Dave Kaiser, shown here at right with President-elect Elliott Rittenberg, received a multiple Paul Harris Fellowship award at our meeting on August 15.  The Paul Harris Fellow is an award given to those who have given $1000 dollars to the Rotary Foundation. Recognition is provided each time a member's aggregate donations reach an increment of $1,000.  It is one of the most prestigious awards in Rotary and thereby named after the founder of Rotary, Paul Harris. Donations to the Foundation support the many programs in which Rotary engages for doing good in the world. Foundation dollars are returned to our District, and ultimately to the Club in the form of grants to fund both local and international projects. Thank you, Dave, for being the inspiration!
 
Dave Kaiser Receives Paul Harris Fellow 2018-09-17 04:00:00Z 0
Membership is always an important topic for any Club. When our September 12 speaker had to reschedule, membership chair Gary Kelley took the opportunity to address this topic by showing one of the new membership videos produced for Clubs in Zone 32 by Lawrence Furbish, Assistant Rotary Coordinator.  For those of you who didn't have the opportunity to see this short but informative video, you can watch it here. Following the video, Gary asked each table to create a Rotary elevator speech. Dave Kaiser stole the moment with a statement that most felt epitomized the essence of Rotary:  A place where friends come together to find ways to make a positive impact in our local, national and world community. 
Going Up? Practicing Your Rotary Elevator Speech 2018-09-13 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ron Goodenow, Ph.D.

As a Rotarian with a lifelong polio-related mobility issue that varies in its intensity now that I am "chronologically advantaged" I have been thrilled to work with my local club, municipal authorities and area businesses to meet Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. Our driveways are clearer in the winter, and our public events now have special needs parking. I’ve had wonderful assistant from fellow club members to help me remain active as I face down some new medical issues. So, why this commentary?

As I thought about attending the RI Toronto conference in June I looked to see how accessibility issues were being addressed. What would I confront in terms of getting around and other mobility issues? The short answer is that I could find nothing except welcome comments from some hotels on their in-house accessibility features like grab bars in bathrooms. Rotary was totally silent. I therefore decided to stay home. Some fellow Rotarians repeated what I was told after a multidistrict conference in Providence last year. “You would not have been comfortable there, Ron. Just too much walking that was never described in advance.”

Special Needs & The Four Way Test Ron Goodenow, Ph.D. 2018-09-13 04:00:00Z 0

With thanks to the Community Advocate

Congratulations to the July 2018 Westborough Employee Excellence Award Winner Library Director (and Rotarian) Maureen Ambrosino! For those of you who had not seen the news, we wanted to recognize Maureen for the amazing contributions she makes to our town, as well as our Club. "The Employee Excellence Award committee is pleased to present this award to Maureen. Nominations received expressed that she ‘…embodies the definition of teamwork as no task is too small (e.g. swirling cotton candy on the front lawn) and no job is too large (e.g. a high level collection development project) for her to tackle’, that she constantly devotes enormous amounts of her personal time to Library sponsored events, and that she brings innovative ideas to serve public interests and engage them in library involvement such as Girl Scout sleepovers in the library, "last day of school ice cream service out front, Movies on the Green and more.

Congratulations Maureen Ambrosino 2018-09-12 04:00:00Z 0

What do you do with hundreds of Rotary branded cloth bags left over from Westborough's 300th Celebration? You give them away! And on Saturday, September 8, Club members gathered in front of Roche Brothers Supermarket at Bay State Commons to do just that. As town merchants prepare to comply with a ban on disposable plastic shopping bags, Club Service Chair Shelby Marshall realized that this was an opportunity to recycle the leftover novelty bags purchased for last year's celebration. In a four hour period, members gave away more than 300 reusable bags to customers visiting the Roche Brothers store. Additional bags will be delivered to the senior center for distribution. Eileen Turcotte and Ron Goodenow, pictured here at left, were among the Rotarians who joined in to help reduce, reuse and recycle. 

Rotarians Distribute Reusable Shopping Bags 2018-09-12 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ron Goodenow on Sep 01, 2018
Having been frustrated by bad weather several times this year, our hearty club defied high heat and humidity by holding its weekly meeting on the shores of Lake Chauncy to plant trees provided by Rotary International’s Plant a Tree Project. The trees were planted on grounds of the former Westborough State Hospital now owned by the town of Westborough. The opportunity was also taken to install new Rotarian Eileen Turcotte, a Grafton resident with strong international service involvement. Club members enjoyed food provided by Chick-fil-A and an event which addressed beautification, environmental improvement, and membership. 
 
