Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Club updates

There's a lot going on for the Merrimack club at the moment. Here's a snapshot...

We've recieved the NFL Superbowl raffle tickets and sales will begin shortly. The winner recieves two tickets to the Superbowl, $1000 and 4 nights lodging in the Bowl City. Tickets are $5 ea or 5 tickets for $20.

We'll be helping out the Westford Rotary Club with their Blues and Brews Festival as well as the revived Pig & Pepper festival August 20/21, at the Nashoba Ski area in Westford. Should be a great weekend. More info to come later this week.

District Governor Tom Polito will be visiting us at our weekly meeting August 17th. Always nice to have the Governor visit the club.

Richard is working on another Club International Project. We need to raise funds to support him in his endeavors. Luckily we have Carl's experience to guide us through this time. Good Luck guys!

That's all for now, stay tuned for future updates!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Weekly Meeting update

Officially Liz's last week as President for the club and we had almost a full roster of club Rotarians.  We also had a very special visit from one of the Scholarship recipients from the town of  Tewksbury.  Brian will be majoring in English this Fall and hopefully training to participate in the Tour de France in the years to come.  Good Luck Brian !  Please come back to share with us your experiences at school this Fall.

Andrea reminded the club that the 2011/12 District Governor Tom Polito will visit our club in August.  We'll have the actual date by next meeting.  Mike Peterson invited the club to a BBQ at his house.  A date needs to be firmed up but later in August seems to be the consensus.

Stories from the previous nights outing at LeLacheur park were exchanged.  The home team didn't fare so well but the evening was a great success.

Congratulations and best wishes to Andrea Bradford as she begins her term as club President today.  We're here to support you in your year!

Hope everyone has a nice 4th of July weekend!

Play Ball !!

our annual trek to see the Lowell Spinners play at LeLacheur park on the Merrimack River was once again blessed with good weather.  Attending members enjoyed a great night under the stars as the home team got trounced by Vermont... Oh well, we still had a great time.  Margueritte Carroll and family were in attendance along with John's brother, each of the kids got a little something from the park.

Here's a few pics with captions...  
Spinners night

Past President Liz makes trade for husband JAD
Team Merrimack Valley
Al keeps us organized

Monday, June 6, 2011

Black Duck Sells for $22,425

Who knew that an old carved black duck decoy could sell for so much.  Guess I'll be keeping my eyes open at yard sales from now on.  Click here to read the details. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Unique Visitors

It really amazes me at how far our message travels.  I just clicked on sitemeter to see who's been reading our posts and I noticed one small dot in the middle of the pacific.  We just had our first reader from Hawaii... Honolulu to be exact.   Hang Ten!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Weekly meeting update

We had almost full attendance yesterday.  Bob McDonald gave an update on the two scholarship funds we manage.  It's our goal to expand the program to include additional towns and more fundraising will be needed to build the base.  One of the other topics discussed was the scholarship recipient changes we may be putting forward.  Starting in 2012 we will be requiring recipients to visit one of our breakfast meetings to learn more about our club and Rotary and so that we can meet the people that benefit from our gift.  This only makes sense.  What we'll offer them is an opportunity to apply for the $30,000 Ambassadorial Scholarships that are given out by the district each year. 

Carl Good cleaned out his closet and was delivering a car load of books.  This guy is always busy and we're lucky to have him in our club.  He also gave us a brief update on the Bangladesh project reports currently underway. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Weekly meeting - May 25

Light turnout this morning, looks like people are getting busier at work these days.  We had a very interesting presentation given by Bob Schecter from the Framingham club.  Bob lived and worked in Africa during his college years.  I'm a little fuzzy on the country but I believe it was Zambia.  The Framingham club is working on a matching grant to supply school supplies, clothing and other essentials in this area. 

We had a minor discussion on new fundraising ideas including one on a Broomball Tournament in Lowell.  More information and some number crunching is needed to understand the requirements and the costs associated with an event like this.  Initially the Tsongas Arena was thought to be a good location but thinking it through, only the finals would be held in the arena.  Elimination rounds up to the Semis would be held at local rinks. 

