Posted by David J. Armstrong

Chief Cloud and Kim Eckhardt

We had two speakers Thursday morning, June 15, 2017.. The first was Kimberly Eckhardt, who spoke on behalf of PAX, a U.S. State Department scholarship exchange program. Kimberly said that there are actually two programs under the PAX administration, one for students from former Communist countries, and another for students from Muslim countries. The purpose of the PAX programs is to help spread world peace. PAX is always looking for host families to welcome exchange students. Currently PAX is looking for a family to host a student from Mongolia.
Our second speaker was Chief Richard H. Cloud from the Chester Police Department. Chief Cloud was born and raised in Vermont. He has worked in law enforcement for 29 years, and he has been with the Chester PD for 13 years. He has worked with canine officers. Chief Cloud reported that the Chester PD currently has five full-time officers. An important program of the department is the DARE program, which is an attempt to proactively address the current drug epidemic involving heroin and other drugs. In the last year Chief Cloud reported that there have been three overdoses in Chester, two of them fatal. Addicts are often desperate for money to buy drugs, which leads them to commit break-ins and other crimes. The Chief emphasized the need for community involvement, and especially parental involvement, in addressing this problem. He also said that doctors need education about the misuse of prescription drugs. He said that 3 out of 5 prescription drug abusers become addicted to heroin.
In response to a question, Chief Cloud addressed the question of legalizing marijuana. He felt that it was premature to legalize marijuana at this time. He said that there is no way  for police officers to test the level of marijuana in the blood when a driver is stopped and suspected of DUI. Additionally,  he said that there was no lab in Vermont to test for marijuana. On other issues, the Chief said that it was important for officers to be in the schools. He said that fraud is currently a major law enforcement problem and that citizens should be involved in helping the police.
Two Speakers in the AM! David J. Armstrong 2017-07-05 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ron Chute

Dee Hassett

"We are not all by ourselves," Dee Hassett told Chester Rotary members at the June 24 breakfast meeting.

Dee is a former president of Chestertown Rotary, manager of its Jiffy Mart, and a web designer. She believes all clubs benefit from knowing what other clubs are doing for the Rotary cause. Charlestown's biggest program is a Penny Sale, with over 300 prizes, that raises $12,000 to $15,000 every year. Also on the schedule are a Father's Day dinner and an Easter Egg hunt for kids with balloons and a bunny.

Through the Chief of Police Chestertown Rotary supports a drug prevention program that shows people how to help by being aware of signs of involvement. With Interact, they participate in building houses in Nicaragua and Medical supplies in Cambodia.

"Come visit us, and share," says Dee.

We Are Not All by Ourselves Ron Chute 2017-07-05 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ron Chute on Jun 06, 2017

Christian Craig Executive Director Edgar May Health & Recreation

Christian Craig, executive director of the Edgar May Health and Recreation Center in Springfield, spoke to Rotary on June first at the Fullerton Inn. He highlighted the Center's preventive medicine program, which is geared to help area residents of all ages and current physical abilities live a healthy lifestyle.
The Edgar May Center offers three indoor swimming pools and a large fitness center that includes cardiovascular and strength equipment. It holds 35 group exercise classes each week, including spinning (indoor cycling), water aerobics, Pilates, and TRX as well as personal training. A new summer learn-to-row program in collaboration with Vermont Academy teaches the basics of Olympic-style rowing. Annual events include an indoor triathlon, Thanksgiving Day 5K, Move to Improve, and Prescription for an Exercise program.
Craig's first charge from the Edgar May board was to keep the whole thing affordable. It is very much so. Its interest is your well-being at a cost you can afford. More information can be found here.
Affordable Access to Indoor Health & Recreation Ron Chute 2017-06-06 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Jun 04, 2017
Playground Committee Says "Thanks" Dave Nanfeldt 2017-06-04 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on May 25, 2017

John Holme and Tom Slayton

Tom Slayton, a Vermont journalist, was the speaker at the morning meeting of the Chester Rotary Club on May 25, 2017. Tom spoke about the interdependence of rural Vermont culture and literature. There are two types of writers in Vermont; those that live in Vermont and those that write about Vermont. The latter helps the reader get a better understanding of Vermont culture which is characterized by its independence, commitment to community, unique sense of humor and skeptical attitude. Tom went on to talk about playwright David Budbill and novelist Howard Frank Mosher. David Budbill was known as the “People’s Poet” and Howard Frank Mosher was known as the “Voice of Vermont.” Both authors captured the history and culture of Vermont from the past. Today, the challenge is to keep that sense of place in a changing digital world.  
Can VT Survive Prosperity? Dave Nanfeldt 2017-05-25 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on May 14, 2017

Rotary President Ed Caron Presents $1,000.00 To Chester Playground Committee

At Rotary’s First Thursday Speakers Series in May, representatives of the Chester Playground Committee and CAES principal Catherine Fogg presented detailed information about the new playground initiative at Chester-Andover Elementary School. In addition to a PowerPoint slide show, committee representatives   answered questions about the need, design and funding for the proposed new playground.   The current playground, twenty-five years old and mostly constructed of pressure treated wood, has reached the end of its life cycle. Wood splinters and out of date design are the most common concerns. Raven Norlander McCarty, facilitator for the design team, explained how the team has developed a vision for the playground by gathering community input from the staff and students at CAES, the facilities coordinator and citizens who use this resource.  Jill Bruning gave a financial overview of how much money has been raised and how the committee plans to reach its goal of $150,000. To date, the committee has raised $17,000 through fundraisers such as its Auction Dinner and Pennies for the Playground event.  Looking ahead, the group has been selected to be a potential candidate for a grant through Promise Community Initiative funded by the VT Department of Children and Families. Pooling the money from the grants, fundraisers, and donations, construction of the new playground will be underway during the third quarter of 2018. At the conclusion of the evening, Rotary President Ed Caron presented the committee with a check for $1,000.00.
Need to Run & Spin Dave Nanfeldt 2017-05-14 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt

Skylar, Sierra and Sadie

At Chester Rotary’s First Thursday April speaker series, Sierra Kehoe, Sadie Woods and Skylar White,  GMUHS Interact members, spoke to Rotarians and guests about their recent trip to Nicaragua. The girls from GMUHS joined eight Interact students from Woodstock to complete service projects in San Juan Del Sur. Accompanying the students from Chester were Bill and Leigh Dakin and Jeff Ladd. The students completed three service projects during the week that they were in San Juan Del Sur. The first project that they tackled was the completion of a water tower to supply drinking water to the school. They then spruced up the school with a coat of paint and later in the week helped install a coral reef. Each day, after completing work around 2:00 pm, the girls spent their time in town exploring the shops and vendors and dining in the local restaurants. The students and chaperones also took side trips to Grenada and Masaya volcano. Reflecting on the trip, Sierra, Sadie and Skylar all agreed that the trip was as important to the Nicaragua community as it was to their growth as teenagers. 
Interact Service Trip to Nicaragua Dave Nanfeldt 2017-04-25 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ron Chute

Carolyn Frisa

Carolyn Frisa and her husband, Garet McIntyre, a graphic designer, wanted to move from Boston to Vermont. He has roots here and they like the small business environment. Like many professionals who come to Vermont, she wanted her own business, not at home but in its own space.
Carolyn has a master's degree in paper conservation (preserving and conserving art and archival collections on paper). Before moving here she was an associate paper conservator at the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, Massachusetts. Fortunately, the house they bought in Chester in 2008 had an existing one-year lease, which allowed planning time. Although her professional market and channels of contact were well-defined, exploration of local banks, inventory, finance, taxes, and wages was a new world. She placed an online call for help in the community and met with town officials, other retailers, family contacts, real estate agents, and the Springfield Small Business Service.
Carolyn found the perfect location, for the right price, in Bellows Falls next to the Opera House. Her Works on Paper studio has a big front window to display her works, is climate-controlled, and has a security system. In addition, its 2,000+ square-feet size allows space for treating oversized artistic and historic objects.
Next came the tough part—running the business. She found a local partner with great hands and a love for the work. She arranged babysitting for their four-year old boy and  adjusted to the extensive travel demands of her profession. Most of all, she found what had been a 48-hour week became more than a 60-hour week. As she told our Rotary group, you have to love the work to justify the demands.
Carolyn Frisa - Starting a Small Business in VT Ron Chute 2017-04-25 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Apr 01, 2017

Paint Your Own Pottery ... Cheaper Than Therapy, and Way More Fun!

On March 30, 2017, Melissa Howe, owner of Endless Creations Pottery Studio, was the speaker at the morning meeting of the Chester Rotary Club. Endless Creations Pottery Studio, located at 23 Maple Street in Chester, is a local business where customers can find their creative self and paint pre-cast pottery pieces. Melissa offers a wide variety of paints and glazes and finishes the piece in her kiln. Formerly located on Elm Street, Endless Creations relocated to the corner of Maple and Main Streets. According to Melissa, the new  location has meant  everything for her business. Open Wednesday through Sunday, the shop offers a dedicated special events room, ladies night and classes. For more information, log onto her website here.  
Melissa Howe, Endless Creations Dave Nanfeldt 2017-04-01 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ron Chute on Apr 01, 2017

Maddie Harper

On March 23 Chester Rotary was charmed by Maddie Harper's smile as she described her five weeks in Thailand during last July and August. Maddie, junior at GMUHS, was one of 13 kids participating in this Experiment in International Living program. She told us she was inspired to participate by her ninth-grade teacher, who had had this same experience when she was Maddie's age.
Maddie showed photos of Thailand and commented on the different cultures there. The house-moms she lived with in the rural southern region were overwhelmingly attentive while those in the wealthier hill north were casually indifferent. In some schools there was wide-open free play, in others silent kids watched TV. She traveled from rural areas to a traditional temple town and to modern Bangkok. Maddie learned how to ride an elephant (you have to sit far up on the hump to avoid the sharp spine), she visited the Tiger Kingdom zoo, and told us how to eat sticky rice with your hands (you roll it into a ball and dip it into other foods) and about the showers and the toilets.
Most of all, we learned the great things a big smile for everyone accomplishes when you don't speak the language. The Thais are always smiling she said, and she brought that smile home with her along with a bunch of new Interact friends and a list to ten things she learned from the experience—the common humanity of different peoples being among them.
Maddie Harper Reports on Thailand Ron Chute 2017-04-01 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Mar 16, 2017

Jen Studin

On March 16, 2017, Jen Studin, Girls on the Run Certified Coach, was the speaker at the morning meeting of the Chester Rotary Club. Girls on the Run is a non-profit program that works to encourage pre-teen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through interactive lessons, exercise and running.  At the present time, there are thirteen girls, from grades three through five in the Chester program. The program started on March 7, meets two times per week from 3:00 to 4:30 and will end with a 5K race in Bratttleboro on May 20. The weekly lessons include three parts: understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork, and understanding how we connect with the world at large. The outcomes are that the girls develop positive emotional, social, mental and physical development.
Girls on the Run Dave Nanfeldt 2017-03-16 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt

Allison DesLauriers

AT Chester Rotary’s First Thursday speaker series, Allison DesLauriers , GMUHS School Board Chair, spoke to Rotarians and guests about VT Act 46. Allison provided extensive background information, including the goals of the law, strategies for implementation, a timetable, incentives and penalties provided by the state. She also explained the guiding principles. Act 46 requires local governments to create Unified School Districts that will increase opportunities and equity for students, decrease overall cost per student  and be attractive to families and parents. At the present time, Two Rivers Supervisory Union has eleven districts with eleven school budgets. On Thursday, February 23, the TRSU Act 46 merger committee approved a four-town Regional Education District which would create a larger school district with one school board. The plan must meet the state’s criteria and then be voted on by the voters in the towns by early May. If the RED is approved by the citizens of Chester, Andover and Cavendish, the transition to the new governing body would begin with the new school year.
Vermont Act 46 Dave Nanfeldt 2017-03-14 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt

Ellen Taetzsch and John McAveeney

On February 23, 2017, Ellen Taetzsch, Regional Coordinator of the Springfield area Building Bright Futures, was the speaker at the morning meeting of the Chester Rotary Club. Building Better Futures is a state mandated program which monitors the well-being of children and families in Vermont. BBF looks at how a family, the community and the state can better serve children eight years old and under. The twelve regional BBF’s evaluate family and social relationships, health and development safety, early care and learning. Family economic well-being is assessed and subsidies for child care are provided if necessary. In addition to these services, they provide developmental screening to determine how a child is progressing. This public-private partnership “aligns community action with state policy in order to make improvements in access, quality and equity in early child care, health and education for families and children.”
Building Better Futures Dave Nanfeldt 2017-03-14 04:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Feb 20, 2017

Malcolm Summers, Christine Saul and Cynthia Austin

Cynthia Austin and Christine Saul, Green Mountain Union High School Teachers, spoke to Rotarians and Interact students at the Rotary breakfast on February 16, 2017. Cynthia has been teaching music at the high school for eighteen years and Christine new to GMUHS is in charge of the drama department and band. Cynthia spoke about The Young Americans program coming to the school, the upcoming production of the Wizard of Oz and the need to upgrade the auditorium stage lights. , The Young Americans are coming to Chester the last week of September 2017 to perform and work with the students at the school. Cindy is looking for twenty-five host families. For the first time, the GMUHS drama and music departments will be presenting the Wizard of Oz for their Sring production. What has become apparent as they practice for the performance is that the lighting system is woefully inadequate and needs to be upgraded. At the conclusion of the meeting, Rotarian Malcolm Summers gave Cindy and Christine a check for $2,862.07 to help defray the cost of the basic upgrade.
GMUHS Drama and Music Departments Dave Nanfeldt 2017-02-20 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Feb 04, 2017

Jeanne Carbonetti, Artist and Author

At the Chester, VT First Thursday speaker event in February, Jeanne Carbonetti, renowned artist and owner of Crow Hill Gallery in Chester, spoke to Rotarians and guests about “The Seasonal Rhythm of Creativity: “A Visual Interpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Season Concerto.” Jeanne has been a water color painter for sixty-three years and has published six books with the seventh in process. Jeanne believes in the “Power of Beauty” to enhance our lives. One of her messages to students is that we are all born with creativity. After explaining left and right brain dominance and how that relates to creativity, Jeanne showed the audience, through a series of twelve canvases, her visual interpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Season Concertos. As she described each painting, Jean explained to the audience the different stages of creativity an artist encounters on his/her journey to create a piece of art. Jeanne’s paintings may be viewed at Crow Hill gallery by appointment. 
Jeanne Carbonetti Dave Nanfeldt 2017-02-04 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Jan 26, 2017

Suellen Slater & Nancy Kelly

On Thursday morning, January 26, 2017, Suellen Slater and Nancy Kelly, volunteers at Six Loose Ladies spoke to Rotarians and guests. The Six Loose Ladies Yarn Shop started out as a group of ladies with similar interests and was set up as the non-profit, Fiber Arts, in 2001. Since 2001, it had two venues in Proctorsville, a name change to Six Loose Ladies and a relocation to Chester. The relocation to Chester in July of 2016 has been a huge success with “The Ladies” feeling revitalized and an increase in customer traffic. The vision of Six Loose Ladies is to preserve and promote the fiber arts. With that goal in mind, SLL reaches out to the community to offer workshops, demonstrations and classes in knitting, spinning, weaving, crocheting and hooking. For some interesting conversation and unique gifts visit their shop at 287 Main St, Chester, VT 05143 and check out web-site here.
Fiber Arts & Loose Ladies Dave Nanfeldt 2017-01-26 05:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Jan 21, 2017

Connie Stone and Ron Theissen

Connie Snow, Executive Director of the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, spoke to Rotarians and guests at the Rotary breakfast meeting on January 20, 2017. Connie has been with the organization since 1987 when it started out as the Windham Housing Trust. In 2011, it merged with the Rockingham Land Trust to form the WWHT, Windham & Windsor Housing Trust. Its mission statement is “to strengthen the communities of Southeast Vermont through the development and stewardship of permanently affordable housing and through ongoing support and advocacy for its residents.” WWHT has a variety of programs to accomplish its goals. These include housing development, property management and a home ownership program. One project that Chester residents are familiar with is the beautifully renovated apartment building across from Liasai's Chester Market. Connie gave examples of how WWHT provides services to support successful home ownership. In one example, a Brattleboro resident was spending 92% of her income per month on housing. WWHT utilized a variety of strategies to reduce her housing spending to 32%. More information about WWHT programs and links to other services can be found here
Windham & Windsor Housing Trust Dave Nanfeldt 2017-01-22 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Jan 21, 2017

