Welcome to the Rotary Club of Westerly
Celebrating Sixty-Two Years  June 28, 1958-2020



We meet In Person
Mondays at 5:30 PM
Venice Restaurant
165 Shore Road
Westerly, RI 02891
United States of America
(401) 315-5868
NOT meeting at Venice Restaurant temporarily
Home Page Stories
Monday evening, Sabrina Buehler, member of Chikumbuso and Rotary Club of the Stoningtons, spoke to us about latest happenings at Chikumbuso.  For those who are new to Chikumbuso, it was founded in 2004 by Linda Wilkinson who also is a member of the Rotary Club of the Stoningtons.  The name means "Remembrance" - Remember those who died, Remember where we came from (a place of poverty and hunger), Remember to do for others.
In August 2019, Sabrina visited our Club and brought along Teddy Nosiku and Aaron Nyambe who were from Chikumbuso's school in Zambia but were sponsored to attend high school in the U. S.  Not only did they finish high school here but attended Three Rivers Community College and are continuing their college education while residing with the Buehler family.
We  viewed a short video of Moms at work, classrooms and library.  The buildings are crumbling and in need of drastic repair.  During Covid, for a time the school was closed but students are now back. 
A message from Trudy, Chikumbuso General Manager - "Chikumbuso is a bridge into our Ng'ombe community during this pandemic time.  Life has not been easy here.  Just like everywhere else in the world, people are losing their jobs and part time work is not available.  Landlords are evicting their tenants for not paying their rent and people go to bed without food.  The Chikumbuso community has helped by distributing food that has been funded by Friends of Chikumbuso worldwide.  To date 120 women, 50 men and about 200 non-sponsored students have received a donation of rice, oil, beans, kapenta, sugar and mealie-meal.  These products have been taken home to their large extended families as well as shared with their neighbors.  We do not take this help for granted.  A big thank you to the people who have donated the money to buy the above-mentioned food.  He is always with us until the very end, that's our God."
Sabrina brought with her several beautiful bags, of all sizes, for our members to purchase. 
Two projects going on as Chikumbuso fundraisers:  Disc Golf and No Plant Left Behind.  Both events take place at the Buehler compound.  For further information, you can go to Chikumbuso's Facebook page or contact Sabrina at sabrinabuehler@gmail.com.
Members can write a note to our two students, Whyness and Peter, and bring them to Rose.  She will collect them and later forward them to Sabrina or Linda via email. 
Fellow Rotarians in District 7950
A few short months ago I wrote to you inviting you to join me in reflecting about the current state of affairs in our country.  It was a difficult moment when I felt a sense of urgency to call on you, the members of my Rotary family to hear my plea to add your voices to those expressing concern about the pattern of social injustice against segments of our society.

Sadly, that pattern of injustice has continued and its impact on other populations in our community is becoming apparent.  Our sensibilities are continually assaulted as we hear reports of peace-loving Asian American men and women attacked and beaten only because they are Asian and demeaned with insults as though they are not Americans.  Or the rising Anti-Semitic insults and attacks in the streets and in synagogues and even in schools now becoming revealed, these against our fellow Americans who are a part of the Jewish Community in our country.
 I cannot be silent and look passively on and allow these atrocities to continue without at the very least saying out loud - “This is not okay!”

It’s not okay to witness a 65-year-old Asian woman beaten and then to close the door as she lay bleeding and broken in the street outside your door.  It’s not okay to know that a coach of high school students allowed students to use anti-Semitic language as a tool to build their self-esteem inferring their superiority over people of Jewish descent.  It’s not okay that a Black and Latin X member of our armed forces, a lieutenant in uniform, with arms stretched out to confirm there is no threat, is accosted and pepper sprayed because he was not compliant - no wonder he was afraid to exit his car.  It’s not okay that an Asian American man trying to reach home was attacked on public transportation and told he did not belong here.  It’s not okay!  It’s just not okay!

