Scholarship opportunity:Rotary Peace Scholarships for those who are already in the workforce with at least 3 years’ experience in the relevant community service area.
The Rotary Foundation awards 100 fully paid one year and two-year graduate level scholarships for specialized studies in Peace Building and Conflict Resolution in one of the seven Universities selected by the Rotary Foundation in the US and around the rotary world. District Sponsorship is required. Application deadline is July 1st.
For questions, please email Prasad Menon at:      or Eileen Rau at:
Candidates related Rotarians (as defined by the Rotary Foundation) are not eligible to apply.

Our club is GROWING!

We welcomed another new member to our club this week! Robin Helfand is a small business owner and a Management Consultant. We are happy to have you!May be an image of 2 people, people standing and text that says 'New Rotarian Alert!! R CLUB 2020-2021 ANOVERVIEW'
Our club is GROWING! 2021-10-15 04:00:00Z 0
Truck Day/PumpkinFest at SkiButternut!! 2021-10-01 04:00:00Z 0

Truck Day-Pumpkin Fest!!

The Great Barrington Rotary Club's Annual Truck Day-Pumpkin Fest event is coming up on Sunday, October 17th at Ski Butternut! More to come!!!
Truck Day-Pumpkin Fest!! 2021-09-24 04:00:00Z 0

Community Wide Book Read of No Visible Bruises Discussion Next Week

Today will be our club's discussion of No Visible Bruises by Rachel Louise Snyder.  All are welcome and encouraged to attend and bring guests, regardless of whether you have read the book!  No Visible Bruises was recently names as one of the Times Critics Top Books of 2019: Our presentation and discussion will be facilitated by Dr.Susan Birns, anprofessor emerita at MCLA with an extensive background in family violence.  Dr.Birns serves on the board of advisors for the Elizabeth Freeman Center and is a member of the executive committee of the Berkshire Country Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force.
Community Wide Book Read of No Visible Bruises Discussion Next Week 2020-01-29 05:00:00Z 0

Breaking Bread Chili Throwdown Fundraiser

Breaking Bread Kitchen will host its first annual Chili Throwdown Fundraiser to benefit Breaking Bread Community Meals for those in need in Southern Berkshire County.  It will feature chilis from "some of your favorite restaurants and chefs!"  The cost is $25 per person.  There will be a cash bar, a Spin the Bottle Wine Pull and an auction.  The event will be held from 5:30pm until 8:00pm on Saturday February 29 at the American Legion Hall in Sheffield.  This is a great opportunity to support an organization with which Rotary is deeply involved as one of the key teams providing the meals throughout the year.
Breaking Bread Chili Throwdown Fundraiser 2020-01-08 05:00:00Z 0

Today's Meeting is at Koi, $15 per person

Please remember, today's meeting will be held at Koi on 300 State Road in Great Barrington due to an annual conflict at Crissey Farm.  The cost will be $15 per person.  There will be choices for your lunch dish.  Koi has been wonderfully accommodating and gracious about hosting us.  See you there!
Today's Meeting is at Koi, $15 per person 2020-01-08 05:00:00Z 0

Please spread the word about the NYC bus trip

Please help spread the word about the December 21st bus to NYC sponsored by Rotary.  Tickets are $50 round trip (which is a great bargain).  Oskar and Mike are leading the trip (can't think of anyone more fun for the job).  This is an important fundraiser for the club.  Please spread the word.  One easy way is by sharing the Facebook event by going to the Great Barrington Rotary page, clicking on the event, clicking on the "share" button and choosing from the various ways to share.  Tickets and more details may be found at the following link:
Please spread the word about the NYC bus trip Oskar Hallig 2019-12-11 05:00:00Z 0

Help is needed  for Breaking Bread December 19

Posted by Vito Vitrano
Please consider saving the date to help with Breaking Bread on Thursday, December 19.  
December is one of the eight 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."  This may be a tough night for which to recruit volunteers as it is so any help will be greatly appreciated.  What a wonderful way to serve our community during the holiday season.  Non-Rotarians are welcome to help also - bring a friend!  Please use the following link to sign up:
Vito Vitrano is in charge this time - if you have any questions please direct them to him.  
Help is needed for Breaking Bread December 19 Vito Vitrano 2019-12-11 05:00:00Z 0

WSBS Radiothon for the Watson Fund Raised More than $6600 

We had a very successful Radiothon Monday with over $6,600 raised. Ed McCormick, Julie Hannum and Bobbie Hallig rocked it as part of the on-air team. Stephanie Carlson, Barbara Manring and Ray Murray volunteered to answer the phones and take pledges. We were very pleased with the results!  Many thanks to those Rotarians who made it happen, to Smitty Pignatelli for helping out and to WSBS for giving us this valuable time on the air.
WSBS Radiothon for the Watson Fund Raised More than $6600 2019-12-09 05:00:00Z 0

