Vines of March
8th Annual Vines of March!
          March 9th, 2019
   Click HERE for tickets!
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Club Mailing Address
Rotary Club of West Hartford
PO Box 270252
West Hartford, CT  06127-0252
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Club Meeting Info

Welcome to the Rotary Club of West Hartford!

West Hartford

Service Above Self

We meet Mondays at 12:15 PM
The Pond House
1555 Asylum Ave.
West Hartford, CT  06117
United States
District Site
Venue Map
Home Page Stories
This year’s Rotary Club of West Hartford Jazz Brunch honored the memory of Hap Leabman, former Rotary Assistant District Governor and Jazz Brunch Chairman.
Rotary Club of West Hartford Raises more than $7,000
During 16th Annual Jazz Brunch
 More than 200 jazz aficionados helped Rotary Club of West Hartford raise $7,088.00 during its 16th Annual Jazz Brunch on November 4 at The Hartford Club.
Event proceeds will support West Hartford’s Gifts of Music program and other local charities.
The brunch, which honored the memory of Rotarian, former Assistant District Governor and 2011-2017 Jazz Brunch Chairman Hap Leabman, featured The Chris Flory and Harry Allen Quartet, including guitarist Chris Flory, Saxophonist Harry Allen, Bassist Neal Miner and drummer Tom Melito.
Our profound thanks to the attendees, Rotarians and volunteers who generously supported this annual event! A special thanks to committee members Jim Kilian, Ann Leabman and Tony Rodriguez; and to volunteers Jill Leabman, Erica Leabman, Gifts of Music director Haig Shahverdian, Peter Kovalevich, Lisa Brown, Kyle Egress and Bennett Forrest, Booker DeVaughn, Oscar Santo Domingo, Eileen Rau, Jenny Smith. A big shout out to our sponsors: West Hartford Mayor Sheri Cantor (music students’ master class sponsor); The Ellen Jean Goldfarb Memorial Charitable Trust (student table sponsor), Delamar Hotel (lodging for the artists) and Flemings Steak House (dinner for the artists).
Sunday Jazz Brunch at The Hartford Club, sponsored by the Rotary Club of West Hartford, is now in its 16th season. This highly popular event has been successful in raising funds for many local charitable organizations. Past artists have included Jimmy Cobb, Don Friedman, Delfeayo Marsalis, Renee Rosnes, Javon Jackson and Jimmy Heath. Each year, this day brings the best jazz artists New York and Boston have to offer to more than 200 jazz enthusiasts in the elegant setting of the Hartford Club. All expenses, including payments to the musicians, equipment rental, promotional costs and the cost of the brunch itself, are financed solely by ticket sales.
The Chris Flory and Harry Allen Quartet, including (left to right) Guitarist Chris Flory, Saxophonist Harry Allen, Bassist Neal Miner and drummer Tom Melito perform to a sold-out crowd at The Hartford Club November 4.
Guitarist Chris Flory performs in front of a photo honoring the memory of Hap Leabman, former Rotary Assistant District Governor and Jazz Brunch Chairman.
Left to right:  Saxophonist Harry Allen, Jazz Brunch Co-Chair Jim Kilian, Guitarist Chris Flory, Jazz Brunch Co-Chair Tony Rodriguez, Bassist Neal Miner, Drummer Tom Melito.

                West Hartford Rotary Club Meeting

                     December 3, 2018 Proceedings

1. Eileen Rau again reminded us that our polio eradication program is still in progress in four countries where polio is still found. She also mentioned that donations are still needed. Make your donation to Polio –Plus for $38.00.

2. Ann Leabman came out with blood donation posters honoring Hap. This drive will be sponsored by the West Hartford Rotary as part of our Community Projects and will keep our name out there in the Town.

3. Robin attended the meeting to volunteer- help in organizing the auction materials for the Vines of March.

4. Breaking News: The District approved funding for dialysis machines for our sister club in Marinduque, Philippines. They are intended for the Provincial Hospital. This project is a combined effort by sister clubs and other US based rotary clubs.

