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 
      Ken's Steak House
      95 Worcester Road 
      Route 9
      Framingham, MA  01702
      United States
      COVID-19:  Come ZOOM with us!
Current Stories
We were honored to have our newly minted Mayor Charlie Sisitsky speak to our club at our last meeting. He spoke to us about his future plans for our city including local development as well as Covid protocols. Thank you Mayor!
Thank you to our speaker this week Charles Hirsch of Special Olympics. They do so much to support and enrich the lives of those individuals in our community with special needs and their families.  Note, every year our Club holds a fundraiser at the Boston Marathon to benefit the Special Olympics.
Thank you to our speaker Travis Ahearn the Town Admin for the Town of Holliston. He filled us in on their planning for increased traffic as well as higher demand for their separate industrial area. This is partly due to them not having two tax levels for industry vs residential.
Our speaker this week was Ed Dean President and Founder of Climb For A Child an organization dedicated to providing educational sponsorships to the children of hard working impoverished children . Adventure travel is used to connect people to children who have a need. Thank you for an interesting talk about a very worthy cause!
Santa and his Helper ready to meet the children.
Last Thursday (12-16-21) Santa and his Helper made their annual visit to see the Children and bring them gifts (hat, scarf, gloves and a book). As you can see by the picture COVID impacted the visit where the visit was in a parking lot and not indoors with a nice lunch.  Never the less the children were overjoyed when they saw Santa.
Rotarians helping kids smile
 Michael Herbert, Ashland Town Manager: "On Tuesday, November 16, 2021, members of the Ashland Select Board, employees, and I joined the Rotary Club of Framingham, who generously donate this tastefully done bench overlooking Mill Pond. The Framingham Rotary is a great service organization that serves not only Framingham but other Metrowest Communities. Many thanks to Ashland resident and business owner Ken Erdelt, President Phil Reimann, and other Rotarians for being willing to commemorate our community partnership with this gift."
Several Rotarians plus friends and family gather together to assist Curtis Family Thanksgiving Dinner by pulling meat off the bones of cooked turkeys.  The dinner is an annual event and the Rotary members have been assisting for many years 
Danielle Bass, Community Relations Manager from the Better Business Bureau, spoke about Robo calls and Spam calls and how to avoid them.  The first rule is to Never give information to anyone who calls you unless you know them personally.  The second rule is to Never click on provided links or log onto a provided web site.  Third rule is to Never use simple passwords and Never use the same password on different accounts or sites.  Fourth rule is to Never use debit cards on line, only use credit cards on line.  
Great talk!
Marty Cohen, Executive Director, for the past 20 years has guided the MetroWest Health Foundation….established in 1999 when the community hospitals of Natick and Framingham were sold to a private investor. It operates in a fixed geographic area servicing the 25 MetroWest communities of about 490 thousand residents. 
With $125M in assets, The MW Health Foundation is able to give out $5.5 Million per year in various grants…….one of which was to assist in the costs of our playground at Butterworth Park.
The Foundation’s mission is to improve the heath status of the communities and its citizens. It's work is data driven with much comprehensive planning that is based upon evidence, citizen feedback, the use of experts and advance (5-year) planning
Both Marty and the Foundation are MetroWest assets of which we can be proud! Thank you, Marty!!!
Eileen Davis, VP MASS211 Call Center spoke about her organization serving the community by connecting callers to various services in the community including mental health issues, finance related matters (housing, clothes, food); Covid information (vaccines, regulations, etc.), storm matters when applicable, etc. Her organization has contacts with transportation services, medical providers, day care, court issues regarding eviction, and even the eligibility for government assistance programs. The program is free and its use has increased significantly in the prior year due to COVID related issues.
The Rotary Club of Framingham held its Installation and Awards Luncheon on Tuesday 14 September at the Warren conference Center in Ashland, MA. 
Phil Reimann was installed as Club President for the year 2021-2022. 
Past Club President Javier Cevallos giving remarks.
Keep Framingham Beautiful received the Organization of the Year Award 
Citizen of the Year Awarded to Shivang Patel of MetroWest Pharmacy and accepted by Nena
David Podell and Susan Raynor inducted as new members into the Rotary Club of Framingham
Our speaker today was Carolina Barrios from the Rotary Club of Cartagena, Colombia.  She spoke to us from her home in Cartagena.  Carolina grew up “Rotary”….her father was a District Governor and is still active. She has served as club president for three terms (2 different clubs); her current club has 26 women, one man and 2 Rotaractors. 
In 2010, the village of Leticia (45 miles away from Cartagena) suffered a  disastrous  flood.  Carolina formed a Village Corps with the leaders of the village, established priorities and helped bring the village back.  In 2016 she worked on a Global Grant for economic development through the production of patio gardens organized by the Interact Club.  These are raised 4 foot x 4 foot boxes used for growing herbs and vegetables that can be sold to local consumers and restaurants.  In 2021 there was a Global Grant with the Nashoba Valley Club in the area of basic education.
