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High Gear Archives – January, 2004 - June, 2004 HIGH GEAR for June 30, 2004 "The time has come, the walrus said…" Tonight the time came for transitions, our annual handing over of the medallion and bell from one club leader to another. And a great night it was, full of good food, good friends, and "good, good, good vibrations." Event Chair Mary Martin reported outstanding attendance of one hundred ten people, including incoming President Dan's daughter, Michele, and her husband, Larry, who came all the way from Boca Raton, Florida to attend this special evening - (or was it to escape the heat wave in South Florida?) Outgoing President Neal (is "outgoing" the right word for this man's personality?) started the evening off with a crisp ring of the bell and a smart handoff to the soon to be Pittsburgh kid, Roger Nicholson, for his usual thoughtful invocation. The welcome song was enthusiastically lead by Art and Tom with Don on the keyboard. Sergeant at Arms Jack Ghagan, who never takes a night off had sparse pickin's, able to extort money only from Dave & Chickie Amberg celebrating their 42nd anniversary, Art & Charlotte Bradbury who check in with 57 years of wedded bliss, and from a couple of hackers who got lucky in Doug Willett and Bob Brown (a hole-in-one and an eagle, respectively). Bill Leone took the mike to relay some good news about brother Tom Galvin, who is home from the medical wards, trying to figure out how to eat with half his stomach missing, and still very much in command of his sense of humor - Tom "complained" he had so many cards and letters from the Rotary family, he had to spend an extra day in the hospital to read them all! You are missed, Tom, especially now that you have become a cheap date. President Neal took a moment to announce that the Board of Directors has named Roger Nicholson an Honorary Member of the Club, insuring that though he and Anne are relocating to distant climes, he will continue to extend his record as our member with the longest tenure in the Club, dating back to 1957. Speaking of being missed. At this point, President Neal took a moment to recognize the key leaders of the Club in the past year, briefly noted the long list of Club accomplishments this year and sketched out the $45,000 in donations and good works completed in his administration. With that and accompanied by a rousing round of applause for a most successful tenure, he handed over the medallion and bell to President Dan, accepted the traditional plaques and Club gift (a digital camera in this case) and faded into the immediate obscurity of an Rotary Past President. Out with the old, in with the new. President Dan began by introducing his family and the incoming Board of Directors and took a few minutes to outline his plans for the year. The 2004- 2005 Rotary International Theme is Celebrate Rotary with special emphasis on Health concerns, Water management, Literacy and the Family of Rotary. Dan plans to concentrate on "growing the Club" - (starting with the cheesecake served for dessert this evening) - and compiling a manual for use of future officers and committee chairman. He ended his first session at the helm with an insightful alpha-numeric anecdote about the folly of trying to exceed 100% effort. A good start on his yearlong journey. He'll do just fine, once he can shake hands with his right arm, like an honest man. Announcement: Past President's Picnic will be held Sunday, July 18th at the Stewart's lakeside clubhouse. Details to follow. And so we headed out in night, wending our way back to the shore, listening to Ruthie's beloved Sox once again self-destruct in the heat of a New York night …all is right with the world. See ya in September. WDOUGW HIGH GEAR for June 23, 2004 A bright, beautiful day for the first meeting of Summer 2004 and the penultimate session in President Neal's reign. The day got off to the right start with the always witty greeting from Treasurer Dan Larson, a man of adroit verbal misdirection while inserting his hand deep into your pocketbook. Speaking of which, Secretary Carol Krantz handed out invoices for July- December dues. Pay quickly since rumor has it that RI is about to announce a modest dues increase for each of the next three years. (He ain't heavy; he's our Frank!) A lot of discussion today about news articles proclaiming the increase in polio cases in the African subcontinent. RI VP and soon to be RI - UN Ambassador Frank tells us much of this is due to the "idiocy" of a governor in a region of Nigeria who has up to now refused for religious reasons to allow vaccinations of his population. Good news is that the World Health Organization has intervened and got the program back on track. Rotary has run out of money for this project (over $600,000,000 invested to date) but G-8 countries have stepped up and agreed to cover remaining costs to complete the elimination of this dread disease. PDE Dick Seidman was our only guest today. Fines were collected from Herb Tischofer (Rotary Anniversary), Peter & Sue Klock and Skip Guillemette (Wedding Anniversaries), Bill Flynn (birthday), President Neal and Doug Willett (Pix in paper) and Dick Seidman (whole list of happy thoughts). Don Hallquist played "New York, New York" in honor of the missing John Mozzicato. Good news on the Tom Galvin front. Tom had surgery on Tuesday and the doctors reported they think they got it all. (Hope they left this man's funny bone intact. It is a unique one but well exercised so it probably survived.) Tom will probably be in Hartford Hospital for a few days so cards and letters are appropriate. President Neal was the recipient of a well-deserved Presidential Citation, presented by ADG Doug Willett on behalf of DG Jeff Tager. President Neal also reported that the E.H. Gazette ran an eight-page spread on the work of the Club with the School Business Partnership. And he read well-written thank you notes from scholarship recipient Dave Liner and the teacher of the young elementary student who we provided with clothes and other assistance. Both letters made the day even brighter. Mary Martin reported that there has been a Gazebo sighting on the town green. Work is "half- done" on the structure and after landscaping we should be ready for a dedication ceremony this fall. George Stewart invited one and all to an Open House this Sunday between 1:30 and 4 p.m. at his home at 207 Country Lane. The party is a celebration of George and Jay's 80th birthdays. Jay called this scribe later to reiterate the universality of the invitation and to discourage gift giving. Bill Saunders modeled a golf windbreaker that will be presented to each golfer in our upcoming tournament. If you are playing, call him with your shirt size to ensure proper fit. He also encouraged all members to get on the stick soliciting players, sponsors, and raffle prizes. Although he is too polite to say it, Bill is somewhat discouraged that over half the membership historically contributes nothing to this event each year. Since this is our major fundraiser, there is no good excuse for any of us to shirk our responsibilities here. Golf Committee meetings at 11:30 a.m.on July 14th and July 28th. Our speaker, Mary Dansinghani, presented some interesting insights on using mandalas and labyrinths to help people get centered and connected to the wholeness of life. These symbols are universal in art and religions, not to mention in the form of the Rotary wheel. - An interesting presentation. Makeup's turned in from Lionel Lessard, Bob Wood, and Frank and Ceil Collins. That's enough. See you at the Stewarts on Sunday and at our Installation Dinner next week. . WDOUGW HIGH GEAR for June 16, ,2004 "As the days dwindled down to a precious few…" our erstwhile President Neal presided with aplomb and a command presence over our annual visit to the Leone manse for our Sergeant At Arms Party. The crowd was goodly as was the fare. Spotted among the boisterous revelers were old friends Fred Campbell, Frank Kreson, Richard O'Brien, and Bob Popp. As at all Sergeant At Arms parties the grub was first rate. Wielding his tongs and spatula like the culinary maestro he is, Bill Leone produced succulent steaks and sensuous salmon for all in attendance. Sided by tossed salad, ziti, and garlic bread, the main course was soon history. And this was after much imbibing of drink and inhaling of hors d'oeuvres from cheese, pepperoni and crackers to chicken tenders. And it preceded the traditional dessert of make your own vanilla sundaes. On my, no one was seen to leave the table hungry. Bill was ably assisted by Kathy McCabe, Spurge Stokes, Dean Roland, the inestimable Bev Leone and others behind the scene. As always the set up and clean up opportunities brought out a host of volunteers. All in all, a successful and enjoyable event. Let's do it once a month instead of once a year. My recollection (this is my first sergeant at arms party since 1995) was that the Sergeant at Arms always took a night off at the annual Sergeant at Arms Party, but tonight this was not to be. Indeed, Sgt. John Mozzicato took the occasion to "clean up the books." So Bob Popp paid for three anniversaries, up to and including his 44th. Don Cramer and Frank Kreson both paid for anniversaries last year and this. Don is up to 26 and Frank is at 23. And Darlene Roberts paid for her 1st anniversary and her birthday on February 6! Brian Hall paid to celebrate a promotion with the Boy Scouts and Doug Willett paid for his new, used wheels. The Yankee fans paid still again and George Schoen paid for his forty five "yard" putt which brought tears to the eyes of Amberg and Bradbury. And finally, Larry Churchill paid for jumping to the head of the food line, shattering all protocol and embarrassing his peers. One prominent Rotarian missing (and greatly missed) from our gathering was Tom Galvin. Tom, who has done so much over the years to coordinate this event, is in Hartford Hospital with a "rather nasty gastric ulcer" waiting for test results. Our prayers and warm wishes go out to you, Tom. You are one of the good guys - get back to us soon. Jeanette and Fred Campbell are in town for the best of reasons. Their grandson, Ari, is graduating from EHHS on Thursday evening as the Valedictorian. And, Rotary friends, Ari will be joined on stage by Salutatorian, David Liner, whose proud grandparents are none other than Bill and Bev Saunders. Number One and Number Two. Not bad, not bad at all. Congratulations. Declaring that the Club, in the last few days of his stewardship, had experienced enough "gaiety and frivolity" for one night, President Neal dismissed the group with a resounding clang of the bell. (The neighbors sitting on their deck behind the Leone property jumped six inches off their chairs.) Two weeks to go. See you at the Ridge. WDOUGW HIGH GEAR for June 9, 2004 "Help us to be true to the Four Way Test" was Bill Flynn’s prayerful request as he blessed our weekly gathering, this after we had sung to Rotary and America respectively. President Neal, poised and calm as usual, presided over one of his last few meetings, with distinguished District guests at the head table, PDG Tom Voorhees and DGE Dick Seidman, both under the hospitable wing of Jim