A Jolly Time Decorating Downtown

Many thanks to all who helped hang the holiday decorations downtown on Saturday.  Everything looks great and a jolly time was had by all.  Special thanks to Peter Dillon for organizing!
A Jolly Time Decorating Downtown 2019-12-09 05:00:00Z 0

Monthly People's Pantry Donation - Shampoo

Wednesday, December 4 is the People's Pantry collection date for the month of December.
Shampoo!  Shampoo is consistent with the toothpaste we brought in last month.  Hopefully, each donor will bring in multiple bottles.
Checks and currency are very welcome as well.
See you on Wednesday.  Please support the People's Pantry!
Monthly People's Pantry Donation - Shampoo George Raymond 2019-12-04 05:00:00Z 0

Volunteers needed for Watson Fund Radiothon on WSBS

Volunteers needed for the Watson Fund Radiothon being held as part of the Smitty Pignatelli radio show on WSBS, Monday December 9 from 7:00 to 10:00 am. Two different shifts answering the phones or delivering pledges. 7-8:30 am and 8:30-10:00 am. Our own Julie Hannum, Bobbie Hallig and Ed McCormick will be on air. It is busy and fun! Please let Ray Murray know ASAP if you can help. , (413) 822-3890
Volunteers needed for Watson Fund Radiothon on WSBS Ray Murray 2019-11-12 05:00:00Z 0

Help is still needed for Girl Scout Breakfast November 3

We are still looking to fill a few volunteer spots for the Girl Scout breakfast this upcoming Sunday (maitre d' for both shifts, pancakes for second shift and kitchen clean-up from 10am - 12pm).  The annual pancake breakfast helps raise funds to support the local Girl Scout program.  Janet Dohoney is the lead for this event.  If you have any questions, please contact her directly at  Please use the following link to sign up for a job:
Help is still needed for Girl Scout Breakfast November 3 Janet Dohoney 2019-10-29 04:00:00Z 0

Help needed for Watson Fund Application Table

The Watson Fund is seeking volunteers to help run the application table for families signing up to receive help from the Watson Fund this year.  They will need two volunteers from 1pm - 3pm on November 4th and November 8th at the CHP office in Great Barrington.  Please let Ray Murray know if you are interested in covering a shift.  His email address is
Help needed for Watson Fund Application Table Ray Murray 2019-10-09 04:00:00Z 0

Big thanks to our Breaking Bread volunteers!

Posted by David Isby
Another successful Breaking Bread hosting by Great Barrington Rotary Club occurred Thursday, September 12th!  We served just over 50 people this time around.  Thanks to Oskar and Mike for setting up, my friend Denny Whitcomb for assisting with the main course, Julie Hannum, Mary White, Alice Naylor and Sabrina Ruggerio for serving, and Barbara Manring for the delicious desserts!  Thanks also to Michael Wise for dishwashing and along with Sabrina helped with cleanup.  Thanks again!  Dave
Big thanks to our Breaking Bread volunteers! David Isby 2019-09-18 04:00:00Z 0
Tutors Needed for the Literacy Network of South Berkshire Jessica Speer-Holmes 2019-09-03 04:00:00Z 0

Restaurant Raffle

Posted by Barbara Manring
I will have restaurant raffle tickets with me tomorrow and appreciate any selling that you are able to do. I will also have an envelope for money to be turned in and one for the stubs. As a reminder, Cheryl and I will be selling the tickets at the Farmer's Market this Saturday so stop by if you would like. Thanks for your help!
Restaurant Raffle Barbara Manring 2019-07-10 04:00:00Z 0

Great Barrington Rotary Club's Drive for Scholarships

Posted by Barbara Manring
The Drive for Scholarships continues to receive business sponsorships for the Golf Tournament which takes place on July 25. To date we have $20,050 in hand with additional pledges awaiting payment. The business sponsorship component forms the base of the money we raise.

A second component of the Drive for Scholarships is the restaurant raffle. Tickets will be available at Rotary on June 26th and the cost is $5 per ticket and 20 for a book of 5. There will be 24+ restaurants included for the two drawings which will take place at the Golf Tournament. A list of the participating restaurants will be available at the Rotary meeting as well. Selling restaurant raffle tickets is not required, but it is hoped that you will want to sell some. 😊 Cheryl and I will be at the Great Barrington Farmer’s Market on July 13th selling tickets and we will also have Rotary materials at the table.

A third component of the Drive for Scholarships is the Circle of Friends through which we send out letters to individuals asking for donations to Rotary’s Student Assistance Fund. This will begin early July and this year we will be writing notes on the requests with the hopes of receiving a larger number of donations.

The Golf Tournament at the Wyantenuck Country Club is the climax of the Drive for Scholarships which attracts a full number of teams. The golf fees, on course games and raffles pay for the Tournament. The money for scholarships is primarily earned through the three other components of the Drive for Scholarships. 

Thank you for all the support you give to raising funds for much needed scholarships!

