Rotary Club of Framingham
Celebrating our 102nd Anniversary - 1922-2024
Serving the Communities of Framingham, Ashland, Hopkinton, and Holliston
www.FraminghamRotary.org
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
Rear Admiral Derek Trinque spoke to us during Navy Week when Navy personnel speak to various communities regarding the Navy.  He is originally from Holliston and has spent 34 years in the Navy joining when he was 18.
Jenny Cavallerano and Marybeth Fletcher from The Office of Student Development spoke to us regarding addressing non-scholastic issues that students had that prevented them for getting an education. The office connects students with resources that address their basic needs: food nutrition, financial, family issues, etc. Partnerships with government and nongovernment resources have enabled students to continue their education.
One-time financial emergencies are being addressed thanks to the Mass Bay Foundation. Support is in place for single mothers. Technology support is available for the repair of laptops, etc. Four scholarships are available for students who are homeless – encluding a meal program & housing. Textbooks and transportation issues are addressed. Period and hygiene products are readily available.
Hats Off to MassBay for recognizing that a student’s educational needs often extend beyond academics.
Spring Repair Cafe, open to the public,  where repairs are made at no cost to various items including jewelry, bikes, lamps, small appliances, etc.  This event is run several times a year by Transition Framingham and sponsored by Rotary Club of Framingham.
Great turnout on a rainy day to assist Keep Framingham Beautiful at Butterworth Park and a 10-block radius with many many many bags of trash. 
Matthew Paradise,  financial Author and Speaker, spoke to us regarding his latest book Financially Capable.  He noted that the wealth gaps in the US lead to education gaps; financial inclusion builds goodwill & better friendships; and financially healthy employees are 10 times more productive.  Matthew also noted that we all have challenges in our lives – the key is to get up and be ready to make a difference in other people’s lives.  Matthew tied in his presentation nicely with Rotary’s 4-Way Test and this year's Rotary motto of Bring Hope to the World.
 
Anna Tucker, Director of the Framingham History Center informed us that our Town/City was 136 years old; the Center runs three buildings: (1) Village Hall, built in 1834 and renovated 2018-2019 is one of the most beautiful venues in MetroWest for an event… we held our 100th Anniversary Dinner there. (2) The Academy (on the West side of the Village Green) built in 1830, houses our artifacts and is a place for research and storage.…make a reservation to view it. (3) The original Framingham Library built in 1872 has the civil war soldier in front. The Center holds various programsincluding the city’s 3rd grade students tour (been done for 49 years!!). They have periodic displays looking at Framingham’s history and its diversity; one program focused on “food” and recipes that have been handed down for generations! Stay tuned for Summer Dance Party—the Big Band Era returns to Framingham: September 20-21!!! L
Our 2024 Spring Craft Fair with 118 Crafters and Artists, attended by over 800 customers was a success.  The picture above depicts members laying down blue tape marking off vendor booths and getting ready for the next day's event.  We had a fun and profitable day.
Our speaker is Thais Faggion Vinhalo, a cardiac surgeon at Brigham Hospital, and a former Rotary Exchange Student.  She grew up in a small city in Brazil (10,000) and was an exchange student for her senior year of high school in Matthews, North Carolina. She bonded with around 100 other Rotary exchange students and traveled to the Midwest. From 2006-2010 she attended Queens University in North Carolina, majoring in biology and doing medical projects in China and Guatemala. She has also done global mission work in El Salvador, Brazil, and Dominican Republic. She obtained a Master’s Degree in neuro-engineering and her medical degree from Yale!! In addition to her cardiac surgery, she is studying the differences in treatment often given to minority groups; minority groups tend to have a greater need for replacement surgery as opposed to repair surgery. One reason she speculates, is that minorities seek treatment (or are unable to get it) until the medical need has become more acute. Thais’ message was simply to demonstrate the ripple factor of a simple Rotary exchange! Rotary set her on her career and life path. She is still in touch with her original host family and they attended her wedding to another cardiac surgeon.
Gary & Judy Siegel were our speakers; Gary is Teri’s Banertjee'sbrother and a long-time active Rotarian….their father was a founder of the Liberty Rotary Club in New York. Among other activities, the club has set up a system for disaster preparedness in Puerto Rico.
They spoke of the Siegel Trust Enriching Arts and Music (STEAM) set up to honor their parents. It was set up to foster music and appreciation of the arts among students – bringing workshops into schools for thousands of students.
They established the John Lennon project in numerous schools (including in Ayer High School – here in our District) called the “Real Love” project and highlighted The Man, His Music His Legacy. And, have created a visionary songwriting project for elementary and middle schools.
Rev. Dr. Anthony Lloyd serves as the pastor of the Greater Framingham Community Church in Framingham.  It was obvious from Rev. Lloyd presentation that the word “community” is taken seriously. Their service to the community is varied, well thought out and very impressive.  Four vaccine clinics with health screenings; mental health assessment surveys; line dance classes; culinary nutritious cooking classes; Access to vaccines; distribution of food and toiletries; distribution of bikes, helmets and locks to 100 children; promotion of healthy lifestyles; tablets to families with five years of free internet; restorative justice program; distribution of clothes, blankets & toiletries to travelers; English as a second language program, assistance in Mass Health enrollment; and efforts to improve community diversity.  What is almost equally impressive is the fact that for each of these efforts the Community Church partners with appropriate community offices, various organizations and local businesses, bringing them into the effort and making them aware of the need.
Jessica Roscia, Director and Curator of the Danforth Art Museum.was our speaker today.  The Museum has over 3700 objects in its permanent collection covering a wide media range….much from the late 1800s. They have a wide focus on American Art with several events during the year. They can only show 50 at a time so items are rotated. The museum involves students in the selection and display decisions that are regularly made.
One room is devoted to Meta Vaux Warwick Fuller an internationally known sculptress from Framingham. Much of the display includes items donated by her family. The Fuller School is named for her.
The museum has art classes for both children and adults…….and is looking for interested persons to be volunteers and members.
 
