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Community Service Chair
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International Service Chair
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Fundraising Co-Chair
President Elect
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RYLA Chair
Youth Exchange Co-Chair
Youth Exchange Co-Chair
GSE Co-Chair
May 2016

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Home Page Stories
We had a fabulous night at the Flynn last night. Thank you to everyone who came out and a big thanks to Dave Mount for organizing. This was my first trip to the Flynn and first time experiencing Irish music. I must say I think I am now a fan of both! We raised $4,150 half going to the Flynn and Half to our club. 
A good crowd. 
Great Food
New Friends 
Meet the band! 
A huge round of applause for Dave Mount. A great event. Thank you for organizing. 

Our speaker was inspirational keynote speaker, Karen Newman. This will be a wonderful program! Karen is a world class triathlete and inspirational speaker.  Check out her web site: to learn more.

Today’s speaker team was comprised of Brian Boardman and Dr. Frank Ittleman. They provided us some insight in the upgrades that the UVM medical center plans to start making this year. In summary, we have a cutting edge hospital that must contend with the challenge of housing itself in a 50’s era facility. To allow the great people of UVM medical center to provide the service they are capable of a new building is a must. One of the most important aspects of the upgrade will be individual patient rooms that will allow for families to visit in comfort and allow the UVM staff to preform procedures right in the room as they are in many other hospitals. Brian and Frank both shared stories of their immense connection to the hospital and how they motivated them to successfully get the project to this point. Over the course of the last six months Brian has raised $10 million to get the project started. This huge effort on many peoples part will surely affect each and every one of us at some point
We were also visited by Don Sinex. He gave us an update on the Mall and encouraged everyone to attend an upcoming city council meeting where they will be discussing the future of the project. 
Michael Tsang informed us of the signature dance show Shen Yun Performing Arts on Chinese dance and Chinese culture that will be at the Flynn on May 7. He presented to us about their organization last year and returned to invite us all to the next show.
Kesh Ram visited as well to tell us about her campaign to become Lt. Gov of VT

On Leap Day the meeting program was a classification talk by Member Jake Hanley.  Jake is a recent transplant to Vermont from Connecticut, works for Peoples United Bank, and is a Past President of the Mystic, CT Rotary Club.  Jake told of his unusual story of going from being a history major to financial consultant.  All he had to do is "follow the money".

We had a great meeting on Monday. 
We were glad to be back in the newly renovated Sunset Room - new paint and the sun was shining. 
The room was filled with familiar and new faces.  Thank you to everyone who brought guests.  We have many good programs coming so keep inviting folks that you think would be a good fit with the club.[Let Springer or I know if you have questions about the membership application process.]
Gene Richards was joined by his colleagues Nick and Amanda who gave us a big picture overview of the direction of BTV.  The airport is a community asset and this was valuable dialogue to learn how they intend to generate more revenue, open up new services, and apply creativity to the systems in place. 

Zac Fike started and operates Purple Hearts Reunited. It is a nonprofit organization that rescues and returns purple hearts and other medals of honor to their rightful owners. Zac explained to us how disgusting it is that purple hearts are traded online like baseball cards for $100s or $1,000s each.  He spends almost all of his personal time purchasing these online and returning them to families. To date he has returned 150 medals but has close to 400 in his basement that need to find their owners. Not to mention he is spending close to $30K a year buying them online and receives 4-5 medals a week in the mail. He has had dogs dig them up, scuba divers find them, and even people who are metal detector enthusiasts. This passion started when he returned from his first tour of duty. He found that collecting military antiques soothed him after what he witnessed at war. His mother, the first female Drill Sargent,  gave him a Purple Heart she found at a shop. He knew right away he had to return it. Unfortunately, he was unable to do so before being deployed for a second time. It was during this deployment that he received his own purple heart. That stoked the fire even more and Purple Hearts Reunited was born. When asked what the biggest challenge he faced was he without hesitation said funding. He estimates that he would need $60K a year to rescue all the medals that come to market and would need at least that much more to return them. It costs $1,500 to return each medal. The return includes him personally flying the medals in a frame to the family and hosting a ceremony. He has even slept in his car to save money. Zac loses sleep every night when he thinks about the fact that he knows he can return all the medals but that he just doesn’t have the time or money to do it. So how can we help?

