Welcome to the Friendliest Club in our District!
We meet Thursdays at 6:00 pm
Twin Pines Diner
34 Main Street
East Haven, CT 06512
In the News
Club Receives Prestigious Honor
Robert Friend, Rotary District 7980 Assistant Governor, recently announced that the East Haven Rotary Club was named the inaugural recipient of the District’s new Phoenix Rising Star Award. Through this award the District recognizes a Club that has gone through transformative expansion and engagement, making a profound and lasting impact on its community.
In announcing the award, Friend said the club “contains a highly diverse group of professional leaders from its community and is celebrating its 80 th Anniversary as a Rotary Club.” Friend pointed out that only five years ago the club membership hovered around 20 members, predominantly led by men and focused solely on giving back to their community. “Since that time membership has increased by 52% with 32 members and a high percentage of women which has transformed the club’s unique connection to the community.”, Friend continued, “Their (the Club’s) work has now extended into international service as they served as the lead club in last year’s Feed Our Neighbors program”, which enabled 28,000 meals for the children and families of Jeremie Haiti.
The District also cited the club for its many successful local community events and fundraisers. One of the newer initiatives is their extremely popular “Anginette Wars” fundraiser which attracts upwards of 600 community members to bake, taste and vote on the best Anginette Cookie in the event. All proceeds of this event go directly to the “Ben Mazzucco Clothe the Children” program which has delivered over $ 130,000 in clothing to more than 1100 children in the community, for 18 years each January. In addition to the above events, the East Haven Rotary, continues its Students of the Month recognition; its annual year end Scholarship awards at East Haven High School and the issuing of free Amber Alert Child Identification cards. This along with their annual recognition of first responders with the annual “Joseph Buonome Memorial Public Safety Awards” which are given at the Club’s Installation Dinner each June. Lastly, the Club each year for the past twelve has provided full Thanksgiving Dinners to deserving residents of the town, most of which are delivered by Rotarians on Thanksgiving Day. This year over 220 meals were provided free to the community for this purpose!
Assistant Governor Friend concluded by saying, “this club is dynamic, resilient, energized and making great change in the way Rotary is perceived in their community through relationship and engagement”. The club was officially formed on March 3, 1939 and is now celebrating its 80 th Anniversary by the installation of a distinctive legacy “post” clock to be located in front of the Hagaman Memorial Library.
Town Clock to Be Installed
Article Published February 5, 2019
80 Years of East Haven Rotary Action Marked with Library Clock by Nathan Hughart
The East Haven Rotary Club’s 80th anniversary is approaching, so the club looked for a fitting project to mark the occasion. After reviewing the possibilities, Rotary, which held its first meeting on
March 3, 1939, is planning to install a distinctive clock outside the Hagaman Memorial Library.
“We want to get word out to recognize 80 years of service to the town of East Haven,” East Haven Rotary President Bill Richardson said.
In 2005, the club embarked on a similar project to mark the 100th anniversary of Rotary International by installing the fountain on Main Street. The fountain was paid for in part by selling engraved paving stones for $75 to $135 apiece.
The clock, which the Rotary expects will cost $21,000 to install, will be funded in a similar way.
“Electricity is right there, it’s a nice clean spot,” Richardson said. “We originally wanted the clock to be part of the green but...a lot of people walk by here and they drive by here.”
The Rotary will sell off 100 spots for donor names that will appear on the side of the clock. Though the price per name has not yet been set, donations can be made through paypal by visiting www.easthavenrotary.org. A few paving stones for the fountain project are also available.
“This will be a great way to honor past Rotarians, civic leaders, and loved ones from East Haven,” Richardson said.
Since its founding in 1905, Rotary International has adapted with the times to accommodate for membership declines and rising costs, but through it all the organization has maintained a dedication to “service above self.”
“[At first] they almost treated it like a network club where...because they were very strict for years that you could only have one lawyer, one plumber, one school teacher or whatever,” said Frank Gentilesco, the club’s publicity chairperson.
Members were required to attend Rotary meetings on a weekly basis, even attending meetings in other towns when away from home. The commitment involved with this policy, Gentilesco said, affected the club’s ability to recruit new members.
“Since then, things have evolved tremendously in the Rotary,” Parente said.
While originally founded as a men’s organization, in 1989 Rotary International allowed women to join, a change that slowly took root in East Haven’s club.
“Probably the biggest positive change that this club has made in the last few years is women,” Gentilesco said. “The women that we have gotten as members are dynamic. They are the worker bees of the club. They aggressively went out and got new members.”
Today, the East Haven Rotary boasts 33 members, 18 of whom are women, the most the club has ever had.
Together, the club has embarked on numerous yearly fundraisers in service of the town, most recently with its Clothe the Children drive, which partners with Kohl’s and local schools to purchase new clothes for children in need.
The Rotary serves East Haven’s children with its annual breakfasts with Santa and the Easter Bunny. It also has a Student of the Month and a Student of the Year award for East Haven students.
“We’re geared toward doing things for children,” Richardson said. “Everything we do is for the less fortunate kids in our community.”
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Anginette Wars 2019
ANGINETTE WARS 2019 was a success!
Over 30 bakers participated and 600 people were in attendance!
Thank you to all the sponsors, judges, bakers, and spectators for your support and know that the proceeds of our event, which totalled over $10,000 will clothe local children in January 2020!
Shoreline Rotarians band together to provide 46,000 meals in Haiti
MADISON—Community members banded together to make a difference overseas. Rotary club members from multiple districts near the shoreline packed 46,000 meals for families in Haiti.
Over 150 volunteers showed up on their day off to pack the high protein meals that will be distributed to the people of Dayere, a small rural community in Haiti.
Marilyn Lowney who is the executive director of the Haitian Health foundation was excited to hear the Rotary community wanted to make a difference for the third year in a row.
Lowney said, “Right now this food is coming at a really good time because the political situation in Haiti has been really bad, people have been getting really angry and doing a lot of protest and the price of everything has gone up.”
Lowney says children and expecting mothers are the core groups of people the health foundation wishes to help.
Volunteers like Robert Friend who serves as the assistant governor for area 8 of Rotary district 79-80 says the food packed Saturday will go towards families in need which makes it all worthwhile.
Lowney said, “We work with the people to, you know it’s not only handing out. They have nutritional education, the mothers come up and learn what the best foods are for a 2-3 year old.”
Club members say it when Hurricane Matthew ravaged Haiti back in 2016 leaving much of the country impoverished and hungry was when they decided to make a difference one meal at a time.
Friend said, “We forget what we have in our community and we take it for granted sometimes and we got to step back and take a look at the world and see that what we do is real important.”
The meals will be shipped this summer to the people of Dayere.
Student of the Month
The East Haven Rotary Club recently recognized three East Haven High School students as their most recent recipients of the club's Student of the Month program.
Each month the Rotary recognizes a student from East Haven High School's junior class. The student is invited to attend a Thursday night dinner meeting at the Twin Pines Diner Restaurant and is presented with a
certificate and a check for $ 100. Winners then become eligible for the $1000 Jack Leary Memorial scholarship to be awarded at the end of their senior year.