8th Rotary Golf Classic – 2017

The 8th Golf Classic at Cohasse Country Club was rained out on its original date of July 24 but the rain date of August 7 was 90% clear and we played with all but one of the original foursomes.  It was a great Classic with lots of incentives and prizes and fun.  The auction prizes were plentiful and valuable and all donated by local and regional organizations and individuals.  We are also very fortunate to have so many major sponsors, tee and green sponsors and donors of gifts and certificates.  Please see the listing below.  The evening wrapped up with another fabulous prime rib dinner by the Cohasse chef.

Winners of the Classic are identified (left to right) in the photos below.  We offer a special heartfelt thank you to all the players and contributors who have supported this event and have made it so successful and so much fun.

Rotarians getting things organized before the golfers arrive.

Rotarians getting things organized before the golfers arrive.

Golf7 Aug 7, 2015 carts

Lining up the carts to get started.

Golf11 Aug 7, 2017 more sponsor signs

Sponsor signs.

Golf10 Aug 7, 2017 sponsor signs

More sponsor signs.

Winning Team:  (L to R)  John Kingston, Bob Dean, Jordan Dean, John Barone

Winning Team: (L to R) John Kingston, Bob Dean, Jordan Dean, John Barone

Golf4 Aug 7, 2017

Prime Rib dinner for everyone!






Click for list Rotary Golf Classic Sponsor List 2017

Dan Gabel and the Abletones Concert

What a great evening to host Dan Gabel and the Abletones!  The 18-piece big band played swing music of the 1930s and 40s. The weather cooperated with only two minutes of light sprinkles.  PDG Klaus Hachfeld gave a brief outline of what Rotary is and does and Bob Briere from the Lions Club did the same for his Club.  A crowd of over 300 people attended the free concert with most of them keeping the beat to the music.  The kids especially enjoyed the light necklaces that we distributed to everyone.  The raffle raised over $700 to be split with Sturbridge Rotary and the Sturbridge Lions.  The music was outstanding and we hope they’ll come back next year!  A great partnership with the Lions Club in this sponsorship.

Concert sign on Common

Concert - Abletones in Bandstand 7-20-2017Concert - audience 7-20-2017Concert - Dan Gabel horn


Concert - Sponsor sign in Bandstand

RYLA Students Excel

Sturbridge Rotary has been sponsoring two local sophomore students each year since 1993 to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) training.  During that time 50 students have visited the Club following their training to share their experiences, which have always been positive about what they’ve learned.  The 3-day retreat held at Fitchburg State University helps RYLA students build communication and problem-solving skills as well as leadership skills.  The students learn from community leaders and hear inspirational speakers, attend presentations, participate in activities and workshops covering a variety of topics that help them unlock their potential to turn motivation into action – all while having fun and forming lasting friendships.  Many of the students we have sponsored return to RYLA the following year to serve as mentors and facilitators to the new group of sophomores.

Comprised of students from the 40 Clubs attending from District 7910, 190 sophomores received this years’ training.  Kayla Archambault and Andrew Houle from Tantasqua Regional High School were sponsored by the Sturbridge Club.  Andrew received a certificate for being chosen the “RYLAN of The Day” on Saturday.  He was chosen by consensus of the RYLA facilitators at this event.

Sturbridge looks forward to having Kayla and Andrew address the membership at one of its upcoming meetings in order to share their experiences with us.

RYLA - Andrew Houle, Kayla Archambault - June 23-25, 2017

Andrew and Kayla with PDG Klaus and Glenys Hachfeld who attending the Sunday activities.

Andrew and Kayla with PDG Klaus and Glenys Hachfeld who attended the Sunday activities.

The 2017 RYLA participants.

The 2017 RYLA participants.

Installation of Club Officers and Board of Directors for 2017-2018

The Installation of Club Officers and Board of Directors for 2017-2018 recently took place at the Cohasse Country Club in Southbridge.  The following were elected:  (left to right)

Austin Jenkins, President-Elect; Charles Battersby, BOD; Lorraine Herbert, Treasurer; Scott Peckins, Secretary; PDG Klaus Hachfeld, Executive Secretary; David Zonia, President; Otto Prohaska, Immediate Past-President; Bob White, BOD.  Missing from the photo is Peter Zeh, BOD.

Officers & Directors 2017-2018

Many friends and family members attended to celebrate the event.  Because Dr. Zonia is an avid golfer, the installation ceremony and activities carried a golf theme, much to the enjoyment of those attending.  A choice of a prime rib or salmon dinner was served and enjoyed by all.  Looking forward to another productive and successful year!

Fellowship, Community Garden and Farmers’ Market – all in one night!

We had a very unusual meeting and fellowship evening at a member’s home that turned out to be not only enjoyable but very interesting and challenging as well.  Following socializing with appetizers and then dinner, our two guest speakers, who have become known to Rotary members, gave their presentations.

