Posted on Feb 15, 2017
The 2017 Contest Information is below.
Club President Elect and Speech Contest Chair Caroline Earle gives the 2017 "WINNER" certificate to Spaulding High School student Lia Rubel.
   The Barre Rotary Club proudly hosted five young speakers at a recent club meeting.  Five high school students from Spaulding High School (Lia Rubel, Whitney Renaud, Colleen Couture, Tyler Chaffee, and Victor Maldonado) participated in the Rotary District 7850 Speech Contest on 02/15/17.  Each student gave an impassioned five minute speech on the topic of “ How Do Community Service Efforts Grow and Continue?”  Each student spoke to his/her own community service and also offered differing points of view on the theme of community service, including the use of technology to recruit and mobilize community service efforts and the importance of tying one’s passion to community service.
Lia Rubel won first prize in the speech contest, with Whitney Renaud as runner-up.  President Tom Babic, who has used his tenure as The Barre Rotary Club President to promote youth participation in Rotary, noted that “these students are wonderful examples of civic activism, and we hope that their passion will inspire them to make volunteerism a lifelong habit.”
   The Barre Rotary Club has a proud tradition of community service.  The Club has hosted a breakfast on the Aldrich Public Library lawn for decades to raise money for the library, spent many hours in recent years clearing brush for the Barre Granite Museum, has a trash picking brigade that helps keep the downtown Barre streets clean in the summer months, provides dictionaries and atlases to local schools, and also has hosted a popular Rotary Ball Dance and Dine Event for the past two years.  
   The club recently donated an air purification unit to the Imagination Center at Washington County Mental Health Family Center in Barre, to benefit autistic children.  Most recently, the Club has begun planning for a restoration and art renewal of the retaining wall on Summer Street.  Please join the Club any Wednesday from noon to 1 pm at The Quarry Kitchen and Spirits in the upstairs dining room. Click below to see the speeches.
Pictured above from the left back row: Club President Tom Babic, Judge Jim Catone, Judge Karen Lane, Judge Sarah Costa, Judge Liane Martinelli and Speech Contest Chair Caroline Earle.
Bottom Row: Spaulding High School Contestants: Whitney Renaud, Victor Maldonado, Colleen Couture, Tyler Chaffee and Lia Rubel.
Caroline Earle presents the "runner up" award to Whitney Renaud
Lia Rubel
In this generation of millennials, technology is intertwined in our lives. In the morning I wake up to
the alarm on my phone, I spend a few hours on my laptop dolnq my homework everyday. I learn
about current events through online news sources, and my main source of entertainment comes
from using my phone or watching netflix.
The fact is, now we are in 2017. And technology continues to grow exponentially whether we keep
up with that or not. The statistics are that almost 4.8 billion people have access to a mobile phone
and At least 3.2 billion people have access to the internet. This is almost half our world's
population. Though there are many negatives that come with the growth of technology as I'm sure
we have all seen, the main thing that technology grants us is access. Access to information,
resources, and the people around us. And just as this access through technology shapes the way
we live our lives, this access can shape how community service efforts grow and continue.
Being connected to the rest of society whether that is on a local, national or global scale gives us
two main advantages pertaining to community service. One, we as a society can better
understand the issues people are facing and what their specific needs are. And two, we can
organize community service efforts much more efficiently.
My contribution to the community is mainly through student council, SAFE my school's
environmental group, and my post barf bat mitzvah youth group run through my synagogue.
Student council runs many humanitarian projects include cooking at the local churches for the
homeless, giving care packages to those at nursing homes, and buying christmas presents for
children who wouldn't have been able to receive them otherwise. SAFE works to reduce waste at
our school and organizes an annual fundraiser for an organization we believe is benefiting our
environment. My religious group is working with the Good Samaritan Haven to to help raise funds
for transitioning the homeless into housing.
These are just some representations of the various issues that need to be solved in our society.
These issues includes poverty, climate change, sexism, discrimination, lack of employment, just to
name a few.
When 3.2 billion people are connected to the internet,we have the ability to hear the life stories of
a wide variety of people. We can hear about what challenges people are facing and build our
service projects around what is needed. We can also hear about other organizations that serve
our communities and determine how and if we want to involve ourselves through methods such as
the 4-way test.
