Great attendance at the Open House. Members mingled with the invitees during the reception which was followed by dinner and a presentation on Rotary International and specifically on the Sturbridge Club. President Austin and Membership Chair Bill Lemke reviewed who we are and what we do along with specific examples of accomplishments.
Several members toured the St. John Paul II Food Pantry in Southbridge recently to see first-hand the process of distributing food to qualified recipients. Organized like a small grocery store, the pantry serves 400 families a month from Southbridge and Sturbridge. Plus an additional 125 senior citizens also visit the Pantry per month. In 2015 over 140,000 pounds of food was distributed. Sturbridge Rotary holds a fundraiser each June to help support the St. John Paul II Food Pantry. The tour of the facility was much more impactful when we saw how the process works. Two of the members attending (Bob White and Klaus Hachfeld) are shown with Bill Pioppi (far left) and Lenny Lazure (far right) who oversee the operation of the Pantry.
We had a great presentation by Asma Rashid, a licensed and board-certified genetics counselor from the Harrington Cancer Center. Asma helped us understand the risks for hereditary cancers, discussing benefits and limitations of genetic testing. Genetic research is a relatively new discipline and extremely complex. The link between cancer and genetics is very real for anyone with a family history of cancer, even two generations in the past.