Watts, one of our Club’s strong participants in District activities over the years. Other guests today were Jeff Aube, guest of Dan Firestone, and Tommy Bates, son of our own Steve, and new Kindergarten graduate. Moe Moshovos led the Welcome Song, with reminiscence of Zorba in his style, a fortissimo effort by our members! SA Roy Spiller, duly chastised by someone for not wearing his Rotary pin, paid a fine and then asked all Rotarians without a pin to "fess up" and pay up. Count on Roy to use every advantage to raise a buck or two! Roy then announced Club membership anniversaries for Dave Amberg (5), Chuck Clarke (9), and Pat Porteous (4). He fined Gerry Brady for arriving late and leaving early, and Skip Guillemette the same. This man is dedicated! Roy also told us that Sue and Peter Klock are about to observe their 37th wedding anniversary, for which Sue contributed handsomely. And get this: Roy fined Yankee fans for their team being in first place, and suggested that the same apply to the Red Sox fans when they are there. Steinbrenner’s Rep, Doug Willett said that this would only be needed in April and May! President Neal announced steady progress on the gazebo at the Town Center. Concrete and conduit in place and construction kit due any day now. He called on Darlene Roberts, YMCA Director, who presented Rotary a citation for its substantial support of the "Strong Kids Campaign". Neal asked for volunteers to assist Tom Galvin next Wednesday at 1:30 at the Ridge with loading tables, tent, etc. for the SA cookout at the home of Bill and Bev Leone, Remember, this is the official meeting on June 16, no noon meeting. Mary Martin appealed for payment by the twelve who signed up but have not paid for the June 30 Installation Banquet at Adam’s Mill, Manchester. Social hour at 6 and dinner at 7. Please pay no later than the SA party. Makeup cards were handed to your scribe for Steve Jacoby (Savannah West,GA), Lionel Lessard (Rockville), and Roy Spiller (Manchester). We thank these boosters of our rank in the District where we are usually near the top in percentage of attendance. Jim Watts introduced our special guests from District 7890. Dick Seidman our incoming District Governor is a member of the West Hartford Club. Tom Voorhees, speaker, is a member of the Avon-Canton Club and was 7890 DG in 1999-2000. He joined Rotary in New Jersey in 1973. Tom is District Chairman of the Rotary Foundation Committee, of which our own Jim Watts is a member. Tom said he knew he was talking to a Club which has been very loyal to the Rotary Foundation through the years, contributing almost a quarter of a million dollars. Last year District Clubs gave $148,000 to the general program of the Foundation, and another $198,000 in restricted gifts (endowment). The Foundation began in 1917 and its first contribution was $26.00 by the Kansas City Rotary Club. In 2002-2003 Rotarians contributed 55.8 million dollars!! Rotarians can be proud of the great educational and humanitarian programs which the Foundation makes possible in the world:Polio Plus, Youth Exchanges, Group Study Exchanges, Ambassadorial Scholarships, Matching Grants for development projects, all seeking to bring unity, peace, and security to the human family. The Rotary Foundation needs and deserves the support of every Rotarian, This year’s District goal has been to seek gifts from every member of $75, either by direct individual donations or through a Club donation recognizing this ratio. Our thanks to Tom for this informative talk about the very heart of Rotary’s mission. I close with Tom’s closing quote from Winston Churchill, "You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give." I’ve enjoyed my six weeks as your reporter. Enjoy the gift of each day. Perambulatin’ Parson (Roger and Anne Nicholson) HIGH GEAR for June 2, 2004 "Lend a Hand, Rotary International’s current theme as the year winds down was the theme of our meeting today as we welcomed a delegation from the East Hartford/Glastonbury Magnet School on May Road. Pupils Jessica Mello and Tapan Dalal, along with their Principal, Rotarian Glen Peterson, the Community Service Coordinator Elayna Szkrybalo and PTO President Tracy Mello (Jessica’s mom) came to report on their fund raising project for Heifer International, and to receive our Club’s promised contribution toward their efforts. Our Club’s contribution was $1,000 which we added to what the children raised, $1,948, making a total donation to the work of Heifer International of close to $3,000. Your Scribe, representing the Northeast Region of Heifer, presented the Magnet School a citation from Heifer International. Hungry families around the world will get a helping hand in the form of food producing animals. Rotary is in partnership withHeifer International.Luncheon today was eggplant parmigiana with ziti and strawberry/ rhubarb pie for dessert. Side salad also. Herb Tischofer, back from his travels, led a vigorous welcome song accompanied by a natty looking keyboard artist named Donald. Roy Spiller, SA, reported a very good day: Birthdays for Steve Bates, Chuck Clarke, Don Cramer, Herb Tischofer and "Lefty": Firestone. Dan was the only one who requested song, but he wanted only those who had suffered a broken arm in their lives to sing. Surprisingly there were several who were qualified and sang pretty well! Club membership anniversaries were duly paid for by Steve Bates, Walt Kupchunos and Gil Wishart. Dave Amberg paid for a new car (brand not clear) and Dan Russell paid for his fiftieth college reunion (pretty sure it was Syracuse U.). Sue Klock, our hard-working roster preparer with a mind for detail and accuracy asked us to check the latest version and inform her of any needed changes. We appreciate your sticktoitedness, Sue! Bill Saunders reminded everyone of the Golf T. Committee meeting next Wednesday at 11 AM at the Ridge. Sponsor forms were circulating for the tournament, so it’s time to get cracking on recruiting support. Let’s give Bill and his committee our best effort. They deserve it, our service projects need it, the community will be better for it. President Neal announced nice thank you letters from East Hartford Basketball coach/coordinator for our financial support of the Town’s program to keep kids busy and out of trouble through sports; and from the Performing Arts program for our Club’s support of creative programs for children in the community. Again, Rotary at work, this time in the avenue of community service. Neal does a great job of keeping us informed about the good we are doing. Thanks, Neal, it’s been a super year with you at the helm. Our District reputation for high attendance was maintained by the loyal maker uppers, Herb Tischofer, twice at Naples, FL; Lionel Lessard and Chuck Clarke at Rockville; and Frank and Ceil Collins at W. Springfield, MA (District Assembly), Beijing, China (Provisional Club Meeting), Seoul, Korea (Rotary Club of Hanyang), Osaka, Japan (International Institute) and Osaka, Japan (International Convention). Just think: our East Hartford Club gets around! Mary Martin says the numbers look good for our Installation Banquet June 30 at Adams Mill in Manchester. Social hour at 6 PM and Dinner at 7 PM. Please get your checks in to Mary ASAP, $35 per person. This occasion is a high light of our Rotary year as we thank our outgoing President and welcome our new President to take over July 1st. Today’s winning raffle ticket was held by Carmen Piscatello, even if he didn’t seem to care. Jack Ghagan, however, was looking after him! ROTARY AT A GLANCE: 1,211,723 Rotarians; 31,603 Clubs; 529 Districts; 166 Countries. Let’s all do our best in some way, great or small, to "LEND A HAND". Perambulatin’ Parson (reporter: Roger Nicholson) HIGH GEAR for May 26, 2004 "Imagination" was the theme of our guest speaker today, The Reverend Dr. Henry Millan, new resident of Covenant Village in Cromwell, formerly of East Hartford. Henry describes himself as "retired, retreaded and rejoicing." He’s minister-in-residence at South Congregational Church of East Hartford. He was the founder of the Pastoral Counseling Center of West Hartford. A person of great humor, Henry helped us see how a "positive imaging" (imagination) can help us cope with life’s greatest challenges. Our thanks to Art Bradbury for bringing this helpful program to us. "What makes your heart sing?" Focus on this when clouds gather! Today’s gong rang on the dot and "DH" (not designated hitter) led us in a robust rendition of "the song", after which we saluted the flag. Ted Mosebach gave a thoughtful grace and we sat down to a repast featuring "mystery chicken" with string beans and rice, followed by banana cake. Dan Russell, (with intimations of Roger Driggs) led the raucous welcome song for our only visitor, today’s guest speaker. How we do love to sing! Don H. brings it out of us, that’s for sure. SA John Mazzicato gets an Emmy for today’s report! We discovered "the American Idols" in the persons of Carmen Piscatello and Scotty Howatt, who were the only two qualified to sing Happy Birthday to Dean Roland. You had to be older than Dean, who is 82. Then, John followed this feat by telling us George Stewart (80 on May 30th) wanted a full-voiced rendition of Happy Birthday. We brought the rafters down! So it was a bit anticlimactic when John told us about club anniversaries for Herb Barall, 12 years and Larry Churchill, 20 years. Carol Krantz handed this editor a long list of makeups, too much for this space. It was a list of more than 35 Rotarians and "spices" who staffed the recent Seniors Prom at East Hartford High School. Thanks to everyone for a stellar event! You had to be proud today to be a Rotarian! President Neal told us the club received the School Business Partnership Sam J. Leone Award for meritorious support of this youth program through our high school. He also reported a very enthusiastic thank you for our $500 contribution to Sonteni International, an aids intervention program in Kenya. Gil Wishart’s daughter is the link with this vitally important health initiative. How exciting to hear from Glenn that the children that attend the East Hartford/Glastonbury Magnet School have raised $1,600 for Heifer Project. We will add $700 to their effort. On June 9th we will feature the young people at our meeting. Still more great news: Dave Amberg announced the East Hartford Rotary Scholarship Awardees for 2004: Jessica Belasano (EHHS) will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute Lauren Carpernter (ECHS) will attend Smith College Maureen Fearon (EHHS) will attend Boston College David Liner (EHHS) will attend the University of Connecticut (David receives the Jack Davis Scholarship, thanks Helen.) Erica Woods (EHHS) will attend American International College Thanks, Dave, and the hard working committee for this good news. Each award is for $2,500. Steve Jacoby complimented Rotarian Doug Willett for his many citations for community service. Steve is pleased that one of our local RYLA students is part of the fourteen who will go to the national RYLA Conference at the University of Wisconsin this summer. Bill Saunders gave a pep talk on the Golf Tournament. He thanked Carol Krantz for the introduction of special sartorial items like hats and tee shirts, also garland pins. The committee will now bear down on sponsors starting next week. Thanks, Bill, for your steady leadership. President-elect "Lefty" Firestone, looking very well, told us he appreciated all the cards, calls and visits. "It only hurts when I breathe," he added. He reminds everyone to sign up for committees ASAP. Finally, Mary Martin reported significant progress on the gazebo. There’s now an excavation! She also urges signups for the installation dinner. Please give her your check next week, $35 per person. Jack Ghagan won today’s raffle and we closed with one verse of "America the Beautiful." Perambulaltin’ Parson, Roger and Anne Nicholson HIGH GEAR FOR MAY 19. 