Great Barrington Rotary Club's Drive for Scholarships  Barbara Manring 2019-06-19 04:00:00Z 0

Please Sign-Up for Bike N Fly Jobs

Posted by Jessica Speer-Holmes
We need a lot of help to make our annual Bike N Fly event a success.  The Bike N Fly is a critical event that brings in important funds we use to support local organizations and to provide scholarships to local students.  It is our hope that every Rotarian will come together to help with this event. 
You should have received a link to the Sign-Up Genius by email.  It is also posted here: .  Please consider signing up for both a volunteer shift (or more than one!) and to bring food supplies that will be needed for the bikers.  If you have questions about the volunteer shifts, please contact Steve Bannon at or 413-446-6957.
Please Sign-Up for Bike N Fly Jobs Jessica Speer-Holmes 2019-06-11 04:00:00Z 0

Induction of Officers Celebration at Hi-Rock - no lunch meeting today!

Please join us tonight or our annual induction of officers celebration.  We will be inducting Jessica Speer-Holmes as president, Alice Naylor as president-elect, Stephanie Carlson as first vice president, Alan Glackman as treasurer, Sabrina Ruggiero as secretary and Oskar Hallig will step into the role of immediate past president.

We will celebrate with a potluck picnic at YMCA Camp Hi-Rock.  Rotarians are welcome to bring family and friends.  Lifeguards will be provided for swimming and boating, weather permitting. 

Please bring a potluck contribution to augment the basics being provided by the camp.  Hi-Rock will provide barbecue meats and veggie burgers, buns, condiments, lemonade, iced tea, ice water, watermelon, a garden salad and a pasta salad.  Adult beverages will be BYOB.  Drinking of adult beverages and swimming or boating may not be combined.

The party will be held at the main waterfront.  Turn left at the tennis courts and follow the road to the Center Circle area (just before the waterfront), in front of the green Parker Seeley Lodge, and park along the edges on the grass.  If the weather does not cooperate we will relocate to Parker Seeley Lodge for an indoor party with lake views from the large covered porches.

Please bring your most sturdy vehicle and drive very slowly on the camp driveway as it is very bumpy!


Induction of Officers Celebration at Hi-Rock - no lunch meeting today! Jessica Speer-Holmes 2019-06-11 04:00:00Z 0

Ads deadline extended for the 2019 Rotary Book

Posted by Alice Naylor
Please help solicit ads for the new Rotary Book which will replace the program traditionally distributed at the Bike N Fly.  The new booklet will be a comprehensive booklet highlighting all of the work Great Barrington does in our community and internationally.  It will be distributed at all Rotary events including Truck Day, the Bike N Fly and the Drive for Scholarships.  All sponsors of those events receive a $50 credit toward an ad in the booklet.  It is our hope that this new approach will help us consolidate our sponsor solicitations for the year rather than approaching businesses multiple times in one year.  It will also give sponsors more exposure by including them in the booklet that will be distributed throughout the year.  Ad order forms and an ad size sheet may be found on the left-hand side of our website home page under "home page download files" at the following link: Please note, there is a special ad form for event sponsors (which includes their $50 credit) and there is a separate form for those who do not otherwise sponsor an event.  Please contact Alice Naylor with any questions.
Ads deadline extended for the 2019 Rotary Book Alice Naylor 2019-05-08 04:00:00Z 0

Truck Day

Truck Day is fast approaching! It is next Sunday, May 19th from 10-3 at Butternut. Please sign up on the Volunteer list and please, please sell those Duck Race raffle tickets! More tickets are available from Alice Naylor. Remember, every Volunteer gets a cool Truck Day T-shirt!

Truck Day Sign-Up Link:
Truck Day Susan Smith 2019-05-08 04:00:00Z 0
Spring NYC Bus Trip Oskar Hallig 2019-04-10 04:00:00Z 0

RSVP Needed for Regular April 17 Meeting

Posted by Jessica Speer-Holmes
We anticipate a lot of people being out of town for the school break next week.  It would be helpful for Crissey Farm to have a count for the meal for the meeting to be held on April 17.  Crissey Farm has been very accommodating and flexible in not requiring us to give them a set number of attendees in advance for each lunch meeting or to pay for a set minimum so we are trying hard to give them the information they need for this particular meeting.  Please use this Evite you should have received by email to indicate whether or not you plan to attend by Monday, April 15.  The link to the Evite is here:
RSVP Needed for Regular April 17 Meeting Jessica Speer-Holmes 2019-04-10 04:00:00Z 0

Prizes Needed for One Raffle Basket

Posted by Louann Harvey
This is just a friendly reminder of our remaining raffle basket -
Date Night which will be raffled off at Bike N' Fly  - Dinner Gift Certificates - Board Games - Candles - Theatre Tickets (Richard Gave Tri-Plex already)
Again, please use your imagination here too.
Thank you for helping with this !!!
Prizes Needed for One Raffle Basket Louann Harvey 2019-03-26 04:00:00Z 0