Kathie Stone

At Chester Rotary’s First Thursday speaker series, Kathie Stone, past president of the Manchester VT Rotary Club, spoke to Rotarians and guests about her recent travels to Iran. The three week tour took place this past spring and covered an extensive list of cities along with visits to the country-side. In her journey through Iran, Kathie was impressed with the friendliness of the people and their knowledge of world affairs. The country-side is sparsely populated as most people live in the cities.  The three week trip took Kathie to relics, mosques, bazars, palaces, Christian churches and even a Jewish temple. Kathie’s presentation featured a movie developed by another member of the tour. The audience marveled at the number of intricate tile mosaics and how numerous buildings were decorated with flags, bunting and colored lights. For more information about Iran, You Tube has a number of videos for your viewing pleasure.
Journey Through Iran Dave Nanfeldt 2017-01-22 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Jan 04, 2017

Samuel Fogg

Samuel Fogg, a 2016 graduate of St. Michael’s college, spoke to Rotarians, Interact students and guests at the last Chester Rotary meeting of 2016. Sam spent seven months in Shanghai where with many life changing experiences eventually led him to his job in Boston as an auditor for PricewaterhouseCoopers. Shanghai, a city of thirty million on China’s central coast, is the country's biggest city and a global financial hub. Sam said that it was “crowded, polluted and littered.”  In Shanghai, he attended the university and worked as a volunteer at the U.S. Consulate. For a time, Sam lived in an apartment without hot water, slept on the floor and had his student VISA expire. During his time away from the university, Sam spent many hours visiting the country side and hiking. He left China with a greater understanding of people, an appreciation for our life style,  an understanding of international relations and the importance of networking.  
A Path Less Traveled Dave Nanfeldt 2017-01-05 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Dec 22, 2016

Ian Montgomery, Chester Rotarian and Anglican Missionary Minister

Ian Montgomery, Chester Rotarian and Anglican Missionary Minister, spoke to Rotarians and guests on December 22, 2016. As a representative of the Anglican Church, Ian helps to implement the goal of bringing a spiritual and social transformation in Peru. The representatives of the Anglican Church are known as the missionaries who work in the poorest and most dangerous regions of the country. Since 2008, Ian has been building churches and schools and transforming neighborhoods. Drinkable water is also a huge issue in Peru and there has been serious work to supply the people with affordable water filters. Ian told his audience that there is an emerging middle class but many Peruvians live in great poverty. During the presentation, Ian showed pictures of magnificent mountain ranges, semi-tropical rain forests and completely arid areas that only get one-half of an inch of rain per year. Peru was once part of the great Incan Empire but was conquered by the Spanish from 1531 to 1533. It is home to Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Missionary Work in Peru Dave Nanfeldt 2016-12-23 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Dec 22, 2016

Teri Palmer, Store Manager

On Thursday morning, December 15, 2016, Teri Palmer Dollar General store manager spoke to Rotarians, guests and Interact students. Prior to this position, Teri was a tow truck operator, corrections officer and regional manager for Walmart. Since the store has opened, it has met three objectives; serving about 250 customers per day, exceeding the sales goals, and becoming one  of the top Dollar General stores in the area. Organization, neatness and friendly associates are the guiding principles at the Chester store. Teri tells her associates that the store won’t succeed if customers’ needs are not met. Besides selling quality merchandise at a fair price, Dollar General makes a commitment to the community through donations to national and local charities. Dollar General also has a Literacy Foundation that gives grants in “many shapes and sizes. “Information about their literacy program is available at the store or on-line.
Dollar General Comes to Chester Dave Nanfeldt 2016-12-23 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ron Chute on Nov 30, 2016
On Thursday, November 17, Joni Jo Goss told the Chester Rotary the story of Jiffy Mart, Champlain Oil, the Cairns family in South Burlington. and how she came to Chester to run eight Jiffy Mart convenience stores in the area.
Joni Jo grew up east of Walpole, NH, and now lives in the same house she was raised in. Her career began working in the Walpole Jiffy Mart 18 years ago where she proved herself and was promoted to run the previous Chester Jiffy Mart on the triangle to the Depot off Main Street. At the new location on the corner of Main and Route 11 to Springfield, Joni Jo is now District Leader for eight stores and reports to the Perkinsville, VT, office that runs 34 stores in Vermont and New Hampshire.
Jiffy Mart is part of Champlain Oil, a South Burlington, VT, company. Champlain partners with CITGO, Mobil, Irving, Shell, and Sunoco and is involved in truck fleet services in the two-state area. It has agreements with Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Ramunto's Pizza, Burger King, McDonald's and others. The company was founded in the mid-1940s by C. Douglas Cairns and is now run by his two sons.
Jiffy Mart's credo is 'customer service" says Joni Jo. She plans to join Rotary — community service is another part of the company's belief.
Joni Jo Goss and Chester's New Jiffy Mart Ron Chute 2016-12-01 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Nov 06, 2016

Karen Landsberry, Director of Residential Services

At the Chester, VT First Thursday speaker event in November, Karen Landsberry, Director of Residential Services, spoke to a group of thirty Rotarians and guests about Kurn Hattin school. Kurn Hattin was founded as an orphanage by Charles Albert Dickinson in 1894. Today, Kurn Hattin serves ninety-five at risk children ages five to fifteen. Children live in cottages with the appropriate age group and gender and attend school or camp depending on the time of the year. With over a century of service, Kurn Hattin’s program has become world renowned because of its emphasis and commitment to helping children grow physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially. During the course of her presentation, Karen spoke in detail about the programs and activities that help to accomplish these goals. Other speakers included GMUHS Interact president, Sierra and Rotarians Malcolm Summers and Dave Nanfeldt. Sierra invited Rotarians and guests to Interact’s next community service project to be held on November 12, 2016. Volunteers will meet at 10:00 am in front of the Fullerton and will be picking up trash along the highways and byways of Chester. Malcolm told the audience about how Rotary International uses “Shelter Boxes” to help alleviate suffering caused by natural disasters such as the hurricane that struck Hatti in September. Dave explained how guests could participate in this year’s Kurn Hattin gift giving event to be held on December 15.
Serving Children Since 1894 Dave Nanfeldt 2016-11-07 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Oct 27, 2016

Ken Olsson, Conductor and Music Director

At the October 27, 2016 meeting of the Chester Rotary, Ken Olsson spoke to an overflow crowd of Rotarians, guests and Interact students. Ken is presently the music director and conductor of three choral groups in south central Vermont. Ken grew up in Leyard, CT, attended the same high school as his wife Julie and surprising did not meet her until she became his mentor at Ithaca College. Ken postulated that everyone “should sing” and has a “contribution to make” because music is such a participatory activity. Ken’s appreciation and love of music was evident as he gave the audience his insights into how music should be a part of everyone’s life and how it is an expression of one’s soul.  As director of the Springfield chorus, Ken was pleased to announce that the Springfield Community Chorus (SCC) will have a “coming together” with the Bennington chorus to jointly presenting Beethoven’s fourth movement from the 9th Symphony “Ode to Joy” in the spring of 2017. Recently, SCC appeared with other choral groups to sing Mozart’s Requiem in NYC at Carnegie Hall. The SCC started its 50th year this past September and is still going strong. More information about SCC can be found here.
Everyone Should Sing Dave Nanfeldt 2016-10-28 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Oct 27, 2016

Andrew Dey, Unity Homes

On October 20, 2016, Andrew Day, Director of Operations at Unity Homes, spoke to Chester Rotarians and guests. Unity Homes is an offshoot of custom homebuilder Bensonwood Homes and is based in Walpole, NH. For over two hundred years, the standard procedure for building a home was to construct it on-site. Homes built on-site are difficult to construct because of inefficiencies, unpredictability of the weather and inconsistent skill level and training of the workforce.  A Unity customer starts by choosing one of four platforms and then with the help of a design expert modifies the design based on needs and budget. Once the design is completed, the home is fabricated in a plant and then assembled on-site. The guiding principles of Unity are to montage architectural principles, design and building techniques and to utilize best practices to produce a quality affordable, energy efficient home. More information about Unity can be found here.
Homes That Evolve as Your Life Unfolds Dave Nanfeldt 2016-10-28 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Oct 14, 2016

Townsend Gilbert, Living with a Learning Disability

At the Chester, VT First Thursday speaker event in October, Townsend Gilbert spoke to a group of thirty Rotarians and guests about “Living with a Learning Disability.” The core of his presentation had its origins in the work that he did with learning disabled middle school students on Long Island. From this work and his own experiences as a student with dyslexia, Townsend described life as a learning disabled student as “really difficult.” Given the challenge of reading, Townsend devised many strategies to avoid having to read out loud in a group and recently employed one strategy to avoid reading out loud as an adult at a conference that he attended. Based on personal interactions during his youth and as an adult, Townsend feels that there is little understanding of what it means to have a learning disability. In a rush to explain the problem, many people think that the learning disabled are either “slow,” “don’t care,” “are stupid” or “trouble makers.” In his view, a learning disability is a gift that leads to good listening, problem solving and observation skills. Just as Thomas Edison, Charles Schwab, Steve Jobs and Tom Cruise have overcome a learning disability, Townsend has become a successful entrepreneur and businessman. Townsend’s license plate on his VW convertible, “Thnk Pstve,” gives you some insight into what has led to his success.
It's a Gift Dave Nanfeldt 2016-10-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Will Wilcox on Oct 06, 2016

Neil Allen, The Message For The Week Editor

On September 29, 2016, Neil Allen, editor of The Message For The Week, spoke to Chester Rotarians and guests about the vision of the paper and how to get a story published. Eighteen thousand copies of the paper are published each week and distributed to forty-three towns throughout the region. In addition to the printed copies, The Message For The Week has a Facebook page, Twitter feed and can be read on-line here. As to content, Neil says, “we are always looking for feature stories on people, events and organizations that are or will be doing something new or unique.” The paper tries to feature new businesses and strongly encourages photographs. Press releases should be formatted as a docx, pdf or rtf file. The information can be submitted via email, sent to PO Box 759 in Chester or dropped off at the office which is located at 287 Main Street in Chester. Click here for more details on submitting stories to The Message.
Neil started in the newspaper business as a reporter for weeklies in northern New Jersey and eventually moved to this area working for The Eagle Times. Neil can be contacted at
Getting the Message Will Wilcox 2016-10-07 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Sep 27, 2016

Katherine Fogg

.Katherine Fogg, Principal of Chester-Andover Elementary School, spoke to Chester Rotary on September 22, 2016. Chester-Andover Elementary School is part of the Two Rivers Supervisory Union and serves students in Kindergarten through grade 6. Prior to becoming principal of CAES, Katherine was a music teacher and an assistant principal. Since becoming the principal, fourteen months ago, she has initiated several changes, including the hiring of four new teachers, the implementation of a Positive Behavior Support System, the utilization of data to improve instruction and personalized proficiency based plan for each child. In addition to the curriculum areas, Katherine oversees the building and facilities including the installation of a new roof this past summer. During the Q & A, Katherine answered questions about Act 46, homeschooled children, mentoring, common core and the time that school starts and finishes for elementary, middle and high school students. CAES can be found on the web by clicking here and Two Rivers Supervisory Union here .
Katherine Fogg, Principal Chester-Andover Elementary School Dave Nanfeldt 2016-09-28 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Sep 18, 2016

Will Reed, VFI

At the September 15, 2016 Chester Rotary meeting, Will Reed, owner of VT Foam Insulation, presented his warm story of success to Rotarians and guests. VT Foam was incorporated in 2006 and since then has grown exponentially into one of the leading insulation businesses in VT. In 2006 the business had a single insulation truck that was parked in a lot overnight. Today it has six trucks and a new building on Elm Street in Chester. VT Foam does very little printed advertising and relies on testimonials and internet marketing. Will attributed the success of the business to several practices. These include developing good relationships with local builders, a hands-on approach, doing projects outside your comfort zone, customer satisfaction, learning from missteps, meeting demand and being able to promote and explain the value of the product. Finding hard working reliable workers and procuring financing are two ongoing challenges. More information about VT Foam and customer reviews can be found by clicking here.
Vermont Foam Insulation Inc. Dave Nanfeldt 2016-09-19 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Sep 03, 2016

Mike Desanto,, Indie Bookstore Entrepreneur

At the Chester, VT First Thursday speaker event in September, Mike DeSanto spoke to an overflow group of Rotarians and guests about Indie Bookselling in the age of Amazon. Mike, along with his wife, Renee, now own four independent bookstores in VT including the recently purchased Misty Valley Bookstore in Chester. Before becoming a bookstore owner, Mike was an actor, military policeman, lobbyist, and college professor. Mike shared  advice to those interested in opening a bookstore; be free of mortgage debt, no college age children and your retirement funds should be set aside. As to the Amazon phenomena, Mike holds the belief that as we click to make a purchase on Amazon, we are taking a short-sighted viewpoint. The money that goes to Amazon is money that is leaving our community and the local economy. In a lively Q and A, Mike demonstrated his responsiveness to customers’ concerns. Mike will be putting in two nice chairs, will improve the children’s section and acquire a rocking chair for outside the store. At the conclusion of the evening, two twenty-five dollar gift certificates, donated by Mike, were raffled off to two lucky attendees. 
Indie Booksellers in the Age of Amazon Dave Nanfeldt 2016-09-04 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ron Chute on Aug 30, 2016

Charma Bonanno Describes Weston Playhouse Projects to Chester Rotary

Charma Bonanno, Director of Development for the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company spoke to Chester Rotary on August 25, 2016. The Playhouse is a multi-faceted enterprise that has three parts to its mission: first, to produce professional theater; second, to contribute to the enrichment and education of the community; and third, to contribute to the American theater.
All three efforts impact the local community. The visitors who come in cars and busloads to the professional theater retain the image of Weston. The community enrichment program exposes local children—including Chester school kids— to drama and art that can serve them for a lifetime. The Playhouse retreat for local and metropolitan artists seeking perspective for their creative process contributes to theater as an important part of American culture.
The Playhouse is expanding and is completing a new highly flexible theater for 140 people located just north of the Weston Green at Walker Farm.
Charma joined the staff in the fall of 2014 and has been in the Weston Playhouse family for decades. On stage, she performed in such roles as Velma in "Chicago", Lucy Brown in "Three Penny Opera", and Prudie Cupp in the inaugural Rod & Gunn Club production of "Pump Boys and Dinettes" as well as other theaters across the USA. Following the birth of her son Charma pursued her passion for small business, working with several start-ups and rapidly growing companies. She was for nine years financial manager at a New York legal staffing firm. She brings her many talents to fund-raising for Weston. She is married to Weston Playhouse actor David Bonanno and is a graduate of University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music.
Weston Playhouse Projects Ron Chute 2016-08-31 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Aug 21, 2016


At the August 18 meeting of Chester Rotarians, Rotary member David Armstrong gave us insights into the Community Cares Network. The twenty to thirty volunteers in the Chester group are directed by Debbie Armstrong and are part of a larger Cares group in the area. Chester Cares works with seniors and disabled adults in Chester and Andover to help them remain healthy and independent in their homes.  Volunteers help with rides to the grocery store and appointments.  Additionally, Chester Cares offers a wellness support system to help individuals maintain their physical and emotional health. Chester Cares is funded by the towns of Chester and Andover, local churches, fundraisers and donations from individuals. In many instances, Chester Cares receives its referrals from Senior Solutions. Click here to visit the Senior Solutions website to understand how the Cares Network fits into the multitude of resources available to the elderly in our area.
Community Cares Netwrok Dave Nanfeldt 2016-08-22 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by David J. Armstrong on Jul 28, 2016

