The following notes were supplied by Outgoing President Claire – as if she didn’t have enough to do at the dinner!


Awards – serious and not – were the action items of the Changeover Dinner at the Hilltop on

June 29…they were all there!  (More later)


The facts of the evening are these – 44 people attended, 25 members and 19 guests – loyal spouses,

some “Friends of the Rotary” like Charlie & Carol Merrill who pitch in on our special projects, Kim Whitcomb, president of Altrusa, Honorary members Homer Fitts and Dick Parnigoni (yes, Dick returned to lead the group singing, belting it out “like the good old days” before he retired.)


Dinner was delicious baked, stuffed chicken, strawberry shortcake and everything in between served by our favorite waitresses who have seen us through the past year:  Betty and Ivanna.  Festive flowers in Rotary coffee cups and balloons graced each of the tables, thanks to Jim & Ginny Catone who created the beauties.


After a sputtering start with a microphone that wasn’t turned on, we managed to all introduce ourselves and applaud the board of directors as it rose in recognition of its labors this year.  The year’s activities and accomplishments were outlined in a written report by the president with copies at each table.  Inspirational remarks were borrowed, with permission, from President Claire’s brother, Leo Laferriere, who first expressed them upon being awarded the Community Service Award by the Central Vt. Economic Development Corp. which then promptly named the annual award after him.

Notable among the comments made with a theme of environmental appreciation and community service were these:  “We owe our very existence to six inches of topsoil and the fact that on it the rain falls and the sun shines. Let us live by an ethic which believes that true wealth is measured not in terms of what we have taken, but rather what we have given as our contribution of the well-being of the planet.”


This was followed by robust singing, let by Dick P., the nature of which would make any Rotarian proud.


Serious awards were presented to well-deserving members: Rotarian of the Quarter, George Milne; Paul Harris Award to Bill Rossi, and annual Attendance Awards including 40-years of perfect attendance by Ron Parnigoni.  The Rotarian of the Year Award went to a surprised Jim Catone whose contributions have been numerous and outstanding this year and whose efforts were recognized with a standing ovation.  He humbly accepted the award and expressed his pleasure at having joined the Barre Club who, he said, attracted him because it has a lot of fun….and it meets at lunchtime.


A list of the NON serious awards appears at the end of this report.


Claire expressed her thanks to the Hilltop and staff for excellent meals & service, and to all the members for their tolerance and for not impeaching her this year, after all.


Music master Dick Shadroui then led the Rotarbarians in a short song about blue and gold, and the usual wild and creative song about the outgoing and incoming presidents…year after year, he continues to crank out these clever ditties, amazing!  Gifts were opened at each table – a tiny bottle of Tabasco for everyone, designed to give everyone a shot of energy toward support of incoming President Karen.


The gavel & president’s pin were then transferred to Karen whose remarks were uplifting, forward thinking, and appreciative of the Barre Community, quoting from a past president, Harry Monti, who said that what makes Barre so great are the volunteers whose efforts play such a big part in the life of the community. Outstanding among those volunteers she said, were the Rotarians.


Spoof Awards, as they were aptly termed in the program, went to:


  • Most Creative – Carol Dawes, chips editor, who received a 2 ft. long “pen” that also doubles as a water gun.
  • Most Cooperative – Elizabeth Laperle, treasurer, who now has another “bank” in which to put the money…it matters not that it is adorned with black feathers and looked like a purse – an item which could affect her fiscal credibility from now on.
  • Mini-Techie’s Award – Jack Barnes &  Dick Shadroui who can’t seem to open attachments in theiremails went home with an antique hammer and a sledge hammer, respectively.
  • Biggest Challenger – Karl Rinker for his frequent questions of speakers & sometimes lengthy questions that sound like statements to speakers – a sling for his tired arm.
  • Least Verbos – went to Joe Preddy who is known for his ultra concise answers (“done”) – anultimately concise jigsaw puzzle - 88 pieces in a 2 x 2 inch box.
  • Most Loyal – Tom Babic, Green-Up Captain of many years, who received this year’s frameable Green-Up poster signed with thanks from the members.
  • Newest Member – Judy Peterson who joined after Green-Up day this year and so was given her very own16” long tongs so as to be ready next year when the time comes.
  • Most Participatory AND Most Typos – Roy Somaini, a man who worked on numerous projects and who has a computer without Spell-Check so received special spell-check software in the form of a huge disc directly from the personal collection of Bill Gates.
  • Most Courageous – Mario Bonacorsi whose response to a bout with Myloma demonstrated a tenacity that our members much respect and admire.  Because Mario is a man who is “all about cars” he received a tiny parking cone straight from the Gecko who once used it during his “Employee of the Month” period.
  • Most Grief – Awarded to Sue Poczobut for her relentless reminders that the president had overlooked her Secretary’s report (and for which the president has paid dearly in fines).  Her outlandish pink 18” x 2 ft. sign (that can be raised on a second’s notice) will remind incoming President Karen that she dare not overlook the Secretary again.
  • Most Optimistic -  Karen Lane for her forever-smile and up-beat nature as she undertakes her new position as president…and who, nevertheless, needs to “carry a big stick” with a membership the likes of the Barre Rotary…went home with an antique rolling pin and asked “can I use it at home, too?”  Poor Chet looked worried.


And so, hopefully, “a good time was had by all…………”