Rotary Club of Putnam Connecticut

P.O.Box 604, Putnam CT 06260-0604 (Phone: 860-428-0934)

Meeting every week on Tuesdays at 12:15 PM 

The Inn at Woodstock Hill

94 Plaine Hill Rd, Woodstock, CT 06281-2912

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 Putnam Rotary Club Bestows Paul Harris Fellow Award on Jason Verraneault
 
 “It is said that when asked to help out, Jason just can’t say no. I would say, it’s not that he can’t, it’s more that he just doesn’t want to. It’s not in his nature.”
These were the words written about Jason Verraneault, the Putnam Rotary Club’s most recent Paul Harris Fellow honoree. He received the award at the Putnam Rotary Club’s July 12 meeting from Missy Meyers, the club’s recently installed president.
In her nomination of Verraneault for The Rotary Foundation’s highest award, Meyers, recounted only part of a list of Verraneault’s involvement in the community --- from Little League to Daily Bread to schools and beyond. Meyers said “Jason’s volunteerism is spread across our entire region.”
She added: “Jason also extends himself to many local Board of Director groups, and currently serves on the board for Northeast Placement Services and Quiet Corner Cares. As the owner of NorthStar Home Loans LLC, he is very active in promoting local business and is the vice president of the Killingly Business Association and on the Executive Committee of the Putnam Business Association. In addition to all of these ongoing commitments, Jason also responded during the COVID pandemic and became very engaged for an extended time in the Food Distribution Drives hosted by the Danielson Veterans Coffeehouse and Town of Putnam.
“Jason is clearly a very busy guy, but he always makes time to give of himself to his community. He puts the virtues of volunteerism front and center, and models this ethic to his children and employees, often getting all of them to join him in whatever the latest task is to support our region. His altruism and enthusiasm are infectious.”
Rotaract Club Awards Scholarships, Honors
 
The Putnam Rotary Club’s Quinebaug Valley Regional Rotaract Club gave away multiple student scholarships to local students from NE CT who are going on to pursue a higher education.
The club also honored a number of community members and businesses for their continuous support of the QVR Rotaract Club’s mission.
Special Recognitions: Rotaract Rockstar: Adam Rondeau; Rotaract Alumni Award: Maria Thomas; Community Partnership Award: Byrnes Agency.
Scholarship Recipients: Morgan Bentley, Reagan Boledovic, Amayah Chavez, Alivia Dalpe, Zachary Roethlein.
In addition, the club presented a $2,250 donation to Tim Kettle at Northeast Placement Services, its 2022 Cornhole Tournament beneficiary.
Current president Elle-Jordyn Goslin passed the gavel to incoming 2022-2023 club President Tayler Shea.
PUTNAM --- The Putnam Rotary Club recently bestowed its highest honor, a Paul Harris Fellow Award, on Monique Wolanin.
Wolanin, a 15-year veteran as director of Institutional Advancement at Quinebaug Valley Community College, has “raised funds so that the residents of northeastern Connecticut are provided the opportunity to attend QVCC regardless of income. In doing this, Monique has provided a tremendous service to this community and has truly exemplified the Rotary motto of Service Above Self,” said Rotarian Marc Archambault, who nominated her for the award.
He added: “She has been remarkably effective at her work, leading the Foundation as it has grown from an organization with $1.5 million in assets to one with $6 million. The number and amount of scholarships and institutional support for residents on northeastern Connecticut has grown six-fold in that time. Monique has developed innovative friend-raising and fund-raising ideas like the Visions in Leadership program, QVCC Spelling Bee, Donuts for Donations, QVCC Golf Tournament, and her ultimate brainchild, the Tackle the Trail Race which has grown not only in distance, but in popularity and participation. Monique does all of this with one goal in mind – Transforming lives for the people of northeastern Connecticut.”
Archambault said Wolanin “has a tremendous work ethic. She is intelligent, she is an enthusiastic leader, she is feisty and she has unmatched grit and determination.” He added Wolanin has “been the face of QVCC in the community.”
“She has done all this while confronting head-on a very scary health situation. She has done it with grit and determination, and with remarkable passion and enthusiasm. Her love for our community is evident and her drive to change lives is truly a part of who she is.”
 
Putnam Rotary Club Begins New Year
June 28 the Putnam Rotary Club held its 99th Induction ceremony. 
Outgoing President J. Scott Pempek was honored, while the gavel was officially passed to incoming President Missy Meyers. Meyers shared her plans for the upcoming year including more community outreach and volunteerism, targeted efforts around housing insecurity and plans for the club’s 100th Anniversary.
This year’s Paul Harris Fellow was also presented to Monique Wolanin, director of Institutional Advancement at QVCC. A Paul Harris Fellow can be awarded to those who regularly exhibit extraordinary contributions to their respective club, community and/or fellow citizens.  She was selected for her commitment to raise funds so that all residents of northeastern Connecticut are provided the opportunity to attend QVCC regardless of income, to support educational excellence, technological advancement, and professional development at the College and to serve as the regional advisory council.
 
Probate Court Outreach Continues
The Rotary Club of Putnam hosted Probate Judge Leah Schad and Chief Clerk Mary Ann Champney at an outreach program about the services provided by the Northeast Probate Court at their weekly meeting on June 7.  Judge Schad presented information about the probate process and the services provided by the court to the local community.  
Judge Schad explained that the probate court helps families who have lost a loved one settle their estates, appoints conservators when a family member is no longer able to care for themselves, and appoints guardians to protect the intellectually disabled and handles matters involving children in need. The Northeast Probate District covers the towns of Ashford, Brooklyn, Eastford, Pomfret, Putnam, Thompson and Woodstock.
Judge Schad described the origins of the probate outreach program to the Rotary members. Prior to COVID, clerks at the court were able to sit down with residents and give personal assistance to people going through a difficult time. Judge Schad and Chief Clerk Champney now travel to area senior centers, town halls, libraries and community groups to bring that service back to people struggling with life events who need the help of the probate court.
 