The Burlington Rotary club was proud to host retired Lt. General and current President of Revision Military Technologies.  Prior to joining Revision in 2015, Michael served in the military for 36 years, including time as Deputy Commander of the United States Northern Command, where he was responsible for the air and land defense of North America, and Adjutant General for the state of Vermont from 2006-2012.. Michael spoke about national security issues, the F-35 fighter jet, and Revision Military Technologies.
During the talk, Rotarian Dan Feeney tried out one of Revision's helmets:

Every year for the past several years the Burlington Rotary Club has assisted the Salvation Army with ringing the bell leading up to the holidays at its collection station at the Church Street Marketplace in downtown Burlington.  It is always wonderful to meet and interact with shoppers as we witness the awesome giving spirit of passers by.
Rotarians Dan Feeney and Scott Baldwin
Zoe Petersen (right), daughter of Rotarian Gordon Petersen, and her friend Clare Maxwell.
Rotarians Larry Brett and Sarah Sprayregen.


The Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee’s Ninety Second Gift to Rotary

As Chair of the Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee, I am given the opportunity to promote that part of my life I call Rotary to the world in forty-five to ninety seconds. As Rotarians we change people’s lives and give them hope where there is none. Many times in order to achieve our goals we must find a way to have people of different backgrounds sit down at the table and negotiate a safe environment for our volunteers to work. This year’s entry will highlight Rotary’s efforts to create a more peaceful world.

Since Rotary returned to the Tournament of Roses Parade in 1980, the New Year’s Day pageant has become a highlight on the Rotary calendar. Seen in Pasadena by over 700,000 people, television coverage of the floral extravaganza reaches about 80 million more around the world, providing Rotary with the valuable opportunity to showcase our programs and activities.

“Be A Gift To The World” will be RI President, Ravi Ravindran’s theme for this year. The Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee is a gift to Rotary. Although the float is not a project of Rotary International, the success of the float is a tribute to the dedication of the Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee consisting of volunteer Rotarians from across North America. Our efforts, supported entirely by voluntary financial contributions from Rotary clubs across the United States and Canada, 2016 will make this the 37th consecutive entry in the Tournament of Roses Parade. The Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee is proud to provide this Rotary recognition campaign tool as a gift to Rotary International and the 1.2 million Rotarians who dedicate our lives to making a positive difference in that place someone calls home.

Yours In Rotary Service,
Walt Stephens,
2016 Rotary Rose Parade
Float Committee Chair

More Information can be found at:


INVOCATION:  Peter Hawks shared how the ' Four Way Test' came to be. Interesting.
PAST PRESENTATION PLAQUE ... Co- Presidents Spencer Harris & Elisa Mayes, presented out going President Bill Harwood with his well earned Past President's Plaque.
PROGRAM:   Rev. Peter MacLean served in the US Navel Reserve during the Viet Nam War. 
SPEAKER INTRODUCED BY:   Past President Bill Hardwood introduced us to Rev. Peter MacLean. 
NOTES FROM SPRINGER ...I am going to take a stab at summarizing Peter's story but I know I cannot do it justice. Let me just start by saying I have never felt our room of Rotarians so memorized by a speaker before. There wasn’t a single peep in the room. 
Peter sat only a few feet from each one of us and made you feel every word. It was amazing. He was such a fantastic orator that he could move the emotions of the room from laughter to tears in mere moments of each other. It was an amazing moment to be a part of.
Let’s begin with stating that we were the first group to ever publicly have the honor of hearing Peter’s story. He was a young man of the church and was searching for more purpose on his life so he enlisted with the US Naval Reserve. He soon found himself in the midst of the Viet Nam Battlefied as a marine chaplain. Peter was no ordinary Chaplain. He entertained us with his stories of both ignorant and intentional insubordination.  He share his story of his work at the Buddhist refugee camp where he creatively found ways to increase their rations of rice. As Chaplain one of his jobs was to keep the moral of the troops high which could be done by getting ice for the beer. Unfortunately, being a battlefield chaplain also comes with the terrible job of looking after wounded and deceased marines. It was at this point we were all ready to break down in tears with Peter. There was plenty more to his story but I just can’t do him justice by repeating the details. To date, one of Peter’s favorite accomplishments was the time he spent as a volunteer firefighter.