Bike and Fly Signs

Posted by Michael Wise
If you have Bike & Fly lawn signs from last year (or before), please get in touch with Michael Wise. We need to know how many have to be updated, or replaced, for this year’s event. 
Bike and Fly Signs Michael Wise 2019-03-26 04:00:00Z 0

Citizen of the Year

Posted by Michael Wise
This annual award event is coming up in June. Please nominate someone you believe deserves this recognition. Forms for this purpose, along with an explanation of the criteria for the award, will be available at the meetings this week and next.
Citizen of the Year Michael Wise 2019-03-26 04:00:00Z 0
Volunteers are needed for Youth Exchange Ski Weekend January 26-27 2019-01-23 05:00:00Z 0

Volunteers Needed for Watson Fund and Rotary Table at Holiday Stroll

Posted by Ray Murray
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.
Volunteers Needed for Watson Fund and Rotary Table at Holiday Stroll Ray Murray 2018-12-05 05:00:00Z 0

Substitute President's Message

Posted by Barbara Manring
As many of you know, Oskar is in The Bahamas so I will be filling in for him this Wednesday. I hope your Thanksgiving celebrations with family and friends were special with time to enjoy each other's company as well as the food you shared!
Our meeting on December 5th will be a Club Assembly which will include the election of officers and three directors for the next Rotary year 2019-2020. At this meeting I will begin collecting for the holiday tips that will be given to Sally and Carlos. We appreciate their efforts in providing us with great lunches and fine service and they are extremely grateful for our club's generosity. We will actually present the cards and tips at our December 19th meeting.
A reminder that we will be having our holiday party at Café Adam on December 12th. These parties are always much enjoyed and it is hoped that many of you will be able to attend.
Substitute President's Message Barbara Manring 2018-11-28 05:00:00Z 0

This Month's Food Donation is Canned Beans!

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.​
This Month's Food Donation is Canned Beans! George Raymond 2018-11-14 05:00:00Z 0

Volunteers Needed for Watson Fund Radiothon

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
Volunteers Needed for Watson Fund Radiothon Susan Smith 2018-11-14 05:00:00Z 0

Help Needed to Enroll Families for Watson Fund Support

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
Help Needed to Enroll Families for Watson Fund Support Ray Murray 2018-10-31 04:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club Watson Fund Committee to meet November 1

Posted by Ray Murray
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.
Rotary Club Watson Fund Committee to meet November 1 Ray Murray 2018-10-23 04:00:00Z 0

Rotary--Food Donation for the month of October

Posted by George Raymond
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.
Rotary--Food Donation for the month of October George Raymond 2018-10-03 04:00:00Z 0

August Food Collection Continues

Posted by George Raymond
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.
August Food Collection Continues George Raymond 2018-08-15 04:00:00Z 0

A note about this week's speakers

Posted by Jessica Speer-Holmes
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.
A note about this week's speakers Jessica Speer-Holmes 2018-07-31 04:00:00Z 0

Rotary Food Contributions Continue This Week

Posted by George Raymond
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.
Rotary Food Contributions Continue This Week George Raymond 2018-06-13 04:00:00Z 0
Tracy Seckler Named Great Barrington Rotary Citizen of the Year 2018-06-06 04:00:00Z 0

Great Barrington Rotary Awards $60,000 in College Scholarships to Local Youth

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.
Great Barrington Rotary Awards $60,000 in College Scholarships to Local Youth 2018-06-06 04:00:00Z 0

Truck Day This Sunday

Posted by Susan Smith
Please bring ALL scratch ticket stubs, money and unsold tickets to this week’s meeting.  We will sell the unsold tickets at Truck Day.  T-shirts will be handed out to all Rotarians who have taken a spot on the Sign Up Genius.  If you have not signed-up, please take one of the blank spots.  Thank you!  Susan
Truck Day This Sunday Susan Smith 2018-05-16 04:00:00Z 0

Thank you to all who helped with Breaking Bread

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
Thank you to all who helped with Breaking Bread Suzanne Arre 2018-05-09 04:00:00Z 0

Committee Meetings Instead of Speaker Today

Posted by Michael Wise
This week we have an opportunity to do something on our wish-list: use a regular Wednesday meeting for doing Rotary business. I was planning to set this up for later in the month, but this week’s speaker just cancelled at the last minute. A couple of topics need some attention, from committees more than from the full membership. 
First, committees that are involved in spending money should put together a proposal for next year’s budget, in time for the board to review and adopt it in July. Second, the communications-website committee needs to set up a system for doing the newsletter, which Jessica Speer-Holmes has ably managed over the last few months but which she can’t handle over the summer while the camp is going full blast. And if any committees have other issues that they’d like to discuss at that level, here’s your chance, without having to find another time and place.
My proposal: after lunch tomorrow, we reassemble with the other members of our committee(s) to review what we've done over this Rotary year and outline what we might want to do next year — and how much it would cost. 
Committee Meetings Instead of Speaker Today Michael Wise 2018-05-01 04:00:00Z 0

