, who presented our program today.

President Bob had various members bring us up to date on club happenings. 


    Jack Sayre reported on last Saturday’s Habitat for Humanity project, home improvements right here in East Hartford.  Jack explained that 10 lucky folks were chosen out of 300 applicants for projects in the Hartford area.

High Gear, September 11, 2019 Sue Klock 2019-09-11 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, September 4, 2019

Posted by Sue Klock on Sep 04, 2019

Though President Bob rang the bell promptly at 12:15 pm, the rest of us got off to a low and slow start singing “r…r…r…r…. R…R…R…R-O-T-A-R-Y, that spells Rotary.” 

We were more organized for the pledge, and Art Bradbury was ready to deliver a short but heartfelt invocation. 


Then, it was on to this week’s lunch offering, roasted chicken pieces, steamed corn and a chopped salad with choice of dressing.  Faithful server Ned passed around a platter of large cookies.  We were reminded that we recycle the bottles and cans used during lunch and asked to place them on the front table when empty.


President Bob got the meeting going reporting on some requests for relief for Dorian victims.  There was general agreement that we would like to contribute to West Baptist Hospital in Miami which has a direct connection to a hospital in the Bahamas and will be collecting items most needed and will transport them there as soon as possible.  Bob said the Board had agreed via email prior to our meeting to get behind this.  So, whatever was collected at the meeting will be supplemented by a $200 club contribution.


High Gear, September 4, 2019 Sue Klock 2019-09-04 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, August 28, 2019

Posted by Doug Willett on Aug 28, 2019

Hint of rain in the air and, indeed, the skies opened shortly after the meeting while I was driving down Route 2 to Niantic. Rained so hard I was unwilling to make my anticipated pit stop at Salem Farms Ice Cream at the end of Route 11. Unwilling to get drenched just to get a scoop of Black Cherry Chip. Must be getting old.

The usual crowd today, somewhere around twenty, swelling a bit when Steve Jacoby showed up on Steve time. Interesting guest at our table, Alejandro Vasquez, a 19-year resident, an immigrant from Peru where he took part in a Rotaract club which left a lasting impression. Alex is both a baker and a warehouse worker for UPS. Lunch was a grinder box with chips and a brownie. One wag at our table wanted to collect the uneaten brownies, put them on a plate, and serve them to Ned Lynch. The idea was ignored.

Jack Sayre read an interesting compilation of Steve Jobs deathbed thoughts. In essence, Jobs makes the point that regardless of how much money you make, how successful you are in business, how many personal possessions you accumulate, at the end true happiness lies in your love connections, “mates, buddies and old friends, brothers and sisters, who you chat with, laugh with, talk with, sing songs with…that is true happiness.” One must hope Jobs found those people around him at the end, given his reputation as a ruthless, tyrannical boss during his truncated business career.

Dick McCarthy was back today, claiming he missed our musical offerings, particularly enjoying our robust rendition of the welcome song. Dick’s hearing is not what it once was.

High Gear, August 28, 2019 Doug Willett 2019-08-28 04:00:00Z 0
High Gear, August 21, 2019 Doug Willett 2019-08-21 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, August 14, 2019

Posted by Doug Willett on Aug 14, 2019

And the group gets smaller and smaller. Despite a beautiful day today, and a scrumptious lunch which consisted of pizza and, uh, more pizza, we were able to attract only 18 Rotarians to the Ridge for our weekly gathering. In fact, it was only because Steve Jacoby rolled in around 12:30, that we were able to have enough members to exceed the number of games the Beaners are behind in the American League East standings, which for Ruthie’s benefit, equals 17.5 games. As our erudite President would tweet, “sad.”


After the opening song and Jack Sayre’s invocation, after the pizza pigging out, after the conversation over lunch subsided, President Bob rang the bell and immediately jumped into announcements. I left his notes on the table at the end of the meeting, so this may be somewhat sketchy:

·       The Board has approved a donation of Five Little Free Libraries to be placed around town by the East Hartford Women’s Club. Great project for both groups.

High Gear, August 14, 2019 Doug Willett 2019-08-14 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, August 7, 2019

Posted by Doug Willett on Aug 07, 2019

Still a small crowd but more energy in the room today. Perhaps it had something to do with the enchanting presence of my bride and favorite Rotary Ann, Diane. Or the effervescent personality of old buddy, Johnny Mozzicato, visiting today during his summer sojourn from his winter headquarters in Punta Gorda, Florida.

Or even the steady, calming sighting of Rotarian John O’Connor, taking time from his highly successful and growing financial services business to break bread with us once again. Well, he would have broken bread were there any to be had, but he settled like the rest of us for some tasty lasagna and salad with the now traditional cookie plate at the end.

Art Bradbury offered a thoughtful invocation urging us to do our best with the diminished resources at our command. Diane requested the singing of the Welcome Song and was pleased with the effort expanded in her behalf.

High Gear, August 7, 2019 Doug Willett 2019-08-07 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, July 31, 2019

Posted by Doug Willett on Jul 31, 2019

Another small group today. Even with three guests, we were able to occupy only three tables. Must be the dog days of summer. But the highlight of the meeting was an appearance by Jim Fallon. Jim has spent the past few months in Texas battling his health challenges. Great to see him back and on his feet.

President Bob called the meeting to order and we took a shot at the Opening Song – second verse much stronger than the first. After the pledge, Bob Wood offered the invocation while canvasing for more volunteers to deliver this in his place in coming weeks. So, for the record, we are hurting for High Gear writers, for Sergeant at Arms bad guys, and now for Invocation givers. Not great signs, all.  

After a tasty lunch of mushroom and cheese ravioli, salad and Ned’s home-made cookie plate, we had the introduction of guests. Gracing our tables were Peyton Buettner from Miami, Florida and Quinn Duval, for right here in town. Both are the granddaughters of our President. Peyton is here for a visit after attending a conference at Georgetown in Washington, D.C. Also slipping in late, thus avoiding an introduction, was old pal, Bob Duggan from Glastonbury.

High Gear, July 31, 2019 Doug Willett 2019-07-31 04:00:00Z 0

HIgh Gear, July 24, 2019

Posted by Doug Willett on Jul 24, 2019

Image the luck of a guy who takes a week off, pays for an expensive cottage in Oaks Bluff, Martha’s Vineyard, travels all the way to the Island including a boat transfer, unpacks his bags, proceeds to fall on his keister, and spends the next six days sitting in a chair on his porch watching everybody else enjoying their vacation. This is a guy who just might be lucky enough to be our new President.


President Bob was back today and looked relaxed and none the worse for wear. Not many here to greet him, however, with just 17 Rotarians making an appearance. Fortunately, we had four uniformed officers and a chief of police join us as our guests. We managed the welcome song and the pledge and Dan Russell offered the invocation. Lunch was a grinder box with some chips and a brownie. Ned Lynch was left without a meaningful role in today’s meeting, much like his beloved Red Sox in the American League East.


Bill Saunders showed up without his sling. Dick McCarthy is coming along but not yet up to coming to the meeting. Gil Wishart is making progress and would welcome cards – see last’s week’s High Gear for the address.


HIgh Gear, July 24, 2019 Doug Willett 2019-07-24 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, July 17, 2019

Posted by Doug Willett on Jul 18, 2019



“Comfortable as an old shoe.” Here we are in the third week of his presidency and already President Bob is calling on a substitute presider out of the Club bullpen. I counted 14 Past Presidents in the room. Even two Past District Governors and a soon to be DG for good measure. And then a Past President from another Rotary Club. And who does President Bob call on to preside?  The guy everybody calls on – busted wing and all – just plain Bill. Yup, two-time PP Bill Saunders was ringing the bell today and everyone had the contented look of those whose slippers fit just right.

Maybe it was the heat wave around the corner, but those gathered at the Ridge did a half-way decent job with the opening song and the pledge. And once we were able to locate our invocation speaker, PP Dan Firestone got our undivided attention with his childhood story of encountering the same kind of racist rhetoric sixty-five years ago that is spewing from the White House these days. He closed by thanking God that Rotary, in contrast, is such an inclusive, welcoming organization.
High Gear, July 17, 2019 Doug Willett 2019-07-18 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, July 10, 2019

Posted by Doug Willett on Jul 12, 2019

The first meeting of President Bob Buettner’s first term came to order on a nice bright day with 21 Rotarians present and graced by the attendance of Jan Sayre and Bev Saunders. President Bob rang the big bell with authority at precisely 12:15 p.m. Once again Bob Wood was called on for the invocation and once again the opening and welcoming songs left much to be desired.

I don’t want to disparage the lunch sandwich offering by saying it was small but someone at my table had a sampling in the hand that was holding his salad plate and remarked “what happened to my sandwich?” only to be told it was under the plate comfortably nestled  in his hand. Ned was very popular today as he passed the cookie plate. President Bob relayed that lunch has been a losing proposition lately and the club is looking to go with grinders and pizza. More to come on this.


Bill Saunders and Jim Watts were announced as our new Foundation Trustees replacing Mary Martin and Sheryl O’Connor. The Board made a $3,000 contribution to the East Hartford Outreach Program. The District Golf Tournament is scheduled for July 29th and Jim Watts is looking for participants. August 24, the District is sponsoring a Yard Goats game. Check the District website for details.


Bill Saunders and George Schoen will be hosting a kick-off meeting of the Golf Committee next week at 11:30 at the Ridge. All are welcome to attend.

High Gear, July 10, 2019 Doug Willett 2019-07-12 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, June 26, 2019

Posted by Doug Willett

“Haul out the old, cart in the new” That old saying does not quite capture the prevailing sentiments this evening as we gathered to celebrate the closing of one administration and the opening of another.  Instead, our annual Induction dinner at the Gallery was festive and reassuring as we passed the torch from President Kevin Kickery to new President Bob Buettner. The King is dead, long live the King.


Opening his last official meeting, President Kevin, who was doing his best Tom Wolfe impression in his white suit, welcomed his fellow Rotarians, their significant others, several guests, and Rotary District dignitaries including District Governor Kate Sims, incoming DG Mark Brady, AG Randi Saboski, and DGD Marc Glass. Outshining them all was our own Empress of the World, making a royal appearance with her humble spouse two steps behind, Mary Martin. Fittingly, we sang the Welcome Song twice, both as our opening offering and again to welcome our guests. PP George Schoen provided our invocation and PP Bill Saunders gave a one-armed Pledge of Allegiance.

High Gear, June 26, 2019 Doug Willett 2019-06-26 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, June 19, 2019

Posted by Doug Willett

The penultimate meeting of his presidency was marked by a cloudy day with the rain holding off long enough for President Kevin to team up with in-coming President Bob Buettner on the grill outside the front door. The result was that both the hot dogs and Kevin’s presidency were well-cooked!

Today turned out to be a busy meeting albeit with a small crowd of Rotarians. We were joined by four Rotary scholarship winners along with a proud mom, a proud gramma, and a most proud dad. And Gazette Editor and Paul Harris recipient Bill Doak was here in one of his rare public appearances on publishing day. And the gracious Mrs. Cunningham, Rosemary Hogan, graced our gathering as well.

The buffet consisted of the hot dogs, some burgers, some chicken, a miniscule bag of potato chips and some salad. Ned got to hand out DQ’s Dilly bars for a nice change thanks to Kevin’s generosity. None of the drinks were of the no-sugar variety so many of us were consigned to consuming a bottle of water.  Thanks to Kevin, Bob and handy sidekick, Jack Sayre for putting the meal together.

Our guests appeared a little non-plussed by our singing, but we were undeterred. Art and George lead the effort such as it was. Our six scholarship winners are headed to Purdue, Roger Williams, Florida International, St. Josephs, Cornell and UConn respectively.

High Gear, June 19, 2019 Doug Willett 2019-06-20 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, June 12, 2019

Posted by Doug Willett on Jun 13, 2019

Lots of discordant vibes at the start of the meeting today. I inadvertently checked the wrong box and ended up paying for my son’s lunch, something I have assiduously avoided since he turned twenty-one many years ago. To compound this misadventure, I was forced to observe Happy Jack wiggling his ears just to prove he is capable of this rarely observed feat of legerdemain. And then, once seated at the table, the moaning and “suffering” being currently endured by Ruthie and the other BoSox fanatics threatened to call forth the world’s smallest violin to accompany their disquietude. Fortunately, and once again, the presence today of my bride saved me from ruing the trip from the beach.

President Kevin, in the waning days of his reign, called the meeting to order and the 25ish members turned their attention to the dais.  The opening song was discordant and the pledge hardly an improvement. Thankfully Bob Wood’s invocation was thoughtful and measured, somewhat saving the day. The buffet was baked chicken, salad and mashed potatoes with the newly traditional cookie plate passed around by Gentleman Ned. The fare rated comments of “good, delicious” at our table.

Old timers in the Club who observed today’s pitiful rendition of the Opening Song were called to remember the late Roger Driggs, a member of the Club from 1935 to 1987, who used to start each meeting with a rousing “Let’s sing it, boys” (in those days it was all boys) and a high stepping romp up and down the aisle waving an imaginary baton to keep the seventy-five to eighty of us in tune while we sang. Along with the piano accompaniment of Don Hallquist, each Rotary meeting started with a flourish. Today, those memories of Roger and Don recall the lyrics of a song from Les Misérables, “drink with me to days gone by, sing with me the songs we knew.”

High Gear, June 12, 2019 Doug Willett 2019-06-13 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, June 5, 2019

Posted by Doug Willett

First day back from the Southland and I find myself on High Gear duty right away. Just another sign of how small the Club is getting and how few people we have to perform the basis club functions. Twenty-four Rotarians in attendance today, just a shade over 50% of our 42 active members, in what is now described as a typical turn-out. The weather outside was a mixture of sun and clouds, but despite our numbers, the room was warm and welcoming. Great to be back.

President Kevin Kickery rang the bell and Bob Wood ambled over to the podium to provide the invocation. We then strolled into the smaller room for our buffet luncheon. Today was lasagna day with both meat and veggie versions available. This was complimented with a salad and bread offering. Cookies completed the repast with Happy Jack substituting for the missing Ned Lynch as the purveyor.

President Kevin called the business meeting to order and announced that there would be no program today. He called for caring moments and, after a slight delay, Dan Larson rose to acknowledge that one of those present, Steve Jacoby, will be undergoing some heart surgery on this coming Monday, and we should all keep Steve in our thoughts and prayers. We will gladly do so.

High Gear, June 5, 2019 Doug Willett 2019-06-05 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, May 29, 2019

Posted by Anwar Hossain on May 29, 2019

It was cloudy and somewhat cool today as we gathered at the Ridge for our weekly fellowship. As I was about to settle down at the table, I saw our dear President Elect Bob approaching me with a somewhat serious look on his face. Since he was leaving early, would I do the High Gear? I said I will be happy to, knowing fully well that I was not prepared, had neither paper nor a pen. Seeing my dilemma, Bob hurried to his table, tore off 2 blank pages from his notebook and handed me a pen also. Now it hit me that I am the scribe today.

The Rotary Song started somewhat off key. I hold the weather responsible for that. Pledge-of-Allegiance went well. However, when President Kevin asked for the designated invocation person, no one moved. Are there any volunteers, said President Kevin? Steve Jacoby stepped up to the plate and delivered a fine invocation about spirit and the essence of Memorial Day.

Off to lunch which consisted of three different types of pizza, salad and cookies. A nice change from our usual fare, plus the Club saved some money. Most of you know that because of our low attendance at the weekly meeting our lunch collection has been falling short of what we must pay the caterer. Not suggesting that we have pizza every week, but once a month sandwiches might keep us in the black.

Marc introduced our guest speaker/guests Rick and Elin Lawrence. Art and George led the Welcome Song which sounded great. By now our vocal cords must have gotten acclimated to the room despite the cloudy weather outside.   




High Gear, May 29, 2019 Anwar Hossain 2019-05-29 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, May 15, 2019

Posted by Peter Klock

Convener: Kevin Kickery @ 12:15


Pledge, followed by Invocation Kevin also:

          Referred to recent fire in neighbor’s house

          Blessings of Rotary


Food today; roasted herbed chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad and assorted cookies, followed by


Rotary Welcome song: sung in at least three keys


Caring moments:

          Debby Woods is on the mend

          Had a good Rotary showing at service for Dave Amberg


Upcoming Events:

          BBQ at Ridge 6/19

          Picnic at DG Kate Sims, all invited

          Yard Goats game 5/29 (Wed 6 PM)

          Regular lunch meeting that day: pizza & Rick Lawrence

          President Installation Dinner Wed 6/26


Raffle won by Dan Russell; Flower raffle won by guest Neal Montgomery


High Gear, May 15, 2019 Peter Klock 2019-05-17 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, May 8, 2019

Posted by Sue Klock on May 08, 2019

 A beautiful, sunny day up at the Ridge. 


We were greeted by DGN Marc Glass, substituting today for Kevin Kickery, who missed our meeting due to job demands.  After a round of R-O-T-A-R-Y and the pledge of allegiance, Larry Hangland delivered a heartfelt prayer acknowledging mothers everywhere as we all look forward to the annual recognition of mothers this Sunday.


Lunch today was sausage and peppers with white rice, a chopped, mixed-greens salad with dressing, bread and butter.  Eventually we were treated to a mix of large cookies, graciously passed around by Ned Lynch.


After noting our only guest today was our speaker, Marc invited Art Bradbury and Dan Larson to lead us in singing the welcome song.  Our guest today, Bob Newbold, mentioned that if we visit his Newington Rotary Club, we could also enjoy a welcome song there.


Sergeant-at-Arms Ned Lynch reported that 100% of those attending contributed today – note that it was nearly impossible to enter today without passing by Ned.  Very effective strategy! Comments of contributors ranged from the usual sports enthusiasts’ mentioning their favorite teams to members who were simply happy to have such beautiful spring weather.


Caring moments:  Debby Wood has been in the hospital but will be transferring to Manchester Manor later today.  There will be more information forthcoming via email.


High Gear, May 8, 2019 Sue Klock 2019-05-08 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, May 1, 2019

Posted by Bob Buettner on May 02, 2019

After a very social half hour, the meeting was started with the traditional song, pledge and invocation.  We had a good meal of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and salad with dessert passed around by Ned.  He offered seconds and thirds on the cookies


There were 23 Rotarians and guests present.


There are 34 tickets sold for the Yard Goats game and if you need more give Ned a call. He will gladly take your money.


A review of the social of April 27 was given. 26 people were there to enjoyed cocktails, appetizers, pizza and dessert.  What was to be a game night turned out to be a great social time. No games were played and by consensus we will try to do this more often.


Marc Glass and Neal Cunningham will be attending the District Conference in Danvers Ma.  They will have the voting rights for East Hartford Rotary.


Several of the Food Banks to which the EH Rotary donated money, sent thank you letters as did the EH Women's Club for the donation to their very successful Pocketbook Auction.


PP Dave Amberg's service will be held at St Christopher’s on May 11 starting at 9 AM with a mass to follow.


High Gear, May 1, 2019 Bob Buettner 2019-05-02 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, April 24, 2019

Posted by Weston Willett on Apr 24, 2019

It was yet another sunny spring day this week. Seems Wed is the day for sun,

 as every other day of the week lately is rain. George Schoen was checking people

 in while District Governor Nominee Marc Glass again handled the raffle ticket sales.

Happy Jack was performing his Sgt at Arms duties. President Kevin rang the bell

 promptly at 12:15, and we went through our usual routine singing the Rotary song

 and Pledging Allegiance. Dan Firestone gave the invocation and we were off to a lunch

 of Lasagna, both meatless and vegetarian, salad, bread. Our Cookie Monster Ned Lynch

 served the dessert, which was an assortment of cookies.


After we ate, President Kevin started the meeting by calling on Guy LaBella to introduce our guest..

Guy was MIA so Dan Larson stepped up and introduced Rosemary McMahon. We sang the Welcome song,

then moved on to caring moments.


Jack Sayre reported that Peg Spiller, whose husband Roy was a longstanding East Hartford Rotarian

 took a bad spill last week. She is not expected to recover. Let’s keep her in our prayers. Bill Saunders

 gave an update on his wife Bev, who is doing better. She is in a cast for a few weeks.


We then went through other announcements. Raffle ticket sales are ongoing. Scholarship applications

are in the hands of the reviewers, with selections expected to be made next week.

Bob Buettner announced that there is still room for another 25 or 30 people for game night.

That takes place this Sat evening.


President Kevin announced that there will be an art show at the Raymond library this weekend.

Ned Lynch reported that he has 29 out of his 30 tickets for the Yard Goats game spoken for.

He can get more if needed but let him know right away if you would like to attend. Mar Glass

reminded us that the District Conference takes place in 2 weeks. The District Assembly is taking place on May

15th and that our President, President Elect, Secretary and Treasurer are all expected to attend. Others are

welcome, and the club will pick up the conference fee.


Anwar Hossain let us know that our Rotary Foodshare group sorted out over 4800 lbs. of frozen meat.

Quite an accomplishment! Next Foodshare volunteer day will take place in June. He wanted to make

sure that we knew Laura Floyd and Bob Buettner were in attendance, but did not appear in the photo

that was shared earlier this week.

High Gear, April 24, 2019 Weston Willett 2019-04-24 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, April 17, 2019

Posted by Weston Willett on Apr 17, 2019

It was a bright, sunny spring day at the Ridge this week, however not very many members were there to enjoy it. This is sort of a good news / bad news situation I believe. Although we had only 17 seats filled for lunch, those that did not attend were all out getting their raffle tickets sold. President Kevin had an emergency meeting (dealing with People’s Bank branch issues at the Stop & Shop locations?) at work, so District Governor Nominee Marc Glass was at the podium. After the song and the pledge, Marc gave the invocation as well. I thought it was particularly nice, so I have included it here.


For the Garden of Your Daily Living



Peace of mind

Peace of heart

Peace of soul



Squash gossip

Squash indifference

Squash grumbling

Squash selfishness



Lettuce be faithful

Lettuce be kind

Lettuce be patient

Lettuce really love one another



Turnip for meetings

Turnip for service

Turnip to help one another



Thyme for each other

Thyme for family

Thyme for friends


Water freely with patience and cultivate with love.

High Gear, April 17, 2019 Weston Willett 2019-04-17 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, April 10, 2019

Posted by Weston Willett on Apr 10, 2019



Dave Amberg, Rotarian, Friend


It was a sunny yet chilly day Wednesday as people gathered for our weekly meeting at the Ridge. George Schoen was checking people in and Marc Glass was selling raffle tickets as Happy Jack performed his Sgt At Arms duties. Chickie Amberg was a welcome sight, joining our meeting and talking about how much the club meant to our recently departed friend Dave Amberg. President Kevin rang the bell promptly at 12:15 to start the meeting. After the song and pledge, Bob Wood gave a heartfelt invocation, describing Dave as a someone that we can all look to as inspiration to show a little more, give a little more, and be a little more active in Rotary. He thanked God for Dave’s time on earth. He will be greatly missed.


After a lunch of sausage and peppers over white rice, salad, bread and cookies for dessert, President Kevin began the meeting proper. Arranging his agenda out loud and on the fly, President Kevin called for the Welcome song to be sung. He then presented Anwar Hossain a Paul Harris Fellow +3 pin. Congratulations Anwar! Ned Lynch announced that he still has spots open for the Rock Cats game on May 29th. Happy Jack commented that the Yard Goats might be playing also. Whoever it is, please get in touch with Ned if you would like to attend. Marc Glass will be putting the word out amongst the District clubs as well.


The District Conference is scheduled for May 3rd and 4th. This is a 5 District conference for which our District has 32 people attending. This is more than 3 times the number of any of the other districts. Given the low turnout, District Governor Elect Marc Glass is debating not even having one during his year at the helm. (This wasn’t well received so hopefully he falls on the side of having one.) This year’s conference will include a tour of Fenway park as well as a half hour in the batting cages. Rumor has it that the Red Sox players need extra time in them though, so this might be problematical. The conference also includes a harbor cruise.

High Gear, April 10, 2019 Weston Willett 2019-04-10 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, March 20, 2019

Posted by Bob Buettner on Mar 20, 2019



Spring has sprung. The first day of spring has arrived and with it warmer weather and the sun. The wind whipped around us all as we entered the Gallery Restaurant for our annual Paul Harris Recognition Dinner. Thanks to Ceil Collins for doing all the work to organize the dinner, menu, tickets and greeting everyone as they came in. Thanks also to Peggy Schoen for putting together the brochure and to Larry Hangland for printing them.


President Kevin Kickery announced that over $5000.00 has been donated for the George Agnelli Memorial Fund.  The Agnelli Family will decide what project this money is to be used for.


By six p.m. most had arrived, and the Rotarian camaraderie was in full swing.  Groups were formed and reformed as the crowd moved from one conversation to another.


As in the past, bartender Chris knew everyone’s preference and poured the libations without hesitation. His memory is incredible.

Gallery servers passed among all of us with appetizers.

The conversations were lively, and the Rotarian spirit was felt in the room.


President Kevin called the "meeting " to order at 7 p.m. opening with the Pledge and an invocation by Bob Wood. Art Bradbury and George Schoen lead the Rotary Welcoming Song.


Dinner as usual was excellent. Salad, Choice of Prime Rib, Filet and Salmon were served, and dessert was ice cream and brownies.  Coffee and tea were available for those who wanted.
High Gear, March 20, 2019 Bob Buettner 2019-03-20 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, March 13, 2019

Posted by Sue Klock on Mar 13, 2019

For all those eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring, just a week away, today was about 50°F and pleasantly sunny.


President Kevin set up our recently repaired club bell and rang it promptly at 12:15 PM.  This was followed by the 23 of us present singing R-O-T-A-R-Y a bit weakly, and then Dan Larson delivering an inspiring invocation encouraging us to live with insight and purpose.


With no program scheduled so no presenter to go sedately to the head of the buffet line, it was every man or woman for him/her self.  Today’s meal was roast chicken pieces (dark and light), carrots and beans, and a salad of mixed greens.  Dessert could best be described as an assortment of sweets, primarily chocolate based, and again passed by our favorite waiter, Ned Lynch.


Though we had no program, we did have a guest, so Art Bradbury and George Schoen led us in our welcome song.  Our guest was Joe Jaconetta, an attorney in Glastonbury and member of the Rotary Club of Glastonbury, but more importantly for his visit today, he is serving as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Connecticut River Valley Chamber of Commerce.


President Kevin invited Joe to speak about events currently being planned by the Chamber.  Joe’s message was primarily to encourage us to support their events, which will include a duck race this spring, a fun event begun by our club and now adopted by the Chamber. This year’s duck race will be held Saturday, May 18th, and again will be on the Hockanum River here in East Hartford, from Walnut Street Bridge to Labor Field Park.  Raffle tickets go on sale March 19th.  For more details, check the CRVCC website https://www.crvchamber.org/events/details/duck-race-6580

High Gear, March 13, 2019 Sue Klock 2019-03-13 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, March 6, 2019

Posted by Sue Klock

This week bore witness to the truth of the first stanza of a well-known poem:

March roars in like a lion
So fierce,
The wind so cold,
It seems to pierce.

Though the cold weather continues, and our hilltop location is windy, luckily for everyone attending our meeting today, all the snow and ice occurred last weekend. President Kevin rang a baby bell to start the meeting promptly at 12:15.


After singing our ritual opening song, R-O-T-A-R-Y, and reciting the Pledge, Art Bradbury delivered a thoughtful invocation reminding us of the plusses and minuses we all experience in life, including a minus – the loss of Dave and Chickie Amberg’s son, David –then urged all to enjoy the plus of Rotary friendship.


Our meal today was lasagna, both beef and vegetarian, a large mixed greens salad with a choice of dressings, sliced Italian bread and butter.  Ned Lynch, waiter par excellence, passed a platter of the usual large cookies. George Schoen and Art Bradbury led the club in our welcome song.


President Kevin again called the group to order with the baby bell, explaining that our traditional bell is awaiting repairs.  Kevin wished President-elect Bob Buettner safe travels and a great experience mixing with other presidents-elect at Northeast PETS (Presidents-elect Training Seminar) which begins Thursday in Framingham, Massachusetts and lasts through Saturday morning.

High Gear, March 6, 2019 Sue Klock 2019-03-06 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, February 27, 2019

Posted by Anwar Hossain on Feb 27, 2019

Today was the type of cloudy and cold day that one expects in February. For us non-snowbirds spring cannot come soon enough. Today was a special day. We were celebrating the 91st Birthday of the Rotary Club of East Hartford. Twenty-nine of us including guest spouses Chickie, Janice, Jacqueline and Peggy sang our Rotary Song and recited  the Pledge-of-Allegiance.  The theme of Dave Amberg’s invocation was thinking of spring thoughts, remembering our club goals and making the world a better place through our involvement in Rotary.

Lunch was meatloaf, mashed potatoes, bread and salad. Bill Saunders planned for us to enjoy a nicely decorated Birthday Cake. Steve Jacoby moderated the birthday ceremony by recognizing three honorees from our club – Frank Collins who had served as the V.P. of Rotary International, Art Bradbury for being a member the longest, and Susan Klock for serving as the District Governor.  He then made us laugh out loud three times remembering “purpose”, “promise” and “praise” in our lives.

High Gear, February 27, 2019 Anwar Hossain 2019-02-27 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, February 6, 2019

Posted by Anwar Hossain on Feb 06, 2019

What more can we New Englanders ask for early in February? We were blessed with 45 degrees noon time temperature with a sunny sky. You snow birds in the warmer zones take note. George Shoen and Happy Jack were at the table to greet us and to make our wallets a little lighter. President Kevin must have lost the gavel. He reached for the small bell and banged it on the large Rotary bell which brought all 21 of us to stand up and recite the Rotary Song. The Pledge of Allegiance was followed by a thoughtful invocation from Jack Sayer. All religions are welcome in the Rotary Family. As a matter of fact, we are not even asked which faith group we belong to when we join Rotary.

Although President Kevin granted permission for us to invade the lunch table, Happy Jack stood up and said, “not so fast”. He then read out all the various choices of soups and sandwiches we have for lunch today. Armed with this new knowledge, we walked towards the lunch table to be further impressed by the clearly labeled choices. As usual, the salad had two choices of dressings. Hot and cold drinks as well as the cookie platter were set up in the Meeting Room. Jack, you have done a great job.

But today I noticed an extra dessert at the table. Come to find out that Bob Wood stayed up all night, not really, to decorate cupcakes with his own topping. I also noticed that the cake had two flags, one for New England Patriots and the other for the Philadelphia Eagles but with a red line drawn through it. So, when President Kevin asked Ned and Marc to come the table and have their picture taken, it was clear that Bob was trying to send a message to Marc that the Eagles are not the Super Bowl champions anymore. Marc, sorry for your loss. But look at the bright side. You don’t have to cough up money each week as you have been doing for a year since the Eagles won the championship last year.

President Kevin rang the bell for the post lunch segment of our meeting. Bill Dougger from the Glastonbury Club was our only guest and he was serenaded with the Welcome Song.

High Gear, February 6, 2019 Anwar Hossain 2019-02-06 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, January 16, 2019

Posted by Robert Wood on Jan 16, 2019








Nick Cecere 1932 - 2019 -- 32 Years in East Hartford Rotary

  God's Speed, Old Friend
    Age 87, in Aruba at the Casino, playing poker. Well played, buddy. 

Nothing special about today’s weather - cloudy and cool, not cold, not windy, just an average so-so Winter’s day!  The first to arrive were members of the Scholarship Committee.  It was their kick off meeting to plan the process of awarding our six $2000 scholarships.  A redesign of our cover page was necessary because our Club was fortunate to have received a $100,000 bequest from the estate of Gioconda B. McGettigan.  This money was put into our scholarship trust of which Sheryl O’Connor is a Trustee.  We will be designating one of our winners as a McGettigan Scholar per the terms of the bequest.  Again, Larry Hangland will print the applications and prepare the final submissions for all members of the committee to read and evaluate.  The committee is grateful and appreciative of Larry’s expertise and willingness to tend to this most important job!!


The usual hustle and bustle were present around the vestibule, but order was quickly restored when president Kevin rang the ceremonial Rotary Bell.  We sang and pledged, and Bill Saunders offered a thoughtful Invocation and ended with thoughts of Nick Cecere. We were promptly dispatched to the buffet as Jack Sayre was ready for us today.  Our Lunch consisted of two kinds of Lasagna, one a meat based, the other a vegetable combination.  A nice salad and fresh Italian bread rounded out the table. Reports were that both Lasagnas were quite good.  I would second those comments.  Cookies and beverages were available in the main hall.  Sue Klock commented that she and Peter would supply regular silverware to replace the environmentally unfriendly plastic ware provided.  Ceil Collins had similar thoughts.  One small step for a better future for our planet!

High Gear, January 16, 2019 Robert Wood 2019-01-16 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, January 9, 2019

Posted by Robert Wood

Today was a cool, cloudy day, with the potential for high winds later in the afternoon – but still no snow in sight!  We’ve had a mild snowless Winter so far and that’s good except for those in the skiing circuit! In the lobby our food committee was anxiously awaiting the unveiling of our new caterer– Congress Rotisserie.  Expectations were high, although with a little apprehension about the possibility of minor glitches! Other than that, the money duo was in place taking our money in their usual, efficient way.


President Kevin was on top of things and called us together for the song and Pledge.  Dan Russell gave the Invocation thanking our God for the gifts of country, friendship, opportunity, and the chance to make a difference.  The president then released us to the wonders of the new buffet. “Not so fast” cried Jack Sayre from the lobby!  “Give me a chance to uncover the food”.  With the help of Dave Amberg, the task was rapidly completed.  What was uncovered were trays of huge chicken breasts, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, sliced carrots, and a nice salad selection.  In this writer’s opinion the food was cooked to perfection and several cuts above any recent buffet luncheon.  Some glitches were to be expected, and there were a couple.  We could use more serving utensils and more cutlery, but all in all a great start!  Beverages consisted of coffee, several different selections of iced tea, and bottled water. Dessert was a platter of home made like cookies (definitely not from BJs)!!!!