Carolina noted that Colombia is the second most mega-diverse country in the world.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is a 501 non-profit organization whose mission is to "create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth". Adult volunteers are matched with children from age 5 to young adulthood. 
Courtney Evans , Program Director, and Brandon Portillo, Chair of the Mazie Mentoring Program, spoke about mentoring the youth in MetroWest.  Mentoring is accomplished by matching an adult volunteer with a student and their spending time together after school.  The Mentor can engage in a variety of activities with the Mentee: snacks together, homework, board games, crafts, sports, etc. The adult serves as a role model, a confidant, friend, resource and mentor.
The Mazie Mentoring Program focuses on High School Sophomores who are matched with a community professional for a three year commitment (which usually becomes a lifetime relationship). Meetings are about 8 hours a month and the adult and student celebrating together the student’s success and growth.
“A Mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself”
It is difficult to write about the current disfunction grasping our country without crossing the boundry line of “no-politics in Rotary”.  And perhaps that is symptomatic of the problem.  Regardless of our individual political orientation, we, as a nation, seem obsessed with our differences. 
The one thing that all must realize and accept is that we, dispite philosophical, political, religious, cultural and numerous other differences, have a common goal……….the strength, security and stability of our country. We need to recognize that, despite polarizing differences over the past almost 250 years, we are still the country that is envied, still the country that immigrants rush to and still the country that remains a beacon of hope throughout the world.  

Our system works!!  It works because we know that, if we disagree with those in office, we can vote them out.  Because of the checks and balances built into our system, the country is “safe” during the tenure of those with whom we object.
It is time to view our differences and diversities as strengths and not weaknesses. 
Caroline Murphy and Matt Jose of the Foundation for Metrowest spoke today on food insecurity in Metrowest.  Food Insecurity is defined as the limited or inconsistent access to adequate and healthy food…………the key words being “adequate” and “healthy”. 
With approximately 65 food support organizations in MetroWest, each being local and serving smaller populations, we don’t see the long lines that are prevalent in Texas and other states.  But our need is just as real with an increase of 59% in food insecurity since March….exacerbated by supply shortages and price increases. Specifically, food insecurity among children has grown by 102%.
Key partners for the Foundation are: the YMCA, Framingham Public Schools, Salvation Army, United Way and the Greater Framingham Community Church.  The emergency food line is: 508-532-5479
Our speaker today was Amanda Lanigan, a Rotary Peace Scholar.  Amanda is studying for her Masters in Conflict and Resolution at Uppsala University in Sweden.  She has worked on education and cultural exchange programs in Mexico, Guatemala and Cape Verde.  
Her focus is Participatory Development which is a creative approach to empower local action and build community response to new challenges. The program reviews the strengths of local communities and uses these strengths to build community resiliency at the same time maintaining community values and local identity.
5 Rotarians from the Framlingham Club visited us yesterday via Zoom.  The  15 member Club was chartered in 2010 and are very active in micro-lending projects especially in India.  The answer to where they are located is 60 miles Northeast of London, UK.  We expect to reciprocate their visit.
Jane Boulet
MS Jane Broulet, Director of Development at Bethany Hill Place, spoke about the organization serving 150 persons per year providing affordable housing and learning opportunities to individuals and families.
Those serviced are generally homeless and in a poverty situation…many with children. They are often of limited skills and limited education. The children often have learning disabilities.
Bethany provides stability and support to help the individuals establish self worth by providing the tools needed to face life and move forward…often assisting them to attain a high school equivalency education.  All residents must have a plan for moving forward and what they need to do for themselves.  
Framingham Rotary has supported Bethany Hill Place for several years.
Bill Paulson, a two-time president of the Needham Club, spoke about his Club’s involvement in a social equity task force. He spoke about;
Diversity:  we all come from different norms
Equity: we are all at a different starting place
Inclusion:  having a voice at the table and feeling like your voice is heard/
A visual was given showing the difference between Equality and Equity.  From here we learned that inner change brings outer change and that our collective problem is that we are all looking to be EXEMPT FROM THE PROBLEM.  We need to be ANTI RACIST not Non-Racist.
Karin Gaffney
Karen Gaffney, past president of the Nashoba Valley Club and a Past District Governor spoke about Service Activities other clubs are performing in lieu of fund raising and check writing.  This includes; made plexiglas dividers for schools, made masks for distribution to nursing homes, etc., collected food and distributed the items to food pantries, set up a “Rotary Room” for children in transition to have toys and games, assembled care packages to deliver to community groups that serve veterans and seniors, etc.  Clubs need to have a Service Chair to stress the concept of service!!
In its most recent Random Act of Kindness (RAK), Framingham Rotary Club last month supplied a handicap ramp for Bridget, an elderly wheelchair-bound Framingham woman living with her daughter Carol’s family and struggling with health and financial issues.
