Russell Hampton
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Arnie Goldman
Getting to Know our Members
Getting to Know Jennifer Gonzalez
Jenny Gonzalez was born in 1970 in the small country town of Perry, Florida, where her parents grew up. They moved to Tallahassee when she was four and she grew up with her brother Jon who is seven years older.
Both of Jenny’s parents were hard workers. Her mom was in business administration first in the medical field, then thirty plus years at an environmental law firm until her retirement two years ago. Her dad was a proud Vietnam veteran who had a 32-year career with the Postal Service. He retired early and enjoyed a life of leisure until he was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away three years ago. He was always working on cars, boats, and home improvement projects. In retirement he enjoyed spending time on my cousins’ farm in Alabama bailing hay, feeding cows, hunting, and fishing. His family misses him dearly.
Jenny met her husband in high school through friends they had in common, dated briefly during her junior year, and stayed in touch. When Larry graduated from the University of Florida out of the school of journalism, he moved back to Tallahassee to work. He looked Jenny up, and they decided to get married a month after dating. Jenny had been working at Holland and Knight Law firm as a file clerk and runner until they married a year later in December 1994. This past December they celebrated their 25th Wedding anniversary.
Jenny and Larry moved to Storrs, Connecticut once Larry was accepted to UCONN’s MBA program in 1995. Jenny worked in retail until he graduated, then spent a year matriculating into the CT college system at MCTC. She then applied and was accepted into the BFA program at UCONN. She was able to go to school full-time and completed a Specialized Concentration in Photography, Sculpture, and Ceramics. Larry and Jenny both graduated in 2000. He completed his law degree from UCONN, and she received her BFA.
She worked a few years after graduation as a Manager of the Non-Profit Women’s Exchange in West Hartford Center and went on to work for Capital Properties, first as a leasing agent for a residential property in Rocky Hill, later transferring to a West Hartford property as assistant property manager. She also began her Master’s program at CCSU. An artist at heart, she finished an MS in Art Education in 2007 with a concentration in Ceramics. She felt lucky to have studied with the best professor in her concentration and with one of the most talented students, who is still a good friend. She has had three art shows: a thesis show at Art Space in Hartford, a group show at Art Space with a painter, furniture maker, ceramicist and photographer, and another at the Farmington Library with three other ceramic artists.
Jenny started flying as a contract flight attendant for a small charter company out of Bridgeport and did sub-contracted flights for Netjets and Starflite International while she was finishing her Master’s program. In 2009 she secured a full time position with Travelers Aviation. She and her husband never thought that they would both end up working in the insurance industry, especially with Jenny in such a non-traditional role.
Larry and Jenny are very proud that their achievements have come about through their own efforts. They don’t have any children, but they are the happy to be aunt and uncle of seven nephews and one niece that they visit on trips to Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. They have two spoiled miniature dachshunds, Daisy and Oscar, who bring great joy to their home life. Their first fur-baby child was a Bassett hound named Marlee who was part of their family for the first 16 years of their marriage.
Jenny and Larry have been lifelong Thoroughbred horse racing enthusiasts and have a small stake in a NY breeding partnership and a couple of race horses with friends. Through their small interest they own perhaps a few horse hairs at most. This passion and their need to find a meaningful way to spend free time brought them to Shepard Meadows Therapeutic Riding Center. Jenny is on the fundraising committee and acting as Gala Chairperson, and Larry is VP on the Board. They still enjoy mucking stalls and feeding horses on the weekends as well as giving tours and acting as volunteer mentors.
Jenny is happy that Heather Pantano invited her to join Rotary. From the very first meeting she felt like she was home. She looks forward to getting to know all the members and working together to raise money and do good things for the community and beyond. 
Jun 12, 2020
Being a Rotary Scholar
Jun 19, 2020
For All Ages
Jun 26, 2020
Canton Historian
Jul 03, 2020
Jul 10, 2020
President's Installation Dinner
Jul 24, 2020
Mediators Beyond Borders
View entire list
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Immediate Past President
Foundation Chair
Board Member-at-Large
Board Member-at-Large
Asst Treasurer
Interact Chair
EarlyRiser Presentations
A Promise to Jordan
The Annotated Guide to Ending Polio
Club Information
Rotary of Avon-Canton - Founded 1973
Service above Self
We meet Fridays at 7:30 AM
Avon Old Farms Hotel
279 Avon Mountain Rd.
Avon, CT  06001
United States of America
DistrictSiteIcon District Site
VenueMap Venue Map
Note: No Regular Meeting on April 10th in Recognition of Good Friday.
April 17, 2020
Forest Bathing (!)
Alexandra Lowry
The meeting will be held on Zoom. 
Watch for an email from Heather.
Watch the presentation live on:
Sergeant-at-Arms Report
Members Present: 37 or 38 but who's counting?
Visiting Rotarians: Craig Buhrendorf, Marc Glass, Chris Heath, Rick Heath  
Guests: Kershwin Singh, Jayden Kaplan
Happy Dollars Moments: Virtual currency but genuine brotherly/sisterly love!
Raffle Winner: Everyone's a winner today!
None today.
None today.
Happy Dollars Moments
Editor's note: It is perhaps worth noting, in this time of "apartness", that we have and continue to maintain our time honored Rotary traditions, and our relationships, in every way possible. Platforms such as Zoom, while imperfect, help us to do that, and sometimes add unusual and interesting twists to our efforts. For example, this morning we had the finest rendition of an a capella version of the Pledge of Allegiance I have ever heard. Unmuted, Zoom gives preference to the first and loudest speaker, with all others echoing thereafter, and so it goes with the pledge. God Bless America was heartfelt, though less successful as a concert piece and will require more practice on our part. Get busy people! Finally, Salin's invocation was profound and I'm sure, spiritually nourishing, however, I heard not a word of it, as Zoom froze and cut out the audio. Salin, please ask a Higher Power for forgiveness for me! ;-)

