December 2023
Club Executives & Directors
Rotary Foundation
President elect/Membership
Vice President
Deputy Treasurer
Immediate Past President
Executive Secretary/Director
Club Sergeant-at-Arms
Club Director
Club Director
Club Director
Club Information
Welcome to our Club!

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Tuesdays at 12:15 PM
Acopulco Restaurant
2419 Main Street
Stratford, CT 06615
United States of America
Home Page Stories
The Stratford Rotary Club is honored to have been awarded the Superintendent’s 2023 Friend of Education Award! We look forward to continue our partnership with our schools to better serve our community. Thank you Stratford Public Schools & Superintendent, Dr. Osunde 
Stratford Rotary hosted the South End Community Center Bike Rodeo today. Bike safety was a priority, and Rotary donated bike helmets to all the children. The children were treated to hot dogs, chips and a beverage along with water bottles, pens and wrist bands donated by the Stratford Police PAL.
Harold Watson instructed the children on how to safely ride their bikes along with how to properly wear their new helmets. Dominic Mantuano oversaw conducting the competitive games.
Special thanks to Jeff, Gary and Joe who worked the grill and to Paul, Barbara, Stephanie, Joe Gresko, Pat, Amy, Elizabeth, Sharon, Jack, Chris, Catherine from Sterling House who donated the hot dogs, Jennifer, who supplied the rolls and Dominic who brought the chips.
The event is always a lot of fun and the kids had a great time.
Thank you Fran Sinish. You did a great job coordinating the event.

Thank you Jeffrey Fletcher for your information presentation on the newly opened Black History Museum here in Stratford.

The exhibit is a collection of artifacts that reflect decades of turbulent times for African Americans in the United States during the period of slavery and the Civil Rights movement. It brings visitors up close and personal which is an experience that many have only read about in history books or seen in movies.

The exhibit embraces the teachings of tolerance, diversity, unity, and educating people that there was a time when imagery played a significant role in how African Americans were perceived. The artifacts and memorabilia may seem to be difficult to view but they are a part of African American history that needs to be told just as much as the triumphs which were made by African American pioneers and trailblazers. 

The exhibit is an opportunity to begin honest conversations regarding a rich and strong history which has historically been maligned. The Images of America exhibit is an experience that will leave lasting impressions and memories.   

Thank you Debbie Gilbert-Taylor for her presentation related to the Coastal Arts Guild. The mission of the Coastal Arts Guild of CT is a collaboration of Artists and Friends of the Arts. All are dedicated to encouraging artistic expression and appreciation of the arts in Stratford, CT and the surrounding region.

The Coastal Arts Guild of CT was created to support and foster the growth of the arts, education and cultural experiences in the Stratford, CT region. We do this through collaborations among professional and emerging artists artists of all all mediums, patrons of the arts, businesses, schools and community organizations and through advocacy for the arts. Our belief is that a community’s appeal, economic vibrancy and quality of life are enriched by the support of a diverse and thriving arts and cultural scene. We provide a sense of place, where residents and businesses can be enriched through engagement with the arts.We recognize that collaboration with surrounding organizations expands outreach and increases overall community assets. Our advocacy for the arts provides opportunities for members to learn and share their art for the community’s benefit.

After the presentation there was a Q&A.

