Rotary Club of Framingham
Celebrating our 100th Anniversary - 1922-2022
Serving the Communities of Framingham, Ashland, Hopkinton, and Holliston
Welcome To Our Club!


"Service Above Self"

      We meet every Monday at 12:15 PM 
      Plymouth Church
     Parish Hall
      87 Edgell Rd.
      Framingham, MA  01701
      United States
      COVID-19:  Come ZOOM with us!
Current Stories
Club President Jack Colamaria accepting Club Service Award from District Governor Victor Tom.
Framingham Rotary members attended the Paul Harris Luncheon at the 2023 Rotary District Conference.
Another great Thursday night of volunteering and serving meals at Pearl St Cafe.
Sister Mark of the Carmelite Sisters gave a most interesting presentation of the origins of Carmel Terrace and its founder Sister Mary Angeline Teresa McCrory. It was started in 1929. The founder was originally from Northern Ireland and Scotland and worked with the elderly in Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, and the Bronx. With the encouragement of Cardinal Hayes of New York, she took a vow of hospitality and started a special home for the elderly. This effort has now spread to about 6 states and Dublin.
The Order recognizes the need for kindness and understanding for the elderly who give up their homes, familiar environments, and friends to live in an elderly facility. The facility is organized to put meaning into the later years of residents; recognize the dignity and worth of the individual. Facilities are available for short-term, those with dementia, those needing rehab, and assisted living… a home environment.
Our speaker was former City Counselor and current State Representative, Margarethe Shephard. She spoke of her journey with challenges of loss of hearing, immigration, transition, language, etc. She became a City Councilor and worked with new businesses formed by members of the Brazilian community.
“I’m an immigrant, I’m a single mother, I’m deaf — if I can do it, and be successful, they can do it,” she said. “It’s just a matter of if you want to, have the desire to, (and) have the dream of doing something bigger than yourself."
Thank you State Representative Shephard.
Chaitra Sanders spoke on the Massachusetts Health Connector. Mass Health Connector is the insurance marketplace for affordable insurance options. Small businesses or nonprofits can use this service. They offer HSA plans, HMO, PPO and Dental Plans. They follow the employer choice model which allows the employer to control the costs.
Our speaker today was Sandra Montesino, Executive Director for Daniels Table.  In existence since 2016, Daniels Table mission is simple: providing food security to our most vulnerable neighbors.
Sandra’s presentation was interesting and informative. Daniel’s Table has grown in significantly since our first introduction to it several years ago.  Currently serving approximately 600 people per week and there are 357 households registered to either receive pre-cooked meals or shop at a grocery-like market.  They also have an ongoing partnership with local schools to assist children who need nutritional input.  
Tours of the facilities are available. Thursdays and Fridays are good days for volunteer opportunities.
Pictures from our annual Fellowship dinners where small groups of members with partners gather together at a member's home or a local restaurant to enjoy each other company.
Jason Daniels, the new Executive Director at Access Framingham, spoke to us regarding Access Framingham, AFTV.  The Mission of Access Framingham is to present technology; assist individuals in using media technology.  Currently, AFTV is working with Downtown Framingham (and others) to promote local businesses via programming; initiating broadcast s from remote locations, and training co-op students from Keefe Techand Framingham State.   One exciting long-range project is to bring a film festival to Framingham…easily possible through an online platform that can gather films from throughout the world….and they have already engaged in an exchange of short films generated by individuals in foreign countries.
Our speaker today was Lisa McDonald – Director of Equity Compliance at Mass Bay Community College. Lisa is focused on Federal Chapter 9 compliance at Mass Bay– which means any type of discrimination is prohibited if the school receives any form of federal financial aid for education.  This applies to sex, gender, harassment, violence, women who are pregnant, etc……any form of non-consensual discrimination……….including dissemination of photos or information.  Lisa also gets involved with ADA matters if brought to her attention.
Seth Izen – Executive Director of MetroWest Mediation Services was our speaker today….he has been in mediation since 2009; has a BA from Brown and a Masters in Conflict Resolution from UMass – Lowell.
MetroWest Mediation started in 1979 and has significantly expanded its services. Mediation does NOT: favor either side and does NOT give advice. Mediators facilitate a solution created by the parties themselves. 
MW Mediation is involved in housing, probate matters, small claims, juvenile Cases, and business matters. The services are risk-free and at no cost. About half of the possible cases will accept a mediation attempt and about 2/3 of these will reach an agreement.
Our speaker today was Sarkis Sarkisan, Planning and Community Development Director, City of Framingham.  He has a broad community planning background having served as the city planner in Natick and Wayland.  Sarkis spoke about the many projects being planned in Framingham including the Bruce Freeman Trail, the possible 188 Concord Steet 4-story regional dispatch center, Dennison Park renovation, and a possible regional mega-court system at the Dennison location.
Happy Holidays from the Rotary Club of Framingham, which is pleased to serve our community and invite all to join us!!
Special thanks to Access Framingham for this holiday message!
Thank you to this weeks speaker Rebecca Donham Senior Program Officer at MetroWest Health Foundation. Her talk about the state of our youth’s mental health was very informative .
Very busy week giving back and today’s Service Above Self was at the Pelham LifeLong Learning Center. Thanks to Towma Rastad for organizing a popup Food Pantry for families. We had a blast volunteering.
Another great volunteer effort by The Framingham Rotary Club this week serving meals at Pearl St. Cafe in Framingham.
The kids were happy to see Santa and his Rotarian helpers
New member Patience Noah was inducted today. She is a former Rotary scholarship recipient, graduated UMass-Dartmouth and now owns her own insurance business!!  Welcome aboard Patience!
Framingham Rotary Club President (in blue shirt) joins forces with Marlborough Rotary for a Polar Plunge to fight Polio.
Our speaker today was Lalit Sudan, President of Vision Aid, a non-profit endeavor focusing on financially needy individuals with vision impairment. Concentration is on training in addition to just education so that, once educated, the individual is employable. The newest project is Smart Glasses where a student can use the glasses to “read” a text….the glasses do the reading and the text is converted to spoken words. The glasses can even be programmed to recognize individuals and even detect their moods.