Andrew Coville, an ex-marine who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan speaks about his recently published book "Summer 2009". At age 19, he and his best friend, Nick, joined the Marines. Andrew’s book is a snapshot of a portion of his life……specifically 2009 when he and his friend served in Afghanistan where Nick was killed. The book is based upon his personal journal; it is not a war story but the war experience as viewed through the eyes of a 20-year-old maturing rapidly. The book is titled: Summer 2009
Lisa Ushkurnis,Supervisor of social services at Callahan Senior Center, spoke abour a new concept about cooperative living alternatives for our seniors. Seniors who are strapped for cash due to rising prices and need housing, food and other necessities. This new project will merge seniors with other seniors who have housing but need someone to share expenses. A compatibility review team reviews both seniors habits, likes/dislikes, specific needs, etc. There are negotiations as to amount of space, sharing of household duties (cooking, cleaning, trash removal, etc.). Great concept!!
 
Our speaker today was Sharon Nolli, with PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. This program is geared to help those who cannot perform routine daily chores such as taking medication, dressing, making medical appointments, etc. The service depends upon the need and can include medical supplies, help in the home and transportation to medical appointments. PACE works with assisted living facilities such as Carmel Terrace in Framingham with a goal of allowing patients to maintain a quality of life outside of a nursing home. Services include: prescription drug coverage, medication management, 24-hour phone access, transportation, physical, occupational and recreational therapy, behavioral health services, specialized dementia care, nutrition evaluations and education, dental and vision care and availability of related resources. The closest PACE is with Summit ElderCare in Worcester, MA (508) 852-2026.
Our speaker today was Christy Garcia (right).  She coordinates the Entrepreneur and Innovation Center at Framingham State University. This function was first established in 2013. Its function is to cultivate innovation by promoting social interaction.; they stimulate students to look at problems as opportunities and support students who show entrepreneurial inclinations. Programs are available that focus on the needs that must be addressed in cultivating entrepreneurial activity. The Center supports and encourages local entrepreneurs.
Friday night Taping Crew
Entry Table Crew
1,000+ customers buying from 121 vendors
 
