Saturday, April 28, 2007

Club To Sponsor Antiques Appraisal Night!

Tickets are now available for the upcoming Antiques Roadshow to be held June 6th from 7 - 9pm, at the Dracut Grange Hall on Route 38. This event is sponsored by the Merrimack Valley Rotary Club and you can contact any member for tickets to the show. Admission is $10 and if you'd like to have your item appraised, there is a nominal $10 appraisal fee per item also purchased in advance. Appraisals must be pre-paid and registered by calling (978) 446-9366. Seats are limited as are the number of appraisals. Also planned is a 50/50 raffle and light refreshments will be available.We have lots of interest so far, this one will be a sell out. Get your tickets early!!

A Funny Thing Happened At Rotary Today!

The Merrimack Valley Rotary had two funny visitors at a recent breakfast meeting. The occasion was Funny Day, which was designed to be a meeting full of funny jokes, pictures, and moments. During the breakfast the members were entertained by Little Squirt, the clown and Little Nipper, the dog! Breakfast had never been so much fun before!


Vincent Borkowski, a member of the Southborough Rotary Club, recently met with the Merrimack Valley Rotary to discuss the importance of designing an ongoing and successful new member program.

Borkowski’s past experience includes working as staff member and regional officer of a national college fraternity. In this capacity,
he was responsible for training chapters in the management of their organization and new member recruitment.

One of his points, in his presentation to the Merrimack Valley Rotary, was that not having a good recruiting program would grow inactive membership. However, his key point was how to identify and communicate with a perspective member, and how to address their objections, thereby opening the door for Rotary membership.

In addition to understanding the methods of communication, he also spoke about finding hot pockets in order to meet people and promote the Rotary. One important hot pocket he talked about was Town Meeting. He mentioned the fact that people who take the time to attend Town Meeting are also the type of people who will consider joining the Rotary.

Borkowski’s presentation to the Merrimack Valley Rotary was an abbreviated program, however, it typically runs one full day.

MV Rotary Learns The Hook, Line And Sinker Of Fishing

Fishermen and Fellow Rotarians John Duggan and Dan LeBlanc gave the members of the Merrimack Valley Rotary a lesson on April 4 in the basis of fishing. John casted out a hands-on presentation on the art of tying a knot and brought in a school of his rods to share with the group. In addition, Dan debuted a well-produced collection of fishing slides and video. Dan also shared with the group his collection of fishing rods which motivated the group to want to skip work and head towards the nearest fishing hole! The Merrimack Valley Rotary meets at Skips every Wednesday at 7:15 AM. For more information on the Merrimack Valley R0tary write to Fish On!


Geralyn Burke, of the Westford Club, came back from her Rotary trip to Brazil with new friends, great memories of Brazilian Rotarians and a greater appreciation of Brazilian food. Geralyn
who spend a month in Brazil as part of a Rotary Group Scholarship project, addressed the Merrimack Valley Rotary on March 28, 2007.

She said the greatest challenge of the trip was the language barrier. Most of the people they met spoke Portuguese and very little English. But she said, we were able to work it out.

She and one other Rotarian and three non-Rotarians went to Brazil to get a better understanding of a water Brazilian purification project. Every day was busy, traveling around southern Brazil, attending Rotary Clubs, conducting radio interviews and meeting local people.

She said that Brazil is very much a male dominated county but she did have an opportunity to visit an all women’s Rotary. Asked if she would do it again, she said, she would in a heart beat!


Show us the money? That is what Ralph Hammond did for the Merrimack Valley Rotary on March 7. Ralph told the Merrimack Valley Rotary that they could get $90,000 without raising any money. How is that possible? “Through the Rotary Foundation,” Ralph said. He came to the Club to alert them to the opportunities available through the many grants programs offered by the Rotary Foundation.

These grants programs included the Ambassadorial Scholar program, which awards $23,000 to a Club for sponsoring a student who will go to college overseas. Other programs mentioned are the World Peace Scholar, which will earn the Club $52,000; Groups Study Exchange Member ($3,000); Volunteer Grant ($3,000), Matching Grant ($8,400); and District Simplified Grant ($1,000).

Ralph used his own Club, Bedford, as an example. The Bedford Club, in over 15 years, has raised $286,000 in contributions and yet, out of that total, the Club itself only raised $33,000. $253, 000 of the funds were raised through Foundation grants. He said the process is simple, and that not enough Clubs take advantage of it.

Ralph told the group that the Foundation headquarters is in Illinois but that is not where decisions are made as to how to spend the money. The decisions are made, he said, by each of the Clubs that takes advantage of the grants available. He urged the Merrimack Valley Members to keep the program going by not only using the grants but also, by making ongoing contributions to the Foundation.

Bob McDonald Woodchuck Award Presented

The Merrimack Valley Club awarded the first ever "Bob McDonald Woodchuck Award" at their club meeting January 31st. The award was presented by current President Gordon "Hum" Neville to Bob McDonald in recognition of his recurring dream and subsequent tales about a woodchuck that stole his winning lottery ticket. It appears that Bob has been plagued visions of this Woodchuck for many years. Ken Masson, the creator of the award, felt that the story has been told so many times that an event commemorating his tale was long overdue. Bob also received a scratch lottery ticket which wasn't a winner.The Merrimack Valley Club will each year bestow this prestigious award upon the Rotarian that tells the biggest tale at one of our meetings. The award will be presented on the closest club meeting day to Groundhog day each year. Rotarians are welcome to join us for the ceremonies. We always look forward to having Rotarians visit our club with their stories. It's a great opportunity for fellowship and we always enjoy seeing new faces as well as the regulars. Think you have a winning tale?? Do a make up with us and you might be next years winner.Move over Punxsutawney Phil, the Merrimack Valley Club has the Bob McDonald Woodchuck Award !!

Club Hosts First Every Reunion

The Merrimack Valley area club hosted it's first ever reunion meeting this morning at Skips Restaurant in Chelmsford, MA. There were lots of "almost" forgotten stories, trivia, a guest speaker, live music, raffles and above all fellowship.
This meeting was a group effort to boost the clubs membership. We're hopeful that at least a few of past members will re-join us as Rotarians. A great time was had by all. Many thanks to all those who visited and to the members that worked hard to make it all happen.
What a great way to start the day...

Andrea Bradford Joins The Club!

Our newest member, Andrea Bradford, was inducted into the Club by Al Jean on February 21. You might be wondering who she is.

Andrea is a branch manager for Northern Bank and Trust in Chelmsford. She was born and grew up in Melrose. About 8 years ago, Andrea and her husband, Jim, moved to Hudson, MA because of job locations.

She has a degree in psychology from Westfield State. Upon graduation from college, Andrea started her banking career at the Melrose Savings Bank. Eventually, that bank became MASSBANK.

She has been married 27 years to Jim. She met Jim in college. They have two pets: Daiai, their dog and Monty, their cat.

She enjoys sports and is an avid Red Sox fan and a Giants football fan. They also have season tickets to the New England Revolution.

What are among her favorite things? Favorite movie: African Queen; Favorite Place To Eat: Abe & Louies; and Favorite Places: Scotland and Key West

Andrea says she is very happy to be a part of the Club and looks forward to contributing to its success.