2004 An overcast hangover from the previous night’s thunderstorm did not dull the enthusiasm of East Hartford’s Rotarians and guests who gathered at Veterans Memorial Clubhouse today. President Neal’s forthright strike of the gong quieted the room and we sang the usual song without Don’s accompaniment. He’s en route back from Sanibel Island. Bill Flynn gave a thoughtful invocation and we sat down to a tasty repast of filet of sole, mashed potatoes and vegetable medley, with carrot cake for dessert. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention we did salute the stars and stripes also. Our nation sure needs our support these days!! Many makeups were handed to me today, as follows: Steve Jacoby at New Britain and Savannah West, GA, Don Cramer, Ft. Myers, FL, Herb Tischofer, twice, at Naples Bay, FL, and Art Bradbury at Tenerife, Spain. Welcome back, Art! Eight members made up at the Scholarship Committee’s recent meeting, to whit: B. Wood, B. Flynn, M. Martin, B. Secord, D. Willett, P. Porteus and J. Fallon. Dave Amberg has been busy with Habitat for Humanity and gets credit for four makeups. Way to go, Dave! The Welcome Song, led by the author himself, Tom Westbrook, was rendered for guests Jeff Aube (Dan Firestone’s guest, only Dan didn’t make it today. More below about that); and Dan Larson’s sister, Mary Lou Onidi, who was to introduce today’s guest speaker. SA John Mazzicato reported donations for birthdays by Jim Watts, Margaret LaCroix and Leroy Spiller. Roy asked everyone over age 71 to sing to him. Half the people present gathered around Roy’s table for a cacophony of HB, or so it looked! Margaret also paid for her eight year Club anniversary. Gerry Brady was fined for being on time and confusing everyone. Tom Galvin clarified it by telling us Gerry was on time for last week! Never mind, Gerry, we know you are slowing down. Mary Martin reminded us yet again it’s time to sign in for the Installation Banquet on June 30 at Adam’s Mill. Let her know ASAP. Also, be sure to add your name to the list of 53 signed up already for the annual SA party at Bill Leone’s home June 16 at 5:30 PM. SUE KLOCK IS TRYING TO FINALIZE THE REVISED ROSTER, SO LET HER KNOW AT ONCE ABOUT ANY CHANGES. Steve Jacoby presented President Neal with a colorful flag from the Savannah West Club. He also told us left over food supplies from the Senior Ball went to the East Hartford Shelter. Jack Ghagan announced it’s been decided not to participate in the Town Memorial Day Parade this year, due to commitments around the Gazebo project. Maybe next year? President Neal reported from the Board of Directors that donations have been voted for the Summer Program in the Arts for Kids ($675) and the East Hartford Coach’s Summer Basketball Program ($350). Solid community support from Rotary. We should be proud! Dan Dienst reported that Bunny Belanger’s cancer intervention surgery went well and the prognosis is highly favorable (90%). Check with Dan about how to assist Moe these days. Also, Bob Richmond said we should send cards and notes to Bunny. His recent illness was greatly helped by the support he got from the Club. Now, our President-Elect’s situation was shared by Neal. It seems Dan Firestone was riding his bike and hit a pot hole which threw him off the bike. He broke his arm, plus some abrasive injuries, hence his absence from today’s meeting. Sorry to hear this, Dan, and please know of our concern and support. Mend quickly, your installation is coming up fast! Dee Blackwood is writing a book about people’s travel experiences. She’s been working on this since 1995. She invites you to send her any of your travel experiences, good or bad, happy or sad, slight or major. Dee feels there’s a lot to share and would like to hear from you about any incident in your traveling experience. Should be an interesting compilation, Dee. Today’s speaker, introduced by Mary Larson Onidi, was Sister Pat KcKeon of the Sisters of Mercy Order. She represents the Mercy Housing and Shelter Corporation. Sister Pat told us of the persistent problem of the homeless. There are 40,000 shelters nationwide! A permanent underclass of homeless persons seems to be becoming a reality in America .Many are children, with all the long-term implications for them which lack of stable home life causes. Sister Pat told us about the initiative called "REACHING HOME", a ten year plan to end long term homelessness in Connecticut. This is a program which Rotary surely should have a keen interest in. It is dismaying to think that a country like ours can’t provide basic housing for its neediest citizens. We salute the Sisters of Mercy for their persistence in working on this critical social problem. See you next week. LEND A HAND. Perambulatin’ Parson Roger Nicholson HIGH GEAR for May 12, 2004 High Gear for May 12, 2004 A nice May day was today’s climatological context for the gathering on top of East Hartford known as ROTARY. Some of us felt like it was the 12th of May in the modern Barbaric Era. When will the world learn? Violence begets violence. Show tunes by Don at the keyboard helped alleviate the dismay at what’s going on, just a little. "Edelweiss" struck a note of love and hope. Ted Mosebach shared a sensitive invocation, asking divine power to help Rotarians make a difference, then we enjoyed a tasty lunch of chicken, rice and gravy with a vegetable medley, and fruit Jell-O to follow. President Neal asked for introduction of guests and Dan Firestone presented his guest, Jeff Aube, followed by Herb Barall’s presentation of his guest, Marc Yves-Regis. Jim Reik teamed with Don for a well-sung rendition of the Welcome Song. SA John Mazzicato told us of the birthday donations by Spurgeon Stokes and Marcia LeClerc, to whom we sang a boisterous HB. John also informed us of a donation by Hyacinth Douglas-Bailey for her Club membership anniversary. Gil Wishart and George Stewart made a special donation in honor of Roy Spiller’s 50th year as a Mason. Peter Klock had today’s winning ticket for the weekly raffle. By the way, money raised by this means supports the annual Sargent at Arms party, slated for June 16 this year at Bill and Bev Leone’s lovely home. Please sign up very soon for this event. Mary Martin is looking for reservations for the Installation Banquet on June 30. Please give her your check ($35 per person) ASAP. President Elect Dan Firestone took the podium to thank everyone for the stellar work which made the E. Hartford Seniors Ball a great success last week at the High School. He cited many persons, especially Sue Klock who did terrific advance preparation. Unfortunately the Press failed to mention one word about Rotary’s efforts, par for the course really. Jack Ghagan is looking for Rotarians to participate in the Town Memorial Day parade, especially anyone with an antique auto. He will be hoping to touch base next week at the Ridge with any who may be interested. OUR ROTARY FAMILY notes Don Cramer’s mother’s passing recently. Our sympathy to you, Don and June. Also, Dan Dienst shared news that Bunny Belanger will have surgical intervention very soon now for early stage cancer. Volunteers may be needed to help out. Check with Dan and Loretta. Let’s keep Bunny and Moe in our prayers. President Neal announced that Rotary will receive an award from the School Business Partnership next Wednesday (May 19) at 4:30 PM at the Ridge. Neal is hoping some members will attend with him. Give Neal a call if able. The Golf Tournament Committee will have an important meeting next week at 11 AM at the Ridge. It’s not too soon to be seeking sponsors, forming teams, gathering prizes, all the many aspects of a successful tournament. Today’s guest speaker (the first in a while!) was introduced by Jackie Denise. Doctor Robert McAllister, an East Hartford native, is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement procedures and related arthritis management. A distinguished graduate of UConn Dr. McAllister gave us a power point lecture about joint replacement and the many vagaries of arthritis as an aspect of aging. Really, it was sort of a mini graduate course in the subject, telling us much more than we could absorb about the very pertinent subject. Also, the good doctor interspersed his slides with scenes from his tour in Afghanistan where he was deeply involved with our military’s efforts to rebuild the country. We also got a few glimpses of his personal life, including his great interest in animals. Overall, Dr. Bob came across as a very well-rounded individual who must be exceptionally good at his profession. It struck me that he would be fun to have as a surgeon, combining knowledge, skill, and a personable manner. Thanks, Jackie, for a most informative program today. Since the adjournment time had passed Neal thanked our speaker and dismissed us "sans singing" and we dispersed, some to the links, some back to work, some to their gardens, some to appointments, your scribe to the word processor which now conveys this second May newsletter to you all. May you have a pleasant and productive week, seeking to "LEND A HAND." Perambulatin’ Parson (aka Roger Nicholson) HIGH GEAR for May 5, 2004 "Every ticket’s a winner" said Spurgeon as I handed over my raffle dollar, after Dan had relieved me of twelve other dollars. Roy Spiller had the lucky number today, however. But I thought "Spurgeon’s right, every ticket is a winner, because every Rotarian is blessed to belong to such a great organization as Rotary, and also such a wonderful Club as ours." Bill Flynn gave a thoughtful invocation after the flag salute and we sat down to an open faced roast beef sandwich with gravy, potato salad and green beans, with sherbet for dessert. Roy Spiller was table hopping with roster pages, getting everyone to proof the data for the upcoming edition. A sign-up clip board came by for reservations for the Installation Banquet on Wednesday, June 30 at Adam’s Mill. Payment now due, with a June 16 deadline. Please pay Mary Martin or Spurgeon Stokes $35 per person. Cash bar, but wine will be on the tables. One guest today, Dennis Weir of Glastonbury (intro by Steve Jacoby), serenaded by the awesome singers of Rotary led by Larry Churchill and Maestro Don. Much talk about Rotary’s 100th anniversary convention June of 2005 in Chicago. District Governor elect, Dick Seidman has reserved a block of rooms at the Westin. Contact him by Friday, May 7 to get on the early list. SA John Mazzicato announced Club membership anniversaries for Bob Brown (29), John McNaughton (16) and Neil Cunningham (13), plus a