An Evening with Mark Patinkin

We had the pleasure of meeting and listening to Mark Patinkin Monday evening, 13 May.  Mark is an Author of several books, nationally syndicated columnist for the Providence Journal, a Pulitzer Prize finalist for International Reporting, recipient of three New England Emmy Awards for television commentaries, cousin to actor Mandy Patinkin. 
Mark spoke to us of his recent journey to Israel and Gaza after the tragic attack on 7 Oct by Hamas.  "He visited the Holy sites of Jerusalem, walked the streets of the West Bank, spoke with survivors of the Nova Music Festival, toured Kibbutz Be'eri (the worst hit community of the October 7 attack), discovered the hardships of life in Gaza during the Israeli attacks and finally visited Gaza with the Israel Defense Forces.  His trip culminated with a ray of hope on the last day as he visited the Orchard of Abraham's School for Jewish and Muslim children.  There, he discovers the school's mission: tikkun olam.  It means repairing the world."  Mark reported in his final ProJo column about this journey, "I've learned a difficult truth.  The divide between Palestinian and Jew is perhaps as wide as it's ever been.  Many Israelis who once were for peace doubt after 7 October that they have a partner for it.  And Palestinian anger over Gaza's ruins has hardened hearts."
An Evening with Mark Patinkin 2024-05-13 04:00:00Z 0

Other Notes

Remember the following in your prayers and perhaps with a card or two:  Karen Hanson
Meetings will be in person but spaced appropriately
20 May:  Jane Perkins, Watch Hill FD Captain
27 May:  NO Meeting - Memorial Day remembrance
27 May:  Parade forms at 8:15am from Pawcatuck Shopping Ctr - starts at 9:30am
1 June:    Charitable/Scholarship Dinner Auction at The Cooked Goose - register to attend, $100 per person
3 June:    Board meeting at 4:30, Open Meeting
7 June:    RTT Presentation at Westerly Middle School, 10:30am.  Tell Rose if attending.
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
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 and 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 327 deliveries, as of 13 April, have been made since the program began in 2020. 
Creative Opportunity
Take responsibility for website and newsletter.  Excellent tutorials in Clubrunner. Contact Rose at or 401.315.5868
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
Other Notes Rosemarie Russo 2024-05-13 04:00:00Z 0

Carly Callahan at The United

While the United opened in 1926 as a vaudeville venue, it later became a cinema which closed in 1986.  In 2015 the "Founding board members came together to envision a center for the arts housed within the United Theatre and adjacent Montgomery Ward building.  A unified complex to unite the community through the arts."  In 2022 Carly Callahan became the Executive Director of the now 501(c)(3) organization that includes three movie theaters, one large black box balconied auditorium, an art gallery, an events space and a music school.  
Carly visited our meeting April 22 and shared upcoming events with our members - over 55,000 visitors since reopening.  She formed the 1926 26 Club which provides its members with benefits depending on level of membership.  To find out more, please go to
Carly Callahan at The United 2024-04-22 04:00:00Z 0

Sabrina and Whyness

Stonington Rotarian Sabrina Buehler has been in Zambia at Chikumbuso.  Pictured above with Whyness, one of the students that we have been helping to educate.
Sabrina and Whyness 2024-04-18 04:00:00Z 0

Congressional Gold Medal for Rosie Riveters

Dora brought to our attention Monday evening that finally our Rosie the Riveters were going to be honored on April 10th by receiving the Congressional Gold Medal - an honor long overdue.  At the website, I found an article by Tammy Brumley about the long journey of Rosie Mae Krier (Boeing, Seattle WA) and the late Rosie Phyllis Gould (journeyman welder at Kaiser Shipyards, Richmond CA) to get recognition for all the Rosies.  Their goal had been to achieve "a Rosie the Riveter Day to spotlight what our Nation's women did in a time when our country, and the world, needed them the most."  March 21st was celebrated as National Rosie the Riveter Day during Women's History Month in 2016 but not to become a Federal holiday.  They then set their sights on the Congressional Gold Medal and the RtRCGM Act HR01773 was passed  November 12, 2020.  Mae and Phyllis worked together on a medal design until Phyllis passed away in 2021.  Mae continued their work along with Phyllis' daughter and the Gold Medal design committee.
Congressional Gold Medal for Rosie Riveters 2024-04-02 04:00:00Z 0

Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

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.
Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 2024-03-31 04:00:00Z 0

Westerly Armory Appreciation Evening

Dora Vasquez-Hellner has been chosen to be one of this year's Westerly Armory's Honorees at the Annual Appreciation Evening which will take place on April 6th.  Other honorees are Tom O'Connell, Gail Quattromani and Chief Byron Brown.  Armory member cost is $25, Non-member cost is $40.  Dinner will be catered by Bogue's Alley.  If you plan to attend, please let Rose know.  We will make reservations for Club members.
Westerly Armory Appreciation Evening 2024-03-14 04:00:00Z 0

Reforest the Tropics at WHS

Danny Alvino, Sarah Steverman and Greg Powell - last year's visit after school Reforest the Tropics programs.  This year Greg will visit Westerly High School, Sarah Steverman's class on March 21 at 12:30.  A visit to Westerly Middle School is coming up in May.  Rotarians are encouraged to attend and participate.  Please let Rose know by March 19th if you plan to attend. 
Reforest the Tropics at WHS 2024-03-14 04:00:00Z 0

In Memory of Jean Rayner

As Doug referred to her, "The Boss" passed away Saturday evening, March 9, after a long illness.  Eugenia "Jean" Rayner and Doug have been long time volunteers supporting the Chorus of Westerly through its years of growth from helping with fundraisers to Capital Campaign to purchase the Hall or for Hall renovations.  As Ryan mentioned, "Jean loved the Chorus...We were her extended family."  They attended every concert, every event.  To honor Jean at Sunday afternoon's concert, Deb Dunham attached a beautiful long-stemmed Rose to Jean's seat in Row A up in the balcony and the concert was dedicated to Jean.  Her quiet support to Doug in all his endeavors whether for Chorus or Rotary was inspiring.  She will truly be missed by us all.  And, so Rotarians will not meet next Monday, March 18, so that we may pay our respects to her and her family during the calling hours at Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home, 4 to 8 pm.  Funeral will be at Christ Church at 11:00am. 
In Memory of Jean Rayner 2024-03-12 04:00:00Z 0

Our Students in Chikumbuso

Peter Juma and Whyness Phiri wrote letters to our Membership.   If anyone has the time to write a note back to them, Rose will make sure to pass it on.  
Our Students in Chikumbuso 2024-02-26 05:00:00Z 0

Rotary Foundation

Posted on Feb 12, 2024
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.  Eighteen members have contributed since 1 July. For 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 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 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.
Rotary Foundation Rosemarie Russo 2024-02-12 05:00:00Z 0

Jan/Feb Students of the Month

President Derin with Andrew Plumpton and Principal Kellie
Andrew, our January Student of the Month, is a National Honor Society member, has served as a Freshman Mentor, served on the AP Panel that helps freshmen and sophomores to achieve success, is on the Brown University Youth Advisory Board.  He has had several part-time jobs.  What makes Andrew doubly outstanding is his volunteerism during his high school career.  He assisted in summer Basketball camp, cleanup duties at our beaches, assisted in Church at various events, hosted a showing of The Art to Living docuseries, assisted at Vacation Bible School.  Andrew is leaning toward Biomedical Engineering and hopes to attend Georgia Tech.  We look forward to hearing more from this young man.
President Derin with Samuel Marchese and Principal Kellie
Samuel is our February Student of the Month.  He came to Westerly in 2022 from Colorado and is also a member of the National Honor and Rhode Island Societies.  He has won several awards and honors during his high school career.  Samuel works at New England Airlines and has worked at URI as a laboratory research assistant.  His volunteer work has included work at the Rhode Island Blood Center, Animal Friends Alliance and McGraw Elementary School.  He plans on a mechanical engineering or aerospace engineering in his college career.
Both young men have amazing futures ahead of them - we know that they will be successful with the start they have had in high school.  And, we extend our grateful thank you to Nigrelli's Jewelry for our beautiful plaques.
Jan/Feb Students of the Month 2024-02-12 05:00:00Z 0

Paula Bontempi, Dean of URI Oceanography Grad School

Dean Bontempi with President Derin
The January edition of The Rhode Island Monthly featured an article about Dean Bontempi and we are so honored to have her at our meeting on 12 February.  She told us that her story began with her ancestors who were fisherman in Italy before immigrating to the US.  She was passionate about her interest in oceanography from an early age.  Later, as a young doctoral student at URI, Dean Bontemp "never imagined her passion for the sea would launch a career among the stars.  After a brief turn in academia, she embarked on a two-decade career at NASA, where she oversaw scientific research using satellites and became acting deputy director of the Earth Science Division."  In 2020 she returned to URI to serve as Dean of URI's Graduate School of Oceanography.   So what does an oceanographer do at NASA, she was asked.  They use satellites -satellite remote sensing - remote observation of the earth which is important to understand Earth systems and how it functions.  There is so much more about this - we may have to have a repeat visit.  Dean Bontempi thanked everyone for voting yes for bond issues that have lead to the revitalization of the Bay Campus.  A new pier is being built to hold the new research vessel which will be delivered in 2025.  A new building is also in the plan, called the Ocean Robotics Laboratory, where faculty and students will build new sensors, new sampling platforms, new robots and autonomous vehicles.  There were several questions from members and guests.  Dean Bontempi is excited about the campus, her work and mentioned that the campus is open for all to visit.  You can reach her at
Paula Bontempi, Dean of URI Oceanography Grad School 2024-02-12 05:00:00Z 0

Mal Makin, Pres/CEO Professional Planning Group

On January 29, we were honored to have Mr. Makin join us for our weekly meeting.  He had sent his customers a very special Christmas letter  which touched us to our core.  Mr. Makin has been a major supporter of our Golf Tournaments since the very first one and he has supported many other community charitable organizations.  He was honored as "Citizen of the Year" by the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce in 2018.  He was awarded the honor of becoming a member of Barron's Hall of Fame.  Mr. Makin founded the Professional Planning Group in 1975 and affiliated with Raymond James Financial Services in 1989.  "He and his team at PPG provide a diverse range of comprehensive wealth management services to individuals, families, businesses, foundations and endowments."  He is truly an amazing man and certainly has the Rotary spirit in all that he does.
Mal Makin, Pres/CEO Professional Planning Group 2024-01-29 05:00:00Z 0

Aimee Haupt & Sarah Channing

Aimee Haupt with President Derin                            Christine King, Sarah Channing, Aimee Haupt & President Derin
22 January meeting was very special.  Aimee Haupt is a Partnership Associate at Marigold Health, which is an Anonymous Social Network where people with mental health and substance use conditions support each other 24/7.  It comprises of an online community - "groups are moderated by certified peers who've been there and include topics such as: addiction recovery support, mental health support, substance use harm reduction, managing discomfort, whole health wellness, resources and more!"  This is a free service of Wood River Health.
Sarah Channing, Development & Communication Director, and Christine King from Wood River Health.  Opened since 1976, it has provided "high-quality affordable medical, dental and social services in the communities of southwestern Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut - a private, non-profit community health center." WRH "is recognized as a Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)."
Members had many questions.  For more information go to or call 302.524.9213.  Search "Marigold Health" in the app store.  Wood River Health is at or 401.539.2461.    You can reach Emergency Mental Health at 988.
Aimee Haupt & Sarah Channing 2024-01-22 05:00:00Z 0

2023 Scholarship Recipients

Assistant Principal Cronin and President Derin with Emily Mitchell, Hayden Sullivan - two of our 2023 Scholarship Recipients who attended our December 18th dinner meeting.
Emily has successfully completed her first semester at Providence College.  She is a Marketing Major.
Hayden also successfully completed his first semester at Merrimack College where he is in the Chemical Engineering path.  He is also in the Pep and Marching Bands.
On January 8 membership were treated to our remaining four Scholarship Recipients - Dominick Lombard, Mikayla Sousa, Zachary Morin and Kaya West, above pictured with President Derin.  Mikayla and Zachary arrived with their parents.
All students have successfully completed their first semester at their chosen colleges: Dominick is at Harvard with a focus on government history and french, Zachary is at University of New Hampshire with a focus on Marketing and Analytics, Mikayla is at Fordham University in Accounting and Pre-Law tract, and Kaya is at Tufts studying Public Health and Spanish.  It was a very lively meeting and a delight to see students achieving their goals.
2023 Scholarship Recipients 2024-01-08 05:00:00Z 0

Nov, Dec2023 Students of the Month

Assistant Principal Cronin with Camden Kelly, Kayley Chim and President Derin.  
November's student is Camden Kelly who is an Honors' student - earning High Honors for his entire high school career.  He has received many awards and is currently serving as Class President.  He is serving on various school activities while also working part-time.  He is a volunteer at Christ Church, a student at The Math Helper, Student Liaison at RI State Department for Civic Engagement, Freshmen mentor. 
December's student is Kayley Chim.  She has also achieved high honors and received many awards during her high school career.  Kayley is currently serving as Class Treasurer but has also served in other school activities such as WHS Marching Band Danceline, Student Council and International Club.  She has also worked part-time while volunteering with the Ocean Chamber of Commerce, Theatre Scrapbook, Big Buddies and is also a Freshmen Mentor.
As always, we are so very grateful for the generosity of Nigrelli's Jewelry as they make and donate the plaques we give to our Students.
Nov, Dec2023 Students of the Month 2023-12-18 05:00:00Z 0

Annual Meeting 2023

From the Nominating Committee of Ted and Doug - our 2024/2025 Slate of Officers:
          President Alan Brinton
          President Elect Suzanne Lane
          Vice President Jeff Wendth
          Secretary Kathryn Taylor
          Treasurer Rosemarie Russo
          Past President Derin Temel
          Member at Large Bob Lane
With no nominations from the floor, President Derin called for a show of hands to approve the ballot.  All 18 attendees approved - there were no dissenters.  The 2024/2025 Slate of officers is approved.
Annual Meeting 2023 2023-12-04 05:00:00Z 0

Pasta Dinner to benefit JCC of Westerly

Dear Friends,
It with great pride and feelings of deep gratitude that we inform you that the Rotary, Lions, Calabrese Club Pasta Dinner to benefit the Jonnycake Center Emergency Fuel Fund was once again a huge financial success. The lions Club will be forwarding a check in the amount of $4,220.00 and the Rotary Club, a check for $3,600.00 or a new record total of $7,820.00. And we are thankful to the Calabrese Club membership for the use of their facility. 
A big Thank You to each and everyone of you who worked diligently to make this happen. 
Many folks in our community will benefit thru Jonnycake Center heating subsidies during the coming months. 
Happy Thanksgiving Day to all. 
Dan Marantz and Dan Alvino
Event Co- Chairmen
Pasta Dinner to benefit JCC of Westerly 2023-11-13 05:00:00Z 0

Christ Church Thanksgiving Dinner

Can you volunteer to help serve between 12 and 2pm?  Call the phone number above for more information.  Or, perhaps make a pie or two.   Or cook a turkey - any size would be fantastic.  Get your baked/roasted item to Christ Church by 10am Thanksgiving morning.  All the "sides" are being donated by the wonderful Cooked Goose!!!!!
Christ Church Thanksgiving Dinner 2023-11-06 05:00:00Z 0

Janie Carlisle of Carlisle-Williams Foundation

It was an honor to have Janie at our table Monday evening.  The Carlisle-Williams Foundation was founded by Janie, a kidney transplant recipient, and Debbie, the transplant donor.  As Janie navigated through the medical world of kidney disease, while also trying to finish her Master's program,  she found few answers to her questions.  Thus, the mission "is to help kidney failure patients on dialysis to live a better quality of life while on dialysis and provide them with the support they need to be approved for a life-saving, life changing transplant."  Free services provided by C-W are non-medical support of items such as Hand sanitizer, dry skin lotion, pill containers, blankets, activity books, along with "information on diet, the disease, treatments and a quarterly newsletter that includes advances in treatments and other relevant information."  Their biggest focus "this year is to roll out a mental wellness program specifically for Dialysis Patients.  One of the most often cited unmet needs by dialysis patients is mental wellness support.  We aim to help meet that need."  There are two dialysis clinics in our area - one in Westerly and the other in Wakefield.  They "need specialists in the field of mental wellness - mindfulness coaches, happiness psychologists, mental wellness counselors - and funding to delivery the program."  For more information, go to or contact Janie at  We are in awe of her strength, resilience and, spirit of "service above self".
Janie Carlisle of Carlisle-Williams Foundation 2023-10-30 04:00:00Z 0

Honor Flight 22 Oct 2023

Since November 2012, there have been 27 Honor Flights.  Rhode Island Fire Chiefs Honor Flight Hub "is dedicated to honoring our veterans by offering a no-cost trip to visit the WWII, Korean, Vietnam War memorials in Washington DC.  A few years ago, Dave Mann and Joe Nigrelli were honored recipients and more recently our Amanda's Dad, Tom Nall, and Bob Elmer were invited to participate.  Both Vietnam veterans spoke very emotionally about what this trip meant to them, having returned home to most unwelcoming behavior by US citizens. 
For more information about Honor Flight or to make a donation, go to or call Retired Chief George S Farrell at 401.741.7999.
REMINDER:  Veterans Day Parade begins at Pawcatuck Shopping Center on 11 November 2023 at 9:30am.  Plan on being their to honor these men and all veterans.
Honor Flight 22 Oct 2023 2023-10-23 04:00:00Z 0

September & October Students of Month

Principal Kellie Moulin with President Derin and September Student Emma Caracciolo and October Student Na'Vellah Njie, pictured above respectively.
Emma is an Honors student and has received many awards in both academics and sports in Softball and Volleyball.  With over 100 volunteer hours at Church Bible Camp, Leukemia Charity Fundraiser, Santa's Breakfast, Arnold Softball Clinic, WMS Volleyball Clinic, WPS Italian Language Camp, Emma exemplifies Rotary spirit.  She hopes to attend Salve Regina in the Fall.
Na'Vellah is an Honors student  with accomplishments at NYLF Medicine Program in New York and Language National Honor Society.  She has served as Student Council member, International Club and Prom Committee.  Na'Vellah's many volunteer hours include teaching at Church Sunday School and planning events as Head of Youth Group.  She hopes to attend Howard University with a goal to becoming a Pediatric Trauma Surgeon.
Special thanks to Nigrelli's Jewelry for their generosity to provide our Student plaques.
September & October Students of Month 2023-10-23 04:00:00Z 0

E Marilyn Lowney, Exe Dir of HHF

Dr Jeremiah J Lowney, Connecticut orthodontist and founder of Haitian Health Foundation.  He traveled to Haiti in 1982 to provide free dental care and thus HHF had its start.  "After working three years in Port-au-Prince and other areas of Haiti with Mother Teresa's Sisters of Charity, Mother Teresa asked Dr. Lowney to move his small outreach to the rural city of Jeremie.... HHF has established a stable and responsive preventive and curative health care system and development programs in one of the poorest areas of Haiti.  In addition to the city of Jeremie, HHF provides support to 250,000 people in over 100 rural mountain villages in the Grand'Anse."  It is a 501(c)(3) non profit which has earned 4 Stars by Charity Navigator.  It meets four areas of Rotary focus:  healthcare, development, relief and education.
"HHF has two main primary care clinics - one in Jeremie and one in Dayer, along with three satellite clinics ... and a maternal health center and waiting home known as the Center of Hope.  The main clinic in Jeremie is a fully equipped, 27,000-square-foot outpatient clinic, dental clinick, mental health, xray and pharmacy."
Marilyn Lowney told us that getting nutritional food has been a huge problem.  Cost of food and fuel has spiraled but there have been also many shortages.  The brutal gangs commit many crimes and create fear but Marilyn said their neighbors in Jeremie watch out for the clinic.  She said 562 people die every day due to diseases from lack of clean water, nutritional food etc.  One of their projects is "Happy House".  $4,000 gets a family a concrete block building with cement floor, tin roof, windows and doors - replacing a cardboard, thatch roof hut - Recipients participate in building the home which also provides work for community.  Another project is educating the children - $350 per year educates, clothes and feeds a child.  Community development project provides goats, composting toilets.  To date HHF has provided more than 13,000 goats, 500 composting toilets and 4,000 homes.
More information can be found at their website:   -  HHF provides a wish list of items needed - perhaps we can begin a new collection project....
E Marilyn Lowney, Exe Dir of HHF Rosemarie Russo 2023-10-16 04:00:00Z 0

New Members Inducted

Corporate Membership approved for Navigant Credit Union
Our two newest members are Gina Brancato and Stephanie Northup who are employees of Navigant Credit Union.  They told us at our Fireside Chat that other organizations had approached them to join their groups but they felt that Rotary's goals of service matched those of Navigant's.  We were delighted to induct them Monday evening, 16 Oct.
New Members Inducted 2023-10-16 04:00:00Z 0
First Responders Celebration 2023-10-08 04:00:00Z 0

Ryan Saunders - Chorus of Westerly

25 September 2023 we had the pleasure of hosting at our meeting Ryan Saunders, the "Doug & Jean Rayner" Executive Director of the Chorus of Westerly.  Ryan thanked the Club for our Summer Pops donation.  He spoke about his fifteen years as Executive Director and the years before as a "Chorus Kid" and especially of his appreciation of Doug through the years.  Ryan said that Andrew, the Chorus' second Music Director, has kept George Kent's goals but also has expanded the programs with educational projects for young and older people.  There are six after school choirs, a threshhold choir (for hospice), senior choir, chant choir, foundations chorus.  Another foundations chorus will soon begin in Wakefield.  He mentioned that Pre-Pandemic they had 182 singers but last spring 380 singers.  The eductional programs include music theory.  Aside from the success of past "Chorus Kids" like Ryan and Andrew, the latest is Veronica Kushner who is attending Yale University.  As a freshman she auditioned for one of the Yale choirs and was selected for the graduate choir. 
Next year the Chorus is planning a tour to France and England beginning 4 July.
Ryan Saunders - Chorus of Westerly Rosemarie Russo 2023-10-08 04:00:00Z 0

Columbus Day Parade

Doug at the wheel with Ted and Rona on board in the back. 
Cal Lord in his fabulous Red Mustang
Columbus Day Parade 2023-10-08 04:00:00Z 0

2Oct2023 Golf Tournament

2 October 2023 at Shelter Harbor Golf Club, Charlestown
A huge thank you to all our sponsors, raffle donors and the players for a very successful Golf Tournament on a beautiful fall day.
See Photo Album section for pictures
2Oct2023 Golf Tournament Rosemarie Russo 2023-10-02 04:00:00Z 0

Chikumbuso College Grads

From Linda Wilkinson  ----  Hats off to all of you who choose to support Chikumbuso.  From Little Ones to College Graduates, Chikumbuso has kept these students throughout their education.
It's unbelievable... YOU are changing the face of Ngombe!
Chikumbuso College Grads L Wilkinson 2023-09-22 04:00:00Z 0
Exchange Program 2023-09-18 04:00:00Z 0

International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace is observed around the world each year on 21 September.  Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations Resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.  This year is the 20th Anniversary of the UN Resolution.  The theme for this year is a call to action that recognizes our individual and collective responsibility to foster peace.  Fostering peace contributes to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals and achieving this will create a culture of peace for all.
Locally, Westerly's Peace & Justice group will meet outside of Westerly Library 21 Sept at 6:00pm to observe this special day.  All are welcome.
International Day of Peace 2023-09-11 04:00:00Z 0

Remembering 11 September 2001

The start of a beautiful late summer day.... then life changed
From ----  As millions watched in horror the events unfolding in New York, American Airlines Flight 77 circled over downtown Washington, DC and slammed into the west side of the Pentagon military headquarters at 9:37am.  Jet fuel from the Boeing 757 caused a devastating inferno that led to a structural collapse of a portion of the giant concrete building.  All told, 125 military personnel and civilians were killed in the Pentagon along with 64 people aboard the airliner.  More than 15 minutes after....the horror in New York took a catastrophic turn for the worse when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed in a massive cloud of dust and smoke.  The structural steel of the skyscraper, built to withstand winds in excess of 200 mph and a large conventional fire, could not withstand the tremendous heat generated by the burning jet fuel.  At 10:28am the other Trade Center tower collapsed.  Close to 3,000 people died in the World Trade Center and its vicinity, including a staggering 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers who were struggling to complete an evacuation of the buildings and save the office workers trapped on higher floors.  Only six people in the WTC towers at the time of their collapse survived.  Almost 10,000 other people were treated for injuries.Through the subsequent 20 years 331 firefighters have succumbed to post 9/11 illnesses.
Remembering 11 September 2001 2023-09-10 04:00:00Z 0

Tribute to Walter

Walter Kimball - A Rotarian since January 1964, Past President of Westerly Club 1976-1977, Paul Harris Fellow.
Born 8 April 1935    Died 3 September 2023
Walter loved Rotary and participated in many activities, especially Summer Pops Concession and Golf Tournament.  The membership voted to make him an Honorary Member when he found it too difficult to attend meetings in 2020.  He was also a Veteran, served in the Army, and a member of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars - Westerly  and Disabled American Veterans - Westerly.  He was active with Project Outreach of Westerly sponsored by those two organizations to help veterans and their families.
A funeral service will be celebrated at Christ Church at 10:00AM, 9 September 2023, with a reception to follow in the Church Hall.
Cards may be sent to Walter's loving wife, Gloria Birchell Kimball, 42A Margin Street, Westerly RI 02891.  Donations in Walter's memory may be sent to St Jude's Research Hospital, 501 St Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105.
We will miss you!!!
Tribute to Walter Rosemarie Russo 2023-09-05 04:00:00Z 0

Westerly's Lockbox Program

Posted on Aug 30, 2023
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.
Westerly's Lockbox Program Rosemarie Russo 2023-08-30 04:00:00Z 0

Betty Jo Cugini, Chamber Citizen of the Year

Betty Jo with President Derin
It was a really special honor to have Betty Jo Cugini sitting at our table last Monday evening.  A woman of many talents from a family who has continually given back to the community.  She is currently on the Board at Westerly Library & Wilcox Park as well as the Babcock-Smith House; she is owner of Weathervane Communications - a Westerly-based multimedia business; and she is Director of New Media at The University of Rhode Island and affiliated faculty member at Emerson College.  Her career included "stints at WERI/WRX radio, ABC6 and NBC10, where she rose through the ranks from night assignment editor... to news director" -the first female news director at WJAR in its 60-year history.  "Along with Jim Karpeichik of Ocean State Video, she has produced a video series called  'Treasurers Inside the Museum' in partnership with Rhode Island Public Television."  "She is a National Edward R Murrow Award winner and was inducted into the Silver Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, New England Chapter, in 2010."
Betty Jo Cugini, Chamber Citizen of the Year Rosemarie Russo 2023-08-30 04:00:00Z 0

Prospective New Members

Dr. Robert A Andersen has been proposed by Dan Alvino for membership in the Club and was approved at a special Board meeting held 28 August 2023.  Rob, a Chemistry Teacher and Realtor,  has been attending meetings through the month of August.
Deborah MacAulay has been a "visiting Rotarian" for the past several years and has volunteered at Summer Pops, Million Dollar Meal and Golf Tournament events.  She was previously with the Vero Beach Sunrise Rotary Club and recently with the Port St Lucie Sunset Rotary Club.  She has resigned from Port St Lucie and has requested membership in our Club.  She is a retired Medical Sales Representative.
If  no objections are put forth, a Fireside Chat will be set up and Induction Ceremony at future meeting.  Contact President Derin at
Prospective New Members Rosemarie Russo 2023-08-29 04:00:00Z 0

District 7950 DG Angela Ponte

ADG Bob Cruz, DG Angela Ponte and President Derin Temel behind the Rotary Park Sign
The Board met with District Governor Angela Ponte at 4:30 on 7 August.  After dealing with regular Board business, the meeting was turned over to DG Angela.  She mentioned a couple of things of interest.  She suggested that Interact was not just for high school students anymore, she said that Y members are also eligible.  In a discussion about membership, she suggested having an "alumni" night - inviting former members to attend a social evening.  She was happy to hear about Westerly's Peace & Justice group and the event coming up on 21 September - International Day of Peace.  The Board agreed to co-sponsor this local event.  Coming up, DG Angela told us that Foundation Night this year will be "Foundation Lunch" on Saturday, 4 November, from 11am to 2pm, at the Neighborhood Club of Quincy, 27 Glendale Road, Quincy, MA - SAVE THE DATE!!!  She also told us that the District Conference this year will include 4 districts and will take place in Southbridge, MA, 3-5 May 2024 - more to come.  DG Angela asked that we let her know when Summer Pops takes place next year as she would like to help.  She has been making every effort to attend Club events and volunteer her time.
District 7950 DG Angela Ponte Rosemarie Russo 2023-08-07 04:00:00Z 0
Tribute to Chris DiPaola 2023-08-03 04:00:00Z 0

3 Guatemalan Villages Update

Latest update just received from our Manchester, CT Rotarian and Friends Rick & Elin Lawrence on 31 July 2023
   It was a pleasure to see Elin and Rick again.  As always, Rick provided a very interesting slide show of the villages and villagers.  He is in the process of writing his 2023/2024 global grant to continue this work of bringing clean water, improved sanitation and hygiene to the indigenous people of Guatemala.  He emphasized that the systems are built and maintained by the villagers - all we provide with our funds are the materials.  Aldea, who is our partner there, provides in addition nutritionists, engineers, health and sanitation lessons with nurse practitioners.  Rick said that within one year, these systems have resulted in decreased intestinal diseases, decreased childhood malnutrition, decreased eye disease.
In first picture below, Rick and Elin are presenting handmade banners to President Derin.  The second picture is Jeff trying to demonstrate how difficult it is to carry a full jug of water on his head.  Thankfully, the new water sanitation systems make this trek by women and children to the river and back unnecessary.
3 Guatemalan Villages Update Rick Lawrence 2023-07-31 04:00:00Z 0

Installation Night  10 July 2023

Outgoing President Steve Cofone with Incoming President Derin
Introduction by Past President Dan Alvino of New President Derin Temel
Past Dist Gov Bill Vangel, New Pres Derin, Past Pres Steve and Asst Dist Gov Bob Cruz
2023-2024 Board of Directors: Bob Lane, Suzanne Lane, Steve Cofone, Rose Russo, Alan Brinton
Presenting a Paul Harris Award in memory of Julie Lord to her son John and her sister Kim
Past President Cal Lord received a new Past President Pin
The Board surprised Rose with a Paul Harris Award.
"Humbled and honored beyond words and so grateful"
Installation Night 10 July 2023 Rosemarie Russo 2023-07-17 04:00:00Z 0

Letters from Whyness and Peter

Sharing here letters received last month from Whyness Phiri and Peter Yuma.  If anyone can take some time to write a note back to them, Rose will see that it gets to them.
Letters from Whyness and Peter 2023-07-17 04:00:00Z 0

Chorus of Westerly Summer Pops 2023

And so Saturday, 24 June, saw the 42nd Annual Summer Pops Concert take place in the beautiful Wilcox Park.  The day started off with lots of rain to try and "dampen" our enthusiasm for this very special day.  It didn't work!!!  We were up and ready to do our part by two o'clock in the afternoon.  As people came by, a few were new to Westerly and not sure what was going on, our members encouraged sales of lemonade and popcorn.  Boy, did we have popcorn - huge thank you to Shoreline Cinema Group for their donation.  Another huge thank you to Westerly High School's Honor Society students who came to help us set up in the morning and to clean up in the evening - Luke Nelson, Robby Wade, Eric Fusaro, Alex Luzzi, Dylan Tallardy, Camden Kelly, Natalie Gay, Gabriella Souder, Alaina Tripp, Emily Tran, Jack Kenyon, Will Brennan, Cadence O'Neil, Ryder Casady, Genna Falcone, Abbey Gervasini, Kyle Andrews.  Grateful thanks to Bogue's Alley for the donation of the best hot dogs and pretzels, Grey Sail Brewery and Navigant Credit Union.  Some of our stalwart crew were at work from 8:30am right through 10:30pm, finishing up Sunday morning to put everything back in storage.  We sold 200 hot dogs, 160 pretzels, about 470 boxes of popcorn, 80 gallons of lemonade, 560 slices of Mario's Northend pizza, lots of bottled water and soda as the weather cleared and people began to fill the park.  All afternoon we listened to the guest musicians and the Chorus and orchestra who filled our hearts with their beautiful sounds.  And then the spectacular fireworks show by Grucci to finish off the night.  Are we lucky to live in Westerly?  Yes - WE ARE!!!!
We have posted a Photo Album of Summer Pops 2023 in the Photo Album section of this website but here are three with thanks to Kathryn and Steve...
Chorus of Westerly Summer Pops 2023 Rosemarie Russo 2023-06-24 04:00:00Z 0

Melanie Fricchione, Kids Librarian

  Melanie with President Elect Derin
Melanie Fricchione became the new Westerly Children's Librarian last October 2022.  Previously she was a Librarian at West Warwick, earned her Bachelor Degree from Providence College and a Master Degree from University of Rhode Island.  Home was Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Nancy Burns Fusaro featured Melanie in the Easy Chair on 14 January 2023.  In an article recently about Westerly Library being the heart of the community, Melanie is quoted as saying, "I think of libraries as information centers... It's a place for community members to learn about each other and learn about themselves...Since information is always changing, libraries are always changing too.  I think we're getting better at articulating the fact that we're about more than books."  Melanie showed much enthusiasm and excitement as she talked about the programs available to young people and their parents as well as changes regarding cataloging books and the children's area.
Melanie Fricchione, Kids Librarian Rosemarie Russo 2023-06-12 04:00:00Z 0

New Member Induction

5 June 2023 Membership induction of Joseph W. Lorello, Jr  by Cal Lord, assisted by Joe's "Mentor" Frank Celico
New Member Induction Rosemarie Russo 2023-06-05 04:00:00Z 0

Memorial Day Parade

Westerly Rotary honors those who served by participating in the Westerly Pawcatuck Parade on 29 May
Rona and Derin
Ted and Doug
Memorial Day Parade 2023-05-29 04:00:00Z 0

Shawn Lacey, Westerly Town Manager

Above is President-Elect Derin with Town Manager Shawn Lacey.  Shawn visited the Club on 22 May and spoke of several changes since he has assumed the role of Town Manager.  Shawn served the town as Police Officer for over thirty years and Chief of Police since 2018.  When Town Manager Mark Rooney resigned in 2021, the Town Council offered him the position of Interim Manager.  Shawn became permanent Town Manager on 28 February 2022.  His time was interim manager during Rooney's vacation time and after he resigned proved to the Town Council that Shawn was well suited to the position, "established a record of excellence."  His responsibilities include "appointing and removing all town employees, enforcing and executing all acts and directives of the Council...., preparing and submitting an annual financial report to the Council, keeping the Council advised of the financial condition and future and other needs of the town."  Shawn can be reached at 401.348.2530.
Shawn Lacey, Westerly Town Manager Rosemarie Russo 2023-05-22 04:00:00Z 0