 
 
Lakeside Tree Planting and Installation Ron Goodenow 2018-09-01 04:00:00Z 0
Recently, this writer and his wife Reina had a lovely dinner at longtime Rotarian Ron Goodenow's home. Over pleasant conversation, delicious paella prepared by Ron's wife Carol and a few glasses of wine, Ron related the story about how the unique shirt he had chosen for the evening's attire was made specifically for him while in Africa by a craftsman who went by the name of Pinot Noir.  Of course, we questioned the veracity of Ron's tale, wondering if perhaps the wine was contributing to an embellishment of his story. The next day, to allay our suspicions, Ron forwarded the photo shown at left, showing him in Africa, some 45 years ago, in front of the shirtmaker's shop.  Apparently, we misinterpreted the spelling of this talented local artisan's name.  And how about Ron?  What a "cool dood" (and of course, there's another story behind that name as well!).
The Rotary Wayback Machine 2018-07-10 04:00:00Z 0
At its June meeting, the Board of Directors of Westborough Rotary voted to donate $10,000 to Westborough High School's Rangers on Track athletic fields renovation. Consistent with the Club's mission of supporting the community, this donation will help meet the Rangers on Track committee meet its fundraising goals to cover project expenses not funded by taxpayer dollars.
Westborough Rotary Donates to Rangers on Track 2018-07-10 04:00:00Z 0
Greg Topakian joined us at our meeting on June 13 to explain the basics of mindfulness practice and led us through two exercises - a body scan and a breath meditation. Greg is a long time educator and actuary, having taught economics at Boston University and serving as Actuarial Director at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. Over the past thirty years, Greg has balanced his professional life with a daily practice of yoga and mindfulness meditation, and now Greg devotes his time to teaching mindfulness.  He'll begin a new series of classes at the Westborough Public Library on Tuesday, October 2.   He taught us that mindfulness trains the mind to be more aware, awake and alert, and allows us to choose how to react to emotions when they arrive.  Members left our meeting happy, relaxed and ready to do good in the world.  For more information on Greg's upcoming series, contact the Westborough Library. 
Take a Deep Breath 2018-07-10 04:00:00Z 0
At our meeting of June 27, our Club was pleased to welcome into membership two new Rotarians, Scott Secrest & Forrest Musselman.  Scott, who currently resides in Worcester, comes to us from the Rotary Club of Wellesley where he previously served as Club President.  An electrical engineer, Scott is VP of Engineering, CE Power Engineered Services, and serves as the chair of the Executive Committee for the Boston Chapter of IEEE's Power & Energy Society.  Scott is a member of the New Sound Assembly Barbershop Chorus and enjoys skiing and golf. Scott is pictured with Assistant Governor Kathy Wilfert, Past President Gerry Gross and Membership Chair Gary Kelley.
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Forrest resides in Southboro and is the CEO and creative director for MindBrew Creative, a brand strategy and design agency specializing in web, print and social media for a broad range of corporate and non-profit entities. In addition to his work with MindBrew, Forrest has volunteered with a number of charitable organizations and has made humanitarian trips to both Haiti and Guatemala. Forrest is shown center stage in the photo at right with Jason Camuti, Kathy Wilfert, Gary Kelley and Club Treasurer Paul Reilly.
 
We're excited to have both Forrest and Scott as part of our Rotary family!
Welcome Scott Secrest & Forrest Musselman 2018-07-09 04:00:00Z 0
On May 23, members of Westborough Rotary gathered at The BORO, a Westborough Public Schools program designed for students from 18 to 22 years who are eligible for educational services to support their successful transition into adulthood.  Housed in a completely renovated building in the center of Westborough, the BORO provides a welcoming environment for academic and life skills learning, relaxation, and social activities.  Currently, the program supports seven students, with the capacity for future growth to as many as twelve or more.  The BORO staff, led by Community-Based Program Coordinator Emily Stark, helps students develop independent living skills, plan for college, learn how to function as an integrated member of the community, and prepare for a productive career.
 
During our visit, several students, including Allie, pictured here at left, told us of their day-to-day experiences at the BORO program.  Several students used voice synthesis technology to relate their stories. Activities include cooking, searching for and preparing for job interviews, creating Powerpoint presentations, and reviewing their individual education plans (IEPs).  Allie, who was particularly enthusiastic about welcoming her Rotary friends, told us how much she enjoyed interacting with students from other area programs, how she enjoys miniature golf and making quesadillas, and of her success with calculus and other advanced math courses at a local college.
 
Scheduled to open this fall and colocated with the BORO in a dedicated space, The Sugar Shack, an operating commercial candy store, will provide students with vocational experience under the direction of BORO program staff. School officials are currently seeking both financial and advisory support for this aspect of the program.
 
Our members were touched by the students and impressed by both the facility and staff.  A committee has been formed to explore opportunities for our Club members to be a part of the BORO program. Contact Shelby Marshall if you'd like to be involved.
 
For more photos of our visit to The BORO Program, please click here. Thanks to Shelby, Ron Goodenow, and Reina Rago for sending these along.
 