Tim Desilets, Serve Vermont

At the July 28, 2016 meeting, our speaker was Tim Desilets, a youth pastor from King of Prussia, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia.  Tim is leading a team of 55 young people (junior-high and high-school age) on a two-week service project in this part of Vermont.  The goal is to take "mall rats" (Tim's term) out of the suburbs and into rural and small-town Vermont, and to teach them to make a difference and make an impact in the communities.  The kids also build long-term lasting relationships. Tim has family roots in South Londonderry, and when he first began to take kids up to Vermont, they stayed at the Baptist and Congregational churches in Londonderry.  But when the South Londonderry Baptist Church burned down, they had to find other accommodations.  For a while, they stayed at the base lodge at Magic Mountain, but when that no longer worked out, they moved their base of operations to Chester.  Last year they stayed at the Baptist and Congregational churches her in Chester, but they found that they had outgrown these accommodations, so they worked with the Chester-Andover Elementary School to provide accommodations.  Between Chester Baptist and the Elementary School, they have found this new arrangement satisfactory. They have done a number of varied projects during their time in Vermont this year.  They helped lead Vacation Bible Camp at an area church.  They did odd jobs such as stacking wood and weeding, and also scraping and painting houses.   They had 25 projects in all, including 11 in Cavendish and Proctorsville. The kids raise their own money.  They are forbidden to bring any technology on the trip, such as cell phones. In case of emergency, Tim will allow a kid to use his own cell phone, but other than that, all technological devices are forbidden.  Tim finds that without the use of technology, kids develop closer personal relationships with each other and get to know each other as people. Tim's talk was quite interesting, and there were a number of questions.
Helping Students Serve Others and Grow Their Faith David J. Armstrong 2016-07-29 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Jul 21, 2016

John McAveeney & Bob Davern

Bob Davern, NewsBank Director of Product Content, spoke to Rotarians and guests on July 21, 2016 about what has been described as “one of the world’s largest information providers.”1 NewsBank sells its massive database of media publications to schools and libraries. As the business has grown and evolved, the format of the delivery of the product has changed from paper, to microfiche and during the 90’s CD-Rom. It now offers their indexed database through an on-line paywall.  At the present time, the database contains over 900 news sources from every state as well as national publications. According to Bob, articles included in the database are selected because they are persuasive and balanced. Additionally, articles must be of a serious nature and not offensive.  Articles from regional sources are chosen to show how local communities are affected by a topic. During the Q & A, Bob stated that in his view the most objective sources for news are the AP and the editorial page of USA Today. As to who is employed in his department, Bob looks to hire people who are good writers and possess editorial skills.
1 Reference Sources in History
One of the World’s Largest Information Providers Dave Nanfeldt 2016-07-22 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ron Chute on Jul 13, 2016

Richard Marek

On July 7 Richard J. Marek spoke to the Chester Rotary at the Fullerton Inn. Marek is the president of the Vermont Historical Society and was a six-term member of the Vermont legislature. He commented on both these roles, but his main purpose was to present Dr. Samuel Johnson, The Tale of a Curmudgeonly Wordsmith. Displayed were two of Johnson's 1755 dictionaries that Marek owns. These are the fourth edition, the most complete containing over 42,000 definitions. Johnson's was the first English dictionary ever published. Marek's books were probably first purchased by one or more of the more wealthy pre-Revolutionary families in the United States. They are exceedingly rare.
Samuel Johnson is considered to be the pre-eminent literary figure of his era and is memorialized in a classic  work, The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell, and in references by other literati. Among his pithy quotations is, "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel."
Marek gave a brief summary of Johnson's life of poverty, politics, brilliance in the coffee houses and print, self-education (honorary degrees only) and quoted numerous amusing definitions of words found in use among the people by him and his six transcribers. Mentioned was the fact that the French had been working with 40 scholars for 40 years to produce a dictionary. Johnson's took seven and a fee of 1600 pounds.
As for Vermont history, Marek mentioned work to restore the Newfane railroad station, the excellence of the Vermont History Museum in Montpelier and the archives in the Vermont History Center in Barre.
Vermont's special lack of political partisanship was explained in terms of its open process, mixed seating, and small districts averaging 4,000 constituents. In this climate, Marek pointed out, one person has the satisfaction of knowing he can make a difference.
It was rewarding to hear fascinating details about the brilliant curmudgeon Samuel Johnson from this active, exemplary member of our Vermont community.
Richard Marek - The Tale of a Curmudgeonly Wordsmith Ron Chute 2016-07-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Jul 02, 2016

Bill Passes the Gavel to Ed

On June 30, 2016, the Chester Rotary Club observed the “Passing of the Gavel” as new president Ed Caron was installed to lead the service organization. On hand for the ceremony were club members and guest, Lee Dakin.  Ed Caron, a resident of Springfield, is a contract book keeper and tax preparer and is married to Denise Caron. Prior to becoming president, Caron served on the club’s board of directors.
Before turning the meeting over to Ed, outgoing president, Bill Dakin, highlighted the club’s past year. Under Dakin’s leadership and dedication, the club had numerous outstanding accomplishments. These included the Ladd Rotary Scholarship auction and annual golf tournament. Dakin spent some time thanking Rotary members for their support and efforts. Bill stated, “You are a group of friendly, caring, and thoughtful individuals. You make it happen for the club.”
At Caron’s inaugural meeting, he gave members his background leading up to his move to Vermont and presented his vision for the upcoming year. Ed’s varied work experiences include positions at Shaw’s, Seabrook and a Refugee Relocation program in New Hampshire. Ed told members that there are many opportunities for members to take a leadership role as a chairperson of a committee and that he is looking to grow our club through creative membership recruitment. Ed stated “I am open to new ideas and look forward to serving you. “
For information about weekly meetings, guest speakers and community service opportunities of the Chester Rotary, contact us via email at or call Dave Nanfeldt at 875-4309. Chester Rotary meets on Thursday mornings except for the first Thursday of the month when it meets in the evening. Meetings at held at the Fullerton Inn.
Passing of the Gavel Dave Nanfeldt 2016-07-03 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Jun 25, 2016

Scott and Leslie Blair - The Southern Pie Company

At the June 23, 2016 Chester Rotary meeting, Scott and Leslie Blair took center stage and presented their sweet story of success to Rotarians and guests. After meeting and working at Crow Hill Bakery, Scott and Leslie branched out to start their own business of making southern-style pies from their home. Based on their prior experiences, Scott does the marketing and Leslie does the baking. Local restaurants and farmers markets were their first venues to sell their pies and as the business grew they realized that they had to find a commercial oven to bake the pies. Rick Paterno, the owner of The Free Range, let them use his kitchen when his restaurant was not open. Southern Pie received its breakthrough moment when Coleman Brook put in an order for seventy-five pies. Keeping their main goal in mind to open a storefront business and after a few delays, Leslie and Scott are now serving pies and other treats at 287 Main Street in Chester, VT. Stop in for a slice or better yet, take home a pie for the family. 
The Pie Shop Is Open Dave Nanfeldt 2016-06-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Jun 17, 2016

John Theissen Children's Foundation

Today’s speaker, our own Rotary member Ron Theissen, inspired and enlightened us about his nephew’s charity on Long Island, The John Theissen Children’s Foundation. The foundation is celebrating its twenty-fifth year of giving back to the community and over that time has received numerous awards including being voted  “The Best Local Charity on Long Island” by the Long Island Press.  John was inspired as a seventeen-year-old teenager when he was in a children’s hospital for serious surgery. It was there that a seven-year girl, Tasha, befriended and inspired John with her positive attitude and generous spirit.  Four years later at the age of twenty-one, John started the foundation and since then it has thrived. Find out how one person made a difference and get inspired at the foundation’s website here and for more details download their brochure here.  
Sometimes a Smile is the Best Medicine Dave Nanfeldt 2016-06-18 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Jun 15, 2016
Tee It High and Let It Fly
Despite a few drops of rain, sixty-two avid golfers played in the sixth annual Chester Rotary GMUHS Alumni golf tournament held at Tater Hill on June 5, 2016. This year’s tournament featured four hole-in-one prizes donated and sponsored by Keene Subaru.  Although there was much discussion about winning the 2016 Impresa, Kindle e-reader, the $500 gift card and the new set of golf clubs, no one was able to sink a hole-in-one and walk away with a prize. Dixon golf, the eco-friendly company, also ran a number of contests on the course and donated the proceeds to Chester Rotary. At registration, golfers had the option of purchasing a team mulligan bag and received a goodie-bag which included a coupon for a free golf club of their choice. After a lunch of hot dogs and hamburgers, golfers started their rounds and continued through the afternoon. In spite of a valiant effort by team Rotary, the alumni association was able to take home the trophy for their overall performance on the links. Money raised by Rotary through fees, support by businesses in the form of raffle items and sponsorship of holes helps to support numerous community projects.
Chester Rotary and GMUHS Alumni Tees It High and Lets It Fly Dave Nanfeldt 2016-06-16 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Jun 07, 2016

A Smile on Every Face!

On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, The Chester Rotary Club presented its annual scholarship awards to six Green Mountain Union H.S. seniors. The evening event was held at the American Legion and was attended by about sixty-five Rotarians, guests and scholarship winners. The scholarship awards were based on academics, financial need, community service and a written essay.  Carol Gilbert introduced the scholarship winners to the Rotarians and guests. The recipient of the Andy and Heidi Ladd $1,000 per year, four-year scholarship was Robert Haseltine. Robert was a member of the National Honor Society, student government, and played varsity basketball, soccer and baseball. Robert will be attending Paul Smith College where he will major in Fisheries and Wildlife. The other recipients of the Chester Rotary Scholarship will receive $1,000 each. Those recipients were Sarah Baker, Kyle Cyr, Sarah Martel, Megan Spinrad and Lucas Trask.  Sarah Baker was a member of the National Honor Society and served as a class officer during her time at Green Mountain.  She played both varsity soccer and softball and will be attending Northeast University, majoring in Biology. Kyle Cyr, the third scholarship winner to be introduced, was a member of the National Honor Society, varsity baseball and cross country team. Kyle will be attending the University of Vermont and will major in Business Administration. Sarah Martel was a class officer during her tenure at the school, Vice President of Interact during her senior year, a National Honor Society member, and varsity soccer and golf team member. Sarah’s goal is to become a Pediatric nurse. She will be attending the University of Southern Maine. Megan Spinrad was a National Honor Society member, choir member and was nominated to the District Music Festival in Brattleboro. She actively participated in the school’s dramatic productions.  Megan will be attending the Savanah College of Art and Design with the goal of eventually working for the Disney Corporation. Lucas Trask was a member of the varsity soccer, basketball and baseball teams. He is also a member of the Chester Fire Department, Rod and Gun Club and Snowmobile Club. Lucas plans to be a professional firefighter and will be attending Southern Maine Community College. The Chester Rotary Club is pleased to support the continuing education of these students. Scholarship money is raised through the support of local businesses and community members at the annual Chester Rotary Ladd Dinner and Auction held annually in March.
Rotary Scholarships Awarded to Six GMUHS Seniors Dave Nanfeldt 2016-06-08 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Jun 04, 2016

Kim Dixon, Insights LLC

Kim Dixon, owner of the marketing business Insights LLC, spoke to thirty-two Rotarians and small business owners on June 2 about internet marketing. Kim discussed and elaborated on effective and ineffective approaches to internet marketing. Confused branding, silo marketing and ignoring mobile were among the wrong approaches. Positive effective strategies were knowing your target audience, keeping a calendar, debriefing, and back linking. She also stressed that in e-marketing, the 80% engagement rule was important. Additionally, a good question from the audience helped the participants find out what “to boost” on Facebook means.     At the conclusion, Kim announced that attendees would be entitled to a free one hour individualized consultation to take place at the Newsbank Conference Center in Chester. Kim is sponsored by Constant Contact and was recently awarded the Small Business Marketing Solution Provider of the Year for the Northeast Region in 2015.
Internet Marketing Dave Nanfeldt 2016-06-05 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on May 30, 2016

GMUHS Interact  

Rotarians held a special breakfast for our Interact members, officers and exchange student. Pictured to the right of the club banner are this year's officers Anna, Kaitlin and Sarah along with our exchange student from Brazil, Nicole. To the left are next year's officers and members Jeremy, Riley, Sadie, Skylar, and Sierra. Bon Voyage to the graduates and Welcome Aboard to next year's officers and members. 
Bon Voyage and Welcome Aboard Dave Nanfeldt 2016-05-31 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on May 11, 2016

Guardian ad Litem (GAL) - Helping Young People

Today’s speaker was Carol Gilbert who shared information about the Guardian ad Litem Program in VT (GAL) with Rotarians and guests. The goal of the program is to help young people, who have come into state custody, have a safe, stable, and permanent home within a reasonable amount of time. Volunteers like Carol, advocate on behalf of the best interests of children alleged to have been abused, neglected, or are beyond the control of their parents. While the child is in foster care, the parent has the opportunity to do what has to be done so that child might return to their home. Each case is reviewed within a three to sixth month period and eventually a decision is made to either return the child or start the process of TPR, Termination of Parental Rights. Volunteers in the VT GAL Program are making a difference in the lives of children in turmoil. Their role as the child’s advocate is to help find the best outcome for the child. Anyone interested in getting more information about  GAL or would like to become a volunteer should click here.
Guardian ad Litem Program in VT Dave Nanfeldt 2016-05-12 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on May 11, 2016

Early Stages Theater Program

Students at Chester-Andover Elementary School participate in the Early Stages Theater Program at the Weston Playhouse. The Rotary Club of Chester recently gave a donation of $150 to the program. Pictured presenting the Thank You card is Kathy Cherubini, coordinator of the program at the school, and Rotary President William Dakin.
Supporting the Local Community Dave Nanfeldt 2016-05-12 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Apr 27, 2016

Giving Back to the Community

The Rotary Club of Chester Vermont, an international service organization that advances goodwill and peace around the world, is giving back to the community with a donation of $250 to the Chester 250th Birthday Celebration Committee.
Frank Kelley, Chester Celebration Committee co-chair stated, "The Chester 250 Committee enthusiastically accepts a donation from the Chester Rotary. The funds will be used to support the Chester Centennial activities on Saturday, July 16th and Sunday, July 17th.  Events will be held at the Pinnacle, Chester Fairground, Chester Historical Society, the Stone Village, and all around the Town Green. All ages are encouraged to participate in games, historic re-enactments, and viewing vintage equipment. On Saturday, July 16th, there will be fireworks down by the American Legion." 
Citizens and organizations interested in giving back and supporting the birthday celebration should make their check out to “Town of Chester” with a note Chester 250th and either give to Tom Hildreth, Frank Kelley or drop it off at town hall.  
The Chester Rotary, the little club with a big heart, sponsors numerous events during the course of the year. Their next event will be the 6th Annual Golf Tournament to be held on June 5th at Tater Hill Golf Club. Proceeds from the event will go to Chester Rotary Club charities and the Green Mountain Union H.S. Scholarship Fund. For more information, contact Ron Theissen at (802) 875 -8100.
Pictured Left to Right: Tom Hildreth, Frank Kelley, William Dakin, Chester Rotary President
Promoting Chester's 250th Birthday Celebration Dave Nanfeldt 2016-04-28 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Bill Dakin

Chester Cub Scout Pack 206

At the Chester Cub Scout Pack 206 information meeting held on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at Chester-Andover Elementary School,  the prospective Scouts, pictured above, built and launched soda bottle rockets as their parents learned about the opportunities and adventures of Scouting.  Sponsored by the Chester Rotary Club, Cub Scout Pack 206 is in the process of re-organizing.  Parents of boys in first thru sixth grade who are interested in additional information should contact Rotarians John Holme at 802 875 4392 or Bill Dakin at 802 875 3456.
Rebirth - Cub Scout Pack 206 Bill Dakin 2016-04-10 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ron Chute

Amy Schaefer

On March 31, Amy Schaefer spoke to the Chester Rotary. Amy is the owner of Flex Fitness Gym in Bellows Falls, which offers everything in the way of personal training, body-building, nutritional programs, meditation programs, and yoga. They're in the heart of town where Sam's Clothing Store used to be, with a gym across the street over the hardware store.
Amy was born in Perkinsville, VT, went to Green Mountain High School, to college in Boston, ran things at the Charles Bronson horse farm for several years, then decided to follow her dream to teach fitness. After investigating franchises, she decided to go it alone. It worked in a big way. One reason is the extra personal attention she gives. She has nine personal trainers and runs a program for the Compass School.
Amy downplays the fact that she was born with muscular dystrophy, but is less reluctant to mention that she is the number one American in international body-building competitions. She invited Rotarians to join the Flex Fitness Gym.
America's #1 Body Builder in Bellows Falls Ron Chute 2016-04-02 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ron Chute

Samantha Chase

On March 24, Samantha Chase, Heather's daughter, told Chester Rotary members about her 10 days in Nicaragua helping build water towers. She was one of thirteen from the Interact Program coordinated by Macy Lawrence in Woodstock. Samantha became the official "plumber" as they erected prefab towers for the tanks.
"I wanted to go so I could give something back to the world," Samantha said. "It was a cultural shock—the Nicaraguans were always hugging you." The best place to eat was at the chicken lady's, a street vendor. Activities she enjoyed during her visit were the beaches, snorkeling, watching reefs being built by others, and seeing the world's second-largest statue of Jesus Christ.
Interact is Rotary International's service club for young people ages 12 to 18. Interact clubs are sponsored by individual Rotary clubs, which provide support and guidance, but they are self-governing and self-supporting.
Interact - Trip to Nicaragua Ron Chute 2016-04-02 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt

