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
      COVID-19:  Come ZOOM with us!
Current Stories
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.
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.
Club Leaders
President 2021-2022 (PE)
President 2022-2023 (VP)
Immediate Past President
Director 2023
Director 2023
Director 2022
Director 2022
Director 2021
Director 2021
Foundation Chair
Membership Chair
Youth Chair
Feed Framingham+
Public Relations Chair
President Fram. Rotary Edu. Fund
International Chair
Speaker Chair
Community Service
Interact - Fuller
Bulletin Chair
RYLA Chair
Foundation - Grants Contact 1
Craft Fair
Club Sponsors
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