Posted by Jim Catone on Feb 20, 2019
Pictured below are Club President, Liane Martinelli, Incoming President Ed Rousse, Aldrich Public Library Board Chair, Nancy Pope and Library Executive Director, Lauren Polk.                         Total donations over the years to the library now exceed $281,000.00. This was the 35th breakfast on the library lawn and the 44th breakfast overall.
Barre Rotary Breakfast History- 1968-2018
 
      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.  2017 as a little over 16 thousand and 2018 was a little over 15 thousand. Over the years The Barre Rotary Club has contributed $281,154.44 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 35 years…….. a pretty good record. For the past few years the breakfast has been chaired by Rotarian Ron Parnigoni and
prior to that by his brother Rotarian Dick Parnigoni. Ed Rousse now chairs the breakfast.