Kenneth (Ken) W. Grabeau, Past Rotary International Director

At Thursday morning’s March 17, 2016 meeting, Ken Grabeau, Past Rotary International Director, spoke to Rotarians and guests about Rotary Foundation. The Rotary Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs. It has grown from an initial contribution of $26.50 in 1917 to a $1 billion endowment today. Ken explained, with examples, the six areas of focus that the Foundation has. They are: Peace and conflict prevention/resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development. Ken described the short-term legacy of the Foundation; the very successful campaign to eradicate polio world-wide and the long term legacy; the initiative to promote peace. In conclusion, Ken told the story of how in Sri Lanka, with the leadership of Rotary, days of tranquility were declared so that children in war contested areas could safely receive immunization against polio.
The Rotary Foundation has made a difference in the lives of millions around the world. Rotarians are encouraged to support this effort. Many options for giving are available here.
The Rotary Foundation - Mading a Difference in the Lives of Millions Dave Nanfeldt 2016-03-17 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt

Dr. David Lord

Dr. David Lord, psychologist at the White River Veterans Affairs Hospital, spoke to Rotarians and guests on March 3, 2016 about mental health issues facing veterans. As a graduate student at the University Tennessee and intern at the VA, Dr. Lord met two patients from the Spanish American war. Fast forward to today and after years in private practice, Dr. Lord returned to the VA in White River to honor the memory of his brother. Dr. Lord told the audience about the most common psychological problems facing veterans. These problems are manifested in depression, mood disorders, anxiety, impulse control, substance abuse, suicide and homelessness. PTSD, a stress-related reaction to a traumatic event that does not go away, was also explained. Treatments for mental health issues have to be validated by evidence that they do in fact help the patient. Both pharmacological and psychotherapeutic approaches are used for treatment. Of note, however, is the trend away from a pharmacological intervention because of the toxic side effects that these drugs produce. Psychotherapeutic treatments at the VA include cognitive behavior therapy, cognitive processing therapy and group work. Dr. Lord also told the audience about his work as an anger management facilitator and the group work that he does with military sexual trauma survivors. In conclusion, Dr. Lord read from Emily Dickinson’s poem, Life, “If I can stop one hear from breaking, I shall not live in vain.”
Recent Advances in the Treatment of Veteran’s Psychological Problems Dave Nanfeldt 2016-03-16 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Feb 24, 2016

OLLI - A Community of Adult Learners - Seek, Learn, Discover and Grow

Marita Johnson, Osher Lifelong Learning Coordinator, spoke to Rotarians and guests at this week’s morning meeting. Osher Lifelong Learning, now known as Olli, offers noncredit courses to seasoned “adults” over the age of fifty. Olli programs are offered in all fifty states but while most states have one central location for programs and events, Olli in Vermont operates seven satellite centers. Only one other state employs the “Vermont” model. Olli is associated with the University of Vermont and Marita was one of the founders of the Springfield satellite fourteen years ago. Typically, Springfield Olli offers nine programs running from January through May and depending on the program, draws about eighty participants for each. For forty five dollars per year, your Olli membership entitles you to attend all nine programs for free in Springfield and receive a discount for programs at the other sites. The single program fee, if you aren’t a member, is eight dollars. As a member-run program, Olli relies on the talents, skills, and time of members to support its activities and to keep membership costs affordable. With this in mind and with its success over the years, Springfield has become a self-sustaining entity. More information about Olli can be found here.
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Dave Nanfeldt 2016-02-25 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Feb 04, 2016

Your Fresh Food Connection

Sean Buchanan, president of Black River Produce for the past six and half years, gave Rotarians and friends of Rotary an overview of the state’s largest fresh food network. With 187 employees and about $70 million in annual sales, Black River has flourished as its customers call for fresh, locally grown food. In 2013, Black River opened a 50,000 square foot meat processing plant to further expand its operation. Black River is a customer service oriented company. If a chef calls for “paper thin sliced bacon” or “chocolate covered ants,” Black River will go to great lengths to accommodate those requests. Black River also makes a commitment to its two hundred producers and suppliers to transport and sell products in a timely fashion. They also provide technical support for producers seeking to enhance pasture development and high quality livestock sourcing. As a “fresh food connection,” the operation has a range and level of complexity that serves not only Vermont but the greater New England and New York markets. 
Black River Produce Dave Nanfeldt 2016-02-05 00:00:00Z 0
 The annual Rotary of Chester Auction-Dinner, held this year at the Fullerton Inn on Saturday March 19 evening, provides scholarships each year to High School Graduates on their way to College and approved training programs. It is the biggest fundraiser of the year for our club. Please come and join us, tickets to this event can found at the Fullerton Inn in advance or on the night of the auction itself. You can see the auction items or even absentee bid at our auction website
Thank you!!
*Andrew and Heidi Ladd Scholarship Jeff Ladd 2016-01-31 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Ron Chute

An Artsy Kid

On January 28 the Chester, VT, Rotary heard from Chris Biddle, a reporter for the Mountain Times and DJ for EQX radio. Chris grew up on a farm in Shrewsbury, VT, attended a prep school outside of Boston, and at 18 enrolled as the only westerner at a school in Liaocheng, China. Still searching, he studied liberal arts at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina, followed by three years in Colorado where he studied creative writing and became a ski bum before attending Columbia University's School of Journalism.
Chris describes himself as an "artsy kid" who took a while to discover what he wanted and how to get it. Rotary is in a special position to help young people find their way, he says. For him, it's the podcast and radio industry. His special talent is to "find the narrative" in a story.  And Vermont is where he wants to be.
Rotary president Bill Dakin applauded his achievements: "Chris went out and came back".
Chester Rotary Hears from Chris Biddle Ron Chute 2016-01-29 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Jan 20, 2016

World Becomes a Smaller Place

The world became a slightly smaller and friendlier place on Thursday morning, January 21, 2016, when exchange student, Nicole Rocha, spoke to thirty –five Rotarians and guests at their weekly meeting. In her half hour presentation, Nicole gave an overview of Brazil’s history, culture and the current political climate. Nicole offered attendees an insight into her life as a teen growing up in the city of São Luís, the capital of the Brazilian state of Maranhão, with a population of almost a million people. Nicole also highlighted and noted the differences in the methods of education and cuisine during her presentation. According to Nicole, Brazilians do real barbecue and backed up her claim with photo documentation.  The Rotary Club of Chester VT has participated in the youth exchange program since 2001 and has a goal to promote the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace at the person to person level. Without exception, the program is a life changing experience for the student, host family and community. 
Nicole Rocha, Rotary Exchange Student Dave Nanfeldt 2016-01-21 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Jan 11, 2016

A Tradition Continues

On Tuesday morning January 12, The Rotary Club of Chester VT continued its twenty plus years of encouraging young people to read by presenting personalized books to twenty-eight first grades at Chester-Andover Elementary School. John Holme organized the annual event and presented the books to the children along with Rotary Members Nancy Davis, Katherine Fogg and David Nanfeldt. Over time, the books have become a treasured keepsake among Chester residents. One book swept away during hurricane Irene, was found along the riverbank and returned to its owner. 
Personalized Books for First Graders Dave Nanfeldt 2016-01-12 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Jan 07, 2016

First Thursday Series - Lisa Mobus

Lisa Mobus, Riverside Middle School teacher, spoke to thirty-five Rotarians and guests at January’s First Thursday speaker series about her trip to Turkey during the summer of 2013. Sponsored by the Turkish Cultural Foundation, Lisa along with fifty-four other educators traveled 5,000 miles in the course of two weeks and visited eleven cities and towns. Turkey is predominately a Muslim country and is the only country in the world that is on two continents. Established in 1923 under the leadership of General Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, it is a democratic, secular, constitutional republic. In the large cities, children are immersed in English after the fourth grade and its people look to the west for ways and means to improve their lives. Contrary to pre-conceptions about Turkey, Lisa found the people to be open minded, devoted to moving forward with their lives and committed to a sustainable economy. In the regions outside of the cities of Istanbul and Ankara, Lisa encountered cultures and civilizations that have existed for 10,000 years. From the City of Bursa and its silk market to the Çatalhöyük settlement where people lived in very close quarters, Lisa and her cohorts found a country that for 10,000 years has been the home of fascinating cultures and civilizations of the world. 
East Meets West Dave Nanfeldt 2016-01-08 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Dec 30, 2015

The Universe is a Lot More Complicated Than You Might Think

On December 31, after breakfast at the Fullerton Inn, the Rotary Club of Chester VT closed out 2015 with a thought provoking presentation by fellow Rotarian, David Armstrong. David gave members and guests an overview of the book, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Cosmology is the study of the origin and development of the universe and as David explained, conditions had to be just right for life to develop on planet earth. Specifically, scientists have identified twenty-five design parameters that had to be fine-tuned for life to develop. With a four star rating on Amazon, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, by John Barrow and Frank Tipler, is as one reader stated, “an engaging book ... practically a universal education in both the history of modern science and the history of the Universe.” Barrow and Tipler’s book is not available for you Kindle.
In other matters of importance, the “Books for First Graders” project is getting organized by John Holme and President Dakin announced that the cost of the breakfast meals has risen to $10.00. Finally, Leah was the winner of this week’s ever popular raffle prize. 
Overview of the The Anthropic Cosmological Principle Dave Nanfeldt 2015-12-31 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Dec 17, 2015

The Chester Vietnam Veterans Warhorse PTSD Program

Tom Martin and Stan Clark gave Chester Rotarians and quests an overview of their peer group support program for veterans suffering from PTSD, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after a person is exposed to one or more traumatic events such as sexual assault, warfare, traffic collisions, terrorism or other threats on a person's life.  Symptoms including disturbing recurring flashbacks, avoidance or numbing of memories of the event, and hyperarousal continue for more than a month after the occurrence of a traumatic event. 1 Tom and Stan’s program, The Chester Vietnam Veterans Warhorse PTSD Program, is intended to help veterans with PTSD and also those veterans who are leading troubled lives. The Chester program was started in 2014 is modeled after the Saratoga WarHorse. These programs offer a three day experience at no cost to the veteran. The process creates an interactive experience and bonding between the horse and veteran which results in reducing symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress as well as suicidal thoughts. The program is always looking for veterans who would benefit from this experience. Contact information can be found at this link.
  1. American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. pp. 271–280
Standing Left to Right Tom Martin and Stan Clark   Seated Dick Farmer, American Legion Post 67 Chester 
Chester Warhorse PTSD Program Dave Nanfeldt 2015-12-18 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Nov 18, 2015

Michael Alon - The Importance of Art in a Community

Michael Alon, proprietor of DaVallia Art & Accents, spoke to Rotarians and guests at Thursday’s meeting on November 19, 2015. DaVallia Arts and Accents opened in 2009 and since then has expanded to two locations. Michael and his wife, Jessie have strived to make their store and studio premier destination spots for tourists. With this in mind, Michael would like to see Chester develop as a cultural mecca for our region of the state. Michael referenced numerous studies that indicate the importance of art to a region and cited both Brattleboro and Burlington as models for Chester to follow.
Also, at today’s meeting, Jeff Mobus, Assistant Rotary Governor, spoke to the group about the Rotary Foundation. The Foundation started in 1917 "for the purpose of doing good in the world." Since then there have been a number of remarkable achievements including the amazing reduction in cases of Polio. In 1980 there were 400,000 incidences of Polio worldwide and this year there have been fifty-one cases reported to date. The Foundation’s goal is to eradicate Polio by 2018.  
In other business, Rotarians were given an update about the annual Kurn Hattin project. Gifts are due by December 7 and Rotarians will meet at TD Bank in Chester at 2:00 to pack the gifts in vehicles and then carpool to the school. Contact Nancy Davis if you have any questions. 
DaVallia Arts and Accents Dave Nanfeldt 2015-11-19 00:00:00Z 0


The Rotary Club of Chester Vermont welcomed Ann and Malcolm Summers back to Chester at the Fullerton Inn on Tuesday, November 17th, following their Naturalization Ceremony in Rutland.  The Summers walked in to the music of Neil Diamond’s “Coming to America” and were greeted by Rotarians and Friends who clapped as the couple made their way into the Tavern.  Rotarians toasted Ann and Malcolm and celebrated their many contributions to the community of Chester since they arrived eight years ago.   Malcolm explained that in 1971 they were transferred from London, England to New York City, and they lived in the States on a work permit until 1986.  At that point, they changed their status to permanent residents and lived in both Connecticut and Chicago.  Malcolm says, “this year, after eight years in Chester, we decided that this was truly our home and that we would become citizens of the U.S.A.  Chester is truly a wonderful place to live. The Town is a real place with a soul. People from all walks of life live in Chester in harmony, with a strong sense of community spirit.  I am fortunate to have joined Chester Rotary Club in 2008 and be a part of all the wonderful things that the Club achieves, plus the added bonus of making so many good friends.”  Chester is indeed fortunate to have Ann and Malcolm as full voting citizens.
Celebrating the Summers as Naturalized US Citizens Nancy Davis 2015-11-19 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Nov 05, 2015

