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 to Honor Students with Youth Service Award
Nominations Open April 1 to May 15
In celebration of its 100th year, the Putnam Rotary Club will be honoring five local high school students with the Robert P. Reardon Youth Service Award.
This one-time award is named after the club’s first president. The club will award $200 each to one student from each of the club’s town service areas: Eastford, Pomfret, Putnam, Thompson and Woodstock.
Club President Missy Meyers said: “The Putnam Rotary Club is very excited for this opportunity to recognize the exceptional youth in our area, who voluntarily commit their time and energy to community service. The motto for Rotary is Service Above Self, and we can’t wait to see the nominations for the Reardon Youth Awards, to see the inspiring stories of how local high school students prioritize the same values.”
To be eligible for this award, the student must be in grades 9 through 12, live in one of the club’s five service towns and show that they exemplify Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self.” Community service as a volunteer is the keystone of this award and the student’s daily conduct should incorporate the values of Rotary, as highlighted in Rotary’s “4-Way Test” of service:
  1.  Is it the truth?
  2.  Is it fair to all concerned?
  3.  Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4.  Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Students can be nominated by faculty, teachers, fellow students, friends or neighbors.
Nomination forms are available at:
The deadline is May 15. The awards will be presented at the Putnam Rotary Club Gala on June 3. For information or questions contact Rande Chmura at
All Stars Shoot Lights Out at Rotary -Brousseau Game
Playing in front of a sparse crowd of family, friends, fellow students and Putnam Rotary Club members, the high school senior basketball boys and girls put on an offensive barrage never witnessed in the history of the Putnam Rotary Club Ray Brousseau Memorial Senior All Star game.
Due to a low turnout of female players the teams were combined with men and women on both squads.  A combined total of 214 points was scored. with the winning Green team coached by Donte Adams and Denzel Washington of The Woodstock Academy edging the Blue squad coached by Neil Bernier and Lee Blanchette of Tourtellotte Memorial High School.  The final score was 108-106 in a game that went down to the wire for the evenly matched teams.
The contest was close throughout with the Blue team on top 57-53 at halftime.  The game winning basket by the Green squad was scored by Putnam’s Alonzo Henries on a tip in with less than two seconds on the clock.  The winners were paced by team Most Valuable Player Mikey Monroe of Parish Hill who finished with 29 points, nine rebounds and seven assists on the night.  Henries totaled 13 points for the winners.  Hailey Johnson of Putnam Science Academy was the women’s MVP for the winners
The losing Blue team was led by hot shooting Brody Belanger of Windham Tech, who poured in 49 points with an amazing demonstration of three-point bombs, explosive dunks and slashing moves to the hoop.  He was selected as the Blue team MVP.  Putnam Clipper Emily St. Martin was the women’s MVP for the Blue squad.
Dylan Johnson of Tourtellotte Memorial High School and Carter Tosetti of Woodstock each walked away $50 richer thanks to CorePlus Credit Union, which sponsored the halftime shootout.  The duo of Johnson and Tosetti made shots from the foul line, top of the key and half court to earn the $50 reward.
The game was a total community effort with the referees from Board #35 donating their services.  The refs were led by Bill Monaco.  Working with him were Matt Phillips, former UConn woman’s player Shannon Saunders and David Coderre.  The scoring and time keeping were done by Fred Hutchins and Maurice “Moe” Coderre, who also led those in attendance by performing the National Anthem.
Sponsors of the game included The Woodstock Academy, CorePlus Credit Union, Centreville Bank, WINY Radio, Benpe Consulting and Archambault Insurance Associates.  Game participation mementos, presented to all players, and the MVP Awards were sponsored by the Byrnes Agency of Dayville and Norwich.
Rotarian Jonathan Tremblay was the chairperson of the organizing committee.  Working with Tremblay were H. Douglas Porter, Dick Loomis, Ron Coderre, Jon Sturdevant, Club President Missy Meyers, Deb Hoft, John Miller, Woody Durst and Richard Naumann.
“The Putnam Rotary Club is pleased to sponsor this annual game featuring the senior boys and girls all stars.  It’s part of our commitment to the young people of our communities.  We’re looking forward to next year.  Congratulations to these players for putting on one heck of a show for those in attendance,” said chairman Tremblay.
Captions: MVPs Brody Belanger of Windham Tech (blue) and Mikey Monroe of Parish Hill with Jonathan Tremblay, chair of the Rotary basketball committee.
