Vines of March
8th Annual Vines of March!
          March 9th, 2019
   Click HERE for tickets!
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Rotarian Magazine
The Rotarian Magazine - Current Edition
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 of America
District Site
Venue Map
Home Page Stories

West Hartford Rotary Club

February 11, 2019 Luncheon Meeting


2. Last meeting was used for club assembly in order to organize for the upcoming Vines of March event on March 9. There are still many items we need to accomplish – selling more tickets (only 70 tickets are currently sold), getting more sponsors ( Kyle stated that at present we have around $6,000 worth pledged ). We have received the needed health certificates and insurance and tax exemptions are on hand. Auction items are still slow in coming. The restaurants that have been mentioned have to be finalized for mention in our list in the booklet.

3. Prasad, chairman of the Rotary Foundation from District 7890 made a pitch for the Hartford :Youth Scholars Program. Prasad is looking for donations from our club and the surrounding area clubs to help with the purchase of computer tablets. In the past our club has been helpful in this effort. Prasad also talked about How important Rotary is in promoting education and health benefits to people who need help. This can only be accomplished with our support. This is the 114th anniversary of the Rotary Foundation.

4. On March 14 the Children’s Museum is hosting a Gala, Live Auction and sit-down dinner at the Delamar Hotel. They are asking us to be an event sponsor. They are also looking for table sponsors; tables are $1,200. We will take up this question at our next board meeting. Anyone interested in attending, please contact Oscar.

Rotarian Kyle Egress leads the Feb 4th Meeting
West Hartford Rotary Club
February 4, 2019 Luncheon Meeting
1. On this beautiful winter afternoon about twenty Rotarians and one guest were present today. For everyone’s information, there are only 25 more days until the Vines of March. This week we have to keep track of what needs to be done - sell tickets, collect auction items, make a final restaurant count for our posters and program list. To make this Vines of March successful, we need everyone on board.
2. Our club has a new candidate for membership. His name is Jeff Shaw. He has attended our meetings twice and Bennett has posted and emailed his background information for our consideration. If there is any objection, please bring it to the Board.
3. Our designated speaker did not make it to this meeting, but we were lucky to have our own Town Mayor and fellow Rotarian as our speaker of the day. Every body was entertained by her jokes before she mentioned how our Town is doing well and is the envy of the surrounding towns. West Hartford was just selected as one of the 50 best towns to live in. Our Town assessment has increased. More housing is being built. Items that need to be addressed are legalization of marijuana, tolls and ways to save money on the town operation. It seems like our Mayor is doing her best to improve our Town. More power to her. Go Rotarian.

West Hartford Rotary Club

January 28, 2019 Luncheon Meeting

1. This meeting was a club assembly in order to plan for the Vines of March. Kyle wants to make sure that tickets are being sold, sponsors are in place and that planning with the University of Saint Joseph for the layout, insurance and health department has been done. At present, the first meeting was held at the University and we reviewed the layout and number of tables and chairs needed.

2. Bruce Stanger gave a report on his bike ride to raise funds for the ARAVA Institute. The goal of this organization is to promote friendship between Israelis, Palestinians and surrounding countries. It is a non-profit organization that promotes critical environmental work and peace building. It recruits students from all over the world, especially the Middle East. As they work together the students begin to appreciate the different customs and beliefs that form the mosaic of today’s world.

3. Bennett Forrest has completed the book collection that was stored at the Beth Israel Temple on Farmington Avenue. He was able to get volunteers to deliver books to the different schools in the area. Bennett should be commended for the time and effort spent to make this event successful. One school has already expressed its appreciation for these books commenting that the books are in good condition and of high interest to the students. The books will be used to restock the classroom libraries.

Rotarian / Guest Speaker Bruce Stanger discusses his recent bike ride for charity in Israel.
Have you wondered why The Spotlight lists an incorrect date for your club anniversary or other date?   It simply pulls from your profile (automatically).  If you need to update it:
Log into ClubRunner
Click on 'member area' on top right of page
You should see a menu that includes 'edit my profile' - click that.
You can edit data on all of the tabs (Personal and Rotary tabs are the most common).   Note that you have to hit the 'EDIT' button, and then save
If you can't get into ClubRunner, please drop Chad Licht a line and I will update you.
1. Last Friday our club met with USJ to start planning the space layout and equipment needed such as tables, chairs and warmers.
2. The Blood Drive was well attended by Rotarians and achieved the target for donations.  Thanks to Ann Leabman!
3.  The Book Drive needs help!   The thousands of books collected for this year's book drive will be ready for distribution this week! Due to last week's storm, we lost a week of time, so there is some urgency. All books must be picked up by Friday February 1 at noon.
There will be 10 schools in the area that will each be receiving 300-400 books. Of course we need as many volunteers as possible. The plan is to have the books clearly labeled, so it should be pretty easy to pick them up and drop off at the assigned location. Also, we have made sure that there is a contact person at each school who will be available to help coordinate drop off (we've had issues with the schools not being ready for delivery in the past).
Please check the attached list of schools for your preferred dropoff location as well as the pickup availability in West Hartford. Please email Bennett Forrest if you are able to help and he will be at Monday's meeting to answer questions and coordinate logistics.
Pickup location: All books are stored at Congregation Beth Israel. 701 Farmington Ave in West Hartford
Pickup times:
Sunday, Jan 27th: 
2pm - 3pm
Monday 28th through Friday Feb 1st
8am - 9am
Monday 28th 
12:30 - 3:30
Tuesday 29th through Thursday 31st
12:30 - 6:30
List of schools for dropoff:
Annie FisherHartford
Burns AcademyHartford
Gaffney SchoolNew Britain
Kennelly SchoolHartford
Lincoln SchoolNew Britain
Norris SchoolEast Hartford
O'Brien STEM AcademyEast Hartford
Pitkin Elementary SchoolEast Hartford
S.A.N.D. SchoolHartford