Janine Weismann, EiC Rhode Island Current

Our Guest Speaker on 15 May was Janine Weismann, Editor-in-Chief for the new Rhode Island Current.  This is an "independent, nonprofit digital news site dedicated to bringing readers a steady stream of high quality, nonpartisan reporting about state government and public policy in the Ocean State."  The Rhode Island Current is an affiliate of States Newsroom, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by grants and a coalition of donors and readers.  Janine came with 25 years in the newsroom of The Newport Daily News and she is also an adjunct professor in the journalism program at Roger Williams University.  She is a graduate of Rhode Island College and earned a master's degree in speech communication at the University of Maine.  Their office is located in Olneyville area of Providence.  Anyone interested in receiving daily state news should go to and click "subscribe", subscription is free but you can support the Current's work with a donation.
Janine Weismann, EiC Rhode Island Current 2023-05-15 04:00:00Z 0

Ron Sposato, WHS Football Coach

President Steve with Ron Sposato - new Westerly High School Football Coach.   Mr. Sposato is a "local boy", graduated from Westerly High School and attended Framingham State College.  He has been WHS Baseball Coach.  We look forward to his successes.
Ron Sposato, WHS Football Coach Rosemarie Russo 2023-05-09 04:00:00Z 0

Field Trip to The United

   The United at night
Carley Callahan leads a tour of The United facility, including the lower level music rooms.  So many spaces and so much purpose!!!!
Field Trip to The United Rosemarie Russo 2023-05-01 04:00:00Z 0

Charitable/Scholarship Dinner 29 Apr 2023

Handcrafted Plant Stand by Dr. Douglas Rayner - just one of the great items that were auctioned off 29 April by Past President Cal Lord, in his fledgling position of Auctioneer.  He did a great job and our guests were fabulous.  It was the best event yet!  We enjoyed some very funny moments,  a delicious meal and great Rotarian camraderie!!!!
Charitable/Scholarship Dinner 29 Apr 2023 Rosemarie Russo 2023-04-29 04:00:00Z 0

March & April Students of the Month

Emily Mitchell, President Steve and Grace Price
Our March Student was Grace Price. Assistant Principal Sweet spoke of Grace's achievements during her high school career - Honor Roll student, beautiful dancer, Italian tutor at Springbrook Elementary School, over 107 documented community service hours.  Grace is in the Medical Pathway Program and plans to attend Quinnipiac University in the Fall.
April Student was Emily Mitchell who is another top performer - National Honor Society, academic letter/pin and more.  She has over 94 documented community service hours.  Emily plans on attending Providence College and majoring in Marketing. 
AP Sweet called both young ladies "Mama Bears" because they are always ready to help someone.
March & April Students of the Month Rosemarie Russo 2023-04-24 04:00:00Z 0
Rotary Day of Service Rosemarie Russo 2023-04-22 04:00:00Z 0

Ginger Lallo, Girl Scouts of So NE

Ginger Lallo, COO of Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England, picture above with President Steve on 27 March.  She shared that this organization has over 2000 volunteers with 3500 Girl Scouts in the program.  Last year 526 girls attend Summer Camp.  Right now there is a waiting list for 2023 camp.  Ginger said that cookie proceeds for this year went to House of Hope.  Ginger treated us with a sampling of cookies.
One of Westerly's very own Girl Scouts is Betty Cugini, who is on the Girl Scouts' Board of Directors.  To see a special video in which Betty is featured, go to
Ginger Lallo, Girl Scouts of So NE 2023-03-27 04:00:00Z 0

The Granite Theatre

Above is new Artistic Director Nicole DiMattei and President Dina Ferri of Renaissance City Theatre dba The Granite Theatre.  The new season is about to begin with a production of Boeing Boeing under the direction of Nicole who comes to the Granite from New York City.  Nicole is "best known as the co-creator, director and Producer of the hit Off Broadway series of musical comedies, The Imbible.  The flagship show, A Spirited History of Drinking, was named a one of the 100 longest running Off Broadway shows in history."  This season's productions include The Lion King Jr, The Girl on the Train, Guys & Dolls, The Boy Next Door, Nunsense, The Elephant Man and Miracle on 34th Street.  Dina recommends getting a full subscription early to be eligible for various benefits.  She said that program sponsorships are also welcomed early to get full benefit of season advertisement in programs.
Go to the website at or call 401.596.2341 to make your purchase.
The Granite Theatre Rosemarie Russo 2023-03-20 04:00:00Z 0
Honoring Joseph M Nigrelli Sr 2023-03-16 04:00:00Z 0

Work Vessels for Vets

We had the pleasure to meet former CT State Senator Cathy Cooke, who presently is the Executive Director of Work Vessels for Veterans.  Begun 15 years ago, WVfV is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, whose mission is "to equip America's returning veterans with the tools they need to start a business or pursue career education," and it started with the a fishing boat given to a returning vet.
Cathy presented a short video which showed some of the Vets who have benefited - from an ATV to a van.  They match new Veteran entrepreneurs with experienced mentors for support and match corporate or individual equipment donations to provide the tools needed for their trade.  This is an all-volunteer organization with over under 1% - has offered a "Hand up to thousands of returning military veterans in all 50 states."   Over 2900 injured veterans have been assisted and more than $3.9 Million dollars in equipment awarded, over $2.5 million dollars in corporate "in-kind" donations.  Entrepreneurship provides the ability to work around service-connected disability with time-off when needed for medical or therapy care as needed.  To learn more about Work Vessels for Vets, Inc. go to,, or write to them at PO Box 215  West Mystic CT 06388.
Work Vessels for Vets Rosemarie Russo 2023-03-13 04:00:00Z 0

Chief Anthony J Silva, Ret

Above President Steve with Chief Silva and WP Chief Paul Gingerella.   Chief Silva is the Coordinator and Facilitator for the Rhode Island Impaired Driving Engagement Council of the Rhode Island Police Chief's Association.  His talk and powerpoint presentation for the evening centered around Impaired Driving.  Rhode Island is ranked at 30% nationallly.  He noted that traffic fatalities in the US in 2020 was 38,825, in 2021 42,915 - a 30% increase.  Traffic fatalities in Rhode Island this year so far is 14, 45% alcohol related, most vulnerable age group is 38-51 year olds.  He was pleased that his audience included a diverse age group for this presentation.
Some additional things he shared to prevent impaired driving:  
        If you choose to drink, don't drive
        Use a designated driver or an alternate mode of transportation such as a taxi
        Program the number of a sober friend and/or text a service in your phone
        Give a sober friend your car keys
        Drinking and driving could result in deadly consequences
        To protect your friends who have been drinking, take their car keys.  Don't let them drive.
        Call the police if you see anyone driving drunk
        If you're hosting a party, be a responsible host - stop serving alcohol 1 - 2 hours before party ends
Driving while intoxicated has consequences:
       Attorney fees, fines, court costs, arrest bond, vehicle costs, insurance premium increases, loss of license, jail
       Injury and/or loss of life
"Even ONE drink can be too much!" 
Chief Anthony J Silva, Ret Rosemarie Russo 2023-03-11 05:00:00Z 0

Visiting Exchange Student

Bob Elmer brought to meeting two exchange students who are working at Ocean House - Joanna and Angelica.   In the picture above Angelica is exchanging Club banners with Steve.
Visiting Exchange Student Rosemarie Russo 2023-03-11 05:00:00Z 0

Chorus Honors Doug & Jean

This event, while honoring Doug and Jean for their years of Summer Pops Service, will be designated for the 2023 Summer Pops concert in Wilcox Park.   If you cannot attend but want to share in honoring these two very special people, donate $42 for their 42 years or service.  At the Chorus Hall from 4:00 to 6:00pm.
Chorus Honors Doug & Jean 2023-03-03 05:00:00Z 0

Remembering Julie

She was a bright light, a willing hand, warm heart and so much more....
Julie M Lord    1Jul1959 - 18Feb2023
"May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sunshine warm your face, the rain fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand."
Remembering Julie Rosemarie Russo 2023-02-18 05:00:00Z 0

Get Behind the Wheel - Day of Service

Monday evening of 6 February Rose and Steve participated in the Kick Off Zoom meeting for the 20 May 2023 Rotary Day of Service "Get Behind the Wheel".  This special event includes 450 Clubs from eight Districts of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Bermuda.  During the Zoom meeting, we heard from Clubs that have been combining their efforts over the past couple of years with the purpose of not only providing a Service but becoming more visible in the community - combining ACTION of an activity with membership and community volunteers joining together for the common good  - whether it is a food drive, blood drive, clean up project, baby shower drive, clothing drive, personal hygiene drive....  They have created a special banner - pictured above - which can be used over and over (the date is a stick on), tee shirts and a press release kit to assist with public image ideas.  All photos, for example, should show people in ACTION, not just posing.
We will be working at Rotary Park on 4/22.  We will do some clean up of the area - mulching in the children's garden, plantings around the Peace Pole, Rotary Park sign etc.
Get Behind the Wheel - Day of Service Rosemarie Russo 2023-02-15 05:00:00Z 0
Recognition of Viet Nam era Veterans Cal Lord 2023-02-15 05:00:00Z 0

Westerly Village

Pictured above:  Laurie Meisner and Sue Ogle with President Steve.
It was such a pleasure to have these two wonderful ladies join us Monday evening.  When Laurie last visited us, Westerly Village was not yet operational but it certainly is now.  Westerly Village is one of the four villages that make up a 501(c)(3) organization called Village Common RI which was "born" in 2014 inspired by a national village movement.  Their mission is to "fundamentally change the experience of growing older here in RI by fostering the creation of communities of mutual support - villages - across the state and by directly supporting their long-term sustainability."  You can become a member, a volunteer, even both - getting help from someone with expertise in the task at hand or helping someone else with your own expertise, giving a ride, run an errand, visiting to provide a social moment.  Their motto is "Aging Better Together".  To learn more, go to, call 401.441.5240 or write to
Westerly Village Rosemarie Russo 2023-01-31 05:00:00Z 0

Westerly Armory & Roberta Humble

23 January brought us to lunch at the Westerly Armory with a tour provided by Roberta Humble - the Armory's Chief Protector and Advocate.  While we had lunch, she had a slide show presentation running which showed off the museum rooms and all the items sequestered there as well as the many events held in the Drill Hall over the years.  They are in the midst of a financial campaign to raise funds for roof, crenellations and basement repairs/renovations.  The crenellations, Roberta told us were rebuilt some time ago but incorrectly so they must be repaired again.  This part of the structure is the rampart built around a structure with regular gaps for firing arrows or guns battlement.  The Armory was built in 1901 but the original Armory was a wood-framed structure built in 1860 but was destroyed in a fire from exploding ammunition in 1899.  The last military unit to be housed there was the National Guard's 169th Military Police Company.  They were dispersed in 1996 into Middletown and Providence.  The Town of Westerly purchased the property from the State in 1996 and it soon  was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The museum rooms contain from all our wars uniforms and other items that have been donated by community members.  There are bridal gowns, items from stores that no longer exist, musical instruments from Westerly Band members no longer with us, and so much more.  The Armory is home to the oldest civic band in the country.  In the past years events held there included poultry shows, antique shows, automobile shows, boxing matches (Rocky Marciano boxed there), toy and doll exhibitions, dances, book sales, weddings and it also was a polling place.
The Westerly Armory is open free to the public on Mondays and Thursdays from 9am to 4pm.  For more information go to or call 401.596.8554.
Westerly Armory & Roberta Humble Rosemarie Russo 2023-01-31 05:00:00Z 0

Senator Victoria Gu

Senator Gu with President Steve
At our  Monday meeting, we were honored to host Senator Gu, who recently won the election to this position to serve District 38, Charlestown, Westerly and part of South Kingstown.  She will serve on the Senate Committee on Housing and Municipal Government, the Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture, and the Senate Committee on Commerce.  Senator Gu grew up in South Kingstown and attended South Kingstown Public Schools and was accepted to Harvard University to study computer science and economics.  To learn more about Senator Gu, go to her website
Senator Victoria Gu 2023-01-09 05:00:00Z 0

Wreaths Across America

Morrill Worcester, Founder of Wreaths Across America, first visited Arlington Cemetery as a 12-year-old boy and it left an "indelible impression" upon him.  He found an opportunity to honor our country's veterans in 1992 with the aid of Main Senator Olympia Snow and arrangements were made to deliver his wreaths to one of the older sections of Arlington Cemetery.  And, so began Wreaths Across America - "as plans were underway, a number of other individuals and organizations stepped up to help".  Since 2005 the project has grown due to national attention with people all over the country wanting to help.  "Unable to donate thousands of wreaths to each state, Worcester began sending seven wreaths to each state, one for each branch of the military and for POW/MIAs.  In 2006, with the help of the Civil Air Patrol and other civic organizations, simultaneous wreath-laying ceremonies were held at over 150 locations around the country.  The Patriot Guard Riders volunteered as escort for the wreaths going to Arlington and this began the annual 'Veterans Honor Parade' that travels from Maine to Arlington Cemetery in early December" - usually the 2nd or 3rd Saturday.
Wreaths Across America became a 501(c)(3) organization in 2007 and its mission is to REMEMBER our fallen U.S. Veterans, HONOR those who serve and TEACH your children the value of freedom.  Wreath-laying ceremonies are held each December "at Arlington Cemetery and more than 3,400 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad."  Go to to learn more, donate and check out the video of Mr. Worcester assembling a wreath.
Rona Mann participated in the wreath-laying on Saturday at Veterans' Cemetery in Exeter.  She said there were hundreds of volunteers there to lay 7600 wreaths in sections selected for this year.  Below is a picture of one section.  You should really visit the cemetery and view this beautiful place in person.
Ted Avedesian shared a picture of the wreath placed at his parents' grave. 
Wreaths Across America Rosemarie Russo 2022-12-17 05:00:00Z 0

Nov & Dec Students of the Month

Our November Student of the Month is Dylan Benware.  He is an honor student who has served as Senior Mentor at Dunn's Corners Elementary, WHS Bulldog at community events, Master of Ceremonies at the Pep Rally 2022, intern at Ocean House.  Asst Principal Donna Sweet called him an "old Soul" of pure heart and a person who makes school a better place.  Dylan plans to attend CCRI for first two years and then transfer to URI with major in Business.
Our December Student of the Month is Sophia Martino.  She has earned High Honors with Distinction amount many other Academic Awards.  Sophia has served as a freshman mentor, student council and character education member, captain of varsity swim team, varsity Athletes Against Substance Abuse President.  Asst Principal Donna Sweet declared that the 2022 Student Council Blood Drive 2022 event, coordinated by Sophia, was the most successful ever.  She said, "if we want to get something done, call Sophia".  She has been a Surf Instructor with All Abilities Surf Camp where surf instructors, emergency personnel and lifeguards all come together to teach children with disabilities how to surf.
Nov & Dec Students of the Month Rosemarie Russo 2022-12-12 05:00:00Z 0

Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting took place 5 December 2022
Proposed Slate for year 1July2023 to 30June2024
     President                               Derin Temel
     President-Elect                      Alan Brinton (projected year 2024/2025)
     Vice President                       Suzanne Lane (projected year 2025/2026)
     Secretary                               Chant Clapham
     Treasurer                               Rosemarie Russo
     Immediate Past President     Stephen Cofone
     Member at Large                  Bob Lane
There were no nominations from the floor, Rose (acting on behalf of Secretary Julie) cast vote to accept the slate as presented by current President Steve.
Nominating committee:  Ted Avedesian, Steve Cofone, Doug Rayner
Annual Meeting Rosemarie Russo 2022-12-05 05:00:00Z 0

Chikumbuso  28 Nov 2022

Our very special guest at the 28 November meeting was Linda Wilkinson, the founder of Chikumbuso which is located in Ng'ombe, Lusaka, Zambia.  Especially for our newer members, Linda spoke of Chikumbuso's beginning with only $3,000 and went on to tell where they are currently.  Chikumbuso means "remembrance" - remember those who died, remember those we care for.  Linda has developed programs for widows, grandmas, and education for their children.  You can learn more about Chikumbuso at their website
Medicine Woman's Prayer by Sheree Bliss Tilsley
  I will not rescue you, for you are not powerless.
  I will not fix you, for you are not broken.
  I will not heal you, for I see you, in your wholeness.
  I will walk with you through the darkness, as you remember your light.
Following is a letter from one of the students we sponsor  at Chikumbuso - Whyness Phiri
Chikumbuso 28 Nov 2022 Rosemarie Russo 2022-12-01 05:00:00Z 0
World Polio Day 24 Oct 2022 2022-10-24 04:00:00Z 0

CT Veteran's Wartime Service Medal

Bob Elmer, above, with CT State Senator Heather Somers and CT State Representative Greg Howard.  Bob reported that "as a Viet Nam Veteran, I was approached by Senator Somers to receive the Connecticut Veteran's Wartime Service Medal."  He submitted a Form DD214 to validate his years of service and received the medal at a ceremony 6 October 2022 along with many other area Veterans.  Bob was Leading Petty Officer and Waist Catapult Captain on The USS Kitty Hawk CVA-63 and served on board from October 1967 until March 1971.
CT Veteran's Wartime Service Medal 2022-10-15 04:00:00Z 0

3Oct2022 Golf Tournament

Our Eighth Golf Tournament is scheduled for 3 October 2022 at the Shelter Harbor Golf Club in Charlestown, RI.   We send our grateful thanks to all our sponsors, raffle item donors and Golf participants for making this event so very successful.  Our net proceeds exceeded $21,000.
     Professional Planning Group
     Grey Sail Brewing Company LLC
     Westerly Community Credit Union
      Bouvier Insurance  
      Lathrop Insurance
      Thorpe & Trainer
    Dan & Florence Alvino
    Ashaway Line & Twine
    Avie's Ski/Sport
    Bank RI
    Baxter Lord
    Beachcrest Dental Inc
    Bogue's Alley
    Bob & Marty Boughner
    Central Baptist Church
    Chariho Furniture
    Steve & Evie Cofone
    D'Angelo Sandwich Shop
    Dunns Corner Chiropractic
    Dunns Corners Market
    Edward Jones Investments
    Focus Physical Therapy, LLC
    Frank Hall Boatyard
    Gaffney-Dolan Funeral Home Inc
    Giamalis and Company LLC
    Ginger's Car Wash, Inc
    Gray Goose Cookery
    Hartford Toyota
    Hilltop Cafe
    Hoof's International Ltd LLC
    Hoyt Filippetti & Malaghan LLC
    Mansfield Insurance
    Margin Street Inn
    Maria's Seaside Cafe
    Michael A Cozzolino Painting
    Misquamicut Business Association
    Joseph & Carol Potter
    Douglas & Jean Rayner
    Reforest the Tropics
    Rebecca J Woodward, DMD and
      Adam S Kaufman, DMD
    Robert H Lord Company
    Robinson & Clapham
    Seaside Pharmacy
    South County Auto LLC
    The Cooked Goose
    The Westerly Sun
    Toscano's Mens Shop
    Urso Liguori Micklich, Esq
    Valenti Subaru
    Westerly Dental Group
Raffle item donors included Bank RI, D'Angelo Grilled Sandwiches, Dunns Corners Chiropractic Center, Frank Livingston, Grey Sail Brewing of RI, Ginger's Car Wash, Gray Goose Cookery, Hilltop Cafe, Jonathan Edwards Winery, Julie & John Lord, Kathryn Taylor, Michael David Winery, Mancini Beverage, McLaughlin & Moran,  Payment Processing Consultants, Robinson & Clapham, South County Distillers, South County Cinemas, The Malted Barley, WCRI, Wine Wizards
3Oct2022 Golf Tournament Rosemarie Russo 2022-10-03 04:00:00Z 0

District Governor David Sampson

  Pres Steve with DG Dave Sampson and ADG Bob Cruz
DG Dave joined the Rotary Club of Bourne-Sandwich in 1976 and served as President for three terms.  He served as Assistant District Governor for four years and has been an active participant in the Rotary Leadership Institute for District 7950 and PETS for many years.  He arrived at the Olean Center shortly before 4:30 and was escorted by the Board for a stroll through Rotary Park.  When we returned to the Center, Dave questioned Steve about various Rotary concerns and seemed pleased with our efforts.  He said "all the important things about being a Rotary, you're doing."  He mentioned that next year instead of "PrePets" District meeting, there will be a "Post Pets" District meeting.  He also said that the longevity of a Club will look to being diverse and bringing in younger people.
District Governor David Sampson Rosemarie Russo 2022-09-20 04:00:00Z 0

Be the Match


Ann Evans, Jamie Robenhymer and Jessica Pacheco attended our 12 September meeting

About Be The Match     

For the thousands of people diagnosed every year with life-threatening blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, a cure exists. Over the past 30 years Be The Match ® , operated by the National Marrow Donor Program ®  (NMDP), has managed the most diverse marrow registry in the world. We work every day to save lives through transplant. Go to  for more information.

We have  partnered with Be the Match, the organization that matches donors ages 18-44 with those worldwide who need bone marrow transplants (also stem cell transplants).  We have reserved a booth at the Charlestown Seafood Festival to be held in Ninigret Park August 5-7.  Produced by the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce.  Thanks to the extreme generosity of the Executive Director Heather Paliotta, we were not only able to secure a space even though they were sold out, but she waived the 4-figure cost!  Best of all, we are right next to the gazebo where WBLQ broadcasts for all three days.
The Seafood Festival is one of the largest events in New England drawing thousands a day.  It was named on of the 100 Top Events in the USA and one of the Top Ten in New England by Yankee Magazine.  So, Be the Match representatives Ann Evans, Jessica Pacheco and Jamie Robenhymer lead the charge this past weekend to assist our Rotarians through the weekend.  Steve told membership Monday evening that over the three days 56 people agreed to be tested.  A huge success!!!  There were also some visitors - past bone marrow transplant recipients - stopped to talk about their illness and recovery.
Be the Match 2022-09-19 04:00:00Z 0
Frank Olean Center Event 2022-09-01 04:00:00Z 0

Million Dollar Meal for Polio Plus

Because of the weather, we moved our MDM picnic from Rotary Park indoors to The Frank Olean Center.  Many sides and desserts were contributed by our members to accompany hot dogs and hamburgers.  It was great to see Joe Nigrelli who was accompanied by his daughter, Kathy.   We learned that Frank Celico had been ill but he attended with the lovely Donna.  And, Bob Boughner brought the very special Marty.  A downer moment occurred earlier when Joe Potter's leg came in contact with the grill and he ended up visiting the WHS Emergency Room instead of grilling.  We were fortunate to have Anthony Russo visiting so he stepped in.  Spoke with Joe Tuesday morning and he said he was doing fine - praised the staff at WHS and EMTs.
Million Dollar Meal at Rotary Park has traditionally contributed its funds to Rotary International's Polio Plus Program and the funds collected Monday evening and subsequent days total $792.  We thank everyone for supporting this event with food and funds!!!
Million Dollar Meal for Polio Plus Rosemarie Russo 2022-08-22 04:00:00Z 0

WHS Class of 2023 Golf Tournament

Above received from Rotarian Dan Alvino whose granddaughter, Sophia Martino, along with fellow classmates are planning a golf tournament as a fundraiser to help fund school events that have been postponed due to the effects of Covid.  Contact Dan at 401.284.6656 if you have any questions.
WHS Class of 2023 Golf Tournament Rosemarie Russo 2022-08-20 04:00:00Z 0

Narragansett Pow Wow

Above is Rotarian Dora Vasques Hellner in attendance at the 347th Recorded Annual August Pow Wow of the Narragansett Indian Tribe at the Narragansett Indian Reservation in Charlestown, RI.  Chief Sachem Anthony Dean Stanton urged all of Rhode Island to join the Tribe in celebration and to share in the traditional food, singing and dancing on August 13 and 14.
Narragansett Pow Wow 2022-08-18 04:00:00Z 0

A Note from Whyness Phiri

If anyone has time to write a note back to Whyness, please send it to Rose and she will pass it on.  For newer members, Whyness comes from Zambia and is a student in the Chikumbuso program.  Our Club has been sponsoring her education since 2018. 
A Note from Whyness Phiri 2022-08-18 04:00:00Z 0

John Clapham & BioTechnique

President Steve with John Clapham.
He is the son of Chant and Andy Clapham, grew up in Westerly, graduated from Westerly High School and the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Chemical Engineering.  From there he went on to work for the Navy, Dow Chemical, Eli Lilly.  John said that one day he realized that he would rather help people to live rather than finding ways to kill them.  So, he formed his own company with that goal in mind.  John founded PSC Biotech in 1996.  It has "spent more than two decades providing life sciences with essential services to ensure that healthcare products are developed, manufactured and distributed to the highest standards, in compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements."  The company operates in 52 countries with a global team of skilled professional experts.
A subsidiary was eventually added - Biotechnique LLC - "an oncolytics manufacturing facility filling the need for cytotoxic and high potency sterile injectible products - both liquid and lyophilized.  Biotechnique and it's state-of-the-art fill line can handle both clinical and commercial batches."  This plant is located in York, PA.
In addition , John formed a non-profit organization called Future Cures.  Its values - "We look to support research, manufacturing initiatives innovative therapeutics, opportunities that will lead to new and better therapies for a wide variety of human illnesses, conditions and injuries."
John Clapham & BioTechnique Rosemarie Russo 2022-08-10 04:00:00Z 0

Greg Powell & Sarah Steverman

Dan Alvino, Sarah Steverman and Greg Powell
Over the last eleven years we have sponsored Reforest the Tropics' Education Program at Westerly Middle and Westerly High Schools.  This past fiscal year the Club was awarded a District International Service Award in the Environment and Education Areas of Focus.  Monday evening this award was presented to Sarah Steverman for opening up her classroom to a live presentation involving RTT's Forester Victor in the WMS Forest in Costa Rica with her Spanish class students at Westerly High School.  Greg Powell is the Executive Director of Reforest the Tropics.   He formerly was a member of the Peace Corps.
Next year a tentative plan includes exchanging letters with the Costa Rican school students and a live exchange with them later in the school year.
A big part of this program is to prepare informed and capable citizens and leaders by delivering comprehensive climate change education, complimenting STEM-related principles for grades 4 - 12.  Over 10,000 students across three states have benefited.  RTT works with Costa Rican farmers to build a profitable investment in farm forestry that will span generations and will capture and store CO2 for the long-term.
Greg Powell & Sarah Steverman Rona Mann 2022-08-01 04:00:00Z 0

Nick Carr of Granny Squibb's

Nick Carr represented his partner, Kelley McShane, Monday evening to speak about their company - Granny Squibb's Old-fashioned Ice Tea.  Nick was a financial planner and Kelley a tutor living in an apartment building in Providence.  When they saw their neighbor, Robin Squibb lugging cases of iced tea, they inquired as to what it was.  Robin told them her grandmother, who lived in Saunderstown years ago, came up with a lemon iced tea recipe during extremely hot summer days.  The whole neighborhood loved it.  Years later in 2009, Robin decided to bottle it and start a business.
As Nick put it, "We asked a question and one and a half months later in 2018 we took a detour from our careers and were in business!"  Robin stayed on the first year to advise them...then came Covid and they nearly lost it all because the restaurants (their customers) were closing down.  They hung on and are growing exponentially now.  Last month with the year only half gone, thus far they topped their totals from all of 2021.  The currently have eight flavors, six in bottles and two in cans.  They are all organic, non-GMO, preservative-free, gluten-free, kosher, etc. 
They are very philanthropic and tie their flavors to causes.  Right now they are working with a social justice group in Providence.  Their Cranberry Tea benefits Save the Bay and proceeds from the Peach Iced Tea go to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.  Eventually, they want a flavor in each New England State to benefit a cause in that State.
Nick Carr of Granny Squibb's Rona Mann 2022-07-18 04:00:00Z 0

First Meeting of New Year

Assistant District Governor Bob Cruz joined us for dinner Monday evening, our first meeting of the new fiscal year, to install Alan Brinton.  Alan was off having fun in France with his family and missed Installation Night.  So now he is official as Vice President for 2022/2023.
First Meeting of New Year Rosemarie Russo 2022-07-11 04:00:00Z 0
How do you Define a Hero 2022-06-30 04:00:00Z 0

Installation Night

Dr. Rayner, Jennifer Gibson, Andrew Nathan and President Ted
After a wonderful buffet dinner provided by Bogue's Alley, the evening began with the presentation of a Paul Harris Fellow Award to Andrew Nathan for his dedication and service to the community and the Chorus of Westerly, in particular.  
A Paul Harris Fellow Award was presented to Rona Mann.  Since Rona was already a Paul Harris Fellow, this award meant her new pin includes a tiny sapphire.  Rona represents the Rotary motto - Service above Self - Past President, Past Assistant Governor, Speaker Chair; Leader of the Ryder fundraiser, Can Do Program to benefit food assistance, COVID Delivery Program and various other programs.
Joe Nigrelli received a District Longevity Award for his 62 years in our Club.  Other Longevity recipients were Vinnie Gaccione for 54 years and Doug Rayner for 51 years.  Ted presented flowers to Secretary Julie, Board Member-at-Large Suzanne and Treasurer Rose.
And, the gavel passes on to incoming President Steve Cofone and his lovely bride, Evie.  Steve has served as President previously in 1986/1987 and 2016/2017.  We look forward to his year of service beginning on July 1st.  Thank you, Teddy, for a great year - we appreciate you!!!
Installation Night Rosemarie Russo 2022-06-27 04:00:00Z 0

Ocean Chamber Citizen of the Year

Rev Dr Clayton A Lord, Jr and family members at the Ocean Chamber event Wednesday evening honoring him as their "2022 Citizen of the Year."  There is a wonderful video available at the Chamber's website with wonderful tributes from everyone from his wife, Lori, to Rotary President Ted to Watch Hill Fire Dept to Stonington Police Dept to Lee Eastbourne at Jonnycake Center to Rev Sunil Chandy at Christ Church to........  He is a treasured friend and colleague.
Ocean Chamber Citizen of the Year Rosemarie Russo 2022-06-22 04:00:00Z 0

Chorus of Westerly Summer Pops 2022

                                 Chorus of Westerly
Our concession stand at the end of the center aisle was up and running by 3:00pm.  We sold hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn, lemonade, water and soda.
Thank You to all Rotarians who donated soda and water, to McQuade's Ace Hardware for the loan of trash barrels, to Honey Dew Donuts Franklin Street for the donation of coffee etc, to Grey Sail Brewery for the truck loan, to Bogue's Alley for the donation of pretzels, to Stonington Ice for their donation of ice.  Westerly High School National Honor Students were with us early in the morning to help unload our supplies and set up the tents etc.  Amanda Nall's nephew, Danny Oliverio, and Maya Dessaules also lent a hand during the evening.  Our new hot dog grill was a success!
Our success is because of the cooperation and generosity of all of you.  Net sale proceeds will go directly to the Chorus of Westerly to help fund this event.
Thanks to Kathryn Taylor, Steve Cofone and Cal Lord for the following pictures of a glorious Summer Pops!!!!
The Chorus and Grucci outdid themselves this year with exciting and uplifting music and fantastic fireworks topped off, as usual, with the 1812 Overture with Newport Artillery and Christ Church Bells.  Really special this year, however, was the revised text to the 1812 created by the Chorus' own Executive Director Ryan Saunders.  Previously the Chorus sang the Russian text of this piece.  Stated in The Westerly Sun those words "were no longer appropriate to be sung....we crafted a text that we feel encourages us to work together, that brings hope, and that reminds us of our shared humanity.  This is our call for unity and our prayer for peace."  And, we share those beautiful words here:
          Voices rising, giving hope to humankind.
          We all sing as one, sharing love through darkest times.
          Join with us, now, standing side by side and hand in hand
                with strength and love despite our grief.
          Let our voices now unite in song.
          Voices rising, join with us to sing this song.
          Believe.  There is peace to come.
          We sing so our hope will rise.  Our voices rise!
          We all will rise.  Sing and rise!
          Goodness and hope shall rise.
          We are one people.
          Rise up, rise up, rise up and sing!
Chorus of Westerly Summer Pops 2022 Rosemarie Russo 2022-06-18 04:00:00Z 0
Olean Center United Theatre Event Rosemarie Russo 2022-06-10 04:00:00Z 0

2022 Scholarship Awards

Our Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce their selections for the 2022 Scholarship Awards.  Past President and Foundation Chair Bob Elmer attended the Baccalaureate Ceremony this week to present the awards -  $1,000 each to Justin Chen, Madeline Faubert, Brooklyn Mitchell and Jacob Serra.  We will have the opportunity to meet these students during Christmas break.
2022 Scholarship Awards Rosemarie Russo 2022-06-09 04:00:00Z 0

Memorial Day Parade 30 May 2022

Westerly's annual Memorial Day Parade was well attended today by its community.  Westerly Rotary was one of the parade participants - Doug and Bob Elmer riding and President Ted, Steve, Rona, Derin, Frank L and Suzanne walking.  Pictures here, including one of flowers cast into river in memory of all our fallen veterans, came from President Ted, WBLQ's Chris DiPaola, Doug's granddaughter Caitlin and Rose:
Memorial Day Parade 30 May 2022 Rosemarie Russo 2022-05-30 04:00:00Z 0

Students of the Month

President Ted with Madison Power, Alexandra Nelson and Mr. Cronin.  We were delighted to meet Monday evening at Westerly High School's Highland Grille to celebrate our March, April and May Students of the Month.  It was unfortunate that Greg Gorman, our May student, couldn't join us because he had a baseball game to play.   We are especially grateful for the generous support of Nigrelli's Jewelry through the donation of all the plaques.  Mr. Cronin shared the following highlights of our special students:
March - Madison Power is an Honor student, varsity athlete, with over 30 hours in volunteering at Jonnycake Center, Dog Adoption Day, Walk to End Alzheimer's and the Westerly Ambulance Corps.  She also lead the student tutoring program.   Madison will attend Suffolk University in the Pre-Med program.
April - Alexandra Nelson is also an Honor student whose volunteer work included St Andrew Lutheran Church summer camp, Dunns Corners Fire Department, Westerly High School campus cleanup and Spanish tutor.  Alex has earned various awards and plans to attend the College of William and Mary.
May - Greg Gorman will be attending Bryant University in the Fall.  He is an athlete and currently playing on WHS's baseball team.
Students of the Month Rosemarie Russo 2022-05-23 04:00:00Z 0

District Governor Billy Roberts

President Ted and Asst Governor Bob Cruz and Distr Governor Billy Roberts
It was a real pleasure to have Billy and Bob join us Monday evening to celebrate our Students.  DG Billy decided to hand-deliver the District certificates that the Club was to receive at the District Conference.  It was really very special that he would come all the way down to Westerly to deliver the following awards:
     Longevity Member Awards to Vinny Gaccione - 62 years, Joseph Nigrelli - 54 years, and Doug Rayner - 51 years.
     Presidential Award for Leadership Excellence
     International Service Award for our projects - Water & Sanitation in Guatemala, Education in Chikumbuso, Reforest the Tropics in Costa Rica, and
       Mexico Child welfare efforts
     Vibrant Club & significant Achievement Award - featuring our efforts during Chorus of Westerly Summer Pops
     District 7950 Public Image Award
and then Governor Billy added one of his own - Unsung Heroes Award - presented to Rose.  This was such a surprise - an awesome surprise - and much appreciated award. 
In spite of Covid we have accomplished much in this fiscal year.  Be proud.  Look forward.  We have to get ready to make Steve's year just as accomplished and successful.
District Governor Billy Roberts Rosemarie Russo 2022-05-23 04:00:00Z 0
2nd Year - Random Act of Rotary Cal Lord 2022-05-22 04:00:00Z 0