5. The December 17 noon meeting will be used to celebrate the coming holidays. Bring your friends, significant others, and kids to enjoy lunch and listen to the Hall High School Madrigal singers. A sign-up sheet will be at our next meeting. We need a head count so we can inform the Pond House. Some members of the Hartford Rotary are also planning to attend.

Robin, Club President Oscar Santo Domingo, guest speaker Beth Bye, and Rotarian Mary Silverberg
This year's book drive started Monday, November 26 and is in full force! It runs until December 21. Thank you to Bob Kor and Eileen Rau for volunteering to help. We are looking for some more volunteers to assist in the collecting of books. Responsibilities are simply to check in at the drop spots around town once a week until the drive is over. If the collection bins are full, they need to be transported to Congregation Beth Israel who will be storing the books until they are sorted.
Here is the link to donate money to the virtual book drive:
Please contact Rotarian Bennett Forrest if you are able to help.

West Hartford Rotary Club Meeting

November 26 Proceedings

1. Susan Oslander requested a day of fun with the Hanoc children. We need volunteers and a time and date. Eileen will find out when this is to happen.

2. We discussed the outreach program (aka the Food Pantry). The board seems to feel that we have too much on our plates with the Vines of March looming. David Mangs has asked for a donation and volunteers to make it a one-day affair. Hopefully the Rotaract will extend their hands. According to Greg Friedland there might be only 5 students who are interested in joining Rotaract.

3. Jeff Brevin gave the Club some information about what is happening at the American School for the Deaf. Bruce Stanger gave an update about his yearly bike trip to Israel.

4. Ken Flourde talked about his involvement with the opioid Crisis and would like to talk more about the subject for a future meeting.

5. Steve Nimz of New Britain Rotary was at the meeting to sell holiday wreaths. This is their seasonal fund-raising project.

6. Vines of March has started planning for the big event. Kyle led the meeting after summarizing what are needed to make this event successful. The ticket price was raised to $75 per person. However, anyone buying his or her ticket before February 8 can get it for $70,

7. The Rotary Board propose to make the Dec.17 meeting our Holiday party since next coming year we will be occupied with the planning of the Vines of March.Watch for more update for this event. Sign up for the party It will be fun, good food and relaxing.

Club President Oscar Santo Domingo, Rotarian Mary Silverberg, and guest speaker Susan Oslander

       West Hartford Rotary Club
        November 19  Meeting
  1.   Twenty Rotarians were present to hear speaker Duanne Martin, the Town Engineer. He distributed a street map which showed the progress in repairing our streets. He discussed the plans for prioritizing the repairs as well as the sequence, MDC’s role in the repair, and the difference between asphalt and granite curbing. Rotarians had questions about the streets near their houses.
  2. . Steve Leone, the former Wine Cellar owner was present to discuss the Wine Cellar’s role in the March 9, 2019 Vines of March set up and system for placing orders. 
  3. Paul Harris award pin was given Kove Schwartz for his time and effort spent in furthering the goals of Rotary.
  4. Tony Rodriguez announced that the Jazz Brunch had a net of $7,200. His efforts were given a resounding applause.
  5. Our efforts to eradicate polio remains a main objective for the Rotary Foundation. We still have a way to go in keeping the world healthy, safe and educated. Please donate.
  6. Rotary Means Business has a meeting in Avon coming up. Check your email for particulars.
Rotarian Mary Silverberg, guest speaker Duane Martin, and club President Oscar Santo Domingo
Rotary Club President Oscar Santo Domingo (center) presents a check for $6000 to Mike Werle and Joe Defeo of the West Hartford Children's Museum for the set up of the Rotary Learning Lab for Young Children.

Club Assembly Meeting - November 12 Proceedings

1. Honoring our veterans: Ed Cape Harvey Davidson and Dave Gerol were honored. Both Ed and Harry recounted their experiences during their time as soldiers.

