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Dear Fellow Rotarians,
The first Wednesday of December, the 5th, is on its way.  The "item of the month" choice is packaged pasta.  In the grocery store you will find a the usual variety of brands, sizes, and prices.   Think about purchases of $15-$20 or more--remember it's a one time donation for the whole month.  Remember also that cash donations (currency or checks) are welcome and very important.  Make your check payable to "People's Pantry" and please give it to me at Wednesday's meeting.
 
The Pantry must either buy the food it distributes or have it donated. Either way, it is entirely dependant on the local community for support.  The Pantry has no employees so virtually every dollar donated is designated for purchase of food.
 
As for service, the People's Pantry is a natural fit for Rotary. We are a relatively large group that meets once a week and it's a vital community need, ideal for the participation of every member.
  
If you are not able to attend the December 5 meeting, bring your donation of food or cash to the December 19 meeting.   THE NEED IS GREAT PARTICULARLY AROUND THE HOLIDAYS!  DONATE!!!!
 
See you on Wednesday.
 
George 
 
P.S.  Caution:  Be careful about donating canned goods in the winter season.  That's why we ask for dry packaged goods this time of year.  Often canned goods are purchased a few days before they are donated and may, in the meantime, sit in your car for several days thereby being exposed to freezing tempertures.  An invisible rupture of the can's seal may occur resulting in very dangerous spoilage of the can's contents.
This Wednesday the 12th is our Annual Holiday party at Café Adam at 6pm. Please bring either a $35 check made out to Great Barrington Rotary or cash and we will collect at the door. There will be a cash bar as in previous years! I very much look forward to spending some time celebrating the holidays together on Wednesday night. 
 
A quick reminder about Breaking Bread which will be on the 27th of December. If you're in town and able to help, please sign up on the list sent out by Jess! 
 
We will have our regular meeting day and time on the 19th!
 
Looking forward to seeing everyone on Wednesday!
 
Oskar
 
 
 
The Watson Fund will be making and passing out popcorn at the Great Barrington Stroll this Saturday. We are looking for one volunteer to help from 3 -5:00 pm and another one or two from 5 – 6:30pm. We pass out free popcorn and hand out Watson Fund flyers for people to take home. It is a fun way to promote the Fund and Rotary too. Please let me know if you can help. Thanks, Ray Murray (413) 822-3890.
We are seeking volunteers to help out from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM on Friday, December 7. We need one Rotarian to be on air from 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM and 2-3 additional Rotarians from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM to take pledges.  Please contact Susan Smith if you can help.  Her email address is ssmithlaw@barringtonlawoffice.com
 
 
Reminder:  The "Food of the Month" is canned beans.  If you were at last week's meeting and brought in beans or made a donation, I thank you very much.  Otherwise, you have another chance tomorrow. Bring in the beans or give me a check made out to "People's Pantry".  See you then.​
 
​​​​​​
 
A great big thank you to all who helped make last week's Breaking Bread a success.  We served about 43 meals plus sent several home with take-out boxes for family or a second meal.  The night was made possible with the help and good cheer of Mike Zippel, Pamela Pescosolido, Vito Vitrano, Janet Donhoney, Mary Saporitio and her granddaughter Bella, Mary White, Suzanne Arre, Alice Naylor, Richard Stanley, Micheal Wise, Annabel Holmes, Alistair Holmes and Tess Holmes.  Special shoutout to Michael who always stays until the bitter end to help take care of trash and building shut down.
As part of its support of the Watson Fund, our Club has assisted CHP, the screening organization, in enrolling individuals and families to receive the food and clothing certificates provided by the Watson Fund. Over $22,000.00 in assistance will be distributed this year. We had a great response from our members the last time we were asked to assist. All who participated enjoyed it and found the experience very rewarding. It is only a two or three hour commitment. Please contact Ray Murray if you can help.  Thank you for your consideration.
 
Help will be needed at CHP 442 Stockbridge Rd, Gt Barrington for the following shifts:

Friday, November 2nd, 1:00-3:00pm    Indoor with Dorothy Health 1 to 2 people
Tuesday, November 6th, 11:00am - 1:00pm  During the mobile food bank distribution (dress warm, outside) 3 people
Friday, November 9th, 1:00-3:00pm    Indoor with Dorothy Health 1 to 2 people
The Great Barrington Rotary Club Watson Fund Committee will hold a joint meeting with the Watson Fund Board at the Fund’s Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 1 at 4:00 pm. We will meet at The McCormick law firm’s conference room. All Watson Fund Committee members are urged to attend. If you have any questions, please contact Ray Murray.
Please consider signing up to help with Breaking Bread on Thursday, December 27.
 