Anyone wishing more information please visit their website at,

Our speaker, thanks to Jim Bergers, was Stacey Johnson - Stratford Parent's Place Coordinator.  Stratford Parents Place received a Community Impact Award and Stacey gave us the final report.  Parents Place heard about the Healing Library Bags from a Librarian in Maine and brought it to Stratford and our Library.  The Bag is full of games, books, arts and crafts and a handy discussion guide covering the topics of Dealing with the Death of a Family Member, Loss of a Pet and Alzheimer's Disease and your family.  Coming soon are kits to help families navigate Divorce and Step-Parenting, Cancer/Illness, Incarceration and other topics.  Right now, there are 3 bags at Parents Place and 3 at the Stratford Library.
BSA Troop 74 representative Cynthia Kovalik-Cobb and Larry Haddad gave us a presentation on the new Scout Troop for Girls and received the grant we awarded to them in Fall 2019.  They reported on the scouting program and how our grant benefited their troop.  They have purchased tents, cooking equipment and more.  The troop has been very busy with events each month.  They have about 5 members and are growing!
Ron Holtz, District Membership Chair paid a visit to our club and served as Stephen Krizek's sponsor.  
Thank you Cindy. Cindy Fitch was with us to conduct the ceremony and she always has such wonderful words to make us feel good about being part of Rotary. 
Clark Law (Bill O'Brien's nephew) stopped by to share information about CT Shoreline Roteract Club's upcoming fundraiser on Thursday 12/12 at 7pm at Downtown Cabaret--a performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  A flyer is attached--please post!  Tickets are $35 and are on sale now.  Purchase online at:
Let's try to put a table together to support Roteract as they raise funds to support scholarships and FarmAID. 
Kelly Meier from the Stratford Health Department was this weeks guest speaker.  The Health Department received a Community Impact Grant and she came to tell us about the success of the program.  The Grant allowed the Health Department to work with 8 childcare providers and agencies including the Recreation Dept., South End Community Center and the YMCA.  They provided planting supplies and seeds to start both flower and vegetable gardens.  In addition, they worked with Sterling House to hire 3 teens to assist the groups and created two gardening kits that are available for loan from the Stratford Library.  They sponsored a Parents Cooking class with the vegetables grown in the gardens, began a Parents Newsletter and offered nutrition information to participants.  263 youngsters were involved in the program, which will continue even over the winter as they teach how to start growing seeds inside.  Congratulations and wishing your program be a huge success.
Thank you to Carole Adzima and Judy Crudo from Perry House who spoke to Rotary about the Youth Leadership program sponsored by Stratford Rotary. The programs had over 40 students who graduated with new leadership skills and confidence. Club President Sheri presented Perry House with a check for $1,250.00 as part of the Rotary Grant program.
Thank you to Virginia Harris, President of Friends of Boothe Park for her presentation.  Boothe Park is a 32 acre park in Stratford and a underappreciated gem.  We enjoyed the video thanks to Jack Cratty, Stephanie Philips and Diane Barber.  We learned that Stephen and David Boothe were unique individuals who cared about the people of Stratford.  They began as farmers and went on to own an insurance business, bought, sold and repaired farm equipment and owned over 100 apartments.  However, most of all they enjoyed opening up the grounds and building to provide entertainment, religious services and meals to benefit local organizations.  Upon their deaths, they willed the park to the Town in 1949 along with a fund to maintain it.  Virginia had many stories about the brothers including how they would take things off the shelves in stores and people would think they were stealing.  However, the storekeepers had already been paid for the month.  The pair were also known to have paid off the debt for the Town of Stratford.  They wanted their Homestead, the longest active homestead in the country, to be a pastoral relief for the Town.  Virginia described the various building designs, which the Friends of Boothe open for tours June 1-October 1 on Tuesday and Friday from 11-1 pm and Sundays from 1-4 pm.  There are so many more stories about the brothers that Virginia shared, too many to mention.  She encouraged us to visit the Park and the new Visitor’s Center to watch the short video to learn more.
District Governor Jack Solomon visited our club today. Jack joined the East Hampton Rotary Club in 2006 and was President in 2009-10.  During his Presidency and since he has involved the club in First Lego League a STEM program for Middle School students. His Presidency was also marked by the awarding of Scholarships, participation in Invention Convention, Support for polio effort, a Past Presidents Day, flower planting at Memorial School  and many other events and activities. He was an AG from 2012-2015. From  2015 to the present he has been co-chairman of Youth Services for District 7980.
Stratford Rotary was proud to support the Veteran's Home For The Brave Bingo fundraiser. Stratford Rotarian and US Marine vet Joe Dolan is honored by the Young Marines along with veterans John Corb (Air Force), Jack Cratty (Army), and Bill O'Brien (Army). None of us won, but we had a great time with great people.
Stratford Rotary was proud today to join South End Community Center Bike Rodeo again. Bike safety was priority, and Rotary donated bike helmets to . All the children were treated to 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. 
As you can see from the pictures the kids had a great time.  Diane Barber did a great job coordinating the event. Special thanks to Jeff and Bob who worked the grill and to Sheri, Diane, Paul and Stacie Tavaras, Barbara Blosveren, John and Sandi Corb, Stephanie, Pat, Mike, Joe, Bill and Don. 
Today's luncheon was very busy. Congratulations to Jim Berger's. Today the club presented Jim with a Paul Harris Fellow award. Jim was awarded his PHF pin by AG Cindy Fitch. Also congratulations goes to Bob Mastroni, sworn in today by DG Larry Gardner as Rotary's newest member. 
Today's speaker was Beverly Hoppie, Director of Education & Community Engagement at Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust. BNT was incorporated in 1986, Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust provides an array of services in the Bridgeport community. At BNT, it’s no coincidence that trust is our last name. In fact, it’s the principle behind every project that we do.
BNT’s mission is to LEAD, EMPOWER and CHANGE Bridgeport neighborhoods, improving quality of life through affordable housing opportunities. To meet this challenge, BNT develops and manages affordable housing, provides comprehensive home ownership education and wealth building services, and supports economic empowerment through its social enterprise initiative.
After some of the services BNT provides she gave some statistics from 2018.