Chamber Citizen of the Year

Membership received a surprise visit from Lisa Konicki, Chamber President, and Maria Pucci, Chamber Board Chairwoman, at our May 2 Monday evening meeting to present our very own Cal Lord with a basket full of goodies to celebrate his selection as Chamber Citizen of the Year.  Award will be presented at Chamber Dinner at Paddy's on 22June.
Chamber Citizen of the Year Rona Mann 2022-05-02 04:00:00Z 0

Chief Paul J Gingerella

Chief Paul Gingerella with President Ted
Chief Paul was officially sworn in as Westerly's new Chief on March 16 at the town council meeting.  He graduated from Salve Regina University with degree in Justice in 2001,  joined the Police Force in 2015 moving up to Sergeant and later Lieutenant.  Along the way he earned his Master's Degree in Administration of Justice/Homeland Security with focus on Cyber Security also from Salve Regina University.  Paul is following in the footsteps of his Great Uncle who was a Westerly Police Officer and an Uncle who was an officer with the RI Department of Environmental Management.  He is very much interested in "strengthening the relationship between the police department and the community and welcomes input."
If anyone has a Covid question, write to  The Police Department's non-emergency phone # is 401.596.2022 and Chief Paul's email address is
Chief Paul J Gingerella Rosemarie Russo 2022-04-25 04:00:00Z 0

Harriet Goodman Grayson

"Harriet is an accomplished writer of non-fiction and fiction having published academic papers, been a columnist for a woman's monthly as well as writing a column on small business for a newspaper syndicate.  Under the pen name Anastasia Goodman, she writes the Sasha Perlov Mystery Series.  She has been host/producer of the public access TV show 'Community Culture Showcase' taped in Groton, CT and seen worldwide on You Tube.  The TV show promotes the arts and culture of Southern New England.  Harriet was educated at Queens College in Flushing, NY, New York University's Wagner School and the University of Denver."  Harriet has also written a novel called Rockaway Riptides based on true events during the 1960s in the Rockaways of Long Island.  But Monday evening, we heard the story of Harriet's Grandfather Goldie.  In her newest book, The Accidental Gangster, Harriet tells his story.  Goldie was a fisherman, hired by Dutch Schultz at the start of Prohibition to take his boat up to Canada to bring the "pure Canadian booze" to somewhere in the Rockaways.  Harriet's books are available at and  You can also write Harriet at
Harriet Goodman Grayson 2022-04-18 04:00:00Z 0

Lisa Konicki of Ocean Chamber of Commerce

Posted by Julie Lord
Maria DiMaggio (Membership & Operations Director), Lisa Konicki (President) of Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce with our President Ted.
Lisa and Maria were so passionate about how important it is to get resources to local businesses in downtown Westerly.  Through Covid they went from four full-time employees to two.  They both put all the energy into building a community that everyone wants to live in.  The Chamber is sponsoring six events in the next six weeks:
The Pawcatuck Duck Race April 20 - in 2020 it had to be cancelled due to Covid but had already planned and purchased everything needed to pull it off.
Fusion May 6 - An adult event at Velvet Mill Studio with live body art and music by Sugar.
Sunday Funday May 8, 15, 22  12pm-8pm -  High Street will be closed to vehicles but great for foot traffic to local businesses, pop-up stores and local musicians.
Virtu  Memorial Day Weekend - Outdoor arts coming to Wilcox Park, featuring over 150 artists of music, painting, and other crafts from around the country.
The brought up a vision for December - selling stars for businesses to hang on their buildings to light up downtown Westerly, shooting stars through Wilcox Park as well.  They need to raise $75,000 for it to happen.  To date they have received $23,000.  Check out the website  The display will be held the last three weeks in December.  The Stonington Lobster Trap Tree will take place as well, bringing foot traffic to area businesses.
They praised all the volunteers, as none of the events could be done without their participation.  They ended with how important it was to continue doing something special for the community.  Two remarkable ladies, for sure.
Lisa Konicki of Ocean Chamber of Commerce Julie Lord 2022-04-11 04:00:00Z 0

Tim Gray of WWII Foundation

Tim Gray receives a children's library book from President Ted.  It was a pleasure to welcome Tim Monday evening.  He produced his first WWII film in 2004 and is working on his 30th one currently.  He does his filming at WWII actual sites and all narration is provided by celebrities like Dan Rather, Gary Sinese, Tom Brokaw, Tom Selleck, David McCallum.  Through the years he collected so many artifacts, over 5,000,  that he opened the Museum in 2018. 
The organization's mission "is to develop an awareness and appreciation of the contributions and sacrifices made by the men and women of the Allied Forces during World War II.  The Foundation's objective is to educate current and future generations about the role those heroes played in ensuring the basic freedoms we enjoy today.  The Foundation dedicates itself to this education mission in order to install and inspire in today's Americans, through the example of the World War II generation, the values of unity of purpose, personal courage and shared sacrifice that they embodied - the Best of America."
Tim's work has gained him many awards, among them American Public TV's prestigious National Programming Excellence Award.  The museum is located at 344 Main Street, Wakefield.  Check out the Foundation's website at  For more information you can call 401.862.3030 or
Tim Gray of WWII Foundation Rosemarie Russo 2022-03-29 04:00:00Z 0

Reforest the Tropics School Program

March 15 at 7:30am at Westerly High School - RTT's Gregory Powell, Past Pres Rona Mann, Ms Steverman, Student and President Ted Avedesian.
March 16 12:30pm at Westerly High School - Rotarians Kathryn Taylor and Rose Russo with Ms Steverman and RTT's Greg Powell.
Reforest the Tropics Director Greg Powell arranged, via zoom, with RTT Chief Forester Victor Martinez in Costa Rica to speak to Ms. Steverman's Spanish classes this week and we looked forward to the opportunity to participate.  Greg explained the mission of RTT and the forests and then Ms. Steverman's students asked questions, in Spanish, directed to Mr. Martinez.  He explained that the forest includes a variety of trees such as Klinkii and Pine.  Rose brought in her Klinkii tree which was purchased, as a little sapling, from Dr Barres when he visited the Club to introduce the RTT program to us in 2012.  Ms. Steverman asked us to talk a bit about Rotary.  
Chief Forester Victor Martinez in the Costa Rican Forest via zoom screen.
Reforest the Tropics School Program Rosemarie Russo 2022-03-17 04:00:00Z 0

Mark Gordon, Homeless Liaison Westerly Schools

Mark Gordon, formerly with Warm Center and St Vincent dePaul, has recently become the Homeless Liaison for Westerly Public Schools.  Due to the McKeeney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987, this Federal law was concerned with homeless students getting proper services - provides that they have the right to attend the school they were attending when the family became homeless.  All school systems have a person covering the position of Homeless Liaison to help parents negotiate the issues.  Homeless means not in a permanent residence but living in a motel, tent, car.  Mark said that lack of affordable housing in Westerly is the primary cause for this situation.  He said that most parents are actually working but in low wage jobs earning the minimum hourly wage of $11.50 which makes it difficult to cover housing, insurance, food etc.  Mark said that 9.34% are at the poverty level.  Most get temporary support through social services of Warm Center, Jonnycake Center and St. Vincent DePaul.
Did you know that the average one bedroom apartment costs $950 per month, a two bedroom apartment is $1,600, a three bedroom apartment is $1,800-$2,000.  Mark said that the School Activities Fund #88 is available to accept donations with funds being used to help with housing, clothing needs.  Contact him at for further information.
Mark Gordon, Homeless Liaison Westerly Schools  Rosemarie Russo 2022-03-14 04:00:00Z 0

RF Disaster Respond Fund

A letter from John Germ, Trustee Chair 2021-22 The Rotary Foundation....
"As one of the world's largest humanitarian organizations, Rotary has made peace the cornerstone of our global mission.  We are deeply concerned about the Ukraine crisis and need your help.
Rotary is made up of people of action, especially in difficult times.  In response to the deepening refugee crisis, The Rotary Foundation Trustees have decided to prioritize contributions made to the Disaster Response Fund until 30 April 2022 to support disaster response grants for districts affected by these events.  These expedited disaster response grants can be used to supply water, food, medicine, shelter and clothing.
Half a million people have fled Ukraine and are in dire need of emergency aid.  The United Nations estimates that number of refugees could grow to as many as 5 million people displaced.  Rotary Clubs in Europe and around the world have stepped up their relief work, some working on the ground to help displaced families.  With your donation to our Disaster Response Fund, we can support communities and help rebuild lives during this tragic time."
Our Board approved a donation of $1,000 from our Charitable Giving fund and individual members have contributed $550 so far.  If individual members wish to contribute either bring a check on Monday payable to The Rotary Foundation with "Disaster Response Fund" written in the memo field OR go directly to Rotary International and make your special donation directly online.  But, do let Ted or Rose know of your donation so we can provide to the membership a total contribution for this important need.  Please also add your prayers for the people of Ukraine.
RF Disaster Respond Fund Rosemarie Russo 2022-03-07 05:00:00Z 0

The New Granite Theatre

It was a pleasure to meet the new Artistic Director Erin Sousa-Stanley and the new President of the Board Dina Ferri of THE NEW GRANITE THEATRE Monday evening.  They are pictured above with President Ted.  Dina joined the Granite a few years ago when she became an extra in The Man of La Mancha and she was sold on this little theatre.  Erin said that she has been performing since she was about three and a half years old.  Currently, she is Director of Theatre at Stonington High School but she has performed all over the U. S. from regional and professional theaters to TV.  She attended Boston Conservatory of Music and the National Institute in Stratford, England.  She brings a "boatload" of talent to the Granite which she and Dina have dubbed "the little theatre with the big heart".  That's because of their energy and spirit.
The 2022 Season has opened and you should be calling in to get your subscription - I Hate Hamlet, George Washington's Teeth, Shrek the Musical, California Suite, The Importance of Being Ernest, The Diary of Anne Frank, A Christmas Carol and a special all young people production of Alice in Wonderland.  Go online to or call 401.596.2341.
The New Granite Theatre Rosemarie Russo 2022-02-28 05:00:00Z 0
RYLA 2022-02-17 05:00:00Z 0

Bob Perlow - The Warmup Guy

Monday evening, 14 February, the Club our special guest was Bob Perlow - The Warmup Guy.  Bob was born in Pawtucket, RI, attended University of Rhode Island, taught at Johnson & Wales.  He is known for his work as a writer on Laverne & Shirley, Bob Newhart Show, Friends, Cheers, Night of the Comet, Mork & Mindy, Love Stinks and has been the "warm up" comedian to open many shows around the world.  He has recently published "The Warmup Guy" - a tell-all book about his experiences from 1970s to 2000s entertaining live audiences for 3 - 5 hours to keep them engaged and laughing during sitcom taping.  He and Jay Leno performed together in Boston when they were both very young and remain friends still today.  Bob said that his favorite show was the Bob Newhart Show - was like a family.  He showed a video of his early days and later, including pictures with the various actors and actresses.  We also saw several segments of him "warming up" audiences in between taping sessions.
Bob Perlow - The Warmup Guy Rosemarie Russo 2022-02-14 05:00:00Z 0

Students of the Month

November Student of the Month Brandon Tallardy, flanked by Principal Hobin and President Ted
This very talented young man has completed over 145 hours of community service, while maintaining academic honors and participating in cross country, indoor track and lacrosse.  Brandon was also a member of the WHS Stage Dogs and starred in "Mousetrap".  His plan is to attend the University of Rhode Island and major in the Theatre Program in acting and directing.
January Student of the Month Chiara Andrews with President Ted and Principal Hobin
Chiara recently was awarded the Rhode Island Foreign Language Student of the Year Award.  While maintaining academic honors in her studies, she has also accomplished Italian, Spanish and French languages and received awards for each in National Exams.  Chiara is self-studying German.  Mr. Hobin stated that Chiara has completed over the required 30 community service hours.  She is currently interning at Westerly Middle School as a World Language Intern.  She plans on attending University of New Hampshire, majoring in Linguistics.
And, we must acknowledge Nigrelli's Jewelry for their continued dedication to this program by donating the plaques that the students receive.  We are forever grateful.
Students of the Month 2022-01-31 05:00:00Z 0

Lee Eastbourne, Exe Dir, Jonnycake Ctr

President Ted present Children's Library book to Lee Eastbourne, Executive Director of the Jonnycake Center of Westerly
Lee thanked the Club for its support over the years and provided an update on the Center.  The Board recently approved the purchase of the building, which also houses two or three tenants.  The Center has served 3,131 people over the past year.  Total meals provided were over 221 thousand; financial assistance given over $107,000 for housing, heating, utility, education and other needs to families in Westerly, Hopkinton, Richmond and Charlestown.  Volunteers have donated over 8,600 hours.  1,052 turkeys given to feed 2,874 people and gifts provided to 628 children.  The Center has continued its monthly food assistance program to provide meals for students during vacation and on weekends - well fed students learn better than hungry students.  He noted that all of Westerly is not like Watch Hill.  There are many families in and around town living in near poverty and needing all kinds of assistance from medical to housing.  He said that the Center often collaborates with other organizations such as the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center, Warm Center and Wood River Health.  For more information or to volunteer, check their website at or call 401.377.8069.  And, stop in to visit the Thrift Shop.
Lee Eastbourne, Exe Dir, Jonnycake Ctr Rosemarie Russo 2022-01-31 05:00:00Z 0

Steven Slosberg, Columnist

It was a pleasure to meet Steven Slosberg Monday evening.  He recently self-published a collection of his column writings from his 45 years of work as a columnist from The Chronicle in Willimantic, to The Day in New London and most recently The Westerly Sun and the Mystic River Press.  His book,  Columnist: 45 Years of Having a Say, offers a sampling of the many, many pieces he wrote through the years.  It is available at Bank Square Books and The Savoy.  Steven shared a few responses that he has received from his stories - some from folks who were unhappy with his comments.  If anyone wishes to obtain a copy of his book, Steven can be contacted at
Steven Slosberg, Columnist Rosemarie Russo 2022-01-24 05:00:00Z 0
Chikumbuso Letter from Linda Rosemarie Russo 2022-01-23 05:00:00Z 0

Bob Elmer & Ocean House

Last Monday, January 10, the membership was treated to a history of the "Lady on the Hill" by Ocean House's Guest Relations Person Bob Elmer.  He said that the original Ocean House was actually built in Newport in 1844 and Taylor Swift's Watch Hill home is actually the site of the Watch Hill Ocean House.  The current site was originally Chief Ninigret's home.  The Watch Hill Ocean House was built in 1868 and was smaller than the other hotels but numerous additions expanded it over the years.  In 1916 the motion picture "American Aristocracy", starring Douglas Fairbanks, was filmed at Ocean House.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic places and stretches over 13 acres of beautiful oceanfront with views of Montauk, Block Island and the Atlantic Ocean.
"For those who could afford the luxury of travel, Ocean House became the quintessential summer home attracting many distinguished guests in the early 1900s.  The grand Victorian hotel was a genteel resort on the beach were generations of families and guests from across America came 'to summer.'... Ocean House welcomed guests for 135 years, but as with many historic hotels, over time neglect took its toll."  Of the nine hotels in existence in Watch Hill in 1938, Ocean House was one of the two that survived after that devastating hurricane.  However, Ocean House was closed in 2003 when new fire codes were revised and enforced and deficiencies in Ocean House required extensive renovation.  It was sold; but when the community learned that a developer from out of town planned to raze Ocean House and build five luxury homes in its place, a campaign began to save the building and preserve the site. 
The Royce family purchased the property, demolished the original building but removed 5,000 of the salvageable artifacts andfixtures, including the meticulous removal of the fireplace stone by stone.  The new building replicates the original exterior with the restoration of the fireplace, many of the chandeliers and other fixtures to recreate "the romance of its storied past and the rich character of Watch Hill, Rhode Island".  The first telephone booth installed in 1886 remains a part of the new Ocean House. The new building features 49 rooms and 18 signature suites. 
Bob Elmer & Ocean House 2022-01-17 05:00:00Z 0

Scholarship Winners June2021

Our other Scholarship Award went to Madison Lorello (above), who joined us at our January 10th meeting.  Madison is attending the University of Rhode Island in the Nursing Program. 
We were very pleased to have Elena Murdock join us Monday evening.  Elena was one of our Scholarship award recipients and she is currently attending Salve Regina University as a Studio Art Major and minor in Marketing.  She is enjoying her college life so far and thanked the membership for her award.
It was a real pleasure to meet both of these fine young ladies and we wish them every success as they follow their chosen paths.
Scholarship Winners June2021 2022-01-04 05:00:00Z 0

Paul Harris Plus

Cal achieved his Paul Harris+3 sapphires this month.  Cal received his new Paul Harris pin because his (recognition) giving amount is over $4,000.
Ted achieved his Paul Harris+1 sapphire this month.  His (recognition) giving amount exceeded $2,000 and he is shown here being pinned by Past President Doug Rayner.
Rotary Foundation awards "recognition points" in appreciation of personal contributions from individuals from a PHF pin at the 1,000 level to PHF+ pins at 2,000 and more levels.  When 8,000 points have been achieved, one earns a PHF+ Ruby.   Our membership's all time giving amount to Rotary Foundation is over $80,000.  So, thank you everyone for considering Rotary Foundation in your annual giving.  Every dollar we contribute is helping someone somewhere in the world.
Paul Harris Plus Rosemarie Russo 2022-01-03 05:00:00Z 0

December Student of the Month

Principal Hobin introduced the membership to Maxwell Palmer as another outstanding Westerly High School student.  He has become a successful percussionist, winning various awards and honors.  He has also been on the WHS Honor Roll, was Student Council Treasurer, member of FBLA WHS Chapter.  He is a member of WHS Marching Band, WHS Symphonic Band, WHS Jazz Band, WHS Chorus and WHS Musical Theatre.  This past summer he joined the United Theatre Youth Jazz Combo.  Max also is a member of the 7th Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, All-Eastern Mixed Chorus, All-State Mixed Chorus and the Chorus of Westerly.  He has been assisting the Middle School Band Director and said that he is enjoying working with those students and seeing their improvement.  His enthusiasm was infectious!!  We know that he will be a success and look forward to hearing more from him in his college journey.
December Student of the Month Rosemarie Russo 2021-12-13 05:00:00Z 0
Christmas Light Parade 2021-12-12 05:00:00Z 0

Election of Officers 2022/2023

President Elect 2022/2023         Steve Cofone
President Nominee 2023/2024  Derin Temel
Vice President                           Alan Brinton
Secretary                                   Julie Lord
Treasurer                                  Rosemarie Russo
Immediate Past President        Ted Avedesian
Board Member at Large          Suzanne Lane
Members attending the Annual Meeting on 6 December 2021 voted to approved the above slate.
Bob Elmer agreed to continue as Foundation Chair, Derin Temel agreed to continue as Public Image Chair, Rona agreed to continue at Speaker Chair
Election of Officers 2022/2023 2021-12-06 05:00:00Z 0

Ryan Saunders, Exe Dir Chorus of Westerly

It was a pleasure to have Ryan join us Monday evening.  Ryan said that he very much wanted to thank us personally, not only for our Pops donation, but also for just being there -as family.  He especially thanked Doug for being "his model", for always showing service above self over the forty years of Summer Pops concerts.  Ryan also brought us up to date on all the programs that have grown through the covid pandemic - free music classes in elementary schools in Westerly and soon in Stonington, foundations choir for adults, monthly speakeasy choir at the United.  Annual Christmas Pops will take place December 18 at 7:00pm and December 19 at 3:00pm.
Ryan Saunders, Exe Dir Chorus of Westerly 2021-11-29 05:00:00Z 0

Annual Stonington/Westerly HS Football Night

Monday evening, 22 November, 6:00pm, the Rotary Clubs of Stonington and Westerly will host the Football Coaches and Captains of Stonington and Westerly High Schools to celebrate the nation's oldest continuous Thanksgiving Day rivalry with the most overall games played.
Thanksgiving Series as of 25Nov2021 total wins:  Westerly 49, Stonington 44, Ties 9    (This past Thanksgiving game Westerly 28, Stonington 14)
All time Series:  Stonington 74, Westerly 70, Ties 17
Guest Speaker for the evening was Joe Kayata, award-winning sports anchor and reporter at NBC10.
Coach Massengale and Coach Dunbar speak to attendees above.  Joe Kayata speaks below
Kudos to Rona for all her work to bring Sam Read and Joe Kayata to Westerly and Westerly to WJAR TV News!
Annual Stonington/Westerly HS Football Night Rosemarie Russo 2021-11-25 05:00:00Z 0

Pasta Dinner to Benefit Jonnycake Ctr

It was a very successful evening!!!  With just a little glitch here and there, our Club collected just over $3,600 Monday evening and the Lions Club collected about $2,600.  This is the best year ever for this event and it will be a great help to Jonnycake's Fuel Assistance Fund.  Our grateful thanks to the Calabrese Club, Lions and Rotary members who helped to package dinners, run packages outside, guide cars for pickup, and especially to Chris Cozzolino and Jamie Silvestri - our great chefs.  Sad face to Rose for forgetting Rotary aprons!!
Next year we hope this event will be inside complete with raffle and dessert!!!  Thank you to everyone who participated and donated - we are so very grateful for your support.
Pasta Dinner to Benefit Jonnycake Ctr Rosemarie Russo 2021-11-22 05:00:00Z 0

7950 District Governor Billy Roberts

We had the pleasure and honor to host 7950 District Governor Dr. William (Billy) Roberts, Bette Roberts and Assistant District Governor Bob Cruz (Wakefield Rotary) at our dinner meeting.  Billy joined the Rotary Club of Barnstable Sunrise in June 2013 and has been actively involved ever since - serving as representative on the Cape and Islands Rotary Council and later became its Chair, Club President twice, Assistant Governor for Area 2, District Membership Committee.  He is a Paul Harris fellow plus 8.
During our Board meeting, ADG Bob first introduced DG Billy and then asked the Board to each "introduce" ourselves.   DG Billy asked President Ted to talk about some of our projects but he prefaced that request by saying how impressed he was by our Rotary Park, which he had visited on his way to the Masonic Hall.  He was equally impressed with all that we accomplished even through the Covid pandemic.   He offered some recommendations from Rotary International:  Club and Foundation should have separate Boards, attendance is a thing of the past.
During dinner, which was provided by Bogue's Alley, DG Billy spoke about membership and how Rotary has changed.  "What was - members were the wealthiest in town, professionals only, exclusive to more inclusive, trusted, diverse."  He said that his club has members age 20 to 90, suggested having Fellowship nights, BAG nights (every member brings a guest), Rotary After Hours.  What are the barriers to eliminate in order to attract new members??
He said, "look forward, keep going, the work that we do is highly visible."
Providence Bruins Rotary Night in January 2022
District 7950 Conference at Seacrest Hotel on the Cape  May 2022
7950 District Governor Billy Roberts Rosemarie Russo 2021-11-08 05:00:00Z 0

Veterans Day Parade

We proudly honor all our veterans everywhere but especially those from Pawcatuck and Westerly.  November 11th is the historic date when an armistice was signed in Europe to end World War I, which at the time was called "The War to End all Wars."  In 1926 Congress designated that this day should be celebrated in the following way, "Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations."
"Dear Heavenly Father, We thank you today for all of the men and women who have served in our armed forces.  We are grateful for their dedication, discipline, faithfulness and courage.  From them may we learn the virtues of selfless service, unswerving loyalty to country, the discipline of teamwork for the good of all, obedience to authority and perseverance in difficult and challenging situations."
Thank you Doug and Rona   -  Doug served in the Air Force and Rona's Dave served in WWII with the Army.
    Day is done, gone the sun
    From the lake, from the hill
    From the sky, all is well
    Safely rest, God is nigh.
(author unknown)
Veterans Day Parade Rosemarie Russo 2021-11-06 04:00:00Z 0

National First Responders' Day

Today - 28 October -  is National First Responders' Day.  We remember and thank you for all that you do every minute, every hour, every day. 
National First Responders' Day Rosemarie Russo 2021-10-28 04:00:00Z 0

Alison Croke, President of Wood River Health

Louise Dinsmore, Pres Ted, Alison Croke and Sarah Channing
President & CEO Alison was excited to speak to us about Wood River Health and its growth since it had its beginning in Hope Valley in 1976.  With its mission "to improve the health and well-being of our community by providing high quality, coordinated health and support services, accessible to all", this 501(c)(3) organization serves Charlestown, Richmond, Hopkinton, Exeter, West Greenwich and Westerly.  A second location was opened July 2019 in Westerly.  The health center accepts patients regardless of their ability to pay - charges are based on a sliding fee scale.  Services provided include primary medical care, dental care, behavioral health care, care management/community resources, women/infant/children on-site, lab.
Recognizing the need to expand programs and care, WRH has begun a Capital Campaign to expand their current facility - an two-story addition to the current Main Street facility - that will expand clinical space by 57% and "create a first floor entirely dedicated to clinical services and patient care."  The dental program's "footprint will be expanded" as well as the Behavioral Health program.  They plan to have an on-site pharmacy and rotating Specialist Space, such as cardiology, physical therapy, determatology and other services.
WRH has already raised $800,000 with an "aspirational goal of $1 Million to support a $3.5 million project" with grants from Champlin Foundation, Delta Dental Neighborhood Health Plan of RI, Washington Trust and more.  To find out more or to donate, go to
Alison Croke, President of Wood River Health Rosemarie Russo 2021-10-25 04:00:00Z 0

First Responders' Event

A very special thank you to all our First Responders who protect us every day.  This celebration included Central Baptist Church, Christ Church, the Westerly Band, the St. Edmund's Pipe & Drum, many of our local clergy and Rotary members - but our honored guests were the Police, Fire and Ambulance Departments.
First Responders' Event Rosemarie Russo 2021-10-24 04:00:00Z 0
Boston Marathon 11 Oct 2021 2021-10-10 04:00:00Z 0

Golf Tournament  4Oct2021

Golf Committee Co-Chairs are Frank Livingston ( and Derin Temel (
Event returned to normal with Noon ShotGun start.  Unfortunately, the rain Gods prevailed during the day but most hearty players continued valiantly onward.  The Winners were:
      1st Place Gross:  Tom Bivona, Douglas Bottaro, Matthew Carbray, Kevin Tabellione
      2nd Place Gross:  Bill Collins, Frank Livingston, Keith Murphy, Mike Panciera
      1st Place Net:  Steve Dimitriou, Dan Fratalia, Jay Thompson, John Uricchio
      2nd Place Net:  Andrew Rose, John Tillistrand, David Vandal, John Willenborg
      Closest to the Pin -Men:  Mal Makin
      Closest to the Pin -Women:  Kim Rayner-Russell
      Longest Drive -Men:  Tyler Carlson
      Longest Drive -Women:  Judy O'Connell
    Gold Sponsor
            Professional Planning Group
    Silver Sponsor
           Grey Sail Brewing Co
           Westerly Community Credit Union
    Bronze Sponsor
           Bank RI
           Bouvier Insurance   
           Thorpe & Trainer
    Hole In One Sponsor   
           Valenti Subaru
    Tee Sponsor        
           Alvino, Dan & Florence
           Ashaway Line & Twine
           Avie's Ski/Sport
           Beachcrest Dental
           Bob & Marty Boughner
           Bogue's Alley
           BPS Lawyers
           Breezeway Resort
           Central Baptist Church
           Chariho Furniture
           D'Angelo Sandwich Shop
           DMR Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, Inc
           Dunns Corners Chiropractic Center
           Dunns Corners Market
           Edward Jones Investments
           Evie & Steve Cofone
           Focus (First) Physical Therapy LLC
           Frank Hall Boat Yard, Inc
           Gaffney-Dolan Funeral Home
           Giamalis and Company LLC
           Ginger's Service Station
           Gray Goose Cookery
           Grey Sail Brewing Co
           Hilltop Cafe
           Hoof's Restaurant
           Hotel Maria
           Hoyt, Filippetti & Malaghan LLC
           Lamb & Lion Inn on Cape Cod
           Mansfield Insurance Agency
           Margin Street Inn
           Maria's Seaside Cafe
           Mia's Prime Time Cafe
           Michael A Cozzolino Painting
           Misquamicut Business Association
           Joe & Carol Potter
           Randall Realtors
           Douglas & Jean Rayner
           Rebecca J Woodward, DMD &
                Adam S Kaufman, DMD
           Reforest the Tropics Inc
           Robert H Lord Co.
           Royal Health
           Seaside Pharmacy
           South County Auto
           The Cooked Goose
           The Jonnycake Ctr of Westerly
           The Westerly Sun
           Toscano's Mens Shop
           Urso, Liguori & Micklich PC
           Valenti Subaru
           Westerly Dental Group
           William T Sisco CPA             
See "4Oct2021 Tournament" photo album for more pictures - special thanks to Kathryn Taylor, Steve Cofone and Cal Lord for their photos.  A HUGE thank you to the SHGC staff !!!!
Golf Tournament 4Oct2021 Rosemarie Russo 2021-10-04 04:00:00Z 0

Westerly Pee Wee Football

Coach Vacca and Pres Ted
Pee Wee Football organization's President Joseph Vacca joined us for dinner Monday event and spoke about the on going needs of maintaining the field and equipment as the kids benefit from the best in coaches while learning the game and what it means to play as a team.  And it isn't just football players, cheerleaders are learning the same goals.  The organization began in 1964 and played all over town until a group of volunteers got the town to donate the land on Old Hopkinton Road.  Then more volunteers graded the land and built a football field, added fencing, a storage shed, a snack shed, parking area.  Through it all there was Coach Vacca working with children, helping them to be better and seeing them grow up to be police officers, doctors, teachers.  And then they come back to coach other children.   An example of the increased costs of the program - a helmet once cost $38 and now the cost is $180.
Westerly Pee Wee Football Rosemarie Russo 2021-09-28 04:00:00Z 0

September Student of the Month

Pres Ted, Asst Princ Donna Sweet, Jacob Serra, Mom Courtney Serra
Our first student of the 2021/2022 school year  represents the exemplary spirit of Rotary.  Introduced by Assistant Principal Sweet as a "natural born leader", Jacob has been involved in school sports and other activities earning MVPs and other awards.  Somehow he also holds down a part-time job.  When asked how he handles it all, he said "you just figure it out".  Kind and considerate are other adjectives used by Assistant Principal Sweet.  As President of the National Honor Society, Jacob lead its members to assist Chorus of Westerly Summer Pops Chair Doug Rayner with many duties.  Doug was impressed with his willingness to pitch in and do anything asked.  Jacob is still in the process of applying to colleges around the country but his goal is Pre-Med.  We know that this young man will be very successful wherever he goes.
September Student of the Month Rosemarie Russo 2021-09-28 04:00:00Z 0

Alzheimer's Walk - Westerly

Rotary walkers Rona Mann and Derin Temel at the Alzheimer's Walk - Westerly
Sunday morning.   Club and member donation is over $300.
Alzheimer's Walk - Westerly 2021-09-26 04:00:00Z 0

RI VFW Patriotic Event 16-17 Oct 2021

From State VFW Commander and Rotarian Dora Vasquez-Hellner  -  The Old Glory Relay will travel across Rhode Island starting from VFW Post 237 in Bristol from 16 Oct to 17 Oct - the Plan follows:
RI VFW Patriotic Event 16-17 Oct 2021 2021-09-26 04:00:00Z 0

Chorus of Westerly 40th Summer Pops

Chorus of Westerly 40th Summer Pops
11 September 2021
It was a beautiful day with clear blue sky and we were ready to sell at the concession stand by 2:00pm.  Attendees, however, were elsewhere almost until the pre-show time.  Still, we did a brisk business in the next three hours.  There were many Angels this year helping to make our concession sales a big success with donations of soda, water and pretzels or donated their time.
The Board of the Rotary Club of Westerly Foundation wishes to thank everyone who supported our cause by buying food and beverages and those who worked at this concession or donated product.  A Huge Thanks to Rotarians Julie (and John) Lord for the soda donation, Alan (and Jen) Brinton for the loan of their Grey Sail truck and all Rotarians who donated water.  A Special Thank You to the Westerly High School National Honor Students Lily Bunte, Megan avallo, Justin Chen, Joe Gervasini, Megan Huckle, Dominick Lombard, Mya Malkemes, Michaela Murphy, Hannah Nicholson, Jillian Octeau, Ryan Scanapieco for their setup assistance Saturday morning.  A Very Special Thank You to our Friends of Westerly Rotary for their time and talents from Friday to Sunday:  Amanda Nall of Bogue's Alley, Jeff and Beth Frenette, Eric and Maya Dessaules, Dave and Justin Wargat, and "Above and Beyond" Anthony Russo.
Chorus of Westerly 40th Summer Pops Rosemarie Russo 2021-09-11 04:00:00Z 0

Million Dollar Meal for Polio Plus

Monday evening, 30 August, our members gathered at Rotary Park for our annual (minus our District Governor) Million Dollar Meal to benefit Rotary Foundation's Polio Plus Program.  The weather graced us with a very pleasant afternoon.  Special thanks to our fabulous chef Joe Potter and his terrific assistants Cindy Capizzano, Paul Grube, and to Bruce Morrow for the loan of his magic Grill.         
We enjoyed a great potluck supper that included hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, green salad, tortellini/tomato salad, stuffies, deviled eggs, chips, cookies, blueberry bars, and a Happy Anniversary cake to celebrate Joe and Carol's 67th Wedding Anniversary, which is on 11 September.  Joe and Carol will be back in Arizona on the 11th. 
With World Polio Day coming up on 24 October, we gathered to support Rotary Foundation's efforts to eradicate polio throughout the world.  Per the August RI newsletter, the "African region was certified free of wild poliovirus - an incredible milestone that was made possible by the leadership, dedication and support of countless Rotary members and health workers, our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and African region leaders."  "To stop wild polio transmission in the last two countries where polio is endemic, Afghanistan and Pakistan, we must maintain our focus on combatting vaccine hesitancy, reaching children in the most difficult places, and providing additional health services along with the polio vaccine."
Thanks to the generosity of our members, $495 is going to Rotary Foundation for Polio Plus.
Million Dollar Meal for Polio Plus Rosemarie Russo 2021-08-30 04:00:00Z 0

Chikumbuso Fundraiser

SAVE THE DATE!!!!    29 AUGUST 2021   9am to 6pm
Rotary Club of the Stoningtons will be sponsoring a Charity Disc Golf Tournament from 9am - 5pm.
All proceeds will be used to purchase computers for the newly built Chikumbuso Library as well as food distribution for the many families in need during this pandemic.  Concert by Luke & Mike from 4 to 6 for $20 per ticket.
Ben & Jerry's will donate ice cream; Pizza baked in wood-fired oven for sale
At the Buehler home at 350B Cossaduck Hill Road, North Stonington
can contact Sabrina Buehler at for more information
This event, sponsored by Rotary Club of the Stoningtons, "is supporting a community that is threatened by Covid on two fronts.  First, it threatens our Ng'ombe community, raising food pries and community wide hunger, increasing health risks to our children and widows, and throwing a wrench in our student's access to education.  As a community we have had to supplement our education program with telephones, data plans, and text books due to the closure of schools.  Secondly, it has challenged our fundraising and community building here in the US.  This benefit concert is Luke and Mike's generous response to a community needing help."  (from Linda Wilkinson)
Chikumbuso Fundraiser 2021-08-29 04:00:00Z 0