birthday for Bob Brown. Bill Flynn paid for a new car. Bob opted for silence in observance of his natal day. SA party will be at Bill and Bev Leone’s lovely home again. June 16 is the date. The traditional "boys of summer" game with Glastonbury Rotary may be the last Monday in July. Get in shape! President Neal reported we made the huge sum of $208.69 at the recent Blue and White scrimmage. He also represented us at Career Day at EH Middle School. Neal mentioned a movement to preserve the Chicago home of Paul Harris is taking shape in the Rotary world. The Saratoga trip is now sold out, but your scribe did not catch the voice of the one who announced this. Glen Peterson thanked the Club for its partnership with the East Hartford/Glastonbury Magnet School in raising funds for Heifer Project. He reported enthusiastic fund raising by the school children, already exceeding their $700 goal, which we will match as a Club. He read a wonderful note sent to him by a second grader telling him she had raised $73.69! The final wrap up is at hand and we are all invited to the Fun Fair on May 15, 3 to 7 P.M. at the school (McCartin) on May Road. Makeups reported today were Jim Sheehan (2) at Saratoga Springs, and Auburn, AL (2); Roger Nicholson (2) at Saratoga Springs; Steve Jacoby San Antonio NW, Texas and Savannah W., Georgia; and Celia and Frank Collins at Glastonbury and Bermuda. Today’s program was a very interesting and informative presentation by Bill Secord and Glen Peterson about the Baccalaureate Academy adjacent to East Hartford High School, and the Magnet School programs of the region, particularly the East Hartford/Glastonbury school. Jim Fallon deserves a lot of recognition for the development of these outstanding educational enterprises, as does Bill Secord who was involved from the inception. These excellent educational programs reflect a strong partnership between the State and Municipalities. East Hartford has been distinguished by this program. A new Magnet School facility is soon to be built at Rentschler Field. Thanks Bill and Glen for a very good presentation. This newsletter was written by THE PERAMBULATIN’ PARSON. Let’s remember to "lend a hand" in keeping with Rotary’s current slogan. HIGH GEAR for April 28, 2004 President Neal rang us to order and another Wednesday East Hartford Rotary meeting was underway. After the Song-of –Songs George Schoen called upon the Lord for His blessing. A lunch of capon, green beans, and mashed potatoes with a desert of strawberry short cake followed. Although there were no guests today Bill Flynn and Frank Kreson were welcomed back. I think the welcome song, led by Gail Greaney was for our wandering duo. Sgt-at-Arms reserve Dan Dienst, filling in for Tommy Tooth, fined Frank K. for 24 years in Rotary and his many, many transgressions. Dan also fined Jim Fallon, Lionel Lessard, and Stu Harris for birthdays. It was kind of a slow day for reservist Dan. Make-ups; Don Cramer, Sanibel-Captiva Rotary, and Herb Discover, Naples Bay Rotary. President Neal reported that Bob Richmond came through his operation without complications and faster than expected. There must have been a pitcher of beer waiting for him back in his room. Great to here Bob is doing so well. Hopefully, he’ll be back swinging his big club soon. (Golf club). P. Neal also reported that our club received a certificate of merit at the district conference for the gazebo-on-the-green project. He read a letter of thanks from the Somers Rotary Club for our recent contribution reported in the last High Gear. Bill Saunders set the date for our golf fundraiser for September 20th at Manchester. P.E. Dan passed out committee preference forms. Please fill out and return to Dan. Other reminders are the Sr. Prom is next Wednesday, suitcases can be left at any town fire station until May 1st and the MADD Walk club contacts are Mary Martin and spurge Stokes. The installation dinner will be July 12th. Dee Blackwood once again had a speaker bug out. However, being the true Rotarian that she is, she stepped to the mike and gave an interesting twenty minutes on the life and times of her life as a travel agent. From her first goof to her setting up a traveler in a $5000.00 a night cabana and then putting him on a flight in coach she kept our interest. With only a few dry statistics to fill out her talk, she did a great job. Dee, you are a good speaker. With a verse of America the Beautiful, we closed the meeting. April being the start of baseball, here are a few trivia. April 17, 1820 Alexander Cartwright, was born. He developed baseball April 1, 1876 the first NL game took place. Boston beat Philadelphia 6-5 April 25, 1876 the Cubs beat Louisville 4-0 (first NL shutout) in the first NL game April 25, 1901, Erve Beck hit the 1st home run in the AL April 22, 1914, Babe Ruth’s 1st pro game as a pitcher was a 6-hit 6-0 win April 11, 1917, Babe Ruth beat the NY Yanks, pitching to a 3-hit, 10-3 win for Boston April 28, 1930, the 1st night game was played in Independence, Kansas April 22, 1989, Nolan Ryan struck out his 5,000th batter, Rickey Henderson. HIGH GEAR for April 21, 2004 In the very middle of a very muddled telling of an old joke by Old Dean president Neal thankfully rang the bell. The Song of Songs followed as tradition dictates. Rev Roger called upon the Lord of Lords and with thanks and gratitude called for His blessing. There upon Sgt-at- arms Tom began his rounds and a fine job he did. As was mentioned last week Andy Andreo and Rev Roger celebrated their 76th birthday (or is it birthdays) by a large donation by Andy. A nice birthday present to the club. Anniversaries; Gail Greaney 2 years, Marcia Leclerc 5 years, George Agnelli 29 years (perfect attendance?), and Staci Brazalovich 5 years. Bill Leone was fined $2.00 for a derogatory remark toward the Sgt-at–arms. For only $2.00 it could not have been one of Bill’s best efforts. Visitors today were Steven Bates Jr. and Russ Dale of the Springfield club. It was good to see Russ again. Steve Jr had a look on his face that said holly cow these old guys pray? Yes Steve we need more help than you will ever know till you’re an ―old guy‖ Doug Willett led us through a rousing ―Welcome Song‖ Todd Andrews is now a ―real‖ badge recipient. Make-ups; Don Cramer at Sanibel-Captiva, Florida and Frank & Ceil Collins at Glenville, NY. Frank was the Polio-Plus Dinner Speaker President Neal reported that the board of directors voted to discontinue staffing the concession booth at Rentschler Field. The net income to our club did not compensate us for the hours involved. The board also voted to fund two shelter boxes. Each box will provide basic shelter and sustenance for a family during an emergency. They’re being no speaker again this week we adjourned early with one stanza of ―GOD BLESS AMERICA‖ LRF Let’s not forget April 18th in the year ’75: By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled, Here once the embattled farmers stood, And fired the shot heard round the world. From “CONCORD HYMM” BY Ralph Waldo Emerson. HIGH GEAR for April 14, 2004 President Neal brought the meeting to order at 12:15 PM sharp with a rap of the bell. Gil Wishart called upon the Lord to bless us. A meal of tilapia, a fish from Hawaiian waters, was served with mashed potatoes and cold slaw. The fish, new to this writer, is tender, mild, and tasty. There were several announcements. Letters of thanks were received from William Sime and Interval House for $250.00 donations to each. We will be hearing from William when his project is completed. The August 1st bus trip to Saratoga will cost $40.00 a person including the bus, food on the bus, and admission to the racetrack. The board of directors will meet Monday the 19Th at the Cultural Center. The golf committee will meet next Wednesday at 11:30 at the ridge. Two presentations were made. President Neal presented Mike Knepp with his official rotary badge. Now that you are official Mike you can loosen up a bit and ware civvies. Danny O'boy standing in for Congressmen Larson presented to the Spillers (only Roy was present) a Certificate of Meritorious Service from the U.S. Congress. We do stand in awe. Spurg passed out badges to the stadium workers for Saturday's scrimmage. If you are in doubt about time and place call Spurg at 521-5386. On comes the Sgt-at -arms Roy. Fines from Andy Andreo, Roger Nicholson, and Larry Churchill for birthday anniversaries. Spurgeon anteed up for fifty-one years of married life. Betty Ann he was very gracious, you obviously taught him well. Lottery winner today, Ceil Collins. Make-ups: at Fort Myers; Don Cramer and Bob Wood; at Naples Bay; Chuck Clarke and Herb Tischofer; and Jack Sayre at Summit, N.J. They're being no speaker this week again we were dismissed with a verse of "America" at 1:00 PM. The singing of " America" brought to mind April 12th,143 years ago. At 4:30 AM General Beauregard’s order to fire began the bombardment of Fort Sumter. Four years less three days later on April 9th General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General U.S. Grant and the American Civil War ended. While the generals were at the business of surrender the boys of war came together on a large field below the Court House and fifty years later a Pennsylvanian would remember being among the Johnny rebs and feeling as well treated as if he had been among his own boys," and a person would think we had been fighting under the same flag". LRF HIGH GEAR for Wednesday, April 7, 2004 While the members were assembling our own virtuoso Don entertained with a snappy version of ―Take me out to the ball game‖. President Neal opened the meeting with the ringing of the bell at 12:47 sharp. Dave Amberg followed with the invocation. A lunch of raisin glazed ham, asparagus and potatoes au gratin was then served. Dessert was a tasty matza cake. There in one lunch we celebrated both Passover and Easter. What good folk we are. Sgt-at-arms Tom G. could not raise enough in fines with only Bill Secord and Jack Ghagan being fined for birthdays so he fined the members two dollars each in honor of the Uconn boys and girls basketball championships. Leave it to the digger of healthy ivories to come up with that one. Guests for today were DGE Dick Seidman and Bob the banker from Glastonbury. The welcome song was led by Scotty in-the-red-suspenders. DGE Dick announced the passing of Don Kennett of the Somers Club. Don was the Rotarian who was to undergo organ transplant and for whom we were asked by the Somers club to contribute helping funds. We did raise five hundred dollars. The funds will now be used to off set Don Kennett’s accrued medical expenses. The Somers club raised one hundred fifty thousand dollars in less than a month. This speaks volumes about Rotary. John Shemo reported on the very successful hoedown Saturday last and thanked many for all the help and effort. About a third of the club was involved in the affair. Among much merriment Dick Lemieux was introduced to a very good friend of several members of our club the very fine Jack Daniel. It is a shame that Dick took so long to meet this smooth fellow. Sue Klock once again asked for volunteers to help prepare the meal for the Senior Citizens Prom. The prom will be held May 5th at 4:30 PM in