First was Joe Coan who had spoken with us last year about helping us start a Community Garden.  Joe has done some research on the site we had chosen and much discussion took place as to what needs to be done to launch the Community Garden as one of our next projects.  We’ll be reporting more as this project takes shape.

Our second speaker, Becky Skowron Gendreau, had also spoken with us twice in the past.  Becky brought us up to date on her new farm and her plans to start a Farmers’ Market in Sturbridge.  Sturbridge Rotary had sponsored Becky several years ago to travel to South Korea for four weeks as a member of Rotary’s Group Study Exchange Team.

It was great to see them both again and we look forward to working more with them as we plan and develop our community projects.

Joe Coan 6-19-2017 Becky Skowron Gendreau 6-19-2017

President Otto, Becky, Joe.

President Otto, Becky, Joe.




Carl K. Receives a PHF +8

Congratulations of Carl Kaliszewski for receiving a Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) +8.  That means that when Carl first became a PHF, he received a PHF pin.  He continued over the years to receive eight more PHF pins each with another sapphire stone on the pin.  Carl has been a very strong supporter of the Rotary Foundation since his induction as a Rotary member in 1993.  He has always been involved not only in the Sturbridge Club but on the District level as well.  Carl has served as President twice and as District Governor from 2004-2005.  Rotary appreciates your continued service, Carl.

PDG Klaus Hachfeld (right) presented the PHF+8 honor to Carl.

Carl K - PHF+8, Klaus Hachfeld 6-12-2017

Rotary and Lions offer FREE Concert

The Sturbridge Lions Club and the Sturbridge Rotary Club have joined forces to sponsor an event being held on Sturbridge Common on Thursday, July 20th from 6-8 PM.  The event, FREE to the public, is a concert by Dan Gabel and The Abletones, an 18-piece Big Band specializing in swing music of the 1930s and 40s.

This is not the first time that Sturbridge Lions and Sturbridge Rotary have partnered for the benefit of the greater Sturbridge community.  Together, the two Clubs contributed to the construction of the bandstand and lanterns on the Sturbridge Common, the very site where The Abletones will be performing.  Recently, the two Clubs cleaned and repaired the antique style lanterns which light the Common.

We invite you to come and enjoy the concert – rain or shine.  There will be raffle tickets available for purchase which includes a night’s stay for two people at the Publick House including dinner and breakfast.  Bring the whole family, bring friends, bring neighbors and don’t forget your lawn chairs.  If your feet start tapping, get up and dance!

Dan Gabel & The Abletones - July 20, 2017


Congratulations to Rotary Scholarship Recipients

Sturbridge Rotary Club has been awarding scholarships each year to local students for the past 44 years.  This year scholarships of $1,200 each were awarded to five students from Tantasqua Regional High School.  The money will be given after successful completion of their first semester of college.  Cumulatively, the amount of scholarships given is over $195,000.  In addition, a $500 award was presented in memory of the husband of a Sturbridge Rotarian.

The recipients (left to right) are:

Scholarship Students 6-12-2017

  • Emma Stanley from Brimfield will attend UMass Amherst.  Emma received the Wendell Wright Memorial Educational Award.

The following received Sturbridge Rotary Scholarship Awards:

  • Maxwell Cooney from Sturbridge will attend UMass Boston.
  • Bennet Farrell from Sturbridge will attend UMass Amherst.
  • Adam Phillips from Brookfield will attend Anna Maria College.
  • Noah Scott from Brimfield plans to attend Georgetown University, pending acceptance.
  • Camier Hall from Fiskdale will attend Union College.  Unfortunately, Camier was    unable to attend the Club’s Scholarship Recognition Night.

Our congratulations and best wishes to all scholars as they pursue their career goals.

Rotary and Lions Making Lamps Brighter

Several members from both the Sturbridge Rotary and the Sturbridge Lions Clubs spent time recently cleaning all the antique lamps that light the Sturbridge Common.  Both Clubs had contributed to purchase the lamps when the bandstand was built as well as contributing to the construction of the bandstand.  The cleanup is in preparation to both Clubs jointly funding the July 20 Concert on the Common featuring Dan Gabel and the Abletones.

Those who helped from the Lions were Laurie LaFleche, PDG Terry Grant, Randy Peppard, Neil Cooper and Guy Martel.

Those who helped from Rotary were PDG Klaus Hachfeld, President Otto Prohaska, Austin Jenkins, Peter Zeh and Scott Peckins.

Thanks everyone for bringing ladders and cleaning supplies to get this job done and done so quickly.  Two service clubs working together for the good of our community!







