Welcome to the Rotary Club of Westerly
Celebrating Sixty-Five Years  June 28, 1958-2023



We meet In Person
Mondays at 5:30 p.m.
The Frank Olean Center
93 Airport Road
Westerly, RI 02891
United States of America
(401) 315-5868
Please call ahead if visiting. Dinners are ordered by Saturday and delivered just before meeting. Contact Derin at 401.787.5575 or Alan at 401.623.1577.
Home Page Stories
The Rotary Youth Leadership Award Program took place May 17 - 19 at Camp Rotary in Boxford, MA.  This is an outdoor leadership retreat for Sophomore and Junior students with the goal to "cultivate life and leadership skills including goal setting, cultural understanding, problem solving, communication, public speaking, community building, team building and more."  Since 2011 we have sponsored six students (five from Westerly HS and one from South Kingstown HS) for this very special program.  This year a student from Mattapoisett, MA applied to attend but she didn't have a sponsor.  So, when no Westerly High School student applied, we made the decision to sponsor Ms. Katherine Young who attends Old Rochester Regional High School in Mattapoisett.  Her application came to us from Rotarian Lew Gordon who is the District 7950 RYLA Chair.  Last week he forwarded a handwritten thank you note from Katherine expressing her thanks for this opportunity.  It was followed on Sunday by a note which expanded on her experience:
You can read about our past RYLA students if you scan down the left side of web page to "Site Pages" to "Rotary Youth Leadership Award".
President Derin with Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center Executive Director Susan Sedensky and Rotarian Joe Lorello.  Derin and Joe delivered 25 books - The Brain Game - to Susan for client distribution as needed.
Saturday evening, 1 June, was our 22nd Charitable/Scholarship Dinner.  Weather was lovely as were all our guests.  We had super delicious passed au d'oeuvres with wine tasting provided by The Wine Store and Old Fashion or Gin & Tonic drinks provided by South County Distillery.
Our fantastic silent auction items were on display and bidding was going strong until we sat down for the fabulous dinner prepared by the crew of The Cooked Goose.  We had some really great live auction items, too - Block Island stay with air fare, Doug's handcrafted secret shelves, Suzanne's Award Winning Pies and so much more.  Our net total right now is close to $19,000, which will  be split between our Charitable and Scholarship Investment Funds.
A huge THANK YOU  to everyone who collected auction items, the donors of the items, the staff at The Cooked Goose, all of our attendees, The Wine Store, South County Distillery, John Geiger for his pictures and especially The Royce Foundation.
Doug's "Stealth" Shelves
Awarded for Peace and Conflict Resolution event held at the Westerly Library in partnership with Westerly Area Peace and Justice, the Anti-Racism Coalition and the Westerly Library.  An Evening with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr took place on 16 January 2024.  The goal for the evening was to bring the community together to openly discuss how Dr. King's words from over 50 years ago can unite people to promote peace in a turbulent world.  It was promoted in the Westerly Sun.  In addition, we participated in monthly meetings of the Peace Pole Committee which has led to the planting of peace poles in Westerly.  An International Day of Peace event was held 23 September 2023 at Westerly Library. A program on International Cities of Peace at the District Peace-building and Conflict Resolution Forum on Zoom took place 27 February 2024.
Members have attended DE&I web training. We have removed fines from weekly meetings, meeting meals have become optional, creating a tiered dues structure.  Meeting place is convenient to all.  Website includes Diversity pledge: Rotary strives to create and maintain an experience for members and participants that reflects our fundamental values, empowers people to contribute at their fullest potential, and celebrates people as they are.  Our core values - service, fellowship, diversity, integrity and leadership - align with our commitment to foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for all.
25 achievements were listed on the award application.  We had to complete at least 16 between 1 July 2023 and 25 April 2024.  We accomplished 20.  Some examples are service project completed, Million Dollar Meal, attendance at District event, participate or contribute to international project, peace building.
To receive this award, a club must have completed at least 4 of 9 items.  We completed six: highlighted projects or events in the Westerly Sun, maintained an attractive up-to-date website, maintained an active up-to-date facebook page, produced regular newsletters to membership and others, hosted an event to inform others about Rotary's efforts to eradicate Polio in the world (our Million Dollar Meal in Rotary Park), Updated Club banners with Day of Service banner.
District Longevity Awards were given to Dr. Douglas A Rayner for his 53 years of service and Joseph Nigrelli for his 56 years of service
to Westerly Rotary.
