High Gear -- December 19, 2007

It was a typical overcast late December day, but the spirit of the season was with all who entered "The Ridge". President Bill called us to order in the typical Rotary fashion and then called upon Brian Liss for the Invocation. Brian asked us to give thanks for all we have and all we do and for the freedom we enjoy.  We should rejoice with family, friends, and the Rotary connection!  Appreciate each day and simplify our lives! Today's menu was a buffet which included roast pork, chicken marsala, salmon, ziti, salad, and the ever present plate of cookies!

In the interest of time President Bill made his announcements early to enable the East Hartford High musical groups adequate time to properly entertain us.

1.  Our schedule for the next few weeks is as follows - Dec. 26th - NO MEETING, Jan. 2nd, Wine and Cheese- Circle of Life dancers, Jan. 9th - AT CABELLAS,  Jan. 16th - Raffle Kick Off, Jan. 23rd - Club Assembly, and Jan. 30th - Atty. General Bloomenthal.

2.  The Club will purchase 10 new tables from Sams or BJs.

3.  Art Apostol will Chair the Scholarship Committee.

4.  The Third Grade Dictionaries will be distributed this week.  Thanks, Ceil!

5.  John McNaughton was able to get a $500 donation to help the Club Treasury from one of his clients!  Nice going.

6.  Keith Thompson is at home recovering from a recent hospitalization and Larry Churchill is convalescing at home also. Nancy Larson is doing well after recent surgery. Cards would be nice.

7.  The Board met and selected Sheryl O'Connor as the Sgt. At Arms Director to the Board.  Great Choice!

8.  Steve Jacoby was presented with a new Paul Harris pin for his recent donation to the Foundation.  Thanks.

9.  Bill announced that we took in $737 for last week's bell ringing.  There are several openings for this Saturday.  Call Jack Sayre if you can help out.

10. The following donations were committed at the last Board Meeting:  $100 to Intercommunity Health, $500 to Interval House, $1000 to Mercy Housing, and $1000 to Talking Books.

11. Thank you notes were received from East Hartford Social services and Koats for Kids.

12. Our annual Thank you gifts were presented to Helen, Sue, and Mark!


Dick McCarthy had fines for the following Birthdays - Kathy McCabe, Doug Willett, Tim Larson, and Ted Mosebach, and Anniversaries for Steve Tamiso and Sue Klock.

Everyday fines for Bill Leone, Don Munson, John Mozzicato, and Don Pitkin for NOT having his picture in the paper! The Raffle was won by our new Board Member Sheryl O'Connor, and car blankets were won by Dean Roland and Mike Malinguaggio. Included among our guests today were Fred and Jeanette Campbell, Diane Willett, and South Windsor's John Mitchell. They were appropriately serenaded with the Welcome Song led by Jim Watts and Ceil Collins.  It was nice to see Sue and Peter Klock back from India, and John Mozzicato back from Italy.

Marion Martinez introduced our East Hartford High School Musical Program.

The first musical presentation was Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by the string group of the School's orchestra.  Following that, The Vocal Group, Next Edition, gave a spectacular (in this writer's opinion) concert, combining a variety of traditional and seasonal music.

To conclude the Meeting President Bill wished everyone the best for this holiday season

Bob Wood



High Gear -- December 12, 2007

It was a warm December Day, perhaps the calm before the storm(s)! The forecast is for a couple of real snow storms.  The meeting was called to order by Pres. Bill and our opening ritual well taken care of.  The Invocation was thoughtfully prepared and given by Guy Labella.  He called upon all to live up to the universally held standards of the Golden Rule. If we all did so, what a wonderful world it would be!  The meal of salad, chicken pot pie, and bread pudding was served.  In an effort to save time President Bill started with the announcements.

 1.  Many thanks to Kathy McCabe and Lori Goeckler for the fine Holiday party 

 2.  Congratulations to our three new Paul Harris candidates - Jim Fallon, George Schoen, and Roy Spiller.  They will be honored on March 26th, at our 80th Anniversary gathering.

3.  A nice note from Bill Flynn to the "greatest Rotary Club in the World" along with his "annual dues"  check. We miss you Bill!

 4.  We will be meeting at Cabela's on January 9th.  Great chance to see the place.

      Andy Matos mentioned that the store was exceeding all other stores in initial volume of sales.

5.  Dan Larson told us that Tim's wife, Nancy, has just had open heart surgery to repair an existing hole between her heart chambers.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

6.  Jack Sayre said we took in $716 last week -up from $555 the previous week.

Sgt. at Arms Dick McCarthy took in about $200 from a variety of birthdays, led by Scotty Howat's 88th with Jackie Danise and Dan Larson close behind, and anniversaries for Jack Sayre, Andy Matos, Jim Fallon, Bill Saunders, and Stu Harris.

Doug Willett paid for his TV appearances and Art Apostol for celebrating the Patriots undefeated season.  The Raffle was won by the Preacher, Guy Labella.


Pres. Bill then called up and inducted our three new members -Ned Lynch, Frank Staples, and Heather Summerer.  Great to have them aboard.  Nicely done, Bill.

It was now time to call the the annual meeting to order --

A motion was made to accept the minutes of last year's annual meeting as presented.  It was passed.  Bill Leone then gave a financial report on the status of the scholarship funds on a year to date basis.  Brewer fund $23,178.51, estimated income $775.  General Scholarship fund $170,303.54, estimated income $6000.

Bill Secord then gave the treasurer's report for the 2006-2007 year.  We ended in the black by $5789.80.  Our accounts - checking $7306.89, CD $12,010.07, Golf $9277.35, and East Hartford Community Projects $13,956.37.

Dan Larson presented the following slate of officers for 2008-2009 - Past President - Bill Saunders, President - Sue Klock, President Elect - George Schoen, Secretary - Bill Secord,  Treasurer - Ceil Collins, Directors - Dave Amberg, Jim Fallon, and Glen Peterson. The slate was duly elected A final Director to be named by the Board.

President Bill then outlined the many accomplishments of our Club.  Highlights were our support of the Foundation, Coats for Kids, Water project in Zambia, The Dictionary project (550 more to go out soon), toys for Social Services, and our Bell Ringing. He also mentioned our membership surge and gave credit to Doug Willett and his group.  We still have a year and a half to meet our goals and formulate the  results of the focus groups input. You had to be there to appreciate all we do!!!

Wow!  Quite an enlightening meeting.

See you next week,  Bob Wood

High Gear -- December 5, 2007        (Holiday Party)

Greetings from the Gallery!  What a great holiday party!  Many thanks to Kathy McCabe and Lori Goeckler for planning this gala event. When we entered the main room we were face to face with a great hors d'oeuvres table loaded with a nice variety of edibles, and then came the passed nibles - stuffed mushrooms, coconut shrimp, scallops and bacon!  We didn't need the main course!! We had a great cocktail hour with a full open bar.  Well done Kathy and Lori.
Promptly at 7:30 Pres. Bill brought us to order.  Art Bradbury gave a very thoughtful Invocation reminding us of how fortunate we were to be in America but that we should be mindful of those throughout the world who are less fortunate than we. Through Rotary we have an opportunity to make things better.  The dinner choices were Prime Rib (Huge), Chicken, and stuffed sole - all great choices.  Soup, salad, and dessert made for a very good and filling meal.
Following the Meal Pres. Bill recognized several guests - Lucile Bailey, Rita Brown, Ruth Sheehan, June and Don Cramer, and a special visitor Scotty Howat.  Great to see him!! Art Bradbury and Tom Westbrook led  us in the Welcome Song.  Bill Mentioned the following announcements.
1.  Ned Lynch has gone through Rotary information.
2.  Our Annual Meeting will be held next Wednesday at the Ridge.
3.  He thanked the Club for all the toys and gifts collected for the Town's Social Services Department
4.  Jack Sayre encourged us to sign up to Ring The Bell!  We collected $566.39 on our first Saturday.
And finally, President Bill announced this year's Paul Harris Recipients!  The Paul Harris Committee, led by Jim Watts, submitted three names.  These three individuals were unanimously approved by the Board of Directors.  They are Jim Fallon, George Schoen, and Roy Spiller.  Congratulations to the three.  They will be honored on March 26th as we celebrate the 80th anniversary of the East Hartford Rotary Club.
A special Raffle was put together by Kathy and Lori.  Six wonderful baskets were packed and were given out to these lucky 6 individuals - Cindy Gaertner, Chickie Amberg, Lucy Serrato, Jay Stewart, Dorothy Larson, and Ceil Collins.
To end the evening we all joined in singing a variation of Jingle Bells as it related to the frustrations of the great game of golf.
That's All for now - Bob Wood 


High Gear -- November 28, 2007





WELL, LET’S GET ON WITH IT and back to normal in spite of those brutes!  I’ll just try to keep a good aft!  But with some deference to those scary fellows, we’ll do mostly caps in Times Roman 11.




GUESTS TODAY:  Ned Lynch – soon to be known better (intro by Tim Larson)

                                   Alan Hurst – soon to be heard at the podium (intro by Sue Klock

                                   Heather Summerer – soon also to be known better (intro by Jacquie Danise)

                                   Lori Gonzales   and Frank Staples  (intro by Glen Peterson).


SGT/ARMS NICK CECERE:  With blood in his eye, and it was fixed on me!  The Meeting had not even started AND I’VE GOT TWO PROBLEMS!  I tried to have SGT. NICK meet up with P and B, so that they would distract him!  But alas, I couldn’t.  So here’s last week’s “all the news that’s fit to print.”  George Schoen Wedding Anniversary of 28 years and Glen Peterson 13 AND MOE AND BUNNY BELANGER 40 YEARS!  Tardy congrats to them  and spouses and all other deserving members.  There may have been more that I missed.  NICK asked what happened to his last week’s page of notes (which were indecipherable).  Taking three steps back, I said “my dog ate it”.  Since I have never owned a dog, I thought he’d come back at me but he bit instead (figuratively speaking, of course).  NICK, gave early warning to Doug and Diane Willett, that the SGT’S hand would be out for MONEY when they return, they having been seen on the tube watching UCONN WOMEN BBALL at a couple of  televised games from St. Thomas.


At the Annual Meeting of the Club on December 5, 2007, Pres. Bill, as the Nominating Committee with Carol Krantz, will present the following slate of Directors and Officers to serve for the next Rotary Year beginning July 1, 2008:

          Past. Pres. Bill Saunders – Pres. Sue Klock – Pres. Elect – George Schoen – Secretary Bill Secord – Treas. Ceil Collins – Directors Glen Peterson, Jim Fallon and Dave Amberg.

Nominations may be made from the floor.  The new Board will meet one week later to elect a new Sgt. at Arms to serve for the next Rotary Year.

NOTE:  There will be no noon meeting on December 5th.



JACK SAYRE said there is a need for more bell-ringers every Saturday in December between 9 -10 AM and 6-7 PM.  Call JACK at 646-4298.





High Gear -- November 21, 2007



BEWILDERED you may be.  And if so, we understand.  This from the Third Messenger of Hope and Good Fellowship  i.e. your High Gear Editor for the Month of November!  And THANKS to Brian Liss and Art Bradbury, each of whom covered one of the first two weeks of November when I was away and otherwise unavailable.

Don was warming us up at the eighty-eights as we arrived.  Who is “Don”?  If you don’t know, you would be well-advised to stop reading right here since you won’t understand the rest.

Pres. Bill got us started after our “warm up” calling upon Rev. Ted Mosebach for the Blessing  -  Ted, always the Pro, was doing double duty today as will be discussed later.

Announcements per Pres. Bill: 

1.      Rotary Information met today with Heather Summerer and Frank Staples whom you will soon greet as new members.

2.      Ned Lynch will also be met also as a new member following recovery after surgery.

3.      Public Relations and Focus Group will meet next Wednesday (11-28-07 time unknown)

4.      Citrus Sale purchasers will meet on Saturday (11/24/07) to pick up the goods.  Call Peter Klock to confirm that delivery was made to his house that Saturday.  For those unable to pick up on Saturday, the alternate pickup day will be next Wednesday (11/28/07) at Peter’s house.  Peter should be given credit for stating that pickup will be at Veterans Memorial Clubhouse after next week’s meeting making it soooo easy for Rotarians to pick up their order.  However, with the thought that pickup at the Clubhouse would necessitate transporting the goods from Peter’s house to the Clubhouse, a somewhat shrill voice rang out “NO WAY, PETER”.  I’m not sure whose voice it was, but I think the person must live with Peter.  Thus, the alternate pickup date will be at Peter’s house after the Rotary meeting!!!

5.      Thanks to Chuck Clarke and the folks from Social Services Committee for a very successful KOATS FOR KIDS day this past Sunday at the Burlington Coat Factory.  Coats with a value of at least $50.00 were given to at least forty kids, with some of the needy parents in tears at the generosity.

6.      Signup sheets are being circulated for the Salvation Army Bell Ringing for four Saturdays in December (the 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd).  Sign up.  It’s fun to do and the purpose is worthy.

7.      “Billy Bucks” (a group of card players, I think) is richer because of the generosity of the players, now at $245.00.  The Rotary Foundation will be blessed with the donation.

8.      BOARD updates

            (a)  Approval given to support the Summer Youth Festival for construction of a new tunnel at the Middle School for supply storage ($500.00).

(b)    Approved the supply of T Shirts for the Interact Club ($125.00).

(c)     Approved the donation of $100.00 for support of the orphanages  the Klocks will visit in Bangladesh.

9.      Special thoughts go out to Larry Churchill, Roy Spiller, Mary Martin’s mother who is having hip surgery, Ned Lynch who had knee surgery Tuesday and for the late Gertrude Spicci whose funeral was earlier this week (Gert being the widow of long-time E.H. Rotarian, Pat Spicci).

10.  E. H. ROTARY CHRISTMAS PARTY (6:30 PM, The Gallery) AND LADIES (ROTARY WIVES) LUNCHEON (noon at Marco Polo)  -  Both on December 5th .  SIGN UP ASAP.

11.  Special words from Pres. Bill for Thanksgiving.  Enjoy the time with your families and friends and be safe in your driving in the heaviest travel days of the year.


Jay Stewart (with George);  Ruth Sheehan (Honorary Member and widow of our own Jim Sheehan (Past Pres. and Dist. Governor);  Heather Summerer (Jackie Danise);  Tracy Scriven (of Stone Academy;  Jacqueline O’Connor (Daughter of Sheryl O’Connor);  Jay Stewart (with George);  Janet Hangland (of Cromwell);  Frank Staples (guest).

SGT. AT ARMS. Nick Cecere gave a wonderful report, collected a lot of money, held the floor for at least 10 minutes, congratulated for birthdays, anniversaries and both, noted the neat way that Bob Richmond combined his age and years in Rotary to arrive at a combined Rotary Anniversary of 87 years (???) and Nick, on top of the foregoing speech, gave a written report to the High Gear Editor as follows:  OR it would have followed if the oral report was audible and/or the written report was legible.  Neither was the case and thus the report ends here.

The Raffle report also ends here.  The “pot” was large and the shouts and near-misses were so prevalent that the lucky winner was swallowed up in the din.  He or she will be announced next week (maybe…).

Now if you want to have a speaker, Rev. Ted is great!  We should get him again!  He’s right here!!  And today he did double-duty, the initial Blessing and as today's Thanksgiving Speaker.

Ted got us into a listening mode with several clergyman stories, including the story about what a minister, priest or rabbi might do when observing a member or two of his congregation a sleep during his sermon.  You had to be here.

He tested us with our ability to recite the 23rd Psalm.  From the loud response I think Ted probably gave us at least an A minus.  He redefined the meaning of gifts and gift giving.  In our affluent country, simply giving a gift purchased at “the Mall” doesn’t carry the same meaning of love that something personally made or done by the donor for the recipient.  It is more the act of thoughtful love in a gift that counts, not its tangible worth.

Thanksgiving is a time of sharing when we have that wonderful opportunity to be with family and friends and share with them our love and friendship.  Ted explained it better, and those of us present at this meeting took away thoughts and ideas reminding us of the truly important things in life – love for family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.



High Gear -- November 14, 2007

East Hartford Rotarians crept cautiously into the Ridge today, ever mindful that the ghosts and goblins of Halloween past might still be lurking…but Maestro Don Hallquist’s lively piano had scared them all away, and the fall season was able to cheerfully begin!!!

Prez Bill Saunders himself executed an eloquent invocation, remarking on our blessings of being Rotarians and giving thanks for the meal about to be served. Which it was, a buffet, featuring a hearty lamb stew, stuffed chicken, potatoes & rice, salad, and budget-cookies. Table-mate Lori Goeckler opined that we must have had at least 80 food groups!

Guests included Clint Marble, Carmen’s brother-in-law; Karen Cunningham, daughter of Neal; Rotarians Conrad Thann (Avon) and Hope Firestone (Bloomfield, but also Dan’s better half); and our speaker, Peter DeMaillie, from So. Windsor. PP Bob Richmond led a rousing Welcome Song, shaking hands like a politician on election eve.

Sgt at Arms Nick Cecere told of the day’s fineable offenses, including: Election Day victors Pat Gately and Don Pitkin; Ed Cassala, for his anniversary and son’s BD; and Art Bradbury’s big 82nd BD; all of the five present 8o-year olds were asked to stand and sing! Thankfully, American Idol judges had made a fast getaway.

A number of Announcements were heard, among them:

Program today, brought to us by Sheryl O’Connor, was Peter DeMaillie, an urban planner who has been mightily involved in Hartford area, concentrating on East of the River land usage and development. A rapid-fire speaker, enthusiastic, dynamic, Peter paid compliment to East Hartford with its Pitkin St. technology center, the opening of Cabela’s at Rentschler Field, and all of the ensuing mixed-use development in the wings there, from hotels, retail & office, housing, and most important, the research and development “campus” opportunity that awaits.

He sees an ‘action plan’ for the greater Hartford area which must include, in the very near future; 1) replacement of the Murphy Terminal building at Bradley Field; 2) Addition of a long-distance airline, incl one “to the Islands;” 3) A centralized rental car P/up and drop/off; 4) A reinvented Downtown Hartford, with a VIBRANT Front St; 5) Making sure that the plans for Rentschler Field get done with transit and highway access. Many more ideas were expressed (I recorded at least 14 of them!) but, like a lot of good talks, “you really had to be there!” Good show, Sheryl, thanks for bringing Peter DeMaillie to us!

And lest we forget,  SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1               NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING

                            OF THE ROTARY CLUB OF EAST HARTFORD, INC.

          Notice is hereby given that the Annual Meeting of the Rotary Club of East Hartford, Inc shall be held on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 12:15 P.M. at the Veterans Memorial Clubhouse, Sunset Ridge Drive, East Hartford, Connecticut  for the purpose of electing officers and directors for the 2008-2009 Rotary year, and for the purpose of conducting any other business that shall legally come before said meeting.

Nuff said? Okay then, with Prez Bill’s weekly reminder, Arthur  


High Gear -- November 7, 2007

As always, Don Hallquist helped all of us to enjoy a little pre-lunch conversation with soft music to set the mood.  Don, your musical skills are appreciated today and everyday.

Frank Collins opened the meeting before lunch with an invocation reminding all of us that there is a silver lining to every cloud. 


President Bill asked for the introduction of guests.  Joining us again was Ned Lynch, owner of Jan-Pro cleaning systems, and Frank Staples, Head of Guidance for East Hartford Public Schools.  Also in attendance today were four Past District Governors, guests Dick Seidman and Everett Watson, and oldies but goodies, our own George Stewart and Frank Collins.

This week’s welcome song was led by three new Rotarians who were given their official badges today.  Marion Martinez, Todd Gaertner, and Don Munson were called up to be relieved of their Red Badges of Honor that were replaced with their official name badges.  President Bill then completed their initiation with a sing along.  Great job guys! 


Sergeant at Arms, Nick Cecere noted that with the Red Sox and Yankees dollars being held until Spring that there were "slim pickins" (though not for lack of trying).  He was on the hunt for missing pins today.  Watch out next week!  Tim Larson had his one year anniversary, John Shemo met the 26 year milestone, and Larry Frazier celebrated 74 years today (Happy Birthday) and a 40th anniversary.


As a first time scribe for High Gear, I was overwhelmed with the announcements.  Man, we are a busy group.  Thanks for the typed list of announcements Mr. President.

·       November is Rotary Foundation month and as usual East Hartford has made our commitment to foundation by pledging $100 for each of our 87 members plus additional gifts from Paul Harris fellows.

·       The latest Rotary newsletter featured a picture of the Klocks and their continued work with Shelter Box.

·       The club had an 88% attendance rate for September and hit the 90% mark for the month of October. 

·       Upcoming Events:

o         Paul Harris Meeting, Wednesday, November 14, 2007, 11 AM (back at the Ridge)

o         Thanksgiving wine and cheese at 11:30 before our regular club meeting on November 21, 2007

o         Annual Holiday Party will be held on December 5th at the Gallery in Glastonbury.  Cocktails at 6:30, Dinner at 7:30.  Please let Kathy McCabe know your meal choice (Prime Rib, Chicken Marsala, or Stuffed Soul).  $40 pp.

o         Focus Groups for Future Search.  Please see John Shemo for additional information.

