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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 2, 2024
Community Paul Harris Awards
Joanne Santiago, Officiating
Golf Club of Avon
Invocation: Gary Hyde, TPU* (Ret.)
(*Treasurer Par Excellence)
"May we place service above self in our daily endeavors and may we always test ourselves in our efforts to be sure that they are the truth, good for all concerned, of benefit to mankind and provide peace and understanding." - Gary Hyde
Sergeant-at-Arms Report
Rotarians Present: 33
Visiting Rotarians:  None
Guests: Lauren Altschuler, prospective member
Happy Dollars: $54
Raffle Winner: Rollie Sterrett CUA (Colgate University Alumnus)
Birthdays: Debbie Altshwager 1/24 (absent) and Steve Morris 1/25
Steve Morris explained that he's been a member for just 7 years which he's enjoyed however, his relationship with, and enjoyment of Rotary has expandd during that time, especially as his beloved bride Cherie has also joined.
In contrast to those who might want to get away from their spouse, he quipped, he enjoys that they can be together in service to others. Steve also noted that he made the customary contribution to the Rotary Foundation.
Happy Dollars
Gary Miller was happy to have visited his sister, a Saratoga Springs N.Y. Rotarian, who has been ill. She has been at Paul Harris Plus 1 donor status, so in her honor Gary donated to her Rotary account and then on 1/24/24 surprised her by driving up to Saratoga Springs, attending her Rotary meeting, and personally presenting her with her Paul Harris Plus 2 jewelry.
Diana Boorjian donated 20 Happy Dollars in gratitude for the many chefs who delivered meals during her illness.
Rollie Sterrett noted that Luke's alma mater, Quinnipiac University, had been the Division 1 national champion in ice hockey. Last week Rollie and his wife traveled to watch his own alma mater, Colgate University, defeat that very same Quinnipiac. Upon his return, and in his thoughtfulness, Rollie sent Luke the press release of the game's outcome. Colgate later went on to beat Princeton University, 6-3. Further noting that Tom Voorhees, is a Princeton alumnus, he added that the Colgate and Princeton coaches had earlier played together on an earlier Colgate team, reportedly in the mid sixties (The 1960's just to be clear.). The two coaches exchanged a handshake and a hug at game's end. 
Learn more about famous and remarkable Colgate University here:
Alicia Canning had an unfortunate car accident two months ago, then hurt her neck shoveling snow, and finally hit a deer with her, by then new, car. Alicia highly recommends Joanne S. as a highly skilled chiropractor. Considering her recent run of bad luck, she should be due for some good luck soon! This might be just the time to split a Powerball ticket with Alicia! You get well soon Alicia!
Phil & Beth Ferrari's Superbowl Party has already had a good sized number of people RSVP in the affirmative.
Greg DeManche congratulated for Rollie being such a good sport. His humility and magnanimity are enormous. ;-)
Bill Barnes reported that his 24-year-old grandson recently choked on his food while in a restaurant, and a medically trained high school girl, present with a group of friends, emerged from the crowd and performed the Heimlich maneuver, saving his life. The incident made the local TV news and later, the victim and rescuer were able to meet.
Peter Vignati reported that his beloved bride Susanne recently broke two bones and severed a tendon in her foot and is recovering at home with a great deal of support equipment. The Simsbury Medical Locker provides these items to local resident on a loan basis. Sounds a bit like Susanne and Alicia have had similar luck lately! Let's pray that's the end of it!
Debbie Stanwood's mother-in-law would have been 100 in February, but had expressed a desire not to be. As if on cue, the dear lady passed away just before what would have been her 100th birthday, and is now back with her late husband Jack. Debbie noted a rainbow was seen on the day she passed, and took it as a sign that her mother-in-law was alright, and back together again with Jack.
Luke Violette surprised members in noting the Happy Dollars he was donating today, were to be the happiest he's ever contributed. Two other, regular meeting early birds, Sue and Deb have been worried about Luke's recent and uncharacteristic lateness. Luke shared the reason for the change in his recent tardiness, which is that he and his bride Katie will be adding a family member, a baby boy, on July 12th.
Sue Budde continues to work on forming a social committee. Sue seeks members from all walks of life to plan outings agreeable to all. She has assured members that involvement won't be a huge amount of work, and the Committee, once formed, will elect its own chair. She's looking for 5 or 6 people. Christine Lamadrid suggested a co-ed baby shower as the Committee's first activity which, in light of recent revelations, may make a lot of sense! More later! Contact Sue to learn more.
Luke reminded members about the upcoming February 10th, Habitats for Humanity opportunity. Please register with the online link Dick Kisiel has previously sent out.
