Rotary Club of Framingham
Celebrating our 98th Anniversary - 1922-2020
Serving the Communities of Framingham, Ashland, Hopkinton, and Holliston
Welcome To Our Club!


"Service Above Self"

      We meet Every Monday at 12:15 PM 
      Ken's Steak House
      95 Worcester Road 
      Route 9
      Framingham, MA  01702
      United States
      Come join us!
Current Stories
Yesterday evening boxes of pizza's were delivered by several of our Club members to the MetroWest Hospital in Framingham and the Leonard Morse Hospital in Natick as a Thank You to our Healthcare Heroes.  60 went to MetroWest and 40 to Leonard Morse.  All pizza's arrived whole, no slices missing.  Good Job!
A big Thank You goes to Jack Abby's where Eric & Sam Hendler (owners) personally came in to help make the pizzas on Monday when Jack Abby’s is closed.  
The Rotary Club of Framingham—which includes members from Ashland, Hopkinton, Holliston and Framingham—has donated $500 each to five pantries that are providing food to families in need during the virus pandemic. The recipients are Project Just Because (Hopkinton), St. Bridget’s Food Pantry (Framingham), Holliston Food Pantry (Holliston), the Ashland Emergency Fund (Ashland), and The Brazilian-American Center—BRACE— (Framingham)
Patti McCarthy, Senior Advancement Manager at The Learning Center for the Deaf, joined the Framingham Rotary Club today.  Due to COVID-19 distancing requirements Patti was accepted into the Club via Zoom and a hardy welcome by the 25 attending but distancing members.  Welcome aboard Patti!
25 Club members met via video conferencing today.  The physical distancing did not hamper the fellowship nor the welcoming of a new member.
David Simons of Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL)  spoke on climate change and the harm being done to the world through the heating of land and the ocean raising ocean levels and diving farming further north from where it is now.  The heating is caused by the greenhouse gas (CO2 and others) emissions which thickens the "blanket" around the earth keeping the earth from cooling.  A bill has been introduced in US Congress that will add the cost of the pollution to the cost of the polluting product to better represent the total cost of creating the product.  Payments are then passed back to the public thereby creating an incentive to lower the pollution. British Colombia started this fee and rebate system in 2008 resulting in a 16% drop in greenhouse pollution.  More information at 
Jim Bright spoke about the Repair Café to be held in Hopkinton on Saturday, May 30th 9-noon.  People bring home items for repair: electrical, sharpening, sewing, furniture…generally a 75% success rate.  Our Club sponsors the event
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Framingham Rotary Club serving dinner at Pearl St Cafe - United Way 
Our club serves dinner the fourth Thursday of every month.  Come join us.
Debbi Edelstein of Native Plant Trust gave a well-paced, informative presentation on native plants in New England.  Some of the facts presented;
25% of plants worldwide are endangered as are birds and insects which are all interconnected and mutually dependent for existence. Every state in New England is losing forest (1st time in 200 years). 80% of the marshes on Cape Cod are dying. Climate change is creating a movement of plant densities to higher elevations. There are 10 plant species in New England not found elsewhere in the world. The Dwarf Apple plant has now been removed from the endangered list. There are 56 native orchid species in New England.  For more information go to
Sarah Baldiga, co-founder and Executive Director of "Rise Above", talker about her organization providing children in foster care with enriching activities, opportunities and experiences.  While the average stay in foster care is 2 years, many spend an entire childhood in that situation.  They often have problems making friends and have mental health issues. 25% will eventually become homeless; 50% will be unemployed; they are seven times more likely to get a drug addiction.  Only 20% of foster care children attend college…contrasted with the national average of 65%.
Rise Above has serviced 5,000 children in its 10 year existence with an increase to 1,000 just in 2019! There are 10,000 children in foster care.
Jim Giammanarino is welcomed into our Club as a new member by Club President Javier Cevallos.  Jim became President of the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce last September.
Stuart introduced his daughter: Julie Knowlton who gave a most interesting presentation.  She is a Syracuse graduate and is involved with theater production and casting….now for 25 years.  She often goes to plays and “scouts”…constantly on the lookout for persons who might fit certain roles.  She founded Slate Casting and has found persons for various roles in commercials…..her “bread & butter”
Massachusetts has favorable tax laws for benefiting companies that do filming here and many commercials are shot here.  She provides extras for movies that are filmed here often fielding odd requests….one time requiring her to visit strip clubs in Rhode Island.  Members are invited to go to: to sign up for being cast!! A major challenge is finding persons to be doubles for celebrities….i.e.  Tom Brady
Danielle is the Chief Advancement Officer at The Learning Center which is now a $26M agency! Started in 1970 by Warren Schwab.  They cover pre-kindergarten through age 22 and their services include: providing translators for various events that might have deaf persons in the audience and ASL classes in the evening. 