Upon being called back into session we received the news that 2nd term dues were now due and payable. Even if you didn’t receive an invoice you should get a check in the amount of $115 to new treasurer George Schoen ASAP.  In the caring moments time it was noted that Art Bradbury was home with a bad case of pneumonia (I guess there’s no good case!).  Sue and Peter Klock’s Daughter in Law broke her leg while skiing and will be out for the season.  We wish all to be well soon!  Bob Wood asked for a volunteer for next week’s Invocation and Rev. Bill Saunders volunteered.  Bob also announced that there would be a Scholarship meeting next week at 11:30. The committee will be notified.

High Gear, January 9, 2019 Robert Wood 2019-01-09 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, December 19, 2018

Posted on Dec 19, 2018

Another late Fall day, sunny and cool, with the anticipation of heavy rains Thursday and Friday. It might have been snow in the forecast which would have guaranteed a White Christmas, but I’ll settle for the rain! The foyer had a new face behind the stacks of money.  George Schoen was taking our dollars in his first gig as the new treasurer.  It was a little confusing to him as he pondered whether to give a five or a ones back in change.  Happy Jack could handle either as he sold the nice little red tickets from the adjacent seat.


There was a little panic in the room, however, as the caterer did not have kid friendly food for the expected high school singers, so he rushed off to get some chicken nuggets and seasoned French fries.  Some might comment that it wasn’t adult friendly either!  As to the fries, Dan Larson’s comment was “last season!”


President Kevin called us to order with the proper song, pledge, and invocation.  It was all scribbled neatly on the back of an envelope!  Bob Wood gave the Invocation and the tribe was released to the buffet table.  Today’s feast brought back rice, mixed vegetables (slightly over cooked?), tilapia, chicken nuggets, seasoned French fries, rolls, and a hearty salad.  Dessert was a brownie selection. 


An early recall to order was necessary due to the bus not showing up at EHHS to bring our entertainment to the Ridge.  So, Kevin deviated slightly from his original time schedule.  He did have the introduction of guests done properly by Ned Lynch who had his son, Matt, with him.  Ned even helped with the singing of the Welcome Song. Kevin mentioned that we had a Thank You note for our donation to the Food Bank.  Jack Sayre then thanked those who rang the bell.  All shifts were covered due to many doing double duty, but it was a very small percentage of members who gave up an hour to participate in this “hands on “project.  Our monetary total from the three days was pretty good -$2169.


Jack then presented a Check to our two lunch servers.  Neal Cunningham said that distribution to our “adopted” families was completed this Saturday.  Thanks to the Elves – Ned Lynch, Bill Saunders, Mark Glass, Keven Kickery and Neal’s wife, Rosemary   Another hands-on project well done!  Anwar Hossain noted that another “hands on” project - working at Foodshare - is scheduled for 2/4/19.  Contact him if interested in helping.


High Gear, December 19, 2018 Robert Wood 2018-12-19 05:00:00Z 0

Coats For Kids Another Success

Participants in the East Hartford Rotary Club’s Annual “Coats for Kids” Program lined up outside the Burlington Store on Silver Lane early Sunday morning on October 14 to receive their new winter coats. These coats will keep them warm throughout the season.
This year marks a 10-year anniversary since the Rotary Club has been sponsoring the “Coats for Kids” program. Working in partnership with the Town’s Social Services Department, the Rotary provides the funding for prescreened participants between the ages of 5-12 to select a new winter coat at the Burlington Store every fall.
There is a great partnership with the East Hartford Rotary and Burlington Stores, which opens an hour early for this event to allow the participants and their parents come in and select a new winter coat. This year over 100 children were selected to participate. If the cool temperatures we are seeing now are any indication of the season to come, these coats will get a lot of wear. Once their coat selections were completed, the children were treated to donut holes compliments of Burlington Stores. Thank you everyone who participated in the program this year!
Coats For Kids Another Success Ekaterine Tchelidze 2018-10-29 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, September 26, 2018

Posted by Weston Willett
It was a pleasant fall afternoon as a couple of Rotarians gathered at Goodwin College. Less than 15 I think. Seems like people are voting with their feet on this nighttime meeting issue. Dan Firestone was set up collecting dinner fees, the Flower raffle was out, and Sgt at Arms Dick McCarthy was posted at the entrance table. No 50-50 tonight though as Happy Jack was not with us.
High Gear, September 26, 2018 Weston Willett 2018-09-27 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, August 1, 2018

Posted by Doug Willett

Quipping that “it feels like Groundhog Day”, immediate Past President Dave Amberg manned the podium today equipped with the medallion of office and a dainty “tinker bell”. The more robust traditional bell was strangely missing, as were several Rotarians. It was a modest crowd here to celebrate the first day of August and the beginning of the wind down of the summer season. There was not a guest in sight.

But no matter. The buffet featured beef tips with chicken flavored rice (a strange but tasty combination), veggies, salad and rolls. Brownies for dessert. ‘Tis enough, ‘twill serve.

Conversation at the table ranged from the wild fires in California and the devastation to familiar sites such as the town of Reading where Neal and Doug once played in an ASA Softball National Tournament (1 o’clock game in 105-degree heat) to Bob Buettner’s flower magic, including spray painting hydrangeas from white to purple to save a customer a few bucks. It was an enjoyable discussion among good friends.

Lacking a Sergeant at Arms, Marc Glass did the “happy dollar” thing once again and circulated among the tables extorting donations. Highlights from the comments were recognition of Bill Saunders 76th birthday and George Agnelli’s 54th Wedding Anniversary. Eleanor Agnelli has an express ticket to heaven and, no doubt, Bev Saunders will be keeping her company on the trip.

On the announcement front:

·      George Schoen – six weeks left to Golf Tournament. Stuff starting to come in, so we have got a start but time to ramp it up – sponsors, raffle prizes, registrations, all are needed. Of need are $20+ gift cards for envelope stuffing. Every Rotarian is expected to do his/her part. Next Committee meeting on August 18 at 11:30 at the Ridge.

·      Next Wednesday evening (5:30 start) is the Sgt At Arms Picnic at Kevin Kickery’s home. Be sure to let Ceil Collins know if you are coming and your choice of meal. This one is free; costs are covered by all those fines you paid during the year.

·      President Kevin is requesting that everyone be sure to return via email their committee assignment preferences. If no one volunteers for a committee, it may well be eliminated. Do it today, if you have not done so yet.

·      PP Dave noted that Bev Leone is home in a boot resting uncomfortably after her fall on a cruise ship. Hopefully she will be ensconced in a lawn chair at next week’s picnic.

Finally, if a tree fell at the Klock’s house, might the sound heard be the frantic buzzing of angry bees? Peter passed around a rather impressive yellow jacket nest garnered from a fallen tree in his yard recently. Sue quietly commented “Honey, if you want honey, nature has it price.”

I leave you this week with the Club still searching for it’s next President Elect,

Doug Willett



High Gear, August 1, 2018 Doug Willett 2018-08-01 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, July 23, 2018

Posted by Weston Willett


Annual Elks Visit Quiet Affair


It was a bright and sunny afternoon, despite the rain. Probably a rainbow somewhere nearby, but I didn't catch sight of it. We gathered for the annual Glastonbury - East Hartford meeting at the Elks Pavilion. Rumor was that there used to be a softball game played between the two clubs, but too many ringers were showing up. Perhaps we could challenge them to bocce next year.


The crowd was markedly smaller than last year, perhaps due to the torrential downpour that occurred earlier in the day. Still a good number of people showed up. We had 14 from the East Hartford club and about twice that from Glastonbury. The meal was steak and/or swordfish, potatoes, salad and cheesecake for dessert.


After we ate Glastonbury had their introduction of guests and announcements. Our club was recognized, and President Kevin gave a short speech thanking Glastonbury for having us. Glastonbury did their 50-50 raffle drawing and the meeting concluded. 


I could be missing something, but I'm questioning the purpose of this annual get together. The two clubs didn't mingle very much, and I only saw two or three people try (I admit I wasn't one of them). For the most part we stayed in our familiar groups to talk and then we ate with our own club members as well. It would be nice if the meeting was a little more structured, maybe spend some time discussing some common challenges and brainstorming ways our two clubs could work together to address them. Maybe do the meeting on a Saturday after some sort of combined service project. Maybe I am just jealous for missing the softball games.


That's all for this week. - Wes


High Gear, July 23, 2018 Weston Willett 2018-07-23 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, July 18, 2018

Posted by Anwar Hossain

We could not have asked for better weather. The fast moving front yesterday blew away the heat and humidity and ushered in a bright sunny sky, dry temperature in the high seventies for our meeting this afternoon. My enjoyment of the weather, however, was cut short by a new surprise. As I approached the building from the side entrance, the absence of the caterer’s truck caught my attention. Inside, our new treasurer, Dan Firestone,  gladly took my check for the dues but returned the other one for the lunch. Now I really got it. No lunch today. Jack Sayer later informed us that for some strange reason, our caterer dropped the ball. We did not have the safety net of Panera Bread either.


President Kevin got the ball rolling with the light touch on the bell so as not to render Dan Larson, sitting almost next to the bell, totally deaf.  The Rotary song and the Pledge-of-Allegiance went smoothly followed by Marc’s new style of invocation which started with a few James Bond jokes and about his friends on Facebook followed by his “invocation” on the theme of winners and losers. By now just about all of us, who usually maintain a solemn demeanor during invocations, were roasting Marc. Sorry, Marc. That was all I was able to get from where I was sitting.


This is about the time we line up for lunch. However, no lunch allowed President Kevin to get down to business right away. He wanted to assure us that cutting out lunch is clearly not one of the reforms he has in mind for our club. Laughter and comments followed. Soon after, the crowd started to simmer down, and President Kevin turned his attention to talk about more serious issues. The following is a summary of discussion items and announcements:


1.        President Kevin thanked everyone for their support. He acknowledged that we had a bumpy ride last week, but we are clearly leaving that behind us and moving forward with an open mind and heart.

2.       So far, out of 47 members President Kevin has received 16 responses to his email about committee assignments.  His idea is to seek input from members as to which committee they feel most suited to serve. Those who did not get his email were asked to provide him their correct email addresses. For others, he encouraged them to respond in a timely fashion. He would like to discuss Committee Assignments with the Board on Monday.

3.       District Golf Tournament is set for August 6, 2018. Our club needs to contribute one raffle prize for this event.

4.       George Agnelli received a letter from our old friend Bill Flynn in Florida thanking him for selling him the losing Raffle ticket.

5.       Caring Moments: Nick Cecere had a hernia operation and is doing well. Cards and phone calls are welcome. Bev Leone broke her ankle in Rome. Doug Willett, if he was awake during the procedure today watching the screen, might be inclined to share his journey. Knowing from my own experience, it is best to leave the memories of such journeys at the hospital’s door step when coming home. Homer Scoville, a Rotarian from the Glastonbury Club, passed away.

6.       George Schoen reported the progress on the Golf Committee meeting. Gifts have been decided. Mary will assist in sending letters to sponsors. Raffle prizes are welcome. Marc will store them in his office.

7.       Neil Cunningham announced that our club will once again participate in the Hartford Marathon Water Station project as it has done since the inception of the race.

8.       Our Board Meeting will be held at 5:00 at Elks Club in Glastonbury followed by the yearly gastronomical event starting at 6:30 with choices of Rib Eye Steak or Sword Fish as the main entrée. Cost per person will be $20. Spouses and guests are welcome. A show of hands gave President Kevin a sense of how many will be attending from our club. Others who were not at the meeting today, please let President Kevin know if you want to attend.

9.       Marc continued the role of collecting Happy Dollars by making rounds, and by the time he was done the little envelope had $84 dollars.

10.   We had only one guest today. Dan Firestone’s grandson Jacob is visiting from Florida. We did our usual rendition of the Welcome Song.

11.   President Kevin rang the bell to end the meeting. Whoops. Raffle!! Happy Jack was not deterred by minor infractions like this and performed his usual duty making Dan Larson the winner.


My apologies if I missed something. Your scribe, Anwar Hossain, substituting for Doug Willett this week.


High Gear, July 18, 2018 Anwar Hossain 2018-07-18 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear Extra

Posted by Doug Willett

To East Hartford Rotarians and Friends of the Club


Folks, I have been writing High Gear for almost 40 years as a member of the East Hartford Rotary Club. I have tried to be informative, funny, and to give you an insight into the wonderful people and activities occurring in the Club life. Never in all those year have I consciously tried to insult or hurt anyone’s feelings or to in any way undercut the contributions of a fellow member.

This week I crossed that line. My comments on this week’s meeting were sincere and reflected my reactions to what was discussed. But in expressing those feelings, I publicly embarrassed Kevin Kickery, our new President. I made it sound as if Kevin was responsible for implementing new policies that if fact are being pushed by the District and International leadership. As Kevin is trying to find his footing as our leader, I ended up undercutting his authority and made it look like he was the one who was sponsoring these changes. For that I am profoundly sorry.

Kevin is a wonderful human being. He is committed, sincere and has a great love for his community. He will be a great President of our Club and he has my full and unequivocal support. I ask that all of you join me in urging Kevin to put this disgraceful act on my part behind him and to carry on in providing us his leadership. I am devastated to consider any other resolution.

Doug Willett


High Gear Extra Doug Willett 2018-07-13 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, June 6, 2018

Posted by Doug Willett

The Eagles were flying around the room at the Ridge today. The hot topic was their alleged “abandonment of their fans” in Washington the day previously, while our erstwhile President bathed himself in the flag and mumbled song lyrics to a patriotic classic he obviously didn’t know. At our table we soon moved on to more edifying subjects.

President Dave was at the podium today, one of the few left in his dwindling reign. The crowd was lively, the conversations were lively, and the iced tea was sugared. The ringing of the bell, the opening song and the pledge of allegiance, was followed by a Hope-less invocation, and we were off to the buffet table. Salisbury steak, baked pork slices, veggies, potatoes, salad and roll made up a more than adequate repast. Some “scrumptious” cakes, according to Alex Wysz, graced the dessert table.

Old friend, Bob Duggan, from Glastonbury along with our speakers, Chris Stone and Susan Negrelli from the MDC constituted our guest list. Art Bradbury and George Schoen led the usual cacophony to honor them.

High Gear, June 6, 2018 Doug Willett 2018-06-06 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, December 20, 2017

Posted by Robert Wood



Today was partly sunny, windy, and little warmer than normal, but not too bad considering that it’s late December!  The crowd was quite slow to assemble today but by meeting time we seemed to have reached our normal numbers, which is too close to our caterer’s minimum guarantee!


At the appropriate time, President Dave Amberg called us to order, and we sang, pledged to our Flag, and listened to Dan Larson’s well crafted Invocation. He spoke of Mo Moshovos and asked us to keep him in our prayers.  He then spoke of this as the season of Peace, Joy, and the Celebrations within the world’s great religions.  He ended by asking us,” as Rotarians, to be the bearer of Joy to Our World and to bring purpose to our lives and meaning to our days.” We approached the buffet table to find a tasty spread anchored with macaroni and cheese, steak, carrots, rolls, and salad, with apple pie for dessert.


We reconvened and guests Bob Duggar and Charlie Wilson were introduced and serenaded with the Welcome Song led by George Schoen.  Sgt. at Arms Ned Lynch continued his arm twisting which resulted in a nice $$$$ day. Birthdays for Dan Larson, Anwar Hossain, and Wes Willett kicked off his report, followed by Sue Klock’s 20th Rotary anniversary. Several UConn fans contributed for Geno’s and Chris’s 1000th win – Ceil Collins, George Schoen, and Bob Wood.  Other subjects included Nick Cecere’s comments about his friend, Mo, Marc Glass’ support of the Eagles. Ruth Sheehan’s request for a Big Bat for the Red Sox, Dan Firestone in recognition of his grandson’s 6th degree Black Belt, Happy Jack for all the Steeler fans, Ned Lynch to indicate that the Patriots have a better coach than the Steelers, Neal Cunningham for Dan Larson’s silverware heist, Larry Hangland in honor of the season, and finally – Steve Jacoby for being “just a little late”!

High Gear, December 20, 2017 Robert Wood 2017-12-20 05:00:00Z 0

Mo Moshovos Passes After Holiday Party

It is with great sadness that we note the untimely passing of our dear friend, Mo Moshovos, Wednesday evening. Mo was in the parking lot after our Holiday Dinner preparing to drive home when he had a medical emergency. He died later that evening in the hospital.  Mo was 83 at the time of his death. His Obituary can be found on the second page of this article.  
Mo joined East Hartford Rotary on June 25, 1969 and served faithfully in the Club for over 48 years. For many years he was the Club Photographer, wrote erudite editions of High Gear, and enjoyed our annual Fireside Chats. His life is a poster for the Rotary motto, "Service Above Self." Mo will be greatly missed by all of us in East Hartford Rotary, particularly by his good buddy Nick Cecere but he now joins his two other life long friends, Herb Barall and Moe Belanger in the great hereafter. God's speed, Mo, and may choirs of angels sing thee to thy rest.    
Mo Moshovos Passes After Holiday Party 2017-12-14 05:00:00Z 0

High Gear, November 29, 2017

Posted by Mary Martin

Hey folks!  It’s my final High Gear of 2017.  Let’s see if I get most of it right.  We had a good showing of 27 Rotarians and three guests.  The late autumn warmth and sunshine must have been conducive to trekking to The Ridge.


President Dave tried to get things started by calling on Mo Moshovos for the Invocation.  It was an apparent surprise to Mo so the Prez made a smarty-pants comment, “so just say something thoughtful in Greek and it will be Greek to us!”.  And so Mo did!  Opa!   


The Lunch Committee of Sayre and Willett2 must be doing something right.  We enjoyed sliced beef au jus, smashed potatoes, veggies, and a dessert tray of brownies and cookies.


Our guest list was comprised of South Windsor Rotarian John Mitchell, Holly Winter (love that name) representing Goodwin College, and our guest speaker from SCORE - - Joe Waxman.  George Schoen gave us a beginning note for the Welcome Song and then we sort of wandered off from there.


We noted that Dan Russell came dressed to the nines in a natty bow tie.  Dan says that’s what architects always wore so they didn’t get their ties messed up in their drawings and he was dressed like a slob the rest of the week.  The equally professional Anwar Hossain entered the room in a nice knit Henley style shirt (no collar so no tie).  Maybe he has given up architect sartorial splendor because he has recently entered the ranks of the retired?


High Gear, November 29, 2017 Mary Martin 2017-11-30 05:00:00Z 0

Attorney Gerry Brady, 52 Years in East Hartford Rotary, Dies

Gerald W. Brady of Bloomfield passed away on Tuesday, October 10 with his beloved wife Jane and children by his side. Gerry was the only child of Walter G. Brady and Catherine G. Gallagher, and lived most of his life in West Hartford. He graduated from Kingswood School in 1946, competed in three varsity sports, playing a key role on the School's undefeated 1945 Hall of Fame football team. He was also active in multiple club organizations. After Kingwood Gerry attended Brown University, graduating in 1950, remaining Ever True to this day. Gerry was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, and in 1950 led his 75 member group to a first place finish amongst 17 competitors in the Annual Inter-fraternity Sing.
During his school years, Gerry worked at Burnham & Brady, Inc. a candy manufacturer in East Hartford, founded by his father in 1925. Upon graduation from Brown in 1950, Gerry joined the Connecticut Air National Guard, which was ultimately federalized during the Korean War as a part of the U.S. Air Force. Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, Gerry left the Air Guard after eight reserve years.
At night and while working full time at Burnham & Brady, Gerry studied at the University of Connecticut School of Law, graduating and passing the Bar in 1964. He then opened and acted as a principal in a law office of Brady, Willard and Alexander in East Hartford until 2005, thereafter as a solo practitioner until his retirement in 2014. Well aware of his civic duties, he served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the Town of East Hartford as well as later serving as Chairman of the West Hartford Town Planning and Zoning Commission from 1973 to 1978.
An active Rotarian, Gerry was a member of the East Hartford Chapter for over 50 years. Gerry joined the East Hartford Rotary Club in 1965, sponsored by Carl Trewella. As a founding family of St. Timothy's Church in 1961, Gerry remained active in the parish community as a benefactor while also serving as a past President of the Church Council. He initiated the Greeter's Program which continues to this day.
Attorney Gerry Brady, 52 Years in East Hartford Rotary, Dies 2017-10-16 04:00:00Z 0

Marc Glass Selected District Governor Nominee

Posted by Doug Willett
Following in the East Hartford Rotary tradition of  Past District Governors Ray Miller, Jack Spiegel, George Stewart, Jim Sheehan, Frank Collins, and Sue Klock, Marc Glass has been selected by District 7890 as its District Governor Nominee for the 2020-2021 Rotary year. Marc is a Past President and Paul Harris Fellow in our Club and has been extensively involved in Rotary at both the local and district levels for the past few years. He is currently serving his second term as Assistant District Governor for the Greater Hartford  area. 
Marc is the President of the Marc D. Glass Insurance Agency on Silver Lane in East Hartford and he and wife, Lori, live in South Windsor. Marc is looking forward to the challenge of leading our District with the help  and support of the East Hartford Rotary Club. Well done, Marc!
Marc Glass Selected District Governor Nominee Doug Willett 2017-10-12 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, September 20, 2017

Posted by Anwar Hossain

Under a cloudy sky 31 of us gathered at Goodwin College, which is now a yearly tradition of hospitality by the college to East Hartford Rotary. The Rotary Song was in progress when your scribe arrived and noticed that Past President Bill Saunders was conducting the meeting, filling in for President Dave who is in NYC with the first lady (not the one you are thinking of.)

 Even in a new setting, we did a good job of maintaining our vocal acumen with the Rotary Song. The Pledge of Allegiance was followed by invocation by Kevin Kickery. As expected, Kevin delivered the invocation with his unique signature. Having watched Ken Burn’s documentary last night on Vietnam War, he pointed out similarities with that conflict and conflicts that we are waging now. He reminded us as Rotarians to do our duty in conflict and in peace to make the world a better place.

The sumptuous lunch was catered by Maneeley’s. The culinary delights consisted of salad, ziti immersed with olives, sundried tomatoes and artichokes, and colorful sautéed mixed vegetables, chicken francaise, dinner rolls and mouthwatering desserts. We do not want to get spoiled by such fare every week.

Susan Hansen was our only “guest”, although I noticed Larry Frazier also in the crowd. Dan Larson and Vincent were called upon to render the Welcome Song. Dan Firestone, our Sergeant-At-Arms, pointed out that Rosh Hashanah starts tonight celebrating the Jewish Year 5778 which represents that many years since Adam. He reported a slow day. Doug Willett and Bill Saunders paid for another successful golf event. Marc Glass paid for a wonderful job George Schoen and Bill Saunders did as Co-Chairmen of the tournament and for Dan Larson who did a remarkable job of being the MC. Kevin Kickery paid for Nick Cecere to take some golf lessons, ouch.

High Gear, September 20, 2017 Anwar Hossain 2017-09-20 04:00:00Z 0

Jay Stewart's Obituary

Posted by Doug Willett
Jeannette "Jay" (Packard) Stewart, 92, of East Hartford, loving wife for over 61 years of the late George E. Stewart, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 23, 2017. The daughter of the late Ransom and Lillian Packard, Jay was born November 17, 1924 in Brockton, MA. She graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, Class of 1946, and married George in 1947. Jay and George moved to Hartford, CT in 1950 and East Hartford in 1952, where they raised three sons, held various jobs, and volunteered endless hours.
Jay's proudest accomplishment was serving on the Ethics Committee at John Dempsey Hospital as the only non-medical member. Volunteering was Jay's contribution to her community, and she was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the East Hartford Chamber of Commerce in 1986 for her efforts. Jay was an active member of the South Congregational Church of East Hartford and served on the Board of Deacons, the Board of Trustees, as Church Moderator, and as a Lay Minister. Jay was guardian, conservator, and certified advocate to George and Alfred Banks for many years. She also wrote weekly letters to church shut-ins, and did whatever needed to be done at South Church for 60 years.
Jay served as a Bates College Trustee for 17 years, remaining a Trustee Emeritus, and received the Bates Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1962 and 2000.
She was an East Hartford Women's Club member for over 60 years and served as President from 1956 to 1958. Jay was active in the East Hartford and Greater Hartford YM/YWCA starting with co-chairing the East Hartford Building Committee with her husband George in 1957 and continued to be involved her entire life. In 2010, the East Hartford YMCA awarded Jay the Volunteer Leadership Award. Jay enjoyed chairing and working at countless Red Cross blood drives, and was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award for the Greater Hartford Red Cross in 1990.
Jay Stewart's Obituary Doug Willett 2017-08-31 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, August 30, 2017

Posted by Doug Willett on Aug 31, 2017

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie.”

Today was a beautiful late August day at the Ridge with an enthusiastic and fulsome crowd of Rotarians in attendance. Our good buddy and dearly missed former East Hartford Rotarian, Susan Hansen, graced us with her presence today and presented President Dave with a flag from her new Rotary association, the on-line E-Club. Great to see her continuing her Rotary involvement and commitment to the cause.

Lunch today had a slight Spanish flavor with rice and black beans, spicy chicken slices, the usual mixed veggies and salad. The highlight of the meal was our favorite dessert, carrot cake. So delicious was this item that our photographer caught The Empress absconding with not one but two pieces while the crowd was at the buffet, and Dan Larson later took the whole serving plate to his table.

Susan was our only guest and we provided her with a rousing rendition of our welcome song, something she was actually looking forward to as her came into the meeting. Not sure how she felt once she heard it.

High Gear, August 30, 2017 Doug Willett 2017-08-31 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, August 16, 2017

Posted by Doug Willett on Aug 17, 2017
Today was another bright, beautiful day in mid-August with temperatures in the mid-80’s and low humidity. A perfect day to enjoy golf and the fellowship of Rotary.  And the fortunate amongst us did both.  We had a representative mid-summer crowd and there was ample discussion of our President’s controversial press conference yesterday.
The menu today was stuffed sole (fresh from the “Hock” according to one wag), string beans, salad, rolls and brownies. For those who enjoy fish, it hit the spot.
Our only guest was our soon to be newest member, Laura Floyd, the Executive Director of the East Hartford YMCA. We sang the Welcome Song in her honor and later in the meeting, President Dave and Sponsor Bill Saunders guided her through the newly discovered Induction Ritual. Laura has 28 years of experience with the Y and has spent most of those in Cleveland, Ohio where she suffered through many years of pain as a fan of the Browns and the Indians. We look forward to helping her acclimate to the group and to the many contributions she will make as we move ahead.
The inimitable Dan Larson filled in for Jim Watts as our Sergeant at Arms today and, as usual, hilarity ensued. Dan announced socco voce that Bill Saunders forgot to wear his hearing aids and that next week’s meal is on him, but don’t tell him just yet. Dan then thanked Kevin Kickery for a great party and announced that wife Sue is away this week so Kevin is open to a bachelor party at the pool each night.
In addition, there were the usual celebrations of the Red Sox, Neal Cunningham with a new car, Alex Wisz for no badge and a son starting work at Goodwin College with a dubious boss to be unnamed, Sonny Waldo and Marc Glass for family achievements, and George Agnelli who was happy that his sister-in-law was visiting and keeping his bride busy this week. The not late as yet Steve Jacoby was late again this week.
High Gear, August 16, 2017 Doug Willett 2017-08-17 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, July 5, 2017

Posted by Sue Klock on Jul 05, 2017
Beautiful, sunny day in East Hartford, had our first lady Chickie Amberg joining us following her morning golf outing, and our new President Dave handling his first meeting with aplomb and efficiently enough to be heading off for his own golf outing soon after 1 PM.  All in all a great beginning for our first family.
Just 26 of us gathered for a great summer buffet including barbecued chicken, mac ‘n cheese, mixed veggies, a beautiful tossed salad and dessert of supersized blond and chocolate brownies.  Only minor criticism I heard was the limited choice of salad dressings – French and Ranch – which were also limited in quantity, i.e. we ran out.  My table sends along a recommendation to add vinegar and oil to the choices and a few back-up bottles, when there is such a great summer salad.
Guests today, in addition to Chickie were Jan Sayre, chauffeur for Jack and Jay Stewart, and two of our six scholarship recipients – Joshua Cadwallander and Salena Shaiku.  George Schoen and Art Bradbury led us in our traditional welcome song and were inspired to get up and move among the tables shaking hands and greeting everyone.  It certainly livened up the room.
Sergeant-at-Arms Neal Cunningham began by displaying a very sad, nearly shredded dollar bill, in hopes we assume that folks will do better next week.  He announced we are celebrating Mo Moshovos 47 years as a Rotarian and his 83rd birthday.  Also, celebrating the 62nd birthday of boomer, Kevin Kickery.  The entire group sang Happy Birthday to the duo.  Several people paid to honor Dave Amberg’s beginning his year as our president.  Other items of note, Bev & Bill are expecting their first great-grandchild, Doug Willett was out in California visiting a new granddaughter, and of course, several of our members paid to mention the Red Sox are playing well.
Dave is continuing our great tradition of asking for members to contribute caring moments.  Bob Wood mentioned he had spoken to Gil Wishart who is doing well and thrilled to have been one of the raffle winners in our recent fundraiser.  He won $1000.
Treasurer Mary notes this is the last call to pay your dues.  If you cannot remember whether you did, call the Empress at 860-633-6657 ASAP.  Members who have not paid in the next week will be taken off the club roster.  She says “We’d hate to lose you!!”
Golf committee co-chair George Schoen announced that there will be a golf committee meeting two weeks from today, July 19th, at 11:30, here at the Ridge. Marc Glass added he is ready to receive items for the auction; drop these off at his office at 17 Silver Lane, across from Town Fair Tire.
President Dave encouraged all of us to visit our club’s website at http://www.easthartfordrotary.org  He mentioned that Secretary Wes plans to post drafts of board meeting minutes soon after the meetings.  We hope to get everyone developing the website habit by keeping the homepage fresh.  George Agnelli pulled the winning raffle ticket, which was held by one of our visitors, Josh Cadwallander.
Before adjourning, though we did not have a program, we enjoyed two brief, thoughtful talks by the two scholarship recipients joining us today.  Josh Cadwallander, a graduate of the Classical Magnet School in Hartford, shared with us his many interests and accomplishments. Aside from being active in sports in school and here in town, he became an Eagle Scout, Troop 61, this year.  Josh will be attending Temple University’s honors program, planning to major in actuarial science.  Salena Shaiku, a graduate of East Hartford High School, will attend University of Connecticut, with a goal of becoming a missionary nurse.  She spoke eloquently of her awareness of her obligation to give back, pay it forward as it were.  The other four scholarship recipients have visited the club in the past month.
Dave wound up our meeting at 1:02 wishing everyone a great day and a great week as he headed for the golf course.
Until next week,
Sue Klock
High Gear, July 5, 2017 Sue Klock 2017-07-05 04:00:00Z 0

East Hartford Rotarians Enjoy District Conference

East Hartford Rotarians Enjoy District 7890 Conference

PDG and PP Sue Klock was awarded Rotary's highest honor, The Service Above Self Award. This is given to 150 Rotarians world wide to recognize devotion to Rotary in all its Avenues of Service. A significant honor and well deserved.

President Marc Glass receives two awards on behalf of our Club, the 2015-2016 Presidential  Citation, Gold Level; and the District Participation Award recognizing East Hartford's active involvement in District activities and events.

East Hartford Rotarians Enjoy District Conference Doug Willett 2016-05-02 04:00:00Z 0

High Gear, December 30, 2015

Posted by Bob Wood
Today's weather was seasonably cool, cloudy, and damp.  Not the best, not the worst, just so so!  Inside the Ridge the Social Committee had set up an nice cheese and snack table, opposite a table filled with glasses of white and red wine, and assorted soft drinks.  This seemed to be a neat gathering place for the slightly smaller than normal crowd of attending Rotarians.  Thanks to Ceil Collins and Bob Buettner for putting the spread together.
At about 12:20 president Marc called us to order, and we sang and pledged, and listened to Mo Moshovos deliver the Invocation.  Mo asked that we give Honor and Praise to our God and that He give us guidance throughout the year to come.  As has been the custom of late, we headed to the buffet table to fill our plates with roasted potatoes, baby carrots, sliced turkey and salad.  Dessert was a slice of apple pie.  Not a great meal, not a bad meal, just so so.  Kind of a redundant day!
After lunch we were reconvened by President Marc.  Guests were introduced, Bob Beechnor from Goodwin College,  Bev Saunders, Bill's wife of 54 years, and son Scott visiting from the South.  The welcome song was led by Dan Larson and Bill Saunders - that should teach you to be careful about bringing guests!
Next up was Sgt. at Arms Bob Buettner with a long list of generous Rotarians who felt the need to repent or celebrate as the case may be.  First, in a rigged fine, 12 Rotarians for having their picture in the paper for delivering I-Pads to Mayberry School - pet project of Sgt. At Arms Buettner,  Bill Saunders generously contributed in honor of Bill and Bev's 54th wedding anniversary, only to be trumped by Bob and Debby Wood's 55th anniversary, Nick Cecere paid in advance for his upcoming trip to Aruba, Happy Jack Martin paid because Mary wasn't here, Anwar Hossain paid because he left his Rotary badge in a rental car, George Schoen paid for a great UConn Husky basketball win, and several other no pin, no badge infractions.  All in all, a good haul.
In other business, our thoughts are with the Amberg family.  Son David is still in a coma, and on Monday, Dave's brother, Bryan, died in Florida.  Jack Sayre thanked all of the Rotarians who rang the bell, and mentioned that 50 Interact members helped out.  The Board voted Monday to contribute the profits from the lottery raffle and over run cash from the holiday party to subsidize the Mystery Ride bus on May 7th.  Last week the club collected $400 for Shelter Box lighting - a big thank you from Peter Klock!  The Club is hoping to get two tables together for the Mayor's Ball on March 12th.  More to follow.
Dan Russell was the big raffle winner.  Two Make Ups were noted for Janice Freschlin. Thus ended the regular meeting!  Annual Meeting to follow.
Highlights from the the annual meeting:  Election of officers - President - Bill Saunders, President Elect - Susan Hansen, Secretary - Susan Hansen (Until 12/16) - Treasurer - Mary Martin, - Past President - Marc Glass, Director Emeritus - Bob Wood, Directors - Bob Buettner, Michael Kerrigan, Ned Lynch, Jack Sayre, Wes Willett, and Alex Wisz.
Treasurer Bill Saunders gave a brief run down on our financial status and obligations.  Our Current balances as of 12/29/15 for checking - $9,607.57, for savings - 9,404.64, for a total Operational account of 19,012.21.  Our Charitable fund on 12/29/15 is $38,752.69.  We have paid YTD $20,394.21 from the Charitable Account, and expect to donate the remainder during the second half of Marc's term.
'til my next shift, Bob Wood                                               
High Gear, December 30, 2015 Bob Wood 2015-12-31 05:00:00Z 0
Happy Holidays from your State University! Doug Willett 2015-12-07 05:00:00Z 0
Club Video Susan Hansen 2015-06-03 04:00:00Z 0

Club Supports Summer STEM Programs

Posted by Susan Hansen
At our May 6th meeting, President Mary Martin presented a check for $2266.00 to Melissa Vanek, Director of Starbase Academy. This donation will provide much-needed bus transportation for East Hartford students to attend Starbase Academy's new summer camp location in Windsor. Starbase Academy provides a variety of hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities that help strengthen the students' understanding of these topics. Studies have proven that children who remain engaged in learning activities over the summer do better when they return to school in the fall. Thanks to this donation, East Hartford students will benefit from two weeks of summer camp at Starbase.
Club Supports Summer STEM Programs Susan Hansen 2015-05-10 00:00:00Z 0

Club Donates $500 to Local Food Pantry

Posted by Susan Hansen
On February 18, President Mary Martin presented a check for $500 to Rich Beebe in support of the First Congregational Food Pantry. The food pantry celebrated its 32 anniversary in December 2014. Since 1992, when records were begun, they have provided approximately 180,000 meals to 20,000 families. The number of requests for services has increased by 80% since 2009. Rich and Abbie Beebe took over operation in 2008 from Roy and Peg Spiller. The food pantry serves people who have been referred to them through East Hartford Social Services.
Club Donates $500 to Local Food Pantry Susan Hansen 2015-02-22 00:00:00Z 0

High Gear - February 18, 2015

Posted by Anwar Hossain
If it weren't for the occasional glimpse of the sun, we would have thought that this year we are all living closer to the North Pole. President Mary was back at the podium full time with her usual smile welcoming us all. I do not claim to have a sharp ear for tone and tempo, but even I am getting the sense that we are gradually losing the unison and the usual gusto while singing the Rotary Song. Pledge of Allegiance was followed by the invocation from Happy Jack Martin.

