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July 2017

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Burlington, VT — August 18, 2016: It’s official, no matter what the forecasters say, winter starts on October 1. “That’s when we inaugurate the ski season here in Vermont with one big weekend-long party,” says Rotarian Peter Hawks, “and it’s called the Vermont SKI + RIDE Expo.” Tickets go on sale on Tuesday, Aug. 23 via the Flynn box office and information on show hours, ticket pricing and schedules is here.

The first winter sports show in Vermont, VT SKI + RIDE Expo is being put on by the Rotary Club of Burlington as a benefit for Hawks’ Flyin Ryan Foundation and presented by title sponsor,Vermont Ski + Ride Magazine. Additional sponsor support comes from University of Vermont College of Medicine, Farrell Distributing and Long Trail Brewing.

For the weekend of October 1-2, the Sheraton of South Burlington will be the scene of ski films, the latest ski and ride gear, demos, a beer tent, bands and lots of new gear. More than 50 exhibitors will occupy the space, bringing with them bargains and some never-seen 2017 gear.


Burlington Rotary President Springer Harris outlines the reasons you can’t miss this:

  • TOP GEAR. All the major ski shops —Outdoor Gear Exchange, Pinnacle Sports, Ski Rack and others will be there showcasing what’s new for 2017. Plus, see what brands such as Volkl, Marker, Renoun, J Skis, Powe and others have on tap for this year and check out great bargains on last year’s equipment.
  • RESORT NEWS & DEALS: Nearly all of Vermont’s major resorts will be present and ready to showcase what’s new for 2017 and the latest deals on lift tickets and passes.
  • MOVIES, SLACK LINES & CLINICS: See the latest releases from Matchstick Productions, Ski the East, TGR and others. Learn backcountry tips, bootfitting techniques and more at top clinics that will be going on all day.
  • BEER & MUSIC: Long Trail Brewing’s beer tent will be pouring limited release Flyin’ Ryan and a host of other brews. Drink up and listen to The Dog Catchers and other live music acts.

And there’s a fourth reason: All proceeds from this event support the charitable works of the Burlington Rotary and the Flyin’ Ryan Foundation. “We want this show to celebrate the passion for freeskiing and principles that my son Ryan lived by,” says Peter Hawks, referring to freeskiing legend Ryan Hawk’s Principles of Living, which the Flyin’ Ryan Foundation promotes. “And we hope to get more people excited about what skiing and riding here in Vermont can offer.

“You’re going to see some very cool new things at this show “ says VT SKI + RIDE editor Lisa Lynn. “Some of the most innovative products in the winter sports market have come from Vermont brands.” She adds: “With 18 alpine, 30 Nordic resorts and with more than 3 million skier and rider visits annually, Vermont is one of the top three states in the country for skiing and riding.”

“We are modeling this after the Boston Ski Show expect about 5,000 in our first year,” says Harris. “The show is happening at a time when there are more than 40,000 students in Vermont and it’s prime foliage season,” he notes.

We decided to get out of town and head into the mountains for our weekly meeting. Couldn't have asked for a better night. Highlight was Dan and Scott earning $500 for the Rotary Foundation by jumping into the cold lake. See the video below. 
Presented by Springer Harris, President of the Burlington Rotary Club, On May 23, 2016 at the Queen City Police Foundation Awards Luncheon.

On behalf of the Burlington Rotary Club, I am honored to host the fine men and women of the Burlington Police Department. Hosting the annual awards ceremony has been a tradition of our club for over 20 years; when I became president just under a year ago, I immediately started looking forward to this event.

When I started thinking about what I wanted to say today, I knew I wanted to learn more about what it was like to be a police officer. Someone on NPR told me to read “The Job” by retired NYPD officer Steve Osborne so, I did, and I learned a lot, but it wasn’t nearly enough. I decided to ask the Chief for permission to do a ride along, to which he obliged. Before I knew it, I found myself sitting in the bullpen on a dreary Saturday evening waiting to be picked up by my officer for the night. I had no idea what to expect; I was nervous and excited to say the least.

The five hours that I was able to spend with Officer Darren Kennedy were the most interesting and thought-provoking five hours I have ever had in this city. We raced up Pearl St. with the lights and sirens blaring. We transported a prisoner to the jail. We arrested an individual on an outstanding warrant. We patrolled the city and we talked A LOT! But, the most important thing I did was get a glimpse of what being an officer was like at a very personal level. I already knew Burlington was one of best cities in America but what I didn’t know was that we were protected by what must be one of the finest police forces in the United States. We are truly blessed.