Westerly Armory Appreciation Evening

The annual Westerly Armory Member Appreciation Evening celebration was postponed from 2020.  It was a fun evening to recognize and honor the following:
          John Coduri
          Dr. John Federico  
          Rev. Dr. Clayton A Lord, Jr.
          Larry Hirsch
          Dave and Rona Mann
It was truly an honor to just be in the audience listening to the service the above six folks have given to our community and to our country.  Appreciation is an understatement.  We were entertained after dinner by an amazing trio who sang songs of the 1940s sounding very much like the Andrew Sisters - a real treat for folks of the "older" generation.
Westerly Armory Appreciation Evening 2021-08-14 04:00:00Z 0

Newest Member

Bob Boughner officially transitioned from "Honorary" member to "Active" member Monday evening.  Bob has been a member of the Kalamazoo Rotary Club since about 1987 but decided that he wanted to transfer to Westerly.  Because he has been such a loyal friend and supporter through the summer for so many years here in Westerly, we made him a "Honorary" member in 2012.  However, we're very happy to welcome him to our Club.
Newest Member 2021-08-03 04:00:00Z 0

Remembering Helen

         Helen Nigrelli
A memorial Mass will take place on 12 August 2021, Thursday, at 10:00 am at St Pius Church on Elm Street, followed by a brunch at the Westerly Yacht Club, around 11:00 am.  All are welcome.
Remembering Helen 2021-08-03 04:00:00Z 0

Dawn Robinson & Colonial Theater

Former Rotarian and current President of the Colonial Theater Dawn Robinson spoke very enthusiastically to the membership about the current activities of Colonial Theater, especially how those activities benefit young people in our community.  She said that theater teaches team building, working together through the process of creating a show - a group activity. They recently received a RI Foundation grant to help them with the costs of developing the student program.  Since 1991, the annual Shakespeare in the Park programs have been offered free, although donations are happily accepted.  Even with all the volunteers, professional actor and director fees, staging, lighting and sound costs are quite substantial - the annual production can total over $100,000.  Dawn seeks corporate sponsorship so the annual event can remain a free one.
The Colonial has been working with Westerly High School to continue their mission through the school year.  To read more about the Colonial or to make a donation, go to  This year Shakespeare in the Park's production, directed by Marion Markham, will be the Complete Works of Shakespeare - Abridged from 30 July thru 15 August.  Go to the website to make a reservation.
Dawn Robinson & Colonial Theater Rosemarie Russo 2021-07-20 04:00:00Z 0

Special Presentations

President Ted presented a Paul Harris Fellow Award to our very own Alan Brinton.  A Paul Harris Fellow Award is achieved by a $1,000 donation to Rotary Foundation's Annual Fund. 
And then President Ted presented Jennifer and Alan Brinton AND Grey Sail Brewing a "Rotary Service Above Self" Award for Outstanding Service to the Pawcatuck and Westerly Communities throughout the past pandemic year.
When Bob Elmer made his EREY contribution this past June, it put him over the $3,000 level and earned him a new Paul Harris Fellow pin with two sapphires. Congratulations, Bob, and Thank You!!!!
Special Presentations Rosemarie Russo 2021-07-12 04:00:00Z 0

Rotary Park's Little Free Library

Monday afternoon at 3:00pm a few of us assembled at Rotary Park in the Children's Garden to welcome Mackenzie Gitzendanner for the opening of our newest Little Free Library home.  Back in 2017 for her Senior Project at Westerly High School, Mackenzie, with the help of the high school carpentry students, built two Little Free Library homes - one for our Rotary Park Garden and the other went to the Bradford Community Center.  Through the years, the one in Rotary Park either was damaged by weather or vandals.  Elaine and Rotarian Derin Temel thought that we should do something about that.  And, of course, Doug accepted the challenge to make a new "home".  Mackenzie was presented with a bouquet of flowers to thank her for setting us on this path.  She has just graduated from college and we wish her all the very best with all the future has in store for her.  Elaine plans to monitor the library and keep it stocked.  While we were there, two young children who had been at the playground came in and were the first two select books.
Each book is stamped with the LFL special seal "Always a gift - never for sale"  - Rotary Club of Westerly at Rotary Park.  LFLs are in over 110 countries, over 100,000 LFLs and more than 208,000,000 made available to children and adults.
Rotary Park's Little Free Library Rosemarie Russo 2021-06-28 04:00:00Z 0

Installation Night

                                        28 June 2021
                     Westerly Masonic Hall
            Installation of 2021-2022 Officers
               Special Recognition Awards
          Assistant District Governor Bob Cruz
                     Family and Friends
                   Cheese and Crackers
         Pita Chips with Garlic Bean Dip
                  Caprese Salad Stack
                     Lemon Chicken
Sliced Beef Tenderloin with mushroom gravy
                    Mashed Potatoes
                  Roasted Vegetables
                Crusty Italian Bread
       Strawberry & Blueberry Tartlett
      with Homemade Whipped Cream
Cost is $40 per person
Please contact Julie at
with number in your party by 21 June, latest.
Installation Night Rosemarie Russo 2021-06-14 04:00:00Z 0

Andy & Sherylann Bonner - Haiti Mission

Our very special guests this past Monday evening were Andy and Sherylann Bonner.  Dora introduced them as they have been her neighbors since moving to Ashaway several years ago.  Andy is Pastor of Groton Bible Chapel.  They have made several missionary trips to Pignon, Haiti, taking a small plane from Florida to land in a grassy air field in Pignon in order to avoid the dangers of Port-au-Prince.
They presented a slide show of pictures showing the children at play, but more importantly, children and adults of all ages pitching in to help do whatever needs to be done.  They traveled over bad roads, through swollen rivers, to help at mobile clinics, elder care, teaching women about personal care or jewelry making.  They even helped to build a new church for a remote community and Pastor Andy performed the first wedding there.  There is an orphanage operated by JBM and work was done there to build bathrooms with showers, installed solar so each room had a light. 
Andy & Sherylann Bonner - Haiti Mission 2021-06-14 04:00:00Z 0

Michael Whitehouse

Monday's Guest Speaker Michael Whitehouse is a Groton Rotarian, an author and President of Crisis Control Group.  He is a motivational speaker with a goal to help individuals, businesses and organizations.  Questions to ask:  What are we?  What do we want to be?  What goals do we wish to achieve?  What is our vision?  Michael provides services in public speaking, life coaching, business consulting, corporate events, event planning.  He uses coaching tools to help you gain clarity on your values, goals and vision while finding happiness in the life you live today.  If anyone is interested in learning more from Michael, contact him at
Michael Whitehouse Rosemarie Russo 2021-06-07 04:00:00Z 0

Commander Vasquez-Hellner

5 June 2021 was a very special day for our friend and fellow Rotarian Dora Vasquez-Hellner as she became Commander Army -Post 8955 - Veterans of Foreign Wars.  Dora is a retired Army First Sergeant who served for over 23 years in the Army.  While assigned to B Company, 29th Military Intelligence Battalion, she earned her VFW eligibility by serving in Panama during Operation Just Cause.  She was the NCIOC of screening operations that handled over 2,000 Panamanian Defense Force soldiers.  Her last unit of assignment was First Sergeant, Military Intelligence Company, 7th Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  Her military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and Airborne Wings.  She is a graduate of Excelsior College with a degree in Liberal Arts and a Master of Arts in Hispanic Studies from the University of Rhode Island.
Dora supports Veterans Equine Therapeutic Services at Horses Healing Humans - Therapeutic Horsemanship in Coastal Connecticut and was instrumental with coordinating the first Rhode Island Rally for Women Warriors at the Providence VA Medical Center.  A day does not pass without this veteran reaching out to her fellow veterans, regardless of age or need.  Her ongoing mission with elimination of  '22 a day' - 22 veterans die very day from suicide.  She maintains regular communications with key legislative representatives both at the local and national level to advocate for our veterans.  And, she is a regular contributor to The Westerly Sun on Veterans Affairs.
       Note:  all of the information above was borrowed from the VFW website.
Commander Vasquez-Hellner Rosemarie Russo 2021-06-05 04:00:00Z 0

Proposed Member Announcement

The Board announces today that three proposed members have been approved for membership in our Club
                 Andrew J Clapham
                 Chant D Clapham
                 Francis (Frank) T Thacker
If anyone has an objection to their membership, please contact President Rona ( or President-Elect Ted ( as soon as possible.  A fireside chat will follow in the next couple of weeks with installation tentatively planned for 28 June.
Proposed Member Announcement Rosemarie Russo 2021-06-04 04:00:00Z 0

Polio Plus

The following is an excerpt from PDG Kristine David's District 7950 Rotary Foundation Report:
"Last year at this time, cash donations to the PolioPlus Fund totaled $53,829.  To Date 36 out of our 65 clubs have donated to the PolioPlus Fund for a total of only $24,044.29.  The decrease in cash donations has been reported in many Districts around the world as clubs have not been meeting in person or able to hold fundraising events.
Districts are also asked to donate a minimum of 20% of their yearly allocation of District Designated Funds (DDF) to support the PolioPlus Fund by June 30.  DDFs donated to PolioPlus are matched 100% by the Rotary Foundation and then matched again by the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation for a total match of 6:1.  Starting on July 1, 2021, the Rotary Foundation will be reducing their match of these funds from 100% to 50%, and then that amount will be matched by 2:1 by the Gates match.
Due to the decrease in these cash donations to PolioPlus, and the change in how the Rotary Foundation will be matching DDF, Past Rotary International President John Germ and the Past Rotary International Vice President Michael McGovern reached out to all the 535 District Governors asking each district to donate any unused funds to PolioPlus by June 30.  Governor Charlene approved the transfer of $61,115 of DDF to the PolioPlus Fund this year.  That amount will be matched by the Rotary Foundation as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation by 6:1 or $366,690.
Over the next four weeks, I urge all club Presidents, Club Foundation Chairs and Rotarians to go to the Rotary website and donate just $10 to support the PolioPlus Fund.  Having our district have 100% of clubs donate something to PolioPlus will be the biggest thank you we can give to Governor Charlene for her leadership through this Rotary year."
Polio Plus PDG Kristine David 2021-05-25 04:00:00Z 0

Ryder IS riding!!

It was a pleasure to have Ryder, his brothers, Mom and Dad join us Monday evening.  Over $37,000 was raised to help this family resolve their transportation issues for Ryder.  There were complications with the lift but all has been resolved and covered by the funds raised.   We thank everyone who supported this project and helped to ease at least one burden.  Ryder's smile lit up the room and, I think, all our hearts.
Ryder IS riding!! Rosemarie Russo 2021-05-24 04:00:00Z 0

Sam Read - WJAR NBC 10

We were delighted to have Sam Read join us Monday evening.  She spotlighted our Club recently with our "Keep Ryder Riding" Fundraiser and "Random Acts of Rotary" program.  She has purchased a home here in Westerly - returning home at last.  Sam graduated from Springfield College in 2013 with a Comunications, Sports Journalism degree and then began her career in Panama City Beach, Florida.  She later moved to Maine reporting for CBS13 and FOX23.  "In 2017 she was awarded three first-place awards by the Associated Press for general assignment, continuing coverage and best sports feature."  Sam has been with WJAR, NBC 10 Team since 2018 and is a multimedia journalist on the Night Team.  And her "Good News" stories?  She shoots, writes, edits the segments all by herself.  If anyone has a story idea, reach out to Sam at
Sam Read - WJAR NBC 10 Rosemarie Russo 2021-05-24 04:00:00Z 0

Reforest the Tropics at WHS

Greg Powell, Executive Director of Reforest the Tropics, explains in Spanish and English the science of the WMS Forest in Costa Rica on Wednesday to Ms. Steverman's Spanish Class.  The Costa Rican foresters joined the class via videoconference to answer questions from the students.  Rotarians Ted, Kathryn, Dan and Rose also participated and answered questions about our Rotary Club's involvement since about 2010 with RTT.  We also discussed how Rotary serves the world and offers programs for young people as well with Interact and Rotaract.
Reforest the Tropics at WHS Rosemarie Russo 2021-05-19 04:00:00Z 0

April & May Students of the Month

Tanner Kelly was selected to be our April Student of the Month.  Awards include High Honors with Distinction, National Honor Society, RI Honor Society, French Honor Society.  Tanner has been a member of the WHS Cross Country Outdoor and Indoor track teams.  He has been Skipper and Captain with N. E Science & Sailing.  Tanner's extracurricular activities include the WHS Tutoring Club, WHS Varsity Athletes Above Substance Abuse and Delegate to Leadership Conference, and WHS Freshman Mentor.  He is a US Certified Level 1 Sailing Instructor.  And, if all that isn't enough he has over 225 volunteer hours with the South County Emergency Department, NESS Junior Instructor and Race Coach, and Acolyte Guild trainer/volunteer at Christ Church.  Tanner plans to attend the U. S. Naval Academy and we wish him every success. 
Another WHS Star is Diana Turano - our May Student of the Month.  Her Academic honors include High Honors with Distinction, Academic letter and pin, National Honor Society and Academic All State.  She has been a member of the Soccer, Lacrosse, Dance, Indoor and Outdoor track teams serving as Captain in Senior year on the Soccer and Indoor Track teams.  Diana's community service includes Freshmen Mentor, Columbus Day Parade, Alzheimer's Association Walk, Volunteer Youth Soccer Coach, Covid Testing Athlete's Check-In, RIIL Crossroads Food Drive Collection.  Diana will be attending the Nursing program at URI in the Fall.  We wish Diana every success.
We are so very proud of all our 2020/2021 Students of the Month for all their accomplishments through a difficult pandemic year.  A huge grateful thank you to Nigrelli's Jewelry for donating all the Student of the Month Plaques.
April & May Students of the Month 2021-05-17 04:00:00Z 0

Michael McQuade

Our guest speaker Monday evening was Michael McQuade whose family own and operate stores in Mystic CT, Jamestown RI and Westerly RI.  John Hall introduced his friend and fellow boater.  Mike shared some stories of trying to operate a business during Covid the past year.  We learned that some past employees included Rotarian Chris DiPaola of WBLQ, and Bob Crandall, President of American Airlines.  We all agreed that his staff are all hard workers and dedicated to being the best they can be.  We are especially grateful for McQuade's allowing us to maintain our Wishing Well by the front door this past eleven plus years.
Michael McQuade Rosemarie Russo 2021-05-10 04:00:00Z 0

Women in Rotary

Today is the 34th Anniversary of Women being welcomed into Rotary  -  4 May 1987
Women in Rotary 2021-05-04 04:00:00Z 0

District 7890/7950 Conference

So, this was my first District Conference - thanks to Zoom.  Thursday evening I saw Ted in his "box" and Saturday morning I saw Kathryn in her "box".  Thursday evening we had the pleasure of listening to PDG Mike McGovern from District7780.  He has served as Rotary International's PolioPlus Committee Chair since October 2014.  After there was three breakout sessions:  Moving from Diversity to Inclusion, This is Not Your Grandfather's Rotary, and Human Impact on the Environment.  Rose attended the Diversity session led by Dr. Todd "Bowtie" Jenkins from District 6110.  He is a proud Rotarian, Paul Harris Fellow and Global Inclusion Trainer, Strategist and Consultant with Bowtie Leadership, Inc.
Friday began with some social fellowship followed by Keynote Speaker Dean Rohrs, who stepped in when Valarie Wafer was unable to attend.  Dean spoke a bit about her background and Rotary travels and then focused on Rotary's core values of Service, Fellowship, Diversity, Integrity and Leadership.  Along the way she shared some stories to make her point.  For those who stayed on after Dean's speech, it was Trivia time.
Saturday morning began with a little social fellowship.  Many folks had decided to wear hats - all kinds!!  After opening remarks and an inspirational moment from DGND Angela Ponte, we had a choice of three breakout sessions:  Peace Fellowship Strategies as a Police Officer - Its Impact and Value, The Rotary Foundation: What You Always Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask, and Club Service Challenges and Successes in a Virtual World.  Rose attended Peace Fellowship Strategies led by D. F. Pace, Esq, who is an attorney and inspector in Philadelphia.  He currently serves as the Commanding Officer of the Department's Police Board of Inquiry.  He is a 20-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department and holds a Law Degree and Bachelor's Degree as well as graduating from the FBI Academy.  He has traveled across the country with the mission to train front line supervisors in leadership skills, human resource management.  He said that "his most memorable and meaningful experience" was the three months at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand where he earned a Rotary Peace Fellow in Peace & Conflict Studies in 2011.
The second group of breakout sessions included:  Let's Grow your Rotary Club's Membership, Rotary's Youth Programs -Seizing the Future and Fundraising in a Pandemic.  Rose attended Rotary's Youth Programs.  Lew Gordon discussed the Rotaract Program, PDG7890 Dave Mangs spoke about Interact Program and Beth Richards spoke about RYLA.  This year RYLA will be a 3-day virtual event with the program focusing on Personal Development, TeamBuilding and Service.
With just a few minor glitches, like getting into the wrong breakout session, the programs were all well done and Rose was happily ensconced at home with Pep and Spot!
District 7890/7950 Conference Rosemarie Russo 2021-05-01 04:00:00Z 0

Speaker Ann Kaschuluk

Our speaker this past Monday evening, Ann Kaschuluk, is an "old" friend - former Chorus soprano, current Chorus Board member, former Chariho teacher and forever a Yoga teacher.  President Rona reminded us that Ann previously visited the Club about 20 years ago.  Years ago Ann was asked to teach a Yoga class for the Adult Ed program.  That turned into four classes.  Currently, Ann is teaching her "regulars" via zoom.  She said that most have been practicing Yoga for many years and are capable of doing the forms on their own but prefer having her lead the class.  Ann said that Yoga gives you the ability to "leave the garbage" and follow a direction.  And, so she introduced members to some basic forms, starting with instructions to "relax" our bodies, and a couple of impossible ones for us novices.  If anyone is interested in a Yoga class, send a note to
Speaker Ann Kaschuluk Rosemarie Russo 2021-04-19 04:00:00Z 0

In Memory of Dave Mann

On 11th April Dave Mann moved on to join his "Greatest Generation" buddies in the great beyond.  We say "see you around one day", dear friend. 
In Memory of Dave Mann Rosemarie Russo 2021-04-19 04:00:00Z 0

Letter from Dr. Billy Roberts

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
Letter from Dr. Billy Roberts Dr Billy Roberts 2021-04-14 04:00:00Z 0


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. 
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
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. 
Chikumbuso Rosemarie Russo 2021-04-12 04:00:00Z 0

Ann Shapiro/Connecticut Story Telling Ctr

Our guest speaker Monday evening was Ann Shapiro of the Connecticut Storytelling Center.  She has been at the helm as Executive Director for the past 20 years.  The mission of the Connecticut Storytelling Center is to promote the living art and use of storytelling in the many environments of our diverse society.  Their annual Festival this year will be a virtual event - celebrating the 40th festival on Friday and Saturday, April 23 and 24, cost is only $40.  Two of the workshops will cover "bullying prevention through storytelling" and "forgiveness".   Ann shared an interesting story.
For more information, go to 
Ann Shapiro/Connecticut Story Telling Ctr Rosemarie Russo 2021-03-22 04:00:00Z 0

Get Ready to Date

Debra L'Heureux, a certified Matchmaker with certification from the Matchmaking Institute, was our guest speaker Monday evening.  Debra, who is also a graduate of the Relationship Coaching Institute, has dedicated the last eighteen years to providing one-on-one customer service to clients over 40.  She helps her clients "implement a conscious dating plan and identify social networking opportunities, while enhancing their social, dating and intimacy skills...and so much more."  If you know someone who is looking for their forever partner, contact Debra at or call
Get Ready to Date Rosemarie Russo 2021-03-15 04:00:00Z 0

Students of the Month

Jasper Gitzendanner  - January 2021
This young man is very special and he will go far - Honor Student, Musician (alto sax and cello), Hockey player, Videographer, Artist.  Jasper performs with the Warwick Symphony Orchestra as well as the WHS Marching, Symphonic and Jazz Bands.  He also is a reporter withe the FBLA WHS Chapter and is Treasurer of the WHS Student Council.  He has created promotional videos for companies, festivals and WHS.  Mr Hobin stated that Jasper has more than 88 documented hours of community service which include being a Junior Counselor at the Frosty Drew Nature Camp in Charlestown working with children ages 4 - 8 and helping at the Jonnycake Center.
Michael L Mancini  -  February 2021
Honor student in the TOP TEN of his class, Michael has earned High Honors with Distinction, a "classic kid" per Mr. Hobin.  Michael plays Alto Sax with the Marching, Concert, and Jazz Bands and he earned First Chair at NAFME All-East Honors Jazz Ensemble, First Chair at RI All-State Jazz Band and First Chair at RI All-State Band, placed as vocal bass in RI All-State Mixed Chorus.  He also is a member of Students for Life and served as Vice President and President. Michael has accumulated over 128 community service hours which include helping at St Pius Church serving as an altar server and helping the Youth Group.
Adam Gilman  -  March, 2021
Rotary Club of Westerly RYLA Student of 2020, WHS Class President, School Committee Representative, Boys State Student, another young man who will make his parents proud.  Adam his an Honor Student, participates in Soccer, Basketball, Golf, Future Business Leaders.  He is a Big Buddies mentor and volunteers with the Westerly Youth Soccer Association, our Lady of Mt Carmel Feast Committee and the 75th Anniversary of D-Day Presentation. 
Those of us who attended meeting Monday evening were privileged to meet and hear about these fine young men and, hopefully, one day they will become Rotarians and will continue service to the community.  We wish them much success in all they do as they journey onward.
Student of the Month plaques are generously donated by Nigrelli's Jewelers.
Students of the Month 2021-03-08 05:00:00Z 0

Rotary Foundation & Grants

The chart above was one of the slides provided at the District's Zoom Grants Training last week.  It very nicely shows how contributions are distributed.
With funds originating from Clubs and its Rotarians, donations flow to Polio Plus Fund, Annual Fund and Endowment Fund.  From there the donations go on to specific programs or invested.
In particular. a gift to the Annual Fund supports efforts to "strengthen peace efforts, provide clean water and sanitation, support education, grow local economies, save mothers and children, and fight disease."   The Every Rotarian Every Year "initiative asks every Rotarian to support The Rotary Foundation every year.  In addition to contributing to the Annual Fund on a regular basis, members are encouraged to get involved in a Foundation project or program.
"Through the Share system, contributions to The Rotary Foundation are transformed into grants that fund local and international humanitarian projects, scholarships, and activities, such as vocational training teams.  At the end of every Rotary year, contributions directed to the Annual Fund -SHARE from all Rotary Clubs in the district are divided between the World Fund and the District Designated Fund (DDF).  At the end of three years, the district can use the DDF to pay for Foundation, Club and District projects."  Districts may use up to half of their DDF to fund district grants - funds available to Clubs for projects which must "align with the Rotary Foundation's mission."  District Grants are short-term (one year) with a limit of $1,500 per Club granted.
Due to Club giving in 2018-2019 ($161,320), DDF funds available for the 2021/2022 year will be $80,660.  The District will split this between Short-term District Grants and Long-term Global Grants.
Our Club has successfully applied for and completed District Grants for several years including projects such as the One Room Schoolhouse, providing a Trailer for RI Assisting Those in Need, Food Grants to Pawcatuck Neighborhood Ctr, Jonnycake Ctr of Westerly and RICAN, and the Reforest the Tropics School education program.  
If you have not yet made a contribution to Every Rotarian Every Year (EREY), please consider doing it soon.  Rotary does so much good in this world and we are so much a part of this great organization!!!
Rotary Foundation & Grants Rosemarie Russo 2021-03-02 05:00:00Z 0

Foundation vs Club

Some members seem to be confused about when to write a check to the Club or to Foundation so here is a little tutorial
The Club's Foundation (Rotary Club of Westerly Foundation) is the vehicle for all fundraiser events and major donations.  So donations for the Charitable/Scholarship Dinner or the Golf Tournament should be made payable to the Rotary Club of Westerly Foundation.  After discussion this past Monday, I've determined that all fundraising activities, including the Jonnycake Center Pasta Dinner, should be processed through RCoW Foundation.  Thus, all such donations are fully tax deductible.
The Club is responsible for collecting dues, happy/sad dollars, Every Rotarian Every Year donations going to Rotary Foundation (Int'l), and any other "pass-through" donations.  An example of a "pass through" is Every Rotarian Every Year  -  if you write a check to the Club that is intended for Rotary Foundation, the funds are processed through the Club's checking account and sent to RF-Int'l.  Checks should be made payable to Rotary Club of Westerly.
One more thing, please do not confuse Rotary Club of Westerly Foundation with Rotary International Foundation.  RI's Foundation receives EREY (Annual Fund), Polio Plus Donations and these funds support Rotary International programs all over the world.  The Club's Foundation supports all our programs.
Foundation vs Club Rosemarie Russo 2021-03-02 05:00:00Z 0

ADG Churck Sauer

Monday evening ADG Chuck joined our meeting to tell us that his term will soon be ending and he introduced us to our next ADG - Bob Cruz who is an immediate Past President of the Wakefield Rotary Club.  Bob Cruz was also in attendance and we all look forward to working with him.
ADG Churck Sauer Rosemarie Russo 2021-02-10 05:00:00Z 0

Bethany Richards, Pharmacist

Monday evening we had the pleasure of hearing from Bethany Richards.  She is a pharmacist (PharmD, URI2016) and currently works in the corporate office at CVS Health in business support.  Her Rotary journey started in 2009 when she was a participant in the RYLA event.  She continued on supporting the event and driving more student involvement until becoming Co-Chair of the program in 2012 and Chair in 2017-2018.  For her efforts in further developing the RYLA program and the participants, she was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow award during the District Conference in 2012.  Bethany is presently President of the Middletown Rotary Club for 2020-2022.
So, she was speaking to us about COVID 19 and the vaccines.  She talked about the differences between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines:
  Moderna:  for people 18yrs & older and is 94.1% effective; requires two doses 28 days apart; kept at -20 degrees celsius or -4 degrees fahrenheit
  Pfizer:  for people 16 yrs & older and is 95% effective; requires two doses 21 days apart; kept at -70 degrees celsius or -94 degrees fahrenheit
Side effects - occur mostly after second dose
Bethany agreed to attend our February 8th meeting also to continue her talk about the vaccines.  She mentioned that the second does can be given up to six weeks after the first one.  When you get the first dose, you are given a card with the date and time to receive your second dose.  CVS is currently offering vaccines at select stores in Johnston and Providence - by appointment.  The CVS Airport Road store is supposed to have vaccines available - by appointment - after Thursday.  Steve Cofone mentioned that the Town's allotment of vaccines will be provided at the Westerly Senior Center on Mondays thru April 5th between 3:00 and 6:00 pm.
Town:  or call 401.596.2404  
Bethany Richards, Pharmacist Rosemarie Russo 2021-02-08 05:00:00Z 0

Leslie Huikko, Certified Professional Organizer

Monday evening Zoom attendees had the pleasure to meet and listen to Leslie Huikko.  She is a Certified Professional Organizer - a designation she earned by meeting the established industry standards and proven her ability through an examination and client interaction.  Through her "social work training and experiences in previous roles as AmeriCorps volunteer, Independent Living Skills Coordinator, Family Support Specialist and Operations Director," Leslie "learned the value of structure, using limited resources efficiently and resilience."
She said, "the specific services I provide will depend on how you want to use your space and time.  Whether you want to reorganize your kitchen pantry, convert your spare room into a nursery or office, or declutter your entire home before a move, no project is too big or too small.  I will work side-by-side with you to declutter and better organize your belongings so your space functions the way you need it to.  And I can also help sort out your paperwork, schedule, and task list so it is easier to get the right things done on time."
For more information, you can call Leslie at 401.206.6674, or go to her website at
Leslie Huikko, Certified Professional Organizer Rosemarie Russo 2021-01-25 05:00:00Z 0

December Student of the Month

Our December Student of the Month is Hope Urbonas.  Introduced by Principal Hobin on Monday, he reminisced about his first year at Westerly High School and met Hope the first time.  He was struck at how she carried herself.  He said the school's motto for 2021 is "Hope" and our Hope is representative of that.  She has taken the hardest classes that are both diverse and interesting.  Academically, Hope has earned the Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish, Artists of the Year Award, 2018 WHS Essay Contest & Scholarship, High Honors/High Honors with Distinction, National Honor Society.  She has been a member of the Poetry Club, Creative Writing Club, Student Council and Student Council President this year, School Improvement Team Representative, School Newspaper Writer, Film Club, WHS Dram Club, International Thespian Society, Colonial Theatre's Shakespeare in the Park, Marching Band, Concert Band, WHS Choir, Freshman Mentor, Girl Scouts with Bronze and Silver Award.  For community service, Hope performed with WHS Choir for Christmas Stroll and Arts Alive, participated in Town Parades, was a junior counselor at Mystic Seaport, performed at WHS graduation ceremonies, was Choral assistant at elementary school music programs with Chorus of Westerly.  We look forward to hearing great things about Hope with her future plans.
December Student of the Month Rosemarie Russo 2021-01-11 05:00:00Z 0
Haitian Health Foundation Rosemarie Russo 2021-01-01 05:00:00Z 0

Keep Ryder Riding!

THANK YOU WESTERLY!!!  President Rona Mann  said that the response was "nothing short of incredible."
Kudos to Chris DiPaola and WBLQ for their significant contribution of time and staff to make this project the success it was.
Latest update from President Rona this fundraiser has brought in over $30,000 for Ryder.   We are all so very grateful for everyone's generosity to help this family.
Keep Ryder Riding! Rona Mann 2020-12-14 05:00:00Z 0

Westerly Rotary Half Year Report

Posted by Rona Mann
May this find you, your family, neighbors, friends, and everyone in your world healthy and hopeful for a better new year.  It has been a struggle for us all on every level - personal, professional, and otherwise.  There have been so many disappointments, cancellations, and so many occasions of hearing, "this will look a little different this year."
From the minute I accepted the Presidency of the Rotary Club of Westerly for 2020-2021, I had such grand ideas for service, fun and fellowship.  So many of which have had to be put on hold or cancelled altogether ranging from a "New Year's Party" in early July to not being able to be with you all for a holiday dinner before our upcoming break.  How I miss the handshakes and the hugs, and how I've hated when we've been forced to have virtual meetings that because of poor reception, all but excluded those who needed to quarantine, yet needed to be included.
But here's the good news!  Fortunately I keep a record of what this club is doing, so when I get down and think that the last six months were stagnant, I have only to look at this list to know we are indeed as our District Governor calls us, "a mighty little club."
Here's what we accomplished since July 1st:
"Thanks to Essential Workers" signs around town
Began Westerly Rotary CAN Do program, providing cans and non-perishables to local social service agencies on a monthly basis
Rhode Island Veterans' Home letter-writing project
Sixth Annual Golf Tournaments, highest net ever!
Radiothon in downtown Westerly on WBLQ for Ryder, raised over $30,000 for his wheelchair van lift
Passed out 4,000 masks to all schools in our district
Pasta Curbside Pickup Dinner with Lions Club to benefit the Jonnycake Center of Westerly Heating fund for Community members in need
Special Westerly Rotary CAN Do collection for Fire & Police local drive
Delivered holiday gift cards to Jonnycake Center of Westerly clients
Participated in Christ Church Community Thanksgiving Dinner - preparing To Go containers and delivering
"Teachers Make a Difference" signs to go up around town before Christmas
AS OF THIS DATE:  Since March 13th 118 Grocery and RX deliveries have been made by our Rotarians to local people who are quarantined or shut-in from Stonington and Pawcatuck to Charlestown and Hopkinton and everywhere in between!
I look forward to our next six months working together to better our community and our world.
Westerly Rotary Half Year Report Rona Mann 2020-12-14 05:00:00Z 0

Annual Meeting

Rona presented the Slate of Officers for 2021-2022 to attendees.  With no proposals from the floor, a motion was made by Dan Alvino, seconded by Bob Elmer, to accept the Board - - -
                   President Ted Avedesian
                   President-Elect Steve Cofone
                   Vice President Derin Temel
                   Secretary Julie Lord
                   Treasurer Rosemarie Russo
                   Board Member at Large Suzanne Lane
The twelve members attending voted to approve this slate.
Assistant Governor Chuck Sauer attended Monday's meeting.  It was a pleasure to have him join us - especially wearing his Rotary Blue Santa hat.
Annual Meeting Rosemarie Russo 2020-12-14 05:00:00Z 0

Student of the Month

October Student, selected by Principal Hobin and staff, is Nora Brennan.  Nora is a Senior with many Academic honors, including "Excellence in Criminal Justice II Award".  Her extracurricular activities include Class Treasurer 2/3/4, School Improvement Team Representative and Chair, Student Council, Math Team, Drama Club, Girls State and several more.  Nora has logged over 200 community service hours as a counselor for Mystic Seaport Camp, Danceline, 2019 and 2020 Westerly High School graduations, Student Council events, Freshman mentors, St. Marie's Supper Table, Colonial Theatre.  And, in the summer she worked at Two Little Fish Seafood Restaurant.  She is considering Boston College and other schools and is seriously considering a career in Criminal Justice.
November Student, selected by Principal Hobin and staff, is Madison O'Neil.  Madison is a Senior with High Honors with Distinction -all four years, including the Rhode Island Secretary of State Civic Leadership Award 2020.  She is on the Soccer, Indoor Track & Field, Outdoor Track & Field teams, Math Team, International Club, Film Club, School Improvement Team Secretary.  Madison has logged over 190 community service hours as a counselor at St Andrew Lutheran Church Summer Program, Columbus Day Parade, 2019 Westerly High School graduation, Student Council events, Server at St Clare's The Dinner Table.  Madison also worked at Two Little Fish Seafood Restaurant during summer.  She is hoping to join the military and has applied to West Point.
Principal Hobin said that both young women are all around amazing students and great ambassadors for the school.  And, we are certain that they will be successful at whatever they choose to do.
A huge thank you to Nigrelli's Jewelry for providing our Student of the Month plaques.  We are so grateful to their generosity.
Student of the Month Rosemarie Russo 2020-12-07 05:00:00Z 0

Jennifer Fusco of Westerly Land Trust

It was a pleasure to greet the Westerly Land Trust's Executive Director Jennifer Fusco Monday evening.  Jenn said that she came to WLT as a volunteer and later joined the Board.  The WLT is a non-profit organization, incorporated in 1987, which operates "throughout Westerly to conserve and enhance community resources" to preserve open space, rehabilitate and redevelop established neighborhoods and create education and recreation opportunities for the public.  Since 1998 WLT has acquired 31 properties, totaling nearly 1,700 acres with hiking trails.  In 2004 the Board "voted to expand the Westerly Land Trust's mission to include an Urban Initiative, focused on redevelopment and enhancement of culturally significant commercial properties in areas of historic significance to the Town."  Striving to "fulfill its commitment to meet all standards of Land Trust Accreditation as set by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission," WLT was awarded national accreditation in February 2017.  For more information, please go to their website at
Jennifer Fusco of Westerly Land Trust Rosemarie Russo 2020-11-09 05:00:00Z 0

Can Do Delivery

Can Do food collection delivered to Officers Mike Garafola and Howard Mills on Saturday - pictured below with Ted Avedesian and Derin Temel.  Food collection on Saturday will benefit the Jonnycake Center.
Thank you to everyone who participated over the past couple of months.  President Rona reported Monday evening that donations are still coming in.  $100 was recently received from a WBLQ listener in England.
Can Do Delivery Rosemarie Russo 2020-11-09 05:00:00Z 0