§         Monday, Nov. 12 at 6:30 – 9:00 pm

§         Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 9:30am – 12:00 noon

§         Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 6:30 – 9:00 pm

·       A huge thanks goes out to Reverend Al Turner and all at South Congregational for their hospitality.  We appreciate all that you do to make our meetings possible.

·       After the meeting today, a group of Rotarians will be heading to the High School for an Interact meeting.

·       On the Health front, Andy’s wife is doing well after surgery, Dorothy Larson will be having work done on her knee today, and Roy Spiller is doing well and is in good spirits.  We are thinking about fellow Rotarians and their families in their time of need.

·       Art Bradbury gave us updates on past Rotary Exchange students including a young girl from India who was here in 1992 and has gone on to receive her PhD from UCLA.

·       Gil Wishart extended an invitation to the club to join the Congregation at South Church for the Annual Ham and Bean dinner this Saturday at 6:00.

·       Dick Seidman let us know that this year’s District Directory will be dedicated to the memory Jim Sheehan.  He also explained that the Foundation Dinner will be Friday night and EH will be in attendance with 12 members.  He also proudly announced that East Hartford is now the largest club in the district.

·       On behalf of Marc Sheinberg and Goodwin College, Guy LaBella invited all Rotarians to a ceremonial Topping Off Party to celebrate the progress being made on the new campus.  The event will be November 15 from 2-4 PM on Riverside Drive.  He also noted that there will be a Chamber of Commerce Fundraiser and Auction at the Marco Polo on November 10.  For just $25 pp you can watch our very own Dan Larson in action as the auctioneer.  Should be quite a show!

·       Peter Klock announced that the Mini (and this year speedy) Citrus sale is underway and orders must be placed by this Friday.


The Raffle was won by Nick Cecere.  I think collecting money today as the Sergeant of Arms made him hungry for some greenbacks of his own.  Congrats nick!


Today’s Program was presented Past District Governor, Everett Watson.  He enlightened us all about the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship Program.  He has personally hosted many of these young people over the years and recounted some of the comical situations he found himself in as a result.  Since 1947 this program has been a major part of the Foundation’s work of spreading the goodwill of Rotary and building relationships around the world.  This is a great program that gives young people great opportunities they may not otherwise have.  We were reminded repeatedly (not scolded) that we have not put forth a nomination in recent history and that we should find a scholar to nominate if possible.

Today’s fellowship and presentation reminded us that everyday is a great day to be a Rotarian.

It’s been an honor and a pleasure…See you all next week back at the Ridge.



High Gear -- October 31, 2007

A super Fall day welcomed us to a new venue for our weekly gathering.  Louise and Dave Mazzoli opened the doors of their new business, East Hartford Collision, on Burnside  Avenue to us. A great way to celebrate Vocational Service Week.  We entered a spotless workshop all set up with tables, chairs, and Halloween Decorations.  By the time President Bill called the meeting together most of his flock had already started on lunch.  None the less, Bill called upon Keith Thompson for the invocation.  Keith gave a thoughtful blessing which started out in Greek.  When asked about it, Keith said he was a Greek Scholar and spoke the Greek language!  The meal consisted of a grinder from Frank's Giant Grinder, a great salad, chips, and a chocolate marble cake from Michael's Bakery emblazoned with the "Rotary Shares" logo.  A bountiful meal, which was anticipated by the caterer, Peter Klock, who had little brown bags ready for those who weren't able to finish such a large and great sandwich!

President Bill called us back to order with the Sgt. At Arms report by Steve Bates.  He had three Anniversaries to announce, Jack Ghagan, Ceil Collins, and Kathy McCabe; a birthday for Glen Peterson's daughter, a missing pin for Lori Goeckler, and several gifts in celebration of the recent Red Sox victory.

This was a day for announcements!

1.  Next week we will meet at South Congregational Church.  We will return to the Ridge on November 14th.  

2.  The Paul Harris selection committee will meet at the Ridge at 11AM on November 14th.  All Paul Harris winners are invited to attend.  If you have any nominations get them to Jim Watts ASAP.

3.  Thanksgiving wine and cheese November 21st at 11:30 prior to our meeting.

4.  Our Holiday Party will be December 5th at the Gallery. Cocktails at 6:30, Dinner at 7:30.  Choices are Prime Rib, Chicken Marsala, or Stuffed Sole with crabmeat.  $40/person

5.  Our Paul Harris Dinner is scheduled for Wednesday, March 26th, and will be combined with our Club's 80th Anniversary

6.  Next week's program will be about the Ambassadorial Scholarship program.

7.  Pat Gately announced a Program Committee meeting for next week at 11:30.

8.  Dan Larson announced that the President of Goodwin College is inviting all Rotarians to a Topping off Ceremony for the Goodwin College's first building on the Riverfront Campus.  This will be November 15th 2-4 PM at the Riverfront.  RSVP to Dan.

Pres. Bill gave the floor to our host for the day Louise Mazzoli, who introduced the speakers from Autobody Supply.  They mentioned the history of this location as a body shop dating back to Neil's Autobody in 1963.  When Louise and Dave started this shop they decided to go "GREEN".  They have introduced a new waterborne painting system that eliminates all of the solvent based paints which were previously used.  This system eliminates about 80% of the toxic emissions of the earlier systems.  This system is only used by 2 shops in Connecticut and 4 in Massachusetts.  This system is used in California and all of Europe, so Louise and Dave are on the cutting edge of "going green".  Thanks!  This system delivers great color and durability.  An interesting an informative talk!

Thanks, Louise and Dave, for opening up your shop to us.  We learned a lot and appreciate your step to help cut down on toxic emissions.

Pinch Hitting for Art, 

Bob Wood


High Gear -- October 24, 2007

Mother Nature seems determined to show us that she’s in charge, just to plague the Red Sox Nation with the possibility of a rainout at Fenway Park tonight. All stood at attention as President Bill started to lead the club in “the Pledge,” only to realize that there was no American Flag in evidence. After much scurrying, though, the resident High Gear writer found one backstage, and the ‘day was saved!’  Dan Firestone offered an eloquent invocation, and the “…food from the earth…” turned out to be old favorite, Chicken Pot Pie. One of the best tasting, but messiest-to-eat desserts ever served was a chocolate éclair!

Guests this day were: boyhood pal of Peter Klock’s, John Bacon; Ned Lynch; Melissa, Michelle, and Frank, educators from the EH school district, and our speaker, Greg Kane.

In the finest of fettle, Lori Goeckler led an enthusiastic Welcome Song, shaking at least every third hand in the house. Coming on the heels of our official smiling greeter, Dick McCarthy, East Hartford Rotarians and guests should feel welcomed indeed. Well done!

Sgt-at Arms Steve Bates, replete with a NY Giants cap (we wonder if he fined himself!) had really caught up with the offenders today, and read with great glee the miscreants’ names, to wit, Dan Pitkin (again!), Ted Mosebach, Dan Larson, Mike Mallinguagio, Glen Peterson, George Agnelli, all for sort of manufactured reasons, and then Jim Watts, Donna Bys & Art Apostle for anniversaries, and the entire Red Sox nation for their team’s winning ways (though only one of the cheap bunch paid anything). Doug Willett was given the opportunity to cough up for the ‘Boyz of Boston,’  but allowed as how he never contributes to minor league sports. OWWW!

Announcements provided by Pres. Bill Saunders and friends:

Program this week, introduced by Bill Secord, was most timely, dealing as it did with “Project Lead the Way,” the benefactor of East Hartford Rotary grants of $15,000 in each of the next two years. Speaker was Greg Kane, a former industrial arts teacher in the Manchester school system, and now the State of Connecticut’s Consultant for Technology  Education throughout the state. To put it simply, America is not growing a sufficiently large number of engineers to stay competitive in the global market. And even closer to home, Connecticut itself is losing industry and jobs to other states or countries, where the supply of graduate engineers is more plentiful.

This project, by linking secondary schools, colleges and universities, and industry, aims to give students rigorous, relevant, reality-based knowledge to better prepare them for college and meaningful careers down the road. In Connecticut, the Univ. of New Haven is the center for training of teachers who will have the responsibility for getting this educational program up and running. Organizations like Rotary can play a major role by helping to fund this teacher training. This was a fine speaker, Bill, very impressive, and a real help in our understanding of where the action needs to be in the years ahead.

Nice we could get together, on this day when….” it was great to be a Rotarian!”



High Gear -- October 17, 2007

This fall-time weather, some like it hot and some like it cold, must have inspired Maestro Don Hallquist to keep looking, for we were greeted with “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” most fitting for the day! But wasn’t that great, to hear the tinkling ivories once again! Yes, Charrier Hall in the South Congregational Church continues to be our venue whilst Sunset Ridge is a Haunted House.

President Bill Saunders did the honors with an invocation himself, and then we sat to a pork chop, apple sauce, snow peas, carrots, baked stuffed potatoes, and produce from the Cookie Monster.

Guests today numbered Manchester Rotarian and good friend Rick Lawrence; a couple of YMCA world travelers from So. Africa; Jed Lynch; East Hampton Rotarian Craig Williams; Heather Summer, from P & W; Steve Wood, famous son of Bob Wood; and special Sgt at Arms-in-training Tommy Bates. Steve Jacoby started w/o Don but did a good job with the Welcome Song.

Sgt at Arms Steve Bates (there seemed to be a plethora of “Steves” today!) cheerfully recounted misdemeanors from the following: Photographer’s model Don Pitkin, Moe Belanger’s 76th birthday, Doug Willett’s Rotary anniversary, and Sheryl O’Connor’s birthday request for a song from all the guys who have stayed faithful to their wives (or friendly others). Rather than get caught in the stampede, PP Danny Larson stood, alone, on a chair, and did the serenading for all.

Announcements this day included:

Doug Willett, Hill-Stead Museum board member and former president, introduced our program speakers, Executive Director Linda Steigleder and her associate, Celeste Polly. In a fascinating half hour which passed all too quickly, Ms Steigleder gave us the history of this world-famous museum, the former home of its founder, Theodate Pope Riddle, out in Farmington. Certainly an outstanding asset to the Greater Hartford area, the Hill-Stead was created when Theodate died in 1946, and houses many impressionist paintings of Degas, Monet, Manet, Whistler, Mary Cassat, and others.

Set in 152 acres of beautiful meadows, forest, farmland, and gardens, it is a National Historic Landmark which receives over 35,000 visitors a year. It was built in the 1890’s as the private home of Cleveland industrialist Alfred Pope. Daughter Theodate became a self-taught architect whose vision of her home’s future came to fruition in its transformation into this lovely museum. We also learned of its place as a teaching facility for broadening the artistic appreciation of school children, chief among them many from East Hartford. A really nice program, Doug; thanks for bringing it to us.

Yes, this was surely “a great day to be a Rotarian,”……



High Gear -- October 10, 2007

What’s that line about “Music having charms to soothe…”?  We sure found out what the absence of music can do…Maestro Don Hallquist was away and we had no music to charm us. Oh well, know that we missed you Don! Also, something happened to the late-summer warm weather over the weekend, and all of a sudden…it’s fall! ‘twas bound to happen sooner or later. Our very own lyricist, Tom Westbrook, gave us the proper key and we R-O-T-A-R-Y-ied all over the room! And it was a big roomful, too, as about 20 high school students who had participated in the “Job Shadow” program joined us for lunch. Which, by the way, after an invocation by Jim Watts, consisted of chicken parmesan with ziti and Mexican corn. Quite tasty, they said, along with the chocolate cupcakes for dessert.

Guests abounded, from other Rotary clubs, as well as the aforementioned students. Good friend and Honorary Rotarian Rev. Rog Nicholson shared our table, bringing a true ‘taste of the past’  to our gathering. Danny Boy Larson was prevailed upon to lead us in the time-honored Welcome Song, a task done well.

Sgt. At Arms – subbing for Steve Bates, Herb Tischofer had lots of folks add to the coffers by demanding $1 from everyone who hadn’t provided ‘shadow’ for a student. Then, too, we sang a Happy Birthday greeting to 60 year old John Kelleher; something very touching along the lines of “Hooray for Johnny…”

President Bill’s Announcements of the day:

The Raffle winner was George Schoen, making the Pequots or Mashintuckets very happy, indeed!

Program today featured five of the student “shadows” and were accompanied to the microphone by their Rotary mentors:

 Students                                    Rotarians

Eric Vo                                       Tom Galvin                                                                   

Ruth Baez                                   Ted Mosebach

Tim Shea                                    John McNaughton

Josefa Peguero                            Sheryl O’Connor

Rebecca Lacosse                         Glen Peterson          

(Here Josefa describes her morning shadowing Sheryl.)

In a sum-up of their experiences, chair of the event Steve Jacoby thanked his Manchester Rotarian counterpart, Ralph Gray, as well as all of the East Hartford Rotarians who had committed the day to this most worthwhile endeavor, helping the students to get a better handle on the job/career possibilities that  await them in the years ahead. Good job, Steve!

With President Bill’s weekly reminder that “it’s a great day to be a Rotarian,” once again we put away the tables and chairs and went out into the world better equipped to face whatever the day might bring.



High Gear -- October 3, 2007

A day that started with overcast skies, by Rotary time had turned to bright sunshine; that’s the kind of thing that can happen every week when it’s broken half way thru by the happy camaraderie of an East Hartford Rotary Club meeting. Add to it the smiling countenance of Greeter Dick McCarthy and the melodious South Church keyboard of Maestro Don Hallquist and we were off and running! Following the invocation of a fitting prayer from Don Pitkin, we sat to a meal of tender chicken, summer squash and rice. Our caterer has apparently found the fall stash of cookies, for once again the platter was passed!

Guests today included EH Baccalaureate School Principal Art Arpin, Ned Lynch, Glastonbury Rotarian Mark Greer, and our speakers, husband & wife Rotarians from Great Barrington, Chris Vought & Kathleen Favaloro. Showing more than the usual amount of joie de vivre, new Rotarian Todd Gaertner led the Welcome Song with gusto (and also with Don).

Vowing to uphold the same high standards of last month’s Herb Tischofer, Sergeant-at-Arms Steve Bates gave us the lowdown on the day’s miscreants, to wit: Keith Thompson’s 30 years of perfect attendance; Sam Leone’s birthday; and a 63 year (count ’em!) anniversary for Dean & Jean Roland. Dean promptly asked for a song by all those married less than 63 years (to which Doug Willett gave a snappy answer which would surely get him in trouble with Diane if repeated here). A great big dollar bill came from Steve Jacoby (must have been a late fine?); and when George Agnelli’s “Power of 10” came into question, it appeared that he coughed up a tenspot to settle it.

President Bill Saunders, with help from a few of his friends, gave out the following announcements:

      to be held on Oct. 13th

You’ve heard of Jesse James, Billy the Kid, and the Clanton brothers, all highwaymen of the wild, wild west. Well, we have the Larson brothers, and when it comes time to grab the weekly payroll, or raffle, they know all the tricks. Yep, Danny Boy feigned innocence and surprise when he drew brother Tim’s winning ticket, but we can tell that they’ve been taking lessons from Carmon “Pretty-Boy” Piscatello. Maybe it’s time to call in them vigilantes!

PLEASE NOTE- We’ve been asked to request: 1) that Rotarians observe the directional signs at the Church driveways ie In at the North drive and Out at the South; 2) Please do Not park in the short drive to the South of the church – it’s very narrow and easily blocked for thru traffic; and 3) the Church’s day nursery school is in session, with young children arriving or leaving at the same time as our meetings. Please slow down and use special care! Thanks!

A Rotarian husband and wife team from Great Barrington, Chris Vought and Kathleen Favaloro, brought us a wonderfully prepared presentation on the District’s Youth Exchange Program. Herself a former YEX  student who spent a year in Japan, Kathleen gave a very enthusiastic description of the benefits and  joys of participating. This is a program which we’ve done most successfully in the past and holds great promise for the future. It’s good to see that our Board is considering its adoption.

And, as President Bill says each week, this was another good day to be a Rotarian!



High Gear -- September 26, 2007

This week was a double header of sorts. Monday was one the most perfect days of the year for our “20th Annual Golf Tournament” honoring Bob Brown. As we played over the course he loved, the greens he mowed and the bridges he built, we knew he was looking down on us. Just look at who won the low gross, his brother-in-law and nephews. It seems like they got many of the raffle prizes too.

By Wednesday the talk was of the extra month of summer and of the tournament on Monday. President Bill rang the bell promptly at 12:15 and called upon Dan Russell for the blessing. Dan asked for peace in a troubled world. Our head table was sparse with Bill Secord holding it down by himself. Our fare this day was pot pies, salad and cookies. I am told by a reliable source that we had better get used to cookies as that is what the economy will allow for the foreseeable future.

Our meeting came to order with the introduction of guests. Bob Wood introduced today’s guests, Brian Armogida and Steve Penny, both of the Manchester Club. Art Apostol led the welcome song with the aid of Maestro Don. In his last day as Sergeant of Arms, Herb Tischofer needed to only stand still and the Anniversaries piled in. Led by Dan Russell’s hefty donation for his Rotary anniversary -   Dean Roland, Steve Jacoby, Don Munson, Don Hallquist and Peter Klock chipped in to celebrate their own.  Mike Malinguaggio’s wished his wife a happy birthday with his donation. Don Pitkin has been given a pass for the rest of Herb’s term at Sergeant at Arms…as far as getting his picture and name in the paper.


President Bill thanked the Golf Committee by name, JIM FALLON, GEORGE SCHOEN, Gil Wishart, Dan Larson, Kathy McCabe, Larry Frazier, George Agnelli, Art Apostal, Don Hallquist, Carol Krantz, Lionel Lessard, Guy Labella, Tim Larson, Dick McCarthy, Glen Peterson, Bob Richmond, Spurgeon Stokes, Jim Watts, and Tom Westbrook. A hearty round of applause for their excellent work!

Our speaker for the day was our own Doug Willett. In short: the 22 new members are good.  We are going in the right direction. Our median age had quietly slipped up to 69 but with last year’s efforts we have it down to 64. Don’t get cocky…in 1989 it was 55. We must implement the 55/30 plan, we must bond with new members and plan for 5 to 10 years down the road. GOOD JOB Membership – Keep it up.

Make up – Don Munson 9/13/07, East Longmeadow, MA

Back at you in 08

John – Be relevant – peace out A*


High Gear -- September 19, 2007

It was the mid point of a spectacular week weather wise as we gathered for luncheon and camaraderie. Upon entering, Don played easy listening tunes on the piano and attempted the Notre Dame Fight song to pep us up. We did not need it as spirits were high and many arrived carrying splendid looking raffle prizes. The spirit of “Club Service” was strong today.

President Bill rang the bell precisely at the hour and John “Dangerously” Shemo was called upon for a blessing of our membership & food. The fare today was open turkey sandwich, mashed potatoes, squash & Ah Yes strawberries on sponge cake. The head table consisted of Pat Gatley who presented our speaker Alex Johnston, ConnCAN Ex Dir. Alex brought plenty of protection: Lisa Whitfield Op Dir and Sam Adelman Conn Intern. In the audience were volunteers Jim Lang and Jonathan Hayes. To balancing the other side of the table President Bill had Bill Secord and George Schoen.

Guests were presented as follows: Doug Willet introduced Rich Cypers of Glastonbury, Neil Cunningham introduced Ned Lynch a prospective member, and Larry Frazier introduced Peter Deich and Mark Greer of Glastonbury. The Welcome Song was lead by John Kelleher. Herb Tischofer, our Sergeant at Arms, had a number of fines, but what stood out was The Good Empress Mary paying $50.00 for her 39th birthday and George Schoen paying $70.00 for his 70th….hum. We had several stalwart Yankee fans pay $2.50 for the 2.5 game differences in the standing.


*           New Roster: Email address for Dave Amberg is ambergdw@sbcglobal.net (must have gotten too much spam from his

Friends about the start of the football season)

*           Thank you to Rev. Al Turner and South Congregational Church for having us.

*           Thank you note from Governor Dick Borden.  East Hartford Rotary is the premier club in his area and please keep it up

*           Yesterday was a combination Board & Membership meeting that was outstanding. Doug Willet will present a report next week.

*           Board Meeting Next Weds September 26th at 11 AM at South Congregational Church.

*           Blood drive next Weds September 26th 9 am-1:45 pm at the East Hartford YMCA.

*           Steve Jacoby is looking for 15 Rotarians to host students on “Shadow Day” October 10th. This is an 8:00am pick up at

South Congregational Church.  Please note the pick up time is a change from last week’s High Gear.

*           George Schoen was smiling as he told us that we have reached 138 golfers, Tee Signs are the same number as last year & raffle prizes are over the top. In addition, we have more Corporate Sponsorship than last year. Now, we need the sunshine he has been promised by the weather man.

*           Billy Bucks containers were on the table & seemed to be well used.

*           On a positive note Roy Spiller and Larry Churchill are doing better. We hope to see them back with us soon.

*           The 20th Annual Rotary Invitational Golf Tournament at Manchester Country Club is Monday September 24th. Volunteers should arrive between 8:30 and 9. Registration begins at 10:00 with the practice tees and greens open. Putting Contest begins at 10:30 with cash prizes. Lunch begins at 11:30. Shotgun Start at 12:30. Cocktails, Fellowship, Awards (for the ringers), Dinner and raffle drawing 5:30.

