Sturbridge Rotary Honors Dorothy Wright

Sturbridge Rotary recently honored Rotarian and Sturbridge resident Dorothy Wright with a second Paul Harris Society recognition for her service to the community and support of the Rotary Foundation.

A former educator, Dorothy takes a special interest in fostering learning. She delivers dictionaries to grade school students and provides reading materials to veterans and and senior centers. Dorothy served on the Board of Directors of the Joshua Hyde Public Library in Sturbridge for several years. Dorothy also created an annual scholarship for a graduating Tantasqua scholar in the name of her late husband Wendell.

The Paul Harris Fellowship is Rotary International’s highest recognition. It is given to Rotarians and community volunteers for sustained and exceptional service that improves our communities and the world, and for significant financial support of the Rotary Foundation.

The Rotary Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to advancing world understanding, goodwill, and peace. It is funded solely by contributions from members and friends of Rotary and consistently is rated in the top 10 by Charity Navigator.

Seen in the photo are Sturbridge Rotarians Dorothy Wright, Past District Governor Carl Kaliszewski, and Treasurer Lorraine Herbert.

Sept. 17, 2018 - PHF for Dorothy Wright

Rotary Helps at Day of Caring

Last Friday, a group of Sturbridge Rotarians teamed up with school and community volunteers on projects that improved our communities and fostered community engagement and cooperation. Sponsored by the United Way of Southbridge, Sturbridge and Charlton as a “Day of Caring”, teams of Rotarians and volunteers spanned out across the region to work on a diverse group of projects.

Rotarians planted trees. Sponsored by the Middle School, the “Tantasqua American Chestnut Research Orchard” is part of a nationwide effort to restore Chestnut trees in this country. Most of our native trees were destroyed by blight years ago, and now several variations of blight resistant hybrid trees have been planted and will be monitored in the orchard. Soon, we once again will be roasting chestnuts over open fires.

An even larger group of Rotary volunteers delivered refreshments to the various work teams throughout the day. This group may have had one of the most challenging and appreciated jobs of all; they helped keep the other volunteers going.

Rotary team of 'Runners'.

Rotary team of ‘Runners’.

Sept. 14, 2018 - DOC Chestnut Trees

Bill, Glenys, Klaus.

Sept. 14, 2018 - DOC Chestnut Trees mulch

Hard at work.


Community Food Collaborative Press Event

This morning we were excited to host a Press Event at the CFC garden to brag about how much the garden has produced so far this year, AND it’s still growing. Reporters from Stonebridge Press, The Citizen Chronicle and the Quaboag Current joined us. Fortunately we had put up a pop-up tent because it started to rain lightly when they arrived. However, the rain did not dampen our spirits. Joe, the Head Cabbage, told them everything we have done this year, our great volunteers, and all our sponsors and donors, and what our plans are for next year.

Bill Pioppi gave background info on the St. John Paul II Food Pantry and the Pantry’s director, Roberta Watson, gave her perspective of our project and how all the fresh organic veggies have created quite a stir of gratitude with the recipients. Roberta also reported that we have donated over 1,000 pounds of veggies so far and there is still more growing!!! We should all feel very proud about what we have done to bring this success story to life.

Sept. 10, 2018 - Com., FoodTruck - Press Event

Sept. 10, 2018 - Roberta, Joe, Bill, Reporter

Sept. 10, 2018 - Sarah, Kevin Filchak, Roberta, Austin

Sept. 10, 2018 - Press Event touring garden


Food for the Hungry

The Community Food Collaborative continues to harvest lots of organic vegetables to be given to the St. John Paul II Food Pantry.  We deliver every day the Pantry is open.  This is what was delivered the week of August 26.

This watermelon is "hanging out" outside the fence.

This watermelon is “hanging out” outside the fence.

Aug. 27, 2018 harvest

Aug. 19, 2018 crops2

Aug. 19, 2018 crops1

Rotary Helps Fund New Air Conditioner for Senior Center

A check for $5,000 was recently presented by the Sturbridge Rotary Club to the Sturbridge Council on Aging.  Accepting the check is Heather Weston, Director of the Senior Center, to which it’s most commonly referred.  Included in the photo is one of the many exercise classes held on the second floor of the Center.  “We are very grateful for the generous support of Sturbridge Rotary” indicated Heather.  “The funds have been used toward the purchase of a badly needed air conditioner for the second floor.  The new air conditioner has been wonderful for those attending meetings or movies and, as you can see in the photo, for those in the exercise classes.”

“Helping our local community is one of the projects we enjoy doing.  This project, using funds from our Educational Trust account, satisfies a need for the Senior Center that we are happy to fulfill” stated Sturbridge Rotary Club Past-President Bob White.

