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

Friday, June 8, 2018

Scholarships Awarded by Rotary District 7980




Club in District 7980 Amount
Ansonia 1500
Beacon Falls 1000
Branford 7500
Bridgeport 27500
Cheshire 5000
Chester
Clinton 3500
Colchester 4500
Danbury
Darien
DeepRiver 4000
Derby-Shelton 18000
Devon
East Hampton 16000
East Haven
Essex
Fairfield 25000
Greenwich
Groton
Guilford 25500
Haddam-Killingworth
Hamden 2250
Ledyard
Madison 5000
Meriden
Middletown 7783
Milford 28000
Monroe 4000
Montville
Mystic
Naugatuck
New Canaan
New Haven
New London
Newtown 5000
Niantic
North Branford 1000
North Haven 12000
Norwalk
Norwich
Norwich Sunrise
Old Saybrook
Orange 6000
Ridgefield
Seymour-Oxford 1000
Stamford
Stoningtons
Stratford
Trumbull 23000
Wallingford
Waterbury
Waterford
West Haven 8500
Westport
Westport Sunrise
Wilton 2000
Woodbridge
Tribury 4000
Total for Scholarships 248533
Clubs in other Districts
Torrington-Winsted 22500

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Two New Interact Clubs and the Osterman Award at Stratford Rotary Club

The Stratford Rotary Club installed two new Interact clubs, one at Stratford High School and the other at Bunnel High School. The students are very enthusiastic and the principals and the superintendent were present to support the Interact Clubs. Also Governor Trish presented the Osterman Award to Stratford. The Osterman Award is given to the best small club in District 7980.
Here's Jeffrey Krause, the President of Stratford getting
everything started


Governor Trish discussing the role of an Interact Club
Governor Trish installing three officers from Stratford High and the President of Bunnel High
Here's some of the Interactors from Stratford High, they brought 15 students
to the lunch meeting


The Stratford Club was awarded the Osterman Cup for being the
Best Small Club in District 7980

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Membership Plan


Membership
Why do people stay in Rotary Clubs? Something in the club experience meets their needs, satisfies a desire they have.  In many clubs the members are friends with each other and stay in, just to keep up their friendships and enjoyable associations. The weekly meeting is a convenient way to do this. Providing service and creating value for their town is also an important need satisfied by the current membership model.

An essential element of the current member experience is the periodic meeting. And this meeting is an essential element of the value which members see.

Why would people join a Rotary Club. They might be looking to create new friendships and provide value to their town. The reputation of the club might be attractive to the potential new member. They might expect to enjoy the activities of the club. They might want to establish contact with the "movers and shakers" who are in the club. In any case finding the people in a town/area who are interested in a club is not a simple nor easy task. Most clubs find that a very small number of members bring in the vast majority of new members. That is not changed by cajoling and programs etc.

Once the person who is interested in joining the club is found, the membership experience s/he is looking for, must be provided quickly so that the person will remain in the club. Currently many clubs leave the assimilation of a new member to chance. It should be planned and organized.

There may be people who are not interested in the currently structured member experience. In particular it has been said that younger people do not have the time nor interest for a weekly meal meeting. The existing range of club experiences is very broad and there is the ability to make it even broader.

There may be nothing special about the meeting location. It's the conversations
and enjoyment of others company as well as service to your community
Here's a Rotary member with 62 years of service. He has valued the
friendship of club members and they have valued him.

Here are two new members of the New Haven Rotary Club. It is crucial that
we involve them in task and activities with other members on day 1
Here's a Rotary club program with the local Emergency Response team.
What a great opportunity to have a public meeting. The ERT reaches
out to the community and your Rotary club gets some visibility



So here are three elements of a membership plan(you may have additional ideas)
1. Finding New Members
 Hold public events, meetings, service projects(maybe one per month) and give these happenings lots of publicity. Make it clear at these events that membership in the Rotary Club is a possibility and to talk with a member. One club had a public event every month for 6 months and signed up 11 new members. Rotary Means Business is an excellent example of a Rotary Event that could be a public event and could be an attraction for new members.
2.Keeping New Members
 As soon as a person is inducted into the club assign an existing member to do a task with him/her for a month. Assign different people to do tasks with him/her in the next two months. These tasks can be small things like being the greeter at the meeting or doing the card game or ??  The idea is to have at least three different people work with the new member and hopefully establish friendships. Assign the new member to a specific service or fundraising committee right when they are installed.
3.Attracting Different People to Rotary