Thanks for attending the Rotary Club first Thursday Social at Zero Gravity.  Here are a few pictures we took. 
Thanks to Springer for sharing your birthday cupcakes !!! 
Springer and Mandi Harris sharing the Birthday Cupcakes. 
The early group: Scott, Larry, Ed, Springer, Elisa, Eric and Peter. 
The late crowd: Dick and Len. 


PROGRAM:   Joe Sinargra from Myers Waste and Recycling. 

Joe is a self-proclaimed “loud Italian” and Director for Sustainability for Myers Waste and Recycling. He was able to educate us on some of the aspects of their family run business. The main take away from the discussion was to please consider using, and requesting that your contractors use, Myers for your construction recycling. Myers has the ability to take waste such as roof shingles, dry wall, brick, and wood and turn them into items such as asphalt, animal bedding, Quick Dry, and plywood. By using any of the other guys you are potentially sending your waste strait to the landfill. 
When choosing your family garbage hauler or a contractor who will have waste please consider using and requesting Myers, a local family business. If you want to learn more about ACT 146 contact Joe.
INVOCATION:       Thomas Melloni provided us a wonderful invocation.
President Springer as new leader and  motivator. He has found that leading the singing of 'America the Beautiful" will be one of his biggest challenges.
Last Thursday was our Fireman’s Award dinner.  Larry reported that along he shared dinner with Bill, Elisa, and Len. The dinner was a great night shared with a solid troop of politicians and more importantly some true local hero’s. We look forward to determining and shaping a future with this fine group of men and women. 

Rotarian Nancy Lawrence celebrates her 96 birthday on Thursday. She has been a valuable member of the Burlington Rotary club since before women were offered membership. Long before she was the first female member of the club she was asked by her husband to assist in the secretary duties of the club. It was in this position she became an honorary Rotarian dedicated more than 40 years of her time to our club. She has seen so many wonderful people come through our doors. Nancy, we can not thank you enough for all that you have done for us! From us to you, have a wonderful birthday. 

Betsy Bishop of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce discussed the Vermont Chamber's Total Impact List, detailing the cost of legislation over the last few years. She has been traveling the state talking with Rotarians and Business Owners about what is going on in Montpelier and the impact it is having on our state and our businesses. We all appreciate the work that Betsy and her team are doing to make Vermont a better place to live and run a business. Her message about young people starting families not wanting to come to Vermont strikes home for many. Most eye-opening was her critique about the state's ability, or lack of, to count how many weeks are in a year. 
Rotarian Dave Mount introduced Betsy Bishop our guest speaker.

HUGE thanks to Sandy and Margy in bringing Abraham Awolich to our meeting. This has to be hands down one of the  most amazing people we have had grace us during lunch. Abraham came to Burlington as a refugee from Sudan in 2001  and took it upon himself to make the absolute most out of  his situation. He moved through CCV, UVM and Syracuse  finally obtaining his master in public admin. Not content  with just making a comfortable life for only himself he  traveled back to South Sudan (the newest country in the world) and has dedicated his life to ensuring that future  generations of South Sudanese citizens can have a safe and  prosperous life in their home country. It was an absolute  pleasure to be in the presence of a man as talented and  motivated as Abraham. I hope that we can come up with a way  to support his efforts and maintain a close relationship  with him. Truly a remarkable human and the embodiment of  Rotary ideals.