Bob White is shown with Jen (Exercise with Jen) on left and Heather on the right.

Bob White is shown with Jen (Exercise with Jen) on left and Heather on the right.

Charity Golf Classic benefits Sturbridge Rotary

Sturbridge Rotary hosted a golf tournament on August 20 at Cohasse Country Club.  Over 60 golfers participated in a fun day of friendly competition that wrapped up with dinner and a Chinese Raffle in the clubhouse.

We are very grateful to our participants and hosts at Cohasse, and our generous sponsors.  A full list of our sponsors appears in the photos that accompany this story.

Congratulations to our overall winning team of Bob Dean, John Kingston, Joe Legendre and Jordan Dean.  But, on this day, the real winners were the many residents in Sturbridge of all ages who are helped by the Sturbridge Rotary Club.

Aug. 20 - Winning Foursome 2018 Golf

Winners L to R: John Kingston, Bob Dean, Jordan Dean, Joe Legendre

Aug. 20 - Golf Sponsor List 2018

Aug. 20 - Golf sponsor posters 2018

Thanks to our great sponsors!

Aug. 20 - Golf check-in - 2018

Checking in.

Aug. 20 - Golf AG Lynn Checking in - 2018

AG Lynn Duffy OShea checking in.

Aug. 20 - Golf Cart lineup - 2018

Start your engines!

Aug. 20 - Golf putting - 2018

Aug. 20 - Golf, Zonia swing - 2018

Dave’s swing.


Aug. 20 - Golf Rafffle Table - 2018

Golf raffle prizes.

Funding Summer Arts Program for Kids

Quinebaug Valley Council for the Arts and Humanities is offering its annual children’s summer art workshop this year with the help of the Rotary Club of Sturbridge.

The popular class runs in two sessions, both serving two age groups. The current session runs from July 9 to July 13. Children ages six through eight attend a morning session five days a week. Kids ages nine or older attend a class immediately following the younger set’s class each day. There is a second session scheduled for July 16 through July 20, but that session is full.

The Sturbridge Rotary sponsored the program at the arts center in whole this summer, alongside grants to the Tri-Community YMCA and Literacy Volunteers of South Central Massachusetts, and other local organizations. Sturbridge Rotarians Robert and Pauline White recently visited QVCAH’s art center at 111 Main Street in Southbridge to discuss the importance of the program and why QVCAH was chosen for funding.

“We are very interested in supporting youth and children’s programs. One of Sturbridge Rotary’s areas of focus is youth and youth development,” comments Mr. White.

The Sturbridge Rotary has recently awarded a series of grants to organizations serving youth development in Sturbridge and nearby towns. The round of grants comes from the Sturbridge Rotary’s Education and Charitable Trust and seeks to provide access to enriching experiences and support for children.

There has never been a fee for enrolling in the kids’ summer art classes that QVCAH offers. The annual program is open to students in any of the twenty-five towns that the arts organization serves. However, there are several costs involved in running the program, ranging from art supplies to a very modest stipend for the instructors who spend months planning, organizing and holding the classes. The instructors are longtime members of the arts organization and they bring a lifetime of experience as artists to the classes.

Students in this year’s cohort come from a range of towns including Southbridge, Sturbridge, Charlton, Brimfield and beyond. Many of the kids return to the program year after year and many become involved in other QVCAH programs after taking a class.

QVCAH is very grateful to the Sturbridge Rotary for their help with this year’s summer arts programming.  “They have been very supportive in so many ways to us and I have been very grateful,” comments a leading member of QVCAH.

The two sessions of the art classes will culminate in a “mini-gallery” show and opening Sunday, July 22 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 111 Main Street in Southbridge. The annual event is presented like a professional art opening and the children who have participated will have the opportunity to proudly show their work to family and loved ones.

Bob, Pauline White - Art Center


Playground at the YMCA Day Care Center

The Sturbridge Rotary Club recently awarded $5,000 to the Tri-Community YMCA Child Development Center, 115 Marcy Street in Southbridge, to help fund a new outdoor playground that will be enjoyed by more than 150 kids a day.

“This playground will help the Y provide safe and healthy spaces for our children to learn foundational skills, develop healthy, trusting relationships and build self-esteem,” Glenn Juchno, Executive Director of the Tri-Community YMCA. “We are fortunate to have great partners like the Sturbridge Rotary Club who understand the impact of youth development in our community.”

For over 100 years, the YMCA has been meeting the needs of children, adults and families in our community.  The Child Development Center at the Y offers year-round licensed childcare for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school age children.

