Jazz Brunch Tickets
Sunday 4 November 12-4
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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


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
Rotary Club of West Hartford Lunch Meeting Minutes
Date: September 17, 2018
Upcoming Events:
  1. Jazz brunch is fast approaching.Tony has been reminding us to get out there and sell tickets.A decision will have to be made at the end of September as to whether or not to hold this event.This will depend on the tickets sold and donations received or pledged from sponsors.
  1. Our district governor has asked the club to participate in hurricane relief due to loss of life and property in the Carolinas.A web site has been created where you can choose your way to donate:  http.//www.rotary 7680.org/disasterrelief.PHP
  1. Supporting the Rotary Foundation is an important goal of any Rotary Club.The Foundation in return is the source of grants to make our projects, both domestic and international possible.Please contribute.
  1. Dave Mangs gave us a talk about how the opioid epidemic is affecting the young generation of this country.It is up to every organization to work together to stop the spread of this epidemic.

Rotary Club of West Hartford Board Meeting Minutes

Date: August 24, 2018

Attendance: Eileen Rau, Tom Wood, Matt Cuddy, Bennett Forest, Oscar Santo Domingo


1. Board approved budget for 2018-2019.

2. Board accepted the Marinduque North Rotary Club of the Philippines as a sister club for the purpose of join projects. Discussed was the possibility of a water project. This is still in the preliminary stage.

3. Approved a donation of $3,600 to the Children’s Museum of West Hartford. This is in addition to a District Grant the has been approved for $2,400.

Upcoming Events

1. Due to the efforts of Dave Mangs, Ashley Daley of UHart, Greg and Bennett, our Club was able to recruit 53 Rotaractors from the University of Hartford. A meeting will be organized to welcome these new members. A Board of Directors and committee chairs will be selected at that meeting. Please watch for that meeting and plan to attend and greet all of them.

2. Ann Leabman will be honored on September 17 meeting as an Honorary Member due to the time and effort she has spent in the service of Rotary.

Rotary Club of West Hartford Minutes
Date: August 20, 2018
Attendance:  about 30 Members
Bob Kiely
Eileen Rau suggested that the Club donate to the Rotary Fund in memory of Bob Kiely.He was formerly the chairman of the Rotary Foundation.
Rotary Means Business
Farmington, Canton and Avon Rotary Clubs held a combined Rotary Means Business meeting last August 15.David Mangs emphasized the need for this meeting so that different business people from the Clubs and their friends are invited.The more exposure our club gets will hopefully mean more members and more business.
Tavern Night
Don’t forget TAVERN NIGHT, September 27.
Jazz Brunch
We signed a contract with The Hartford Club for the Jazz Brunch.Contracts with two performers were also signed.The next move is to sell tickets.We have to sell at least 250 tickets.You can go online to buy tickets on the Rotary Club of West Hartford web site to buy tickets.
Children’s Museum
Rick Liftig and I met with the Director of the West Hartford Children’s Museum.He gave us the history of their financial status and said that at present they are in the black.They do not depend on Town or State funds for their operations.We hope to invite the prospective buyers of the site to one of our meetings and to express our interest in having part of the site reserved for the new Children’s Museum so that West Hartford can continue to have this educational treasure in our Town.Our donations to the Rotary Lab will be transferable when the Museum moves to its new location.
Foundation Chair Eileen Rau presents Rotarian Ed Cape with his Paul Harris +2
Rotary Club of West Hartford Minutes
Date: August 13, 2018
Attendance:  about 30 Members
  1. Rotarian Bob Kiley was laid to rest last Saturday at the Fairview Cemetary after a service at Saint Peter Clavier in West Hartford.  Our club was well represented for the mass as well as the burial.
  2. Rick Liftig and I met with the director of the Children’s museum to discuss the situation with the relocation of the museum after the two year dead line to turn the existing property over to Kingswood Oxford.  The possibility of the UCONN site was mentioned.  it was suggested that we approach the prospective buyer about reserving part of the property for a new facility for the museum.  It was also suggested that letters to the editor of the Hartford Courant promoting this idea would be helpful.  One of our projects for this year at the local level is to setting up a Rotary Lab at the museum.  We have a District Grant for this.
  3. The mayor of West Hartford, Shari Cantor, informed the Club that the situation of the Children’s Museum getting a place to expand on the site of the old UCONN branch at the corner of Trout Brook and Asylum is not a sure thing. For one, the Town has no say on planning for the site after the zoning change has been approved.The only way forward is to approach the buyer and convince them to leave a part of the site free.  According to the Mayor this is a very long shot.
  4. The high point of the meeting was the presentation of the Paul Harris Award to Ed Cape. He was presented with his pin and also addressed the meeting with stories of his experience as a member of Britain’s Royal Air Force. He also mentioned that he was instrumental in helping to promote the admission of women into the West Hartford Club.
  5. Don’t forget TAVERN NIGHT, September 27.  Kyle is already canvassing restaurants.  We are trying to use a restaurant that has donated to our Vines of March fund raiser.
  6. We are still looking for a chair person and his committee that will take charge of this year’s Vines of March to be held on March 9.Any brave souls out there?Please step up.
  7. Peter Kovalevich passed around a signup sheet for Rotarians who will sell tickets for Jazz Brunch fund raising on November 4, 2018.
Rotarians Mary Silverberg and Shari Cantor with guest speaker Rebecca Rose