MVPs  Putnam Clipper Emily St. Martin (blue) and Hailey Johnson of Putnam Science Academy stand with Jonathan Tremblay, chair of the Rotary basketball committee.
 The Blue Team 
The Green Team
at the scoring table
The Quiet Corner? Maybe. But Debbie White of the Salvation Army wondered out loud,
perhaps it should be “Philanthropic Corner.”
From every corner of the Quiet Corner, food, money, toys and more comes pouring out of
residents to help those less fortunate.
Bell ringing -- 25 years later
Nov. 19 White helped kick off the Putnam Rotary Club’s Interact Club 25th anniversary
of bell ringing for the Salvation Army. Interact Club co-advisor Roberta Rocchetti said in
25 years the Interact Club has raised $233,200.
Local high school students will be ringing the bells from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 25 and 26
and Dec. 3, 10, and 17 at Putnam Supermarket, Walmart, Price Chopper and Stop and
Shop in Putnam.
Photos: Emily St. Martin, president of the Putnam Interact Club
From left: Captain Joshua Jones and Debbie White of the Salvation Army, Interact Co-
Advisor Roberta Rocchetti; Emily St. Martin, Caitlin Mercer and Eoin Mercer of the
Interact Club; Missy Meyers, president of the Putnam Rotary Club.
Putnam Rotary Honored
J. Scott Pempek, left, past president of the Putnam Rotary Club, recently received a Rotary District Citation for the club’s performance in 2021-2022. He is congratulated by Assistant District Governor Vin Marinaro. The Putnam Rotary Club is one of 15 out of 45 clubs in the district to receive the honor. The Rotary Citation is the highest award a club can receive from Rotary International. Courtesy photo.
Interact Club on Hand
Oct. 16 found the Putnam Rotary Club’s Interact Club members helping at the TEEG Fall Festival. Club members helped with the book distribution table, costume distribution and at the Halloween candy giveaway table.  President Emily St. Martin called the festival a success and thanked Caitlin and Eoin Mercer, Jordyn Butler, Eric Levesque, Talia and Kaelyn Tremblay, Maeve and Callum Lusignan and Jacqueline Dearborn. The club is now working on its "Ornament for Shut-ins" project and they look forward to celebrating 25 years of bell ringing for the Salvation Army. The Kickoff celebration for the bell ringing will be at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 17 in front of the Municipal Complex Building in Putnam. The public is welcome. From left: Eric Levesque, Jordyn Butler, Emily St. Martin, Eoin Mercer and Caitlin Mercer. Courtesy photo.
Costumes Collected
The Putnam Rotary Interact Club is collecting new kids Halloween costumes for TEEG's Halloween costume distribution in October. New costumes sizes 2t-5t or kids 6-16 can be dropped off at the Hale YMCA Youth and Family Center off Kennedy Drive until Sept 27.   For more information about the Interact Club contact Roberta Rocchetti 860-933-8603 or
Interact President Emily St. Martin holds a poster about the club's collection of Halloween costumes. Courtesy photo.
Kettle kick-off Nov. 19
PUTNAM --- The Putnam Rotary Club’s Interact Club will kick off its 25th year as organizers for the Putnam Salvation Army Office kettle campaign at 10:30 p.m. Nov. 19 in front of the Putnam Municipal Building. The guest speaker will be Debbie White, Salvation Army Service Extension Coordinator. The public is welcome.
Since 1997 when the Interact club was chartered, students from local schools stood by the red kettles and rang the bell for the local Salvation Army. The original organizers and advisors to the Interact Club were Pam Brown, Barbara Schreier, Paul Desautels, Bill McCloud and Dena Baskin. At that time there were kettles located at Kmart, Stop & Shop, Price Chopper, Walmart and Putnam Supermarket.  A friendly competition between schools began with Putnam High School, Putnam Middle School, Tourtellotte Memorial High School, Woodstock Academy, Marianapolis, Killingly High School, St. Mary’s School, St. Joseph’s School, Ashford School and Putnam Science Academy. Rotarian Karen Osbrey, an Interact advisor, designed the Ring-a-Ling Trophy award for the student with the most bell ringing hours. This trophy has been passed down from winner to winner over the years. The most recent winner was Abby Smith from The Woodstock Academy.
From December 1997 to December 2021 the Interact Club has helped raise more than $233,200 for Putnam’s Salvation Army Office. Kathi Peterson, Community Service coordinator of the Putnam office, said the money is used for the needy in northeastern Connecticut for utilities, rent and fuel oil. Recently there have been other groups to assist the Interact Club in this endeavor, including Boy Scout Troop 21 and 25, Creation Church, the Leos Club, the Quinebaug Valley Rotaract Club, TEEG and the Ashford Social Services.
