It is with great sadness that we inform you of the unexpected death of Past-President Suzanne Smiley. As most of you will recall, Suzanne had a dynamic personality and lit up any room she entered. She was a hard worker, focused and worked tirelessly for the good of Rotary. Suzanne joined the Sturbridge Rotary Club in 1992 and became president in 2000-2001. During her presidency Suzanne launched emailing Sturbridge Rotary Club Bulletins to those members who had email addresses, thereby making this service more cost effective for the Club. She also initiated the Club’s First Annual Art Auction which continued for five consecutive years raising $15,248 for the Club. Together with other Club members and spouses, she traveled to England to visit our Sister Club where both Clubs took a road trip by chartered bus to Scotland. She left the Club in 2005 after securing employment in another city. She joined the Worcester Rotary Club in 2007 until 2009. Suzanne, a Paul Harris Fellow, attended a Past-Presidents event at the Sturbridge Club in May 2016 where all past-presidents were honored for their service (see photo).
Join with us as we mourn Suzanne and remember her for the kind and fun-loving person she was. We’ll forever have fond memories of her.
The date for visitation is Thursday, May 11 at the Britton-Wallace Funeral Home, 91 Central Street, Auburn, MA. The time of visitation is yet to be determined.There is no funeral service.
President’s Night with 14 PP and current president.
Satch Sanders, born Thomas Ernest Sanders, spoke with us recently about both his personal and professional life. Satch played for the Boston Celtics from 1960-1973. When he retired he served as a coach at Harvard from 1973-1977 and as a coach for the Boston Celtics in 1978. His #16 shirt was retired by the Celtics in 1973. He was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. While Satch has spent time with us previously at Rotary, his format focused on what we wanted to hear and encouraged our questions. He told us how he got his name, what he thought about the change in playing styles, comments about his fellow players, the rise in contract fees that the players receive today versus what he made as a player, and why he moved to Sturbridge. He also signed several basketballs for us! It’s always a pleasure to have Satch spend time with us.
PE Dave Zonia, Satch Sanders, President Otto Prohaska, Secretary Ken Jones
Five Rotarians participated in a Community Service Project at Camp Frank A. Day in East Brookfield. Their task was staining benches for the opening of the residental Camp for youth. The Camp is owned and managed by the West Suburban YMCA in Newton but is available for local youth as well. Austin, Otto, Carl, Peter and Klaus managed to stain 20 benches in just two hours. However, they did mention that it took some time before they were able to stand erect after this task was completed. They also received a great lunch and a tour of the Camp. Rotarians at work with rewarding results.
Ruth DeAmicis of Stonebridge Press spoke with us about her role as Editor for all eight weekly publications in MA. While several of these newspapers are paid publications, the rest are mailed to homes for free in each of the towns the newspapers represent. Locally, the papers in our area are the Southbridge News, the Sturbridge Villager and the Charlton Villager. It was enlightening to learn how a local newspaper is put together and the deadlines associated with each paper. Ruth oversees the placement of every story and press release for each of these papers prior to putting the paper “to bed”. Fortunately for Ruth, the deadlines for each of the eight papers are staggered. The paper also offers graphic design for free when placing promotion in the paper and a reporter can be requested to cover an event. For anyone responsible for placing publicity, ads, calendar items, stories, etc., it’s important to know the process and the due dates which makes it easier for all involved. Besides our local area, Stonebridge Press has papers in northeastern CT and southern NH and they are committed to expanding their print media into other geographic areas. We are so fortunate to have such great coverage in our own local communities and to work with Ruth who has such enthusiasm for her demanding job.
This week the Publick House tore down a fond memory for Sturbridge Rotary, the former Orchard Inn restaurant. When Sturbridge Rotary was chartered in 1972, the Club met each week for nine years at the Orchard Inn restaurant. We left the restaurant for eight years and met at Rom’s, then returned to the Orchard Inn restaurant having been renamed Crabapples and owned by the Publick House. It had another name change to Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse and we continued to meet there until 1999 when Charlie Brown’s closed. At that time we returned to Rom’s for only one year and we’ve been at the Publick House for the last 17 years. During the demolition, we wonder if they found the Rotary piano that has been missing for years. The place of origin for the Club meetings may be gone but will always be remembered fondly.
John Argitis, President and CEO of G&F Industries gave an enlightening presentation to Rotary recently. G&F, a local Sturbridge company was founded in 1962. The company molds and assembles customized plastic parts for a range of industries. They were completely destroyed in a devastating fire in 2001. Other companies in Sturbridge and surrounding towns rallied to their aid offering space in their own facilities so G&F could continue production until they rebuilt their building. Since moving back to their new building, the company continues to grow and recently purchased a medical molding company in Danvers, MA. Between the two locations, G&F employs 75 full-time and 70 part-time employees.
President Otto (L) with John Argitis.
Sturbridge Tree Warden, Tom Chamberland, prepared us for what’s coming – the different invasive tree pests found in Sturbridge and surrounding towns. He spoke about the Asian Long Horned Beetle, Emerald Ash Borer, the Hemlock Wolly Adelgid, the Gypsy Moth Caterpillar, the common spring tent Caterpillar and the common fall webworm. Fortunately, he gave us guidance on how to help control the devastation these insects cause and how to help the trees and plants in recovery. Lots of great information about this ‘buggy’ issue!
Tom Chamberlain (left) and Dave Zonia, President-Elect.