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.

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Rotary at its Best

Yet another snowstorm last Monday caused our Rotary club meeting to be cancelled again.   However, Rotarians Rob & Jennifer Benzel of the Lancaster-Depew Rotary Club (D-7090) near Buffalo NY had arranged to attend our club meeting.  They did that via our Sturbridge RC website!  (Please note, the Internet works!)

Happily, we knew of their impending visit and stayed in touch as the storm developed.  They arrived Sunday and booked into the Publick House Inn just ahead of the worst of the storm.

Rob is the current club president and completely deaf as a result of a series of operations, so Jen types what is being said on a small keyboard, which then displays on a small screen that Rob can view.  Jen does an amazing job keeping Rob in the conversation; a joy to behold.

So Klaus & Glenys invited them to their house for dinner.  The afternoon and evening hours were totally delightful, as we compared club notes and shared photos.   Of special interest were the pictures of their home that had just received 84” of snow in 72 hours.  They had to do battle to even get out of the house!

For a club even smaller than our Sturbridge club, they do a terrific job raising funds via a massive annual car show, and serving their community.    We exchanged banners, to help commemorate their trip.

This visit so vividly brought to mind that at its heart, it is the personal relationships that bring Rotary to life.

Lancaster-Depew RC Banner

RAAGNE & Girl’s School in Afghanistan

The Power of Change Forum

This week the Nashoba Valley and Concord Rotary Clubs jointly hosted the Power of Change Forum in Concord MA, a public forum and awards ceremony in honor of Rotarian Razia Raj (founder of her Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation) and Craig Norberg-Bohn (president of Jane Doe, Inc. & White Ribbon Day).

Klaus & Glenys attended the event, because Razia’s Foundation over the last 8 years has built a school in Afghanistan for girls (Zabuli Education Center) in an effort to break them out of their current subjugation by men; a phenomenon since the Russian invasion. The expectation is that giving women in Afghanistan a stronger voice in family and community affairs will temper the more violent aspects of the society. That school now has 500 students, all girls, in classes from Grade 1 to 12.

While Razia’s efforts have exposed her to personal danger, she has also won recognition by numerous organizations, including the Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012.

Last year, RAAGNE (Rotary Alumni Association of Greater New England, co-founded by Klaus) organized the Rotary Foundation Alumni who contributed to that effort. So now the focus is on continuing that school support, but in addition to build a college alongside the school.

With that in mind, after the meeting, 10 Rotary Clubs in our District 7910 expressed support of a Global Grant that will provide at least $35,000 funding to Razia’s foundation, while requiring less than $1,000 contribution from each.

Also, RAAGNE today committed to a substantial contribution and will endeavor to partner with D-7910 clubs and the German Rotary Alumni Association(RFAD) for further support.

Towards the end of this forum Razia and Craig were presented with Paul Harris Fellowships.

These links are well worth viewing:

https://raziasrayofhope.org

https://raziasrayofhope.org/virtual-tour.html

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Craig Norberg-Bohn & Razia Jan speak at the Forum

Santa featured in Stourbridge UK Rotary Club Card

Our Stourbridge UK Sister Rotary Club created a Christmas Card this year; one that should be of interest to us in the Sturbridge Club.

Santa Arthur Baker, 2014

You may not know this Santa yet, but you surely will by this time next year.  Santa Arthur Baker will be the President of the Stourbridge Rotary Club when they visit us in the USA next Fall.  Naturally he will be accompanied by his wife, Maureen, and other Stourbridge Club members with their spouses.

Their visit will be fun.  The picture tells all!

Basket of Lottery Tickets – the Winning Number

The Sturbridge Rotary Club has been raising funds by raffling a Basket containing $1,000 worth of Lottery Tickets.  The proceeds go directly to scholarships the club awards to graduating high school students.

The Letters of Thanks we receive from those students show us just how much this help is appreciated by them.