Million Mask Challenge

From DG Charlene Jarest's recent newsletter: To no one's surprise, District 7950 rose to eh Challenge, identified who would best benefit from this wonderfully generous gift (from the Rossi Family Foundation and District 7890) and deployed our resources to make it happen!  Due to interstate travel restrictions, two separate public image events marked the acceptance of this wonderful gift of 120,000 high quality surgical masks for distribution to first responders, nursing homes, fire and police, amount others. 
Julie Lord attended the Providence event and brought back 4,000 masks to distribute here in Westerly.  The first of the masks were delivered on October 13 by President Rona and Secretary Julie to Westerly School Superintendent Mark Garceau at Dunn's Corners Elementary School.
Million Mask Challenge DG Jarest Newsletter 2020-10-19 04:00:00Z 0

Rona walks for MADD

Rona has completed another 5K - this time for Rhode Island Virtual Walk Like MADD 2020.  Congratulations for all your efforts.  "Thank you, Rona, for being a part of the R. I. Virtual Walk Like MADD 2020 event.  Drunk and drugged driving is a difficult foe, and it will take all of us working together to beat it.  But together, we are winning.  We've reduced the number of fatalities by 50 percent since 1980."
Rona walks for MADD Rosemarie Russo 2020-10-10 04:00:00Z 0

Golf Tournament 5 Oct 2020

Sixth Annual Rotary Club of Westerly Golf Tournament
at Shelter Harbor Golf Club  on 5 October 2020

        Valenti Subaru
        Professional Planning Group
        Grey Sail Brewery
        Westerly Community Credit Union
        Bouvier Insurance
        AdCare RI
        Ashaway Line & Twine
        Avie's Ski/Sport
        Bank RI
        Beachcrest Dental, Inc
        Bogue's Alley
        BPS Lawyers
        Breezeway Resort
        Central Baptist Church
        Chariho Furniture
        Dan & Florence Alvino
        D'Angelo's Sandwich Shop
        DMR Family & Cosmetic Dentistry Inc
        Dunns Corner Chiropractic Center
        Dunns Corner Market
        Evie & Steve Cofone
        First Physical Therapy LLC
        Frank Hall Boat Yard, Inc
        Gaffney-Dolan Funeral Home, Inc
        Giamalis and Company LLC
        Ginger's Service Station, Inc
        Grey Sail Brewery
        Hartford Toyota
        Hilltop Cafe
        Hotel Maria
        Hoyt, Filippetti & Malaghan LLC
        Jean & Doug Rayner
        Joe & Carol Potter
        Jonnycake Center of Westerly
        Mansfield Insurance
        Margin Street Inn
        Maria's Seaside Cafe
        Michael A Cozzolino Painting
        Randall, Realtors
        Rebecca J Woodward, DMD & Adam S Kaufman, DMD
        Reforest the Tropics Inc
        Robert H Lord Company Inc
        South County Auto  LLC
        The Cooked Goose
        Toscano's Mens Shop
        Total Team Solutions
        Urso Liguori Micklich
        Valenti Subaru, Inc.
        Westerly Dental Group
        William T. Sisco,  CPA
        Paul Cofoni
        Brian A Renstrom
        Kathryn Taylor
        Thorpe & Trainer
        Charlotte Brittan
        McLaughlin & Moran
        Robert H Lord Company
WINNERS for the Golf Tournament of 5 October 2020 (Certificates and awards will be mailed out this week.)
Gross First:      58        Mal Makin, George Murphy, Rick Wilson, Nick Deluro
Gross Second:  61        Michael Lacz, Dan Vuono, Dave Bennett, Anthony Hrenko
Net First:         46*       James T Celico, Rob Ankner, Shawn McNish, Keiron O'Brien
                         46*       John Murphy, Jim Magdison, Bob Grunbeck, Richard Walker
*tie broken with match of cards
Longest Drive #3:       Nick DeLauro
Closest to the Pin #4:  Palmer Whitney
Closest to the Pin #6:  Leo Varriale
Closest to the Pin #11:  Michael Cotter
Closest to the Pin #15:  Rob Melillo
Closest to the Pin #17:  George Murphy
We send our grateful thank you to all the players, to all our sponsors.  Even during this difficult time of COVID your generosity made this event an extraordinary success.
Golf Tournament 5 Oct 2020 Rosemarie Russo 2020-10-05 04:00:00Z 0

Terri Brodeur Foundation Walk

This virtual half marathon idea has an upside.  I walked 8.03 miles, took a long brunch break, and walked 5.11.  I reset the extra .04 miles.
President Rona Mann also participated in the virtual half marathon which she completed October 4, raising $530 along the way.  Congratulations to both Kathryn and Rona for their continued "service above self". 
Terri Brodeur Foundation Walk Kathryn Taylor 2020-10-03 04:00:00Z 0

Stand Up for Animals

It was a pleasure to welcome Lina O'Leary, the President of Stand Up for Animals, this past Monday evening.  Founded by Larry Hirsch, SUFA is a non--profit organization whose mission "is to support the needs of our state-of-the-art animal shelter, adoption center and regional outreach facility to promote the health and welfare of lost or abandoned pets and to educate and assist those who care for them."  They rely on donations from individuals, businesses and foundations.  "Funds raised are used to provide financial support to families in our community that incur unexpected emergency medical pet expenses, that need animal training/assessments to correct behavioral issues, to educate school-aged children on animal welfare and safety to support the needs of our state-of-the-art animal shelter facility that we built for the Town of Westerly."  Recently they added a dog park across from the facility.  Dr. John Turco partnered with SUFA to provide low-cost veterinary care by appointment every Thursday.  Currently, ten volunteers help to walk, feed pets and clean kennels.  They have provided a program in our schools about pet safety.  Normally the kennel can hold about 20 dogs and 40 cats; however, in an emergency they have capacity for 200.  
Alan Brinton mentioned that Grey Sail is partnering with SUFA for a virtual 5k in October - more to come.
Stand Up for Animals 2020-09-21 04:00:00Z 0

21 September 20 Meeting

Rona brought the Board up to date on the Killam Family project.  Four year old Ryder was born with Spina Bifida, Hydrocephalus, Hydronephrosis and Chiari Malformation II.  They recently purchased a minivan which will cost about $35,000 in modifications for Ryder's needs.  Rona has been in contact with Chief Lacey, other Rotary Clubs and WBLQ.   WBLQ has set the Radiothon to take place on 21 October from 6am - 5pm -  for people who would like to stop by to say hello and leave a donation, Chris will be set up in an outdoor location downtown.
REMINDER:  September 28 we will take a field trip to the United Theatre where we will be greeted by Executive Director Lisa Utman Randall.  Lisa will take us on a tour (around the construction).  At the tour's end we will hand over our canned goods and adjourn to the Hilltop Cafe or home, as you choose.
October 5 - all hands on deck beginning at 7am at Shelter Harbor Golf Club.  This year tee times are staggered from 9am through 2pm so help will be needed throughout the day.
October 12 - Columbus Day holiday - NO meeting.
October 19 - World Polio Day is October 24th; so we will do something at this meeting related to Rotary's Polio eradication efforts.
"In celebration of our 30 years of service in Washington County, we are hosting a virtual auction...COVID-19 has surely put that to the test.  We were heartbroken to cancel our in-person 'Hammers & Hope 30th Anniversary Gala,' but excited to share that it will now be a Virtual Auction taking place October 1-15th!  Join us from the comfort and safety of home to bid online on more than 70 packages from stunning pieces of one-of-a-kind art to family fun baskets and gift cards to local eateries, there is something for everyone!  All auction proceeds benefit South County Habit's mission of working towards the day every one has a place to call home."  Visit for more information.
21 September 20 Meeting Rosemarie Russo 2020-09-21 04:00:00Z 0
BLOOD DRIVE WITH WESTERLY EDUCATION CENTER Rosemarie Russo 2020-09-12 04:00:00Z 0

Alzheimer's Walk  12Sept2020

Our Walkers  -  Danny Alvino, Rona Mann, Rose Russo, Kathryn Taylor, Dora Vasquez-Hellner
Dora "double-dipped", walking 4.6 miles in Mystic for Alzheimer's Walk and Walk for Fallen 9/11.   Kathryn is hiding behind her Alzheimer's flower at miles 3 on River Road.
Rose journeyed around Casa Russo's back yard.  With the Club's contribution of $125, our total Rotary Team donation was $285.
Alzheimer's Walk 12Sept2020 Rosemarie Russo 2020-09-12 04:00:00Z 0

Special Meeting with DG and ADG

A special Zoom Board Meeting at 4:37 convened on Monday evening with District 7950 Governor Charlene Jarest and Assistant District Governor Chuck Sauer.  Normally we would have all met at Rotary Park ending with a Million Dollar Meal to benefit the Polio Plus Fund; but in these times, Rotary International decided that all Governors should meet virtually this fiscal year.  Board members introduced themselves.  Governor Charlene wanted to know how long they have been Rotarians, what offices they have served in and what they do outside of Rotary.  Next she asked about projects we have done during the past year and plan for the coming year.  She said, "we are a mighty little club."   Governor Charlene mentioned the Fundraising Seminar and hopes to have more available at District website.  Virtual Club Training will be a series of evening Zoom meetings.  There will NOT be a Foundation Dinner in November, as in the past.  Instead the plan is that the District Conference's Friday night dinner will be our Foundation Dinner.  The Conference will take place at the Cape Codder from April 30 to May 2, 2021 with District 7890.
Other Club members joined the Zoom meeting at 5:30.  Chuck said that he was pleased to be with us and missed his visits to our Club.  Governor Charlene said that this will be a good year even with Covid.  She is a member of the Fall River Club, 2nd female President.  Her Club is celebrating 100 years this year.  Governor Charlene spoke eloquently about Rotary - where to go, incredible opportunity to build on the years of Rotary service, change bringing revolution, how to stay connected with virtual meetings, reaching out to those not attending and help them learn how to participate, maybe invite them to join you sitting safely apart while participating from home.  She provided her personal Rotary moment by sharing that her Foster mother had polio and was cured by her own mother's care.  Learning about Rotary's commitment to eliminate this disease drew her into becoming a member
Special Meeting with DG and ADG Rosemarie Russo 2020-08-24 04:00:00Z 0

Guatemala Clean Water & Sanitation Projects

A visit originally scheduled for May, until COVID raised its ugly head, Rick and Elin Lawrence brought many handcrafted items and a slide show of the progress being made in the villages located in the Central Highlands of Guatemala.  Rick will soon be celebrating 42 years as a Rotarian with the Manchester, CT Club and he is the District 7890 Chair Water & Sanitation Projects.  This project began back in 2006 with a NGO called Aldea.  Their model required that the people in each village must provide all the labor.  Rotary funds are used only for materials.  Villagers also contribute with their own funds to maintain the equipment.  Now the project continues with a Rotary International Global Grant that matches $.50 per dollar.  In the 2018/2019 fiscal year, 48 Clubs from several Districts participated with a total of $235,600.  For the 2019/2021 period, Rotary Clubs from  11 Districts expect to contribute $112,969 with $56,485 from the TRF Match for the Agua Caliente and Paxorotot Village projects. 
A few facts -  1.1 billion people didn't have access to water without walking miles to collect unsanitary water and having to boil it before it could be used.  Think about that - we simply go to the sink and turn on the faucet.  30,000 people per day die due to water-related illness.  90% are children less than 5 years old.  Due to improperly ventilated stoves, children and adults suffer respiratory ailments.
What the project includes  -  Water systems with filtered chlorination systems with diesel-powered generators & electric pump, Vented latrine enclosures, safe vented stoves.  The villages must find a spring first and buy the land.  Then a system is installed to bring the water to the village and purified for use.  Each family received a spigot and contributes to the system's maintenance.  A sustainable latrine is built with appropriate shelter.  Each home gets a safe stove which eliminates smokey air in the home.  One village recently installed solar panels which eliminated the need for the diesel system.
The result  -  increased good health and well being, decrease in intestinal diseases, decrease in eye infections, decrease in respiratory ailments, and decrease in burns from the unsafe stoves.
We were delighted to present our check for $1,000 to Rick.
Handcrafts  -  Elin and Rick each year pack up school supplies and soccer balls (collapsed) into 4 suitcases to bring to the villages they plan to visit.  As they prepare to return home, they purchase as many handcraft items - scarves, bags, wallets, water bags, totes, beaded jewelry - as they can fit into those 4 suitcases and sell them to the Rotarians they visit.  The money earned from selling these items provides the funds need to fill those 4 suitcases for their next trip to Guatemala.  If anyone wants to buy something really unique and beautiful, contact the Lawrences at  They are living in Charlestown, RI until October..
Guatemala Clean Water & Sanitation Projects Rosemarie Russo 2020-08-17 04:00:00Z 0

Blood Drive 8 Sept 2020

Help Someone Else  ---  GIVE BLOOD  ---  It is Safe to Donate
Go to for more information
This event is co-sponsored by the Westerly Education Center with our Club and will take place on Tuesday, 8 September 2020 from 12:00pm to 5:00pm at the Large Conference Room, Westerly Education Center, 3 Friendship Street.   All presenting donors will receive a Life's Essentials T-Shrt.  It is recommended  that donors make an appointment for purposes of safe spacing  - call 401.453.8383 or 800.283.8385 or go to to book.  Sponsor Code is 3865.   Because of COVID19, the need is great - encourage family and friends to join you in this wonderful good deed.
Important things to remember:
          Bring identification
          Eat a salty snack day before donation
          Eat regular meals throughout the day of donation
          Drink plenty of healthy fluids day before and day of donation
          Try to get at lest 7 hours of sleep the night before
          Wear practical clothing - easy to roll sleeves up.
See you there!!!!
Blood Drive 8 Sept 2020 Rosemarie Russo 2020-08-17 04:00:00Z 0

3 August 2020 Meeting

  This strange picture kind of looks like the Statue of Liberty but it really is Ted waving to Kathryn in the computer with the top of our bell blocking his face.  Amusing from Kathryn's view.
Fifteen of us were present for this meeting which began after our Board meeting.  We continue to be safely spaced and enjoy the sandwiches and salads of The Cooked Goose.  Following dinner, President Rona planned two "craft" talks and called upon Steve Cofone and John Hall to present the first talks from an old tradition.
John is a graduate of Westerly High School and joined the Navy Submariners shortly after graduation.  After his military service, he went back into the family business at Frank Hall Boatyard, which began in 1749 and has grown much over the years.  John has built many boats and repaired them through the years.  John said that he is part Mohecan Indian and is on the Election Committee.  He has been a long-time member of the Chorus of Westerly.  Dr. Doug Rayner sponsored John for membership and John later served as President 1991-1992 and 2001-2002.  John is also a Paul Harris Fellow.  He sponsored an exchange student from Peru and assisted with the One Room Schoolhouse Project.
Steve Cofone is a graduate of University of Rhode Island's Pharmacy College.  He has been in the Pharmacy industry for many years both in the inpatient and outpatient prescription areas in the Yale New Haven Hospital system.  Steve enjoys traveling to different places and attending Rotary Club meetings when possible.  He has enjoyed being a member of Rotary and providing services to the community.   He became a member in 1982, is a Paul Harris Fellow and has served as President 1986-1987 and 2016-2017.  With the current health situation, Steve says they have just become more vigilant.
Board Notes
The Board approved a $1,000 donation to the Chorus of Westerly.  This will be the first contribution processed through our Foundation.
We are looking into having a Rotary sign installed on the little island at Main and Union.  At one time there was a sign located on Union Street but it was removed by the State.
The Board meetings for the next year will be at 4:30 on the first Monday of each month with the exception of Sep and Oct.  Those will be second Monday.
President Rona has suggested a couple of Service projects for our Club:  1) continue with food/supply deliveries, 2) a Blood Drive for the RI Blood Center, and 3) a canned food drive monthly to benefit the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center and the Jonnycake Center of Westerly.
We hope to have prospective member Dave Wargat joining us soon - more to come on this.
And finally, the Club's Foundation is up and running.  All proceeds received for the October 2020 Golf Tournament have been transferred over to the Foundation, Edward Jones Investments is in the process of transferring the Charitable and Scholarship Funds to the Foundation, a WCCU checking account has been opened.  New letterhead has been created and soon there will be new Thank You notes.  Going forward all fundraising activities will be processed through the Foundation.
3 August 2020 Meeting Rosemarie Russo 2020-08-10 04:00:00Z 0

Social Night at Rotary

President Rona decreed that this Monday night meeting would NOT be a meeting at all - no bell, no announcements - just a happy social event at the wonderful "back yard" at Grey Sail Brewery.  The tables had been socially distanced by Jen and Alan along with providing us with beverages for the evening.  Can't thank you both enough for all you do!!!!  And, a big thank you to Cal for taking the following pictures:
And a huge thank you to Kathryn for leading us through the past two years.  We are grateful for your leadership but most of all for your friendship.
Social Night at Rotary Rosemarie Russo 2020-07-27 04:00:00Z 0

Women Veterans We Believe In You Virtual Run

  Dora     Kathryn, Rona, Dora
Dora, Rona, Kathryn and Rose completed today a 5K Walk to benefit Women Veterans.  Our combined member donation was about $235.  Dora, Rona and Kathryn completed their walk in Ashaway along with some friends of Dora's.  Rose completed her walk this morning after several days of laps around the "gardens".
Women Veterans We Believe In You Virtual Run Rosemarie Russo 2020-07-25 04:00:00Z 0

Installation/Induction Night

Past President Cal Lord inducts Frank Livingston this past Monday evening.  Frank met with us early in March at our "Fireside Chat" but then COVID happened; so we appreciate his patience awaiting his official induction.  He has already shown his Rotary spirit by helping with the COVID delivery program headed by President Rona Mann.  Frank told the membership last evening that his Dad was a Rotarian in his home town of Manchester, CT.  We welcome Frank to Westerly and to our Club.
Induction of 2020/2021 Officers and Directors was lead by Past President Bob Elmer.  Suzanne Lane, Director, and Past President Kathryn participated via Zoom.  We extend our thoughts and prayers to Julie Lord, who will be taking up the Secretary position but who has been by her sister's side.
We were delighted to have Marty and Bob Boughner join us for dinner, though hugs will have to wait awhile.  Also in attendance was Dave Mann, Dave Wargat and Justin Wargat.  Dylan Temel, son of Derin, shared his wonderful musical talents on trumpet before the bell rang at 5:30.   Cal provided a really great slide show of the past year's activities and Rotarians at work doing good everywhere.
After Rona took her oath of office, she spoke to membership about her plans for the year, plans that may be derailed by COVID restrictions, but that won't keep this little lady from finding a way to spread the word about Rotary, about the Rotary Club of Westerly.   Rona is an avid walker and has already registered for virtual or actual walks around the area:  Women Veterans Benefit Walk, Alzheimer's Walk Westerly, Terri Brodeur Foundation Walk and there are more to come, for sure. She graciously took the time to mention Club members who have stood out at one time or another.
But somehow she missed a couple and sent Rose this note -"I forgot two very important Rotarians as I gazed around the room last night, saying why I treasured each person there for their talent, their fellowship, and for who they are.  How, then, could I forget our version of the Blues Brothers?  Reiner and Brooks?  Frick and Frack?  Ted and Steve, you are the very heart of this Rotary Club and what it's always been about.  You power our biggest projects and do it with such thoroughness and great detail, like the Scholarship Auction, Summer Pops set up and tear down, and all the schlepping, storage, and grunt work others aren't able to do.  Having the added pressure of such a critical position at the hospital (Steve) and the stress of being a small businessman in today's climate (Ted), I don't believe that I have ever heard either of you complain!   Your relationship is an old married couple with one finishing the other's sentences and those pet names you have for each other... Baba?  Boo Boo?  I won't ask.  Perhaps my oversight last night was because you do everything so effortlessly; and sadly, that kind of dedication often becomes something we tend to take for granted and overlook as automatic because it's always there.  So, here is the first mea culpa of the '20-'21 year.  I'm sure it won'te be the last!  But once again, a hearty thank you and much affection to you both, Baba and Boo Boo."
Your editor, Rose, received a really, really special gift from the membership - two gift cards for Agway and Pleasant Acres Nursery - her two favorite local shops.  I am so grateful to you all for this gift.  You're all welcome to stroll through my garden when you are in the neighborhood.  And a funny thing happened last week - Rona received a Paul Harris pin with two sapphires, no name was provided, and she contacted Rose to ask about it.  Since Rose is also Treasurer and was fully aware that she had achieved this award by reaching $3,025. in contributions to EREY and Polio Plus, Rona was so informed.  Rona's first thought was "well, when I award it to you look surprised".  Of course, that wouldn't be the truth. Rose didn't want to make the evening any longer than necessary so no speech; however, as editor we can take up space here.  So Rose writes, "The membership honored me with my first Paul Harris award in July 2012, with a $1,000 donation to Rotary Foundation.  I was so humbled by this honor, that I determined to contribute to Every Rotarian Every Year and Polio Plus as often as possible and have since earned for myself a PHF pin with 1 sapphire and Monday the PHF pin with 2 sapphires.  Rotary does so much good throughout the world and I am grateful and blessed to be a small part of this organization."
  Past Presidents
   Paul Harris Fellows
Next week, we will meet for an evening of fellowship at Grey Sail Brewery at 5:30pm.  Food will once again be supplied by The Cooked Goose - same menu choices.  Dora Vasquez-Hellner will be taking your order this week, her email is  Please contact her by Saturday evening the latest.  And, a huge thank you to Doug for picking up our sandwiches and salads. 
August 3rd we will be back at Central Baptist Church.
Installation/Induction Night Rosemarie Russo 2020-07-20 04:00:00Z 0

Celebrating a Special Birthday

Celebrating Dr. Doug Rayner's 85th Birthday this evening with a car parade from Quail Run through Fox Run onward to Shepherd's Run.  The call went out to members of our Rotary Club, the Chorus of Westerly and all of the Rayner family and friends.  Sadly, we had to remain in our vehicles and didn't get to share in birthday cake.  Many blessings to our friend and mentor.  The best of the best!!!
Celebrating a Special Birthday Rosemarie Russo 2020-07-15 04:00:00Z 0

13 July 2020 - A Live Meeting

Huge Thank You to Cal for this great picture of our little group at our first live meeting since early March and for providing this wonderful space for us.  He also set up a Zoom connection for Kathryn and the Lanes.  Everyone was safely spaced and masked before eating. Three of our members attended via Zoom, also thanks to Cal.  The Cooked Goose provided delicious sandwiches and salads.  Dave Wargat, a Plainfield CT Rotarian, and his son, Justin, were guests of Chris DiPaola.  Dave has been working with Chris and expressed interest in transferring into our Club.  Dave Mann and Jen Brinton also joined us last evening.
Our Guest Speaker for this special evening was Lt. Gov. Dan McKee.  He is currently visiting small businesses and advocating that the Covid Federal funds sent to the State is distributed to Small Businesses.  He explained that his office has been open throughout the pandemic, though some of his staff have worked from home; but they have taken all calls for help.  He said that they have been in contact, through the International Business Program, with weekly calls all over the world to discuss how they are handling the pandemic issues etc.  Lt. Gov. McKee has been "focused on creating more economic opportunity for all Rhode Island families and building solvent communities" and "supports small businesses, improve the state's economic situation."  He is also a small business owner himself.  In a letter to the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation Advisors on Business Restoration, he proposed framework for a Small Business-Friendly Grant Program using a minimum of ten percent of Rhode Island's $1.25 billion CARES Act funds to assist small business in Rhode Island.
Steve Cofone provided the Rotary Moment with a story from the July Rotarian - "Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative are drawing on their experience fighting polio outbreaks to respond to the COVID-10 pandemic.  Rotarians helped build the polio eradication infrastructure used for detecting the poliovirus and delivering vaccinations, and that infrastructure is enabling a strong response to COVID-19, especially in polio-endemic countries. Polio staff in those countries who track the spread of the poliovirus support surveillance for COVID-19 through contact tracing, improving lab testing, providing technical support, and training additional surveillance officers.  Health workers provide information on hand washing and staff a national help hotline in Pakistan that was originally used for polio-related calls and has been adapted to provide information related to COVID-19."
We have received thank you notes from Adam Gilman, our RYLA 2020 student, Brandon Larossa, one of our Scholarship winners, and the children of Angie and Arthur Smith for our donation to the Lions Club in Angie's memory.  It included a lovely picture of Arthur and Angie.  RYLA had been postponed until October; however, it has now been cancelled.  District has decided that 2020 RYLA students, even if they are Seniors in 2020/21, can participate in 2021 RYLA.  The offer was made to Adam and he has accepted.
Dora spoke to members about the Women Veterans Virtual Walk coming up on July 25.  She said that the fastest-growing segment of the homeless populations are women veterans.  Funds from this event will support Operation Safety Net, which assists "women veterans and their children with emergency assistance to prevent homelessness, end homelessness, and everything in between."  Dora, Rona, Kathryn and some of Dora's friends will be walking in Ashaway.  Rose will be walking in her back yard.
The Rhode Island Alzheimer's Walk on Misquamicut Beach is planned for September 12 and the Terri Brodeur Foundation Walk will take place on October 3rd.  So far, Rotary participants are Rona and Kathryn.
Next Monday, July 20, we will meet at Central Baptist Church again with The Cooked Goose sandwiches - place your order with Rona by Saturday evening.  Rona is planning a surprise "entertainment" before meeting begins at 5:30, hopefully, it will include installation of Officers and Board AND induction of Frank Livingston.  So, come early!!!
July 27 will be an evening of fellowship at the Grey Sail Brewery at 5:30 with sandwiches from The Cooked Goose.
August 17 Rick and Elin Lawrence will join us at Central Baptist Church for our 5:30 meeting.  Along with bringing us up to date on the Guatemala  Water and Sanitation Projects, they promise to bring some of the handicrafts that they brought back from their last trip.  Purchases of these items help them to fund school and other supplies that they will bring back to the Guatelemala villages.  Good night to bring a guest!!!
August 24  District Governor Charlene Jarest visit - may be a zoom meeting rather than a MDM at Rotary Park.
13 July 2020 - A Live Meeting Rosemarie Russo 2020-07-14 04:00:00Z 0

Essential Workers

Bob and Suzanne Lane headed up our latest project to recognize Westerly's Essential Workers during the COVID crisis.  Without all these folks out there working every day to take care of our sick, to fill the grocery market shelves, to take care of emergency needs - the past few months would have truly been a disaster.  So, we thank you all for staying the course. There will be 30 signs going up around town - see the Essential Workers Photo Album on left side of website.
Essential Workers Rosemarie Russo 2020-06-30 04:00:00Z 0


Thank you, Kathryn, for your leadership the past two years.  It has been a pleasure to work with you - my Hero!!!
Kathryn Rosemarie Russo 2020-06-30 04:00:00Z 0

Zoom Meeting 29 June 2020

Ten of us attended meeting Monday evening - last meeting of this fiscal year.  The next time we meet Rona Mann will assume the Presidency and, hopefully, we will be meeting live on July 13 with guest speaker, Lt Gov Dan McKee.  Reminder - no meeting next Monday - July 4th weekend holiday.
We send Anniversary blessings to Marty and Bob Boughner, who will be celebrating 67 years together on July 3rd, and to Donna and Frank Celico, who will be celebrating 56 years together on July 4th.  Doug Rayner celebrates 49 years as a Rotarian on July 1st.  Birthday greetings to Julie Lord on July 1st.
Update on the Essential Worker sign project - 29 signs have been installed.  Photos are in the Photo Album section of our website "Essential Workers".   Thank you to Bob and Suzanne for all their work on this project.  The signs have been happily welcomed.
Golf Tournament news - 34 players have been registered.
Rotary Moment
As of this morning 15 members have contributed to Every Rotarian Every Year - Rotary Foundation's Annual Fund.  It is every Club's goal to have full participation in this program, which sends funds back to the District and used for local grant projects.  Unfortunately, our Club did not achieve full participation this year.  Maybe next year...
A note from Rotary International's End Polio Now campaign.  "In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's more important than ever to recognize the power of vaccines and immunizations, which save millions of lives each year.  The Canadian government has announced a four-year financial commitment to support the endgame strategy of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).  Rotary clubs throughout Canada welcomed the new pledge as a continuation of the country's leadership and partnership to support polio eradication.  Canadian Rotary clubs have worked closely with the Canadian government since 1986, when the country became a donor in the fight to end polio.  Since then, Canadian Rotarians have contributed more than US$41.3 million to Polio Plus.  With decades of experience stopping polio outbreaks, Rotary and our partners have a critical role to play in protecting communities from the COVID-19 pandemic, just as we did with Ebola, yellow fever, and avian flu.  From Pakistan to Nigeria, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative is supporting governments in their COVID-19 response efforts.  This truly represents the 'plus' in PolioPlus."
Enjoy the holiday weekend coming up - stay safe and stay well.
Zoom Meeting 29 June 2020 Rosemarie Russo 2020-06-30 04:00:00Z 0

Derin at Olean Ctr "On the Beat"

Above is a picture of the Facebook interview "On the Beat" from The Frank Olean Center.  Derin Temel and our Club were the subject of today's interview.  Great job, Derin!  Hope everyone "liked" the page.
Derin at Olean Ctr "On the Beat" Rosemarie Russo 2020-06-23 04:00:00Z 0

Zoom Meeting 22June2020

Zoom screens above courtesy of Cal Lord.  14 members were present.
A huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Joe Nigrelli who celebrates 95 years today.  All the very best, Joe.  Many happy and healthy days to you.
Kathryn presented the Foundation Moment with a smidget from RI President Mark Maloney's June message:  "Our connection to one another is based upon mutual respect for our differences as well as our appreciation for what we have in common.  Community is the sum of individuals - individuals who have concern for one another, who care, share, and take responsibility."
Golf Tournament update:  30 players are registered.
Our Essential Worker Program is in process.  21 signs have been installed as of Jun 23 - check our the "Essential Worker" photo album in album section of left side of website.
The Club has received a very nice Thank You note from Daisy Gates, one of our 2020 Scholarship winners.
Kathryn, Rona and Rose attended the District Annual Business Zoom meeting on June 17th.  After the business meeting was completed, the annual District Awards were announced.  We are pleased to announced the our Club received the Presidential Award of Leadership Excellence and the Public Image Award.  Service Longevity Award was issued to Vinny Gaccione (59 years) and Joe Nigrelli (51 years).  Our Assistant District Governor Chuck Sauer was awarded the Dr. Percy Hodgson Memorial Award, which was presented for Distinguished Service and Leadership to the Club and District in Furthering the Objects of Rotary.  Well deserved, Chuck!  Although he has moved to New Hampshire, he has retained his membership with the East Greenwich Club, his work with the RYLA program and his Position as AG of our Area.
Hopefully, we will be meeting in person on July 13 with guest speaker, Lt Gov Dan McKee.
Zoom Meeting 22June2020 Rosemarie Russo 2020-06-22 04:00:00Z 0


Julie and Rose had a live and safely masked meeting today to go over the duties of  Club Secretary.  Rose took the opportunity to "pin" the Secretary pin on Julie.  This same pin was given to Rose by Doug when he passed the secretary "notebook" on back in July 2011 after his ten-year reign.  We wish Julie all the very best in her new position.
Secretary-Elect Rosemarie Russo 2020-06-19 04:00:00Z 0

Zoom Meeting 15 June 2020

Fourteen members attended our Zoom meeting this past Monday evening.  The meeting began with a talk by Alex Conway who is the District Executive of the Narragansett Council of Boy Scouts.  The Narragansett Council Southwest District includes Scouts from Warwick to Block Island and Pawcatuck, CT.  Alex told that weekly meetings have gone virtual like so many others but Scouts continue to earn their merit badges working from home.  The Council's website has so much information for both Scouts and Cub Scouts.
Picture above was taken from the Council's Facebook page.  Alex was recognized 31Dec2019 for "his outstanding leadership, passion and dedication to Yawgoog and the Scouting Program as a whole.
After Alex left the meeting, Cal led us in prayer and Bob Elmer presented a Foundation Moment.  Secretary's Report:  Wedding Anniversary greetings to Chris DiPaola and Lana Weidner, June 15th, and Birthday blessings to Bob Elmer and Cal Lord, June 18th.
Our "Essential Worker" signs will be picked up Tuesday morning and delivered to Avie's.  Bob and Suzanne Lane and Ted will prepare a list of recipients and will let us know when we are ready to deliver them.  Anyone who wishes to help, please contact Ted or Bob.
Golf Tournament Update:  There are 14 Golfers fully registered (registration received and paid), 4 Golfer registered but payment en route.  Dan spoke with Bill Quirk, who is on the WCCU Donations Committee.  He was told that WCCU has donated so much to Covid crisis First Responders that they do not plan to make other donations this year.  However, if anything changes before October, the Rotary Club will be considered.
Rona heard from District Governor Elect Charlene Jarest recently that her August visitation may, in fact, be in person.  So we might still be able to have our annual Million Dollar Meal - perhaps with some health safety adjustments.  More to come.
And finally, Ted reported that he had a very special visitor to the store Monday afternoon - Bob Boughner and his son, Dave.  We are delighted to know that Bob and Marty are back in Westerly.  Virtual hugs, dear friends!!!!
Zoom Meeting 15 June 2020 Rosemarie Russo 2020-06-16 04:00:00Z 0

Zoom Meeting 8 June 2020

Fourteen members and Frank Livingston, prospective Rotarian, attended our Zoom meeting Monday evening.   President Kathryn led the Pledge of Allegiance and Prayer was led by Past President Cal.  There were no birthdays or anniversaries in the coming week. 
Bob Elmer provided the Foundation moment with mention of the Polio Plus program.  As long as there is one person who could contract this disease anywhere in the world, it can continue to spread.  Bill ad Melinda Gates Foundation pledges to match our contributions 2 to 1.  This week, Rotary has a special program "Take Out Polio"  - International is asking all Rotarians to donate at a minimum the money that they are not spending for their Rotary meal that week since we are meeting by Zoom.  You can go to  
Kathryn reported that the Scholarship Committee selected three winners and now that Baccalaureate has passed, we are delighted to announce that the winners are Ms. Daisy Gates, who plans to attend URI for Communications/Public Relations; Mr. Brandon L. Larossa, who also plans to attend URI for Business/Accounting; and Ms. Olivia Marsh, who also plans to attend URI in Nursing.
Save the Date emails went out to 168 golfer email addresses on Friday and nine golfers wrote back with requests for the registration form.  Three groups have submitted their registration and payments to secure a spot for our 5 October Charity Golf Event.  Derin and Caroline will be working on Major Donors for the Tournament.
Everyone shared Happy/Sad thoughts.
The June Board meeting began at 6:13pm.  Thank you notes were received from Chikumbuso for the walk/run event and Westerly Armory.  There will be a zoom meeting for the District's Award Presentation on June 17 at 7:00.  Rotary International will hold a Virtual Convention from June 20 - 26 - all are invited to attend - go to Rotary International's website for more information and access.  District Governor Charlene told Rona that it is perfectly ok to delay Club installation until July - some will be virtual, rather than live.  Kathryn hopes to work with Doug on our new Foundation.  This was the last meeting with Kathryn presiding as our President.  It has been a pleasure to work with her these past two years.
Zoom Meeting 8 June 2020 Rosemarie Russo 2020-06-10 04:00:00Z 0