Look for the kettles at the Putnam Stop & Shop, Putnam Price Chopper, Putnam Walmart and Putnam Supermarket. A tap payment device is on the sign for easy donations. Club advisor Roberta Rocchetti said, “The Interact Club is excited to celebrate 25 years of bell ringing and looks forward to another successful year.
The Putnam Rotary Club’s Interact Club helped TEEG in a very big way by volunteering with the backpack distribution at Pomfret Community School, Woodstock Middle School and the TEEG facility in Thompson.
Families were able to come to these locations and fill their backpacks with school supplies.  The Interact Club also made a donation of nine Scientific calculators, some composition books, folders, paper and pens, according to Interact Advisor Roberta Rocchetti.
Chelsea French, TEEG program director, said many families were helped and she thanked the Interact volunteers: Emily St. Martin (Putnam High School) and Mikayla Walford from Putnam, Abigail Morin, Jeff Phongsa, Talia and Kaelyn Tremblay, Jackie Dearborn, Kira Greene and Abby Smith (Woodstock Academy); Jordyn Butler, Eric Levesque, Melanie Noonan and Kaylee Beck (Tourtellotte Memorial High School).
The Putnam Rotary Interact Club is a regional club for students ages 12 - 18 and meets from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday from September through May at the Putnam Library. Rocchetti said “It is a great way to help our community and earn community service hours at the same time. Our volunteer activities help TEEG, Daily Bread, the local Salvation Army, Day Kimball Hospital, the Alzheimer's association and Relay For Life, to name a few. Sept. 13 is the date of our first meeting.”
For more information contact Rocchetti at 860-933-8603 or
-  Chelsea French, left, of TEEG, and Emily St. Martin, president of the Interact Club.
- Interact Club members helped TEEG distribute school supplies. Courtesy photos.
Congressman Joe Courtney visited the Putnam Rotary Club meeting today! He spoke at length about the recent legislation being passed to support veterans (the PACT Act), the production of semi-conductors and other innovations (the CHIPS & Science Act) and the environment, manufacturing and access to healthcare (the Inflation Reduction Act). Rotarians appreciated the opportunity to ask questions about Congressional activity and discuss the future needs of northeastern CT.
 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.
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.
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: 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.
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

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
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: 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.
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.
At Relay: Sierra Girard and Talia and Kaelyn Tremblay at the Relay For Life. Courtesy photo.
The Putnam Rotary Club June 22 inducted its new officers and Board of Directors for the 2021-2022 year. J. Scott Pempek, seated, is the new club president. Backing him up are officers: President-Elect Missy Meyers, Vice President Amanda Kelly, Treasurer Fred Chmura, Secretary Elizabeth Williams and four Sergeants at Arms: Stephen Adams, Paul Pikora, Deborah Hoft and John Miller. The 2021-2022 Board of Directors includes: Immediate Past President Kristen Willis, Stephen Adams, Barry Shead, Kathy Kirk and Crystal Simonson.
PUTNAM --- The Putnam Rotary Club recently bestowed Rotary’s highest honor on seven local people.
The Paul Harris, named for the founder of the Rotary Club, recognizes the behind-the-scenes service of Rotarians and community members.
Bill and Terri Pearsall received the award for their selfless work to help feed the community. They work tirelessly at Daily Bread in Putnam, according to Rotarian Karen Osbrey, who nominated them. The couple is instrumental in the Thanksgiving Baskets that help more than 300 families. They also chair the Empty Bowls fund-raiser and they started the free Thanksgiving dinner for those who would not have a Thanksgiving otherwise. It started at their home more than 30 years ago and when the need grew, the dinner moved to the Congregational Church of Putnam. Along the way they have been members of many organizations including Aspinock and the Arts Council. Bill Pearsall is Putnam’s town historian.
Kristen Willis, immediate past president of the club, received a Paul Harris. Rotarian nominator Marc Archambault called Willis a “fearless leader” who didn’t let a pandemic stop the club’s good works. “Every week was a challenge and every week she rose to the challenge,” Archambault said. And the community’s needs were met.
Ben Williams, better known as “Big Ben,” was awarded a Paul Harris. More than 4,000 acres of open space has been preserved for future generations under his leadership, said Sarah Heminway, director of the Connecticut Audubon of Pomfret Center, who has worked with Williams for many years. He is a proud Marine, she said and a lifelong educator. She added he’s instrumental in the creation of the new Audubon center. Williams, in thanking the Rotary, said he was honored. “What we have here is so rare and so precious and the community ‘gets it’,” he said. He vowed to continue to be a “cheerleader for the natural world.”