Our program was presented by Alex Johnston and the right side of the head table. He knew he was in trouble as he looked out over the audience. Nothing like having the current EH Superintendent, a past EH Superintendent, Teachers, past Librarian and past EH Athletic Director sitting in the audience. It appeared that East Hartford was doing well with what they were spending but the gap between schools needs to be worked on. As a whole, Connecticut has the largest gap in educational success.

To improve we need to expand high quality preschool programs, create higher performing public schools, recruit higher level teachers and administration in our urban areas, implement better practices to raise achievement in all schools, and keep the public engaged. It is important that the tax payers know where their money is going and the impact on student progress.

The key is that all students learn, but at different rates. Our Don Munson had several interesting comments and we heard that Granby High School is doing some very interesting experiments by way of bringing in students who may need extra help and getting it done.

Our golfers were off in a cloud of dust with a hardy FORE.               Until next week…..Johnnee “Precariously”


High Gear -- September 12, 2007

The crowd was large and early due to the many committee meetings. We were dressed to the nines, even Past President Neal and Dr. Galvin showed their Rotary Spirit with snappy blazers. The tone of conversation was warm, with subjects such as local politics, golf and football buzzing about the tables.

Glen Peterson was called upon for the blessing. Digging into his past life in Japan he told us of their form of blessing “ita dajunasu”. This is thank you to those who followed the chain of food, from the miracle of germination to our plates. The fare was pork, green beans, and squash with apple sauce…. Well up in the grandeur of our meals.

Our meeting was called to order a little early, due to the number of things to cover and to allow our major guest time to speak. Our guests were introduced as follows: Fred Campbell by Leo Christmas, Jennifer Barvakas by Guy LaBella, Ned Lynch by Dan Larson and our District Governor Dick Borden and his wife Rita. Later we learned that we were lucky that Rita did not have to choose between her visit to East Hartford or a root canal.

Our Sergeant of Arms had a good but quiet day, no grumbles to deal with. Two major events took place in 1949 and 1952. Jack Ghagan paid for his 58th Wedding Anniversary and Judge Herb Barall paid for his 55th Wedding Anniversary. Wow….. That is 113 years between them. God Bless! Sue Klock had paid for Peter having jury duty but they rejected him and he showed up. She was not allowed to get her fine back. New members this date last year were warned fines are due next week - the interest is 100% a week.

Next week we will meet at South Congregational Church, East Hartford. Volunteers please show up at 11 am to help set up chairs and tables. Tuesday Sept 18th : Board and a Membership Meeting at 6pm at Goodwin College
Tuesday Sept 25th: Ways and Means at Tom Galvin’s home at 6pm
Wednesday Sept 26th: Board meeting at South Congregational Church at 11 am
Wednesday Sept 26th: There is a blood drive at the East Hartford YMCA, 9am – 1:45am.
Wednesday Oct 10th: Job Shadow Day: volunteers need to pick up students at the church at 10am and take them to their worksite and return them to the church for lunch. Please contact Steve Jacoby.
Saturday Oct 13th: Info will be coming from Neal Cunningham on the Greater Hartford Marathon
Andrew Sime has finished his Eagle Scout requirements and thanked EH Rotary for their help.
George Schoen is breathing a little easier as players and raffle prizes come in but we need to get all the sign info turned in so the sign maker can do his job before the actual date which is September 24th.
Peter Klock reported that shelter box has a team on the ground in Nepal. In addition, there has been an 8.2 earthquake in Indonesia so more shelter boxes will be going out.
Sue Klock reported that Tom Westbrook’s donated shelter box has gone to Swaziland and it was the 3729 unit to be shipped. Each unit can house 10, so shelter box is probably housing as many as 40,000 people…..

Our District Governor Dick Borden spoke on “What is Rotary” and the 5 areas that make it work. Rotary is a world wide organization of business and communities that function in Service and Fellowship. His praises of President Bill and the EH Rotary were extensive. The five areas we are working on are “Water, Health and Hunger”, Youth, Membership, Foundation, Literacy. The key to the issue is making the members “relevant” and the basic cornerstone is Literacy.

A rousing rendition of God Bless America… The sun shone brightly on East Hartford as many members headed for the golf course.

Until next week…….Johnnie getting more dangerous


High Gear -- September 5, 2007

Today’s beautiful sunshine was not filtered by the exuberance of our Sergeant at Arms who dutifully met us at the door informing us of the sport coat rule now in effect. (More on this subject later) As we gathered the conversation was spirited and animated.  With the college football season upon us, the subject UCONN’s win and dare I say the losses of Michigan and Notre Dame did not dim our spirits.  We were treated to Don Hallquist’s beautiful refrains as President Bill called us to order.

Dr. Galvin was called upon for the blessing and in addition to blessing our food asked for Prayers for all our members. This was followed by a crisp garden salad and a plate of pasta, tomato sauce, and meatballs. I did not see any plates not cleaned.

For guests, President Bill asked Dan Firestone to introduce 2 of the members about to be inducted, Kim Beauregard and Louise Mazzoli. Kim was joined by her husband who was there to cheer her on. Jack Ghagan welcomed Don Pitkin back and introduced our past member Dan Dienst. Doug Willet introduced our third new member Keith Thompson. Bob Wood introduced Fred Campbell and Sheryl O’Connor introduced Wayne Connors.

Our fearless Sergeant at Arms reported on his attempt to bring our standards back to business attire from summer casual. After numerous grumblings, it was left that next week we have Governor Dick Borden as our guest and we WILL clean up our act.  Anita Leone is recovering nicely and Sam paid a fine. The no jacket – no pin fines were too many to list. Brian Liss won this week’s raffle.

President Bill called our three new members to the podium and did the installation. Bill Secord sponsored Kim Beauregard, President Bill sponsored Keith Thompson and Peter Klock sponsored Louise Mazzoli, and they are now dues paying members.



Our program was presented by Wayne Connors and was entitled Managing Volatility in you Portfolio. He covered Risk, Value, Growth, Large Caps and Small Caps. Most of the crowd kept nodding in agreement as he covered a subject near and dear to our futures.

Till next week

Johnny not so dangerous


High Gear -- August 29, 2007

Symbolic of today’s weather, our contingent was dressed for warm and sunny weather. This casual attire is destined to end post Labor Day as the summer dress code will expire. Yes ladies that means no more white shoes. Don Hallquist enticed us to tango but there were no takers. Dan Firestone asked for our food to be blessed and so it was oriental style with sweet and sour chicken, wild rice, and green beans. The author’s table was treated to the philosophical musings of Mo Moshovos. 

Pres Bill extended a warm welcome to one and all.  Guests included Dan and Loretta Dienst, Fred Campbell, Keith Thompson, Kim Beauregard, Louise Mazzoli and Bill Morgan, Rotarian from Florida. Carol Krantz and Jackie Danise led the troops to greet our guests.

Dick “Take No Prisoners” McCarthy established himself as a formidable presence filling in as Sergeant at Arms.  Todd Gaertner paid to deposit his daughter at UCONN. Undisclosed donations of $7 came forth in honor of baseball’s greatest series. A donation was made in honor of the next NCAA Women’s basketball champions.  Larry “The Count” Frazier paid for his 50th wedding anniversary with George “Eagle Eye”
Agnelli matching the donation. Don Pitkin and Herb Barrall ponied up for pics in the paper. Great to have Don back.  Eight Rotarians  all over the age of 75 (and looking mighty well) saluted Herb Barrall on his 75th birthday.

Lori Gockler thanked all those that sent notes of encouragement during her husband’s recovery. She reported Frank is doing well, back to work, in good spirits and waiting to get back on his bike.

Larry Frazier reinforced the need to get raffle prizes in for the Golf Tourney. Time is running out folks, don’t disappoint.

Tom Galvin announced a Ways and Means Committee meeting at his place on Sept 20 from 6:00-7:30pm.  All hungry souls will be fed.

Loretta Dienst won back to back raffles.

Make-ups: Steve Jacoby, the entire Golf Committee.

America was declared Beautiful.

Next month’s schedule:

Sept. 5  Wayne Connors – “Managing Market Volatility in Your Portfolio”

Sept 12  District Governor Dick Borden

Sept 19  Alex Johnston, Exec Dir. Great Schools for Better        Achievement (@ South Congregational Church)

Sept. 26  Doug Willett – Membership (@ South Congregational Church)

Till next year

Johnny Dangerously


High Gear -- August 22, 2007

Herb Tischofer extended warm greetings to all that entered the Ridge for lunch. Scott Joplin entertained the troops at the piano. Pres Bill convened the meeting at 12:15:00 hours, his watch synchronized to the atomic clock in Colorado. Dave Amberg provided food for thought. If you like open faced turkey club sandwiches and blueberry cobbler you would have enjoyed today’s lunch.

Many guests today including Toby O from Nigeria, Conrad S from the Rotary e club, David Z from Goodwin College, Loretta and Dan Dienst, Fred Campbell, and three prospective Rotarians, Keith Thompson, Kim Beauregard and Louise Mazzoli. If any Rotarian has any comments to make regarding these prospective members, please direct them to the Chairman of the membership committee, Doug Willett. The Softball Hall of Fame battery of Neal Cunningham and Doug Willett led a spirited Welcome Song.

Sgt-at arms Jim “the Big Man” Fallon put the squeeze on lots of Rotarians. He fined himself for his three children visiting from Texas. Dan and Loretta for pics in the paper, Ed Cassala for his son getting married and the birthday of another son, Bob Richmond for a birthday, Glen Peterson for his wife’s birthday, Mary “the Empress of the World” Martin for her 19th Rotary anniversary, Tom Jarish for his 18th wedding anniversary, Dan Firestone for something I forget, Andy Matos for closing on a new condo, Brian Liss for forgetting his pin.

There will be a Board meeting next Monday. The District Governor will visit in three weeks. Committee chairs, please get your reports in. July attendance was 84.7%. There will be a Membership Committee meeting next week at 11:15. There will be a Golf Committee meeting at 11:30.

Golf Tourney news, We’re way behind on prizes. EVERYBODY needs to pitch in. You can register to play on the website. We need 100 tee sponsors.

Pat Gately announced she is in search of programs for November and beyond. We will be visiting EH Collision on Oct 31.  The raffle was won by Loretta Dienst with the proceeds handed over to Dan.

Our well organized President Bill convened the first of four club assemblies for the year.

Some time was spent reviewing the budget. Pres Bill highlighted his goals for the year with a continued focus on new members, an ever growing list of community projects,  significant contributions to the Foundation, a search for a Dunn Ambassadorial Scholar, enhanced public relations, a need to do more with our families, recognizing two students a month, partnering with Goodwin College and leveraging Rentschler Field, and a shrub and plant sale in the Spring. You can find the full run down on the web site.
God Blessed America

Johnny Dangerously


High Gear -- August 15, 2007

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Let’s first thank the Klock’s for being gracious hosts. Also thanks to those that organized the event, Kathy McCabe and Lori Göckler and those that set up and cleaned up. Thanks to Ed Cassala for bringing the potato and green salads and to everyone that contributed to an absolutely delicious and diverse bounty.

Good to see so many new members and their partners. Also good to see Spurge two stints and two days later. Bermuda shorts were acceptable attire today and dress pants were not. We will excuse all those that came directly from work. While the pool was inviting we had no takers. Our hopes of having Pres Bill walk on water were unfortunately drowned.

The ship’s bell sounded and the meeting was called to order.

Pres Bill acknowledged Bob Richmond for being the District Golf Registration Chair. There were a record number of golfers (104) with 16 from our club. Thanks to Chuck Clarke and his committee for coordinating the back to school supplies. Thanks to all that contributed.

There will be a Board meeting next Monday at the Cultural Center at 7:00pm.

There will be an International Committee meeting next Wednesday at 11:15. Lots to discuss. There will be a Golf Committee meeting at 11:00. There will be a Club Assembly at our luncheon meeting next week.

Steve Tamiso reported on a great day of golf at Tallwood. Twenty golfers in all. The winning foursome was the stacked deck of Willett, Leone, Saunders and Fallon. Second place finishers were Amberg, Bradbury, and Wishart. Jacoby was an hour tardy. Retired life must be tough.

There was no Sgt-at-Arms report.

Look forward to seeing you next week.

Johnny Dangerously


High Gear -- August 8, 2007

Those dog days of summer have most recently translated into a male fashion parade led by a subchapter of EH Rotarians. Members of this elite legion sporting Bermuda shorts include Wishart, Amberg, Wood,  Bradbury, led by PDG Stew (all seated together). Wannabees include Bates and Christmas (seated elsewhere). Our founding fathers would have had none of this. No mas!

Herb T proved to be greeter extraordinaire to a less than capacity gathering.

Art Bradbury led an invocation before our themed Cheeseburger in Paradise lunch.

Mary Martin was observed hocking preserves.  Mo “Bad Ass” Belanger was particularly jolly.

Guests: PDG Dick Seidman, Hartford, Sheldon Chafetz, Hartford, Paul Mikkelson,, Avon, Keith Thompson, Broad Brook, Kavita Leone, Goodwin College, Louise Mazzoli, Marion Martinez, Bill Wamester, Jay Stewart, Tommy Bates, son of Steve.
George Agnelli did a Helen Keller impersonation introducing Marion Martinez.

Jack Sayre  led the Welcome Song.

Gil Wishart announced a banner day. Ceil Collins, Birthday, Bob Wood, 22nd Rotary anniv., Frank Collins, 37 years, Lionel Lessard, 19 years, Don Hallquist, 50th wedding anniv., and George Stewart, 60th wedding anniv., Dan Larson, a new job as Professor of Proctology at Goodwin College. He joins Mike Malinguaggio as Professor Emeritus of English Literature.

Pres Bill thanked George Schoen for his organizing a terrific trip to Saratoga. Especially great to have Sir Scott join the party.

There are many committee reports outstanding. Get ‘em in quick as we have a club assembly in two weeks.

Next week is our summer picnic, not to be missed.  There will be no noon time meeting. Party begins at 4:30 with dinner at 6:30. Spouses and significant others are encouraged to attend. If your last name begins with A-F bring an appetizer, G-P, a side dish other than potato salad or green salad, Q-Z, dessert.  A truck and able bodied Rotarians are needed Tuesday night to help transport stuff across the street to the Klocks. Contact Kathy McCabe.

The District needs a leader for the Group Study Exchange to Sweden next year.   Guest Bill Wamester won the raffle and graciously gave the proceeds to the scholarship fund.

Marion Martinez, EH Superintendent of Schools was inducted as a new member. Sponsor: Tim Larson. Pres Bill overstepped his authority in the process of pinning our new member today.

Ceil Collins presented Bill Wamester, Acting Director of EH Dept of Health and Human Services with cash and school supplies.

We adjourned at 1:15 with God Bless America.

I will have my eyes open for all miscreants next week.

Back by popular demand

Johnny Dangerously


High Gear -- August 1, 2007

The dog days of summer are here, and they are finally having an effect on our Club attendance. For the first time in many weeks, the hall was less than full and we had only two guests, Keith Thompson from Broad Brook, and John Majden, a guest of Sue Klock. Jim Fallon did try to pass off Glen Peterson as a guest, but most of us knew better.  The reduced crowd did not translate into any reduced enthusiasm and IPP Dan Larson led a rousing Welcome Song.

It was Prezbill’s 65th birthday, today, and he presided as if he had just reached the age of retirement.  After a thoughtful blessing by the aforementioned IPP, we enjoyed a lunch of garden salad topped with chicken strips, and a delicious carrot cake supplied in honor of Prezbill’s birthday. There were even extra pieces being bandied about. Neal Cunningham had three pieces, but he took off the frosting so it was okay. Besides, he needed extra energy to puff out his chest as he bragged about his new grandson, Jonathan Cunningham, who arrived over the weekend.  

Other than Prezbill’s birthday and Neal’s grandson, fines were pretty meager for Sgt. At Arms Jim Fallon. He nailed Cheryl O’Connor for appearing sans pin, and made up fines for Chuck Clarke and Doug Willett for their rooting interest in the Pinstripes, as well as paying himself in recognition of Steve Jacoby being on time for the meeting. He will have more profitable weeks before the month is over.

Even the Announcements were truncated this day:

q       Reminder of New Members Breakfast this Friday, August 2 at 7:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn on Roberts Street.

q       Those going on the Saratoga Race Track Trip should meet at 8 a.m. this Saturday, August 4, at the Ridge.

q       The Hartford Rotary Club will be joining us for lunch next week. Please welcome them appropriately.

q       The Lenox Rotary Club is sponsoring an evening at Tanglewood on August 25th. Bring food and chairs; send $19 per person to Becky Sorrentino, Legacy Bank, 25 Main Street, Lenox, MA, 01240.

q       Not too late to sign up for the Club Picnic at the Klocks on August 15th.  Festivities start around 4:30 with picnic dinner at 6:30.  Spouses and significant others are very much welcome.  If your last name begins with A-F, bring an appetizer; G-P, bring a side dish (other than potato salad and green salad, which will be provided); Q-Z, bring a dessert. See Lori Goeckler if you haven’t signed up as yet.

q       The golf outing that day will begin at 9 a.m. at Tallwood. Steve Tamiso is handling the signup and taking money. Let him know ASAP if you haven’t as yet.

q       New Members raised $356 for scholarship fund last week. Great job.

q       Last call next week for the School supplies effort. $281 collected last week but calculators, etc. are still welcome. See Steve Jacoby.

q       Another reminder to get info into George Schoen on the upcoming Golf Tournament. Remember this is our principal fundraiser and everyone in the Club needs to be involved in some manner. No excuses accepted.

Okay, that’s it for this week.  Amazing how fast a month can pass. And who knows what another month will bring. Why it was only a month ago that the 26 Time World Champions were a full 14 games back of the Beaners, and look at it now.  Seven games made up in thirty days. And, my goodness, there are sixty days left. Should be interesting - sleep well, Ruthie.



High Gear -- July 25, 2007


“What a day this has been, what a great mood I’m in…”

Still have any doubts about the positive impact adding some fresh blood to our Club can have on our weekly meetings? Not after today.  For the first time in many years, the Club turned the organization of a meeting over to our Newbies. And what a job they did. Tablecloths on the tables - delicious box lunches with fruit plates and assorted drinks (courtesy of Newbie Ed Cassala and Generis Catering) – a “make you own sundaes” dessert table – a raffle with much richer prizes than our usual 50/50 – a magical and fun speaker – and a donation of more than $350 to our scholarship fund – the Newbies did it first class.  Think of what this kind of creativity, talent and enthusiasm will add to Rotary in the years ahead. Thanks, Newbies, and thanks to the Oldies who sponsored these guys and gals.

Not only did we have another outstanding summer turnout of our members, but Prezbill was able to welcome several visitors to this special meeting as well. Louise Mazzoli, David Richards, Dan & Loretta Dienst, Jackie Morosami Richards, Joanne Repilome, Kim Beauregard, Keith Thompson, and, our magical guest, Roger Moss were all treated to a rousing Welcome Song.

Sergeant At Arms Bill Leone had a good day. He collected for several birthdays (John Shemo, Tom Galvin, Dan Dienst, Leo Christmas, Skip Guillemette, and Bill, himself); anniversaries (Jackie Danise, Art Bradbury, Skip); a new grandson (Spencer Douglas Willett, thank you very much); a new car (Tom Westbrook); and for some other sundry infractions.

In the midst of all this Newbie euphoria, we added two more to the Club Roster (or our Club Rooster, as Ray McKenna used to have it) - Todd Gaertner from Sterling Manor, and Don Munson, transferring to us from East Windsor.  Welcome guys. You will be in charge of a meeting very soon.

Our program featured Roger Moss, the Director of Parks and Recreation in town. Roger spent a few minutes talking about P&R activities and thanking us for the Gazebo and the new Scoreboard at McKenna Field, and gently suggesting that since the Showmobile donated decades ago was seriously outdated and no longer usable, we might want to consider replacing it at some future date.  With this info dispensed, he than got down to his real reason for being here. Magic. The man is a magician and not just in stretching town budgets. He showed us several magic tricks including the disappearing ball, the gismo box, and the rope trick (with help from IPP Dan, who had trouble keeping his magic wand erect).  All in all, a fun program which had us rolling in the aisles.

And then came the weekly announcements. Pay attention, now.

q       Back to School donations close in two weeks. See Steve Jacoby.

q       The Board approved $500 donation to Raymond Library for speaker gifts.

q       A new member breakfast is scheduled for Friday, August 3rd – 7:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn in town.

q       August 25th is Rotary Night at Tanglewood in the Berkshires. Doors open at 5:30 with the concert at 8:30.

q       Hold August 15th for our annual golf outing and poolside picnic at the Klocks’. Signups were passed around. Golf scramble starts at 9 a.m. at Tallwood in Hebron.  Fees is $52 for the under 62 age group and $45 for the elders. Pay Steve Tamiso as soon as possible.  The picnic begins at 4:30 p.m. with dinner around 6:00 p.m. and new members and their significant others are urged to attend. You don’t need to play golf to attend the picnic. In fact most people don’t play golf, and even those who do, don’t play it very well. Let Lori Gockler know if you plan to attend the picnic.

q        The Program committee will be meeting at 11:45 on August 1 at the Ridge.

q       Two tickets are available for the Saratoga Trip on August 4th. See Carol Krantz.

q       The District is looking for a Group Study Exchange leader. Interested? See Prezbill.

q       The new Rotary Club in Broad Brook is holding a Grand Gala to celebrate their induction into Rotary. It will be an evening of dining and dancing with a 16 piece swing band and a five course meal. The date is September 29th and the cost is $65 per person. Black tie is optional. East Hartford needs a strong representation.

q       Our golf tournament is less than two months away and a lot of work needs to be done. Now is the time to commit to golf foursomes, sponsorships and raffle prizes. See Larry Frazier for raffle ideas. Much more to come in the next few weeks.