February 10 - Habitat for Humanity
February 11 - Super Bowl Party at the home of Phil and Beth Ferrari (Check with Phil about what to bring)
April 20 - Tastes of the Valley at Farmington Gardens. Colleen Grasso has details and will need help.
Induction of New Members
None this week.
Joanne Santiago, on behalf of the Club and the Rotary Foundation, recognized Ann Clark with a Paul Harris Plus 2 pin ("Jewelry"), which includes two sapphires. Kudos to Ann!a
Later in the meeting, Ann reflected on how shocked she was to receive the Paul Harris recognition today, and that in the last week she's had two great surprises. Last Friday morning in the  Golf Club's parking lot, fellow Rotarian and artist Don Bonner presented Ann with a painting of his, that she had previously admired, and which is now hanging in her office. She expressed her gratitude to Don for his friendship and his talent.
Community and International Service Grants
None this week.
Club Day
 Committee Chair Updates
President Luke introduced each Committee speaker in turn. Below is a summary of those updates.
International Service Committee: Yvonne Gardner chairwoman. The International Service Committee's mission statement was read aloud. Their funding priorities include clean water, health and education, and they welcome new members. Meetings are every second Friday.
Membership Committee: Peter Vignati chairman. The Membership Committee meets every third Friday. Their goal is to increase the Club's membership by 10% or 6 people per year. So far this year two new members have joined. There will be a membership social event on March 21st, 6 -8 PM at Golf Lounge 18 in the Shoppes. Games will be played. Peter asked that members think about who we already know that might be encouraged to join. Refer them to Peter by email and they will receive a personal invitation to the membership event and/or a regular meeting.
Treasurer's report: Phil Ferrari, treasurer: Phil reported $470K net assets (total assets less liabilities) and as of December 31st,  $524,000 total assets. The golf outing was profitable and our investments have also done well, picking up $9000 in investment income, which includes our scholarship monies. Major spending categories  include the Community Service Committee which has so far spent $15,000, half their annual budget. The International Committee similarly spent about half their budget, $7000.00. The upcoming Tastes of the Valley will boost us up again and we are financially secure and doing well. Rollie asked about the disposition of Nancy Nation's gift to the Club? Phil reported there has been considerable deliberation but to date, no action has been taken. Meanwhile the funds are parked in a CD while we consider how to employ them. Luke added, that if members have suggestions, to please share them.
Tastes of the Valley Committee: Chairwoman Colleen Sullivan. TOTV will be held on April 20th at Farmington Gardens. Said Colleen, "it's a great venue and we are bringing back the VIP session. The entertainment will be a DJ, one who adapts to the audience he is with, and will be sensitive to the volume." The ring toss is returning courtesy of Norcom. Raffle only this year, no auction. Goal to have ~$100 raffles items. A digital flip book will be offered to vendors and sponsors. Colleen requested help with the raffle, help with the ring toss. and bottles of liquor to raffle.
Community Service Committee: No report.
President Luke Violette noted the Board has had long discussions about the Club's future. Your "why" is important, .... why is it you show up. Is it the camaraderie, the service element, or the education system involvement or some combination of all three? The optics of the Club were discussed, and Luke emphasized that when one thinks of "service" we want people to think of Rotary, so we need to improve how we conduct ourselves inside and outside of our meetings. The Bylaws and Constitution do not currently include a code of conduct, which most clubs already have. We have therefore adopted the Rotary International Code of Conduct:
As a Rotarian, I will:
1. Act with integrity and high ethical standards in my personal and professional life
2. Deal fairly with others and treat them and their occupations with respect
3. Use my professional skills through Rotary to mentor young people, help those with special needs, and improve people’s quality of life in my community and in the world
4. Avoid behavior that reflects adversely on Rotary or other Rotarians
5. Help maintain a harassment-free environment in Rotary meetings, events, and activities; report any suspected harassment; and help ensure non-retaliation to those individuals that report harassment
Luke added that he is very proud of our Club and our Clubs success. Embracing the code of conduct, ethics and the Golden Rule are all important to the integrity of the Club. Treat all persons with respect. Christine congratulated Luke and the Board for making these principles a part of our underpinnings.
Cal Miller proposed we consider participating in an upcoming Avon Historical Society event, Tablescapes, to promote Rotary. We could arrange for a table at the event, March 15 and 16. The event will showcase up to 30 creative and original table settings from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at the historic North House, 1 Nod Road, Avon, Connecticut.

Special Announcements

None this week.
Mail Bag
None this week.
Photo Credits
Photos by editor
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?