Posted by Ronald Parnigoni on Jul 29, 2017
 
Brenda Waterhouse prepares bananas for the 34th, Barre Rotary Club's annual breakfast on the Aldrich Public Library lawn. All proceeds go to the library. 
 
Barre Rotary Breakfast History- 1968-2016
 
      In the beginning the idea of holding an outdoor breakfast began in the late '60s. The first breakfast was held at Barre City Park with one small grill that belonged to Roy Turner. It rained that day and the breakfast was moved into the Universal Church basement. From then on the breakfast was held at different locations such as in front of The Elks Lodge on Jefferson Street, to an empty lot on Merchant Street where the Court House now is, then to the  Metro Parking lot by the train station.
      In 1983, Dick Parnigoni made a deal with Ernie Drown, the librarian at The Aldrich Library, that if The Rotary Club could use the front lawn we would donate the profits to the library. At all of our previous locations we always had a problem getting enough electric power to run our toasters. This problem was somewhat solved when we started to tie into the main panel of the library. We needed a 50 amp circuit. At that time the library added the new addition and the contractor put a special outdoor, 50 amp electrical box just for the Rotary Breakfast. Now, we use power from The Library and we also have an electrical box and cable coming out of the Barre Housing building next door (the old Hotel Barre). These electrical connections were made possible by Floyd LeRoy and Peter Gagne. For a few years the National Guard provided us the usage of their field outdoor cookers. The Guard would arrive at 5:30 am on the Saturday, set up the grills and then take them down after the breakfast. When we could no longer use the National Guard grills we acquired used grills from Soups & Greens Restaurant, The Legion, Bob Bergeron, Jockey Hollow Restaurant and a couple of burners from the Masonic Temple. Then we bought a new grill. All heavy grills were put into metal frames and wheels were attached.  
       Now the Rotary Breakfast has turned into big business, with the addition of tent coverage, plastic table clothes on the forty plus tables, paper placemats and two serving lines with heated food containers. The Breakfast serves between 1,200 to 1,400 people each year, with the record 1500 + served during the bi-centennial. We use the help of 50 people, mostly friends and family of the Rotarians. The Boy Scouts help out with setting up and taking down the tables and chairs which all come from the Barre Auditorium.
In the past the Rotary Club has been donating $5000 a year to the library with the last six years donating in excess of $10,000 and in the year of 2016, over $14,000.  Over the years The Barre Rotary Club has contributed a quarter of a million dollars to the Aldrich Public Library. 
      To feed a group of 1300, we need to crack over 3200 eggs, have 100 lbs. of sausages, 117 lbs. of ham, 118 giant loaves of bread, 280 lbs. of bananas, 1000 pts of milk, 32 gals of orange juice, 15 lbs. of coffee and 150 lbs. of Vermont Maple Syrup.
     The Rotary Breakfast is now served on the last week-end of July and has been on the library lawn for 33 years…….. a pretty good record. For the past 6 years the breakfast has been chaired by Rotarian Ron Parnigoni and prior to that by his brother Rotarian Dick Parnigoni.
 
Pictured below are Rotarians & friends working wicked hard to make sure the 2017 breakfast is successful.
 
 
Let's get the trash barrels set up with Ted Goulette & Ray Bettis. Pete Gagne in the background.
 
Part of the electrical hookup with John & Ray.
 
Ted unstraps a grill in the transport trailer.
The "Ticket Taker", & past president, Dick, Shadroui
Ray & John start unloading the chairs. Wicked heavy!
The "Charirman" of the breakfast, Ron Parnigoni leading the charge!
Ray & friends unloading chairs.
Sarah White with her youngest on her back sets up the tables & chairs with 7 of her other children.
Sarah's son.
Ray, John & friends unload more tables. They are very heavy!
Sarah's daughters.
Library Executive  Director, and Barre Rotarian, Sarah Costa with Library staff practicing their moves for the parade.
John lights the grills.
THE COFFEE MAN, past president Tom Babic.
 
 
Sue Poczobut gets the tongs out.
THE TOASTER MAN. Past District Governor, George Milne.
The setup.
The setup.
Past President Bertil Agell with the "Egg Man" Tony Campos and French Toast Runner & "Ticket Man", Bob Pope.
 
The "Ticket Taker", and Past President Dick Shadroui.
Past President, Joe Preddy directing traffic. Helper, Linda Babic.
Past President, Clair Duke with her cleaning supplies.
Sandy Rouse getting everything "ship shape"!
"The Orange Juice Man", Past President Jim Catone.
More helpers.
Bertil & Ted at work.
Past President, Carole Dawes selling tickets with Joe looking on.
The crowd.
The cookers!
The servers!
Clair & helpers make french toast.
Butch Churchill & helpers cook their famous french toast.
Tony & John on the egg grill. Tony has to pay a fine for advertising "New England Cooks".
Montpelier Rotarian & friend on the grill.
Let's see, do I want white or chocolate milk?
Ron with a helper. Do I want coffee or tea?
Brenda & Jim serve.
Getting tickets.
Bob helping the french toast cookers.
Ted on sausages.
Bertil on ham.
Scott Funk cracks eggs.
One way to make scrambled eggs!
     President Elect and current Mrs. Vermont sells raffle tickets.
The Lions are spying!