 
Westborough Rotary Visits The Boro Program 2018-06-03 04:00:00Z 0
Rotarian & former Lt. Col. Jim Tepper, who served our country as a Marine helicopter pilot in Viet Nam and subsequently in the Marine Corps Reserve, was selected to be the grand marshall of Westborough's Memorial Day Parade. Jim gave a heartfelt and emotional speech during the town's Memorial Day ceremonies, reminding us that more than one million armed service members have lost their lives protecting America's independence.  He pointed out that the freedoms of speech, religion, and press, along with a right to fair trial, are not guaranteed by clerics,  journalists, lawyers, poets or writers, but that these rights and freedoms are guaranteed by men and women in uniform willing to pay the ultimate price to protect them. We thank Jim for his service to our country and are honored to have him as a member of our Club. See Paul McGrath's photos of the Memorial Day ceremony by clicking here. Watch Jim's speech, along with the entire ceremony, by visiting Westborough TV.

 
Jim Tepper Memorial Day Parade Marshall 2018-06-03 04:00:00Z 0
On May 9th, the Rotary Club of Westborough inducted our newest member, Joe Baldiga. Joe is a resident of Hopkinton, where he lives with his wife Mary.  They have two children, Lucy, 20, and Rob who is 18.  Joe is a commercial attorney at Mirick O’Connell and is interested in financial literacy. He enjoys sports, jogging, and snowboarding and is an avid paintball enthusiast.  We welcome Joe and his family to our Rotary family and look forward to doing great things together.

 
Welcome Joe Baldiga 2018-06-03 04:00:00Z 0
At our meeting of May 30,  we were pleased to welcome the recipients of the 2018 Westborough Rotary Club Scholarship Awards. This year’s recipients include Anthony Cai, Mariem Girgis, Rachel Bigelow, Johannah Bessell, Max Houle, Pooja Hingorany, Benjamin Riela, James Sommerville. Seven of the students are from Westborough High School and one is a Westborough resident attending Assabet Regional Technical High school.  Darrell Potosnak, department head of business and computer science at Westborough High School, helped to present the awards and has assisted us with the scholar selection process for several years. Thank you to Darrell and the scholarship committee and congratulations to all this year’s recipients!
 
Eight Scholarships Presented to Graduating Seniors 2018-06-03 04:00:00Z 0
Over 600 Rotarians from 5 Districts in New England and Canada attended the Mount Washington Summit this past weekend, including Westborough's own Shelby Marshall and Elliott Rittenberg (shown here with District Governor Karin Gaffney), and District Governor Elect Steve Sager.  Against a backdrop of majestic mountain peaks and rainbows, attendees made new connections and participated in breakout sessions with an array of subjects including Vibrant Clubs, Service Projects, the Opioid Crisis, Hunger, Polio Plus and the Rotary Foundation. In a session on Leadership, former Vermont Governor Jim Douglas and former Governor Jane Swift from Massachusets addressed a standing room only audience in a wide-ranging discussion that touched on ethics, service, youth engagement, and of course, politics.
 
Among the highlights, Rotary International President Ian Riseley addressed the conference on Friday evening, underscoring the need for Rotary to adapt to the changing needs of its members in today's busy society. Later in the conference, Riseley's President's Representative, Past RI Director Karen Wentz, introduced Rotarians to Rotary's updated Vision Statement:  "Together we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe and in our communities."  
 
On Saturday evening, Travis Roy, who was severely injured during the first eleven seconds of his college ice hockey career as a Boston University Terrier, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down, inspired Rotarians by sharing how his positive attitude helped him on his journey to a fulfilling and productive life. After spending his entire youth preparing to play college hockey, when he finally made it onto the ice in that first and only game, he told us how, even after he was injured, he said to his father that he had "made it" - he had fulfilled his dream. Travis said that in life, sometimes we choose the challenge, and other times, the challenge chooses us. Travis went on to share that it was the power of positive attitude and the appreciation of simple things that helped him find value and purpose in his new paradigm.
 
Our final speaker on Sunday, Razia Jan, told us of her continuing efforts to educate young women in Afghanistan, and of the opening of the new Razia Jan Institute, the first women’s post-secondary vocational school in rural Afghanistan. Razia moved to the United States in 1970 and opened a small tailoring business in Duxbury. She was the first female member of the Duxbury Rotary Club and soon went on to become Club President.  After decades of war in Afghanistan, Razia was appalled at the treatment of women and the lack of education that she found when she returned home. Razia decided to build a school and shared with us stories of the opposition she faced from the local the local male population, including standing up to tribal leaders who threatened to stone her if she pursued her dream of educating young women. Today, at the Razia Jan Institute, students become certified in health services/midwifery while also learning English and computer literacy. Both the Institue and the Zabuli Education Center, with its K through 12 students, have received support from a number of Rotary Clubs both here and abroad.
Mt. Washington Summit an Inspirational Success 2018-05-08 04:00:00Z 0
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