Buffet lunch consisted of two kinds of fish, rice, mixed vegetables, bread rolls and salad followed by a delicious slice of cheesecake with toppings on the side. I do not know about you all, but this writer is clearly impressed by the quality of food and service so far.
Spelling out correctly the names of guests is always challenging for me for a good reason. At least one guest is always sitting at the far end of the room which causes the sound wave in the Lodge to get encrypted by the time it reaches me at the other end. Then my attempt to consult the attendance list gets me no closer to the truth because the written information appears to be encrypted too. I guess in this day and age when identity theft is a huge problem, who wants the correct spelling of their full names public? So here is what I was able to decipher: Paul Kelley, Steve Wasley, Rich B., Mike Walsh and Kevin K. were our guests today. (Editor’s note: Those unnamed guests were Rich Beebee,
 who was presented with a check for $500 for the First Congregational Church food bank and Kevin Kickery, Farmington Bank VP. No one escapes identity theft when the Tech Guru is around!)  President Mary, following her scientific system, picked George Agnelli and Jim Fallon to lead the Welcome Song. With nourishment in our bellies, our vocal chords perked up an octave or so to make our guests realize that we sing "pretty well".

Sergeant-at-Arms Neal, now officially under his own motor power, propelled himself to the podium to deliver the report. Dan Larson is a grandfather, Doug Willet is doing well, Jack Martin paid for his former boss (the guest speaker today who revealed a previously not know secret), Peter Klock's 25th Anniversary, Sue Klock's Birthday sung by all, early leavers and late comers. If I missed any, I have now a perfect cover; the "sound encryption syndrome" in the room.

Scholarship Committee Meeting  at 11:45 AM on 2/25/2015, Pot luck dinner on 3/27/2015 and Paul Harris Dinner on 4/8/2015 are some of the upcoming events. President Mary informed us that Marc Glass has now been promoted to President Elect, meaning he will take over from her this year and Alex Wisz will be the Acting President Elect for the following year. Did I get it right? No reasons were given. President Mary informed us that she would like our club to continue the tradition of getting the President's Citation each year by bringing two new members to be eligible for that honor this year. She noted that through Bill Saunders' and Susan Hansen's efforts a new print copy of the club membership directory is now available. District Grants gave Kotes-for-Kids a check for $2,470.  President Mary also got a thank-you note from the school system.
Sheryl O'Connor gave a brief overview of the workings, as well as the financial health, of the Scholarship Trust Funds. She can provide a hard copy or will email you her full report if you want one.
Weekly raffle was won by one of our guests today.
Dan Larson introduced our guest speaker Michael Walsh, a former member of the club, and Director of Finance in Town. He has served under three mayors and is currently working on his 18th annual budget. As I said before he is also the former boss of Jack Martin. Bowing to the loud demands by the audience as to why Jack Marin was "fired", he revealed the big secret. The real reason was that Jack was found sleeping with the town's Grants Manager. Now hold on and do not jump to any conclusion. To the best of our knowledge, he might be referring to Mary Martin who had held that position at the time.
He gave a brief synopsis of the inner workings of the budget process, where the money comes from and how it is spent. State grants to towns is a big help. He believes that East Hartford's share of $50M will not change this year. His goal is to spend the money wisely where it should be spent, cut back expenses where it makes sense, and to NOT cut back programs which might appear frivolous but serve a much broader purpose.


High Gear - February 18, 2015 Anwar Hossain 2015-02-20 00:00:00Z 0

The Ringing of the Bells

Posted by Susan Hansen
Saturday, November 29, members of the Rotary Club and Interact spent the day outside the Stop & Shop on Silver Lane ringing the bells for the Salvation Army. Most volunteers signed up for one-hour shifts and ringing the bells turned out to be a good way to beat the cold! The club will be volunteering for the Salvation Army every Saturday until Christmas. This event was organized by Jack Sayre; please contact him for more information. There may be a few shifts available in the coming weeks for anyone who would still like to participate. Here is Bob Buettner decked out with his holiday hat!   


Interact members McKenzie Rosemond and Hasani Blake.
The Ringing of the Bells Susan Hansen 2014-11-30 00:00:00Z 0

Club Donates $1000 to EH Interfaith Ministries

Posted by Susan Hansen
At the meeting on Wednesday, November 26, President Mary Martin presented Rev. Ted Mosebach with a check for $1000 to support the many good works of the East Hartford Interfaith Ministries. The Club has donated to EHIM in the past, but President Mary explained that after the Board had reviewed this year's request, they decided to increase the amount of the donation. The money helps support the soup kitchen, the homeless transit program and more.  
Club Donates $1000 to EH Interfaith Ministries Susan Hansen 2014-11-30 00:00:00Z 0

iPad Donations to Mayberry School

Posted by Susan Hansen

On Friday, November 7, several members of the club presented Principal Correa at the Franklin Mayberry Elementary School with five new iPads for student use. It is the second year in a row that the East Hartford Rotary Club has supported the school with an iPad request.

iPad Donations to Mayberry School Susan Hansen 2014-11-10 00:00:00Z 0

High Gear, September 3 2014

Posted by Theodore Mosebach on Sep 02, 2014

What a day! Can it get any nicer outside?!  It is a blessing just to feel and breathe the Connecticut air in September!

And then after coming inside and entering the dining room, I happily observed that candy was once again being offered to us all!  But when I got to my table I noticed that Jim Fallon had placed all of its candy bars right in front of my seat.  Perhaps it was so that there would be no confusion (Jim may have thought that I would think he was changing his seat for some reason), while pointing to the candy he was quick to say, “Here, this is your place.” And he did not appear to be chewing anything and his shirt pocket looked empty.  The gesture was apparently real. What a generous guy! I take back everything I wrote about him in last week’s High Gear.

One of our guests today, Cate Evans from the South Windsor club, came over to our table to thank Neal Cunningham for tickets to the Big E that he had given to her a year or so back.  I may have been wrong, but at the time I thought it only right to point out to her that he does that for all the girls.  She looked disappointed then and I felt badly.

ImageI felt badly too for President Mary upon her ringing of the bell to begin the meeting. Her effort seemed at first to yield little effect and she looked a bit forlorn. It seems to me that the club must learn that the Empress is brilliant of mind while quiet, mild, and peaceful of soul.  Her delicate rappings of the bell demonstrate only her gentleness, and Rotarians being generally of an enthusiastic vigorous nature, her work is thus made difficult.  Nevertheless, in exemplary graciousness, after finally securing calm, she quickly forgave us, and led us in the pledge, and then into the presence of the Greatest Forgiver of All, where we took a minute to silently remember the two Rotarians and friends we lost this past week, Roy Spiller and Dick Lemieux. Surely God who loves us all more than we can ever understand, and who never lets us go no matter what, guards and keeps Dick and Roy now, and always will!

A formal visitation with the Spiller family is scheduled for 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM at De’sepo Funeral Home, 30 Carter Street in East Hartford, Thursday, September 4. The funeral will be at 10:00 AM on Friday, September 5, at First Congregational Church, Connecticut Blvd and Main Street, East Hartford.

A visitation with the Lemieux family is scheduled for Saturday, 9:30 AM at Newkirk and Whitney Funeral Home, Burnside Avenue, East Hartford.  The funeral will follow there at 10:30 AM.


In addition to Cate Evans, there was another guest, Conrad Sienkiewicz, from the Torrington Club.  After a bit of grousing by Mo Moshovos, he and Ned Lynch led a fine energetic rendition of the Welcome Song.

Dan Firestone, perhaps too nice a guy to be Sgt@ Arms (not like some other members who shall remain nameless Dave Amberg), Dan did politely get some real money from Bob Buettner because Bob’s Jaguar is almost ready to drive again, Neal Cunningham because he donned neither pin nor badge, President Mary for her birthday tomorrow  (Happy Birthday, Mrs. President!), from me for sporting no pin and in celebration of my daughter April’s wedding this past Saturday, and Ned Lynch needed to pay well for being late because Dan didn’t have any change!  Dan’s nice but he has his ways!

President Mary reminded us that dues are past due and then explained that the East Hartford Social Services program, “Koats for Kids,” is now completely a Rotary Club program.  Our club partners with Burlington Coat Factory and our Rotary District to purchase winter coats for young people in need in East Hartford.  Last year we paid 90% of the cost of 100 coats and Burlington Coat factory paid the other 10%.  This year, with increased support from the District and a commitment from Burlington Coast Factory to pay 15% of the cost per coat, we will be able to purchase coats for 125 East Hartford children.  If you’re not proud to be an East Hartford Rotary Club member now, then I didn’t write that story clearly enough!

Bill Saunders reminded us that each club member is asked to contribute a raffle prize for the golf tournament.  Prizes can be turned into him, or Yvette Roming, or Larry Frazier.  In response to my suggestion last week that I might contribute a free sermon for a raffle prize, Bill said the committee thought that if our Empress would bring her horse to the tournament, I could preach from atop it as a sort of Sermon on the Mount. I think it could be done but to whom might the sermon be addressed?  I would say that it could be addressed to the club and members could sort of stand around and act as if they were listening, but I don’t know if a club even as talented as ours could make it look genuine? The idea may still need some work.

The weekly raffle was won by Bob Buettner, the winning ticket being drawn by Dan Larsen.  As far as I am aware they are both honest men, but the club still groaned. I’m not always privy to everything.

ImageOur fall speaker series began this week with Joel Rinebold, Director of Energy Initiative at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology.  This department of Connecticut state government is committed to enabling small businesses in the state utilize energy conservation financial resources which are already available from state and federal sources.  The goal is to increase business competitiveness through energy conservation. It was a compelling and enlightening twenty minutes!

Have a fantastic week!

Ted Mosebach

High Gear, September 3 2014 Theodore Mosebach 2014-09-03 00:00:00Z 0

Mary Martin, Rotary President for Second Time

Posted by Susan Hansen on Aug 13, 2014

Mary Martin, Rotary President for Second Time

Let it be said that East Hartford Rotarians know a good thing when they see it, for they’ve just elected Mary Martin as their President, again. That’s right, coming into office for the 2014-15 year, Ms. Martin was asked, and accepted the job of serving at the helm of the local club when the intended club president had to step down because of a change in jobs taking him out of the area.

Mary Martin, Rotary President for Second Time Susan Hansen 2014-08-14 00:00:00Z 0

Mystery Ride

Posted by Sheryl OConnor on Aug 12, 2014

Join Us for the East Hartford Rotary's Annual Mystery Ride

ImageThis year's Mystery Ride will take place on Friday, September 12th.  The Mystery Ride has been one of the club's most popular social events where members and their guests get on a bus without knowing the destination, sometimes ending up at a Broadway show, dinner and dancing in the country or some other fun venue.  EH Rotarian Bob Buettner, this year's event coordinator, has only provided a few clues about this year's destination:  casual dress is fine; dinner is not included, but wine, cheese and crackers will be provided on the way to the event; indoor reserved seating is involved; and it is estimated to take about an hour's drive.  The bus will leave from the parking lot of the Veterans Memorial Clubhouse at 7:00 PM and return between 11:30 PM and midnight.  Cost is $60.00 per person and non-members and guests are invited to join in the fun.  Seating is limited to 50, so reserve your place today!

To register for the Mystery Ride, contact Bob Buettner at bobbuettner29@aol.com.  

Mystery Ride Sheryl OConnor 2014-08-13 00:00:00Z 0

EHRC's 27th Annual Golf Tournament

Posted by Sheryl OConnor on Jul 02, 2014

27th Annual Rotary Invitational Golf Tournament

ImageThe East Hartford Rotary Club will hold it's 27th Annual Rotary Invitational Golf Tournament on Monday, September 22, 2014 at the Manchester Country Club, Manchester, CT.  The annual golf tournament is one of the club's two major fundraisers for the year and has been a key vehicle for supporting the club's many charitable initiatives over the past years.  A portion of this year's proceeds will  be used to fund school and library-based literacy projects, our Koats for Kids program which will be expanded this year to provide almost twice the number of children with warm coats for the winter, and a computer training classroom at the renovated Raymond Library that will provide computer literacy training to adults at no cost. 

Tournament Co-Chairs and Past Presidents Bill Saunders and George Schoen and their committee members are already working diligently to make this year's tournament an even greater success.  Golfers will be treated to a wonderful day of golf, with team prizes and both men's and women's special awards, including a $10,000 cash prize for a hole in one.  After a day of golf, players will be treated to a evening of great food and fun, including raffle prizes.  Sponsorship information and registration forms are available under the Club Documents link at the top menu bar of this page.  For additional information, contact Bill Saunders at 860-648-2842.  See you on the green!


EHRC's 27th Annual Golf Tournament Sheryl OConnor 2014-07-03 00:00:00Z 0

Duck Race

Posted by W. Douglas Willett on Jun 30, 2014


O’Connell School Sixth graders playing their musical instruments with the orchestra at Carnegie  Hall and then touring the Visitors Center at Ellis Island. Close to two thousand rubber ducks floating down the Hockanum River. How are these activities related?  Simple, the money raised by the East Hartford Rotary Club Duck Race last year led to a $5,000 donation to O’Connell School which funded their visit to New York City.

For the past 86 years, the East Hartford Rotary Club has worked tirelessly to raise funds to support worthy projects in the East Hartford community. One of its major fund raisers the past three years has been the Annual Duck Race held this year on June 22 at Labor Field.  The Club works for weeks selling $10 Tickets for a chance to have a duck with your ticket number finish first in the race down the Hockanum River. The winning duck provides its $10 ticket holder with a prize of $5,000. The second place finisher is good for a $1,000 award and the third through fifth places pay out $250 each.

This year’s $250 winners were Karen Herman, Conner White, and a group of cafeteria workers at Founders Plaza; Theresa Rittlinger who bought the runner up ticket and was rewarded with a $1,000 cash prize; and first place went to long-time East Hartford resident and Director of the Circle of Life Dance, Arts for All non-profit organization, Reggie Barall, whose duck beat all comers to produce $5,000 for her own “Barall Family Grandchildren Education Fund”.

Duck Race W. Douglas Willett 2014-07-01 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Supports Local Robotics Team

Posted by Sheryl OConnor on Nov 15, 2013

IB O'Connell School Robotics Team Competes in Old Lyme

On November 16, 2013, the Robotics Team from the International Baccalaureate O'Connell Elementary School in East Hartford attended their first competition in Old Lyme, CT.  Sponsored by the Rotary Club of East Hartford, this team of twelve 6th grade students competed against 25 other teams from schools throughout Connecticut in an all day event which pitted their robots against each other, competing for points in a variety of categories. On hand to cheer them on were their family members, classmates, and our own President George Schoen and club Treasurer Mike Derr.  

Our club donated $5,000.00 to support this unique STEM program at the IB O'Connell school.  Funding went to purchase equipment and t-shirts for the team, as well as pay for transportation to team competitions.  The O'Connell Robotics Team will ultimately compete in four competitions to determine if they will advance to the CT State Finals.


Fans Fill the Grandstands in the Gymnasium to Cheer on Their Teams


The O'Connell Team Proudly Displaying the Rotary Logo

Rotary Supports Local Robotics Team Sheryl OConnor 2013-11-16 00:00:00Z 0

High Gear, October 9, 2013

Posted by Mary Martin on Oct 08, 2013

ImageOut of respect for our District Governor, Michael Barnett, I’m going to start with his talk to our small gathering (ahem). 

D.G. Mike hails from Capetown, South Africa.  He kindly told us how 35 years ago he left his dry cleaning business to start anew in the USA due to the political unrest in his home country.  He settled in South Windsor, began an office cleaning business, and shortly after that joined his local Rotary Club.


He very succinctly outlined the newest changes in the way Rotary International conducts business as a result of a successful pilot program called “Future Vision”.  As you read on you will see how these changes interweave with our need to support the Rotary Foundation.


A primary change relates to the way our local money comes back to us after a 3-year interest bearing period during which it is invested by Rotary International.  Now 50% of $200k (that would be $100k for us math majors) will be returned for use by Districts to fund their selected project grants or scholarships.   Our District alone this year will receive $103,000 to divvy up as the District determines.  Grants are individually larger and are limited to a number of rather far-reaching categories such as literacy, maternal and child health, and economic development.  Most important is the mandate that projects be “sustainable” meaning that they can survive after the initial year of funding.  So, for example, the water project in Guatemala incorporates training on how to replace pipes, how to maintain mechanicals , and teaches basic economics to its users so they can monetarily plan to sustain the project themselves into the future.


ImagePolio Plus (the plus being immunization against measles, mumps, and whooping cough, is a battle not done yet.  The Gates Foundation has very generously pledged $35 million for each of the next 5 years and will also (also!) match Rotarians personal contributions so that for every dollar you give the Gate’s folks will contribute $2.  How ‘bout that!


Be sure to check out Rotary’s new website for lots more information and save the date for our 2014 District Conference in Portsmouth, N.H., the weekend of April 25-27.


Finally, the annual theme of Rotary “Engage Rotary, Change Lives” was presented in banner and lapel pin form.  To be engaged is to be more involved.  Be sure to include new members in projects and assignments so they feel useful to our efforts.  It has proven to be one of the best ways to retain members.


If you haven’t heard already, Manchester Rotarian Rick Lawrence, leader of the Guatemala Water Project will be receiving a Paul Harris recognition at the Foundation Dinner in November.  Sign up to attend and show your support of a great guy and a super project.


Resuming our usual format, the meeting began on this early autumn day with a ring of the bell by President George followed by a nicely done invocation from Hope Firestone.  Her words spoke of the “work we seek to do in harmony”.  Wonder if our legislators can say the same.


Sicilian chicken with white rice and green beans was served.  Best part, as always, was dessert:  warm apple crisp drenched in whip cream.  Does anybody know why Frank Collins (was it you, Frank?) had distributed orange cracker packages on the tables? 

Brian Liss jumped up to give a Foundation moment which was information about the Dinner coming up November 7 at Chez Josef.  Let him know if you plan to attend.  It’s $42 per person and a chance to be there in person when Rick Lawrence gets recognized.  Brian wore two hats, literally, and added a plug for the YMCA’s kickoff of the 2014 Annual Campaign for fundraising.  This year’s event will take place at the home of Dan and Betty Russell on November 7 (oh-oh I see a social calendar conflict there).  Between the Foundation Dinner and Dan and Betty Russell’s generosity, there is a chance there will be enough Rotarians in attendance to declare a meeting and a makeup. (You absentee types could probably use one, I’m just saying is all).


Enough hinting around.  Last week we had only 29 members in attendance.  This week it was 31.  I like the trend but do you think we can make a better collective effort here?  Should be a tsunami of make-up cards coming in next week.  Our ranks were swelled by a number of guests and one newly inducted member, namely Mike Costa.  Congratulations, Mike, on joining us and thank you for wanting to participate in “Service Above Self”.  Sheryl O’Connor has the honor of claiming Mike as her sponsoree.



Guests included:  Dennis Weir of the Glastonbury Club (and newly appointed Foundation guru for our Area), Ken Vandersnick and his guest, Carol “S” from Bettendorf, Iowa.  Thanks for the flag, Ken.  Also present was Marty Fins, Assistant District Governor, in support of District Governor Mike Barnett.



Red Sox Queen Ruthie Sheehan and her Knave, Ned Lynch, led the Welcome Song.  Sure are glad every week to have Art Bradbury get us anywhere near the tune.  While I’m handing out thank you’s, here is one for Chuck Clarke for jumping in to man the Raffle Bucket.  Not only did he handle it with great aplomb but he also managed to steer the winning pot in the direction of Jack Sayre.


Bob “Cochise” Buettner, wearing the armband on his shiny dome to indicate his Sergeant-At-Arms status, gave us the following:  Mucho dinero (much money) was collected from Red Sox supporters as a kind of happy dollar flood; Anwar Hossain was just happy; Brian Liss felt chagrined he forgot to wear a tie but who cares when you are about to be a Daddy for the 3rd time?!  Get those chocolate cigars ready for an early April birth announcement.  Nobody was late, not even Steve JacobyFrank Collins became a great grandfather to Emily Grace; John O’Connor paid for having a fun business trip (what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, fella).  Lucky for him it was Sheryl O’Connor’s birthday and the rolling pin did not come out.


Note the following announcements:  Board of Ed Superintendent Nate Quesnel and Alan Bates, a Rotary member transfer, have both been proposed for membership in the best Club ever.


Jim Fallon wants the Scholarship Committee to meet at 11:45 next week; Paul Harris Nominating Committee needs to get their nominations in to Jim Watts before they meet on November 6 at 11 a.m..  The application form is on-line.  Ceil Collins is handling fruit sale orders in Peter Klock’s absence.


Neal Cunningham let his Marathon Water Station volunteers know that we are convening at Two Rivers Magnet School off East River Drive (sort of in-between the “Flash Cube Building” and Route 2) this Saturday morning.  Get there by 7:15 a.m. so we have plenty of time to set up and not have to deal with road closures.  Can you put a couple of rakes or snow shovels in the car that day, please?  They are very handy with cleaning up the discarded paper cups.


All done for this week,

Empress of the World (MGM)


High Gear, October 9, 2013 Mary Martin 2013-10-09 00:00:00Z 0

2013 EHRC Golf Tournament

Posted by William Saunders on Sep 04, 2013

EHRC's 26th Annual Rotary Invitational Golf Tournament 

ImageOn September 23rd, the Manchester Country Club will once again play host to our club's annual golf tournament.  In its 26th year, this successful event has been the main source of raising charitable funds for the club.  This year's list of charitable recipients include East Hartford's public schools, including upgrades to technology at the elementary schools and high school scholarships.  Sponsor and golfer opportunities are both available to support these worthy community donations.   

Registration opens at 10:00 AM, followed by a Putting Contest from 10:30-11:30.  A delicious buffet lunch will be served at 11:30 with a Shotgun Start at 12:30 PM.  Players will compete for cash team prizes in a 4-person scramble and special hole prizes, including a $10,000 cash prize for a Hole In One, will be offered throughout the course.  A sumptuous sit-down dinner will be served after play has completed and there will be plenty of great raffle prizes up for grabs.  

For more information, contact Bill Saunders at  billsaun42@gmail.com.  

Sponsor info and player registration forms are available on this homepage under the Club Documents area (lower right).





2013 EHRC Golf Tournament William Saunders 2013-09-05 00:00:00Z 0

2013 Water & Sanitation Project Initiative

Posted by Sheryl OConnor on Jun 27, 2013

Rotary Club of East Hartford Donates $6,000 To Eighth Water Project in Guatemala

Twenty Rotary Clubs in northern CT and Western MA (Rotary District 7890) have joined together to fund a project that will bring fresh drinking water to a needy community in Guatemala.  Clubs from Bloomfield, Broad Brook, Danielson, East Hartford, Enfield, Farmington, Glastonbury, Manchester, Newington, Rockville, Simsbury/Granby, Somers, Torrington, Watertown, Wethersfield/Rocky Hill, Willimantic and Windsor/Windsor Locks, CT along with Massachusetts’ clubs in Palmer, Southwick, West Springfield and Wilbraham/Hampden have raised $37,000 to build a complete gravity fed water system with gray water filters and vented pit latrines for the 90 families (552 people) that live in the rural community of Saquiya, Guatemala.  This is the eighth funded project continuing the goal of Rotary International to have every Rotary Club support an international water and sanitation project every year.  By working together and pooling their resources, the Rotarians have been successful in adding size and strength to their chosen projects.  Two Rotary clubs from neighboring Massachusetts/Rhode Island District 7950, East Greenwich and Wakefield, RI and three clubs from District 7170 in upstate New York, Cortland – Breakfast, Nimmonsburg and Trumansburg also contributed to the project thereby exceeding the original goal of $34,893.


Check Presentation at Manchester Rotary Club

(l to r) Sheryl O'Connor, 2012-13 President EHRC; Zoe Kopp, BPD Past VP; Jennifer Turck, BPD Director of Fund Development; Peter Klock, PP EHRC; Sue Klock, PP EHRC, PDG & District 7890 Foundation Chair; and, George Schoen, 2013-14 President EHRC


2013 Water & Sanitation Project Initiative Sheryl OConnor 2013-06-28 00:00:00Z 0

May 22nd Bookmobile Presentation

Posted by Sheryl OConnor on May 21, 2013

Rotary Club of East Hartford Presents New Bookmobile to Town

On May 22nd, over 80 local dignitaries, Rotarians and assorted guests attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Town's new Bookmobile at Freightliner of Hartford's showroom at 222 Roberts Street, East Hartford.  The Bookmobile Project was a collaborative effort by the EH club and District 7890, the Rotary Clubs of Central Calcutta and Calcutta Maidan and their District, Goodwin College, Freightliner of Hartford, Joseph Merritt Co, and a Matching Grant from The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.  The Bookmobile will be a critical component of delivering books and other media to the town's residents during the renovation of Raymond Library, and continue its literacy programs far into the future.


President Sheryl O'Connor with Rotary Club of Central Calcutta Team Leader Binod Khaitan and Team Members from Calcutta Clubs Attending via Skype


Mayor and Rotarian Marcia Leclerc Accepts the Keys


Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony


Rotary Club of East Hartford's Project Team and Project Participants


PDG & District Foundation Chair Sue Klock, PDG Frank Wargo, DG Eileen Rau, and Pres. Sheryl O'Connor

May 22nd Bookmobile Presentation Sheryl OConnor 2013-05-22 00:00:00Z 0

EHRC Hosts GSE Team

Posted by Sheryl OConnor on May 16, 2013

East Hartford Rotarians Host Group Study Exchange Team from Turkey

On May 10th five members of the GSE Team from Turkey were greeted for a week of cultural and vocational experiences by their host families:  Larry & Janet Hangland (Host Leaders); Jack & Jan Sayre; Bob & Debbie Wood; Dan & Betty Russell; and, John & Sheryl O'Connor.  For the following six days, the Turkish team toured local points of interest, including the CT State House, the USS Nautilus, the Pequot Museum, Main Street Wethersfield, and the Mark Twain House.  They also visited a number of businesses and organizations connected to their particular vocations, including CCAT, Goodwin College and the Connecticut Children's Hospital.  This popular program is sponsored by the Rotary Foundation and the Rotary Club of East Hartford members have participated for many years both as Team Leaders abroad and Hosts for visiting teams.  The Turkish Team had previously spent similar weeks in Putnam, CT, Pittsfield, MA and Torrington, CT, culminating their month-long stay in East Hartford.  A similar team from our District is now over in Turkey experiencing cultural and vocational visits hosted by Turkish Rotary Clubs.

A District party was held on Wed, May 15th to bid a fond farewell to our new found friends from Turkey.  The team members shared their experiences and pictures with attendees and invited us all to visit them in Turkey very soon.


EHRC Hosts GSE Team Sheryl OConnor 2013-05-17 00:00:00Z 0

2013 East Hartford Rotary Duck Race

Posted by Sheryl OConnor on May 08, 2013

Duck Race Planning in Full Swing

ImagePlanning for the 2013 EHRC Duck Race is in full swing thanks to committee co-chairs Yvette Roming and Alex Wisz.  This year's race event will be held at Great River Park where the Hockanum River flows into the Connecticut River.  The event will begin at 12:00 PM with food, beverages and live music.  There will also be another "Best Duck in Show" contest including larger ducks purchased and 'dressed' by local sponsors.  The race will start at 2:00 PM on East River Drive with the ceremonial dumping of the ducks into the Hockanum.  Spectators can cheer their ducks on from the bank of the Hockanum, following the path along the river to the finish line just shy of the Connecticut River. 

Prizes this year:  $5,000 for 1st Place, $1,000 for 2nd Place, $500 for 3rd Place, and $250 each for 4th and 5th Place Ducks!  Duck are $10 each and can be purchased at a number of locations in town, or from a member of Rotary.  Info on the race and ticket locations can be found at


Also, the Rotary Duck Float will be in East Hartford's Memorial Day Parade on May 27th and tickets can be purchased during and after the parade.  All proceeds from the Duck Race Event will go towards charitable projects both locally and around the world.  Many thanks to our sponsors to date:  Pratt & Whitney, ForeSite Technologies and 3D Asset Management, Inc of East Hartford!

Get your Duck Tickets and come to the Duck Race on June 2nd to cheer them on to the finish line!


2013 East Hartford Rotary Duck Race Sheryl OConnor 2013-05-09 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary's Annual Senior Prom Sees Double!

Posted by Doug Willett on Apr 27, 2013

Double, double, toil and success! Over 90 senior citizens, double the amount attending last year, enjoyed East Hartford Rotary's annual Senior Citizen Prom last Wednesday afternoon.  Twenty seven Rotarians joined more than  fifty Interact and Student Council student volunteers to plan and execute this social event.  Bob Wood and Jack Sayre worked with the Senior Centers and East Hartford High Schools' student government and Interact Club to make it happen. The Student Council members decorated the cafeteria in a Mardi Gras theme.  Mo Moshovos was the prom photographer and he and Peter Klock took and printed countless photos of the attendees. 

East Hartford Rotary Club made and served about 150 meals, including a fruit cup, salad, ziti and meatballs, cake and ice cream, and beverages. The student volunteers served the seniors. And a good time was had by all!

Rotary's Annual Senior Prom Sees Double! Doug Willett 2013-04-28 00:00:00Z 0

April 17th: Bookmobile Day

Posted by Sheryl OConnor on Apr 11, 2013

East Hartford Rotary Nearing Culmination of Bookmobile Project

ImageThe final pieces of the Bookmobile Project are falling into place for the Rotary Club of East Hartford.  The project is part of a joint effort among a number of donors:  the Rotary Clubs of Central Calcutta and Calcutta Maidan, India and their District; the Rotary Club of East Hartford, CT and its District 7890; Goodwin College; Freightliner of Hartford located in East Hartford; and, Rotary Foundation which is providing a Matching Grant through its grant program.  All in, about $45,000 will go to the purchase and outfitting of a new Sprinter van for the Town of East Hartford's Public Library.  The library staff will be using the van in its outreach programs, bringing books and other materials to schools, parks, senior centers and areas in town with residents who cannot easily access the main library on Main Street.

April 17th is National Bookmobile Day, which celebrates the history of this unique way to bring books to the public and increase literacy, a major focus of Rotary International.  The first bookmobile in the United States (in the form of a horse-driven wagon!) originated in April, 1905 by Mary Lemist Titcomb, a librarian in Washington County, Maryland. As noted by Titcomb, “No better method has ever been devised for reaching the dweller in the country. The book goes to the man, not waiting for the man to come to the book.” Over a century has passed since this statement was made, and yet this is not a far cry from our current goal of ensuring library access to all.

The East Hartford Bookmobile will be presented at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 22nd, 2013 at 8:00 am at Freightliner of Hartford.  The committee from the Rotary Club of Calcutta will be attending via Skype, along with a number of other local people from town government, the library groups and staff, Goodwin College and Freightliner of Hartford.  Congratulations to all for this wonderful collaborative effort to promote literacy!

April 17th: Bookmobile Day Sheryl OConnor 2013-04-12 00:00:00Z 0

Peace Forum Held at East Hartford High School

Posted by Sheryl OConnor on Apr 02, 2013

Seeds of Peace Presentation at EHHS

On Wednesday, April 3rd, the Rotary Club of East Hartford sponsored a presentation by “Seeds of Peace” at East Hartford High School in honor of this year's Rotary theme, "Peace Through Service".  Over 100 students from Teachers Todd Szwed and Christopher Sparks’ Human Rights classes, along with members of CIBA’s and EHHS’ Interact Clubs, attended the presentation, given by Seeds of Peace representatives Zoe Mercer-Golden and Alia Lahlou. 