It Is Not Too Late To Participate In This Month's Food Drive

Posted by George Raymond
There were 23 people at last week's Rotary meeting and we collected 64 containers of pasta sauce and several checks.   Participation was excellent. Thanks to all who did participate.
Many members were not present.  If you were not there and are coming this week, please consider picking up a few jars of pasta sauce and bringing them to tomorrow's meeting.  In lieu of a pasta sauce donation, checks should be made out to "The People's Pantry".
It Is Not Too Late To Participate In This Month's Food Drive George Raymond 2018-04-11 04:00:00Z 0

President's Message

Storage Space
The Club needs some storage space. Does anyone have an empty garage or barn or corner of a basement? First, we need to find a place for the stuff that is in the basement of the house that John Benedict is moving out of. Second, while we’re at it we should collect into one place all the of the odds and ends, the banners and pancake breakfast supplies and shelters and logo merchandise and who knows what else that is lurking in other basements and garages and attics. If you have Rotary stuff stashed away, let me know; we’ll try to put it all in one place. If no member has a place for it all, we’ll rent a storage locker.
Volunteers to attend our Rotary District Assembly and the Rotary International Convention
We’re looking for volunteers to attend a couple of Rotary events coming up. Our District assembly is May 9, in Enfield, Connecticut. In the morning is a training session, which could be valuable for newer members or those who want to learn more about how the club connects with the District and Rotary International. At the noon business meeting – where you’d get a free lunch! --  our club has two votes. The agenda is mostly to change the district bylaws to make it easier to form a quorum at these meetings.
The other upcoming event is more exotic: Is anyone going to Canada in June? The annual Rotary International convention is in Toronto June 26-27. You could be our representative and vote for the next RI Governor.
More Time for Club Business
One of the pieces of business that we did not get to at last week’s Wednesday meeting of the club was a recommendation from the Membership Committee to make more time available at our regular Wednesday meetings for talking about club business. Ironic, yes? It’s a good idea, so we’re going to try to make about one meeting per month a club assembly or business session. The next one will probably be in early May. One topic for a general meeting will be the Membership Committee’s proposals about attendance and corporate membership, which they had planned to discuss last week. Another possibility is to use a Wednesday session for committees to get together and in some cases to get themselves organized: a few still don’t have chairs or vice-chairs. We start a new fiscal year in July, with a new slate of officers and directors, and it would be good to help them hit the ground running, with people and plans and a budget lined up and ready to go.
President's Message Michael Wise 2018-04-03 04:00:00Z 0

Thanks to all who helped with Breaking Bread

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!
Thanks to all who helped with Breaking Bread David Isby 2018-04-03 04:00:00Z 0

President's Message

Posted by Michael Wise on Feb 27, 2018
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.
President's Message Michael Wise 2018-02-27 05:00:00Z 0

Cereal for the People's Pantry--Important Information

Posted by George Raymond on Feb 20, 2018
You will recall that we had been geared up for a large collection of cereal on February 7 (the first Wednesday of the month).  But that meeting was cancelled because of a snowstorm.  The following week's meeting, February 14, was lightly attended but there was, nonetheless, a good collection of cereal and money (checks). I hope there will be more donations tomorrow (Feb. 21) from those unable to donate last week because they weren't at the meeting. And, to those who have not yet taken any action to participate in this major push:  Please buy hot or cold cereal before tomorrow's meeting or write a check to "The People's Pantry" and bring it in.
Thanks in advance.
Cereal for the People's Pantry--Important Information George Raymond 2018-02-20 05:00:00Z 0

Thanks to the February 1 Breaking Bread Team!

Posted by Vito Vitrano
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
Thanks to the February 1 Breaking Bread Team! Vito Vitrano 2018-02-06 05:00:00Z 0

President's Message

Posted by Michael Wise
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.
President's Message Michael Wise 2018-01-30 05:00:00Z 0

People's Pantry Item of the Week

The food pantry item this week is TUNA. (NB: All items from the list below are welcome any week.  The item of the week is to give guidance to various organizations soliciting donations to ensure all categories are covered each week.  If you don't have the item of the week but can grab another item out of your pantry on your way to Rotary, please do!)
If you're thinking ahead...
February 7: CEREAL
People's Pantry Item of the Week Jessica Speer-Holmes 2018-01-23 05:00:00Z 0

Breaking Bread Kitchen Leader Needed for Either May 24 or December 27

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).
Breaking Bread Kitchen Leader Needed for Either May 24 or December 27 2018-01-16 05:00:00Z 0