Other discussions included an expansion of the scholarship program to include a Regional Vocational school in Lowell brining the annual total to 7.   We'll need to raise additional funds to support the new school and Bob McDonald will guide us on the additional amount needed keep the account sustainable.  The scholarship set up in Andover earlier this year reduced the principle on the primary scholarship fund.  Growth is a good thing!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The District Conference

The Rotary District 7910 conference is just around the corner and as usual it promises to be another great event.  The Merrimack Valley Club is donating a decorative bench (pictured and donated by Bob McDonald) for  the silent auction.

55 clubs from central Massachusetts will gather June 9, 10 and 11th at the Boxborough Holiday Inn.  This is District Governor Mike Ellis's celebration party for a job well done this past year.  His term ends June 30th when the new Rotary year begins. 

There are many events at the conference and a personal favorite is some of the presentations given Saturday afternoon, followed by the house of Freindship and evening dinner to follow.  If you're a Rotarian in district 7910, you don't want to miss this event.  See you there!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April 20th Meeting

Full house this morning with almost every member present.  It's a great feeling when everyone shows up.  I suspect we all got charged up from the joint meeting yesterday.

The Ayer club has asked for our assistance in the Ducky Wucky Race coming up in May.  We're selling duck adoption tickets for their annual duck race.  No... Not real ducks but rubber duckies!  They dump thousands of sponsored wubber ducks into the Nashua River, first duck across the line wins!!  The grand prize is a dinner for two.. anywhere in the world!! This years race takes place May 7th so contact us for tickets today!  There's still time.

We're headed to LeLachuer park again this year to see the Lowell Spinners Baseball team.  This is a fun night of fellowship for the members and family.  Make your reservations early if you want to attend.  Andrea will be making the purchase in the coming weeks.  We've decided on June 28th, game start is 7:05.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Joint Club Meeting of the Merrimack Valley Clubs

The Merrimack Valley Club participated in the Merrimack Valley Rotary Club joint lunch meeting at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, MA.  It's been a number of years since this this event was last held and the timing was perfect.  District Governor Mike Ellis was on hand as well as Past District Governer Greg Roche to speak about District 7910 as well as updates on the Rotary International strategic plan. 

Many of the regional clubs were in attendance including  Billerica, Chelmsford, Westford, Dracut, Merrimack Valley Area Club, Tewksbury and Lowell.  For many of us it's the only opportunity to see each other outside of the District Conference in June.  Over 100 Rotarians were in attendance, far exceeding Lowell Club President Mike O'Flaherty's expectations.

Mike Ellis made a pitch for the District Conference that will be held at the Holiday Inn Boxborough this June.  Rooms are still available and as always ... The House of Friendship !   Details are available at http://www.rotarty7910.org/

Richard Lewis let me know of an expanded event the Westford Club will hold this Summer.  Each year his club runs the Blues and Brews festival as their primary fundraiser.  This year they plan to expand the event to include the following day which will be designated as a family day for the town residents and Rotarians.  He promissed lots of events for the kids as well as the adults.  The event is now being held at the Nashoba Ski Area in Westford.  Check out http://www.bluesnbrews.com/ for the details.

Awesome event, excellent food and fellowship.  Great Job Lowell club!!  Thanks for taking the lead to organize the event.

Friday, April 15, 2011

District Assembly Update

We had a great night at the District 7910 Assembly last night.  It was nice catching up with familiar faces and meeting new people.  I was taken by the energy and passion these club leaders have. 

The breakout sessions were designed to get the club secretaries and treasurers rolling on their rolls that start July 1st.  In addition there were presentations on Social Media, Public Relations, The Rotary Foundation and Membership.  The organizers did a very good job this year and the change of venue from a Saturday to a Thursday was a good call.  There were right around 100 District Rotarians in attendance.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Weekly Meeting update

Small group this morning but we covered a few things before getting into fellowship.  First off was a reminder that next Tuesday is the Joint club meeting at the Tsongas Arena.  It'll be nice to see the other clubs from the Merrimack Valley again.  Mike Ellis, DG and Greg Roche, PDG will be on hand as speakers.  Don't miss out on all the fun.  The lunch is free but donations to Polio Plus are expected in favor.

Steve Kirk from the Concord Rotary Club was with us again, this time talking about the fundraising group that meets in  Lexington, MA to discuss different ways to raise cash for the clubs.  He briefly spoke of the http://www.biddingforgood.com/ website. 

