Posted on Dec 05, 2017
ATTENDANCE – There were 21 Farmington Rotarians in attendance, plus one guest – Michael Collins, who works at the former Gables retirement community and is expected to be inducted as a new member next week.
 
REPORTS – The Farmington Rotary’s Annual Holiday Luncheon for Farmington senior citizens will be at 11:45 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 19, at Farmington Gardens. As usual, we are all asked to bring three wrapped gifts for the seniors. Each gift should be valued at approximately $5. If the gifts are specifically for a man, please mark them as such; if specifically for a woman, again, please mark them that way.
 
President-elect Jenn Diederich is leading the bell-ringing for the Salvation Army this year. Last year we raised $5,000 through bell-ringing at Highland Park Market and at Starbucks. This year the bell-ringing will be confined to Highland Park Market, with the primary target time of Friday, Dec. 22, through Christmas Eve, Dec. 24. Jenn passed around a sign-up sheet for members to volunteer for at least one two-hour shift.
 
Diane Kennedy, chair of the Foundation Committee, reported that she is still working on getting 100 percent participation in the Polio Plus campaign.
 
Mary Lou Wadsworth announced that she and several other Rotarians helped Irene Engel at the UConn Health Auxiliary Christmas fair, raising $800 for the cause.
 
Patty Strazzulla, chair of the March 15 “March Madness” wine tasting event said the goal is to raise a net $30,000 from the event, with the beneficiaries being Rotary and the Special Olympics Unified Sports for Farmington Valley.
 
FIVE MINUTES OF FAME – Our three newest members, Elizabeth Sheridan, Brendan Goodrich, and Solidea Pitruzzello, each had their five minutes of fame during which they told us a little about themselves
 
Elizabeth Sheridan is actually a returning member. She originally joined the Farmington Rotary in 2011 when she was assistant manager of the Farmington Bank Main Street Branch. She then obtained a new job as the manager of Webster Bank’s Newington branch and transferred to the Newington Rotary. She recently transferred back to our chapter after becoming manager of the Webster Bank Farmington Branch. One significant issue she raised is that while many Farmington Rotarians know her as “Beth,” she has dropped that nickname in favor of her given name, “Elizabeth,” so please call her Elizabeth from now on.
 
Brendan Goodrich has been a Rotarian for about 20 years, beginning with a 10 year membership in the Wallingford Rotary before transferring to the Southington Rotary for another 10 years. He served as president of the Southington Rotary. Like the other new members of the Farmington Rotary, Brendan is in banking. He has been in that profession for 30 years, working at a variety of banks from the old CBT to Citibank in New York City to Liberty Bank and for the past 10 years with Farmington Bank. He recently became the manager of the Farmington Bank’s Main Street branch.
 
Solidea Pitruzzello, known as “Dea” (pronounced “Day-a”) is the oldest girl in an Italian family and as a result was named Solidea after her grandmother. She joked that her younger sister lucked out by being named Elizabeth. “It’s not fair,” Dea said with a smile. She began her banking career at People’s Bank when that institution introduced its branches in Stop & Shop stores. It was a part-time job while she attended Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) as a psychology major. Her intention was to be a family therapist, but after discovering she couldn’t make much money in the nonprofit world she returned to banking. A transfer from the Plainville Rotary, she recently became the manager of the Farmington Bank Unionville branch.
 
BIRTHDAYS – Gabey Giblin will celebrate her birthday Dec. 7.
 
RAFFLE – Wink Tharpe had the winning ticket, but pulled the five of spades instead of the ace of spades from the deck of playing cards and therefore lost the pot.
 
HAPPY BUCKS – Donations were made in honor of our newest members; Mary Lou’s visit to Niagara Falls; for our upcoming bell-ringing at Highland Park Market; for Augusto Russell’s appointment to the Insurance Task Force of Connecticut by State Republican Senate Leader Len Fasano; and for the UConn Women’s Basketball Team’s come-from behind victory over rival Notre Dame University.