Chamber “Fun at Five” Goes to Camp

Members attended the Chamber’s monthly “Fun at Five” event held recently at Camp Frank A. Day in East Brookfield.  Camp Day is an overnight camp for youths ages 7-16.  It’s a beautiful natural woodland and lake-front setting with an extensive beach area and lots of things for the kids to do at this Camp.  Despite the hefty breeze off the water, Rotarians enjoyed meeting other attendees and trying several samples from Rapscallion Brewers and the great food from B.T.’s Smokehouse.  Rotarian and Executive Director of Camping Services at Camp Day, Scott Peckins, welcomed everyone to the Camp and provided us with a brief history.  A fun evening enjoyed by all who attended.

Scott Peckins, Executive Director of Camping Services and a Sturbridge Rotarian.

Scott Peckins, Executive Director of Camping Services and a Sturbridge Rotarian.

Dining Hall at Camp Day.

Dining Hall at Camp Day.


Guitars, Banjos, and Bluegrass in Sturbridge

Dave Dick spoke with us recently about Guitars, Banjos, and Bluegrass in Sturbridge.  His roots began in the Southbridge area where he started playing guitar at age eight.  By age 18 he had switched to banjo and was playing bluegrass music in bands.  He worked in sales in a local music shop then his career took him to Worcester where he worked at the art of repairing “fretted” string instruments.  He recently started his own instrument repair business in Sturbridge, “D String Guitar Repair”, and is getting referrals from all over New England.  He works on acoustic and electric guitars, basses, banjos, mandolins and ukuleles; provides evaluations, restorations, upgrades and customizations of all types and has been a producer, teacher and recording artist for over 30 years.

Dave plays banjo with the Blackstone Valley Bluegrass Band, a group of four musicians that have been together for 15 years, which is rare for bluegrass bands these days.   The foursome can really mix things up musically as they entertain their audiences.  They’re all multi-instrumentalists and play a wide range of bluegrass styles…but what really sets them apart is their powerful three- and four-part harmonies.

His background and experiences while touring around the country performing with the band were intriguing but the highlight was listening to his music and seeing his skill on his five-string banjo.  A most enjoyable evening!

Dave Dick3 on 5-22-2017

Dave with President Otto.

Dave with President Otto.

(L to R)  Dan Nowlan on mandolin, Ken Taylor on upright bass, Bob Dick on guitar, and his brother Dave Dick on banjo.

(L to R) Dan Nowlan on mandolin, Ken Taylor on upright bass, Bob Dick on guitar, and his brother Dave Dick on banjo.



Great Things Happening at the Y

Sue Casine, Senior Program Director at the Tri-Community YMCA in Southbridge spoke to Sturbridge Rotary recently about the broad spectrum of programs offered to members of all ages, needs and interests at the Y in Southbridge and at various other locations in our area.  The Y is dedicated to putting Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all.  Besides the many exercise classes offered including swimming and machines, the Y offers Youth Sports and great summer day programs at Camp Foskett for the kids including a special program offered  to kids in the town of Ware.  In addition to Camp Foskett, we heard about Scamper Camp, Kayak Camp, Music Camp, Summer Fun Club and Camp Splash.  There is always so much going on at the Y in Southbridge that Sturbridge Rotary donated funds to the YMCA to help continue its great work.  Sue Casine accepts a check and a Rotary coffee mug from President Otto.

Sue Casine, Otto 5-8-2017

Rotary Inducts Three New Members

We recently inducted three members of Lamparth Consulting as Rotary Business Members.  Christian Lamparth of Sturbridge, Paul Metcalf of Oxford and Tim Cushmann of Southbridge were welcomed by the Club Membership.  The induction ceremony was performed by Past District Governor Klaus Hachfeld and Membership Chairman Bob White and assisted by President Otto Prohaska.  Lamparth Consulting, Inc. is an innovative and rapidly growing full-service IT consulting firm with offices in the United States and Singapore.  They provide their clients with cutting-edge technologies and the know-how to apply them.  Shown (L to R) is Klaus Hachfeld, Paul Metcalf, Bob White, Christian Lamparth, Tim Cushmann and Otto Prohaska.

Klaus, Bob W, 3 Lamparth, Otto 5-8-2017


MA National Guard Medical Unit in Iraq

Ron Dufresne, a recently retired nurse with the MA National Guard Medical Unit, gave a very interesting presentation.  Ron had three tours to Iraq serving at the base hospital and shared his experiences of life on base.  He spoke about his work at the hospital taking care of the many wounded and the various types of wounds.  It was a different perspective for the Club members having previously heard from a soldier who served on the front line.  Ron was asked many questions about his work and the experiences he shared with us.  Ron accepts a Rotary coffee mug from President-Elect Dave.