“We’re happy to help support the YMCA’s new playground with funds from our educational trust account,” Past-President Otto Prohaska.  “One of Sturbridge Rotary’s areas of focus is youth and youth development.  The Y offers so many programs for children of all ages that funding toward the playground was a perfect fit for us.”

YMCA check from CETA - June 20, 2018


The Produce is Growing!

The Community Food Collaborative garden is growing and growing.  We’ve delivered two loads of various kinds of lettuce and recently delivered lettuce, cucumbers, cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli, beans, bell pepper, sweet banana peppers, summer squash, radishes and beets.  The folks at the St. John Paul II Food Pantry were really excited to start getting fresh organic vegetables.

July 10 - Harvest brought to JP II

July 10 - Bill, Eunice, Jim harvesting

Garden Angel, marigolds - July 5, 2018

July 5 - Garden4

July 5 - Garden yellow squash3

July 5 - Garden cauliflower

July 5 - Garden bush beans2

July 5 - Garden broccoli

July 5 - Garden - Butternut Sqash

Charity Golf Classic at Cohasse

On Monday, August 20, the Cohasse Country Club in Southbridge will again host the Rotary Club of Sturbridge for its ninth Charity Golf Classic.  Chair of the event, Dave Zonia, reports that the field of 64 golfers is filling up quickly so it’s best to make your reservations now to be included.  The day begins with a tee time at 10:30 AM, a BBQ luncheon on the course and a full prime rib dinner prepared by the club’s Executive Chef.  We’ll have auctions and the awarding of prizes following dinner.  Cost for this prestigious event is $600 for a foursome and $150 for an individual signup, upon which you will be assigned to a group.

Special events include a Hole-in-One contest on a par 3 with success providing a $10,000 award.  As in previous years there will be contests for closest to the pin, longest drive and closest to the line with those prizes awarded in the evening.  Also available for purchase are “play improvement” strings.

This year Rotary welcomes Henke-Sasse Wolf as a new major sponsor to the Golf Classic, who joins with continuing major sponsors Cornerstone Bank, P. J. Keating Construction, National Guard Association, Southbridge Credit Union and Safety Source – Northeast. Hometown Bank will sponsor the on-course lunch.  Many contributions will also be recognized for tee and green signs as well as many gifts donated for golfers and for the auctions.

All proceeds from this golfing event will be used to fund Sturbridge Rotary’s charitable activities to empower youth, improve health, provide scholarships and whenever possible, answer needs in the local communities.  Just this past June the Rotary Club awarded another $6,000 in scholarships to Tantasqua Regional students bringing the total of scholarships awarded in the last 45 years to over $200,000.

To participate in the Golf Classic or to attend the social event following the golf, contact any Sturbridge Rotary Club member or contact the Golf Chair at or phone at 508-335-4550.


Golf8 swing 8-29-2016

Check Presented at the CFC Garden

We had a special visit at the garden from the Branch and Assistant Branch Managers of the Sturbridge bankHometown. They presented us with a check as a “Hot Pepper” Sponsor of the garden. All Hot Pepper sponsors get to have their name on one of the growing beds. They join four other Hot Pepper sponsors that already have their names on display. It was great to get the personal visit from Hometown and to show off the garden. The CFC is very thankful for the support we have received from all of our sponsors on all four sponsor levels, as well as the In-Kind contributors. Pauline, a.k.a. “Lettuce Tell All” handles much of the garden’s publicity. She is shown happily accepting the check from Karla (on the right).

June 29 - Check bankHometown-mgr

Sponsor tag Sbg Credit Union

Sponsor tag Savers

Sponsor tag Harrington


Sponsor tag Cornerstone

2018 Scholars Visit Rotary

We were honored to host the 2018 Tantasqua scholarship recipients and their parents recently.  The Club has been awarding scholarships each year to local students for the past 45 years.  The first scholarship was for $500 and the amount awarded has steadily increased over the years.  This year Sturbridge Rotary awarded scholarships of $1,000 each to six students.  Cumulatively, we are proud to have awarded over $200,000 in local scholarships.

Of the 47 applications reviewed this year, the scholarship committee chose the following students based upon the Club’s criteria of personal and scholastic achievement, participation in school activities including sports, as well as community participation through work and volunteering.

Tayla Lynn Shepard from Sturbridge – accepted at the American International College in Springfield, MA in the Nursing Program.

Emily Irene Bready from Wales – accepted to pursue a BS in Public Health/BSN dual degree program offered through Worcester State University and the MA College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences University.

Thomas Muir from Sturbridge – accepted at UMass Amherst pursuing a degree in Environmental Engineering.