The next outreach program is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. June 21 at the Thompson Public Library. If you are a member of a group that would like to schedule an event, please contact Judge Leah Schad or Chief Clerk Mary Ann Champney at 860-928-4844. 
caption: Probate Judge Leah Schad and Putnam Rotary Club President following the judge's program at the June 7 club meeting.
Interact Club blows fund-raising record out of the water
 
The Putnam Rotary Club’s Interact Club raised a record breaking $10,008 for this year's Northeastern CT Relay For Life through daffodil sales, donations and sponsorships.
Interact advisor Roberta Rocchetti said last year they raised $3,500.
June 4 the Interact members and friends sold a total 33 pairs of their famous tie-dyed socks for a total of $102. In attendance were Sierra Girard (QMC), Lucas Cornell (Ellis Tech), Emily St. Martin, Amayah Chavez (PHS), Mikayla Walford (Putnam), Christine Denaker, Adisyn Makara (Dayville), Leo Rocchetti (Stafford Springs), Roberta Rocchetti (advisor).
And Rotaract Helps, Too
Meanwhile the Putnam Rotary Club’s Quinebaug Valley Regional Rotaract Club manned the Relay For Life Raffle Tent and sold more than $600 in tickets. Helping at the tent were: Tayler Shea, Andrew Arpin, Haylee Olsen, Shannon Fagan and Woody and Dottie Durst from the Putnam Rotary Club.
Captions:
Putnam Rotary Club's Interact Club sold their tie-dyed socks to raise money at the Relay For Life. From left: Leo Rocchetti, advisor Roberta Rocchetti and Christine Denakes and (front) Adisyn Makara.
The Putnam Rotary Club's Quinebaug Valley Regional Rotaract Club ran the basket raffle fund-raiser table at the Relay For Life June 4. There were so many baskets they didn't all fit on two large tables.
     
Award
Putnam Rotary Club President J. Scott Pempek, left, awarded Rotarian Fred Chmura a Paul Harris Plus 2 pin in recognition of his level of donations to the Rotary Foundation. 
Jon Phillips of Our Companions Animal Rescue in Ashford, left, gave the Putnam Rotary Club an overview of the organization’s mission, helping cats and dogs that need a little extra behavioral help before they can be adopted. The organization has small home-like settings for the dogs and cats that help with this mission. They appreciate volunteers in various capacities. Money donations are also appreciated as they are funded entirely by private donations, not government money. The group’s website is: ourcompanions.org. At right is Putnam Rotary Club President Scott Pempek. Our Companions Animal Rescue is part of the Putnam Rotary Club’s volunteer website that, in collaboration with the Killingly-Brooklyn and Plainfield Rotary Clubs, connects organizations needing volunteers with people interested in volunteering their time. https://www.volunteernect.org/
 
 
Winners
Besides the Putnam Rotary Club’s Scholarship Fund, winners of the Putnam Rotary Club’s Ronald P. Coderre Golf Tournament on May 27 include:
First Place: 54 Paul Archer Dave Langevin, Tim Whitecross, Bruce Barrett
Second Place: 58 Dr. Jeff Simpson, Dr. Jack Mooney, Joe Malardo, Brian Litke
Third Place: 58 Brendan Meehan, Michael Meehan, Jared Meehan, Courtney Ravenelle
Closest to Pin:
Hole 7: Tim Whitecross
Hole 11: Jim St Jean
Winners of the Ace in the Hole Awards were: Center: Rotarians Jeffrey Rawson and Marc Archambault, flanked by Putnam Rotary President J. Scott Pempek on the left, and tournament namesake Ronald P. Coderre.
 
 
Fish Steals Fishing Pole
Kids at Rotary fishing derby have a great time
PUTNAM — More than 50 kids came to the banks of the Quinebaug River and had a blast at the 48th annual Putnam Rotary Club Noe Poulin Fishing Derby. When you added the cheerleaders (parents) there were more than 100 people at the event.
After registration, the kids lined the banks of the Quinebaug and started fishing. Awards in three age categories were made and then they were treated to lunch. This year everyone was encouraged to release their fish after they were measured
Awards went to:
Largest Fish – 13 – 15 years old – Trevor Bouchard – 13” yellow perch
Largest Fish – 10 -12 years old – Hailey Rourke – 6 ½” bullhead
Largest Fish – 6 – 9 years old – Jenna Taylor – 29” carp
Largest Fish – 0 – 5 year olds – Savanna Burke – 22” carp
Most Fish caught – Bryce Plouffle –  several sunfish
Smallest fish (4” sunfish) – Willow Les Chandler.
The most unique catch - snapping turtle – Izik Alfredo Santigo.
The carp that took off with one of the fishing poles didn’t hang around for his “prize.”
J. Scott Pempek, the Putnam Rotary Club president said: “It was a great event! I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, the kids fishing or the many Rotary volunteers watching the reactions of the kids when they got a bite and were reeling the ‘big one’ in.”  
Major sponsor: WIN Waste Innovations which provided the seven major prizes, gift cards to local merchants and 10 additional gift cards as raffle prizes.
In addition: Runnings provided several additional gift cards; Rotarians Fred and Rande Chmura donated and cooked the food for the event; Marcy Dawley from Chase Graphics donated the photo shoot frame.  Jenn Brytowski of Chase Graphics helped with the event flyers and with an updated banner for the event; Town of Putnam – use of the bandstand and sound system – closing of Bridge Street. Mayor of Putnam – Barney Seney and Selectman Scott Pempek (also president of the Putnam Rotary Club) opened up the event. More than a dozen Rotarians were also there to help that day.
caption: Jenna Taylor watches Rotarian Marc Allard measure the German carp she caught at the Putnam Rotary Club Noe Poulin Fishing Derby at Rotary Park May 14. Family friend Wayne Burke is holding the fish. 
The Putnam Rotary Club Interact Club got busy recently putting together toiletry kits for the homeless with all the donated items they collected at the Rotary Day of Service. Club advisor Roberta Rocchetti thanked Karen and Gary Osbrey for providing the workspace for club members. The toiletry kits will go to TEEG, Daily Bread and the local shelters to assist the homeless. Amayah Chavez, Emily St. Martin and Mikayla Walford put together the kits in record time. 
At an upcoming Interact meeting club members will be matching and bagging their tie-dyed socks to sell at the club’s Relay For Life table June 4 at Roseland Park.
For more information about the Interact Club call Rocchetti at 860-933-8603.
 