This is not an easy time in our country’s history to be a police officer. Cameras are everywhere and the court of public opinion carries more weight than it should. Our own community has criticized the fact that we have an overwhelming young police force. I on the other hand think that is an amazing statistic that should be celebrated. I am the youngest ever president of a 93 year old organization.I know there are many more men and women my age who plan to join me in leading this city into the future and our young officers are key components of this. We, as young men and women, are no longer the future of Burlington- in fact, we are Burlington.

So back to my mission of learning what it was like to be a police officer. What did I learn? What I really learned was that I have no idea what it is like to be “on the job” and I never will. I have no idea what it is like to pack on 25 pounds of gear of and hit the street on foot for eight to ten hours. I have no idea what it feels like to kiss my family goodbye after only seeing them for 15 minutes, not knowing if it is going to be the last time. I have no idea what it is like to wrestle with someone on the street. I have no idea what it is like to run into a building while everyone else is running out. I have no idea what it is like to bring someone back to life using Narcan. I have no idea what it is like to see the tragedies that you see every day and night just to start over again tomorrow. I have no idea what it is like to make split second, life and death decisions, that will ultimately be judged by our entire community. And I have no idea how you courageous men and women do it every day.

What I do know is I am so thankful that you do it. I am so thankful that when you were young kids and you said you wanted to be police officers that you actually did it. I am so thankful that you continue to come to work every day and night to protect us at your own sacrifice. Today is your day to celebrate your fellow officers and for us to give you thanks. On behalf of the Burlington Rotary Club, and from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU! Thank you so very much. Please enjoy the ceremony and stay safe out there.

The service above self-award is a new tradition for our club and is  based on our club motto but also what the fine men and women of the Burlington Police Force do every day. Putting service above self. To commemorate this award the Burlington Rotary club has secured the highest honor a Rotarian can receive – The Paul Harris Fellow Award. It is named for our founder, Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer who started Rotary International with three business associates in 1905.

The award is secured by donating $1,000 to the rotary foundation in the recipient's honor. The Rotary Foundation is the number 3 nonprofit in the world made up of a global network of Rotarians who invest their time and money into priorities such as promoting peace, fighting disease, supporting education, providing clean water and growing local economies. The funds we contribute to the foundation support the global efforts of Rotarians for three years and then are reinvested back into our local Burlington community

The first Paul Harris Fellow was given in 1957 and there are now over a million worldwide. Rotarians often designate a Paul Harris Fellow as a tribute to a person whose life demonstrates a shared purpose with the objectives of the Rotary Foundation and in this case the Burlington Police Department. That mission is to stop crime before it happens and make Burlington a safer and more prosperous city. Today we have the honor and pleasure of recognizing Mark Redmond, Executive Director of Spectrum Youth and Family Services, as he becomes the world’s newest Paul Harris Fellow.

Mark, thank you for all you have done for this city since you arrived in 2003. Our desire is to give the Service above Self award to a community members who indirectly makes the lives of the men and women of the Burlington police force better and there is no doubt in our mind that you accomplish this mission every day.