Rotarians and spouses gather at member's home to enjoy fellowship. 
A few of the MetroWest Boys & Girls Club children among 40 who each received a $50 bill on December 21, a holiday gift through our club’s Random Acts of Kindness Program. The gifts were presented by RAK Committee members.
The RAK Committee: Jim Patterson (Chair), Ken Erdelt, Bob Schecter, and Tom Sturiale. Center: B&G Club volunteer translator Junianny “Juni” Dossantos.
This was our annual holiday party with the kids from SMOC.  The kids were all upbeat to start, brought to a higher level with a magic show and on into ecstacy with Santa.  Children and Adults enjoyed the party.
Ben & Madeline Tremblay recounted their recent experiences with the Rotary Student Exchange Program. 
Ben spent his school year with a family in the Southwest part of Colombia, in Calle…..the salsa dancing capital of the world. His experiences included a visit to a coffee plantation with the trip highlighted by the many friends he made, both from Colombia and other exchange students. He took a 1-hour bus ride and witnessed the refugee camps for the hundreds of Venezuelans who have fled their country. He was a part of the Rotary Interact group that brought sandwiches and juice to them on Christmas Eve. He got to see the Amazon Rain Forest; played trumpet with an ensemble and learned salsa music. His dance partner was an exchange student from Belgium.
Madeline spent six weeks in Capetown, South Africa. She got to climb Table Mountain, go on a safari, water surf, visit Robin Island and work (briefly) in an animal shelter where she spent an hour taking a couple of dogs for a walk. She attended an all-girls school; where she wore a uniform and had the opportunity to make many friends with students from other countries.  
Bongoletris Mienzana, from South Africa, is shown receiving a Framingham Rotary Flag from Club President Javier Cevallos. Bongoletri is part of the Rotary Exchange Student Program and will be spending six weeks here in MetroWest.
Scott Mercer Executive Directive of AFTV visited our Club last Monday and spoke on recent events that affect Framingham. 
The Cable Act of 1986 requires the cable companies to provide (or require the providing of) media access for public, education and government.  The rationale is that, the cable companies use the public land for their cables, they have this obligation. 
Five (5%) per cent of our cable bill goes to the funding of local, government and education public access.
The education and access channels are maintained by AFT
The Cable Act requires cities and towns to provide (or require the providing of) media access for public, education and government.  The rationale is that, the cable companies use the public land for their cables, they have this obligation. 
Five (5%) per cent of our cable bill goes to the funding of local access.
The education and access channels are maintained by AFTV while the city operates the government channel.
Scott pointed out that there is always potential legislation that can impact the access and availability of the local operators.  AFTV can be supported through a membership program: $30 for an individual ($15 for seniors); $60 for a family; $100 for a non profit (we are members) and $200 for a business.
For more information:
Phyllis Cohn has been the Director of the USO in New England for the past year. Previous to this she held management positions with the Red Cross in Germany and Kuwait; communications positions for various organizations with emphasis on marketing. She holds an undergraduate degree from Rutgers and a Masters in Social Work from the Univ . of Maryland.
The objective of the USO is to maintain a connection between service men and women and their home, family and country; the USO supports approximately 13,000 active service personnel in Massachusetts which extends to 40,000 family members. Each service member is someone’s son, sibling or parent and the USO wants to maintain a connection of family. It is hard to measure its success but it boost morale just being there. Programs involving the service person’s extended family are held regularly.
The USO is NOT supported by the government and receives its support solely from the private quarter. The USO show troupe (like in the Bob Hope days) still exists and travels all over the world. All shows are free, including food.
Maria Robinson, our State Representative, visited out Club last Monday.  She has extensive experience in Mass Dept. of Energy Resources and other environmental related areas of vocation. She has a degree from MIT in Chemical Engineering and a Master of Energy Law from the University of Tulsa.
Maria noted several areas of activity and concern as they relate to Framingham: Education Reform recognizing current needs and demographics will increase Framingham’s allocation by about $1.4M a year; Researching the problem of colleges closing and leaving students stranded – more financial visibility is required concerning school financing; 1 of 4 nursing homes is on the verge of foreclosure – there is need for resident reimbursement plus better staffing is needed and improved conditions.
