Rotary NewsLetter

Meeting Date: September 28,2021

Reporter: Bryan Cook

President Holly opened the meeting with an explanation of how ringing the Rotary bell to start meetings began. 
Liz Messier quoted Winston Churchill “ We make a living by what we get.   We make a life by what we give” and thanked our grant recipients for all the do to give back to our community. 
In addition to the grant recipients represented, Helen Kagan was a guest.   Helen is a friend of Arthur Robbins who is thinking about joining our club. 
Pres. Holly announced that the Barry and Elaine Fain and Partridge, Snow, and Hahn have agreed to sponsor the Legends for Literacy Gala at the Division Champions level. 
Pete Brock gave a gala update and advised that John Rook, Gillette Stadium announcer and voice of PC hoops, will again be the MC for the Legends for Literacy Gala. 
Jim Gilcreast advised that we are still looking for donations for the auction.  He would specifically like to get some items to complete packages for experiences such as hotel/airfare to go along with the Pats/Miami tix he already has.   See Jim if you can help. 
Happy Bucks 
Margaret Kane once again solicited happy bucks and got the following responses: 
  • Margaret contributed $5 in honor of the grant recipients. 
  • Jim Gilcreast gave $1 for being happy. 
  • Kris David gave $1 for a a bittersweet weekend highlighted by her daughter’s wedding and culminating with her father’s passing.    
  • Pete Brock gave $5 for the new puppy he will be picking up this week. 
  • Pres Holly gave $41 in honor of her daughter, Burgundy’s, 41st birthday. 
Jan Feyler, Foundation Chair, opened our program with a brief description of the Providence Rotary Charities Foundation.   Trustees include: Walter Cotter, Sharon Garland, Margaret Kane, Anthony Hollingshead, and Anthony Landi.
The team is supported by longtime administrator, Randy Dittmar and former Providence Rotarian Suzanne Cannon.
Jan advised that the Foundation has given more than $400,000 in grants over the past five years and has supported local agencies working in Providence as well as international projects and Polio Plus.   Our club foundation was founded in 1953 and is funded through the individual contributions of members, corporate sponsorships, and fundraising events such as the Legends for Literacy Gala. 
This year, grants were given to sixteen organizations.    While we are honoring these recipients today, the actual grant checks were mailed last summer so that funds could be made immediately available.  This year’s honorees included: 
  • 134 Collaborative 
  • Camp Jori 
  • Camp Ruggles 
  • Community Boating Center 
  • Everett Company Stage 
  • First Works 
  • Friends of RI CASA 
  • Inspiring Minds 
  • Katie Brown Educational Program 
  • New Urban Arts 
  • Providence Promise 
  • RISE 
  • San Miguel School 
  • Sojourner House 
  • Stages of Freedom 
  • Manton Ave. Project  
Three of our recipients were chosen to speak to the club today to give us an update on their organizations and how they have used the grant money:
134 Collaborative 
The 134 Collaborative used grant funds to assist the Out of School Jam which consists of workshops for kids in Providence.  They focus on leadership, resiliency, and education particularly within the 02903 zipcode.   Kids are given tours of the area and exposed to banking at TD Banknorth, restaurants and the puppet workshop as well as Brown U. and RISD so that they are aware of their community and how to take advantage of all that it has to offer. 
Camp Ruggles 
Camp Ruggles is 45 years old and serves kids who are predominantly from Providence and surrounding areas.  Seventy-three percent of the kids come from single family households or are somewhat involved with the foster care system.   In many cases, the kids have not seen the water, been swimming or fishing before they attend camp.  Board member, Greg Gauthier, told us about some of the kids he met at the camp and how this drove his commitment to doing what he could to ensure that Camp Ruggles is there for the kids.  
Friends of RI CASA 
Court Appointed Special Advocates are there for children referred to family court as the result of a DCYF filing of abuse, neglect, or dependency.   These kids have often been in traumatic situations and have a distrust of new adults.    Grant money was used for sticker books to help social workers gain trust and communicate with children referred to the court.   Recently a focus has been to purchase books as this is an oft requested item from the kids.   Books can easily be taken with the kids as the move through the system and help to provide comfort and connections.   This is a small positive in many difficult circumstances. 
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.
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