the East Hartford High School cafeteria. Call Sue at 430-1442 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a hands-on project of our club. The raffle was won by Don Hallquist. This was his second win. The first win was donated to the Foundation in the name of godfather Piscatello. This time Don will give it to HIS favorite charity. No speaker today so we were dismissed at 1:10 April, the most welcome of months. Gone are the wild winds of winter, the snarling snowstorms, silver slippery sleet, cold clinging chills, and dark dreary days. You bring the promise of spring, the greening of the land, the ever lengthening of the daylight, the snowbirds, the tax refund, and Great Outdoor Laddies Fun. LRF HIGH GEAR for March 31, 2004 Wednesday, Mar.31, 2004 Bruce Dupreist says we need it, so I guess we can't complain about the rainy day. Especially when it helps make the grass turn green! An eclectic array of tunes from Uncle Don's keyboard today: "Home on the Range" to "Falling Leaves"- Beautiful! After an invocation from this scribe, we sat to a meal of chicken cacciatore, string beans and sauteed mushrooms, with a plate of finger-food goodies for dessert. Our table was favored with the presence of returning snowbirds Jacquie Danise and Walt Kupchunos from beautiful downtown Venice (no Virginia, not the one in Italy!) Making our table a very special place was PDG from Kennebunk, ME, Craig Wellman. Other Guests included Rotarians Delle Clouch from Meredith, NH, and Norm Rauscher from Wilbraham, MA. New Paul Harris Fellow John McNaughton showed a lot of spirit in leading the Welcome Song, with the help of Don Hallquist, of course! Sgt. at Arms Jack Sayre whined a little as he offered a lame excuse about how last week's S.A.A. had collected all the fines, leaving him with nothing but late arrivers and early leavers. He felt a bit better when he silenced this rabble-rouser reporter with a fine for pointing out that his arm band was wearing the inside of the fine bank! Announcements from President Neal: Rentschler Field signup for April 17 going strong...still need some more help. District Conference (April 23-25) still has openings...always a great time! Sue Klock made a plea for someone to act as Chief Honcho for the May 5 Senior Citizen Prom Day at EHHS. She and Peter will be away all week, so a leader to "run the kitchen" is critically needed. Dan Dienst volunteered to make the "logistics run" to Sam's. This is really a fun time of involvement and someone to manage it needs to step up to the plate now. This Saturday is the Big BBQ night, at 6:00PM. Tex Johnny Shemo will have lots of TV sets on hand for us to watch the Lady Huskies win their first game in the Final Four in New Orleans. Thank you notes were acknowledged from CT National Guard for the round-up and gift of paper back books, arranged for by Leo Christmas. Also, from The Rotary Club of Tokai, South Africa, for our $500 to their Lavender Hill Project. Our board has spent $238 on ceiling tiles in the lower kitchen of the Ridge. Dues are still outstanding from somebody(s)....Can you believe it? Steve Jacoby took 3 high school young people to the Interact Conference in West Springfield. They need help (Rotarians) for the Easter Egg Hunt and Project ID in co-op with the EH Police Dept. on April 3 from 9:30 to 11:30. Raffle winner was Dan Russell! Program today, introduced by Frank Collins, was Asst District Gov. Bob Veedeman, from the Wilbraham/Hampden club. The subject? The upcoming US Women's Open Golf Championship at The Orchards Country Club in South Hadley, MA on June 28-July 4. Rotary has the opportunity to manage the "Merchandise Pavilion," but must line up 300 volunteers for the week, with 100 more still needed. Rotary will benefit, by providing a service, as well as by getting lots and lots of publicity, locally and TV nationally. It costs $95 to work as a volunteer. Twenty EH Rotarians have already signed up and you can learn more about it by getting in touch with Bob Wood. Maker-uppers were: Herb & Chuck (2) in Naples, FL; Walt (2) and Jacquie, in Venice-Nokomis, FL; Don in Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel, FL; and a whole bunch at Dan L's for a Fireside Chat: Glen, BobB, Jack, Marcia, Dick, Jim S. & Larry. Whew! And that's it for March...I've enjoyed writing...hope you've enjoyed reading...Arthur HIGH GEAR for March 24, 2004 The beautiful weather brought a spring to the step of most of us, and Maestro Don Hallquist truly had spring in his fingertips, as his "social piano' gave forth with light-hearted Broadway tunes. How could we be so lucky, with a master at the keyboard every week of the year! Following a fitting invocation by Rev Ted Mosebach, beseeching us, as always, to share with others, we sat to a Krause (and my) favorite, Chicken Pot Pie. Ummmmm! Guests today included Kristine Beane, Don Healy, Roger, and Dick Seery. Looking for all the world like song leader par excellence Roger Driggs of old, Dan Russell gave a perfect imitation as he led us in East Hartford's own Welcome Song. Sgt.at Arms Tom Galvin also led us thru a laundry list of celebrants who enriched our fine bank for these misdemeanors: Himself, for not wearing a Rotary badge; Ghagan, for going back to work full time (hooray!); Larson and Guillemette, Rotary anniversaries; Agnelli, who paid .75 for a like number of years in business (but an embarrassed relative with the initials Doug Willette would like us to believe that he paid the difference [$74.25] for his cheap-skate kin!); Shemo, for a radio commercial; and our everyday role model of good fellowship, good spirits, and wonderful sense of humor, never-grow-old Carmen J. Piscatello for attaining age 89! Acceding to Carmen's special request, Danny Boy Larson sang a heartrending version of the song with the same name. Verrry touching! Special Announcements: Pres. Neal asked for interest in a club presence in the Mem. Day Parade??? District Conf.April 23-25. Not as big a turnout... There's still time to sign up! Steve Jacoby's: Project I.D. will be done again, April 3rd, from 9:30 to 11:00; and, anyone interested in a Saratoga trip this summer, let Steve know! UConn will scrimmage on April 17 at Rentschler Field; we have opportunity to do a concession booth and beer kiosk. Seemed like a good show of hands! The Big BBQ night, April 3, Texas Johnny Shemo reminds us once again that: Payment should be made by next week to Dan Larson; that beer, bourbon, coffee and a "cowboy killer" will be served, but for anything else (including mixers) ya gotta bring yer own! Cowboy attire is mandatory. If UConn is playing, TV's will be there, too, and a big bunch of folks...so, expect a crowded room! Early-leaver Marcia Leclerc gleefully accepted her Raffle winnings as she bounded for the door with a "Eureka, I've never won before!" And.... Steve Jacoby then introduced our program, Steve Goddard, lawyer, author, raconteur, and (your editor just learned) a Bates grad(!), who enthralled us with tales of the Wright Brothers' creative prowess which led to the first powered flight in Kitty Hawk. There were not-heard-before-stories of early death of Wilbur, battles with the Smithsonian and the U.S. government, and the sad account of Orville's estrangement from sister Catherine. The time moved all to quickly...we would like to have listened longer. Thanks, Steve, a good program! Didn't learn of any other make-ups this week, besides Frank and Ceil at the Pocomont, PA - Key Garden PETS meetings. (I think Jim and Ruth were there, too!) And wasn't it great we could be together!......................................Arthur HIGH GEAR for March 17, 2004 Here is this week's High Gear — With a plus — Spurge's demographics: Average age of EH Rotarians: 62.7 Median age of EH Rotarians: 65 (i.e. half are under 65, half over) Those 30-35 = 2 Those 36-40 = 2 Those 41-45 = 7 Those 46-50 = 6 Those 51-55 = 4 Those 56-60 = 9 Those 61-65 = 13 Those 66-70 = 19 Those 71-75 = 14 Those 76-80 = 6 Those 81-85 = 4 Those 86+ = 1 And once again, here it is! Arthur ****************************************************************************** ******************** St. Patrick's Day - Mar.17, 2004 Sure an' begorra, 'twas truly a day for the wearin' o' the green -- E'en by them what has not a drop o' Irish blood in 'em. Oh well, 'twas evident they need all the help they kin get! A repast fit for the Irish kings o' the castles was laid out for us in the "wine 'n cheese" segment. Well done, O'Dino Rolando, ya' earned yer shamrocks today! Now maybe ye'll be tellin' us who ordered the snow, an' with only 3 days til spring, yet! Don O'Hallquist dug deep and found his Irish keyboard repertoire; the early libation prompted lots of singin' round the piana, producing a most festive air. Our Prexy, Neal O'Cunningham called on George O'Schoen for the invocation; with a lesson in spelling and pronunciation, George asked for blessings on our gathering, the goals of Rotary International, those less fortunate than we, and the corned beef and cabbage! Without Guests, Danny O'Larson stood and wept silently through a heartwrenching rendition of "Danny O'Boy." Sgt at Arms Roy O'Spiller reported birthdays for Messers Hangland, Collins, & Lemieux. Dick's was for a big 80, which rated a stirring Happy Birthday song. Roy also suggested support for Dan Larson's St. Joseph's (no, not the aspirin) Medal of Merit award on Sunday at the Cathedral at 3:00PM. President Neal gave "thank you's" to Roy, Tom, & Don for their stellar work in making the Paul Harris evening such a success. He also recognized Leo Christmas for doing such a good job with the paperbacks for the guys and gals in Iraq. In like manner, he read "thank you's" from Mary Beth Reid and Loretta Dienst for their recognitions. Keeping in the family spotlight, Dan Dienst then immediately won the (O')day's raffle! "Texas Jack" Johnny Shemo reminded us of the BBQ event coming on April 3rd. Beer and Bourbon & branch water will be served, but if you crave wine with your meal, bring it! Checks are welcome any time now ($25 per person) and there'll be a prize for the best western outfit. Spurs, too, are welcome but take 'em off before bedtime! Spurge Stokes gave us a lot of fascinating info on our ages; hopefully, Sue Klock will find the space to put it all on the E.H. Rotary website, space we don't have here! Pres. Neal's Announcements from the last Board Meeting: · Bids for the erection (tsk!) of the Gazebo are in; work to start by April's end. · $250 was approved for landscaping at the Middle School by a local Boy Scout, Will Sime, as his Eagle Scout project. · $500 authorized for SOTENI International, to fight aids in Kenya. · Decision to give five $2500 scholarships this year (includes the $2000 given by Helen Davis in honor and memory of her husband and former Rotarian Jack). · Somers Club Don Kennett project: an envelope will go 'round next week. · $750 to Heifer Project. All who like can also send checks to E.H./Glast. PTO. · DUES ARE DUE...that's right...right now...you know who you are! Program today...Fireside Chat Reports: We heard from Bill Secord, Steve Jacoby, Dan Dienst, Mary Martin, and Glen Peterson on the topics: 1)Most significant Accomplishments; 2)Hartford as a Rising Star; and 3)role of The 4 Way Test in