Members of Westerly Rotary who participated in today's parade:  Dora riding in a VFW Cool SportCar; Rona, Suzanne, Steve and Derin walking; Doug and Ted in the New Silver Truck.  Cal also participated but he was driving the Watch Hill Firetruck.  We remember and honor all those who died in the service of our nation.
It was a real pleasure to meet Jane this past Monday.  She was an elementary school teacher and principal, earned a doctorate degree, published a children's book on safety "Read Write Evacuate", writes a Fire Safety monthly article in the Westerly Sun, has been a volunteer firefighter for over 24 years.  She has been name the Rhode Island Southern Firefighters League Fire Safe Specialist.  Jane developed a school safety program and "encourages collaboration with school leaders, local law and fire agencies, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in order to plan, implement, and evaluate school district emergency plans.  Her focus is on raising teacher self-efficacy with regard to protecting students during a school crisis."
Former Westerly Rotarian Dawn Robinson visited our group last Monday evening.  She is employed by Barnum Financial Group and their founder, Paul Blanco, established a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called Foundation for Life.  It's mission is "to improve the quality of life for the people and families we serve through actions that promote change and deepen connections within our community."  As they have done previously, partnering with Valenti Subaru, a very special event will occur at 4 Langworthy Road on May 18 beginning at 11:00am.  35 children have been selected by Elementary School Principals and invited to attend with their families for a celebration of the child's success in school.  Dinner was provided by Gourmet Caterers of Warwick.  The children participated in a pie contest and then invited to select their very own bicycle.  
Rotarians (Derin, Chant, Cal, Rona, Bob L, Rose) volunteered their morning to assist Dawn to make this event a complete success.  As in the past it is always a joy to see the faces on the littles ones who were the recipients of new bicycles.  This year the children and families were also invited to climb on the fire trucks, police cars and ambulance.
The Rotary Club of Westerly participated in its "Day of Service" on 4 May 2024.  We meet at The Frank Olean Center, which is located next door to our Rotary Park on Airport Road.  Executive Director Ruth Tureckova asked if we would help with much needed painting and/or gardening.  So, six of us tackled painting and three worked outside pruning and weeding.  The gardeners cleaned up the garden area surrounding the front of the building.  The painters completed repainting of two rooms and finishing off some other areas.
Thanks to Ruth for taking pictures of the Rotary Crew!!!
Remember the following in your prayers and perhaps with a card or two:  Karen Hanson
Meetings will be in person but spaced appropriately
7 June:    RTT Presentation at Westerly Middle School, 10:30am.  Tell Rose if attending.
10 June:  Dan Alvino "Around the World Not in 80 Days"
11 June:  WHS Baccalaureate, 6pm, Bob Elmer and Derin Temel will present awards
22 June:  Chorus of Westerly Summer Pops
24 June:  NO meeting - Pops day off
29 June:  Pawcatuck-Westerly Antique Car Club Car Show
1 July:     Installation of Officers
8 July:     Board Meeting 4:30
22 July:   Rick & Elin Lawrence update on Guatemala projects
Steve, John and Bob leading us in The Rotary Welcome Song written by Rotarian Ed Smalley
Remember those in need and bring canned goods either to meeting or to Avie's Ski/Sport by month's end.   These items will be distributed to The Jonnycake Center of Westerly, the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center and RI Center Assisting those in Need.
Club Home -   We are meeting at The Frank Olean Center next to Rotary Park, Monday, 5:30pm.  Gina & Stephanie will send the sandwich/salad menu on or about Wednesday for the next Monday meeting; respond to them at gbrancato@navigantcu.org and snorthup@navigantcu.org by Saturday Noon.  If you don't receive a reply from within 24 hours, please contact them again.  Please respond whether ordering or not as it will help us to know how many will be attending meeting.
Covid Aid Goes On....
18 Mar 2023 marked three years that our Club "had been making food and health item deliveries to area residents who are elderly, infirm, or without transportation.  Although the pace has slowed a bit, the need is still great."  Rona reports that 329 deliveries, as of 31 May, have been made since the program began in 2020. 
Creative Opportunity
Take responsibility for website and newsletter.  Excellent tutorials in Clubrunner. Contact Rose at ra.russo@cox.net or 401.315.5868
Congratulations to Rona - she has achieve a 3rd Paul Harris Award and received a new pin with two sapphires.
Chikumbuso -August 24, 2024
Third Annual Run/Walk the Village 5K - In honor of Colby Graves, a long-time resident of North Stonington and an ardent runner.  Two years ago this event raise enough money to send a Chikumbuso student to a four year college.  It is hoped that we will do so again this year.  You can sign up at http://chikumbuso.liveimpact.org/li/7546/sevent/evt/home/215411/69
Our Vision:  We seek to create, locally and globally, a culture of peace in which the inherent worth and dignity of every living being is honored and respected and conflicts are resolved nonviolently.

