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Rotary Club of West Hartford
PO Box 270252
West Hartford, CT  06127-0252
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Club Meeting Info

Welcome to the Rotary Club of West Hartford!

West Hartford

Service Above Self

We meet Mondays at 12:15 PM
The Pond House
1555 Asylum Ave.
West Hartford, CT  06117
United States of America
District Site
Venue Map
Home Page Stories

West Hartford Rotary Club

April 15, 2019 Luncheon Meeting Minutes

1. Today’s speaker was Christopher Conway, the executive director of the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is an organization composed of Town businessmen and managers of institutions. They meet at the Noah Webster Library in the morning and they have a site on Facebook. Joining the Chamber gives members a network of other businessmen and marketing opportunities. Members may use their memberships to promote their activities, fund raise. The club’s objectives are to enhance the development of our town’s businesses, civic organizations and cultural well-being. They are located at

948 Farmington Avenue

West Hartford, CT 06107

Tel. 860 521-2300 Web site –

2. We had three visitors today Mary and Joe brought Ralph Balbasare and Kyung Soon, who had just arrived from South Korea. A future member, Tanya Falcon, was also our guest.

3. Our Club is still behind in our contributions for the Rotary Foundation and Polio Plus. Time to send in your donations.

4. The books have arrived for the Dictionary Project. We need at least 3 SUV’s to haul them from the United Bank to the Pond House so that we can place the labels and assign volunteers to each elementary school. The labeling is scheduled for April 29, our Club Assembly Meeting.


Guest speaker Christopher Conway

West Hartford Rotary Club

April 8, 2019 Luncheon Meeting Minutes

1. Spring is on its way. The chilly air will soon give way to the warmth of the sun, buds will pop open and colors of spring will surround us.

2. Again, attendance at lunch was good. Our speakers were from the Village for Families and Children. This organization, located on Albany Avenue in Hartford, not only provides services for children but also assistance for adults with medical, psychiatric or trauma related problems. Their medication treatment program is helping to address the opioid epidemic in our community. Like other family service organizations, they need volunteers and donations to keep their programs working.

3. HANOC game day was a success. For those of you wondering what HANOC stands for – Hillcrest Avenue Neighborhood Outreach Center. Adults and kids enjoyed pizza and a variety of games. David Mangs’ “Contemporary Pinball Box” was a hit. It needs to be seen and played with to be appreciated. (Luncheon meeting appearance?)

4. Tony Rodriguez plans to have the jazz brunch with talented jazz players who have roots here in Connecticut. Hall Conard and Northwest Catholic have all contributed players of note to the music world.

5. Vines of March event is still looking for a place. No suggestion has yet proved possible.


President Oscar Santo Doming, Rotarian Mary Silverberg, Galo Rodriguez and speakers from Village of Children and Families.

West Hartford Rotary Club

April 1, 2019 Luncheon Meeting Minutes


1. Spring has arrived! Many came out to greet her and the meeting was well attended. Christine Looby gave the invocation; Eileen Rau encouraged members to donate to the Rotary Foundation. She suggested using the Club Runner as an easy way to do this.

2. Those in attendance for this club assembly meeting were happy to discuss methods for improving our fund-raising efforts.

3. Kyle Egress mentioned that we did not do a good job on reaching out to organizations we support for their support in selling tickets for our Vines of March event.

4. Eileen and Bennett mentioned that we complete our list of organization we support on our Club Runner so we can connect to them electronically for our solicitations. Some members suggested that the most effective way to approach an organization is to talk to the manager.

5. According to Tom, our treasurer, our financial status to June of this year is in good shape We will be able to meet the yearly donations we have decided to make.

6. Our Club met with members of the Children’s Museum to ensure that our donations are being well spent. They will need to provide receipts, plans and a description of where the money has been spent to us. We need these in order to report to the District Grant Chairman before May 1

West Hartford Rotary Club

March 25, 2019 Luncheon Meeting Minutes

1. Ms. Briann Greenfield from the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center was our guest speaker. She gave a slide presentation of the accomplishments and works of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Harriet was born in Litchfield, Connecticut in the year 1811. She came from a very religious family and was active in the movement to abolish slavery. She is best known for her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin which depicted the very harsh conditions under which most African slaves lived. To support her depiction of slave life she also published testimonies made by former enslaved African Americans. Her work reflected the belief that slavery demeaned society.