2. Eileen Rau passed around polio virus dolls that she had from another club meeting

3. We presented our donation to the Children’s Museum for $ 6,000 to start the development of a Learning Lab for children 3 years old and up. As Mike Werle said, the room will symbolize Rotary’s essential goal. Our Rotary Emblem will be part of the room. The Children’s Museum director is in talks with the Town Official regarding the possibility of relocating the building

4. Our visitors, Ellen and Jeff Shaw were introduced. Mile Werle and Joe Defeo were also recognized.

5. Tony Rodriguez was happy about the attendance for the Jazz brunch, but let the management know about its shortfall in the kitchen and table management.

6. The Vines of March as announced by the co-chairman Kyle Egress. Tom Wood will assist Kyle for this fund-raising event.

7. Joe Stafford met a group that builds wood furniture. He will invite them to address our meeting to give us some pointers as to saving or replacing the Rotary benches in Town.

8. A Rotary party is in the works, but after the festivities. Eileen will help organize it.

9. The Berlin Rotary Club will be at our meeting on November 19 to take orders for their Christmas wreath sale.

              West Hartford Rotarians decked out for Halloween
President Oscar Santo Domingo presents the Paul Harris fellowship award to Betty Kiely

LUNCHEON MEETING, October 29, 2018

1. Our meeting was visited by three witches, Mr. Incredible, and a lobster woman. All enjoyed the candies placed at the tables. Thanks are owed to Dave, Eileen ,Elizabeth, Ana and Mary for their show of Halloween spirit.

2. The Turkey Drive is rolling. Fern has collected our contributions and the Club has donated $1,600 for the Drive. This donation will be given to The Town That Cares.

3. Rotarians applauded the efforts of Tony and Ann for the successful turnout expected at the Hartford Club Jazz Brunch. The results have been so good that we have had to close the ticket sales.

4. Eileen reminds us not to forget that many children are still affected by polio. Keep the donations coming.

5. Dave Mangs reported on efforts to stop the epidemic of drug addiction and the recruitment of young people to join Rotary.

6. Betty and her daughter Kate were honored at the presentation of a Paul Harris +5 pin which Bob earned for the time and effort he spent in promoting Rotary.

7. A Blood Drive is getting set up for January. Ann Leabman mentioned that it needs 1,000 feet of space. The Town Hall, the American School for the Deaf and Saint Joseph University were mentioned as possible sites.

Latest Update: Ann has booked the Town Hall Auditorium on Jan.22,2019 from 12:30 to 5:00 pm Our Club will be the sponsor for this Blood drive.

              LUNCHEON MEETING, October 22, 2018

1. Peter Lamothe from Jackson Labs was our guest speaker. Jackson Labs is a non-profit organization located on the UCONN Dempsey campus that focuses on mammalian genetics research. Their research at present is on developing medications tailored for each patient’s genetic makeup. According to Peter, they have around 10,000 mice used for testing. They use mice because they have the closest DNA to human being. Jackson Lab’s main office is in Bar Harbor Maine. Their focus is on basic research which they share with other labs in the hope that it will help them in their own particular research.

2. The ticket sales for the Jazz Brunch are excellent. As of Oct. 24, we have sold and received payment for 230 tickets. A sudden influx of buyers is coming in and now we are afraid the we will go over the capacity of the Hartford Club’s dining room. Tony suggests that our web site should announce that the ticket sale is closed (it was closed).

3. The 30th anniversary of our World Polio Eradication Drive was held on October 24. We still have not achieved our goal of world-wide elimination. Don’t forget to donate to the Fund. In addition to polio that we have known, there is a new virus that resembles polio that is infecting children much is the same way that polio did.