Chikumbuso Walk/Run 23May2020

Yesterday was the final day for folks to complete their individual walk/run/bike event to benefit Chikumbuso.  Team Westerly Rotary included Kathryn, Rona, Doug, Dan and Rose.  The following are some of the pictures received  -  Doug and family walking around the Preserve, Rose walking around her gardens, Kathryn at Osbrook Point in Pawcatuck and Rona at Hope Valley.
Chikumbuso Walk/Run 23May2020 Rosemarie Russo 2020-05-24 04:00:00Z 0

Taps Across America

If you have ever played trumpet or bugle, dig it out on Monday, May 25.  Join Allison Patton of the Westerly Band and others across the country at 3:00pm outdoors on your porch, on
your front steps and play TAPS in remembrance and in honor of all our veterans.
Taps Across America 2020-05-24 04:00:00Z 0

In Memoriam - Steven S Salerno

                   13 Oct 1947  -  20 May 2020
Steve was a member of our Club from 2009 to 2013 and he embraced the Rotary way fully.  He wore his Rotary pin every day with pride.  Somehow he managed to have the phone numbers of every person he met on his cell phone along with their birth dates and made that call every year.  So many of us here in Westerly would one day pick up the phone to hear him singing "Happy Birthday."   He was our Santa at Christmas when he organized a special Christmas party to benefit RICAN and included the Chariho Rotary Club.  Steve will be missed and remembered always.
In Memoriam - Steven S Salerno Rosemarie Russo 2020-05-22 04:00:00Z 0

Zoom Meeting 18May2020

Meeting this past Monday evening with the members above, including John Hall on the telephone, began with our speaker, Russ Partridge, Executive Director of The WARM Center.  He told us that through this crisis they have continued to provide over a hundred meals daily in Anita's Kitchen, seven days per week.  3,500 people have been cared for.  The Emergency Shelter program, a 19-bed facility, was "designed to help homeless men and women who suffer from a variety of circumstances."  They must remain alcohol and drug free, follow house rules, meet with their peers and staff.  Other programs that continue to be successful include Attire for Hire, Harvest Homes, Supportive Homes, Street Outreach, Community Outreach.  Russ said that all have remained in good health.  WARM has received a Rhode Island Foundation Grant to provide financial assistance for people having financial issues.  He believes that the level of need is increasing as people learn that WARM is there if help is needed and reach out.  Most staff has been working from home.
Russ said "when people come to WARM their lives change."  He told of one individual who had been living with substance abuse and came to WARM.  He stayed with the program and eventually attended college, graduated and is now in a Master's Program.  While we thanked Russ for all that has been accomplished at WARM for the community, he thanked us for our support.
Bob Elmer provided a Foundation Moment, telling how Habitat for Humanity and Texas Rotary Club helped to build a home for a family in Milawi, Africa.
The Scholarship Committee planned to have a Zoom meeting on Wednesday to discuss the applications and make their selections.  Rose received this information Wednesday evening and sent the information to Amy Roy at the high school.  Virtual Baccalaureate will take place June 9.
Bob and Suzanne Lane did much research on ways for our Club to recognize front line essential workers.  There was much discussion and some of us took on some specific tasks and we will follow up at next meeting or through email or zoom discussions.
A thank you note has been received from Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center.
Monday, May 25, is Memorial Day.  We remember our Veterans in grateful prayer - and sadness at missing the annual parade.  There will be NO meeting on Monday.
Zoom Meeting 18May2020 Rosemarie Russo 2020-05-21 04:00:00Z 0

Zoom Meeting 11May2020

Fifteen members participated in Monday's zoom meeting.  Great to see all who attended and to know that they and their families are doing well.
Ted announced that Bogue's Alley was preparing for us a meal for the three crews at the Westerly Ambulance Corps.  It will be delivered on Tuesday.  Question was asked how the meal was being packaged and Ted replied that the dinners were going to be packed in individual containers.  A certificate from the Club, expressing our appreciation for all they have done during this difficult time, accompanied the dinners.  We hope to provide a meal to the Police Dept also.
Suzanne led a discussion about another Program - Westerly Heroes.  How we can honor all the workers in the markets and hospital.  Ideas ranged from a placque, donation in their honor to a food bank, trays of cookies.  More to follow on this next week.
Reminder that we hope to hold a small "live" Golf Tournament meeting toward end of May.
Chikumbuso Virtual Challenge - Reminder to review this story and let Rose know if you plan to participate.  Club will make the donation for all Club participants.
May 18 - join us to hear from Warm Center's Russ Partridge   - zoom meeting at 5:30pm
EVERY ROTARIAN EVERY YEAR (erey) -  If you have not yet made your contribution, please consider doing so before June 30.  You can go online directly at the Rotary Foundation website or get your check to Rose.  And, if you do go online to RF, please let Rose know.
Zoom Meeting 11May2020 Rosemarie Russo 2020-05-12 04:00:00Z 0

Zoom Meeting 4 May 2020

Thirteen of us made it to our Zoom meeting Monday evening which included a special visit from District Governor Elect Charlene Jarest.  She discussed several items involving the District and our Clubs, especially Secretary and Treasurer training sessions via Zoom that will take the place of District Conference sessions.  Regarding the Special District Grant ($1,000 award) to provide food bank assistance to local areas, the District issued $33,000 in Grants.
Board meeting was postponed to May 11.  However, Rose updated that she hoped to have our 2019/2020 Grant final report finished and emailed by end of this week - waiting on receipts from two of the recipients.  As of Monday evening we had received 14 scholarship applications.  As of today (May 6) that number has increased to 24 - today is the school's deadline for mailing.  Our selection process needs to be completed by May 22 for the Virtual Baccalaureate on June 9th.
A suggestion had been made at a previous meeting about donating additional funds.  Anyone who wishes to provide additional support to our local food banks, can certainly send your funds directly to them, perhaps with the note that funds are being donated by a "Westerly Rotarian".  Ted Avedesian spoke about the Club providing a full meal to one of our first responder organizations and perhaps extending that to other organizations over the next couple of months.  He will have more details next Monday.  Another suggestion was to do something for the market store clerks, hospital staffers who have been working throughout this crisis.  More on this to come also.
We received a note from Joe and Carol Potter.  They are doing well, saying  "Cindy and Vinny have been a great help.  We are scheduled to return in late June."  Joe celebrated his birthday on April 29.
CHIKUMBUSO Virtual Challenge
President Kathryn would like us to participate as a team.  All you have to do is the following:
   1.  Let Rose know that you are on the team (the club will send a check to Chikumbuso for all team players)
   2.  Plan your own 10K race (walk, run, bike, swim, dance) for Chikumbuso on May 23rd.  Take a picture of what you are doing and send to Rose.
Rose will post your pictures on our website and also forward them to Linda at Chikumbuso.
From Linda - Zambia has also been effected by COVID19 with school closures and economic difficulties.  Chikumbuso has closed their school and community room doors, but continue to provide food for the vulnerable children.  The funds raised from this event will supplement the feeding program at Chikumbuso, ensuring that the students are continuing to be fed during this difficult time.
You are invited to Rotary International's Zoom meeting on Thursday, May 14 at 9am EST  -  Guest speaker will be Iran's UN Ambassador H.E. Dr. Majid Takht Ravanchi
The Grassroots Peacemaking Philosophy is that everybody wins with peace and everybody loses with war.  History shows us that it is better that enemies live in peace and prosperity rather than having wars with a lot of destruction.  People do not have to love each other (love can come later); they just have to live together in peace and cooperation.  You can register (free) by sending an email to
ROTARIANS DELIVERING SUPPLIES - Rona Mann said that last week there were not too many calls.
MAY 18 Zoom Meeting will include special guest speaker Russ Partridge from the Warm Center.  He will speak soon after all have checked in so please try to be on time - meeting starts at 5:3pm.
Zoom Meeting 4 May 2020 Rosemarie Russo 2020-05-06 04:00:00Z 0

Chikumbuso Virtual Challenge

CHIKUMBUSO Virtual Challenge
President Kathryn would like us to participate as a team.  All you have to do is the following:
   1.  Let Rose know that you are on the team (the club will send a check to Chikumbuso for all team players)
   2.  Plan your own 10K race (walk, run, bike, swim, dance) for Chikumbuso on May 23rd.  Take a picture of what you are doing and send to Rose.
Rose will post your pictures on our website and also forward them to Linda at Chikumbuso.
From Linda - Zambia has also been effected by COVID19 with school closures and economic difficulties.  Chikumbuso has closed their school and community room doors, but continue to provide food for the vulnerable children.  The funds raised from this event will supplement the feeding program at Chikumbuso, ensuring that the students are continuing to be fed during this difficult time.
Chikumbuso Virtual Challenge Rosemarie Russo 2020-05-04 04:00:00Z 0

Zoom Mtg  27 April 20

Ten members attended our Zoom meeting Monday evening along with prospective member Frank Livingston.  Really nice to see everyone - virtually.  About having a live meeting - it was decided to wait until Governor Raimondo's decision on May 8; so we will continue with Zoom meetings for the next couple of weeks - or more.
The Golf Tournament meeting has been postponed to the end of May but the feeling among attendees is to go forward with the Tournament although there might not be much opportunity for sponsorships.  More to follow.
School applications are coming in by snail mail and email.  They must all be received by May 6.  Westerly High School is planning a Virtual Baccalaureate ceremony on June 9th so our Scholarship selection needs to be decided by May 22.
Janie Carlisle asked to have the following note published in our newsletter:
"Hand sanitizer is a standard item included in ESRD Dialysis Support Bags provided free to dialysis patients by The Carlisle-Williams Foundation.  As the increase in use of hand sanitizer continues, it has become almost impossible to obtain this much needed product.  I reached out to Rosemarie Russo, editor of the Tattler, after seeing a mention of Grey Sail Brewing making hand sanitizer, in the recent edition of the Westerly Rotary's newsletter.  I explained the situation and that we were unable to deliver packages to patients in a Rhode Island Dialysis clinic without the sanitizer.  True to the spirit of Rotary, Rosemarie went right into action.  Within minutes, I received an email that Grey Sail Brewery had donated 75 bottles of hand sanitizer to the Foundation.  Additionally, Rosemarie said she would deliver the sanitizer to me before the week is out.  She did (really, it was Anthony) and the packages will be delivered to the dialysis clinic this week.  Thank you so much .... Jen and Alan Brinton of Grey Sail Brewery.  Your generosity and caring will make a crucial difference in the health of these patients.  Sincerely, Janie."
Rona's team of Angels continue to make deliveries from Charlestown to Pawcatuck.  Highlight from Rona is a phone call from a recipient wanting to make sure that "you're alright...God bless you and all your Rotary people."
Grants:  The special District Grant and the repurposed 2019/2020 District Grant payments were sent out last week to Jonnycake Center of Westerly, RI Center Assisting Those in Need and Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center.  Upon receipt of RICAN and PNC purchase documents, Rose will be able to send in final reports in order to receive reimbursement from District.
God bless you all, stay safe inside and be well.
Zoom Mtg 27 April 20 Rosemarie Russo 2020-04-27 04:00:00Z 0

Doing Good in Times of Trouble

Rotarians at Work
As of 10am this morning, President-Elect Rona Mann has launched a program to provide grocery and prescription delivery service to people sheltering in place during the coronavirus crisis.  Contact Rona at 401.539.7762 or with your needs.  Rona conferenced yesterday with Chief Lacey, Pawcatuck First Selectman and Clergy Association representative to work out a network plan.  Four deliveries have been completed in the past couple of days by Westerly Rotarians Alan and Julie and Rotary Club of the Stoningtons.  Rona helped one of our own today (Thursday 3/26).  The Alvinos are self-quarantined since returning from Mexico and were in need of sanitizing supplies.  The Rotary Club of the Stoningtons made another home delivery.  And, as of today, another program has been formed - Adopt a Grandpa.  After receiving a phone call from a 92-year old's granddaughter asking if a hot meal or two can be delivered, Rona set about getting help with this.  Donna Celico will be heading this project but Rona will continue to be the coordinator.  After supplying Grandpa with several dinners for the past coupld of weeks, his family has taken over; meanwhile, Rona and her fabulous team continue to make grocery deliveries.
Latest update from Rona on Apr 24th:  "I get a call of someone needing food or medicine or in crisis, and before I can finish my question to the volunteer I call, they are saying, 'When, where?  Give me the details'.  And she received a call on Thursday from a woman we helped a month ago, 'I just want to tell you how delicious the food is and to make sure you're alright because two people in this development tested positive.  God bless you and all your Rotary people.'"
Grey Sail Brewery
Jen and Alan Brinton are hard at work creating hand sanitizer which should be ready in a week or two and they plan to give the supply away.  Kudos to them for their generosity to this community.  Friday, April 24th, Jen and Alan Brinton donated 75 bottles of Sanitizer to our friend Janie Carlisle's Carlisle-Williams Foundation.  Janie could not locate any sanitizer for their dialysis support bags and contacted Rose after reading in our newsletter about Grey Sail's project.  An email to Alan resulted in his saying that 75 bottles would be ready on Friday.  Anthony picked them up and delivered them to Janie.   Janie sent an email, "I am floored and overwhelmed with gratitude."  To Jen and Alan, we are so grateful for your continued generosity to this community 
KUDOS to all the restaurants who are offering take-out dinners and curb-side service.
Doing Good in Times of Trouble Rosemarie Russo 2020-04-26 04:00:00Z 0

Zoom Meeting 20Apr2020

Attendees Monday evening included Assistant District Governor Chuck Sauer.  Bob Lane attended but had stepped away when the picture was taken - thank you to Alan.  It was really great to see everyone - with hugs going out to all.  Cal provided an invocation with prayers for all who were ill, for all our first responders everywhere, for all the workers still out there every day so we can buy groceries, to go meals, and other supplies.  Kathryn said she had spoken to Vinnie who told her that his daughters and granddaughter are taking good care of him.  Vinnie's older brother has passed away but no funeral so there will be a service in the Fall.  Frank Livingston, our prospective member, has volunteered to help Rona's crew.  His wife's birthday was today - Happy Birthday, Evelyn!
To update everyone on our District Grants  -  our original RTT 2019-2020 Grant has changed slightly.  Because schools have been closed, RTT will not be able to complete it final presentation for the 2019-2020 school year.  We received a bill from RTT for the maintenance expenses related to the Westerly Middle School Forest for $1,000.  The remaining funds will be repurposed to Jonnycake Center of Westerly, Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center and RI Center Assisting Those in Need to assist their COVID19 emergency needs.  We also qualified for a District Special COVID19 $1,000 Grant.
Dan provided an update on the annual Jonnycake Center Pasta Dinner with the Lions Club.  It is confirmed for November 18 at the Calabrese Club.
Alan said that Grey Sail's Sanitizer has been going out very well but getting more bottles is becoming an issue.
Bob Elmer provided a Foundation Moment.  Also, 24-30 April 2020 is World Immunization Week.  If you donate to the Rotary Polio Plus Fund during this period, your donation will be tripled by the Gates Foundation.
Steve said a golf tournament meeting is planned for 29 April at 9am at his home but check in with him before going there - 401.595.4588.
Last update from Rona on 13April:
" It's been over a week, but it was a very busy week indeed.  We had our usual 'normal' requests and deliveries; we had a man from Western Connecticut who had come to Pawcatuck to care for his brother with a brain tumor who didn't know our area and needed food; we had a family in Westerly in crisis with no food, nor transportation and a death right in their home; and a woman who called last minute on Good Friday who had exhausted her allotment at Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center and Jonnycake, and didn't know where to turn for her next meal.  Thanks to the generosity of RICAN in Charlestown - they made an exception for us, met me with food and I was able to make a Good Friday afternoon run for her grateful family.  It has been gratifiying to hear their thanks, see the grateful tears, and just be able to help.  Jonnycake, especially, has been over and above in never saying 'no' to us and putting the requests from Westerly Rotary upfront every day.  Our people have never said 'no', either, when I called during a holiday weekend, during the 'monsoon' or on little notice.  Derin, Julie, Ted and all you others who cannot make these runs, but keep me buoyed with your kind words and good wishes.  We also have Jessica, a school teacher from Pawcatuck who has asked to help and who came through in a pinch at a touch time, and so many others."
The Delivery Angels include Rona Mann, Ted Avedesian, Derin Temel, Julie Lord, Alan & Jen Brinton, Donna Celico (Adopt a Grandpa), Jessica Bednarcik, Laurel Fernandes, Carol Umphlett (Stonington Rotary), Kim Rayner, Cal Lord and Frank Livingston.
Dora Vasquez-Hellner shared that she has been making deliveries with a Veterans' Group helping the Elks and Lions.
Happy birthday Greetings to Vinnie Gaccion ( 20April), Donna Celico (24April), Joe Potter and Steve Cofone (29April)
Happy Anniversary Greetings to Kristina Dimova and Ivo Ivanov (16Apr), Joe & Helen Nigrelli (19Apr), Julie & John Lord (26Apr)
Club Anniversary Greetings to Cal Lord (1Apr1991), Kristina Dimova (17Apr2017) and Rose Russo (28Apr2008)
God bless, Stay Safe and Be Well.
Zoom Meeting 20Apr2020 Rosemarie Russo 2020-04-20 04:00:00Z 0

Guatelmala Project Update

Because we have postponed our visit from Rick and Elin Lawrence in May, Rick has submitted the following update on the Guatemala projects:
Guatelmala Project Update Rick Lawrence 2020-04-08 04:00:00Z 0

Coming Up

Posted by Rosemarie Russo on Apr 06, 2020
Aug 24:  District Governor Charlene Jarest visitation  - may have to be a virtual meeting
Aug 29:  Armory Appreciation Evening honoring John Coduri, Larry Hirsch, Rev Dr. Clayton A Lord, Dave and Rona Mann
Oct 5:  Sixth Annual Rotary Club of Westerly Golf Tournament at Shelter Harbor Golf Club
Coming Up Rosemarie Russo 2020-04-06 04:00:00Z 0

First Zoom Meeting

So, the Rotary Club of Westerly had its first virtual meeting Monday evening.  Alan took the picture above of virtual attendees but Julie was on and off, although she didn't make it into the picture.  Rona and Ted were along on their phones.  Our Assistant District Governor Chuck Sauer was also in attendance and shared news that the District was offering special $1,000 grants to Clubs to provide funds to local Food Pantries and Baby Centers.  Our Board voted to apply for a grant to aid the Jonnycake Center.
After we took the opportunity to say hello and inquire as to everyone's family health, we opened the Board meeting and invited other attendees to stay on.  This discussion involved an update on Scholarships - the 2020 Committee includes Kathryn, Cal and Steve.  We should receive applications early in May.  Dan Alvino requested permission to plan a 2020 Pasta Dinner with the Lions Club to benefit the Jonnycake Center.
Rose discussed the 2019/2020 District Grant with Chair Kristine David - we were given the option of revising our grant to aid local food banks or extend the RTT Project to be completed in the Fall.  Dan Alvino will discuss with RTT and Westerly Middle School.  Kristine also mentioned the District Grant, non-matching funds, to aid  Covid 19 Disaster food assistance.
Doug shared that Summer Pops may take place some time in the Fall.  Fingers crossed......
Not sure when we will have another virtual meeting but it probably will be scheduled through "Go to Meeting" instead of "Zoom".  Will follow-up soon.
First Zoom Meeting Rosemarie Russo 2020-04-06 04:00:00Z 0

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Month

"March is Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Month:  clean water, sanitation and hygiene education are basic necessities for a healthy environment and a productive life.  It is said that over 663 million people around the world do not have access to clean water and sanitation.  Over 10,000 people die every day due to the lack of clean water and basic sanitation. 
When people have access to clean water and sanitation, waterborne diseases decrease, children stay healthier and attend school more regularly, and mothers can spend less time carrying water and more time helping their families. 
Through water, sanitation and hygiene programs, Rotary's people of action mobilize resources, form partnerships and invest in infrastructure and training that yield long-term change."  Rotary Clubs all over the world are carrying out programs to establish water supply delivery systems, install toilets, build bio-sand filters, providing washing stations, water tanks and training to maintain the systems.
Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Month DG Steve Albright 2020-03-11 04:00:00Z 0

Martha Crippen

President Kathryn is pictured above with Martha Crippen, Director of Consumer Protection Unit at the State Office of the Attorney General.  Martha has had 27 years of service in our area or other at the AG's office.  She brought along several pamphlets, talked about many types of scams that are currently active in the area and provided some tips to avoid getting fooled by scammers.  She mentioned that telemarketers do have to register with their office and the "do not call" telephone option works for them; however, scammers are not registered .  A reminder to all is that Social Security and Internal Revenue Service will NOT call you and ask for money - either cash or gift cards. 
Martha Crippen Rosemarie Russo 2020-03-09 04:00:00Z 0

Open Meeting

We had no speaker Monday evening but there was lots of lively discussion.  Prospective member Frank Livingston invited his sister, Georgi Kopperman, to join us for dinner as she expressed interest.  As it turns out, Georgi is a friend of President Kathryn.
Doug provided an update on Chowder Lunch with a reminder to SELL YOUR TICKETS and turn the proceeds in to Rose.
Rona urged everyone to invite a guest to the March 9th meeting to hear Martha Crippen from Rhode Island's Office of the Attorney General.  She will be speaking about scams. 
President Kathryn has been in contact with the Chariho and Wakefield Clubs regarding a collaboration with Habitat projects.  A current one involves doing roofing work - if anyone is interested in helping, please contact President Kathryn.
Steve and Ted discussed the 21st Charitable/Scholarship Dinner.  One special item in process is a "Holiday on Block Island" - round trip airfare, hotel stay, dinner package.  More to come!!!  A reminder - reserve your seat as soon as possible.  Since our fabulous dinner by Andrew Nathan is usually underwritten by a generous donor, we have little to no expense.  Our proceeds will be split between our Charitable giving and Scholarship funds.
Community News  -  A group of students (7th to 12th graders) who are members of Shoreline Robotics Inc - a 501(c)(3) non profit organization in Pawcatuck/Westerly area - have won the R. I. First Tech Challenge competition qualifying them for the Worlds Competition in Detroit, Michigan, April 28 - May 2.  They are having a Pasta Dinner at the Westerly Senior Center on March 28 to raise funds to reduce their travel costs.  Let's attend the dinner to help them on their way.
Open Meeting Rosemarie Russo 2020-03-02 05:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Leadership Award

We are pleased to announce that Adam Gilman, shown above with President Kathryn and Principal Hobin, has been selected for the 2020 Rotary Youth Leadership Award.  He will be attending the annual event at Cape Cod Sea Camps in Brewster, MA, which is now postponed until the Fall.  This is a leadership program that is open to high school sophomores and juniors  and offers life-changing, lasting opportunities "to gain hands-on experience in developing skills with a focus on community service."  Many Rylarians return to this annual conference as Alumni to put their leadership skills into action through coordination of leadership seminars and community projects.
Adam is an Honor student, has earned his Academic letter, Lamp of Learning Pin.  He has participated in soccer, basketball, lacrosse.  Adam is also a Big Buddy mentor, Summer Pops volunteer, Westerly Youth Soccer Association volunteer, and WHS Student representative to School Committee.  He hopes to attend the Naval Academy.  We are certain that this young man will be successful in all that he does and hope that Rotary will be a part of his adult life.
Rotary Youth Leadership Award Rosemarie Russo 2020-02-24 05:00:00Z 0

First Community Chowder Lunch

The First Community Chowder Lunch  has been cancelled due to the coronavirus.  We will try again next year.  Anyone who has purchased tickets may request a refund.  Contact Rose at 401.315.5868 or
First Community Chowder Lunch Rosemarie Russo 2020-02-24 05:00:00Z 0

February Student of the Month

Chas Morgan with President Kathryn
Westerly High School Senior Chas Morgan was introduced to the membership by Principal Hobin.   This is a very special young man who has achieved academic honors all four years of high school and has scored 1000 points in Basketball.  He is participating in a "Running Start Acceptance" program at CCRI that allows him to complete his senior year while attending CCRI classes.  He is on the Dean's List and will acquire 30 credits toward his college career.  For his community service, Chas has volunteered at Bulldog Basketball Kids Camp, Warm Shelter and spoke to Middle School boys basketball team about substance abuse.  We know that Chas will do very well and will have a fantastic future.
February Student of the Month Rosemarie Russo 2020-02-24 05:00:00Z 0

Passing the Red Ribbon

Alan Brinton happily passed on his "New Member" red ribbon to John Hall at our Monday dinner.
Passing the Red Ribbon Rosemarie Russo 2020-02-10 05:00:00Z 0

Connect on the Cape 2020

           MAY 1 - 3   HYANNIS, MA
Early bird registration open until Feb 28: 
$260 per person for entire conference
after Feb 28  cost increases to $309
Sign up at
Hotel registrations made separately by calling the
CAPE CODDER RESORT in Hyannis  855.861.4370
Rotary District 7950 special rate of $125/night
This year the conference also includes the District
Assembly  -  scheduled for Saturday 10:30am to 3:15pm and
includes lunch  - includes 6 breakouts, training for club secretaries
and treasurers along with a General Plenary Session at lunch
Cost for Assembly is $45 per person
RYLA SEA CAMP  May 15-17  Brewster, MA
Connect on the Cape 2020 Rosemarie Russo 2020-02-08 05:00:00Z 0

Celebrating Walter Kimball

Walter has been a Rotarian for almost 56 years.  He decided to resign from membership as of December 31, just 15 days short of his Rotary anniversary.  He joined the Rotary Club of Westerly in 1993, was Past President from 1976-1977 and is a Paul Harris Fellow.  Walter is a Veteran and has been very active with the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization as well as the War Memorial located at the corner of Broad and Grove Streets.  He also has been very involved in trying to assist veterans through the various processes, such as disability claims, pensions and health benefits.  The program is called Project Outreach of Westerly.  Walter is at the VFW home at 113 Beach Street the first Wednesday and third Monday of each month from 5:00 to 6:30 pm.  If anyone knows a vet who needs assistance, tell them to call 401.596.0470.  And, so Walter continues "Service above Self" but not as a Rotarian; however, the Board has awarded him Honorary membership and a gift of a Rotary jacket.  Many blessings to you Walter.
Celebrating Walter Kimball Rosemarie Russo 2020-02-05 05:00:00Z 0

John Hall Returns

Cal Lord, John Hall and Doug Rayner
John has rejoined our Club as of Monday evening.  He was previously a member from 11/1/1986 through 9/27/2006, was Past President 1991-1992 and 2001-2002 and is a Paul Harris Fellow.  John is the owner of Frank Hall Boatyard and was a former member of the Chorus of Westerly.  It's a pleasure to welcome John back.
John Hall Returns Rosemarie Russo 2020-02-03 05:00:00Z 0

Rotarian Reminders

A couple of discussions this past week have prompted the following thoughts to remind Rotarians that:
1. attending a Club Committee meeting, other Rotary Club meeting, Board meeting of a non profit group, participating in a non profit event constitutes a MAKEUP of a regular dinner meeting - IF the event takes place within 2 weeks before or after the missed meeting  -  member should notify Treasurer Rose of the attended makeup event via email including a description, date and time.
2. when you arrive at dinner meeting, please check in with Treasurer, whether or not you are having dinner, in order for your attendance to be noted in our records - also retrieve your badge from the badge box.
3. when we have guests at dinner meeting such as this past week,  Rotarians should be sitting among them.  In the past a member could be fined for sitting next to another Rotarian rather than a guest.  Let's do better going forward and NOT let our guests sit by themselves.
4.  attending dinner or not - please notify President or Secretary by phone or email
Rotarian Reminders Rosemarie Russo 2020-01-27 05:00:00Z 0

Students of the Month

Olivia Marsh, our December Student of the Month, with President Kathryn.
She is an Honor Roll student, achieving High Honors, National Honor Society, Academic Letter.  But there's more - Olivia plays volleyball and is Volleyball Captain this year, earned her Varsity Letter, member of the Basketball Cheerleading team, Softball team, Character Ed, Student Council, Pep Club.  Her community services includes being a Freshman mentor, leader, coordinator and blood donor at their recent WHS Blood Drive, Columbus Day Parade, Time Capsule Burial, Homecoming set up.  And, Olivia finds time to work at the Pizza Place.  She is hoping to attend the University of Rhode Island and for a future in Nursing.
January Student of the Month Aaron Tallardy with President Kathryn
Aaron is also a National Honor Society member with Academic Pin and Letter, Academic All-State, and a Boy's State participant.  He is a member of the Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track teams and Cross Country Captain this year.  Aaron's community service includes being a Freshman mentor, School Improvement Team, Vacation Bible School Camp at his church, Trail Maintenance for the Westerly Track and Athletic Club, Beach CleanUp with other WHS students, Summer Pops State setup and Pops Concession Stand Cleanup crew.  Aaron has worked during summers for the Town of Westerly.  His plan is to attend the University of Rhode Island to pursue a Computer Engineering degree.
The Student of the Month plaques have been generously donated by Nigrelli's Jewelry and Rotarian Joseph Nigrelli.
Students of the Month Rosemarie Russo 2020-01-27 05:00:00Z 0

Beth LeConte - URI OLLI Program

President Kathryn with Beth Leconte
Wakefield Rotarian Beth Leconte is also the Executive Director of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Rhode Island.  "OLLI is a member-based organization open to people 50+ years or age.  If you have a curious mind and a keen interest in learning, come join us" says the brochure.  This program is in its eleventh year with over 1400 members with courses from learning conversational Italian to Natural Stress Relief.  There are Travel programs, Special Interest Groups (biking, foreign policy discussion).  Classrooms and OLLI office are at 210 Flagg Road and parking is available at Lot#21 outside the building.  Membership registration is available online, via mail or in person.  The first OLLI program began in Maine by Bernard Osher.  The URI program just recently celebrate their tenth anniversary.  To read more information about this exciting program go to  or contact Beth at or 401.874.2405.
Beth LeConte - URI OLLI Program Rosemarie Russo 2020-01-27 05:00:00Z 0

Scholarship Award Winner

Adrianna Turano was our third 2019 Scholarship Award winner to meet with us at dinner.  It was such a pleasure to meet Adrianna and have the opportunity to chat with her.  She is attending the University of Rhode Island with a double major in Political Science and Computer Science.  Adrianna is also a freshman representative to the Student Senate, involved with Women in Computing and will be starting a part time job at a Nonprofit Coffee Shop.
Scholarship Award Winner Rosemarie Russo 2020-01-13 05:00:00Z 0

Southern R.I. Volunteers

Pictured above with President Kathryn is Deb & Lindsay Tanner, Executive Director and Assistant Director, respectively.  Southern Rhode Island Volunteers is located in Charlestown, Rhode Island but serves all of southern Rhode Island towns.  The organization's mission is to "enhance lives by inspiring, creating and supporting a lifelong culture of service through our volunteer members and affiliates across Southern Rhode Island."  Their programs are INDEPENDENT AGING SERVICES - "helping elderly individuals and adults with disabilities to remain in their own homes with assistance" - transportation to medical appointments, grocery stores, meals on wheels, respite relief for caregivers and companionship to elders; VOLUNTEER PROGRAM - volunteers aged 13 and over and Retired Senior Volunteers aged 55 and over - available for community service at food pantries, schools, libraries, museums, animal shelters, senior/community centers; and DISASTER PREPAREDNESS (CERT) - serving Narragansett, South Kingstown and North Kingstown communities in regional sheltering during time of natural and man-made disasters.
For more information about this organization, please go to or call 401.552.7661.
Southern R.I. Volunteers Rosemarie Russo 2020-01-13 05:00:00Z 0

Happy New Year!!