Okay, that’s enough. Quite a meeting.  Let’s do it all again next week.  Until then, be well and root for the Home Team.  WDOUGW     


High Gear -- July 16, 2007

Resplendent in our Blue and Gold uniforms, the BIG EAST HARTFORD ROTARY TEAM took to the field for our annual lesson to Glastonbury on the fine art of softball.  Following a snappy infield drill and fungo fly balls to the outfielders, the team went through batting practice wearing our brand-spanking new gold-lacquered batting helmets (you can’t be toooo careful), knocking the cover off several softballs (they aren’t really soft).  This was simply too much for the Glastonbury team, still skulking around in the dugout and holding out their hands to see if it might be raining.  Well, they got their wish and the rains came saving them from another humiliating defeat by the OUR BOYS IN BLUE (and gold).  Even though our Pres. kept the challenge alive throughout the proceedings, our opponents had seen enough of the power and might of the B.E.H.T in B and G.

OOOOPS!  That was 1999!  So Sorry! 

This year our Boys and Girl (Lori G.) did go through the warm-ups  (but without the fancy blue and gold uniforms and gold-lacquered helmets of yesteryear’s imagination).

Encouraged by Pres. Bill S. and led by P. P Dan L. at first base, we were looking Good!

The PLAYERS:  George Schoen, Steve Bates, Tom Jarish, Lori Göckler, Todd Gardner (sp?), Neal Cunningham, Dan Larson, John Kelleher and some very good new players and two very game youngsters.

The SUPPORTERS of our Athletes included:  Stokes, Willett, Collins, Hallquist, Bradbury, Amberg, Klock, S. and Klock, P., Jacoby, Dienst and Loretta, McCabe, Gately, Watt, Secord, Stewart, Danise, McCarthy, Wishart, and Cecere - with apologies to anyone missed in the headcount.  Many thanks for their combined support.

Oh yes, The Game.  We got off to a slow start, but finally managed to push across two runs and things were looking better.  Unfortunately, the G Boys had already put four on the sparking new scoreboard and we never caught up.  The damage could have been worse except that we pulled off a couple of very good defensive plays and held this well-practiced team in reasonable check.

The day was perfect.  Following the game, we repaired to the dining area for a serving of roast beef, Yorkshire Pudding, etc, etc.  -  plus beer, wine and soft and hard drinks.  Braving a very iffy public address system, the Glastonbury President made a few unintelligible remarks.  Pres. Bill made more of the same, but at least Bill was able to convey his thanks from our Club to Glastonbury for this now annual event.  Steve Jacoby followed but his topic, too, was lost in the general noise.  The “Mike” just couldn’t cut it.

This really was a lot of fun and particularly seeing some old Glastonbury friends from way back.

As they used to say at Ebbets Field, “Wait till next year, we’ll moider da bums.”



High Gear -- July 11, 2007

Rumor had it that he put the medallion on when he brushed his teeth this morning.  Rumor had it that he spent Tuesday afternoon projecting his voice in the backyard for several hours. Rumor had it that he got to the Ridge early and aligned the tables and straightened the silverware before the meeting.  Rumor had it that he called a certain retired insurance agent to remind him that tardiness would not be appreciated in the new administration.  Suffice it to say, Prezbill  was Prepared, prepared with a capital “p”.   Relaxed, full-voiced, confident, President Bill was in charge, and the new Rotary year was underway.


It was a goodly crowd who greeted our new president, with many guests among the mix. Those included immediate Past District Governor Sue Atkins, Rich Lawrence from Manchester, Rich Rapp and Don Weir from Glastonbury, Keith Thompson from Broad Brook, and Ron Lee and Jack Matthews from Goodwin College.  Our two special guests today were Dan and Loretta Dienst, direct from Katy, Texas, famous as the boyhood home of  UConn Great Jake Voskhul.  (Can’t think of anyone else famous from that town, can you, Ruthie?)   Proposed and “informed” prospective new members, Marion Martinez, Todd Gaertner, and Don Monson were also on hand.


After Prezbill’s blessing and a summer snack of chef’s salad and ice cream, Sergeant at Arms Bill Leone took the floor. With prosecutorial demeanor, and a clipped, no nonsense cadence, he quickly announced fines for Lori Gockler, a birthday; Dan Dienst, a Rotary Anniversary; Dave Amberg and Gil Wishart, 45th and 51st wedding anniversaries, respectively, as well as a new granddaughter for the Wisharts; Tim Larson for a picture in paper; and Art Apostol for the scholastic achievements of his granddaughter.  And then, our erstwhile sarge had to publicly embarrass the Golf Committee, one of whom felt that if he didn’t see the local paper, the picture of the committee that appeared there, didn’t really exist.  The jury in the room didn’t buy it and the appropriate fines were collected. And, just for good measure, SGA Leone collected from new husband, Andy Matos, who had the temerity to get married a couple of weeks ago. 


And then Prezbill took the mike back and the announcements began:

q       Committee reports due July 25, 2007

q       Glastonbury outing next Monday, July 16 at 6 p.m. at the Elks Club (see East Hartford Rotary website for directions). Softball players (loosely defined) report to Captain Neal at 5 p.m. Tariff is $16 for delicious cookout. A must for new members. No Wednesday Meeting.

q       Past President’s Picnic on Sunday, July 15 at 2 p.m. at the Stewarts’ camp. Bring chairs and food items assigned along with $25 per for the good of the cause.

q       Board of Directors meeting next Wednesday at noon at the Cultural Center.

q       Our first service project of year, the Back to School Supplies purchase, is underway. Please bring in hand held calculators, highlighters, student scissors, 1” binders with filler paper, etc. by August 8th.  Checks and cash are also welcome so we can purchase items.

q       Health Watch: Larry Churchill is doing well with his latest round of chemo, Roy Spiller is at the beach and also doing well with his latest round, and Don Pitkin returned to our midst to warm applause today.

q       Program Committee will be meeting at the Ridge at 11:45 on July 25th.

q       Membership Committee will also be meeting on that date, but time and place will be forthcoming. Committee members are asked to hold date.

q       Rich Lawrence reported on the Water Project; Dan Dienst presented a Katy Rotary Banner, Sue Klock reported on Shelter Box relief in Pakistan, and Bob Richmond pleaded for golf commitments for the District Golf Tournament on August 13, at Oak Ridge in Feeding Hills, MA.

q       Steve Jacoby is taking orders for Rotary apparel through the next two weeks.


And right in the middle of all this interminable announcing, the Godfather, not known for his patience, precipitously rose to seize the podium so he could conduct the raffle.  The Rookie Prez was having no part of this insubordination.  “Since I’m up, can I do it now so you won’t forget me like the last guy?” “No. wait for your place on the agenda. I won’t forget you.” We then found out why Carmen was so anxious. He turned out to be holding the winning ticket! No word as to whether he donated his winnings to the Rotary Foundation.  


The meeting concluded with a presentation by PDG Sue of a Rotary International Citation to our Club for our efforts in Membership last year. We added 17 new members, with 13 of them under age 55. We have three more ready to be inducted.  We have made a good start on our 30 under 55 goal, but we have a ways to go.  And we need to be sure that all these new members get fully involved with the Club as soon as possible.


With that, Prezbill concluded his first official meeting.  Crisp, organized, efficient. A good portent for the future.




High gear -- June 27, 2007

He was “a wild and crazy guy.” Not Steve Martin, of course—but President Dan Larson. And even though God didn’t recognize the old lady with her new facelift, we at Rotary will never forget the smiling face of Danny Boy. We’ll miss him at the podium (as will Miss Daisy, the pig who broke his heart). But at last we’ll have our regular raffle drawings.

President Dan’s final meeting began with the unexpected pleasure of an opening invocation from Roger Nicholson. He shocked us all by revealing that he now attends a Rotary Club that doesn’t hand out fines and that doesn’t even sing! But even from the hinterlands to the north of Pittsburg, Roger had heard of the very successful tenure of our outgoing president.


After having a little trouble with a limp microphone, President Dan presented this week’s announcements:

·         There will be no East Hartford Rotary Club meeting next Wednesday, July 4.

·         The golf committee will meet at 11:00 on July 11, our next meeting.

·         The public relations committee will meet at 11:30 on July 11.

·         The vocational service committee will meet at 11:45 on July 11.

·         Rick Lawrence from the Manchester Club will be at our next meeting with the necklaces from Guatemala. Please bring your money if you placed an order—a few more may be available.

·         The past-presidents picnic will be held July 15 at George Stewart’s redoubt on Lake Pocotopaug. It will start at 2:00 and will cost $22. Please see Carol Krantz

·         We will rise to the annual challenge from the Glastonbury club at the Elks’ Pavilion on Monday evening, July 16.  There will be no noontime meeting at the Ridge. Neal Cunningham is putting together our squad from our various farm teams.

·         The ladies’ luncheon will take place at the Marco Polo on July 11.

·         Doug Willett, with great chagrin but admirable honesty, presented Ruthie Sheehan with a T-shirt emblazoned with a Mannequin Pis aimed at the humiliated Yankee icon.

·         Bill Flynn sent his greetings as an honorary member of our club, along with a $100 donation and an inquiry about the location of his Prius.

·         Art and Charlotte Bradbury are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, with George and Jay Stewart hard at their heels with their 59th. Don and Betty Hallquist are celebrating their 50th. Andy Matos, on the other hand, is presently on his (first) honeymoon after getting married on June 23.

·         Guests included impending District Governor Dick Borden and his wife Rita; and Past District Governor Dick Seidman and his wife Susan.

Program: President Dan’s Farewell Speech rivaled the dignity of George Washington’s farewell (tears and all). Dan warmly greeted our incoming president, Bill Saunders, with a description of Bill’s remarkable talents: “A man of devotion, integrity, compassion, and vision. A leader whose faith gives him strength, whose family’s love sustains him, and whose friendship is open to all.” President Dan then paid tribute to our club’s response to Rotary International’s challenge to “Lead the Way.” With Dan’s leadership our club not only led the way, “[W]e blew them away.” In truth, the club’s accomplishments this year, its service to the local community, and the awards it received during President Dan’s tenure all demonstrate the extent to which we owe him our respect, gratitude and even awe. And except for the fact that Dr. Tom Galvin will be serving somewhat more jail time than Paris Hilton, our fundraising efforts were very successful. As President Dan enumerated his list of the various individuals that have contributed in dozens of ways to our club’s projects and our esprit de corps, it became obvious how much Dan has strengthened our Rotary family in his one year at the helm (poop deck or not). In conclusion, Dan recognized this year’s board of directors and presented flowers to Carol Krantz, who is leaving the board after being a member for six long years.

The formal transition of power was symbolized by Dan’s wife Dorothy passing the Rotary Dish over to Bev and Bill Saunders, after which Dan and Bill toasted each other and their wives. Incoming Governor Dick Borden greeted the new president and presented the club with the Governor’s Citation for its accomplishments this year.

Dan then turned the president’s medallion and the gavel over to President Bill Saunders, that great golfer-in-the-sky. If President Dan’s talk reflected Washington’s farewell speech, President Bill’s comments reflected Lincoln’s second inaugural, in which Lincoln exhorted American citizens: “Let us strive on to finish the work we are in.” Bill noted that Rotary International’s theme for the year is “Rotary Shares” and that the world needs Rotarians to continue to share their time, talents, and expertise to tackle a vast array of humanitarian and social issues. That’s the goal—the 18th green to which Bill hopes to lead our club. To end the evening, Bill and his wife Beverly presented Past President Dan with an appropriately emerald green golfing jacket and a certificate for Dan and Dorothy to enjoy a weekend at the Mohegan Sun. Bill and Bev then presented the members of the new board of directors and their spouses with Rotary scarves and ties in tribute to the duties that have accepted for the upcoming year.

Wonderful evening.

Bill Secord


High Gear -- June 20, 2007

The weather was so-so but the spirit at the Ridge was at its normal high level.  A wonderful spread of wine and cheeses was available for all to enjoy.  Again Dean and Kathy really out did themselves.  Thanks!  Thanks also to President Dan for making this event necessary.  Promptly at 12:15 President Dan rang the bell and we sang, saluted, and listened to Doug Willettt's invocational tale of the atheist and the Christian bear.  It's never too late to convert!!  The meal consisted of an open faced  turkey sandwich, mixed vegetables, and a fresh bag of potato chips followed by a platter of chocolate cupcakes!  The meal was later referred to by one of our scholarship winners as quite good.  She was promptly asked what kind of food was served at the High School!! Following the meal our guests were introduced and were serenaded with the Welcome Song led by all the members of the Scholarship Committee!  Quite a good job!!

Stu Harris our Sgt. at Arms indicated that he had a good day.   Rotary anniversaries for Jim Reik-15 years, Dave Amberg -8 years, and Gil Wishart- 6 years,  Glen Peterson for some attire issues, Art Bradbury for sitting at a more interesting table, Tim Larson for his Dad's 82nd birthday remembrance, and Kathy McCabe for illegal use of firearms (really a squirt gun),  all added up to a nice collection.  Ruth Sheehan also contributed for her birthday and requested that Doug Willett and the few Yankee fans sing to her.  Doug did, however, mention that she was getting a little worried about her beloved Red Sox as of late. Money was also contributed in honor of our club member's son's graduating last night - Larson, Harris, and Lessard.  The winning raffle ticket was held by Neal Cunningham.

President Dan gave special thanks to the Leones for their wonderful hospitality at last week's Sgt. at Arms Party and for the help received from Jean Roland, Kathy McCabe, and Pat Gately and all those who helped in so many different ways.  Dan said Larry Churchill is doing OK and that Don Pitkin is still at Riverside dealing with an inner ear condition.  Spurgeon talked to Albee Trieber who is now in an assisted care situation.  Albie would like to hear from his friends in Rotary - His address is 500 Southern Blvd., Chatham, N.J. 07928 and his phone #s are 973 805-6737, and 860 573-71967 (cell). Some announcements:

1.  Brian Liss  indicated that our profit from the car raffle is about $15,500.  Good Work!!

2.  Steve Jacoby will be taking orders for Rotary Shirts, etc. at the July 11th meeting.

3.  On July 11th there will be the following committee meetings - Community Service at 11:15, and Vocational Services at 11:45.

4.  The District Golf Tournament will be held on August 13th at Oak Ridge.  See Bob Richmond for further information.

5.  Bill Saunders mentioned that we will again participate in the Town's back to school backpack project.  Be thinking of getting school supplies

      and backpacks.  Probably due in Mid August.

6.  Gerry Brady needs another High Gear volunteer.  Give him a call if you are interested.

7.  Board Meeting - Monday at Dan Larson's house.


Following the Announcements Bob Wood introduced the six East Hartford Rotary Club Scholarship winners.  Each winner gave a brief bio of what they did in High School and what their college plans are.  The winners and their college choice:

                        Marissa Gauthier                  Vassar

                        Samantha Glover                  Columbia

                        Bijal Patel                               UConn

                        Kathryn Vollinger                   University of New Hampshire

                        Aimee Fournier                     Seton Hall -                Chet Brewer Rotary Scholarship

                        Brian Harris                           Springfield College -             Bob Brown Rotary Scholarship

President  Dan challenged them to "Make a Difference" and to embrace the Rotary Motto "Service above Self"

 Nice touch, Dan!

Bob Wood, Subbing for Larry Churchill-  Hurry Back, Larry.


High Gear -- June 13, 2007

Oh where did the springtime go? Although the day did start out cloudy, there were occasional glimpses of blue sky…ask any of the 12 golfers who spent most of the day at Tallwood Country Club. However, late afternoon and evening at the Leone Estate on Skyline Drive seemed like the return of fall. Lots of shiverin’ goin’ on there! The annual Sgt-at-Arms party was happening, of course, and anyone who missed it, missed a rousing good time. President Danny Larson explained once again how weekly raffle income makes all this possible without anyone having to pay. Chef extraordinaire Bill Leone performed his wonders with both steak and salmon (did you salmon eaters see your meal being grilled on a flaming cedar shingle? Amazing!)  And weren’t those hors d’oeuvres and the ice cream sundaes delish!

No guests at this one, but wasn’t it good to see good friend Scotty Howat and son John (guess he was a guest), and Johnny Mo seated among the mushrooms (whatever that means!). New members were much in evidence, some brash enough to heckle the president and greet a row of old-timers as a bunch of “old gasbags” (what she really said was nowhere near as polite!).

Since this was, indeed, an official meeting, President Dan called on Jackie Danise to offer an invocation, R-O-T-A-R-Y was sung w/o benefit of Don’s piano, and our flag was saluted in absentia.  In the rarest of form throughout, our prexy informed his chattering, shivering audience of a few items of info, as well as upcoming dates not to be forgotten, so jot ‘em down!

President Dan closed down his meeting (before we ate the delicious meal, finishing with ice cream sundaes and Tom Galvin’s birthday cake!) by reading from the Gov’s Newsletter of the outstanding job which East Hartford Rotarians have done in this past year. And it is clear that under Dan’s leadership, we have surely “led the way!” Once again, and for the last time this year, your scribe expresses the thought that it was great to be together!             Arthur    


High Gear -- June 6, 2007

AND THE WINNER IS…..With high anticipation, you could tell that something big was going to happen just by the noise level. For this was Toyota Prius Hybrid Day! A gorgeous spring day, after buckets of rain, and high spirits filled the Ridge. Rev. Ted Mosebach offered a thoughtful invocation, again asking that we continue to share with others in the bounty which God provides, like the dish of egg-plant parmesan, and strawberry shortcake for dessert.

GUESTS, a raft of them, were with us today: Don Munson, E. Windsor; “King” Nana Okoda from Ghana; John Mitchell, So. Windsor; Louise & Dave Mazzoli, new businessfolks from E. Htfd; Todd Gaertner, Admin. Sterling Manor; Marion Martinez, E.H. Supt of Schools; Bonnie Holt, from Lynch Toyota; and PDG Dick Seidman. New members Jill Fahey and Ed Casella helped Maestro Don Hallquist with the Welcome Song, admirably! And then, Jill and Ed were given their new membership name badges.

Sgt. At Arms Stu Harris told of fines galore, including: Herb Tischofer’s 26 Rotary years; the Klock’s 40th wedding anniv; Dan Firestone’s birthday (sung to by 12 amazing Rotary women); & John Shemo’s picture in the paper. For the benefit of our new members, Pres. Dan Larson explained the uses of the fine bank (scholarship fund) and the raffle ticket money (Sgt at Arms Party).

Announcements of Note:

Pres. Dan attended a wonderful Awards program at the High School, and of how proud he was for our club, with its 6 - $2000 scholarships. Selected from 23 applicants, Bob Wood’s 11 member Scholarship Committee selected these recipients: Marissa Gauthier, Samantha Glover, Bijal Patel, Kathryn Vollinger, Aimee Fournier (the Chet Brewer Rotary scholarship) and Brian Harris (the Bob Brown Rotary Scholarship).

Raffle winner today, and most Wednesdays, it seems, was Spurge Stokes.  But, today’s BIG, BIG, BIG winner of the 2007 Toyota Prius Hybrid, was Kyle Parlante, whose winning ticket was drawn by Lynch Gen. Mgr. Bonnie Holt (with  help from Skip Guillemette), but was sold him by new member John Kelleher!!! Well done, John!  More on the raffle, we’re sure, to follow in the next week or so.


And with that, we remark once again how good it was to be together.



High Gear -- May 30, 2007

The invocation was given by Sheryl O’Connor.

The menu matched the warm spring day: cold open-faced turkey sandwich, with bacon, hard boiled egg and Russian dressing along with coleslaw, chips and a pickle, followed by strawberry crumble pie.

We had many guests: proposed member Mary Sullivan, Tim Gilmore of Goodwin College, Cate Evans of the South Windsor club, Tom Jarish who is being inducted today, Bob Dugger of the Glastonbury club, Todd Gaertner of Sterling Manor, Dr. Gupta of GM2 Associated, Rick Lawrence our guest speaker and member of the Manchester club, and Don Munson of the East Windsor club.

The welcome song was led by John Kelleher and Jill Fahey (and they knew all the words).

Sgt-at-Arms Steve Bates

            Someone, perhaps a fan of the beloved Red Sox, paid for “14 ½.”  Fines were collected from a few late comers and early leavers.  Sheryl O’Connor paid for 26 years of marriage.  Ed Cassala paid because his son is graduating from law school.  Chuck Clark and Steve Bates paid for anniversaries.  Chuck Clark, George Stewart, George Agnelli, Dean Rowland, and Jim Watts all paid for birthdays.