In 2018 BNT…

  • Served 3,003 clients, offered 152 classes in pre-purchase education, foreclosure prevention, credit coaching, landlord-tenant education and financial literacy.
  • Helped 841 households achieve home ownership and close on $86,228,001 in mortgages.
  • Worked with 180 families to avoid foreclosure and saved $15,300,000 in mortgages.
  • Developed a real estate pipeline of almost 99 housing units
  • Managed $42,913,000 portfolio of 208 housing units and 21,000 sq. ft . of commercial
    space paying $358,000 in local real estate taxes. These spaces are home to more than 400 individuals and families.
  • For more information go to 
More photo's of the meeting can be view on the Photo Albums page
This past Saturday Stratford Rotary and Milford Bank sponsored the annual Stratford Main Street Festival. The event grows every year. This year there were 137 vendors including 8 food trucks. The weather was ideal, thousands of attendees and plenty of food, fun and family entertainment. More photo's are in the Photo Albums page.
Thank you Coreen Amad from The Stratford Recreation Dep. for her presentation on the 1639 Theatrical Group. 1639 Theatricals is Stratford’s latest theater company founded by local theater directors: Kevin Miller & Mitchell Weinbaum. 1639 is proudly sponsored by Stratford Recreation!
Coreen, representing the Recreation Dept. and 1639 Theatrical, was presented a check for $4,800.00 from Stratford Rotary's Impact Grant Program. The money will be used to purchase various sound equipment for the group.
Thank you to Sarah Domena for her very informative presentation on Adams House located in Shelton, CT. The mission of The Adam Wysota Foundation is to offer grief education and peer support in a home-like setting called Adam’s House. We have restored the perfect location in Shelton, CT. Adam’s House is a safe, healing place for families as they go though their 8-week grief journey. Here, children and their families will gather to draw support from their peers and gain new strategies for dealing with their loss. We support children struggling with any type loss- parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt/uncle or friend. All programs are offered at NO-COST to participating families. Ultimately, our goal is to empower our program participants to cope with their loss so they may live their lives to the fullest. Call us at (203) 513-2808 to learn more and get started as one of our program families.
To purchase tickets: 

Proceeds from this year's event will benefit two wonderful sustainable projects.  

The Stratford Historical Society - to purchase Historical document digitization equipment that will be used to preserve Stratford's priceless historical documents.  These original historical documents are irreplaceable and quite valuable.  Historical document digitization is an effective way of preserving these unique pieces of Stratford's past. By digitizing our local historical records, the Stratford Historical Society will be able maintain the integrity of the original documents while making  them electronically accessible for future generations of history seekers.

The Stratford Fire Department – to purchase carbon monoxide and smoke detectors to save lives.  The majority of fatal home fires happen at night when people are asleep.  Contrary to popular belief, the smell of smoke may not wake a sleeping person. The poisonous gases and smoke produced by a fire can numb the senses and put you into a deeper sleep.  The Stratford Rotary Club is excited to help support and promote the Fire Department's Fire Safety Program by purchasing a significant number of units to be installed free of charge, in Stratford homes.  

