Russell Hampton
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Gary Miller
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
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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
February 21, 2020
Kathy Subasic-Forever Home
Simple Solutions to Make Your Home Work for You
Sergeant-at-Arms Report
Members Present: 29
Visiting Rotarians: Rich Friedman - Rotary Youth Exchange - Speaker  
Susan and Steve Mitchell (Prospective Members)
James Thornett (Guest of Rollie and Future Speaker): 
James Thornett is the founder and CEO of BUCKSHEE bourbon and rye. A former member of the British special forces in the first Iraq war, James returned to Baghdad in 2004 as a contracted civilian security consultant at the US Embassy in Baghdad. During his assignment there, he realized that the 30,000 residents in the secure "Green zone", mostly Westerners and Americans, had no access to liquor, so James created a secret distribution network and became the largest smuggler of alcohol into Baghdad.  Also, with fellow "investors", James renovated an abandoned building in the "green zone" into a first-class bar called the Baghdad Country Club which is the topic of James's presentation to the club on June 5. James and his BUCKSHEE BOURBON will have a tasting table at our TOTV event. James's father is president of a Rotary club in England. James lives with his family in Avon.) 
Happy Dollars: $35.00
Raffle Winner: Ike Eickenhorst - $20
Kurt Lux says he joined Rotary to spend more time with Jolly and all the great people she came home to tell him about after Friday Rotary meetings. He has worked with people with disabilities for years after starting out as a job coach 20-30 years ago. Kurt works for a company that works as the go-between for non-profits and government agencies. They provide cleaning and other services to employ disabled persons at state and federal government facilities. They also run a large call center which provides full-time jobs.
Luke Violette is a new member who enjoys coming to Rotary every Friday morning. He says his girlfriend is a bit skeptical about all the women at Rotary who Luke seems to compelled to join for breakfast each week.  Luke works in the wealth management field with a firm in Blue Back Squa
Natasha Haims also had a recent birthday and read a poem she had written for the occasion:

My birthday came & went
I didn’t celebrate nor did I donate
To my favorite place, 
My second family, Rotary of Avon - Canton

I can’t believe I waited so long to meet you
It must be the fault of Michael (with the last name I can’t pronounce & I’m Russian)!!!!
Why did he wait so long to introduce us?

You guys make me proud of 
All the work that we do
Either with Local cause or International

You are not selfish,
You build people up 
You rebuild lives
So others can create and donate 

I can’t imagine my World without you
Thanks for being a part of my Life!!!
Grateful for making another year around the Sun!!!!

by Natasha G. Haims

Today was Valentines Day. President Heather greeted each member at the door with a Valentine card.
Happy Dollars
Don Bonner was pleased to report that his daughter would be having her second child on Tuesday--a baby girl.
Alicia Canning was recently returned from participating in the Pre-PETS training on Saturday as part of her succession to Club President in July. She will be headed to the three day PETS seminar in March.
Gary Miller said that he and Debbie enjoyed the Canton Interact Open Mike Night on Wednesday. Natasha Haims came with a friend and Jolly and Kurt Lux were there to celebrate the benefit for GLO. He was disappointed that other Rotarians were unable to attend a great performance by the very talented Canton high school students.
Natasha Haims was happy to say she had a recent birthday and read a poem she had written. (See the Birthday section above) 
Greg DeManche was showing off his Valentine heart tie which was having an 18th anniversary. His youngest daughter was having her 18th birthday today.
Dale Bronson was recently in New Haven at Yale-New Haven Transplantation Center for the 7th anniversary of his lifesaving transplant. The doctors reported that his platelet count was the highest they'd seen since his transplant.
Peter Vignati and his wife were heading off to New Zealand for vacation.
Kurt Lux said that Open Mike Night was very successful and raised nearly $1000 for GLO. He and Jolly enjoyed meeting the parents and other customers at the Maple Tree Cafe. 
Ann Clark reminded members that more sponsors were needed.  Flyers for TOTV are available to be posted in officers, various businesses, or other places which would attract attendees. Restaurants and beverage vendors have been lined up. Now it is up to members to sell tickets. The goal is to sell 300+ tickets and to net $20k.
Gary Roman announced that Sarah Leathers' mother had fallen and hurt her neck. Consequently Sarah was unable be here to receive a check from Community Services Committee for Healing Meals.
Jolly Lux had the TOTV 50/50 Raffle jar with her. She was collecting raffle contributions stating, "You can't win if you don't play."
Calendar of Upcoming Events
2/12: Interact open mic event at the Maple Tree Cafe.
2/19: Rotary Pub Night
3/7: Rotary Pub Night at FAVARH's Rotary Building
3/28: Tastes of the Valley tickets available now. $50.00 / regular ticket. $75.00 / VIP ticket, which includes the VIP function 90 minutes ahead of the main event.
5/29: President's Installation Dinner.  Details to follow.
6/??: Rotary Pub Night will be held at President Heather's new home
9/14: 37th Annual Charity Golf Tournament at the Golf Club of Avon
Induction of New Members
Susan and Steven Mitchell were introduced by sponsor Gary Miller to the membership. Susan is a Director of US Horse Rescue. Steve is a partner of Mitchell Auto Group and is a Justice of the Peace. Both have been very active with the Farmington Valley Trails Council and the East Coast Greenway. President Heather Pantano and members of the club performed our traditional membership and welcoming ritual.

None Today
Community and International Service Grants
None Today
Richard Friedman
Rotary Youth Exchange
President Heather Pantano introduced visiting Rotarian, Rich Friedman, who is the Youth Exchange Program Coordinator for District 7890. 11,000 students per year participate in Rotary Youth Exchange which has long-term and short-term programs. The long-term program is a full academic year program, while the short-term program lasts two months during the summer.
Rich reminded our members that our club was very active prior to 9-11. Rollie Sterrett and Ike Eickenhorst were our YEX Chairs when we had students from Avon and Canton taking years abroad and International students coming here to stay with families in Avon and Canton.
Since 9-11, the long-term program has suffered due to the perception by many foreign families that the United States is a violent country due to the school shootings and other gun violence. Travel regulations have also become far more stringent making VISAs and other travel permits harder to receive.
Students are get nominated and approved to participate in YEX are thoroughly screened and matched with their exchange families and countries. The participate in an orientation program and are checked monthly while involved in the program. 41 countries are involved around the world. 9 District 7890 students are currently involved in the long-term program. 3 are on the short-term program--one of which is a student sponsored by our club. We sponsored two students last year.
The short-term program was very simple. The club nominates students who then screened and matched with available slots. The program coordinator in Rhode Island makes the final matches. Then the families get involved and start to exchange information with the host families. The parents pay the airfare and Rotary handles all the fees which are $290. The students are exchanged for one month. The foreign student stays with the US host family's student for one month and then the local and foreign student spent a month with the foreign host family. Rotary's expectation is that each student will get to experiment the normal routine of each family.
The long-term program has higher fees--$800 for administration, $700 for insurance and the cost of airfare. Students spend a third of the year with each of three host families.
Learn more by clicking the YEX logo or link above.

Special Announcements
Josh Gillooly announced that each Rotarian was handed 4 tickets to Tastes of the Valley to sell at $50.00 a piece. If anyone is interested in VIP tickets or a sponsorship please him or Colleen Grasso. Vendors are also needed.
Mail Bag
Photo Credits 
Photographs courtesy of Phil Worley & Michael 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?