Emily Barnes, who serves her community through the Putnam Rotary Club’s Rotaract Club, as a volunteer “market master” for the Putnam Saturday Farmers’ Market, and in many other roles, received a Paul Harris. Rotarian Delpha Very, who nominated Barnes for the award, called her thoughtful and honest. “You always see the real Emily.” She spends nearly every weekend in service to her community, she said, as a Rotaract member, the farmers’ market master and more. Barnes also takes care of the calendar at Daily Bread --- no small feat.
Rotarian Pam Brown, who nominated Tom Pandolfi for his Paul Harris, recounted Pandolfi’s service in Vietnam as a Green Beret and his service to veterans, whether it's guardsmen or reservists or veterans. He was instrumental in the success of the Danielson Veterans Coffeehouse. That organization serves all northeastern Connecticut towns. The group’s meetings are now held every week and 40 to 70 veterans take part each week. Pandolfi helps veterans navigate complex issues that plaque veterans and was the spark that grew into the Foodshare program that has fed thousands of northeastern people for the last 15 months. Brown said, “He is an example of the Rotary motto ‘Service Above Self.’”
Rotarian Rachael Johnston was chosen to describe the contributions of the next Paul Harris winner, her husband Shawn Johnston. She recounted his involvement in the community from an early age including coaching and, at 11, his first foray into politics, licking envelopes for a candidate for state rep. Little did he know, she joked, that he would be a state rep later in life, serving his constituents with independence and integrity for 16 years. Service is a core part of him. After retiring from Eversource after 33 years, he turned right around and joined nonprofits in service to the community.
Changing of the Guard
It might not look like a tree, but the plaque, presented by incoming Putnam Rotary Club President J. Scott Pempek to outgoing President Kristen Willis, represents a cherry tree to be planted in her honor in Putnam’s Rotary Park. His President’s Award honors Willis’s leadership in an almost impossibly challenging COVID-19 year.
In her remarks Willis thanked club members who did anything but sit back in a pandemic, raising money and serving the community. “We answered the call,” she said with pride, raising and then giving $38,000-plus to more than 35 non-profit groups. The club also awarded $34,000 in scholarships. “There is no challenge too great for this club,” she said. Pempek said his goals this year are to build new membership, get more involved and work on the 100th anniversary coming in Rotary year following his.
Elaine Sistare, Town Administrator for the Town of Putnam
Elaine said she was going to report on the status of the new Municipal Complex at 207 School Street. By the end of this week 100% of the brickwork will be complete. She explained that new ball fields were being constructed adjacent to the Middle and Elementary schools to replace the ones on the new Municipal Building Site. The parcel where the new building is located, consists of 7 acres, 2 of which has been persevered as open area or not to be developed per the DEEP. The main entrance and the only exit to the complex is on School Street opposite of Walnut Street and where the former Aspinok Historical Society Building stood. At present the site will have 160 parking spaces and additional spaces in the future. There is also an additional entrance on Providence Street. The Main Building consists of 2-stories with a 1-story addition to the rear, which will house the Library. The ground level will house the Library, 3 community rooms, a kitchen for Meals on wheels, the Town Clerk, WPCA, Assessor and Revenue Departments. Meals on Wheels will serve meals 5 days a week and is expected to make 40 to 50 meals per day. The new Library will be over 60% larger than the current Library and some of the furniture will be reused with some modifications. The second floor will be occupied by the Mayor’s Office, Town Administrators. Office, Recreation Department, Building Department, and Zoning. In addition, there will be a 4th Community room along with rooms for the Historical Society and the Town Hall Copy Room. They anticipate that the 4th Community room will be used for the monthly Board and Commission meetings as well as for other public meetings. The expected move in date is August 19, 2021. The overall cost of the project was estimated at $19.9 million. Costs, to date, are at $19.4 million and therefore under budget. Rotarian Karen Osbrey, who is also the Building Chairperson, added that there will be a Gallery and expects this new building to be used for many events.
PUTNAM --- As far as northeastern Connecticut goes, please mark us down for “plays/works well with others.”
The Putnam Rotary Club’s annual Good Friday Food Drive was a resounding success. Volunteers from the Putnam Rotary Club, the Putnam Rotary Club’s Interact Club, the Putnam Rotary Club’s Rotaract Club, the Putnam Lions Club, the Putnam Lions Club Leos Club and the Putnam Lodge of Elks all stood fast in some chilly windswept weather to collect nonperishables and donations to benefit Daily Bread.
