Russell Hampton
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Executives & Directors
President Elect
Immediate Past President
Foundation Chair
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Club Information
Rotary of Avon-Canton - Founded 1973
Service above Self
Fridays at 7:30 AM
Golf Club of Avon
160 Country Club Road
Avon, CT 06001
United States of America
(860) 760-6364
In person starting July 9, 2021. Zoom will also be available for those unable to attend in person.
District Site
Venue Map
November 19, 2021
Hartford Interval House
Mary-Jane Foster, CEO
 Members Present: 25
Guests: Carlo Geddo, Prospective Member, Cal Miller, Prospective Member, Steve Hornstein, Jackson Ragnow, Rollie's Grandson, Mike Fylar, Veteran, Jerry Stinson,  Veteran, John Regis, Veteran, Bob Nardiello, Veteran, John Kuzia, Veteran, Mitch Sibley-Jett,  Veteran, Dwayne Gardner,  Veteran, Ben Ascbeini,  Veteran, Bill Samol, Veteran, Antia Wong, Veterans Base Camp, Mitch Willsie, Veterans Basecamp
Speaker: Mitch Willsie, Veterans Basecamp
Visiting Rotarians: None
Happy Dollars: 143
Raffle winner: None
Fines: None.
Birthdays: None. 
Happy Dollars:
In Lieu of Happy Dollars, all veterans in attendance were recognized and honored.  Donations were collected on each table to benefit our local VFW.
Mike Fylar - US Marine Corps
Bill Samol - US Army
Rollie Sterrett - US Airforce
Tom Voorhees - US Navy
Gary Miller - US Navy
Gene Dzialo – US Air Force
John Regis – US Navy 
Jerry Stinson – US Army
Bob Nardiello – US Army
John Kuzia – US Air Force
Mitch Willsie - US Navy 
Dwayne Gardner -  US Navy 
Mitch Sibley-Jett - US Air Force  
John Regis 
Bob Nardiello 
Ben Ascbeini
Ed. Note: further information on ranks and branches were unavailable at the time of this writing. 
Larry Sullivan honored our late veterans, Ted Cowles and Sean Blacker.
Thank you to all who served!
Chris Lamadrid thanked Dan Keller, the owner of Dish N' Dat, for hosting our breakfast and for his continued support of our community and veterans. She commented she believes he is the only business in the area that designates parking for veterans. Chris also thanked Colleen Grasso and Gary Miller for their help setting up the meeting at Dish N Dat.
Heather Pantano chair of the People of Action Committee thanked Colleen Grasso and Peter Vignati for helping to decorate and place facts and information on each table.
Salin Low said she is the go to person to sign up for wreaths and ringing of the Salvation Army Bell. 90% of the contributions from bell ringing will stay in the Farmington Valley and we will be ringing the bell at both doors this year, so we need double the manpower! See Salin to sign up. Christmas wreaths will be distributed a week after thanksgiving. See Salin for more information.
November 26 - No regular meeting. Lonely Rotarians meet at LaSalle Market in Canton.
December 3 - Meeting at Tower Ridge hosted by Healing Meals.
None today
Community and International Service Grants: None today
Veterans Base Camp
Mitch Willsie
Heather Pantano introduced Mitch Willsie, Retired Navy Master Chief, Chaplain, and retired Program Director from the Veterans Rehabilitation Program at Stonington Institute, Mitch Willsie joined Veterans Base Camp as the Chairman of the Board. Mitch also serves as the Chaplain and Program Director - he works 1:1 with veterans, leads recreational groups and much more! A fun fact about Mitch, he is the New England Archery Champion in his division as well. 
Mitch shared a song called Dirt on My Hands by the Booth Brothers  a song he felt represented veterans and the work accomplished by Veterans Base Camp and our Rotary Club. Mitch shared his gratitude for the support of our club. Veterans Base Camp is funded by donations, and nearly 100% of donations go directly to the veterans. Groups like ours makes their mission possible. Mitch called veteran Dwayne Gardner to say a few words. Dwayne thanked our club for the work done at the base camp, especially the work done on the railing. He no longer has to worry if the steps are safe with the railing that the club installed. Each year they work on the grounds, last year, they fixed a fence, and this year they are working on renovating their olympic size pool.
Gary Roman commented that the work moves beyond the physical facilities and into reunifying families. Mitch said many of the veterans who begin at VBC believe they don't have intrinsic value, and VBC helps them on the journey to reclaim their purpose. Right now, they are serving male veterans but are looking to expand this service to meet the needs of female veterans.
Dwayne spoke about how Veterans Base Camp is a unique place, that there is truly no place like it. Veterans can stay as long as they need for support, there is no time limit on their time at VBC. The VBC also runs a food pantry every Wednesday and on the first and third Sunday of the month that serves over 300 veterans and their families. The food pantry has been a huge success, but the need is unfortunately growing. Larry Sullivan asked if everyone at the food bank were veterans. Dwayne said the recipients are nearly all veterans except some first responders and some families in extreme need. It was pointed out that financial donations are often more powerful to stock food pantries. For example, the pantry can purchase 2,000-3,000 lbs of food for $150. Our Rotary Club has donated funds for this pantry in addition to our day of service.

Special Announcements: None this week.
Mail Bag: None this week.
Photo Credits: Mike Mezheritskiy [Unless otherwise indicated]
Technology Credits: Mike Mezheritskiy [Unless otherwise indicated]
Editor's Notes
Submission Deadline: Members are kindly encouraged to submit all materials directly to the week's designated editor for inclusion in that week's Early Riser, and to do so as early as possible. Please note that some editions may be published and distributed as early as the Saturday following the most recent meeting, and therefore further contributions will not. be included in that 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?