We opened in the usual way.


Mario passed around tickets for the car raffle – 7/Rotarian.  The tickets are $100 each and the winning ticket will be drawn at the library breakfast on July 30th.  (see the attached poster for more info and a photo of the car – a sweet ride!)  Mario said he had to leave early today, but if people have questions, they can talk to Roy or Ted Goulette.


Roy immediately proposed a fine of 1+5 on Mario for referring to him as “Roy Goulette” (see above).  Most people were munching on lunch by this point in time, and I think I was the only person who actually voted, but President Claire declared the fine as passed.


Michael gave a Happy Dollar because Sue was sitting with the minions.  Michael then proposed a fine on P. Claire for forcing Sue to sit with the minions and putting Elizabeth in Sue’s place at the head table.  Prez Claire said Elizabeth’s outfit complimented her own better than Sue’s did, so it was all about aesthetics.  The fine passed.


Our table talked about the death of Elizabeth Taylor, and we recalled many of her great film appearances.  My personal favorite – “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe?”


Roy offered a few updates:

  • There is an Expo Committee meeting this evening
  • The Expo sign-up sheets will be appearing shortly – sign up early & often!
  • Reminder about the Pushing Out Polio event at the Capitol Plaza on April 12th – Roy has tickets.


President Claire made several announcements:

  • The district conference will be held in Stowe from April 29 – May 1.
  • The leadership conference will be held in Lebanon, NH on April 9.


In the middle of P. Claire’s business portion of the meeting, Jack gave a Happy Dollar for his recent cruise.  They visited Cozumel, a rain forest and the Panama Canal.


Back to Prez. Claire’s announcements:

  • The Club was thanked in the St. Monica bulletin for our recent dictionaries/atlases donations.
  • Re received thank you notes from:
    • Barre City Elementary & Middle School
    • Project Independence.
    • Boy Scouts.
  • Jack & Elizabeth are making arrangements to interview our RYLA candidate.
  • We received packets of thank you notes from the students who received dictionaries & atlases.


Roy said students at Williamstown High School, U32 and Montpelier High School have expressed interest in forming Interact Clubs.  We need someone to step forward to work with the Williamstown students to get their club up and running.


George put in an plug for the district conference, and said people don’t need to go for the whole time.


George put in a plug for the Pushing Out Polio event, and said the Montpelier Club changed their regular meeting time to the time of the event to allow all members to attend the event.


President Claire introduced our speaker, Hal Cohen, executive director of Central Vermont Community Action Council (CVCAC).  Hal then started to get his powerpoint presentation together.  Sue stood and said while Hal gets his act together, she’ll give the secretary’s report – even though President Claire didn’t ask for it – as usual.


Claire said she is going to estimate the number of times she has forgotten to ask for the secretary’s report, and will give a dollar for each time as a preemptive move against future fines.


Carol introduced Sherry Knudsen, who is working on the CVCAC capital campaign.  Carol said she’s known Sherry for a loooooonnnnnnggggg time – Sherry used to babysit Carol & her brothers many decades ago.


Bertil gave a quote about sermons that didn’t seem to fit in anywhere.


Hal finally got the floor.  He said he is a former Rotarian, having been a member when he lived in Jerusalem.  Hal said CVCAC was formed as part of the 1964 Economic Opportunity Act.  The act created community action councils to get federal funds to the people in need.  They are governed by a tri-partite board made up of private individuals, public representatives and participants (those who receive services).


CVCAC has been in operation for 46 years, and serves Washington, Lamoille & Orange counties, along with parts of Windsor, Addison & Rutland counties.  Their service area covers 2,000 square miles and represents 18% of Vermonters.


The goals are:

  • To alleviate suffering caused by poverty.
  • To move people out of poverty.
  • To advocate on behalf of those living in poverty.


CVCAC works to meet the basic needs of people, then move them in to other programs that will help them move out of poverty.  Programs include:

  • Head Start (early education)
  • Family Community Support (food shelf, heating assistance)
  • Weatherization
  • Transportation
  • Workforce Development – through a statewide $5 stimulus grant, CVCAC is helping training people in green technologies.


When Hal started with CVCAC there were 85 staff and a $5 million annual budget.  Today the numbers are 220 staff and a $16 million annual budget.  The main reason for the growth are economic circumstances.  Many families live on the edge of poverty.  In 2007, CVCAC served 11,000 people, while in 2010, it served 16,000 – a 46% increase.  Food is the most flexible thing in people’s budgets – they need to pay the rent, utilities, etc. so any adjustments are made in the purchase of food.  In 2007 the food shelf distributed 100,000 meal equivalents.  In 2010 that number doubled to 200,000 meal equivalents.


CVCAC is a leader in the field:

  • It created the first early Head Start program
  • It created the first early learning center (Brook Street School)
  • It is a leader in micro-business development
  • It created Individual Development Accounts which encouraged savings by providing matching funds for every dollar saved.  The funds were restricted to home purchase, starting or expanding a business or post-secondary education.
  • It hosts the 2nd largest food shelf in the state.


CVCAC is bursting out of the seams at its current location on the Barre-Montpelier Road.  They are purchasing the downtown Barre City property that currently houses P&S Furniture and will be moving most of their operations to that site.  There will ultimately be a 26,000 square foot facility housing 100 employees.  The hope is to have staff in the building as early as January, 2012, then the rest of the project will be phased in as funding allows.


The Club thanked Hal for an interesting program.


Hal drew the winning raffle ticket, which was held by Bertil