Learning About the American Chestnut Tree Initiative

Lois A. Breault-Melican, Chapter President of the American Chestnut Foundation of MA & RI, presented the history of the American Chestnut Tree from the Chinese blight that nearly wiped out the chestnut trees to the experimental program to bring this amazing tree back to the forests.  Lois reviewed the different aspects of the initiative and the progress being made including the experimental Chestnut Tree farm at Tantasqua Jr. High School.

Lois receiving an SRC mug from President Austin.

Lois receiving an SRC mug from President Austin.

 

 

The Impact of the CFC at the St. John Paul II Food Pantry

Roberta Watson, director of the St. John Paul II Food Pantry, visited the Club and summarized the amount of fresh, organic vegetables delivered to the Food Pantry by the Community Food Collaborative (CFC).  The total yield was 1,524 pounds from 20 different vegetables.  Favorites by the recipients were cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, summer squash, tomatoes, zucchini, watermelons and winter squash.  Roberta noted 831 people, which includes 164 seniors, each month appreciated the efforts of the CFC in an average of 310 households.

Nov. 19 - Roberta Watson- JP II stats

The Burgess Kids Holiday Program

Lisa Meunier was presented with a check to help in her efforts to provide gifts and turkey dinners to families and their children who are in need during this Holiday Season.  Lisa shared statistics of those experiencing difficult times and challenging physical and emotional health, all of which is being addressed by Burgess School and its staff.

Nov. 19 - Lisa Meunier - Burgess 1

Nov. 19 - Lisa Meunier - Burgess, Austin

President Austin presents the check to Lisa.

Promoting the CFC Garden

Several volunteers recently attended the Tantasqua Craft Fair talking with attendees about the CFC garden’s very successful first year.  We heard lots of enthusiasm about the project and several signed up to help.

Nov. 10 - Promote CFC at TRHS Craft Fair

Selling Chances to Win BIG !!!

Members of the Club spent another afternoon selling chances to win a basket of Lottery Tickets worth $1,000.  This time they attended the Craft Fair at Tantasqua Regional High School.  We printed 1,000 tickets and started selling them in early September.  When we arrived at the Craft Fair we had a little over 100 tickets left to sell and SOLD OUT within a few hours.  All proceeds from the ticket sales are used for scholarships for Tantasqua students pursuing a college degree.  Our thanks to everyone who bought a ticket(s) for this very worthwhile local cause.  The drawing for the winner will be held in early December.  Stay tuned to hopefully see your name as the winner!!

Nov 10, 2018 - Basket sales2

Putting the CFC Garden “To Bed”

It was really good weather late yesterday afternoon when we completed the harvest of potatoes followed by the fall cleanup.  It was bittersweet to put the garden “to bed” for the winter after such an active and successful growing season. Ten of us worked for over an hour to get everything cleaned up and to put the tools away.  We are anxious to get the final tally from the St. John Paul II Food Pantry on how many pounds of fresh organic vegetables we produced this season to help those in need of food.

We aren’t resting over the winter.  The Board of Directors are having their first meeting next week to start organizing and prioritizing the ‘To Do’ list for next year.  Thank you to Head Cabbage Joe, Klaus, Glenys, Pauline, Jim, Bob, Bill B., Eunice, Karen and Bill P. who helped last night.  We also want to thank our sponsors and donors whose generosity helped us get the supplies we needed to start the Community Food Collaborative.  Lastly, we’d also like to thank our 90+ volunteers who have given us encouragement and support all season.  Rest up this winter everyone because we’ll need your help again next season as we bring the garden back to life – bigger and better!

Head Cabbage Joe harvesting potatoes.

Head Cabbage Joe harvesting potatoes.

Nov. 1 - Cleanup2

Nov. 1 - Cleanup5

Nov. 1 - Cleanup8

 

Nov. 1 - Cleanup9

Nov. 1 - Cleanup10

A CFC Year in Review

Joe Coan, President (a.k.a. Head Cabbage) of the Community Food Collaborative (CFC) spoke with the Club recently about the first year of the garden. The garden is located near the lower back parking lot behind the Sturbridge Town Hall. Joe gave us a history on the plans, development and progress along the way. Everyone on the board, Joe and many volunteers worked hard on everything that needed to be done this first year. The yield from the garden surpassed our expectations leaving us with a challenge to expand next year in an effort to increase our yield. To date we have delivered over 1,500 pounds of fresh organic vegetables to the St. John Paul II Food Pantry and we still have to deliver the potatoes. We have a long “To Do” list this winter after we put the garden to bed. Our final work night is this Thursday after which we’ll celebrate our success. Joe acknowledged and thanked the board members, our sponsors, donors and all our volunteers who helped us this year. Keep checking our Facebook page for updates. https://www.facebook.com/CFCGardens/. If you’d like to be put on the volunteer list for next year, contact us at CFCGarden357@gmail.com.
Joe (left) is shown with Rotary President Austin Jenkins.

Oct. 29 - Joe Coan, Pres. Austin

Sturbridge Rotary Helps Kids with Diabetes

The Sturbridge Rotary Club awarded $5,000 to The Barton Center for Diabetes Education, 30 Ennis Road in North Oxford, MA.  The donation was used to support expenses associated with operating their programs including medical expenses, supplies, food, and so much more.

“We are fortunate to be the recipient of Sturbridge Rotary’s gift,” said Lindsay McCarthy, Associate Director, Director of Grants and Events.  “Rotary understands the impact felt by children with diabetes.”

The mission of The Barton Center is to improve the lives of children with insulin-dependent diabetes through education, recreation and support programs which inspire and empower. For over 86 years, The Barton Center has provided a summer-long residential camp program for children with type 1 diabetes at Clara Barton Camp.  The Barton Center significantly expanded its services in 2010 to include a second residential camp, Camp Joslin, in Charlton, MA.  The Barton Center also operates an adventure program, family camp, Vermont Overnight Camp, day camps in NY, CT and MA, and a wide array of year-round educational programs for children, families, and caregivers. All Barton programs promote proper diabetes management and health enhancement strategies in a safe environment.

“We’re happy to help support The Barton Center with funds from our Educational Trust account,” said Rotary Past-President Bob White.  “One of Sturbridge Rotary’s areas of focus is youth which also includes support for managing health issues.  Barton offers so many programs to help children with diabetes that funding toward their efforts was a perfect fit for us.”

Lindsay accepts the check from Bob.

Lindsay accepts the check from Bob.

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.

The Community and Rotary help the Hungry; display at the Sturbridge Farmers Market

Sturbridge Rotarians gathered on the Common, Sunday August 12th, to inform the public of an exciting new community service project to provide healthy food to the hungry.  Working jointly with Rotarians from Southbridge and numerous community volunteers, the  Community Food Collaborative grows, harvests and donates all fresh organic produce to the St. John Paul II Food Pantry in Southbridge, which provides for those in need in Sturbridge and Southbridge.

For more information about this good health initiative and to lend your support, contact the Collaborative by visiting the website at www.CFCGarden.org or http://sturbridgerotary.org/sturbridgecms2/club-news-blog/ .  You can also find the garden on Facebook.

To learn more about Rotary and its humanitarian work in the community and the world visit our website at www.sturbridgerotary.org.

Farmers Market, 8-12-2018

Rotarians on hand at the Farmers Market on Sunday chatting with our Sturbridge and Southbridge neighbors, were President Austin Jenkins, Klaus Hachfeld, Bill Lemke, Otto Prohaska, and Bob Wicks.

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