POMFRET --- For the last 6 months, the Putnam Rotary Club has been working with the Pomfret Public Library to enhance the library’s collection of teen books.  After meeting with Pomfret librarians to assess their needs and priorities, the club applied for a Rotary Foundation District 7890 Grant, and began planning.  A survey was conducted and a Teen Advisory Group was established.
Rotarians and Interact members met with the newly formed advisory group to learn first-hand which authors and book genres interested the teens most. More than 300 new titles were purchased, along with a subscription to the Junior Library Guild which will allow the teen and library staff to choose six new titles each month for one year.  Special bookplates were placed inside each book.
The librarians also compiled a “Wish List” of age appropriate board games and club members donated and presented the games at the April Teen Advisory meeting.  Project chairperson, Karen Osbrey said, “As soon as fellow Rotarian Marc Archambault approached me with this idea, as an avid reader myself, I was totally on board.  Marc and I are thrilled to see all the new titles on the shelves.”   Between Rotary Foundation District Grant funding, the local contribution from the Putnam Rotary Club and games donated by club members, a little over $4,500 was spent on this worthwhile project.
The library welcomes input from teens, parents, and educators regarding the teen collection and future programming.  For more information, inquire at the Pomfret Library, at 449 Pomfret Street in Pomfret, CT or visit www.pomfretlibrary.org.
 


Rotary District 7890 Governor Joanne Alfieri, center, brought the Putnam Rotary Club a banner for the Rotary Day of Service on Saturday, April 9. At left is Putnam Rotary Club President J. Scott Pempek and on the right is Rotarian Karen Osbrey, Day of Service committee co-chair.
The club will be collecting items and donations for the homeless from 9 a.m. to noon April 9 at WINY Radio.
Donations will go to IHSP (Daily Bread), TEEG and the No Freeze Shelter in Danielson. The top priority is monetary donations for emergency housing (make checks out to the Putnam Rotary Club).
Also needed: Toiletries such as shampoo, soap, body wash, toothpaste, tooth brushes, deodorant, razors and shaving cream; towels and wash cloths; manual can openers and flashlights. Also gift cards to local coffee shops, fast food restaurants and laundromats in Putnam, Thompson or Danielson.
All the clubs in two Rotary districts will be having a Day of Service. The Putnam club intends to make it an annual club event. In addition, the club’s Interact Club will be helping out at the Day of Service and they will also be gathering gently used clothing and linen for the Interact Club’s Relay For Life fund-raising efforts. 
 
 
 
 
Big Check. Big Gift.
PUTNAM --- J. Scott Pempek, president of the Putnam Rotary Club, displays the large check representing the money raised by the Putnam club for the Rotary Disaster Relief Fund. Behind him are the club members who donated so generously.
Pempek said the effort started after he was involved in a Zoom meeting with the Rotary Club of Avon-Canton. The Zoom presentation was a live feed from Kiev, Ukraine.
“That was the impetus to do something,” Pempek said.
Putnam Rotarians “stepped up" with donations and Pempek said the Putnam Rotary Club board voted to match the donations up to $1,000. While the check says $2,000, Pempek said the club actually raised more than that.
And the club’s Interact Club held a carwash and raised a separate $847 toward helping the refugees. Pempek said the Rotary Disaster Relief Fund will work through Rotary International. Almost 100 percent of the funds raised will go toward refugee relief for Ukrainians.
 

The Putnam Rotary Interact Club raised "an amazing $847" in just four hours  at its car wash for the Rotary International Ukrainian Emergency Relief Fund, according club advisor Roberta Rocchetti.

She thanked Amayah Chavez of Putnam High School (PHS), club president,  for the idea of the car wash and securing Putnam High School for the car wash location.

She also thanked Emily St. Martin, Lynn Rape and Emily Olecki (PHS); Abby Morin, Leilia Mackinnon, and Emma Blanchette (The Woodstock Academy); Sierra Girad of Quinebaug Middle College;  Natalia Choruzek (NFA), Mykala Wlford and Iayah Burke of Putnam for taking part; plus advisors Woody Durst, Suzette Lefevre.
For more information about the Interact Club contact Rocchetti 860-933-8603.