December is one of the six times this year when the Great Barrington Rotary Club has committed to providing the Breaking Bread community dinner for "those in our community who need nourishment and friendship."  Please consider signing up for one of the remaining jobs.  Non-Rotarians are welcome to help also - bring a friend! You may sign up using the following Sign-Up Genius link:https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E0D48AAA629ABF49-breaking16
Stephanie Carlson is in charge this time - if you have any questions please direct them to her at scarlson@greylock.org.  If you would prefer not to use Sign-Up Genius to sign up for a job please email Jessica at executive@camphirock.org and she will add your name to the job of your choice.  Please let her know if you are not comfortable using your email for that sign-up.  If not, you will NOT receive an email reminder from Sign-Up Genius but your job assignment WILL be reflected under your name in the online sign-up. 
Dear Fellow Rotarians,
The first Wednesday of October, the third, is on its way.  The item choice is Cereal.  In the grocery store you will find a huge variety of brands, sizes, and prices.  Think about purchases of $10-$15 or more.   Remember also that cash donations (currency or checks) are welcome and very important.  Make your check payable to "People's Pantry" and please give it to me at Wednesday's meeting.
 
We are no longer having weekly food collection drives.  So once you have made your donation, of food or cash, you are done for October!
 
The Pantry must either buy the food it distributes or have it donated. Either way, it is entirely dependant on the local community for support.  The Pantry has no employees so virtually every dollar donated is designated for purchase of food.
 
As for community support, the People's Pantry is a natural activity for Rotary. It fits right in to our program.
 
If you are not able to attend the October 3 meeting, bring your donation of food or cash to the following meeting.  There are five Wednesdays in October.  THE NEED IS GREAT!
 
See you on the third.
This week our speakers will be Zufan Bazzano, Weyessa McAlister, Masho McAlister and Moses Greenspan who will speak about their trip and doing volunteer work at orphanages in Ethiopia which is their homeland.  The ClubRunner bulletin tools would not allow enough characters to display their full names in the speakers list - our apologies!  We're anticipating a wonderful presentation about their trip.
Thanks to those Rotarians who supported the People's Pantry last Wednesday with their donations of peanut butter, checks and currency.  If you were not present or did not donate for some other reason please consider donating on Wednesday, August 22.  The item of the month is peanut butter.  Make checks payable to The People's Pantry and give them to me.  Thanks in advance.
 
George
This May, the Great Barrington Rotary Club awarded a record breaking $60,000 in college scholarships to 58 youth.  All award recipients were graduates of Monument Mountain High School or Mt.Everett High School.  This brings our club's total to $1,000,000 in scholarships awarded over the past thirty-five years.  Thank you to all who work so hard to raise the money to make this possible.  Special thanks to Janet Dohoney and Mark DeCelle who provide leadership to this effort.
 
Canned Vegetables.  If you didn't get the chance to donate canned vegetables last week, you can do it on June 13. Think $10 worth (or more).  Remember we are only asking for donations once a month--not every week. The alternative:   Write a check for $10 or more.  Or donate a $10/$20 bill.  We also accept Berkshares!  If you think $10 is too much, donate something less.  But, please participate.
 
Checks should be made out to "People's Pantry" and given to me.
 
Thanks to those who gave last week: food, cash and checks.  Very helpful!
 
I hope to see you today.
 
George
 
At last week's meeting a request was made that we provide details for those making contributions to People's Pantry in lieu of food contributions.  Please make checks payable to "People's Pantry."  Please hand your checks to George Raymond who will forward them to the People's Pantry.  We are tracking the percentage of Great Barrington Rotarians who participate in our monthly food drive, either by contributing food or making a monetary contribution, so it is helpful if Rotarians funnel their contributions through George or let him know if a contribution has been made directly to the pantry in a given month.
We served a spaghetti/meat sauce dinner to between 40 and 50 folks last night at Breaking Bread!  I want to thank non-Rotarian Denny Whitcomb for assisting with the main meal, and big thanks to Oskar & Mike for the great setup and for providing dessert.  Thanks Pam Pescosolido for assisting in setup as well.  Thanks also to Terry Whitcomb and Anne Hutchinson (along with her sharp knifes) who assisted with salad prep, John Benedict & Michael Wise for dishwashing and cleanup, Bob Norris for bringing the bread, Mary White, Steve Agar, Alice Naylor and Stephanie Carlson for serving and cleanup.  If I’ve forgotten anyone, my apologies.
 
Thanks again!
 
Dave
Youth is in the news. The media are full of admiration for the energetic, photogenic, confidently well-spoken and media-savvy kids from Florida who have seized the moment and claimed a cause. One conclusion that nearly everyone has reached, regardless of position about the cause the kids have taken up, is that their willingness, indeed insistence, on getting involved to try to make a difference bodes well for the future of our civil society.
 
