Rotary Club of Providence News

Meeting Date:  November 2, 2021

Reporter:  Sharon Garland 

Rob Brewster’s family home and contents were recently sold. The house has been in the family for generations and Rob appreciates having his father’s desk even if it’s for a relatively limited period of time. The process reminded Rob to appreciate life since time is short.  
President Holly and Pete Brock (with Jäger) thanked everyone for their enthusiastic support of the Literacy Gala. The positive spirit of the event, hard work of the committees and tremendous turnout exceeded expectations.
A special thank you to Mary Cullen for arranging for the RI of Department of Education Commissioner and the Providence Schools Superintendent to attend the event.  
The Reading Rally with Malcom Mitchell the day before the Gala was also a huge success. Third, fourth and fifth grade students attended in person. They were very engaged as Malcolm read his book to them and were delighted to receive their own copy of My Very Favorite Book (provided with Rotary funding.) After the rally Malcolm went to individual classrooms to distribute books to the other students.   
There will not be an executive committee meeting on November 11, but the Gala Committee chairs will have a wrap up meeting that day at 9 am via Zoom.  
Happy November birthday to Rob Brewster.  
Wendy Marcus announced that the Providence Little Library project is ready to accept donated books.  Special thanks to Barbara Harris for her work on this project. Book suggestions from a Providence librarian will be forwarded.  
Anthony Landi reminded everyone that Rotary After Dark is coming up on Thursday, November 11. If you would like to attend the PC Friars game, call or email Anthony or Rob Black. Tickets are $15.  
Kris David announced that the Paul Harris dinner is Friday, November 12. Details in the District email that was sent to all.  
Mary Brewster reported that the Good Works committee is collecting children’s new socks, gloves, hats and mittens for the holidays. Donations can be brought to the next several Rotary meetings.  
Happy Bucks 
  • Margaret Kane $10 for the gala success and for the spectacular job Pete did as emcee. 
  • Liz Messier $2 for Pete as emcee (we never need anyone else!) and for the registration committee.
  • Jim Gilcreast $10 in appreciation for the Gala raffle committee. 
  • Art Norwalk for holding Malcolm Mitchell’s Super Bowl ring.
  • Barbara Harris $2 because she loves the opportunities that Rotary
    provides, like the chance for her to
    work with 4th graders at the
    Kizarian School. The children and teachers need any help we can give, half the children read at grade level, but the rest struggle at the first-grade level. If you have time, the need is so great and the children and teachers so appreciative!  
  • Anthony Hollingshead $5 to welcome back Herb from Florida and for Holly and Pete’s Gala leadership 
  • Kris David for the Kizarian School first grade student who told her that he was excited to bring home Malcolm Mitchell’s book because his father hates the Patriots, “so I can’t wait to bring the book home and say I got it from a Patriot!”  
  • Don Saracen $2 for Holly, Pete and Susan’s Gala leadership and for the sponsorship committee who worked together to raise over $62,000
President-elect Steve Hug introduced Allyson Cote of Ocean State Shield (OSS)and a former Bristol Rotarian. In April 2020 Allyson and her partner, Todd Thomas (an engineer and architect) recognized the economic impact that Covid-19 was having on businesses and schools. They developed an innovative plan to help businesses address the critical issue of protecting customers and employees from the air borne disease using air filtration and other products. Their business goal was two fold: provide products that help businesses stay open and safely serve as many people as possible, and make these products in RI with materials sourced from RI businesses.  Allyson credits RI Commerce with providing financial support for the OSS project.  OSS worked with the business community, including Chambers of Commerce, to make these air filtration products available to local businesses.   
By last Fall it was clear that cold weather would present more challenges, especially for restaurants without the necessary indoor spacing required by RI Department of Health regulations. To address this OSS developed an innovative 55lb. igloo made of commercial grade canvas for outdoor dining. The structure can seat 4-6 people, has built in ventilation and meets all fire and all safety codes. It can be heated with electric healers. Allyson calls it the Tesla of igloos!  
When businesses were asked to evaluate the economic and social benefits of the program, they reported over $2 million in increased revenue, 44,000 more hours being open and 13,000 more hours of employment.  OSS has received much attention for their innovative approach including an award from RI Monthly. Rhode Island Monthly wrote: “Ocean State Shields came through in the clutch for Rhode Island’s small businesses. The local startup…created a package for restaurants to continue operating outdoors in the winter, which includes a ten-foot in diameter heated igloo that is made with fire safety-compliant materials.” 
Club Information
Tuesdays at 11:45 AM
Providence Marriott
1 Orms Street
Providence, RI 02904
United States of America
Lunch is served at 11:45 AM; meeting begins at noon.
District Site
Venue Map
Upcoming Speakers
Nov 09, 2021 11:45 AM
His work covering the Rhode Island scene
Nov 16, 2021 11:45 AM
The Work of the United Way of RI
Nov 23, 2021 11:45 AM
State's New Black History Curriculum
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