Former Member Returns

Dave Zonia was inducted into Sturbridge Rotary this week and is glad to be back.  Dave was a member of the Club for about two years beginning in 2008.  A retired adjunct professor, Dave has recently moved to Sturbridge and is looking forward to getting involved in the Club’s projects and making a difference.  PP and Membership Chair, Bill Lemke (L) is shown with Dave.

Dave Zonia install 3-23-2015

Hearing and Hearing Loss

Dr. Marilyn Reynolds, a doctor of Audiology associated with the Harrington HealthCare System spoke with us about the different aspects of hearing and hearing loss.  Hearing loss is often caused by a combination of things such as noise, family genetics, age related degeneration, and drug related side effects.  Hearing loss can impact one’s general health and well-being.  Examples are feeling angry, frustrated, embarrassed, all of which can lead to depression.  Without stimulation of hearing the brain begins to deteriorate.

She also discussed Tinnitus which is sound inside the head or ears like a constant hum or buzz.  She related its causes and effects.  Hearing aids can help depending upon your specific reason for hearing loss but keep in mind that not everyone needs a hearing aid.  Many can be helped with just an adaptive product like a transcript phone or a TV device.

Dr. Reynolds described the many types of hearing aids and their cost.  The best hearing aids last about five years.  Modern technology today is playing an important part in helping those with hearing loss.  In very rare cases a Cochlear implant may be necessary.  The first step in addressing hearing loss is finding out the cause and in many cases it is curable.

Our thanks to Dr. Reynolds for a very informative and educational presentation.

Dr. Marilyn Reynolds-Audiologist - 3-16-2015

Club President-Elect Austin survives NEPETS

The annual training of Club Presidents and Assistant Governors for eight Rotary Districts happened last week at the Sheraton hotel in Framingham MA.  More than 600 attendees were there for three days receiving the latest Rotary news, materials and training.

Highlights were the keynote addresses were given by 2015-2016 RI President K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran, Rotary Foundation Vice-Chair Mike McGovern and our Rotary Zone 32 Director Julia Phelps.

The event was VERY well organized by the eight incoming District Governors, including our own DGE Jim Fusco.   NEPETS is always exciting, even electric, as attendees including our Pres-Elect Austin moved from plenary session to breakout sessions, to District-specific rooms for District Committee introductions and updates.

Happily, there was also a little downtime to visit the vendor booths offering Rotary paraphernalia, the Rotary-related table displays, DGE Jim’s reception, and the bar.  I am able to report that Austin’s military training served him well, so he survived the ordeal and represented our club in style.

Meanwhile, Klaus snuck in and accosted attendees as they passed the Rotary Alumni Association of Greater New England (RAAGNE) display, telling of the need for Rotarians to help find our alumni, as well as engage them in their Rotary projects.  He and DGE Jim are seen during one of the finer moments of the event.


Feeding the Hungry

Our speaker this evening was Bill Pioppi discussing the St. John Paul II Food Pantry in Southbridge.  Bill spoke with us last year together with Bill Mason.  Unfortunately Mr. Mason passed away six months after speaking with us.  At his wake, people were asked to bring a bag of food in lieu of flowers which generated 50 bags of groceries for the pantry.  The need for food donations has increased by 55 thousand pounds over last year’s demand and the pantry cannot keep up.  Many of those in need are seniors.  Seniors are made to feel more comfortable in picking up food by having designated days for them which is the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month.  Bill reiterated the pantry’s gratefulness for our fundraising effort last year and the generous $3,000 donation we gave to them.  It certainly helped the Pantry’s shortfall.  We are holding another Dinner Dance Fundraiser for them on June 5 at Cohasse Country Club.

Bill Pioppi (left) with President-Elect Austin Jenkins

Bill Pioppi (left) with President-Elect Austin Jenkins




Plimpton Community Forest in Sturbridge

Retired GE Executive Clarence “Punk” Snyder spoke with us about The Hamilton Rod and Gun Club’s initiative.  They are working with the Town of Sturbridge and The Trust for Public Land to purchase the Plimpton Farm.  This 295-acre property abuts the Rod and Gun Club and has frontage on both Old Boston Road and Allen Road.  The purchase price is $1,590,000 and if approved and funds are secured by June 30, the property will become the Plimpton Community Forest in Sturbridge.  Some large grant money has been awarded to the Trust so far including a USDA Community Forest and Open Space grant which is the first award of its kind in MA.  There will be 15 acres of land designated to creating sports fields.  The property also contains scenic ponds, ledges, streams and trails for hunting, hiking, fishing, biking and numerous outdoor activities.  A natural spring on the property could serve as an aquifer for the Town’s future business and residential growth and the property can provide timber revenue to the Town with ongoing forest management.  The owner of the property secured a ‘green forest designation’ for the land which also helps to alleviate high Federal taxes that the town would otherwise have to pay.  Supporters of the purchase are now looking to raise $175K from individual donors.  The Rod and Gun Club is donating $10K and is seeking a matching grant from someone or an organization/company in the community to significantly help in the purchase and creation of the Plimpton Community Forest in Sturbridge.

Larry, Punk Snyder re Plimpton Forest 3-2-2015