Bridget’s mobility problem had come to the attention of Rotarian (and Boy Scout leader) Jack Colamaria, and when he learned of Briget and her husband’s long record of community volunteerism, he knew the family deserved Rotary consideration; it was time to give back.
Bridget can now get out of the house with relative ease, especially to keep doctor’s appointments. The RAK was fully achieved thanks to financial support from BayPath Elder Services, which helped make it a reality.
Bridget, with her daughter Carol, and Framingham Rotarian Jack Colamaria.
Due to COVID-19 our normal fundraising activities have been silenced.  However our commitment to help those that need help remains.  The Rotary Raffle will provide us with the funds to continue our service effort.  Please support our efforts by purchasing a Raffle ticket.
Our speaker was Elliott Rittenberg of the Westborough Club. He spoke about ESRAG which stands for Environmental Service Rotary Action Group. 
A few years ago RI started forming Action Groups concentrating on specific areas….water resources, literacy, etc. The groups are made up of talented Rotarians around the world and each group is available in their area of specialty to advise and assist Rotary clubs and Districts on projects that require technical or other assistance.  RI's newest Area of Focus is Supporting the Environment.
On the local level, ESRASG is concentrating on a feral freon pilot program to collect CFC refrigerants for proper destruction.  CFC is the most potent damaging greenhouse gas. Collection points are being established around the globe.
Member picture
Jack Colamaria is elected Vice President and is in line to be President of our Club July 2022-2023.  Congratulations Jack!
The Learning Center for the Deaf ECC - Chapman Construction
The Learning Center for the Deaf (TLC) is a world famous school started and grown right here in Framingham. TLC started 50 years ago with approximately 20 students and 20 staff.  The school was founded by Warren Sdchwab whose son, David was deal.  Warren wanted a place where David could grow to his potential.  TLC was set up with the revolutionary concept of total communication: sign language, mouthing the words and body language.  TLC is now a recognized leader in deaf education internationally!!  In the last 20 years, the school has further expanded with outreach programs, supporting deaf students in the public school system, interpreting for private and public events.  As soon as  parent has an indication that their child is deaf or hard of hearing, the school is ready to assist. TLC competes in sporting events, math and book discussion competitions, and interacts with other schools for the deaf nationally.
Vitaliy Bezrodnov, the founder and coordinator (2003) spoke on the Rotary Children’s Fund. This organization exists to promote good will between countries through the performances of young and talented artists, performers and musicians.  They display their various talents through music, dance and traditional costuming.  The young people come from various parts of the former Soviet Union. 
Approximately five years ago they performed for us at Ken’s and were truly amazing. 
Rotatians packing donated food for distribution to needy families .
Sally Hilde, Director of The Wayside Inn Foundation.
The Wayside property consists of approximately 100 acres and includes The Inn, the Grist Mill, Martha-Mary Chapel, and a variety of buildings and trails (the Innkeeper’s Loop is about 1.5 miles plus those of the Sudbury Valley Trustees)
It first opened in 1716 for lodging and was then; Howes Tavern; then The Red Horse Tavern. It is maintained to show what life was like during our Revolutionary War period.  In 1863, Longfellow arrived and wrote Tales of the Wayside Inn This proved to be incredibly popular and the name was changed to Longfellow’s Wayside Inn.
Due to COVID-19 our normal Award and Installation Dinner was split into two events with the Installation event being postponed until this Fall and the Awards being presented at an open outdoor venue in July. 
2020 Organization of the Year - MetroWest Medical Center
2020 Citizen of the Year - Nicole Messier Doak
Rotarian of the Year - Andy Toorock
Club Rotarians gather to distribute children's clothing to 40 members of the Boy and Girls Club.  Cloths were purchased by the Rotarians and funded through the Club's RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) fund.
The following was taken from our faceboook page.

On the way 🚚 20 Individual Protection Teams that will receive the Rotary Club San Andrés Tuxtla Eyipantla that will deliver to Bernardo Peña Civil Hospital, with the donation of financial resources from the Rotary Club of Framingham.

We appreciate the trust for the logistics of collecting medical inputs to be able to supply health workers in the city of San Andrés Tuxtla, Veracruz who fights directly against Covid-19.


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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.
Club Leaders
President 2022-2023 (PE)
President 2023-2024 (VP)
President Elect Nominee
Immediate Past President
Director 2024
Director 2024
Director 2023
Director 2023
Director 2022
Director 2022
Foundation Chair
Membership Chair
Youth Chair
Public Relations Chair
Feed Framingham+
Education Fund President
International Chair
Speaker Chair
Community Service Chair
Club Assistant Governor
Bulletin Chair
Interact - Fuller
RYLA Chair
Foundation - Grants Contact 1
Foundation - Grants Contact 2
Environmental Chair
Rotary @ Work
Club Sponsors
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