our lives. Answers were almost exclusively: 1)"Our Families;" 2)both positive and negative views of Hartford, on parking, crime, & Adrien's Landing progress; and, 3)feeling that corporate & government organizations don't practice it very much. Lots of good ideas for making it a part of our society's framework. All in all, good feelings about the meetings as most worthwhile to have done. Thanks, reporters! Maker-uppers today:Chuck & Herb, Naples, FL (3); Frank & Ceil, Newark & Nashua; Don, Ft. Myers(2); Walt(1) and Jackie(3) Venice-Nokomis,FL; Marcia, on-line(2); Dan (Russell, that is), Glast; and the whole Golf Committee (once). Way to go, guys 'n gals! Now, wasn't that great we could get together!..................................Arthur HIGH GEAR for March 10, 2004 A happy crowd of about 175 Rotarians, their families and friends assembled this evening at the Marco Polo restaurant. Why? To celebrate the accomplishments of this year's recipients of the Paul Harris Fellow and Vocational Service Recognition. The East Hartford club does a lot of things really well, and one of these is to throw a party! With our President Neal Cunningham wielding the opening gong, Master of Ceremonies Tom Galvin behind the mike, and fancy-fingered Don Hallquist at the keyboard, it was readily apparent that this would be a night of fun and good fellowship. The invocation was offered by Art Bradbury, but prayer was also inadvertently provided by a waitress when she dumped a whole bowl of salad in the lap of Emcee Tom, and a nearby wag was heard to say "Lettuce pray!" Guests were many on this night, and were welcomed in song by the whole club, led by librettist Tom Westbrook and a friend. Someone said that only half the club likes to sing, but that's hard to believe. Now, maybe some of us have a problem finding the notes, but the ones we sing are sung with gusto! It would be impossible to capture the clever and witty introductions used by our presenters, Doug Willett, Moe Belanger, and George Stewart; you had to be there. Suffice it to say, the awardees and new Paul Harris Fellows Neal Cunningham, Loretta Dienst, and Dan Larson were soundly and royally recognized for their achievements in life as they have lived the Rotary motto "Service Above Self." We really needed a separate program just to keep track of all those children, siblings and friends who were introduced, but what a wonderful testimony to the fondness and respect which filled the room for these people! An additional Paul Harris Fellow Recognition had been made by Lucile Bailey in honor of nephew John McNaughton; what a nice thing to have done, Lucile! District Governor Jeff Tager was here to do the presentation of medallions, pins and certificates. Although unable to be here in person, former E.H. Rotarian, a Paul Harris Fellow himself (and, of course, brother of Dan), U.S. Rep. John Larson sent along greetings, congratulations and commemorative plaques to the awardees. A classy touch! Project Chairman Bill Secord presented the Vocational Service Award to Executive Director of the East Hartford Chamber of Commerce Mary Beth Reid. How fortunate our town is to have people of Mary Beth's caliber in roles of leadership! The Sgt-At-Arms fittingly forgave fines on this occasion, and we were reminded that: · The Golf Committee meets next Tuesday, Mar.16, Bill Saunders' home, 7:30. · Co-hosts should be prepared to report on Fireside Chat discussions next week, Mar. 17th (and maybe you'd better wear something green), you're the program! Evenings such as this do not just happen. They have to be planned, cared about, worried over, and "brought in" by someone with the talent for organization to get it done. And that person tonight was Roy Spiller. Well done, Roy, you did good! And wasn't it great we could get together! Arthur HIGH GEAR for March 3, 2004 Just like it's supposed to, the month of March was blustery at the Ridge, but warmer temps and sunny skies gave a strong clue that spring can't be too far off! Music Man Don Hallquist set the tone, as he always does, for a happy meeting, and Rev Rog Nicholson thanked the Lord for the talents and service of the assembled, combined as they are in the spirit of Rotary. The food we were thankful for was an open-faced turkey sandwich, with squash, gravy, and mixed veggies. Ginger-cake for dessert. "Tex" Johnny Shemo, regaled us with western hat and music, signs of the BBBQ (that's the Big BarBeCue) coming on April 3; collected some checks (it's not too early to pay at $50 per couple!) and we all tried to protect ourselves from "MuleTrainDriver" Danny Larson (where on earth did he learn to crack that whip?--is that how he keeps the Bros John and Tim in line?). Men’s & Women’s UConn basketball (didja see Doug Willette peeking out from behind Diana's 2000 pointer BB at half time?) and the price of new cars (Skip sat with us) were table-topics today. A nice turnout and it was good to see some of our "snow- birds" returned from Florida, not all of them yet, though. Also, great to see Johnny Mozzicato back with us. He and Moe Belanger looked like a couple of bookends out in the hall while we were gathering. Guests today: Only one, but that was John Clark from the Somers club, who told a sad tale of their project to raise big-time funds for an ailing member who needs a liver transplant. Help for this Rotarian, Don Kennett, can be forwarded to the Somers club at PO Box 2, Somers, CT 06071. Welcome Song was ably led by Ceil Collins. Sgt. at Arms Jack Sayre reported only 2 birthdays, but for truly august Rotarians Pres. Neal Cunningham and Bob Wood. Both asked for, and got, silence. Announcements: " Golf Comm.- Tues, Mar.16, Bill Saunders home, 7:30. Mark those calendars! " Bus trips to NYC for the show, "Mama Mia," and Bosox baseball, both canc. " Sue Klock asked for FAX nos, from anyone wanting them on the club roster. " Glen Peterson told of Heifer Project fund-raising at his magnet school; also, a forum on April 7 to be held at the Baccalaureate High School on Forbes St. " Paper back book pick-up happening today. Big haul, a whole pick-up's worth! New Member Todd Andrews, sponsored by John Shemo, was inducted today. A working compatriot of John's, Todd grew up in East Hartford, worked for a while on town grants with Mary Martin, and is enthusiastic about joining us. Welcome, Todd! Program today featured EHHS's Interact Club. Our club's liaison, Steve Jacoby, introduced EHHS teacher and advisor, Midge Lenahan. Together with co-chairs Loren Gold and Jessica Balesano, they told of a very active group (core of about 25, but many more in non-sports time periods) who do things like:volunteering at Riverside Health Ctr., Soup Kitchen, tree planting (remember, they worked with us on Hillside Ave?), Food Share, Special Olympics, Thanksgiving baskets, and upcoming daffodil sales. Community Service is the name of the game, and these young people are really learning how. Congratulations on fine work! Make-ups galore from our secretary: Frank & Ceil in Ft. Myers, Sarasota, Tom River, Washington (D.C., that is), Anaheim, and Evanston; Sayre, Summit, NJ; Saunders, No. Ft Myers (2); and Blackwood, Enfield. Good job, guys & gals! Remember, no noon meeting next week...Paul Harris Dinner in the evening. Nice we could get together..................................................................Arthur HIGH GEAR for February 25, 2004 Back at the RIDGE, Pres. Neal opened our meeting and Mike Knepp invoked the blessings of the Almighty on our gathering. Today's meal in remembrance of Ash Wednesday was white fish, probably cod and very good. Attention food committee: People at our table thought it was good enough to have more often. Guests: Art Bradbury introduced Mark S., a minister and Past President of a Minnesota club. Dan Dienst was awakened to introduce Leo Christmas who introduced Robert Grenus and Bob Brown introduced District President-Elect Dick Seidman who gave us a quick pep-talk. Pat Porteus led the Welcome Song, looking perky and alive, unlike some of her male song-leaders. John Shemo a/k/a/ Johnny Dangerously a/k/a Ride 'Em Cowboy Johnny D. distributed more of those good looking invitations to the Texas Barbecue slated for April 3, 2004 starting at 6:00 P.M. in Cowboy Uniform. Sign up early! Reminder - The Paul Harris dinner is set for March 10, 2004 at Marco Polo, probably 6 P.M. - sign up now and pay Roy Spiller next week. Carol Krantz reminds of the Broadway trip on May 22nd . For those who wish to do the trip without the show, the bus trip ONLY will get you down and back for $30.00 per person. Between President Neal and Leo Christmas, it was confirmed that the paperback books for overseas shipment to our Troops will be next week. Bring them with you Sue Klock reminded everyone that if getting your High Gear by email is enough, we will stop the U.S.Mail delivery and save the cost, etc. Let Sue know. SGT/ARMS Jack Ghagan announced a birthday for Dave Amberg and opined that if a horse was that old, you'd shoot him! Hmmmm. Sorry, Dave. Also anniversary donations to the Scholarship Fund from Carmen Piscatello and Gerry Brady (41st and 39th respectively). An anniversary for Dan Coulom. Also that John Mozzicato is getting out of the convalescent home this Friday (Yea for John!). Roy Spiller auctioned off a large bottle of Crown Royal donated by George Agnelli. Leo Christmas paid $50.00 and took it home. President Neal said that raffling off liquor might be a good fundraiser. So, George, if every week or so you would bring in a king-sized bottle of Dewars or Stolichnaya or other good booze (your choice, George), Roy would surely be happy to do the auction and raise some more money for the Club for the Club, George! Is that okay, Pres. Neal? Did I get it right? MAKE-UPS: Fireside Chats: Margaret Lacroix, Steve Jacoby, Art Bradbury, Carol Krantz, Dean Roland, George Schoen, Bob Wood, Peter Klock, Sue Klock (Steve Jacoby, Co-Host). WDOUG Willett (3) District Meeting, Fireside Chat, Niantic; Roy Spiller, Rockville; Steve Jacoby, Manchester; Lionel Lessard (2) Rockville-Vernon; Tom Galvin, Manchester. And Guess What? Chuck Clarke and Herb Tischofer, last making up in Naples, Italy, have at last returned to the U.S. of A. and now have three more make-ups - in Florida. Can you believe it? Naples, Florida! What a coincidence! Marcia Leclerc introduced our speaker, Courtney Febbroriello, author of the recently published Wife of the Chef. Courtney and her husband have owned and operated Metro Bis in Simsbury since August 1998. She recounted a whole host of humorous and not-so-funny tales of life at Metro Bis. She is a charming, witty speaker who got many laughs telling her tales of the hysteria of running a restaurant. GWB HIGH GEAR for February 18, 2004 Our meeting today was at the South Congregational Church where once again we were blessed to have such a good place for an "away from home" meeting. One might suspect that one or possibly two of our members must be members of this Congregation in order for us to have this privilege. Pres. Neal opened our meeting and Gil Wishart asked for the blessings of the Almighty on our gathering. John Shemo a/k/a/ Johnny Dangerously a/k/a Ride 'Em Cowboy Johnny D. passed out 'er distributed some of the best-looking and cleverest