Caption: J. Scott Pempek, center, Putnam Rotary Club president, brought his car by the Interact Club's fund-raiser car wash.

PUTNAM --- The Putnam Rotary Club’s Interact Club will be collecting toiletries for Daily Bread and TEEG to assist people in need.
The collection bin is inside the Putnam YMCA.
The collection will run until April 9.
Items needed include: Toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, deodorant, shampoo, soap, disposable razors and shaving cream.
Cash and checks (made out to the Putnam Rotary Interact Club) are also welcome --- please drop off at the Y’s front desk.
March 8 the Putnam Rotary Club welcomed its newest member, Wayne "Woody" Durst, left. Club President J. Scott Pempek, right, joked that he'd been holding Durst's badge, pin and plaque for quite a while --- waiting for the club to meet in person. Zoomland is not conducive to a new member installation. Kinda hard to pin someone on a computer screen.
 
The Putnam Rotary Interact Club is having a car wash from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 26. Rain date is March 27.
All donations will be sent to the Rotary International Emergency Relief fund for Ukraine. For more information contact Roberta Rocchetti 860-933-8603.
 
 
 
  
 
A Presentation featured Dot Burnworth, owner of Sawmill Potter; Emida Roller, local artist; and Matt Conway, Executive Director for Rise Up for Arts
They presented on the MLK mural that will be created and displayed in Putnam on the side of the YMCA. During the presentation, they asked for community members to take the survey that will guide the design of the mural. The hope is that this mural represents civil rights and diversity to Northeastern CT.
Please click on this link to view the entire report:   
 
To make the mural a reality, there is a current fundraiser happening with a goal of $15,000. 
If you would like to make a personal contribution, please donate through the   
 
 
 
PUTNAM --- The Putnam Rotary Club’s Interact Club conquered the brutal cold and raised more than $11,000 for the local Salvation Army. And they celebrated with pizza and awards.
Jan. 22 trophies and awards were given out to the top individual bell-ringer and top schools in raising $11,050 for the Salvation Army in the club’s annual bell-ringing campaign.
Rotary President J. Scott Pempek commended the Interactors “Thank you for the work you’ve done. My part was a brief 20 minutes on ‘Kettle Days,’” setting up the kettles and waiting for the Interact members and their friends to come ring the bells. “I got cold in those 20 minutes,” he said. ”Then I thought to myself “Wait, how did you guys stand out there in that cold for way longer than 20 minutes. Week after week?’ The cold was brutal and there you all were, ringing the bells to raise money.”
Abby Smith of The Woodstock Academy rang the bells for nine hours, and she was awarded the individual trophy. The 26-year-old trophy goes home with the winner and is brought back the next year to be awarded to the next top bell ringer. Tied for second on the individual race were Elizabeth Lovrien, Zack White and Curtis Desabre, all of The Woodstock Academy, with eight hours each.
In a blowout, The Woodstock Academy took the award for the school with the most volunteer hours with 182 hours. In second was Tourtellotte Memorial High School with 27 and Putnam High, with 31 hours, took third.
Schools taking part included: EO Smith, Killingly High, Plainfield High, Putnam High, Quinebaug Middle College, Tourtellotte and The Woodstock Academy.
Kathleen A. Orfitelli, Salvation Army Service Extension director, also commended the students and thanked them sincerely. “There is not another town that supports the Salvation Army like you do.” The 145 bell ringers, she said, raised $11,050 and she said Putnam had not broken the $10,000 ceiling since 2014. She said: “Over the past years, young people have raised $228,160 under the guidance of the Rotary Club to support the needs of others; clearly exemplifying the Rotary motto: ‘Service Above Self.’”
“Because of your efforts,” she said, “you have helped to strengthen your community and will definitely make an impact in the lives of hundreds of people who struggle with day-to-day hardships.”
Bell Ringers Lauded
Members of the Putnam Rotary stand with Interact Club members who celebrated their successful annual Salvation Army Kettle bell ringing fund-raiser campaign. Group photo: at left are Rotarian advisors Woody Durst and Roberta Rocchetti. In the center is Putnam Rotary Club President J. Scott Pempek.
 
Pempek congratulates the top individual bell ringer, Abby Smith. 

The Holiday Committee is pleased to invite you to our Holiday event this year on Tuesday, December 21st, starting at 12 noon, on the heated Patio of the Crossings Restaurant.  The cost is $25 per person and includes the following buffet offerings:
Pulled Pork Sliders,Mac and Cheese, Homemade Chips, Cole Slaw, Chili, Crispy Brussel Sprouts, Pub Mini Pizzas, and Brownies, AND Special Rotary Cookies from Sugarz

