What a productive morning we had at the CFC Garden. After two Saturdays of rain, we finally got to top dress all the growing beds with rich loam and started to spread wood chips in the aisles. It was hot weather but we drank a lot of water and kept working. Thanks to our volunteers and committee members who worked so hard. It looks great! Time to finish planting now.
Our own PDG and PP Carl (The Hat) Kaliszewski spoke with us about the benefits of Rotary Foundation. Carl serves as Chairman of the Club’s Rotary Foundation Committee. He reviewed the history and facts, stressing the importance of each member donating in order to be / remain a sustaining member of the Foundation.
During the past 100 years, the Foundation has spent $3 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects. The Foundation has six causes supported by members in 35,000 clubs. These causes are: Promoting Peace, Providing Clean Water, Saving Mothers and Children, Supporting Education, Growing Local Economies, and Fighting Disease.
In the ‘Fighting Disease’ cause, a child can be protected from polio for as little as 60 cents. And for every $1 Rotary commits to polio eradication, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $2. So far, 99.9 percent of all polio cases have been wiped out.
And, 91% of the funds donated to the Foundation are spent directly on service projects and programs making lives better in our local communities and around the world. Carl urged us to participate and to do so generously.
Cindy Howard, Executive Vice President and COO spoke with us recently about the history of The Arc and the Center of Hope Foundation which provides a litany of services to people with disabilities and their families. They also provide the resources needed to help them achieve a fulfilling and meaningful life. Cindy also discussed the 16 small businesses that have been created over the years to meet the requirements of their customers as well as the needs of over 700 people served in the Central MA and Northeast CT areas. Their most recent business is a commercial kitchen which will be launching in the next couple of weeks. The Center of Hope is a well known organization with a strong reputation for providing skills training, job placement, and on-the-job support services to the individuals in their care.
Rotary member Jim Donahue, CEO of Old Sturbridge Village, reviewed the museum’s five focus areas with us. History is at the core of OSV but to support history is conservation, education, preservation and aspiration. They are being very creative and forward-thinking in their pursuit of each focus area as he elaborated on each one. OSV is a real treasure and it’s important for each of us to support their efforts.
The Sturbridge Rotary Club is hosting a Dinner Dance on Friday, June 1 at the Cohasse Country Club in Southbridge from 6:00 to 10:00 PM. Proceeds from the Dinner Dance will benefit the Saint John Paul II Food Pantry located in Southbridge, MA.
Established in 1991, the Food Pantry provides emergency food assistance to qualified residents of Southbridge and Sturbridge. An average of 400 families are served every month. That’s over 70 tons of food distributed annually in these two communities. While some food is supplied by the Worcester County Food Bank and by generous local grocery stores, the Food Pantry is dependent upon local financial contributions to continue serving those in need.
While this is our fifth year of hosting a Dinner Dance, Sturbridge Rotary has taken another step to further help the Food Pantry. They have partnered with Southbridge Rotary and created the Community Food Collaborative (CFC) located in Sturbridge. The CFC is a volunteer-based community garden growing fresh organic vegetables, all of which is being donated to the Food Pantry.
We invite you to join Sturbridge Rotary to demonstrate your commitment of helping to feed hungry people served by the Saint John Paul II Food Pantry. Besides serving a buffet dinner, there will be dancing to the music of Sunshine Entertainment with DJ Chris Hookie. Raffle prizes will also be available. How long has it been since you’ve danced, had a great meal, socialized, perhaps won a prize, and helped a great cause – all in one evening? Tickets are $50 per person or purchase a table of 8 for $350 and bring your friends. To purchase tickets, contact Austin Jenkins at 508-347-6511 or www.sturbridgerotary.org for information. Checks should be made payable to the Sturbridge Rotary Club.
Come prepared with your dancing shoes for a fun night out and for such a worthwhile cause!
In waiting for spring, the Chief Gardener, affectionately known as “Carrot Top”, planted some cold crops. Not long after she did that, we get 90 degree days! As soon as Mother Nature settles down, hopefully around June 1st, we can call on our volunteers to plant the other 21 raised planting beds in the Community Food Collaborative garden.
Kevin Filchak spoke with us for the second time bringing us up to date on what the Town of Sturbridge is currently working on. Kevin serves as the Town’s Economic Development & Tourism Coordinator. In his role, Kevin hosts a number of meetings to get in touch with businesses and the citizens to learn what they’d like to see happen in Sturbridge. Committees are formed on different topics that work to improve the town. A Sturbridge Business Breakfast, Business Classes, Business Advocacy Group, Develop the Route 15 Corridor committee are just a few activities taking place. It was learned from the Special Events committee that we need new and more events. This committee recently implemented a Farmers Market starting June 24 to September 30 on the Common and the Rick Hoyt Half Marathon is scheduled for September 9th. Adult use marijuana and makerspace are still being discussed. Kevin does a great job in keeping everyone informed on what’s happening. He creates a monthly Business Newsletter and a monthly Event Newsletter. Both of these can be found on the town website at www.town.sturbridge.ma.us/businesses/news/may-business-newsletter and www.town.sturbridge.ma.us/visitors/news/may-event-newsletter. If you’d like to get involved in your favorite topic, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org