Rotary Club of West Hartford Minutes 

Date:August 5, 2018 

Attendance:  10 Members 

  1.   Rotary Means Business:  Bennett has this project well in hand.  There will be another meeting on August 15, 2018.at Fox Run Golf course in Avon from 6:00 -7:30 pm.  Bennett is trying to get each town Rotary club to continue this program through their own club.  
  2. Rotaract:  Greg Friedline has been trying to get this together at the University of Hartford.  Our club is trying to get the past Rotaract group to interact with the UH group.  Our club is going to find the past group names from Erica Leabman.
  3. We again discussed the importance of reaching the Town Council regarding the UCONN site for the Children’s Museum.  
  4. We discussed asking programs that we have given to in the past to help in publicizing the Jazz Brunch and the Wines of March and in selling tickets for these events.
  5. Dave Mangs described the opioid epidemic in this country.  The Rotary Club Districts are joining together to help on this project.  He mentioned how the town and/or city police departments play an important role in obtaining information of victims of opioids.
  6. The West Hartford Food pantry needs your donations.They are short on pasta,rice and sauce. You can drop your donation at the Town Hall.   
Rotary Club of West Hartford Announcements
  1. The jazz brunch has found two artists for this year’s program: guitarist Chris Flory and tenor saxophonist Harry Allen. We are still looking for a drummer and base player.
  2. The ticket price for the event will continue at $85 per person. Starting August 13, the committee will be ready to offer tickets to fellow Rotarians.
  3. Vines of March will be held on March 9, 2019, at Saint Joseph's University. We are still looking for a chair and committee members for this event.
  4. The Town Council will hold a meeting with the proposed buyer for the UCONN campus at the corner of Asylum Avenue and Trout Brook. The proposed buyer will present a site plan at this meeting.We hold out the hope that a portion of this site will be reserved for the Children’s Museum of West Hartford. This museum has been an asset for the Town and our club has an approval for a project with the museum to sponsor a special room. Please plan to attend and make a plea for incorporating a space for the museum in the plan.
The 2019 Rotary Club of West Hartford Board took their new roles in a ceremony at Pond House Cafe last week.
Guest speaker  Amy Watkins, Program Coordinator, Watch for Me CT, with Rotarian Mary Silverberg.  Watch for ME CT is a comprehensive program, run by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) in partnership with Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center, aimed at reducing the number of pedestrians and bicyclists hit and injured in crashes with vehicles.   Each year, about 1,500 pedestrians and 550 bicyclists are hit by cars on Connecticut roadways.
Rotarian Membership Coordinator Bennett Forrest with new member Gerard Honig
West Hartford Rotarians, with special guest Noah Webster, present dictionaries to 3rd grade students at Charter Oak school.  The Rotary club presented dictionaries to 3rd graders at every West Hartford school this spring, an annual tradition.
Rotarians John Smeallie and Club President Donna Griffen (right) present Robin Kruger (center) with a Paul Harris award in honor of her significant support to the Rotary Club of West Hartford, most notably our annual Vines of March fundraiser.
Peter Lamothe, Sr Dir of Development, Jackson Labs
Oct 22, 2018
Precision Medicine
Shari Cantor, Mayor of West Hartford
Oct 29, 2018
What is happening around town?
No Speaker
Nov 12, 2018
Club Assembly
Duane Martin, Engineer-Town of West Hartford
Nov 19, 2018
Projects around town...how, when & where?
Helen Rubino Turco, Dir. Human & Liesure Services,
Nov 26, 2018
What's new around town?
CT State Senator, Beth Bye
Dec 03, 2018
Legislative Update
Doreen Tarascio, Dir. of Communications
Dec 10, 2018
Bridge Family Center, West Hartford
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?
Briann Greenfield Ph D. Exec Dir
Feb 04, 2019
Harriett Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford
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