A steady stream of cars filled almost two vans with food and the money box with checks and cash totaling $6,093, according to Karen Osbrey, Rotarian and head of the Interfaith Human Services of Putnam.
In addition to the nonperishables, Rotary Club Interact advisor Roberta Rocchetti said a local bakery dropped off bread and a local farm dropped off eggs.
Osbrey said 1,320 pounds of food were donated. There was no drive in 2020. This year’s drive raised less money but saw more food donated.
Interact Club off to Great Start!
PUTNAM --- The Putnam Rotary Club’s Interact Club is off to a great start in its Relay For Life Team fund-raising campaign.
They kicked off with an American Cancer Society Daffodil Sale and sold more than $1,830 worth of flowers.
The daffodils and tulips were sold in bunches of 10 or pots of mini daffodils. The club members sold 81 bunches of daffodils, 38 bunches of tulips and 30 pots of mini daffodils. The daffodils will be delivered around March 22.
Interact Gets Ready
In this photo from last year’s Relay For Life, some of the Putnam Rotary Club’s Interact Club members took part. From left: Roberta Rocchetti, advisor; Brayden Cutler, president (Tourtellotte); Emma Braithwaite, PHS; Layla and Amayah Chavez, PHS.
Interact Club members enjoying their pizza party, al fresco.
Brayden Cutler, right, and Putnam Rotary President Kristen Willis with the trophy.
The day was a bit on the "cool" side but that did nothing to dampen the excitement of the Putnam Rotary Club’s Interact Club Annual Bell Ringing Pizza Party held in the Farmers’ Market pavilion in Putnam.
Interact President Brayden Cutler thanked all who took part.
Despite COVID, the club raised $9,774.86 for the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign, beating last year’s total of $8,727 by more than $1,000.
Some 115 volunteers and 11 Interact Club members made it happen. Schools represented include: The Woodstock Academy, Killingly High School, Putnam High School, Tourtellotte Memorial High School, Plainfield High School, Ashford School and UConn.
Boy Scout Troops 21 and 25 also took part.
Salvation Army Director, Kathleen Orfitelli, thanked everyone for the Kettle Campaign success and said, "Because of your efforts, the Salvation Army will be able to assist 20 families locally."
Putnam Rotary President Kristen Willis thanked the volunteers and announced the winners of the bell ringing competition.
School with most hours: Woodstock Academy won the “Most Hours” prize with 74 hours, followed by Killingly High School with 73 and Putnam High School with 69 hours.
Award-winning students: third-place, Sophia Griffin (KHS), 8 hours; second-place,  Kaylee Goding (PHS), 9 hours; and the trophy winner: Brayden Cutler and Katie Lamontagne, 9.5 hours.
The Putnam Interact Club has been organizing the bell-ringing effort since 1997. 
For more information about the Interact club and their next
meeting contact Roberta Rocchetti 860-933-8603 or
In Honor of Veterans
Nov. 10, in a Veterans Day program, Putnam Rotary Club members were mesmerized by the tales of Victor E. Lippiello, 100 --- from the bad timing in his Army time being extended because the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor to the lessons gin taught him when he was stationed on Fishers Island to the heart-stopping memory of parachuting behind enemy lines in the Philippines..  Lippiello is a treasure of northeastern Connecticut. Left to right Rotarian and veteran Pete Benoit; Putnam Rotary Club President Kristen Willis; Victor E. Lippiello, 100-year-old WWII veteran; Ronald P. Coderre, MC, Rotarian and American Legion District 4 commander; veteran Mike Rocchetti (husband of Rotarian Roberta Rocchetti); and Rotarian and veteran Jay Wade. 
Relay Support
The Putnam Rotary Interact Club worked hard at the recent Relay For Life at the Killingly Intermediate School. The students helped set up tents, handed out fliers and gave directions to incoming cars. They also lit the luminaries at the end of the evening. The Interact Team raised $1,285 for the American Cancer Society. Here members of the club welcome survivors and supporters to Relay For Life. The president of the Interact Club is Brayden Cutler. From left: Rotary Club advisor Roberta Rocchetti, Interact President Brayden Cutler, Tourtellotte Memorial High School; Emma Braithwaite, Putnam High School; Layla Chavez, Putnam High School; and Amayah Chavez, Putnam High School. (missing from photo, Marcy Dawley) Courtesy photo.