2. Our club is still hunting for a place for next year’s Vines of March. Some suggestions are under consideration, but no place has yet been selected.

3. Tony Rodriguez is exploring ideas and sites for this spring’s Jazz Brunch. He has set up meetings with other venues in Hartford or West Hartford but has not yet selected one.


Rotarians Mary Silverberg and Booker DeVaughn with guest speaker Briann Greenfield.

West Hartford Rotary Club

March 18, 2019 Luncheon Meeting Minutes

1. District Governor Kate Sims was our speaker. She talked about the opioid epidemic in this country. She said one misconception is that the problem is one which involves the youth of our country. However, the forty-year-old population is the one having the most difficulty with addiction. Our District Clubs are banding together to come up with ways to organize so that we together we can help in finding solutions to this problem.

2. Kyle Egress summarized the results from this year’s Vines of March fund raising event. We discussed some of the ways to make the event more successful. One problem is going to be finding a place to hold the event since the University of Saint Joseph dining hall is not going to be available because of renovations. Town Hall is already booked for March. Also mentioned are Temple Beth Israel, Rockledge, and the JCC.

3. Bruce Stanger and Fern Vidal volunteered to view the District Grant Webinar on March 30 at ten o’clock in the morning. This is necessary so that the club can qualify for the next year’s grant.

4. Volunteers are still needed for the HANOC event on April 10. This event involves playing games with young children.

West Hartford Rotary Club

March 4, 2019 Luncheon Meeting

1. In spite of the snowy weather we met to discuss the upcoming Vines of March. Items of importance were finalized.

2. Fortunately, the weather on the 9th was great. So was the event. Thanks to all that contributed to its success. Kudos to Kyle and Tom. Here are the results of our fund raising.

  • Tickets Sold: 170 or $10,515
  • Live auction: $ 6,425
  • Silent auction: $ 5,375
  • Table pieces: $ 720
  • Sponsorships: $11,000

3. Next year’s event is looking for a new location. The University dining area is due for renovation and will not be finished in time for us to use it.

4. Our speaker for Monday the 18th will be Kate Sims, our District Governor. She will inform us about coming events and news about other clubs in District 7890.

5. We can never thank Saint Joseph University enough for the help extended to our club over the past two years.

West Hartford Rotary Club

February 25, 2019 Luncheon Meeting

1. Mr. Jeff Shaw was inducted as our new member. The Rotary Pledge for new members was read by Bennett Forrest

2. Eileen Rau reminded us of the Rotary Foundation birthday. The best way to celebrate is to donate. Polio Plus can also use a little pick-me-up. These donations make our work worldwide more fruitful.

3. Volunteer to help with the Dictionary Project. Bennett offered his garage and Liza offered a room for storage in the bank.

4. The Vines of March is just around the corner. We still need to sell more tickets. So far, we estimate 140 have been sold. Our sponsorship funds have reached $9,000. Thanks to all! Auction items are still lacking. Eileen and Bob Rau have donated three I-pads to supplement our silent auction items. This will certainly make that auction exciting. Our regular auction is lacking the usual vacation properties this year. We need volunteers to pick up food donations from participating restaurants. Please contact Patricia Kiely to get your assigned food pick-up restaurants.

5. The Fresh Start Pallet group gave us a presentation of their work. Their mission is to help people by employing them in making furniture out of discarded pallets. Their goal is to help the unemployed by training, building confidence, and enhancing skills to enable people to become productive independent citizens.

