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Rotary Club President Kyle Egress welcomed Rotarian Diane Barber to the Rotary Club of West Hartford during a Club Assembly on Monday, October 18th.  Diane transferred to the West Hartford Club from the Stamford CT Club due to a recent move.  During the Club Assembly, 18 Rotarians lunched and discussed current club business including: the Rotary Foundation and Polio Eradication efforts, our efforts to transition to Hybrid meetings, and our upcoming Jazz Brunch fundraiser. 
COVID has not stopped the Rotary Club of West Hartford from meeting and doing good!  Today, the club met - somewhat unplanned - and conducted Rotary Business.  In November, the club presented a check for $5425.21 to the West Hartford Food Pantry in conjunction with Liberty Bank.  The club plans on delivering more to the Food Pantry later in the spring.
2021 Jazz Brunch fundraiser will be held November 7 October 31st at Artisan at the DELAMAR
Proceeds from 2019 Jazz Brunch to support gifted and talented West Hartford public school students in need.
Members of the Rotary Club of West Hartford present a $5,915 donation from its Jazz Brunch fundraiser to the Gifts of Music program. Left to right: Haig Shahverdian, Gifts of Music music liaison, Ann Leabman, Jazz Brunch committee member, West Hartford Rotary President Kyle Egress and Tony Rodriguez, Jazz Brunch co-chair. Missing from photo: Jazz Brunch Co-Chair Jim Kilian. Photo courtesy Jim Kilian.

West Hartford Rotary Club

June 17, 2019 Luncheon Meeting Minutes

1. Our speaker was Tracy Wilson, a historian. She gave us a presentation of the history of slavery in West Hartford. Wealthy farmers in the area bought the first slaves from Dutch traders. Slaves were sold for about 50 pounds. According to the records, there were 72 recorded slaves in West Hartford. A cemetery for Black slaves is located in the North Cemetery.

2. The Rotary Foundation still is looking for contributions to the annual fund. Our goal of $10,000 has not yet been met. In order to reach our goal, the Board voted to contribute $2,000 to the Foundation to make up the difference.

3. According to Tony Rodriguez, our club will make a down payment of $2,000 to Delamar for the Jazz Brunch. Another payment of ½ of the total fee will be due on October 31 with the balance due at the conclusion of the event.

4. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for July 9, the date for our Installation Dinner to welcome our new President, Bennett Forrest. Dinner will be at the Pond House at 6:00 pm.


Respectfully submitted,

Oscar M. Santo Domingo


West Hartford Rotary Club

June 10, 2019 Luncheon Meeting Minutes


1. Our speakers were Erica de Francesco and Bob Savage representing Live Well, a Southington group who offer services to people with dementia and their families. The organization promotes awareness in the surrounding communities and works with Dementia Friends, a support group. According to them there are 7000 people who are diagnosed with dementia in Connecticut. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. The mission of Live Well is to give those suffering from dementia the opportunity to live well and determine the course of their lives and to have access to the care and support they need. But like any organization providing help and support for others, they also need support for them to continue their mission.

2. The Rotary Foundation still is looking for contributions to the annual fund. Our goal of $10,000 has not et been met. Only 37% of our membership have fulfilled their pledge.

3. Celebrate West Hartford was a success. We netted around $5,300. Kudos to Bennett and all who volunteered to do the hard work of grilling and serving hot dogs and hamburgers to the hungry folks celebrating the arrival of spring. For once no rain dampened the event.

4. According to Tony, we will have to sell 200 tickets at $100 each to make a profit at the Jazz brunch. This is dependent on the cost of the musicians, the support from the Friends of Music and any sponsorships we can get. There will be a change in the venue this year, The Artisan Restaurant at the Delamar Hotel. Let’s all work to make this a success.

Respectfully submitted,

Oscar M. Santo Domingo

Guest speakers Erica de Francesco and Bob Savage from LIVE WELL, along with Club President Oscar Santo Domingo and Rotarian Mary Silverberg

West Hartford Rotary Club

Notes for Luncheon Meeting June 10

1. Our Sales at the Celebrate West Hartford event were successful. the weather was great, and the volunteers, especially the grillers were so organized. They successfully kept track of the orders during a busy two-hour stint. Our volunteers manning the booth came from different Rotary Clubs and three children also helped on the drink orders. Both days had equal amounts of food and beverages sold. The following volunteers deserve a shout out for their example shown of the Rotary spirit. They are Mary Etter, Bob Buettner, Dave McCallister, Chris Grant, Cindy and Mrs. Howard. To Bennett and all the volunteers, “Job well done.”

