February 2018
Club Information

Welcome to our Club!


Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 12:15 PM
Oronoque Country Club
385 Oronoque Lane
Stratford, CT  06614-1387
United States
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"The smallest Act of Kindness is worth the Grandest Intention" Oscar Wilde Irish Playwright


Thank you to Eugene Madara and Matt Corvino for the extremely informative presentation on the CT Air and Space Center located here in Stratford. 

Founded in 1998 by the late State Senator George “Doc” Gunther, the Connecticut Air & Space Center is a 501©(3) charitable corporation dedicated to honoring the pioneers of early aviation, restoring and preserving examples of the aircraft they flew, and educating current and future generations about Connecticut’s unique aviation heritage. The Center relies on volunteers who painstakingly piece together these aircraft and on the donations it receives from those in the public and private sectors. 

The Connecticut Air and Space Center is located in Stratford CT near Sikorsky Memorial Airport.  We are currently restoring several aircraft, including the famous Sikorsky Memorial FG1-D Corsair and Sikorsky S60 “Flying Crane”.  We are always seeking new members and volunteers to help further the process.

Our hours of operation are Tuesdays and Saturdays  9 am till 2 pm and
Thursdays 9 am till 9 pm. If you are planning a group visit please make sure to call ahead a few days in advance to make sure we have a guide available for your visit. 

Please Note: The museum is currently located on a Federal Government owned installation, all visitors must be at least 18 years of age.  Please come to 550 Main Street in Stratford (across from the Shell station and the airport) for a quick Safety Briefing and to gain entry to the museum.

Advancing the Awareness of Connecticut’s Aviation History

Thank you to Victoria Medina and Mike Potawa for their informative presentation on the Southwestern Connecticut Health CareeRx Academy that provides tuition assistance and support to help participants obtain a career in the growing healthcare field. The WorkPlace’s Health CareeRx Academy (HCA) is a broad partnership of healthcare providers, educators, trainers, and community-based organizations in Southwestern Connecticut. Designed with input from employers, HCA’s mission is to meet the current and evolving workforce needs of healthcare employers. The HCA provides occupational training, work readiness, and other supports to individuals who desire to begin or advance a career in healthcare. All training by HCA leads to a certificate or degree and prepares individuals to pass a state or national license exam.
Thank you to Michelle Stolzenberg our speaker at todays meeting. Michele, representing the Perry House Foundation, spoke on some of the activities and events held at the Perry House. She went into depth on a program for 3rd and 5th graders. Skits related to various areas in the Towns history are written for the children and they act them out using props. The children have a lot of fun acting out the various roles. The setting for all the skits is the Benjamin Tavern, which originally was located on West Broad Street across the street from the Perry House, and where George Washington visited several times on his way through Stratford. For more information on the Perry House Foundation visit, http://www.perryhousestratford.org/.
This years Norman K. Parsells Award Luncheon was hosted by the Stratford Rotary Club at Oronoque Country Club. 10 Rotary Clubs from District 7980 were represented with nearly 200 Rotarians attending.
The program began with a Call to Order from President Jeff Krause followed by the Presenting of the Colors by the Second Company Governor's Foot Guard. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Jeff Krause. The Stratford High School A Capella Chior sand a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem. The Invocation was given by Deacon Paul Kurmay.
Each clubs awardee was presented with a plaque. Congratulations to Gary Jacopian our Norm Parcells honoree for his life long work as a volunteer in this community for a variety of organizations.
Other awardees were Christopher Gallo, Bridgeport, David Grant, Derby/Shelton, Grayson Schwing, Devon, Walter Leash, Fairfield, Shaileen Landsberg, Milford, Katie Bailey, Monroe, Robert Sigler, Orange, Holly Sutton-Darr, Trumbull and Carol Johnson, Wilton.
Thank you to Jane Dougherty, CT Coordinator of Quilts of Valor Foundation, who presented quilts to several of our club's Vietnam veterans at the Oronoque Country Club. Recipients, from left to right, were John Corb, Jack Cratty and Joe Dolan.
The Foundation makes quilts for veterans throughout the country as another way of thanking them for their service.
Today the Stratford Rotary Club welcomed to the club a new Rotarian, Mike Suntag. Mike was sworn in by District Governor Trish Pearson.
Congratulations and welcome to Rotary.
In addition to Mike's swearing in as a new member ADG Trish Pearson was presented with a check for $1,000.00 for the District's Hurricane Relief Fund.
Stratford Rotary was proud today to join South End Community Center Bike Rodeo again. Bike safety was priority, and Rotary donated bike helmets and bike locks. Finally every kid was treated to Grilled Hot Dogs, chips and beverage. Service Above Self is our mission. The Police Department was on hand to instruct the youngsters on how to safely ride their bikes. The Fire Truck and the police dog were a big hit. Entertainment was provided by retired police officer Frank Sapione, who dazzled the children with his illusions.
As you can see from the pictures the kids had a great time.  Fran Sinish deserves a big “Thumbs UP” for coordinating event and the delivery of the bike locks and food. Some children that did not receive a bild helmet were given them today. Special thanks to Jack and Phil who worked the grill and to Fran, Jeff, Sheri, Joe Gresko, Lou, Diane Barber and Paul who served the food. Thanks for Sterling House for the loan of their equipment. Stephanie Philips was cheerleader and photographer. 
Stratford Rotarians, family members and friends gathered at the Blue Goose Restaurant for the club's annual dinner and induction of officers where the club thanked Lou Perno for his year of service as club president, installed our new president, Jeff Krause, and the 2017-2018 club officers, We welcomed our newest Rotarian, Paul Tavaras, who was sworn in by ADG Cindy Rinaldi. A great evening enjoyed by all!

