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Bulletin Editor
Larry Haber
Jun 09, 2023
Jun 16, 2023
Aid to Haiti
Jun 23, 2023
African Education Partnership
Jun 30, 2023
July 4th Weekend
Jul 07, 2023
Guatemalan Water Project
Jul 14, 2023
Live Life to the Fullest
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Executives & Directors
President Elect
Immediate Past President
Rotary Foundation
Board Member-at-Large
Board Member-at-Large
Interact Chair
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
All meetings are hybrid both in-person and Zoom available
District Site
Venue Map
February 17, 2023
Karen Cook, Director
Summit Adaptive Sports
The meeting will be held both in person and via Zoom. 
Watch for an email from the Club for Zoom access and
please note we use a recurring ID for your convenience.
Sergeant-at-Arms Report - 
Rotarians Present: 33 
Visiting Rotarians: 
Randy Chapel - District Governor
Jeff Rivard - Guest Speaker & President, Farmington Rotary Club
Guests: Ayele Connell - Head Chef, Healing Meals; Guest of Sara Leathers.
Happy Dollars: 13
Raffle Winner: Mike Sherber $20
Fines: None today.
Kurt Lux (2/9) - Not in Attendance
Luke Violette (2/12) will be 35 on Sunday.  He took a fall this week, while physically unhurt, his wife has taken every opportunity to remind him of his advancing age.  
Happy Dollars

Bill Barnes reported that a group from the Farmington Valley Symphony had the opportunity to share their love of music by playing mini concerts at each of Farmington's 4 elementary schools.  They set up a "petting zoo" so the kids could handle the instruments. The Symphony will also be playing a short concert from 7 -8 PM on 2/17 at the Farmington High School.  Each member of the orchestra has been paired with a high school student who will play with them.  All are welcome to attend this free concert. 
District Governor Randy Chris is happy to be here today.  This is the best part of his job.  He also had a happy/sad dollar, that his son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter were heading off to a vacation in PR.
Jeff Rivard is happy that the club is having him here.
May 6, 2023 -  Tastes of the Valley at Golf Club of Avon
September 11, 2023 - Annual Charity Golf Tournament
October 19, 2023 - Club's 50th Anniversary Dinner
Induction of New Members
None this week.
None this week
Community and International Service Grants
Gary Roman announced the $800 donation that we are giving to Healing Meals for the purchase of a large commercial immersion blender.  Sara Leathers and Chef Ayele one of their hopes when they moved into the Tower Ridge space was to be able to serve more members.  Their kitchen is now 4X larger and trying to mix food for 1,000's of meals with a home style blender was very, very difficult.  They did about 26,000 meals last year and the goal for this year is 35,000.  Even with this expansion, they have a waiting list of people in need.  
Healing Meals has many opportunities, both for us as individuals and us as a club, for volunteer service on Tuesdays - Thursdays.  More to come on this topic.
District Governor
Randy Chapel
"If Rotary is to reach its proper destiny, it must be evolunary at all times and occasionally revolutionary."  The quote is from Paul Harris, who all the way back in 1905 realized that Rotary of the day would not be the Rotary of the future.   Up until 1987, Rotary was a men's only organization.  That changed in 1986, after a Supreme Court Ruling.  It has been a great change for our organization and in 2022, we have our first female president.  
Rotary, in terms of membership, has been static at around 1.2 million members. for 10 years.  The interesting statistic is that we brought in 1.2 million new members over these 10 years.  We are good at recruiting but not retention.  What can you do to attract and retain new members?  The district theme for this year is education.  Most problems in the world can be solved through better education.  Educated people make better decisions, but college is not the only route.  
Rotary Day of Service is being pushed back to May 20 because many of the projects are outdoors and the weather is too iffy in April.  We had two distracts last year join the effort.  This year we will have 8 districts, including Bermuda, and 450 clubs.   Not only is this a great way for us to do our mission, but can generate publicity as well, which we are not very good at.  Our scholarship programs are geared for the best, perhaps we need to invest more in the second tier to help them succeed.
As a district we have joined operation pollination, a project to protect bees habitat, that we have heard about in the past.  The district is also sponsoring.  There will be a webinar on 2/23 as to how to do this kind of project.  Grant seminar is the same day but these will be recorded.  See the district website for sign up and other information.  He also spoke about the training programs for incoming officers, which will be expanded this year.  As a reminder, all Rotarians are invited to attend.
The District Secretary had to resign for personal reasons and the position is open.  Please contact Randy if you might be interested in serving in this capacity.  A stipend for travel is available.
Elder Law
Jeff Rivard
Czepiga Daly Pope & Perri
Jeff was introduced by Bill Barnes, who disclosed that Jeff is his nephew.  Jeff is President of the Farmington Rotary Club.  He got his law degree from the Univ of CT after having done his undergraduate studies at Tufts University.  He is married with two children and two rescue dogs live in Farmington, where his son Alex just became an Eagle Scout.
Jeff was a dynamic speaker (as you would expect from a relative of Rev. Barnes) and had a fact rich presentation that this newsletter won't do justice.  (This is a hint as to why you might want to be at our meetings in person or on Zoom!)
Jeff asked if anyone new where the traditional retirement age came from?  It turns out it came from 1889 when Otto Von Bismarck in Germany initiated the first state pension.  Originally it was at age 70, they lowered it in 1916 to 65 and the US adopted that model in 1935.   Elder Law is not just about older folks.  We all have challenges and we are all getting older.  Approximately 60% of all people, at some time in their life, will have a disability lasting for more than 6 months.
In case you hadn't known this closely held secret, healthcare is expensive.  The average nursing home private pay cost is $14,060 per month.  The state uses this number when they penalize people who have gifted away assets in the 5 year period before they required state support in a nursing home.  Only about 10% of people in nursing home are private pay.  75% of people are on Medicaid.  At $168,000 a year, there are not a lot of families that won't need state aid.  15% is on Medicare, but Medicare will only cover for 90 days and only if you have been hospitalized for 3 nights (observation status does not count, so be careful), and only if it is still rehabilitation and not care.  A family may have only 24 hours to come up with a plan.  Medicaid pays only about 60% of the private pay rate.  Nursing homes need private pay to make a profit, so they look for deeper pockets.  One of the pitfalls is admission agreements, in which an unwary relative could find themselves on the hook.  Even signing as someone's power of attorney can be problematic, since nursing homes have been known to go after folks who they claim did not file the necessary paperwork for Medicaid in a timely fashion.  The five year look back period when you apply for Medicaid does two things.  It tells the state what assets you have now, which for a single person can only be $1,600 in countable assets.  They also want to know everything that was done in the last 5 years financially.  The state presumes that you were trying to get rid of assets to preserve them for your relatives and the state is aggressive in wanting those assets to pay for your care.  You have to prove the presumption wrong, such as when you have given every grandchild a $5,000 high school graduation present and one child graduated from high school less than 5 years ago.  A healthy spouse is allowed to retain $148,000 in countable assets.  Retirement accounts are considered countable assets in CT.  NY only counts the required distribution as income.  There are some strategies that can help, which is part of the reason that you may need legal advice.  It is much better to, if you want to protect your assets, to do it on a non crisis basis, long before you may need it as it may be too late when the disability has hit.

Special Announcements

None this week.
Mail Bag
None this week.
Photo Credits
Mike Mezheritskiy
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?