2. The Dictionary Project is ongoing. As of today (June 7), there are only two more schools on the list. The kids have been wonderful, and it is interesting to see how they react to Noah Webster. The surprise in their faces as they think Mr. Webster is still alive because they know he wrote the dictionary long ago, like in the 18th century. Thanks to all who volunteered and helped in the task of distributing the dictionaries to the third graders in our Town.

3. The Rotary Scholarship was awarded at both Hall and Conard High Schools on May 22 and 29. Thanks to Harry Davidson and Matt Cuddy for their services.


Respectfully submitted,

Oscar M. Santo Domingo

West Hartford Rotary Club

May 13, 2019 Luncheon Meeting Minutes

1. Christine Looby gave the invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. During our lunch a check for $1,000 was presented to the Center for Children’s Advocacy as one of our donations to local organizations. According to the Organization, this amount will pay for a year of defense to obtain his or her rights for abuses that occurred when he or she was a young child.

2. Our speakers were Rick and Elin Lawrence. They have an ongoing water and sanitation project in Guatemala. Rick gave a slide presentation of the project. Lack of potable water and poor sanitation are conditions found in many parts of the country. This project was primarily funded through Rotary Club donations and donations are still needed to maintain the project. Elin brought local handcrafts to sell on trip trip to sell in order to raise money for the project.

3. Eileen Rau is still reminding us to contribute to the Rotary Foundation. She is hoping for 100% participation.

4. Get ready to march in the Memorial Day Parade on May 27. Wear you Rotary Shirt.

5. Volunteers are still needed for Celebrate West Hartford. Go to the website to sign up. Bennett needs more helping hands especially for the following shifts:

  • Saturday, June 1 – 12:00 to 3:30
  • Sunday, June 2 – 11:30 to 2:30
  • 2:00 to 5:00
  • Clean-up 4:3 to 7:00

Respectfully submitted,

Oscar M. Santo Domingo


Rotarian Mary Silverberg with guest speakers Rick and Elin Lawrence

West Hartford Rotary Club

May 6, 2019 Luncheon Meeting Minutes

1. Our speaker was Greg, H. Priest, the new West Hartford Fire Chief. He reported that we have 90 firemen in the Town with five personnel at each firehouse. Every fireman is a trained EMT so that there is someone available at all times to respond to an emergency. It is a State requirement that on any emergency call made by the fire truck, a person trained as an EMT is present. For some emergencies the EMT has to select an ambulance to transport a patient. If that particular ambulance company is not on the recommended service of his or her insurance, there is a problem with the billing. A commercial building or office has a designed fire code which can easily be checked for fire safety conformance. However, a residential building does not have one maybe just a self installed fire alarm However, any residential or public building can contact the fire department and get a fireman to give a group lecture on fire safety.

2. Our club is still below the $10,000 goal for Foundation donations. Only 30% of our members have donated to date.

3. Our Rotary club will participate in the Memorial Day parade on May 27. Sign up and be proud to represent our club.

4. We need volunteers for the Celebrate West Hartford event where we serve hot dogs and hamburgers. You can sign up thru the website email or you can make a call or text to Bennett. Make sure you specify what days you are available and what part of the effort you can be part of. E.g.: set up, cooking, money handling, clean up, serving food.

Respectfully submitted,

Oscar M. Santo Domingo


West Hartford Fire Chief Greg Priest with Rotarians Mary Silverberg and Oscar Santo Domingo

West Hartford Rotary Club

April 29, 2019 Luncheon Meeting Minutes

1. Our last meeting, designated as “Club Assembly”, to make a time for us to label all dictionaries for the third graders. Several Rotarians were assigned a school for distribution of dictionaries. These Rotarians are responsible for coordinating with their assigned school as to when the kids will be available for distribution. Please report to Christine Looby as to when you are planning this distribution to avoid conflicts. The distribution will have the services of “Noah Webster” to inform the students of the history of the dictionary. All Rotarians are encouraged to attend at any scheduled dictionary event.

2. We had a visitor from the Plainville Rotary club, Craig Carroll. He informed us that a student exchange organization from Europe is sending high school students to the US to get experience in our education facilities, participate in job training and science and engineering. He is looking for Rotarians who would be willing to participate in this program to host these students.