Musical Entertainment provided bv PHS Music Department 
Left to right, Music Teacher Skye Shogren, Thomas Manin, James Lazarou, Kaylee Goding, Jackie Gomez, Railey Anctil, Cheyanne Debold, Adam Tomkins, Melanie Garcia.
Please click on this link to view the performance:   
Generosity and Hard Work …🎅
… Brings a record-breaking season of bell ringing for the Putnam Rotary Club’s Interact Club.
Dec. 18 was the last day for bell ringing for the Putnam Salvation Army office and true community spirit was abundant, according to Interact Club Advisor Roberta Rocchetti.
Including a $500 donation from the Putnam Rotary Club and a $1,000 donation from the Newell D. Hale Foundation, the hard-working Interact Club and friends raised a total of $10,850.45, Rocchetti said.
That shatters last year’s record by $1,100. Dec. 18 was the last of three Saturdays that Interactors, Rotarians and friends and volunteers rang bells at the Salvation Army kettles. And it wasn’t easy. Through raw rain and winds they stood at their posts, ringing away. They rang at: Putnam Price Chopper, Putnam Supermarket, Putnam Stop & Shop and the Putnam Walmart,
Dec. 18 Boy Scout Troop 21 took part. Additional helpers included: from Killingly High --- Lola Ward, Carley Dimartino, Payton Keefe, Ayvril Brystowski; from Putnam High --- Cody Keene, Jordan Travisano; from Tourtellotte --- Tara Hafernan, Neveihah Richardson, Noel Racicot, Patricia Peterson, Juliana Rodriguez, Sophia Tomany; from Woodstock Academy --- Zachary White, Elizabeth Lovrien, Silas Strandson, Evan Pimental, Milo Dlugosz, Nathan Droulin, Abby Morse. Jade Demond, Julia Scandalito, Jillian Marcotte, Scarlett Pierce, Dylan Mayo, Lily Pierce. Rotarians and volunteers helping with set up and bell ringing included: Leo Rocchetti, Mike and Roberta Rocchetti, Rotary Club President J. Scott Pempek, Dick Loomis, Charlie Puffer and Doug Porter.
 
Putnam Rotary Club Supports Literacy
Pomfret, CT – The Putnam Rotary Club has always been an advocate for education and literacy and this year is no different. Under the guidance of Rotary President Scott Pempek (2021-2022) and through a grant from Rotary District 7890, the Putnam Rotary Club is partnering with the Pomfret Public Library to enhance the library’s collection of teen book titles. Besides $4500 in monetary support, the club and library will hold a Teen Focus Group to give local students the opportunity to choose their desired book titles. Members of the Putnam Rotary Regional Interact Club will also participate in the focus group. Reading is not a technical skill that is learned once and only in grammar school but a developmental process that continues throughout a reader’s life. Through this grant and partnership, the Putnam Rotary Club hopes to encourage young people to embrace a lifetime of reading and learning by exposing them to various forms of writing, subjects and authors. Rotarians (and avid readers themselves) Karen Osbrey and Marc Archambault are excited to work on this worthwhile project and look forward to book delivery day in early spring 2022.
“This partnership with Putnam Rotary Club comes at an excellent time!” says Laurie Bell, director of Pomfret Public Library. “We plan to add on to the Pomfret Public Library soon and will be making upgrades to our Teen section. Thanks to this grant, our collection will now be as up-to-date as our space!” The library welcomes input from teens, parents, and educators regarding the teen collection, space, and future programming. More information about the Teen Focus Group and how you can take part is available at pomfretlibrary.org.
May be an image of 2 people, outdoors and tree
 
Interact Perseverance
Not rain, wind or even crutches will stops volunteers from ringing. The Putnam Rotary Club’s Interact Club raised $2,022.90 in its second weekend of bell ringing for the Salvation Army. The grand total, so far, is $7,870, according to Interact Club Advisor Roberta Rocchetti. Dec. 18 will be the last time Interact Club members and friends will be swinging their bells at the kettles at local stores.
Club members sent a special thank you to Sophia, an eighth grader from Thompson who came on crutches and was out in the rain for three hours.
The club also thanked: Dawn Rivers, Leo Rocchetti, Tara Earley and Haylee Olson (Rotaract) and student volunteers: From Killingly High - Anjolina Oriz, Casey Beauregard; From Tourtellotte - Tara Haffernan, Neveihah Richardson, Julian Rodriguez, Sophia, Hunter Cleveland, Morgan Lapalme, Alex Starr; From Woodstock Academy - Ryan Hanlon, Abby Smith, Julia Scandalito, Morgan Bonin, Lelia Macinnon, Ava Coutu, Amber Ahearn, Hadley Grether, Diego Rodriguez, Maya Rodriguez. The club also thanked Rotarians Joseph Adiletta, Doug Porter, Roberta and Mike Rocchetti for assisting with set up.
Generosity trumps virus-laden times, yet again.
The Putnam Rotary Club’s Holiday Giving Committee collected from fellow Rotarians and friends, games for children who might not have much of a holiday.
And in a couple short weeks, the committee collected record-breaking 70-plus games, according to Committee Chair Rachael Johnston.
Dec. 7 the club invited TEEG and the Putnam Family Resource Center to pick up huge stacks of games so they can give them to Santa in time for the holiday. Johnston thanked the rest of the committee and fellow Rotarians for their help.
J. Scott Pempek, president of the club, said “It’s always a heartwarming feeling when we can brighten the lives of others.”
The games span all age groups. The Holiday Giving project has been collecting games or blankets and more for a few years. It’s a great replacement for the club’s longtime Yankee Swap
Chelsea French, TEEG’s Community Program manager, said some 247 families are being helped. TEEG’s Winter Wonderland on Dec. 18 will be filled with everything from toys to pajamas to personal hygiene items for those in need --- from kids to families to senior citizens.
Shannon Haney, parent educator at the Putnam Family Resource Center in Putnam, said so far 95 Putnam families have signed up “but we always have last-minute signups.” The center, too, helps Putnam families with as many needs as possible, not just toys.
French and Haney were joined at the Rotary meeting by Liz Perry, program assistant at TEEG. Good thing because their vehicles were packed with games when they left.

