Posted by Donald Rawling on Jul 15, 2019
Club Meeting: July 9, 2019
Opening and Welcome: Jay Presser opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and the recitation of the Rotary Four-Way Test. Frank DiGennaro provided the invocation. Jackie Guzie led the club singing of “God Bless America.”
Members Present: Dale Baker, Jed Dery, Greg DeSantis, Frank DiGennaro, Jackie Guzie, Gail Handley, Greg Heineman, Dick Kisiel, Jon Kozloski, Don Miner, Jack Muska, Paul Muska, Ken Pascoe, Roger Pratt, Jay Presser, Don Rawling and Gordon Stagg. (17/34 = 50%)
Guests: Our speakers, Rick and Elin Lawrence, from Guatemala Water Project.
Jay Presser welcomed our speakers to the meeting, Rick and Elin Lawrence, who would provide an update on the Guatemala Water Project.
Meeting Location: Jay Presser provided an update on meeting location. An agreement has been reached, and we anticipate meeting at Suffield Country Club on Tuesday, July 16. If anything changes between now and next week, we will send out an email regarding meeting location.
Golf Tournament: Jon Kozloski provided an update on the 28th Annual Glenn T. Packard Golf Tournament which will be held on Friday, August 9. We are ahead of last week, some new teams are signing up. Raffle gifts are needed, preferably other than wine. This year, we are looking for different items, such as a gift certificate to your favorite restaurant or other items that tournament participants might enjoy. Please send in your registration forms or raffle gift ideas to Jon Kozloski.
350th Anniversary: Suffield will be celebrating its 350th anniversary in October 2020. Dale Baker remarked that Beth Chafetz has requested that Suffield Rotary provide an article to be included in their materials. Last date to submit is July 26. Discussion included finding the document from Suffield Rotary’s 60th anniversary and perhaps highlighting notable presidents, first woman president and recent successes, such as large fundraisers or other events.
Commemorative Glass: Ken Pascoe is looking for a commemorative glass that was produced in celebration of a past significant anniversary for Suffield Rotary. If you have one or know where to locate one, please contact Ken Pascoe.
Reminder: Annual dues are due. Please bring a check or credit card to the next meeting, or you can pay by credit card on the website (direct link:
Jay Presser introduced Rick and Elin Lawrence from the Guatemala Water Project.
Rick Lawrence was a Manchester Rotary member and several years ago partnered with neighboring towns to contribute to the Guatemala Water Project. They live in Florida and Rhode Island now. Returning to Rotary clubs is important to show where and how money has been spent. Last year, Dick Kisiel presented a check on behalf of Suffield Rotary to fund three projects.
Why participate? Approximately 30,000 people die every day from water-related illnesses. About 90% are children under 5 years of age. In 2003/2004, Rotary International President Majiyagbe of Nigeria established a goal for every Rotary Club to participate in a clean water and sanitation project annually. As polio gets closer to being eradicated, it may become a new primary focus for Rotary.
In 2006/2007, 12 clubs funded $24,000 to help the village of Cojomachaj comprised of 52 families or 352 individuals. In 2017/2018, 40 clubs (including Suffield) funded $167,423 to help the villages of Pamezul, Vista Hermosa and San Vicente, comprised of 220 families or 1,620 individuals. Over this time frame, a total of $792,718 has been raised to help 1,556 families or 9,284 individuals in Guatemala.
Guatemala Water Project partners with ALDEA, formerly Behrhorst Partners for Development. In 1967, Dr. Carol Behrhorst, a physician from Tulane University, founded the NGO. Rotary Foundation also matches 50 cents per dollars raised. These funds are used to acquire pipes and other equipment. Local residents provide the labor for the project, which helps to build local know-how for the water systems. In case they break and need to be repaired, the local knowledge helps to ensure the sustainability of the water systems.
The communities are primarily agricultural. In general, men work in the fields, while women and children walk 20 minutes or more for water supplies (which are balanced on the head). The projects are intended to provide clean water to improve public health and free up more time for the women and children. Drilling wells are prohibitively expensive, so communities must first locate and acquire a freshwater spring for the community to use. Water systems include pipes, holding tanks, electric pumps, diesel generators (for power outages), solar panels (for newer projects), chlorination and sinks. Other projects have included gray water filters, vented improved pit latrines and safe stoves which improve health and sanitation in the communities.
Following installation, they have identified the following improvements within a year of project completion. Intestinal diseases decline by 60%. Eye infections, respiratory ailments and burns decline by 60%. Child malnutrition declines by 10% per year. Children have more free time to attend school and for playing.
Rick Lawrence closed with the quote “Sin aqua, no hay vida.” This translates to “Without water, there is no life.”
Blue Ticket Winners: Blue ticket winner was Greg Heineman with side winners Dick Kisiel and Jay Presser.
Queen of Hearts: Gail Handley had the winning ticket and did not pull the Queen of Hearts. Total winning pot now stands at $595.
Birthdays and Anniversaries: No birthdays were celebrated this evening.
Adjournment: Jackie Guzie closed the meeting with a group signing of “My Country Tis of Thee.”
Next week’s meeting: July 16
Club discussion to gather information for submission to the 350th Anniversary Committee.