Sorry, I missed the raffle winner. (ed. note:  Gil Wishart won the raffle this week.)

Make-ups for Steve Jacoby as well as all the numerous members that participated in the Memorial Day Parade.


Special thanks to parade captain Jack Ghagan and to Larry Frazier and Tom Westbrook for their work on the float and parade. President Dan recognized lots of other members who helped with the parade, and new member Tom Jarish who loaned us the trailer for the float as well as 2 golf carts.

The past-presidents’ picnic will be held on July 1 at George Stewart’s home in East Hampton.

There are 3 seats left for the trip to Saratoga on Aug 4.

If anyone is interested in volunteering for the Travelers Championship (formerly the GHO) please contact Dan Larson.

The Installation Dinner for incoming president Bill Saunders will b held on June 27 at the Gallery in Glastonbury.  Please pay during the next 2 weeks.

There are lots of raffle tickets still outstanding.  We have only 1 week left until the raffle.  Please make every effort to sell those remaining tickets.  Be sure to bring in or send in any tickets before next Wed, June 6 when the raffle will be held.

We need members to help scoop ice cream at the Little League ice cream social that will be held at the pavilion at Gorman Park, behind O’Connell School, on May Road on June 5 from 5:30 to 7:30.  The club has sponsored a Little League team for decades.  Our team will play the team sponsored by the Lions Club and they have challenged us to see how many members attend.

Doug Willett and Glen Peterson were presented with Paul Harris pins for their annual donations to the Rotary Foundation.  Both are members of the Paul Harris Society and have made a commitment to make an annual contribution to the Foundation for ten years.

New members Tom Jarish and Mary Sullivan were officially admitted to the club and were presented with Rotary pins and the Four Way Test.  Mary is sponsored by Guy LaBella and Tom is sponsored by his uncle, Herb Tischofer.


Rick Lawrence of the Manchester club made a presentation on the water project that East Hartford club and other clubs in our region sponsored in Guatemala.  About a year ago then incoming Dist Gov Sue Atkins made a call for clubs to get involved with a water project.  At about the same time Rick was on vacation in Guatemala and happened to attend a Rotary meeting there.  He learned about some of the issues facing rural villagers in Guatemala regarding water and sanitation.  He also became aware of Behrhorst Partners for Development, a private non-profit organization working to improve the lives of the indigenous Mayan people in rural Guatemala. Behrhorst works will villages to improve basic living conditions by having villagers provide labor and in-kind services while an outside group, such as our clubs, provide money for material resources.  After Behrhorst was approved by RI, the village of Cojomachaj (CO-HO-MA-CHA) was selected to be the recipient of our donations.  It is a village of about 52 families and 350 people about 2 hours north of the capitol.  In the past women and children had to walk 45 minutes each way to fetch water for drinking and cooking.  The water project had 3 components: 1. building a catchment tank, storage tank, and piping, 2. grey water filters for each drain to filter the water being returned to the ground, and 3. vented sanitary latrines.  Families were also provided with safe stoves.    The before and after pictures Rick shared were remarkable.  Our efforts were life changing for the entire village.  Rick went to Cohomachaj to present a plaque when the project was complete and he expected a brief ceremony and a few hand shakes.  The local folks realized that our donation had radically improved all their lives as well and Rick and his wife and the people from Behrhorst were feted as honored guests.  There were lots of additional benefits to the project.  The Lawrence’s brought soccer balls, pencils, mops, toothbrushes and Spanish/English dictionaries.  Mrs. Lawrence learned that the school didn’t have enough desks and bought 25 desks for the school as a birthday gift to Rick.  During the visit they also met an otherwise lovely girl whose eyes are terribly crossed.  This condition would have been corrected during infancy here.  The Lawrence’s are helping to pay for her surgery and they are selling handicrafts from the village to help pay for the costs.  It was a very moving presentation and made me proud to be a Rotarian and to have contributed to this project.

Written by Glen Peterson

High Gear -- May 23, 2007

Thank you notes from grateful East Hartford elementary school students were on our tables as we entered the Ridge. The thank you notes were both cute and heartfelt and President Dan read a few very funny ones later in the meeting. I read one from Kyra, a fourth grader, who wrote, “Thank you for the dictionaries! It’s very useful and teaches us a lot of different stuff. WE LOVE IT!”

Lunch consisted of beef in gravy over mashed potatoes with carrots and Jell-O for dessert.

President Dan read lots of correspondence. Rita Brown, wife of recently deceased member Bob, sent a lovely letter about how much the club meant to Bob and made a donation to the scholarship fund in Bob’s name. We received thanks from Interval House, the Two Rivers Magnet Middle School’s Launch Quest team, the American Lung Association, Mercy Housing, and the South End Seniors’ Center for donations and helping with the Senior Prom.

We had many guests: Janet Jeffords from Goodwin College; Mark Pappa, who is in the tax business; Dr. Marion Martinez, superintendent of schools; Scott Nozik, principal of O’Connell School; Don Munson of the Hartford Courant and the East Windsor Club; proposed member Todd Gaertner of Sterling Manor; proposed member Tom Jarish; and Bob Bentley of the Glastonbury Club.

Herb Tischofer, just back from Florida, led the welcome song and remembered the words.

Sgt-at-Arms Steve Bates received funds from Herb Tischofer who paid for his birthday; Glen Peterson whose school recently received two large grants; Neal Cunningham for his anniversary; several members paid for receiving hugs and kisses; and from Red Sox fans that paid for the historically large lead in the AL East. Ruth Sheehan made a special point of mentioning that she paid for the Red Sox lead in the name of Doug Willett.

The Raffle was won by Spurgeon Stokes.

Make-ups Skip Guillemette in Manchester & Herb Tischofer, 3 in Naples, FL

Please note that committee chairs should kept attendance since attending committee meetings, such as the golf committee meeting before today’s meeting, is worth a make-up. The many members at the Dist Conf, the 11 members at the District Assembly, as well as all of the members who attended the GSE functions and parties will all receive make-ups.


Jack Ghagan made a final appeal to members to march in the Memorial Day Parade. Members can march or ride on the float. People should meet in the parking lot behind Goodwin College at 1137 Main St at 9:00. The float is being prepared on Sat and Sun at Karen Auto on Burns St. If you can help with the float call Larry Frazier.

We need members to help scoop ice cream at the Little League ice cream social that will be held at the pavilion at Gorman Park, behind O’Connell School, on May Road on June 5 from 5:30 to 7:30. The club has sponsored a Little League team for decades. Our team will play the team sponsored by the Lions Club and they have challenged us to see how many members attend.

The Installation Dinner for in-coming president Bill Saunders will be held on June 27 at the Gallery in Glastonbury at 6:00. Please save this date.

Dan thanked the members who made the GSE social event such a great success. Chef Bill Leone and his wife Bev, for yet another outstanding meal, Roy Spiller for bringing over all the equipment, Lacee Colwell and Jill Fahey for giving us access to the Holiday Inn, as well as the many members who helped set up and clean up.

Ceil Collins spoke about the Dictionary Project, Dan read a few lovely notes from children including one from a child who asked, “how long did it take you to write the dictionary?” Scott Nozik, principal of O’Connell School, thanked the club and shared that he and the teachers were especially moved because the gift came unsolicited.

George Schoen gave a golf committee update. Cards are being sent to last year’s golfers and sponsors. This is our 20th anniversary and this year’s gifts will include a golf shirt and a nice set of stainless barbeque tools.

The Chamber of Commerce golf tournament will be held on June 8. Anyone interested in playing should contact Bill Saunders.

New members (who have joined since July ’06) will be responsible for the meeting and luncheon on July 25. Mary Martin will be the liaison for the group. There will be a meeting at the Ridge at 11:30, prior to the meeting, on June 6 to begin the planning.

For your calendars, the last meeting at the Ridge in the fall will be Sept 12 and we won’t be back until Nov 14. Meetings will be held at alternative sites.

In-coming president Bill Saunders will send committee assignments for next year soon.

The Sergeant-at-Arms party will be held at Bill Leone’s house beginning at 4:30 on June 13. There will be no club meeting at noon that day.

So far we have sold approximately $24,000 worth of tickets, far short of our goal of $40,000. At this rate the club will barely make any profit which we need to fund our programs and charitable giving. Please make a special effort to sell your tickets and take more if possible.

                written by Glen Peterson

High Gear -- May 16, 2007

It was a much smaller group than expected that gathered in the Gengras Center at St. Francis Hospital this Wednesday.  There was plenty of food, as our embarrassed president urged us to consume as much of the “sixty people” order as we could. Being only 35 in attendance  (including old friend, Don Cramer), we had our work cut out for us.  And it was a good spread, with sandwich wraps, Cole slaw, salad, chips, and brownies in abundance.

A buddy of mine, Paul Pendergast, who for many years was in charge of fund raising for the UConn Athletic Department, and who recently became the President of the St. Francis Hospital Foundation, hosted the gathering. Paul introduced Dr. Jeff Steinberg, M.D. who is Director of Surgery at the hospital. Dr. Steinberg proceeded to provide us with a very informative and engaging look at the latest approach to prostate and other invasive surgeries called the Da Vinci Robotic method.

This approach involves using computer enhanced imaging and robotic arms with tiny instruments to perform prostrate, heart, and gynecological operations. The advantages are smaller incisions, precise dissection, lower blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and a much quicker recovery period. It was pioneered at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit in 2001 and is available in five Connecticut Hospitals, including St. Francis, Hartford, Yale- New Haven, Greenwich, and Bridgeport. Because of the cost of the equipment needed and the longer time it takes to set up the operation, it is more expensive than traditional methods, but, thus far, medical insurance reimbursements have not been a problem. There are some restrictions on the health of the patient, which may disqualify some from this method.

All in all, it was a fascinating presentation. And if you are worried that your grandson does nothing but play video games, Dr. Steinberg related that physicians with a background in gaming have a much quicker learning curve on this equipment than those without it.

Paul Pendergast closed the program with a commercial for St. Francis, noting that it has been recognized recently as one of the top 1% of hospitals in America by Care Science and one of the top 50 hospitals in the nation by a Leap Frog, on the criteria of quality of care, safety and cost. And he related that St. Francis provides the uninsured of the area with more than $50 million in free health care each year. All in all, a memorable program and one that was surely deserving of a fuller house.

On the announcement front, there is a Board of Directors Meeting next Monday evening; raffle tickets will be sold at Geislers in South Windsor and at the Holiday Inn Car Wash this Saturday; and the Golf Committee will be meeting next Wednesday at 11a.m, prior to our regular luncheon meeting. George Schoen went out of his way to invite our new members to attend this meeting, if only the last half hour, so they can become familiar with this project and its central role in our fund raising.

Finally, a note about last Friday's Lobster Roast in honor of our GSX Team. This social event was very well attended, everyone had a great time, the food was top shelf and the informal program, featuring the Larson brothers' comedy trio in two languages, was about what we have come to anticipate under President Dan. Sincere thanks to Bill Leone and his team, which included wife, Bev, Tom Galvin, Roy Spiller and his look alike grandson, Ceil Collins, Kathy McCabe, Tom Westbrook, John Shemo and no doubt others who I did not observe in action. It was great to see so many new members and their spouses and children at this event. Well done, all around.

And now Johnny Mo and I will retreat to lick our wounds and bide our time as we await the inevitable awakening of the Bronx Bombers.   In the spirit of friendly rivalry, Johnny and I urge our all our Beantown friends to be careful of the energy spent celebrating a pennant that is apparently all but won in the months of April and May. This energy may very well be needed to deal with the sickening thud of disappointment in the late autumn. But then, these Bosox fans have a lot of experience with that phenomenon. Ain't that right, Ruthie?



High Gear -- May 9, 2007

We had beautiful warm weather and a packed house to great the visiting GSE team from Bari, Italy. The invocation was delivered by Bob Wood who made special mention of the GSE team leader, Fabio, who was called back to Italy unexpectedly on Monday due to a family emergency.

Today’s lunch consisted of meatloaf with mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, and zucchini, along with cupcakes for lunch.

We had very many guests including Todd Gaertner, Tom Jarish, and Mary Sullivan who have visited the club recently. Tommy Bates, son of Steve, and Jan Sayer, wife of Jack were also in attendance as well as incoming Asst Dist Gov Dan Gentile of the South Windsor Club. Four other members of the South Windsor club, John Schneider, Herb Asplund, Dick Kelley, and Alva Rossi, were on hand and will be entertaining the Italian visitors this afternoon. The welcome song was led by Art Bradbury and Tom Westbrook to the accompaniment of the maestro, Don Halquist.

Sgt-at-Arms, Steve Bates, and Asst Sgt-at-Arms Tommy Bates assessed fines for a number of infractions including lack of badge (Chief Sirois, imagine that), late comers, and early leavers. Larry Churchill donated generously for an anniversary and Spurgeon Stokes was serenaded by the club’s “living” octogenarians to celebrate his 82nd birthday. Don Pitkin and John Shemo were fined for the serious infraction of being a media celebrity.

The District Conference was held in Hyannis, MA over the weekend and the East Hartford contingent was 44 strong, which was exactly double the number of the next well represented club. Friday evening featured a dinner train ride that included a “Pig Race” that was won by Sue Klock. Our club received a commendation for our work on the Guatemala water project and the Presidential Citation for meeting our annual goals. The guest speaker and representative of the RI president was John Hocker. Our old friend Roger Nicholson presided as chaplain. Of course we met the Italian GSE team members and about eight of the high school youth exchange students who are staying in the district this year. Abe Gordon from Bridgeport, Past RI Vice President, was on hand to award Rotary’s Service above Self Award to our own Frank Collins for his many years of service to Rotary and the world. Thanks go out to Bill and Bev Saunders for running the hospitality suite along with all others who helped and brought food. The Clocks sold five Shelter Boxes and through the generosity of an anonymous donor, they were offering a two-for-one special, so ten Shelter Boxes will actually be donated.

Guy LaBella was recognized for providing lunch to the GSE team and the host families.

The scoreboard at McKenna field was dedicated. This was a gift from the club to the town and many members, including Mary Martin, Neal Cunningham, and Dan Firestone, worked for several years to provide the town with this amenity.

Next week’s meeting will NOT be at the Ridge, but will occur at St. Francis Hospital at 114 Woodland Street, Hartford. Members are directed to park in the main 5-story garage on Collins St and bring their ticket for validation. Go in on the second floor, proceed through the glass doors, take a left and follow the connector to the left which will lead to the Gengras Building. Take your first right turn and the elevator will be on the left side of the hall. Take it to the first floor and the Gengras Auditorium will be straight ahead. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg and he will balk about the da Vinci Procedure.

The Golf Committee will meet in two weeks, on 5/23, at 11:00 prior to the regular meeting.

The raffle was won by John Mozzicato.

The GSE team members, Silvio Sancilio, Elvira Nardone, Pina Venezia, and Daniela Pisani, gave Power Point presentations about themselves, their families, their homes, and their work. All come from the Bari region in southeastern Italy which is Rotary District 2120. I had the pleasure of seeing the presentation at the conference as well and was struck by the beauty of their region and the antiquity which surrounds them on a daily basis. We’re all invited to Pina’s wedding in August. She made the same invitation at the conference, but it will be a big wedding and a few hundred more guests won’t be a problem. Silvio told a story about Bari’s saint. Of course, every Italian city has a saint, but Bari had the unusual distinction of having stolen the saint from another town in Turkey. They have two celebrations to honor the saint, a little one on the saint’s birthday, and a big one to commemorate the date of the theft. President Dan presented the visitors with club flags and other lovely gifts and we received a flag from each of their sponsoring clubs.

                                    editor, Glen Peterson

High Gear -- May 2, 2007

While it started as a rainy day, by noontime the sun shone brilliantly on East Hartford’s  “Rotary at the Ridge,” a sign of good portent of things to come. Dave  Amberg asked the Lord’s blessing on many of life’s activities, among them the upcoming District conference, the Group Study Exchange Team from Italia, as well as today’s meal and the hands that prepared it.... and those hands had fixed what Don Hallquist named a “Cape Cod Special”: baked scrod, carrots and rice, with a mélange of assorted sweet squares for dessert.

Guests were in great abundance: Our speaker, David Fay, Todd Gaetner, Tom Jarish, Keith Thompson, Marion Martinez, Mary Sullivan, and guests of the club from The CIBA (the local Baccalaureate Academy), Rachel Buck, and Annemarie & Kaitlyn Brescia. Dressed in healthy-looking Florida tans, Sam Leone and Doug Willett, along with Master of the Keyboard Don Hallquist, led a spirited Welcome Song.

Mother Larson’s favorite son--does Pres Dan agree with that?- (“they kept at it ‘til they got it right”) Tim filled in for Johnny Mozzicato as Sgt. At Arms and told us of numerous misdemeanors, to wit:

Neal and Mary” leaving early; Art Apostle still not pronouncing Mary P’s last name correctly; Don Pitkin’s perennial picture; Patrick Liss’ (Brian’s son) publicized swimming lesson; & Stu Harris’ birthday, with a song from all of the “Women in Rotary” pin wearers, but since there were only a couple present, everyone sang!

Art Bradbury introduced the aforementioned Rachel, Annemarie and Kaitlyn, who told us of plans for the 2nd Annual Abalon Memorial PanCAN Walk. To be held on May 19 in honor of beloved former CIBA Principal and Co-Founder, Mike Abalon, they are looking for individual and corporate sponsors to benefit Pancreatic Cancer Research and academic scholarship. Feel free to call Art for more details.

Lots of special announcements today (no wonder our speaker was short-sheeted!):

With only fifteen minutes for our speaker, Dan Russell introduced David Fay, President and CEO of The Bushnell since 2001. Hartford’s premier entertainment facility, The Bushnell, with 2800 seats,  enhanced its stature in Hartford when it constructed the adjoining Belding Theater, seating 900. That made possible greater flexibility of programming both large and smaller events at the same time. Mr Fay endeared himself to us by purchasing 4 Raffle tickets, and then talked of the value of entities such as Rotary (he is a former Rotarian out in the midwest), which by its diversity of programming, along with theater in general, adds to the “Spirituality of man through the arts.”  He stressed that music, theater, and “the arts all transcend the violence of war” in the world, and that we should not underestimate their importance to the community around us. He left us with the thought that our “souls are fed” by the arts, and that the world is made a better place by the work of Rotary and organizations such as The Bushnell. David Fay gave us a lot to chew on in just a few minutes. Thanks, Dan!

Reporting make-ups in Cape Coral (Willett) and Naples Bay (Tischofer), this reporter leaves you with the age-old thought that, once again, it was nice to get together!



April 25, 2007

Our weekly luncheons are always full of good cheer and as we’re growing as a club and always among the district leaders in attendance, we’re using nearly every seat available. Many of today’s pre-lunch conversations focused on the good weather that has finally arrived and golf.
The invocation was given by the always charming Past District Governor George Stewart.
Lunch consisted of cream of asparagus soup along with an open faced turkey and bacon sandwich, always delicious Krauss coleslaw and a pickle. Dessert featured a selection of cookies and squares.

Make-ups: Steve Jacoby at Hilton Head, SC (and he presented a flag)
Sam Leone at West Palm Beach, FL (3 meetings)
Doug Willett at Cape Coral, FL
Sue and Peter Klock at District 7980 Assembly

Guests: Ed Brymer, former Middletown Chief of Police, former EH asst chief, and member of the Middletown Rotary Club.
Mary Sullivan of First New England Credit Union
Todd Gaertner, Administrator of Sterling Manor and the asst Adminstrator of Riverside Health until last week when he played host to our club.
Dr. Marion Martinez, Superintendent of Schools

The Rotary song was led by Chief of Police Mark Sirios along with Phyllis Demers, who was sentenced to this duty by President Dan for loud remarks.
George Stewart was also Sergeant-at-Arms and assessed various fines for lack of pins, late arrivals, and early leavers. Jim Fallon celebrated a birthday, and George Agnelli celebrated 32 years in Rotary. George Stewart paid $5.00 for the recent 3-game sweep of the beloved Red Sox over the Bronx Bombers, although the amount of payment seemed low considering it was the first sweep by the Boston Eleven over their greatest rival in 17 years.

Thanks to Riverside Health Care for playing host to our meeting of April 18. They provided a lovely lunch and informative tour.
A Lobster Bake will be held at the Holiday Inn on May 11 to celebrate the visit of the GSE team from Italy. Cooking will be handled by our own Bill Leone and friends. A sign up will on be circulated this week and next week. If you’d like to attend and are unable to sign up call Bill Leone right away.
The Hartford Rotary Club will hold a dinner to honor their vocational service award winner on Monday June 6. If you are interested in attending please contact President Dan.
The Holiday Inn of East Hartford is holding a car wash and bake sale on Saturday, May 19 from 10:00-2:00 to benefit “Give Kids the World,” an organization that helps disabled children. Nothing’s better than a nice shiny car and the cost is only $5/car.
A dedication of the scoreboard at McKenna Field will be held on Monday, May 7 at 6:30. Our club donated the funds to erect the scoreboard, which features the Rotary Logo and our club name. A baseball game will follow the ceremony.
Sue and Peter Klock are having an open house on Friday, April 27 from 5:00 to 7:00 at “Ridgehouse.” Rotarians and spouses are invited.
The club donated dictionaries to all East Hartford students in grades 3-5, 1800 total. They were distributed on Monday to the elementary schools. This project was spearheaded by Ceil Collins and Sue and Peter Klock, and is another excellent example of how Rotary serves the town and works to make a difference in the world.
District Conference We need help bring supplies to the district conference for our hospitality suite. Bill Saunders will be in the supply room downstairs before and after next week’s meeting beginning at 11:00. Please help if you can.
Any members interested in golfing on Friday or Saturday while at the District Conference should contact Bob Richmond.
Members are needed to walk or ride in the Memorial Day parade. Please sign up next week or call Jack Ghagan.