Our Mission:  To create activities, programs and projects focused on creating a culture of peace as well as working with other community groups and organizations engaged in similar endeavors.

Link to Frank Thacker's Daily Peacemaker:  Facebook https://youtu.be/fF29Ns-kfgQ
Your generous contributions to The Rotary Foundation are essential to securing and growing Rotary programs throughout the world. Consider making your Every Rotarian, Every Year contribution of $25, $100 or more as early as possible. If you send your contribution directly to Rotary Foundation, please let Rose know.  21 members have contributed since 1 July - seven members still have until 30 June to contribute at least $25 to help our Club achieve full participationFor the 13th consecutive year, the Rotary Foundation has received the highest rating - FOUR STARS - from Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of charities in the U.S. - ranked #4 in the top ten best charities list
The Polio Plus Society of District 7950
Pledge to help Rotary make history by continuing to contribute $100 or more each year until the World Health Organization certifies that polio has been fully eradicated because Until the world is polio-free, every child is at risk.  Society members will received a PolioPlus Society membership pin and certificate.  Your contribution qualifies for Paul Harris Recognition and Major Donor Credit.  To make your tax-deductible donation go to my.rotary.org/donate and click on "Polio Fund".  You can choose a one-time donation of $100 or more, or a recurring donation in the amount and frequency of your choice.  Please email form to the District 7950 Polio Plus Society Chair Kristine David at kd7950@gmail.com or mail it to 112 Port Circle, Warwick RI 02889.  Your PolioPlus Society certificate and pin will be presented at a club meeting to make sure you are recognized for your commitment to polio eradication.                                                                                                                                           
The lockbox above was installed on John Street -  it's location must be easy to find and close to the front door for quick access by First Responders.
If you know of someone who is "at risk" and can benefit from having a lockbox installed at their home, please contact the Westerly Police Department or Officer Mills at the non-emergency Phone Number 401.596.2022.  Our lockboxes are provided to residents, as needed, free of charge.  Also, if other groups wish to donate lockboxes to the Westerly Police Department, please purchase them from McQuade's Ace Hardware.  We are being awarded special pricing and have delivered 63 lockboxes to Officer Mills for distribution as of this month.
Rotary strives to create and maintain an experience for members and participants that reflects our fundamental values, empowers people to contribute at their fullest potential, and celebrates people as they are.  Our core values - service, fellowship, diversity, integrity and leadership - align with our commitment to foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for all.
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Vice President
Rotary Foundation
Immediate Past President
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays:
  • Bob Elmer
    June 18
  • Cal Lord
    June 18
  • Joe Nigrelli
    June 22
Spouse/Partner Birthdays:
  • Peter J Brancato
    June 15
  • Doug Rayner
    Jean Rayner
    June 6
  • Jeffrey Wendth
    Ann Wendth
    June 16
  • Andrew Clapham
    Chant Clapham
    June 18
  • Chant Clapham
    Andy Clapham
    June 18
Join Date:
  • Frank Celico
    June 1, 1985
    39 years
  • Joseph Lorello
    June 5, 2023
    1 year
  • Andrew Clapham
    June 28, 2021
    3 years
  • Chant Clapham
    June 28, 2021
    3 years
  • Francis Thacker
    June 28, 2021
    3 years
Website Sponsors

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June 2024
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Photographer reflects on 18 years of chasing polio

Exhibit documents the scope of polio eradication efforts worldwide

Watershed moment gives rise to a revitalized riverfront

The Rotary Club of Milwaukee revitalized its city’s riverfront with a contribution from a local landowner — a strategy that could work in other communities.

Lebanon club channels the power of peace

he newly formed Rotary Club of Beirut Pax Potentia, Lebanon, which focuses on peacebuilding, has its origins in a project funded by a Rotary Foundation global grant

Solar energy expands access to health care

Solar energy isn’t just good for the environment — it’s expanding access to health care

Volunteers are at the heart of the Rotary Youth Exchange program

Rotary Youth Exchange runs entirely on volunteers and is a fulfilling experience for the students and host families.

Mailing Address:  Rotary Club of Westerly, PO Box 407, Westerly RI 02891