3. Tom Wood was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow Award for his exemplary service in the name of Rotary. He has helped the club manage its finances including expenses, stock purchases and investments.

4. Proposed locations for the spring Jazz Brunch were put to a vote. A majority voted to have the event at the Delamar Hotel in Blueback Square. Tony Rodriguez will investigate this possibility.

Respectfully submitted,

Oscar M. Santo Domingo

Foundation Chair Eileen Rau, new Paul Harris Fellow Tom Wood, and Club President Oscar Santo Domingo.
West Hartford Rotary Club
April 22, 2019 Luncheon Meeting Minutes
1. Today’s speakers, Katie Glass and Carolyn Dodd, were from the “Hartford Artisans”, a weaving center. They are located at 42 Woodland Street. The Center is run by volunteers who are the designers as well as the people who operate the looms. They depend on both the sale of their weaving and donations from local organizations. They brought colorful samples of wool, cotton and bamboo pieces which they have made. In addition to monetary donations, they also need volunteers. One of their pressing needs is for transportation since most of them can’t drive and depend on free public transportation. One of our club members suggested that they contact ITN (Independent Transportation Network) which we have sponsored.
2. After all our worries that the Vines of March would have to find a new venue for next year, our club was given the good news that the University of Saint Joseph will be ready for our event by next year. I gave them the date of March 7, 2020 for our event and promised that we would send them a letter confirming that date and requesting an application.
3. The dictionaries have arrived and are stored at the United Bank. Thanks to Liza for the storage space. April 29, our Monday meeting will be used for putting on the labels and giving them to the assigned Rotarians for distribution at each school. We need SUV’s to haul the books from the United Bank to the Pond House. ( I received word that all has been taken care of.)
Respectfully submitted,
Oscar M. Santo Domingo
Hartford Artisan Weavers Katie Glass and Carolyn Dodd (front) with Rotarians Mary Silverberg and Oscar Santo Domingo (back)

West Hartford Rotary Club

April 15, 2019 Luncheon Meeting Minutes

1. Today’s speaker was Christopher Conway, the executive director of the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is an organization composed of Town businessmen and managers of institutions. They meet at the Noah Webster Library in the morning and they have a site on Facebook. Joining the Chamber gives members a network of other businessmen and marketing opportunities. Members may use their memberships to promote their activities, fund raise. The club’s objectives are to enhance the development of our town’s businesses, civic organizations and cultural well-being. They are located at

948 Farmington Avenue

West Hartford, CT 06107

Tel. 860 521-2300 Web site – www.whchamber.com/

2. We had three visitors today Mary and Joe brought Ralph Balbasare and Kyung Soon, who had just arrived from South Korea. A future member, Tanya Falcon, was also our guest.

3. Our Club is still behind in our contributions for the Rotary Foundation and Polio Plus. Time to send in your donations.

4. The books have arrived for the Dictionary Project. We need at least 3 SUV’s to haul them from the United Bank to the Pond House so that we can place the labels and assign volunteers to each elementary school. The labeling is scheduled for April 29, our Club Assembly Meeting.


Guest speaker Christopher Conway

West Hartford Rotary Club

April 8, 2019 Luncheon Meeting Minutes

1. Spring is on its way. The chilly air will soon give way to the warmth of the sun, buds will pop open and colors of spring will surround us.

2. Again, attendance at lunch was good. Our speakers were from the Village for Families and Children. This organization, located on Albany Avenue in Hartford, not only provides services for children but also assistance for adults with medical, psychiatric or trauma related problems. Their medication treatment program is helping to address the opioid epidemic in our community. Like other family service organizations, they need volunteers and donations to keep their programs working.

3. HANOC game day was a success. For those of you wondering what HANOC stands for – Hillcrest Avenue Neighborhood Outreach Center. Adults and kids enjoyed pizza and a variety of games. David Mangs’ “Contemporary Pinball Box” was a hit. It needs to be seen and played with to be appreciated. (Luncheon meeting appearance?)

4. Tony Rodriguez plans to have the jazz brunch with talented jazz players who have roots here in Connecticut. Hall Conard and Northwest Catholic have all contributed players of note to the music world.

5. Vines of March event is still looking for a place. No suggestion has yet proved possible.


President Oscar Santo Doming, Rotarian Mary Silverberg, Galo Rodriguez and speakers from Village of Children and Families.

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PO Box 270252
West Hartford, CT  06127-0252
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