President's Message

Posted by Michael Wise
Rotary takes time. Not all of us have much time, and we don’t always have it when something needs to be done. So tasks like taking down the Main Street decorations last Thursday fall to the usual half-dozen stalwarts who can be free at 4:30 on a weekday (and who have big pickup trucks). Attendance at weekly meetings has been trending downward, probably for similar reasons: for some it can be hard to get away for that long every week. The membership committee is processing the ideas from our discussions last fall about what we should expect from each other and how our club might adapt our schedule to the realities of modern professional life. We’ll get their report soon.
Whatever the particulars, I trust we will follow the principle, which ought to have an equivalent in Rotary lore, of “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need.” [I’ll pay a $10 fine Wednesday if someone identifies the original source of that.] Which is to say, we’re all in this together and we all do what we can.
President's Message Michael Wise 2018-01-16 05:00:00Z 0

Youth Exchange Ski Weekend Scheduled for Jan 19 - 21

The annual Youth Exchange Ski Weekend will be held January 19th thru the 21st. Thank you to all who have volunteered to help with the weekend and to host exchange students.  John Benedict will be circulating an email with housing and volunteer assignments tomorrow.  We will be hosting twelve students this year for the ski weekend!
Youth Exchange Ski Weekend Scheduled for Jan 19 - 21 2018-01-16 05:00:00Z 0

Fred Harris of St.James Place Spoke at the January 3 Meeting

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:
Fred Harris of St.James Place Spoke at the January 3 Meeting 2018-01-09 05:00:00Z 0

Volunteers Needed to Take Down the Holiday Decorations Thursday

Posted by Edward McCormick
We are planning on taking down the Holiday Decorations on Thursday. We are going to meet at the CVS parking lot at 4:30 PM and as long as we have the help we should have the decorations put away in Kimball’s basement within an hour. If you have a ladder, screw driver and wire cutter please bring.
Volunteers Needed to Take Down the Holiday Decorations Thursday Edward McCormick 2018-01-09 05:00:00Z 0

Support for VIM

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:
Support for VIM 2018-01-09 05:00:00Z 0

Watson Fund Update

There is still time to make a contribution to the Watson Fund to support families in need in South County this holiday season.  Contributions may be dropped off at any Berkshire Bank branch of mailed to The Watson Fund c/o Berkshire Bank; 244 Main Street Great Barrington, MA 01230.  To learn more about the Watson Fund and Rotary's involvement, please read the story below from the Facebook page of The Watson Fund:
The Watson Fund -- a South County Holiday Tradition
Jack Watson can't remember a Christmas without the Watson Fund. His father, John Watson, was the Great Barrington Bureau Chief for the Berkshire Eagle. It was 1936, the Great Depression, and John Watson had seen a lot of families in real need while out on the beat. He knew the families personally. He knew which children needed winter boots and "kind of" could guess their shoe sizes. He knew which cupboards in which homes would be lightly stocked with the holidays approaching and all. It was a small town and he was a local reporter.
At first it was called the Community Christmas Cheer Fund. There were some cash donations, but for the most part in those early years, John Watson simply went merchant to merchant with a list in hand. A boy's sweater, a girl's warm scarf, a basket of potatoes and carrots and squash.
Jack was seven or eight when he first helped out with the Fund. He was a Boy Scout. Two days before Christmas, Scout Master Charlie Schneider would gather Troops 22 and 23 to join members of the Great Barrington Rotary Club in the upstairs room of the old brick firehouse on Castle Street. The stairs were steep, but that did not stop them hauling up boxes of food and clothes purchased in bulk with donations to the Fund. They divided and packed the goods into individual boxes with the name of a family on each. On the morning of Christmas Eve, Scouts and Rotarians alike would come back and start deliveries to all the homes.
John Watson would make sure all donors to the Fund were publicly thanked in The Eagle. Most of the contributions were "in memory of" a family member or friend or were made as a donation in lieu of cards.
When John Watson died in 1963, the Community Christmas Cheer Fund had grown into a proud holiday tradition serving families in Great Barrington and Housatonic. But who would continue the tradition?
It was Charlie Schneider who approached Jack Watson. Jack was young and was just setting up his own accounting business and his memories of working with his father and his Scout Troop on the Fund were strong. He took up the challenge -- but not without help. Great Barrington Rotary Club members jumped in also. The Fund's name was changed to the "John S. Watson Fund, Inc.," also known as the Watson Fund, to honor its founder and a new phase of a tradition began.
Under Jack Watson's chairmanship the range of families served grew to include those throughout South County. The focus remained on clothes and food, not toys. The objective was to address practical needs. Cash donations grew to $25,000 per year. All contributors are still thanked in weekly press releases.
There were adventures, like the time Jack was making a delivery up Elm Court and over the railroad tracks. It was icy and the borrowed truck slipped down the bank and onto the tracks. Someone notified the railroad company that a truck was on the tracks. Jack made some calls. Peter Adams came by with a wrecker and pulled the truck out. Jack continued on his way making deliveries. It wasn't the only vehicle-stuck-in-a-bank story. Some of the homes were remote and more than one Rotarian lost the way when making deliveries.
Even though recipient families were encouraged to be at home on Christmas Eve morning to accept the donation, there was always at least one knock on the door that went unanswered. It fell to Jack to make the delivery later. And he could normally discover the family at a relative's or at a friend's for the holiday. The towns of South County are still relatively small and folks know each other. Jack credits Arlene Dezieck of the Visiting Nurse Association for "working up the list" of families in need. Mary Harrigan of Berkshire Community Action Council and now Community Health Program's Dorothy Heath has stepped in to help. A call goes out where families can request food or clothes donations from the Fund.
The work of the Watson Fund -- gathering names, collecting food and clothes, packing up boxes, and delivering -- is all accomplished in the matter-of-fact spirit of "let's get this done!" No thanks are needed. No special credit is given. It is community people doing work for their community by helping those most in need. "Of course we want to give to the Watson Fund," was Matt Massiero of Guido's comment when asked for a donation. "It is just what we do." Jack and his wife Barbara retired and moved to Nevada in 2004 to be near their children. But they remain on the board of directors of the Watson Fund. A local team, chaired by Kim Whalen of Smith Watson, continue the work with the help of many. This year the Great Barrington Rotary Club has formalized what has been a long-standing informal relationship with the Fund by creating a Watson Fund Committee. Rotarians Ray Murray, Ed McCormick, Susan Smith, Bobbie Hallig, Julie Hannum, and Gary Kobran are bringing their contacts and skills to support a valued South County initiative.
Watson Fund Update 2017-12-26 05:00:00Z 0