Our speaker, Paul Netopski, an Ashland resident and cyber security expert, spent his professional career in the Navy working on system security.   He holds numerous certifications and about four years ago, started his own business……..working with small businesses and their security issues.  An estimated $8 trillion lost last year due to cyber piracy; most hackers are out of Russia and there are no extradition laws between our two countries
Jon Evans, Superintendant of Keefe Tech High School. Keefe’s Mission: to challenge students to demonstrate the academic, technical and interpersonal skills necessary for successful lifelong learning. There are 16 Career and Technical Professions plus academic programs (incl college & advance placement) provided to complement career and technical curriculum. 60% of the Class of 2022 went on to college.
Beyond the school day, there are activities such as drama, athletics (18 teams), national honor society and student government.
As of October1, 2022 837 students (a 13% increase since 2018) putting the school at capacity,,,,with a waiting list!
Our club has a long history with Keefe….our scholarship award luncheon isheld there as is our Craft Fair and Pancake Breakfast
Club members and friends help serve a wonderful meal prepared by Bella Costa’s of Framingham to Veterans organized by Debbie Clark from Edwards Church at The Plymouth Church.
Great day at Keefe Tech for our Pancake Breakfast raising funds for our Rotary Scholarship Fund. Thanks to our Sponsors, Volunteers, and Patrons.
We were lucky to have Rotary member Gladys Nantume from the Rotary Club of Kampala, Uganda visit us.
Janelle Codianni, Executive Director of ATAC Framingham,spoke to us about the latest happenings at ATAC reminding us that  it’s important to remember how necessary the arts are to our community!
Several members gather to pull the meat off many baked turkeys in preparation for the annual Curtis Family Thanksgiving Dinner.  Last year over 1,500 turkey dinners were delivered to families in Framingham
Club President Jack Colamaria (left) inducting new members Thomas Bringle and Wayne Schuberth (right).  Welcome aboard.
Our speaker today was Joe Abely of the 100 Club. This non-profit supports the families of first responders who have lost their lives in the line of duty. This includes Covid related deaths.
The local organization started in 1959 and has processed millions of dollars for surviving families. In addition to financial support, the organization sponsors activities… to sporting events, holiday parties, etc.  They are currently is working with over 100 families……following them, if necessary, their entire life….some having been involved over 50 years. 
There are funds for counseling as well as personal enrichment programs for children. Gifts are given at special events such as birthdays or graduation. Benefits include a one-time initial check for $10,000 plus a check for $2000 for each minor child.
The organization is all volunteers with one full-time employee. Funding is from a club endowment of $4 Million and the Crocket Fund Endowment of $3.4 Million. Benefit expenses total $610,000 with overhead at 10% or $61,000. There are currently 1000 members and they hope to grow this to 2000 in 5 years; membership is $1500 per year.
Andrea Burton, project director with Eversource spoke about the 350 Irving Street Remediation Project.  The problem goes back over 100 years when oil & coal were used to produce gas for streetlights & cooking. Tar was a waste product and while it could be used, much of it was simply buried. The problem extends for several acres and goes to a depth of 35 feet!!! Clean-up is a $100 Million effort with side issues of air monitoring, duct control and vibrations (and impact on underground utilities in the area…not to mention noise impact and traffic control.
Club President Elect Patti McCarthy inducts newest member Leslie White Harvey into Framingham Rotary
Mike Cassidy, Fire Chief in Holliston was our speaker on Monday.  Mike is a crusader for Emergency Preparedness! This means individuals as well as communities. Local and state government units can get into full operation within 48-72 hours in the event of an emergency….often weather-related but could be other causes.  Mike challenged us with the query: “What would you grab if you have to vacate your home for a few days due to an evacuation? What do you need to be self-reliant? Phone charger/ medications? A blanket? Water? Spare glasses? Do you have the ability to “grab and go”? is the site to visit for ideas and lists
Elyse Hyman, Executive Director of Jeff’s Place.  Jeff’s Place offers hope and healing in a supportive community for grieving children, teens, families, and individuals.  One out of 15 children will suffer the loss of a parent or sibling prior to reaching age 18!! This puts them at risk for anxiety, depression, drug abuse and numerous unhealthy decisions. In the past, grief was dealt with by not speaking of it and keeping the name of the deceased out of conversations.  Based upon the shared experience of the loss of a family member, individuals can join together at Jeff's Place. Special groups exist for parent loss or sibling loss….even a grandparent support group. Virtual meetings are held with persons from around the country. 
Elyse has worked with social agencies for 30 years and this position with Jeff’s Place has been the most dynamic and rewarding.
New member Towma Rastad, flanked by Club Secretary Teri Banerjee and Club President Jack Colamaria,  was inducted into the Framingham Rotary Club today. Towma works for the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce and transferred from the Westborough Rotary Club.  Wellcome abroad Towma!
When Nelson Zide was named Framingham Rotarian of the Year, he was struck a bit speechless — which came as a surprise to fellow Rotary members when Zide was asked to say a few words.
“When I left the stage, they said, ‘Wait a minute — you never speak only a few words,’” Zide said. “I was really pleased — I was sort of shocked — but really pleased about it, that my fellow Rotarians decided to honor me.”
The Rotary Club of Framingham is celebrating its 100th year this year. Its Rotarian of the Year award is given out to members in good standing who are committed to the Rotarian mantra, "Service Above Self."
Zide has lived in Framingham for nearly 50 years and has been doing business in the community for more than 40. He founded, built up and eventually sold his own real estate company. Since then, he has worked for ERA Key Realty Services of Northbridge, selling more than 1,000 homes while working from the company’s Framingham office.
But he’s fairly humble about being honored, and he says being part of the Rotary has helped him help his community. 
I really have enjoyed their goal and their focus, which is always to do things for the local community and raise money for the local community,” Zide said. “I just do my thing. I go out, I help when they need help, I volunteer for things I could volunteer for.”  
Joanie Zide, his wife of almost 50 years, said Nelson has always been a role model for their children and their family.
“He does so much for other people and for the Rotary — and I was so proud of him,” for winning the award, she said. “He gives so much to others and little for himself — that’s what he does. He puts others above himself all the time.”
Nelson Zide has volunteered for the Rotary Craft show — which he hopes will be back next year — and took over organizing a popular fishing for prizes activity this year.

