Monday, August 27, 2018

Rotary Youth Exchange Orientation on Laurel Island

Every year some students from our District 7980 go abroad on a Youth Exchange experience and we have students come here from various countries. Soon after the students arrive, the Youth Exchange team helps them get comfortable and we provide some instruction on how to get along as an exchange student in New England.  On August 25 and 26th the Youth Exchange leadership of District 7980 hosted an inbound student orientation meeting on Laurel Island in East Hampton, Connecticut.  Exchange students and the Youth Exchange leadership from Districts 7890, 7910 and 7950 as well as students from 7980 were there.

Our District, 7980, has students from Taiwan at Norwich, Italy at Orange, Bolivia at Middletown, Thailand at Deep River, Belgium at East Hampton, Peru at Westport, Japan at New Canaan and Brazil at Monroe.  It is wonderful that these clubs are hosting the students and thanks to Carol Williams and Joanne Corvino who are the leaders of District 7980 Youth Exchange.

Here are Rotary leaders from 7980 and 7950 discussing the training which will soon occur

We have started involving return Youth Exchange students in our program. Here are three past exchange students who helped with this training. They were very helpful and supportive.


One of the training points is to acquaint the students with English idioms. Another is to talk about what they should not do. Here they are getting the information

On Sunday there was a picnic for club Youth Exchange leaders and host families and others. Governor Larry and his wife Sharon attended the picnic met the students and others. Here is Sharon with AG Chris Hoeffel

Here during the picnic some students and visitors took advantage of the recreational opportunities on Laurel Island

More than 90 people came to the picnic on Sunday, met the students and talked about Youth Exchange and other subjects. Many of the attendees were future host families for these students. 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Membership-New Members Best Practices




Governor Larry has set a goal of identifying best practices for bringing in and engaging new members. Here we will keep a list of practices used to bring in new members by our clubs in Southern Connecticut.





Rotary International has tips on bringing in new members at


https://www.rotary.org/en/tips-increasing-club-membership






Member Added Practices tried in District 7980-Southern Connecticut

Have a public event every month-Mystic Rotary club
         Fellowship events, service projects, meetings, cocktail hours-have members invite their friends and colleagues and publicize them in the press
Quarterly bring your friend to the club-Trumbull Rotary Club
         Do this quarterly and have the expectation that members will bring a friend
Have co-chair or chair of Membership be someone young-Trumbull Rotary Club

Add to our list-If you've seen or thought of  an approach to bringing in new members comment on this blog or send a note to Arisleyda Riehl, the District Membership Addition Chair or one of the Governors-Larry, Jack, Ron. We will update the list.





Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Middletown Rotary Club-An Idea for a Program

The President of Middletown Rotary Club, Eric Rodko, has had some great programs in July including the Official visit by our Governor. On July 31 he invited the Presidents of nearby Rotary Clubs for a discussion of what makes your club great and how to improve your club. He had Guy Tomassi of Guilford and Daryl Porto of Wallingford as well as me, pinchhitting for Mark Cibula of East Hampton.  He asked us three questions and we had a great discussion on how to make our clubs more vibrant. What a great idea for a club program that any of us can do. It fosters interclub interactions and gets us talking about what we like and what we'd like  more of in Rotary.
 On the left, Eric Rodko, President of Middletown, describing the discussion we are about to have

On the left, Guy Tomassi of Guilford describing why his club is vibrant

Eric and the three speakers in the Rotary Club of Middletown  picture frame.
Organize a club event like this at your club.
Isn't that picture frame idea neat!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Northeast President Elect Training Seminar-Putting it Together

Each year Rotary clubs have a President who makes the club happen. The year before, the District Governors to be, help those Presidents to be learn what it takes to make a club vibrant,exciting and provide service to their town and the world. There are many elements to this training for the President to be, but an important element is the President Elect Training Seminar(PETS). In our area the Districts covering New England and a small part of Canada, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont get together and in three days provide a remarkable amount of information to the Presidents to be and the Area Governors for these Districts.

So the District Governor Elects from the Districts get together in July
to work out a plan for the coming years' PETS. Here's some of
them July 7 in East Hampton, Connecticut


Here are the 8 Governor Elects. Notice that the photographer has
made a classic error, they are in the shade with a bright background. Neverthess
they are there, 5 guys and three gals during the planning of 2019 PETS
The spouses and others for the Governor Elects were present and enjoyed
a great weekend. We adjourned to a restaurant Saturday night to eat and
hear live music. Here is the President of East Hampton Rotary Club, who
just happened to be at the restaurant, talking with Joan the Governor Elect
in Massachusetts. Her husband is on her left.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Middletown Rotary Club  President Eric Rodko

I recently made my first official club visit as district governor to the Rotary Club of Middletown. This is a very impressive club numbering roughly 50 members.  The club is very active in the Middletown community, collaborating with other organizations to make Middletown a better place.  Some of the projects they support include the Middletown Community Thanksgiving Project; Amber Alert; Warm the Children; The Wilfredo Nieves Dictionary for Students, Family Literacy Program; Tools of the Trade; Polio Eradication; and hosting – in partnership with the East Hampton Rotary Club – an International exchange high school student from Bolivia.  There is also a strong emphasis on supporting local youth with programs including the high school Student of the Month Awards; local Community Service Awards; “Service Above Self” scholarships to civically active high school seniors; engaging Rotary Interact clubs at Mercy High School and Independent Day School; and providing “Tools of the Trade” to high school seniors from Vinal Tech.

It was a delight to meet the members of this club; they were all very friendly and welcoming.  I'm looking forward to a return visit soon.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Woodbridge Rotary Club 47th anniversary dinner and Installation of Officers

Woodbridge Rotary Club installed new officers and celebrated the last year on June 15, 2018





Larry Gardner, about to be District Governor, installed the new President Spenser Rubin
And his team Diane Millan, Jessica Halprin, Tom Shernow, Neelima Kaushal, Tony Anastaio,

Tony Anastaio the current President, gave a wonderful talk
on what is a Rotarian. He recounted various projects and talked
about the fellowship

Bill DeRosa was the Master of Ceremonies and did a great job.
He was also given a surprise Paul Harris in honor of his
long work for the club

Monday, June 11, 2018

RYLA Alumni Attend Graduation of Current RYLA High School Seniors

Some RYLA facilitators in caps and gowns with the RYLA alumni
behind them
RYLA Creates bonds between the participants and with the Facilitators and Leaders. District 7980 has a RYLA alumni group which helps run the RYLA and preserves the alumni relationship with ongoing RYLAs. Recently some RYLA facilitators graduated from high school and RYLA alumni showed up to honor the graduates.
Jason and Kate. Jason has been a facilitator at several RYLAs
and Kate organizes the RYLA alumni and is a Rotaractor