Russell Hampton
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Bulletin Editor
Arnie Goldman
Getting to Know our Members
Getting to Know Lisa Barall-Matt

Lisa Barall-Matt was born in Hartford, Connecticut as one of four siblings, having a sister and two brothers. After living in Bloomfield through her high school graduation, she went to Ithaca College. Upon finishing school, Lisa took a computer programming job at Aetna. What was going to be two to five year stint at Aetna turned into a career as an information technologies executive with a run of twenty-two years.

Lisa got restless living the corporate life and decided in 2002 to “retire” from Aetna. She then entered the real estate profession and continues to practice today. Lisa has been with Re/MAX since becoming a realtor and has been its number one agent in Connecticut for six of the last eight years.

Along the way, Lisa was blessed with “two amazing daughters” - Leah, who is a Doctor of Pharmacy and practices in California where she lives with her husband Tom and their two dogs, and Dena, who is a Harvard Law graduate and practicing attorney specializing in Private Equity with Kirkland and Ellis in the Boston area, where she lives with her husband Matt and a golden retriever named Newman.

In 2006 Lisa decided to take a chance on a second marriage and married the “love of her life and best friend” Todd. Together she and Todd raised two more “amazing kids” - Tyler, who is a Clemson graduate with a degree in Biomedical Engineering currently serving as a Naval Officer out of Virginia, and Morgan, who is a Virginia Tech graduate working as an Industrial Designer at Proctor and Gamble in Boston.

One of Lisa’s passions is children. She has been actively involved with fundraising for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which her uncle Simon Konover built at Paul Newman’s request. She is now heavily engaged for the second year with the planning committee for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center annual gala.

This fall Lisa and her husband will be spending two weeks in Germany and Denmark. Lisa’s father, Stanley Barall and her grandfather, David Konover were the two founding members of the Bloomfield Rotary.

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
The Annotated Guide to Ending Polio
GLO Fall 2017 Mission Trip
Eastern Europe Trip to Vienna and Prague Presentation
Avon Village Center Project Presentation
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
Upcoming Meeting Speaker
Club Forum at Season's Restaurant, Avon Old Farms Inn
Paul Mikkelson with all Club Members
Sergeant-at-Arms Report
May 24, 2019
Members Present: 34
Make-Ups: None  
Guests (9):
Jeff Borges, prospective member, was introduced by Sue Budde.
Tim Legeyt (honoree) and his wife Carey Legeyt were introduced by Rollie Sterrett.
Lisa Bohman (honoree) and her husband Bill Bohman were introduced by Paul Mikkelson.
Lauren Traceski (honoree), her father Fran Traceski and her mother Janet Traceski were introduced by Steve Morris.
Mel Reno, FAVARH Board of Directors member, was also introduced by Steve Morris.
Visiting Rotarians: Mary Etter, visiting Bristol Club Rotarian and its president-elect, was introduced by Steve Morris.
Happy Dollars: $??? (amount unknown)
Raffle Winner: Tom Voorhees
Convene & Come to Order
Little is written of our Rotary Club's weekly coming to order rituals, and this Editor believes our members, including those who may have to miss any given meeting, take note of the significance and unifying value of these regular "convening ceremonies." Our weekly Pledge of Allegiance (to the United States of America) recognizes our patriotism, but also our willingness to accept, along with the rights guaranteed us by the Constitution of 1787, the responsibilities of being an American citizen. Our weekly vocal rendition of one of several well-known patriotic songs, adds a depth of emotion to our expression of thankfulness for the blessings of being an American. Finally, our weekly invocation or prayer acknowledges our humility, and our gratitude: to God, to our fellow human beings and to our fellow Rotarians, for the opportunity to engage in Service-Before-Self through Rotary, and for the blessings of fellowship, friendship and community. In consideration of the foregoing, we note the following:
This week Salin Low eloquently and solemnly offered "In Flanders Fields" as preamble to her invocation, ahead of this, pre-Memorial Day, Rotary Club meeting:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow,
Between the corpses, row on row,
That marks our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Happy Dollars
Salin Low believes (tongue-in-cheek) the Club needs a policy for makeups. She recently attended an unrelated event where she saw Gary Roman, Chuck Joseph and another Rotarian and therefore had almost a quorum (or 4/10ths of a minion, as Gary Miller graciously pointed out). "Just how many members have to be together to get credit for a makeup meeting?", asked Salin.
Bob Cave will be taking his granddaughter to Yellowstone National Park and the Tetons next week, a rite of passage for the Cave family.
Joanne Santiago was 5 dollars happy in honor of our Community Paul Harris Fellow Award recipients and also those who set up the American flags on our tables for Memorial day.
Gary Miller thanked Sean Blacker for all he does and for his help with our meeting pre-Memorial day. He noted that our two District scholarship students were not here this morning, but they are going to the Netherlands and France for a year very soon. They will be back at the Club next year to tell us all about their trips.
Robin DiNicola congratulated the Community Paul Harris Fellow Award recipients, one of which is her best friend Lisa Bohman.
Jolly Lux congratulated our Club which recently won a District International Grant, and she displayed the check for everyone to see. We were the only Club in the entire District that received an "international award", a rare and high honor.  Thanks were given to all who supported the effort On June 9th Jolly will be going to Uganda to oversee implementation of the grant
Mary Etter, president-elect of the Bristol Rotary Club, was happy to celebrate Lauren Tracenski's upcoming recognition.
[Photo courtesy Mike Mezheritskiy]
Sean Blacker had 5 happy dollars for Memorial day and asked all our veterans to stand and be recognized, which they were with great enthusiasm. Said Sean, "On behalf of me and Avon Old Farms Inn, thank you for your service."
Mike Mezheritskiy recognized Jim Gordon for an award he recently received, the Lauren Bristol Spirit Award, from the Avon Chamber of Commerce. Way to go Jim!
Don Bonner reminded those who hope to attend the Presidents Installation Dinner to register and pay forthwith. He also congratulated our Community Paul Harris Fellow Award recipients.
Tom Voorhees needs help for upcoming Amber Alert ID sessions. see Tom for details.
Sue Budde announced the Canton Chamber of Commerce' golf tournament still has availability. See Sue for details.
Calendar of Upcoming Events
May 31:  Golf Club Committee Meeting, 1 PM at Seasons Restaurant in the Sun Room.  New members are urged to attend to learn about the tournament. 
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 to be held at the new FAVARH Rotary Building
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.