 To attract people who are not interested in the current member experience, find a few people, particularly younger people, and ask them to create a new member experience. It is very important that the new people design the new situation and that it is not done for them. Our goal is to have these people's creativity and knowledge create a whole new paradigm. You don't like a weekly meeting with a meal, well what would you like? Make this a satellite club. The members of the satellite club don't have to attend the existing meetings(but they can) and they establish the rules and duties for this new organization. The satellite club has its own service projects and fundraisers but it can also work on the main clubs' activities. If club members want to work on the satellite clubs activities, that's great. At some clubs where I have mentioned this, the club members are only focused on their existing clubs' meetings and projects and are not at all interested in this type of approach. The idea here is to create a new entity which gives a new and different set of people a Rotary experience. There will be synergy between the two entities but they need to be independent. By making it a satellite club we avoid a lot of red tape and it will work with a lower number of people.


Orange RC-Installation of Officers of Middle School Interact Club at St. Martins

The Interact Club at St. Martin De Porres school in New Haven is sponsored by Rotary Clubs at Orange, New Haven and Derby-Shelton. The Interact Clubs' officers for next year were installed on May 18 at Orange Rotary Club. The students are always inspiring. Of course Lynda Hammond of the Orange Club, who has done so much for that Interact Club was present. PDG Colin Gershon of New Haven and PDG Ernie Louise of Derby-Shelton were also there to celebrate the yearly transition. 

Governor Elect Larry Gardner did an inspiring job of Installing the new officers. 

Here's the soon to be past President reviewing her year. She was as
well spoken as any Rotary President

The President of Orange Rotary Club, Robert Sigler,  conducting the meeting and encouraging
Happy Sad contributions

Governor Elect Larry installing the Officers of the Interact Club
The young man,fourth from left, who is incoming President has been involved with
the Interact Club since third grade. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

West Haven Rotary Club- May 16

West Haven Rotary Club is widely known in District 7980 for its pranks and fun. So I attended the meeting to get a head start, since they love to have pranks on the Governor. When Paul M. attended his official visit, they walked out as he started to talk. Of course when they shortly came back he said  "...  in conclusion"  .Any Governor goes to his official visit at West Haven with trepidation and preparation.
Roland Depew the immediate Past President was in charge because
President Diane was not available.
 Rich a long time member recounted some of the pranks and fun of the West Haven rotary club. They visited North Haven Rotary Club and came in with a marching band. Also they visit other clubs and bring a 5 gallon bottle of Long Island Sound water, containing added undesirables. Since I'm from East Hampton Rotary Club they told the story of going to East Hampton in 1990 or 1991 and stealing a pig, the device which contains the money for Happy/Sad. Then when East Hampton wanted it back they brought a live pig to East Hampton. After much frivolity the money pig was returned.

Here is Rich installing three new members in West Haven Rotary club.
Bob Knapp, a PDG, was scheduled to do the installation but the
storm prevented him from coming.

Monday, May 14, 2018

District 7980 RYLA- Spring 2018

RYLA Spring 2018 was a wonderful experience for about 71 students. They spend Friday through Sunday and are learning leadership skills the entire time
Here's the registration desk for the start of RYLA.
 It is quite well organized so we don't waste valuable time on details

This is an exercise called chairs. The participants start sitting on chairs and
end up with a self supporting structure of just the students. They learn
to rely on each other.


Here are some participants working on a project during RYLA

RYLA is student led. These are the 2018 Student Directors.
There are 16 facilitators who work with the participants very closely

All the participants participate in the RYLA Challenge. They develop a service project
which they present to Rotary Judges. The Judges provide some funding and recommend
paths forward for the teams. Each participant speaks during the presentation
This team proposed providing computers to students who do not have them

Friday, May 11, 2018

Madison Rotary Club-90th Anniversary Celebration

Ninety years of service to the Madison Community and the World. They started in 1928, just before the Great Depression. How does a Rotary Club survive a depression? The club is a real contributor to the community and this was a wonderful celebration.