The Raffle was won by Tim Larson.

New member and South Windsor resident Sheryl O’Connor shared information about herself. She grew up in Uxbridge, Mass. Although growing up in a “science” family, she was always interested in music and began playing organ professionally at age 13. She has degrees in music and education and taught at the elementary level. She has two children a daughter who is in grad school and a son in college. Professionally Sheryl left teaching to join Mass Mutual when computing was becoming an essential workplace skill. She eventually moved from programmer to management and was later recruited by the Hartford to manage large projects. Her husband and a partner began an investment management company and they recruited Sheryl to run operations. The business focuses on large portfolios such as those held by municipalities. Although she works five feet away from her husband, she insists on commuting separately. She and her husband are avid scuba divers and have traveled extensively abroad to dive.

Tom Galvin made a report about the car raffle, we’re almost ½ way there. Keep pushing those tickets. If you have unsold books you can give them to Tom Galvin this week and next so members can try to sell them at the district conference. Many members have sold well over their 5 allotted books, but George Agnelli certainly hold the current record with 41 books sold.


High Gear -- April 18, 2007

The spacious multipurpose room at Riverside Health and Rehabilitation Center proved to be a bright and wonderful venue for another one of President Dan’s raucous Rotary meetings. Don Hallquist was provided with an in-tune piano, the speaker system worked perfectly, and President Dan ate last. The center’s huge kitchen (designated the largest restaurant facility in East Hartford) stocked a bountiful buffet table with unaccustomed largess: beef bourguignon, lemon chicken, seafood casserole, dilled mashed potatoes, garden salad, mixed vegetables, Spanish rice, strawberry cheesecake, and more. Thank you, Sissy Stinson, for taking such good care of us.

Guests: Sheryl O’Connor introduced John O’Connor, her husband (and her boss between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.). Sissy introduced her boss, Todd Gaertner, assistant administrator of Riverside, and our host for the day. Tim Larson, when he finally got around to it, introduced Joanne Gagnon, general manager of Rentschler Field, and 12-year-old Steve Bates, Jr. (who proved more able to lead the Welcome Song than his father). Larry Frazier introduced his wife, Doris, and attempted to introduce the other guest at his table—but never got around to her name (Elizabeth Briglia from Stone Academy, guest of Donna Bys). Ceil Collins introduced Past District Governor Larry Ottoson. Sissy, Steve Bates, and Steve Bates, Jr., sang the Welcome Song.

The connoisseur of fine Boston restaurants, John Mozzicato, replaced Art Apostol as the meeting’s sergeant-at-arms. He reported collecting fines from a cross section of members, including Don Pitkin for having his picture in the paper with the mayor; Sheryl O’Connor for her son’s receiving an internship at Northeastern University, located in [censored]; Ceil Collins for letting her husband buy her a new car; and Andy Andreo for his birthday. Andy requested that the Larson boys and all new club members from the past year sing him Happy Birthday. Phone lines to Washington were down, so Tim and Dan stood alone with the new members.

Reports are that Mike Malinguaggio and Ruth Sheehan are doing well. Ceil Collins reported that dictionaries from the our club’s dictionary project will be delivered next Monday and Thursday to all third, fourth, and fifth graders in the East Hartford Public Schools and that she has applied to receive a $350 grant from District 7890 to help support the project. Ceil also announced that she has received permission to sell raffle tickets in the lobby of Connex Credit Union on Connecticut Blvd. and that others may be able to do so also. Tom Galvin commented that it would be good for members of the club to give support to Rita Brown with phone calls.

Dr. Tom gave an update on raffle ticket sales—162 books for $16, 200, slightly less than the half-way goal.  Members should turn over any unsold books so that other members who have sold out their own allotment can continue to sell them. Bill Saunders announced that information on the upcoming district conference has been posted on our website. Forty-three people from East Hartford are attending. The Cape will never be the same. Sue Klock reminded everyone that next Wednesday afternoon is the date for the Senior Citizens Prom at East Hartford High School. Help in the kitchen is still welcome. Sue also reported that she and Peter spent last Saturday at the Rotary Leadership conference in Wilmington, Delaware. Groups of eleven people met all day for very effective presentation/discussions on ways to rejuvenate local clubs, which are all facing the same organizational problems.
Meetings: Next Wednesday, the golf committee at 11:00; the scholarship committee at 11:15.
Make-ups: Two by George Stewart in Sheffield, England.

President Dan reviewed the actions of Monday night’s board of directors meeting. The board re-examined our previous budget allotments and voted to give $1,000 to Mercy Housing; $1,000 to the East Hartford Senior Citizens for new tables; $500 (along with the South Windsor club) to help eight students from Two Rivers Middle Magnet School attend the launching of their space experiments from the New Mexico Space Port; and $500 to Interval House. East Hartford Rotary has made more than $40,000 worth of contributions this year, including $9,000 to the Rotary Foundation—a figure significantly above the district foundation goal of $100 per club member, thanks to the help of several generous contributors. Our Rotary Foundation goal for next year will be $8,700. President Dan also thanked Tom Westbrook for building some much needed storage crates for the chairs we store at the Ridge. Letters of thanks were received from YMCA director Brian Liss for our club’s donations to the YMCA’s Capital Campaign and Strong Kids Campaign. The East Hartford School-Business Partnership, with whom we have worked in the past, has named May 3, 2007, as Rotary Career Day for the town’s eighth graders. The partnership welcome Rotary members who wish to do so to talk about our careers on that day between 8:00 and 10:30 am.

After an interminable joke slamming the contributions of government workers, President Dan introduced Todd Gaertner to speak briefly about Riverside Health and Rehabilitation Center. Todd introduced the head administrator of Riverside, Karen Chadderton, who also happens to be the chairperson of the East Hartford Chamber’s golf tournament. Todd provided background information about Riverside, including the fact that it is East Hartford’s second largest employer (407 employees). Its kitchen, besides serving lunch to our Rotary Club members today, also served meals to another 333 residents of the facility! After the close of the meeting, Todd took interested members on a 20 minute tour of the facility, which is home to 270 people with chronic illnesses and which has 345 beds that are presently fully committed. Riverside also provides various sub-acute services, including care from 16 physical therapists and 8 therapeutic recreation directors. Very pleasant, home-like facilities include a recreation room with a 42’’ plasma TV, a dining area with cloth-covered tables, and a computer lab with high-speed internet access. A sports café (without certain liquid refreshments) is being planned for the 4th floor. Riverside is exemplary as a clean, well-cared for, and efficiently run health facility serving East Hartford and the whole of central Connecticut.


Billy the Kid


High gear -- April 11, 2007

It's great to be back after six weeks in Florida. It's a great day to be at the Ridge - Spring seems as if is here to stay.  It's great to hear Don at the piano with nostalgic tunes filling the hall.  It's great being an East Hartford Rotarian!! President Dan called us to order for our opening ceremonies and called upon Art Bradbury for the Invocation. Art is "continually amazed and surprised for the Joy of Rotary", and of all the blessings which this joy brings. It is also great to see that an extra table was needed to seat the ever growing body of East Hartford Rotarians.  It is a tribute to the Membership Committee and to the Club itself!  A meal consisting of a delicious Reuben Sandwich, potato salad, green salad and a piece of dutch apple pie was served to a relatively noisy crowd.

Following the meal Pres. Dan reopened the meeting and called for the introduction of guests.  They were Tom Jarish, Dick Seery, and Marion Martinez.  Hyacinth Douglas-Bailey helped Don with the Welcome Song - great job!  Sgt. at Arms Art Apostol had a good day with birthdays for Larry Churchill, Bob Wood, and Don Pitkin, a wedding anniversary for Spurgeon Stokes (54), and a new grand daughter for Bob Richmond. Mike Malinguaggio is doing better, and Ruth Sheehan will be coming home tomorrow after her recent knee replacement surgery.  Hang in there, Ruth!

Dan announced that the club is planning a farewell get together for the Italian GSE team on May 11th with details to be announced.  Bill Leone read a letter from Roger Nicholson honoring Andy Andreo and his 79th birthday and Bill acknowledged the generous check to the Rotary Scholarship which accompanied the letter.  Thanks, Roger!  A check from the Brown Family for the Rotary Scholarship was also acknowledged with thanks. Dan spoke with pride about the accomplishments of our club which were outlined in the District Newsletter - hosting the Italian GSE team, helping with the great water project, a 90% attendance mark, and exceeding our goal for the Rotary Foundation contribution - a great accomplishment.


Gil Wishart introduced our speaker, Todd Andrews, who is Director of Development and Expansion for Goodwin College. Todd outlined the growth plans for the expansion of the College.  His presentation included photos and maps showing the plans for the college.  It is a major undertaking which will kick off in May with the groundbreaking for the first building on the Riverfront Campus.  Goodwin College caters to emerging needs and markets.  Its nursing program graduated 108 RNs this year while UConn graduated120.  The College has 2400 students and has a job placement rate of 82%. The Riverside Campus will be located where the Oil Tanks were located, just north of Wilgoos lab.  They have removed the tanks and cleaned up the area and are ready to build.  They have bought up much property on and around the riverfront area.  They will help revitalize the King Court project and utilize some of the units for student family housing.  They hope to be able to help revitalize much of this South End Area.  When the project is done it will provide about 80 million dollars in economic benefit to our town and surrounding areas.  The immediate benefit to the town was about $400,000 in back taxes, and an estimated $2,000,000  yearly benefit to the town when finished. The college has also bought up about 700 acres of Riverfront wetlands south of the campus. Great presentation and sincere good wishes for a successful completion of Goodwin's masterplan.

Make-ups:  Herb Tischofer and Chuck Clark 3 each at Naples Bay, Peter and Sue Klock at Southington, and Steve Jacoby 2 at Lincoln, R. I.

Until next week,      AT RIVERSIDE HEALTH CARE  -  BOB WOOD


High Gear -- April 4, 2007

Wouldn’t you know it...brag about the beautiful spring weather and the old man throws us another hunk of winter, complete with raw, rainy, sleety skies, and a threat of snow tonight! Guess that’s New England, but we know that fair skies will soon be with us, so cheer up and have faith!

Johnny Shemo asked the Lord’s blessing today, expressing thanks for the friendship of Rotary. We sat to a very tasty chicken/gravy/mushroom dish, adorned with rice and carrots. Helen and Sue seemed to be picking up mostly clean-as-a-whistle plates, so I guess we liked it. Table-topics included a healthy portion of NCAA finals, the upcoming Masters Tournament, and returning snow bunnies. Good to see them back, from Florida, England, and other strange sounding parts of the world (like New Britain, Bristol, and Bridgeport!).

GUESTS gracing our tables were Lori Ann Gonzales, Tom Jarish, and Mary Sullivan, who were welcomed in song by a smiling, Florida-tanned  Jackie Danise and assorted friends.( President Dan Larson made a pitiful plea for a more polite presentation of guests -  which was met by the usual dignified response of the electorate). A missing friend today was member Mike Malinguaggio who is still pretty uncomfortable at home, recuperating from a fall. With honorary member Ruth Sheehan at Manchester Manor admiring her new knee, it would do both of their hearts good to hear from East Hartford Rotarians.

Sgt at Arms Art Apostle wore his badge of office (but where’s the arm-band?) while fining one and all for various miscues, such as: this scribe’s “reverse-English” of last week, Dan Firestone’s picture in the paper, Mo Moshovos’ refusal to pay a fine for whining, a few no-pins, Andy Matos and Johnny Mozzicato for a Red Sox loss and a Yankee win, and an 80th birthday song for Jack Ghagan. Adding to the coffers were late arrivals and early leavers (don’t these same guys know the meeting is always scheduled to include a program which runs up to 1:30?).


President Dan made good on his promise (see, it can be done, Danny!) and introduced our speaker at one minute before 1:00! Frank Collins, with a string of past and on-going  Rotary posts held that led the club to rise in his honor, gave us a most interesting view of “Rotary at the United Nations.” Frank is certainly well-qualified to speak on many avenues of Rotary, having served us as: club president, district governor, R.I .Director, R.I. Vice Pres, R.I.’s senior representative to the United Nations, and, most recently, as Moderator of the International Assembly responsible for the training of all incoming district governors. Whew! No wonder we stood!

As a rep to the UN for 2 years, Frank and his staff met with groups and agencies which have responsibility for serving non-political needs around the world. Rotary has a “consultive” role as one of the many Non Governmental Organizations which work with the UN in helping it to meet Millennium Goals involving Health, Water, Literacy and Polio Eradication. To assist a country, there must be Rotarians “on the ground” i.e. a Rotary Club in the area, to play a part in whatever the endeavor may be. Frank stressed that, while there are 191 ambassadors from countries making up the General Assembly, the real work of the UN is done in the Security Council. Although it is a body with many problems, as is the world, it’s “the only game in town,” and Rotary appears to be playing a significant role in the humanitarian issues it is trying to address.  Thanks, Frank, you done good!

Make-ups this week include 2 from Bill Secord, who made use of the eCLUB online. Thanks Bill!

And with a continued good feeling that it was great to be together,



High Gear -- March 28, 2007

                                                                                                March 28, 2007



(to see original message, and use your mirror, click here on High Gear, March 28)

You could tell that spring has arrived; this was the nicest day yet on our way to the first of next month, better known as APRIL FOOL’S DAY. So, hopefully you’ve printed this out and you’re not holding your computer up to the mirror! It was a joyously NOISY day at the Ridge, with a big turnout of Rotarians and guests (we even had to set up another table; a nice problem to have!). Dan Firestone took a few liberties when asked to deliver the invocation, attesting to it being a “taxing” season, but hoping there would be a good return on our efforts. One can only hope he was “taxed” by the Sgt. At Arms for these first puns of spring.

We sat to a most delectable meal of a hot open-faced roast beef sandwich w/gravy, cold potato salad & coleslaw. A plate of cookies completed the repast, shared in by the following GUESTS: Tom Jarish, Mary Sullivan, Karen Owens, Peter Deich, Pam Podd, Jonathan Gengras, Mary Panayotidis, and Ed Cassala, Lacy Colwell, & Jill Fahey, the latter three being incoming Rotarians.  Demonstrating a vim and vitality beyond their years, the good Judge (as in “Here comes da…”) and “Ole Tom” (no, he wasn’t handing out gold!), with the help of Maestro Don, led us in a rousing Welcome song.

Sgt At Arms Bill Leone capped off his month with a sparkling panoply of finees, to wit: Messrs. Shemo and Pitkin for pictures in the paper, Spiller (30) and Stokes (26) for club anniversaries, Galvin for insulting the S.A.A, (is that possible?), Agnelli for “something” not understood, for Carmen’s 92nd birthday (again!), and Hallquist for starting the Paul Harris program with the Welcome Song. Pres. Dan said Don shouldn’t have been fined, but we’d keep the money anyway!

Other Important Notes:

President-elect Bill Saunders reported on his experiences at the recent PETS training program in Nashua, NH. Bill was one of 600 incoming presidents from New England, Ontario and Quebec. Rotary numbers themselves are impressive: 1.2 million Rotarians from 32 thousand clubs in 532 districts from  207 countries of the world! Bill attested to being “pumped up” by speakers on such topics as goal setting, quality service projects, ethics and Rotary protocol; with respect to the East Hartford club, lots of interest was expressed in our great new-member growth,  and  he feels the need to  continue emphasis on district participation. His enthusiasm bodes well for our club in the year ahead.

New Members inducted by President Dan Larson today were: Ed Cassala, of Generus Catering, and Lacee Colwell & Jill Fahey, of the local Holiday Inn. Time didn’t permit learning anything about them, so stay tuned!

Closing out the day’s program was a brief Power Point presentation offered by Ceil Collins on the subject “Peace is Possible.” Developed by Rotary International, it featured short pictorial testimonies from an array of young international participants in a recent Rotary Peace Assembly. It seemed pretty good, but this writer felt that time didn’t really permit a true appreciation of it’s points.

Maker-uppers included Frank & Ceil at PETS; Frank in King of Prussia, PA & Mt. Laurel, NJ; and Sam Leone in West Palm Beach (3 times). Thanks, one and all!

And thanks if you’ve gotten this far…it really was great to be together!




High Gear --March 21, 2007


Sooooo this week Pres. Dan thanked God for last week’s snowstorm which caused a delay of one week for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade  -  meaning, of course, as Pres. Dan carefully explained, another week to celebrate St. Patty’s Day and another shot at a Big Parade.  Dan has a way of turning bad news into good news.

And Tonight at The Holiday Inn, the East Hartford Rotary Club was truly “on Holiday” (as they say in George Stew’s Bermuda).  Doing something unusual (for me), I was among the early birds, and got off on a high note first by running into Lucile Bailey.  Now there’s a lady who can give even Carmen a run for the money on birthdays.  Urged on by the ever-kindhearted Sgt.at Arms, Bill Leone, Carmen, who had everyone singing Happy Birthday last week, had us all singing “HB” AGAIN this week for the BIG 92.  WELLLL, Lucile B has already CELEBRATED 97!!!  So Carmen, last week Neal C. was overshadowed by you.  This week it’s your turn to play second fiddle to Lucile.  Way to go to all of you!!

And now, turning to the script (a rumpled piece of paper marked up with chicken tracks), the Spirit of Rotary was truly in the air and the volume of conversations climbed steadily.  Pres. Dan reminded us of the sad loss of Chet Bogus and most recently of Bob Brown, memories of their good and kind natures will be with us for a long time.  Dan Russell was called upon by the Prez. for the Invocation, and Dan reminded us the many examples of service to others and our continuing effort to spread the message of Rotary around the World.

Pres. Dan then announced our special purpose tonight  - honoring this year’s Paul Harris Fellows  -  Reggie and Herb Barall and Dan Firestone.  And happily, here to celebrate with us was our District Governor Susan Atkins and her husband Richard Atkins.

The Welcome Song, now played by Don Halquist on a revitalized keyboard and led by Art Bradbury and Guy LaBella, for of all our guests, including Mark Scheinberg, whom we honored later in the evening.  And Guy was given a New Badge for his very own.  Looks good, Guy!  Or – now he looks like a good Guy!  Take your choice.

And Sgt/Arms Bill Leone made three announcements.  1)  Mike Malinguaggio is home from the hospital – good for another good guy.  2)  And another good guy, Carmen P., is 92 by the time you read this, but you know that already.  And 3)  No fines tonight (no matter what!), but this good guy stuff ends tonight. So, fore-warned is fore-armed.  Watch out next week for the “this night only” good guy!

Peter Klock stated that all E.H. Third Graders got dictionaries this year.  AND next year all 4th and 5th graders will get them, too.  Hope I got that right.  Correct me, Peter, if I didn’t.  In any event Peter needs help in labeling the new dictionaries, so meet at the Collins house to help get it done.  Ask Peter or Frank C. times and dates.

Make-ups:  Brian Liss (Simsbury) ,  Doug Willett and Bob Wood (Cape Coral, FL), Herb Tischofer  and Chuck Clark (Naples Bay –3 each).

At this point Pres. Dan turned the podium over to another lad who doesn’t need any prompting or a script to keep us in a happy mood, the effervescent Dr. Tom Galvin to guide the Presenters and Honorees through their paces.

Dr. Tom called upon Moe Belanger first to present Reggie and Herb Barall and to tell something of their combined accomplishments.  Herb as we know practiced law in East Hartford and served on several town boards and commissions before being appointed to the Bench.  He served for many years as a Judge of the Superior Court before retiring in 1998.  Herb continues working as a Trial Referee on a time schedule reduced to his particular preference.  Some of Herb’s best memories and stories are about the thirty or more years he played a weekly tennis match with Mo Moshovos, Moe Belanger and Nick Cecere.  Not all these stories are suitable for retelling here!  Through all this time Reggie was completing her own schooling at the University of Hartford.  She enjoyed marketing positions with Scan Optics, fund raising for the Salvation Army and the CT Association For the Retarded.  And now, not surprisingly, Reggie teaches dancing.  She credits Mitchell House with inspiring her to want to do work for the benefit of the Town.

Next, Dr. Tom asked Mary Martin to present our third Rotarian as Paul Harris Fellow, Dan Firestone, C.P.A.    Mary told us proudly that Dan joined Rotary the year after Mary graduated from High School!  Dan’s wife, Hope, is a member of the West Hartford Club.  Hope has learned to like Dan’s big avocation for cars, standing still or traveling at break-neck speed.  Either before, during or after Dan became involved in serious auto racing at places like Lime Rock (this is No Kidding racing!), Dan began to acquire and rebuild classic old cars – and he has an impressive collection..  Through all of this, Hope was there with her fingers crossed when Dan was racing, but he always escaped any serious crashes.  And through the last twenty or so years, Dan has done the tax work and returns for our Club.  His talent and annual tax “seminars’ for the Club have been much appreciated.