Salin offered the customary invocation.



Gary Miller noted that the National Ski Patrol, of which he is a member and active at Ski Sundown, created a new program known as "Goggles for Docs" in which their members are encouraged to gather superfluous ski goggles and ship them to hospitals and first responders for service as medical PPE (personal protective equipment).  Gary donated 3 of his own to the effort. If you want to participate contact Gary for more details.


Craig Buhrendorf was pleased to be with us again via Zoom and informed our Club that the first Lake Norman Zoom-powered Rotary Club Meeting drew 46 participants. Craig was also pleased to note that the New England Patriots sent their team aircraft to China to pickup 1.2 million medical face masks to donate to our medical personnel and first responders. The aircraft was on the ground less than 3 hours, by order of the Chinese government. Editor's note: Let's hope in the decades to come, our country will not again need to seek essential supplies from offshore sources, and that the lesson of this awful episode is not lost on our leaders, or our people.



Don Bonner recently spoken with Devra Sisitsky and learned that Makerspace, her not-for-profit project, has been able to manufacture functional and inexpensive face masks. Initially using 3D printing they found the process too slow and time consuming and switched to more traditional component manufacturing methods, followed by manual final assembly. The materials cost $4.00 per mask and they are giving them away to  first responders at no cost. Talk to Don for more information.


Bill Barnes shared Hank Frey's great joke about social distancing in the Corona age. Here it is:

On day 1 of social distancing: Gas is finally affordable, but we can't go anywhere.

On day 2 of social distancing: Without TV sports, I noticed there was a lady sitting on my couch, who is apparently my wife. She seemed nice.

On day 3 of social distancing: Our cleaning lady called to tell us she's working from home and that she would send instructions for us to follow.

And on day 4 of social distancing: The government issued this critical advisory message:  Eight o'clock PM is the declared official time to change from day to night pajamas. No exceptions!



Heather Pantano announced that at 11 PM EDT yesterday (Thursday, April 2nd) evening, she became an Auntie! Heather's brother's wife, of Worcester, Massqachusetts, gave birth to a little girl, and mother and daughter are doing well. While the baby is as yet unnamed, unofficial reports indicate she will NOT be named "Corona."



Chris Heath noted her 37-year-old son who resides in Seattle has been ill for 3 weeks, and is now recovering. Editor's note: Our thoughts and prayers are with your family!


Sara Leathers noted that Healing Meals is still operating, despite the pandemic, but is near capacity. They've added 11 new clients as of late, and are operating several shifts to cope. They've also recently served over 100 doctors and nurses of Hartford Hospital their famous Immune Broth, and Protein Bars, to support their efforts to heal others. They will carry on and are using donated masks.


Rick Heath noted his enjoyment of having frequent quiet moments alone with Chris and their cat on the family couch.


Yvonne Gardner was happy to report helping to provide meals at or near a recent church service which was either outdoors, virtual or something, or at least I thought that's what she said. (Editors note: The details of this report were not fully audible because, (hint, hint), certain voluble Rotarians were not fully cognizant of the sounds emanating from their gustatory orifices while Yvonne was speaking. Zoom does not cope well with this situation.)