The club celebrates it's 90th year and Jack Davis has 62 years of service.
He and his wife were present and celebrating

PDG Rick Benson discussed the Rotary Foundation's 30 year effort on Polio
And we are very close, no new cases since March and only 8 for the year
They celebrated their past Presidents and lit a candle for each President
 Past President Ruth DeSarbo was a key in organizing the event and current President Michael Perry made sure it all went well

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Stratford Rotary Club 60th Anniversary

It's remarkable what each of our clubs do for their towns and for the world. Stratford RC celebrates 60 years. They started in 1958, seems like so long ago. Women were just about to join Rotary and Eisenhower was President and they started on their journey.

Here's Jeffrey Krause the current President of Stratford.
With a lot of help he organized the celebration of their 60th
So what do you do on your 60th anniversary. You give over $72,000
to various organizations in your town.


Here's Pat an early President of Stratford Rotary Club and one of the first
women Presidents of District 7980. She reviewed the history.

And here's the Past Presidents of Stratford Rotary Club who came to the dinner.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Rotary District 7980 RYLA Training Weekend for May 2018

District 7980 RYLA is a three day event held at Camp Hazen in Chester Connecticut. The facilitators and Directors are all high school students. The RYLA chairs are Rotaractors. It works great because of the effort and in particular the training of the student facilitators.
Dave a Rotarian advisor with Kristen, right.
On the left is a Rotaractor who attended RYLA on Long Island a few years ago

During Training weekend the facilitators present as if they were at RYLA
so that the other facilitators can comment and help

Here's Kristen and Hailey the co-chairs talking with Justin a Rotarian advisor

Some of the activities are carried out by a single facilitator. Here
is a practice run.

One of the activities is Community Building and here's the facilitator chairs for that activity
enlisting the help of the other facilitators

Some of the activities require quite a bit of thought about how to do them properly
Training weekend is the culmination of about 6 months of preparation by the Chairs,
Directors and the facilitators

They are expecting about 80 participants so 16 facilitators, two student directors and two RYLA chairs are involved

Friday, April 13, 2018

Rotary Club of the Stoningtons, that's in Connecticut-April 13, 2018

The Rotary Club of the Stoningtons is a small club with a great fund raiser. They have a golf tournament on Fisher Island, that's an Island in Long Island Sound. They have lots of golfers and lots of sponsors. Just going to Fisher Island is a treat.

The club does a lot of service in town and around the world. They sponsor an active Interact Club at the High School.

In the center of the picture is Carol Umphlett who is President Elect

Here is the group planning their Fisher Island Golf Tournament

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The 50th Anniversary of Rotaract celebrated by District 7980 on April 9, 2018

This year is the 50th anniversary of Rotaract and our 7 Rotaract clubs celebrated it in style.
Each club talked about their activities in the last year.

There are seven clubs:
Sacred Heart University Rotaract
Yale University Rotaract
Quinnipiac University Rotaract
University of New Haven Rotaract
UCONN Avery Point Rotaract
Stamford Community Rotaract
Fairfield University Rotaract

Kevin Guptill congratulating the Rotaractors. He is the Rotarian
Chair for our District

And Governor Trish congratulated the Rotaractors especially about the projects
they have been doing

The Assembled group celebrating the 50th Notice Kristen Foster in the middle,
she is the Rotaract District Representative
There were also some Interactors present who look forward to being Rotaractors in the not so distant future. 

District Training Assembly-April 7, 2018

The District Training Assembly is a chance for all Rotarians to get together and talk about best practices and how to have more fun. The Incoming Governor has a chance to help his incoming Presidents work with their teams to be ready for the upcoming Rotary Year. This Assembly was held at the Sheraton Four Points in Meriden, Connecticut. A very large crowd of Rotarians came and left feeling more knowledgeable about Rotary things.

At this Assembly there was a recognition of the District 7980 Interact Board and Interact and Rotary Clubs which raised about $10,000 for the Gift of Life. Three Interactors gave an oversized check to Lynda Hammond the District Chair for Gift of Life. PRIVP Abe Gordon(I know-Past Rotary International Vice President) and PDG Bob Voessler were also present representing the District effort for Gift of Life.

The three Interactors who helped the Gift of Life fund raising effort
 Also the finals of the Four Way Test Speech contest were held at the Assembly. Four wonderful high school speakers, all of whom were winners.
A participant in Four Way Test speech contest

Another  participant in Four Way Test speech contest