Lotto Winners for the Week of Dec 21-31

DEC 21 : LISA  HENRIQUES - $50.00
DEC 22: SABRINA  RIGGIERO - $50.00             
DEC 24: STEVE  AGAR - $50.00
DEC 25: GARRETT  HAPP - $500.00
DEC 26: JAMES TRUDEN - $50.00
DEC 27: NUCOLE  KROUZ - $100.00
DEC 28: PAT  SALVI - $50.00
DEC 29: DAVID   PEARLSON - $50.00
DEC 30: BENES   GLACKMAN - $50.00
Lotto Winners for the Week of Dec 21-31 2017-12-26 05:00:00Z 0

Five More Days for Rotary Foundation Contributions in 2017

Posted by Michael Wise
Just in case you haven’t gotten around to it yet, another e-mail from the Rotary Foundation reminds us that the Foundation will be happy to accept donations even after the month of November. You can even send them directly to the Foundation, I think; if you put your Rotary number on the check, they should be able to credit it to our Club’s efforts. Let's meet our goal in Linda Day’s memory: 100 percent participation and an average of $100 per member. 
Five More Days for Rotary Foundation Contributions in 2017 Michael Wise 2017-12-26 05:00:00Z 0
January Board Meeting Moved to January 8 2017-12-19 05:00:00Z 0

January 3rd Meeting Moved to Koi

Due to the fact that Crissey Farm has a conflicting event on January 3rd, our regular club lunch meeting will be held at Koi, 300 State Road in Great Barrington.
January 3rd Meeting Moved to Koi 2017-12-19 05:00:00Z 0

Apologies from the Editor

Posted by Jessica Speer-Holmes
As we transition back to using Club Runner as our platform for the bulletin we are experiencing some technical difficulties.  I haven't yet figured out how to remove the "read more" links from the news items that don't have more to be read.  Hopefully, by next week I will have that figured out.  In this issue of the bulletin, only the article about the Holiday Lights actually has something more to be read.  
Apologies from the Editor Jessica Speer-Holmes 2017-12-12 05:00:00Z 0

Call for Club Bulletin Content

If you have anything you would like included in the weekly club bulletin, please send it my way.  We are working on developing a new approach to our bulletin and would be happy to include information you would like to communicate to the members of the club.  Please email anything you would like included to  The bulletin generally goes out on Tuesday or Wednesday so please consider Monday night your deadline for inclusion in that week's bulletin.  Thanks, Jessica Speer-Holmes
Call for Club Bulletin Content Jessica Speer-Holmes 2017-12-12 05:00:00Z 0
No Regular Lunch Meeting This Week Jessica Speer-Holmes 2017-12-12 05:00:00Z 0

Holiday Lights Post from Facebook

Posted by Jessica Speer-Holmes
The following news post was recently added to the Great Barrington Rotary Facebook page.  We're including it here for those who might have missed it or who might not use Facebook:
Holiday Lights Post from Facebook Jessica Speer-Holmes 2017-12-12 05:00:00Z 0