It gives me great pleasure to present to you the two emblems of appreciation given to a Paul Harris Fellow - - certificate and pin. Please accept our congratulations and sincere thanks, for your commitment to our common goals of world peace and a safe and prosperous Burlington Vermont.  
Our speaker was Jerry Shanahan of the Salute Military Golf Association of Boston. Take a look at the below websites. Amazing story and even more amazing photographs and videos of our nations wounded veterans playing golf and others raising funds to support them.
The Salute Military Golf Association (SMGA) Boston is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation whose mission is to provide rehabilitative golf experiences and family-inclusive golf opportunities for post 9/11 wounded war veterans in an effort to improve the quality of life for these American heroes. SMGA Boston also offers our programs to veterans from all wars. 
SMGA’s Support for Post-9/11 Wounded Veterans: The SMGA believes the rehabilitative benefits of golf can improve the mental and physical condition of each and every post-9/11 wounded warrior. The SMGA provides golf instruction, equipment, and playing opportunities for post-9/11 wounded veterans.
SMGA’s History and Inspiration: The SMGA was founded after Jim Estes, Director of Instruction at Olney Golf Park in Olney, MD, saw first-hand the positive effects the game of golf could have on combat-wounded soldiers. The following articles from tell how several trips from Walter Reed Army Medical Center to Olney Golf Park eventually evolved into a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation aimed at supporting injured veterans.
Our program was by Michelle Asch, board member of the Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation (VCTF).  She explained the projects, the grant process, and the impact the foundation has throughout the state.  Each child and each story demonstrates what a difference the projects make.  
We had a wonderful but lightly attended meeting yesterday. Our speaker was Corporal Krystal Wrinn from the BTV police force. She is a seven year member of the force and was recently selected from the chief and the mayor to fill a new role solely focused on preventing domestic violence. We learned that there are more than 2,000 call to the BTV police station to report domestic violence and even at that level it remains one of the most underreported crimes in the city. Domestic violence calls are also the most dangerous for a responding officer. Statistics show they are the most deadly call for US officers. Corporal Wrinn is dedicating her life to reducing domestic violence in our city and is committed to taking her role even further to expand to the county and potentially the state.
As a follow up to her visit I would like to remind the club that we will have our Police Recognition Lunch on Monday May 23rd. I would like to have a good showing of Rotarians at this meeting. Leo has put in a significant amount of work in revitalizing our partnership with the Queen City Police Foundation. We want to remain committed partners with them in this event. As a result of our conversations we are going to be more prominently featured in the materials of the event and will have a larger role in the event itself. We are coordinating with the police to ensure that there are officers, Rotarians and community members at every table. I am likely going to participate in a “Ride – A – Long “ experience with and officer and use it as my introduction to the event. We are also going to present a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow to a community member who makes significant impact in helping the police and reducing crime. That name will be released soon
First Annual VT Ski + Ride EXPO Planning Meeting 
Our guest was Michael Schirling, former police chief and new Executive Director of BTV Ignite. Mike joined us to present some of what we already knew and a lot of what we didn’t. We all know that Burlington is an amazing place and people should be falling all over themselves to live. What we didn’t know is that BTV Ignite is the organization working to make that happen. Their mission is to work with other tech cities around the country and apply the lessons learned to make Burlington one of the most desired places in the country for tech firms to set up shop. Our fiber internet infrastructure is one of the main assets that makes this possible. BTV Ignite will link together schools, colleges, businesses, nonprofits and city utilities to form a coalition to put more jobs and training in place and therefor cement Burlington as the “Queen City of Tech”. I just coined that. They should use it.  As a young professional who wants to make Burlington work for my family and everyone else’s I am excited that Mike is in this role. I can’t wait to see his accomplishments in action.
On ( 04.04.16 ) we kicked off Pure Water for the World Month. Over the course of April we will collect cash donations for water and other beverages. We do this to remind the club how easy it is for us as Americans to obtain safe, cheap and abundant clean water. However, we know this is not the reality that much of the world's population finds itself living in. 
In addition to the Mount's we will be joined by some members of VT's Pure Water for the World including one of our own. Hanna Fisher, Dave’s Daughter, will give us a short presentation on the benefits our collection during the month of April provide. 
Dave and Fran Mount joined us along with Linda Gilbert of the Charlotte-Shelburne club who along with her husband run the Hands to Honduras- Tela program that we have been collaborating with since 2008. Dave and Fran have traveled every year but once since 2008 and it sounds like at least 6 other Rotarians and their children have been down at one point or another. Mandi and I have continued to discuss wanting to go down. While in Honduras the volunteers work on infrastructure needs of the Tela community including hospitals, schools, and bathrooms. But they do more than that. They run dental clinics and Fran leads a scholarship fund to help students travel to the high school so that they may get an education past the 6th grade.

The work that they are able to do on our behalf as a result of our clubs financial contributions are astounding. I agree with the group that we need to create a way of getting this wonderful message out to the public including to groups such as the young professional’s club whom have already shown interest in participating in this type of service. If this is something you can do for us please let me know and I can tell you have we have done to date.
Please visit Hands to Honduras website and spend some time learning about what we have accomplished down there. It’s fantastic. Pictures are great too. 
Our good friend Mark Redmond visited us to talk about the Spectrum Sleep Out and the tremendous fundraising success it has been. We do not have any members sleeping out this year but if you know someone who is consider supporting them. The contributions Spectrum makes to our community are so vast they couldn’t be quantified.
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. 
Learn More About Rotary International Efforts
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When we introduced Rotary Club Central in 2012, it revolutionized goal tracking and planning for clubs and districts — no more filling out paper club-planning forms or passing along boxes of historical club information every time a new leader took office. Rotary Club Central offered clubs and districts a quantifiable way to begin measuring local and global impact, specifically membership initiatives, service activities, and Rotary Foundation giving. But as with any technological advancement, in a few short years, Rotary Club Central began to show its age, and Rotarians took notice. They...
Rotary International Board adopts new zone structure
At its January 2017 meeting, the Rotary International Board of Directors adopted a new zone structure for Rotary clubs. Rotary bylaws require the Board to complete a comprehensive review of the 34 Rotary zones no less often than every eight years to ensure that each zone has an approximately equal number of Rotarians. The Board’s previous review of the zones occurred in 2008. The Board earlier approved the creation of three regional workgroups to develop rezoning proposals for Asia, Europe/Africa, and the Americas. These workgroups comprised one representative (either a current director,...

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Welcome to our club!


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