The Annual Main Street Festival, sponsored by Milford Bank and Hosted by The Stratford Rotary Club, was held on Saturday June 3rd. The weather was beautiful, breezy but mostly clear and sunny. A total of 127 food, craft and informational vendors participated. There was something for the kids in the way of inflatable’s and a bounce house and the Roaming Railroad. Other entertainment was a dunk tank, a trick bicycle demonstration, a magician, a demonstration of Falconry and music from several groups throughout the day at the two stages on site. 20 food vendors participated serving a variety of foods. There was something for every taste. Thousands of people attended this year’s event and it is thought to be the largest turnout since Rotary took over hosting the event.
Stratford Rotary would like to thank this year’s sponsors. The Milford Bank, Stratford Mayors Golf Tournament and Bridgeport Fittings. Also, Big “Y”, Home Depot, ShopRite, Stop & Shop and Walmart for their support.
We’re all looking forward to next year’s Festival.

At today's meeting guests representing three of Stratford's food pantry's were presented with checks.
The checks were presented to Ty Sims from the South End Community Center, Beverly Hoppie from the First Baptist Church and Chris Carroll from Sterling House Community Center.
Today the Stratford Rotary and Sikorsky Federal Credit Union held their paper shredding/electronics recycling event. The event was a huge success even with the chilly wet weather. Resident from around the area, and from as far away as Woodbury, CT, lined up early to get their old receipts and paper files disposed of in a secure manner. At the end of the event he two shredding truck were filled. 
We wish to thank the Rotarian's, members of the Bunnell Interact Club and Sikorsky FCU volunteers who made this event successful. All the money raised will be used for backpacks and supplies for students in the Stratford School system.
Another event is being planned for sometime in the Fall.
Thank you to Jack Levine for his presentation today on Stress Management. Jack has an extensive background in management, communication, stress management, and personal development. He has been a quest speaker at many conferences, workshops and small groups. He has been on radio and television programs. He has also been a teacher and mentor. and has been the recipient of many awards in his field.His presentation today focused on useful insights and steps to significantly manage stress level and be more successful in your work and home life.
Today's meeting was special. Our club welcomed the new Interact Club members from Bunnell H.S.and two of the students we sponsored for this years RYLA convention held in Cheshire, CT. Several of the Interact members have already helped our with the Dr. Seuss Pancake Breakfast held in March. They are planning to help our with the upcoming Shredding Event on April 22nd and the Main Street Festival on June 3rd.
Students attending were: 
  • Alyssa Moore
  • Max Jakele
  • Saira Ordonez
  • Isabella Puzzo
  • Carissa DiCicco
  • Abbas Harris
  • Alexis Awad
  • Chadwick Schroeder
  • Hannah McLaughlin
  • Justin Almonte
  • Magnus Ordner
  • Also in attendance was Dr. Nancy Dowling, Principal at Bunnell H.S., and Christina Alves, Student Advisor and Kirsten Hardy, Teacher
Thank you to Connie Lester, President of the Stratford Chapter of Hearts of Hope.
Connie explained that Hearts of Hope is a movement of hope accomplished through healing art for the benefit of those in need. Her program is volunteer-driven by those who wish to “pay it forward.” Our volunteers are often people “who have been there” and have experienced life-altering challenges of their own.
Our mission is a simple one, she said, "to provide service to those who experience trauma and loss through art, educational workshops and healing outreach".
“One of the most remarkable things I have witnessed through our volunteers is their strength. Many times volunteers will create a healing gift for another with tears in their eyes, but always with a strong desire to offer caring and compassion.” 
In the words of one volunteer, these “tangible prayers” have reached people in hospitals, cancer centers, the military and communities.
These four steps are how we do it and how you can get involved:
Paint with A Purpose
Pay it forward to those in need through community service. Paint a beautiful heart, write a kind message, and spread hope through your family, organization or our chapter. 