Andrea and I will be heading to the District 7910 Assembly in Framingham tomorrow night to take in a few of the breakout sessions that are happening.  Another Rotary Rubber Chicken Dinner I assume.

Next weeks regular meeting will feature a guest Speaker who will present on waterfowl decoy carving.  Not a lot of these old tymers around so it should be a good take.  If you're in the area drop in for the presentation, a cup of coffee and maybe some breakfast.  We're always on the lookout for new members. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

District 7910 Assembly

This Thursday we will have our District Assembly and training session on a great number of subjects. We will have session for treasures, secretary, foundation, membership, club runner, rotary and youth, social media and public relations.This is a training and a great way to learn more about different aspects about Rotary and how to improve our skills.

We will have a Boston PR company, Elevate Communication to help us with Public Relation and will have informations about writing a good press release and contacts with the media.  The social media session will be all about face book twitter and linkin. This will be a first of many training about this subjects and this is the way most club advertising their events. This session is being lead by Brookline President Elect Laura Day.

Our membership session, we will have Kevin Hallinan of Winning Inc, a company the specialize in Sales & Leadership Development.

So please have members of your club, officers and members come to this great event at the Sheraton in Framingham.  The event will start at 5 pm with registration and dinner and the training will be from 6 pm to 9 pm .  To register or more information please go to http://www.rotary7910.org/.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Weekly update

Slight changes to the meeting this morning.  Evidently the hotel double booked the room and had to move us to accomodate another breakfast group.  Our appologies to those that showed but never found the meeting, the hotel forgot to put out a notice of the change.

The joint meeting for the clubs in the Merrimack Valley will be held at the Tsongas Arena April 19th.  The location and food have been donated for the lunch meeting.  The Lowell club asks that we make a donation in the amount we normally pay for a meal each week.  About 50% of our members will be in attendance... Awesome!!  Just a reminder, we'll still have our regularly scheduled meeting at the Radisson the next morning.  Great week to make up missed meetings if you've been absent recently. 

We briefly spoke about new members and more on project ideas for the coming year. Membership and Fundraisers are the lifeblood of any club.  Bring a friend to a  meeting, as always, we'll pay for their breakfast! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Global Power of Rotary

Rotarians worldwide have contributed more than $18 million for disaster relief in supplies, services, and cash.  This included $2 million from the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund, a Rotary Foundation donor advised fund that supports long-term rebuilding efforts.  The fund distributed $10,000 for a major cholera prevention effort run by Rotary District 7020.  (taken from The Rotarian magazine, April 2011)

Rotarians around the world continue to make donations, aiding and solving problems in every corner of the globe.  You can help support humanitarian efforts by becoming a member of a local club like the Merrimack Valley Rotary club.   Membership is all about the contacts you meet along the way and how you can make a difference here and abroad.  Want to learn more??  Click on the What's Rotary link in the sidebar and then join us for a meeting! 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

International Projects for Rotary District 7910

Since 1997, Rotary District 7910 has contributed almost 4.5 million dollars towards International projects. The most recent projects and countries include:
  • Honduras - clean water
  • Guyana - Medical Training
  • Pakistan - Water Buffalo
  • Phillipines - Street Childrens - YES Project
  • Bangladesh - Special Needs Project
  • Ghana - Water Purification
  • Cameroun - Village Fertilizer Project
  • Peru - Cleff Pallet work through project smile
  • Peru - Childrens health mobile lab project
  • Uganda - Computers for a technology center
  • Nicaragua - Emergency medical training institute
  • Haiti - Technology center for 3 schools
  • Nigeria - Solar power water project
  • Nepal - Early childhood education & School project
  • Haiti - 11 seat landcruiser for the St. Joseph school for boys
  • Zambia - Computer training program
  • India - Deep well drilling for drinking water for orphanage
  • Guatemala - Establish a neonatal/pediatric Gemini training Institute
  • Kosovo - Medical project
  • India - School bus project
  • Haiti - Restoring a fishing industry in Carrefour
 Our district is doing so much to help the needy and victims of natural disasters around the world.  If you're not a Rotarian, maybe you should think about becoming a member.  There's still so much work to be done.  We need you!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Weekly update

Well, another week and possibly another snowstorm, will Spring ever truly arrive? 