Rollie Sterrett reported a critical shortage for which a remedy must very soon be planned and executed: He is now down to what was known in his SAC days (Strategic Air Command) as a "Critical Reserve" of single malt scotch. For those with knowledge of military aviation (Gary this means you), Rollie's situation can also be described as "Bingo fuel", a critical level of an essential resource.


April 8th: Alicia Canning noted our first virtual Pub Night will be held between 6 and 7 PM.
April 10th: Good Friday, No regular meeting. Lonely Rotarian Society may gather virtually. Details to follow.
Induction of New Members
None this week.

The Rotary Club of Avon - Canton announced its first ever advanced technology mastery awards today.
Honored in the 70 and over category were:
Phil Worley
Tom Voorhees
Dale Bronson
Larry Sullivan
Honored in the age 35 to 40 category was:
Dr. Joanne Santiago
Community and International Service Grants
None this week.
Rich Lawrence
Guatemala Water Project






Rich Lawrence, a Manchester Rotarian who also splits his time between Connecticut and Florida where he's also a member of a Rotary Club there, updated us on his long involvement in the "Guatemala Water Project", a title that doesn't quite do justice to all that's been accomplished there.


Historically, the indigenous Mayan peoples of Guatemala suffer disease and shortened lives due to preventable illnesses caused by lack of access to clean water and the use of primitive stoves that cause pulmonary disease.


Worldwide, 30,000 people die every day from water-related illnesses, with 90% being children <5 years-of-age.


Rotary has a successful track record of improving people's lives by providing them access to clean water and air. Over 13 years, 1 million dollars have been raised and spent to support these efforts.


Working with Aldea, a local not-for-profit, gave Rotary access to local contacts and local acceptance, which enabled success. Locals are able to speak the local dialects, further proving the value of local partnerships.


Submit the results of your pronunciation quiz on the names of these villages direct to Rick Lawrence at his local address. Winners will be entered in a contest in which your generosity is its own reward.


Clubs from 10 Districts raised $91,000.00. The Foundation matrix reimburses the Club at 50%, meaning the Clubs got $45,000.00 back. In contrast, District Designated Funds are reimbursed to Clubs at 100%.


Total put towards this project was $194,823.00.  

Aldea's philosophy  approximates the adage "Give a man fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he will never be hungry." As such, locals do the labor and are taught how to maintain, extend and when necessary recreate the improvements.









Indigenous Guatemalans average 6.2 children per family. In this project, each family receives its own indoor spigot. Prior to that, family members, often children and women had to walk 20+ minutes each way to access water, water that was often contaminated, and they would have to do so 2 or 3 times daily.


The Central Highlands of Guatemala are inhabited almost exclusively by indigenous Mayans who occupy meager homes. Their area is within 40 miles of active volcanoes and the roads, where they exist are mostly unimproved, i.e. they are rutted dirt tracks.



It is a joyful thing to see and experience the children.


This year's budget is no less ambitious.


This Rotary plaque hangs on each completed water project.


Pine needles cast upon the ground are the Mayan's form of "red carpet."


Each village returns our generosity with these individually made tapestries.


1st of 4 components.


Local labor.


Gray water skimming fixture, top right.


Generator pump and water meter.


Solar installation helps run the pumps.


2nd of 4 components: Gray water filter.


3rd of 4 components: Hygienic toilet



4th of 4 components: Safe "peace corps" stove.


Traditional stove.





Women benefit the most.


Humbling recognition from Rotary.


Hygiene improvement project...


Our Clubs are honored on this plaque. As they say in Guatemala, "Sin Aqua, No Hay Vida", without water there is no life.



President Heather thanked Rotarians for their attendance, and their forbearance, at another virtual meeting. She then led us in reciting the Four Way Test. Close observers will note Phil Worley dutifully reciting the Four Way Test in the inset image. Keep it up Phil!

Special Announcements
None this week.
Mail Bag
None this week.
Photo Credits
Screen shots courtesy of Arnie Goldman and Apple Grab!
Technology Credits
Zoom platform management expertise by Mike Mezheritskiy.
Editor's Notes
Submission Deadline: Members are kindly encouraged to submit all materials for each week's Early Riser as early as possible. Please note that some editions may be published and distributed as early as the Saturday following our meetings, and during those weeks further contributions to the Early Riser will be included in the subsequent week's edition.
“The FOUR-WAY TEST of the things we think, say or do”:

1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all Concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?