Be A Creator of Hope
We have a variety of programs available for schools, youth groups, scouting troops and others. These are interactive workshops that demonstrate the benefits of spreading hope and “paying it forward” 
Spread Hope
Our professionals are available to describe services in your area for those experiencing trauma and loss. Our resources directory is vast and we will happily assist you in finding the service that best fits your needs or the needs of someone you love. 
Your generous donations fund our important mission.
Thank you very much for “creating hope…one heart at a time.” The Stratford Rotary Exec Board voted to donate $500.00 to Hearts of Hope.
If interested in finding out more and how you can get involved our schedule is below.
Tue 6 PM · Riverview Bistro Restaurant & Banquet Facility 
Tue 6 PM · Riverview Bistro Restaurant & Banquet Facility
Tue 6 PM · Riverview Bistro Restaurant & Banquet Facility
The Annual Dr. Seuss "Green Eggs and Ham" Pancake Breakfast was held this past Sunday morning at Vazzano's Four Seasons
Over 200 people attended making this the most successful Pancake Breakfast to date.
This year there were a variety of door prizes donated by Rotarian's along with a "Best Hat" Contest organized by Stratford teachers Michele Genaurio and Aubrey Booska.
Congratulations to our winners, 1st prize was won by Saylor Terwilliger, 2nd Smith Daly and 3rd Addison Barber. 
Members of the newly formed Interact Club at Bunnell H.S. also helped out, assisting children that wanted to make a hat for the contest.
Thank You to all Rotarian's and those attendees that supported our effort.
Thank you to Tim Ryan for his talk today on the AARP “Work and Save Program”. Tim explained that a secure retirement is out of reach for millions of Americans, especially those who work for small businesses.
Fifty-seven million Americans have no access to a retirement savings plan through their employers—that’s over 50 percent of the 18-to-64-year-old population. The average monthly Social Security benefit is only about $1,200 per month. While Social Security is a critical piece of the puzzle, it is not enough to ensure people can live independently as they get older.
The solution is a Work and Save plan, which makes it easier for businesses to create a private retirement savings account for employees, helping them take charge of their financial futures and live independently as they age.
These plans promote financial freedom, give Americans a choice, gives employees control. Their accounts are portable. When employees switch jobs, they can take their Work and Save accounts with them. Save Taxpayer Dollars and are No Risk. A Work and Save plan would be easy for employers to set up, and there would be no ongoing costs or risk to the employers or the state.
To learn more about AARP efforts and what is happening in your state at aarp.org/stateadvocacy.
Todays speaker was Lt. Roy Minton, Deputy Fire Marshal for Stratford. Lt. Minton's presentation was about the operation of the Fire Marshals office and its duties.
The duties of the Fire Marshals office is to investigates fires 24 hours a day; inspects buildings and properties for fire code compliance; inspects hazardous materials; inspects underground storage tanks and above ground tanks; performs plan reviews for issuance of building permits and provides fire prevention education to the community (schools, seniors, etc.). Emphasis was stressed on keeping homes safe by installing and inspection of Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors. A Q&A was held after the presentation.
Thank you to Dr.Joe Bertolino, the 12th President of Southern Connecticut State University for his informative presentation. Dr. Bertolino gave a brief history of Southern  and explained his primary goal is to raise the New Haven university's profile.
"The No. 1 priority for me is putting Southern on the map. Southern is a gem that very few people know about," he says. "The reputation of Southern, I don't think, accurately represents what it has to offer. We have a responsibility to put the university out there and, in many respects, to rebrand the institution."
A key part of that plan, he says, is not only further bolstering Southern's academics but also its community presence and outreach. The school can become a more active community partner and resource, he says.
"My hope is to raise the profile of the institution and to let folks know what we have to offer the community," he says.
After the presentation a Q&A period was held.