West Hartford Rotary Club

January 14, 2019 Luncheon Meeting

1. Last week’s meeting was a Club Assembly. We discussed the Vines of March which is to be held on March 9, 2019. It is only 50 days away and we need dedicated members to volunteer to help with putting together auction items, finding restaurants to donate food and sponsors. Time is of the essence since we need to put together a program brochure for the event which names the companies and/or people who have donated.

2. We have put together a for use in solicitation of sponsors, food donations and auction items. Patricia Kiely is setting up a meeting with the University of Saint Joseph to apprise them of our plans and needs for this event on March 9.

3. Ann Leabman and Tony Rodriguez again reminded our members of the January 22, 2019 Blood Drive to be held at the Town Hall from 1:30 to 5:00 pm.

4. We discussed involving the University of Hartford Rotaract in setting up a plan for the Outreach Program at the University. Hopefully it will both attract students to join in our efforts to help the needy by donating free meals.

5. We need to contribute to the Polio-Plus and Rotary Foundation in order to meet the District goals for this year (almost $10,000). Eileen is gratefully accepting donations large and small to help in this endeavor.

REMINDER - no meeting on Monday, January 21st!


Foundation lead Eileen Rau presents the Paul Harris Award to Rotarian Harry Davidson

West Hartford Rotary Club

January 7, 2019 Luncheon Meeting

1. Attendance was great. The year ahead is looking good. Sheila Diamond and Dennis received a check for $1,500 for the Senior Job Bank. Ann Leabman reminded us of the Blood Donor Day on January 22, 2019. Don’t forget to make an appointment before you go at either on line at or call 1-800-733-2767

2. Tony Rodriguez reminded us why donating to the Rotary Foundation is important to the community. Ten countries who need help in education, health and water supply have been the beneficiaries of grants. The Foundation is a very important part of our organization that has contributed to the welfare of the disadvantaged people who live in economically poor countries.

3. Our speaker was Matt Hart, the present Town Manager. His focus was that the Town is trying to more efficiently use our resources. One way is to share services and the other is for our taxpayers to step up and suggest ways to trim expenses. According to him there are many projects that are in the works that may help to lower our property taxes. For example, the parcel of land Saint Joseph Convent occupied on the corner of Prospect Avenue and Park Road has just received approval for a large addition that will increase our property tax base.


Rotarian / Mayor of West Hartford Shari Cantor, Rotarian Mary Silverberg, and guest speaker Town Manager Matt Hart


Rotarian Kyle Egress receives a Paul Harris Award from Club President Oscar Santo Domingo


Rotary Club of West Hartford

Holiday News and Events


Last December 17,2018, we ended the year with a holiday celebration at the Pond House. Club members, their wives and friends and a contingent from Hartford enjoyed a holiday party at the Monday lunch. The Pond House served a delicious buffet, and the Hall High School Madrigal Singers entertained with a blend of traditional and contemporary songs. The pond house was decorated for the holidays, members and guests in festive regalia were in a giving spirit. Happy dollars flowed. Kudos to everyone who helped make this such a successful occasion.


1. Start your donation to the Polio Eradication Campaign of 2019 with a contribution of $38.

2. Don’t forget the Rotary Foundation. This major source of funds provides aid for education, health, and water projects all over the world.

3. The Hartford Courant Community section of last week's edition carried a large article about the Rotary and the Children’s Museum of West Hartford. The article detailed plans for a new Learning Lab at the museum which will be sponsored by our Club. See attached links for more information.

Happy New Year to All!

West Hartford Rotary Club Meeting
December 10, 2018    Proceedings
  1. The following donations were requested and approved by the board.
    • Johnny’s Jog - $1,200
    • ARAVA Institute - $500
    • Marinduque North (dialysis machine) - $2,000
  2. Blood donation project will be held at Town Hall in January in honor of Hap Leabman.The decision to hold it every year as suggested by Bruce Stanger, will be decided after this event
  3. The treasurer commented that the Club is in good financial status or the year 2018.
  4. We will donate to the Noah Webster House for our Dictionary Project. (we will still hand out dictionaries...)
  5. The sign-up sheet for our December 17th holiday meeting was passed out. At present 43 Rotarians and their guest are planning to attend. Another 10 guests from the Hartford Rotary Club will also be attending.
Rotarians Dave Gerrold, Bob Kor, and Tom Wood enjoying the meeting!
Guest speaker Doreen Tarascio, Dir. of Communications from The Bridge Family Center
From a couple of weeks ago - Rotarian Kove Schwartz receiving a Paul Harris award from Club President Oscar Santo Domingo
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
Rev Rick Kremer, Pastor, Grace Lutheran Church
Feb 25, 2019
From Pallet to Furniture! Community Project
Club Assembly
Mar 04, 2019
VINES #3 Ready, Set, Go!
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Mar 11, 2019
DG, Kate Syms
Mar 18, 2019
Galo Rodriguez,CEO Village for Families & Children
Mar 25, 2019
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