In most of the community service projects that take place in my life, we decide what organizations
we want to commit our efforts to in this very way. Through the internet, we are exposed to many
different organizations and ideas and in my eyes, this just shows how abundant community
service efforts are.
Technology also make it much easier to organize and operate community service efforts. The most
difficult challenge that I see with a community service project is the organization itself. Its relatively
easy to come up with an idea to help benefit others, but the hard part is carrying through. I see
this issue most obviously in my religious group. ~ I mentioned before, my religious group has 
been working with the Good Samaritan Haven for a few months and what has been making it
difficult is that many of us don't connect online, and it is very difficult for all of us to meet in person
at the same time. And so, we meet about once a month. Though we try to be as efficient as we
can be, progress is slow. On the other hand, with student council we all are included in a google
classroom which is constantly updated with all of us aware of these updates. Service projects
within student council usually take about a month, but through communication we can plan,
spread awareness and carry through with our projects pretty quickly. 
So what can we do to be more efficient through technology when we are serving humanity
primarily service projects? Well in each of our lives we can take the time to listen to others. We
can learn about who needs what and what is needed. We can also take advantage of online
services and make sure that everyone involved in a project is able to access this project and the
updates along with it. We can use the internet to spread awareness about community service
projects so we can gain publicity, gather funds, people, and support 
Community service grows and will continue to grow with the technology available to us. But
unfortunately technology can be used negatively as well. It can be used to spread hate, waste
time and rather than understand the issues that need to be solved, many people ignore or don't
make an effort be a part of the solution. 
We can all work together with the 3.2 billion other people who are connected to this web and take
advantage of this wonderful resource of technology that we have .. As technology grows we are
faced with the choice to either use it for good and progress our society, or let that chance slip
between our fingers. 
Our prospects are better than ever to make a change. With technology comes access, and with
access comes power, and let's use this power to serve humanity. 
Thank you. 
Whitney Renaud
As a co-head of the community service committee at Spaulding High School I have spent a lot of
time trying to grow our school's community service efforts. One key challenge I have faced in this effort
is getting people engaged and willing to participate. I have learned from this challenge that a great way
to grow a community service effort is to find activities that people are passionate and enthusiastic
about. By building off of people's interest, the fear that is instilled in the youth's mind about
volunteering begins to be erased. When a person is passionate about what they are doing they no
longer need to create excuses- "I'm too busy", "I don't have time", "I don't want to work with people
like that", "How is this making a difference?" When a student is interested in an activity these excuses
become irrelevant.
One successful activity that has grown at our school is volunteering at weekly church breakfasts.
The first year we took on this project we volunteered at one church a week, and now we cover two
churches a week. This activity works around all of the students' schedules as it takes place before any
extracurricular activities start. The timing of this activity prevents students from saying they are too busy
or that they have band, sports, or part-time jobs. Therefore, it attracts a wide variety of student
volunteers. Serving food to homeless people is 'an activity that many people feel passionate about and
find fulfilling. Students enjoy seeing the results of their work and getting to interact with the people they
are serving. Several students have proclaimed that it is difficult to wake up early but that they feel good
once they get there and do the work. Additionally students have expressed a fear around working with
homeless people. However, after a student interacts with these types of people they realize they are not
all that different from them. They begin to see that these people are simply in a different and difficult
part of their life.
Another successful activity we do is purchasing Christmas gifts for families in need. Each class
uses money they have fundraised to support a family in need. It has never been difficult to get the
classes to put in effort to raise money and to purchase gifts. Students know how it feels to receive gifts
on Christmas, so they feel strongly about buying gifts for children that would not get them otherwise.
The students feel very satisfied when they gather all of the gifts and realize how much happiness they
will be bringing to the children. These two activities have been the most successful and have grown each
year. The breakfasts have grown from one church to two, and we are considering expanding to three
churches because of how many students want to participate. The growth in the Christmas activity has
been seen in the family sizes. Classes have chosen larger size families to buy gifts for, which means they
have to put more time in fundraising, and normally when you tell students they have to raise money you
hear a room of sighs. In this situation students willingly dedicate time in order to successfully raise funds
for this charity event. The growth of these activities has depended on the amount of effort students are
willing to put in. When a student connects to something or feels passionate about something they are
more engaged and willing to participate.