(l to r) Ed Quick, Dept Head Social Studies; Teachers Christopher Sparks & Todd Szwed; Pres. Sheryl O'Connor; Seeds Zoe Mercer-Golden & Alia Lahlou; EHHS Students from Human Rights classes and Interact Clubs

Seeds of Peace, a non-profit organization based in New York City, was founded in 1993 by American journalist and son of Holocaust survivors John Wallach.  After covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for a number of years and becoming frustrated with the lack of progress in reaching a lasting peace, Wallach proposed to then-Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres that a group be created to bring Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian youths together on neutral soil in the United States.  That first summer, forty-six youths gathered in the woods of Maine for a month to live, play, learn about each other and discuss how to peacefully coexist.  Since then, the program has grown to include twenty-two non-Middle Eastern nations, including Pakistan, India, Greece, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Afghanistan.  Alumni of the camps often return as counselors and are referred to as “Seeds”, going back to their countries to ‘sow the seeds of peace’.

Peace Forum Held at East Hartford High School Sheryl OConnor 2013-04-03 00:00:00Z 0

Seventh Guatemala Water & Sanitation Project Completed

Posted by Sheryl OConnor on Mar 09, 2013

Rick and Elin Lawrence Mark Completion of Seventh Rotary Water and Sanitation Project

On February 11th, the villagers of El Pericon, Guatemala welcomed Rick and Elin Lawrence to a day-long celebration marking the completion and dedication of their village's water, sanitation and indoor cookstove improvements.  This is the seventh such project financed by clubs in District 7890 and 7950.  The Rotary Club of East Hartford has participated in this joint effort each year since the first and smallest village, initially partnering with Rick's club, the Rotary Club of Manchester and just a handful of other clubs in District 7890.  Every year, more clubs join in with their support, enabling the project to expand to larger and larger villages.  The following picture of Rick and members of the village Water Committee highlights a plaque with the names of the participating Rotary clubs, which will be permanently cemented onto a concrete pedestal benerath the water storage tank.  East Hartford Rotary is proud to participate in this wonderful project.  Congratulations to Rick and Elin for personally supporting and being ambassadors for these valuable projects that change the world, one village at a time.




The project brings clean water, concrete latrines and safely vented and raised indoor cookstoves to villages high in the mountains of Guatemala, where previously the women and children of the village had to trek miles each day to bring low-quality water back to their villages. 


Well-vented cookstoves replace open fires which not only caused a burn hazard to home and family members but also caused respiratory health issues for both children and adults.



Seventh Guatemala Water & Sanitation Project Completed Sheryl OConnor 2013-03-10 00:00:00Z 0

EHRC Celebrates 85th

Posted by Sheryl OConnor on Feb 12, 2013

Rotary Club of East Hartford Celebrates 85 Years of Service

The sun shone brightly as members and guests poured into the Veterans Memorial Clubhouse at 11:30 am on February 13, 2013 for a Wine and Cheese social prior to the start of the club's regular meeting.   The meeting was called to order as usual with the ringing of the Rotary Bell at 12:15 as attendees stood by their seats, sang the Rotary song, said the Pledge of Allegience and reflected as PDG and EH Rotarian Sue Klock provided the invocation, reminding everyone of the importance of the Four-Way Test in our lives.  The Rotary Club of East Hartford spent the next two hours celebrating its 85th Anniversary as a club, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Hartford in February, 1928.  Guests included Hartford Club President, Sue Joyce, and Hartford Rotarian Sandy Blumer, District 7890 Governor Eileen Rau, Assistant District Governor Marty Fins and DG-Elect Mike Barnett. 

After a presentation of the club's history, 30+ year members Larry Frazier, Art Bradbury, Mo Moshovos, Frank Collins, Dan Russell, George Agnelli, Dan Firestone, and Jack Sayre shared their memories of club events and members from times past, as well as what Rotary has meant in their lives.  Mayor & EH Rotarian Marcia Leclerc shared memories of her dad, Richard Leclerc, as a member of the club and Ruth Sheehan and Jay Stewart, now members of our club, gave wonderful tributes to the spouses of Rotarians and the support and friendship Rotary has provided them.  It was a wonderful day to be an East Hartford Rotarian and be reminded by these members how very much it means to be part of an organization like Rotary.


(l-r) DG-Elect Mike Barnett, Treasurer Mike Derr, President Sheryl O'Connor, ADG Marty Fins, DG Eileen Rau, President-Elect George Schoen, Past RI Director Frank Collins, Secretary Brian Liss

EHRC Celebrates 85th Sheryl OConnor 2013-02-13 00:00:00Z 0

EHRC Sponsors Informational Evening

Posted by Sheryl OConnor on Feb 03, 2013

East Hartford Rotary Sponsors "Who Is Rotary?" Event

On March 6, 2013 East Hartford Rotary will hold a "Who Is Rotary?" evening at the Marco Polo Restaurant in East Hartford.  Business and organizational leaders in East Hartford are invited to attend this information session on Rotary International.  The event will begin at 5:30 pm and a dinner of pizza, salad, and wine or other beverages will be served.  Members of the East Hartford Rotary will share why they joined Rotary and what the organization has done over the years for the community of East Hartford and beyond. 

If you are interested in attending this event as a guest, please contact EHRC President Sheryl O'Connor at soconnor@3dadvisor.com, or call 860-291-1998 x103 before March 4th for a reservation.  Come find out why Rotary is the premier service organization in the world and how we are making a difference!


EHRC Sponsors Informational Evening Sheryl OConnor 2013-02-04 00:00:00Z 0

EHRC Dictionary Project

Posted by Sheryl OConnor on Jan 28, 2013

East Hartford Rotary Club and Pratt & Whitney Donate Dictionaries to East Hartford Schools

As in many years past, the Rotary Club of East Hartford is distributing dictionaries to all Third Graders and some new Fourth Graders in East Hartford's public elementary schools.   A favorite of our club, this project directly supports one of Rotary International's key areas of focus, literacy.

This year Mary Sullivan, Co-Chair of our Community Service Projects Commitee, identified 520 third grade students and worked with the school principals to arrange for Rotarian Bob Wood, a former EH teacher, and other Rotary club volunteers to pass the dictionaries out to the students.  The dictionaries were purchased with a donation from Pratt & Whitney, and volunteers from First New England Credit Union in EH added Rotary and Pratt & Whitney bookplates into the front covers so that every student could put their names on them.  Thanks to all who participated in this worthy project.


Rotarian Bob Wood Explains Benefits of Dictionaries to a Class at Goodwin Elementary


 Rotarian Bob Wood, Principal Dan Brodeur, Rotary President Sheryl O'Connor, Teacher Holly Lawrence and Rotarian Ceil Collins Join Ms. Lawrence's Third Graders Proudly Displaying Their Dictionairies

EHRC Dictionary Project Sheryl OConnor 2013-01-29 00:00:00Z 0

Tavern Night at Noah Webster Museum

Posted by Sheryl OConnor on Nov 05, 2012

Social & Family Committee Hosts Tavern Night

47 Rotarians and their guests enjoyed a special Rotary Tavern Night at the Noah Webster Museum in West Hartford on Monday, November 5th, hosted by the Social & Family Committee co-chaired by Janice Freschlin and Ceil Collins.  The evening was inspired by a wonderful club presentation done last year by Christopher Dobbs, the museum's director.  The evening started with cocktails served by a large, roaring fire, followed by an 18th century dinner of roasted chicken with vegetables and apple brown betty.  Musician Don Sinetti, a performer at the Mystic Seaport Museum, serenaded the crowd with folk songs from America's past, accompanied by his banjo, including a number of sing-a-longs.  After dinner, guests were invited to play tavern games from the period set up in the museum's common rooms and ably coached by David Peterson, one of the museum's docents.  A great time was had by all.  Thanks so much to Janice, Ceil and the members of the Social & Family Committee for bringing an evening of fun and fellowship to our members and their guests!

Tavern Night at Noah Webster Museum Sheryl OConnor 2012-11-06 00:00:00Z 0

Governor Proclaims World Polio Day

Posted by Sheryl OConnor on Oct 23, 2012

CT Governor Proclaims Oct 24th World Polio Day


Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy proclaimed October 24th World Polio Day in Connecticut during a meeting with local Rotarians. Joining him in his office at the State Capital are (left to right: PRIVP Frank Collins, Margaret Amey, Southern Connecticut DG Brian Amey, Governor Malloy, DG Eileen Rau, PDG Frank Wargo, Judith Green and PDG Prasad Menon. Photo by Cynthia Lang.




Governor Proclaims World Polio Day Sheryl OConnor 2012-10-24 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Sheryl OConnor on Oct 08, 2012

EH Rotarian and Mayor Marcia Leclerc Signs Polio Proclamation

On October 4, 2012, East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc signed a proclamation citing October 22-28, 2012, as END POLIO NOW WEEK and October 24, 2012, as WORLD POLIO DAY.   Since the beginning of Rotary International's campaign to eradicate polio in the world in 1985, Rotarians have contributed over One Billion Dollars to this effort, including a matching grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and spearheaded collaborations with donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the Centers for Disease Control, leading to a significant reduction in the indidence of polio worldwide by over 99%.  East Hartford Rotarians and associated donors have contributed over $107,000 to-date to this extraordinary effort, including participation by its own members in National Immunization Days in such faraway places as India and Bangladesh.  With only three countries reporting new cases of this crippling and deadly disease, we are THIS CLOSE to eradicating polio for good. 


 2012-2013 EHRC President Sheryl O'Connor and EH Rotarian and Mayor Marcia Leclerc

Oct 22-28 END POLIO NOW WEEK Sheryl OConnor 2012-10-09 00:00:00Z 0

2012 Koats for Kids

Posted by Sheryl OConnor on Sep 24, 2012
East Hartford Rotary Koats for Kids Event a Huge Success

On September 23rd, East Hartford Rotarians Chuck Clarke and Dick McCarthy and their wives Esther and Jeanne assisted 70 East Hartford children in selecting warm winter coats at the Burlington Coat Factory on Silver Lane.  With the assistance of East Hartford Social Services Director,  Jo-Ann Dorn, and her assistant, Ann Laliberte, 75 children were identified for this annual Rotary community program.  Burlington Coat Factory employee, Noelle, provided a great deal of assistance as well, organizing and checking out the participating families.  Each child is allowed to pick out their own coat costing up to $60.00 each.  Many children put their coats on as they walked out of the store, proudly displaying them and thanking the coordinators.  Each year, the EH Rotary Club donates the cost of the coats.  This year they received a $1,000 Simplified Grant from Rotary District 7890 to support the donation for this much-needed community project. 


 (left to right) Dick & Jeanne McCarthy, Sheryl O'Connor, Ann Laliberte, Noelle, Esther & Chuck Clarke, Jo-Ann Dorn


2012 Koats for Kids Sheryl OConnor 2012-09-25 00:00:00Z 0

Duck Race and Family Day Event

Posted by Sheryl OConnor on Jun 11, 2012
Duck Race and Family Day Event a Resounding Success

Sunday June 10, 2012 brought perfect weather to East Hartford's Martin Park, site of the EHRC's Duck Race and Family Day Event.  EHRC and Interact members and their families and friends gathered early to set up tables, chairs, tents, a bouncy, and food and drink stations.  The Corporate Duck display grew as decorated ducks arrived and took their places for voting.  DG Sue and President Peter arrived and the Literacy Walk was planned out and constructed and a Rotary Information tent was erected and stocked.  Stu Harris, Alex Wisz and John O'Connor were down by the river in waders setting up the finishing gate and completing the final duck tests.  The DJ set up and started to serenade us at noontime, Bob Buettner, Marc Glass and Brian Liss opened the ticket sale table, guests appeared with children and the festivities began! 


While the children enjoyed various game stations around the field, parents and children walked through the LIteracy Walk and read through the book page placards together.  Those children who completed the course were rewarded with a free water safety book.  Families enjoyed a lunch of hamburgers, hotdogs and ice cream while kids bounced between the face painting and small duck decorating tents.  The East Hartford K9 officer and dog gave a wonderful demonstration of the training, skills and manuveurs they use to catch 'bad guys', while an East Hartford fire engine was on the scene with two firefighters to inform attendees about fire safety


At 1:30 folks started making their way down to the starting bridge on Hillside, the front end loader was readied and traffic stopped and Dan Larson MC'd the start of the race promptly at 2:00 PM.  The ducks were off!  It was an exciting race, watched closely by people walking the path and anxiously awaiting the appearance of the ducks down the home stretch.  As ducks piled up on the floating PVC gates, the crowd held its breath to see which duck would make it through to the gate first, second and third.  Pulling out (or rather twirling) at the last minute, Kevin Liner of South Windsor's duck swam into the gate first for the $1,000 prize, followed closely by Waterbury's Nelson Viega and East Hartford's Ted Marina's ducks for $750 and $500 respective prizes.    


The crowd cheered and made its way back to the pavilion where the winners were annouced for "Best Duck in Show", ably won by Nursing Services Inc of East Hartford, Yvette Roming's company, and the three race awardees.  Rotarian and Mayor Marcia Leclerc and Ray Hernandez from Pratt & Whitney, the major sponsor of the event, helped with the award presentations.As the festivities ended, the clean up work began.  Stu Harris and wife Madeline kayaked down the river picking up stray ducks, EHRC members and spouses along with Interact members from CIBA and EHHS washed, dryed and sorted what we hope were 3,000 ducks, soon to be returned to the Rotary Club of Westport for their race on June 30th.


Many, many thanks to all the volunteers who made this event so successful and to the individuals and companies who supported our effort:  Pratt & Whitney, D'Esopo Funeral Home, Buettner Florist, Coca-Cola Bottling Co, Goodwin College, Central Sealing & Paving, and the Town of East Hartford Public Works, Parks & Rec, Police and Fire Departments.  All proceeds will go to support worthy charities in the community and beyond.   For additional photos of the race and event, see the Photo Album link at the top of this homepage.

Duck Race and Family Day Event Sheryl OConnor 2012-06-12 00:00:00Z 0

Memorial Day Parade

Posted by Sheryl OConnor on May 28, 2012
Rotarian Float Just Ducky in EH Memorial Day Parade

Our club was well represented in the East Hartford Memorial Day Parade on May 28th.  Leaving from the Middle School at 10:30 am members marched (and rode) down Burnside Avenue singing our Rotary and Welcome Songs along the way.  Many thanks to Larry Frazier, Tom Westbrook, and Tom Jarrish and his two sons for coordinating a festive Rotary float decorated to advertise our upcoming Duck Race on June 10th.  A shout out to Steve Jacoby for arranging for the bright yellow Duck Race t-shirts, which added to fun. 


The parade ended in front of the EH Showmobile (donated to the town by our club) where town dignitaries, including our own member, Mayor Marcia Leclerc, former member State Representative Tim Larson, State Senator Gary LeBeau and Federal Congressman John Larson, were greeted with a rambunctious rendition of the Welcome Song by the marchers. 


A wonderful time was had by all and some Duck Race tickets were sold along the route.  Hopefully, this will be the start of a new Rotary tradition!  For more pictures, visit the 2012 Memorial Day Parade album from the menu link above.


Memorial Day Parade Sheryl OConnor 2012-05-29 00:00:00Z 0

EHRC Duck Race and Family Day

Posted by Sheryl O'Connor on May 21, 2012

Duck Race and Family Day - Kickoff this Weekend at EH Memorial Day Parade

 EH Rotarians will kick off the Duck Race and Family Day Event this weekend with a float advertising the event in the Memorial Day Parade in East Hartford on Monday, May 28th.  Rotarians will be marching alongside the float and will also be selling tickets for the Duck Race following the parade.  This year's parade begins at 10:30 am and will be dedicated to "ALL FALLEN HEROES".  Rotarians interested in marching in the parade should be at the EH Middle School by 9:30 am at the latest as the town will close Burnside Ave to traffic at 9:30.  If you are interested in marching, please contact Yvette Roming at yvette@nursingservicesinc.com.

The Duck Race and Family Day Event will be held at Martin Park on June 10th starting at 12:00 noon and will include family activities, food and drinks and music, all free of charge to the public.  The Duck Race will begin at 2:00 pm.  For duck race tickets, contact Brian Liss at



EHRC Duck Race and Family Day Sheryl O'Connor 2012-05-22 00:00:00Z 0

RI Convention in Bangkok, Thailand: Land of a Thousand Smiles

Posted by Sheryl O'Connor on May 13, 2012

Rotary International's 103rd International Convention: Celebrates Milestone in Eradicating Polio

On May 8, attendees at Rotary's 2012 International Convention in Bangkok, Thailand, celebrated two major milestones in the organization's decades-long fight to rid the world of polio:  meeting and exceeding the $200 Million Challenge, Rotary's response to $355 million in matching grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for polio eradication efforts; and, India's removal from the polio-endemic list in February, which leaves only three countries where transmission of the virus has never been stopped.

To view a promotional video on being 'this close', click
HERE.  To read a copy of the speech of John F. Germ, chair of Rotary's $200 Million Challenge Committee, click HERE.   You may also watch a video of the third plenary session below:


Rotary Meets and Exceeds US$200 Million Challenge from Rotary International on Vimeo.

RI Convention in Bangkok, Thailand: Land of a Thousand Smiles Sheryl O'Connor 2012-05-14 00:00:00Z 0

Upcoming Installation Dinners

Posted by Robert Buettner on May 01, 2012
District Installation and Club Installation Dinners Announced - Hold the Dates

JUNE 20, 2012 - This year's District Installation dinner will be held at The Bond Hotel at 338 Asylum St in Hartford.  Current District Governor-elect Eileen Rau of the Rotary Club of West Hartford will be installed as our 2012-2013 District Governor along with the District's 62 incoming Presidents and their Assistant Governors.  A cocktail hour will start at 6:30 pm followed by dinner and the installation program.  Guest speaker will be Robert Coultas, Past Rotary International Director.  Tickets are $45pp and the registration form can be found under our Club Documents section off the link on the top menu bar of the homepage.

JUNE 27, 2012 - Our Club Installation dinner will be held at The Gallery in Glastonbury where President-elect Sheryl O'Connor and members of the 2012-2013 Board will be installed.  Cocktail hour will begin at 6:00 pm followed by dinner and the installation program.  A DJ will be on hand to provide music for socializing and dancing after the program.  Tickets will be $45pp and a signup sheet with menu choices will be circulated at club meetings beginning May 9. 

Hope to see you all there to celebrate the achievements of our outgoing executives and to welcome our incoming newbies!
Upcoming Installation Dinners Robert Buettner 2012-05-02 00:00:00Z 0

East Hartford Rotary At the Rock Cats

Posted by Sheryl O'Connor on Apr 24, 2012
May 4th Rotary Rock Cats Night

The annual Rotary At the Rock Cats family event will be held on May 4, 2012 at the New Britain Stadium, 230 John Karbonic Way, New Britain, CT.  Sixty-three EH Rotarians and guests have already reserved their tickets, joining a number of other Rotary clubs in our District.  Gates open at 5:05 pm and a picnic dinner will be served from 5:35 until 7:35 pm.  Pre-game ceremonies and parade will begin at 5:45 pm and all Rotarians are encouraged to wear their Rotary attire and march in the parade.  Game time is 6:35 pm, starting with a Rotarian from each participating club throwing out a ceremonial first pitch.  Attendees will be invited to join in the traditional "Take Me Out To the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch. 

ImageTickets may still be available from Gil Wishart at 860-568-6737.  If the game is called off due to inclement weather, ticketholders may turn their tickets in for any other game during the season plus receive a $20 credit towards purchases at stadium food concessions.

Play ball!
East Hartford Rotary At the Rock Cats Sheryl O'Connor 2012-04-25 00:00:00Z 0

Paul Harris Dinnner

Posted by Sheryl O'Connor on Apr 18, 2012
120 Rotarians and Guests Attend Annual Paul Harris Dinner


EHRC's Annual Paul Harris Dinner, held on April 18th, brought in a nearcapacity crowd of 120, filling The Gallery in Glastonbury's hall with fellowship and good cheer.  This year's event was expertly planned by relatively new members Bob Buettner and Janice Freschlin and was led by the master of master of ceremonies, PP Dan Larson.  Special "guests' included our own District Governor Sue Klock and Assistant Governor Michael Barnett and his wife Linda, as well as families and friends of this year's four Paul Harris Fellow recognition recipients:  Rachel Buck, EH CIBA Interact Club leader and EH Rotarians Mo Moshovos, Chuck Clarke and Sheryl O'Connor.

Paul Harris Dinnner Sheryl O'Connor 2012-04-19 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club of East Hartford Well Represented

Posted by Sheryl O'Connor on Mar 27, 2012


East Hartford Rotarian Mayor Marcia LeClerc's Charity Ball a Resounding Success

A large group of East Hartford Rotarians attended this year's Charity Ball on March 24, 2012 which was arranged and hosted by our own EHRC member and Mayor, Marcia LeClerc.  The event drew a record crowd to the stadium facilities at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.  Traditionally a number of charities are chosen to be beneficiaries of the funds raised at the ball and this year three of the four organizations chosen to receive the proceeds from the event were led or represented by our own club members:  YMCA (Brian Liss, Executive Director); Interfaith Ministeries (Rev. Ted Mosebach); and the Friends of the Senior Centers, Inc (Yvette Roming, President).  Congratulations to Mayor Marcia for putting on a great event and to our three EH Rotarians for being dedicated to such wonderful, deserving causes that surely personify "Service Above Self".


Rotary Club of East Hartford Well Represented Sheryl O'Connor 2012-03-28 00:00:00Z 0

District Assembly Registration Open

Posted by Sheryl O'Connor on Feb 20, 2012
Register Online for District Assembly

Members of the District can now register online for the District Assembly which will be held on Thursday, April 26th at the Clarion Hotel in West Springfield, MA.  Eileen Rau, District Governor-Elect and member of the Rotary Club of West Hartford, has planned an exciting lineup of programs this year and is excited about the new online registration functionality which makes it easier than ever to register for this event. 
This year's Keynote Address will be delivered by Past RI VP and Foundation Trustee Elect Mike McGovern.  MIke will speak on The Future Vision of our Rotary Foundation, including information on Rotary's New Grants, Scholarship and Vocational Exchange Models.  All members of the District are invited to the assembly and may attend programs on membership, public relations, RI Foundation, matching and simplified grants, and the Rotary Leadership Institute.  A New Generations Youth Panel will also lead a program discussion and new to this year's offerings is a Rotary 101 program to educate new Rotarians.  Incoming club officers should attend the special sessions for 2012-13 Secretaries, Treasurers and Presidents. 
To register, go to
and click on the District Assembly 2012 event listing on the left side of the homepage.  Directions for registration are in the upper right corner of the event page.  Attendees' fees will be paid by their Clubs, so plan on attending and re-booting your Rotary spirit!
District Assembly Registration Open Sheryl O'Connor 2012-02-21 00:00:00Z 0

High Gear, February 8, 2012

Posted by Theodore Mosebach on Feb 07, 2012

Ted Mosebach            The gathering began with President Peter ringing the bell exactly on time.  We missed the leading bass voice of Art Bradbury but got through the Rotary tune fairly well on tempo and close to the same key in which we started. 


            Brian Liss filling in for Mary Sullivan as Sgt. @ Arms showed himself to be a rather hard nosed sort getting about everyone for almost anything and excusing his excess on this being his first time. Might have thought his maiden voyage would be bit less aggressive, but maybe that‘s just me.  I paid for no pin, fair enough, but then he got Neil Cunningham across from me for no other reason but that he did wear a pin, and Neil paid!  I always liked Neil and felt a bit of remorse for him, but not so much that I offered to pay his dollar. He is a better man than I am. Speaking of paying one’s own fines, District Governor Sue got President Peter to pay for her birthday.  She said she did not have her pocket book with her.  The club being a forgiving sort, we sang Happy Birthday to her anyway.  Art Apostle contributed for 31 years of married bliss. Congratulations Art!  And Spurge anteed up for 31 years of club membership.  Apparently 1981 was a good year for marriages and new club members.


            Nancy Richmond has begun cancer treatments once more and Bill Leone continues to struggle.  They are both in our hearts and in our prayers.


            Yvette Romig explained the many facets of the upcoming plastic duck race this June.  It is going to be a fantastic event with many supporting activities in addition to the race itself.  I wondered aloud if Bob Buettner would be permitted to purchase race ducks thinking that if he was and word got out, it might dampen sales.  I felt a little better when he did not win the raffle today, but even so.  Yvette asked if the members of the club would be willing to march in the town Memorial Day Parade and carry a Rotary sign and maybe some sort of advertisement for the race.  I thought that maybe some club members could dress up like ducks. Bob could be Lucky Duck.  I would offer to wear a costume but I don’t know.  With the sticks I try to use as legs I might look more like a yellow flamingo.  Nevertheless, some hands went up at Yvette’s question so I guess we’ll be in the parade.  There will be a brief meeting of race organizers tomorrow evening, 5:00 PM at Dan Larson’s office at Goodwin College. Thank you Yvette and everyone who is working so hard to make the race a fund raising and friendship building success!


            President Peter announced that the club is now a $100 sponsor of the Hockanum River Canoe Race.  The club is also supporting local students by helping to purchase tickets for them to visit the Science Center.  A reminder was given about the Paul Harris Dinner which be held on April 18.  Please book the date.


            Steve Jacoby announced a Dinner and Show sponsored by the Wethersfield/Rocky Hill club on March 27.  Dinner:  Asylum Café 5:00 0 7:00PM.  Show: Theatre Works 7:30PM.  There is a $38.00 per person donation.  For reservations contact Gina at 860-306-1283.


            The Raffle was won by first time winner Angela Read.  Way to go Angela.  You give us all hope!


            Dan Firestone introduced guest speaker, Chris Dobbs, Executive Director of the Noah Webster House and West Hartford Historical Society. He presented an interesting overview of  Webster’s life and work.  I have never been to the Noah Webster House but I think now that I would like to visit.  I was again struck by the rich intellectual history of central Connecticut, a great place to live and work and be a Rotarian!

Make Ups:

Leo Christmas 2 @ Charlotte Harbor, FL

John Mozzicato 3 @ Charlotte Harbor, FL

Chuck Clark 2 @ Naples Bay, FL

Herb Tischofer 1 @ Naples Bay, FL

Dan Russell 2 @ Jupiter/Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Mary Sullivan 2 - Dictionary Deliveries

Stu Hartis 1 - Scholarship Committee

Jay Stewart 1 @ Glastonbury

Sam Leone 2 @ Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Sheryl O'Connor 1 @ Cayman Brac

Bill Saunders 2 @ Cap Coral, FL

Steve Jacoby - Duck Race Meeting

Bob Buettner - Scholarship Meeting

Jim Fallon - Scholarship Meeting

Mary Sullivan - Duck Race Meeting

Doug Willett - 4 - High Gear Publishing, Web page maintenance

            Ted Mosebach


High Gear, February 8, 2012 Theodore Mosebach 2012-02-08 00:00:00Z 0

2012 District Foundation Dinner

Posted by Sheryl O'Connor on Jan 09, 2012

Register Now for District 7890 Foundation Dinner

DG Sue invites you and your family to our District Foundation Dinner, rescheduled for March 29, 2012.  We will be celebrating our 94th Anniversary of our RI Foundation at Chez Josef in Agawam, MA.   The evening will begin with a time of fellowship with cash bar from 5:45 to 6:45 pm, followed by dinner and program ending 9:30 pm.  Cost is $38pp with a choice of chicken, salmon or eggplant rollitini.  The registration form can be found under our Club Documents and should be mailed with check to Stella Kalamarakis, registrar.  You may also register via email with a credit card.  NOTE:  If you registered/paid for reservations for the November dinner which was cancelled and did not request a reimbursement, there is no need to re-register.

Come join the celebration of our Foundation with our District Governor!

2012 District Foundation Dinner Sheryl O'Connor 2012-01-10 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary NID Dates Set

Posted by Sheryl O'Connor on Dec 28, 2011

Volunteers Welcome to Join in NID Trip to India

For months our own DG Sue Klock and President Peter have been sharing their plans to participate in National Immunization Day for Polio eradication this year with us.  Recently the dates have been set for that trip and communicated by Ann Lee Hussey PDG of District 7780 2010-2011 and current Chair of the Polio Survivors & Associates Rotarian Action Group.  The group will depart on February 14 for India and return February 28, 2012.  Volunteers will administer polio drops, visit the World Health Organization office to hear strategic planning, polio corrective surgery hospitals, Rotary clubs and projects, the Piyali Learning Center, the Taj Mahal and more.  A visit to the PACE school which our club has supported for years will also be included.  The approximate cost of the trip is $4,000.  This is a wonderful opportunity to turn our support to eradicate polio into hands-on action.  If interested in participating, contact Sue Klock or Ann Hussey at annlee001@yahoo.com.

For more details on the trip, click on More

Rotary NID Dates Set Sheryl O'Connor 2011-12-29 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary Club of East Windsor - New Meeting Location Sheryl O'Connor 2011-06-17 00:00:00Z 0

2nd Annual Rotary Night at the Rock Cats

Posted by Gilbert Wishart on May 16, 2011
Register for tickets by April 29th for the 2nd Annual Rotary Night at the New Britain Rock Cats (Twins) vs. the Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox) which will be held on May 13, 2011.  We are hoping to surpass our record crowd from last year of 240 Rotarians.  Join the fun & fellowship!  

2nd Annual Rotary Night at the Rock Cats Gilbert Wishart 2011-05-16 11:24:02Z 0

EH Senior Citizens' Prom-Sign Up Now To Volunteer

Posted by Robert Wood on Apr 28, 2011
Our Club will once again support the East Hartford Senior Citizens' Prom which will be held on April 27, 2011, at 4:00 PM in the East Hartford High School Cafeteria.  This year's theme is "Home on the Range", with music provided by Into the Groove and DJ Dale Griffith.  The Ballroom Dance Club will also provide entertainment.  Tickets are only $5.00 for seniors and are available at North End or South End Senior Centers. 
Bob Wood is asking for volunteers for this wonderful event which provides an opportunity for our town's seniors and high school students to meet and mingle, sharing music, dance and fellowship in a festive 'prom' atmosphere.    
EH Senior Citizens' Prom-Sign Up Now To Volunteer Robert Wood 2011-04-28 16:31:54Z 0

High Gear, Septermber 24, 2014

Posted by W. Douglas Willett
Jay and Susan Show Off the Bookmobile

here was a definite theme of High Achievement and the potential for education to better the lives of others running through today’s meeting. It began with Rotarian and Town Librarian Susan Hansen ducking the still looking spanking new (one year old) Rotary donated Bookmobile under the porte-cochere at the front door and parking the $50,000 beauty where all could admire.

Joy Bittner, Ambassadorial Scholar, Citizen of the World

It continued with brief remarks from Joy Bittner, a guest who the Club sponsored as a Gladys and Bob Dunn Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in 2010. Joy spent a year in Argentina completing a post graduate program in Non Profit Management.  She has since worked for a year in the Dominican Republic and is currently the country director for Faire Collection which works with artisan groups throughout Ecuador, helping them earn fair wages and support their families.

And it concluded with another member of the Club, Superintendent of Schools Nate Quesnel, who gave an enthusiastic and dynamic presentation on the current state of our East Hartford Schools.

Each of these three individuals is bringing his/her own brand of high achievement to the task of improving the lives of those they touch and they make us proud of their Rotary connections.

Gil Wishart started us off today with a thoughtful invocation which gave thanks for another successful Golf Tournament and for the chance to serve others. The meal was stuffed sole with crab dressing, rice and cole slaw. The Empress provided the sugar once again.

Joy Bittner and her proud mom, Jo Ann, were our only guests today and Sue Klock and Anwar Hossein provided the vocal leadership needed to welcome them properly.

Nate Quesnel Presents State of the Schools Report Card

Sergeant At Arms Dan Firestone first informed us that he most assuredly was not taking his CPA exams last week, having completed that task back in 1964. (This was good news for those of us who avail ourselves of his tax wisdom each year). Then he went on to say that while he was fully prepared to stop “being a nice guy,” the Club was literally “throwing money at him” negating any need to act out of character.

Ned Lynch coughed up the coin for his 56th birthday.  Peter Klock refused to do the same since his birthday is not here until tomorrow but his bride came to his rescue most generously and we sang the appropriate song anyway. Larry Hangland paid for celebrating 50 years of wedded bliss. Nick Cecere paid because his strategy of golfing with a ringer each year paid off Monday. Hope Firestone paid to celebrate the bad aim of those who were using her as a target on Monday. Herb Barall is now an adjunct professor at Manchester Community College. And finally, Art Bradbury has his sixth great grandson, this one named oddly enough – Arthur. Someone is looking for the inheritance.

Lots of kudos and thanks were given out by both the Empress and the Co-Chairs for all the contributions in various ways by so many to make the Golf Tournament another rousing success.  A post mortem will be held next Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

Among the announcements were these:

  • Board meeting next Monday at 5:30 at the YMCA. All are welcome.
  • Not too late to sign up for the Water Station. Contact Neal Cunningham to do so.
  • Fireside Chats are all set. Any last minute changes or additions go through Bob Wood.
    Golf Co- Chair Has Reason to be Grateful


  • Rachael Buck at CIBA is looking for hosts families for two exchange students – one from China and one from Mexico. Need is immediate and urgent.

Having no shame about winning Monday, Nick Cecere compounded his shameless behavior by pulling his own number to win the raffle for the second week in a row.

Next week our speaker is local clairvoyant Bob Maxim.

And we welcome a new High Gear writer, Susan Hansen.

Be there or be squ

High Gear, Septermber 24, 2014 W. Douglas Willett 0

High Gear, September 17, 2014

Posted by Theodore Mosebach
Jim Watts Gives a Thankful Invocation

Another beautiful day at the Ridge this afternoon!