Ron Dufresne, Zonia 5-1-2017

Very Sad News

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the unexpected death of Past-President Suzanne Smiley.  As most of you will recall, Suzanne had a dynamic personality and lit up any room she entered.  She was a hard worker, focused and worked tirelessly for the good of Rotary.  Suzanne joined the Sturbridge Rotary Club in 1992 and became president in 2000-2001.  During her presidency Suzanne launched emailing Sturbridge Rotary Club Bulletins to those members who had email addresses, thereby making this service more cost effective for the Club.  She also initiated the Club’s First Annual Art Auction which continued for five consecutive years raising $15,248 for the Club.  Together with other Club members and spouses, she traveled to England to visit our Sister Club where both Clubs took a road trip by chartered bus to Scotland.  She left the Club in 2005 after securing employment in another city.  She joined the Worcester Rotary Club in 2007 until 2009.  Suzanne, a Paul Harris Fellow, attended a Past-Presidents event at the Sturbridge Club in May 2016 where all past-presidents were honored for their service (see photo).

Join with us as we mourn Suzanne and remember her for the kind and fun-loving person she was.  We’ll forever have fond memories of her.

The date for visitation is Thursday, May 11 at the Britton-Wallace Funeral Home, 91 Central Street, Auburn, MA.  The time of visitation is yet to be determined.There is no funeral service.

2000-01 Pres Suzanne Smiley-Sacco

President's Night with 14 PP and current president.

President’s Night with 14 PP and current president.

NBA Champ Satch Sanders Shares His Stories

Satch Sanders, born Thomas Ernest Sanders, spoke with us recently about both his personal and professional life.  Satch played for the Boston Celtics from 1960-1973.  When he retired he served as a coach at Harvard from 1973-1977 and as a coach for the Boston Celtics in 1978.  His #16 shirt was retired by the Celtics in 1973.  He was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.  While Satch has spent time with us previously at Rotary, his format focused on what we wanted to hear and encouraged our questions.  He told us how he got his name, what he thought about the change in playing styles, comments about his fellow players, the rise in contract fees that the players receive today versus what he made as a player, and why he moved to Sturbridge.  He also signed several basketballs for us!  It’s always a pleasure to have Satch spend time with us.

PE Dave Zonia, Satch Sanders, President Otto Prohaska, Secretary Ken Jones

PE Dave Zonia, Satch Sanders, President Otto Prohaska, Secretary Ken Jones

Satch Sanders3 - 4-24-2017

Community Service Project at Camp Day

Five Rotarians participated in a Community Service Project at Camp Frank A. Day in East Brookfield.  Their task was staining benches for the opening of the residental Camp for youth.  The Camp is owned and managed by the West Suburban YMCA in Newton but is available for local youth as well.  Austin, Otto, Carl, Peter and Klaus managed to stain 20 benches in just two hours.  However, they did mention that it took some time before they were able to stand erect after this task was completed.  They also received a great lunch and a tour of the Camp.  Rotarians at work with rewarding results.

Camp Day work3 on 4-22-2017

Camp Day work1 on 4-22-2017

Camp Day work5 on 4-22-2017

Marketing Through Local Newspapers

Ruth DeAmicis of Stonebridge Press spoke with us about her role as Editor for all eight weekly publications in MA.  While several of these newspapers are paid publications, the rest are mailed to homes for free in each of the towns the newspapers represent.  Locally, the papers in our area are the Southbridge News, the Sturbridge Villager and the Charlton Villager.  It was enlightening to learn how a local newspaper is put together and the deadlines associated with each paper.  Ruth oversees the placement of every story and press release for each of these papers prior to putting the paper “to bed”.  Fortunately for Ruth, the deadlines for each of the eight papers are staggered.  The paper also offers graphic design for free when placing promotion in the paper and a reporter can be requested to cover an event.  For anyone responsible for placing publicity, ads, calendar items, stories, etc., it’s important to know the process and the due dates which makes it easier for all involved.  Besides our local area, Stonebridge Press has papers in northeastern CT and southern NH and they are committed to expanding their print media into other geographic areas.  We are so fortunate to have such great coverage in our own local communities and to work with Ruth who has such enthusiasm for her demanding job.

Otto, Ruth DeAmicus 4-17-2017

Bittersweet Memories

This week the Publick House tore down a fond memory for Sturbridge Rotary, the former Orchard Inn restaurant.  When Sturbridge Rotary was chartered in 1972, the Club met each week for nine years at the Orchard Inn restaurant.  We left the restaurant for eight years and met at Rom’s, then returned to the Orchard Inn restaurant having been renamed Crabapples and owned by the Publick House.  It had another name change to Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse and we continued to meet there until 1999 when Charlie Brown’s closed.  At that time we returned to Rom’s for only one year and we’ve been at the Publick House for the last 17 years.  During the demolition, we wonder if they found the Rotary piano that has been missing for years.  The place of origin for the Club meetings may be gone but will always be remembered fondly.2017 April 11 - Demo of Charlie Brown32017 April 11 - Demo of Charlie Brown2

2017 April 11 - Demo of Charlie Brown's