Rachel Godek from Wales – accepted at UConn in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences with a major in Molecular and Cell Biology.

Sylvia Costa from Brimfield – accepted at UMass Lowell College of Engineering with a major of Civil Engineering.

Philip Standrowicz from Southbridge – accepted to Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston focusing on a Computer Science program.  Philip also received the Wendell Wright Memorial Educational Award for $500 in memory of Wendell Wright.  Wendell’s widow, Dorothy Wright, a Sturbridge Rotarian, presented the award.

L to R:  Sylvia Costa, Emily Irene Bready, President Dave, Philip Standrowicz, Rachel Godek, Thomas Muir.  Unfortunately, Tayla Lynn Shepard was not able to attend.

L to R: Sylvia Costa, Emily Irene Bready, President Dave, Philip Standrowicz, Rachel Godek, Thomas Muir. Unfortunately, Tayla Lynn Shepard was not able to attend.

2018 - Wendell Wright Schlr2, Zonia, Dorothy - June 25

Meet me in the CFC Garden

What a productive morning working in the Community Food Collaborative garden! The garden is a project of the Rotary Community Corps of Sturbridge and Southbridge.  We finished putting wood chips on all the aisles in only one hour, did a little weeding, put numbers on each planting bed, and did some weed whacking near the path and front of the garden. We also cleaned up some of the old mess and even made a trip to the landfill. The produce is looking great and really growing. We’re bringing more lettuce to the St. JP II Food Pantry next week. Thanks to our great volunteers who helped this morning!!

June 23, 2018 - Ungerer, Otto, Jim

June 23, 2018 - Otto

June 23, 2018 - Veggies 5

June 23, 2018 - Veggies 6


June 23, 2018 - Veggies 7

June 23, 2018 - Weed Whacking

Installation of Officers 2018-2019 Rotary Year

It was a perfect weather day for the outdoor Installation of the Officers and Board of Directors for the 2018-2019 Rotary year.  The music, food, participants, friends and relaxed casual mood helped to start the new officers off with vigor to accomplish their goals for the year.  See the explanations on each of the photos shown.

President Austin Jenkins

President Austin Jenkins

Officers 2018-2019 President Austin Jenkins, President Elect & Immediate Past President Dave Zonia Secretary Kelli Robbins Treasurer Lorraine Herbert Executive Secretary Klaus Hahfeld BOD Member Charles Battersby BOD Member Bill Lemke BOD Member Scott Peckins (missing) First Lady Kim Jenkins

Officers 2018-2019 and Board of Directors
President:  Austin Jenkins,
President-Elect & Immediate Past President:  Dave Zonia
Secretary:  Kelli Robbins
Treasurer:  Lorraine Herbert
Executive Secretary:  Klaus Hachfeld
BOD Member:  Charles Battersby
BOD Member:  Bill Lemke
BOD Member:  Scott Peckins (missing)
First Lady:  Kim Jenkins
Installation Official: PDG & PP Carl Kaliszewski




Fran receiving his PHF pin.

Fran receiving his PHF pin.

Carl (L) presented Fran with a Paul Harris Fellow designation.

Carl (L) presented Fran with a Paul Harris Fellow designation.

Dave accepting his President's Book and talking about his year in office.

Dave accepting his President’s Book and talking about his year in office.

Pauline presenting Dave with the President's Book for his year.

Pauline presenting Dave with the President’s Book for his year.

Must have a cake to mark the occasion.

Must have a cake to mark the occasion.

Dinner was great but so are these desserts.

Dinner was great but so were these desserts.


Estate Planning

Attorney Robert “Rob” Caprera spoke with us about Estate Planning.  Rob has an impressive legal education and an equally impressive career with the Caprera & Caprera Law Firm.  Rob focused primarily on Estate Planning while speaking with us.  We learned that estate related tasks can be difficult if the required documents are not prepared or easily available.  Granted, most people don’t like to face such tasks but not doing so can put your family as risk.  There are no excuses for us who attended the meeting because Rob distributed a list of 27 items that we should gather and complete in order to make the implementation of our Estate Plan easier, get done faster, and be more cost effective.

Atty Rob Caprera - June 4, 2018

Atty Rob Caprera, Dave - June 4, 2018


Rotary Park Still Blooming

Every week or so something is blooming in Rotary Park. The majestic alliums are currently greeting the passers-by. The ornamental grass and the hostas are hoping for attention too! Stop by to see what may be next to blossom.

Park Alliums1 - June 6, 2018

Park Alliums2 - June 6, 2018

Park Ornamental Grass, Hosta - June 6, 2018