One of Sturbridge Rotary’s initiatives is to help eliminate hunger. For that reason the Sturbridge Rotary Club decided in 2008 to provide Thanksgiving Food Baskets to the needy through the Catholic Charities Food Share Program of Southbridge. By 2015, the number of families requesting a turkey and grocery certificate had increased to over 400 families and Food Share found they do not have the funds to continue this special Thanksgiving program, nor do they have the volunteers. Fortunately, eight local churches came together to form the Tri-Community Church Collaborative. Consequently, Sturbridge Rotary continued to donate funds to the Church Collaborative to help purchase the turkeys.
2017 is the 10th year that Sturbridge Rotary Club has participated in this worthwhile cause. To date we have contributed over $2,900 to pre-screened families in the towns of Sturbridge, Southbridge and Charlton to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner.
If you would like to help the Tri-Community Church Collaborative, please send your donations made out to Charlton Baptist Church with Tri-Community Church Collaborative (or just “TCCC”) in the memo area. Mail your check to Catherine Chernisky – Chairperson, 150 Elm Street, Southbridge, MA 01550.
Shown accepting the check is (L to R) Pam Bruder, Rotary President Dave Zonia, and Catherine Chernisky.
Friendship greetings were exchanged with our Sister Club in Stourbridge, England again this year via skype. The two Clubs have been twinned since 1988 and always exchanged greetings via snail mail but have since gone high-tech. The Mayor of Dudley and the President of the Stourbridge Rotary Club are shown in front of the laptop in the UK and Chair of the Selectmen in Sturbridge, Mary Blanchard was with Sturbridge Rotary Club President David Zonia in front of a laptop. Each read a proclamation and exchanged friendship greetings.
The meeting concluded with a toast of health to each Club.
Mayor David Tyler (L) and Stourbridge Rotary Club President Dr. Tony Blackman.
Shown below is the Civic Group. Back row (L-R) Alderman Fred Hunt, Mayor of Dudley as well as Councillor David Tyler, President Tony Blackman.
Front row (L-R) Alderman Jack Edmonds, The Mayoress of Dudley Mrs. Barbara Tyler, Mrs. Anne Blackman.
The Harvest Festival drew a very large crowd to visit vendor booths selling their wares, eating food from various food trucks, voting at the annual Publick House Scarecrow Contest and of course, the Sturbridge Rotary booth selling tickets to win $1,000 worth of lottery tickets. The Lottery Basket Fundraiser is held every fall with only 1,000 tickets being sold. Tickets are $10 each and proceeds support our scholarship program at the local high school. Each year the Club awards a total of $6,000 to several seniors pursuing a college degree. During the festival, 200 tickets were sold by 12 Rotarians working shifts. The most tickets were sold by one member’s big, fluffy dog who came to help. The dog drew lots of kids to pet him and a captive audience of parents who happily bought tickets.
Paul, Peter, Otto on duty.
District Governor Karin Gaffney, accompanied by Assistant Governor Tony Gasbarro and his wife Michelle Gasbarro, paid their official visit to Sturbridge Rotary. DG Karin outlined her three initiatives for the year: Clubs should do more (1) service which in turn will raise (2) awareness. By doing the first two initiatives, (3) membership will follow due to everyone learning and seeing what Rotary does and is all about. Her presentation was very inspiring and motivating!
While attending the meeting, Sturbridge Rotary asked DG Karin to sign the Club’s application to start a Rotary Community Corps (RCC) of Sturbridge and Southbridge (representing Sturbridge Rotary and Southbridge Rotary). This Corps will be an almost independent Club of local volunteers, mostly non-Rotarians, but still under the supervision of the Sturbridge and Southbridge Clubs. The Corps’ primary project will be called the “Community Food Collaborative” (CFC). However, the Corps may also undertake other projects they choose to do. President Dave and DG Karin are each shown signing the application. Shown holding a picture of the CFC logo is PDG Klaus Hachfeld who initiated the application. A “history making” event for Sturbridge Rotary which now joins only two other clubs in District 7910 as having a Rotary Community Corps.
When all ‘business’ was taken care of, President Dave presented both DG Karin and AG Tony with gifts from the Club.
Sturbridge Rotary is pleased to announce that Basil “Bill” Michaeles has been inducted into the Club membership. Bill resides in Sturbridge and is the retired president of California Fruit Company. Bill is well known in the greater community and brings years of management experience to the organization which will be put to good use in the Club’s activities. Welcome Bill!
President Dave, Bill M., Bill L., PDG Klaus.