Although most of the members of District 7950 consider themselves Rotarians of European descent, in our ranks we have Rotarians of Asian descent, Rotarians of Middle Eastern descent, Rotarians of the LGBTQ community, Rotarians of Latin X Descent, Rotarians of African descent, Rotarians who are Jewish and Moslem and Christian and on, and on – all are Americans and people of good will and People of Action.  How would we respond if one of our members was attacked because of her/his race, religion or preference or told they didn’t belong here?

I suggest as Rotarians we have a well-earned reputation in our communities and if we connect our service so respected with expressions of dissatisfaction with what is occurring around us, we can make a huge difference contributing to the public discourse.  One example of a Rotary Club in our district which has taken this charge is the Rotary Club of Duxbury.  In the aftermath of sweeping protest around the world following the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis, a member of that club spoke to his fellow Rotarians expressing concern that there existed a need to speak about conditions in their own community that appeared to condone bias.  The club began a journey that has attracted new members and active collaboration with other like-minded organizations.  They created a not-for-Profit initiative called “Prejudice Free Duxbury” recently renamed “Duxbury for All” and opened a discussion in the town that has won the admiration of town officials and residents alike.  Congratulations to the Rotary Club of Duxbury!

As a member of the leadership Team of District 7950 and as the Chair of the District Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee, I urge you to make this a topic of discussion in your club meeting.  If we are to respond to the call of Rotary International to make our organization one that is welcoming to all and to expand our ranks including people of varying backgrounds, we cannot remain silent as the very people we seek to engage are victimized in the very communities in which we live and work.

While you and your club may not attempt such an intensive effort like the Duxbury Club, you can offer your voice of concern in many forums both virtual and in person without wading into partisan politics.  To simply state I stand for equity, for a community where all feel safe and can belong is powerful and will signal and reflect what we as Rotarians stand for.
District Governor Charlene Jarest, District Governor Nominee David Sampson, and District Governor Nominee Designate Angela Ponte join me in sharing these sentiments.