The first Holiday Market at Jeff’s Place was made possible by a donation from the Rotary Club of Framingham! This allowed grieving children to pick out a gift for their caregiver. This was a holiday hit!
Rotarian wrapping the gift.
Ronda Yeomans, a volunteer from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, gave an enlightening talk on this critical topic.
Rotary members join other service volunteers in preparing the annual Curtis Family Thanksgiving Dinner.
Yolanda Greaves, member of the Ashland, MA Select Board, gave an interesting update on initiatives and cooperative efforts between Ashland and neighboring towns.
Above Rotary members served an appreciation dinner to veterans on Sunday, November 12 at the Plymouth Church.  Great job!
Reyad Shah is a dynamic and creative individual who has already made a difference in our city. His focus is on the economic vitality downtown….to make it a destination, not just a pass-through. He coordinates activities between businesses, works with various city departments, and conveys planning and topics of concern to local businesses.  With strong people skills, experience in grant writing and fundraising as well as proficiency in Spanish, Reyad is looking forward to meeting with small business owners, downtown residents and community leaders. 
Another successful Pancake Breakfast was held on October 28 at Keefe Technical High School Cafe.  This is a fundraiser for our High School Scholarship Fund.
 
Jesse Edwards started as the Chief DEI Offer in Framingham.  Previously he served as the Associate Director of Equal Opportunity, and the Title IX Coordinator, at Framingham State University.  He has also worked for the City of Worcester and UMass Memorial Medical Center.
Framingham is a very diverse city.   All city communications now go out in three languages, a very important issue for a city as diverse as Framingham, where the school reports speakers of over 70 languages. 41% of Framingham residents are not native English speakers. Among other events, the city celebrated Juneteenth, Indigenous Peoples Day, raised the Pride flag, and received a grant to conduct an equity audit.
State Representative Jack Lewis brought us up to date regarding the current activity at the Capital. He noted that the state representative level is from a practical standpoint the highest level of government service where the average citizen can directly contact and access the elected official. Jack often has to serve as a liaison between individuals and local officials.  
Interesting note: After being presented with our Rotary Four-Way Test Mug, Jack remarked that he once did a multipage paper on making ethical decisions in business. After reading the mug, he said that his whole paper could have been summarized in those Four Sentences
Rhonda Yeomans spoke briefly about local efforts at suicide prevention (1 every 11 minutes in US) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – research & education & advocacy. T
Our speaker today was Joe Townsend, Director of Development for Habitat for Humanity – MetroWest & Greater Worcester. The mission for “Habitat” is to Build Homes, Communities and Hope.
Habitat affiliates exist in 70 countries and all 50 states. Each affiliate raises its own money determines its spending priorities….there are 16 affiliates in Massachusetts and “our” MetroWest Greater Worcester covers 42 cities and towns.
Joe noted that, if housing costs are greater than 30% of household income, that is NOT affordable housing and are termed “burdened? 35% of Massachusetts households fall in that category. The result is that there is less household money to be spent on food and health needs. People in unburdened housing are generally healthier.
Frank Lemieux MBA of John Hancock gave an interesting talk about finances .
Our speaker today was Dwarka Chadha: author: “Suitcase”. He told the story of his life from birth in what is now Pakistan through his arrival in the US with just a suitcase and $600. Through his hard work he became successful and an active participant in our political system.
His bottom line: The American Dream is still alive!!!!
Our immediate PDG Victor Tom presented our immediate Past President, Jack Colamaria with the Rotary Citation…..we are one of only five clubs in the District to receive this award!
District Governor Elliott Rittonberg spoke to our Club regarding the five areas of focus he would like the 7910 District to focus on for the coming Rotary year. The areas of focus include; Training, Education on what Rotary is about, Diversity Equity & Inclusion, Environmental Efforts, and Mental Health.  He would also like to see Rotarians gathering again in friendship at social events. Let’s have fun again! He said. Let’s do all the hands-on work we can but let’s gather and have fun together while we’re doing it.
Our speaker today was Erin Lynch, Executive Director of the MetroWest Visitors Bureau.; which includes 19 core communities with a goal of stimulating the economy and promoting the area.  Object is the connect with newcomers and visitors and have them stay in the area and enjoy the many attractions and facilities available. There is a special website with various itineraries highlighting the variety of interests and activities (both indoor and outdoor).
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