The lucky ticket was drawn last Monday, December 8th, at the Sturbridge Rotary Club meeting.  The Winning Ticket was #730, bought by a lady living in Dighton, MA.

The Sturbridge Rotary Club members heartily thank everyone who bought a ticket and wish you all a Wonderful Holiday Season & Happy, Healthy New Year.Raffle Basket

INVITING Rotary Alumni & Rotarians – share ideas & build our network.

The Rotary Foundation is generously supporting RAAGNE’s first Annual General Meeting so that even young adults not yet RAAGNE members can afford to attend and assist a service project in the morning, meet for lunch, hear Past Rotary President Bill Boyd speak about Alumni opportunities, give direction to RAAGNE leaders and enjoy a dinner together on Saturday, May 10th, 2014.

The Rotary Alumni Association of Greater New England (RAAGNE) is an e-Association primarily for current and past participants in Rotary Foundation programs, such as Rotarians, Rotary Peace Fellows, Ambassadorial Scholars, Group Study Exchange Teams, Rotaractors and Rotary Volunteers, building a network of people willing to be active in local and international service projects.

Most planning is via the Internet, so members are located World Wide.  For more on RAAGNE, see http://www.raagne.com .

The core AGM will begin 2:30 PM, Saturday May 10, 2014, at the Hilton Hotel in Baltimore, MD.  The $10 meeting registration is at http://www.raagne.com/agm2014/

See also RAAGNE’s latest Newsletter at RAAGNE Newsletter 11, March 2014

Rotary Park Clean-Up

Early May, The Rotary Park, at the junction of Cedar Street and Rte. 20W in Sturbridge, will see Sturbridge Rotarians hard at work, cleaning and sprucing it up after the winter. This park has been well received by town residents and deserves a look.
Just take a little time, sit comfortably and relax on the bench, then watch the world go by.

Sturbridge USA visited Stourbridge UK

For a week in May 2012, members of the Sturbridge club visited the Stourbridge club in England. That coincided with Queen Elizabeth II 60th Anniversary of ascension to the throne. There were nation-wide celebrations, including a spectacular flotilla that paraded down the River Thames in London.

Stourbridge is located 18 miles southwest of the city of Birmingham, and has a long history, being active during the Industrial Revolution, with exquisite cut glass tableware, engineering (look up the Stourbridge Lion), and a great location for visiting many magnificent historical points of interest.

Similar to our Old Sturbridge Village, you can visit the Black Country Museum; an outdoor museum showing how people lived and worked in the Victorian era.

2012 Club Trip to Stourbridge

  • QE II Diamond Jubilee cake
  • Stoubridge Welcome Dinner
  • Severn River Railway
  • Bridgnorth Station
  • Bridgnorth signal box
  • Railway men at Bridgnorth
  • Bridgnorth Town Hall & Market
  • Birmingham Symphony evening
  • Stourbridge Club cookout
  • Diamond Jubilee Day
  • Ironbridge Museum visit
  • PC 49 on duty
  • High School music
  • Beware the Highlanders
  • Presidents at Progressive Supper
  • Progressive Supper
  • Stourbridge Junction train
  • Stourbridge Fellowship Luncheon
  • Brian, Jacqui & John at Fellowship Luncheon
  • DG-PDG-MP in Stourbridge
  • Golf Challenge Trophy returns to Stourbridge
  • Presidents toast with our gift
  • It all began here! Gordon, Mary, Klaus & Glenys made Twinning happen.

Patrick Kirst slider

 

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Kyoko Satoh pictures

 

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Rotary Park Dedication

  • Sturbridge Town Administrator, Jim Malloy.
  • Sturbridge Rotary President, Dick Vaughan.
  • Award for Rotary Park Design to Tom Chamberlain, Sturbridge Parks and Tree Warden.

June 14, 2007, saw the dedication of Rotary Park at the junction of Cedar Street and Route 20 in Sturbridge. The event was broadcast live over the local radio station.

 

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