Welcome to our first meeting of the new year with wishes for your good health, a bit of wealth, and much happiness
We were pleased to present 2019 Scholarship awards to two more recipients - Isabel Huckle and Samuel Luzzi.
Isabel is at the University of Vermont pursuing health care studies and Sam is at the University of Rhode Island in the engineering program.  Members wished them every success.
Rotary Moment was presented by Bob and Rose with a short discussion about Every Rotarian Every Year donations to Rotary Foundation including how the funds are used to make life better throughout the world, the Foundation's four-star rating as a non profit.  Nine members have contributed so far this fiscal year.  We hope to have full participation this year.
Kathryn received an email from Dave Henley inviting our membership to attend their 25 February meeting at Pinecrest Golf Club, 6:30.  Guest speaker will be RI General Treasurer Seth Magaziner.  Let Kathryn know by Feb 21 if you plan to attend.
Happy New Year!! Rosemarie Russo 2020-01-06 05:00:00Z 0

Annual Meeting/Holiday Party

The Spirit of Christmas was all around us Monday evening.  Members brought lots of gifts which were going to be delivered to Jonnycake Center by Derin Temel and Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center by Bob Elmer.  We welcomed Jean Rayner, Ed Russell, Florence Alvino, Evie Cofone, Jen Brinton, Eileen & Miles Temel, Dave Mann, Donna Celico.
Business of the evening was to vote our Slate of Officers for 2020/2021.  Steve Cofone made a motion that the secretary cast the vote for all - no nominations from the floor - all membership in attendance voted "Yea". 
Thank you notes were received from Reforest the Tropics and WARM Center.  Also we received letters from our two Chikumbuso students.  Phiri and Peter send everyone wishes for a Happy Christmas, New Year and a thank you for our "kindness".
Cal offered an opportunity for members to join Central Baptist Church on two mission trips coming up in 2020 - Bern, North Carolina and Nicaragua.
A highlight of the evening was to give Olivia Chiaradio her 2019 Scholarship Award.  She is a Nursing student at University of New England.
Annual Meeting/Holiday Party 2019-12-16 05:00:00Z 0

Officer Howard Mills, Westerly Police

Posted on Dec 09, 2019
Officer Howard Mills is a Chariho High School graduate and has been on the Westerly Police Force for 15 years in various positions.  Currently he is the town's Community Service Officer and is our Club's contact to distribute the lockboxes that we have donated to the community.  This program was originally started in Bristol RI by Sgt Ricardo Mourato, who visited our Club last April.  So, how does the program work?  We supply the Westerly Police with lockboxes purchased at special pricing from McQuade's Ace Hardware.  When an elderly person or person with disability contacts Officer Mills, he will schedule a wellness visit and determine where the lockbox should be located.  Officer Mills will take a picture of the lockbox location, prepare a document detailing the residence address, other pertinent information and a lockbox code only accessed by emergency services.  Officer Mills said that they get 3-4 calls daily for "wellness" checks - visits to make sure that a resident is okay.  Having the lockbox installed now allows them to enter a home without breaking down a door or window.  Our original 10 lockboxes have all been placed.  He also received a call from a condo association that will purchase lockboxes for their members.
Officer Howard Mills, Westerly Police Rosemarie Russo 2019-12-09 05:00:00Z 0

Pasta Dinner to Benefit Jonnycake Ctr's Fuel Assistance Fund

Pasta Dinner to benefit Jonnycake Center's Fuel Assistance Fund  -   current net is $3,142.  Again, if anyone has not turned in ticket money for this event, please get your funds to Rose ASAP - waiting to hear from five members.
Pasta Dinner to Benefit Jonnycake Ctr's Fuel Assistance Fund Rosemarie Russo 2019-11-26 05:00:00Z 0

Football Night 25 Nov 2019

Posted by Cal Lord on Nov 25, 2019
A great night for Rotary as we celebrated the historic gridiron rivalry between the Stonington and Westerly High Schools. Special thanks to the Rotary Club of the Stoningtons for hosting us at the Go Fish restaurant. We heard from coaches Duane Maranda and A. J. Massengale, and several others as we gear up for the big Thanksgiving Day game. Special thanks to our guest MC Ruthie Polinsky from WPRI channel 12 Sports.
Football Night 25 Nov 2019 Cal Lord 2019-11-25 05:00:00Z 0

Guatemala Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Projects

Posted on Nov 21, 2019
An update from Rick Lawrence, District 7890 Chair of Water and Sanitation Projects and 19/20 Chair of Agua Caliente & Paxorotot Water & Sanitation Projects
"Dear Fellow Rotarians: 
I want to thank you for your club's past contribution to one of the two Global Grants that funded the Clean Water & Sanitation Projects in Guatemala.  As a means of keeping you informed about the utilization of those funds, I am attaching the latest progress report on the 3 villages currently under construction.  Please share with your club members so they can see how their contributions are being used effectively."
"Just this afternoon ABPD posted the below video (sorry, can't publish here, but may find it on Facebook).  This is one of the 3 villages currently under construction.  Chajalajya, Tecpan - last week the pumping system operated by solar energy was installed and the water has already arrived to the distribution tank, without need of any type of fuel other than the sunlight.  Soon the water will come to homes."
"Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family and all of your fellow Rotarians,"
Rick and Elin Lawrence.
Guatemala Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Projects Rosemarie Russo 2019-11-21 05:00:00Z 0

Jill & Steve Albright - Student Exchange

Posted on Nov 18, 2019
Jill Albright, President Kathryn and Steve Albright
District Governor Steve and Jill are current Chairs of our district's youth exchange program.  Sponsored by Rotary Clubs in more than 100 countries, this program is for 15 to 19 year old students who wish to learn a new language and discover another culture.  The main goal of Rotary Youth Exchange is to build peace one young person at a time.  The benefits to students are "developing lifelong leadership skills, learning a new language and culture, building lasting friendships with young people from around the world, and becoming a global citizen."  There are two programs - long-term exchange for a full academic year attending school and living with 2-3 host families and short-term exchange for a period of a few days to three months.  For each American student going abroad, a foreign student comes to the US.  Students are usually responsible for their round-trip airfare, travel insurance, travel documents and spending money. This is a multi-district program of Eastern States Student Exchange (ESSEX).  Contact Steve or Jill at  for more information.
Jill & Steve Albright - Student Exchange Rosemarie Russo 2019-11-18 05:00:00Z 0

Student of the Month - Rocco Cillino

Principal Hobin, Rocco Cillino and President Kathryn
November's student of the month - Rocco is a National Honor Society member,  received Academic Letter and Pin,  received National Army Award of Academics and Athletics and Mary Lou Serra Scholarship.  He has been a member of the WHS Football team as well as Indoor and Outdoor Track, Basketball and Lacrosse.  Rocco earned the USA Today 1st Team All State and the Michael McGuire Coaches Award in his Junior year.  His community service includes being a Freshman Mentor, volunteering at the Columbus Day Parade, Big Dog Youth Football Camp and Altar Server at Immaculate Conception Church - all four years of high school.  And, he finds time to work part-time at Cillino Yard Care and Dunns' Corner Pizza.  He isn't sure yet where he'll go to college but is interested in business and marketing, in particular, sports marketing.
Student of the Month - Rocco Cillino Rosemarie Russo 2019-11-18 05:00:00Z 0

Bikes for Kids

Posted on Nov 04, 2019
Saturday, 2 November,  the 3rd Annual Westerly Bikes for Kids event took place at Valenti Subaru at Dunns Corners.  Sponsors for the event were Ocean Community YMCA and Foundation for Life.  Of course, Chris and WBLQ were also present as well as Rotarians Kathryn, Doug and Cal.  Westerly High School's culinary department provided a Thanksgiving dinner.   Happy youngsters received the surprise of new bikes.
Bikes for Kids Rosemarie Russo 2019-11-04 05:00:00Z 0

Celebrating Helen Mochetti

Posted on Oct 28, 2019
The membership welcomed Helen Mochetti to dinner this past Monday to celebrate her fifty years of service to the community and to the many, many children that passed through the Westerly Library over the past thirty years as head of the Children's library services.  She actually held a variety of positions at the Westerly Library, celebrating fifty years this year.  Brigitte Hopkins, the Library's current Executive Director, said that Helen has "touched the lives of thousands and brought joy to so many individuals who have passed through our doors.  She has seen some grow up before her eyes only to return with their own children." 
For our Club, in particular, we owe Helen a great debt for all her help with our program of providing Children's books in honor of our speakers.  Helen was always - always - up to the task of matching a book to the Speaker's topic.  And so we presented Helen with a Paul Harris Fellow Award to thank her for her warm smile, gentle greetings and spreading the importance of reading in that "magical space" in the Library's lower level.
Joining us for this special occasion was husband of 39 years, Lido Mochetti, as well as Brigitte Hopkins and Bill Lancellotta, Assistant Director of the Library, and Donna Celico.
Celebrating Helen Mochetti Rosemarie Russo 2019-10-28 04:00:00Z 0

2020 Census

Debborah Smith, from the United States Census Bureau, gave us a little "Census 101" talk.  In 2020 the Bureau will be encouraging households to submit responses online - first time.  Did you know???   Everyone Counts  - the census counts every person living in the U. S. once, only once and in the right place.  It's In The Constitution - the U. S. Constitution mandates that everyone should be counted every 10 years - first census was in 1790.  Fair Representation - every 10 years the results of the census are used to reapportion the House of Representatives to determine how many seats each state gets.  $675 Billion - the distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds, grant and support to states, counties and communities are based on census data.  Redistricting - after the census, state officials redraw the boundaries of the congressional and state legislative districts in their states to account for population shifts.  Civic Duty - completing the census is mandatory; it is a way to participate in our democracy and say "I COUNT!"  The counting will begin on March 12 with an invitation to respond online or with paper questionnaires.  Responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure and protected by Federal law.  Your answers can only be used to produce statistics and cannot be used against you in any way.
2020 Census Rosemarie Russo 2019-10-21 04:00:00Z 0

Student of the Month

Monday evening Principal Hobin presented us with our October Student of the Month - a young lady, small in stature but a real powerhouse.  She has made High honors with Distinction all four years, National Honor and RI Honor Societies, Academic Letter and 3 pins - the list goes on and on.  Abigail Turano was also our Rotary Youth Leadership Award winner this past May.  She participated in Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and served as Captain in her Senior year.  Abby is a Freshmen Mentor and participant in Character Education, Varsity Athletes Above Substance Abuse.  For community service Abby has volunteered with the Columbus Day Parade, Attack the Track, Summer Pops, Chaperone for Elementary School Field Trips.  For her Senior Project, Abby organized a Unity Lunch on the high school's quad and athletic track to promote the "Choose to Include" movement to her fellow students and teachers.  Mr. Hobin stated that the event was extremely successful.  Many took the pledge after listening to Westerly Police Chief Lacey, Singer Billy Gilman and Mr. Hobin.   And she finds time to hold a part-time job.  Abby said that she wasn't sure where she will go to college but we know that, wherever she goes and whatever she does, Abby will be successful.
Student of the Month Rosemarie Russo 2019-10-21 04:00:00Z 0

Annual Pasta Dinner

Posted on Oct 08, 2019
The Pasta Dinner to benefit the Jonnycake Emergency Fuel Assistance Fund was a great success.  Not all funds have been received yet but the tally so far exceeds last year.  Will follow-up as soon as all funds have been received.
Annual Pasta Dinner Rosemarie Russo 2019-10-08 04:00:00Z 0

In Memoriam

Posted on Oct 07, 2019
Past District Governor James Rassol passed away last week.  He served District 7950 as District Governor in 1996/1997 and was a 42-year member of the Rotary Club of Warwick.  Calling hours are Tuesday 4-8 at the Perry McStay Funeral Home, 2555 Pawtucket Avenue, East Providence.  His funeral is scheduled for Wednesday at 11:00am at the funeral home.  Burial will be with Military Honors at the Swan Point Cemetery in Providence.
In Memoriam Rosemarie Russo 2019-10-07 04:00:00Z 0

Special things

Posted on Sep 30, 2019
Rona & Kathryn participated in the annual Terri Brodeur Cancer Walk this past Saturday.  Rona is standing with Lisa of Niantic Rotary at their beverage tent at the event.  Second picture includes Kathryn and Rona.  Great job!!!

Special things Rosemarie Russo 2019-09-30 04:00:00Z 0

Student of the Month Maya Champ

Our first Student of the Month for the 2019/2020 year was Maya Champ.  Her family members are good friends of Derin Temel so he presented the plaque, provided courtesy of Nigrelli's Jewelry.  Principal Hobin introduced Maya as the "TOP" - top in leadership, top in service.  She is a member of the National & Rhode Island Honor Societies, was RI Girls State Senator, received the Bausch & Lamb Honorary Science Award.  Maya has been a Girl Scout and is working toward her Girl Scout Gold Award, participated in various school teams, volunteered as a camp counselor at elementary STEM camp and Attack the Track.  Maya said that she had applied to several colleges but doesn't have a favorite and still is not sure what her major will be.  We wish her all the very best in all that she does and wherever she goes from here.
Student of the Month Maya Champ Rosemarie Russo 2019-09-30 04:00:00Z 0

Honoring Police, Fire and Emergency Service Personnel

Posted on Sep 29, 2019
Today the Westerly-Pawcatuck Clergy Association once again offered a celebration to honor our first responders - Emergency Personnel, Firefighters, and Police officers.  The celebration began with a blessing of vehicles at the Central Baptist Church parking lot, followed by a procession to Christ Church and an Evensong service.  A reception followed.  Thanks to Linda and Sabrina from Rotary Club of the Stoningtons and President Kathryn, Doug, Steve, Ted, Rona and Rose for helping with serving and clean up.
Honoring Police, Fire and Emergency Service Personnel Rosemarie Russo 2019-09-29 04:00:00Z 0

Wood River Health Services

Posted on Sep 23, 2019
Our guests, Monday, included Medical Director Dr. Nadia Duvilaire,  President & Ceo Alison L. Croke, (pictured above with President Kathryn) and Development Coordinator Dave Henley of Wood River Health Services.  Alison provided a little history of community health services throughout the country.  From one opening 1965 there are now 1200 such organizations.  Wood River Health opened in 1976 and the staff now total 65 between the Hope Valley and Westerly offices.  It is a non profit organization whose mission statement reads "to improve the health and well-being of our community by assuring access to affordable high quality healthcare, coordinated services, and health related information."  For more information, please visit their website
Wood River Health Services Rosemarie Russo 2019-09-23 04:00:00Z 0

Westerly PeeWee Football

Posted on Sep 16, 2019
Everyone's favorite Coach, Joe Vacca, was at dinner Monday evening to talk Pee Wee Football, which is now in its 56th year for boys between the ages of 9 and 13 AND girls of the same ages learning to be Cheerleaders.  Joe said that the field was built by the community and maintained by devoted former players supported by donations from businesses and organizations.  They must raise $45 thousand dollars each year for equipment and uniforms.  No boy or girl is turned away for financial reasons.  Uniforms are replaced as needed; helmets are reconditioned every season and some may be replaced - definitely replaced after 10 years.  If anyone would like to attend a game, go to  You will find team schedules for all three levels.  Also, since I was at the website a few minutes ago, I noted that they are looking for volunteers to help in the food concession.  We may be getting a visit soon from Joe's counterpart on the Cheerleading side to hear a little about that program.
Westerly PeeWee Football Rosemarie Russo 2019-09-16 04:00:00Z 0

Walk for Alzheimer's at Misquamicut Beach

Posted on Sep 14, 2019
The Rotary Club of Westerly Walkers:  President Kathryn, Cal, Rona, Julie, Rose and Pat Grande.  We raised $650.  A total of 445 walkers raised $70,925.  Our walk took us past "Kazoo East" so we had to stop a minute to take a picture with Bob Boughner and family.  And there is also a picture of our Chris DiPaola of WBLQ.
Walk for Alzheimer's at Misquamicut Beach Rosemarie Russo 2019-09-14 04:00:00Z 0

New Member Induction

Posted on Sep 09, 2019
Monday evening was another very special celebration as Cal inducted three new members into our Club  -  Dora Vasquez-Hellner, Deren Temel and Julie Lord.  The picture above shows them with their Sponsors Rona, Dan and Cal.  As usual, President Kathryn brought cake to complete the celebration.  We are all pleased to welcome them into our Club.  Already getting involved, Dora will be working with Dan on the Reforest the Tropics program.  Julie is planning on working with Westerly High School's Interact Club.
New Member Induction rose 2019-09-09 04:00:00Z 0

Giulia Jaramillo

Posted on Aug 05, 2019
Giulia, our Guest Speaker Monday evening, is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Author of "Navigating in the Dark."    Her practice, Dialect Psychotherapy LLC, operates in Mystic, CT at 12 Roosevelt Avenue.  Born in Italy, emigrated with her parents to the United States in 1968, Giulia was born with Macular Degeneration but didn't get this diagnosis until 1971.  Rising above many cruelties from her childhood because of her disease which left her legally blind, this little 4 foot 9 inch powerhouse graduated from Westerly High School, Cosmetology School, and in 2001 graduated summa cum laude with a  Bachelor of Science from the University of Rhode Island.  This was followed with a Master of Science degree in Marital and Family Therapy.  As she told us her story, the point became very obvious.  She is courageous, resilient and fearless.  Her message - "NO ONE is unworthy of kindness, respect, justice and fairness in their life.  No disability should be the cause for anyone's rights to be compromised."  She tells her story to her patients so they can see that they are NOT alone.  She said in Navigating in the Dark, "you CAN find new ways of facing your challenges, and you CAN persevere and come back to create a life full of meaning and joy."
President-Elect Rona and Giulia
Giulia's book is available on for $15.99.  You can also contact Giulia at 860.333.2411 or for more information.
Giulia Jaramillo Rosemarie Russo 2019-08-05 04:00:00Z 0

Speaker -Betty J. Cotter

Posted on Jul 30, 2019
Betty J. Cotter  and President Kathryn.
Betty teaches writing at the University of Rhode Island and English at Three Rivers Community College.  She is an author of books about Rhode Island - The Winters, Roberta's Woods, Images of America Series - South Shore Rhode Island  and others.  She has also been writing about the one hundred year history of South County Hospital.   This past Monday evening Betty provided a presentation "Remembering Modern Medicine."  Her pictorial presentation showed the many changes over the years of medical care.  One important note is that money was/is always a problem.  It was interesting to learn that at one time nurses controlled hospital operations in their white, starched uniforms - hospital administration, budgeting, maintaining patient records, as well as patient care - and doctors determined the length of a patient's hospital stay.
If you would like to learn more about Betty or her writings, go to
Speaker -Betty J. Cotter Rosemarie Russo 2019-07-30 04:00:00Z 0

Special  -  188th Birthday Party

Wednesday, July 31st  -  188th Birthday Party
Dave Mann and Joe Nigrelli  sitting in front of Nigrelli's Jewelry Store
Both Friends, both Veterans  -  Dave celebrated his 94th birthday today but Joe celebrated his 94th in June.   WBLQ's "Mann About Town" provided a live remote broadcast this afternoon from 3 - 5pm at Nigrelli's.  Birthday cake was available.  To celebrate the day, Nigrelli's was having a great sale.   Everyone was invited to salute these two gentlemen and wish a Happy 188!!!!
Special - 188th Birthday Party Rona Mann 2019-07-25 04:00:00Z 0

Guest Speaker Farmer Craig

Posted on Jul 22, 2019
Monday evening our members had the pleasure of meeting and listening to Farmer Craig Floyd.  He is the Farm Manager at Coogan Farm which is a part of the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center in Mystic.  The 34 acres of Coogan Farm, purchased in 2013, resulted in the creation of The Giving Garden - 30,000 square feet of garden plots, cared for under the direction of Farmer Craig with the help of over 370 volunteers.  The garden has provided 20 tons of food distributed to "63 programs that serve 91 feeding sites across New London County."  The garden is a model for "sustainable, more resilient agriculture."  As Farmer Craig teaches, "resilient agriculture seeks to continually feed the soil as we grow and feed the community without using agri-chemicals."  "Sustainable farming builds soil health, fertility, organic matter, nutrient density, biota diversity, water holding capacity by increasing the carbon content of the soil.  The soil is tested and amended with minerals as needed to enhance the biologic activity of the mycorrhizal fungi."  Farmer Craig teaches classes his various agricultural techniques for their own properties.
If you want to learn more about The Giving Garden go to or visit them at 162 Greenmanville Avenue (RT27), Mystic CT.  Their phone number is 860.536.1216.
President Kathryn presenting a children's book for the Westerly Children's Library honoring Farmer Craig Floyd for all his work.
Guest Speaker Farmer Craig Rosemarie Russo 2019-07-22 04:00:00Z 0

Rick Berardanelli

Posted on Jul 15, 2019
Visiting Rotarian Rick Berardanelli from Sante Fe, New Mexico is exchanging Club banners with President Kathryn.  The New Mexico banner given to us was one of the last handmade Club banners.
Rick Berardanelli Rosemarie Russo 2019-07-15 04:00:00Z 0

Janie Carlisle -Journey thru ESRD

Posted on Jul 15, 2019
Janie and Kathryn
Janie Carlisle, former Westerly Rotarian and current President of the Carlisle-Williams Foundation, found herself with very serious health issues - End Stage Renal Disease - several years ago.  On a waiting list four years for a kidney transplant, she began to think of end of life plans when a chance encounter by her sister led her to Debbie Williams Glover - her kidney donor.  Due to the struggles Janie encountered while trying to navigate her healthy issues and understand her disease, The Carlisle-Williams Foundation  had its start.  
The focus of this organization is to bring hope to patients with End Stage Renal Disease who are on dialysis.  "They provide comfort bags for use during dialysis treatments; diet and nutritional information; emotional support; and support for employment."  All of their services are provided at no cost to clients.  The mission "is to increase the quality of life and the motivation to live by providing hope and support to dialysis patients using a boots on the ground approach."
Janie said that "there are an estimated 20 million people in the USA who have chronic kidney disease."  Nearly 116,000 of these patients progress to the point where replacement kidney therapy is required to sustain life and only a few will receive a kidney transplant.  Most will require dialysis to stay alive - a few may receive treatment at home but others must go to a local dialysis center for the 3-5 hours per session three to four times per week.   Anyone who wishes to learn more about the Carlisle-Williams Foundation should go to their website: or OR send an email message to
Janie Carlisle -Journey thru ESRD Rosemarie Russo 2019-07-15 04:00:00Z 0

Harmony Trail Instruments at Rotary Park

Posted on Jul 14, 2019
They are in - finally!!!!
Ted Avedesian, Jean Gagnier, Doug Rayner, Anthony Russo - busy installing and leveling Griffin.
Merry after installation.  Tim Liebling will install the Rotary placques on the instruments soon.  Tim said that the Wee Notes Collection (Griffin, Merry and Piper) have been tuned to be enjoyed together.  Stop by the Park when you have a chance and make some music!!
Harmony Trail Instruments at Rotary Park 2019-07-14 04:00:00Z 0

RI Department of Revenue

Posted on Jul 10, 2019
Monday evening, 8 July, our guest speaker was Mark Furcolo, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Revenue, with Paul Grimaldi, Chief of Information and Public Relations.  Mark said that the DOR has over 600 employees serving across six divisions:  Department of Motor Vehicles, RI Lottery, Division of Taxation, Office of Revenue Analysis, Division of Municipal Finance and Central Collections Unit.  The mission of the DOR "is to administer its programs, and consistently execute the laws and regulations with integrity and accountability, thereby instilling public confidence in the work performed by the department."  His slide presentation indicated that the streamlining of divisions has increased productivity and improved services.  Advances in the area of technology is allowing for more interaction via internet and online services.
He closed his remarks with mention of "REAL ID" - a Federal mandated program that will be in effect as of October 2020 - everyone will need a Real ID or passport to fly within the United States.  If you would like to read more about this, go to 
Below is a picture of Kathryn presenting a children's library book to Mark for his signature.
RI Department of Revenue Rosemarie Russo 2019-07-10 04:00:00Z 0

Harmony Trail Instruments

Posted on Jul 07, 2019
They are made in the USA by Freenotes Harmony Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and they have been placed all over the world.  Not effected by climate, they enhance the environment with the sweet sounds evoked when played.  Built in various sizes, the sounds go from basso to soprano.  Some of the newer instruments have been shaped into trees or colorful flowers.  The instruments will be maintained by members of the Bricks & Murals organization.
We have selected the following two for Rotary Park (yet to be installed)
Griffin         Merry
And the third one, Piper, is sponsored by the Celico Family and dedicated in memory of Mario Celico.  A memorial dedication of Piper took place on Sunday, July 7, 2019 at 11:00am at Rotary Park followed by a reception/lunch from Noon to 2:00pm at The Margin Street Inn at 4 Margin Street, Westerly.
Lisa Konicki, President of the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce, gave the dedication on behalf of the Celico family, remembering Mario's many accomplishments.  Afterwards, some of the young children took turns playing Piper, which sounded quite lovely.
The pictures above include a close-up of the plaque, the Celico siblings, Lisa Konicki with Council members, and Rotary members.
Harmony Trail Instruments  Rosemarie Russo 2019-07-07 04:00:00Z 0

Installation Night/Beginning a New Year

Posted on Jul 01, 2019
  Celebrating 61 years of The Rotary Club of Westerly serving our community, our District and the World
with installation of 2019/2020 officers.  Guests included Past District Governor Valerie Perry, Past District Governor Bill Vangel, Betty Gallaghan from East Providence Rotary, Tina Vangel from Scituate Rotary, Marty & Bob Boughner, Jean Rayner, Anthony Russo.  PDG Valerie installed our officers and PDG Bill presented District Awards - Presidential Award for Excellence (achieved15 of 21 requirements) and Public Image Award (achieved 5 of 7 requirements).
Newly installed 2019/2020 officers: Secr/Treas Rosemarie Russo, Vice President Ted Avedesian, President-Elect Rona Mann, President Kathryn Taylor,  Immediate Past President Chris DiPaola, and PDG Valerie Perry. Missing are Directors at large Steve Cofone and Kristina Dimova.
And two awards were received for our very special members - the District's Service Longevity Awards to Joe Nigrelli for 50 years of service and Vinnie Gaccione for 58 years of service.
President-Elect Rona Mann presented our newest Paul Harris Fellow - a young man who was recognized by the Board for his example of "service above self" with his willingness to help whenever needed whether selling lemonade at Summer Pops or setting up the projector and screen for a guest speaker - this editor's son, Anthony.   Mom could not have been more proud.   When asked to say a few words, Anthony replied that he really didn't know what to say except "thank you".  He said he was "just a truck driver" and did what Mom asked of him.
And then all Paul Harris Fellows stood together
Installation Night/Beginning a New Year Rosemarie Russo 2019-07-01 04:00:00Z 0

2019 Scholarship Winners

Posted on Jun 25, 2019
Antwone Brown Jr - $500 Award
Honor Roll all 4 years, Science Award, Bulldog Pride Pin, Construction Award -Most Improved Student, Rotary Club Student of the Month.  Extracurricular activities included Football, Track, Unified Basketball.  Community Service included After-School Program -reading to elementary students, Special Olympics Mentor -Sunday Bowling League, The Buddy Foundation Mentor, Columbus Day Parade.  Had part-time employment during high school years.  Plans to start is college career at CCRI. 
Olivia Chiaradio - $1000 Award
National Honor Society, Academic Honor Roll, English Excellence Award.  Extracurricular activities included Student Council, Character Education (community outreach activities), Freshmen Mentor (assisting Freshmen with high school transition), Coventry Rehabilitation Center (career experiential immersion program), International Club, Pep Club, Outdoors Club, Lacrosse, Indoor Track, Volleyball.  Community Service included Pequotsepos Nature Center -youth program volunteer, Mystic Eats -annual food fest volunteer. Had part-time employment during high school years.  Plans to attend University of New England for Nursing.
Isabel Huckle - $1000 Award
High Honors, National Honor Society, RI Honor Society, Brandeis Book Award, Italian II Award.  Extracurricular activities included Cross Country (Captain 4), Indoor Track (Captain 4), Outdoor Track (Captain 4), Lacrosse, Science Olympiad, Debate Team, Peer Tutor.  Community service included Camp Invention, Summer Pops, Blood donation, Middle School Track, Attack the Track, Local road race Volunteer.  Had part-time employment all four years.  Plans to attend the University of Rhode Island.
Samuel Luzzi - $1000 Award
High Honors, National Honor Society, RI Honor Society, Excellence in Physical Education Award, National Scholar Athlete Award, American Legion Boys State -Attorney General, Rotary Club of Westerly Student of the Month, Soccer Academic All-State, Indoor Track Academic All-State.  Extracurricular activities included Class President, National Honor Society President, Soccer (Captain 4), Soccer Second Team All-Division, Wrestling, JV Wrestling RI State Champ, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Volleyball, Varsity Athletes Against Substance Abuse, Character Education.  Community service included Special Olympics Unified Partner, Altar Server/Master of Ceremonies -Immaculate Conception Church, Foreign Language Enrichment, Summer Pops Volunteer, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Committee Volunteer.  Had part-time employment all four years.  At time of application, his plans were to attend either University of Rhode Island or Villanova.
Adrianna Turano - $1000 Award
Honor Roll, National Honor Society, RI Honor Society, Academic Letter, Lamp of Learning Pin, Seal of Biliteracy in Italian, The George Washington University Leadership Book Award, Rotary Club of Westerly Student of the Month.  Extracurricular activities included Lacrosse (Captain 3,4) Character Education & CE Class Leader, Varsity Athletes Against Substance Abuse (VP 4), Judicial Internship (4), Model United Nations (4), Freshmen Mentor, Town Council Student Representative (3), Girls State (3), Girls Nation (3), Indoor Track, Student Council, Environmental Club, The Barker, International Club, Film Club, Leadership Course, Swimming.  Community service included Bible Study Camp, Town of Westerly Recreational Summer Camp, Fried Dough Breakfast for Gianna Colao, After School Bowling Club, North End Clean-up, Summer Pops, Blood Drive, Italian Tutoring, WARM Shelter dinner server.  Had part-time employment during all four years.  Plans to attend the University of Rhode Island.
2019 Scholarship Winners Rosemarie Russo 2019-06-25 04:00:00Z 0

Guatemala Water & Sanitation Projects

Posted on Jun 24, 2019
Photo above includes representatives from several Rotary Clubs who attended dinner meeting at the Manchester, CT Rotary Club for the Rotary Foundation check presentation.  Sustainable Water and Sanitation Projects in Guatemals through the past thirteen years raised $1,016,788 from 47 Clubs around the country and Canada.
Above is the list of villages that have benefited by Rotary Global Grants under the leadership of District 7890 Chair for Water & Sanitation Projects Rick Lawrence.  He is in the process of completing two global grants for the coming year.  The grants will provide materials and supplies for sustainable clean water and sanitation facilities in the Mayan villages of Chajalajya, Simajulehu and Xetonox.  All labor will be provided by the men and women in those communities. 
Rick said that similar work has been completed in 22 villages, bringing potable water into homes, building and installation of 3 part sink, vented latrines, safe stoves with insulated flue pipes and firebox which uses 70% less wood than previous cook stoves.
Each household contributes $100.  One person in each village tests water and maintains chlorination.  They have started to install solar panels to help power the generators; otherwise they use diesel-powered generators.  After the installation of these systems, there has been 60% reduction in intestinal diseases, close to 60% reduction in eye infections, 10% reduction in child malnutrition.  The sign above is attached to each system showing the names of the Rotary Clubs participating in this project.
Elin & Rick bring many beautiful Guatemalan handmade items - beaded necklaces, bracelets, cloth bags, cloth purses, scarves - to sell here in the U. S.  With the funds collected they purchase school supplies to bring back to Guatemala.  Rick said they usually fill 4 suitcases.  We received a report this past Saturday that all the jewelry has been sold.  Rick and Elin, well done!!!
Sinagua, no hay vida     --      Without water, there is no life
Guatemala Water & Sanitation Projects Rosemarie Russo 2019-06-24 04:00:00Z 0

Chorus of Westerly Summer Pops 2019

Posted on Jun 22, 2019
1) Cal Lord & Bob Lane   2) Dan Alvino
 3) Pres Kathryn Taylor  4) Chris DiPaola & Steve Cofone
The Chorus of Westerly's 39th Summer Pops Concert in Wilcox Park took place this past Saturday, June 22, beginning with a sudden downpour of rain to bless all of us in the park at 4:00.  But, oh my, what beautiful music followed from the sexy sounds of Paul Winter, the soothing sounds of Richard Cook's beautiful instruments to the fabulous sound of The American Band and the FANTASTIC Chorus of Westerly and Festival Orchestra.  What a night!!!
Rotarians under the tent were on the go all evening selling Mario's North End Pizza, The Malted Barley Pretzels, Del's Lemonade, Honey Dew Donut Coffee, as well as soda, water, popcorn and hot dogs, and McQuade's Ace Hardware for the loan of trash barrels.  Rotarian elves included President Kathryn Taylor, Rona & Dave Mann, Dan Alvino, Ted Avedesian, Steve Cofone, Kristina Dimova & Ivo Ivanov, Chris DiPaola, Walter Kimball, Bob & Suzanne Lane, Cal Lord, Rosemarie Russo and sons, Bill and Anthony. All around the park one might see our Summer Pops Leader Dr. Douglas Rayner.  Bob Elmer was the emcee for the evening's event.  We are very grateful to our vendors for their support and generosity, to the Westerly High School Honor Roll students (Maya Champ, Anna Cozzolino, Jordynn Celico, Sebastian Reisch, Aaron Tallardy) who helped us setup and packup, to Lee Eastbourne and The Jonnycake Center for their assistance from beginning to end, Margret Celico and Jack Lutzel for helping with packup.  It was a successful evening all around.  Thank you to everyone who participated in one way or another - especially everyone who visited the concession and bought something.
There are more pictures to see in the Photo Album section of our website  - Summer Pops 2019.
Chorus of Westerly Summer Pops 2019 Rosemarie Russo 2019-06-22 04:00:00Z 0

Beth Bailey

Our guest speaker this past Monday evening was Beth Bailey, Marketing Director of the Westerly Education Center.  The Center is in its second year of operation and Beth gave us an overview of what WEC is all about.  Partner relationships, "large and small, public and private, contributed to the expansion of postsecondary training and education offerings."  The number and variety of courses have increased, providing "workforce training and higher education instruction to more than 2,600 students."  The largest partner is General Dynamics Electric Boat along with Community Collect of RI, RI College, Tri-County Community Action Agency, RI Dept of Labor and Training, Skills for RI's Future, CCF/NRI Career Academy, URI, RI School of Design Continuing Ed, Real Jobs RI, RI Marine Trades Asso.
Beth is a graduate of URI in journalism.  She introduced herself by telling us that her son is a RYLA student and has gone back for the 5th year to participate as a mentor for new RYLArians.  She entertained several questions at the end of her talk and invited everyone to visit WEC for a tour of the building, which space is available for rent, i.e. special group training sessions.  The Center is open 7am to midnight.
Beth Bailey Rosemarie Russo 2019-06-03 04:00:00Z 0

2019 Westerly STEM Expo

Posted on May 23, 2019
On May 23, 2019, Westerly Public Schools presented its 2019 WPS STEM Expo which included presentations by organizations -Mystic Aquarium, Reforest the Tropics and several others - and students from Westerly High School, Westerly Middle School and State Street School.  Reforest the Tropics, led by Executive Director Greg Powell and Westerly Middle School Science Teacher Desiree Derix, demonstrated the education program offered to Westerly's students by sharing lesson materials and a PowerPoint Presentation of the carbon-capturing forests planted in Costa Rica.  A live video presentation was also planned - Westerly to Costa Rica.
Westerly Rotarians who played a role in this event included President Kathryn Taylor, Dan Alvino, Bob Elmer, Rona Mann, Doug Rayner, Rose Russo and WHS Teacher Dora Vasquez.  We supplied pizza, cookies and water for all volunteers and other presenters of the event.
2019 Westerly STEM Expo Rosemarie Russo 2019-05-23 04:00:00Z 0

Rotary Moment

Posted on May 20, 2019
The Every Rotary Every Year (EREY) initiative encourages every Rotarian to support The Rotary Foundation every year, engaging every member in all the life-changing programs.  We are currently 7 members shy of full participation for this fiscal year.
From Rotary Foundation today:
Generous contributions to The Rotary Foundation - from you and your club members - are essential to securing and growing Rotary programs throughout the world.  Your donations to the Annual Fund help individuals around the globe liver better lives, today and in the future.  Your club's support of TRF is appreciated and is certain to "be an inspiration" - thank you for encouraging giving to and engagement with, The Rotary Foundation.....Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do, to make The Rotary Foundation a powerful force for good in the world.
Rotary Moment Rosemarie Russo 2019-05-20 04:00:00Z 0

Susan Sedensky

Posted on May 20, 2019
Susan Sedensky, above with President Kathryn, is receiving a Westerly Children's Library book.  Sue has been Executive Director of the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center for the past two years.  We were pleased to have her join us again for dinner and to have her tell us a little more about the PNC.
The Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center, founded in 1985, is a "multi-purpose facility which offers a variety of social, educational, health and human services programs with an emphasis on community spirit."   The mission of the PNC is to be the "resource for basic needs for people experiencing financial hardship; and services for seniors in need of socialization and transportation for those living in Mystic, Pawcatuck, Stonington, North Stonington and Westerly."
Sue said that over 1400 folks came to the food pantry last year for food with 500 of them coming from Westerly and along with food products, there is a "Living Supplies" section with items like diapers and a Clothing Closet with good used items.  As those original volunteers began to age, they decided that the PNC needed a Senior Center and in 2007 an addition to the building was built to provide lunches and other programs.  With a staff of 5 and about 300 volunteers, the PNC provides food, lunch, fuel assistance, financial assistance, transport, social and health needs,  Funding comes from grants and other donations.  They also maintain a garden to grow fresh produce for the clients.  They have also started some cooking classes.
You can read more about The Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center at or stop in and visit - or volunteer - at 27 Chase Street, Pawcatuck.
Susan Sedensky Rosemarie Russo 2019-05-20 04:00:00Z 0

Clean Up Day at Rotary Park

Posted on May 15, 2019
Westerly Garden Club and Kathryn Taylor worked on the Children's Garden today at Rotary Park
Clean Up Day at Rotary Park Rosemarie Russo 2019-05-15 04:00:00Z 0

Regina Foster Bartlett

Posted on May 13, 2019
Regina Bartlett - author, motivational speaker, Membership Director at Arcadia YMCA Branch, Licensed POUND Trainer,  and Wellness Influencer.  Wow!!!!!   It was a pleasure to listen to Regina this past Monday evening.  Her message was of self-value and faith.  She spoke about how she had equated food with comfort until she weighed more than 400 lbs.  Regina was a featured speaker at the March 2018 TEDxNewport.  Her new book (Food, Sweat & Fears) tells about her thirty years of failed diets and quick fixes that was changed by RNY Gastric Bypass Surgery and the accompanying nutrition meetings.  The surgery program took about a year, including orientation, testing, meetings.  She lost 250 lbs and accomplished her goal to run and finish the NYC Marathon.  Currently, Regina teaches a fitness class at the Y  along with her other work there.   "Food, Sweat & Fears" is available at Savoy Bookshop & Cafe.  She has also written a mini-cookbook, "Healthy Fare: Bariatric Friendly Recipes".
Regina Foster Bartlett Rosemarie Russo 2019-05-13 04:00:00Z 0