I considered how it is, as I ambled toward the building, that club members (such as myself) use the back entrance while others use the front.  Now, some might say that my pondering such things means that I need to get a life, and surely I do, and yet, still, I wonder.  Is this something about which the Empress should be concerned?  Is the club thus divided? I have always found that climbing up the back stairwell with its familiar shuffling creaking sounds of shoe soles on the wooden steps, approaching the old squeaky paneled door which does not shut itself and leads into the variably musty¾ depending on the humidity¾plain painted walls of the back hallway, to be not a humbling, but a pleasant routine. I then pass through the kitchen, say hello to the cook and wait staff, check out the chalkboard what’s for lunch, and feel, you know, a regular member of the club.  But the front of the Ridge: the stately porch, the wide glass doors, the bright cheery vestibule; an entrance for an Empress, yes, but what of more common Rotarians?  Should the front entrance, perhaps, be reserved only for Paul Harris recipients? Yet I know that even the Empress, all humility and grace, is not herself above using the back stairs upon occasion! I’m just saying.


And so the bell was wrung and we pledged and were led in a prayer of thanksgiving by Jim Watts, first for Mary Martin and her willingness to take a second term as President, for Bill Saunders and George Schoen for their leadership of the Golf Tournament, and for Neal Cunningham for his organizing for so many years the water station crew for the Hartford Marathon, and for all our Rotary friends and for the food which we were about to enjoy.  A hearty “Amen” rang out from the whole club. Indeed, we have so much for which to be thankful!


After a fine lunch of hot roast beef on toast with broccoli and mashed potatoes, President Mary welcomed our speakers, who are old friends and previous club members, Chuck Sheehan and Chris Stone, both representing the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC).  President Mary then selected the recently vacationing Peter and Sue Klock to lead the club, as a romantic duet, in the Welcome Song.  And welcome back to you, Sue and

Sue Klock Models Rotary Tee Shirt

Peter!  After the song, Sue briefly modeled for us her chic Rotary Tee Shirt.  It is elegant.


Nice guy Dan Firestone could not be with us (something about taking a test for his CPA license which many of us hoped he had passed a long time ago), and filling in for him as Sgt @ Arms, was No Nonsense Jack Martin. Jack went right to work making sure that Ruth Sheehan, Yvette Roming, and Jim Fallon paid for leaving early, Herb Barall for demonstrating Kung Fu on cable TV, Susan Hansen for having no pin, Steve Jacoby for his 18th Rotary Anniversary and then Steve also paid for being early and for his new watch, which he apparently set an hour ahead. Whatever works.  It was also George Schoen’s birthday and he asked the club to sing Happy Birthday to him but did not want Gil Wishart to start us off. It must be that Gil doesn’t know all the words. But some of Gil’s dignity was restored when it was reported he had been willing to pay for Steve’s being early. Over the years, in one way or another, Steve’s arrivings and leavings have generously supported the Sgt. @ Arms fund. Finally, Jack paid himself in gratitude for once again seeing his good friends Chris Stone and Chuck Sheehan.


The club voted 30 “likes” to 3 “other then like” for the caterer last week, VISION Hospitality Management. President Mary reported that they will be invited back to serve this time a sit-down meal.


Doug Willett urged everyone to sign-up for Fireside Chats. They are scheduled for four evenings during the first two weeks of October.


Neal Cunningham reminded the club that it is time to register for the Rotary Water Station for the Hartford Marathon.


President Mary reported that the Board will meet this month on the fifth Monday instead of the fourth Monday which is Golf Tournament Day.


Jim Watts said that Paul Harris nominations may now be given to him.


Our powerful Empress, who has remarkable influence with even the most stringent bureaucracies, was able to enlist Connecticut Natural Gas (that’s right, CNG!) to fix for free the Rotary Light For Peace on the Main Street Library front lawn! No wonder she’s Empress for Life!


Since last week’s Raffle winner, Bob Boutonnière, was not present, Marc turned to Her Majesty, of undisputable honesty, to draw the ticket.  It was Nick Cecere’s lucky day!


The Speaker was Chuck Sheehan, CEO of MDC.  He explained the vast present undertaking of updating and improving the water purification, waste water overflow, and storm run-off problems of the Wethersfield Cove, Park

MDC's Water Project Progress Chart

River, and Connecticut River.  The project, which will result in eliminating the vast majority of untreated water finding its way into those natural resources, is on schedule and on budget and will take another half dozen years to complete. Very good to know someone is on top of such things!

MDC CEO Chuck Sheehan Signs the Book


See everyone next week!


Ted Mosebach

High Gear, September 17, 2014 Theodore Mosebach 0

High Gear, September 10, 2014

Posted by Theodore Mosebach
Enjoying  the Dessert Line

It was another beautiful day for a trek to the Ridge and our weekly Rotarian friendship and lunch!


Entering the dining room, the first thing I noticed was the lemonade alongside the iced tea, in inviting icy cool, sweating, glass servers.  Now, I can be scatter-brained and an embarrassment to my gender which is supposed to be good at directions (I’ve been told that I could lose my way coming home from church.), but I recognized the room and the people so I was sure I was at the right place.  Then I heard someone say that we had a different caterer!


Our Empress, ever full of surprises, told me that she had arranged for another caterer to serve us a sort of trial lunch.  I have had many lunches and really did not need to try it, so I just ate it. I hope that was alright.  There was roast turkey, tender beef, stuffing, mashed potatoes, salad and roll.  President Mary asked the club to rate the meal and told everyone that additional caterers would be requested, over coming weeks, to serve a lunch that we could evaluate and then a selection of the caterer could be made to whom the club might want to extend a permanent contract. If there are not enough regular Wednesday meetings coming up to give all the caterers a try, and volunteers are needed to eat extra lunches, being well experienced in lunch, I could do that. 


This afternoon’s caterer was VISION Hospitality Management, located on East River Drive in East Hartford.  I give the meal an A.


Not to overdo the subject of lunch, but one more thing.  President Mary explained that our regular caterer, Krause, would like to either raise the cost per meal by two dollars or discontinue dessert.  Most of the club stayed calm when hearing that, but I was sitting next to Jim Fruit Is Not Dessert And I Like Candy Very Much Fallon. Everyone at our table talked soothingly to him.  And just when we needed her most, Our Wonderful Empress, whose timing might never be improved, announced that dessert for this afternoon’s meal would soon be served and it would be all you can eat apple crisp and vanilla ice cream.  Happiness was restored, but it was tense for while.


After a serious rapping of the bell (I trust she didn’t pull anything), President Mary called the club to order.  The speaker being the only guest, Our Gracious Empress identified those to lead us in the Welcome Song as the lovely Ruth Sheehan and the handsome Frank Staples, and Frank newly married as well.  Yet after that introduction some wise guys at Frank’s table had to add, “and he’s already going out for lunch!” I wouldn’t want to publically shame those who said it by mentioning their names, but I was not one of them. It was Doug Willett and Neal Cunningham.


Nice guy Dan Firestone tried again to be a stern Sgt @ Arms.  He called to the podium new member Tim Coppage.

Dan makes a Deposit

  Dan had some trouble pronouncing names today, and Tim’s was the first to suffer. Dan did well enough with it that Tim realized it must be his and he came forward, but still.  I say, if you’re going to fine a guy, you need to get his name right.  Our Empress, all grace, still has a keen mind for justice, and she soon opened up Dan’s own Sgt@ Arms pouch right in front of him and had him pay for his misnomer infraction.  It was satisfying to see the Sgt @ Arms get rank pulled on him. Anyway, after explaining to poor Tim that Tim had an obligation to the Sgt @ Arms to report Tim’s birthdays, anniversaries, et.al., and then Dan acting sort of confused about what all those might be, and then Tim’s getting even more confused then Dan, Tim decided to just bring it all to conclusion by giving Dan five bucks for the pouch.  Like I said before, Dan’s nice, but he’s not stupid.


Dan continued on in his bumbling like a fox Colombo approach by mispronouncing Bob Buettner’s name, I can hardly begin to phonetically describe to you the sound Dan made.  It seemed to my ear to be something like the AFLAC duck saying beautiful.  But the best part was when someone called out “boutonnière!”  I like that.  It fits. Bob paid in celebration of his granddaughter’s selling $197 worth of hand made bracelets for “Expo for Cancer.”  She calls her efforts, “Sage’s Bracelets for Hope.”  I trust Bob paid well.  He should be very proud! Doug Willett made a contribution in honor of the birth of his sixth

Introducing Miss Ada Rose!

grandchild, Ada Rose Willett. Congratulations Doug!  Finally, Dan got Janice Freschlin and Hope Firestone for leaving early.  And I was remiss to mention last week that Jay Stewart’s grandson got engaged.  I should have paid a fine for that but Dan was too nice to ask me.  Not that I’m tight, but I didn’t volunteer.  Yet I am a man of conscience. Was I a bad Rotarian?


Alex Wisz won the raffle, the winning ticket drawn by Bob Boutonnière.


George Schoen reported that the golf tournament is taking shape but we could still use a few more players and the sponsor list could be strengthened. 


Bill Saunders added that the Manchester Club is holding a golf tournament on October 1st to benefit breast cancer.  As they will have players in our tournament there may be those who wish to be a part of theirs.


Doug Willett passed around the list for hosting and leading Fireside Chats. There will be four Chats this year during the first half of October.


Neal Cunningham informed us he is starting to pass around the list for serving at the water station for the Hartford Marathon.  Which announcement segued well into the introduction of the afternoon’s speaker.


Her name is Elizabeth Shluger and she is the CEO & Exec. Director of the Hartford Marathon Foundation.  As soon as the title, Hartford Marathon, was spoken, from our table, and again, I don’t wish to mention names, Doug Willett, as if in correction said, “the George Agnelli Memorial Marathon!”  Well, first of all, George is very much alive.  He was sitting right across the aisle.  Second, he’s not the only one who loves the marathon, especially the way its course ran down Main Street in East Hartford past his store.  


The Hartford marathon was Ms. Shluger’s idea and creation twenty-one years ago. It started with a bit over three hundred runners and now welcomes over twenty thousand.  She told some humorous stories of runners going off course (Maybe they were they looking for the businesses on Main Street?) and some touching stories of people whose lives were enriched by taking part in the different running events on marathon day.


Remarkably, the event has raised over six million dollars for charities and has had an impact on the local community of over seventy eight million dollars. (She didn’t mention much of it being increased sales at Anderson Jewelers.)  The Hartford Marathon is now rated one of the top marathons in the nation.  I found the presentation sometimes heart warming and often fascinating.


Marathon CEO Beth Shluger

Nick Cecere raised some questions about the senior Olympics, where they are held and when, but Neal Cunningham said that Nick is too old for the senior Olympics.  Is that true?


One final comment: It is remarkable to me how much fun we have giving each other a hard time, matched only by the love and respect we share among us.  For such friendship, I am grateful.  And that’s Rotary!


See everyone next week!


Ted Mosebach

High Gear, September 10, 2014 Theodore Mosebach 0

High Gear, August 20, 2014

Posted by W. Douglas Willett

Beautiful mid-August day today and an energetic, enthusiastic group gathered at the Ridge to renew commitments to service and fellowship. A lunch plate of baked ham, corn, and macaroni salad provided the needed fuel to meet the challenges of the day and a generous sampling of miniature candy bars, courtesy of the Empress, added a sugar boost to those who indulged.

It is always a special day when old friend, Past President Roger Nicholson makes an appearance

57 Years a Rotarian, Roger Nicholson Visits Old Friends

and today was the day. Roger has been a Rotarian both here and in his new club near Pittsburgh for 57…count ‘em …57 productive years. Leadership within The Heifer Project is just one of many noteworthy contributions has made to Rotary. Our other guest was Pat from Manchester whose last name was lost in the air between his introducer and my table. Ted Mosebach and Mike Costa lead the welcome song with Ted in particular high stepping his way into remembrances of the sainted Roger Driggs of days gone by.

Hugh Finch

The Empress Bestows Badge on Subject Hugh Finch

received his permanent name badge from President Mary and Bob Buettner expressed regret that the Mystery Ride was cancelled due to insufficient registrations. It was a trip to The Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam to see this year’s production of Fiddler on the Roof. (Diane and I saw it a few weeks ago, and it was terrific.) He also announced that the Holiday Party will be on December 3rd at The Gallery.

Sergeant At Arms Dave Amberg had a good day. He fined Herb Barall for his 82nd Birthday and we sang the appropriate song in his honor. Frank Collins paid to praise the East Hartford citizens and town employees who manned and womanned the Dragon Boats last weekend. Mike Derr paid for wearing the wrong badge and for the off years of both the Yankees and the Red Sox. Susan Hansen paid for her hubby’s birthday.  Steve Jacoby got nicked for the usual. Jack Martin paid to thank Art Bradbury for the terrific article he penned on Jack’s wife for the Gazette. President Mary paid for the accompanying picture in the paper; and finally, President Mary, Bill Saunders and Jay Stewart all paid to recognize Roger Nicholson’s presence.

In the Announcements Department, President Mary reminded all to “pay your dues by September 1st” and that a Board of Directors Meeting will be held Monday, August 25th at 5:30 p.m. at the YMCA. All are welcome to attend. Bill Saunders reminded us that the $150 fee that the golfers pay to play in our tournament is almost entirely consumed by expenses and it is only the sponsorships and the raffle prizes

Making the Annual Pitch  - East Hartford Rotarians Could Make Job Easier -Let's Get On The Stick!

that make us any real money. Remember that all East Hartford Rotarians are expected to participate or contribute to the Tournament in some fashion.

President Mary read a thank you note from Kevi Oatway, one of our recent scholarship winners.

Sheryl O’Connor, our Club Foundation Chairman and the District Grants Chair for the next three years, introduced us to the Partners in Rotary Service program which is replacing the Group Study Exchanges we have enjoyed so much over the years. There will be teams visiting our district from three or four countries between October 25 and November 8, 2014. They will also be at the Foundation Dinner on November 6th.

Our good friend Dick Lemieux is home recovering from a stroke and wife, Mary, suggests he would appreciate cards and letters from his Rotary friends. He can be reached at 11 Sunrise Lane, East Hartford, 06118. Also, PDG Dick Seidman, a frequent visitor to our Club, is recuperating from surgery at his home in Florida. He can be reached at 127 Andalusia Way, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, 33418.

Jim Watts won the raffle –money goes to money.

That’s it. After two months of High Gear, I am out of here and headed for a slow boat on the Douro River in Portugal with my bride. See you all in a couple of weeks.  

Finger Snapping, High Stepping ...Mosebach Unchained!


High Gear, August 20, 2014 W. Douglas Willett 0

High Gear, August 13, 2014

Posted by W. Douglas Willett

Moderate turnout on this bleak, rainy day. Lots of energy in the room despite the exterior unrest The meeting started with the opening song and a thoughtful invocation commenting on the value of rain in  our lives,  delivered in a sonorous voice by Art Bradbury.

Art delivering the Invocation


Our guests today were Conrad Sienkiewicz from the Torrington Club and Nikicha Nieto Rosas, a Rotary Scholarship recipient now in her junior year at Boston University where she is majoring in Biology and International Studies with Medical School in the future.  Jack Martin and Michael Kerrigan led the Welcome Song.

President Mary read thank you notes from Monique Atkinson – lengthy- and McKenzie Satalino – brief. They will be attending Boston University and Clark University, respectively. The Prez also acknowledged a Thank You from D.G. Mike Roy who enjoyed our Picnic last week and the chance to socialize with our members and guests. Thanks to the Social Committee as well as the Sergeant At Arms Committee for this event.

People who make badges take their instructions literally so when you use a latin word to indicate that you are unsure if the previous word is spelled correctly, what you get back is a badge that says: Susan Hansen, Libarian (Sic).  Time to try again.

New Sergeant At Arms taking charge today. Dave Amberg, working off a Club Roster, collected from Bob Buettner for his 50th Anniversary, Ceil Collins for a birthday, Frank Collins for his 44th Anniversary as a Rotarian, Marc Glass for lacking a pin, Steve Jacoby for the usual, Bill Saunders for a birthday and an Anniversary, Jay Stewart to announce that the Social Committee deserved recognition for the Picnic, Gil Wishart for a birthday,

Dave Amberg outs the miscreants

and Alex Wisz for booking a cruise.

Lots of Announcements today.

  • Ceil reported on the plight of a 9 year old boy in Manchester who has several severe medical problems and is in need of financial assistance. She circulated an envelope  for  contributions and announced a pasta dinner on August 24 at the Manchester Elks. See  Ceil  for further details.
  • Bill Saunders informed us of the Nancy Richmond Memorial Golf Tournament on August 21 at Top Stone Golf Club. See him for details. He also invited one and all to dinners each Friday night at the new East Hartford Golf Club dining room. Informal gathering each Friday at 6 p.m.
  • George Schoen noted a “poor response” thus far in support of the Golf Tournament less than six weeks away.  We need sponsors, raffle prizes and players.  President Mary suggests that each member support the Tournament by obtaining or being a Hole Sponsor and/or providing a raffle prize (not necessarily golf related) worth $50.
  • The Empress also reminded us to begin thinking about the annual Job Shadow Day which will be held in late  October. Looking for working members to commit morning to High School students from the Academy of Finance at EHHS and bringing them to our noon lunch meeting.
  • The Empress is also seeking return of any Club owned items.
  • And she is seeking interest in any member who would like to join the Board of Directors.
  • Peter and Sue Klock attended a Rotary Makeup Meeting in Jackson Hole, WY.
  • Jim Fallon won the raffle.

    Frank Collins, PP, PDG, PIVP - 44 Years a Rotarian Extraordinaire


Since we had no program today, the meeting adjourned at 1:05 p.m.



High Gear, August 13, 2014 W. Douglas Willett 0

High Gear, August 6, 2014

Posted by W. Douglas Willett

Picnics are fun. Whether they are held outdoors with grills blazing and people sitting around on blankets

Great to see old friends

with drinks in hand or, as East Hartford Rotary defines them, indoors with a catered dinner and drinks in hand, picnics are fun. And when the group gathered includes so many old friends who have been part of the Rotary family for so many years, the fun is increased exponentially.

Dogs belong at picnics, right? Arriving at the Ridge, we were greeted by President Mary pedaling an undocumented Mexican dog. Seems the poor fellow has lost his master and is facing deportation if someone doesn’t take custody soon. Here’s hoping a benefactor is found in time. Maybe Rick Perry will step up.

Honored guests belong at picnics. And we were graced with both the new District Governor Mike Roy and Assistant Governor Marty Fins. Rather than giving the political speech common at town wide picnics, D.G. Mike

District Governor Mike Roy with our own Jay Stewart

opted to mingle with the crowd and pay close attention to the wisdom offered by one of our own Past District Governor’s Spouses, Jay Stewart. Hard to believe it’s been twenty five years since D.G. George Stewart was making these same Club visits.

Old friends are always are welcomed at picnics.  Joining us tonight were dear friends Jean Roland, Rita Brown, Bev Leone, Bunny Belanger, Kathy McCabe, Tom Galvin and John Shemo, all looking bright eyed and bushy tailed. It was great to see them and to share stories of days too soon gone by.

Good news is always welcomed at picnics.

Yvette and Mary greet old buddy, John Shemo

Greetings from Bill Flynn and news that he is doing well and still “missing the Club” brought a smile to many faces. And an announcement from our Foundation Chair, Sheryl O’Connor that the District has awarded us a $3,000 grant to support our Coats For Kids Project brought a round of applause. Combined with our own contributions, we will be able to outfit more than 125 youngsters this year with spanking new winter warm gear. Good news that warms the heart as well.

Nothing is more welcomed at picnics than good food. Maneeleys Catering of South Windsor took ample care of that. We feasted on BBQ Ribs, Chicken, Baked Beans, Corn on the Cob, salads, corn bread and rolls, Clam Chowder, Watermelon, and Strawberry Shortcake. Many thanks to Dick McCarthy and Jay Stewart as well as the Sergeant At Arms Committee for putting it all together. Now you know where your weekly fines go.

And, of course, no picnic is complete without at least one announcement. So Bill Saunders stepped up to inform us that the Golf Committee would be meeting next Wednesday at the Ridge at 11:30 a.m. to keep the upcoming event on track.

The best picnics taper down gradually.  People share private conversations and common experiences in small groups with the crowd gradually dwindling and heading home. As our last attendees descended from the Ridge, a voice could be heard in the wind:

“Picnics  are Fun”

No  Food  Shortage Here!



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High Gear, July 30, 2014

Posted by W. Douglas Willett
Assistant Governor Fins awards Presidential Citation

Nice crowd today, with lots of pre-meeting buzz – several committee meetings and private conversations going on. Assistant Governor Marty Fins was circulating like a friendly politician before the days of  push polls and political action committees.

Marty was our only guest and he was serenaded by the Mayor and the new Dentist, Marcia LeClerc and Hugh Finch. Lunch was a cheeseburger, potato salad and coleslaw with some rhubarb pie for dessert.

We began our meeting proper with Assistant Governor Marty Fins presenting the Rotary International Presidential Citation to 2013-2014 President George Schoen in recognition of the Club’s meeting and exceeding several goals above and beyond normal Rotary Club expectations. Well done, George and the 2013-14 Leadership.  Marty also announced that the East Hartford Club was number 3 in Foundation Giving in the District last year.

Jay Stewart wrapped up her time as Sgt. at Arms with a bountiful harvest. Nick Cecere paid for news that our old friend, John Mozzicato, tied the knot with his best gal on July 26. Bob Buettner paid a fine “for whatever you wish” and Dan Larson paid for some pictures in the paper plus an announcement that was promptly turned back on him and left him genuflecting to the Sgt. at Arms and paying an additional fine. Serves him right.

Identifying with the Clientel

Doug Willett paid to point out the irony of Hanging Judge Herbie Barall showing up for lunch in his prison uniform stripes. And finally, George Agnelli paid in recognition of his August 1st Fiftieth Anniversary of his marriage to Saint Eleanor.

Bob Buettner reminded us to sign up for the September 12 Mystery Tour leaving the Ridge at 7 p.m. that evening. No dinner is involved but we will be going to a “professional event” which he guarantees we will find worth the money. That’s $60 pp with wine and cheese on the bus. Room for 50 guests only and the list is filling up.

The Holiday Party will be at the Gallery on December 3rd, a bit early for those of us who fly up from the more moderate climes for the holidays. But you take the date that is available.

Bob Wood circulated a sheet seeking volunteers to provide the invocation at each meeting and was happy to report the response was most positive. Thank God for that.

Coach Neal Cunningham thanked those who participated in the annual softball game with Glastonbury noting in particular Alex Wisz and his son, Evan; Pitcher George Schoen, Catcher Jack Sayre, 1st Baseman Lionel Lessard, and the various Cunningham sons and daughters and grand children who filled in everywhere. Well done, guys and gals.

Marc Glass suggested that anyone who needs a name tag send an email to Larry Hangland.

And finally, Dick McCarthy reminded all that next week on Wednesday, the Sgt –at-Arms Picnic will begin at 4:30 with a cocktail hour (and a half) with catered dinner at 6 p.m. Deadline for signup is Friday night with Ruth Sheehan. Close to 70 have signed up thus far.  No Noon Meeting next week. 

With that President Mary rang the gong and the meeting was in the books.

One of the Committee hard at work prior to meeting today


High Gear, July 30, 2014 W. Douglas Willett 0

High Gear, July 21, 2014

Posted by W. Douglas Willett
Still Pitching After All These Years

Elks Pavillion – Glastonbury, CT.  What can you say about a softball game between 15 uniform shirted mid-forties Glastonbury Rotarians and four, count ‘em, one, two, three, four East Hartford Rotarians (two in their seventies, two in their forties) and as many kids and grandkids as Neal Cunningham could corral?  Not much. But all involved had fun and that is the main point. Alex Wisz was our star shortstop, Lionel Lessard manned First Base, Jack Sayre wore the “tools of ignorance” behind the plate and the venerable hurler, George Schoen maintained his high arcing pitch and his dignity throughout.

There were Cunningham’s everywhere with sons and daughters and grandkids running all over the field in pursuit of one blast after another. There were also a few Glastonbury guys filling in key spots in our defense. What there wasn’t was an on field appearance of our own Boy of Summer, Neal Cunningham. His body betraying him at last with a gimpy ankle and tight hamstrings, Neal sat this one out and confined his contribution to coaching and offering the wisdom of his 65 years on the ball field. Baseball fans are witnessing the final season of Yankee great, Derek Jeter. We may be witnessing the playing retirement of the Connecticut Softball Hall of Fame catcher.  What a run it has been.

We had a group of 20 East Hartford Rotarians in attendance for this yearly ritual with another 7 ringers who filled out our squad. As  usual, the Glastonbury Club was a  gracious host and provided the usual buffet of roast beef, salad, potatoes and vanilla ice cream sundaes. President Mary Martin expressed our gratitude for the hospitality.

In other news:

There is a Board Meeting next Monday, July 28, at 5:30 p.m. at the YMCA. All are welcome to attend or let a member of the Board know of your concern.

Coach Neal Confers With His Brain Trust On Game Strategy

Assistant Governor Marty Fins will attend our July 30 Meeting.

District Governor Michael Roy and his wife, Mary Pat, will attend our Sgt.at Arms picnic on August 6.

Contact Bob Buettner to sign up for the Friday, September 12 Mystery Ride. Cost is $60 per  person. Trip is limited to the first 50 who sign up.

President Mary is looking for volunteers to do the Invocation on a Wednesday in August.

The story on the Duck Race that appeared on the Front Page of last week's Gazette was edited to fit the space. The complete version can be found on our web site,

Sad news that former member Leo Christmas passed away earlier this week just three days after his 70th Birthday. Leo was a real gentleman and a generous supporter of all our Rotary activities. Calling hours are Wednesday, July 23 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Mulryan Funeral Home, 725 Hebron Avenue in Glastonbury.

That’s all for now. Next week we meet back at the Ridge.

New Member Mike Kerrigan at His Induction Last Week


High Gear, July 21, 2014 W. Douglas Willett 0

High Gear, July 9, 2014

Posted by W. Douglas Willett

 Lots of empty seats today. Only three at my table and just two at the next. Certainly not an early referendum on the Empress’s reign, but most probably a function of the nice weather and the arrival of the vacation season.

 PDG Sue Klock treated us to a poetic invocation today, reading a verse  from Dr. Suess..  “Please tell all men, That Peace is Good.” “Tis a consummation devotedly to be wished.” As Will Shakespeare might have replied.

Lunch was an open faced Turkey BLT with a side

PDG Sue offers Suessian Invocation

of slaw, a bag of chips and a pickle. Strawberries and angel food cake finished it off.

Our only guest today was soon to be new member, Mike Kerrigan, the head honcho at the local Y. Turning our weekly ritual on its  head, President Mary designated Gil Wishart and Dick McCarthy to be our song leaders from the comfort of their seats and requested that  our Guest walk around the room shaking hands in welcome. Nice touch.

Mike Kerrigan works the room

Sergeant At Arms Jay Stewart  had a quiet day, a couple of early leavers, Jim  Fallon for no pin, Larry Frazier and George Agnelli for no badges and Mike Derr  who tried to conflate mediocre and awful, by paying a fine in the hopes that the Red  Sox and the Yankees “both do better.” Ruthie Sheehan, who knows deep down there  is a big difference between three games out and nine games out, celebrated her 8th year anniversary in Rotary and George Schoen paid for his bride’s birthday. Despite her absence, the club was moved to sing “Happy Birthday” to Peggy in the hopes that our voices would carry to the Glastonbury line.

Among the announcements of note:

  • Reminder that Monday, July 21 we are meeting at the Elks Club in Glastonbury for our annual softball game. $20 per  person for a roast beef dinner. Players needed – see Coach Cunningham. No Meeting on Wednesday that week.
  • Marc Glass is updating our name tags so if you have any issues with yours, see him asap.
  • The Golf Committee is in its early stages and looking for sponsors  and players. Not too early to start making your contacts.
  • The Sergeant at Arms Picnic is on for August 6th  at the Ridge. We have 45 signed up thus far with plenty of room for more. Bring spouse or partner, assuming they have reached the age of majority since this is an adults only affair. Cocktails at 4:30, dinner between 5:00 p.m and 7:00 p.m. The Committee organizing this event will meet next Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.
    Few things escape the notice of our Sergeant At Arms
  • The District Governor will not be making the usual formal visit to our club this year, but rather he plans to attend one of our social events.  The Assistant Governor will be here on July 30 to present the Presidential Citation for 2013-2014 to Past President George.

Peter Klock won the raffle.

High Gear, July 9, 2014 W. Douglas Willett 0

High Gear, July 2, 2014

Posted by W. Douglas Willett

“I’m  a Yankee Doodle Dandy,

A Yankee Doodle, do or die.

A real  live nephew  of my Uncle Sam…”


There were ghosts in the room today with George M. Cohan and Jimmy Cagney front and center and old buddies, Roger Driggs and Moe Belanger muttering somewhere in the background.


The meeting started with a robust ringing of the bell and our erstwhile song leader Art Bradbury immediately burst into  the ….wait for it…. The Welcome Song!  Yes, the Welcome Song used after the introduction of guests later in the meeting and never, ever at the opening bell. It’s tradition for God’s sake. Roger could be hear muttering lamentoro,   “Artie, Artie, how  could ya? You know we always open with the Mickey Mouse Song!” Art was appropriately abashed.


One who could definitely keep the two songs straight, our Present Patriotic Past President soon

Present Patriotic Past President Mary

got things back on track. After a heart felt pledge to the flag and a red, white and blue invocation, PPPP Mary turned us over to Krause’s ministrations.

The meal today consisted of chicken, squash, cole slaw and potato salad, with a slice of white cake with coconut frosting to finish. Now I’m normally pleased with our weekly plates and reluctant to criticize.  But as I was biting into and trying my best to chew the over cooked chicken, I distinctly hear Moe Belanger, our beloved arbiter of all things culinary, turning to St. Peter and muttering “really?” I did enjoy the slice of cake, however, and it’s a good thing because slices of cake will apparently be few and far between in the new reign of the Empress. More on that later.


Guests today included spouses Diane Willett (In town for a dentist’s appointment) and Reggie Barall, the $5,000 winner of our recent Duck Race. Also with us was our good friend from Glastonbury Rotary

Reggie The Duck Owner Smiles with Pride

whose name never made it into my notes and escaped all too easily from my head. Good guy, though. Mary Sullivan bounced her way through the Welcome Song with help from Jack Sayre. Good to see you back, Mary.


Meet New Rotarian, Hugh Finch, Jr. 

The Meeting proper began with the induction of a new member. Hugh Finch, Jr. sponsored by Larry Hangland, was  added to the roll. Hugh pledged to be the best Rotarian he can be and expressed his delight to have a chance to be of service to the community. He is off to a good start.

Sergeant At Arms Jay Stewart was busy and pleased with her ample take:

  • Gil and Jean Wishart have enjoyed 58 years of wedded bliss.
  • Frank Collins paid to celebrate the naming of our first  hurricane of the season after our own Arthur.
  • Jay nailed her SAA co-chairman, Dick McCarthy, for no pin and then forgot to allow him to make an announcement he paid handsomely for.
  • Bob Wood celebrated 29 years in Rotary
  • Mary Sullivan backdated her 7th anniversary to May30th.
  • Mo Moshovos had a big birthday over the weekend, number 80! Congratulations, Mo

Other announcements:

  • Monday, July 21 – 6 p.m. Glastonbury Rotary Softball game. We need players – ringers preferably. Check In with Neal Cunningham. No noon meeting that Wednesday.
  • Wednesday, August 6 – Sergeant at Arms Picnic at the Ridge. Bring spouse or partner. Adults only, please. Sing up sheets will be circulating the next couple of weeks. Catered by Maneely’s.  Cocktails begin at 4:30 with Dinner at 6 p.m. Tenative $10 per person surcharge is in play.
  • Golf Committee will meet next week at 11:30 a.m. The District Golf Tournament in on August 4th in Feeding Hills, MA. See Bill Saunders if you want to join the 7 who have signed up thus far.
  • President Mary read a note of appreciation from the Principal at O’Connell School who thanked us for our $5,000 donation. The kids took a trip to the Big Apple where they played with the symphony orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and visited Ellis Island. They were also able to fund a Robotics program with our help. Hand written Thank you notes graced our tables.
  • Finally, Krause Catering has informed us of a price increase effective August 1. We either accept a two dollar increase to $17 per plate or forego dessert and remain at $15.  To my great dismay, the overwhelming choice seemed to be “can the dessert.” Oh, well. One less thing for Moe to bother St Pete about.   The Board will be making the final decisions on this issue.

Dick McCarthy won the raffle.

 And with that, we did our best Jimmy Cagney imitation and sang Yankee Doodle Dandy as we exited. George M Cohan rooted for the right team, anyway, right, Ruthie? 


‘Till next week.



High Gear, July 2, 2014 W. Douglas Willett 0

High Gear, June 25, 2014

Posted by Dan Russell

Congratulations, Mo Moshovos, 45 Years in Rotary


President Mary Martin, first meeting of her second term, rang the bell precisely on time.  Our “Rotary” song sounded lusty to my ears—perhaps there were more of us than some other weeks.  After our Pledge of Allegiance to our Nations flag, she offered her own invocation, praying for the Club for the coming year, asking the Lord to give us a good year, and to help herself that she might not screw up!  A sense of humor assist at all times.


Lunch was a buffet:  baked ham, chicken in sauce, lasagna, green beans, and a selection of cookies. There are corners of the world where that would be considered a huge banquet.


There were lapel pins, from RI, scattered on each table, depicting a new year’s motto:  “Light Up Rotary.”



There were a number of guests today:  S. S. Charka, a gentleman from India, and Dr. Finch, who has been proposed for membership.  Pat Gately had two grandkids with her.  It made me think of Brian Liss who so often brought his two sons!  Alex Wisz and Steve Jacob led us in the Welcome Song.

Nick collects a bundle

Nick Cecere was Sergeant-at-Arms—his last week.  He had a lot to report:  Janice Freschlin for some graduations.  Mo Moshovos had a 45th year anniversary.  Bob Buettner took his grandkids to Lake Compounce—had a great time.  Frank (Collins?) in celebration of George Agnelli’s selling so many raffle tickets.  Early leavers:  Sheryl O’Connor, Gil Wishart.  Jay Stewart and Dan Russell paid for their pictures in the Gazette.  Sue & Peter Klock celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary, and their son just got married.  Bill Saunders paid generously—his granddaughter is engaged, the wedding will be in Newport.  Grandson Kevin Liner is Director of Mathematics at nine (9) CREC junior-senior High Schools, grades six through twelve.  Dan Firestone:  his brother Ed has been installed as President of the Manchester Rotary Club. Dan and Hope Firestone have had their daughter visiting with her  sons—both boys have made the Honor Roll in their schools, and the youngest has been inducted into the National Honor Society.