When students do not participate activities can become stressful and hard to manage. An
experience I had with this was when we planned to make hand-made treat bags for teacher
appreciation day. While students liked the idea of this craft project when the time came to make them
 very few wanted to participate. I found that it was not interesting or engaging for students to make
these hand-made bags. This also happened when we planned to make decorative wreaths for a local
nursing home. I learned from those two experiences that for the students I was working with, crafting
activities were not something students were interested in. Instead I found that students were more
passionate about hands on work with people in need and volunteering at events. Although both services
are important and beneficial to the community, in order for community service to grow at Spaulding
High School I need to create activities that are around the interests of the students. Therefore, the last
three activities we have done have been around volunteering in person-we volunteered at a
community Spring into Summer festival, we face painted at a house for humanities project, and we
handed out tickets at a local craft fair. All three of those activities were successful and are ones that we
will continue to do and expand in the future.
In conclusion, what I have found to be the most successful in growing community service efforts
is to keep motivating people to participate in activities that are meaningful to them. When a person
finds a service that is important to them, they are more likely to continue that activity throughout their
life. In order to help other students find a passion for community service I will continue to introduce
them to a variety of activities. My goal would be that by exposing each student to several activities, each
student will find one that is intriguing. The ultimate goal is for the list of volunteerism the community
service committee to continue to grow so that the community service activities will continue to grow
even after I have graduated and left Spaulding High School.
Tyler Chaffee
The After and Forever
Community service comes in all shapes and sizes. Whether you are
hosting an event to raise money for a cause, cleaning up the streets of your
city, or simply volunteering your time to a local church or nursing home, it
all comes down to the fact that you are going out of your way, to provide for
someone else. In a world that is constantly changing and diversifying, the
people that hold on to this deep passion for service, like you and me, are
the ones who better the society we live in, and construct the framework for
the future generations to stand on.
Not everyone feels the same way however. It is no secret that
participation in community activities are on a decline, and that needs to
change. I was born during the rise of the digital age, and that comes as
both a blessing and a curse. Electronics have made life so much simpler
and efficient, yet they've caused an addiction that is often compared to
things like lethal drugs. But we can use this to our advantage you see. If
we can target the youth, and adults of all ages, through these "things" we
are so attached to, than we can bridge the gap between technology and
community service. Facebook is a great example of using technology to
enhance community service. There are currently more than one billion
active users on Facebook to this day, who are able to see whatever you
want to post. So while we all enjoy the occasional political article or
cooking video, we can plug our organizations and events in order to grow
interest and participation. This goes for all platforms of social media.
Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and so many more! As an active member of
both our school's Student Council and Key Club we use these platforms to
our advantage all the time by creating events and pages that all students,
and outside community members, can easily find and join. This helps us
gauge how large our audience is, and it is a great tool for gaining interest in
events we are hosting. The amount of time other students spend scrolling
through their news feed is astronomical, so why shouldn't we fill them with
something beneficial?
But we can not rely on the youth's participation through screens, we
need to start where everyone has access to equal opportunities; school.
School has played a huge role in my success with our community. Having
vast opportunities at my fingertips made it simple to get involved, and with
encouragement from our teachers and administration you feel rewarded for
doing such great things. Joining clubs and organizations was the best
decision I have ever made, and I try to encourage all my friends to do the
same. It becomes more and more apparent each year that education is no
longer four simple subjects, but rather it teaches us how to get involved
with people, it builds communication skills, and it provides us opportunities
that I fear students wouldn't reach without the guidance and structures that
a school is able to provide through their amenities and extracurriculars.
Becoming involved with community service, and being able to
manage a club, has guided my future, leading me towards a hopeful
career in politics, non-profit, or business management, and while I may not
know my immediate future, I know that it will include community service,
and I hope that through these current and future opportunities I can help
grow this trend to provide other individuals with the same path of
Victor Maldonado
How Does Community Service Grow And Continue
First of all, I would like to thank everyone for coming here and giving me this
opportunity to participate in the contest. Today I will be talking about how community service
grows and continues in Barre. When I think of community service, the basic idea that comes to
mind is people volunteering to achieve a goal to benefit the community. It is much more than that
though. Community service is working together as a community and as a good neighborhood to
make our city, town or neighborhood stronger, so the people we love are safe, protected and have
what they need to live in a comfortable environment.
