Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile
Bulletin Editor
Gary Miller
Getting to Know our Members
Getting to Know Lauren Gardner

Lauren Gardner was raised in Farmington, Connecticut in the same house her father grew up in, graduating from Farmington High School in 2011. She pursued her Bachelor of Social Work with a minor in psychology at Southern Connecticut State University, graduating magna cum laude in 2015.

At the age of sixteen, after being encouraged to strengthen her resume for prospective colleges, Lauren began volunteering a few days after school at FOCUS Center for Autism. What she once viewed as an easy way to enhance her resume, rapidly turned into a passion that she followed into a career. Lauren quickly fell in love with the FOCUS clientele, adoring their individuality, honesty and unique perspectives. She also fell in love with the FOCUS organization, its approach and how it transformed lives, including her own.

While in college, Lauren continued to work part time at FOCUS alongside her mom and fellow Rotarian, Yvonne and part time at J. Timothy’s Taverne with her dad Greg, the restaurant’s General Manager. (You could say they are a pretty close family.) In the end Lauren chose the non-profit lifestyle over a potentially lucrative career in the restaurant industry.

After graduating college, Lauren was offered a full time position with FOCUS. August of 2019 will mark her tenth year with the organization. She often finds it difficult to describe what she does at FOCUS, as the non-profit requires her to wear many different hats. She can find herself marketing one day and substitute teaching the next, while fixing toilets or filming content for their television show in between (just to give a few examples). “Every day is different and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Lauren is a proud advocate for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other related disorders. She is constantly working towards her dream of increasing services for this underfunded and underserved population in our community.

Currently living in West Hartford with her boyfriend Justin, Lauren enjoys spending time with her friends, family and their dogs Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski. She also enjoys bargain shopping, traveling, skiing in the winter, hiking in the summer and eating all year round (she is a total foodie!)

Aug 16, 2019
Guiding Light
Aug 23, 2019
Aug 30, 2019
Haitian Water Project
Sep 06, 2019
Meeting and Tour at FAVARH
Sep 13, 2019
A Promise to Jordan
Sep 20, 2019
"Greatest Hits"
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
Promoting the Golf Tournament
The Annotated Guide to Ending Polio
GLO Fall 2017 Mission Trip
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
No Morning Meeting
The 2019 President's Installation Dinner
Friday, June 7th
6:00 to 10:00 PM
Golf Club of Avon
160 Country Club Road, Avon, CT
2019-2020 Slate of Officers
President Heather Pantano
President-Elect Alicia Canning
Immediate Past-President Michael Mezheritskiy
Treasurer Gary Hyde
Secretary Chris Lamadrid
Sgt-at-Arms Katelyn Kaplan
Dale Bronson and Sue Budde
Sergeant-at-Arms Report
May 31, 2019
Members Present: 34
Make-Ups: None  
Guests (2):
Scott Griswold - Paul Mikkelson's Domestique
Brandon Phelps - friend of Natasha Haims
Happy Dollars: $4
Raffle Winner: Arnie Goldman
Come to Order
President Mike Mezheritskiy called weekly meeting to order in the Seasons Dining Room. Mike reminded everyone that we would not have a regular morning meeting next week due to the President's Installation Dinner at the Golf Club of Avon on Friday night.
Happy Dollars
Bill Barnes was happy to announce the next Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra series on Sunday, June 9th at 6pm on the lawn of the First Church of Christ in Farmington. The music of John Williams will be featured. Details and tickets are available at
Ann Clark had been at her granddaughter's graduation last week. She had happily filled in for Mike Mezheritskiy and Don Bonner at the Avon Dollars for Scholars ceremony at Avon High School.
Peter Vignati was extremely happy to report that his sister, who has been suffering from pancreatic cancer, underwent the complicated whipple surgery which was a success. 
Don Bonner reminded those who hope to attend the Presidents Installation Dinner to register and pay forthwith. About 60 have signed up with room for up to 75.
Phil Worley announced that the next Rotary Pub Night would be on Tuesday June 11th at First & Last Tavern in Avon from 4:30-6:30pm.
Tom Voorhees needed additional help for Amber Alert ID session at Cherry Brook Primary School's fair--the last session of the year.
Sue Budde announced the Canton Chamber of Commerce' golf tournament still has availability. See Sue for details.
Calendar of Upcoming Events
June 7th:  President's Installation Dinner, 6 PM, Golf Club of Avon
June 10th: Canton Chamber of Commerce Annual Golf Tournament at the Farmington Woods Golf Club. Contact Gary or Sue Budde for more information or visit the Chamber's website for registration: Canton Chamber Golf Tournament
June 20th: Rotary Governors Installation Dinner, 6:00-9:00 at Riverview in Simsbury. Cost is $55.00 per person including an open bar. Invitation says "Black Tie Optional," so put on your duds and dance to a band while honoring Heather Pantano, our incoming president. Check with Rollie Sterrett if interested, so we can arrange to be at one table.
June 21st:  Meeting was planned to be held at the new FAVARH Rotary Building, but the date has been delayed.
September 9th: Annual Rotary Charity Golf Tournament at the Golf Club of Avon. Please contact Gary Miller if you are interested in working on one of the golf committees.
Induction of New Members
None this week.

Community and International Service Grants
None this week.

Club Forum
How to Get What You Want, Now!
Paul Mikkelson
President Mike Mezheritskiy introduced our very own Paul Mikkelson, who needed no introduction. Paul had offered to give us all a few pointers on selling techniques to inspire a successful campaign for our 36th Annual Charity Golf Tournament on September 9th. Aided by a PowerPoint presentation on the finer points of salesmanship, Paul walked us through the seven steps of Professional Successful Selling.
With lots of humor sprinkled throughout, Paul described each step with good examples that could be used to encourage our personal and professional contacts to participate in supporting our golf tournament with advertising, sponsorship, and golfers. We raise about $70,000 every year through the tournament and Tastes of the Valley. That allows the Community Service Committee to award about $35,000 in grants and the International Service Committee about $15,000 per year. Our fundraising success enabled our $150,000 commitment to FAVARH for the new Rotary building opening this summer.
Using the example of our most successful salesperson, Paul invoked the Nancy Nation selling technique. We should all strive to emulate Nancy, our head Cheerleader.
Paul uses a "crib sheet" with all the pertinent facts about the event and his goals for each prospect. Make sure you understand what is important to each potential supporter and what level of support might best suit them. Be prepared, dress for success, be polite, make your case, and most importantly, "Don't leave without closing the deal!"
Paul closed by call us to action. We have a goal of raising $110,000 this year, which could generate $60-65,000 in net profit to support all of our programs and grants this coming year.
Review Paul's complete presentation by clicking on this link: How to Get What You Want, Now!

Mail Bag
None today
Photo Credits 
Photographs courtesy of Phil Worley unless otherwise noted.
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?