Caring Moments:  Ned Lynch is now in serious physical therapy—essentially learning how to walk again. Mary Martin said that when she called the Barall residence on Sunday to notify Reggie that she had won First Prize in the Duck Race, she learned that Herb had been in the hospital twice during the past week.  He is home recuperating. Alex Wisz thanked everyone who had helped so much to make the event a success.  A lot of work for a seventeen minute race.  Slower than the Preakness!


Our program was supposed to be a talk by Dan Firestone about car races and Hudsons—but the lap top and the CD did not cooperate.  Needed one of the 12 year old grandkids to set things to right!  Some other meeting. 


Mary Martin presented an East Hartford Rotary Flag to our guest from India.

Ducks in the Water!


Announcements:  Soft Ball at Glastonbury, Monday, July 21st, game at 6:00, dinner at 7:00 p.m.  We need ringers!  Venue is the Elks Pavilion. Sergeant-at-Arms Picnic:  Wednesday, August 7th, at the Ridge, catered by Manelleys. The raffle was won by Alex Wisz.  Beginning next week, summer rules:  no program.  We adjourned at 1:15.

High Gear, June 25, 2014 Dan Russell 0
Reggie The Duck Wins Annual Race, $5,000! W. Douglas Willett 0

High Gear, June 4, 2014

Posted by Dan Russell


Attendance seemed a bit scant today—quite a few empty spaces at the tables.  Lunch consisted of a nice tossed salad, chicken parmesan with penne with tomato sauce, followed by double chocolate

Some Guys Don't Even Wait For The Bell

cupcakes.  More important than the food was the fellowship and conversation around the tables.  President George got us off to a good start, ringing the bell on time, and offering a rhymed invocation.

Mike Derr adds a Paul Harris to his honors

          President George announced a Foundation Moment—Mike Derr has qualified as a Paul Harris Fellow.  Well done. We had one guest—Michael Kerrigan, who until recently was Interim Executive Director of the YMCA. Now he is the Executive Director!  Officially!

          Nick Cecere was today’s Sergeant-at-Arms.  Dan Firestone paid handsomely for his 73rd birthday.  Dave Amberg, Bob Wood, Mary Martin

Happy Birthday, Dan. You don't look more than a day over 72.

and Bill Saunders paid for their pictures in the paper—Parade Day.  Chuck Clarke paid for his anniversary—nineteen years.  Ned Lynch has something to celebrate—his son has received two scholarships-one from Rotary, and one, a Congressional Scholarship, through Joe Courtney.  The lad will be attending Wesleyan University.  Herb Barall apparently has a new grandson.  And Pat Gately’s grandson, who is seven years old, just received in “red belt”—treat him gently.  Gil Wishart paid to be an early leaver, not realizing that we had no program for today.  Jack Martin was just happy, as were Nate Quesnel and Mike Kerrigan.  And Steve Jacoby was late. 

          Other announcements:

The Middle School had a Career Day on Tuesday, a nice event.  Anwar Hossain and Herb Barall attended, representing their respective professions.

We have sixty signed up to attend the Rock Cats game!

June 18th is the Installation Dinner at the Gallery in Glastonbury.  Bring your money to Ceil Collins next week.

We have collected $280 for the Back to School Fund, and have a few back packs as well.

Alex sweats the Duck Race details

The Golf Committee will meet Wednesday, June 25th at 11:30 a.m.

Guests next week will be this year’s Scholarship Winners.


          Nate Quesnel won the raffle.


          Expect to have more to report next week.  Dan Russell

High Gear, June 4, 2014 Dan Russell 0

High Gear, May 28, 2014

Posted by Janice Freschlin

President George Schoen gave the invocation today.

Lunch was a succulent meal of roasted pork loin, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob and ice cream with chocolate sauce for dessert.

Visiting us today are District Governor Mike Barnett, our guest speaker Kim Trowbridge from Vitas, Dr. Hugh Finch, Mike Kerrigan, the new Director of the YMCA, Robert Dugger from the Glastonbury Rotary Club, Interact leader Rachael Buck,

Our Interact Advisor, Rachael Buck

and the CIBA interact members: Megan L. , C. Lee, Brianna H., Anthony & Mikayla B.  

The Welcome song was performed in perfect harmony by Neal Cunningham & Doug Willett.

Sergeant at arms Dan Larson with a short list of collections from today:

Pat Gately – Celebrating 9 years as a Rotarian

George Agnelli – late & also paid for Steve Jacoby

Alex Wicz – marched in 3 parades this past weekend

Nick Cecere –for fibbing a little to Mike Kerrigan! (Shame, Shame Nick!)

Bill Saunders – for having the lovely Brianna sitting at their table!

Ruth Sheehan & Ned Lynch – Because the Red Sox are on a winning streak!

Bob Buettner with friends takes it all in 

Frank Collins – His picture was in the Gazette

Sue Hansen – got to drive the book mobile in the parade!

Bob Buettner – for all who helped putting the parade together & all who helped to clean up!

Dan Larson – Good to have Doug Willett back!

District Governor Mike Barnett thanks Club for Convention Hospitality Room

DG Mike Barnett presented a citation to the CIBA Interact Club for outstanding community outreach!

They have been involved in many projects this year, to name a few: cleaning up the Hockanum River, food drive, cleaning up the yard of an elderly person,

IB Interact Club is recognized by DG Mike Barnett

participating in a walk/run to raise funds for

Great Work!  They deserve a standing ovation!pediatric cancer research and hair donations to make wigs for cancer patients.

DG Mike also thanked President George & the Club for our outstanding contribution & assistance with the Hospitality Suite at the District Conference this year.

Mike Kerrigan made an announcement that the YMCA has raised over $90,000 and could not have done it without our help, especially to Dan & Betty Russell for opening their home for the annual kick off meeting.  Mike will be recognizing EHRC with the George Stewart Award, and the George McDonald Award to the Russells. 

Mike Kerrigan announces YMCA Recognition Awards 


Alex Wicz gave us an update of the Duck Race:  FOCUS IS ON TICKET SALES!!!

Duck Tickets:  Amount collected as of 05/21/14 is $6000.00 FANTASTIC!.  Opportunities to sell:

American Eagle Federal Credit Union:  Alex has a table set up (Main Street) looking for volunteers for Thursday & Friday’s, 11-1 Augie & Rays:  looking for volunteers for Thursday & Friday’s, 11-1

Just a reminder, deadline date for turning in sold tickets is June 11 th.

June 13th, Rock Cats game, $22pp, and $4 is returned to Rotary towards Polio Plus!  We have about 50 people signed up to go.   See Gil Wishart for tickets

Installation Banquet:  Wednesday June 18th, 6pm, at the Gallery.   See Ceil Collins to sign up & meal choices.   ($45pp) – she will be sending out an email as a reminder!

August 4th – District Golf outing at Twin Hills Country Club in East Longmeadow, MA  - it is open to Rotarian golfers, partners & friends, scramble format only.  $125 per golfer.

Raffle winner this week: Dr. Hugh Finch!

Our guest speaker today is Kim Trowbridge; she is an RN, and Clinical Team Manager at VITAS – she has been a nurse for many years, after graduating from Capital College in Hartford with high honors, she started her career at St. Raphael’s in New Haven where she worked on the inpatient oncology floor.  This work ignited a passion for end of life care.   She moved on to VITAS Innovative Hospice where she has been a clinical team manager for over 4 years. Kim works to ensure exceptional end of life care for about 60 hospice patients every day via her inter-disciplinary team of providers.  Kim also holds a degree in bio-genetics and has worked in the mental health arena as well.

Kim Trowbridge, From Vitas Hospice, our speaker today.

   Kim was a wealth of information on Hospice Care, what it means, how it can be beneficial, how you can control the type of care you receive as well as where you can receive hospice care, how to inform family members and friends and how they can be involved in the care.  She also explained who is a part of each care team:  team leader, team physician, RN, chaplain, social worker, aides and volunteers, and how each person is involved in the end of life care. Pamphlets & Advance Directive forms were distributed and Kim is available for any questions. 



High Gear, May 28, 2014 Janice Freschlin 0

High Gear, May 21, 2014

Posted by Janice Freschlin

East Hartford Rotary notes, May 21, 2014


President George Schoen gave the invocation today.

Lunch was a delicious buffet of Beef Stroganoff, red potatoes, cheese ravioli with meat sauce, broccoli & cheese, tossed salad with cooking for dessert. 

Visiting us today are Mike Karigan, the new Director of the YMCA and Loretta & Dan Dietz from Texas, Dan was an East Hartford Rotarian from years back.Image

The Welcome song was performed in perfect harmony by Marc Glass & Art Bradbury.

Sergeant at arms Dan Larsen (good to have you back Dan, Jack did his best to fill your shoes!)

Dan Larsen:  for Happy Jack Martin for filling in last week, and as of this Friday, his beloved Dorothy is now Medicare eligible

Bob Buettner: His daughter’s Birthday & his granddaughter earned her green belt  

Loretta (TX): son, Jimmy, turning 57.

ImageGeorge Agnelli:  Celebrating his 84th birthday!

Herb Tischofer:  Celebrating 33 years as a Rotarian

Herb Barall: Celebrating 35 years as a Rotarian

Larry Frazier: Grandson graduated Summa Cum Laude (Ensign ROTC) from Holy Cross

Bill Saunders:  for some great looking legs!

Empress Mary Martin & Neal Cunningham are HAPPY to have Dan Larsen back!

George Schoen.:  Thank you to Bob & Ceil for organizing the wine & cheese gathering today – delicious!

For Memorial Day, President George requested a moment of silence for us to remember those who have passed away.   Please keep Rev. Ted Mosebach and Tim Coppage in your thought for they both have had family members pass recently.

Memorial Day Parade:   Monday, rain or shine, line up on Burnside Ave in front of the Middle School at 9:45am (look for the Book mobile!).  Parade steps off at 10:30am., ends at Hillside Cemetery.  Tom Jarrish will be bringing his trailer.

Duck Tickets:  Amount collected as of 05/14/14 is $4670.00 (about 25%).  Opportunities to sell:

 Parade: a table will be set up at Hillside Cemetery American Eagle Federal Credit Union:  Alex has a table set up (Main Street) looking for volunteers for Thursday & Friday’s, 11-1 Augie & Rays:  looking for volunteers for Thursday& Friday’s, 11-1

Alex & Stew Harris cleared the river a bit more last week, and he is looking for volunteers to assist with cleaning up after the race is over.  Just a reminder, deadline date for turning in sold tickets is June 11thImage

Sponsor letters have been sent out ($100), contributions are needed by no later than June 16th so sponsor sins can be made up. 

Steve Jacoby has asked for the interact clubs for their assistance with the Memorial Day Parade & the Duck race. 

Sgt-at-Arms/Family Picnic:  Will be combined this year, majority voted for August 6 th at the Ridge, it will be a catered event.

Installation Banquet:  Wednesday June 18, 6pm, at the Gallery.    See Ceil to sign up & meal choices.  ($45pp)

August 4th – District Golf outing at Twin Hills Country Club in East Longmeadow, MA – flyers distributed today with details.  

June 13th, Rock Cats game, $22pp, and $4 is returned to Rotary towards Polio Plus!   See Gil Wishart. for tickets


Raffle winner this week : Art Bradbury!!  

No guest speaker today, so we all got to leave a little early to enjoy the beautiful spring day!


Until next week –


High Gear, May 21, 2014 Janice Freschlin 0

High Gear, May 14, 2014

Posted by Janice Freschlin

Another wonderful afternoon amongst friends on the Ridge – what more could someone ask for? Past President Sheryl O’Conner gave the invocation today.  Lunch was a delicious Tilapia with mango salsa, rice & beans, coleslaw & fresh strawberries & angel food cake for dessert. 

President George flew home only yesterday from his trip in Italy and even with suffering from a little jet lag, he led us thru our meeting. Image No guests to grace us today and no speaker – but the room was filled with our own conversations – never a dull moment -

ImageSergeant at arms Happy Jack Martin (filling in for Dan Larson who unfortunately is staying at Hotel Hospital)  

*Bob Buettner, Just because he knew he would do something that warranted a fine today!

*Jay Stewart – Her picture was in the Gazette this week for the EH Women’s Club 60th Anniversary!

*Ruth Sheehan – Just happy to be here (Ruth – I never seen you anything but Happy!) J

*Dick McCarthy – for he and his beloved celebrating 53 years of marital bliss (give it up – what’s your secret?)

*Sue Klock – had 10 members attend the District Training class

*Neal Cunningham – Just felt like giving a $1

*Doug Willett – Happy to be back!

Early leavers – Nick Cecere, Herb Barall, Steve Jacoby (late too)

 A few notes from President George:   He received special Rotary pins for himself & past president Sheryl O’Conner for bringing in new members. 

DG Mike Barnett & his wife Linda sent a thank you note for our contribution of help at the District Conference.


Save the dates:

Sunday, May 18th: the Bradbury’s “Hibernians” will be at Hanafin’s in Glastonbury, 1 to 4:00

Next Wednesday (21st) wine & cheese at 11:30 before the meeting

Wednesday June 18, Installation Banquet at the Gallery

August 4th – District Golf outing in East Longmeadow, MA

June 13th, Rock Cats game, $22 pp, and $4 is returned to Rotary towards Polio Plus!  See Gil W. for tickets


ImageAlex gave us an update on the Duck Race:  (June 22nd is approaching FAST)

Counting ducks tonight at Dan Russell’s house (Wed May 14)

Our primary focus now is selling tickets!!   Please Please Please turn in any tickets sold – it makes it easier for record keeping. Image

Looking for volunteers to sell tickets at the America Eagle Federal CU on Main St. & at Augie & Rays on Thursdays & Fridays – see Alex if you are able.

If you have time, come on down to the river to help test out the gate this Saturday


Raffle winner this week : Dick McCarthy!! 


Until next week –

Janice Freschlin  

High Gear, May 14, 2014 Janice Freschlin 0
What Would It Take to Save the World? W. Douglas Willett 0

High Gear, May 7, 2014

Posted by Janice Freschlin

All was well on the hill today, the sun was shining, and I felt like this was my welcoming home after a long 7 week expedition away. 

We were delighted with grinders from Roma’s, along with chips & cookies which filled our growling stomachs. Image

President George is on a much deserved vacation in Italy, so we were graced with our incoming President Mary Martin to lead us today.

Rev. Ted Mosebach started the meeting with an invocation.  

We were reminded of very sad news that today was Brian Liss’s last day.   I don’t think this will be the last we hear of him though. 

No guests to grace us, BUT Steve Jacoby was EARLY, so that has to count for something!

ImageSergeant at arms Dan Larson had a FEW  fines (he is creative) 

Birthdays:  Jim Watts, Mayer Marcia Leclerc, Bob Buettner’s two granddaughters, Nick Cecere’s grandson turned 19. 

Anniversaries:  Mike Derr 3 years, Neal Cunningham - wait for it… 23 years!

Dave Amberg – his golf team is doing well, Ned Lynch - Red Sox are doing well, Jay Stewart -  the doors in the ladies room were fixed, Brian Liss – just thankful (awwww), George Agnelli  - birthday? Anniversary? Late?  All of the above?

Thank you to Ceil & Bob B. for coordinating today’s lunch! 

Alex gave a status of the duck race:  Posters are available, please post them in your businesses and all around town! Everyone is invited to the annual counting of the ducks at Dave Russell’s house Tuesday May 13, in the evening.  #PARTY

Past President Sheryl O’Conner recapped membership statistics of Rotary from the seminar given at the District Conference – just a few highlights:

1.      US membership decreased by 15%, District 7890 decreased from 65 to 62 clubs

2.     Retention suggestions: focus on fellowship, programs, weekly meeting times (we are all responsible to help retain members!

Trifolds available as you leave today that highlight what WE do!  Please take some and distribute!!

Jim Fallon “opened the envelope” revealing the 6 deserving students who are the recipients of our scholarships.  Drum roll please…

1.     Colins Nwafor from EHHS

2.     Monique Atkinson from EHHS

3.     Kevi Oatway from CIBA

4.     Mackenzie Satalino from CIBA

5.     Nikeya Carter from HCT

6.     Andre Bent from HCT

The key element of discernment process is the demonstration of “Service above self”

We hope to have them as guests at future meetings.


Rock Cats game on Jun 13 – Please contact Gil if you want to attend.  Cost is $22 per person, this includes dinner & a movie (no wait A BASEBALL GAME).  For every ticket purchased, we receive $4 as a donation from the Rock Cats!  It’s always a great time!  Please make checks payable to East Hartford Rotary Club. 

East Hartford Chamber of Commerce golf tournament is Monday, June 9.  Cost is $225 per person, or $850/foursome. Please register by June 2nd

Jack Sayer is still collecting funds to purchase back to school supplies for our East Hartford students.  Cash, check, spare change – all accepted.

OK, so he’s leaving us with a heavy… wallet.  Brian Liss was the winner of the raffle today!  Congratulations, is it enough for a box of diapers?Image

Our speaker today was our very own MAYOR Marcia Leclerc!  She enlightened us with some very exciting of news of what’s going on in our great town. 

1.     Maintenance improvements of streets, potholes, emergency management, shelters, communication systems. 

2.     Budget of 173 million, with only an increase of 1.7% from last year

3.     UTC reinvestment announcement (our largest taxpayer).  They will be building a new corporate HQ, and a new addition to the Research Engineering building to reflect a 10000 sqft. Footprint. 

4.     There has been a sparked interest in Rentschler Field; outlet shops opportunity is a possibility

5.     Chain link fence to be removed & a wrought iron fence in its place to make the field more presentable, even granite curbs have been requested!

6.     Big Y plaza has Cardio Express moving in soon, and the owners have said they will make visual improvements to the storefronts. 

Image7.     Main St. has had regular maintenance done to keep it appealing (plantings, etc.)

8.     Town website will be redesigned

9.     The town has committed to investing in the golf course; repurchasing all equipment, improve landscaping, add decorative fencing, repairing the house on the property.  They are also looking to stock the pro shop, open the restaurant and apply chemicals to the greens to improve appearance/performance.

10.  Goodwin College is a huge contributor to the appearance & reshaping of East Hartford.   They are to improve the landscaping at the Town Hall this year!

She is supported by 13 talented Directors, whom she encourages us to invite as speakers to give us highlights of their own divisions.


Janice Freschlin  

High Gear, May 7, 2014 Janice Freschlin 0

High Gear – April 30, 2014

Posted by Robert Buettner


It was a dark and dreary and rainy day, but inside the Ridge the sun was shining and everyone was in a great mood.  The tables were all decorated for a "surprise" baby shower for Chris Liss and crew. Every table was filled to overflowing with over 40 members present plus guests.


President George and Art Bradbury started us off with a great welcoming song in honor of their special guests (their wives, Peggy and Charlotte). Yvette’s Brianna was also a special guest!  The meal was flank steak, zucchini (again) and rice with a fruit filled cake for dessert.Image The tables, as mentioned, had pink baby napkins for all.  The Liss table had all sorts of pinky things including flowers and balloons.


This was Sgt. at Arms Jack Martin’s last week, thank goodness.  His list of fines keeps getting longer and longer.  Mike Derr paid for the

27 time World Champion NY Yankees being in first place; Jack Martin paid for his birthday;  Marc Glass showed disrespect to the Sgt. At Arms (and glad Mike D is back);  Dave Amberg coughed up for being  late & no badge;  Bob Buettner paid for being respectful to Sgt at Arms, and for Ruth Sheehan and her last place Red Sox; Sue Klock paid for all who helped at Senior Prom (see below) and the District Conference;Image Tim Coppage paid for leaving early; Neal Cunningham also paid for disrespect to Sgt Martin (lots of that going around)  & no pin; Ruth Sheehan contributed for Brianna a & Molly Rose Liss; George Agnelli paid for being late;  Sheryl O'Connor paid to honor the Liss family; and  John O'Connor contributed  for terrific showing of members at the Conference  (EHRC largest contingent there).  Larry Frazier pointed out that fines for NO pins cannot be levied until after the meeting starts.



Ceil Collins: Next week Krause Caterers will not be available.  We will do grinders from Romas.  Please sign up or let her know, ceilcollins@aol.com what your choice is: Ham, Turkey, Roast Beef, Combo or Veggie.

Yvette Roming:  East Hartford Senior Citizens Thrift Shop is in need of donations.

Art Bradbury:  His Irish singing group, The Hibernians, will do their next gig at Hanafin’s in Glastonbury on Sunday, May 18th, 1-4 PM. If you’re thirsty and like Irish music, come and pull up a chair!

Sign up for the Rock Cats Game and picnic Friday June 13th @$22.00 P/P

Peter Klock: The East Hartford Hockanum River Committee canoe and kayak event  is this Sunday, $10.00 P\P, finishers get a tee shirt.  Some canoes are available at Labor Field. (Unfortunately, President George can’t “man” a canoe ‘cause he and Peggy will be helping to pole a gondola in Italy!)


Sue Klock thanked the members who helped at the Senior Prom:  Jack Sayre, Hope & Dan Firestone, Bob Wood, Art Bradbury, George Schoen, Dan Larson, Brian Gorman, Peter Klock, Bill Saunders, Jack Martin, and Ruth Sheehan.

Brian Liss: Glastonbury Y is sponsoring a fishing derby on June 12. No charge for 6-12 year olds.

Brian Liss:  Patrick made his first communion.


Jean Wishart is home from the hospital; cards would be welcomed.


District Conference: East Hartford Rotary teamed with Manchester and West Hartford clubs for the Hospitality Room at the conference.  East Hartford is well known for this room every year and it is DONE RIGHT.

Jim Reik's memorial service is this Saturday at 2 PM at the Quaker Meeting House on South Quaker Lane in West Hartford.


Raffle was won by Mike Derr.


ImageSheryl spoke emotionally for a few minutes about Brian Liss and his family and how much he has contributed to our club.  His two boys were presented with books to read to Molly Rose, and Brian and Chris were presented with a gift card in appreciation for all they’ve done, (and for Molly Rose)…Amen!


Respectfully (and for the last time)

Bob Buettner


High Gear – April 30, 2014 Robert Buettner 0

High Gear, April 23, 2014

Posted by Robert Buettner

April showers bring May flowers and also keep the golfers off the course.

ImageNed Lynch hobbled in on crutches and it was great to have him back (more later.)  Lots of great conversations were going on when President George rang the bell and we started with the normal song and pledge. Jack Martin gave the invocation and gave thanks for the opportunity we Rotarians have to share our good fortunes. The meal was a delicious plate of roast pork, candied sweet potatoes , and sauted zucchini  (not my favorite veggie but good) and a strawberry shortcake for dessert. We had several guests today including Bob Dugger from Glastonbury and our speaker, C.J. Hauss.

After the meal President George asked Ned to get up and sing the welcome song. Being somewhat incapacitated, he declined the honor and then his entire table got up for him and sang. They did a great job.


Mary Martin had a bunch of Duck Race tickets returns coming in. Some members are even asking for more.Image

Next week's meeting is the "Baby Shower " for Brian Liss and family.

The Committee Preference sign-up form was on the tables,

Senior Prom is to be held Wed. afternoon at EHHS.

Social Committee will hold a short meeting before next week's meeting.

Jack Sayre is still collecting donations for back packs for the school kids for next year.

Frank and Ceil Collins, Mary Martin and Bill Saunders turned in make-up vouchers.

Susan Hansen, our Town Librarian, was inducted into Rotary.Image Her Sponsor was President-Elect Mary Martin.

Sgt at Arms Jack Martin: there were several fines issued by Jack for members showing disrespect to his high office. If Jack would stay at this post, we could have a fine-catered Sgt at Arms party just funded by these fines. Several paid for seeing Ned Lynch back. Ned paid for being back, George Agnelli for his 39th anniversary and his wife's new car. Tim Coppage paid for having his family home from San Diego.

Mary Martin passed around a sheet listing possible ideas and suggestions for next year's agenda. She is looking for input!!

Being Professional Administrator’s Day and being a florist I had to leave early. My thanks to Art Bradbury for taking notes on the speaker.

Introduced by Bill Saunders, our speaker today was C.J. Hauss, Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford. While painting a very discouraging picture of education in this country, Ms. Hauss seems to know whereof she speaks, as she, herself, was born and raised in a foreign environment, learning several languages on her way up through the grades.

Literacy Volunteers is an organization committed to raising the literacy level ofImage both youngsters and adults. Her talk provided startling figures on present literacy levels. The Hartford rate reveals that 40% of high school young people score below the 3rd grade level, while 70% are below the 6th grade level. Discouraging, yes, but the speaker’s positive demeanor showed a hope that the problem is correctable, though over a long, long period of time.

The Hartford area is not alone in this deficiency, and she cited figures showing that 50% of high school graduates throughout the state and country are neither college nor career ready. Hope comes in the attainment of small positive steps taken at early ages, and continued in succeeding stages of a child’s development. But the biggest plus of all is that responsible adults are saying “we have a problem and here’s what we’re trying to do about it.” A tough message to hear, but perhaps we needed to hear it.

April has 5 meetings so you are stuck with me for another week.


Bob (the florist) Buettner


High Gear, April 23, 2014 Robert Buettner 0

Godspeed, Old Friend

Posted by W. Douglas Willett




Jim Reik, Gentleman and Friend 

Born in Mount Vernon, NY on February 1, 1925, James Edward Reik died from Parkinson's disease at home on April 15, 2014. James is survived by his wife Cynthia their four children and spouses: Deborah (Andrew Levinson) of Brooklyn NY, Jonathan (Jane) of West Hartford, David (Judith Lohman) of Farmington and Constance (Michael Herwood) of West Hartford. In addition, he leaves seven grandchildren: Dr. Margot Dayton (Matthew), Julia Breedon (Simon), Eleanor Levinson, Amanda Levinson, Lindsay Reik, Daniel Herwood and Samuel Levinson. He also leaves three great-grandchildren: Allison and Grace Dayton and Colton Breedon. James was predeceased by his granddaughter Emily Reik in 2009.

He was educated in the Bronxville Public Schools, Taft School, Princeton (class of 1949) and Harvard Law School (class of 1952). Between 1943 and 1945, James served in the Army Air Corps and achieved the rank of second lieutenant while learning to pilot B17s and B29s. The war ended before he was sent overseas.

In 1950, he married Cynthia Marjorie West whom he had known since he was 12 as his best friend Richard's sister. After he graduated from law school, Cynthia and James lived in Westchester County, NY until 1955 when they relocated to West Hartford. 

James worked for the Hartford Insurance Group until his retirement in 1985. While he was at the Hartford, he was on the Board of the National Mortgage Bankers Association and became an officer at The Hartford. He also taught Business Law at UConn Business School in the evenings. For two years after his retirement, James was counsel to the State Employees Retirement Board. More recently, James has worked on the census and as a Constable for the Town of East Hartford.

Since arriving in the Hartford area, James and Cynthia have been active members of the Hartford Monthly Meeting of Friends. Much of their social life revolved around the Meeting and Quaker Lane Cooperative Nursery School where many of their friends were made. 

Jim enjoyed sailing, boating, biking and travel. Beginning in the early 1970s, he and Cynthia were part of a group who would bike to Tanglewood each summer for a weekend of music, food and laughter. Originally, they cycled the entire distance but the biking portion of the trip waned through the years. Now there is still a trip, but it is entirely driven. James was part of the "Tanglewood group" as recently as last summer. James had a house on Lake George and spent time there every summer swimming, sailing, boating and exploring with all of the generations of his family including his mother until 2002. Many adventures have been launched from that house and over the years and numerous friends have enjoyed it. From his childhood Shelty, Chief to all of his children and grandchildren's dogs, James was a lifelong dog lover. He walked his daughter's dogs in the West Hartford Reservoir every day until recently. 

James has been active in the East Hartford community since moving there in 1989. He was a member of the Rotary Club, the East Hartford Democratic Town Committee and was the Harbormaster. A memorial service will be held on May 3. Details of the service will be posted on the Taylor-Modeen website when they are finalized. Donations may be made to either the Hartford Friends Meeting or a charity of your choice . 

Published in The Hartford Courant on Apr. 17, 2014
- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/hartfordcourant/obituary.aspx?n=james-edward-reik&pid=170681312&fhid=4106#sthash.kWegfDS7.dpuf
Godspeed, Old Friend W. Douglas Willett 0

High Gear, April 16, 2014

Posted by Arthur Bradbury

Well, who’da thunk it? Go to bed in the spring time and wake up in winter-time, again! That about says it for the weather in southern New England last night and this morning (temp on the Bradbury thermometer was 30 degrees!). But cheer up, warmer days are sure to be with us soon (if not, let me tell you about the May 8th blizzard up in Lewiston, Maine back in 1948!). And while we were talking about the weather, we (all 32 of us!) sang the R-O-T-A-R-Y song, saluted our beautiful flag, heard from President George of long-time member Jim Reik’s passing on yesterday, April 15, and then listened to an invocation in which were expressed thanks

 Jim Reik, Gentleman and Friend

 for the friends, food, fun, and fellowship provided to us by the wonderful world of Rotary! We stood in relatively short lines for a most delicious buffet offering of beef stroganoff, as well as a new and different dish of salmon, with peppers, lemon slices and several other tasty things, all of which earned high marks from most of the Rotarians present. Amiable “waiter” Larry Hangland did nobly in re-filling the coffee/iced tea cups for his fellow table-mates.

Guests today included member-in-waiting Susan Hansen, town Librarian, and Pat Gately’s 7 year old grandson, James MianoPat and Ceil Collins provided the leadership for our Welcome Song, sung with usual East Hartford Rotary gusto.

Image“Smilin’ Jack” Martin, (he always looks as though he’s just heard a really funny story) entertained us (as he usually does!) with the Sgt-at-Arms report, telling of: Jim Fallon’s birthday; Dan Larson’s grandson’s no hitter (the score was 30-29, and his Little League team lost!); his own trip to Nashville for great basketball; and Mike Costa’s new home purchase –no, Jack, the mortgage wasn’t handled by Quicken Loans! Early enterers and leavers also contributed $$$.

Announcements informed us of:

·         May 17’s the date for placement of American flags in Hillside Cemetery – call Chuck Clarke if you can help.

·         Next Wednesday, April 23, is Senior Citizen Prom Day; volunteers always needed if you’re available to prepare,set up and serve.

·         District Conference in Portsmouth, N.H., weekend of April 25-27th - Every “goer” bring some snack food for Hospitality suite being co-hosted with West Hartford and Manchester clubs.

·         Scholarship Committee meeting Next Wednesday, April 23, at 11:30.

·         District Assembly- May 12, from 4:30 to 8:30; a leadership seminar for new members at the Windsor Marriott.

·         Jack Sayre is collecting “things” and checks for the Back to School packs –by Aug. 1st.

Big lottery winner was Big Jim Fallon!

Program today featured soon-to-be “Empress” (next year’s Prexy) Mary Martin,Image who called our attention to several items on our tables, to wit: a ”Committee Preference” form and an “Ideas and Club In-Put” form, both of which she requested that we return to her by next week’s meeting. The latter form listed a number of projects which have been on our docket in one form or another over the years or are being proposed for the next club year. Mary told of her preliminary plans for the year, and encouraged us all to “get on board” with new or different ideas. There followed lively discussion, in which several suggestions were aired. If you weren’t there today, seek out a copy of this listing of ideas, think about them, and be helpful to the process by giving your thoughts to Mary. This was a good beginning of input for the planning of our next club year…take part, be an active member of the East Hartford Rotary Club!

And before I forget it, we’re looking for the holder of anyone who has a key to the “downstairs at the Ridge” storage room. Give Pres. George a call, okay?”

Make-ups: Frank & Ceil Collins, April 12 at the Somers Club’s 50th Anniverary.

Subbing for regular writer this month, the flower-man, Bob Buettner, ……………………….Arthur


High Gear, April 16, 2014 Arthur Bradbury 0

High Gear, April 9, 2014

Posted by Robert Buettner
Spring Has Sprung.  The crocuses are blooming and Rotarians are in good voice. We had 37 members and guests present today.  Steve Jacoby made it 38 by meal time. President George started off the meeting in good fashion; the song and pledge were followed by a thoughtful invocation (by George) who stressed our efforts for a Polio-free world. We sat down to a delicious lunch of a garden salad followed by Shepard’s pie with custard for dessert.Image Our songsters, Jim Watts and Nate Quesnel made the rounds, greeting all.  We had several guests: Mike Fitzgerald, a director of BSA, and our featured speakers from Engineers Without Borders, Spencer Dew, David Hammond and Eliannah Hunderfund.


ImageAndy Andreo returned to the fold after a long winter; Andy, a long-time member, was honored by Rotary International for all his past contributions to RI Foundation. He was presented with the RI Major Donor Award, a crystal paperweight and diamond pin.  When asked to speak about the "why" of his giving he proudly spoke of giving back, Polio Plus, and the blessing of living in a country of opportunity and freedom.


Announcements, Announcements, Announcements:

Herb Barall - This Saturday. East Hartford Cultural Center.  1 PM, dance and music.

Sue Klock -  Senior Prom. Wednesday,  April 23rd.

Brian Gorman -  3rd annual Boy Scouts of American golf tourney,  May 19.

Mike Fitzgerald - BSA is looking to start an Alumni BSA group to mentor young scouts.

Dan Larson - Pathways High School had a ribbon cutting.

Dan LarsonBob Buettner's 8 year old granddaughter wanted to know why he received the Bald and Hairless Award.

Susan Hansen has been proposed for membership.

Stu Harris submitted his resignation due to work load.

Jim Reik has been voted to Honorary Membership.

MOLLY ROSE LISS has arrived! April 7, 2014. Great job, Chris!  Congratulations to the Liss Family. 



Good Golly, Miss Molly! 