All of our new Paul Harris Fellows were very gracious in their respective thanks to the Club for doing them such great honor.  The honorees were duly welcomed and “pinned” by our District Governor to applause and cheers.  This tradition of our members doing much for others within the Club and in our greater community goes on with undiminished energy – a real sign of strength for the future of our Club and the Town of East Hartford.

The final presentment of the night came when Dr. T asked Pres. Dan and Dean Roland to make the presentment of the Vocational Service Award to Mark E. Scheinberg.  Mark has been a very active and involved person in this community for many years.  His community involvement speaks volumes about his public-minded approach for the good this Town.  Perhaps one of his most notable accomplishments the starting of Goodwin College, and he is most proud of being able to purchase for the College one of this Town’s wonderful buildings, the former home of First Federal Savings and Loan Association of East Hartford, at which so many of our Rotarians and friends have worked and/or enjoyed the seasonal gatherings for the enjoyment of the Townspeople.  And with tongue in cheek, he thinks one of his best strategic moves was seeing the Bank Boardroom become the daily home for the famous Coffee Club whose Members daily solve some of the major problems of today’s world!  And although he knows that there are still hurdles for the College to get past, he know that there has been much progress made already, and he feels very confident about the future.  He certainly personifies the purpose and character needed for the Vocational Service Award.

With Pres. Dan’s choice, we closed with one verse of “God Bless America” and a goodnight to all.



High Gear -- March 14. 2007


And it sure inspired our President Dan (whose natural good humor doesn’t need a lot of inspiration to liven up our meetings).

We were greeted at the door by Laurie, Captain of Team 4, and Mary Martin, putting bright Irish Galway Green leis over our heads, saying “Erin go Bragh” (not“Aloha”).  Some guys even got bright green hats, which looked pretty good (on most of them).

Pres. Dan called upon Gil Wishart for the Grace before our meal.  Gil did a fine job of bringing into focus the important parts of our lives with the betterment of others through Rotary.

It was great seeing Roy Spiller (“Spiler”) back with us today – looking very good after the medical procedures he’s been through.

Sad news was also with us when it was announced that Bob Brown died this morning.  And we also learned that Lucile Bailey’s granddaughter has died in Florida.  Our sympathies go out to their families.

Guests:  Mark Greer (Glastonbury Club and Assistant to the District Governor), Deborah Eisenberg (Glastonbury Club).  Tom Jarish (Guest of Herb Tischofer).

Make-upsBill Secord (Glastonbury);  Frank Collins (Scranton, PA);  Steve Jacoby (Wells, Maine – Rotary Leadership Institute);  Sue and Peter Klock  (Wilbraham, MA);  Dick McCarthy (3 at Fort Myers – Sunrise, FL);  Bill Saunders (4 at Cape Coral, FL);  Doug Willett (Cape Coral, FL)  Bob Wood (Cape Coral, FL).

Our Guests were welcomed by Don H. (at the ivories), John McNaughton and Dick McCarthy (waving their arms more or less in time with the music of the Welcome Song), a grand welcome to our visitors.

In spite of the whisper campaign that he would never make it as an Irishman (even with his forbear Saint Patrick urging him on) Sgt/Arms Bill Leone tried to fake it and collect money from all the Irish and Irish Wannabees in attendance.  Amazingly, Bill collected $184.00 from the group in celebration of The Day  -  and threw in a quarter of his own, as he put it, “to round it up”.  No one explained to Bill that it takes a dollar to “round it up”.  But we gratefully accepted the $184.25 collected by said Sergeant and thank all those Irish and “Irish for The Day” who contributed  -  a nice boost for the fund.

Sgt/Arms Bill went on to announce Rotary Anniversaries for Skip G. (25 years), Andy A. (24 years), Pres. Dan L. (10) years and Bill Saunders granddaughter Kate’s acceptance and full-boat ride at Xavier University.  Way to go Kate!

And it takes a special line to recite the announcement of Carmen Piscatello’s ninety-second (92nd ) birthdayKeep well, Carmen.  You are an inspiration to the rest of us!

P.S.  Neal Cunningham got to be sixty-six.  Ordinarily, that would call for great cheers and huzzahs, BUT that Carmen is tough, tough competition!  Happy Birthday, anyway, Neal.

Johnny MO.  stirred the raffle bucket and guest Tom Jarish took away the moolah.  (What’s going to happen when he joins the Club?  Will he get the other half, too?)

Word from the top is that Spurgeon S. is still doing therapy and doing well.


Sue Klock relates that The Shelter Box now has 200 Boxes in Bolivia with 200 more to arrive this weekend.  Note: One Shelter Box houses 10 people – so this effort really helps a lot of poor people.

Laurie , Team Captain No. 4, gave us a run-through on the Prius Raffel campaign.  And we will have more info in the next two weeks.  This is a first class drive with a classy first prize for a most deserving purpose – raising scholarship fund for deserving East Hartford kids.  Hearing that, most people will respond positively to your efforts.

Laurie also passed out info sheets on the results of the Fireside Chats.  This has always been a most enjoyable way to exchange ideas and meet fellow Rotarians in an informal setting.  Read up and note the similar themes from the various groups.



Proposed New Members:  In accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Rotary Club of East Hartford, notice is hereby given that the following persons have been proposed for membership in the Rotary Club of East Hartford, Connecticut:

                        Jill Fahey, General Manager, Holiday Inn, E. H.   (Proposed by Dan Larson)

                        Ed Casella, V.P. and General Manager, Generis, Inc. (Proposed by Mary Martin)

                        Lacee Colwell, Director of Sales, Holiday Inn, E. H.   (Proposed by Dan Larson)


If any East Hartford Rotarian questions or challenges any of the proposed new members, he/she must state his/her concerns in writing via email to suehklock@aol.com or fax to (860) 430-1442, and mail a printed copy of the challenge via USPS to Rotary Club of East Hartford, c/o Susan Klock, Club Secretary, P.O. Box 280772, East Hartford, CT 06128-0722, within 7 days of this notice dated March 15, 2007.



We closed with one verse of a stirring American favorite.

And in closing on our early celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day, let me add this Old Irish Blessing.


                                                              “May the road rise to meet you.

                                                              May the wind be always at your back.

                                                              May the sun shine warm upon your face.

                                                              May the rain fall soft upon your fields.

                                                              And until we meet again, may God

                                                              Hold you in the palm of His hand.”




High Gear -- March 7, 2007

Please bear with the following “stream of consciousness”, maybe a new style (?).
As I was walking up the driveway to the V.M. Clubhouse, I could hear D.H. hitting the notes for ”Over the Rainbow”. Looking to my right, I expected to see a rainbow in the West -- alas, no rainbow, but a clear blue sky, nevertheless, to welcome us to our meeting - a bit nippy around the edges, but February is now behind us together with the first week of March, and it gives us hope that this icy cold spell will disappear quickly and be followed by warmer weather soon. It may not have been a bitingly cold and snowy winter, but as always, we are now ready for Spring and, as they say in northern Maine, “the quicker the sooner”.

Pres. Danny (“Boy” - Don played that ,too.) called upon Rev. Ted Mosebach for the Invocation which, whether Wednesday or Sunday, we thank the Lord for the professionals in our midst as Ted led us in our expression of thanks to the Almighty for our gathering and the blessings we all share.

Pres. Dan unofficially introduced his son, Jeff, who was formally introduced later by his Uncle, Mayor Tim. Jeff traveled many miles to be here with his Dad for the meeting - always good to have family members join us - -and that included today, Jan Sayre, who got Jack safely to our meeting.

Kathy McCabe reminds us that the Paul Harris Recognition Dinner will be on March 21st at the Holiday Inn on Roberts Street - -6 PM cocktails and 7 PM dinner. Call Kathy if you haven’t signed up yet.

Steve Jacoby made a late entrance duly noted by our Pres. – and Pres. Dan called for introduction of guests, who, including Jeff Larson, were Tom Jarish (United Auto), Lacee Colwell (Holiday Inn) and Ed Casella (Generis Catering) and pardon any spelling errors. Tim Larson and John Kelliher led us in the Welcome Song, and pretty well done, at that.

Jack Sayre reported that Spurge Stokes is coming along okay.

SGT/ARMS Bill Leone related some birthdays and anniversaries, including inter alia Pat Gately (2 Years Rotary) and John McNaughton, giving mightily for birthday, no pin and new car (John seen later making loans at bargain rates to those at his table); and Tom Galvin complained mightily about the “Know Nothing SGT/Arms”. This scribe doesn’t know what Sgt.Bill didn’t know but Tom was pretty worked up about it. Tune in next week for more news. Dr. Tom did emphasize that this Prius auto first prize is really souped up with many bells and whistles –a first rate prize and we should really ramp up our pitch to sell tickets.
Team Captains take note!! Next week we will be seated by teams at nine tables – so Team Captains should be on tap early to get their members all seated at the right table.

Johnny M. got the winning ticket plucked from the bucket and Tim Larson was the winner! Wow! Or should I say “Whoa?”

John Shemo introduced our Guest Speaker for today, Pete Gioia, an economist at CBIA.

Pete gave us a quick but thorough overview of our economy, strong but probably growing at a slightly slower pace than last year. It is important to view our economy as it fits in with the rest of the U.S. and the global picture. U.S. productivity is down slightly though wage growth is improving. Housing “starts” in CT are off about 10% with drops in western U.S. “starts” much greater. Pete doesn’t look for the Fed to make any rate changes for now. Though personal income is up, the big concern now is jobs and availability of skilled. workers able to handle new technologies. The schools have too many kids “getting by” and graduating, but without the depth of education which they need to succeed in the workplace. Tragically, 30% percent of job applicants are not getting past the drug tests. Also and very important to our future CT economy, we need more graduate engineers and scientists coming into the work force. This

was an excellent talk covering a lot of ground on the economic front.

It was great to see Moe Belanger back with us. Both Moe and Nick Cecere wish the Club to know how much they each appreciated the cards and phone calls to help them get through their difficult times. And now we look for Roy Spiller to join us, hopefully next week!

REMINDER: Tables 1 through 9 with a Team Captain at each for next week’s meeting. SELL TICKETS!!!


High Gear -- February 28, 2007

Wouldn’t ya know it? Bring a little sunshine and 43 degrees on the last day of February, and it goes to the piano player’s head; to wit: “It Might as well Be Spring.” Yep, Maestro Don Hallquist was surely feeling the vibes of an early spring day with his welcoming tunes. How great it is! P.P. John Shemo led us with an unusually meaningful blessing today, as he called to our minds the passing of Rotarian Chet Bogus and Nick Cecere’s 2nd sister, Lucy Sinatro.


Though he tried to blame the whole thing on this scribe, President Dan Larson showed he is indeed only human by forgetting to don the ceremonial emblem of his office before ringing the opening bell, thereby inviting us all to a cocktail party! And basking in anticipation, we settled down to a delicious meal of an open-faced turkey sandwich, replete with gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and, disguised as apple slices, tasty turnip wedges. A flaky apple pie-like concoction topped it all off.


Smiling Jack Sayre has returned from the new hip factory and it was good to see him. Moe Belanger, Spurge Stokes, and Bob Brown continue to need our thoughts, prayers, and cards as they convalesce at home, so keep ‘em coming!

Guests today included Mary Sullivan, Ed Cassala, and from South Windsor, Rotarian Dan Rys. Helping new member Andy Matos to fill out his assignment card, Johnny Mo Mozzicato sang a few good notes of the Welcome Song. Well done, guys!


Sgt at Arms Stu Harris told of several miscreants; with an anniversary (Andy Andreo, 23) and a birthday (Dave Amberg, 67) we sang that “Happy…” song, someone’s cell phone erupted (but the new member owner claimed innocence so no fine was levied). In a show of true Rotary spirit (or something) Frank Collins paid two bucks for his and Ceil’s pictures having been in a local paper.


Kathy McCabe reminded us that the upcoming Paul Harris Dinner will be held at the Holiday Inn on March 21st. Because the Club has to pay in advance, Kathy asked that we give her the $35 per head by next week, Mar.7th. Got that?


And then came the big honcho himself, Super Sales Guy Tommy Tooth Galvin. Tom made a plea that we turn in the proceeds of our sales in whole books-worth, so as not to nickle-dime our captains. ”Let’s try to wrap it up in a couple of months,” says General Galvin. “Carry a ticket book at all times, and sell, sell, sell!”


Dan Rys of South Windsor made a paid advertisement plea in behalf of an East Hartford Chamber raffle to benefit scholarships (Now, that sounds familiar),  but those tickets are being sold for $20! And, while on the subject of raffles, ours was won by Phyllis DeMers!


Tom Galvin introduced our speaker for the day, Dan Mullen, representing the “Blitz” exercise studios located on Main Street in downtown Manchester. Sometimes referred to as the male equivalent of “Curves,” the concept at Blitz is a little different, stressing only 20 minute workouts, 3 or 4 times a week. Starting with 30 seconds on a punching bag, followed by just a few seconds on each of several hydraulic machines, the workout is intended to be easy on the knees (one pound of extra weight exerts four pounds of pressure on the knees) and includes as much or as little one-on-one trainer supervision as needed. Although he’s skipped to Florida (we wonder if he’s “Blitzing“ down there) Leo Christmas was mentioned several times as the “Poster Boy” for Blitz International! Will we see a slimmed-down Leo in the Spring?


The “maker-uppers” helping to keep us honest were: Clarke & Tischofer, several times, at Naples Bay, FL; Sam Leone, West Palm Beach; Jacoby, Newport, RI; and McCarthy, (3), Ft. Meyers Sunrise.


And wasn’t it great to be together!..........................................................Arthur


High Gear -- February 21, 2007

One week after Valentine’s Day we gathered with our Valentines, not on Blueberry Hill, but on the East Hartford Rotary equivalent.  The week long delay was not of our choosing but rather the result from time to time of what is known as New England weather.  Being the cuddly sort of club that we are, and thus rather insistent when it comes to opportunities romantic, we had our Valentine’s celebration a week late.  Perhaps it is true that Cupid’s work is always better late than never?
            Thanks to Kathy McCabe for the vino!  She wanted everyone to have a good time, so much so that she even went from table to table during dinner offering to refill our glasses although some at our table had a bit of trouble communicating a ‘yes’ decision to her.  I don’t believe she got to take home whatever was not consumed at our meeting and yet she appeared to hold the bottle tightly against herself; and perhaps experiencing some discomfort (it may well be that her back was bothering her) seemed to resist actually having to lean over the table and tilt the bottle into the glass.  Nevertheless, we did ultimately prevail upon her, she did graciously pour, and our palates were rinsed for our Ash Wednesday fish and potatoes.
            Yes, it was also Ash Wednesday.  Being of a religious mindset myself, I found the combination of events, interesting.  Lest it be forgotten, please Lord let us learn it better every day, real love of every kind and true religion do go together!  Yes, romantic love as well as neighborly (brotherly) compassionate love is holy in the sight of God who is the author of all real love. For those who may be raising an eyebrow here concerning such preaching in High Gear… Hey!  It’s Ash Wednesday, it’s what I do!  What did you expect?!
            So there were a lot of sweethearts sitting together as the bell rang and many more needed to scamper quickly out of the aisle to get to their places for the opening rituals.  Dan Russell graciously led us in prayer and a fine meal of fish and mashed potatoes and coleslaw quickly followed.
            Guests were Ed Casella of Generis Caterers, Jill Faher with the Holiday Inn, and Lacee Colwell also with the Holiday Inn of East Hartford.
            `Spouses and friends who joined us for the special day were:
            Hope Firestone, Chris Liss and little son Patrick, Evelyn Gagan, John Macnaughton’s aunt ¯ Lucile Baily, Mary TAmiso, Charlotte Bradbury, Chickie Amberg, Dorothy Larson, and Joan Brow.  Two gift baskets were given:  one to Dean and Jean Roland for 62 years of marriage one to Art and Charlotte Bradbury for almost sixty.  Congratulations to both couples!  You guys set the bar high!
            Now, one thing not mentioned yet was the attire of our esteemed President.  We are accustomed to the Rotary emblem around the neck, but the crown on the head?  We love our president it is true. Despite his disappointment in having only one person remember him over the national President’s Day holiday this past Monday, he does in fact receive our deep affection.  Anyway, where was Dorothy’s crown?  Her I could consider a Queen, fitting title for such grace and dignity, even after all the years with Dan.  Since we have an Empress, we could have, I guess, also a Queen.  But what to call Dan?
            Well, I could call him at least one of the funniest guys I know.  The jokes today were especially good and set a tone of great fun for the remainder of the meeting.  The Raffle drawing came early in the meeting this time and I think it was won by one of the guests representing the Holiday Inn.  I suppose if anyone really wants to know they could call the Holiday Inn and find out who so I don’t feel too bad not knowing.
            Dan Russell was recognized today as a three stone safire Paul Harris fellow. Congratulations Dan!  The recognition means that Dan is a good and generous Rotarian and a wonderful human being!  But then, we already knew that.
            Everyone is reminded to attend the Fireside Chat to which assigned.  If that is not possible please tell the host and then try to schedule for yourself another chat and contact that host as well.
Paul Harris Dinner
March 21st
6:00 PM Cocktails
7:00 PM Dinner
Holiday Inn, Roberts Street
            Don Hallquist paid to make an announcement about An Evening of Music at South Congregational Church on Forbes Street, this Sunday evening, February 25, at 6:30 PM.  Cost is $5.
            Speaking of Don Hallquist,  Frank Collins presented him with a briefcase displaying the Rotary logo and a symbol of Rotary growing around the world for Don’s adaptation of a song used to celebrate the theme at the latest Rotary International Assembly to train District Governors.  Thank you Frank and Don for all your work for the wider Rotary cause.
            There was no speaker other than the prizes and recognition of spouses and guests.  We sang Let Me Call You Sweetheart, and then dismissed with God Bless America.  It was a grand fun meeting.
Make-Ups:  Dan Russell – Singer Island, Florida; Bill Saunders – Cape Coral, Florida;  Doug Willet – Cape Coral, Florida (2);
            Changes in roster:  Nick Cecere: 3 Abbottsford Rd., Avon CT 860-677-1314
                                           Lionel Lassard: e-mail  desopoehmc@yahoo.com
                                           Bob Wood:  e-mail     bobdebwood@sbcqlobal.net
Ted Mosebach


High Gear -- February 7, 2007

            The meeting was brought to order by Mr. President Daniel N. Larson at 12:15 PM sharp whereby everyone immediately came to attention pursuant to the deep respect Mr. Larson inspires.  We sang our allegiance to Rotary, pledged our allegiance to America, and then prayed our allegiance to the One who permits them both.  Such train of events surely not reflecting the order of our priorities we quietly joined with a speaking Glen Peterson in a summons for divine blessing in poetic fashion.  We were told that the poem prayer was English or in English, I’m not sure which, perhaps both.  In either case the request apparently took for it was followed by scrumptious chicken pot pie, Neil Cunningham’s favorite. 
            A number of guests shared table with us including Keith Thomson from the East Windsor Club; Ed Cissala, manager of Generis Caterers, brought along by the Empress herself who even, truth be told,  paid for his lunch;  Mary Sullivan, Sales Manager with First New England Federal Credit Union; Lacee Colwell, Director of Sales for Holiday Inn.
            Regina Stinson filled that once in a life time category of guest and new member at the very same meeting.  Regina’s classification is Health Care and she is employed at Riverside Health Center.  After Mr. Larson’s moving introduction concerning Regina’s qualifications for Rotaryhood along with the privileges, duties and responsibilities attained by membership, the body rose and warmly welcomed her.  Mr. Larson, assigned by his position the task of attaching the Rotary pin to her lapel, slightly timid at first, ultimately did not demur from his duties.  Both of them breathing easier at the conclusion of their experience posed for a portrait to be displayed in that gallery somewhere with thousands of other Rotary photos the final resting place of which is a matter of some consternation throughout the club.
            Sergeant at Arms Stu Harris appropriately fined a few folks and then paid dearly himself for having scholar athlete offspring who received impressive awards.  Congratulations Stu!
            On a somber note we extend our sympathy to Nick Cecere upon the loss of his sister for whom calling hours I believe are today as well as to Albee Trieber upon the loss of his wife Laura.  Laura’s funeral will be held on Thursday, February 8, at the Weinstein Mortuary, 640 Farmington Avenue, Hartford.  Flowers not being appropriate gifts on these occasions in Jewish tradition it is right to bring food to the Trieber house after the funeral and to send cards.  Albee and Nick, please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.  We love you and trust in God to keep you and those you love in comfort and peace now and evermore.
            Jack Sayre, Spurgeon Stokes, Bob Brown, Moe Belanger, Roy Spiller, and John Mozzicato are each recovering well from their illnesses.
            Make-Ups:  Herb Tischofer – Naples Bay; Sam Leone – West Palm Beach;  Frank Collins - Moderator 2007 International Assembly (14 days 14 make-ups);  Ceil Collins – spouse program 2007 International Assembly (14 make-ups)  The make ups look good on Ceil, apparently Frank needs a little more.
            Vocational Service nominee this year is Mark Scheinberg of Goodwin College.
            On Valentine’s Day next week we are invited to bring a sweetheart, spouse, or both.  Wine will be served at the tables and vignettes romantic, humorous or both are also invited. 
            The Fireside Chat Schedule is complete.  Those who can not attend their appointed place and time are asked to inform the host or co-host and then also the host or co-host of the gathering you choose.
            New Rotary Rosters were distributed.  Sue Klock does such an exceptional job keeping our addresses and phone numbers up to date!  However, there is a number correction on the Fireside Chat Schedule.  Stu Harris’ number is 568-2069.  Even Sue can’t be perfect, but how close, how close?!
            Recent new member Donna Bys shared a little background about herself.  She lives in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts with her husband Paul who is football coach for the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  They have an adult daughter.  She works as Program Manager for Practical Nursing at the Stone Academy and teaches nursing at Hoyle (Is that it, Donna?) Community College.  Welcome Donna!  Its great to have you with us!
            Dean Lucky Roland won the raffle.  He didn’t look excited.  He doesn’t need the money but then he didn’t share it either.  I don’t know.
            Speaking of raffles, Tom Galvin organized the raffle for the Toyota Prius (spelling?) hybrid.  All present received fifty tickets to sell at ten dollars a piece.  The club goal is to sell four thousand tickets which would yield us a profit of approximately $17,000.  Not bad for some paper work!
            Bill Leone shared information about our two Scholarship Trust Funds, the Rotary Scholarship and the Brewer Scholarship.  Together their investment yielded the club for disbursement this year $6,714.21.  Kudos to Bill and the Scholarship Investment Committee!
            That finishes three pages of notes.  Its great to be part of such an active Club, even if Mr. Larson does have trouble allotting enough time to our speakers.  I say, you go Mr. Larson!
Ted Mosebach


High Gear -- January 31, 2007

January was ending with a beautiful mid winter day - bright and sunny.  February promises to start with a little snow, something we have seen very little of this year! As usual, Don was at the piano, playing some lively tunes which quickly got us into the spirit of Rotary!!  Pres. Dan called us together for our opening ritual and then called upon Bill Leone to lead the invocation.  Bill stated that the Lord has issued commandments and laws which are the basis of our laws and that through Rotary we can build a better world with thes laws as our guide.  Lunch consisted of  a cup of tomato soup, a turkey sandwich, cranberry jello, and chips followed by a plate of tasty cookies.  After lunch, president Dan called for the introduction of the following guests - Keith Thompson, Everett Watson, Sehan Staley, Regina Stinson, Dick Seery (Winner of today's Raffle) and Brian McGonigle. The Welcome Song was ably led by Andy Matos accompanied by Don Hallquist at the piano.  Sgt. at Arms Mike Malinguaggio, filling in for the ailing Johnny Mo, had only a few donations, but very important ones - Nick Cecere for his 75th birthday, and Mike (himself) and his good wife Carmella for 61 years of Marriage.