The activity is called "Duck Pluck," and it's geared for young children, he explained. 

"But I think adults like it just as much — a little fishing rod, and they pluck for ducks and win a prize,” he said.

Although he's Jewish, Zide has played the role of Santa Claus at Christmas for young children enrolled in the Head Start program. It’s a task he took on with great enthusiasm — and a resounding greeting of “Oy vey, oy vey, ho, ho, ho,” he said.

He’s also on the Rotary’s education committee, which this year awarded $4,000 scholarships to 15 students from Framingham and surrounding towns. He also helped organize building a playhouse for a veteran's family, which was co-sponsored by ERA Key Realty Services.

“He can work well and get along with all types of people, and I think that’s important, too, for the Rotary, because you’re working with a club of all different ages, different people,” Joanie Zide said. “He’s able to get along with everyone.”

Zide has been a Rotary member for about two decades — although initially he had to wait to join.

“Back then, they only allowed one person in one type of job and they already had a Realtor,” Zide said. But he jumped at the opportunity when that Realtor retired because “I really felt it was something that was worthwhile for me to do.”

There are no longer business-specific restrictions for membership. The Rotary Club of Framingham meets at 12:15 p.m. on Mondays at the Plymouth Church Parish Hall, 87 Edgell Road. Zide said all are welcome to join.

Club Leaders
President 2023-2024 (PE)
President 2024-2025 (VP)
Immediate Past President
Director 2023
Director 2024
Director 2025
Foundation Chair
Membership Chair
Youth Chair
Public Relations Chair
Education Fund Pres.
Speaker Chair
Club Assistant Governor
COG Editor
Innovation Challenge
Pancake Breakfast Co-Chair
Pancake Breakfast Co-Chair
Pothole Repair Manager
RYLA Chair
Foundation - Grants Contact 1
Foundation - Grants Contact 2
Club Sponsors
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