The Human Side of Refugees Seeking Asylum in the USA

Steve Crofter, a social justice activist, spoke to forty Rotarians and guests at November’s First Thursday event about his volunteer work on behalf of refugees seeking asylum in the United States. The majority of those seeking asylum fear for their safety. Ultimately, their tenure in the United States depends on how they can make a case that their lives are in danger in their homeland. Steve has made two trips to McAllen, Texas and volunteered at the Humanitarian Respite Center located in the Sacred Heart Church. The Center, sponsored by Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley1, serves refugees who have been released from detention by Homeland Security2 and are on their way to another destination at a relative or friend’s home. The Center offers showers, clothes, food, legal advice, diapers, formula, a place to sleep if necessary and most importantly a warm welcome and friendly face. The volunteers at the Center have a myriad of opportunities to interact with the refugees  see them as human beings and become more human themselves. The refuges’ journey, most who have come from Central America3, eventually ends in Deportation Court4 where their chance of staying in Ameica is only 50%. Steve’s involvement, efforts and work in this area is an inspiration to all. Steve has trips planned to McAllen, TX5  and would like to hear from you if you’re interested in volunteering or wanted to support in another way. Steve’s email is
Steve Crofter - The Human Side of Refugees Seeking Asylum in the USA Dave Nanfeldt 2015-11-06 00:00:00Z 0
  Jack Carroll spoke this Thursday at the Chester Rotary, outlining the surprisingly complex and interesting work he does of providing healthy food services to the Public Schools in the area.  He outlined the organization of 135 area schools to build a Food Buying Group that allows him to provide a $2.75 healthy lunch every day while fulfilling the USDA requirements of obtaining 3 bids on every buy.  In all, the Group accounts for $18 million in sales each year.  On top of this Jack works with local “Farm to School”, and “Harvest of the Month” programs to provide healthy snacks for students. Having recently bought 2 fridges he is able to offer watermelon, blueberries, cantaloupe and sometimes mangoes as snacks for students during the day. Students also get into the act as Jack shepherds middle and high school students to the Junior Iron Chef competition that challenges them to create healthy, local dishes that “inspire school meal programs”.  Chester middle school students recently won the “everything in its place” award at this event for their organization and care in designing dishes. Wow, Free Range watch-out!
Jack Carroll healthy School Food 2015-10-30 00:00:00Z 0
Pictured above, Linda Thomson spoke wonderfully about the usefulness and effectiveness of Hypnotherapy as a medical tool to lesson the experience of pain, mitigate patient anxiety and in many other clinical and personal training situations.  Linda works with patients at the Rockingham Medical Group. She spoke about the value of hypnosis in many situations where one's state of mind can be detrimental to success. For example in high stress situations such as job interviews or sports competition. 
Pictured below is Interact treasurer Anna Huckins receiving a $500 check from Nancy Davis in recognition of Interact's volunteer work at the Fall Festival where they worked hard at sometimes boring and difficult jobs to support the event and its smooth outcome. Also pictured are Mary, Julia, and Sara of Interact as well as Shane and Molly Verespe hosts to exchange student from Brazil Nicole.  Thanks Interact and congratulations!                         
Interact Members receive $500 Check from Nancy Davis Fall Festival Chair
Linda Thomson talks on Hypnotherapy, Interact receives $500 award. 2015-10-22 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Oct 14, 2015
Brian and John   Cindy Aldrich
On October 15, 2015, Chester Rotarians and guests braved the first serious frost of the season and gathered at the Fullerton Inn for a declicious breakfast of scrampled eggs and bacon, engaging conversation with fellow members, and to listen to Cindy Aldrich tell us about her business, “Inner Journeys with Horses.” At Inner Journeys, Cindy partners with her horses to help clients heal body, mind and soul. Horses have an amazing gift of healing and teaching about their way of life. Given a variety of pictures of horses with messages printed on the back, Cindy asked the Rotarians to react  and share their thoughts with the group. In another interactive, four Rotarians did a role play with one member acting as the human and the other as a horse.  Brian played his role superbly and it took a “well grounded” John Holme to get our past president to move along. Cindy works with individual clients and with groups. More information is available at her website .
Before Cindy’s presentation there were a number of announcements. President Dakin asked members to sign the “Funding Petition,”and complete his or her order for various pieces of apparel available from Vermont T’s. Katherine and John were presented with this year’s Rotary theme pins. Upcoming events were also announced, including a music recital on October 19 at the Chester Baptist Church, the Fall Harvest Dinner on October 24 and a Spaghetti Supper Fundraiser on November 19. Contact Katherine for more details about the Fall Harvest Dinner and Spaghetti Supper Fundraiser and don’t forget her invitation to attend coffee hour every Friday at the Chester Andover Elementary School. The meeting was adjourned with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and a reminder from Prez Dakin to leave the Rotary badges in the box!
Inner Journeys with Horses Dave Nanfeldt 2015-10-15 00:00:00Z 0
Pictured from Left to Right - Rich Stocker, Katherine Fogg, John McAveeney, John Holme
The Rotary Club of Chester Vermont gathered bright and early on Thursday October 8, 2015 at the Fullerton Inn to induct two new members into the club. The Rotarians and guests welcomed Katherine Fogg and John McAveeney as official Rotarians. As part of the ceremony, Rich Stocker read the “Objectives of Rotary” and John Holme explained what the key symbolizes on the Rotary Logo affixed to the banner. President Dakin welcomed Katherine and John and reminded us all of the value of being a Rotarian. In other business, Molly was the lucky winner of this week’s raffle. Ron Theisman reminded Molly that according to tradition, she would be responsible for next week’s raffle prize and more importantly re-gifting is an accepted practice. Two members, Rich and Fred, had “happy thoughts” that their relatives in South Carolina were spared from the devastating floods over the weekend. Jeff Ladd, liaison to Interact, informed those gathered that Interact is working on organizing a Thanksgiving raffle. Finally, Rich Stocker gave us an update on the “Banner Project.” In spite of a few setbacks, Rich stuck with the venture and Green Mountain Power is now scheduled to put up the poles on the property formerly occupied by Zachary’s pizza. Rich envisions both Rotary and other civic groups utilizing the pole to hang banners announcing events of interest to members of the community, visitors to Chester and travelers passing through town. 
Chester Rotarians Welcome New Members Dave Nanfeldt 2015-10-08 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt

Social Enterprise Empowers Communities

Jeff Ladd, Chester Rotary Vice-President, spoke to Rotarians, Interact students and guests at Thursday’s September 24, 2015 meeting. Eye witness accounts said that President Dakin breathed a sigh of relief as Jeff, assisted by Malcolm Summers, overcame technical issues just in time for a presentation on how social enterprise empowers communities. A goal of the social enterprise model is to work collaboratively with communities to address challenges that citizens face on a daily basis. In India, many Rickshaw Drivers rent their rides at exorbitant rates, which in turn keep them marginalized and impoverished.  To break the cycle of poverty, the project was designed so that drivers could buy their Rickshaws over time from a production company that was backed by the enterprise. The participants in the project gained valuable benefits such as a sense of community, dignity, family stability and financial empowerment. Jeff also described SolSource Solar Grill and the Wound Sucker projects. In his work in this area, Jeff gave us an insight into the world beyond Chester and what might motivate us to think outside of our present situation.  Thanks to Jeff for bringing this enlightening presentation to Chester Rotary. This quote from David Bornstein, author of what is considered  the social entrepreneurship Bible, ‘How to Change the World’, sums up his message.
“The communications revolution has given millions of people both a wider and more detailed understanding of the world. Because of technology, ordinary citizens enjoy access to information that formerly was available only to elites and nation-states. One consequence of this change is that citizens have become acutely conscious of environmental destruction, entrenched poverty, health catastrophes, human rights abuses, failing education systems, and escalating violence. Another consequence is that people possess powerful communication tools to coordinate efforts to attack those problems.”
Social Enterprise Empowers Communities Dave Nanfeldt 2015-09-25 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt
Lucy, Cindi, and Katherine      Maggie Loves Goosebumps
Speakers for Thursday, September 17, 2015 were Katherine Fogg and Cindi Austin. As representatives of Caring Canines Therapy Dog Club of Southern Vermont, Katherine and Cindi spoke to Rotarians and Interact students about what a therapy dog does in the surrounding communities. Generally, a therapy dog provides affection, companionship and stress relief to adults and children who are in schools, nursing homes, libraries and prisons. After training, which begins with obedience classes, the dog must pass a rigorous eleven point test. Once the dog is certified, the owner and dog are considered a team. Lucy, Cindi’s dog, prefers schools over nursing homes because nursing homes are warmer than schools. After a short time in a nursing home, Lucy will head for the elevator to let Cindi know that it’s time to go home. Maggie, Katherine’s dog was unable to attend today’s breakfast. Past president, Brian Morris, was overheard wondering how he could get his dog to behave like Lucy.
Caring Canines Dave Nanfeldt 2015-09-17 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt

R.J. Dourney, CEO COSI Corporation

R.J. Dourney, CEO  of COSI Corporation, spoke to Chester Rotarians and local citizens  about his guiding principles as a  successful executive in the restaurant business. R.J. related that his life experiences have greatly influenced his journey. One significant experience was the respect and encouragement that his boss gave him as a teenager washing dishes for $1.65/hour. Creating a positive work environment where employees are motivated to do their best and encouraging them to better themselves are two keys to a successful company. Two other influences in R.J.’s life have been his wife Nancy and his faith as a practicing Catholic. R.J. fielded questions from the audience on health insurance, the minimum wage and today’s work ethic of new employees.  At the conclusion of the presentation, R.J. let the audience know that they were welcome to take a COSI apron, visor, coffee cup or free lunch/dinner coupon.
First Thursday Welcomes R.J. Dourney Dave Nanfeldt 2015-09-04 00:00:00Z 0
Jurg Gabathuler spoke this Thursday on "Haven". HAVEN is a non-religious social enterprise that opened its gate in December 2011 and is a training restaurant for vulnerable young adults from orphanages* and safe shelters, as well as underprivileged young adults from very rural poor areas. Founders, Sara and Paul Walliman began the program in 2011 with the creation of two entities, one to fund the administration of Haven called "Dragonfly" and then Haven itself. Located in Siem Reep Cambodia the home of the famous Angkor Wat, the capable Haven graduates are in demand among the many local businesses catering to tourists. This social enterprise is growing rapidly and has hopes to expand to other areas of Cambodia where locals are still in need of employment and training. 
Sara and Paul believe "The meaning of life is to give life meaning"
Jurg Gabathuler and "Haven" in Cambodia Jeff Ladd 2015-08-28 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt on Aug 19, 2015
Stephanie Rowe and Ira Emerson   Don Gray
Rotary speakers for Thursday, August 20, 2015 were from the Springfield Players executive board. Treasurer, Don Gray, gave a history which dates back to 1920. At that time, community theatre groups flourished with The Springfield Players now laying claim to the longest continuously operating amateur theatre group in VT. Specific details of the group’s ninety-five years can be found at this link . Secretary, Stephanie Rowe, spoke about what brings people to the organization and the rewards it has to offer.  Ira  Emerson Jr. fielded questions from Rotarians and guests. Most noteworthy was the information about play selection and the current venue on South Street. Find out more about the players and how you can support them by visiting their very informative web site linked  previously. 
Springfield Players - Still Evolving After 95 Years Dave Nanfeldt 2015-08-20 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt

Connecticut River Watershed Steward David Deen

David Deen, Chair of the House Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources and River Steward for the Connecticut Watershed Council, spoke to Rotarians and local citizens about the Connecticut River Watershed. As an advocate for healthy rivers and streams, Mr. Deen explained the factors that contribute to water quality. Important qualities that contribute to good water quality are a stream’s sinuosity, pool rifle ratio and a plentiful gravel bottom. Mr. Deen went on to explain the influence that dams have on the watershed. The Connecticut River Watershed has one thousand dams with many classified as ‘dead beat’ beause they serve no useful purpose. Eleven of the thousand are hydroelectric dams. Dams cause issues with rivers and streams because they create reservoirs of water that disrupt the water flow. A healthy Connecticut River Watershed is economically important to the region, contributes to a functioning aquatic food chain and is a source of recreation.
Connecticut River Watershed Dave Nanfeldt 2015-08-07 00:00:00Z 0
After a very good year Brian Morris graciously and thankfully handed the presidential gavel to Bill Dakin on this last Thursday, June 25. Bill will be serving for a second time in his Rotary Career and he received from Brian a diamond Rotary pin in recognition of this fact. Brian, for his part, received a pair of green Vermont marble bookends inscribed with thanks and the dates of his presidential term. Brian thanked all and especially Nancy Davis for the valuable contributions they had made to make his year a good one.  Steven Davis stood to speak about the many good events and changes which had occurred this year. 
Bill Dakin closed the meeting with praise for Brian and the work we have all done this year. He forecast a good year ahead building on the foundation of programs we had this year, the addition of an international student from Brazil, good works with Interact and hopefully some more international giving. 
 Thanks Brian for all your efforts and success in the past year!
 Congratulations Bill! for taking on a second presidency. We are looking forward to being part of the energy, insight and experience you bring to all you do in Chester and for Rotary. 
Brian Morris hands the gavel over to Bill Dakin for his 2nd Presidential term. 2015-06-29 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt
Cynthia Prairie, award winning journalist and owner of the Chester Telegraph, spoke to Chester Rotarians about her on-line newspaper, the Chester Telegraph. Since its inception in 2012, the paper had a turning point and doubled its readership as a result of on-line reporting when a gasoline tanker overturned on Route 11. The ability of a local on-line web site along with a Facebook presence enables the paper to offer up to the minute coverage of an event. In journalism, the mantra is “if it bleeds,” it leads. Given the philosophy that newspapers serve the public, The Telegraph offers a brand of quality journalism by reporting the story within a context of what happened previously. As the Chester Telegraph grows, let’s get the word out to advertisers that more people are getting their news on-line than in print. 
The Chester Telegraph – Local News On-Line Dave Nanfeldt 2015-06-18 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt

Maestro Hugh Keelan

On a warm, sunny spring evening, Chester Rotary Club’s First Thursday May speaker, Music Director Hugh Keelan, spoke to a full room of Rotarians and guests about the Windham Orchestra. Hugh was introduced by Dr. Sarah Kemble, violinist in the orchestra and resident of Chester.  During the first part of the presentation, Hugh gave an overview of the orchestra and helped the audience understand what a conductor does when standing in front of the musicians. Hugh then went on to describe the upcoming concert, Stormy Seas  and Sirens, to be held Friday, May 29 at Bellows Falls Union High School at 7:30 pm and at the Latchis in Brattleboro on Sunday, May 31 at 3:00 pm. Hugh wrapped up the evening by playing selections from Tchaikovsky on an electric keyboard. 
The Windham Hill Orchestra Dave Nanfeldt 2015-05-12 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Dave Nanfeldt
Denise Caron, administrative assistant to Chester Chief of Police Richard H. Cloud gave Rotarians an informative presentation about her job. Denise’s work at the police station requires a high degree of organization and attention to detail. Among her many responsibilities, Denise handles traffic tickets, alarm registration, video evidence, stolen item validation and records retention just to mention a few. One noteworthy area was the decline in the number of traffic tickets issued since 2010. Approximately eleven thousand tickets were handed out in 2014 down from sixty-six thousand in 2010. Also, the police department has been busy this year with thirty-nine arrests to date compared to a total of forty arrests in 2014. Rotarians went away with a new appreciation for what our local government employees do for us. 
What Happens After the Arrest? Dave Nanfeldt 2015-05-12 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary's First Thursday attendents were treated to an inside look at the Nepali culture and its system of education last Thursday evening at the Fullerton. Fortunately there are people like Dorje Gurung and his organization "COMMITTED" to inspire Nepali children and work within the public school system to improve education and opportunities for many in Nepal. Dorje himself grew up in poverty and found his life transformed by the education he received in many different countries. He has now brought his good fortune to bear on the problems of the cast system, poverty and a male dominated education system. Go to to further see the programs he has created in Nepal. Donations to support education in Nepal can be made at
Nepali Educator Dorje Gurung portrays a Nepal in need of opportunity. Jeff Ladd 2015-04-06 00:00:00Z 0
The annual Easter Bunny-Rotary Easter Egg hunt this last Saturday morning produced many happy children and parents alike. Harvesting the hundreds, thousands of chocolate eggs took less then an hour on this cold and snowy morning. The lucky dozen to find the 12 large "gift" eggs made their way to the gifts table to receive their gifts. A very successful hunt for a late winter day. Rotary members Steven Davis, Heather Chase, Jeff Ladd, Gilbert Rabbit, Nancy Davis and Bill Dakin are shown above. 
Easter Bunny Visits Elementary School befriends Rotary 2015-03-29 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Frederick Ramen on Oct 01, 2014

Linda Tarr-Whelan shared with attendees her experiences as a nurse, ambassador, White House deputy assistant and lecturer. She demonstrated an in-depth understanding and passionate commitment to women rights and to women's contribution to the US economy.

Amazon's Linda Tarr-Whelan Page



LINDA TARR-WHELAN SPEAKS ON "WOMEN LEAD THE WAY" Frederick Ramen 2014-10-02 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Frederick Ramen on Sep 25, 2014

Ian and Polly shared their recent trip to Kenya and Madagascar.


  • Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Southern Africa.





terraced emerald paddy fields checker softly rolling hills
Hills covered with dense blue green tropical forests
White sand beach lined with palm trees along a turquoise sea




KENYA AND MADAGASCAR Frederick Ramen 2014-09-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Frederick Ramen on Sep 17, 2014

John Holme discusses origins, beliefs and practices of Islam.

ISLAM YESTERDAY AND TODAY Frederick Ramen 2014-09-18 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Frederick Ramen on Sep 10, 2014

Using a Sharon slides Sharon gave a history of the Whiting Library as well as  current and past usage.

SHARON TANZER Director of Whiting Library Frederick Ramen 2014-09-11 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Nov 27, 2013

There will be no meeting on Thanksgiving morning.  Enjoy your families! 

Thanksgiving Lynne Cannon 2013-11-28 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Oct 25, 2013

We had a wonderful time with the GMUHS Music and Drama Departments on Saturday.  It was a fantastic show this year and as usual, all proceeds go to the Arts at GMUHS! 




Oh Cabaret! Lynne Cannon 2013-10-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Oct 23, 2013

Rachel Rokes, our outbound student from last year presented a PowerPoint on her year in Belgium and presented us with a flag from her host Rotary Club.



Rachel hit the ground running when she arrived overseas.  No time for jet lag when you're an exchange student.   She had 4 host families who treated her quite well and she really made some nice friends.   Rachel claims this was the most amazing experience of her life and she made lifelong connections with people from all over the world.  She thanks the Chester Rotary for sponsoring her year there.  

My year in Belgium Lynne Cannon 2013-10-24 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Oct 16, 2013

An energetic and well educated Sherri Nichols, the new Principal at CAES, joined us for breakfast on October 17th.   We enjoyed hearing about her vision for the future of our children which is clear and obtainable and hope that she will come again!



Sherri Nichols Lynne Cannon 2013-10-17 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Oct 09, 2013

Lisa Kaiman was welcomed to our meeting today to discuss her dairy, Jersey Girl Farm.

Lisa was hit hard during Irene but thanks to Pete's Greens, she was able to recover.  While still seeing effects including the loss of 5 fetuses, She now is able to sell her bottled milk under her own label.  She is concerned that Chester is missing the opportunity to bring local foods to the market.  

She recently was awarded "Certified Humane" for her cows, chickens and veal!  