Not only the community service is good for the community, but it is even more rewarding
for an individual who delivers the service. People find hidden talents that change their view in
their own worth. Meeting new people and working as a team may also open one's eyes to new
perspectives and ideas and offer new opportunities they never thought they would have before.
People gain knowledge of local resources available to meet community needs. Community
service also offers a possibility to give back to ourselves and to the people that we love and care
about. Community service is also a venue to test out new careers and gain professional
I work in the ReSource, I'm a volunteer worker there. In the short period of time I have
gained quite a lot of experience already. For example, I learned how to work with customers.
Another thing that I learned is that you have to be respectful at all times and understand that you
represent the entire Barre community and have to demonstrate generosity and be the bigger
person. I also learned that you have to lead by example, and remember that one is not
representing oneself, but is the face of the whole store. I also learned that when one puts on that
uniform, it's no longer what one likes or wants, it's what the customer wants or likes. The
differences and problems should be put behind as soon as one clocks in at the store.
As you can see, getting involved in the community has benefited me quite a lot. I am not
the only one who sees the benefit, however. The customers that I work with, my co-workers,
community at large enjoys the results of my work which gives me the feeling of belonging to this
society. For some companies or community group programs volunteer work saves funds that can
be used in other areas instead. This is great because you get to meet a lot of people and learn a lot
while working for your community. Just like in the past volunteers help with improving
infrastructure of their own community bringing in the expertise and knowledge that may either
cost a lot for the community to buy or cannot be bought as it comes from the experience of the
local people. We still have things that need to be worked on and improved in our community, and
that's why we have to continue. Sometimes we are told that Barre is not a decent city to live in.
We have to prove those people wrong. Barre and communities like Barre are something to be
proud of and worth putting effort into. Growth is part of human nature and part of our lives, so
why stop now and give bigger cities the reason to say, "It's just Barre". I encourage everyone to
try community service at least once in your life, get involved, and stay engaged. 
Colleen Couture
 Community service efforts are so much than just
volunteering to hand out pamphlets at one event, or
volunteering to serve breakfast at one of the local
churches. Whether you realize it or not community service
not only affects the person volunteering but also the
people you're helping. The elderly lady you served at
breakfast this morning? PAUSE Your warm smile made
her day 10 times better. Now she can leave and have a
great day, she may even pay your act of kindness forward
and hold the door open for the people behind her.
Dropping some cans off at the local food shelf could feed
a family for a week and kids can finally focus on school
and not be distracted by worrying whether they will be
eating dinner or not. Community service efforts are
something that last forever.
I volunteer once a month at one of the local churches, I go
before school to help cook breakfast for the people that
come in. Some are homeless, some are struggling to pay
for food and some just simply come to enjoy a good meal
and have a good time. I have come to look forward to
every time I get to volunteer, the coordinators know me by
name as well as some of the guests who come to eat. I
have gotten the chance to get to know some of them and
have heard many wise stories. This community service
experience has changed my life and made me want to
volunteer even more.
I have done many community service acts and plan to do
many more, but one of my most recent projects was a
luminaria bag display at my high school. People
purchased paper bags to decorate for someone in their life
that has been affected by cancer. It truly amazes me what
a community can do, we raised 2,500 dollars to be
donated to the American Cancer Society. Cancer has
touched many lives in many ways and I'm glad I could
help others celebrate their loved ones who have been
affected. This has been by far one of my most memorable
community service events.
I also participate in our local relay for life event every
summer. Thousands of people band together for 12 hours
and walk non stop in efforts to help raise money for cancer
research. Their hope is to one day have a world with more
I am currently helping plan the blood drive we will be
hosting at my high school, something like donating blood
may not seem like it could save lives, but it truly can. It
could save the life of someone in your family, your
community, or even someone you have never met. By
hosting this blood drive, were not only helping save lives
as a community but we are also raising awareness in
teens, now they can continue to donate and help. There is
a great shortage for blood, and us all having different,
very specific blood types it can be very hard to receive if
you need it. This act of service is truly life changing.