December 7 Breaking Bread a Great Success

Posted by Jessica Speer-Holmes
The Breaking Bread dinner on December 7th was a great success.  The dinner was led by Oskar Hallig and Mike Zipel.  Oskar, the current vice-chairperson of the Great Barrington Rotary Club also serves as the chairperson for the Breaking Bread Committee.  On December 7th, we served beef stew with pasta, salad, bread, and cookies and fruit. The other wonderful volunteers who made the evening possible were Rotarians Barbara Manring, Bobbie Hallig, Suzanne Arre, Stephanie Carlson, John Benedict, Michael Wise, Alice Naylor.  The Rotarians were joined by Dottie Bonbrake our great Mt. Washington helper.  We served about 50 people!
December 7 Breaking Bread a Great Success Jessica Speer-Holmes 2017-12-12 05:00:00Z 0
Notes for July 19, 2017 Michael Wise 2017-07-18 04:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for July 5th, 2017 Michael Wise 2017-07-04 04:00:00Z 0
November 2nd, 2016 Bulletin John Benedict 2016-11-02 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for October 26th 2016 John Benedict 2016-10-25 00:00:00Z 0
October 19th Bulletin 2016-10-19 00:00:00Z 0
Test Bulletin John Benedict 2016-10-14 00:00:00Z 0
October 12th Bulletin John Benedict 2016-10-12 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for October 5, 2016 John Benedict 2016-10-05 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for September 28, 2016 2016-09-28 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for September 21, 2016 John Benedict 2016-09-20 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for September 14, 2016 John Benedict 2016-09-14 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for September 7, 2016 John Benedict 2016-09-05 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for August 17, 2016 John Benedict 2016-08-16 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for August 10, 2016 bene 2016-08-10 00:00:00Z 0
The Berkshire Bike N Fly is coming up soon! John Benedict 2016-08-04 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for July 27, 2016 John Benedict 2016-07-27 00:00:00Z 0
July 20th Bulletin John Benedict 2016-07-19 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for July 13, 2013 John Benedict 2016-07-12 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for June 29, 2016 Susan Smith 2016-06-28 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for June 22, 2016 Susan Smith 2016-06-21 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for May 25, 2016 Susan Smith 2016-05-24 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for May 11, 2016 Susan Smith 2016-05-11 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for May 4, 2016 Susan Smith 2016-05-03 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for April 20, 2016 Susan Smith 2016-04-19 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for April 13, 2016 Susan Smith 2016-04-12 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for March 16, 2016 2016-03-16 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for March 9, 2016 Susan Smith 2016-03-08 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for February 24, 2016 Susan Smith 2016-02-24 00:00:00Z 0

Bulletin for February 3, 2016

Posted by Susan Smith on Feb 01, 2016
Current Membership: 59 members
Hello Everyone,
Last Week:  We had a very entertaining presentation by Charlie Burger, Chief of the Great Barrington Fire Department.
Crissey Farm:  For those members who pay for their lunch with a check,  Gary has asked that checks be made payable to “The Brewery,” rather than to Crissey Farm.
Breaking Bread:  As reported last week, Rotary's date for Breaking Bread is March 10th.  Oskar Hallig is leading this one up and doing the main dish.  Jessica Spear Holmes has prepared a Sign Up Genius for the dinner.  The link is as follows:    Our next date will be May 5th.  If you are able to lead the team for that date, please contact Oskar at  As soon as we get the updated schedule for the entire year, I will share that information with the Club.
Rotary After Hours:  Jess Krupski is organizing a social hour for the Club on Thursday, March 16th at Castle Street.  We hope you can stop by for a drink and a few laughs.
People’s Pantry:  Peanut Butter - We are down to 6 cards.  Increase your odds of winning, and bring some peanut butter to the meeting!
From the Foundation:  
ROTARY DIRECT TESTIMONIAL FROM TERRY ZIEGLER IN 2014 “I received my Gift Acknowledgement from Rotary International today recognizing the contributions I made on a credit card through Rotary Direct in 2013.  This is one more reason to give by Rotary Direct - you get one Gift Statement at the end of the year rather than each time you mail a check.  That's in addition to the fact that it's automatic, it's easy - no checks to mail, no stamp cost (going up soon), and the fact that Rotary has determined that it costs them less to process contributions from credit cards than checks due to the low rate they pay, the rebate they receive from Visa ($ millions currently going to PolioPlus) and the labor required to process large numbers of checks.”
Bulletin for February 3, 2016 Susan Smith 2016-02-02 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for November 18, 2015 Susan Smith 2015-11-17 00:00:00Z 0
Memory of a Presentation John Benedict 2015-09-22 00:00:00Z 0
Bulletin for August 19, 2015 Susan Smith 2015-08-18 00:00:00Z 0
District Governor Kyong Wilson Elizabeth Hamilton 2015-08-05 00:00:00Z 0
Truck Day 2015! Susan Smith 2015-05-20 00:00:00Z 0
YEX Ski Weekend 2015 John Benedict 2015-01-28 00:00:00Z 0
Great Barrington Rotary Scarves in South Tanzania! Elizabeth Hamilton 2014-03-05 00:00:00Z 0