The 26th Annual Norman K. Parsells Award Luncheon

The Fairfield Rotary Club hosted the 26th Annual Norman K. Parsells Award Luncheon today at the Gaelic-American Club.

The Norman K. Parsells Award,  is presented annually to honor the memory and spirit of Norm Parsells.  He was a dedicated Rotarian who served his community and Rotary, demonstrating Rotary’s ideal of “Service Above Self”. The recipients of the Award are being recognized as Rotarians who personifies the same spirit and dedication to their community and Rotary that Norm represented during his lifetime.

Because of their outstanding service to their Rotary Clubs, their communities and to Rotary International, the 2013 recipients of the Norman King Parsells Award are:

Norm was an attorney, a majority leader in the House of Representative and a very active member of his community.

Areas four and five of District 7980 honor the memory and spirit of Norm Parsells, a dedicated Rotarian who served his community well. Norm’s dedicated service to the community demonstrated Rotary’s ideal of “service above self”.

There 10 Rotary Clubs in Areas four and five are: Milford, Devon, Stratford, Bridgeport, Black Rock, Fairfield, Orange, Derby-Shelton, Monroe and Trumbull.

Although Fairfield was his “home” club, he visited and worked with other clubs where many lasting friendships have been made. It is, then, quite fitting that each club in these areas join to honor him by issuing the Norman King Parsells Award.

Read more about Norm Parsells and the previous recipients:  Norm Parsells Luncheon Program

Congratulations to these outstanding Rotarians!!

Here are many photos from today’s luncheon

Black Rock Rotary and Fairfield Rotary Spin to Feed the Hungry

The Black Rock and The Fairfield Rotary Clubs teamed up last night at ZenRide for event called ‘Spin to Win 2013’ that was designed to benefit The Connecticut Basket Brigade.

The Connecticut Basket Brigade (see flyer) is part of the larger organization known as The Basket Brigade which was founded by self-help author and success coach Tony Robbins, The Basket Brigade is built on a simple notion: one small act of generosity on the part of one caring person can transform the lives of hundreds. It takes only one light to dispel the darkness and even just one basket or a few, to bring hope. A Basket Brigade takes place when one individual prepares one basket to personally deliver to a needy family or individual.

Dozens of participants cycled for 45 minutes and provided a minimum donation of $30 each as a simple donation of $30 can feed one whole family.

Couldn’t make it and want to donate $30? Then contact Fairfield Rotarian Oscar Recalde at

Official Visit #42 – Black Rock Rotary

Members of the Black Rock Rotary Club

The Black Rock Connecticut Rotary Club is unlike any other in our district. At first glance one could almost mistake this Rotary Club as a Community based Rotaract Club given their energy level and youthful make-up.  All of the members are young professionals or they are young at heart.

At about 5 years young, this is one of the newer clubs in our district. The majority of the Black Rock Rotarians have the honor of wearing the ‘Charter Member’ badge. One of the nice things about his Club is that they don’t have to encounter the typical ‘This is the way we have always done it’ roadblocks, as they don’t have 50-95 years of legacy to contend with. History and legacy can be a good thing but not having it certainly frees up the Black Rock Rotarians up to be nimble and entrepreneurial in many ways, which other Clubs cannot easily do.

Ed Davies demonstrates the light the fare at the Black Rock Rotary Club

Ed Davies demonstrates the light fare at the Black Rock Rotary Club

Meetings are interesting while being far less formal than most others that I’ve been to. Members sit around a large table facing each other and engage interesting conversation about their goals, projects and fundraisers. Also no typical heavy expensive meal is part of their meeting as the fare consists of basically wine, water and Tapas.  This allows the Club to keep the dues, the calories and the meeting length manageable (they meet from 6pm-7pm).

For a Rotary Club of 11 members this group has accomplishments that would rival Clubs 2 to 3 times their size. They support numerous local community projects including: The Black Rock Food Pantry, Black Rock School, and the Black Rock Library.

Members sit around a large table facing each other and engage interesting conversation

Members sit around a large table facing each other while engaging in interesting conversation

While they are looking to increase their membership to a more comfortable number, which they affectionately deem ‘the sweet spot’, they know themselves well enough to recognize that adding the right kind of member is far more important than adding just anyone for the sake of making membership goal numbers. Kudos to them!!

This official visit was much less formal than most of the others. Stimulating casual conversation crowded out the opportunity for The DG Talk on this evening, there will be other nights for that.

This is a small but likable group of Rotarians that are a pure joy to be around and I highly recommend attending as a make-up. I also recommend that you consider sending any youthful professionals here as possible members as this group is the real deal.  I’m looking forward to returning soon.

The Black Rock Rotary Club meets on Tuesdays from 6-7pm at The Field Restaurant at 3001 Fairfield Ave in Bridgeport CT.