Guest speaker from Fresh Start with Rotarian Mary Silverberg (middle)
West Hartford Rotary Club
February 25, 2019 Luncheon Meeting
1. Let's welcome our new Member, Jeff Shaw. He has attended our meetings and holiday party and chose the West Hartford Rotary. Two more prospective members are attending this meeting to see how we conduct our meetings and get to know what our objectives and goals are. Make sure we make them feel welcome.
2. The Dictionary Project is creeping up on us. Christine Looby needs volunteers to mark up, store and deliver the dictionaries.
3. The Blood Donation project was a success. The question remains as to whether we should make this a yearly event. Let your voice be heard.
4. It is CRUNCH TIME for our Vines of March. We need volunteers to pick up food donations from participating restaurants. Please contact Patricia Kiely to get you assigned food pick-up restaurants.

West Hartford Rotary Club

February 11, 2019 Luncheon Meeting


2. Last meeting was used for club assembly in order to organize for the upcoming Vines of March event on March 9. There are still many items we need to accomplish – selling more tickets (only 70 tickets are currently sold), getting more sponsors ( Kyle stated that at present we have around $6,000 worth pledged ). We have received the needed health certificates and insurance and tax exemptions are on hand. Auction items are still slow in coming. The restaurants that have been mentioned have to be finalized for mention in our list in the booklet.

3. Prasad, chairman of the Rotary Foundation from District 7890 made a pitch for the Hartford :Youth Scholars Program. Prasad is looking for donations from our club and the surrounding area clubs to help with the purchase of computer tablets. In the past our club has been helpful in this effort. Prasad also talked about How important Rotary is in promoting education and health benefits to people who need help. This can only be accomplished with our support. This is the 114th anniversary of the Rotary Foundation.

4. On March 14 the Children’s Museum is hosting a Gala, Live Auction and sit-down dinner at the Delamar Hotel. They are asking us to be an event sponsor. They are also looking for table sponsors; tables are $1,200. We will take up this question at our next board meeting. Anyone interested in attending, please contact Oscar.

Rotarian Kyle Egress leads the Feb 4th Meeting
West Hartford Rotary Club
February 4, 2019 Luncheon Meeting
1. On this beautiful winter afternoon about twenty Rotarians and one guest were present today. For everyone’s information, there are only 25 more days until the Vines of March. This week we have to keep track of what needs to be done - sell tickets, collect auction items, make a final restaurant count for our posters and program list. To make this Vines of March successful, we need everyone on board.
2. Our club has a new candidate for membership. His name is Jeff Shaw. He has attended our meetings twice and Bennett has posted and emailed his background information for our consideration. If there is any objection, please bring it to the Board.
3. Our designated speaker did not make it to this meeting, but we were lucky to have our own Town Mayor and fellow Rotarian as our speaker of the day. Every body was entertained by her jokes before she mentioned how our Town is doing well and is the envy of the surrounding towns. West Hartford was just selected as one of the 50 best towns to live in. Our Town assessment has increased. More housing is being built. Items that need to be addressed are legalization of marijuana, tolls and ways to save money on the town operation. It seems like our Mayor is doing her best to improve our Town. More power to her. Go Rotarian.

West Hartford Rotary Club

January 28, 2019 Luncheon Meeting

1. This meeting was a club assembly in order to plan for the Vines of March. Kyle wants to make sure that tickets are being sold, sponsors are in place and that planning with the University of Saint Joseph for the layout, insurance and health department has been done. At present, the first meeting was held at the University and we reviewed the layout and number of tables and chairs needed.

2. Bruce Stanger gave a report on his bike ride to raise funds for the ARAVA Institute. The goal of this organization is to promote friendship between Israelis, Palestinians and surrounding countries. It is a non-profit organization that promotes critical environmental work and peace building. It recruits students from all over the world, especially the Middle East. As they work together the students begin to appreciate the different customs and beliefs that form the mosaic of today’s world.

3. Bennett Forrest has completed the book collection that was stored at the Beth Israel Temple on Farmington Avenue. He was able to get volunteers to deliver books to the different schools in the area. Bennett should be commended for the time and effort spent to make this event successful. One school has already expressed its appreciation for these books commenting that the books are in good condition and of high interest to the students. The books will be used to restock the classroom libraries.

Rotarian / Guest Speaker Bruce Stanger discusses his recent bike ride for charity in Israel.
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