We discussed building another scholarship at the request of John Carrolls wife, to benefit the kids of Andover, MA.  We have had a number of requests from former Rotarians and friends on how to contribute.  Bob MacDonald and Al Jean are working out the legal details on how to get this rolling.

Steve Kirk from the Concord, MA club joined us again this morning.  He gave us an update on his Haiti Relief Speaker panel last night.  The event was well attended, over 80 people showed and were not disappointed.  The overlying message is that things are still incredibly bad there and huge amounts of relief are still needed. 

Debbie is working on a date for the next Antique Appraisal night fundraiser with Skinner Auctioneers.  We decided that we still want to hold the event at the First Parish Church United in Westford.  The location works well for the event so mark you calendars for late October.

More disussion followed on a Spring fundraiser and a fellowship night at the Lowell Spinners for a night of baseball, sometime in August.  More on this in  future post.

Carl is still doing the snowbird thing in North Carolina after his recent excursion to Cozumel  where he finished his PADI dive certifications.  Hopefully he'll give us a presentation when he returns in May.  Click on Cozumel above to see video from one of his dives.

JAD Duggin, our club advisor gave us some poignant advice today.  "Read the funnies first"  good advice JAD!

Wee need new members!!  Join us for breakfast to learn what Rotary is all about.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Charitable Giving

I'm exploring something called Missionfish.org that I found on Ebay to generate donations and charitable giving options for the club and Rotary International.  If you have experience with this service or if you have items to donate/sell on Ebay please contact me at gaffed2001@yahoo.com


Monday, March 28, 2011

CCSN Bangldesh third immunization of children

The Center for Children with Special Needs that is partially supported by a Rotary Matching Grant from the Merrimack Valley club and district 7910 conducted its third immunization of local children as part of the grant. Other parts of the program will be completed soon. CCSN focuses on children with physical problems including polio survivors.  The CCSN website can be seen at:  http://www.ccsnbangladesh.org/

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Getting organized and weekly update

We're slowly making the transition to the new leadership team.  The District 7910 attendance records have been partially updated with more changes to come in the following days.  On that note, all members should take a look at the re-organized District Webpage, it has much better clarity and organization.  Great Job.

At our weekly meeting we had a good turnout including two guest visitors.  Steve Kirk from the Concord club stopped by for breakfast and to let us know about the presentation he organized for March 29 at 7pm.  The topic is Haiti, the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake and relief effort of his club and other agencies.  The event will be held in Carlisle, MA at the Union Hall - First Religious Society 27 School Street.  The speaker forum is free and donations are gladly accepted.

Chris Borden visited our meeting as well and is adjusting back to civilian life after his Army tour in Afghanistan.  We're still asking him to join our club but he just hasn't made the jump yet.  He'd make an incredible Rotarian with all his work in civics.  C'mon Chris... just do it !!

The club also discussed ways to help the earthquake victims in Japan.  Looks like we'll be purchasing shelter boxes for the displaced.  Each of  these boxes will help support 10 people for 6 months.   Contact us if you'd like to make a donation!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Back at it

It's been awhile since we've posted and there's been lots of happenings in the club; some good some not so good.  First of we regret to post that our long time member and friend John Carroll passed a few weeks ago.  He was very active in the club and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

This past week has brought on horrific events in Japan with the 8.9 earthquake.  Rotary is already in action sending tents, food and health supplies to the victims.  It's a great feeling to be part of an organization that can cross cultural boundaries and deliver help and services almost instantaneously.   Click HERE for more information on the recently established Rotary Tsunami foundation.  We'll post more on Rotary efforts as they become available.

On a lighter note, Andrea Bradford has stepped up as our new President for 2011 - 2012 years.  She's in the process of building her team and we wish her great success.  Our current President Liz Duggin will help her transition to her term which starts July 1st.  She'll have a great time at PETS.

Lastly, we're on the lookout for new members to join our club (as always).  We're looking for great people that want to make new friends and that want to take advantage of the many offerings through Rotary International.  The nice thing about a breakfast club is it sets you up for a positive day!  You can start the day off with a cup of coffee and a laugh or two while learning of the many aspects of Rotary.   Join us for breakfast, we'd love to meet you!