Thank you to Rev. Sara Smith, Executive Director of Nourish Bridgeport, for her informative presentation on what Nourish Bridgeport does for the community.
Nourish Bridgeport was founded as Norma F. Pfriem Urban Outreach Initiatives (NPUOI) in 2010. Their new name reflects their identity and mission as a not-for-profit organization that strives to better the lives of those in need in Bridgeport. Our weekly Feel the Warmth community supper, weekly food pantry and ESL programs help our neighbors who are homeless, food insecure and struggling to build better lives.
The Annual Rotary Golf Tournament was held today at the Short Beach Par 3 Golf Course at the Edward Yeomans Sports Complex. 37 golfers participated in the event. Food was donated by the Beach House Restaurant at Short Beach.
The weather was perfect for golfing. After all the rounds of golf were completed lunch was served at the restaurant and prizes and trophy's were handed out.  Ray Corica  won again in the men's division for the 7th year. Several raffle prizes were given out with the top prize of an all expenses paid round of golf at the Oronoque Country Club.
Thank you to all who participated.
More photos in the Photo Albums Section

Thank you Jennifer Paradis, Executive Director of the Beth El Center in Milford, for your very informative presentation about the services your group provides.

The Beth-El Center is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides support services and advocacy to those experiencing homelessness and hunger within the Greater Milford community. Through our 34 bed homeless shelter, food service programs and outreach and engagement efforts, we offer individuals, families and veterans long-term solutions to help them reclaim their lives

Our experienced and knowledgeable staff works to provide the tools and resources our residents need in order to lead independent lives. We strive to help each person secure a place to live, sustainable income and support services in order to return to self-sufficiency.

Shelter Program
Through on-site services and community partnerships, our residential program helps individuals obtain independence through stable housing, gainful employment, education and/or training. Our compassionate case managers provide one-on-one support to all residents to develop personal goals and a plan to return to self-sufficiency.

Admission to the Beth-El Center, Inc. Shelter Program for Individuals is facilitated through 2-1-1 Coordinated Entry. All individuals in need of shelter must contact 2-1-1 via phone or online for assistance:

Family Program
Singles or couples with children reside at the Beth-El Center while receiving the support and assistance needed to achieve self-sufficiency utilizing intensive case management services.

Admission to the Beth-El Center, Inc. Shelter Program for Families is facilitated through 2-1-1 Coordinated Entry. All families in need of shelter must contact 2-1-1 via phone or online for assistance:

Supportive Housing
Our Permanent Supportive Housing Case Manager provides supportive services to the residents of Liberty Point apartments to help them access resources necessary to maintain their housing and independence.

No Freeze Shelter
We provide warmth, food and shelter to those in need during cold winter nights. Users of our No Freeze shelter are connected with Center case managers to help support them in engaging in other long-term shelter and housing options.

Soup Kitchen
Supported through individual volunteers and community groups, Beth-El Center, Inc. is able to offer nutritious hot meals to shelter residents as well any community members in need. We serve a meal weekdays from 11:30am to 1:00pm and most weekends. Please refer to the monthly Meals Calendar for more information.

More information can be found at the Centers website,

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 Jeff Krause for his year of service as club president, installed our new president, Stephanie Philips, and the 2018-2019 club officers, We welcomed our newest Rotarian, Osi  Rosenberg, who was sworn in by ADG Cindy Fitch. A great evening enjoyed by all!
Photos can be viewed in the Photo Albums tab.
Thank you to Ofc. Robert Muschett of the Stratford Police Dept. for his very informative presentation about the Stratford Activities League.
Stratford PAL is an organization of law enforcement officers and civilians  working together towards the positive development of our youth. Every dollar raised is used directly for the benefit of the many programs sponsored by the organization.  Donations are heavily relied on  to support PAL activities. 

A contribution will help ensure PAL’s ability to help support the young people, approximately 95 at this time, who are currently involved in the following programs:

  • Police Explorer Program [Link: click here
  • PAL Rifle League [Link: click here
  • Pop Warner Football and Cheerleading [Link: click here
  • Baseball: Stratford Little League, American Legion, Cal Ripken,
    Babe Ruth and Stratford Titans [Link: click here] & [Link # 2: click here
  • Girls Softball 
  • Stratford United Soccer [Link: click here

Stratford PAL is a registered 501c(3) nonprofit by the Internal Revenue Service, which makes your donation to PAL tax-deductible. And please remember that 100% of your donation will go directly to support PAL programs. Your donations can be made by check or through the official Stratford Police Department website via a secure Paypal link.

Photo Albums