She gave us an enormous amount of information on the food we eat and if anyone wants more, visit her at the Londonderry and Ludlow Framers market.    

Jersey Girl Lynne Cannon 2013-10-10 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Oct 02, 2013

District Govenor David Hoopes visited us to explain this year's Rotary Theme of " Engage Rotary....Change Lives"



He also went over the new attendance rules which allow a member to attend as little as once a month as long as they also volunteer at Rotary functions and fundraisers.  Socials count as well.  This really helps to open the doors for many hesitant new members who, due to work requirements could not manage the burdensome membership requirements.  This rule truly enhances membership involvement.  

Other issues he highlighted:

Polio Eradication: 9.2 billion dollars has been raised towards polio eradication.  There are only 3 nations currently at risk for polio.  Cultural fears and tribal wars have been the greatest detergents of the program.  

Public Awareness: Rotary clubs are often too busy doing things to let people know about what they are doing.  David encourages all clubs to get out there and toot their horns.  Let people know what good things Rotarians are doing.  

Youth involvement:  Rotary is an aging organization and needs the vitality and ideas from our younger members to move into the future.

Important Dates:

Oct. 19 District membership Conference in Brattleboro.  Register here.

Nov 9 Rotary Leadership Institute in Rutland.  See all RLI courses here

November 14 the Foundation dinner at Okemo.  Register here.

the District Conference is at Stowe this year May 23, 24 and 25th, 2014.  Block the dates in your calendar!



David Hoopes Lynne Cannon 2013-10-03 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Sep 18, 2013

Souper Special!

The Fall Festival on the Chester Green was a huge success.  Co Chairs Nancy Rugg and Nancy Davis did an outstanding job organizing this community event and our soup trailer was easily the high point of the weekend with over 20 varieties daily.  It was sell out both days.   Our Interact Club was essential to the overall success and we rewarded them with a $500 donation.  


Pictured left to right: District Govenor David Hoopes, Festival Co-Chair Nancy Rugg, Chester President Ron Theissen and Interact President Emily Comstock.  

Fall Festival Lynne Cannon 2013-09-19 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Sep 04, 2013

We are pleased to have David Hoopes as our guest speaker today.  He brought us to date on the Hurricane Irene relief effort.  He explained how it all came about right after the storm and the organization required to get it off the ground.   3/4 of the funds from RI have been distributed and the final hundred thousand is designated and just needs completion.  While many issues arose from the grant process, it was well worth it.  

He also updated the club on the eradication of polio campaign.  The hope is to have our last case of polio this year.  Education and awareness is key in some of the more tribal areas of the world.  Bill Gates has promised 35 million per year and the rotary is trying to match it.  Project 35 is the new program to obtain this funding.  Every Rotarian is requested to provide $3.5 per month/ person per month for 3 months for this venture.  

The Chester Rotary made the decision to give directly from our foundation for this effort from every member for the year.  A check was presented to David Hoopes at the close of his speech.  

District Governor visit Lynne Cannon 2013-09-05 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Aug 28, 2013

Objective to develop community trustees through educating residents to assume leadership roles.  The program runs for 8 months for one full day per month

check out their website here

Southern Vt Leadership Lynne Cannon 2013-08-29 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Aug 14, 2013

Fellow Rotarian Ian Montgomery spoke to us today on the beauty of Lima Peru.  He was a missionary there for 4 years and has extensive knowledge of the country and the people there.  From floating islands to active volcanos to the lovely people, Ian walked us quickly through a travel log of this beautiful country.  Although rich in sights, the majority of the people live in poverty and water is the most precious commodity and is often protected by barbed wire.  The Sunrise Rotary Club of Lima Peru really makes a difference in the daily lives of these people with their water filter distribution.  

Total estimated cost for a the full week trip to Lima for a Chester club member as of today, to go in March 2014 is $1650 double occupancy.  This would be using modest hotels, flying coach and eating in modest restaurants. Ian is trying to keep the cost down to make it available to anyone who wants to go.  

Lima Peru Lynne Cannon 2013-08-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Aug 07, 2013

Nancy Davis updated us on the status of the festival which is already sold out!  We are turning away vendors!

Sign up sheets were passed out for volunteers and soups.  All soups need to be in crock pots.  And hats and gloves need to be worn in the trailer.  It is quested that you do not go in the trailer if you are not on the schedule.  If you want to do it ahead, the Fullerton Inn can freeze but you need to get a freezer container from them.  

Nancy Rugg will do the window at the Message. 

Everything is on track and we are anticipating a great festival.


Fall festival Lynne Cannon 2013-08-08 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Jul 24, 2013



Alison Tobia with Chester Vice-President Lynne Cannon

Alison Tobia joined us today with her father Robert.  She was our outbound student to France two years ago.  She stayed in Lille and her first host family had a child who went to the US.  They spoke no English so Alison had a total immersion experience.  She enjoyed October Fest in Germany with them.   She stayed with 3 family's while in France and had very kind things to say about them all but especially her last family which was the home of the past president of the Rotary Club.  He really worked to make her a part of the Rotary family as well as his own family.  

Alison is a poised and practiced speaker who is now studying at UVM in the College of Mechanical Engineering.  When we see returning students like Alison it fortifies the club's mission to offer the outbound experience to more students.

Alison returns! Lynne Cannon 2013-07-25 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Jul 17, 2013

Lee Guftenson joined us today to discuss his business called Net Zero Renewable Rsourses.  Funded in 2009, the business has boomed.  They do photovoltaic, wind, hydro, among other installations.  He has been able to live off the grid here in Chester.  Photovoltaic technology has been advancing slowly over the years and is his primary product.  

Lee provided us with an informative discussion on the different types of systems available.  Please check out his website for more details.  

Renewable Energy Lynne Cannon 2013-07-18 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Jul 10, 2013

Keegan Sheera joined us this morning to discuss his time at the Governors Institute where he studied alternative energy.  In one week he made a mini windmill of his own design.  His design was successful in that he powered some LED light bulbs with it at the end of the week.  He has determined that he will now go into engineering when he graduates from GMUHS.  The Rotary Club of Chester is proud to have been able to fund his stay at the Governors Institute as a part of our scholarship program




Malcolm spoke to us as president for the last time and told us how he was sponsored as a young man working at the largest Bank of England.  His sponsor from France sent him on to University where he came to understand the value of Education and the concept of scholarship.   He has enjoyed his year of Rotary raising and distributing money to worthy young people and local charities and has nothing but thanks for all who helped him this past year and throughout his life.


Gavel is passed to Ron Theissen (left) by Malcolm Sommers (right)

Weekly update Lynne Cannon 2013-07-11 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on May 22, 2013


Several of the surrounding Rotary Clubs are joining forces with the Moore Club to direct needed relief to the tornado victims. 

As a direct donation, all money donated goes directly towards relief!

Rotary International Districts 5770 and 5750 are supporting the relief and recovery efforts related to the tragic events in Moore, Oklahoma, and the destruction from the tornado that hit there on May 20. Many families and friends have suffered great loss. It is estimated that there were between 12,000 and 13,000 homes destroyed or damaged, in addition to businesses and schools.

Tax-deductible donations to help in those efforts are being accepted. Those who would like to help by donating may send checks to

Oklahoma Rotary
Bi-District Tornado Disaster Fund
P.O. Box 13800
Oklahoma City OK 73113-3800 USA

Contributions may also be done online using VISA, MasterCard or Discover by clicking the "Donate Now" link below:
Donate Now

Funds received by our Rotary Bi-District 501(c)3 Foundation will be used exclusively for the benefit of those affected by this terrible event. Donations are tax deductible and all donations will be acknowledged.

The effort in helping the community and individuals who have been affected by these destructive forces is being coordinated by leaders from Rotary District 5770 (which includes Moore and Cleveland County) and Rotary District 5750 (which includes south Oklahoma City), and will work in conjunction with and in support of the Moore Rotary Club and local and state officials.

Rotary Response to the Moore City Tornado Lynne Cannon 2013-05-23 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on May 22, 2013


Dr. Ian Montgomery, our fellow Rotarian resides in Lima for most of the year.  He spoke to us about his water filter project.  The majority of the Lima, Peru population do not have running water.  it is hauled manually from the valley up the hillside to where the people live and poured into drums.  It is not potable without the filter buckets provided by Rotary.  People do whatever they can to make a living.  Ian's Rotary Club is the only English speaking club in Peru and is dedicated to working for the poor.  The water filters should last a year but in practice the people use them until they crack.  A link has been added with all of Ian's Photos under our Photos Albums in the left column.

The Chester Rotary is proud to support this effort.  

The discussion evolved to the suggestion that we look into teaming up with the Lima Rotary Club as a sister club with Ian assisting us .  This will be a major discussion during our budgeting process in a few weeks.

Lima, Peru Lynne Cannon 2013-05-23 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on May 08, 2013

 Who's Happier? The Giver or the Receiver?




 Sherri Willamitis accepts a check from President Malcolm Summers

Sherri Willamitis joined us this week to discuss the magnificent happenings at the new and improved Family Center.  With the move to the former Putney Pasta building, they are now able to join the Vermont Food Bank and have opened a food shelf that is currently serving 209 individuals.  Hours of operation have been expanded and more families have signed up for service.  They have been able to expand their services to the community to assist in other matters that might arise including giving a hand up to people who are working and automotive aid.  The are no paid employees which speaks to the dedication of the core volunteers at the center including Sherri herself.  

The Rotary Club of Chester is proud to be a sponsor of this fine organization and presented Sherri with a donation of $1500 from the proceeds of the Andy Ladd Vertical dinner.  

The need is great and we all must be aware of what we can personally give to help our neighbors.  Sherri is pleased to announce that this year they can accept fresh farm foods including eggs, and garden leftovers!  However, there is still not enough space for furniture or televisions.   

Chester Andover Family Center Lynne Cannon 2013-05-09 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on May 01, 2013

Lynne won the pot

John's grandson won the prestigious Stanford Deans award

Leah is happy the weather in Europe is so delightful

Emily has another performance of Jazz Band this wweekend.

Mr. Bate is happy to be amongst so many happy people.


Happy Thoughts Lynne Cannon 2013-05-02 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Apr 17, 2013


Social Lynne Cannon 2013-04-18 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Mar 27, 2013

ImageRachel Williams on Pakistan


Rachel Williams, a member of Ipswich, MA Rotary Club, spoke to us about Pakistan.     As International Chair she has committed the Ipswich club to a number of Rotary International humanitarian projects.  As District Literacy Resource Coordinator for District 7930 (Boston and vicinity), Rachel has spearheading educational assistance to schools, both locally and internationally. She believes that to keep crime down in our neighborhoods, we need good public schools.  To have peace in the world, we need to help with literacy on a global basis.  She is now in the process of facilitating 3 Adopt-a-School Rotary International Matching Humanitarian Grants for rotary clubs here in US with clubs in Pakistan.  Rachel goes to Pakistan every November to check on past, present and future projects.  She encourages any Rotarian who wishes to make a difference to join her on these visits

Joining Rachel in Chester was Tayyaba Siddiqui, a teacher whose entire family is devoted to the education of Pakistani children.  She presented a powerpoint of her family and the school where she teaches.  She spoke of the heartbreak of watching the educational infrastructure of Pakistan crumble during the recent earthquake that brought so many school buildings down upon the children.  Many, many young lives were lost and countless are without homes, schools or power.  Rachel reminded us of the value of an education as a propellant towards peace. She is a stalwart campaigner for the eradication of polio and advises that schools are the best places for distribution of the vaccines. 


Pictured left to right; Chester Rotarian John Holme, Pakistani Teacher Tayyaba Siddiqui and Ipswich Rotarian Rachel Williams

In July’09 Rachel received the “Service Above Self Award”, Rotary’s highest honor for individual Rotarians.

Speaker Highlights Lynne Cannon 2013-03-28 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Mar 22, 2013

Our Easter Egg Hunt was a Huge Success!


Thanks to all Rotarians who "hopped" out this weekend!  This is one of our favorite community events.



Easter Lynne Cannon 2013-03-23 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Mar 20, 2013
In this weeks meeting.........

Malcolm would like everyone to bring in a bottle of wine for the Andy Ladd dinner. Townsend brought the first bottle to donate. Bill noticed that it was a very nice Cabernet. Bidding on the website will begin tomorrow.

The cabaret is booked on Oct 26 (sat) at Newsbank

Bill asks everyone to show up on Saturday for the Easter Egg Hunt at 8:20 at CAES. Kids show up at 9:00.

Larry Kraft from the Springfield Hospital Developement Board came to talk about the upcoming 100th anniversary of the hospital which begins in August and will continue until March of 2014.

Some events that will be happening are the kick off of the sidewalk project in August. Rotarian Fred ramen is key on the Springfield players and is writing a new play.

Weekly meeting Lynne Cannon 2013-03-21 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Feb 27, 2013

In this weeks meeting..... 


Today's meeting focused on the vertical dinner details. Townsend talked about all the great donations that have already come in and went over the process for getting donations into the system.

At 7:00 the first group of silent auction items will be closed off and the first live auction held. It'll rotate through the room throughout the evening.

Townsend emphasizes that you just have to ask and people are so generous. Think of the unusual request.

People who can not attend can have a proxy Rotarian bid for them up to a certain value designated by the person.

Lynne informed everyone that the combined donation from the Club, her gift and a matching gift from Karen Arthur has allowed her to ship art supplies to Acadia Cutshall worth over $700.  This will go a long way towards getting Acadia back on her feet after the fire at Pratt University.  Lynne's supplier SLS ARTS was kind enough to waive all fees including shipping for this community donation. 

Lynne also read an email from Barb LeMire of the Ludlow Rotary offering to host the gathering this April during the Fullerton shutdown.  Chester would like to keep it here to make it easier for Bellows Fallls Rotarians to attend

Happenings at the Meeting Lynne Cannon 2013-02-28 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Feb 21, 2013

 Ann would like a head count. please RSVP.


Winter Social Lynne Cannon 2013-02-22 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Feb 20, 2013

In last weeks meeting.....

Lynne talked about the fire at Pratt Institute where former Interact Club Member Acadia Cutsal lost everything. As a senior, she had a studio on the top floor.  A hat was passed.  An additional $100 in art supplies will be purchased for Acadia thaks to the generousity of Rotary Members!  A total of $700 in art supplies will be sent to Acadia which will not replace everything but will certainly encourage her to continue with her work!   When told, Acadia replied "This is utterly amazing, especially since this response seems to be coming faster than my own school's funds.  We had a meeting this morning in which I was informed it may be months until we see a return from Pratt due to the insurance settlement and what not. I can not thank you enough." 

Townsend updated us on some of the fabulous donations we have received for the Vertical dinner.  It's really going to be quite an event! 

Malcolm reminds everyone to just walk through his shop for the social. He won't answer the doorbell.


Rich introduced Rex James, Bellows Falls member who is our guest speaker today.

Rex introduced us to the world of solar power. His company, RegionSolar is proposing to put a solar array in the Chester at the Town well site. He also discussed how individual homeowners can go in together to place collectors on the sunniest home roof and all who joined in reap the financial benefit from the power sold back to the grid. By tying into the power grid, it eliminates the need to store the power on site so no batteries to purchase and maintain. It also puts a clean power boost into the grid at the local level which smooths out the source of power for everyone plugged in locally.

The panels have come down in price over the years and now run about $400 each. Competition is largely the source for this trend. The cells are primarily produced in the US and are often shipped overseas to be placed in the frames. So the panels can come from anywhere.

Currently there is a private project 4 times this size going up on Trebo Road.


Meeting Notes Lynne Cannon 2013-02-21 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Feb 13, 2013


Matt McCarthy of the Chester Recreation Department has a proposed playground for 2 to 5 year olds at the Pinnacle. He has applied for a grant and is looking for assistance from the Rotary Club with funding. The Pinnacle has been steadily improving over the last few years including the the skateboard park, the Rotary provided Pavilion, the new snack shack and also more events are being held there including the Winter Carnival. A request has been submitted to the Selectboard but a decision is pending. Proposed cost is approximately $30,000. He has until December 31 to raise funds for the matching grant up to $17,000.

Donations can be made to the Town of Chester with a designation towards this item. $4000 has already been collected.
Proposed Chester Playground Lynne Cannon 2013-02-14 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Jan 30, 2013

In this week's meeting....


John says the books have arrived for CAES. They will be distributed on Monday and anyone who would like to go help is invited to do so.  Each book is personalized to the student receiving it.  (Photos of event now located in our photo album in left sidebar)

Ron announced a golf committee meeting immediately following this weeks meeting.  