Charitable/Scholarship Dinner

Posted on May 11, 2019
   Charitable/Scholarship Dinner
11 May 2019 at The Cooked Goose
Past President (1998-1999) Ted Avedesian planned the first "Scholarship" auction dinner to raise funds for scholarships during his year in office.  It was such a success that it continued every year, except for one.  So, this year is a milestone - the Twentieth Dinner!!  As Ted has told us many times, originally the event proceeds were totally intended to build up the Scholarship Fund.  When the Scholarship Fund had risen to more than $50,000, it was decided to split the dinner proceeds of future dinners between the Scholarship Fund and the Charitable Giving Fund.  Scholarships awarded went from $2,000 to $4,000 per year.
We have been fortunate that The Cooked Goose opens up to give us an exclusive evening.  Chef Andrew Nathan prepared a very special gourmet dinner from salad to dessert.   The Wine Store provided a selection of wines and other beverages.
A huge thank you to everyone who attended -  to Andrew, Jennifer and their fabulous staff - to the Royce Foundation.  We are so grateful to you all for making
the evening a wonderful success.
Very special thank you to all the companies and individuals for providing us with so many terrific items to auction:
84 Tavern on Canal, Amigos, Anthony Russo, Barton & Gray Mariners Club, Blue Butterfly Florist, Bogue's Alley, BoneYard Barbecue & Saloon, Broadview Florist & Garden Center, Brumble Bikes, C C O'Brien's Sports Cafe, Capizanno's Olive Oils & Vinegars, Caroline Maynard, Casa della Luce, Chariho Furniture, Chorus of Westerly, Christina's Place, Coastal Eye Associates, Cottrell Brewing, Dairy Queen, Dan Stanavage, Del-Bourree Bach, Dick's World of Wines, Dr. Douglas A Rayner, Dunns Corners Market, Elin & Rick Lawrence, European Imports, EZ Midway Liquors, The Resident/Alexis, Gary's Auto Repair, Ginger's Car Wash, Granite Photo, Granite Theatre, Gray Goose Cookery, Grey Sail Brewers, Hauser Chocolatier, Hill Top Cafe, Island Pursuit Mystic 7, Ivory Ella LLC, Jonathan Edwards Winery, Joyce's Everyday Gourmet, Junk & Java, Li's Bake Shop, Margin Street Inn, Maria's Seaside Cafe, McQuade's Ace Hardware, McQuade's Marketplace, Mel's Downtown Creamery, Mercy Street Studios, Munroe Dairy, My Whaling City, Mystic Luxury Cinemas, Nigrelli's Jewelry, Ocean Community NAIK Family YMCA, Ocean House, Patceez Garden Center, Pawtucket Red Sox, Phoenix Dining & Entertainment, Pleasant Acres Nursery, Providence Coal Fired Pizza, Red Stone Tire, Richmond Country Club, Riverhead Building Supply, Rona Mann, Rosanna's Flowers, Saltwater Farm Vineyard, Sandy's Fine Food Emporium, Seaside Pharmacy, Shar-Jais Salon, Shelter Harbor Golf Club, Sift Bake Shop Mystic, Stonington Country Club, Stonington Vineyards, The Brazen Hen, The Malted Barley, Toscano's Mens Shop, Venice Restaurant & Lounge, Vesta Bakery, WBLQ, Weekapaug Golf Club, Westerly 7 Eleven, Westerly Agway, Westerly High School's Highland Grille, Westerly Packing Co, Westerly Police Dept/Chief Shawn Lacey, Westerly Sun, Wilcox Tavern/Mia's, Winnapaug Country Club, Wm Cole LLC
Charitable/Scholarship Dinner Rosemarie Russo 2019-05-11 04:00:00Z 0

Rotary Moment

Posted by Rona Mann on Apr 29, 2019
Rotary Youth Exchange
This is one of Rotary's most popular programs to promote international understanding and develop lifelong friendships.  It began in 1927 with the Rotary Club of Nice, France.  In 1939 an extensive Youth Exchange was created between California and Latin America.  Since then the program has expanded around the world with more than 7,000 young people participating annually.  High school student participants find an "excellent opportunity to learn about customs, languages, traditions and family life in another country.  Youth Exchange offers young people rich experiences to see another part of the world."  Long term participants usually spend a full academic year abroad and Short term participants usually exchange during the summer months.  For each U. S. student going abroad, their must be a student coming from one of the participating countries.
Rotary Moment Rona Mann 2019-04-29 04:00:00Z 0

Kimberly W. Mastrofino - The Olean Center

Posted on Apr 29, 2019
Our Guest Speaker this past Monday evening was Kimberly W. Mastrofino, who is the Olean Center Mentor Program Coordinator.  Kimberly provided a power point presentation which summarized the Mentor Program beginning with the statement "Every great achiever is inspired by a great mentor." They currently have 5 active mentor teams but hope to double that number in 2019.  The teams meet weekly with an average of three hours per week.  Activities include "volunteerism, fitness, educational and recreational.  A mentor must be at least 21 years of age, complete a background check, complete required training and spend time weekly with your mentee partner."  Kimberly said that there are two types of mentor roles:  Long term and Short term.  A long term mentor commits to time weekly with their mentee partner for an hour or more throughout the year.  A short term mentor assists the mentee with short-term goals such as Special Olympics time trials, assisting an individual on fitness goals, assisting with creative writing or instructing with some other activity.
Anyone interested in becoming part of the wonderful program should contact Kimberly at 401.596.2091 x 129 or  You can also check out the Olean Center website at
Kimberly W. Mastrofino - The Olean Center Rosemarie Russo 2019-04-29 04:00:00Z 0

April Student of the Month

Posted on Apr 29, 2019
Introduced by Principal Hobin, Allison Ornberg is a star in so many ways.  She has been on the Honor Roll, achieved National Honor Society, received "Excellence in Choral Music", played Lucy recently in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown".  For her community service, Allison has volunteered at the Softball field concession, watched children in the bowling program, collected toiletries for Living Supply Closet, caroled to elderly at Apple Rehab and Elms Nursing Homes.  She also is the morning announcer at school.  Allison plans on attending URI and majoring in Accounting.  
April Student of the Month Rosemarie Russo 2019-04-29 04:00:00Z 0

Dora Vasquez Hellner

Posted on Apr 22, 2019
Pictured between President Kathryn and Retired Fire Chief David Sayles is Dora Vasques-Hellner.  Dora served in the Army for 23 years and has been teaching Spanish at Westerly High School for the past ten years.  She prepared a video presentation of the first all-women Honor Flight to Washington, DC on April 6th.  This Honor Flight included 44 veterans and their guardians - all women.  The veterans "represented all branches of the military service and served during World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and other military operations since then.  The oldest was 96 years old and youngest was 35 years old.  "Saturday's Honor Flight was conducted in memory of Marine Lance Cpl. Holly Charette of Cranston, who was 21 years old when she was killed on 23 June 2005, when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive detonated near her convoy vehicle in Fallujah, Iraq.  The shirts worn by the veterans and their guardians had patches with a photograph of Holly.
They began their trip at Warwick Fire Station 8 and were escorted by police, firefighters and motorcyclists to T. F. Green Airport.  "The Rhode Island Professional Firefighters Pipes & Drums and members of the Providence Police Pipes & Drums welcomed the group, along with police and fire department color guards, Scouts and family members."
They were greeted in Washington by former US Senators Bob and Elizabeth Dole, US Army Surgeon General Lt General Nadja West, Lt General Jacqueline Van Ovost (director of staff at US Air Force Headquarters at the Pentagon, US Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, and Senior US Senator Jack Reed from Rhode Island.  The New England Patriots provided swag bags for all the women and dinner before their return to T F Green Airport late Saturday evening.  The General Federation of Women's Clubs raised about $15,000 to help underwrite the cost of the flight. 
The national organization of Honor Flight was founded in 2005 after the completion of the World War II Memorial with a goal to "America's most senior heroes - survivors of World War II and any veteran with a terminal illness who wishes to visit THEIR memorial."  The program has expanded to include veterans of the Korean War, Vietnam War and all other veterans who served, on a chronological basis.  "Since America felt it was important to build a memorial to the service and the ultimate sacrifice of her veterans, the Honor Flight Network believes it's equally important that they actually get to visit and experience their memorial."   In Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Fire Chiefs have formed a non-profit organization "RIFC Honor Flight Hub" which began its mission to transport veterans to Washington, DC in August 2012.  Since then they have had 21 Honor Flights, "transporting 479 WWII veterans, 99 Korean War veterans and 5 Vietnam War veterans" - all free of charge.  Within our own Rotary Club members and family - Joe Nigrelli, Walter Kimball and Dave Mann.
There will be a presentation on Channel 12 (WPRI) Thursday evening at 5:00pm by Mike Montecalvo who accompanied the women.
The RIFC Honor Flight Hub relies totally on donations to make these flights possible.  For more information, please go to  You can send a tax-deductible donation payable to RI Honor Flight and mail to RI Fire Chiefs Honor Flight Hub, PO Box 28132, Providence RI 02908
Some of the information above came from the RIFC website and the Warwick Beacon.
Dora Vasquez Hellner Rosemarie Russo 2019-04-22 04:00:00Z 0

Chikumbuso Walk 20 April 2019

Posted on Apr 20, 2019
Today was the Chikumbuso Annual 10K/5K Run or Walk at the North Stonington Grange.  The "Westerly Rotarian" team - real troopers!!! - Pat Grande, Kathryn Taylor and Cal Lord are pictured above.  Rona Mann also completed the walk.  Kudos to you all and we hope that you enjoyed some Ben & Jerry's for all of us!!
Just received a thank you note from Linda Wilkinson, the founder of Chikumbuso.  She said, "A big thank you to each one of you who participated in our Chikumbuso Challenge this year!  We were able to raise about $6,000 of our $15,000 annual lunch program budget!  We are well on our way to continuing our feeding program for 500 students every day.  We appreciate your generosity of both time and giving!"  Her note included a quote from Denzel Washington - "At the end of the day it's not about what you have or even what you've's about who you've lifted up, who you've made better.  It's about what you've given back."
Chikumbuso Walk 20 April 2019 Rosemarie Russo 2019-04-20 04:00:00Z 0

Sgt Ricardo Mourato

Posted on Apr 01, 2019
It was a pleasure to meet Bristol Police Sgt Ricardo Mourato last evening.  In the picture above he holds a real estate lockbox, which has been adopted for elderly, veterans or people with disabilities for safety.  He said that he experienced several incidents, responding to an elderly citizen's home, where the resident could not get to the door and the police could not get into the house.  "If we are lucky, we can climb in through an open window.  Worst case scenario, if we can't get to that person, we have to break the door down."   This can take time away from emergency personnel getting to a person in need and also cause expensive damage to their property.  It's a 15- to 20-minute process.
Sgt Mourato came up with the idea to use real estate lockboxes.  It is sturdy and secure.  Instead of being fixed to a resident's entry door, it is generally secured under  the resident's electrical box or another location selected by the local police department.  The electrical box is a primary choice as it can be found easily by looking for the electrical wire to the home.  What makes this box special is that only the Police Department has the code to open the lockbox, which contains a key to the home.  In Bristol, the Police Department maintains a file on each lockbox resident with the name, address and even a picture of the home. 
Many groups are responding to this program by donating the lockboxes to the Police Departments in their community.  Sgt Mourato said that the lockbox program has been implemented in Bristol, Seekonk, East Providence, Newport, Providence and has spread across the country.  The lockbox, Master Lock Portable Model #5400D, is available at Home Depot, Ace Hardware, and Amazon for those who might want to purchase one.  They cost From $28 to $40; however,  the lockboxes that are donated to Police Departments are made available to residents in need for free.
Chief Lacey attended this dinner meeting and he was very interesting in adopting this program - as were Westerly Rotarians.  The Board met after the meeting and voted to approve an initial purchase - so there will be more to come about this program for our community residents. 
Westerly Police Officer Richard Mourato also attended Monday's dinner meeting.
Sgt Ricardo Mourato Rosemarie Russo 2019-04-01 04:00:00Z 0

Westerly's Newest Members

Posted on Mar 18, 2019
With the very able assistance of former Assistant District Governor Steve White our three new members were inducted into our Club.  We extend a very hearty welcome to Bob Lane, Suzanne Lane and Caroline Maynard.  Their sponsor Frank Celico imparts a few words of welcome.
Westerly's Newest Members Rosemarie Russo 2019-03-18 04:00:00Z 0

Wendy Brown and Harmony Trail

Posted on Feb 25, 2019
Our guest speaker Monday evening was Wendy Brown of Brown Group Realty.  Wendy was on the Board of Bricks and Murals and a major force for getting the Wall Dogs to come to Westerly.  Now her goal is to bring a Harmony Trail to Westerly.   What is this?  Well, imagine outdoor musical instruments - drums, chimes, bells - placed around downtown; and, as you walk around hopefully sampling food from our fantastic restaurants and shopping, you can also take a moment or two to make magic, to be creative, to just have fun playing one of these instruments.   They are made in the USA by Freenotes Harmony Park in Colorado Springs, CO, and they have been placed all over the world.  Not effected by climate, they enhance the environment with the sweet sounds evoked when played.  Built in various sizes, the sounds go from basso to soprano.  Newest instruments have been shaped into colorful flowers. 
The downtown plan, a walking trail, will include about 10 - 12 instruments. Most of the instruments will be maintained by members of Bricks & Murals.  It is hoped that the instruments will be installed by June 22 - the day of the annual Chorus of Westerly Summer Pops Concert in Wilcox Park.
Wendy announced that there will be a Mardi Gras 2.0 event at The Knickerbocker on April 6, 2019 from 6:30 to benefit Harmony Trail.  Music will be provided by The Mystic Playboys.  Tickets purchased in advance at are $25 - and $30 at The Knickerbocker day of.  There will also be a "winner take all" raffle drawing - $25 per ticket - with a value of over $2,000.
For more information, Wendy suggests that you visit  As we normally do, President Kathryn presented a book, intended for the Westerly Children's Library, in Wendy's honor. 
Wendy Brown and Harmony Trail Rosemarie Russo 2019-02-25 05:00:00Z 0

Induction March 18

Posted on Feb 12, 2019
Three New Members Proposed by Membership Committee and approved by the Board
Corporate membership of Gray Goose Cookery for Suzanne and Bob Lane.  Gray Goose Cookery was previously located in Mystic but now calls Watch Hill its home, a stone's throw across from The Cooked Goose.  The Gray Goose Cookery's website describes the store as a "one of a kind, independent, regional kitchen store" with over 4,000 square feet of cookware, gadgets and gourmet foods.  
Individual membership of Caroline Maynard.  Caroline is publisher of Hill, Pond, and Preserve, a monthly newsletter for residents of the Watch Hill area.  She is a marketing professional, previously worked and resided in Boston for over 12 years spending summers here.  Now they are full-time residents of the greater Watch Hill area. 
If there are any objections, please contact President Kathryn at or 240.722.9658 as soon as possible.  A Fireside Chat will take place at Central Baptist Church on March 7 at 6:30 - contact Membership Chair Cal Lord if you plan on attending - 860.917.8320.
Cal is also developing a member Bio report for new members.  If you haven't already done so, please get your personal bio to him as soon as possible.
Induction March 18 Rosemarie Russo 2019-02-12 05:00:00Z 0

15th Annual Chowder CookOff

Posted on Feb 09, 2019
The 15th Annual Chowder CookOff  - 9 February 2019  at the Venice Restaurant Ballroom from 12:00 to 3:00pm   More pictures can be seen in Photos section "CookOff 2019".  Net proceeds currently at $3600.
     Restaurant Division:
          1st Place     Sunnyside Up
          2nd Place    Wilcox Tavern
          3rd Place     Casa della Luce
     Culinary School Division:
          1st Place     Westerly High School's Highland Grille
          2nd Place    Woonsocket Area Career & Technical Center
          3rd Place     Newport AC&TC's Colonial Dining Room
Special thanks to our Non-Rotarian volunteers:  William Maynard, Dawn Paxton, Jacey Qureschi and Amina Quereschi
Participating Restaurants
          Boneyard Barbeque, Casa della Luce, Sunnyside Up, The Brazen Hen, The Cooked Goose, The Sea Goose, Venice Restaurant, Wilcox Tavern
Participating Schools
          Newport AC&TC's Colonial Dining Room, Westerly High School's Highland Grille, Woonsocket AC&TC
          Andrea Beach Bar, Avie's Ski/Sport, Savings Institute Bank & Trust, Valenti Subaru, Yale/New Haven Health
Donated Services 
          Nigrelli's Jewelry, Venice Restaurant, WBLQ
15th Annual Chowder CookOff Rosemarie Russo 2019-02-09 05:00:00Z 0
Gaits of Harmony Event Rosemarie Russo 2019-02-07 05:00:00Z 0

February 4th Meeting

Posted on Feb 04, 2019
Monday evening the membership was invited to have dinner at the Highland Grille, Westerly High School's Cafe, which is run by the Culinary students.  Our very delicious dinner was prepared primarily by Jenna DuBois, as part of her Senior Project.  She is pictured here with the fabulous Chef Jamie.  The students will also be participating in the Chowder CookOff on Saturday, competing against Newport AC&TC's Colonial Dining Room and Woonsocket AC&TC Students.  We all were delighted with the professionalism, as good as any Westerly restaurant.
Guest Speaker Michael Whitehouse is pictured here with President Kathryn as she presents him with a book for the Westerly Children's Library.  Michael comes from the Groton, CT Rotary Club in District 7980.  He specializes in Networking with his Four Way Plan to bring business, people and Rotary together in a manner similar to Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours events, while including Speakers and Mentorship roundtables.
February 4th Meeting Rosemarie Russo 2019-02-04 05:00:00Z 0

In Memoriam

Former Rotarian and Past President (1974-1975) Francis E Ruisi passed away Monday evening, January 28, 2019.  Frank, brother-in-law to Joe Nigrelli, was a Korean War Veteran, owned Allied Electric.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, February 2nd, at 10am at St. Clare Church on Crandall Avenue.
In Memoriam Rosemarie Russo 2019-02-01 05:00:00Z 0
Peace Building Rosemarie Russo 2019-01-28 05:00:00Z 0

Greetings from Mexico

Posted on Jan 28, 2019
On January 27, Danny attended the Rotary Club of La Penita Annual Dinner Dance in Jaltemba Bay, Mexico.  During this event, which hosted over 480 attendees, Danny presented our 2019 $500 donation to the La Penita Club's Educational projects.
Greetings from Mexico Rosemarie Russo 2019-01-28 05:00:00Z 0

January Student of the Month

Posted on Jan 28, 2019
January Student of the Month, Samuel Luzzi, was introduced by Principal Hobin at Monday evening's dinner.  Sam has been a member of the RI and National Honor Societies.  He has served as Class President, Captain of the Soccer Team.  He received the Excellence in Physical Education Award and National Scholar Athlete Award .  For his community service, Sam has been a Special Olympics Unified Partner, Summer Pops volunteer, Altar Server/Master of Ceremonies at Immaculate Conception Church, and he was very aggressive in fundraising for Senior events so that everyone would be able to participate without worrying about the cost.  Sam has applied to West Point but his other choice is University of Rhode Island and he plans to pursue an Engineering degree.
January Student of the Month Rosemarie Russo 2019-01-28 05:00:00Z 0

Scholarships Awarded

Posted on Jan 14, 2019
Monday evening we were pleased to award our 2018 scholarships to Richard Boylan, Marissa Day, Taber Gates and Katelyn Laudone.  All four reported that their first semester had been completed successfully.  Richard is attending Boston University and hopes to become a film director.  Marissa is studying at CCRI and hopes to work as a Spanish translator.  Taber is at University of Rhode Island and is in the Business program.  He hopes to focus on financial planning.  Katelyn is also attending University of Rhode Island and is in the Nursing program.  It was such a pleasure to spend some time with them.   We know that they will be successful in all they do.
Scholarships Awarded Rosemarie Russo 2019-01-14 05:00:00Z 0

In Memory of Mario P Celico

Rotary Past President Mario P Celico died suddenly on 2 January 2019.  He leaves behind 5 daughters, 4 grandchildren, 10 brothers and sisters, his significant other Dawn Paxton and many nieces and nephews.  Mario was a Vietnam War veteran, served with on the Westerly Police force for over 20 years, owned various businesses, served on the Westerly Planning Board, Town Council, School Committee.  He was also a member of the Westerly Elk's Club and founder of the Nick Vuono Charity Fund.  Mario served as Westerly Rotary President from 1989 to 1990 and also served later as Club Treasurer and Board Director.
"The Celico family will greet family and friends at the Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home, 121 Main Street, Westerly RI on Monday, 7 January 2019, from 1-4 and 6-8 pm.  A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Clare's Church in Westerly RI on Tuesday, 8 January 2019, at 10:00 am.  Burial with Military Honors will follow at St. Sebastian Cemetery.  To honor Mario donations may be made in his name to Nick Vuono Charity Fund or St. Jude Children's Hospital."
In Memory of Mario P Celico 2019-01-05 05:00:00Z 0

17 Dec 2018 Dinner Meeting

It was a great pleasure to host our November and December Students of the Month, their parents and our RYLA 2019 Student at the last meeting before Christmas.  Pictured here are Joshua Lacerte (November), Adrianna Turano (December) and Abigail Turano (RYLA 2019):
Joshua has been an Honor student all four years of high school.  He has been a member of the football team and Captain junior and senior years.  His community projects include Football Youth Camp, honorary firefighters dinner and Junie Rios youth camp.  Joshua has won several awards including the Washington Trust Leadership Award.
Adrianna has also been a Honor student all four years of high school and member of National and Rhode Island Honor Societies.  She has been a member of the Lacrosse, Swimming and Indoor Track teams, Girls State, Girls Nation, Student Council, Varsity Athletes Against Substance Abuse and more.  Adrianna's community service includes Bible Study Camp, Town of Westerly Recreational Summer Camp, North End Clean up, Summer Pops, Blood Drive and Italian tutoring.
As in the past, the Student of the Month plaques were donated and provided by Nigrelli's Jewelry.  And, we are grateful to Mr. Hobin for his efforts to determine our student selections.
Abigail is a Junior at Westerly High School.  She was selected by Mr. Hobin and his staff to represent Westerly at the 2019 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Program which will take place at Cape Cod Sea Camps from May 17 to 19, 2019.  This program, now in its 11th year, is organized and run by student alumni and Rotarian volunteers.  All over the world, thousands of young people are chosen for their leadership potential to attend this conference to discuss leadership skills and learn them through practice.
We were fortunate to have ADG Chuck Sauer present at this meeting.  As a Rotarian volunteer of RYLA for the past several years, Chuck spoke about the RYLA program and his hope that Abi would come away with many useful tools for her future success.
Since this newsletter is being sent well after Christmas, we send belated wishes to all for the Gift of Faith, the Blessing of Hope and the Peace of His Love today and through the New Year.
17 Dec 2018 Dinner Meeting 2018-12-31 05:00:00Z 0

Gaits of Harmony

Above - Liz and Billy Santilli with President Kathryn.  Liz founded Gaits of Harmony in 2014 to provide equine assisted activities and therapies under the standards and guidelines of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.  The organization's mission is to provide "all people with opportunities to educate, enrich and empower themselves in order to cope with the challenges of their daily lives through interaction with horses.  Liz began with three horses and now has twelve - six for riding and six for training.  Gaits of Harmony is located at the former Ram Rod Farm in Ashaway.  Also living at the farm are goats, pigs, turkeys.  With the assistance of Billy and four certified instructors and several volunteers, Gaits of Harmony is currently serving about 45 clients from mostly the Chariho and Westerly area and Warwick.  In her video presentation, Liz pointed out that the fees are based on a reasonable, affordable rate for the clients but doesn't cover the actual cost.  The organization's budget includes fundraisers, grants and donations.  For more information go to or
The organization was brought to our attention by Frank Hopkins from the Rotary Club of Chariho.  He is seeking support from the local Clubs for a fundraiser planned in February at the Boneyard BBQ in Ashaway.  The purpose of this fundraiser is to help Gaits purchase a lift, which will assist the staff to get clients onto horses in a safe manner.  More to come on this.
Gaits of Harmony Rosemarie Russo 2018-12-03 05:00:00Z 0

Veterans Day Remembrance

Posted on Nov 11, 2018
Veterans Day Parade
Doug Rayner and Bob Elmer road in the Veterans Day Parade on Saturday - not only representing Rotary but also the military service in which they served - Air Force and Navy, respectively.  We honor all our veterans and their families.
Sunday we met at Westerly Veterans Memorial at 10:45 for the 100 year Memorial Anniversary dedication and the dedication of the five Bronze Armed Forces seals.  The Westerly Band performed along with Singer Eileen Fiore.  At precisely 11:00 the Christ Church bell rang, followed by the Westerly Fire truck horn, followed by a Pawcatuck Fire truck horn - each alternating 11 times to commemorate the official end of WW I on November 11, 1918.  Several of our "senior" veterans were recognized.   To unveil the five seals, a veteran of each service was called up.  Our very own Joe Potter represented Army.  Two Trumpeters of the Westerly Band performed Taps in echo form.  A reception followed the ceremony in the library.
Pictured above is Joe, holding the Army Seal, and his grandson Paul Grube.
Veterans Day Remembrance 2018-11-11 05:00:00Z 0

Dedication of Peace Pole at Rotary Park

Posted on Oct 22, 2018
Our Peace Pole displays eight languages selected from a recent Westerly Census report:  English, Italian, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Polish, German plus a Braille plaque.  The dedication included Rotary members, Members of Peace & Justice, Garden Club and Town of Westerly.
Dedication of Peace Pole at Rotary Park Rosemarie Russo 2018-10-22 04:00:00Z 0

Pasta Night to Benefit Jonnycake Center

Posted on Oct 17, 2018
In spite of the first snow of the winter season, our Pasta dinner with the Westerly Lions Club at the Calabrese Club was a wonderful success.  Friends came in with snowy halos to either have dinner in or to take home.  We thank all Rotarians, Lions and especially our volunteers who worked so diligently. 
President Kathryn, with Co-Chairs Lion Dan Marantz and Rotarian Dan Alvino, presented Certificates of Appreciation to Chef Chris Cozzolino, James Silvestri and Bruce Morrow for their hard work at last year's Pasta Dinner as well as this year's event.  Special thank you to the Calabrese Club.
Pasta Night to Benefit Jonnycake Center Rosemarie Russo 2018-10-17 04:00:00Z 0

4th Annual Golf Tournament

A very grateful thank you to all our sponsors, donors and players for participating in this event and making it one of the most successful.  SAVE THE DATE  -  7 Oct 2019  -  we look forward to seeing you then.
                      Golf Tournament  - 1Oct2018
                                 Event Sponsors
         Professional Planning Group - Gold Sponsor
   Westerly Community Credit Union - Gold Sponsor
           Valenti of Westerly - Hole in One Sponsor
              Bouvier Insurance - Bronze Sponsor
                 The Wine Store - Bronze Sponsor
                                 Tee Sponsors
                          Dan & Florence Alvino
                          Ashaway Line & Twine
                                Avie's Ski/Sport
                             Bank Rhode Island
                         Central Baptist Church
                            Evie & Steve Cofone
                          D'Amato Investments
                       D'Angelo Sandwich Shop
            DMR Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, Inc
              Dunns Corners Chiropractic Center
                        Dunns Corners Market
                   Dynamic Solution Associates
                     Edward Jones Investments
                   Gaffney-Dolan Funeral Home
                              Ginger's Service
                             Grey Sail Brewery
                         Hilltop Care Pod's Pizza
                   Hoyt Filippetti & Malaghan LLC
                              Laudone Financial
                    Mansfield Insurance Agency
                               Margin Street Inn
           Mia's Prime Time Cafe & Wilcox Tavern
                     Michael A Cozzolino Painting
                Misquamicut Business Association
                            Joseph & Carol Potter
                               Randall, Realtors
                             Doug & Jean Rayner
                         Reforest the Tropics, Inc
                          Rol-Flo Engineering, Inc
                                 Royal Westerly
                        Sea Goose Grill & Raw Bar
                              Seaside Pharmacy
                          South County Auto LLC
                              The Cooked Goose
                             Thorp & Trainer, Inc
                            Toscanos Mens Shop
                             Valenti of Westerly
                      Vintage Cigar Lounge & Club
                            William T Sisco, CPA
                          Windjammer Surf Bar
   Winnapaug Cottages/Paul Cofoni Trust Brokerage
  Rebecca J Woodward DMD & Adam S Kaufman DMD
                            Prize,Raffle Donors
                                Ted Avedesian
                                Bob Boughner
                                Boneyard BBQ
                                 Steve Cofone
                  Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits
              Dunns Corner Chiropractic Center
                               D'Angelo's Deli
                                   Bob Elmer
                                  Rona Mann
                         McLaughlin & Moran
                      Mia's and Wilcox Tavern
                       Northeast Distributing
                          Paddy's Beach Club
                    Rhode Island Distributing
                     Saltwater Farm Vineyard
                        Stonington Vineyards
                                 Stop & Shop
               Tapped Apple Cidery & Winery
                           The Malted Barley
                             The Wine Store
                    Winnapaug Country Club
More pictures can be found in the Photo Albums section
4th Annual Golf Tournament Rosemarie Russo 2018-10-01 04:00:00Z 0

Chorus of Westerly's Ryan Saunders

Posted on Sep 18, 2018
It was our great pleasure to greet Ryan Saunders, Executive Director of the Chorus of Westerly, Monday evening.  He thanked the Club and some members individually for our support over the past years.  This season will celebrate SIXTY years of providing great music to the community - Ryan's tenth year serving as Executive Director.  With all humility he reminded everyone how both he and Andrew Howell, the second Chorus Music Director, first joined the chorus as young boys (Trebles) - singing under Maestro George Kent.  Some statistics he offered as the season begins with 211 adults, 98 children, music training now provided in elementary schools, more teenage boys retained even after voice change, members come from 30 cities and towns.
A new HVAC system has finally been installed in a very unique fashion in order to preserve the historic building guidelines; the roof has been repaired and replaced; the front stairway has been replaced.  The exterior painting is on hold due to various issues.
Ryan shared wonderful news regarding two other former trebles.  John Tafone's Count of Monte Cristo is moving forward with an Actors' reading at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC recently and Andrew Burnap is starring in The Inheritance at the Young Vic in London.
To get more information or to purchase tickets to any of the upcoming "Blockbuster 60th Season" performances, go to or call the Box Office at 401.596.8663.
Chorus of Westerly's Ryan Saunders Rosemarie Russo 2018-09-18 04:00:00Z 0

Westerly Pee Wee Football

Posted on Sep 14, 2018
Monday evening the membership was expecting Joe Vacca to speak to us.  Instead we had the pleasure of Board member and Coach Sean Donohue as our guest speaker.  Sean has been a coach with the 9 and 10 year old boys - and one girl - for a few years now.  He is a fourth generation Stonington High School football player.  He said that many of the safety protocols and rules have changed, such as no "blind" tackling or head contact.  The helmets have been updated and are tested annually at end of season.  Coaches have to be certified.  He also said that an EMT volunteer is on hand at games and practices. 
Steve Cofone enlisted his help to bring some of his Stonington High School alum family to the annual Rotary Stonington-Westerly Football Night November 19th.
Football schedule for the rest of the season: 
            9/15: Norwich - away           9/22: Stonington - home
            9/29: Ledyard - away           10/6: Montville - home
          10/13: East Lyme - away       10/21: Groton/Mystic - away
          10/27: Griswold - home        Playoffs - tba
Westerly Pee Wee Football Rosemarie Russo 2018-09-14 04:00:00Z 0

Million Dollar Meal with DG Bill Tennant

Posted on Aug 29, 2018
Monday evening District Governor Bill Tennant and Deb Smith-Zukowski met with members of the Board for a short meeting at the Venice Restaurant.  DG Bill was interested in the projects we have worked on or are in planning.  He had viewed our Website and Facebook - was impressed with all we do for a small club.
After the Board meeting we drove over to Rotary Park for our Million Dollar Meal with our proceeds going to Polio Plus.  Our chefs once again included Joseph Potter and daughter Cindy Capizzano with the grateful loan of Bruce Morrow's enormous grill.  Potluck portion included salad, pizza, seafood potato skins, eggplant parm, pasta salad, fruit, brownies, chips and a very special Rotary chocolate cake.  Yum!!!!  Thanks to all.
Later we assembled in the Children's Garden where several of the Gardeners of Westerly members were seated.  DG Bill was asked to present, on behalf of our Club, a Certificate of Appreciation to the Gardeners for their service of creating and maintaining the Children's Garden.  Kathryn presented DG Bill with a book for the Children's Library.
Million Dollar Meal with DG Bill Tennant Rosemarie Russo 2018-08-29 04:00:00Z 0

Dan Alvino - Update on Mexico Projects

Posted on Aug 20, 2018
As he does every year, Dan spends part of the winter in Mexico working with the La Penita Rotary Club.  Last winter the project was about gardening, instead of building or restoring.  At the J J Cruz Elementary School of La Colmena, Nayarit, Mexico, the project involved clearing a section of land, building raised beds, making compost, planting seeds, tending the crops, harvesting.   Martha Ocampo, a Montessori trained teacher from another village, volunteered to go to California to be trained in the "Edible Garden Project".  Dan said that several Rotary clubs, visiting Mexico, work together each year on some project planned by the La Penita Club.  He said our donation provided the following:  a truckload of topsoil, seeds, rakes, hoes, shovels, a gate and lock for storage of the equipment, fruit trees, assistance to Martha for the California training.  Dan believed that this was a great project because, not only did the children, from Grades One through Six, learn about production of food, but the project included all family members.
Dan Alvino - Update on Mexico Projects 2018-08-20 04:00:00Z 0

Aaron Nyambe & Teddy Nosiku

Posted on Aug 13, 2018
Thanks to the Chikumbuso project, which was founded by North Stonington resident and Rotary Club of the Stoningtons member Linda Wilkinson, these two very handsome and very smart young men were able to attend school in Zambia and last year came to the U.S., finishing their high school education at Wheeler School and St. Bernard.  In the fall, on full scholarship, they will attend Three Rivers Community College in Norwich.  The Rotary Club of Westerly was very excited and proud to have these two young men visit our Club and tell their story.  They are living with the family of Sabrina Buehler who is also a member of the Rotary Club of the Stoningtons and Chikumbuso.
Both young men come from a poor area of Ng'ombe.  Most homes don't have running water or electricity.  A "working" family earns about $70 or less per month and only about 25% of children are able to attend school  Teddy told Ryan Blessing of the Westerly Sun, "Receiving an education opened doors to me.  I could be something different."  And they now can set their goals high - Aaron wants to become an eye surgeon and Teddy hopes to practice law.
For children able to attend school at Chikumbuso, the cost is $600 per year - $450 is for education and uniforms, $150 provides food to the family.
Aaron Nyambe & Teddy Nosiku Rosemarie Russo 2018-08-13 04:00:00Z 0