Just a Tiny Sample
The Putnam Rotary Club collected more than 70 games in a couple short weeks. Dec. 7 TEEG and the Putnam Family Resource Center came to collect them for the kids they serve. From left: Liz Perry, TEEG program assistant; Rachael Johnston, chair of the club’s Holiday Giving Committee; Chelsea French, TEEG’s Community Program manager; Putnam Rotary Club President J. Scott Pempek; Rotarian and committee member, Rande Chmura and Shannon Haney, parent educator for the Putnam Family Resource Center. 
 
 
 
 
More Money Raised
The Putnam Rotary Interact Club’s Salvation Army kettles were filled with generous donations totaling $1,600 and counting the weekend of Dec. 4. 
Thanks went out to volunteers Dawn Rivers, Roberta, Mike and Leo Rocchetti. 
Student bell ringers included: From Woodstock Academy - Abby Smith, Curtis Desabre, Ella Favreau, Natalie Romano, Alexadra and Alyssa Thompson, Owen Tracy, Ethan Craig, Ella Musumeci, Magnolia Hart, Paige Owens, Lennon Favreau, Dylan Mayo, Lily Pierce & Scarlet Pierce; from Quinebaug Middle College - CJ Orthmann, Rheilley Vegiard, Marylynn Whitfield; from Killingly High - Avi Miller, Elizabeth Marcoux. 
The club also thanked Rotarians who helped set up: Missy Meyers, Pam Brown,Charlie Puffer and Mike Rocchetti.  
For more information about the Putnam Rotary Interact Club contact Roberta Rocchetti 860-933-8603.
 
 
An Excellent Start
The Putnam Rotary Club Nov. 30 donated $500 to the Salvation Army, kick starting the club’s Interact Club in its annual Salvation Army Kettle Campaign. An anonymous Rotarian donated $100. Both are part of the more than $4,000 the Interact Club and friends collected their first weekend manning the kettles --- a record. 
The bell ringing fund-raiser campaign continues from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 4, 11 and 18 at Putnam Stop & Shop, Putnam Walmart, Putnam Supermarket and Price Chopper.
 
Roberta Rocchetti receives the symbolic check from Putnam Rotary Club President J. Scott Pempek. 
Hard-Fought yet Fun Trivia Contest Nets $7,500
PUTNAM --- The Quinebaug Valley Regional Rotaract Club’s 9th annual Trivia Night tip toed through the decades, had fun, but more importantly raised $7,500 recently.
The funds go toward five $1,000 scholarships, according to Rotaract President Elle Goslin.  
The highly competitive, yet fun-filled event also provides donations to local nonprofits.
The event had 15 teams ranging from 5-8 members, raffle baskets donated by local businesses and residents, and decade-themed trivia.
Goslin said, “We are blown away by the success of this event since it was the first one back in person since 2019. We want to thank all of our sponsors, Tayler Shea and Shannon Fagan (Trivia Night co-chairs), our entire QVR Rotaract club, and our fantastic trivia teams; without them, this event would have never happened. We cannot wait until next year's 10th Annual Trivia Night!”
Winners included:
1st place: The Decade Destroyers (Deanne Fagan, Shawn Fagan, Karen Hayes, Steve Hayes, Tina Chahanovich, and Steve Chahanovich)
2nd place: Swamp Yankees – the Putnam Rotary Club (from left: Scott Pempek, Fred Chmura, Rande Chmura, Jake Dykeman, Elizabeth Williams, Joelle Guillot and Steve Adams).
3rd place: Members Only (James Newman, Chris Viens, Kim Newman, Jessica Gervais, Brent Bussey, Danny Perez, Lauren Perez.
Costume Contest Winner: Byrnes Broads
Sponsors included: bankHometown, Archambault Insurance Associates, Byrnes Agency, Rawson Materials, Jewett City Savings Bank, Gerardi Insurance, Linemaster Switch Corp., JB Concrete, and Chace Building Supply. 
 
 
One Veteran’s Tale of Service
 Peter “Pete” Trama didn’t know what the Merchant Marines was but he did know that he didn’t want to get drafted into WWII.
In honor of Veterans Day, Trama, 96, gave razor-sharp details of his experiences in the Merchant Marines during WWII and later in the Army draftee in the Korean conflict at the Nov. 9 Putnam Rotary Club meeting.
“At 17 I didn’t know what I was getting into. I didn’t even know what it (the Merchant Marines) was,” he said.
The Merchant Marines at the time was a branch of the military. They spent their time at sea delivering fuel, military vehicles and more
After joining he found himself in Oyster Bay, N.Y., training. His most vivid memory of training was the tall tower over water. At first sight, he wondered what the tower was for. He’d soon learn: “We had to jump off the tower --- practice for jumping off the ships.” The Merchant Marines were the most vulnerable of all the branches of service during the war. The German U2 boats always went after them. All they could do was steer in a zig zag pattern to try to stay safe. “So many men were lost. So many ships (370),” he said.
The Merchant Marines had to continually keep their numbers up, he said. “They were losing men left and right.”
There were no jobs after the war so he said he stayed in the Merchant Marines eight years. In that time he took 73 sea trips total. Each trip was from 60 to 90 days. “Let me tell you,” he said, “that ocean is BIG.”
During the war he saw the world making deliveries from to Australia, the Marshall Islands, Korea and many more places. He went through the Panama Canal 18 times and through the Suez Canal four times.
And he was seasick for eight years. That’s right; he was seasick the whole time he was in the Merchant Marines.
Those were different times at home. He remembers being sandwiched in with other veterans on a train headed toward home. “I had a club sandwich,” he said. When he went to take a bite, as inconspicuously as possible, all eyes riveted to him and his sandwich.
He got off in Putnam --- off a very late train --- and walked home and dropped into bed. In the morning his sister was surprised to see he was home. “Doors weren’t locked back then.”
After the Merchant Marines, at age 27, he was drafted into the Army during the Korean conflict. “If I’d been 28, I couldn’t have been drafted,” he said. He was sent to Germany as some thought the Soviet Union might try to invade Germany.
Following that, he returned to Putnam and ran Tony’s Package Store and, according to Rotarian and veteran Ronald P. Coderre, was/is a good community servant, doing much for Putnam.
Veterans Program
The Putnam Rotary Club Nov. 9 heard from WWII and Korean conflict veteran Peter “Pete” Trama (third from right). Guests and Rotarians who are veterans included, from left: Guest Mike Rocchetti, Rotarian Jay Wade, Trama, Rotarian Peter Benoit, and Rotarian Ron Coderre.
Making Holidays Glitter
Nov. 9 members of the Putnam Rotary Club’s Interact Club got together to create beautiful glittery ornaments for the elderly shut-ins in Putnam. Advisor Roberta Rocchetti had contacted Karen Osbrey from Daily Bread, also a Rotarian, and both were excited about the students' idea to make the ornaments for senior citizens. Daily Bread asked for 75 ornaments to give to the senior citizens.
The Interact Club is getting ready to ring the bells at the kettles to raise money for the local Salvation Army office, Daily Bread and TEEG. Look for the Interact Club members and some of their fellow students Nov. 26, Nov. 27, Dec. 4, 11 and 18 at local stores.
Pictured are, top row, from left: Kaelyn Tremblay, Talia Tremblay, Emily St. Martin. Sitting: Nevaeh Ivory, Madison Briquier, Suzette Lefevre. Missing from photo, Amayah Chavez.
The Interact Club’s next meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 23 at the Murphy Park classroom building.
 