President Dan caught us up with the health of our members:

            1.  Jack Sayre is doing well at Glastonbury Healthcare, and expects to be home Friday!

            2.  John Mozzicato had some surgery.

            3.  All reports indicate that Moe Belanger is doing well and rapidly gaining strength.

            4.  Spurgeon Stokes will be having a Knee replacement operation on Friday!!  Good Luck!!!!

Dan announced that we will be hosting a GSE team from Italy from May 6th through May 12th. He is looking for people to help organize their stay.

He also mentioned that we will have a special Valentine Day meeting on the 14th.  Bring your special one!!!

Tom Galvin spoke about the Raffle.  We will devote next week's meeting to learning the details of this major fundraiser.  We will be raffling a new Toyota Prius.

Steve Tamiso needs fireside chat hosts for the following two nights - February 21st and 22nd.  Call him if you can host!

Marcia LeClerc announced a fund raiser for the East Hartford Senior Citizen's Center - February 10th, at the Cultural Center - Jazz, Java, and Chocolate!  $10 for seniors, $15 for the younger set.

Brian Liss gave a brief bio.  He was born in West Hartford and has worked for the YMCA for the past 14 years.  He says the Y is much like the family of Rotary - an internationl organization devoted to making the world a better place. He has a wife and young son.

Our guest speaker for today was Dan Firestone with his yearly tax overview.  Dan indicated that several new tax changes are so new that they didn't even make this year's 1040!! Quite typical of the Washington establishment. Dan mentioned the following highlights.

1  The 15% tax on capital gains and dividends was extended until 2010.

2.  The Threshold for the Alternative Minimum Tax was raised but will probably not affect too many people.

3.  The "Kiddie Tax" was changed so that under some circumstances the young will pay more.

4.  The IRS will allow a $30 t0 $60 credit for Long Distance Telephone excise taxes paid  ffor the past few years.  You can itemize if you paid more!!! This has been on the books since 1898 to finance the Spanish American War.  Carmen Remembers!!!

5.  The Pension Protection Act allows us to pay charitable donations out of our IRAs.

6.The Property Tax Credit has been raised from $350 to $500.

7. Payments to CHET (Conecticut Higher Education Trust) can help offset income for your state income tax.

8.  Allowable business milage deduction is 48.5 ceents per mile.

9.  Get a receipt for all of your out of pocket contributions. 

Thanks, Dan.  It is always an interesting and complex presentation.  Flat Tax anyone?

We ended with our usual song!  Thats all for this year -  Bob Wood

That's all for this year!!!

Bob Wood

High Gear -- January 24, 2007

It was nice mild winter day at the Ridge, but the forecast for the next couple of days was for a return of an artic cold front. Inside the Ridge we were greeted with a soft interlude of melodies from Don at his magic piano. President Dan called us together promptly at 12:15.  Following the Rotary Song and the Pledge, Brother Tim gave a brief invocation in which he asked us to give thanks for such a beautiful day and for the service of all our military members serving overseas.  A great lunch of prime rib, mashed potato, and beans, followed by a tasty apple crisp was promptly served by the experienced Krause staff. After the meal Pres. Dan called for the introduction of the guests joining us for today's meeting: Baker Salisbury, Regina Stinson, Bryant Harrell, and Ross LaBella.  They were promptly serenaded by the club with Don at the piano and  Andy Andreo and Carol Krantz leading the group. Sgt. at Arms. John Mozzicato led off with a list of birthdays - Tom Westbrook, John Mozzicato, Brian Liss and Steve Jacoby.  Tom Westbrook also paid for 37 years in Rotary.  Being the good Rotarian that he is, Dick McCarthy paid in advance for an anniversary and a birthday which occur while he is vacationing in Florida.  Tim Larson paid because his Brother, John, was on national TV last night.  Next time it's Danny's turn!!!!

Pres. Dan then made the following announcements:

1.  The health of our members!

            Bob Brown is now at home after spending a couple of days in the hospital.

            Moe Belanger is getting stronger every day and can now put weight on both legs.   He hopes to return for the Paul Harris ceremony. Hang in there, Moe!

            Jack Sayre underwent a hip replacement yesterday at St. Francis Hospital. 

2.  We're still looking for hosts for Fireside Chats (2/20, 2/21,2/22,2/27, 2/28, 3/1)  Call Sue Klock or Steve Tamiso if you can help!

3.  Carol Krantz still has 14 spaces for the Saratoga Trip on August 4th - $45 per person.  Call her if interested.

4.  Sue Klock has forms for the District Conference - Hard copy or on our Web Page.  Sign up now - a great group is going!!!

5.  Steve Jacoby said that they will now be able to do a golf shirt in ladies sizes.  The price will be $24.  If you have already ordered a shirt and would like to make a change please contact Steve ASAP@633-0800 or to stephen_jacoby@yahoo.com. Last day to order -1/31/07.

6.  Bill Saunders would like to hear from anyone who has a program which might have budget implications for next  year.  E-mail your information to him.

In our continuing quest to learn more about our new members, Lori Goekler, was invited to tell us a little about herself. She is a Connecticut native, a graduate of UConn, and works in Finance for Northwestern Mutual in Glastonbury.  She is interested in comprehensive planning, risk management, and wealth preservation.  She and her husband Frank are avid mountain bikers and do this on a competitive basis. Great hearing about you, Lori!!! After that great bio presentation, the lucky raffle ticket was pulled and the winner was.......Leo Christmas, who, like Dick McCarthy, is soon heading south.

 Don Pitkin introduced our speaker for today, Baker Salisbury, Director of Public Health and Social Services for the Town of East Hartford, a post he has held for the past 6 years.  Mr. Salisbury has had a varied career which included acting, and directing in local theater groups, and teaching at Yale and Carnegie - Mellon Universities.  At age 50 he got involved in community health work. His talk centered on the mission of Public Health which is essentially to "assure the condition in which people can stay healthy". He stressed that the system which we know today focuses on the treating of problems relating to health, rather that prevention of such problems.  In some areas such as basic sanitation and preventative vaccines, we are doing a good job, in others, such as seat belt usage and tobacco we are making progress, but in many such as chronic disease and mental health, we are not doing well.  97% of our health dollar goes to treatment and just 3% goes to prevention.  We must adopt the old adage "a stitch in time saves nine!"  It's a hard sell.

Regina Stinson has been proposed for membership in the East Hartford Rotary Club.  If you have any questions or concerns about the proposed member, please notify the Club Secretary, Sue Klock, in writing within 7 days of this notice.


See you next week,  Bob Wood  


High Gear -- January 17, 2007

A truly clear, cold, windy wintry day - a big change- greeted us as we approached the warmth of the Ridge for our weekly get together. Inside the Ridge the gathering seems to be getting larger each week thanks to President Dan and the Membership Committee!! President Dan called the meeting to order promptly at 12:15, and Jackie Danise delivered the invocation and asked for blessings upon all that we do in the local as well as the larger community of Rotary International. She asked for a special a blessing upon our military, and made plea for our leaders to work for a quick and lasting peace. A tasty meal of roast pork, sweet potato pie, peas and carrots, followed by bread pudding was served.  Following dessert, Dan started the meeting a little early in order to accommodate his lengthy agenda.  The following guests were introduced: Dean Marchessault and Regina Stinson.  The welcome song was led by Don Pitkin and Lori Goëkler, with trusty old Don at the Piano.  Sgt. at Arms John Mozzicato reported a slow day in the revenue department, but a few notable milestones are worthy of note - Dan Russell's 4th wedding anniversary, Larry Hangland's 7th Rotary anniversary, Steve Tamiso's birthday, and Bill Saunder's new car. The raffle was won by one of our guests, Regina Stimson.

Getting back to business, President Dan gave updates on Roy Spiller who is coming along and gaining strength, and Moe Belanger who is at home and would welcome calls.  Dan also mentioned that Jack Sayre is going to have a hip replacement next week and Spurgeon Stokes will have a knee replacement the first week in February.  Hang in there, guys!!!  Dan reported on the recent Board meeting and made the following announcements:

1.  We will host a GSE group from Italy May 6th through May 12.  Contact Sue Klock if you would be willing to host one of the team members.

2.  The Scoreboard at McKenna will be dedicated on May 7th.  A two year project is now complete!

3.  We will again be having fireside chats beginning Tuesday, Feb, 20th with others to be held on Feb. 21, 22, 27, 28, and March 1.  Report back date will be March 14.  Hosts and Co -hosts are needed.  If you are willing, call Steve Tamiso!

4.  The Area Six water project will be discussed on the Brad Davis Show, WDRC, Monday January 22 at 8:30 on the morning show.  Rick Lawrence and Marty Fins will be interviewed by Brad.  A great way to let the public know of some of the great things we in Rotary do!!!

5.  Anyone interested in  the Saratoga Race Track trip, August 4th, should call Carol Krantz.  Cost is $45

6.  If anyone still has their January Rotarian Magazine, Sue Klock would like to have it so she could use the article on Shelter Boxes in her presentations.

7.  There will be a membership meeting next Wednesday at 11:45.

8.  Pres. Dan wants to know if there is any interest in a Time-Management Seminar!!!

Following the Announcements New member Andy Matos gave a brief biography.  He is a graduate of Lafayette, works for the Matos Group, likes to fish, and is engaged to be married in June.  Three new members were added to the Rotary Roster today:  Sheryl O'Connor, John Kelleher, and Guy LaBella.  Welcome to the East Hartford Rotary Club!!!!

And finally-Gil Wishart introduced our speaker, Lt. Col. Scott Panagrosso from the Connecticut National Guard (CNG).  Scott indicated that the Guard dates back to the Mass. Bay Colony in 1636. The Guard is under the control of the Governor in peace time, and during a war or a national emergency, under the control of the federal government.  The CNG has 5200 members, with 1100 being full time. About 1000 members of the CNG are now serving overseas.  Since 9/11 members can be deployed for 24 months up to 5 years, up from the previous 13 -18 month commitment.  50% of deployed servicemen are from various Guard units. 

Make ups - Frank Collins, Newburgh, NY

See you next week!   Bob Wood


High Gear -- January 10, 2007

Finally. a January day that feels like a winter day! Yep, the guys and gals of the East Hartford Rotary Club had to take off their shorts and sandals and dress for winter today! Clear and bright, we even had some flurries in the air. You could tell the upbeat difference, as a larger than normal attendance made lots of noise in the halls of Sunset Ridge.


A Rotary information gathering was in progress for the three prospective members, Sheryl O’Conner, John Kelleher, and Guy LaBella, and it was great to see so many young, enthusiastic faces in our midst. After a fitting invocation by President Elect Bill Saunders, we sat to the always-favorite meal of chicken-pot-pie. Also enjoying the repast were guests Bruce, Don, & Bill Deitch of Kasden Fuel, Mary Beth Reid of the East Hartford Chamber, Regina Stinson, and Peter Kelly. Old timer Gerry Brady found his way to the Ridge and, with Maestro Don Hallquist, showed that he still knew how to welcome our guests in song.


Ever-effervescent (just looked that up and, in addition to meaning “high-spirited,” Webster also lists a definition of “…emitting gas bubbles;” by golly, that does sound like President Dan!), our August leader thanked George Schoen and Don Hallquist for going with him to Glastonbury Rotary for announcement of the successful raising of $23,600 for the clean water project in Guatemala. (Johnny Mo asked for anything leftover to be sent to alleviate the dry season in Sicily.)


Sgt. At Arms Johnny Mo Mozzicato told of fine bank enrichment from: a new grandchild for Leo Christmas, another picture-in-the-paper for Don Pitkin, and several club anniversaries for Messrs. Klock (17), Brady (42), Hallquist (42), and Stewart (43). Congrats, you guys!!! And not to be outdone this day, Jack Sayre was serenaded for a birthday! And John Shemo reported on plans for the August 4 trip to Saratoga…it’s a go; he asked us to be prepared to sign up and pay in advance starting next week.


President Dan has re-instituted a time-honored method for helping us all to get-to-know our new members. Starting today, we heard from Phyllis Demers, who demonstrated a wonderful sense of humor and story-telling ability as she told of being born and raised in Enfield by newly immigrated parents from Italy. Trained as a nurse in Vermont, she’s had a varied career path including auditing for a government Medicare contract, numerous trips back to Italy, being married, raising 4 kids and a dog (along with husband Mark), and now, serving as Director of Nursing at Sterling Manor. And next week we’ll hear from Andy Matos!


After a successful raffle drawing for good buddy George Stewart, Frank Collins introduced our speaker for the day, Brian Hankard, Supervisor of Investigations in the Hartford office of Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations. With a topic of “Identity Theft,” we were led through a most interesting power point presentation showing how easily the “bad guys” can invade our private space and put us in real financial trouble. Lots of potential safeguards are available to us and we were encouraged to follow an acronym of SCAM:

being Stingy in sharing any of our financial data with others, always Checking bills as they come in, regularly Asking for credit reports, and Maintaining careful records of all financial transactions. Lots more advice was given us, but, as often, you had to be there! Thanks, Frank, for bringing this program to us.


Hopefully there were others, but the only make-ups we heard about were Frank & Ceil Collins at a Zone committee meeting in Mystic.


Bob Wood will be back with us next week; in the meantime, it was nice to get together! 




High Gear -- January 3, 2006

Still not winter. All you snow birds are going to have to change your migration patterns if Al Gore and the polar bears are right. Of course, it never is winter at an East Hartford Rotary Club meeting. Our own cherub of kindliness, President Dan, rang the bell at 12:43 and, incredulous at the absence of any discernable response, challenged, “Did you not hear the bell?” And so it went.

The holiday season brought several guests to our tables. Sam Leone introduced Craig Williams from the East Hampton club and prospective member Regina Stinson from Riverside Health and Rehabilitation Center. Pat Gately introduced prospective member Sheryl O’Connor; Steve Jacoby introduced Bob Dubben from Glastonbury; and Larry Hangland introduced long-time prodigal Fred Campbell. President Dan called once again upon Sam Leone, this time to lead the Welcome Song before Sam says his goodbyes next month for Florida. Mo Belanger is still absent from our gatherings, but the good news is that he has returned home for recuperation—with a male nurse chosen specifically by Bunny.

Announcements: Carol Krantz has arranged for a Saratoga trip on August 4, 2007. Cost of around $40 per person must be prepaid, so she needs the commitment and the money soon before she opens up seats to members of other clubs. Steve Jacoby will be taking orders next week for the various Rotary-logo items that he has previously displayed. His research has revealed that our meetings start at 12:15 pm., so he will try to arrive early—around 12:24 pm.

Bill Saunders announced that the date for the Rotary District Conference has been set for May 4, 5, and 6, 2007—the first weekend in May. The conference is being held at the Cape Codder Resort and Spa in Hyannis, Massachusetts. Sue Klock will provide us with printed forms next week for signing up. An online form will also be available. An unusual event, a train a la Orient Express, has been scheduled, but space is very limited—so move fast! Next year’s golf tournament has been set for September 20, 2007, at the Manchester Country Club. It is not too early to begin to accumulate prizes for the tournament raffles.

President Dan read thank-you notes from our amiable waitresses Sue Sponheimer and Helen Sweeney for our Christmas acknowledgment. We also received a letter from Bob Peiser, associate director, ShelterBox USA, thanking us for the club’s gift of $1,800. We can read more about ShelterBox activity at www.shelterbox.org and www.shelterboxschools.org. Brian Liss sent the club a note of appreciation for our continued support of the YMCA. Jo-Ann Dorn, East Hartford’s program supervisor for social services, thanked the club for the holiday toys and gift cards that club members donated for distribution to local children.

At the top of the homepage on the club's website (www.ehrotary.org ), Sue Klock has placed links to the form for making a nomination for our vocational service award and also to the form for making our committee requests to President Elect Bill Saunders for 2007-08.  Print the form, fill it out, and get it back to Bill by next week. President Dan announced that Bill’s choice to fill the sergeant-at-arms position on the board of directors for next year is Dave Amberg. Jack Sayre reported that the total amount of money that the club raised for the Salvation Army over the four Saturdays of December totaled $3,573, including a generous gift from Andy Andreo.

Sergeant-at-Arms: John Mozzicato first inquired thoughtfully after the health of Daisy the Pig, but President Dan had no news about her present condition. Today’s fines included birthdays for Kathy McCabe, Ted Mosebach, and Mike Malinguaggio. We all sang for Mike, who seemed somewhat affected by the acknowledgment—perhaps because his term as sergeant-at-arms had been so thorny. Dan Firestone paid very handsomely for 31 years in Rotary. Herb Barall paid for a new car (a fee which he had already deducted from his down payment to Skip Guillemette). Bill Saunders paid for his grandson’s 4.0 GPA at UConn. Jack Sayre paid for his picture in the newspaper. Sam Leone, Stu Harris, and Bill Saunders paid for continuing to live in the past year. Art Bradbury and George Agnelli paid for leaving early. (I hope it had nothing to with town politics.) Craig Williams, who pulled his own raffle ticket the last time he visited our club, won the raffle again this visit. President Dan has permanently barred him from the casino.


Don Pitkin introduced the day’s speaker, East Hartford Mayor Melody Currey. The mayor presented an encouraging overview of the changes that have occurred over the first year of her administration. Among the many items of progress that the mayor cited were:

·     The town’s Policy and Procedures Manual has been updated for the first time since its 1979 edition
Employee contracts have been settled with 0% wage increases;
The town won an arbitration  settlement with the teachers for a 0% salary increase;
The latest Munis software has been installed to enable up-to-the-minute budget tracking;
Cabela’s site preparation at Rentschler is proceeding rapidly (91,000 cubic yards of fill is required) and the final building design was reviewed this week;
A new, more discernable, entrance to Town Hall is being constructed with handicap access to the mayor’s office;
Goodwin College’s new campus will start construction in April;
Work is planned for $5 million worth of town road improvements;
A new $600,000 roof is being put on the Community Cultural Center;
The Main Street Walgreen’s has opened and the three-storey St. Francis building is proceeding rapidly;
The Save a Lot grocery store has opened in the old Walgreen’s building, providing a down-town grocery store for the first time since 1970;
The Hampton Inn on the River’s plans are progressing smoothly.

As usual, President Dan didn’t leave our speaker any time to answer questions, but the mayor was able to provide the club with an extensive and upbeat review of town activity.

Bill Secord


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