Community Paul Harris Fellow Award Presentations
[Photo courtesy Mike Mezheritskiy]
As is customary for Rotary Foundation presentations, president Mike Mezheritskiy introduced our Club's Rotary Foundation chairman, Dr. Joanne Santiago to initiate the ceremonies. Joanne explained that Community Paul Harris Fellow Awards, in the words of Rotary founder, Paul Harris, "designates a person whose life demonstrates a purpose consistent with Rotary principles."
Paul Mikkelson introduced our first pending Community Paul Harris Fellow awardee Lisa Bohman.
Paul explained that Lisa grew up in Canton, attended Canton schools and is a 4th generation resident of Canton. She attended and graduated from Trinity College with a bachelor's degree in music, subsequently interning with the Hartford Symphony. Thereafter Lisa was also employed by the Hartford Symphony as a public relations professional, which led to her 40-year career in public relations. That career has included employment at the Science Museum of Connecticut, McClean Nursing Home and the Connecticut Republican Caucus, for which she developed the first-of-its-kind cable access television show. For the last 18 years she has served as the Executive Director of the Avon Chamber of Commerce, and has working tirelessly to create an engaged and active membership. She also has served as co-chair of the Greater Hartford Chapter of the American Heart Association's Heart & Sold Auction. Presently she serves on the Salvation Army's Greater Hartford Advisory Board, reads for CRIS radio, is active in alumni networking and admissions networking programs at Trinity College and volunteers at assisted living facilities. She also likes to help people pick their dogs, and it has often been said that there isn't a dog that doesn't know and like Lisa.
Paul also noted that several past presidents of the Avon Chamber of Commerce were present including Peter Vignati and Robin DiNicola and incoming president Michael Mezheritskiy. Paul closed his comments by humbly taking full credit for hiring Lisa, 18 years ago. ;-)
Rollie Sterrett introduced our second pending Community Paul Harris Fellow awardee Tim Legeyt, by noting, "Tim is right over there, in the brown suit", and also, according to Rollie, Tim's mother called him Timothy.
Recently retired as state representative for the 17th General Assembly district after 10 years of service, Tim had served on the Appropriations, Education and Higher Education Committees and was ranking member on all three. During his final two years in the legislature, he also served as the Assistant Minority Leader. Tim is a lifelong resident of Canton, and his ancestors on his mother's side moved from Simsbury to Canton in 1738. Tim has served on Canton's Board of Selectmen, Charter Revision Commission, Canton Center Historic District Commission and since 1992 on the Board of Directors of Collinsville Savings Society. He has been a justice of the peace since 1989.
Tim graduated from Central Connecticut State University, magna cum laude, with a bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1975. Thereafter he taught first and second grades for 33 years at Canton's Cherry Brook Primary School, later attending and graduating from Western New England School of Law with a juris doctor degree.  Since 1989 Tim has practiced law part time, in Canton.
Tim and his wife Carey have been married for almost 44 years and Carey is recently retired from Trinity College, where she was director of financial aid for 21 years. Tim and Carey have 2 sons, Burton and Benjamin, and as of now, 3 grandchildren, 2 girls and 1 boy, ages 4  through 8.
Don Bonner introduced our third and final pending Community Paul Harris Fellow awardee, Miss. Lauren Traceski.
Don is very proud of Lauren and what she's been doing to advocate for our state's residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities ("IDD"). Just 26-years-old, Lauren is already an accomplished advocate, having given a presentation to the Connecticut legislature's Intellectual & Developmental Disability Caucus on the successful employment of IDD residents of Connecticut. Notably, "I have a disability, but I'm not handicapped." is Lauren's signature tag line.