President Kristen and Past President Richard,
Congratulations on receiving ShelterBox HERO recognition for Rotary Year 2019-2020.
Your support is very much appreciated. Attached you will find a pdf of your certificate and several digital images to use on your club website and social media outlets.
Your club is listed on our HERO page
1.6 million people have been sheltered since 2000, we could not have reached them without clubs like yours.
COVID 19 has not stopped our efforts, your help has provided aid to over 87,000 people so far in 2020.
Thank you for being a ShelterBox HERO!
ShelterBox USA
Bill Tobin
Rotary Relations Manager

m: 916.616.6973
Putnam Rotary Club hosts school
cleaning supplies drive
6 to 9 a.m. Sept. 25 – WINY Radio
And 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 26 at local schools
 Pictured are Dick Loomis on the left and Kristen Willis, the club president, at Pomfret Community School. 
To help local schools keep the learning environment safe, the membership of the Putnam Rotary Club put together, “sKOOL AID Supply Drive: A Community Drive for School Cleaning Supplies“ for local public schools.
Kristen Willis, club president, notes the importance of the project, particularly as it relates to the needs of our community in challenging times. “Putnam Rotary’s focus is on serving our local community each and every day in whatever way possible, be it through service, advocacy, or monetary support. Right now, it is our local school systems that need our help,” said Willis.
Rotarian Pam Brown raised the idea to club members after hearing first-hand about what was going to be needed in the classrooms to open schools and keep them running. “This drive is a show of support for our teachers in the classroom, providing them with supplies that will help them keep their classrooms sanitized during the course of the school day,” said Brown.
The collection drive will be spread over two days.
Hand sanitizer (ethanol alcohol only – no methanol alcohol accepted), Clorox or Lysol wipes, mild soap or antibacterial dish soap and paper towels will be collected from 6 to 9 a.m. Sept. 25 in front of WINY Radio and from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 26 in front of several local schools.
Putnam Rotarians will be collecting for public school districts in front of: Putnam Middle School, Woodstock Elementary, the Pomfret Community School and the Thompson Middle School.
In addition to the items, cash donations and checks will be welcomed. Checks should be payable to the school system of choice: Putnam Public Schools, Woodstock Public Schools, Pomfret Community School and Thompson Public Schools. Memo notation on check: sKOOL AID. At the end of the drive, all supplies, cash and checks will be handed over immediately to school personnel.
Willis said, “Thanks to Pam and a committee of fellow Rotarians, I think we’ve come up with a great way to assist with just one of the many challenges that the coronavirus pandemic has presented and one that will have an immediate impact on our children and our teachers.”
For more information or questions contact Brown at:
Putnam Rotary Sponsors
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays:
  • Charlie Puffer
    June 8
  • Peter Benoit
    June 10
  • Jonathan Sturdevant
    June 17
  • Betti Kuszaj
    June 30
  • Jenn Brytowski
    July 3
  • Jake Dykeman
    July 6
  • Elizabeth Williams
    July 8
  • Joseph Wade
    July 8
  • Amanda Kelly
    July 10
  • Dick Loomis
    July 30
Spouse/Partner Birthdays:
  • Keri Tremblay
    July 1
  • Jake Dykeman
    July 6
  • Dan Very
    July 7
  • Bill Meyers
    July 19
  • Bill Looney
    July 23
  • Andrew Morrison
    Emily Morrison
    June 14
  • Rachael Johnston
    Shawn Johnston
    June 15
  • Jeffrey Rawson
    Jessica Rawson
    June 16
  • Brendan Larkin
    Andrea Larkin
    June 25
  • Tracie Lombardy
    Cliff Renshaw
    July 5
  • Robert Fournier
    Adrienne Fournier
    July 13
Join Date:
  • Joseph Wade
    June 1, 1992
    31 years
  • Peter Benoit
    June 1, 1986
    37 years
  • Rachael Johnston
    June 12, 2007
    16 years
  • Scott Pempek
    June 16, 2009
    14 years
  • Stephen Adams
    June 19, 2001
    22 years
  • Paul Desautels
    June 30, 2005
    18 years
  • Shawn McNerney
    July 1, 1995
    28 years
  • Seth Lombardo
    July 19, 2022
    1 year
  • Jake Dykeman
    July 20, 2021
    2 years
  • Rachel Dykeman
    July 20, 2021
    2 years
  • Jennifer Looney
    July 21, 2022
    1 year
  • Tracie Lombardy
    July 21, 2022
    1 year