Posted by Weston Willett on Nov 27, 2019

We finally had some Fall-like weather this week at the Ridge. Bill Saunders was sitting in for George Schoen, collecting for the meal. Jack Martin was selling the raffle tickets and Larry Hangland was collecting for Sgt at Arms. Several members of the East Hartford Police Department were mingling with our members. They were there to accept a donation for their cultural outreach program.


President Bob rang the bell to start the meeting. We sang the Rotary song and pledged Allegiance. Then Dan Firestone read a Thanksgiving prayer for the Invocation. Before we proceeded to the meal, President Bob presented the representatives of EHPD with a $3,000 check, as they were not able to stay. They gave great thanks for the donation and talked a little about how they would use the money to help improve relationships between the police and the residents.   Once they concluded we enjoyed a lunch was ravioli, salad and bread. Ned Lynch passed the cookies.


·         There will be a Rotary Means Business meeting Dec 10 at the Hawk Ridge Winery in Watertown.
·         There is a new District Governor Nominee Designate as of Monday. Randy Chappelle from Southbury Rotary club will be the DG for the 2022-2023 year
·         Liberty Bank partnership yielded $4,225.31. We donated $4,227
·         Dec 11 will be our Annual Meeting
·         Holiday Party is Dec 18 at the Gallery. Let Ceil know if you want to attend
·         No Meetings Dec 25 or Jan 1
·         6 People attended Foodshare volunteer activity on Mon.
·         We will be supporting Bell Ringing the first 3 Saturdays. There is an app available on your phone if you would like to contribute to the Salvation Army directly.
·         D’esopo Funeral Home sent a letter to the club thanking us for the turkeys we donated to their food drive
·         Secret Santa lists have been handed out to those doing the shopping. Drop off the gifts to Bob Buettner’s flower shop
Fireside Chat Report
Attendance and Membership have both steadily decreased the past 5 years. Our membership has declined from 60 in 2013 to 40 today. Attendance has gone from 66% to 53%. The results of 2 of the questions that were discussed were reported on. The first question was “What will our club look like at this time next year?”.
Reactions were generally along the lines that the outlook is not favorable unless something changes. Obviously the club needs to grow, and what we have been doing isn’t working. New members generally come to a few meetings before drifting away and disappearing.
his led to the second question: “How do we attract new members?” And I would add how do we retain them as well. Ideas included reducing the number of lunch meetings and concentrate on projects instead. Advertise in the local media. Meet with representatives of Goodwin College and the East Hartford YMCA to see how they involve diverse residents from East Hartford. Create a sign that can be displayed at events like Bell Ringing to announce who we are.
Discussion following included several other great ideas. Publishing what Rotary does for East Hartford by getting a billboard on Burnside Ave, publicizing our speakers and inviting the general public to attend. Beginning in January, President Bob’s daughter will be spending 1 day a week working on our social media sites. Bill Saunders volunteered to call The Courant to see what we can do to get our activities included in their weekly Community Section.
President Bob then rang the bell to end the meeting, but someone pointed out that we still needed to do the raffle. Jack Martin performed his customary duties. Larry Hangland pulled his own ticket to win the 50/50. Dick McCarthy left early and gave someone else a chance to win the flowers. Congratulations go to Rosemary; I mean Neal Cunningham.
President Bob then rang the bell to end the meeting, but Larry Hangland insisted in presenting the Sgt At Arms Report, since this was his last week on the job
Sgt At Arms
·         President Bob donated for a successful partnership with Liberty Bank and for his wife’s birthday
·         Dan Firestone contributed to give thanks
·         Larry Hangland donated because he was sorry that his month as Sgt at Arms was over.
·         Past President Kevin Kickery gave for absent meetings
·         Sue Klock gave her last dollar hoping that Peter Klock would buy her lunch for her
·         Ned Lynch gave to celebrate his upcoming travels to Paris and Rome
·         Jack Sayre hoped the police did not pinch anyone on their way out. (I neglected to mention that before our meeting today we had our Wine and Cheese event)
·         Ruth Sheehan was happy to have the police join us
·         Bob Wood wishes everyone a great Holiday season
President Bob then rang the bell to end the meeting, and this was found acceptable by all.
-          Signing off for a few months, you scribe Wes Willett