invitations we have ever seen at Rotary. If you were not present at the meeting, call John and see if he has any extras to bring to the next meeting. The event, Texas Barbecue, will be on April 3, 2004 starting at 6:00 P.M. in some sort of Western (read that Cowboy) attire (but no horses or cows). Sign up early! Where, the Ridge? Try there first. Reminder - The Paul Harris dinner is set for March 10, 2004 at Marco Polo, probably 6 P.M. - more later. Bill Leone (subbing for Jack Ghagan) collected fines from Don Hallquist (a bad weather forecast ?); George Stewart paid $5.00 , since George Agnelli didn't charge him for "cleaning his clock"; Bill himself (34th Rotary Anniversary) and Bill noted today's special birthday event FOUR IN ONE DAY - For Don Cramer, Dan Russell, Dick McCarthy and John McNaughton. All but John McN. begged off the birthday song, but John McN. asked for the B-Song to be sung by all members present under 60. Believe it or not, there were nine singers who did a creditable job. At their ages, they should! Pres. Neal and Leo Christmas announced that the paperbacks for overseas shipment will be picked up next week. Hizzoner Herb Barall won the Raffle! MAKE-UPS: Dick McCarthy (2 -Saratoga Sunrise, FL); Bill Saunders (N.Ft.Myers, FL); Dee Blackwood (2 -Enfield); Jim Watts (East Windsor) Also - David Holmes, Leo Christmas, Tom Westbrook, Bob Brown, Neal Cunningham and Mary Martin (Credit for meeting with Gazebo committee) - Also Roy Spiller, Jack Sayre, Dan Dienst, Dave Amberg, George Stewart, Bill Leone and Don Cramer (Fireside Chats). Also Dan Dienst paid a fine because his wife, Loretta, forgot to put his Rotary pin on his sweater. Oh Dear, Dear! This heartrending tale brought a veritable flood of tears in several parts of the room. No news this week from our travelers in Italy. Maybe they're skipping or maybe the mail is slower by boat…. Twelve (12) dues are still outstanding. When Pres. Neal needed a program, he knew whom to ask. PDG George Stewart gave us what amounted to a genial information discussion complete with a low-key test of our knowledge of Rotary and some important dates. It was fun, informative and different. Thanks to George, who never needs a script when it comes to Rotary. GWB HIGH GEAR for February 11, 2004 Pres. Neal gonged us to order at the appointed time, and Dan Russell invoked the blessings of the Almighty on our gathering. Pat Andrews was the guest of John Shemo. I believe there was one more outstanding guest who may have been introduced by an equally outstanding member Rotarian, but if that happened, I didn’t get it. But welcome our Guest(s) we did, under the stirring leadership of Mike Knepp. Stirring it was. Mike flapped his arms a lot, but that was all, since he didn’t know the music or the words! Time to fix that. How about a solo next week, Mike? Thanks to the Almighty again, this time for Don Hallquist. SGT/ARMS Jack Ghagan announced a birthday for Sue Klock, and we sang for Sue. Also Dr. Tom Galvin had a 21st Rotary anniversary – Larry Hangland celebrating birthdays of grandson and granddaughter - and Art Bradbury celebrating a new great grandson. Bill Secord reminded us that if you can’t make the assigned Fireside Chat date, call Bill for a more convenient date (860-295-0725). P.S. Our second guest turned out to be District President-Elect Dick Seidman, an old attorney friend of mine. I didn’t see him till I checked with President Neal after the meeting on what I should write about, our speaker having bombed out on us at the last minute. As far as what to write about, Pres. Neal didn’t give a hoot EXCEPT TO REMIND THE CLUB THAT THE MEETING NEXT WEEK IS AT THE SOUTH CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH!!! Board of Directors - meeting at 7:00 P.M. Monday, February 16, 2004 at Dan Larson’s office, 111 Main Street, E.H. Carol Krantz has 55 reserved first or third baseline grandstand tickets for sale for Red Sox- Yankees at Fenway Sept. 25th ($105.00 per ticket and Red Sox-Phillies at Fenway June 26th ($85.00 per ticket). She must sell all (or pay for them all anyway!). The catch is that anyone buying one or more tickets must buy a duplicate set for both games. A pretty good deal for sports fans and their kids, friends, etc. These are sellout games. The bus ride is included. She has to make a commitment and pay for them next week! So get your decision made now. Call Carol (860-633-0035) to reserve. Art Bradbury announced that the Group Study Exchange Group will be arriving around April 30th . We need host families for 5 people, the Rotarian leader and 4 non-Rotarians. Call Pres. Neal if you can volunteer as a host. The Club committed for the program, so….. Peg and Roy Spiller are sponsoring a dinner on March 7th for the 1st Republican District (or was it 1st Democrat District?) Regardless - they are great people no matter how they think! So call them for reservations! MAKE-UPS: Tom Galvin (Manchester, CT. - 2); Jim Sheehan (Anna Marie Island, FL) and not one darn word from our friends in Italy – Walt Kupchunos (Venice) and Herb Tischofer and Chuck Clark (Naples). Hope they didn’t fall off a gondola or something. NO SPEAKER TODAY. GWB HIGH GEAR for February 4, 2004 President Neal opened the meeting, calling upon George Schoen for a very thoughtful invocation. Chicken Cordon Bleu for lunch and chocolate cake squares for dessert. No guests, but we sang anyway (to welcome ourselves with Don H. keeping us in tune - more or less - since I realized that two at my table had the words right but sang (?) an entirely different melody - Don can only do so much.). SGT/ARMS Jack Ghagan reported reasonably strong winnings from Steve Tamiso, John Mozzicato and Jim Reik (birthdays) and Spurgeon Stokes, Roy Spiller and Andy Audreo (anniversaries). President Neal announced: 1. Wine and cheese - on hold; date to be announced. 2. "Call list" needs some fine tuning; more to follow. 3. Ski trip next week for the "Schussers". 4. Art Auction February 28, 2004 at Marriott Hotel, Rocky Hill, $10.00/person. 5. Thanks from Town of East Hartford (Mary Martin) and Roy Spiller (Bell Ringers). 6. Darlene Roberts got her "real badge" - She's no longer a "newie". Reports: Bill Leone - a year end accounting for the Scholarship Funds: Brewer fund - started with $20,000, not up to $20,312.36 (that does not take into account the large dip the fund took a year or two ago like everything else- The fund is back again over the base line!) Scholarship Fund - now up to $124,660.81, a gain over last report of $17,917.04, thus keeping pace with the earnings of similar facilities. Bill asked for a member volunteer to serve on the Investment Advisory Committee. Any takers? Bill needs the help of this committee, so give him a call if you can serve. Bill Secord - reminded us of the Fireside Chat dates - February 10, 12, 16, 19, 23 and 26. The Host for each date Frank Collins, Margaret La Croix, Moe Belanger, Tom Galvin, Neal Cunningham and Dan Larson respectively. Check the chart and if you can't attend on your assigned date, call Bill S. (295-0725) and work out an alternate date. Bill also needs Vocational Service nominees by next meeting, February 11, 2004. Pat Porteus introduced our speaker today on the subject of mental health, Heather MacDonald. Heather is both a patient and counselor in the program helping many people under the auspices of the Connecticut Mental Health Department. This was a presentation by a woman who truly "had the course" and is a believer - noting that 20 years ago, no one was recovering from mental illness - now up to 60% recover. The keys: Hope from the support of others; a place to go for help; work shops with other to gain strength and purpose; personal responsibility - only the patient really knows what's working in medications; recognition that people with mental health symptoms tend to isolate themselves. The support of others with problems and the counselors are critical to helping them get out of isolation, gain hope and support and improve. Heather said they always need volunteers for this non-profit organization, to help give the support, so as many as can recover are given the chance. Call Pat to make the contact if you're interested. Heather quietly observed that most people are a little wacky anyway - One wag was overheard to mutter that she came to the right place to find a ton of examples. This was a surprisingly interesting presentation. Make-ups: Steve Jacoby (2 - New Britain and Rutland, VT) how mundane! Lionel Lessard (2 Rockville) how mundane!) but now credit for our travelers to Italy; Walt Kupchunos (3 - Venice) and Herb Tischofer and Chuck Clarke (3 each - Bay of Naples). Wow! - Keep those cards coming from these overseas travelers! GWB HIGH GEAR for January 21, 2004 Wednesday, January 21st, 2004-the third meeting of the new year The day was bright and sunny, the temperature in the mid 20's, the breeze light, so that it felt almost balmy outside, especially when compared with some of our recent days. Following the ringing of the bell, the Rotary Song, the Salute to the Flag, Medallion-less President Neal offered a terse, but fitting, invocation. He was accosted almost immediately by a vigilant Bill Leone, Sergeant-at-Arms. Ah, yes, wine and cheese will be the order of the day soon-February 11th to be exact. We who have served as President have all been there, done that. The medallion really looked good on Neal after he fished it out of the depths of his briefcase. Lunch menu: Krause's famous chicken pot pie, apparently a club favorite, accompanied by a tossed salad, and followed by a blueberry square topped with whipped cream. It was a delicious multi-calorie meal, with many, many grams of fat. Our only guest today was Stephanie Mauri, who works with Marcia Leclerc. Ceil Collins led us in the Welcome Song. Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Leone reported that there were many unidentified individuals today, including new member Mike Knepp, who pleaded that he'd never been given a badge. Bill went after person responsible for getting badges, but she'd already left. Hmmm. Money came in from John Mozzicato and Jack Ghagan, for a picture in the paper, from Glenn Peterson, in recognition of the Town Council's approval of the purchase of land for another magnet school. Dan Russell paid for a first wedding anniversary, and for another year of being officially cancer free. Roy Spiller paid $1 because the First District Democrats are honoring Peg and him as Volunteers of the Year. Would have paid more had it been the Republicans. Doug Willett mumbled something about a bigger fine, a lesser award. Doug Willett paid for a December birthday, Steve Jacoby paid for everyone under 55 to sing Happy Birthday to him, and Tom Westbrook paid very handsomely for the entire club to serenade him for the same reason. His new number is a significant one. We will collect paperback books, to be sent to the troops overseas, on February 18th. The Mohican Sun trip has been canceled because of a lack of interest. There are still 14 seats available for the "Mama Mia" trip. Contact Carol Krantz. Bill Secord passed out Fireside Chat assignments and schedules: February 10, 12, 16, 19, 23, and 26. He needs a co-host for each group: volunteer. President Neal said that we'd had a holiday greeting card and a note of thanks from Anna, one of our scholarship recipients who is doing A- work at George Washington University. When she's home she works part time for George Agnelli. The Board met Monday evening. Funds have been donated to Interval House ($250) and the Lavender Hill Project in South Africa ($500). The raffle was won by Doug Willett who quietly turned the money back to the club. Marcia Leclerc introduced our speaker, Eileen Faust, Senior Citizens Program Supervisor. In some ways it seemed that Eileen was preaching to the choir. We have two senior centers in East Hartford for our 13,000 senior citizens. We have the largest percentage of seniors, population- wise, of all the towns immediately surrounding Hartford. Our Department of Social Services wants to help us oldsters to live our lives as healthily as possible for as long as possible. Sounds good. Eileen handed out copies of the monthly newsletter, the "Golden Ager" and also copies of the department's Service Directory. She noted that it is less costly for the State of Connecticut to keep people in their homes rather than in a nursing home. Falls are a major concern for the elderly; 50% of them are preventable. A recently formed group, Friends of Senior Centers, is headed by Marcia Leclerc. It raises funds and seeks grants to supplement the fund which the department already gets from the town. Some of our club expertise may be called upon in the future. Eventually a new combined senior center, purpose built, rather than a couple of old schools, would be desirable. Eileen gave us a concise, short presentation. We closed with one verse of America the Beautiful. Makeups: Frank and Ceil Collins: Enfield, Connecticut, and Cambridge, Maryland. It was good to be together. ------ Dan Russell HIGH GEAR for January 14, 2004 - the second meeting of the new year If it were not for the blue sky and bright sunshine, today could have been considered Eskimo weather-the outside temperature reading was about 6 degrees. Inside, warmth and conviviality. Reverend Ted Mosebach offered the invocation, asking that we count our many blessings. Lunch was a mini-banquet-roast beef, roasted potatoes, mixed vegetables and chocolate cake. Need many calories to keep warm! Sue Klock distributed new rosters-not easy to keep abreast of those pesky typos. Perhaps this will become a weekly happening. Corrections to last weeks High Gear: the Broadway Trip for "Mama Mia" is May 22nd, the Paul Harris Awards Dinner is March 10th, and the District Conference is probably late April rather than early May, although the current DG's newsletter doesn't seem to pinpoint the date, based on a skimming scan. This editor noticed that Don Cramer, who owns a home in Florida, was in attendance. Report was that he was on his way to Maine. Apparently deep cold affects some individuals peculiarly. Only guest: Reverend Ron Cox, member of the Rocky Hill-Wethersfield Club, a Paul Harris Fellow. Tom Galvin led in the Welcome Song, in a manner befitting the personality of an extrovert extraordinaire. Jack Sayre was Sergeant-at-Arms: He collected from Dave Amberg because Notre Dame won ($1, not very much), from Dan Firestone for a $33rd anniversary, from Bill Saunders who said that he and his wife were in the centerfold of Sports Illustrated (have to get a haircut to see that), a buck from Dave Holmes for guilt, and $5 Happy Dollars from Tom Galvin because Leo Christmas didn't do any work on the Governor's cottage. Announcements for the good of the Club: We received a letter of thanks for working a water station for the Greater Hartford Marathon, which has been picked by one of the Runners' Magazines as the Marathon of the Year in New England. Fireside Chats will be held in February, the format has been streamlined (no long autobiographies), no evening is a basketball evening. We need three more sponsors for meeting sites. Jim Fallon announced that Melody Currey, an outstanding woman and one of our State Legislators, is home recuperating from surgery. The idea of collecting paperback books for shipment overseas to service personnel, as announced by Leo Christmas last week, has had a good step forward. Lieutenant Governor Jody Rell has arranged for shipping "stuff" - it just needs to be dropped off at the State Armory. We'll coordinate our stuff, get it to the Ridge. Ceil Collins suggested that we get an announcement on Community Television, with a collection date. Sign-up sheets for the Broadway Show "Mama Mia" and the Casino were circulated. Jim Fallon introduced our speakers, Mitsey Baker, Penny Brice and Scott Chadwick, all representing the School-Business Partnership. We heard a lot of statistics and history. The Partnership has grown out of a getting together of the Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Education, hoping to better prepare students for the after school, after graduation workforce. The Partnership, which now has tax exempt status, injects business people into the lives and classrooms of students, beginning with the fourth grade. The kids learn what various professions are all about, and some of them end up, as high school students, doing internships with some major corporations. Involvement opportunities include Community Day and Career Day. The Partnership, which was presented with a $14,000 Rotary Grant, is planning to develop a school wide speakers bureau data base, to be used as a resource for our entire school system. Volunteer, and you could find yourself for a couple of hours talking about and fielding questions regarding your own area of expertise in front of a group of school kids. That could be very rewarding. Other facets of the School Business Partnership include a mentoring program, grants to teachers for special programs not covered by the Board of Education budget, and coordination of a Community Day to be held at Pratt & Whitney. This program is one way of changing the lives of our town's children, for the better, significantly. Our support is well placed. Apparently other towns have similar programs, but ours, having received national recognition, is considered one of the best. Make-ups: Skip Guillemette at Manchester, Jorge Gonzalez at Enfield, Frank and Ceil Collins, Nashua, New Hampshire (New England PETS) and Cooperstown, New York, an 80th Anniversary Celebration. Good to be together. -------- Dan Russell HIGH GEAR for January 7, 2004 -the first meeting of the new year Well, it's been just about eight months since this editor sat at the inputting keyboard to make a matter of record the matters of the meeting of this day. It seemed like the first day of winter, in some ways, since the temperature was well below freezing and the wind was sharp, all in much contrast to the unseasonable weather which we have been enjoying. President Neal rang the first bell of the new year, we came to order, and, following the usual singing and pledge to the flag, Roger Nicholson offered a fitting invocation, ending with plea for a blessing on the cause of Rotary. Today's menu: a salad of mixed greens, including slightly frozen iceberg lettuce, over which had been doused an authoritative Italian style dressing. The main course was penne with a spicy tomato sauce (John McNaughton dubbed it risqu¾) with generous chunks of hot Italian sausage. Dessert was an apple-raisin concoction under filo pastry and whipped cream. It all went well with the weather. President Neal moved things along expeditiously, ringing the bell again before spoons had hardly touched the whipped cream. Guests: Major Ron Freiert of Huntingdon, Virginia, father- in-law of our own Michael Knepp. The welcome song was led by Jim Watts. Smiling Bill Leone is our Sergeant-at-Arms for the month. Those attorneys really like to extract dollars from any source. Sue Klock paid for a whole series of typographic, gremlinesque driven errors in the latest Club Directory-she promised that it would be brought up to date very soon, with correct email addresses. She truly has done a wonderful job; proofreading is almost a lost skill. Dan Coulom paid for a disclaimer that he had nothing to do with the explosion at United Technologies. Four anniversaries: Don Hallquist, 39 years, Moe Belanger, 35 years, Peter Klock, 14 years, George Stewart, 40 years of perfect attendance. Birthdays: Jim Shay, Nick Cecere--they requested a serenade by Table #1. They could have gotten better music for less money. And Bill fined three members, one a banker, one an attorney, one just inattentive, who are not yet aware of which year this is. The raffle was won by Dick McCarthy. Today was a club assembly, replete with questions, comments and suggestions from the floor. These will be reported more or less in the order in which they occurred. Leo Christmas announced that his wife is involved with a project to collect paperback books for sending overseas to our troops. Books and transportation and packing assistance needed. The Scholarship Committee will give its annual report when the numbers from the financial institutions become available. Mary Martin reported that bids have been received on the gazebo. Both were well under the town's budgeted amount of $37,200. The lowest bid, $20,090, is being reviewed for compliance with the bid plans and specifications. Upcoming events: Mohegan Sun, Friday, January 30th: 5:30 PM bus from the Ridge, returning about midnight. Cost: $16 per person. This cost includes a $20 credit at the casino. Dan Larson wanted to know if we could just take the money and not go. International Night: a barbecue, April 3rd. Broadway Show: May 22nd, matinée, "Mama Mia," center orchestra seats, $130 per person, bus leaves 7:30 AM from East Hartford, only 54 tickets available, $25 deposit needed ASAP. Carol Krantz is the person to contact, and will collect the money. Paul Harris Awards Night: March 10th. Fireside Chats: during the month of February, times and places to be announced. District Conference will be April 23-25 in Saratoga Springs, NY. Group Study Exchange Teams: two will be in the district, mid April to mid May. Interested in hosting a team member? Let Neal know. We are not committed to a week as yet. Family of Rotary: a new mandatory committee, designed to involve more persons in our purposes. East Hartford already does what the committee will be designed to accomplish. All that is needed is a chairperson. Baseball: Carol Krantz has two possible Red Sox -Yankee games, July and September. Express your interest. Bluebird Houses: want to build some? Kits are available from the State of Connecticut. This will be referred to the new Family of Rotary Committee. International Project: the Board has committed to contributing to the College in South Africa, subject of a program a number of months ago. Others ideas might be discussed at Fireside Chats. The January 19th Board Meeting will be at the home of Margaret LaCroix, since the Cultural Center will be closed. President Neal read two notes of appreciation, from our wait staff, for the Christmas checks. We ended the meeting at 1: 15 PM. Makeups: Roy Spiller and Michael Knepp, Rockville; Frank and Ceil Collins: Tom River, New Jersey, Pasadena, California (2) and Newton, Connecticut.
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