Thank you for your courageous and thoughtful consideration and continued selfless service in the world.
Dr. William (Billy) Roberts
District 7950 Governor 2021 – 2022
Rotary Club of Barnstable Sunrise
Helping those in Need:  The Board voted to provide 18 $25 Chamber Gift Cards to the three families that were left homeless as a result of the fire at 34 Pearl Street.  President Rona learned that a townwide fundraiser had been established by Susan Denise.
Rona has started a new project called "The 21 Club" and it isn't just for members but for everyone.  She had a discussion recently with Principal Hobin, who mentioned that the annual Senior Alcohol Free Party needed help.  It has been an event supported by the community.  So, for 2021 Rona is suggesting that Rotarians and friends contribute $21.00 to the Club and these funds will be restricted for Westerly High School 2021 Senior Party.  So far, the "21 Club" has twelve members.  In additional news, Adam Gilman, Senior Class President, will be working on this event which is controlled by by parents.  An article was in the Westerly Sun on Sunday, April 10, and on Mann About Town Wednesday, April 14,  Adam and Westerly HS Teacher Anita Guarnieri will talk about the event.  Already some donations have been received.  Reminder, that normally the class will have fundraisers for the Prom and All-Night party but COVID prevented this.
26 Apr 2021: CanDo deadline for April -  Make sure to drop your canned or boxed goods off at Avie's Ski/Sport Shop.
19 April 2021:  Speaker will be Ann Kaschuluk, former Chorus Singer, current Chorus Board Member and Teacher of Yoga
23 Apr 2021:  Olean Center Virtual Trivia Night  7-10pm
26 Apr 2021:  Laurie Meisner of the Westerly Village Project
30Jul-1Aug:  Virtual RYLA Event
Face of Rotary -  First publication with Steve Cofone.  Well done, Derin!!
New Club Home -  For the months of April and May, we will be meeting at the Westerly Masonic Hall at 20 Elm Street with catering by Bogues Alley in April and The Cooked Goose in May.  If we find that is completely suitable to our needs, there is also the possibility to having a weekly buffet provided there.
How do you get to the Masonic Hall?  Enter via Central Baptist Church driveway, go down toward the back lot but turn right and you will find yourself at the back of the Masonic Hall.  Please bring your own beverage and respond to Dora with your food order by Saturday.
Facebook Story Book Read Alouds
The Westerly Children's Library 2021 Summer Reading Program - A list of books will be sent to Rotarian readers, then a taping will occur and published on Facebook Live at a later date.  Readers were Bob Elmer, Cal Lord, Rona Mann, Rose Russo, Dora Vasques-Hellner - tapings occurred this past Tuesday and Wednesday.  Will provide viewing information later - Library's Facebook Live.
Covid Aid
 March 18th marks one year that our Club "has been making food and health item deliveries to area residents who are elderly, infirm, or without transportation.  Although the pace as slowed a bit, the need is still great."  Rona reports that 145 deliveries have been made during the past year. Doug and Ted helped one of our Pawcatuck clients move some stuff from her home and over to the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center and Brookside. 
A note about Rotary Park
Park has been opened as of March 22 but bathrooms will not be opened until April 1st.  Maintain social distancing and use face masks.
Golf Tournament
The "Save the Date" and Registration forms were emailed out to past golf attendees this week.  The registration form is available on our website in
"Downloads" section.  Thirty-one (31) players have registered as of 4/14.
Chorus of Westerly Pops Concert
We received an update from Doug with news that the Concert will be moved to September 11 this year with a rain date on September 12.  The Chorus is working with the State to determine appropriate procedures etc.  More to come.....
Rhode Island Woman Veteran of the Year
Our very own Dora Vasquez-Hellner will be recognized at this year's virtual event on April 22 at 11:30 via Webex.  Congratulations, Dora!!!!
Random Act of Rotary
Rose received a phone call from a recipient - "Just had to call and say Thank You for the Chamber gift certificate I received about two weeks ago.  I really came in handy."
"When you give to The Rotary Foundation, we empower Rotary members to take action to:
    *  Protect and restore land coastal, marine, and freshwater resources
    *  Enhance the capacity of communities to manage and conserve natural resources
    *  Support sustainable agriculture, fishing and aquaculture practices
    *  Address the cause of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions
    *  Strengthen ecosystems and communities that are affected by climate change
    *  Support education to promote behaviors that protect the environment
    *  Advocate for sustainable consumption to build an economy that uses resources more efficiently
    *  Address environmental justice issues and public health concerns
Our goal is to fund positive, measurable, and sustainable projects that protect our environment.... thank you for supporting this new initiative."
April is Maternal and Child Health Month - during the past year many grants have been received for clubs to help our food pantries, while global grants elsewhere in the world have had an incredible impact on the health and well-being of children, their families and their community.
  EVERY ROTARIAN EVERY YEAR provides funds to Rotary Foundation's Annual Fund, specifically, and 50% of this donation comes back to the District.   You can prepare a check payable to The Rotary Foundation and Rose will make sure that it gets to Rotary Foundation in your name.  You can also go directly to the Rotary International website and make your donation online. but please let Rose know that you did so.  
2020/2021 Stars
Ted Avedesian, Steve Cofone, Frank Livingston, Cal Lord, Julie Lord, Rona Mann, Dan Alvino, Doug Rayner, Rosemarie Russo, Kathryn Taylor, Frank Celico, Derin Temel, Vinnie Gaccione, John Hall, Joseph Nigrelli
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 in need 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 40 lockboxes was delivered to Officer Mills.
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Foundation Chair
Membership Chair
Public Image Chair
Vice President
Immediate Past President
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays:
  • Rosemarie Russo
    April 7
  • Walter Kimball
    April 8
  • Chris DiPaola
    April 13
  • Vinnie Gaccione
    April 20
  • Joe Potter
    April 29
  • Steve Cofone
    April 29
Spouse/Partner Birthdays:
  • Donna Celico
    April 24
  • Julie Lord
    John Lord
    April 26
Join Date:
  • Cal Lord
    April 1, 1991
    30 years
  • Rosemarie Russo
    April 28, 2008
    13 years
Website Sponsors

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Ann Kaschuluk
Apr 19, 2021
Chorus member and Yoga teacher
Laurie Meisner
Apr 26, 2021
Westerly Village
April 2021
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Mailing Address:  Rotary Club of Westerly, PO Box 407, Westerly RI 02891