Another successful Pancake Breakfast put on by the Framingham Rotary Club at Keefe Teck East Side Cafe last Saturday.  A good croud attended and at times seating was tight.  The hungry customers included the Mayor, Councilors George King and Margaret Shepard, School Superintendent Robert Tremblay and State Representatives Maria Robinson and Jack Lewis. 
A great turn out and a great Rotary Club fund raiser supporting our Scholarship Program giving $3,500 scholarships to 10 high school seniors in early 2020.
Our guest today included Serge Goussaert from Belgium….a small town outside of Burge.  He presented our club with a banner from his club.
Kristen, our exchange student from Denmark, returns home
this week and stopped in to thank the club and say good-bye.
We joked with Kristen that her jacket wouldn't get through security at the airport with all the metal Rotary pins and buttons on it. 
It was a bittersweet part of the meeting. Kristen has been part of our club's support and family for nearly a year and while she was anxious to get back home to family and friends, we will miss her and she will miss all the friends she has found here during her stay here. 
Alaa Abusulah, Citizen Participation Officer for the city of Framingham spoke of the purpose of her function – to be a visible link to the city government for community engagement to be able to resolve issues. Part of the role is to bridge the concerns of citizens and build trust with city officials in preparing for the 2020 Census. Luara Medrano spoke of the importance of getting an accurate census since public funding is tied to the census data yet estimates are that 30% of the people for some segments of the city will not respond. And these are not just immigrants but some people who just do not want to provide info. The Framingham Census office has developed a multi-step program to notify and follow up with residents to respond to the Census. 
Sherrie Whittemore introduced four of the Club’s eight 2019 RYLANs who were in attendance at the meeting today: Ashley Wojcik, (Hopkinton); Alexa Hughes, (Framingham); Jessica Franks,(Hopkinton); and Fariha Fardin, (Hopkinton). The students shared their perspective from the RYLA experience. All were very positive about the event and used words like “life changing” and “best experience” and “love” to describe what and how they felt.
They discussed their intent to continue to support Rotary and Community Service activities and spoke of creating Interact clubs in their school. In fact they shared their ideas for community service projects they would like to pursue including: sending letters of encouragement to people in rehab; assembling school “survival packs” that would include supplies of health and hygiene products for high school students; creating dog and cat toys for animals in shelters; and Operation Baby Blanket – to refurbish donated blankets – and provide them to mothers and babies in need.
The June 10th meeting was held at the Old Academy Museum of the Framingham History Center where members heard the details of the city's history and key milestones.
The June 24th meeting was held at Simpson Park - Attendees enjoyed the park setting and a picnic box lunch. The Park sits on the Sudbury River and offers a shady area to relax and enjoy the river and the fellowship of friends.
June 15th was MetroFest and the Rotary members supported two activities – the Duck Pluck and the Playhouse build for a veteran’s children. 
The photos show the crew building the playhouse that included members of ERA Realty, Rotarians and family members. The Veteran and his family were thrilled with the playhouse and the kids could hardly wait to jump in and start playing in it. 
The annual Rotary Club Installation and Awards Dinner was held at the Framingham Country Club.
 Javier Cevallos was sworn in as the Club President for 2019-2020 by District Governor Steve Sager.
 The award for Organization of the Year was given to Medical Reserve Corps Region 4A
Jim and Cherly Stockless received the Citizens of the Year Award. They provided a home away from home for our foreign exchange student from Denmark, Kristine, for the entire 2018-2019 school year. 
).  The Rotarian of the Year award was given to Ken Erdelt (Cog Editor)
 A special award was given to Rotarian Tim Sullivan for his generous donations to the Framingham Rotary Education Foundation and the Random Acts of Kindness program
We also introduced O'Mara Taylo.r who was awarded a grant from Rotary International for graduate studies at Oxford University in England. 
Club Leaders
President Elect
President 2021-2022 (VP)
Immediate Past President
Director 2022
Director 2022
Director 2021
Director 2021
Director 2020
Director 2020
Foundation Chair
Membership Chair
Youth Chair
Public Relations Chair
Fram. Rotary Edu. Fund
International Chair
Speaker Chair
Community Service Chair
Club Assistant Governor
Bulletin Chair
Interact - Fuller
Pancake Breakfast
RYLA Chair
Club Sponsors
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