Russell Hampton
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Gary Miller
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
May 1, 2020
Brandon Robertson, Town Manager
Town of Avon
The meeting will be held on Zoom. 
Watch for an email from Heather.
Watch the presentation live on:
Sergeant-at-Arms Report
Members Present: 44 in attendance
Visiting Rotarians: Craig Buhrendorf, Chris Heath, Rick Heath, Mark Steier  
Guests: Kershwin Singh, Robert Bessel, Mary Tomolonius, Holly Steier
Happy Dollars Moments: Virtual currency
Raffle Winner: None
None today.
Rollie Sterrett introduced Mark and Holly Steier who were tuned in from Florida. Mark is a past-president of the club.
Susan Mitchell
Susan is grateful for the community she has with Rotary and her Horse Rescue association.
She pledged a $100 donation for her birthday.
Happy Dollars Moments
Editor's note: If you missed our Zoom meeting, the full meeting is posted to YouTube every week:
Rollie Sterrett updated us on his brother Cliff's status. Cliff is in a nursing home in Sharon until he is clear of COVID-19 symptoms. Rollie was also sporting a Rotary mask and thanked Gary and Debbie Miller.
Craig Buhrendorf was tuned in from North Carolina. He did his first travel presentation to his new club which had 57 members on Zoom. His Avon condo in Hunters Ridge is under contract. They hope to close at the end of June.
Greg Demanche was happy that his daughter Kathleen was her high school Salutatorian and a Presidential Scholar at UCONN.
Lisa Barall-Matt has moved to West Hartford and rented their former Canton home. They expect to remain in West Hartford for the next few years.
Jolly Lux said that they had received authorization for epilepsy medicine to be delivered to their patients in Uganda. The medical workers were using the bicycles we donated several years ago to get out for deliveries.
Peter Vignati and his wife headed down to Hammonasett Beach to enjoy a seafood dinner from a favorite restaurant. The also visited Modern Pizza in New Haven.
Sue Budde was sad to report that her daughters wedding has been pushed off a year due to COVID-19.
Mark Steier said it was great to reconnect with friends. He and Holly were in Florida. They will be celebrating their daughter's 41st birthday.
Larry Sullivan asked Paul Mikkelson to update us on his grandson Tommy who was born with cystic fibrosis. Paul reported that Tommy is doing well at 5 months.
Gary Miller said that he and Debbie had made about 150 masks. They are on hiatus until more elastic arrives. The Rotary masks have become quite popular.
Gary Roman reported that the Community Service Committee granted $500 to Quilts to Heal.
Heather said that the Board has decided to keep the Zoom meetings going through May. She also said that they have discussed the financial impact of not holding TOTV 2020. Gary Hyde reported that the club was still financially strong. 
Induction of New Members
None this week.

None this week.
Community and International Service Grants
None this week.
Robert Bessel
Canton's First Selectman
Bob is a 30 year resident of Canton. His wife Nancy is a retired art teacher. They live in Collinsville. Bob is a member of the Canton Lions Club and active on the Lions District 23-B Board and the Rotary-Lions Substance Abuse Taskforce. He has served the town in many capacities, including the Board of Education and the Economic Development Agency. 
Canton has made a great outpouring of generosity during the crisis providing meals and many other items.  The current uncertainty has been the main focus of the town. Not knowing which businesses will be able to reopen and when has been difficult. Keeping up with the number of COVID-19 cases has also been a challenge. Bob has been have daily discussions with Town staff and others to discuss how long it may take to recover. The business situation is constantly changing. The effect of the stimulus packages will hopefully be positive.
Bob said that government at all levels has become more responsive to dealing with the crisis. There has been lots of creativity and getting back to basics.
Governor Lamont has suspended many aspects of the municipal budget process due to the inability to hold public meetings. Canton's budget referendum has been suspended. The Board of Finance will taking public comments via email and phone before they set the final budget and mil rate for 2021. Bob emphasized the need for Canton residents to communicate with the Boards.
​​​​​​​Larry Sullivan asked about the status of the Collins Axe Company bid process. Bob said the two companies were the best bidders. The winning bid has not been determined as yet. One of the bidders has asked to delay the closing until after May.  The due diligence needs to be completed on any environmental cleanup. The last study was completed in 1999-2000. The Town has asked for a "Brown Field" assessment of the property.
​​​​​​​Gary Roman said the that Payroll Protection Program (PPP) would be over in 8 weeks. He asked about delaying July 1st tax payments. The town has already done a 60-90 day deferment. Most taxes will be due on October 1st, except escrowed taxes still due on July 1st. 
Arnie Goldman wondered how the town could justify raising the mil rate with a tax increase in these times. Bob explained that the increase was due to pension costs for retirees that were living longer, special education costs, the PFAS cleanup at Cherry Brook Primary School, bridge repairs, and paid firemen. The Grandlist rose about 1%--not as high as some other towns like Simsbury. $200,000 has already been taken from fund balance to reduce the budget impact. Not knowing when the crisis will end, the Town needs to retain its fund balance for future needs.  Bob said that FEMA will be reimbursing up to 75% of claims.

Special Announcements
None this week.
Mail Bag
None this week.
Photo Credits
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.
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1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all Concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?