Reminder to keep the April 6th Vertical Dinner in the forefront by Malcolm
Jeff has provided the website address and donors list to Lynne for publication.

Our guest speaker was Mary Ann Wolf who discussed the rotary funds that were distributed through SEVCA.  They wrote the grant and Rotary awarded it to them.  SEVCA has had to write to rotary several times since to ask for certain things that came up after the grant was awarded. They cannot help businesses or second homeowners with this grant.  Only Five SEVCA members do case management for this so it's a little slow.  Rotarians are exempt from receiving funds, as well as their family members.  The Rotary grant cannot pay for any building materials except paint.  

The Timberpeg company will deliver a house at cost to Irene disaster victims!  These need to be constructed by the homeowner with assistance from contractors and cost about $50,000.  That is a wonderful donation by Timberpeg!

The grant requires SEVCA to have Rotarians work on the rebuild.  She hopes to find Rotarian electricians, plumbers etc. and has had some trouble in this area.   There has been a disconnect between their needs and Rotarians finding out about them.  Bill suggested they let us know and Nancy suggested she tell us and we can post it on our website.  

There's no deadline for applying but Mary Ann is off the clock in August and doesn't know who will be doing it after that.

Dave Hoops says we, Rotarians need to get more organized to assist SEVCA.  Image


SEVCA and Rotary Disaster Grant Lynne Cannon 2013-01-31 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Jan 23, 2013

Jon Cohen started farming in 1986 in what he describes as a rather highminded utopic era of farming where farmers would get paid and people would get food. Real "community supported" farming. That didn't work out too well. Flash forward to today,  the new abilities of Vermont Farmers to harvest from unheated greenhouses even in winter. He calls it a "high tunnel" when there is no heat.  He was picking head lettuce on December 23 this year! He does heat the high tunnel in early April to start tomatoes.  When it's heated, it's a real greenhouse, he says.   He works with Harlow Farm to wholesale his produce which has been a good rounding out to his work with farmers markets. Jon uses H2A workers which is a federally overseen agricultural program and his pay scales are mandated as a result. He likes to talk about the financial aspects of farming because he believes that not enough people are aware of the true costs of farming.  His current CSA model allows people to order on line in your own account and then delivery is made on Friday for Chester. He is looking for additional Chester customers.  Check out this link to his website for more info or to sign up.  Deep Meadow Farm


Jon Cohen joined us for breakfast and discussed community supported farming. 

CSA Farming Lynne Cannon 2013-01-24 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Jan 09, 2013

The Rotary Club of Chester is pleased to welcome Jeff Ladd to our ranks




Pictured left to right: Vice President Ron Thiessen, Jeff Ladd, Membership Chair John Holmes, and Sponsor, Bill Dakin

New Induction! Lynne Cannon 2013-01-10 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Jan 02, 2013

Jan 3, 2013


In today's meeting Jim Cole of Chester spoke about his new business Greener Mountain Recycling,  His current territory is Chester but he is looking to expand. 

Greener Mountain Recycling offers no sort curbside pick up for up to two 30 gallon bags, either: 
Once a Month for $15.00
Every Other Week for $20.00/month
Once a Week for $35.00/month

All of his current customers have elected the bi-weekly service.  He can take plastic from 1 to 7.  All paper including paper towel cores.  He cannot take tires.  Click the link to his website for a complete list of items you can recycle with Jim. 


Weekly Meeting Lynne Cannon 2013-01-03 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Dec 19, 2012
Bill brought up a new discussion on the winter carnival event since we didn't sell much last year.  Post meeting it was discussed to donate food instead of charging for it and skip the cash donation to the carnival fund. 

Townsend reports that the Andy Ladd Memorial Scholarship Vertical Dinner even has already received several really nice donations!  

 Ed Caron presents check to Sarah Carter of Windsor County Partners


Windsor County Partners was represented by Sarah Carter today. She spoke to us about this Mentoring Program.  Begun in 1974 by a couple of judges in Vermont , this organization offers young people a steady adult presence who might not have had one in the past. Volunteers work 1 or 2 days a week after school with their gender matched youth. There is not a cost to the mentor as meals and tickets are usually donated by area companies.

There are 25 mentors who work during lunch with children and an additional 25 who work after school. These are long term commitments and occasionally life long.

There is a large demand for Mentors. There are about 7 children currently "on the list" for in school mentors. The out of school program has approximately the same.  if you would like to learn more, please contact WCP at:


Telephone: (802) 674-5101


Please send all inquiries to:
Windsor County Partners
PO Box 101
54 Main Street
Windsor, VT 05089


Weekly update Lynne Cannon 2012-12-20 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Dec 19, 2012
Holiday Wishes Lynne Cannon 2012-12-20 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Dec 05, 2012

Rich discussed having the Andy Ladd Memorial stone cut instead of a plaque. He also announced that our street poles will be set next week by Mike O'Neal. The poles were donated by CVPS sometime ago and have been at the town garage. Malcolm announced the winter party for Rotary will be on February 8 at 6:30 pm at his home.

Nancy D wants everyone to know that the Kurn Hattin Homes Gifts should be at TD Bank by close of business tomorrow, Friday Dec 7 and THEY SHOULD BE WRAPPED and tagged!!!!.  Anyone who wishes to delivery the packages please be at TD Bank at 2PM next Thursday, Decemebr13

David Hoopes our Rotary District Governor Elect joined our meeting today.


Townsend Gilbert re-inducted into Chester ClubImage

Above Townsend receives his new Rotary Pin from his sponsor, Bill Dakin as President Malcolm Sommers looks on.


Short video proof that Rotarians have a sense of humor (may not be visible on ebulletin. Visit website to see)

Weekly Meeting Update Lynne Cannon 2012-12-06 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Nov 28, 2012
Nancy Davis gave a slide slow of her year in Delhi, India. She and her husband Steve decided to give back to the Indian people by educating one child. They choose her drivers daughter, Indra. Nancy gave a thorough presentation on what life was like for this lower middle class family. At the time the Davis's meet the family, they lived in a one room three floor walk up where the family bed served also as it's couch, table, and playground. Educational options for Indra were attending an outdoor school for the poorest of the poor where the children did everything by memory as there were no books. With the Davis' aid, the first school Indra attended was indoors with 3 children to a desk but again, no books. She then moved to a boarding school as a day student. This school had electricity! In 2009, she improved her situation by moving to yet another school. Every time she moved she had to repeat a year. Nancy and Steve intend to continue doing this as long as Indra passes her exams and moves to the next level. She is currently in third grade, the highest level her parents achieved. They hope she will make it to 8th or even 12th!

The Chester Rotary applauds the Davis' who have truly proven our mantra, "Service above Self"


Photo of Indra and her father, Tej.Image

Weekly meeting Update Lynne Cannon 2012-11-29 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Nov 21, 2012

There will be no meeting on November 22nd so that we may enjoy this Thanksgiving Holiday with family and friends.  The Chester Rotary wishes all a safe and stuffing filled day.


Thanksgiving Recess Lynne Cannon 2012-11-22 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Nov 14, 2012
The Fullerton Inn has generously offered the Inn for use on April 6th for a fundraiser dinner. Malcolm proposes we put a committee together to figure this one out. Nancy Rugg, Susan Spaulding, Ann Sommers, and Brian Morris have volunteered. Heidi and Jeff Ladd will be asked to join the committee as this will be for the Andy Ladd Memorial Scholarship in lieu of the wine tasting dinner we previously sponsored.  

Rick Stocker reported that he found a stone in Grafton at an Andy Ladd house that will do for the pavilion plaque. Kevin Morton of Northeast Excavating moved the stone to the site already. Many thanks to both Rick and Kevin.

A plaque still needs to be procured.

Brian Morris attended the Districts Membership meeting and reported on what he learned there. The new buzz words are Attraction and Encouragement.  He will be putting together some notes for our ebulletin with the suggestions for obtaining, sustaining and retaining new members.  

A quarterly budget was handed out and briefly discussed. It was stated that the only way to see how we are doing is to review for the entire year. A quarter snapshot doesn't provided the whole picture and we would rather see a YTD budget.

Weekly meeting update Lynne Cannon 2012-11-15 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Nov 07, 2012

 ImageNathalie Lindgren spoke to us on Nov 8th regarding the Guardian Ad Litem Program.  A Guardian Ad Litem volunteer acts as a court appointed representative for minors within the justice system. These are children whose parents can not represent them for one reason or another. They are often without permanent home situations. The goal is to find them a safe permanent home. About 42% of children come into the system because they have been sexually abused by a family member. Neglect, abuse, truancy and "difficult children" are the primary reasons our Vermont children end up in the system. She repeatedly emphasized that growing up with dignity is a basic human right.

Townsend Gilbert spoke for his wife Carol who had a family emergency and could not attend, on her role as a Guardian. He talked about her success in advocating for area children who are now able to attend school and getting the help they need. He spoke of the individual growth of the person who becomes a Guardian and encouraged everyone to consider it.

Malcolm offered that perhaps some mentors could bring their mentees to Rotary breakfasts.


An application for this important program can be found on our downloads link on the left side of this webpage.

Nathalie and Guardian Ad Litem Lynne Cannon 2012-11-08 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Nancy Davis on Nov 06, 2012

Please bring your donations to the meeting on Thursday!



Hurrican Relief Nancy Davis 2012-11-07 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Oct 31, 2012
Tom Ferenc was our speaker and talked about the Green Mountain Union High School. 82% of Vermont schools are currently listed as "failing". GMUHS just joined their ranks as it is now listed as failing to make adequate progress based on it's latest NECAP scores. Tom believes that this is not a complete measure of whether or not a school is passing muster and would like to focus more on whether a student is ready for work or college.

There are changes in store for the school district. The student population is dwindling so the Chester schools will be joining Rutland supervisory union next year to reduce overhead by eliminating one supervisor. He spoke of the gender gap that is a world wide phenomenon but is being addressed in various ways.

Please visit the high school website.

Carol Gilbert, a Vermont Guardian Ad Litem, has a young man from Cavendish who is looking for a big brother. Any man who has as little as an hour every week or two could make a big impact on this teens life. He enjoys hunting and fishing. Please contact Carol at (802) 875-1599

Nancy Davis talked about the holiday giving at Kurn Hatin Homes. There are still some kids who have not been matched so please contact Nancy if you'd like to donate some gifts for this event. Dan Cote has volunteered to be our Grinch again this year.
Weekly Meeting Update Lynne Cannon 2012-11-01 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Oct 25, 2012
Wendi Germaine gave a powerful presentation on the Restorative Justice Center.  She offered so much information that it was hard to keep up!  In a nutshell, RJ is not a "touchy feely kumbya" experience.  (her words)  Trained Reparative Volunteers hold harmers accountable to the persons they affected by supporting them through a process to aid them in making amends to the community, learning about the impacts of their crime and learning ways to avoid reoffending. 
Weekly Update Lynne Cannon 2012-10-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Oct 25, 2012


A huge success!  Fun was had, money was raised!  Who could ask for anything more?
Caberet News Lynne Cannon 2012-10-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Oct 10, 2012
EREY-EN-cThe District Foundation Chair, PDG Alley forwarded an email with information about the dinners.  There is one happening at Jackson Gore on Oct 11th.  Click "more" for details

Also, Jeff Mobus of the Springfield Club came to our Meeting this week to talk about the Foundation Dinner. Blll Dakin also encourages everyone who can go to sign up.
Upcoming Foundation Dinners Lynne Cannon 2012-10-11 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Oct 03, 2012
Interact Club Recipient of Rotary Fall Festival Donation

Emily Guerra (left) accepts a rather large check from the Festival co-chairs Nancy Rugg (center) and Nancy Davis (right).  The GMUHS Interact Club assisted the rotary for the duration of the Fall Festival by parking cars, booth sitting so venders could take a break, and emptying trash among other equally glamorous duties.  The Festival would have been hard to pull off without them.  Emily thanked the Rotary Club and then graciously declared that the money would help Interact with their purchases of gifts for Kurn Hattin Homes this Christmas. 

Weekly Update Lynne Cannon 2012-10-04 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Sep 21, 2012
ImageA huge success!

The weather was perfect. The venders were wonderful.  The attendees were very numerous and impressed with what they found.  While everyone chipped in to make it a wonderful day, special thanks must be extended to "The Nancys"; that is Nancy Rugg and Nancy Davis for superior organization over the duration of this huge event and to Rich Stocker for organizing our Soup truck. 

If anyone has additional photos from the event, please send them to the webmaster.
Click "more' to see some photos of the fesitival
Fall Festival Information Lynne Cannon 2012-09-22 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Sep 06, 2012
Wonderful Evening at the Clambake!

Photos below

Club Clam Bake Lynne Cannon 2012-09-07 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by William Dakin on Aug 31, 2012

Everyone hopped in a six person bicycle on Sunday,
which was tiring, but we got to see the beautiful town
Rachel and her host family plus one friend touring a coastal beach town. 


Below you will find a couple cut and pastes from our Outbound Exchange Student Rachel Roke's Blog

"Some people might be wondering why I would put a picture of  a balcony on my blog. It is just a plain old balcony with two doors leading to it, a railing, and that's about it.  Nothing special about it what-so-ever, not really outstanding blog material, I know.  However, this balcony has taught me a very important lesson; ALWAYS check to make sure that there is a handle on BOTH sides of the door before you close it behind you. If not, you could be stuck in the cold for a half hour before your host family wakes up and finds you.  Not a fun morning."

 A link to her blog has been added in the left sidebar of this website under "Club Links".  Feel free to read more and to send her a message of support through her blog.  
Excerpts From Rachel Rokes Belgium Blog William Dakin 2012-09-01 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Aug 29, 2012
Dan Cote spoke to us at the August 30th regular meeting about risk assessment, a subject in which he is very well versed. It turns out that the most dangerous job in America for back injuries is the lifting and moving of patients in hospitals or other care facility. Logging is also up there but as Dan put it "Those accidents usually result in death". He worked with a man from Sweden to develop a program of how to cut a tree so the tree does not separate from the base trunk which is now "hinged" . This has reduced fatalies in Maine nearly completely. Ron Theiessen said that he has offered chain saw demonstrations on the Soren Erikkson method on his property and will do so again. To learn more about the Soren erikkenson method and the "Game of Logging", go to
The Most Dangerous Job in America Lynne Cannon 2012-08-30 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Aug 24, 2012

The official dedication of the Andy Ladd Pavilion Image on August 25th.

Rotarians Rich Stocker and Bill Dakin flank the Ladd ladies     
Pavilion Dedication Lynne Cannon 2012-08-25 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Aug 22, 2012
Our speaker at the Aug 23 regular meeting was our own Brian Morris who represented the club at the District Conference in Maine. Brian was nonplussed by the lack of a projector and carried on in his usual amiable manner.  His main message was that the conference is a great experience for all Rotarians and everyone should make an effort to attend every year.  Click the link on the left for details on this years cruise!
All About the District Conference 2012 Lynne Cannon 2012-08-23 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Aug 15, 2012
Phil Ehret from Manchester, a reknown Rotary Youth Exchange officer for Vermont came to our Thursday morning meeting to discuss his adventures in Haiti. He spoke of working with various orphanages where he expected to be using his dental training but was surprised to discover what the children needed most from him were his arms. He spent his first week just holding dying children because there weren't enough people there to hold them while they left this world.
Haiti Lynne Cannon 2012-08-16 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Aug 08, 2012
At our regular Thursday morning meeting on Aug. 9th, Audubon Guide, Gail Kruetzman discussed listening to birds in order to identify them.  Image
Birding with Your Eyes Closed Lynne Cannon 2012-08-09 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon on Jul 25, 2012
ImageSherry Willumitis and Georgia Ethiers of the Chester Andover Family Center were our speakers on July 26. The new location is at the old Puney Pasta building and renovations are well underway. Sherri is very excited that the food shelf will be located on the first floor allowing CAFC to partner with the Vermont Foodbank. Also important is the new parking facility which will improve access. The old building has been sold and is being renovated into a 3 unit apartment building.
Chester Andover Family Center Update Lynne Cannon 2012-07-26 00:00:00Z 0
Posted by Frederick Ramen

At the November 13th meeting, Jennifer Grant explained the Windsor County Partners, MENTORING Program. She encouraged members to join with Rotarian Ed Carron in mentoring a youngster.

Student Logan Barrett, left, and his mentor, Jeanice Garfield.