SGT AT ARMS report: Man, was Jay Stewart busy. The following paid for UCONN"S wins:   George Schoen, Gil Wishart, Dan Firestone, Ruth Sheehan, Neal Cunningham, Nick Cecere, Nate Quesnel, Jay Stewart and Steve Jacoby. Condolences to Notre Dame from Dan Firestone and Bob Wood. Both Andy Andreo and Roger Nicholson donated to the scholarship fund for their birthdays. Dan Larson for his brother Tim's help with men and equipment to clean up the DUCK RACE path. Frank Collins and Nick Cecere for seeing Andy at the meeting, and finally Sheryl O'Connor, Ruth Sheehan and Jay Stewart for MOLLY ROSE's arrival.


Here & there:

Sue Klock passed around the sign-up for the Senior Prom, to be held April 23rd. Still room for more volunteers. Mo Moshovos presented a flag from the Northfield, MI. club; Neal Cunningham sent around an envelope to collect funds for EH Social Services to buy needed school supplies for the fall; and Honorary member Gerry Brady is laid up at home with a case of shingles.


DUCK RACE Tickets were passed around to the members in attendance by her highness, Mary Martin, two books each. Team captains will keep track of sales and money.  Mary pointed out that 30-some Rotary projects are funded through the proceeds of the DUCK RACE and the Golf Tournament, so it is extremely important that members push for sales.


Our speakers were 3 young individuals who are giving their personal time to go to Sabhung, Nepal to help with the installation of a water system. Much like our Guatemalan project, EWB sends teams to the Far East to assess, design, engineer, implement and support the water system. Image The communities provide the labor and are very involved.  In Sabhung, a community of almost 1000, women and children must trek several km each day down the mountain and return with water. The new solar-powered systems, when finished, will allow these same  people to do more productive things.  These projects are not government sponsored and the individual communities build and maintain them.

With writer’s cramp, goodbye for this week….

Bob Buettner

High Gear, April 9, 2014 Robert Buettner 0

High Gear - April 2, 2014

Posted by Robert Buettner


The sun may not have been out but it certainly was better than Monday.  The golfers in attendance were restless. It seems the East Hartford course is open to walkers. Everyone was in good voice with many conversations going on all around the room. It is really nice to come a few minutes early and talk with members. We have quite a group of great people.


President George opened a few minutes late but we soon made up the time. After the song and pledge, he offered a very thoughtful invocation citing the Golden Rule and Rotary's own "Service above Self." That would cure many of the world's ills if we abided by them.

Bob Buettner and Nick Cecere led the welcome song (thank goodness for the ones at the tables that can carry a tune); we had several guests present, among them Susan Hansen, Director of East Hartford Library.  She has filled out an application for membership.  And Brianna brought her Mom, Yvette.Image

 Lunch consisted of Chicken Piccata, Roasted Potatoes, Squash and a very tasty Chocolate Cake with frosting.  At each table there were thank you notes from The O'Brien Stem School for the dictionaries. They made great reading.

ImageSue Klock passed around a sign-up sheet for the Senior Citizens Prom on April 23rd.  We need volunteers for this event. It is in its 25th year and each year it grows.  Volunteers are needed in shifts that start at 2:30 and the last shift can be there as late as 4:30 to help. Preparations, cooking and serving volunteers are all needed. If you want to participate, call Sue at 860-989-0100 or email her at sueklock@gmail.com.

 Sgt at Arms Jack Martin got fined for messing up Dick McCarthy.  Mike Derr contributed for UConn's men's and women's success; Bob Buettner for his 70th birthday;  Mary Martin for her daughter's 28th birthday; and Bill Saunders paid for Mary Martin's great clean- up of the store room ( as Jack said, “look in the dumpster”).  Nick Cecere and Dan Russell also gave up a few bucks;  Ned Lynch in absenteeism for the Yankees' loss. Yvette paid for an announcement:

 The East Hartford Senior Citizen Center meets the first Thursday of the month and is looking for a community volunteer to help suggest ways to help its senior members.

Ned Lynch is home and will be out of circulation for some time to come. His address is 43 Candlewood Drive, Somers, CT, 06071 . Jim Reik is at Hughes Conv. Home at 29 Highland Street.  West Hartford, CT,  06119 and Rev Al Turner is home after his stay in the hospital. His address is 121 Huckleberry Rd, East Hartford, CT,  06118. Cards and notes would be most welcomed by all.

 The District Conference is April 25-27 and you can still register to go.  Penny Brice from the East Hartford School and Business Partnership sent a letter of thanks for our donation.  Paul Harris programs are available to anyone that wants one.

The DUCK RACE tickets will be available next week and Alex is looking for a few good Rotarians to help clear the path of the race.  Volunteers are needed at 9 AM on this Saturday at Labor Field. The event is scheduled for June 22nd.

 Joann Dorn, East Hartford Social Services, is again looking to Rotary for help. The need for school supplies, backpacks and $$$ are needed by August 1st. So if you can, please send your donation to her by then for the coming school year.

 The by-law changes were approved by vote. (You received the changes several weeks ago). Basically the change added a Youth Services Committee, and the club's committee duties were updated.

ImageDan Russell won the raffle.

 Our speaker, Owen James, has a very unique business. ImageIt is called The Conduit. It is a system of meditation using musical gongs and singing bowls. His work is being used by colleges, universities and hospitals to help students and patients relieve stress. It gives one a sense of peace and calm, thru reflection. The sounds create an opportunity to focus and for self-improvement. Owen gives sessions for both singles and groups and children. He pointed out that people who meditate live longer and heal faster and have an increased sense of happiness.  Owen demonstrated several of his musical instruments, and it was very interesting. Many found it soothing. His business is located on Burnside Ave. in East Hartford.


Bob (officially in his second childhood) Buettner

High Gear - April 2, 2014 Robert Buettner 0


Posted by Mary Martin

Special events for special people deserve a special High Gear.  Here’s hoping this rendition of last night’s banquet at The Gallery in Glastonbury does justice to those we were honoring:  Robert “Bob” Buettner, Laurence “Larry” Hangland, and Peggy Schoen.


Probably the first special aspect of the night was that President George had no bell to ring or Rotary banners to point to.  He was lucky enough to have an American flag propped up in the corner, though.  Maybe he got nervous knowing his “Better Half” was a Paul Harris recipient.


Art Bradbury, thoroughly prepared in contrast, took the microphone to give the Invocation.  As Art reminded us, we were there to give thanks for, among other things, the “opportunity to recognize our recipients’ noteworthy achievements and the manner in which they lead their lives every day”.


Special guests at our special event included District Governor Mike Barnett, and Assistant D.G. for Area 6 Marty Fins with his lovely wife, Carol.


Art probably didn’t get a chance to even sit down when President George called on him and Dan Larson to lead everybody in our “Welcome Song”.   Can we make these two gentlemen (OK, at least for one of them I am using the term loosely) our permanent song leaders?  They really are the best of the bunch, especially when we are left to sing a cappella, and sometimes without music, even.


By this time Happy Hour was really over and the able staff of The Gallery went into action with serving the 66 or so folks in attendance.  Kudos to Celia Collins for single-handedlyImage putting the banquet together.  We were served a mixed Spring greens salad with mandarin oranges, our choice of prime “brontosaurus-sized” rib, filet mignon, baked chicken, or salmon.  Doggie bag containers for these generous portions were already being distributed when dessert was served:  a white and black warm brownie with ice cream and chocolate sauce.  Bartender Chris also provided table service throughout. 


With that description you shouldn’t be surprised that we are already planning our Installation Banquet at The Gallery for Wednesday, June 18.  Mark your calendars!


While I’m singling out people for thank yous, let’s not forget that one of tonight’s recipients, Larry Hangland, again created and printed the programme.  Very nicely done.  It’s the kind of pamphlet one wants to keep as a memento of the event.


Jim Watts, our Paul Harris Committee Chairman responsible for shepherding us through the process of choosing our recipients, was unable to make the actual event.  Sue Klock very ably jumped in and gave a succinct description of the work Jim and the Committee undertook to get us to this point.  Paul Harris, founder of Rotary in 1905, is the name given in 1957 in his memory to the recognition of both Rotary Club members and members of the community at large who best exemplify our motto of “Service Above Self”.  For each recipient named, a $1,000 contribution is made to the Rotary International Foundation to be pooled with other funds to support humanitarian and educational projects that are aimed at building world peace and understanding.


The time arrived to acknowledge the event’s special guests.  Frank Collins, following Bob’s instruction to be brief, was still able to Imagegive us a good understanding of why Bob Buettner was singled out this year for a Paul Harris.  In short, Bob is always doing things for his family and the community as the perfect illustration of “Service Above Self”.  Many more examples of service by Bob, as well as Larry and Peggy, are listed in the programme.  Don’t miss the opportunity to read up on these folks in more detail.


Bob says he owes thanks to our former member, George Finch, for introducing him to Rotary.  He also made a telling statement when he pointed out that when we look at everything Rotary does locally and globally, we become aware of how each of us can play a small part in a larger effort by coming together over projects such as eradicating polio or purchasing a Bookmobile.


Larry Hangland’s praises were enunciated for us by his presenter, Dan Russell.  Dan’s analogy of thinking of Larry as our own Benjamin Franklin was the perfect way to sum up his characteristics:  Larry is a printer with a sense of humor who gives sageImage advice while quietly solving problems and acting as a world diplomat through programs such as the Group Study Exchange.


When Larry got up to say his thanks (sans notes) he aptly pointed out his pride at being associated with a Club that just the other night, at the Mayor’s Charity Ball, was well-represented by other honored community activists such as Brian Liss, Ted Mosebach, and Yvette Roming.


Finally, the current First Lady of the East Hartford Rotary Club (two times over, by the way), was presented by Sue Klock.  Peggy Schoen’s work on multiple community, church, and Rotary activities has created strong ties with many worthy causes in our midst.  Her personal traits of intelligence, creativity, honesty, and loyalty, not to mention hi-jinx that kept Sue in stitches as the Hospitality Cart circled our annual Golf Tournament, all contribute to the perfect mix desired of a Paul Harris Recipient.Image


Peggy graciously thanked the many friends and relatives who have supported her endeavors and gave a special shout-out to our own Sheryl O’Connor, Brian Liss, and Art and Charlotte Bradbury.  And, oh yeah, that fella named George.


Speaking of Brian Liss, his cell phone was near and dear to him as word had come out earlier in the evening that Mrs. Liss was possibly going to be making her way to the Maternity Ward for the third time very shortly.  We didn’t see Brian run for the door but let’s hope Hubby made it home in time.  If he didn’t, he better name the newest family member either Rotary Ann or Rotary Andy and enjoy living in the Dog House for awhile!  Brian, dude, we are really going to miss you in so many ways.


Thanks go out to District Governor Mike for distributing certificates to Peggy, Larry, and Bob and allowing family members to do the honor of ‘pinning’ each with their Paul Harris.  Bob, for his additional support of the Foundation, actually got two pins and is officially known as a “One Plus” for it.


The night came to a close and we exited into the far-too-brisk for late March evening.  Congratulations to all for a wonderful night and for the work we all do under the Rotary banner to make this world a better place.


Thanks, Art Bradbury, for being tonight’s High Gear photographer. 

-       Mary Martin, Empress of the World

High Gear, March 26, 2014 - PAUL HARRIS FELLOW RECOGNITION CEREMONY Mary Martin 0

High Gear, March 19, 2014

Posted by Anwar Hossain

Compared to last week, it felt like spring today. No need to get too excited. Winter is not over yet. Our usual Rotary Song was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, President George picked an Irishman to deliver the invocation. Dan Larson stood up to the challenge and reminded us that no matter what our personal faith traditions are, our ability to give thanks for the bounties of life binds us all together.


We sat down to a traditional Irish meal of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots, followed by shamrock ice cream slices.


Judge Henry Cohn, our guest today, was warmly welcomed by Neil Cunningham and Jack Martin.


Dick McCarthy, fresh from the break in his duty last week, bestowed by President George, admitted that it was slow day. People paid for the St. Joseph award Ruth Sheehan received last Sunday. Brian Liss paid for the Y reaching its fund raising goals and for the Big East win by Providence College, his Alma Mater. Brian Gorman paid for his club anniversary. Neil Cunningham paid handsomely for his birthday and paid another handsome amount for Dan LarsonImage to sing “O Danny Boy....” Folks I am not kidding when I say that I always knew that Dan had a loud voice but I never knew he had a great singing voice. We were all spellbound as he sang without any musical accompaniment. A standing ovation followed.




1.  Image       Brian Liss got a job offer from the Y in Simsbury, where he lives, that he could notImage turn down. So with a heavy heart he had to let us know that he won’t be able to transition from President Elect to President. The good news is that Mary Martin, when asked, did not hesitate to step in. The Board has taken action and Mary will be our President for the Year 2014-2015.


2.         Sign up for hotel rooms for the District Conference by the end of the month to avoid not being able to get a room in the Conference Hotel.


3.         Last day to sign up and pay for Paul Harris Dinner is this Friday. Please contact Ceil Collins.


4.         Sue Klock thanked all for the the donations. She can use use some assistance in walking the circle at the High School gymnasium. Best time is after the school is over to avoid conflict with school activities.


5.         There will not be any lunch meeting next week because of the Paul Harris Dinner at the Gallery at 6:00 PM (or until the “energy” runs out)a. That is not exactly what President George said.

6.         Somers Rotary Club is celebrating their 50th on 4/12/2014 at Twin Hills Country Club, Longmeadow, MA. Call David Reed at 860-749-5364 or email at david.reed@cox.net for more information.


Brian Liss picked the winning Raffle ticket #....9774 belonging to Larry Hangland.




Rev. Al Turner had a successful surgery. Now the recuperation begins. Ned Lynch had a bone replacement surgery and is maintaining a positive attitude.



Judge Cohn delivered a talk on “Prohibition”. For history buffsImage like me, it was fascinating to learn so many new facts about an interesting era in the life of our nation. For those of us curious to know more about this period, he recommended a book with an appropriate title “Last Call”.



Peter & Sue Klock: NE PETS March 6, 7 & 8

Hope Firestone: Bloomfield Rotary Club

Frank & Ceil Collins: NE PETS March 6, 7 & 8


And that’s all…..Anwar

High Gear, March 19, 2014 Anwar Hossain 0

High Gear, March 12, 2014

Posted by Anwar Hossain

Let me start by saying how great it is for a citadel of learning such as Goodwin College opening its doors to a service organization such as Rotary. Not only did Goodwin College provide the space for our meeting but bestowed upon us gifts for the new members, a US flag on a stand and beverages for all. Thank you Goodwin College and thank you, President Scheinberg.


It was a new meeting format. We mingled for a while enjoying wine and soft drinks while waiting for pizza delivery. Marc Glass was pacing the room with the cell phone glued to his ear trying to locate the delivery person. Then someone noticed through the glass window a parked car and a panicky young man trying to figure out which of the many entrances he is supposed to use to deliver a boat load of giant pizza boxes. Dan Larson, following the hospitality traits of his college, graciously became the door man for a smooth flow of our nourishment from the delivery car to the serving table.


With pizza, salad and cookies securely in place, I noticed a sigh of relief on President George’s face, for he was anxious to ring the bell, and he did, to get the ball rolling. After the Rotary Song, the Pledge of Allegiance and the Invocation by President George, we lined up for you know what. There was enough pizza and salad to feed about twice as many as the 30 or so attendees.


ImageBrian Liss brought Mike Carrigan, from the local YMCA, while Susan Hansen, theImage town’s Head Librarian, came as Mary Martin’s guest. President George, perhaps in appreciation of their great work, decided that Brian and Mary deserved the honor of leading the welcome song. We hope that if nothing else, the singing ability of the club will convince them to join East Hartford Rotary Club.




1.         Dan Larson provided an update that Ned Lynch, who shattered his lower leg bone while skiing, now has had his third surgery. Despite being in a wheelchair and using a walker, Ned is maintaining a very positive attitude. He sends his thanks for all the phone calls and cards he has received. Please keep your phone calls and cards going since Ned might not be on his feet for many months. Larry Hangland extended his services to help Ned out with his business chores.

2.         Al Turner will be going through a hip surgery on 3/17/2014.




1.         Dan Larson switched gears and gave us happy news. Our own Ruth Sheehan will be receiving the “St. Joseph Medal” this Sunday at St. Joseph Cathedral.

2.         Sue Klock, wearing her other hat as the Y board member, is taking part in a fundraising for the “Strides for Strong Kids” program. She was able to raise, during the next few minutes, just a few dollars short of the $250 needed for the donor’s name on the event tee shirt.


Gift Certificates were handed over by Marc to the two prospective new members. President George then picked ....719 as the winning weekly raffle ticket number. Brian Liss the winner graciously donated his winning to the Y.


There was no Sergeant-at-Arms report at this meeting as a result of the executive order issued by President George last week.


President George then walked us through a slide presentation prepared by Brian Liss. The theme was what Rotary does internationally, nationally and locally. A great job, showing E.H. Rotary in a nutshell!

The meeting adjourned at 7:30 PM.

High Gear, March 12, 2014 Anwar Hossain 0

High Gear, March 5, 2014

Posted by Anwar Hossain


We gathered for our first meeting in March with a cloudy sky hovering over the Ridge and temperature in the low thirties. Still too early to expect spring but I did detect a touch of spring enthusiasm in our voices singing the Rotary Song. After the Pledge of Allegiance and a very thoughtful invocation by President George, we sat down for a lunch of Tilapia, wild rice and green beans followed by bread pudding topped off with whipped cream.


Today was not only Ash Wednesday but also the second visit by Yvette since the birth of her daughter Briana, who was in tow in a very comfortable means of transportation. Briana’s presence clearly brought down the average age of the club attendees today.


Among the guests were Earle Tarbell from East Windsor Rotary Club and our Speaker Eileen Buckheit. Larry Hangland and LarryImage Frazier with Briana in his arms charmed the guests with the Welcome Song.


Sergeant-At-Arms, Dick McCarthy reported a hefty earning for: three birthdays (Bob Wood, Larry Hangland and John O’Connor), four club anniversaries (Anwar Hossain-6 years, Yvette Roming-5 years, Jay Stewart-6 years and Dan Larson-17 years), Marc Glass for getting compliments about his son’s marvelous presentation last week, Jack Martin for a successful surgery ( I did hear someone asking what was taken out!), Dan Larson for honoring his favorite jeweler (2 watches? with Daylight Savings starting this Sunday some of us will need two watches!), Sue Klock, John O’Connor and Brian Liss for various announcements. Bill Saunders’ grandson’s report on Medicare is making its way to the Congress. My apologies to anyone that I missed.



1.         Sue Klock will hold a Rotary Information meeting in Windsor and needs a projection screen (which was immediately offered by 2 members, saving $150).

2.         John O’Connor spoke about the YMCA’s Strong Kids campaign and the upcoming meeting on March 22, 2014 in the morning at the High School (which should not conflict with the Mayor’s Ball in the evening).

3.         There will not be any report by the Sergeant-At-Arms during the next two club meetings.

4.         Call Marc if you have not already signed up for the March 12, 2014 evening meeting at Goodwin College. Guests eat free (and members too, if they bring a guest). IS THAT CLEAR???

5.         President George wanted everyone to know that there is still time to sign up for the District Conference.

6.         Please contact Ceil at 860-568-3497 or ceilcollins@aol.com for Paul Harris Dinner info.

Caring Moments:

1.         Mary Tamiso is recuperating from a bad fall requiring 50 stiches to her face.

2.         Ned Lynch suffered a shattered leg while skiing and is facing a long recovery.

3.         Scotty Howat’s funeral will be at First Church in So. Windsor at 10:00 AM on Saturday.Image

4.         Al Turner will need a hip replacement to rectify the problem caused by his recent fall.

Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Cards and phone calls will also be welcome.

Bob Buettner had the winning ticket # 9661.

Our guest speaker Eileen Buckheit, the East Hartford DevelopmentImage Director, was introduced by John O’Connor. She talked about all the new and exciting developments that are bringing new businesses, increasing the grand list, enhancing tax revenues and creating employment. Most notably is the proposed 450,000 sq. ft. UTC Research Center that has the potential of earning $10M in Building Permit Fees for the Town.

Have a good week.


High Gear, March 5, 2014 Anwar Hossain 0

High Gear, February 26,2014

Posted by Arthur Bradbury

‘twas a cold, but sunny day up at the Ridge; the weather man wasn’t too successful in his predictions, for no snow appeared on the horizon to greet the 37 Rotarians and one guest who graced our halls and were called to order by President George Schoen. It was good to be there. Peter Klock gave a sterling Invocation, expressing appreciation for the sun, plants, animals, and friendsImage who make up our world. I’m told there were some make-ups reported, but they never got to this scribe. So, you snow-bunnies who travel to Florida or other sunny climes, please be sure to tell our secretary of your meanderings so that you’ll receive credit for attendance, okay?!!!

The menu today presented a flavorful lasagna together with string beans and tender little carrots, while a tastily frosted piece of spice-cake complemented the offering. Finished the meal to a short but impassioned plea by Brian Liss, urging our support of Rotary’s “We’re this close” campaign to once and for all wipe out the scourge which is polio. We were reminded that 50 years ago, on Feb.23, 1964, to be exact, Rotary first acted on its long journey to battle against this awful disease. Brian told of the Gates Foundation’s pledge to match, 2 for 1, the amount of money given by Rotarians.

Mark Glass’ son Brandon, our speaker for the day was our only guest and he was duly greeted with the Welcome Song led byBrian Gorman and John O’Connor. Nice job, guys!

Sgt-at-Arms Neal Cunningham disclosed a long list of miscreants who bolstered our fine bank, to wit: an anniversary for Janice Freschlin; birthdays for Chuck Clarke, John O’Connor, Frank Collins and Dave Amberg; Jack Martin for some kind of fun in Daytona; Bob Buettner for a new car and several other misdemeanors; Larry Frazier for a really smart grandson and wearing someone else’s badge.; George Agnelli’s complaining about a myriad of issues; Steve Jacoby, with Nate Quesnel for a late arrival, and Steve for arranging a handsome anniversary cake; and finally, Mike Derr for a general harangue which the S-A-A considered harassment!

General Announcements-

Image·         Pres. George showed us the fancy sign-up sheet (Peggy’s work!) for the soon-to-be District Conference, 4/25-27, and urged us to consider attending,

·         Mar.12 meeting will be in the evening at Goodwin College, 5:30-7:30; no charge to anyone bringing a prospective new member! There’ll be a short membership Comm. Mtg (and anyone else interested) next week at11:30, to work on plans.

·         A reminder that Paul Harris Night is to be on Mar.26.

·         Alex Wisz again told of the Duck Race venue’s change to Labor Field (June 22) and asked for someone to chair any “family day” activity. (Without a chair, there won’t be a “family day” activity)

·         Senior Prom day set for April 23 at the High School.Dan Firestone to chair.

·         Steve Jacoby asked for interest in attending the Mayor’s Ball on Mar.22 ($100 per). 8 or 10 hands went up, making for at least one reserved table.

And then we were treated to a fascinating half hour of hot-off-the-press rememberings of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, byMark Glass’s son, Brandon. A student at Ithaca College, Brandon went as a Hospitality Intern, working in a team of about 25 “interns” for the International Broadcast Center from January 29 thru Feb. 17th. His experiences there as a tour guide, “gofer” for celebrities and international VIP’s, were wonderfully interesting to hear. Mark and his wife should be very proud of this young man, their son, for the way in which he conducted himself. One can only imagine that he was a success in all phases of his work in Russia. Some thoughts on his talk: no security concerns; food was great, though mostly American; hopes to be on board for next Olympics in Rio; was a happy experience in all ways.

Thanks, Brandon, (and Mark) for bringing us a delightful half hour!

So, thanking Janice for filling in for me last week, with a “hi” to Bob Wood, stay well and walk carefully ‘til next week………….Arthur


High Gear, February 26,2014 Arthur Bradbury 0

High Gear, February 19, 2014

Posted by Janice Freschlin

The Ridge greeted us with cold walking in and rain walking out today. With dreadful (crappy is my preferred word) weather like this I tell myself “spring is coming, it can’t last forever”. I hope all of you agree!

The cheerful disposition of our fellow Rotarians soon made life good again – I felt lucky today, the Empress herself granted my request to sit at her table, allowing me to hear of Jack’s latest trip to South America.

Sue Klock gave the invocation and we all gathered in front of the fireplace for our “We’re just this close…”picture

Alex Wisz and Mike Derr led us in our welcoming song, putting a couple of our Board members to work!

Meatloaf with roasted potatoes and vegetables filled our bellies, finishing off with platefuls of cookies.

ImageMarc Glass announced he needs a head count for the March 12th meeting, to help determine how much pizza to order, and he was quickly reminded it’s more for how much beer and wine is needed – we DO know how to have a good time!

Sgt-at-Arms Neal Cunningham was teased once again by his good friends Happy Jack MartinImage & Marc Glass (whom were fined), and collected for various reasons (or no reason), Jack Martin for no reason, Dan Larson who is glad to be back in action, Rev. Ted Mosebach, for Dan’s healthy return, Mary Martin for no reason, or maybe for Jack’s misbehavin’? Alex Wisz tried to pay but found his pockets empty (I’ll have to try that trick for when I go on a date, Alex), Neal paid for the second half of his new car, and Dan Russell paid for his Birthday and for us NOT to sing, (60 again?).

Caring Moments segment informed us of Bob Wood’s recovery.Hip replacement was a success but was temporarily back inImage the hospital for a short stay – same day and floor as Dan Larson, although unbeknownst to each other. Jack saw Bob this morning and said he was walking with his cane & in good spirits. Dan Firestone recommended we sing “Hip Hip Hurray” to Bob when he returns! Pastor Al Turner is still on the mend with a broken leg at Glastonbury Health Care.

President George read a Thank you note from the East Hartford Director of Libraries Susan Hansen, thanking Rotary for the generous donation to the library and for having her as a guest speaker.

A few reminders – there is no meeting at noon on March 12th – it is that evening 5:30-7:30pm at Goodwin College.

Also Mary Martin will get you information on marching in the May 26th Memorial Day Parade. A sign-up sheet was circulated. This is open to church or civic groups as well as private businesses. Could be a great advertising or membership opportunity!

April 25-27 is the District Conference. We will be hosting a hospitality suite in collaboration with Manchester club & possibly other clubs.President George and his better half Peggy are chairing this event. Any and all help is welcomed. The theme this year is international conference, honoring all countries.

April 23rd is our Senior Prom that we always sponsor, Bob Wood chaired this last year, but we need a volunteer to head it up this year – any takers? Please see President George. Sue and Peter Klock are great resources of information for this event.

Raffle was won by no other than our Happy Jack Martin!! Winner winner, chicken dinner!

One early leaver – Mary Martin

Tim Coppage introduced our guest speaker, Monica Cox, a Program Specialist for the STEP UP program with Capital Force Partners.

Monica gave us information about a wonderful program that was started back in 2012 by the General Assembly & Gov. Malloy that gives an incentive to employers to hire unemployed people residing in certain qualifying towns in CT.

The goal of this program is to create long-term employment for those who are currently unemployed living in cities that have a population of 80,000+.

A division of this program was also established for veterans.

Unfortunately, the original STEP UP Program is ending in June, but the Veteran program will continue.

Wage incentives for new hires was up to $20/hr., and can be reimbursed up to $12,000 over a 6 month period.

Month 1 – 100%, month 2 – 75%, month 3 – 75%, month 4- 50%, month 5 – 50%, month 6 – 25%.

This program is not intended for seasonal or temp jobs.

Estimated # of people who have benefitted from this program? About 1600 people have been put back to work! That is fantastic, what a way to help reduce the unemployment rate in CT!


That’s all folks! Art will be back in saddle next week. Until next time – stay vertical!




High Gear, February 19, 2014 Janice Freschlin 0

High Gear, January 29, 2014

Posted by Robert Wood


You might say that it was a nice winter's day, cool, bright, and comfortable!  Then, again, some were wishing for an early return of spring.  Either way, we can't lose!  Not much going on inside other than the usual small group discussions solving the world's great problems, complaining about something, or just sharing the many warm friendships which exist in our Rotary Family. Pres. George  called us to order, we sang, we pledged, and then the Pres. delivered a thoughtful and well rehearsed reprise of last week's Invocation asking that we "share a life of service rather than lip service" with those less fortunate than we!  We seem to be back into the "being served" mode as our roast pork, potatoes, Harvard beets, and apple sauce lunch was efficiently placed before us.  A nice plate of pastries was left on the table for us to share.

Following lunch Pres. George brought us back into session.  No guests other than our speaker seemed to be in attendance.  That being no obstacle Jack Sayre and Guy LaBella were chosen to lead the Welcome Song and serenade our speaker and the 36 or 37 Rotarians present.  Hey guys, let's be here and join in on the fun and friendship!  Sgt. at Arms Jim Watts cited several donors to the coffers - Ned Lynch for his son being named a State of Connecticut Scholar Athlete - Herb Barall for not being on the ill-fated cruise ship Emperor of the Seas - Nick Cecere for being back from his annual trip to Aruba - and Mary Martin paying for our speaker Susan Hanson's birthday.  Tim Coppage Imagepaid for two announcements - Feb 20th a Summer Youth Employment Benefit Breakfast at the Canoe Club, and March 26th -The Chamber Annual Meeting at Goodwin College. Check with him for more information. Brian Liss announced that the YMCA has acquired 13 spinning bikes and will soon offer classes.  He also said that Loretta and Dan Dienst send their best.  Loretta is now 24 months into remission!   Pres. George read a thoughtful letter from Ernie Hutt thanking the club for bestowing the Community Service Award upon him. Sheryl O'Connor announced a membership program for our club and potential new members will be held at Goodwin College on March 12th at 5:30.  More information to follow. There will be a Scholarship Committee meeting before next week's meeting, and finally - save March 26 for our Annual Paul Harris dinner.

ImageMary Martin was called upon to introduce our speaker, Susan Hanson, the new town Librarian.  Susan has a BA in the Liberal arts and a master's in Library Science.  She taught High School and College before finding her true calling as a Librarian.  She thanked the club for the donation of the Book Mobile and cited its many uses.  It has increased the outreach of the library to all the elementary schools, parks, and many neighborhoods.  She talked about the preparation for library renovation.  Removal of "stuff" was difficult, and at times was very similar to an "archeological dig", with many interesting "finds", particularly several handwritten Civil War diaries.  She explained how the Library is operating out of theImage Cultural Center.  They still have all the new fiction, non-fiction, audio books, dvd's. as well as most newspapers and periodicals available for use.  There is also a well set up children's section. She explained that the museum materials will now be interspersed throughout the library rather than confined to a single museum room.  She seemed very excited about what is happening and certainly showed her enthusiasm for the project.  The estimated completion date is March 2015 - Good Luck.  She seems like a person very well suited for the task at hand.  We are lucky to have her on board.

'til next assignment - Bob Wood


High Gear, January 29, 2014 Robert Wood 0

High Gear, February 12, 2014

Posted by Arthur Bradbury

Even old Abe Lincoln would have been shivering on a day like this, despite the fact that it was his birthday!  Clear and cold this morning, at 3 degrees. With a major winter storm on the way tomorrow morning, this writer will be on the way tonight up to the state of Maine, Lubec, by name, to celebrate a family birthday; so gotta make hay here in Connecticut while the sun shines, for up there it’s been below zero every morning for a couple of weeks.

There was a mix-up in our welcoming song; yours truly started with “This is Rotary, it’s a great place to be…” and most of the club went along with this faux pas, causing President George to bang his gavel for the right song to be sung, “R-O-T-A-R-Y…. etc.”  ‘Twas strange how, once started, it was hard to stop ‘em! 

Chicken Piccata led a most delicious luncheon offering, followed by chocolate cake. We saw only clean plates being taken back to the kitchen. A count of those plates totaled only 30, not a very good showing for a club which currently has about 65 members. As Pete Seeger used to sing…. “Where have all the flowers (Rotarians) gone…”

Today’s Foundation Minute featured a short video, narrated by Brian Liss, urging all to contribute further to the total elimination of Polio. Next week’s meeting will feature a picture taking episode of us all, gathered to proclaim to the world that “We’re just this close…” Be there, for this historic photographic event!

And for the welcoming of Jason Rojas, Legislative member for East Hartford and Manchester, we sang the correct tune, led by Dave Amberg and Janice Freschlin. Good job, guys and gals!

President George led off the Caring Moments segment by telling of friend and Pastor Al Turner having fallen and badly breaking his leg. Additionally, Stu Harris had a promotion, and Bob Wood is recovering from new hip surgery, though currently suffering pains from incorrect removal of a taped bandage.

Neophyte Sgt-at-Arms Neal Cunningham commendably took us through a list of miscreants, beginning with the entire club for their mish-mash of an opening song, then Dick McCarthy for a club anniversary; Sue Klock and Brian Gorman for birthdays; Steve Jacoby for arriving early; Neal, himself, for a new car; Jay Stewart for a mention of Rotary in church on SundayLarry Frazier for insulting the integrity of the Sgt-at-Arms; President George for his picture in the paper; Ruthie Sheehan for the trip of pitchers and catchers to start  the Red Sox’s spring training; Marc Glass for seeing his son off to the Sochi Olympics; George Agnelli’s helper on fixing his flat tire; and what better way to end, by a gift from Hope (Firestone, that is) for being late! Dan Firestone finished off this venture by telling of meeting Jay Leno and his 200-car collection of vintage autos.

 Sheryl O’Connor has invited all to the South Windsor Cultural Arts concert at the UCC church in S.W. And on March 12, Goodwin College will host our Membership Committee’s open house from 5:30 to 7:30 where we’ll  hope to greet lots of peeps interested in joining us in Rotary membership.

Away in warm Florida, Doug Willett will rejoice with us in Ruth Sheehan’s winning of the weekly lottery. Yes!!!

Dan Firestone rose once more to give a friendly introduction to Alex Wisz, today’s in-house speaker. In doing so, Dan urged any and all to consider volunteering for this job, presenting themselves to the membership in the telling of themselves, their occupations and interests.