Paul Sayler talked about his experience working in all facets of the beer brewing industry in Vermont.  He also shared many interesting facts and insights regarding the brewing industry in the United States and in Vermont over the past 25 years.  And he brought refreshments!

Tad Cooke and Erick Crockenberg of New Moran, Inc., a non-profit steward of the Moran Plant, spoke at the Burlington Rotary Club Meeting.
They shared with us the process for redevelopment, including the financing, the environmental challenges, the program for the space, the parking plan, and the overall schedule.  New Moran will incorporate a market hall, a 1500-person capacity community event center, open office space, and 
a roof deck with spectacular views of the lake. The goal is to continue with permitting this year, begin construction in summer 2016, and open in summer 2017. 
To learn more and keep up to date:

TJ outlined the problems with juvenile crime in the state, starting with high suspension rate in school and brining young people too young into our justice system when it becomes difficult to get them out of it.
He is running for Attorney General and outlined the issues:
  • High taxes and affordability of living in Vermont.
  • Driver’s License restoration.
  • The heroin addiction program, with long waiting lists at treatment clinics.  It costs the state $79,000 per prisoner a year.  
  • He advocated for involving nursing interventions for young people before they get involved with the criminal justice system. 
  • Campaigns in Vermont: they are too costly and not transparent.  Who are the donors?
Questions and Answers:
Ute asked about narcotics trafficking.  He reported that the authorities are reluctant to talk about the source, Brooklyn, and he wants to work with the New York State and federal authorities in the City.  The system needs reform.  
TJ also explained how most addicts start on the pain killer OxyContin and then move up to harder and cheaper drugs.  
The medical community should be more involved to help reduce the abuse of drugs.
A sobering presentation we all needed to hear.

Kelly invited us to her fundraising bike ride in Middlebury on Saturday, September 12.  She broke her spine is a ski accident and has since dedicated hers life to raising funds to pay for safety and other equipment for skiers with handicaps.  After ten years, it has become  national grant organization.

This Spring the Burlington Rotary Club presented Pure Water for the World with a check for more than $11,000 to support bringing clean water to Cite Soleil, one of the world's poorest slums located in Port au Prince, Haiti.  This contribution will help bring clean drinking water an area in desparate need.  For more information regarding Pure Water for the World's Cite Soleil project, click on the following link: 
Pictured are Carolyn Meub, Director of Pure Water for the World receiving a check from Bill Harwood, Burlington Rotary Club President

The Burlington Rotary Club has supported the enhancement of City Hall Park for many years, including it's annual "planting in the park" each Spring to plant flowers.  This year our crew set aside its regular meeting time of Monday at noon to complete the planting followed by lunch in the park on a beautiful Vermont Spring day. 

Lise Veronneau and Jack Lindley ring the bell on December 13th!  Rotarians from the Burlington Rotary ring the bell each Saturday in December in support of the mission of the Salvation Army.


Learn More About Rotary International Efforts
Rotary shop on new platform
As of 1 May, the Rotary shop will be available on a new platform. We may experience some downtime during the transition and apologize for any inconvenience. If you have any questions, please contact us at or at 847-866-4600.
Rotary districts mobilize to support survivors of Ecuador, Japan quakes
After a series of three earthquakes -- two in Japan and one in Ecuador -- killed hundreds of people, injured thousands, and caused billions of dollars in damage late last week, Rotary members in those regions have created disaster relief funds to help survivors. In Ecuador, the powerful 7.8-magnitude quake that struck Saturday night has killed more than 400 people, with 2,500 injured. Those figures are expected to rise. Rotary District 4400 established a service fund to raise money for relief efforts. Contact District Governor Manuel A. Nieto Jijon for information on how to donate. In Japan,...

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Service Above Self

We meet Mondays at 12:00 PM
Burlington Hilton
60 Battery Street
Burlington, VT  05401
United States
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Burlington Rotary
c/o President William Harwood
77 Overlake Park
Burlington, VT  05401