For more information about the Putnam Rotary Interact Club contact Roberta Rocchetti at 860-933-8603.
Interact Motto: Help/Fun
The Putnam Rotary Club’s Interact Club helped the Quinebaug Middle College students and parents who in turn helped TEEG with its Halloween Festival Oct. 23. Interact Advisor Roberta Rocchetti thanked them and said: “We had fun handing out candy and helping children with arts and crafts and games. Thank you Zoie Castillo, Ashlee Goss, Vanessa Mercado, Vincent Moore and Rene Lajuenesse, Meadow Bulan and Justice Henderson and Suzette Lefevre.” From left: Zoie Castillo, Ashley Goss, Justice Henderson and Meadow Bulan. Courtesy photo.
Volunteers Having Fun
Students from Quinebaug Middle College assisted TEEG in costume distribution Oct. 18. For the last few years Walmart has donated costumes to TEEG for their costume distribution. This year at least a dozen families came looking for Halloween costumes. Roberta Rocchetti, the Putnam Rotary’s Interact Club advisor, thanked Suzette Lefevre for recruiting some of her students to assist TEEG. Rocchetti thanked Vincent Moore, Icarus Saffir, Milana Perez, Ashlee Goss, Zoie Castillo, Brianna Fulton and Suzette Lefevre.  For more information about the youth group, the Interact Club, contact Rocchetti at 860-933-8603 or email: robertarocchetti4@gmail.com. Top row, from left: Suzette Lefevre, Icarus Saffir, Milana Perez, Brianna Fulton. Front: Ashlee Goss, Zoie Castillo, Vincent Moore. Courtesy photo.

No Ordinary Lunch Meeting
Putnam Rotary Club member Roberta Rocchetti was surprised Oct 12 when she was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow at the club's lunch meeting. The award comes after her $1,000 donation to Rotary International.
Club president J. Scott Pempek received a Paul Harris Plus. He donated another $1,000 when he became President. Every  $1,000 donation earns a new Paul Harris pin with a stone on it. Shown: Club President Scott Pempek and Roberta Rocchetti.

Interact Helps Out
The Putnam Rotary Club’s Interact Club helped during the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Putnam. The walk began at Rotary Park and traveled along the river to the newly renovated Henry Breault pedestrian bridge. The walkers crossed the bridge, turned around and went back the same way for a total of 1.5 miles. The Interact Club, with the assistance of some friends, manned the bridge to ensure everyone stayed on the right route. Taking part was: Sierra Girard, Lucas Cornell, Aysaiah Chavez, Enrico Ong, Jacob and Evan Mailloux.
 