Alex is a home town boy, born, bred and schooled in East Hartford. Following baseball, paper routes and early part-time jobs in town he pursued college courses, which led to a variety of careers at numerous insurance agencies  and community-type banking institutions. He is a great example of an enthusiastic, home grown success story and is certainly a valuable addition to our Rotary club!Image

Alex heads up our planning committee for the annual Duck Race and told of his committee’s decision to center in on the venue of Labor Field, closeby the Hockanum River. There’s been some expressed interests in holding ”Family Day” activities there as well, but if that is to happen, his committee needs someone to chair them.

Good job, Alex; nice to learn more about you and your interests!

I’ll be off next week, but you can expect to read the offerings of fellow writer Janice Freschlin.

                                                      ‘til then……………………………………………………………………………Arthur


High Gear, February 12, 2014 Arthur Bradbury 0

High Gear, January 22, 2014

Posted by Robert Wood

Winter has returned - with a new snow cover, temperature in the teens, and a brisk Northwesterly wind.  Far different than last week!  Things seemed rather quiet in the Ridge, although several small gatherings were engaged in conversations scattered throughout the main room. On cue, Pres. George convened the group together for the usual opening, and then delivered the Invocation asking that we receive a special blessing and that each of us should know caring and sharing in all that we do - a life of service rather than lip service!  Today's lunch was one of this writer's favorites - salad, chicken pot pie, and a strawberry mousse.

Upon reconvening, our two guests, Bev Saunders and John Bucheri, were introduced and then serenaded with the Welcome Song led by octogenarians George Agnelli and Larry Frazier,Image who together represent 183 years on this earth!  Sgt. at Arms Jim Watts cited Ruth Sheehan as she paid in honor of Bev Saunders attendance, and Bob Buettner who paid for his granddaughter's picture in the paper.  Next were two Rotary anniversaries, Sheryl O'Connor and Larry Hangland, and Bill SaundersImage for a wedding anniversary -52 years.  Finally, the Birthdays - Mike Derr, Brian and Patrick Liss!  Our Raffle winner was Larry Hangland.  On a sad note, Diane Willett's brother, Bill died recently in Florida.

Our program today was home grown.  John O'Connor introduced our speaker, Dan Firestone.  Before starting the program Dan challenged the Club members to think about their interests, hobbies, or any activity which might be of interest to the Club and to share such with all of us. That said, Dan's enthusiasm for his hobby of all facets of the Hudson Motor Company was shared with the Club. Dan has three Hudson automobiles - a 1939, 1949, and 1954 - two of which are fully restored.  In its day Hudson was quite the car.  They were produced from 1909 to 1954 but couldn't overcome the pressure of a merger with Nash, and the vigorous Imagecompetition from the "Big 3".  So Hudson, like Packard and Studebaker, did not survive. Hudsons were commonly used as police cruisers, fire chief vehicles, and often on the stock car racing circuit because of their speed and solid construction. Dan showed us many of the things associated with his hobby - dealer signs, books featuring advertisements, owner and service manuals, as well as accessories built and designed for the vehicles.  What was most fascinating was the collection of toys and models associated with the automobile.  He truly has a great collection and it showed as a great labor of love by him. This was a  most interesting presentation.  Thanks for sharing!  Who's next?  Be hard to top!

'til next week, Bob Wood

High Gear, January 22, 2014 Robert Wood 0

High Gear, December 18, 2013

Posted by Robert Wood


What a difference a day makes.  Yesterday's rush hour snow storm would have put a major dent in tonight's holiday festivities, but today's bright, mild, and clear evening was just what Santa ordered. Our Rotarians and guests began arriving around 6 and quickly gathered around the bar to be greeted by bartender Chris who asked "Will that be a pinot grigio, Bob?" What a great memory he has!  The next step brought one closer to the overloaded hors d’oeurves table to load up on meats, cheeses, breads, olives, meat balls and things too numerous to cite!  On the way back to their table they were accosted by the wait staff carrying plates of delicious delicacies like stuffed mushrooms, bacon wrapped scallops, and a seasonal must - little hot dogs!  All this with the promise of more to come! After much holiday socializing the hour of 7 brought the qathering to our tables to continue the lively banter that usually highlights our Rotary gatherings.

So, promptly at 7, President George called the meeting to order. Our usual opening was followed by Sue Klock's thoughtful Invocation - As we gathered together in Rotary Fellowship to take food for our physical needs, we should be guided by our 4 way test, and seek truth and a wider circle of friends, and let our actions be beneficial to all concerned.

Next, in keeping with the season of thanks, President George thanked Heather Summerer and Pratt and Sue and Peter Klock for their continued support of the many community projects our club undertakes. This being a time of thanks, we should also give a big thank you to Doug Willett and Art Bradbury for their part in making our High Gear the quality product we have come to enjoy.  Their commitment to distribution, layout, and great photography make it happen. Thanks!

Nick Cecere reported to me that longtime Rotarian and friend, Andy Andreo, continued his generous contributions to the many charities to which our club is involved -Shelter Box, YMCA, Rotary Foundation, Salvation Army, and Circle of Life. Thanks, Andy!!! Thanks are also in order for Guy LaBella and Goodwin College for supplying tonight's DJ. Special thanks to Ceil Collins and Janice Freschlin for putting this holiday event together!  Good job!

Next came the highlight of the evening, the announcement of our club's annual awards.  Pres. George called upon Dan Larson, to introduce the recipient of our Vocational Service Award.  announced that Ernie Hutt, owner of Augie and Rays, had been selected to receive this award. Dan started by quoting from JFK's 1961 Inaugural Address asking what one could do to make this a better place.  Ernie fits the request.  He has been a lifelong resident of East Hartford and has been involved in many athletic, social, and community activities which have led to making his home town a better place.

Image   Image
Dan  Introduces Ernie Hutt   President George and Ernie 


He is a model for Rotary's motto "Service Above Self"! He has supported many Rotary activities such as the mighty Duck Race, the Golf tournament, and has been there whenever we needed his support.  He has been very active in his Church, St. Christopher's, supporting Goodwin College, the YMCA, and numerous other local charities.  He was presented with a Plaque, and a $500 check made out to his favorite charity, St. Christopher's Church.  He accepted his award and then pledged to match this check with a donation to South Congregational Church. Wow - that's the kind of guy Ernie is! 

Next on the agenda was the announcement of our Paul Harris Fellows for this Rotary year.  The Club will present two awards to members, and one to a non member.  The members are - Bob Buettner and Larry Hangland, and the non member is our 2nd time 1st Lady, Peggy Schoen.   Congratulations to all. 

Image   Image Paul Buettner 
 Larry Hangland  Peggy Schoen  Bob Buettner

More will be said at Paul Harris Night in the Spring.

"Food, glorious food" sums up our spectacular, if some what overbearing, meal.  The Filet, Roast Beef. Shrimp, or Chicken all arrived in a king sized version accompanied by roast potatoes and green beans.  This offering was preceded by onion soup, and a nice salad, and was followed by a tasty ice cream pie covered with a rich chocolate sauce. This was all topped off with a choice of a flavored Irish Coffee!  Comments indicated that the meal with all its choices was Excellent! The meal served as a fitting end to a nice evening.

One last item was dealt with - the raffle prize of the lottery tree which was won by Jeanne McCarthy.  The amount of her winning was not available at press time!  Hope it beats the cost of the ticket.  Other prizes were won by Chris Liss and Steve Jacoby. With that done the meeting was adjourned to socialization and dancing.

Items to note-No meetings for the next two Wednesdays, and on January 8th we will have a wine and cheese event at the Ridge for our first meeting of the New Year!!!!

'til next year, Bob Wood

Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays
 From The Willetts

High Gear, December 18, 2013 Robert Wood 0

High Gear, January 15, 2014

Posted by Robert Wood

The weather was such that if the course were open, the golfers would be sorely tempted to get the clubs out of storage and hit the links for the first round of the year!  That being said, inside the Ridge seemed a little quieter than usual - the effect of wine and cheese from last week had run the course! President George, too, was a little sluggish, ringing the bell a couple of minutes later than normal, and without the cherished medallion dangling from his neck!

After the usual opening, Steve Jacoby gave the Invocation thanking God for the privilege and the opportunity of being in America and of being a Rotarian, and charging us as Rotarians to strive to make the world a better place.  We were served our lunch of salad, ziti and meatballs, bread, and chocolate ice cream covered with fresh strawberries!

Following lunch Pres. George called us back to order and called up Peter Klock to announce that India had now been declared to be Polio free!  Great news!!! He also announced the new Rotary catch phrase -"Light up Rotary".

ImageNext was the introduction of a very special guest - Yvette's 7 week old daughter, Brianna Marie! Rookie Mike Costa and old timer Neal Cunningham were called upon to lead the Welcome Song for our special guest -Image kind a scary for such a little one!  Next Sgt. at Arms Jack Sayre announced three special anniversaries - Jim Fallon -21 years, Dan Firestone - 38 years, and Sue Klock - 16 years! Congratulations!

Alex Wisz then spoke about the Duck Race tentatively scheduled for June 22nd.  ImageThe committee is looking to move the race to the Labor Field area of the Hockanum located near Mayberry Village.  All are welcome to walk the site on Saturday at noon with the committee to check it out.

Pres. George reported that the Board voted to give $500 to the Circle of Life, and nominated Sue Klock to be a candidate for the Council On Legislation in 2016.  And finally, the Raffle was won by early bird Steve Jacoby.

The Meeting was adjourned and reconvened as the Annual Meeting.  Details of the Annual meeting will appear in the Secretary's and Treasurer's Reports at the next Annual meeting.

Some Highlights of the Annual meeting - Our club has donated $25,616 to the foundation through World Fund, Polio Plus, and the Foundation contributions.

The Slate of officers was presented by Sheryl O'Connor --- Past President - George Schoen, President - Brian Liss, President Elect - Alex Wisz, Secretary - Mark Glass, Directors - Bob Buettner and Janice Freschlin, Director Emeritis - Bob Wood, and Sgt. at Arms Director - Brian Gorman.  The slate was duly elected.

Interesting factoids - our club gave out $41,001.79 in charitable contributions.  We had a cash balance of $13,194.49 on 12/31/2013, and Scholarship Trusts valued at $235,829 as of 12/31/2013. A detailed account was passed out at the meeting.

Pres. George ended the meeting with a big thank you to all who helped make our Club successful in all our projects and activities.  He cited that the Golf Tournament raised about $24,000 and the Duck Race about $17,000.  Big Bucks, Great effort - Keep it up.  We will be awarding three Paul Harris Fellowships in March- Bob Buettner, Larry Hangland, and Peggy Schoen.  We have added 4 new members and must continue with this effort.   Remember, we need a 100% commitment from all our members to make our Club all that it can be!!

'til next week - Bob Wood




High Gear, January 15, 2014 Robert Wood 0

High Gear, January 8, 2014

Posted by Robert Wood

ImageOn the outside Winter is here in all its clear and crisp splendor, but on the inside, the warmth of the Rotary Fellowship permeates the inner chambers of the Ridge.  Thanks to Ceil Collins, a traditional New Year's first meeting wine fest was well set up to greet us Rotarians after our long holiday break.  It was nice being together again!  The decibel level was certainly several levels higher than normal when Pres. George Schoen brought down the gavel to bring us to order. Following the usual opening Pres George gave the Invocation asking to receive a special blessing to help our service club to better help humankind through caring, serving, and sharing of the gifts we have to offer!  A nice lunch of roast turkey, mashed potatoes, carrots and turnips, garnished with cranberry sauce, followed by a tasty white cake was efficiently served!  (What, no buffet?)

Following lunch Pres. George called us back into session with several announcements.  First, Bill Saunders was called up for a Foundation moment to receive a new Paul Harris pin with two shiny stones attached.  Congratulations,  Bill!  Our guests were introduced and welcomed to the Ridge with the Welcome Song led by Rookie Nate Quesnel and Veteran Danny Larson!  Sgt. at Arms Jim Watts listed today's victims - Sheryl O'Connor announced an addition to their family (No, not that!) - the engagement of their daughter, and a big thank you to Good ole George (Agnelli) for making a timely adjustment to the sparkling new ring!Guy LaBella paid to announce a Vital Voice in Entrepreneurship Speaker, Stew Leonard, on 2/19 at Goodwin College.  All are invited, sign up next week! Ned Lynch paid to switch his support to the Patriots for the Playoffs (Do they have beards?), Nick Cecere paid for a birthday and his annual trip to Aruba, and finally Pat Gately paid to have Happy Birthday sung to her!

Thanks again to Andy Andreo for his continuing generous support of our Rotary projects. Jack Sayre thanked us for our support of the Salvation Army.  We raised $2504 with our shortened ringing period, and had 27 Rotarians with 12 doing more than one shift ringing the bell. Big thanks to the spouses, kids, and friends of Rotary for also helping out and filling in when needed. The Kick Off Duck Race meeting will be held tomorrow, 1/9, 5:30 at Dan Larson's office, 351 Main Street- All are welcome.  And finally, the lucky raffle winner - John O'Connor, who will probably set up a special wedding trust account with 3D!

Next, George announced that the ANNUAL MEETING will be held next week. 1/15/2014, and called upon Nominating Chair Sheryl O'Connor to present the slate of officers:Image President - Brian Liss, President Elect - Alex Wicz, Secretary - Mark Glass, Treasurer - Mike Derr, Past President -George Schoen, and Directors,  Bob Buettner and Janice Freschlin, and Director Emeritis - Bob Wood.  Still needed, another Director!

ImageAfter brief words from our multiple year scholarship winners, Josh Dillon and Nikisha Rosas, Marty Finns and Lauren Alex gave a presentation on their reciprocal Group Study Exchange trip to Turkey.  The enthusiasm for the now defunct program was so evident in their words (The Foundation will discontinue this program in the future and replace it with a more vocational type exchange).  In fact, it was a game changing experience for Lauren.  She left her Engineering career at Pratt and took her many skills to another company where she would be able to ply her skills with international travel to Turkey as a Quality Control Engineer for a Massachusetts firm. It was special for bothImage Lauren and Marty as they were able to step foot on some ancestral land in Turkey and Greece.  Both were outstanding ambassadors for the Rotary cause - a great cultural exchange.  As they indicated it was not a vacation, it was an experience!!!!!  Great Job!

'til next week - Bob Wood

High Gear, January 8, 2014 Robert Wood 0

HIGH GEAR 12/11/13

Posted by Robert Wood

T'was a return to Winter, cold, with new fallen snow upon the ground and the promise of more to come over the weekend.  Big change from last week's spring-like weather.  Inside things remained the same, warm and friendly!  The big question "Where have all the Rotarians gone?"  Only about 30 members shared in the usual fellowship.  Let's make an effort to be here and share!!!!

Pres. George, showing great consistency, called us to order promptly at 12:17.  The usual opening ritual being completed, Anwar Hossain delivered a most thoughtful invocation calling for the "gift of moderation" and the ability to see clearly and

Anwar Hossain
 Anwar Hossain

recognize what is truly important.  A great lunch of ham, chicken, stuffed cabbage, mac and cheese, veggies, and a salad awaited us at the buffet table.  Dessert of a chocolate cake roll was served. 

Following lunch we reconvened for the introduction of guests.  Our speaker, Jack Mullen, was the only one to be found, but warranted a spirited Welcome Song led by Dave Amberg and The Empress, AKA Mary Martin.

Brian Liss, acting Sgt. at Arms, presented a lengthy list of donations- Alex Wisz - a picture in the paper, Dan Larson - birthday, Ruth Sheehan - on becoming a grandmother

 Gramma Ruthie

, Mary Sullivan - something about a bad girl?, Mary Martin - a judgment call on the voice quality of the Agnelli men,  Pres. George - for his granddaughter's graduation from U of H, and Sheryl O'Connor in tribute to all the bell ringers.

In keeping with tradition, Pres. George presented checks to our wait staff, Helen and Michelle.  He then read a note from Betty Ann Stokes which expressed appreciation for our club's support for Spurgeon and how much he loved the East Hartford Rotary Club. 

Ceil Makes the Pitch 

Ceil Collins gave one last pitch for the Holiday Party - 6:00 at the Gallery, 12/18.  Any changes should be given to Ceil by Friday!  Caring notes -Yvette and Brianna Marie are home and doing well.  Jack Sayre mentioned that Roy Spiller is also home and undergoing physical therapy.

One last note - we need a bell ringer Saturday the 14th from 5 to 6.

 New Member Nate Quesnel with sons, 
 Lil' Nate and Michael ringing the bell

  Call Jack Sayre if you can help.  Brian Liss won the raffle, thus keeping the last table's winning streak alive.

Dan Firestone again introduced our speaker, Jack Mullen, Coordinator of Education for Sturbridge Village.  He gave a brief history of this living history museum which depicts a typical New England Village from the 1790's to the 1840's.  It got started as a grist mill in the late 1930's and became a formal museum known as Olde Sturbridge Village in 1946.  It consists of several buildings and shops which were brought to the area from

 Jack Mullen

all over New England and reassembled as a living, working, village of the period.

There is a grist mill, a saw mill, pottery shop, blacksmith shop, cooperage, cobbler, working farms, and a variety of shops and houses typical of the period.  They provide many educational experiences for school groups from elementary through college age.

It's a great place to go and learn about our living past.  We are blessed in this area with such great opportunities - Mystic, Plimouth Plantation -and a host of great museums!  Take time to appreciate them.  Great program!!!

Til Next Week.

HIGH GEAR 12/11/13 Robert Wood 0

High Gear, November 27,2013

Posted by Theodore Mosebach

Ted MosebachAfter wine for an appetizer and a good heavy meal of spaghetti and meatballs followed with spice cake, President George had the courage to ring the bell and expect attention.  Rotarians being the well-healed experienced sort that they are, he got it. 


            Guests were introduced as Bob Dugger from the Glastonbury club, and Patrick and Brady Liss from the East Hartford 2040 club. President George then had the temerity to call on said brothers to join Dan Larson in leading the Welcome Song.  This may be the first time that guests needed to welcome their own selves. Dad at first came out on the floor with Patrick and Brady but then sat down and left them with Dan.  Okay, that was risky, I know, but it worked.  Dan seemed to know the words, the boys shook hands around the room and looked cute, and the club sang with gusto (I guess, you know, the wine and all).  


            Jack Sayre called the club’s attention to the loss we suffered this past week, Spurgeon Stokes.  A humanitarian, a committed Rotarian, but most of all a wonderful friend, we will miss Spurge the rest of our days. Image A visitation with the family is scheduled for this Friday, November 29, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM, at Taylor and Modeen Funeral Home, 136 South Main Street, West Hartford.  Worship of God and celebration of Spurge’s life will be Saturday, 11:00 AM, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, West Hartford. 


            Sergeant at Arms, Jack Sayre proclaimed that there were no fines but many voluntary contributions to the kitty.  Usually getting members to pay up takes a bit more than expecting the best of them, but Jack is a gentle sort and finds the normal arm-twisting distasteful. And maybe it was the Thanksgiving spirit, or maybe it was the wine, but the all-volunteer method worked today.  Here are the generous free offerings:


            George Agnelli for his picture in the paper. (Jack relayed that George said his picture would be in the paper on a regular basis for the next few weeks and George wondered if he could get out of paying each time.  There was no spoken response heard from the club upon receiving this intelligence, but from the incredulous looks I saw on many faces I’d say the answer is no, George.


            Patrick and Brady made a donation in gratitude for being here with their Dad as guests.


            Ned Lynch anted again for the Red Sox but this week included the Patriots.  Sometimes we fans of New England sports teams find it difficult to keep up with all their success. I like Yankee fans, and Giants fans and Jets fans and all, but I sort of feel sorry for them, too.  


 Image           Janice Freschlin paid in celebration of her and her niece running in the Manchester Road Race tomorrow.  Fantastic!  Good luck, Janice!


            Past member and continuing friend, John Mozzicato has been ill recently, was hospitalized, and is now recuperating back home. He would love to hear from us. His phone is 860-299-6067.


            Jim Reik has had walking difficulties and spent some time in therapy.  Along with others, let’s keep Jim in our thoughtsImage and prayers during the holiday seasons.


            Nate Quesnell was presented his permanent Rotary membership name badge.  Welcome again, Nate!


            George Agnelli read a moving letter from honorary member Bill Flynn through which Bill expressed his thanksgiving for the East Hartford Rotary Club and all that it does for the East Hartford community. Bill generously donated $1,000 to the club to be used for the Scholarship Fund, Polio Plus, Rotary Foundation, and General Purposes.  Bill, thank you for the letter and for your warm hearted generosity, and most of all for your thoughtfulness in staying in touch with us.  Hopefully, when the warm weather again returns, it will be time for you to journey back north and we can see you again!


            The club campaign for Toys for low-income East Hartford children too collected $421.  This will be given to the fund for holiday toys through East Hartford Town Hall, Social Services. Thank you, Neal Cunningham, for organizing the campaign and inviting the club to participate.


            The Holiday Party will be December 18.  Please mark your calendars. A great program is being planned, including some excellent live music provided through Goodwin College and Guy LaBella.  Not to miss!  Please continue to check Club Runner as details develop.


            There are openings for Ringing the Bell for Salvation Army on the Saturdays of Dec 7, 14, and 21.  Please use the sign-up sheet at Wednesday meetings or contact Jack Sayre.


            Loretta and Dan Dienst send their greetings!Image


            There were two raffle prizes this afternoon, one of which was a beautiful bouquet donated by Bob Buettner Florist Shop and won by Guy LaBella.  The same guy who runs the raffle won the money.  Is that legal?  Whatever, it was a good day for guys.


            Rev. Gary Richards, Pastor of New Covenant United Methodist Church on Burnside Avenue, was the speaker. Rev. Richards shared what some of the recent facility renovations have been at the church and how the congregation is working to connect with the neighborhood to be of service to soul and body. Image He suggested that we all remember Thanksgiving as a time for initiating or keeping the connections that make life rich, with family, friend, neighborhood, and religious congregation. 


Make ups:  Mike Derr (2)—  St. Louis


                      Hope Firestone---- Bloomfield



Happy Thanksgiving!


            Go Sox!













High Gear, November 27,2013 Theodore Mosebach 0

High Gear, December 4, 2013

Posted by Robert Wood


A great day - more Spring like than early Winter - too bad the golf course is closed!  The usual pre- meeting conversations were scattered throughout the hall.  It's truly great to be able to enjoy the friendships that have developed over the short and long term.  That's what makes this a great and caring Club!  President George was a little slow at the bell -12:17  if you're keeping track- but true to form, things went off as usual.  The Song, the Pledge, and the invocation given by the president himself got us to where we needed to be.  The Foundation Moment, given by Peter Klock,Image  gave tribute to Bob Dunn who endowed a guaranteed Rotary scholarship which is to be given to an East Hartford or West Hartford student.  Bob benefitted from a Rotary Scholarship many years ago and is now making the opportunity available to others of a new generation.  Great Pay Back!!!  A tasty buffet of pork loin, sweet potato, green  beans, salad, and assorted cookies was there for the taking.  I guess the buffet format is the "new normal".

Reconvening after lunch Pres. George started to introduce the guests at the front table, but, alas, they had vanished for the moment.  Not missing a beat, Sgt. at Arms Ned Lynch was called into service with a wide range of fineable offenses - Ceil Collins paid for a new car, Bob Buettner paid in honor of Dan and Dorothy Larson's 42nd anniversary (as did Dan also), but Dan also paid for Dorothy finishing the Marathon in under her age, 61 minutes!,  Ned Lynch paid into  the Ellsbury disability fund set aside for ex sox players moving to the Yankees (maybe Yukalis can share),  George Schoen paid for 12 years in Rotary, Alex Wisz paid for a promotion, and in addition, several early leavers, late arrivals, or improper pin management miscreants added to the coffers! After his Sgt. at Arms stint, Ned sat down and promptly won the Raffle.  Can't get any better than that!!!!  Finally our guests returned, Reggie Barall, Billy Montgomery, and Julia Vasques were introduced and serenaded with the Welcome Song led by Lionel Lessard and Chuck Clarke.

The following caring moments and announcements were shared:Image Yvette had her baby, a girl Brianna! Keep them both in your prayers.  Roy Spiller  is in Manchester Hospital, room 2231, with a lung infection.  Sue Klock mentioned how important it was to Betty Ann Stokes that so many Rotarian paid their respects at Spurgeon's calling hours.  Ceil mentioned the Holiday Party  -12/18 at the Gallery- $45 per, Roast Beef, Filet Mignon, Baked Stuffed Shrimp, and Chicken Florentine. Pay up ASAP.  Jack Sayre said we need a bell ringer from 5-6 this Saturday.  Give him a call if you can do it.  Herb Barall needs help at the Cultural Center this Saturday as well - 6:30. Call him!

Herb Barall was called upon to introduce today's program -

 Image Image 
 Herb Barall
 Reggie Barall

The Circle of Lights Art's Center, featuring, his Wife, Reggie, its President. Reggie has been active in the EH Woman's Club, Fine Arts Commission, and as a fund raiser for the Salvation Army.  Many years ago Reggie and Herb had the opportunity to become involved in Creating The Circle of Lights Arts Center at the newly renovated cultural center.  Using their many skills, they acquired the use of the studio, raised funds to put in a 1st class dance floor, and with the help of many friends, and much sweat equity got everything off the ground and now had a place to see their dreams come true. They even got Bill Leone to help make the project a 501c3 entity. The dance and arts center provides many cultural and dance opportunities for an underserved student and senior population.  They operate in several schools and provide dance lessons as well as life lessons to many young people in town.  They provide great benefits for the town of East Hartford.  Reggie introduced Billy Montgomery a student well served by the Circle of Life.  Billy explained how their program kept him out of trouble and helped him with his career choice. 

Image   Image
 Billie Montgomery  Julie Vasquez

Reggie then introduced her Ballet instructor, Julia Vasquez  who, along with Reggie demonstrated the joys of Ballet.  It is evident that Reggie and Herb truly enjoy what they do, and provide a much needed service to the community.  Thanks!!!!!!!

For this week, Bob Wood

High Gear, December 4, 2013 Robert Wood 0

High Gear, November 20, 2013

Posted by Theodore Mosebach

When I walked into the Ridge the first thing I noticed was that the kitchen was empty.  I thought, “Oh no! Someone forgot the pay the Krause bill!” But then I remembered¾ its cold cut sandwich day!  Some people call such sliced cold meat in a bun creations grinders, or submarines, or gyros.  Those of us who know better call them hoagies.   Southeastern Pennsylvania has made four tremendous contributions to the world: The United States Declaration of Independence, the Liberty Bell, cheese steaks, and hoagies.  In that order.  (By the way, if you want a good cheese steak in the Philadelphia style, go to Krause Market¾ not to be confused with the caterer¾ on Main Street in East Hartford, across from the Coca Cola building.  There is a little deli and grill in there and they actually know how to make a cheese steak.  And for goodness sakes, don’t get one with mayo!)


Kudos to Bob Buettner for organizing the lunch and ordering the hoagies!  They assumed about half the cost of our fifteen dollars lunch fee and that allowed about seven dollars per person to be donated by the club to the Rotary Foundation. Hence, it was a niftyImage little Foundation fund-raiser. Everyone at our table was pleased with the idea, and the meal, and would be open to doing it again. (If only this writer could next time remember what kind he ordered.  I took one that said ham and didn’t hear any complaints so I guess it was all right.)


Rev. Hangland led us in prayer.  He did a great job!  Beautifully expressing words of thanks and a heartfelt petition for recent victims of natural disasters, the club silently joined him in asking for the Great Presence as we do our best to be helpful people in these difficult times.


ImageMary Martin came over to our table and said, “Did you get desert, sweetie?”  I said, “Yes,” but she was speaking to Jack.  I think it’s nice that she looks out for him and we all said so. He responded with a wave of his hand but I’m glad we said something.  He’s married to the Empress!


Indicating that Art Bradbury and Jay Stewart were celebrating birthdays, Sgt @ Arms, Jack Sayre, said they requested that the club sing Happy Birthday to them.  As usual, we needed Art to start us off; yes, for his own birthday song!  It was for Jay too, but still.  A man should not have to sing any part of his own birthday song.  I think weImage owe Art another one. Maybe Frank Collins could start it. Bill Saunders paid for an anniversary, Bob Buettner in honor of Art’s birthday, and Ned Lynch…still celebrating the Red Sox.  Jack seemed surprised at that, but a lot of us are still celebrating.  We’re just too tight to pay.  Thanks for picking us up, Ned.



Bill Saunders and Neal Cunningham led the Welcome Song.  I thought Bill looked fine but after the song a bidding war started for his sweater.  Rotarians are always looking for a way to make a buck.


There will be another Rotary Sponsored dance exhibition at Holiday Fest this year, Saturday, December 7.  Volunteers are needed to pass out programs and such.  If you can help , please contact Herb Barall.


There are slots available on the sign-up sheets for bell ringing for the Salvation Army, for four Saturdays, November 30 through December 21.  If you and/or family and friends can commit to more than one hour (not necessarily one right after the other) that would be helpful.


This was the last day the envelope will be passed for toys for low-income children through East Hartford town social services. If you would like to make a donation, please do so in the next few days by contacting Neal Cunningham.


There will be wine and cheese next Wednesday at 11:30 AM before the meeting.  It is the day before Thanksgiving and the meeting speaker will be Rev. Gary Richards, pastor of New Covenant United Methodist Church on Burnside Avenue in East Hartford.  Gary is a dedicated, intelligent pastor committed to meeting human need through the ministries of the church.  He will describe some of the extensive renovations that you may have noticed taking place at the church and the plans that are forming to use the upgraded facilities for the benefit of the Burnside community. Gary also leads the recently formed Hunger Action Committee of East Hartford.  And he’s a good preacher too! So, go easy on the wine.  You won’t want to miss anything he says.


The Membership Committee will meet on Wednesday, December 4, 11:30 AM.


The club Holiday Party will be Wednesday, December 18.  Please mark your calendars now.  Details to follow.


Ruth Sheehan won the Raffle.  She’s such a nice person the club did not even groan.


Joanne Bullo, the office manager for some years at the East Hartford YMCA, lost her battle with cancer a few days ago.  Brian Liss and everyone connected with the Y is greatly saddened by her loss. Brian, you and the Y were in our thoughts and prayers today.


Tom Anderson of the Connecticut Audubon Society spoke to the club about the great work of the Society in support of bird natural habitat, environmental concerns in general, and outdoor science education.Image  The Society is putting particular effort now into the restoration of Stratford Sound at the mouth of the Housatonic River.  He also commented on the successful replenishing of eagles and osprey in Connecticut, and timely enough¾wild turkeys too.  He said there are presently 35,000 turkeys in Connecticut.  Who might argue?


Go Sox!






High Gear, November 20, 2013 Theodore Mosebach 0

Goodbye, Old Friend

Posted by W. Douglas Willett

"And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest"





Spurgeon F. Stokes(1925 - 2013)


Spurgeon F. Stokes, 88, of West Hartford, beloved husband of Betty Ann (Haslam) Stokes, passed away peacefully Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 11:11 p.m. at his home. Spurgeon, also know as Poppa, was born on May 9, 1925 in Lexington, North Carolina son of Arlene (Feezor) and Oscar Barker Stokes.

Spurgeon proudly served in WWII in the South Pacific for the US Navy. He moved to Connecticut in 1946 and met his wife, Betty Ann, the love of his life whom he was married to for 60 years. He attended the Hartford Business School and worked at Pratt and Whitney for 42 years.

Besides his wife, he is survived by his son Christopher and his wife Mary Ann of West Hartford, his daughter Lyne and her partner Mike Murray of West Hartford, and his daughter Alison S. Ritrovato and her husband Charlie of Lyme; and his adored grandchildren Kyle and Alyssa Stokes, Eric and Alex Smith, Phoebe and Isabel Ritrovato. He was predeceased by his brother O.B. Stokes and his sisters Mary, Polly and Grace.

Spurgeon volunteered for many organizations including the Boy Scouts of America where he was a long term scout master and the Rotary of East Hartford where he was a Paul Harris Fellow.

Friends may call at Taylor & Modeen Funeral Home, 136 South Main Street, West Hartford on Friday November 29th from 4:00-7:00 p.m. A private family burial will be held Saturday morning November 30, 2013. There will be a public celebration of his life held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 30 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2080 Boulevard, West Hartford. Please visit www.taylorandmodeen.com for directions or to leave messages of condolences.

(Obituary from the Hartford Courant)


Goodbye, Old Friend W. Douglas Willett 0

High Gear, November 13, 2013

Posted by Theodore Mosebach

Ted MosebachIt was a beautiful brisk sunny day at the Ridge as we gathered for our weekly lunch and fun.  President George rang the bell on time and new member Brian Gorman led us in thanks-giving to the Holy One for all the blessings we have received and for those which we have an opportunity to give.


            November is Rotary Foundation month and Brian Liss explained that the difference between the regular charge of fifteen dollars for lunch and the lower cost ofImage the grinders for next week, will be donated to the Rotary Foundation.  (Those of us from southeastern Pennsylvania know that their correct name is hoagies.) He further noted that the club received the Platinum level recognition from the Foundation for last year’s club donation of two thousand dollars.


Alex Wisc introduced his guest, Sheri Matola, a business associate at American Eagle Credit Union.  The Welcome Song was then led by Ms Sullivan and Ms Martin, otherwise known as The Two Marys.  Even though choosing not to  “dance to the music,” they very well maintained tempo through smiles and handshakes which kept the club singing with gusto and for the most part on key.  Surely Sheri was impressed if not with the club’s musicianship, then at least our enthusiasm. Or something.


Sergeant @ Arms Jack Sayre reported that a lot of people were fined today for birthdays.  He further implied that as a number of members have enjoyed the clean air of many Novembers, birthday contributions are becoming more and more lucrative and he was well pleased with today’s results.  George Agnelli also contributed, not for his birthday, or for his maturity, but because he was on television. (It seems like we get George for something just about every week.)  Jack Sayre himself put money in the bag for his 37 years of Rotary membership.  Brian Liss also added to the pouch in honor of Dan and Betty Russell. They hosted the first gathering of this year’s YMCA Strong Kids Campaign at their house and those in attendance met the financial goal of the meeting!


There are still some times open for the first Saturday of bell ringing for the Salvation Army as well as for the Saturdays following.  Please use the signup sheet next week or contact Jack Sayre.