In another initiative, Lauren spent the latter half of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 advocating for modernization of the "Handicapped Parking" signs throughout the state, pushing to make them more representative of the active lives that many IDD residents live. The original sign depicted a more passive, wheelchair-bound figure that conveyed a sense of victim-hood, as compared to the new sign, which depicts a more vibrant and self-directing figure.  Lauren lobbied many individual legislators, eventually resulting in an affirmative vote by the full legislature and the Governor's signature. In a surprise honor, Governor Malloy signed a ceremonial bill in Lauren's presence at FAVARH's Canton campus: .
Lauren has also spoken at Aetna Insurance Company in Hartford, which subsequently became the first major employer to institute the sign change on their various properties. Lauren is now a regular visitor at the state Capitol and speaker to the IDD Caucus on the importance to IDD residents of employment opportunities, housing support and wider community engagement. She has presented to the Public Health Committee on a wage increase bill for those who work with and provide support to the disabled. This legislation passed in 2018. In her advocacy work, Lauren has become a fixture in local media, in one example working alongside ARC CT to advance legislation that preserved IDD services. She has also been interviewed by Fox-61 News, and the Hartford Courant.
Over the past 4 years Lauren has presented to the Rotary Club of Avon Canton, Hartford Insurance Group and Canton Center Congregational Church, among others. Currently employed at Beanz & Co. in Avon, Lauren has also completed media interviews while at work. Beanz & Co. is known for hiring IDD workers, and Lauren has served as a spokeswoman on several occasions.
In her personal life, Lauren enjoys acting with the FAVARH Players, and will play a role in the upcoming production of Beauty and the Beast, with 5 shows to be presented at the Rice Auditorium at Northwest Catholic High School, Friday June 21st through Sunday June 23rd (Call 860-693-6662 or online at to purchase tickets). Currently Lauren is learning to play the ukulele and is looking forward to getting her own apartment and the expanded independence that will bring. She intends to continue to advocate for our IDD residents.
Upon completion of all three formal award introductions, the Club's Rotary Foundation chair Joanne asked all three recipients to come to the front to pose for photographs while receiving their award certificates, lapel pins (a.k.a. "jewelry") and medals (a.k.a. "regalia"). A robust round of standing applause was then given for our three new Community Paul Harris Fellows! Joanne said: "You were selected to receive this award because we believe your life demonstrates the values of the Rotary Foundation. We congratulate you for selflessly helping others in the local community and the world."
[Photo courtesy Mike Mezheritskiy]
Each recipient was then given the opportunity to offer comments to the assembled Rotarians:
Lisa said:  "I'm humbled by this honor today. In looking at past and today's recipients, it shows the value of this acknowledgement. I've always lived my life to do good without the expectation of anything in return, but I thank you for recognizing my efforts and for acknowledging me."
Speaking second, Tim thanked Rotary for what is, in his words: "the impressive honor I received today." He also took note of how Lauren and his paths keep crossing. She was a student at Cherry Brook Primary School when he was still teaching there and also saw her when she appeared in the state legislature, where she was "so impressive." Just recently, Tim noted, he again saw Loren with her boyfriend at the Jamboree in Canton.
Continuing, Tim said: "A life of service is based on relationships and goodness. When meeting someone I think of the possibility of developing a relationship with that person, and it fills me up. When I can serve others and groups, it serves my religious bent as well, and there are many wonderful opportunities to spread goodness. I've also told others who may despair that truth, that there is so much goodness that goes on, that doesn't get heralded or publicized, but it's what underpins all the relationships we have and that's also what underpins me. I'm so honored to receive this award today."
Concluding, Lauren said "I'm so thankful for my family, my friends and everybody that is letting me speak on behalf of the world, and I can't believe that in June I'll be among the FAVARH Players. It would be so wonderful if some of you came out and saw our shows, and of course I want to keep speaking for those who can't speak for themselves."

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?