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


Fundraiser Helps Food Pantry

The Fifth Annual Dinner Dance Fundraiser to benefit the St. John Paul II Food Pantry was held recently by the Sturbridge Rotary Club.  Rev. Kenneth Cardinale accepted a check for $3,000 with his gratitude.  “The Food Pantry serves an average of 400 families every month and this check will certainly help in the challenge to feed these families in need,” said Rev. Cardinale.  “We are fortunate to have individuals, young people, companies and organizations such as Sturbridge Rotary that hold fundraisers for this growing need we face,” stressed the Reverend.

This year a new initiative was launched with the Community Food Collaborative (CFC).  The CFC is a community garden in Sturbridge that is growing fresh, organic vegetables, all of which will be donated to the Food Pantry.  The CFC is overseen by the Rotary Corps of Sturbridge and Southbridge.

“We are committed to the Food Pantry and the great work that it does.  Hunger is a real issue today and we want to do our part to help alleviate it,” noted Past-President Austin Jenkins, who with his wife Kim, organizes the Dinner Dance fundraiser each year.  To date, the Sturbridge Rotary Club has raised $15,000 from the Dinner Dances for this worthy cause.

President Dave Zonia, Rev. Cardinale, PP Austin Jenkins.

President Dave Zonia, Rev. Cardinale, PP Austin Jenkins.

DD Rev. Ken Cardinale1

DD Raffle Prizes1

DD Raffle Prizes2

DD Desserts on 6-1-2018


Ready to Plant at the CFC Garden

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.

May 26 Klaus, Joe loam

May 26 Dave, Klaus wheelbarrow

May 26 Break time

May 26 Spreading wood chips

May 26 Water hose1

Update on the Rotary Foundation

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.

2009-10 Pres Carl Kaliszewski

Center of Hope

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.

Cindy Howard - COH - May 14,2018

President Dave Zonia with Cindy Howard.

President Dave Zonia with Cindy Howard.

Old Sturbridge Village

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.

Jim Donahue - May 7, 2018

President Dave presents Jim with a Rotary mug.

President Dave presents Jim with a Rotary mug.

Fifth Annual Dinner Dance Fundraiser

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 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!

Cold Crops Get Planted at the CFC Garden

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.

Planting Cold Crop - Apr 28, 2018

Planted cold crop - Apr 28, 2018

Learning About Current Town Projects and Initiatives

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 and  If you’d like to get involved in your favorite topic, please contact him at

Kevin Filchak - Apr 30, 2018


Kevin Filchak, Austin - Apr 30, 2018

Kevin receives a Rotary mug from President-Elect Austin.












Everything You Need to Know About a Home Inspection

There’s a lot involved prior to buying your ‘dream home’.  Robert Andrade, a Certified Home Inspector with Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspections, shared a great deal of valuable information with us, much of which we didn’t know.  For those who have owned their home a long time, many new safeguards have been put in place to help the potential home buyer (or seller) know what he’s buying (or selling) and not get surprises once it’s too late.  Massachusetts has many more inspection requirements than our neighboring states.  Electrical, water damage, termites, ants, building rot, unstable foundations, radon, furnace, damaged or worn out roof, – just to name a few issues covered by Robert’s credentials.  More sophisticated equipment is used now during inspections such as infrared cameras and drones.  While it may cost you to have an inspection, it’s money well spent.

Robert Andrade, Home Insp. - Apr 23, 2018

Publicity About Our Sister Club

This excerpt is a weekly email blast from The Citizen Chronicle listing the 5 top stories of the week and a “Did You Know” fact.  Below is the “fact” in the blast of April 22, 2018.

This report is not totally accurate, but close. The cities of Stourbridge and Sturbridge are not sister cities, however, the two Rotary Clubs in these cities are Sister Clubs. We have been twinned with the Stourbridge Rotary Club since 1988 and the clubs have visited each other nine times over the years and continue to exchange their Club Bulletins each month. It’s their turn to visit us and we are hoping it will be this year!

Citizen Chronicle re Sister Club - 4-22-2018

CFC Garden Gets Fresh Soil

Tantasqua students helped out again this morning. This time, the girls lacrosse team, several members of the boys lacrosse team, coaches, several parents and CFC members worked to fill 24 garden bed frames with fresh loam. They worked hard, laughed, joked around, ate snacks and still managed to finish this giant task in only 90 minutes. Incredible! Tons of thanks go out to these students for helping to give the new Community Food Collaborative garden a kickstart. Besides the Tantasqua carpentry students building all the frames and the lacrosse students filling them up, the CFC is so lucky and appreciative to have their support.

25 yds waiting - TRHS - 4-21-2018

Filling wheelbarrows - TRHS larosse - 4-21-2018

Spreading loam - TRHS lacrosse - 4-21-2018

Dumping1- TRHS Lacrosse - 4-21-2018

Posed Lacrosse TRHS students - 4-21-2018

Community Food Collaborative Gets New Garden Planting Beds

Thank you to the Tantasqua Carpentry Students for building our garden planters. They look amazing.  The students worked through the cold, rain and snow to have the planters built and installed before the kickoff party. They went the extra mile in setting them up level and spaced out exactly as planned. This is a great group and they deserve all the credit in the world. 

TRHS carpentry - April 14, 2018