Donation is Just ‘Ducky'
Putnam Rotary Club member Richard Loomis, left, hands club President J. Scott Pempek a check for $770.50. The money came from the sale of tickets for the area’s wildly popular fund-raiser, Pluck-a-Duck. The Putnam Business Association’s fund-raiser saw more than 5,000 numbered little yellow rubber ducks “sold.” Donated prizes were awarded to the ducks’ “owners” as they were plucked out of the water. Several local non-profits, including the Putnam Rotary Club, earned half their duck sales back. Pempek said traditionally the club puts the “duck money” toward next year’s scholarship program. Courtesy photo. 
Helping Hands
Sept. 12 was a glorious day for the DKH cancer survivor picnic at Roseland Park and the Putnam Rotary Club’s Interact Club and the Putnam Lions' Leos Club were on hand to help. They helped with parking, wheelchair assistance, check in and drawings. Interact Advisor Roberta Rocchetti thanked Leo volunteers Brooke Mayo, Sophia Scandalito, Julia Scandalito, Emma Martineau and Mia Cosentino and advisor Mary Ann Pezanko. Rocchetti, who was there helping, also thanked Interact volunteers Suzie and Quinn Lefevre, Sierra Girard, Lucas Cornell, and Mike Rocchetti. Shown are Interact members helping: Quinn Lefevre, Lucas Cornell and Sierra Girard. Courtesy photo LL
PUTNAM --- It was a full house, full coffers and full hearts at the 2021 Putnam Rotary Club Ronald P. Coderre Golf Tournament. One of the Putnam Rotary Club’s largest fund-raisers of the year, significantly more than $30,000 was raised, according to golf committee Chairman Shawn McNerney.
McNerney was awarded the Ace in the Hole award for all his work.
The tournament, founded around 1985, has been a stalwart fund-raiser for scholarships for the Putnam Rotary Club.
Winners included:
Closest to Pin #7 – Greg Shetler (1 foot 2 inches)
Closest to Pin #11 – Kyle Schmidt
Best Poker Hand – Mike Mooney – 5 Kings
Net Division
3rd – 41.5 – Brandon Carita, Eric Carita, Gary Rudman, Eric Livingston
2nd – 41 – Jim Zahansky, Raul Olivia, Reilly Decker, Dan Shaughnessy
1st – 39.75 – Ralph Fiegel, Dan Gregoire, Melanie Hopkins, Marie Beauchemin
Gross Division
3rd – 61 – Jeff Rawson, Earl Rosebrooks, Bruce MacLeod, Jimmy Logsden
2nd – 59 – Jay Long, Ed Morissette, AJ Siekierski, Bryan Hitchcock
1st – 59 (Matching Cards – Better Back 9) Michael Meehan, Jared Meehan, Brendan Meehan, Loni Wright.
 
captions: Golfers stand ready to go. Carts on the move. Tournament Chairman Shawn McNerney, center, being awarded the Ace in the Hole Award by Ronald P. Coderre, right, while Rotary Club President J. Scott Pempek looks on. Courtesy photos. 
      
 
 
Of Service Everywhere
You can find the Putnam Rotary Club’s Quinebaug Valley Regional Rotaract Club everywhere. They volunteer at the PAWS shelter for cats in need and they volunteer at the Daily Bread Food Pantry in Putnam.
The Daily Bread Food Pantry is an all-volunteer 501c3 non-profit through Interfaith Human Services of Putnam. The food pantry serves local residents and families with various groceries and household necessities. 
Members often take part in events of the Putnam Rotary Club and the club’s Interact events.
Shown is veteran Rotaract Club member Emily Barnes at her last day as a member of Rotaract, serving at Daily Bread.
A 25 YEAR TRADITION --- INTERACT HELPS RELAY FOR LIFE --- FROM THE BEGINNING!
 
It was a hot day Aug. 7 for Relay For Life of Northeastern CT at the Brooklyn Fairgrounds, but members of the Putnam Rotary Club’s Interact Club were busy --- filling luminaria bags with sand and a candle and distributing them all around the track for the luminaria ceremony later in the evening.  This year the Interact members raised $3,500 for the American Cancer Society.  The Interact club was given an award at the opening ceremony for their team support for the last 25 years.
The Relay For Life thanked the Interact Club and members Sierra Girard, Talia, Kaelyn and Jonathan Tremblay, Marcy Dawley, Shannon Fagan from the Putnam Rotary Club’s Rotaract Club, and advisor Roberta Rocchetti for all their help for 25 years.
 
Caption:
At Relay: Sierra Girard and Talia and Kaelyn Tremblay at the Relay For Life. Courtesy photo.
 
 
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Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays:
  • Chris Sandford
    August 9
  • Stephen Adams
    August 10
  • Doug Porter
    August 16
  • Rachel Dykeman
    August 21
  • Marc Archambault
    August 24
  • Keith Aubin
    August 28
  • Paul Desautels
    August 30
  • Roberta Rocchetti
    September 4
  • Linda Lemmon
    September 5
  • Jay Sinha
    September 19
  • Kathy Naumann
    September 24
  • Scott Pempek
    September 27
  • Missy Meyers
    September 29
Spouse/Partner Birthdays:
  • Rae Dykeman
    August 21
  • Mary Archambault
    August 24
  • Bob Willis
    August 29
  • Chris Benoit
    September 7
  • Dawn Adiletta
    September 16
  • Kathy Naumann
    September 24
Anniversaries:
  • Shawn McNerney
    Paula McNerney
    August 4
  • Jake Dykeman
    Rae Dykeman
    August 16
  • Rachel Dykeman
    Jake Dykeman
    August 16
  • Kathy Naumann
    Richard Naumann
    August 20
  • Richard Naumann
    Kathy Naumann
    August 20
  • Jonathan Sturdevant
    Amanda Sturdevant
    September 1
  • Martha Paquette
    John Paquette
    September 13
  • Jonathan Tremblay
    Keri Tremblay
    September 18
  • Ron Coderre
    Donna Coderre
    September 22
  • Fred Chmura
    Rande Chmura
    September 28
  • Rande Chmura
    Fred Chmura
    September 28
Join Date:
  • Keith Aubin
    August 13, 2001
    21 years
  • Paul Pikora
    August 16, 2005
    17 years
  • Deborah Hoft
    September 1, 1989
    33 years
  • Brendan Larkin
    September 15, 2015
    7 years
  • Jonathan Tremblay
    September 15, 2015
    7 years
  • Martha Paquette
    September 21, 2021
    1 year
  • Fred Chmura
    September 22, 2015
    7 years
  • Doug Porter
    September 27, 1996
    26 years
  • Brad Favreau
    September 30, 2003
    19 years