With nearly 40 years of experience in mentoring throughout Windsor County, Windsor County Partners is fully committed to promoting and sustaining positive, one-on-one intergenerational Partnerships.

MENTORING Frederick Ramen 0
Posted by Frederick Ramen

Dave Armstrong delivered the text prepared by Tom Charlton concerning scouting activities in Chester.

Posted by Frederick Ramen

At October 23rd meeting, Lillian Willis and Tory Spater described the efforts of the Chester Beautification Committee to
renovate the hearse house located in the town cemetery on Main Street.


renovate Chester's hearse house.

Posted by Frederick Ramen

Dr. Steve Shama talked on sales and motivation at the October 16th meeting.

DR. STEVE SHAMA discusses MOTIVATION Frederick Ramen 0
Posted by Jeff Ladd

        Matt Simon of the MPP spoke today on medical marijuana and legalization of recreational use of pot in the Green Mountain State and others. In Colorado and Washington where recreational use has been legalized already it has created many new jobs. Revenue, tourism and demand for housing are all on the increase since the legalization and use by minors is down.

       In Vermont, any change in marijuana laws must be made in the legislature where use of pot has been  decriminalized in recent years. The Shumlin administration is moving towards study on the issue and several of the GOP candidates for coming elections have stated their support of legalization.  Much of today’s discussion centered on issues around “impairment of users” in driving and the need for clear and effective methods to detect “impairment” of a user versus simply having marijuana in the blood stream where remnants linger for about a month without causing any problems. 

Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) speaks at Chester Rotary Jeff Ladd 0
Posted by Jeff Ladd

Full of energy and long term comittment Maria Contro spoke today to Rotary on the local Springfield Meals on Wheels program. Serving an average of 150 home-bound people a day with meals, personal visits, and safety checks Meals on Wheels operates primarily on donations from those of us in the area. In Chester 30 elderly people are served daily with tasty meals. Beginning in England in the 30s, the Meals on Wheels program was introduced to the US in the 40s and has now grown to a nationwide service. In Vermont, Senior Solutions Council on Aging is the umbrella organization for Meals on Wheels. 

Emily Comstock and Leah Cunningham joined us again for maybe the last time before they head off to College and it was good to see them. Leah is still performing in Chorus line in Weston and will be through the week. Alecia Rokes joined us as well and it is rumored will be acting president of Interact this year, Congratulations Alecia!! We look forward to working with you. 

Maria Contro speaks on Meals on Wheels. Emily, Leah and Alecia graced our breakfast Jeff Ladd 0
Posted by Jeff Ladd


Chester Rotary President Brian Morris shakes District Governor Richard Berryman's hand. Rich joined Chester Rotary Thursday to speak about building awareness of Rotary, and its mission to provide "Service above Self"  in the world and local communities.   Many are unaware that the Rotary organization spearheaded the US effort to eradicate polio worldwide for the past 35 years.  From the website "Rotary, along with , has reduced polio cases by 99 percent worldwide since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979." Its partners include the Centers for Disease Control and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Locally, Chester Rotary serves by raising monies and providing scholarships and grants each year to many in the immediate area. We work to have fun while raising money during the Andy and Heidi Ladd Scholarship, The Rotary Golf Tournament, while administering the Chester Fall Festival and Selling food at the spring wildlife festival. We also provide 1st graders with personalized books, provide presents to the Kurn Hattin students and ...make an appointment with  the Easter Bunny to appear in Chester  for some great egg hunts as winter breaks. 

All are welcome to join us at the Fullerton Inn at 5:30 for the first Thursday of the month speaker and social. Upcoming speakers will be listed on this site and on the Chester Telegraph. Join us in our efforts too, we can always use volunteer help!

District Governor Rotary 7870 Speaks in Chester Jeff Ladd 0
Posted by Jeff Ladd

Chester Rotary Club was honored on Thursday when part time resident and Diplomat Paul (Jerry) Bremer visited and spoke on US policy and the Ukraine. Outlining his views on current US policy and strategy, Bremer spurred a healthy and stimulating debate while answering questions on international corruption, nation states and the future role of the US in maintaining its "hedgemony" (leadership and domination) into the future. We are very grateful to have hosted him. Thank you Jerry for sharing your knowledge and time with us again. 


Paul Bremmer, US Diplomat, Statesman and Historian Speaks to Rotary Jeff Ladd 0
Posted by Jeff Ladd


Past President Ron Theissen presented the Presidential Gavel to incoming Brian Morris and the Chester membership offers its congratulations, best wishes, and thanks to both for the year past and the one to come. In addition to that, District Governor David Hoops blessed us with his presence in his last meeting as District Governor and graciously presented Ron with a medal for the Paul Harris award for giving to Rotary International and we honored all of the members who have received the Paul Harris award.  David also spoke on the nature of the Rotary foundation and what is working for the little club and what appears not to work at the moment.



Chester Rotary Year End and Beginning Jeff Ladd 0
Posted by Jeff Ladd

Chester Rotary was blessed this Thursday with a presentation by Pablo on Ecuador and the life he leads there. He presented Ecuador as a lovely place of fabulous cuisine, exceptional biodiversity and having a  healthy economy that boasts very low unemployment numbers for the region. Ecuador's biodiversity stems from the four major ecological regions it contains; Pacific coastal, Sierra mountains, Amazonia and of course the famed Gallapigos Islands. 

Thanks Pablo for spending your year with us. It has been a pleasure to know you and we hope we can keep in touch and you find reason to come back and visit in your future.

Members of the Chester Rotary

My apologies to all that the pictures I took of the presentation did not come out. Doh!

Pablo Xavier Vasquez gives great presentation on Ecuador! Jeff Ladd 0
Posted by Jeff Ladd

Flowers are coming to Chester this year through the efforts of Tory Spator and other members of the Chester Beautification Committee. Plans now include placing at least 20 planters with flowers in several different locations. You can buy a planter through the committee and they are accepting needed contributions to extend their efforts into the fall and winter with more wonderful ideas. Contact Tory at 802 875 2952

Tory Spater of the Chester Beautification Committee on the flowering of Chester Jeff Ladd 0
Posted by Jeff Ladd

Rich Stocker was honored with Gifts and a very Gentle Roasting today in recognition of his 37 yrs service in Chester with the Rotary. His wife Diane and he are also receiving complimentary tickets to the 3 day Rotary district conference being held at Stowe Mountain Resort this year. Thank you Rich for all your fine work in all the many things you do and have done for the community and Rotary in the community!



Rich Stocker Honored for 37 years Rotary Service above self. Jeff Ladd 0
Posted by Jeff Ladd

Thursday night come join the Rotary Social and find out what Rotary is doing to help the community in Chester and surrounds. This week we are pleased to have Chester resident, skier and biker Billy Schaefer speaking on Mountain Biking and his hopes for developing a Biking Center here in Chester that would welcome both locals and visitors to the area in the warmer months. We should be in for an interesting and engaging presentation and evening. 

Come and join us from 5:30-6:30 pm in the Fullerton Lounge for some food for thought and good company and refreshments.

Thursday Night 5:30 pm Fullerton, Billy Schaefer, Mt Biking Business for Chester Jeff Ladd 0
Posted by Jeff Ladd

The meeting today highlighted Estaban Castano and his moving and inspiring presentation on Rotary's New Generations Programs.  

He spoke eloquently about his exchange year in North West Thailand that molded and inspired his life in many ways he had not foreseen and the ever expanding effects it has had on everything he currently does from Roteract to College to his conceiving and starting a business in his senior year at Dartmouth. Some of his takeaways; A year living in another culture allows one to understand that culture deeply, to adopt a different way of thinking, to acquire a different pallet or framework through which to view the world.  Conclusions; People are the same everywhere, We have a duty to help each other out, we have a duty to do everything in our power to resolve differences and avoid war. 

In summarizing he said the Rotary Programs; the exchange program, Interact, and Roteract,  serve to open doors to opportunity, they build character, and they build future Rotarians. They work "instilling values to build engines of service" that will pass on the vision for the generations that follow. 

Good stuff, not to mention he had some lively, upbeat and enlightening videos of his time in Thailand. 

Esteban Castaño is a senior at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, where he is double-majoring in Economics and International Relations. He believes in a life of “Service above Self” and hopes to serve others through a career in social enterprise and international development. 

Esteban’s relationship with Rotary began at the age of seventeen, when a Rotarian named Alan Wylie encouraged Esteban to apply for the Rotary Youth Exchange program. Esteban did and was soon on his way to northern Thailand where he spent twelve months living with Thai host families and being immersed in the local culture. He produced a video of his experience, which he later used to recruit new youth exchange students from around his home in Houston, Texas. 

In 2010 and 2011, Esteban was the lead Rotary Exchange trainer at the Houston Rotary Youth Exchange Training Program. In 2012, Esteban helped revive the Dartmouth Rotaract Club and was invited to speak on New Generations Service at the 2012 Rotary International Convention in Bangkok, Thailand. At 2012 Rotaract Pre-Convention Meeting in Bangkok, Esteban helped initiate a crowd-sourced website that would document best-practices among Rotaract clubs and preserve institutional memory. RotaractorWiki, as the website became known, is now used by hundreds of Rotaract clubs from around the world and has over 370 pages of content. In 2013, Esteban was awarded a scholarship to attend ARYLA (Advanced Rotary Youth Leadership Awards), an intensive four-day leadership conference for young professionals. That experience solidified his interest in harnessing business models and market mechanisms to sustainably address social inequalities. Rotarians, by consistently displaying “Service above Self”, continually inspire Esteban to better his community. 

Esteban is the founder of Dartmouth Roots, an undergraduate leadership organization that seeks to continually improve Dartmouth. As Vice-President of the Ledyard Canoe Club, Esteban teaches whitewater kayaking and participates in local river clean-ups with the Hanover Rotary Club. He believes that education has the power to transform communities and recently founded a company that is working to make academic discourse free and accessible to anyone, anywhere. 

Estaban Castano Gave moving presentation on Youth Exchange Jeff Ladd 0
Posted by Jeff Ladd


President Ron Thiesson receives a check for $2455.82 from Marsha Dawkins Assistant VP and Store Manager at Chester TD Bank.

TD Bank's Rotary Affiliate program comes through with a huge donation! Each person who has a TD Bank account and chooses to "affiliate" it with Rotary adds to a group affiliation, the average balance of that group affiliation then results in a contribution from the bank to the local Rotary! Wow, sounds like it could be very productive. Thank you very much TD Bank for $2455.82

This last Thursday William Stearns of Newsbank spoke on the new Civil War and Slavery Archival Products at Newsbank this year. Both sounded fascinating for historians and those interested in researching all the varied topics within each subject. Archives are expansive and cover the impacts of both over many years. So, for example, the Civil War Archive covers from 1860 through to 1920 at this point. 

Williams Stearns and TD Bank Visit Chester Rotary Jeff Ladd 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon

Malcolm Summers gave us an energetic presentation on book binding and we all learned what to do if stricken with worms.  Thank you Malcolm for this fun discussion.  

Bound for Glory Lynne Cannon 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon

Nancy reminds us to get the Kurn Hattin money for bags to her ASAP.  Also have all gifts wrapped and delivered by 

Nancy also introduced our Speaker Gary King who is involved with the Student ConservationCorps and The Chester Conservation Committee.  He has spoken to us before about SCA but today he spoke about local restorations and how he works to engage young people in public land management.  

Meeting notes Lynne Cannon 0
Posted by Jeff Ladd

John Hennessay long time friend and support team member to Diane Nyad was gracious enough to give us all a first hand account of her swim across the 110 mile swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys. He first supported her in her two attempts in the late 70s. She stopped swimming then and decided only lately try again making several failed attempts and culminating in on successful one just two weeks ago. Making the swim in 53 hrs, an unexpectedly short time, her team attributed the speed to favorable currents in the gulf stream. The story of her perseverance in the face of sharks, deadly stinging jellyfish, her own age of 64, and the limitations of long distance swimming rules and conventions is truly amazing and inspiring. As John told it, she first knew she wanted to swim to Cuba at a very early age when she looked across the expanse of water from Florida to Cuba. Thank you John for sharing her story with us.


John Hennessey visits to give first hand account of Diane Nyad record swim. Jeff Ladd 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon



Yui presented a PowerPoint on her home of Thailand.   She showed us what a beautiful country with a rich culture awaits any of us who make the 18 hour flight.  Yui now has a motorcycle to get around town.  From a town of about 800k, her school is more like a US community college in size and campus environment and she attends from 8 am to 8 pm.   We've all watched as Yui bloomed from a shy incoming exchange student into a confident speaker and cell phone enthusiast.

Bill is hosting a picnic for Yui tonight at 6:00.  Pot luck.  Park in the field please.  Entrance is after his driveway.

Thailand! Lynne Cannon 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon

Malcolm announced that half of the Andy Ladd receipts will go to the Chester Andover Family Center towards obtaining a refrigeration unit.  Townsend recapped and discussed some changes for next years event.  

Nancy announced that the Fall Festival is nearly full!  

Meeting highlights Lynne Cannon 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon
The golf tournament was officially kicked off today with distribution of the brochures.   The cost for a foursome is $400 and includes a cart and dinner. Please let your friends and family know.  We already have 4 foursomes and have room for up to 36.  The golf committee will be meeting on Tuesday April 9th at 6:00 at Skygate. 

Townsend announced the the Andy Ladd dinner has 14 live auctions!  After all the live auctions there will 2 $200 winners drawn.  Many big, big prizes will be given out to some lucky attendees. 
The first live auction is at 7:30. Rotarians should arrive at 5:30 for set up. Silent auctions close at 7:00.

Malcolm asked for a volunteer to chair a new committee for the club. Our Philanthropy committee will now be led by Bill Dakin with Townsend as a member.   Board members are ex-officio members of this committee.

Cabaret is looming large and Malcolm wants to get that moving. The Fullerton will provide food this year since Atria is unable. Malcolm is worried about community overload not to mention club burnout.  We will be talking about this after the Andy Ladd event so keep it in mind. 
Meeting highlights Lynne Cannon 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon

Chester Rotarian Lynne Cannon hosted the pictured Exchange Students last weekend for the annual Okemo Ski Program put on each year by the Ludlow Club. 




 Pictured left to right are Freja from Denmark, Cecelia from France and Marina from Germany.  Each is pointing to her home country.  The ladies are staying in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire while on their year in the USA.


Exchange Students hit Okemo! Lynne Cannon 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon
Jeff Mobus may several event announcements including the request to sign up for the district Assembly Meeting on April 6 as there is a lunch involved.

Dave Hoopes has requested that we designate how our DDF is distributed. Jeff discussed how it is distributed a bit.

Emily Guerra provided a PowerPoint presentation on Rainbow Girls, an order of the Masons. Emily describes the group as Girlscouts in Gowns. She reports that the Rainbow Girls are making a comeback. Chester currently has 3. The theme this year for a Emily is Monty Pythons Holy Grail. She appreciates their motto of "Always look on the bright side of life". Her charity is Camp Agape in Cabot, Vermont where she is a counselor. She is looking for cabin sponsors and is selling bracelets she made.
Weekly meeting Lynne Cannon 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon
What happened this week........

Community Cares was presented with check for $500. Community Cares is a local non profit organization that offered assistance when needed to our local elderly. Community Cares worked with area groups to do spring clean up . They work as a friend to people in need. They listen, find the right organization to assist the person and get that help. They also can offer some community support such as providing a ride to the doctor, etc. They plan to offer a series on Advanced Directives with Springfield Hospital to help get the conversation going.

They have about 30 volunteers. They do various errands like shopping for groceries, driving to appointments and just visiting with people.

Townsend updated us on the Vertical Dinner. There will be raffle items in cheese wheel containers that were donated by the VT Country Store. Donations over $125 receive one ticket. 0ver $250 get two tickets. The auction items are coming in daily. We need to nail down the donations.
Meeting notes Lynne Cannon 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon
Changing of the Gavel Lynne Cannon 0
Posted by Lynne Cannon
Back Row Left to Right: Ron Theissen, Brian Morris, Lynne Cannon, Ed Caron, Mrs. Gilmore, District Governor Tony Gilmore, Bill Dakin, Dave Armstrong, Chris Hutchins, Fred Raymon, Jeffrey Mobus, and Ian Montgomery.  Front Row Left to Right:  Emily Comstock, Leah Cunningham, Kirsten Kowenhoven, Marc Harwood, and visiting Springfield Outbound Exchange Student 
District Governor Visits Lynne Cannon 0