The Newtown Rotary Club celebrated their 75th Anniversary on Monday March 24th at the Rock Ridge Country Club with about 100 Rotarians, family members and friends in attendance.
The Bridgeport Rotary Club sponsored the Newtown Club 75 years ago and they had a sizable showing at the event including everyone’s favorite PDG Abe Gordon who presented RI’s certificate of recognition to Club President Tom McKirdy.
PDG Jeff Cadorette came in from Philadelphia and gave an interesting and engaging talk on Rotary, membership, the importance of understanding what we are all about.
All in all a very nice event that honored the rich history of the Newtown Rotary Club.
Rotary was an integral part in the lives of each of these gentlemen as they truly embodied “Service above Self”, each of them was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow from their Clubs for their outstanding contributions. In reading about Les, Howie and Paul it is easy to feel that you have known them your entire life, even if you didn’t experience the pleasure of meeting them in person.
Please take a moment out to reflect on the robust, generous lives that each of these three Rotarians have led.
Les Duncklee – President-elect The Stoningtons Rotary
President-elect Lester “Les” H. Duncklee of the Stoningtons Rotary Club passed away suddenly on March 21, 2014. Les was born in New London, on April 23, 1941 and lived in Colchester.
Les just attended NE PETS at the beginning of the month and was looking forward to becoming Club President. He joined Rotary in 1990 and is a Paul Harris Fellow.
Calling hours will be from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, at the Mystic Funeral Home, Route 1, 51 Williams Ave., Mystic. Donations may be made to the Foundation of the Rotary Club of Stonington, 32 Water St., Stonington, CT 06378.
In early January we reported that the Newtown Rotary Club is giving the Gift of Life to a 3.5 year old girl, named Gensis, from Belize who has serious heart disease and required a specialized operation that wasn’t obtainable in her country. The Newtown Connecticut Rotary Club and the Gift of Life group worked out an arrangement with The Children’s Hospital to get the operation and the care that she needed for a donation of $6,000 by the Newtown Rotary Club, which was a modest amount in comparison to the normal ‘rack rate’ of such specialized care.
Bridgeport Rotary, like Newtown Rotary, is doing this program with the assistance of Gift of Life International.
Abe Gordon is hoping that other Rotary Clubs will be willing raise funds for an additional 18 open heart surgeries. Please see his letter to D7980 Rotarians below:
Past President Pat Caruso – Talking on the Gift of Life
Tonight several Newtown Rotarians are braving this brutally cold weather and taking the train down to New York City to meet a family from Belize whose 3 1/2 year daughter, Genesis, is in serious need of a heart operation.
Logistics have been coordinated through the Rotary Club at JFK Airport to meet the family and get them into the City for a Gift of Life event before they all return to Newtown Connecticut to stay with Immediate Past President Mike Toll and his wife Monica.
Genesis has a hole in her heart, has congenial heart disease and she requires a specialized operation that wasn’t obtainable in her country. At 3 1/2 years old, she is just 22 lbs and her prognosis would be dire without this specialized care.
The Newtown Connecticut Rotary Club and the Gift of Life group have worked out an arrangement with The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore where she will get the operation and the care that she needs for a donation of $6,000 by the Newtown Rotary Club, which is a modest amount in comparison to the normal ‘rack rate’ of such specialized care.
She will visit the with cardiologist next week and the operation will probably take place the following week, followed by 6-8 weeks of recovery time before Genesis and her family can return home.
Past President Pat Caruso, who is passionate about the good that Rotary and The Gift of Life does, is the contact person for this initiative. The entire Newtown Rotary Club is laser focused on helping people within their community and around the world.
The entire marching crew minutes before the parade began
The crew at the Newtown Parade
Ridgefield and Ridgefield Sunrise marching in unison at the Newtown Parade
PDG’s Jim Lang and Alan Hurst with Trumbull and East Hampton Rotarians
Jennifer Bassett with her yellow float
The crew at the Newtown Parade
Jennifer Bassett and Monroe President Bill Florin
Danbury Rotary in the Newtown Parade
iPDG Brian put up the ‘Wheel Signal’ about a month ago for area Rotary Clubs to participate in Newtown’s Labor Day Parade and he received marching support from eight Rotary clubs including; Newtown Rotary Monroe Rotary, Danbury Rotary, Ridgefield Rotary, Ridgefield Sunrise Rotary, Trumbull Rotary, East Hampton Rotary and North Haven Rotary (hopefully I didn’t miss any).
Over 100 community groups marched in the parade (or rode in a cool yellow car) today through on and off rain and the occasional threat of a thunder boomer. The weather didn’t seem to thin the crowds a bit as parade viewers were out in big numbers in full support of Newtown Connecticut.
The Newtown Rotary Club was kind enough to select yellow as the color for their 75th Anniversary shirts as they know what this DG knows; Yellow is the Happiest Color!!! It even helped to offset the fact that we were marching behind the Lions, perhaps we will be in front of them next year. Our own iPDG Brian Amey, Newtown Rotary Club, was one of the key committee organizers of the Newtown Labor Day Parade today. Brian was keeping duty at the end of the parade and wasn’t fortunate enough to get one the yellow shirts. For some reason he was wearing a lime color shirt.
From the community outpouring today it is clear that Newtown is a town on the mend. Jennifer and I were happy and honored to be part of this event today.