Guest Speaker Peter Lamonthe with speaker coordinator Mary Silverberg
A friendly reminder to come to the meeting on the 29th in your best Halloween attire!
Rotarian Tony Rodriguez and Ann Leabman present Haig Shahverdian a check for $4,400 to the Gifts of Music from proceeds from the Jazz Brunch at their Autumn Benefit Concert held Saturday, October 20, 2018  at the Ellen Jeanne Goldfarb Memorial Auditorium at the Intensive Education Academy in West Hartford.
              Guest Speaker Mark McGovern
                         Luncheon Meeting, October 22, 2018

1. Our speaker was Mark McGovern, Town of West Hartford. He talked about the ongoing projects that are taking place around town such as:

a. the Trout Brook exit from I- 84. This will handle a larger volume of traffic.

b. IDEANOMICS has purchased the UCONN site. They are applying for zone changes to the area to accommodate their plans for the area.

c. The recent sewage problem on Linnard and other streets was mentioned, and the MDC is currently repairing the damage.

2. Eileen Rau gave us an update on the celebrations planned for the 30-year anniversary of the Rotary’s campaign to eradicate polio. Please continue to donate to the Polio Plus fund. We are almost in reach of our goal to eradicating polio

3. Turkey Legs are coming. From today’s meeting until Thanksgiving, our Happy Dollars will go to the Liberty Bank as donations to this fund


1. WORLD POLIO DAY – On October 24, 2018 we will celebrate the 30th anniversary for the eradication of polio campaign. Different countries will have announcements, parades and various media events. Let our members celebrate by donating to our Eradicate Polio Fund.

2. On November 4, our president-elect and membership chair will meet at Chuck's Steak House, 2199 Silas Deane Highway, Rocky Hill to discuss the recruitment of new members and retention of existing members with other clubs.

3. On November 1, there will be a Foundation Dinner honoring the unsung heroes who have devoted much of their time to helping others and who truly embody “service above self”. It will be held at CHEZ JOSEPH at 176 Shoemaker Lane, Agawam MA from 5:30 to 9: pm. Cost is $55 per person.

4. On November 10, John Smeallie and Andy Lerner will represent our club at the RLI leadership Training session at the Holiday Inn, Springfield South, Bright Meadow Boulevard in Enfield, CT, 06082.

5. Tavern night was held last October 4. 10 Rotarians enjoyed the ambience of the new Rockledge Grill. Thanks to Kyle for organizing this event.

6. It is again time for our Thanksgiving Turkey Drive. Our club has opened an account at Liberty Bank to deposit our donations. We are awaiting the donations to pour in.

Guest speaker at Oct 1st meeting  Janice Hamilton Crawford


Luncheon Meeting, August 24

1. Our speaker was the Town of West Hartford Police Chief. He reported that the Town Safety Committee gave the Town a good report. The biggest problem seems to be complaints of indiscriminate urination from over-indulgers. He emphasized that the department needs to recruit more qualified people interested in becoming West Hartford Police officers. Members threw a lot of interesting questions at the Chief. He was very informative.

2. A great round of applause greeted Ann Leabman when she received the Club Honorary Membership. She emphasized the importance of the Jazz Brunch to Hap.

3. The Tavern night was postponed to October 4 at the Rockledge Grill from 5 to 7 pm

Guest speaker:  West Hartford Police Chief Vernon Riddick, Jr
Club President Oscar Santo Domingo and Rotarian Eileen Rau flank guest of honor Ann Leabman
Brett Boles, Director of Choirs
Dec 17, 2018
Hall High School Madigal Singers, Holiday Concert
Matt Hart, Town Manager, West Hartford
Jan 07, 2019
Project Update, What is changing around town?
Galo Rodriguez,CEO-Village for Families & Children
Jan 14, 2019
Where Real Change Happens-Programs & Services
Briann Greenfield Ph D. Exec Dir
Feb 04, 2019
Harriett Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford
Todd Dumais, Town Planner, W Hartford
Feb 11, 2019
Where is West Hartford going and how will we get there?
Rev Rick Kremer, Pastor, Grace Lutheran Church
Feb 25, 2019
From Pallet to Furniture! Community Project
No Speaker, Club Assembly
Mar 04, 2019
Prepare for Vines
No Meeting
Mar 11, 2019
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