Closer to home, and at a smaller scale, the kids are giving us hope too. Our Club’s Youth Exchange program is attracting interest again; we have an applicant for summer program and we are likely to have an incoming student again, if we can line up host families. The Interact club we support at Mount Everett is doing well. On March 24, the same day that the kids in Florida are organizing nationwide demonstrations, our District is bringing Rotary youth together for its annual Interact conference in Wethersfield. That program too is being organized and led by the kids themselves. I’ll be interested to learn what they decide to put on their agenda.
 
The kids will be all right.
We had a great turnout for Breaking Bread this past Thursday to help serve over 50 people. Thanks go out to Hank Ferlauto our cook, Susan Arre who made the most delicious cup cakes, Janet Dahoney, Mary White, Oskar Hallig and Mike, Michael Wise and Ray Murry who took care of the dish washing, Alice Naylor, Steve Agar, Nancy O'Conner, Pam Pescosolido, Anne Hutchinson and Maria Vitrano.
Thank you all. 
Vito Vitrano
January is a time for making resolutions. Rotary formalizes this, but on a different calendar. Incoming presidents are supposed to have set goals back in June, and then they get a year to try to follow through on them. The Rotary International website gives clubs some useful tools for setting goals and tracking progress. Six months into my term as your president, it’s time to review the state of the “resolutions” I put onto the webpage last spring.
The first one was to grow. We did add some members, but we lost more, so we’re down a bit from last June. John’s goal for last year had been to reach 65 members. I scaled that back to 60, but we’re now at about 50. Adding ten in the next six months will be a challenge. To get to 60 from where we are now, ten members will have to step up to invite and sponsor a new member.
The second was to be sure everyone is involved. The target is to have at least 50 members engaged in a club service project. I think we’ve come very close to that. Reviewing the membership directory, I could place every member at at least one of our service events since last June.
 
There’s more on my wish list: more social activities, greater public visibility, a new community service project, maybe a new fundraising project, a community forum about Rotary International’s core priorities, collaboration with other Rotary clubs in the area and with InterAct. So many ideas, and now so little time.
Setting goals does focus attention and stimulate imagination. But planning should not take more time than doing. There’s much to be said for showing up to do what we already know needs to be done.
Our own Sarah Beckwith, member of the Interact Club at Mount Everett Regional High School, was mentioned in Governor Baker's State of the Commonwealth Address as he described improvements in access to broadband Internet.  The governor informed listeners that Sarah is a straight A student.  To read more, please follow the link to the Berkshire Eagle article below.  Thanks to Pamela Pescosolido for bringing this to our attention!
 
The Great Barrington Rotary Breaking Bread Kitchen Committee is seeking one more Rotarian who would be willing to provide leadership to one dinner this year.  The nights left to choose from are May 24 or December 27.  Please contact Oskar Hallig if you would be willing to provide leadership to this important community service effort on behalf of our club.  Leading typically involves cooking the main course (there are usually plenty of volunteers to assist and Vito has an easy menu template you can follow to keep it simple).
We served over 70 dinners last evening. Menu was: Chicken Marsala,Noodles,Broccoli /Bread,Salad and Stawberry Cream Cake
Many thanks to Maggie DelGrande and Dona Segalla, my cohorts from Fairview Hospital.. Maggie cooked and Dona helped us serve.
Also many thanks to:  Steve Agar ,Vito and Maria Vitrano,Bobbie Halig, Oskar Halig and Mike Zippel, Richard Stanley,Janet Dohoney,Julie Hannon,Dave Isby,Michael Wise!!
  A great team effort!
 
Thank you
 
 
 
 
 
We enjoyed a very informative visit from Fred Harris who spoke at our January 3 meeting at Koi.  Fred updated members on how Saint James Place is doing in its first year of operation and what the organization hopes to achieve in the future.  Saint James Place "was created to save the historic St. James Episcopal Church & Parish House, and to preserve and repurpose the buildings for use as a permanent home, creative hub and year-round quality performance venue for cultural and educational nonprofit organizations," as explained on their website.  The image above is also from their website.  To learn more about Saint James Place you may go to their website at the following link: https://saintjamesplace.net/
 
The board voted unanimously to provide a contribution of $200 to Volunteers In Medicine at their meeting on January 8th.  VIM's mission is to "provide access to free, comprehensive health care for those in the Berkshire region who are income-qualified and uninsured or underinsured."  To learn more about Volunteers In Medicine, visit their website at the following link: http://vimberkshires.org/
 
Club Information

Welcome to our Club!

Great Barrington

Service Above Self

We meet Wednesdays at 12:15 PM
Crissey Farm
424 Stockbridge Road (Route 7)
Great Barrington, MA  01230
United States
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